Tag Archives: cacao

Chocolate Almond Energy Balls

chocolate energy balls

Chocolate, mmmmmm! Everybody loves it, well, almost everybody. I certainly do.

Chocolate comes in many many different forms. Some good, some, not so much.

People love to grab a chocolatey snack in the afternoon. Some people grab a Kit kat, and some people, like myself, grab one of these chocolate almond energy balls.

This is a much healthier option of course, and a whole different type of delicious.

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Raw, Recipes, Snacks

Raw Vegan Valentine’s Day Desserts – Vegan Chocolate Mousse & More

Let’s be honest, Valentine’s day eating is really all about dessert. Chocolate to be more specific. However, most tradiotnal desserts aren’t what most people would consider healthy. While indulging once in a while is fine, there are tons of healthier dessert recipes out there that will still make you smile. These vegan desserts are incredibly delicious and made with whole foods. They are made with natural sugars, healthy fats and yummy ingredients such as raw cacao, and cashews. Most of the recipes are completely raw which means the nutritional value of the ingredients aren’t lost in the baking.

I wouldn’t recommend indulging in these vegan Valentine’s day treats every day, because yes, many of the desserts are high in calories. However, because the ingredients used are whole foods, you can feel good about what you and your loved one are eating.  You can also feel great about feeding these to your kids.  I am pretty sure they will love them and be none the wiser.

I was sure to select recipes that are relatively simple and straightforward, so that success is almost guaranteed. You can either surprise your Valentine by making one of these vegan Valentine’s day desserts ahead of time or plan on making one together. Making food together can be very romantic. If you are a man who doesn’t cook often, suggesting an evening of preparing food together might be just the thing to thrill your wife/gf/date.

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Banana Nut Butter Smoothie from The Harmony Hotel in Costa Rica

My friend, Nathalie, who happens to be one of my favourite yoga teachers, just returned from a yoga training in Costa Rica where she stayed at The Harmony Hotel. Nat and I are always talking and sharing juices and smoothies. I walked into the studio and was greeted by Nat. She extended one arm out over the reception desk, mason jar in hand. “Kieran, you need to try this”. It was a smoothie she had discovered at The Juice Bar at at the Harmony Hotel.

After checking out their website a little bit I can safely say The Harmony Hotel in Costa Rica is my kinda place. It pretty much sounds like paradise. Eat. Sleep. Relax. Play. “They say The Harmony Hotel is the perfect place to get in tune with your natural rhythm.” Yes please.

If this smoothie is the type of fare they are serving up at The Harmony Hotel in Costa Rica, then I would be more than happy to eat there. I can only imagine what other amazing food and drink they have to offer. Local, seasonal food. 80% of the foods served at their Juice Bar are from their very own farm. Now that is fresh at its best.

More about the smoothie at hand. I don’t know how close this is to the exact recipe they use at The Harmony Hotel Juice Bar but it is Nat’s version inspired by her amazing experience. It contains raw cacao nibs, banana, coconut milk, coconut water, dates, and raw almond butter.

I have made smoothies similar to this one in the past but not with coconut milk and coconut water. There are so many amazing different combinations you could come up with. Raw cacao truly is amazing. It is so good and so good for you. If you didn’t know, now you know. Raw cacao can be very expensive to buy, but if you are lucky enough to live in the US you can get a great deal on amazon.

Banana Nut Butter Smoothie

3/4 cup coconut milk
1 banana
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
1/4 cup almond butter (raw if possible)
1/4 coconut water
1 cup ice cubes

dates to to sweeten (amount will depend on type of dates used and personal taste)
1 medjool date should be enough

Combine all the ingredients together in a blender and blend until almost smooth but still a little crunchy. Do not over blend.

Enjoy the sweet rich goodness.

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Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding Recipe & Video

Everybody likes a little dessert now and then.  Even those of us who eat healthy foods on a regular basis enjoy a sweet treat, and that’s okay.  Not all desserts are equal.  This chocolate coconut chia seed pudding is for those days when you are craving something sweet and delicious, but still want to eat something nutritious.

