Category Archives: Desserts

Heart Healthy Chocolate Cake

This recipe is absolutely perfect. Not too sweet, just the right amount of richness from the Dark Chocolate.

I brought a slice to my acupuncturists, and she dubbed this the Heart Health Cake.

Beets lower risk of heart disease. Beets are a good source of folate and betaine. These nutrients act together to help lower blood levels of homocysteine, which can increase your risk of heart disease by causing artery-damaging inflammation.

And Dark Chocolate helps to lower your blood pressure naturally. … The other surprise was they reported no increase in heart rate with chocolate consumption, once again confirming the benefits of dark chocolate for heart health.
Savory Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ganache

BeetChocCake

For the cake:

2 medium beets (1 cup beet puree)

2 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 1/2 cups coconut sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups oat flour

3/4 cup almond meal

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon of sea salt

For the frosting:

Chocolate Ganache

Ganache:

1 cup dark chocolate

1/2 cup coconut milk

To puree beets

Boil beets until smooth and then cool. Peel and chop.

Place beet chunks in the bowl of a food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary. You may have to add a bit of water to encourage the beets to puree. Scoop out 1 cup of puree for this recipe – the rest is leftover.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Coat two 8-inch cake pans with coconut cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, set aside.

To the coconut milk mixture, add 1 cup of beet puree, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. With a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer), beat until foamy, about 30 seconds.

Mix together remaining dry ingredients. Add liquid to dry ingredients and beat until smooth

Divide between the cake pans. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs, 30-35 minutes.

Remove and cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

Ganache:

Reheat the water to a simmer in the pot on the stove

Place another medium bowl over the water and add chocolate and coconut milk

Stir until completely melted and add coconut milk

To assemble the cake:

Place the first layer on your cake stand or serving plate. If the top is uneven, carefully even it off with a knife. Smooth on about half of the frosting, and top with the second cake layer. Smooth on remaining frosting and add any decorations you like! (If you made 1 9-inch layer, you will have enough frosting to coat the sides, if you want.)

Refrigerate before serving. The cake can be served immediately, but I like it best after being refrigerated overnight. Enjoy!

Mexican Chocolate Tart

This beautiful and creamy tart melts in your mouth. It has a chocolate crust and a creamy filling made with the unique pili nut, which is a rainforest nut from the Philippines. They have the highest vitamin E and magnesium content of any nut and add a creamy, buttery texture to recipes.

Mexican torte

Chocolate “Graham Cracker” Crust
Ingredients
1¼ cups raw walnuts
1 cup coconut cane sugar
¾ cup raw cacao nibs
1 cup raisins or cranberries
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Place all walnuts, sugar, and cacao in a food processor fitted with an s-blade and process until it is finely ground. Add raisins (or cranberries) and process until the crumbs begin to stick together. Do not over-process. Transfer crust mixture into a 9-inch round or rectangular tart pan. Spread evenly and press down with hands to compact and bring the crust up the sides. Set aside.
Creamy Filling
Ingredients
2 cups whole pili nuts; shelled, brown skins left on
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
Directions
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You may need to use a plunger or scraper to get the best consistency. Spread filling evenly over crust and let sit to set. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a month.

Vegan Spiced Cupcakes With Orange Cream Frosting

How do you make cupcakes without flour, eggs, and milk? Easy! This is a fun recipe with a delicious sweet orange frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.
SpicedCupcake
Spice Cake
Ingredients
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup shredded dried coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pecans
½ cup medjool dates, pitted & packed
1 teaspoon orange zest (1 orange)
½ cup raisins
Directions
Place almonds, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in processor fitted with S-blade and process until finely ground. Add walnuts and pecans. Process until finely ground. Add dates, zest and raisins until mixture begins to stick together. Do not over-process.
Line a cupcake tin with paper baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full with mixture. Press down gently to compact each cupcake. Set aside.
Orange Cream Frosting
Ingredients
1½ cups coconut milk
1 cup raw cashews, soak 2 hours, rinse & drain
¼ cup raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon orange zest (1 orange)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lecithin powder, non-GMO
1/3 cup raw virgin coconut oil, melted
Directions
Put coconut milk in blender, add soaked cashews, agave nectar, zest and vanilla and blend until creamy. Add lecithin and oil until incorporated, using a spatula to scrape down sides. Place in airtight container, chill for at least two hours until set.
Assembly:
Use a pastry bag to pipe or spatula to spread frosting over cupcakes. Garnish with orange zest. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw as needed.

