Eeeek! I’m so excited for the first ever guest post on Naked Cuisine. Chocolate Avocado Mousse from an awesome Holistic Nutritionist, Voula Cicchelli.
I’ve been a stranger lately you guys, I know it’s internet land and unless you’re my mom you probably didn’t notice. But I miss you, regardless. The focus lately has been on growing my writing business for health and wellness professionals. It’s fun and I’m learning loads about running your own show. It’s a lot of work and I give mad props to all the self-employed peeps out there.
Don’t worry (I tell this more to myself since I’m sure you’re not worried), I’ll be back in full force this summer. We’re moving to the beautiful west coast of Canada where there’s an insane abundance of amazing foods that I won’t be able to refrain from sharing with you all.
The city life is not for me, although I love certain aspects of it I really just want to raise my little man closer to nature.
But enough about boring old me.
Let me introduce to you, the lovely and talented Voula (cool name right?!). Voula is a Holistic Nutritionist and she graciously offered to share her fantabulously simple recipe for chocolate avocado mousse. I’ve made it, and man it is so luxuriously creamy and rich. My two-year-old goes nuts for this stuff.
So without further adieu, here’s Voula!
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE sweets. What is better than having something sweet AND have it being healthy all at the same time right?
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I try my very best to instill healthy eating in my house and always try to find healthy alternatives to common desserts. My kids always ask for chocolate pudding but we both know that is loaded with sugar and preservatives so I came up with this great alternative.
This Chocolate Avocado Mousse totally hits the spot and is a total hit in my house, especially with my kids. They don’t even know that it is made with avocado which is the best part. It is high in healthy fats, low in processed sugar; full of antioxidants and, of course, a great taste that can trick just about the pickiest eater. Here is to a well-kept secret between us moms. It’s a pretty simple recipe to whip up, even on short notice.
Voula Cicchelli is a Holistic Nutritionist, Trainer, Coach and owner of Lifestyle4Life. She focuses on helping her client’s battle depression, deal with hormonal acne, lose weight and gain their confidence back through food and exercise. She educates her clients and empowers them to take personal ownership of their own health and happiness. She is also the author of Deliciously Healthy, a recipe e-book as well as the popular Clean Eating Kick Start 7 day program. Voula’s passion is infectious and she continues to motivate and help woman all over find their way back to themselves.
Curry leaves are so underrated. Those little leaves have so much flavour, and to me they just take like authentic Indian cuisine. I buy a whole bunch and then freeze most for later use. Quinoa is like a sponge and when cooked in a coconut milk curry leaf and mustard seed laden sauce like this one it’s just packed with flavour. This is a lovely side dish or addition to a salad, I topped it with a few sesame salmon balls and it was total perfection.
Indian Style Quinoa and Peas is one of those really simple dishes that you can count on to amplify any meal, especially Indian influenced curries or tandoori meats. In food and in life the best things are the simple things. This morning my love gave me a sweet hug when I was making my coffee and all groggy and disheveled. It woke me right up and took me from morning ogre to morning mermaid.
I’ve made this pie twice now and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. It’s way easier than regular ol’ pumpkin pie and a lot healthier too. The crust is made with macadamia nuts (or whatever nuts you have kicking around) dates and coconut oil and the filling is a creamy combination of pumpkin, coconut milk, aromatic spices and grass fed beef gelatine which is absolutely loaded with health benefits. I was hesitant to use the gelatine as I didn’t want the pie to have a weird consistency, but if you use the right amount it does the job of thickening without creating any weird gummy textures. If you want a purely vegan pie you can get vegan gelatine using agar agar or irish moss which are both seaweeds.
You American peeps haven’t had your thanksgiving yet and my vote is that you try this Paleo No Bake Pumpkin Pie for the occasion. I made it for our thanksgiving and the fam jam went gaga. The best part is that its so light and easy to digest that you don’t get that same lead weight feeling in the pit of your stomach that usually comes along with thanksgiving.
Since we’re on the topic I would also seriously recommend dry brining your turkey 24 hours before cooking it. This technique definitely resulted in hands down the best turkey I have ever had or made. Last year I did a traditional brine, which is great but leaves the meat a bit watered down. Dry brining imparts the flavour from the salt without taking flavour away from the turkey. I suppose I should just write a post on this alone since I’m so passionate about dry brining but you guys I didn’t take any photos because that turkey was gone so fast.
If you’re in the kitchen for an extended amount of time and looking for a great jam, check out this mix, its long, varied and beautiful.
1 1/2 C unsalted macadamia nuts (pecans or walnuts also work well)
1/2 C date paste
1/4 C coconut oil
pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean or vanilla extract
Filling and coconut whipped cream
1 28oz can pumpkin puree OR equivalent amount homemade pumpkin puree
1 can coconut milk (left in the fridge for a few hours to firm up)
1/2 C coconut oil
3 Tbs grass fed beef gelatine OR 1 tsp agar agar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30 drops liquid stevia OR 1/3 C maple syrup
For the crust
In a high powered blender or food processor, add the macadamia nuts, date paste, coconut oil, salt and vanilla and blend until all the nuts are crushed and everything is evenly combined.
