Tag Archives: Raw chocolate

Chocolate Orange Chia Pudding

I first shared a recipe for chocolate orange chia pudding back in February 2012 and, to this day, it remains one of my family’s favourite desserts It’s such a simple pudding to make and, since I originally posted the recipe, I’ve refined the method so that it’s even quicker. Honestly, this recipe could not be more easy! The original photo I took doesn’t do this pudding justice, so I thought it was time for a re-post with the updated recipe and some shiny new photos.

Chocolate Orange Chia Pudding

Since that original post, chia seeds have become much more popular here in the UK. You can buy them in most health food shops, and even supermarkets have started stocking them. They’re also widely available (and often much cheaper) from online stores. I find they can vary a lot in price, so I always shop around for the best deal.

Since I use them daily in smoothies and puddings, lately I’ve been buying the Sevenhills 1kg bags as they work out much better value. You can buy them in a range of quantities though, so it’s probably a good idea to start with a smaller bag if you’re trying them for the first time (Holland & Barrett are currently selling a 100g bag for £2.49).

Chia Seeds

So why do I love chia seeds so much?

Well, there are two main reasons. The first is their amazing nutritional profile. Chia seeds are very high in dietary fibre, a good source of ‘complete’ protein, and rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids. They’re also hydrophilic and can absorb around 10 times their weight in water, thus helping to keep us nicely hydrated. Their fibre, fat and protein content, along with these hydrophilic abilities, means that the seeds are a great source of slow release energy, they help to balance blood sugar levels, and they keep us feeling full up for hours. Adding a spoonful to smoothies is a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds contain a range of trace minerals, and are especially rich in manganese, phosphorus and calcium, which are all important for good bone health. A 28g / 1 oz serving provides 30% of the manganese RDA, 27% of phosphorus, and 18% of the calcium RDA. The seeds also contain a multitude of antioxidants, including the flavonoid quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.

The second reason I love chia so much is that they make the most incredible chocolate puddings! Once blended with some cacao or cocoa powder and a little liquid, they transform into a delicious, silky smooth pudding that will easily rival any shop-bought chocolate dessert. And unlike the shop-bought varieties that tend to be laden with sugar and little nutritional value, these chia puddings are refined sugar free and packed with nutrition.

Chia Seeds

I used to soak the chia seeds in liquid for an hour or so until they’d transformed into a gel-like substance before blending them up, but these days I literally throw all the ingredients straight in the blender. High speed blenders are best for this job as they’ll blend the seeds smooth in a matter of seconds. Since I’ve had the Froothie, making chia puddings has been a breeze. After blending, the puddings are chilled for half an hour or so, during which time they will thicken nicely.

Lil’ L absolutely loves these puddings and sees them as a real treat. It’s great to be able to treat him to something that’s so nutritionally packed and full of healthy goodness.

Chocolate Orange Chia Pudding

 

Have you tried chia puddings before? If so, what’s your favourite flavour combo? If you’ve posted any recipes or pics, please do share the links below x

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Filed under Desserts, Nutrition

Celebrating my 3 Year Blogiversary with a Yummy Scrummy Giveaway :o)

This week, it’s my blog’s three year anniversary so I think we deserve a little celebration 😉 And what better way to kickstart the celebrations than with a slice or two of my all-time favourite Yummy Scrummy raw chocolate brownie

Not only does it taste utterly scrumptious (the brownie is very aptly named) but it also makes me feel so good!

Yummy Scrummy Raw Chocolate Brownie

No it’s not one of those kinds of brownies! The ‘feel good’ factor comes from the cacao (raw cocoa) which is packed with mood enhancing nutrients, including magnesium, B vitamins, phenylethamine (PEA) (the ‘love’ chemical) and anandamide (the ‘bliss chemical’). For more details on the health properties of cacao, check out this post I wrote back in 2011. This post also included my first ever giveaway, which just so happened to be Yummy Scrummy!

As well as being raw, the Yummy Scrummy bars are free from dairy, gluten, wheat, refined sugar and anything artificial. Instead, they’re gently sweetened with natural fruit extracts (apples, grapes & carob) and filled with wonderful health-enriching ingredients including Ecuadorian Arriba cacao powder, dates, raisins, walnuts, brazil nuts and goji berries. Most of the ingredients are certified organic.

