“Chocoholic”, “choco-junkie”, “La Choco Aficionado” – you name it, I’ve been called it. As a chocolate lover, I’ve always been sourcing and looking for the latest and tastiest ways to create chocolate recipes at home, and every once in a while, I come across a particularly great product that inspires me (and makes its way into my purse or gym bag!)
I’ve known about Righteously Raw for a couple years now, and each product I’ve tried has been better than the last. Not only are the ingredients very pure, but each variety is loaded with a layer of superfoods – which makes the bar extra chewy, extra healthy, and extra delicious. This time, I was especially excited to try a different flavor, the Rose Maqui Bar.
It’s not easy to find a raw chocolate that tastes as good as this one. Not only is it nut free, but it also has the added benefit of one of my favourite superfoods: Maqui. Maqui is native to South America, is very high in antioxidants, and it allows your body to get rid of unnecessary toxins. Keep in mind that the Rose Maqui Bar is pure, organic, vegan, raw, gluten/nut free and kosher chocolate. Talk about a chocolate bar loaded of hearty goodness!
Since I am so delighted with the Rose Maqui Bar, I’d love for you to try it. Tell me why you’re eager to try this chocolate, and I’ll send one over to you for free! Hurry – the contest ends on February 10th, 2011 at 3:30pm EST and there’s only ONE winner!
Or, if you simply cannot wait to try them yourself or get an early Valentine’s gift for your secret crush, you can find the Rose Maqui Bar at various different health food stores in Toronto.
We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
The blender is the perfect place to take advantage of all your nutrients and superfoods. Also using herbs in your smoothies is a great way to drink your tea with a little more oomph. Why not make your tea into a meal, and have your meal heal your body! It can help combat infections and keep your body warm, revitalized and charged over the winter months! Start with an herbal tea as the base. Using warming spices or immune enhancing herbs like ashwaganda, reishi, shilajit, echinecea etc. These all help to build the immune system. Or you can make a homemade version of a Chai tea (not black tea based), instead using rooibos and warming chai spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.
These spices will not only help to warm your body, but they are also good for digestion and help to nourish your organs. Also nothing say’s valentines day like a little chocolate & cinnamon!
Then you can start adding in superfoods like goji, cacao, chia and coconut – watch this chocolate smoothie video to see me make my fave smoothie! Also, superfoods like chocolate just make you feel good…and sexy!
Or opt to keep your hot chocolate simple and basic – see basic the recipe below.
Chocolate Chai Mint Smoothie Elixir
2 cups steeped herbal tea: Chaga Chai tea (can be warm or room temp)
1 scoop Sun Warrior powder (chocolate or vanilla)
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp goji berries
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp coconut nectar
1 tbsp coconut oil/butter
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp ormus super greens
1 tbsp Chia seeds
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until warm, smooth and creamy. Serve and enjoy!
Chaga Chai Tea:
1 tsp chaga
1 tsp rooibos
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
1 tsp dried ginger powder
Steep these herbs in a pot filled with water for 10 minutes. Strain through a steeper and cool your red, liquid goodness.
Set aside and use in the base of your smoothie or enjoy as is.
Basic Blended Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 cups rice, almond hemp milk
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maple syrup, coconut nectar or other sweetener
1 tsp cinnamon
(for extra protein, add in one scoop of Sun Warrior).
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until warm creamy. Serve and enjoy!
Want more info on Chocolate!
Loaded with antioxidants (to help prevent illness)
Contain chromium (to help balance blood sugar),
Tryptophan (excellent mood enhancer),
Serotonin (the feel good chemical)
Fiber (digestive system – nobody wants to be backed up)
Manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C
For some more delicious and protein-packed recipes, check out the Warrior Way which will guide you down the path toward weight loss, enhanced health, and a fitter, happier you. SunWarrior’s celebrity chefs and fitness experts will lead you through meals and mold your body with exercise routines. Their clear and well-defined guidance will let you learn those skills and own your transformation into the Warrior you want to become.
Want to boost your workout or know someone else in your life who is on a path to get fit? Would you or someone you know love the gift of Chia Seeds or Ruth’s Hemp Protein? Tell us what they are doing to nourish themselves!
Fueling up on super nutrients is a great way to get your body in shape and take your fitness to the next level! It is also important to incorporate superfoods into your diet that energize and nourish your body all year round. Chia seeds are some of those amazing little powerhouses that do just that! I love putting them in my Chocolate Super Smoothie! They thicken it up, add fiber and give it the dose of essential fats required for the day!
