Sugar has snuck into ingredient lists of most packaged, processed, and homemade foods. Ayurveda, as well as many healthy diet/food philosophies, considers these sugary products to be toxic, adding to ‘ama’ or waste buildup in our bodies. Ama can be the cause of a plethora of health issues including depression, weight issues, and inflammation. However, the right kind of sweetness does have its place in our diets and lives. Just a few examples include a fresh-picked juicy strawberry, a japanese yam topped with grass fed butter and cinnamon, cashew cream– and occasional special treats, the focus of this post! Once our taste buds adjust, it’s amazing how a bit of raw honey, maple syrup, vanilla and fruit satisfy our desire for sweetness. Ayurveda also notes that the taste of sweet holds the energy of compassion, love, gentleness, and grounding. So, just in time for Valentine’s day, I’m going to share a few of my favorite special treat recipes!
Adapted from Kathy Langelier’s Sensual Sipping Chocolate in her Herbal Revolution cookbook: 1 cup Elmhurst Hazelnut milk, 3 T Coconut cream (the full fat top part of canned unsweetened Coconut milk), 2 T Raw Cocoa powder, ½ t Maca, ½ t Shatavari, ½ t Cinnamon, Maple syrup to taste. Heat all on stove, blend with a milk frother, and sprinkle with crushed Rose petals
Carrot Halva (Indian Carrot Pudding):
6 Organic medium carrots shredded (by hand or in food processor), 2 T Ghee, 2 C unsweetened nut milk (ex. made by you or Elmhurst Cashew or Hazelnut), 6 T Coconut sugar, ½ t Cardamom powder, ½ t Rosewater, pinch of Saffron, optional 2 T chopped unsweetened roasted Cashews, sliced Almonds for topping. Melt Ghee in a wok or large pan, add carrots and stir for 10 minutes, add milk and bring to simmer until reduced-about 40 minutes, add Coconut sugar and stir/cook for 3-5 minutes, add Cardamom powder, Saffron, and Rosewater, cook an additional minute. If desired, stir in roasted chopped Cashews and top with sliced Almonds.
Truffles: My mom made these when I was home for the holidays, recipe from the back of Kakosi Chocolate wafers. 8 oz unsweetened chocolate wafers, ¾ c Coconut cream, 2 T Honey or Agave, ¼ cup raw Cacao powder, optional crushed nuts. Mix wafers, Honey, and cream over low heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is smooth, refrigerate until set. Put the Cacao powder on a small plate (with crushed nuts if desired). Roll the set mixture into balls, and then roll them into powder to coat. Add crushed nuts.
Chocolate covered Strawberries: Melt your favorite good quality 100% chocolate on the stove with a little Coconut cream and Maple syrup to taste until smooth. Cool slightly and dip organic fresh strawberries in chocolate and let cool/harden on your serving platter (preferably from Vivirae pottery ;))
Chocolate Avocado Mousse: Heat and melt 2 oz unsweetened
chocolate with ¼ c Coconut milk. Add melted mix to a blender or
food processor and blend with: 2 T Maple syrup, 3 T unsweetened raw Cocoa powder, ⅛ t Himalayan sea Salt, 1 t pure Vanilla extract. Chill 1-3 hours. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh organic Raspberries or Strawberries, and for a little extra exotic heat, a sprinkle of Cinnamon or Chili powder.
Baked Apples: Core apples. Depending on how many you want to make, mix enough “stuffing” to squish in the cored holes. Stuffing
includes coconut oil, chopped nuts (I like pecans), Cinnamon, Nutmeg, chopped Dates (I use ½ a date per apple), unsweetened
Coconut flakes. Bake at 350 until soft, about 30 minutes. Serve with whipped Coconut cream (with a touch of Maple syrup and Cinnamon) or Coconut yogurt (unsweetened by Coconut Cult or GT are my go tos)
Berry Crisp: Fill a 9 in pan with organic berries (I used Maine
Wild Blue Ox Blueberries and my own harvested Cranberries and Raspberries), toss with a little Lemon juice, Buckwheat flour, and Cinnamon. For topping, mix ½ c Almond or Oat flour, ½ c Buckwheat flour, ⅛ c Monk fruit sugar, ¼- ½ c Coconut oil, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger, and Pecans. Crumble on top of the berries, and bake at 350 until berries start to bubble. Enjoy with whipped Coconut cream or Coconut yogurt.