Yummy Scrummy

With all these amazing health and mood boosting nutrients, it’s no wonder that I was hooked after one bite! The combination of ingredients also makes the brownies have a wonderful satiating effect, which means that even a small piece will leave you feeling full up and satisfied. The brownies come in 60g bars, but I tend to slice them in half or thirds so I can savour them over a couple of days.

Yummy Scrummy bars

Over the past few years, I’ve tried other raw chocolate brownies (and made quite a few myself) but Yummy Scrummy is still the best I’ve ever tasted. The bars are lovingly hand made in Wiltshire by Paula Knowlson and I guess it’s her ‘magic touch’ which makes these bars so special

I’ve recently been in touch with Paula & Dan from Elements for Life and they have generously offered four prizes for our giveaway. The first prize winner will receive a whole uncut tray of Yummy Scrummy, and three runners up will win a trio of Yummy Scrummy bars. Yummy Scrummy - Uncut Tray

To be in with a chance of winning, simply fill in the contact form below. Add ‘Yummy Scrummy’ as the subject, then answer the following question…

Where does the vanilla used in Yummy Scrummy come from?

(Hint: the answer can be found on this page of the Elements for Life website).

The giveaway is open to anyone aged 18 or over, living in the European Union.

The closing date is Friday 27th June 2014 at midnight GMT.

Four winners will be selected at random (using Random.org) and notified by email.

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED!

In addition to Yummy Scrummy, Elements for Life sell a fantastic array of high quality chocolate-making ingredients and super foods. They’ve kindly given me an offer code for my readers. Enter scrummyinmytummy at the checkout to save 10% off any products on their website during June and July 2014.

 

N.B. I received 3 Yummy Scrummy bars to photograph/test but, as always, all opinions are my own.

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Filed under Healthy Snacking, Reviews, Treats & Sweets

Coconut Chocolate Bark with Goji Berries and Pecans

My love affair with the little goji berry is still going strong I adore their sweet/salty flavour and vibrant colour. I eat gojis every day, sprinkled on my porridge, muesli, yoghurts and chocolate chia puddings. And, as you may have seen already, they’re my favourite ingredient to add to home-made chocolates.

Goji Berries

And did you know, goji berries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet? They are a complete protein, contain 11 essential vitamins, 22 trace minerals, and are packed with antioxidants, including flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids and vitamins C, E and A. They contain more vitamin C than oranges, more betacarotene than carrots and more iron than spinach. No wonder the goji berry is referred to as the ‘fruit of longevity and well-being‘!

Of course, in the East, they’ve known about the health benefits of goji berries for thousands of years. We’ve been a bit slower to catch on in the West, but we’re finally getting there 😉

Recently, nu3 invited me to take part in blogger challenge to create a recipe using their goji berries. Of course, I was more than happy to accept! I started to think of all kinds of weird and wonderful creations, but M suggested that I should keep it simple and rather than creating something new, I should share one of our family favourites.

And heeding his advice, this is what I’ve chosen to do. My entry for the Nu3 challenge is a simple home-made chocolate bark. M and Lil’ L mentioned to me the other day that this could actually be their favourite chocolate ever! Now that is a statement!

Coconut Chocolate Bark with Goji Berries and Pecans

I make this chocolate using virgin coconut oil (instead of cocoa butter), which gives it a gentle hint of coconut flavour and a glorious ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ sensation. It also features two of my favourite ingredients – goji berries and pecans – which add extra dimensions of flavour, texture and nutrients.

Pecans

This chocolate is incredibly easy to make. No expertise required! You simply melt the coconut oil, stir in the remaining ingredients, and pour them into a container. I line the container with cling film, which makes it really easy to lift out. Sometimes I toast the pecans prior to chopping them but this isn’t an essential step.

Coconut Chocolate Bar Making

The chocolate is then placed in the freezer until set and voila, you have your own scrumptious chocolate bark And you can feel very proud that you made it yourself, from scratch 😀

Coconut Chocolate Bark with Goji Berries and Pecans

It is up to you how you choose to break up the chocolate. You can either go for the rustic look and chop it into shards, or go for more uniform squares.