I know in this video you don’t see me add the chia seeds, but they are there! Just add 1 tbsp with the goji berries. Also you can substitute the Sun Warrior protein for Ruth’s Hemp Protein.
To get a kickstart and learn how to make this and other superfood recipes, join me for Fit and Fabulous on April 2nd !
Also, if you want to get a head-start on your workouts get yourself a copy of my ebook Purely Fit!
Please share with us how Chia can boost your workouts and you can WIN an incredible gift basket filled with Ruth’s Chia Goodies.
Share this on Twitter : “This is how I boost my workouts with #chia …. join the fun on @marniwasserman (and link to this post)”
Share on Facebook : How do you boost your workouts with Chia!
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Purely Fit e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
Okay I know, I know, it’s just one day and it is a holiday that kids look forward to all year long. I don’t mean to be the gringe of Halloween but there is definitely a way around this holiday and there are things that you can do to “manipulate” and even avoid the sugar surge that will overwhelm your kids tonight.
You may have all your plans in place this year, but maybe I can convince you otherwise. At the very least take some notes and put one of these in place next October!
1. Host your own Halloween party – invite all your kids friends over in costume, make some treats of your own cakes, cookies and put out bowls of “healthy” candy. This way, at least your kids will be sucking on fruit juice as oppose to high fructose corn syrup. Try these natural options for candy: Pure Fun, Yummy Earth, or Surf Sweets. These are all divine and decadent choices and no one will even notice the difference!
2. Have a Halloween cooking class - invite both your kids friends and parents over and make and create some delectable and delicious treats together. Your kids won’t even notice what’s going on outside. Make these gooey chocolate pudding pops! (see below) or make some pea-licious muffins with green pea flour for a green goblin look to your muffins without food colouring! Or let me host a class for you!
4. Take your kids to a youth shelter or rehab center where kids who don’t get the chance to experience Halloween reside. Bring them some homemade muffins or cookies. This may show your kids that not everyone celebrates Halloween – and maybe they will learn a valuable lesson.
5. If you truly don’t think any of these points are valid and you are still going to trick or treat tonight. Go for it, but what I suggest is that when you return home with your “reusable” bag full of candy pick 5 things that your child absolutely wants to have and give away or dump the rest.
Cacao Coconut Goop Pops
2 cups *coconut custard (recipe below)
1/4 cup Navitas Naturals cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
1. Blend coconut custard, cacao, maple syrup and vanilla in high speed blender for 2 minutes. Then pour evenly into ONYX stainless steel Popsicle tray (an incredible kitchen gadget, no plastic, no mess)
2. Place into freezer for 2-4 hours.
3. Place under running water for 30 seconds, twist and pull your goop pop out!
4. Lick and enjoy!
Sprinkle with cacao nibs, coconut, goji berries
3 ½ cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons agar flakes
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon kuzu
½ cup water
2 tablespoons maple crystals/sugar
1. Bring coconut milk and agar to a boil in heavy saucepan. Simmer, covered for about 5 minutes
or until the agar is completely dissolved.
2. Add maple syrup and stir until well mixed
3. Dissolve kuzu in water until there are no lumps. Add coconut milk mixture and simmer until
4. Oil a large glass dish and sprinkle with maple crystals if desired.
5. Pour coconut milk mixture into dish and refrigerate for 30+ min and serve.
Best Halloween Ever!
What do you think…are you going to try one of these options this year or next?
Or make these divine cacao pops?
What’s your favourite thing to make on halloween?
What can you do to make your Halloween fun and healthy this year?
Tweet : I am going to make @marniwasserman cacao goop pops – they look delicious! #cacao #treat #halloween
I’m a maple syrup and honey kind of girl. So I need to be convinced when something “new” and trendy hits the market. I also need to be 100% sure that it is 100% natural in order for me to even consider it.
Since Xylitol comes from a wood fiber, I thought I would give it a chance!
Xylitol is… a natural sweetener found in fibrous vegetables and fruits, as well as in several hardwood trees. It’s extracted and purified into a crystalline form to create a substance that looks, bakes, and tastes like regular white sugar. But the similarities end there – xylitol has antimicrobial properties that don’t promote or feed dangerous bacteria and fungi. Plus, it is all natural!
Where it can be used:
Anywhere you use sugar. Replace it cup-for-cup in baking or sweetening.