Raw Dairy-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

One bite of this special dessert and you’ll say, “No way is this dairy free! No way is this free of processed sugar and gluten and wheat! And it’s good for me?” Yes, it is! It’s full of “good” fats that can actually lower your cholesterol and help your body burn fat. (Check out “Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil” for more information.) Plus you’re getting all the nutrients of raw pumpkin, raw nuts, and carrot juice. It’s a super-delicious super-dessert!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw pecans
3 dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients until they start to stick together. Pour ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Pumpkin filling
Ingredients
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1–2 hours, drained, and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
1½ cups carrot juice
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil, melted in hot bath
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into pan on top of crust. Using spatula gently spread toward edges of pan until even. Place in freezer while making next layer or for 1–2 hours.
Coconut topping
Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1½ cups coconut milk (1 young coconut)
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons lecithin
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Pinch sea salt
Directions Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until light and fluffy. Carefully spread on top of cheesecake filling. This should be at the very top of the pan. Place in refrigerator for 4–6 hours until completely set. Use thin knife to scrape around edges of pan before removing cake from pan. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Mesquite Maple Cheesecake With Walnut Mesquite Crust

I’m a maple fanatic. I love maple scones, maple doughnuts, maple cookies, maple milkshakes, and maple cheesecake. But this one is the raw version of something fantastic. I know you will love this, too.

MapleCheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw walnuts
¼ cup mesquite pod powder
¼ cup medjool dates (packed)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. Pour ingredients into a
10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Cheesecake Filling
Ingredients
4 cups raw cashews, soaked
1¼ cup almond milk
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Reserve 1 cup of filling for the Maple Butter Swirl. Pour remaining filling into pan on top of crust. Using spatula, gently spread toward edges of pan until even.
Maple Butter Swirl
Ingredients
½ cup medjool dates, packed
¾ cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup reserved cheesecake batter
Directions
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour over cake batter layer in one thick line about an inch away from the edge of the pan. Take a butter knife and place it into the batter where the two colors meet and begin a swirling pattern weaving in and out of the mixtures.
Top with fresh chopped pecans and place in the freezer for 4–6 hours to set.

Meyer Lemon Curd Cheesecake

I have seen so many Raw cheesecake recipes, but I have never been inspired to make any of them. One day while I was playing in my Garden , I picked a dozen Meyer Lemons and had a craving for something very tart and creamy …and this is what I came up with.

Meyer+lemon+cheesecake

Crust
1 ½ cups macadamia nuts
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
3 medjool dates
¾ t sea salt

Cheesecake Filling
3 cups cashews, soaked
1 cup meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¾ cup agave nectar
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ teaspoon sea salt

Meyer Lemon Curd layer
1 cup medjool dates
¾ cup meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
pinch of salt

Lemon-Coconut topping
1 cup coconut meat
1 cup coconut water
½ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon lemon extract/oil
1/3 cup coconut oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Crust:
In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, process all ingredients until they start to slightly stick together. The texture should be slightly granular, but dough like. Do not over process. Place ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick spring form pan. Spread evenly with fingers and gently press down with hand until packed.

Cheesecake Filling:
In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. (If using a vita-mix, you will need a plunger to help move the thick batter. If you are using a regular blender, you may need a spatula to keep momentum going.) Pour mixture into the spring form pan over top of crust. Using spatula, gently spread mixture toward edges of pan until even. Place the pan level in freezer to set while making next layer of cheesecake.

Garnish (Optional)
One lemon sliced in half lengthwise, removie seeds and then thinly sliced. Place thinly sliced lemons, round side up around the rim of the pan on top of the cheesecake layer.

Curd layer
In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, process all ingredients until smooth and creamy. (This may also be processed in a blender) After cheesecake layer is firm enough,remove from freezer and layer curd on top of cheesecake. Using a thin spatula, gently and evenly spread the curd up to the edge of the spring form pan.

Coconut topping:
In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Pour this mixture over the top of curd layer. Using a thin spatula, distribute and spread evenly over top of curd layer. This should be at or close to the very top of the spring form pan.
Place pan level in refrigerator for 4-6 hours until completely set.
Use a thin knife to scrape around the edges of the pan before removing cake. Unlock the spring form and carefully lift cake out of pan. Slice cake into the size of each lemon garnish. And serve.

*Second option is to place entire cake in freezer (covered), remove and slice when frozen and serve in pieces.

The Secret Ingredient in My Crème Brûlée….

Crème Brûlée is one of my favorite desserts.

The crunchy sugar topping, the beyond decadent cream.

It is my go to after a fancy meal at most restaurants.
It is a special occasion treat. An Anniversary dessert..
Well, I wanted to create my “Naked” Version, so it didn’t have to be a once in a while kinda thing.

It could be a whenever you want kinda thing.
I am really proud of these 2 recipes, they just turned out perfect.

This has become a permanent recipe item down at The Retreat.
And you’ll never guess the start ingredient…. Cauliflower.
That’s right, I created Cauliflower Crème Brûlée and it is perfection.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Caramel Crème Brulee

CremeBrulee

Ingredients
2 cups steamed cauliflower
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup lucuma powder
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut sugar for topping

Directions
Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes and then mash, you can use a food processor.

Combine the maple syrup and the lucuma powder in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

In a small pot preheat the coconut milk. Add the unflavored gelatin, salt, vanilla and caramel paste made with the maple syrup and the lucuma.
Mix all these ingredients with the mash cauliflower and put in small containers approximately 3 oz each and put in a fridge at least 4 hours.
When is ready, put a little bit of coconut sugar on top and melt with a torch making a crust. Or you can place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for five to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Serve immediately.