Store and serve the chocolates straight from the fridge and freezer, as coconut oil goes soft and melty at room temperature. In an airtight container, they will keep for weeks, but I somehow doubt they’ll last that long 😉

Products used in this recipe
nu3 goji berries
– Essential Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – I bought this from Harvest in Bath, but it’s also available in other health food shops and online stores, including Amazon
Sweet Freedom Original, available from Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado and online stores, including Amazon
Kenwood Mini Chopper, purchased from Amazon 

[This recipe has been entered into Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend]

Coconut Chocolate Bark with Goji Berries and Pecans

Good luck to all the bloggers entering the nu3 challenge. I’m sure there will be many beautiful and inspiring entries

I think nu3 are planning to invite the public to vote on the entries and a prize will be awarded to the entry with the most votes. As soon as I have the details, I’ll post a link.

Have a great weekend everyone!  xx

UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone that voted for me in the nu3 Blogger Challenge I am so thrilled to have won! 😀

 

17 Comments

Filed under Nutrition, Raw Chocolate Making, Treats & Sweets

Chocolate Goji Almond Hearts & A Raw Chocolate Making Kit GIVEAWAY!

With just four weeks until Christmas, I’m starting to think of gift ideas for friends and family. One gift that’s always popular is a box of home-made raw chocolates.  Dark chocolate lovers go crazy for them (and that includes a few kids I know 😉 )

What I love about these chocolates is that they not only taste amazing, but they’re incredibly healthy! They’re brimming with ‘feel good’ nutrients and antioxidants (see this post for more details). They’re also dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, making them suitable for those with allergies/intolerances as well as diabetics.

I love giving gifts that people are going to enjoy AND that will nourish them

Raw Chocolate Goji Almond Hearts

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be making lots of batches of raw chocolates, some for gifts and some to replenish our home stash. These are the chocolates that we’ll be savouring whilst we gorge ourselves on festive films during the holidays 😉

As I make them, I’d love to share a few recipes with you.  If you haven’t tried making chocolates before, you should give it a go! I promise it’s very easy!

First up, I’d like to share my Raw Chocolate Goji Almonds Hearts. Whilst you can make these hearts 100% chocolate, I like to fill mine with fragments of goji berry and almonds, for added texture, flavour and nutrients.

Raw Chocolate Goji Almond Heart

I’ve updated my original recipe and measured out the ingredients in cups to make the recipe more accessible to my overseas friends

If you’d like to see some step-by-step pics of how to make these hearts, check out this post. It’s very old, and the pics are poor quality, but you’ll get the idea.

[This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend)

GIVEAWAY TIME!

It was Elements for Life that first ignited my passion for raw chocolate. This month marks their 3rd anniversary and, as part of their celebrations, they have very generously offered to give away three of their new-look Raw Chocolate Making Kits to my lovely blog readers

Raw Chocolate Making Kit

They’ve recently re-vamped their chocolate making kit and it’s looking very smart indeed! It’s smaller in size, with all the goodies neatly arranged in two tiers. All the packaging is environmentally friendly too, including the cellophane bags which are made from wood pulp!

If you’re interested in trying raw chocolate-making, then these kits are perfect for you. They contain everything needed to get you started including:

100g Ecuadorian Raw Cacao Powder
120g Ecuadorian Raw Cacao Butter
100ml Sweet Freedom, Natural Fruit Syrup
Reusable Silicone Chocolate Mould
Product info and recipes

Elements for Life Raw Chocolate Making Kit

To be in with a chance of winning one of the kits, leave me a comment answering the question featured in the Rafflecopter below. Do make sure you tick the box in the Rafflecopter to register that you have done so!  If you’re new to Rafflecopter, it’s pretty easy! You simply ‘log in’ by clicking the ‘Use Your Email’ button and entering a name and email address (which won’t be published anywhere) or you can log in via the Facebook button. A quick demo of how to use Rafflecopter can be accessed via this link.

There are a number of additional ways you can enter in order to increase your chances of winning. You will find these listed in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified prior to the winner being selected.

The giveaway is open to all UK residents, aged 18 and over (so sorry international readers but we’re restricted by postage costs!)

