Paleo Chocolate Cake, Mousse & Ice Cream

So … your in the mood for baking right?

What do you grab first of all?

Eggs, flour, milk, sugar?

WRONG!

The below chocolate cake recipe is one that avoids all processed food and is made from plenty of ingredients that will make you feel full of beans!

You can also make healthier toppings such as chocolate mousse which can be frozen and topped with macadamia nuts to form a yummy chocolate ice cream – paleo and clean eating approved!

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE CAKE
Serves 8

Ingredients
1 orange
1/2 cup agave syrup or organic honey
3 eggs
2 cups of almonds (processed into fine powder)
1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder or cacao (if your really keen)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Sprinkle of salt

Method
Preheat oven to 165 degrees celsius

Steam the orange until it comes to boil and let it settle until the water is cool. You can actually drink the hot water when it cools and it is a type of home brewed orange tea.

Once the orange is cool, chop it up (including the skin) and place in a food processor or quality blender.

Process the orange until its a smooth paste, adding in the agave syrup, salt, vanilla and eggs as you go.

TIP: crack the eggs in a separate bowl to avoid breaking the shell into your mixture.

Pour the processed mix into a mixing bowl, fold in the almonds, cacao/cocoa and cinnamon.

Pour mix into a cake baking tin lined with baking paper.

Place cake mix into the oven for 60 minutes – checking at 50 minutes via the skewer test.

When ready – let it sit to cool before serving it with the chocolate mousse recipe below.

Benefits of:

Almonds – source of protein, vitamin E and good monounsaturated fats. This can lower cholesterol levels.
Cocoa powder – boosts serotonin and endorphin levels to the brain for that feel good factor!
Cacao powder – Cacao is the mother of all chocolate … No kidding. All types of cocoa and chocolate is forged from the raw cacao seed. You can get cacao in powder, block or butter form – usually at a health food store. It’s much better for use and is a guilt and sugar free ingredient (unlike its descendant cocoa).
Cacao is full of antioxidants, a stimulant called theobromine and phenylethylamine which is a mood enhancer. It also increases serotonin to the brain – therefore this is a the mother of feel good too.

HEALTHY CHOC MOUSSE
Serves 12

Ingredients
1/4 cup honey or agave syrup
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder – I prefer cacao
Pinch of sea salt and cinnamon

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor starting with the honey first, followed by the avocado, vanilla and cacao.

Blend for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.

Add a splash of water or coconut water if you want to make a lighter mousse. I would recommend not to – if you are making chocolate ice cream out of it.
NOTE: To pump up the protein content – just add 1 serve of protein powder into mousse mixture.

Spoon into a bowl and allow to set in the fridge.

FOR CHOC PALEO ICECREAM – Put the mousse in the freezer for a couple of hours instead.

Serve with macadamia nuts 🙂

Source: The Healthy Chef

20130916-071108.jpg

Healthy Choc Mint Buttons

Are you a fan of choc mint cookies?
Or are you mad about about anything minty?

Then look no further!

Mint Slice

Maybe not the most calorie conscious dessert (oils and butters of all types should be enjoyed in moderation) but definitely up there with the things I can take to a dinner party. Yum! What a treat these are!

I took these over to a girlfriends night-in and immediately was asked for the recipe. Note, having a food processor is a major plus here.

So here goes:

Ingredients & Methods …

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup raw, organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic peppermint extract

1. Melt cacao butter and coconut oil carefully over hot water (see the Bain Marie technique)
2. Whisk in cacao powder and agave.
3. Let sit until it thickens slightly.

Mint Filling

  • 1 cup dried coconut (try unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon organic peppermint extract

1. Place coconut in food processor and process until it is powdered. Do not over process or it will turn into butter.
2. Add coconut oil, agave and peppermint. Pulse to combine.
3. Chill until it begins to set. If it gets hard, just warm to room temp again.

ONCE SET

1. Shape mint filling into balls and flatten. Dip into chocolate sauce and let harden. I dipped it twice for a nice coating. Any more will become WAYYY to rich 🙂

Source: Raw Amazing 
(Thanks RAW!!)