- Alkalizing and anti-aging
- Slows a steady release of energy
- Inhibits yeast growth
- Increases absorption of B-vitamins and calcium
- Inhibits plaque and dental cavities by up to 80%, it also remineralizes tooth enamel, increases saliva production and protects saliva proteins, and reduces infections in the mouth and nasopharynx
- Natural insulin stabilizer, diabetic-friendly, and has a lower glycemic index than honey (and even lentils!)
- Diminishes sugar and carb cravings
- Prevents osteoporosis, middle ear infections, and maintains hormonal balance
This was news to me!
I had no idea I could use Xyla in anything and everything to replace sugar. I was told it has no after taste like stevia, so I had to put this to the test. I thought I would mix it in to one of my brownie recipes and see how it matched up. To be honest, I have to say that they turned out pretty good. I could definitely tell that they weren’t as sweet. And it’s not that they had an aftertaste, but more that I couldn’t taste the normal sweetness of what I usually use (namely maple syrup). It was definitely interesting pouring something WHITE into my recipe that looks just like sugar, but I can assure you that it’s not even close.
So will I continue to use it?
I think I will experiment with it in other recipes, but I am not ready to make any kind of switch over in my kitchen. I know it is extremely beneficial for those with diabetes and other blood sugar disorders and I would surely recommend it to such an individual. But for me and my regular crowd – I think I am going to stick with my tried, tested and true maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar and honey!
Chewy Chocolate Banana Brownies
What’s In It?
1 cup oat or spelt flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup xylitol
1 mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
½ cup vanilla rice milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
How It’s Made
- Oil an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.
- Measure oat flour into a large bowl, add the cocoa, baking powder, salt and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, mix together xylitol, banana and oil. Add the rice milk and vanilla extract and blend well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, using a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until tester in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting.
I am continuously on the look out for great products that I want to support and promote – especially when it comes to chocolate. Mark and Bridgette have been at it for the last few years and have brought their love for chocolate to life.
They have masterfully created a line of raw chocolate bars that are made with Love and Gratitude, 70% plus pure cacao paste, chocolate, pure cane sugar and crafted essence extracts for each bar. Whether mocha, mint, ginger, orange, spice or just plain delicious original.
Why Giddy Chocolate?
As you know, I am not one for packaged products, but there are a few that I endorse and think are a great addition to a balanced lifestyle. Especially when it comes to chocolate. Since most commercial chocolate bars are just not an option (being loaded with sugar, dairy and containing cocoa that is devoid of any nutrition), why not get your hands on some pure giddy love. Carry them around in your purse or car (though not on a hot summer day). Keep them in your freezer, bring them to a movie, share with a friend – or mix into recipes.
I like to crumble my mint giddy yoyo bar on top of some Coconut Bliss ice cream for a chocolate – minty dessert. I have also crumbled down the original and ginger to top on some strawberries for a refreshing and tasty dessert. Your options are limitless.
The giddy yoyo chocolate is from the most pristine and exotic lands. They way the cacao processed is minimally invasive keeping the cacao as intact and as pure as possible. There is no side effects or strong caffeine-like reactions from consuming giddy yoyo, just pure enjoyment. To find out more see here.
The cacao bean is one of nature’s highest sources of magnesium and antioxidants, it is also high in iron, vitamin C, zinc, manganese, chromium, copper and fiber. Kind of like a multi-vitamin? It is also beneficial to your cardiovascular system, prevents against cancer, can balance blood sugar, lower cholesterol and makes you happy as cacao contains trytophan which is key for mood-enhancing and overall feeling good!
Now that you know why chocolate is so good for you, I want you to have the chance to try one of these amazing bars. I only have a few bars to give away, so please tell me why you are worthy of a giddy yoyo bar.
What you need to do to win is:
Comment below – tell me why you love chocolate or why you want to try some giddy yoyo.
Who ever shows the most activity and the most love – will win one of the 6 bars that I have to give away.
When you start to ween yourself off of white sugar and refined flours, your taste buds change (actually, they change every three weeks!). I’m not sure how I’ve been in the natural health field for almost three years and never heard of Bunners Bakery in the Toronto junction. Their vision is awesome: a vegan bakery full of yummy goods without the use of eggs, butter, milk, wheat, soy or refined sugar. What could be better?
