A Lover’s Choice, Two Recipes for Romance
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! This sweet occasion is the perfect opportunity for me to bring to you a collaboration with the loveliest, talented Laura Domingo, the creator of the gorgeous blog, Lau Sunday cooks. Lau Sunday cooks is filled with gorgeous photography, healthy gluten-free recipes coupled with nutritional information. Laura will give you all the details on how we met and together we are featuring two delicious desserts or as we like to call it – A Lover’s Choice, Two Recipes for Romance in a very unconventional blogging way. Before I turn it over to Laura, I really need to say if you haven’t seen or followed this beauty on social media, you need to head over to her instagram account and bookmark her website. Long before Laura contacted me what she didn’t know was that I was already fawning over her mouth watering recipes. Then she posted this unbelievable recipe which literally gave me goosebumps so when Laura approached me to be a guest on her blog, I was over the moon. This was a chance for something bigger than just me being a guest contributor, it was a chance for a sweet collaboration. Without further ado, I am excited to introduce Laura to Garden Heart.
One of the good things from attending a workshop (apart from the things you get to learn), is the opportunity to meet new and talented people with the same passion as yours. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, then that person you meet, you get to connect with her in a particular and very special way. I am one of those lucky few !
I met Elli at Aiala’s food photography workshop which I attended during October last year. Our special bond was born out of chance and curiosity, both being attracted not only by the same photography, but also from the exactly same thrill and feeling. I can only describe it as magic.
Taking the time to research my new found friend, through Instagram, I discovered Elli’s beautiful work and what a truly rewarding sight that was. Through breathtaking photographs, Elli shows her journey and passion for holistic health and nourishing healing foods.
The heart of the Garden
Elli is a holistic nutritionist in the making and the founder of Garden Heart, an inspirational blog where she spreads to the world, her knowledge gained from her own personal battle to overcome the daily challenges born from an autoimmune disease. She guides her followers towards a health and well-being life style through tasty and seasonal recipes using nutrient-dense foods so necessary for our optimal health… having said all of this, now you will understand my reasoning, why I just had to get in touch with her (being a little bit afraid at the start, to be honest) to ask her to be a special guest on my little and tiny humble blog.
To my surprise and happiness, I felt the luckiest person on the Earth, as 2015 is the Year of Yes for Elli so she replied saying that I would be one of her 2015’s Yeses and that she would be delighted to be involved. However, she not only accepted to my proposal but she invite me to be her blog’s guest as well, allowing us both to contribute to this beautiful project, made with lots of love, respect and enthusiast.
The benefits of the cacao powder
Immediately, it was clear for Elli and I, that the focus for our project should be a healing ingredient. So what better time than Valentine’s Day to share with you two recipes made from cocoa powder; a great superfood potent with antioxidants and plenty of benefits.
For the most antioxidants, look for semi-sweet or dark chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids and the least amount of sugar. Dark chocolate without unhealthy additives, such as sugar, has been shown to lower the risk of cancer and strokes. Chocolate, also, improves immunity, greater longevity and quicker recovery from intense exercise.
So we had to show to you all the advantages and benefits of treating yourself by eating a small quantity of a quality chocolate or… making these chocolate avocado pudding with pecan brittle for you and your lover on Valentine’s Day. For this delicious recipe, click here.
Now, the star ingredient comes in the form of truffles. I’m amazed how Elli captures the exceptional purity of the cacao and the beauty of the hibiscus in these photographs. Aren’t they simply pure love?
Oh my dearest Laura, your photographs, your words melt my heart. I’m ready to dive in and enjoy every bite of your Chocolate Avocado Pudding. For anyone looking for a healthier chocolate mousse to romanticize and devour on this special day, this is it. Get it here.
For the Chocolate Hibiscus Truffles, I wanted to create an earthy feel to this recipe using Hibiscus and Cacao as the main ingredients and for the complimentary ingredient, I added Carob. If you wish to learn more about the benefits of using Carob in recipes, click here. Carob is perfect for anyone wishing to add a little sweet caramel taste but still keep the treat caffeine-free.
As Laura mentioned, raw cacao is high in antioxidants, it is one of the highest sources of magnesium (to learn more about the importance of magnesium, click here) and chromium. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, omega 6 fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes, and soluble fiber.
Hibiscus is the plant that inherited the name the “Botox plant” for the effects it has on skin health. It is known to increase skin elasticity and moisture, improve flexibility and protects the skin from free radical damage (high in natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids). It is so powerful that many beauty products contain this incredible plant to help control acne breakouts and help shrink pores. I love adding the powder to smoothies or raw desserts and the flower to loose tea. Hibiscus helps improve cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, supports a healthy heart and for anyone with a cold (sip on hibiscus tea with some lemon).
Let’s not lose focus on the skin benefits of cacao as it is widely used in natural beauty products. You can find more on information here.
- 1 cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut nectar
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ½ cup raw walnuts (soaked for at least 4 hours)
- ¼ cup raw cacao
- ¼ cup toasted carob
- dash of himalayan pink salt
- pinch of raw vanilla bean powder
- ¼ cup extra for dusting of each (cacao and hibiscus)
- Soak raw walnuts at least 4 hours.
- Add walnuts, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut nectar, almond butter, cacao, carob, vanilla, pink salt to a food processor.
- Blend ingredients on high until all ingredients are mixed well together and they form a paste.
- Transfer mixture into a bowl. In two separate bowls, one for extra cacao and the other for hibiscus.
- Roll each truffle in the palm of your hand and roll it into the cacao or hibiscus.
- Place truffles once they are all done in freezer for at least 2 hours and enjoy. They last up to 14 days in the freezer.
Elli and Laura