Press the crust into a springform pan, the smaller the pan the taller the pie will be but I used a 9 inch.
Set the crust in the fridge or freezer to set a bit while you make the filling.
Filling and coconut whipped cream
Using the same blender or food processor add the pumpkin puree, separate the liquid from the coconut cream and add the liquid only. Add the gelatine or agar agar (don't worry about blooming it) and puree until smooth.
Add the coconut oil, spices, salt, vanilla and stevia or maple syrup and puree again until smooth.
Pour over top of the crust and allow to set for at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving.
To make the coconut whipped cream simply use the remaining coconut cream and whip it with a whisk or in a mixer until light and fluffy, you can add a splash of maple syrup or honey to sweeten it up if desired.
Pie serves 8-10 people, place a dollop of coconut whipped cream on each piece and enjoy!
Holy case of the Mondays today. On top of the ‘kill all things’ stage of the whole 30, my little teething monster has been draining 60 calories of comfort a minute from me. I don’t understand how women with children under 3 get absolutely anything done. Murphy’s law is in full swing because as soon as I wrote that he is off on his own smashing remote controls. Do I care? Nope.
How do you cope with ineffective days? I feel like our society superimposes really high standards of productivity. But some days it feels pretty difficult to cross anything off the to-do list. I have to gently remind myself that raising a child is always on the top of that list, and that I must always work on that first.
About this salad, it’s beyond refreshing and packed with craving busting minerals. Often we get those mad cravings for sweets and quick fix foods because of mineral deficiencies. But you know what sucks? Boring salads. Boring vegetables. They give vegetables a bad rep. It’s my mission to never ever make a boring salad. Cruciferous vegetables are particularly detoxifying because they’re so high in I3C or indole-3-carbinols, which help to break down bad estrogen in the body and regulate hormones. Aside from that the fiber and vitamin C in this salad are cleansing and help me feel more vibrant and just plain happy during the first few days of the whole 30. I find that I always have a craving for crunchy foods and this Fennel Grapefruit Detox Salad more than satisfies. Save some of the fronds for garnish or adding to soups and what not, they really impart that lovely anise flavour.
I meant to post this BEFORE I started the sugar detox from hell. I’m a fiend you guys. Even if it’s raw pies and honey I’m still jonesing for a fix. So I’ll live vicariously through you. This decadent cake is fully awesome. It’s loaded with all the best things- honey, vanilla bean, cacao, nuts, hemp seeds, young coconut meat, berries and of course, ba-nay-nays. Let me know the dirty details of each delightful bite if you make it. I’ll just be over here eating a carrot stick…
But in all seriousness, it feels good to make the conscious decision to get rid of some of the more junky aspects of my diet. All summer was just one big smorgasbord of enjoyment with family and friends. I’m grateful, truly, but that over indulgence catches up. So with a final slice of cake, I bid adieu for one month.
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (save the pod for other uses)
1/2 C cocoa butter, melted over double boiler
1/4 C coconut oil, melted over double boiler
1/2 C raw honey
pinch sea salt
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 C cacao nibs
1 C mixed frozen berries
2 Tbs raw cacao powder
In a high powered blender or food processor, add date paste, walnuts, hemp seeds, coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Pulse until evenly combined.
Press crust into a 10 inch springform pan (or smaller for a taller cake) and pop it in the fridge or freezer while you make the filling.
For the filling. Add coconut meat, soaked cashews, vanilla bean seeds, cocoa butter, coconut oil, honey and sea salt. Blend until super smooth and pour 1/3 of filling on top of the crust. Top with a few banana slices and a sprinkle of cacao nibs.
Pop the cake back in the fridge or freezer for the first layer to set slightly.
Pour 1/2 the remaining filling into a bowl and set aside.
For the berry layer add 1 C frozen berries of your choosing to the filling and blend until smooth. Pour over top of the vanilla layer and top with more sliced bananas and cacao nibs.
Pop it back in the fridge or freezer to set slightly.
For the chocolate layer, add the remaining filling back into the blender with 2 Tbs cacao powder and blend until fully incorporated. Pour over the berry layer and top with the remaining sliced bananas and cacao nibs.
These are so lip smacking simple and a zillion times better than those neon coloured chemical bombs filled with who knows what. I used to love those crack pops, arrrrrgh like my life depended on them. But this of Coconut Orange Creamsicles is waaaaaaaay better and ultimately super easy to make. Especially if you have one of these handy dandy zoku popsicle makers which give you perfectly frozen pops in mere minutes. Yes such a thing exists. Yes they are a bitch to get out of the moulds. But when yo baby is screaming his face off because he’s getting four new molars all at the same time, they are a godsend, and momma muscles kick into full swing.
I kid you not, my child at two and half of these all in one go and he was SO stupendously happy. And since they have barely any sweetener, just a touch of maple syrup, and are packed with healthy fats from coconut milk and vitamin sunshine from oranges, momma was stoked. No more waiting hours for popsicle heaven to unfold. No more teething death screams. Just pure popsicle bliss ahhhh.
Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.