A few weeks ago they were promoting their vegan cream eggs. Now, for a lot of people when Easter comes around it’s all about the Cadbury Mini Eggs. For me, it was always the Creme Eggs. I would buy two at a time and enjoy the fondant centre as slowly as I could manage before popping the whole chocolate shell in my mouth. Heaven.
Once I learned about the not-so-heavenly ingredients in the eggs, I bid a sad farewell to my much-loved Easter treat. Clearly, I had to make a trip to the junction to try these novel vegan eggs. They were good! I think I had this idea that they would taste just like the Cadbury version, and obviously they didn’t, because they used real ingredients. While it wasn’t quite everything I’d built it up to be, it was still delicious.
My girlfriend and I tried a few of their other items as well: Chocolate Chip Creamie (two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean frosting in between), Supersonic Gypsy cookie (oats, seeds, raisins, chocolate chips… definitely my favourite!) and the Vanilla Bean Cupcake. They were all yummy, even my non-holistic friend agreed! I have to admit that I found the icing was bit too sweet, but for those of you who are still on the white-sugar kick I’m sure it’ll be perfectly satisfying! They use agave nectar there, which I suspect has something to do with it.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend checking them out. The staff are super friendly and helpful (especially if you have no idea where you’re going and need some help figuring it out.. which is exactly what happened to me). It’s a bit out of the way, but if you have an afternoon free, make the trip. The junction is a great up-and-coming area in Toronto. There are lots of natural or organic stores and restaurants popping up over there!
- Abby, the Assistant
3054 Dundas W St (in the Junction), Toronto, ON M6P 1Z7
Welcome my Guest Blogger today Sara Ouellette owner of Beyond Vitality!
As some of you may know, I have been living abroad discovering the world’s natural health products and superfoods. For three years I traveled back and forth between Canada and the beautiful exotic country of Venezuela, finally moving there permanently this past September. I loved discovering all the local superfoods, those that we up in Canada (no we don’t live in igloos), cherish so much!
I could go on forever about all the wonderful and nourishing treats from nature that Venezuela has to offer! The many landscapes of this tropical warm country have everything including wild aloe vera plants, coconut, cacti, noni, papaya, sea weed, pineapple, pumalaca, cacao and much more!
Chocoholics…this is for you…so listen up! The one superfood I want to talk to you about is real chocolate. I’m excited to tell you that real RAW chocolate is indeed a superfood! You can turn cravings for cooked, processed chocolate into super-nutrition instead. All chocolate is made from the cacao fruit. Inside the cacao fruit are beans. These cacao beans are used to make RAW, organic chocolate!
I was fortunate to have seen the process in which cacao is produced. I visited my friend’s organic cacao farm in the lush rainforest of Los Altos, Venezuela. How amazing is it that they produce their OWN chocolate! Yummy! Venezuelan cacao is the finest, rarest, most expensive cacao in the world. The beans have a unique flavor. In case you are wondering, cacao tastes similar to, yet BETTER than, Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate. A natural sweetener can often be used in conjunction with your raw treat ingredients, such as raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar, agave nectar, banana or pure maple syrup.
The cacao beans are grown in the mountains using no pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals of any type. The trees in which the cacao fruit grows are irrigated by the fresh water that runs down from the clouds in the forest-topped mountains. Once the beans have been harvested they are sun dried right on the small property in the mountains, and hand packaged for local consumption.
When looking for cacao or raw chocolate in health food stores, it’s very important to look for fair trade and organic varieties that support small, indigenous farmers in Central/South America and the West Indies.
So why is it ok to LOVE raw chocolate? Well, first off, it tastes divine. And second, it’s good for you. The cacao bean contains a wide array of amazing nutritional properties. It is filled with antioxidants and alkalizing minerals, including high levels of magnesium and sulfur. Back in high school, I used to crave EVERYTHING chocolate uncontrollably…mostly processed chocolate (aka Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Nutella). Processed chocolate is NOT the same as good quality raw chocolate! When cacao is cooked, most of its nutritional properties are completely destroyed. Chocolate cravings often indicate a magnesium deficiency because your body is craving the magnesium from the cacao. Processed chocolate never satisfies your body because it has close to NO minerals and it’s filled with refined sugar, which is acidifying in the blood and actually leaches out minerals from our bones and tissues! Since I started consuming quality raw cacao, I haven’t yet had another “processed” chocolate craving. Really…it’s been over two years now!