 

While you were sleeping…

Ever wondered what’s actually happening while you were sleeping?

Seeing as there is an app for everything these days, there are phone apps like the ‘sleep cycle’ (see: Sleep Cycle) that measure your sleeping waves like this…

20130821-075717.jpg

My sleep pattern last night to prove!

But what’s really happening behind those unique pair of eyelids each night?

The average Australian sleeps for seven hours each night. Is the recommended eight hours of sleep necessary?

Well according to Australian Body & Soul, there’s more than what meets the eye each night.

1) There is a direct connection between the bathroom scales, your metabolism and lack of sleep. Less sleep = lower metabolism + higher the scales. Therefore getting more shut eye could mean an extra helping hand in shredding those curves.

2) Sleep aids in the ability to concentrate. We have all had those mornings when a Thursday or Friday can feel as much as a Monday morning. Our focus is limited and our judgement might as well have stayed in bed under the covers. Getting to bed even 30minutes before your usual can enhance your productivity to take on the day and thrash your targets – whatever they may be! More sleep = more focus + energy.

3) You’ll feel amaaaaaaazing!!!
Similar to the fact that group exercise can boost your mood [see earlier blog post], so too can getting a good nights sleep – and really put things back into perspective giving you that little extra spring in your step.

4) People that don’t sleep, don’t get all the health benefits such as nightly body repair aka if you don’t get your beauty sleep, you’ll become uuuuuuglyyy!! Wear and tear on the body should be replenished by a balance in your life. Not just with exercise and nutrients, but a good level of rest as well.

5) Longer life…. People who are regularly getting 7-8 hours of sleep continuously throughout the week can look forward to a longer healthy and happy life, whereas it has been shown that the less sleep you have (say fewer than 6 hours per night), suppresses your immune system and can take its toll on your body by increasing the risk of illnesses.

6) There is also a direct connection with sleep and with athletic performance.

According to a study in 2008, 5 swimmers were monitored when sleeping. They increased their sleep to 10 hours per day for six to seven weeks. At the end of the study the athletes were seen to be swimming much faster and able to react more quickly. A couple more hours in that comfy bed could mean the difference between your Bolt moves and your Bear moves.

7) An interesting fact…
During your body’s sleep cycle, your brain goes into a deep sleep state (see diagram above) where it goes through all the things you did that day and translates it into memory formations. When you have less than 6 hours of sleep per night, you are more at chance of losing parts of your memory long term, and doing short term damage to the learning experience. The deep sleep (the higher peaks in the diagram) are what is needed in order to replenish properly and count it as a good nights sleep.

8) Relationships are key.
Finally – the better rested you are, the better relations and intimacy you can have with your partner or those close to you. In 2010 the Sleep in America Poll advised that 20-30% of both women and men were affected by their lack of sleepiness. They explained that their family life and sexual relationships had been affected by the way in which their sleeping patterns where shortened.

So can the human body function on less than 8 hours of sleep her night?
Well short term possibly yes, long term no. But you don’t have to tell me twice to hang out in my doonah for another hour or so.

And being winter in the Southern Hemisphere, what better time to start then right now! Grab that hot water bottle, that book that’s gathering dust on your bedside and/or your other half and start toning your life back into shape – one snooze at a time.

For now – I am going to work on getting my point score higher on Sleep Cycle!

🙂

20130821-080005.jpg

20130821-080031.jpg

Source:
http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+advice/10+benefits+of+a+good+nights+sleep,17681

20130821-080113.jpg

20130821-080122.jpg

20130821-080130.jpg

20130821-080142.jpg

Juicing much?

Loving my new juicer!

Absolutely loving it!

I do ask though, does anyone out there have any fav combinations?

I’ve made a great apple + mint + ginger juice and tomorrow ill be heading for carrot + orange & ginger for breaky!

What’s your view on juicing (in moderation)? Any cool combinations to share? They say its a great way to obtain vital nutrients and I’ve found it’s really convenient.

Cxx

20130813-101330 PM.jpg