Coffee Crème Brulee

CoffeeCremeBrulee

Ingredients
2 cups steamed cauliflower, mashed
3/4 cup coconut milk

½ cup concentrated coffee or espresso
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut sugar for topping

Directions
Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes and then mash, you can use a food processor.
In a small pot preheat the coconut milk and then add the unflavored gelatin, salt, vanilla, coconut sugar and maple syrup.
Make the concentrated coffee using less water to make a stronger flavor or espresso.
Mix all these ingredients with the mash cauliflower and the coffee. Put in small containers approximately 3 oz each and put in a fridge at least 4 hours.
When is ready, put a little bit coconut sugar on top and melt with a torch making a crust. Or you can place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for five to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Serve immediately.

The Powerful Benefits of Gelatin and Collagen

As you already know, I spent many years eating a Raw and Vegan diet.

I loved it! I felt amazing.

Until I didn’t.

My nails grew brittle, my hair was thinner, and I was tired all the time. How could that be? I was eating a 100% RAW/Vegan diet.

I’ve found the need to incorporate different proteins into my diet. I occasionally eat eggs, sometimes fish.

The one ingredient that I absolutely love because it gives me the best results is gelatin.

In addition to the health benefits of balancing out amino acids and being a good source of protein, I take gelatin for its skin, hair and nail promoting effects. I noticed a substantial difference in my skin tone and smoothness.
As an added benefit, it is giving me extra protein and collagen and helps absorption of other minerals.

Top 4 Reasons to Eat More Gelatin

1. Gelatin heals your gut.
Gelatin can also improve gut integrity and digestive strength by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach; low stomach acid and an impaired gut barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.
And healthy intestinal cells prevent leaky gut, which is often at the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.
2. Gelatin makes your skin healthy and beautiful.
Gelatin is a known promotor of skin health. Gelatin provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin, so providing the building blocks for this important protein can ensure that your body is able to create enough of it.
3. Gelatin protects your joints.
Body builders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve joint health and reduce inflammation. If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain-free.
Also, if you have inflammatory joint or bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis, getting adequate gelatin can potentially help you manage inflammation and pain in your joints, and build stronger bones.
4. Gelatin helps you sleep.
Glycine from gelatin has been found to help with sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine given to subjects before bedtime produced measurable improvements in sleep quality. Many of my clients swear by gelatin as an effective sleep aid without bothersome side effects, in contrast to medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin, which can sometimes cause grogginess.

One of my favorite way to include this ingredient into my daily diet is to create these delicious Summer Cooler Desserts.

This one I developed while in Costa Rica at the Retreat.

Fresh Grape Jelly

Ingredients
1½ cups of freshly juiced green grapes
¼ cup cool water
¼ cup hot (almost boiling) water
1 tablespoon of Kosher Pasture-raised Gelatin Powder
1-2 cups of fresh fruit mangos, green apples, grapes

Directions
Pour the cool water in a large mixing cup or quart sized mason jar and add the gelatin powder.
Stir briskly until mixed- it will start to thicken a lot.
Add the ¼ cup of really hot water and stir to mix- it should be thinner now.
Combine this with the juice and mix well.
Put the fruit into the container that you are going to make the jello in.
Pour the jello mixture over the fruit and stir lightly to make sure it has coated the fruit too.
Put in the fridge, covered, for at least 2-3 hours or overnight and serve.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Avo Choc Mousse
Did you know Avocados and Dark Chocolate are two of the most perfect foods? Avocados are packed with the good kind of fat that helps lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants. So I’ve combined them into this decadent powerhouse of a dessert. This will have your whole family asking for seconds.

Ingredients
• 2 ripe Avocados, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
• ¼ cup Cacao Powder
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
• 1/3 cup Coconut Milk
• 2/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Directions
1. Melt dark chocolate in a double broiler. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in your saucepan. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally as it softens. When you have just a few small un-melted chunks, remove bowl from heat (residual heat will melt the rest).

2. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for 15-20 seconds. Add the melted dark chocolate and pulse for another 10-15 seconds. Spoon into 4 serving cups and chill for an hour before serving.

DianaStobo-v4-r09_84

How to make Raw, Vegan Veggie Cream Cheese

Yesterday I told you all how to make delicious grain free bagels. Here is the recipe on how to make the perfect Paleo Cream Cheese to go with the bagel. Like any cream cheeses, feel free to add more veggies to the blender, lox, or whatever you may like in your cream cheese. Make these as a Saturday morning treat for you and your family and friends. No need to start the weekend feeling bloated and slugging, and I promise they will be a hit!

Paleo Cream Cheese

Paleo Veggie Cream Cheese

** Let cashews soak 2 hours prior to making cream cheese

Ingredients
o1/1/2 cup raw cashew halves
o1 ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
o2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
o2 tbsp. water
o1 tsp. coconut oil
o2 tsp. salt
o½ cup chopped chives
o½ cup chopped onions
o½ cup chopped tomato

Directions
oPlace raw cashews in a small bowl and fill with water. Let soak for 2 hours.
oDrain and rinse cashers
oPlace soaked cashews in a food processor. Add all ingredients in to blender and blend on medium-medium high for 5 minutes or until creamy and smooth
oUse cream cheese as is, or place in a container and store in fridge.

Diana on Facebook