The closing date is Monday 9th December 2013 at midnight GMT.

Good luck everyone! xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link – if you click on the link and purchase something I will receive a small percentage which will go towards the development of Bit of the Good Stuff. Thanks in advance!

 

 

40 Comments

Filed under Raw Chocolate Making, Reviews, Treats & Sweets

Pink Himalayan Salt & Cacao Nib GIVEAWAY & Recipe for Mocha Frappuccinos (Dairy-free, Sugar-free)

Today, I’m very excited to launch a fantastic giveaway! My good friends over at Elements for Life have given me ten of their Pink Himalayan Salt and Cacao Nib Grinders to give away to you, my lovely readers 😀

It makes me so happy when I get to give away products that I love myself. This blogging gig has some seriously great perks! 😀

The Pink Himalayan Salt is sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas, where it was deposited by primal seas millions of years ago. It is totally pure and packed with trace minerals. I use the salt to season savoury meals and to add a touch of saltiness to my raw chocolate barks.

Himalayan Pink Salt

The cacao nibs are sourced from Peruvian cacao beans. Once the beans have been dried, they are crushed and the papery skins removed, leaving the cacao nibs. Since they aren’t roasted, the cacao nibs retain all the goodness found in cacao beans.  They contain a serious amount of nutrients, including lots of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.  To find out more about their nutrient content, check out my ‘Wonders of Raw Chocolate‘ post.

Cacao Nibs

I like to sprinkle cacao nibs on my porridge,  banana pancakes, chocolate ‘cashew’ cheese cakes, yoghurts, parfaits, chocolate energy milkshakes, chocolate banana icecream and mocha coffees.  If you like very dark chocolate, you’ll love cacao nibs!

Another great feature of this giveaway is that the two products come packaged in their own glass bottles with plastic grinder tops, which have two settings – coarse and fine. I’ve never had a manual grinder that’s had adjustable settings so I’m loving this feature. It saves me having to get out my electric grinder when I want fine nibs for sprinkling on drinks.

Grinder Lid 500

In addition to my Coffee Frappuccinos, another drink I’m loving at the moment is home-made Mocha Frappuccinos / Frappés.  The coffee shop versions are way too sugary for my liking. They seriously make me nauseous and the feeling lasts for hours 🙁 Instead, I much prefer my home-made version. It’s very simple to make and you can adjust the sweetness to suit your individual tastes. As an added bonus, they’re far cheaper to make yourself. ‘M’ loves them too!

Mocha Frappuccino Dairy Free Sugar Free copy

For a Mocha Frappuccino, I simply use my Coffee Frappuccino recipe and add a tablespoon of cacao powder per person.  While the recipe will work fine with regular cocoa powder, I prefer to use raw cacao powder as I find the taste superior, plus it adds more lovely nutrients 🙂

Just in case you’d like to try it too, here’s how I make it:

Dairy Free Sugar Free Mocha Frappuccino copy

 

GIVEAWAY TIME! NOW CLOSED!

Elements for Life are selling these refillable grinders for £2.75 and £2.95, which I think is a great price considering that they come pre-filled with 100g of the Pink Himalayan salt and cacao nibs, respectively.

However, five of my lucky readers are going to bag themselves one each of the grinders for FREE! 

There are three ways to enter the giveaway:

  1. Leave me a comment below. Anything will do, but I’d love to find out a bit more about you! Are you already a fan of Pink Himalayan salt or cacao nibs, or have you yet to try them? Have you tried any new drinks lately that you’re loving?
  2. Share this giveaway on Facebook by clicking on the ‘Like’ button at the bottom of this post, then leave me a comment below to let me know you have done so.
  3. Share this giveaway on Twitter with something like “I’ve entered the @GoodStuffSharon @MakeRawChoc Pink Himalayan Salt & Cacao Nib Giveaway”, then leave me a comment below to let me know you have done so.

If you enter all three ways, you’ll triple your chances of winning.

Sorry international readers but this giveaway has to be UK only due to the postage costs.

The closing date is Thursday 1st August 2013 at midnight GMT. After this date, 5 lucky winners will be chosen at random.

Good luck everyone! xx

44 Comments

Filed under Drinks, Reviews