Raw Chocolate Ganache Three Ways, inspired by a journey HOME.

Some encounters bring you back home to what your soul is yearning for. This year has done that for me and my family. I have been around people and places that have made me feel like, I was coming home. One of those encounters inspired me to move my culinary creative juices back to Raw Foods. Raw foodism is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. It only includes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Now I AM NOT A RAW FOODIST, VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN, but my diet is about 80% plant based. I believe eating whole foods is better for my body, mind and spirit. So, how did I come back home to raw foods? My best friend. She wanted to take a yoga class one morning and  I did have the time, I had so much work to do. I was behind schedule on several projects, I felt run down and just wanted to work and maybe catch a nap in.  However, inside of me, my spirit was calling from some release, so I went.

The funny thing is, as we were driving to the studio, it hit me where we were going, to my old yoga studio. The place I learned about the healing beauty of yoga and meditation, ironically another one of my best friends introduced me to this studio, 13  years prior. I got some teacher training here from some the best yoga teachers in the United States. I was very ill during that time, fighting kidney disease and trying to take care of a toddler.

The yoga studio was a place of love and great healing for me. As we walked into the yoga studio, there on her mat was the owner and one of my first yoga teachers. My heart felt so much joy. I felt like I was back HOME.  The class was amazing and I felt more energy in my body and spirit, plus so much peace.

My yoga teacher and I caught up and we talked about health issues. She shared with me her journey of healing and it hit me why I was there. Food has been a healing art for me. So of course, my best friend and Creative Marketing Director of my wellness company, mentioned what I had been up to lately with food. My yoga teacher was excited, she had been eating raw to heal, but she runs three businesses and doesn’t have time to prepare the food. She asked me to help her and of course it was my pleasure to say, YES. The yoga studio and her classes brought me so much healing and now I could give back. Life is always trying to bring us home, if we just take the time out to slow down and listen.

Here are three ways you can use my Raw Chocolate Ganache.

Raw Chocolate Ganache: You can use this for many other desserts

Ingredients:

1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, pinch of sea salt

Directions:
Using your blender, mix together syrup and coconut oil until well combined. Add in your cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt, and process until smooth – scraping down the sides as needed. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. If using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit, or roll out ganache truffles using a melon scoop. 🙂

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Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte with Pistachio Dust and Black Berries

Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte with Pistachio Dust and Black Berries

1/2 cup black cherries, thawed out frozen cherries

 

3/4 cup Raw Chocolate Ganache

1 tbsp maple syrup

crushed pistachios and a black cherry

Using a blender Blend everything together, using a biscuit cutter, place on a sheet pan with parchment paper . Pour the ganache mixture into the biscuit cutter, almost to the top, leave room to add the pistachios. Add the pistachios and top with a black cherry. Put into the freeze and allow to set over night or for at least 2 hours to get it very firm. When ready to serve, allow to set room temperature for about 2-3 minutes, this will make it easier for you to push the torte out of the biscuit cutter. Gently remove, by pushing up from the bottom with a frosting spreader or the back of a spoon.

Serve and enjoy immediately because the base is made of coconut oil, it must be eaten immediately or kept frozen.

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Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte

 

Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream

Ingredients:

1 pear cut in half and seeds removed

Raw Chocolate Ganache, in it’s liquid form. if using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit.

crushed walnuts

whole coconut milk

1 tsp cardamom and a little more to dust over the pears

1 tbs maple syrup

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Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream

Directions:

Super simple. I add a little lemon juice to the pears, so they would not brown. Dipped them  into the ganache. I dipped half of the pears here, added crusted walnuts, sprinkled with cardamom, you can also drizzle maple syrup, honey or agave over them for more sweetness.  Put the pears into the fridge for an hour or overnight so the ganache can harden on the pears properly. The coconut cream is also super simple.

Open up a can of coconut milk and remove the creamy top part and add to a bowl.  Using an electric hand mixer whisk attachment, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in maple syrup and cardamom.  Put whipped cream in the fridge to harden a bit, about 10 minutes. Remove the pears and whipped cream from the fridge. Add whipped cream to the pears and serve immediatley.

NOTE: This ganache has a coconut oil base so it will melt fast, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.img_4922

Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream

 

Last one, but oh so good.  My grandson helped me make these, notice the heavy handed areas of pistachios. Love it.