A study by the Center for Health and Nutrition
Elaborates the following findings: “Analysis of the fruit powders demonstrated that the antioxidant capacity of cocoa powder was significantly greater than blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate powder on a per gram basis. The total polyphenol content of cocoa powder appeared to be greater than acai, blueberry and cranberry powder; however these differences did not reach statistical significance. The total flavanol content of cocoa powder was significantly greater than all of the other fruit powders tested.”
Not only is it high in antioxidants and minerals, cacao may also increase your focus and alertness, making it a good healthy alternative to your morning coffee. I love adding cacao to my breakfast shake. Who would have thought chocolate would be “healthy” option for breaky!
Cacao also contains plenty of nutrients that keep you happy J Chocolate is often associated to love and seduction. This is all because cacao contains phenylethylamine. Also, your brain produces a neurotransmitter called Anandamide when you’re feeling GREAT. Eating cacao makes this neurotransmitter stick around longer thus increasing your happiness. Raw cacao beans, nibs or powder can be used in a variety of ways. I like adding it in baked goods, oatmeal, shakes. and to make a cup of hot chocolate to warm up on a chilly day.
Try out my favorite morning shake that uses cacao as your wake-me-up “stimulant” instead of coffee. It’ll start you out on a positive vibe and leave you full of happy energy!
Cacao-Banana Dream Shake (aka the “Happy Shake”)
1 scoop sprouted vegan protein (or 100% natural whey protein isolate)
2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
1 tsp raw cacao powder [makes you happy]
½ medium banana [increases serotonin to give you a natural “high”]
½ cup organic almond milk (or hemp milk)
¼ tsp natural vanilla extract (optional)
Blend all ingredients while adding water and ice as needed. Serve fresh. ENJOY!
Super Bowl Sunday is coming up fast. Although I don’t participate in any part of this event – I can offer some assistance as to how this night can be made that much healthier. We know this is the biggest day for business for fast foods, delivered foods and processed over sugared and over salted snacks. But wouldn’t it just be easier to make your own, to serve and have something healthy to munch on? If your man will be in another room watching the game, take it upon yourself to supply your home or his party with some healthy all in one bowl snacks!
Here are some suggestions:
Make a Trail Mix – (recipe below)
Kale Chips – make at least 4 batches or more. They will win over any “sour cream n’ onion” chip lover, anyday!
Guacamole – with some homemade corn tortilla’s
White Bean Dip – with some crispy crackers
Salsa – with corn chips
Coco Bliss Balls – because they look and taste better than Timbits! I promise
Super Bowl of Trail Mix
1 cup almonds – heart healthy
1 cup cashews – makes you happy, who doesn’t love a cashew
1 cup pumpkin seeds (loaded with zinc – great for prostate health) may as well take advantage while a whole bunch of men will be eating them!!
1 cup raisins or Goji Berries (or both) – some natural sweetness, fiber and antioxidants
1/2 cup hemp seeds – omega rich healthy fats
1 cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips – it’s not complete without some chocolate
1 cup coconut flakes – added texture, flavour and crunch
1/4 tsp sea salt – (optional) to balance out the flavours
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve. Refill when done!
Got other ideas?
What are you planning on having at your party?
Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I am a “chocoholic” like many others. I am always sourcing and looking for the latest and tastiest ways to create chocolate recipes at home and every once in a while I come across a great product that inspires me (and makes a great addition to my purse or travel bag!)
I discovered righteously raw about a year ago, when friend of mine told me I had to try this raw chocolate bar that wasn’t like anything else. Not only are the ingredients incredibly pure, but each variety is loaded with a layer of superfoods – which makes the bar extra chewy and extra delicious.
It’s not easy to find a raw chocolate that tastes as good as this one. Plus it is nut free and has the added benefit of all my favourite superfoods from goji berries, acai, lacuma, maca and cacao. This would make anyone very happy and of course very healthy!
You can find them at various different health food stores in Toronto, so if you can, get your hands on a bar and test it out. Or WIN one for free (see below). It’s also the perfect time of year to get one to put into a stocking for a loved one or give it as a gift. Your making the RIGHT decision by supporting this pure, organic, vegan, raw, gluten/nut free and kosher chocolate!
Check out their website to find out more on why they created this incredible chocolate bar. And yes, I can call this a chocolate bar – because it is that and so much more!
TELL me why you are eager to try this chocolate – I will send one to you! The contest ends at the end of this week!
There is only ONE winner, so I am looking for a good answer!
Post it on Twitter
Post it on my Facebook Page
Leave a comment below – either way!