I had the most incredibly scrumptious cake EVER this week…..well actually cakes…..OK I had three cakes. Before you call me a little piggy, all the cakes were totally raw, organic, vegan, sugar-free and really healthy. ‘Raw, healthy and sugar-free, that’s not my go!!’ I hear some of you say, well read on and I’ll change your mind.
I met Melissa, a good friend of mine, this week for tea and cake, with my two little ones Sienna and Lily, at this newly opened café on Bronte Road in Bondi Junction, called ‘Earth to Table’. This café is the brainchild of Julie Mitsios from Conscious Choice. What I love about this café is that not only is everything totally raw, organic and vegan, but they only use environmentally friendly products, and they support local organic farmers and sustainable agriculture. So eating here you can feel good about the fact that you are doing something good for your health, the environment and your local community!!!
We all perched ourselves down at a table right in front of the cake display, which had all of these amazing looking, brightly-coloured cakes. I felt like a kid in a lollie shop. Then came the hard decision, which one to choose? Finally we decided on the spirulina, the berry and the lemon meringue cakes with a scoop of berry coconut ice cream. All the desserts here at Tree to Table are sugar-free and sweetened naturally with coconut nectar, stevia and whole fruits.
OMG!!!! I tried the berry one first and it was sensational, with a creamy coconut and berry top and a lovely crunchy base made of buckwheat and coconut. Then I tried the bright green spirulina cake with goji berries, it was just as fabulous. Then came the lemon meringue…WOW!!! It had this incredible lemon zing, with a silky smoothness of coconut. I have to say this was my favourite of the three, and I instantly knew I was going to have to come back again soon to satisfy my new lemon meringue craving.
We were all extremely happy with our choices. Melissa’s favourite was the spirulina, Lily’s was the berry cake and my little 8 and ½ month old tried ice cream for the very first time, which was made purely of coconut flesh and berries, yum! I could tell by her grabbing the spoon off me and trying to shove more into her mouth that she was enjoying it too. The beauty of these desserts is that they are all packed with antioxidant superfoods, which play an important part in our diet as they help protect us from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. So you can eat these goodies guilt free.
After we finished our little cake party we were looking at all the lovely meals people were eating around us. We are going to have to come back next week to try some of the lunch and dinner menu. Oh and maybe another one of those cakes :)
This café is definitely not just for health nuts like myself. I highly recommend you visit Earth to Table next time your in Bondi Junction, you will definitely be glad you did. Julie is extremely clever putting these raw creations together, you can tell she puts a lot of love into her food. She has created a truly lovely café. I’m definitely adding Earth to Table to my list of favourite places to eat.
If you’re stuck for some new healthy snack ideas, why don’t you give my protein cashew balls a go. These are one of my families favourites at the moment, and they are so quick and easy to make. These mouth-watering little balls are packed full of protein goodness to help the body heal and repair. Protein is also important for helping keep blood sugar levels nice and stable and sugar cravings at bay, making these balls ideal for a mid morning or afternoon snack. These nutritious balls will also supply you with zinc for a strong immune system, calcium for strong bones, and unsaturated fats for a healthy heart.
1 cup raw cashews
250g dates (sulfur-free)
½ cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 Tbps cold pressed organic coconut oil
3 Tbsp of sesame seeds
Soak dates in boiling water for 10 minutes, until soft.
Place nuts, seeds, and coconut in a food processor and blend. You don’t want to grind them too finely though, you want your balls to have some crunch still. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
Place dates and coconut oil in the food processor and blend until a smooth paste. Add mixture to a bowl and mix all ingredients together.
Place sesame seeds on a small plate.
Roll mixture into small balls, using around a tablespoon of mixture, and then roll in sesame seeds.
Place balls on a plate in the fridge for an hour, and then enjoy.
Welcome to the launch of my new ‘Art of Healing’ website and blog. I thought what better way to celebrate with you than with some delicious chockie cake. So I’m going to share with you my super healthy, mouth-watering chocolate, coconut and raspberry cake. The beauty of this chocolate cake, other than that it is extremely scrumptious, is that it is packed with antioxidants and superfoods, it is gluten-free, contains no added sugars or butter, and is rich in protein to help keep blood sugar levels balanced. Hope you love this recipe as much as I do - and the good thing is you don’t have to feel guilty if you go back for seconds :)
Healthy chocolate, coconut and raspberry cake
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 60-70 minutes
2 ½ cup almond flour
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 ½ Tablespoons baking powder (gluten-free)
½ cup organic raw honey
6 Tablespoons organic cacao powder
5 organic eggs
1/3 cup organic cold pressed coconut oil, melted
¼ cup natural yoghurt
1 cup raspberries
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 160*C.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.
Stir through raspberries. If you are using frozen berries add them in frozen.
Pour into a tin lined with baking paper and sprinkle with sesame seeds
Bake for 60-70 minutes, until skewer comes out cleanly from centre.
Allow to cool, then enjoy.
Lets take a look at some of these super ingredients.
I love using almond meal in cakes, it makes a lovely gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. Almonds are packed with protein and supply a good amount of calcium for strong bones, and zinc for healthy immune function.
Raw cacao from the cacao bean, which is chocolate in its raw, unprocessed state, is considered a superfood. It contains super high levels of potent antioxidants such as resveratrol, as well as immune boosting vitamin C. Dark chocolate contains these antioxidants but in lower levels because they usually degrade when heated. Cacao has 10 or more times the antioxidants of well-known antioxidant sources green tea, red wine and blueberries. Chocolate, when in its raw cacao form has many wonderful health benefits including promoting heart and cardiovascular health, by preventing bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol from clogging up arteries, lowering total cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. Including cacao in the diet will also help keep your blood sugar levels balanced due to it being one of the richest sources of magnesium and chromium. This makes cacao an ideal food for diabetics and for people on weight loss programs.
Coconut oil is a healthy alternative to butter in baked goods. It is rich in saturated fats, however it behaves differently from other fats, as it is absorbed readily into cells were it is used as energy, so it is less likely to be stored as fat on the body. This makes coconut oil beneficial for people on weight loss programs. Coconut oil is also one of the best oils to cook with at high temperatures too as it won’t turn into a harmful trans fat.
And don’t forget those gorgeous juicy raspberries that are rich in potent antioxidants called anthyocyanins. These antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals that attack any cells in the body and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and can cause premature aging. So if you want to stay young for longer, eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods like berries. Raspberries also provide plenty of vitamin C, one of our best immune boosting and antioxidant vitamins around.
Eating for good health doesn’t have to be boring. My healthy chocolate, coconut and raspberry cake is a great example of a scrumptious recipe that uses gorgeous natural ingredients and is super healthy for you. Think about other dishes that might combine coconut oil, cacao and raspberries and let me know if you’ve any great ideas.
Do you have a favourite healthy cake recipe you would like to share? I would love to hear from you.