Raw Chocolate Ganache Bark with Peppermint and Pistachios 

Ingredients:
3 tbsp cacao
2½ tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
small pinch sea salt
2 tbsp crushed pistachios
1 crushed soft peppermint stick

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Raw Dark Chocolate Ganache Bark with Peppermint and Pistachios

Instructions
Whisk together melted coconut oil, raw cacao and maple syrup in a small bowl until completely smooth.
Add a pinch of sea salt and combine well.
Add nuts and peppermint

Line a cookie sheet with non stick parchment paper.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon, spread it thick so you bark doesn’t melt so quickly when eating it. 🙂 Add the goodies on top.

Place the container in the freezer for 30 minutes until the chocolate is completely hard.
Break up the pieces and serve immediately.
Store in the freezer.
PSA
Since the base of this bark is coconut oil it will melt at room temperature, so please keep it in the freezer, until ready to serve. Eat immediately.

 

Spring is almost here: Is it time to Detox?

A spring cleanse is an important regimen, no matter how healthy you are. Our bodies need a good cleansing from the previous diet of the winter. In the winter months we tend to get less exercise and we eat heavier, fattier and more comfort foods. Our metabolism slows down as much as 10%, so we have to get it back up and running. A detox can get that metabolism back up and ready to go for the warmer months ahead.

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JUICING

Today I will share a video and a few recipes on how I like to do my Spring detox. I would advice, before starting and new nutritional or exercise regimen to speak to your health care professional first.

One of my favorite ways to detox, is to drink vegetable broth in the morning. Here’s simple and nutritional vegetable broth you can try at home. I also like to juice during my detox, carrot juice is my favorite and provides results, quickly.

I hope this video will give you a few tips and enjoy the recipes below. Remember, to always Set the Table with Love.  I start with a salad for lunch here’s a great salad recipe already on the blog, https://setthetablewithlove.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/warm-beet-green-apple-and-trio-lentil-salad/

 

Ingredients:

Vegetable Broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

10 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns,

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add 4 quarts cold water.  Add spices. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by half, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

I drink this stock each morning. I drink it like a tea. You can also add lentils, an egg or other legumes to boost the protein.

Carrot Juice

Simple. Juice 5 carrots and enjoy. To boost the juice, to help with your immune system add1/2 tsp of turmeric at the bottom of the glass, then juice the carrots.

 

 

 

How to Break “Fast” and Have more Energy

I love talking about food, nutrition, wellness and beauty. So, I thought that, I would share how my days usually go, that keeps me full of energy, balanced, looking and feeling my best. I learned a lot of this when I studied Holistic Nutrition and Medicine at Clayton College of Natural Health. How we break our fast, from the night before is very important . Eating a healthier, lighter diet and drinking plenty of fluids, helps cleanse and nourish the body gently, so you may have more energy and clarity throughout the day. What is happening, is we are flushing out built up mucous in the body, as we consume pure liquids, high fiber fruits and veggies, during the am.

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How to break a Fast

Here is my  sample of an Ideal Morning routine to cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, boost energy and jump start your day.

  • Wake up with the sun. Go to bed early enough to wake up without an alarm.
  • Sit quietly or lie up in bed, pray, meditate, deep breathing. Release any concerns or frustrations. Let things go. Visualize your day.
  • Pray, and I love reading  my bible and other spiritual books.
  • Drink 2 cups of purified water with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Yoga and deep breathing for 20-30 minutes.
  • Eat 1 or 2 pieces of fruit.
  • Go for a vigorous morning walk or weight training 30 minutes
  • Get ready for my day.
  • Eat a whole grain breakfast, I love cooked oats or quinoa.  Consume 30 – 60 minutes after the fruit.
  • Take my supplements.
  • In 1 or 2 hours, mid morning. a handful of nuts and/or seeds.

Now this depends upon any health issues you may have. So, ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW ROUTINE.

I am kidney transplant survivor and this works well for me, even when I have to p]0take medication.

I will share my Ideal Afternoon routine tomorrow, remember to always Set the Table with Love.

 

Ginger peach Coho salmon salad with warm cinnamon pears

My former yoga teacher sent me this amazing vinegar Alessi White Balsamic Pear Infused vinegar and the sweet note. So she asked me to post what I am going to do with it.

I made a ginger pear dressing for the Coho Salmon salad.  I also took the dressing and used it as a marinade for my coho salmon. It turned out really good.

Ginger Peach Coho Salmon  salad with warm cinnamon pears and spicy dehydrated peas and cranberries
Ginger Peach Coho Salmon salad with warm cinnamon pears and spicy dehydrated peas and cranberries

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