Not only is this dessert low in fat and sugar, it is nutritious.  You are doing yourself a favour by eating this pudding.  Chia seeds are a great source of essential Omega 3s that most of us need more of in our diet.  They are also high in antioxidants, and a good source of protein.  On top of all the nutrition that chia seeds offer, this recipe also contains raw cacao powder considered to be another great superfood because of its high content of antioxidants.  It is considered to be be one of the best sources of antioxidants  in the world.

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Filed under Blog, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Raw, Recipes

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe & Video

Hot chocolate is a comforting drink that can be a great treat on cold winter evenings.  This beverage can either be extremely processed, artificial and unhealthy, or natural and healthy. It all depends on the ingredients you use.  The choice is yours.  It is just as easy to make the healthy vegan hot chocolate, so give it a try.

Forget about those hot chocolate pre mixed packages filled with artificial flavouring, corn syrup and more.  So many ingredients. So unnecessary.  Listed below are the ingredients of Nestle’s Hot Chocolate mix found on their website .



Hydrogenated vegetable oil?  No thank you. Not in my hot chocolate. Would you like any in yours?

Only 3 ingredients necessary for my delicious hot chocolate.  Milk of choice, raw cacao powder and a natural sweetener.

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Raspberry, Cacao, Hemp Squares Recipe

I came across this recipe  randomly on the internet.   I was not looking for a recipe.  I was just browsing around and the next thing I knew I was staring at a delicious recipe for chocolate raspberry hemp squares.  They sounded rich and divine.

Coincidently,  I had some raspberries in my fridge as well as all the other pantry ingredients.  Coconut oil, agave syrup, hemp seeds, raw cacao powder are all ingredients anyone with a whole foods kitchen should keep on hand at all times. Continue reading

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Raw Cacao, Almond Butter, Hemp Seed Smoothie Recipe

This is a great smoothie when you are hungry and craving a sweet treat.  Just because you are craving something sweet doesn’t mean that you have to turn to something unhealthy.

Hemp seeds are a complete protein as well as a source of healthy essential fats. Raw Cacao nibs are one of the worlds best sources of antioxidants.

What this means is that not only is this smoothie a delicious treat, it is good for you. Continue reading

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Cacao Bliss and Almond Butter Panini with Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

 Cacao bliss is a relatively new discovery for me. I wrote about how I happy I was to discover it here while I was in NYC.

One of the things I wrote about was how it would be a good substitute for Nutella for those looking for a healthier substitute. When I returned home from NYC I happened to open a cookbook called Bold Italian. I decided to sit on the couch and browse through it for a few minutes.

I cam across a Nutella panini recipe topped with ice cream. It looked delicious so I thought why not make a vegan version with my new discovery. Cacao Bliss.

The brand of coconut ice cream I used is coconut bliss. There are tons of flavours available. The original coconut flavour works best in this recipe of course. If you are wondering what is sprinkled on the ice cream in the picture it is a pinch of ground espresso beans. This is what they did in the recipe I was inspired by and is completely optional.

This is a serious treat. It is incredibly rich. Give it a try if you are someone who has a sweet tooth and is looking for healthier alternatives.


Cacao Bliss & Almond Butter Panini with Coconut Ice Cream


2 slices of bread of choice (thin slices are better)
Cacao Bliss
Almond Butter
A little bit of melted coconut oil
1-2 small scoops of coconut ice cream (Coconut Bliss)


Heat a panini or sandwich grill. If you don’t have one simply heat a non-stick frying pan to medium.

Spread some cacao bliss and almond butter onto a piece of bread. The exact amount is up to you and will depend on the size of your pieces of bread.

Cover with the other piece of bread. Brush the outside of both slices of bread with coconut oil.

Grill in the press for a 5 minutes until both sides are golden. If you are using a frying pan simply give each side a couple minutes pressing the panini down with the back of a spatula.

Cut it half and serve on a plate topped with a little scoop of coconut ice cream.

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