Raw Chocolate Custard & A Healthy Parfait!

This miracle happened when I was trying to make a lower fat version of my chocolate mousse – I wanted to omit the use of coconut altogether and thought zucchini would make a pretty brilliant substitute, considering its lack of calories and how neutral its taste is when raw. Luckily, it worked. I really hope you make this; your life won’t be the same without it!

And just a quick note: This is best made and eaten fresh. Don’t leave it in your fridge for more than 2 days.

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Serves 6

2 Haas Avocados (flesh only)
1 C Zucchini, peeled and grated
5 t Raw Cacao Powder
6-10 T Date Paste* (to taste)
1 T vanilla extract or half a vanilla bean, scraped out
Pinch of Salt

    • Peel and grate zucchini, then pat down with paper towel to dry out a little. If your zucchini is too watery, your custard will be, too; and if you don’t peel the zucchini, your custard will end up a little lumpy, as the skin will have a bit of trouble breaking down into a puree.
    • Pulse zucchini in a food processor. Add avocado flesh and pulse again.
    • Add the cacao powder, date paste and vanilla. Blend until smooth. This may take up to 3 minutes; be patient.
    • You can serve straight away or pop in the fridge for half an hour to chill and firm up a bit.

To make the parfait pictured above (serves 6):
1 batch Raw Chocolate Custard (recipe above)
1 Batch Sweet Quinoa Porridge
750g Strawberries
Chopped nuts of your choice

      • Wait until your quinoa has cooled down.
      • Layer quinoa and custard in a martini glass with diced strawberries in between each layer. If you’re having trouble spreading the quinoa, use a teaspoon dipped in hot water to help smooth it out.
      • Top with chopped nuts and a whole strawberry.

*Date paste is a wonderful, natural sweetener that you can make at home. Simply pit some medjool (fresh) dates, soak for 10 minutes, then blend with water and a little squeeze of lemon juice. If you’re feeling unsure about this and would like a recipe, go here.

Sweet Quinoa Porridge

I’ve never been a fan of oat porridge. It’s a little floury, heavy, sticky, gluggy and doesn’t taste any good unless it’s full of sugar. Yesterday, I took a chance on making some quinoa porridge and I fell head over heels for it! I suppose I just don’t really dig oats. Sorry to everyone out there who has a lot of love for them… If you prefer oats, feel free to make this recipe with them instead of quinoa flakes.

Quinoa, for anyone who is unaware, is high in protein, gluten free, high in fibre and low GI.

Quinoa Porridge
Serves 1

Porridge:
1/4 C Quinoa Flakes
1 C Milk (Rice or Soy)
1/4-1/2 t Raw Sugar or Coconut Palm Sugar*
1/4 t Vanilla Extract
Pink Salt

Toppings:
(feel free to make up your own combination)
4 Almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 t Sultanas
1/4 Apple, diced or grated
1 Strawberry, sliced
A pinch or two of Dessicated Coconut
A pinch or two of Cinnamon

  • Add all porridge ingredients to a small saucepan on low heat. Once it starts to bubble, stir constantly for about 90 seconds, until your quinoa is cooked. Don’t worry if it seems a little watery, it’ll thicken rather quickly both in the pot and in your bowl.
  • Pour into a bowl, add toppings and eat immediately! I love this just the way it is, but if you have a sweet tooth, feel free to add a drizzle of agave or maple syrup.

*Coconut palm sugar is also known as coconut crystals. You won’t find it at a regular ol’ supermarket, so try your luck at a health food store.

Rustic Mashed Soup

This is a hearty winter recipe that’ll warm you up! Actually, it’s less of a recipe and more of a concept; it’s a meal-soup. It’s not just some wimpy little weight loss tool; it’s something proper and filling with protein in it, that’s less likely to give you the farts than a bowl of beans.

Now… There’s no real rules to this. If you don’t like parsnip, use cauliflower! If you don’t like potato, use sweet potato! If you don’t like pumpkin, maybe you should get yourself checked out…

The title of this post is the fancy pants name for the recipe; What I’ve decided to affectionatelly nickname it is “Root Soup” – because of the root vegetables in it, and its double entendre value. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Australian colloquialisms, “root” is another word for the f-bomb.

Veg

The inspiration for this came from two separate people in my life. The first being a very close friend who has generously shared many pumpkins from her garden with me this winter. She recently suggested that I add some oats to my pumpkin soup for a change of scenery & texture. Of course I was unable to resist this simple little tip, however I’ve opted to use quinoa instead of oats because quinoa is gluten free, high in protein, and a whole grain.

The second person that influenced this soup is a co-worker who proudly brought in his first attempt at pumpkin soup for lunch one day but looked at me sheepishly and told me that he mashed it with a potato masher because he didn’t have a blender. While he said this in an embarrassed, I-cook-like-a-student kinda way, I was pretty impressed and thought that mashing the soup was a brilliant idea! Thus, I have stolen it and created a recipe that’s 50% in his honour! Hah!

Rustic Mashed Soup

This makes 6-8 servings.

1kg Jap Pumpkin, peeled, seeded & cut into very large chunks
1 tsp Fresh Garlic or Ginger, minced
2 Carrots, cut into half moon shapes
1 Cup Potato, diced with skin on
2 Cups Parsnip, peeled & diced (remove the woody centre)
2 Cups Veggie Stock (I used Massell which is GF)
6 Cups Water
2x 15cm (6″) Sprigs Rosemary
Some Black Peppercorns (or not, depending on how you feel about pepper)
1/2 Cup Quinoa
S+P

  • Roast pumpkin for 40 minutes at 220C/425F. You can dry roast this or use a little spray of oil. Don’t panic when you see some burned bits on your pumpkin – it’s supposed to happen. It adds an awesome flavour to the soup.
  • Quickly sauté garlic/ginger in a smidge of oil, then add carrot, potato, parsnip, stock & water.
  • Tie rosemary & peppercorns up in some muslin like a bouquet garni*. Simmer with lid on for 10 minutes.
  • Add quinoa to the pot and cook with lid on for a further 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, remove the rosemary and carefully add the roasted pumpkin to the pot, trying not to let crap splash everywhere. Grab your trusty potato masher and mash away until you get a consistency/texture you’re happy with.
  • Season with S+P, serve with a little seedy seasoning and a few leaves of fresh rosemary. Easy peasy!

*If you don’t have anything like this, I’d suggest throwing the rosemary in with the pumpkin while it’s roasting. Whatever you do, don’t add the rosemary loose to your pot of soup because you’ll be pulling out bare twigs at the end and the loose rosemary leaves will be unpleasant.