Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Raw Creamy Coconut Bars

Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

Raw Creamy Coconut Bars

These tasty treats are quick and easy, require no oven (just a blender), and kids love making them!

All you need is :

▪    2 cups of coconut flakes

▪    1 cup of melted cacao butter

▪    2-3 dropperfuls of stevia (nu naturals is my favourite) you can use a healthy sweetener of choice, raw honey, coconut palm sugar etc..

▪    3 tbsp of Coconut Butter,

Pour the melted cacao butter into a blender/food processor. Add in the Coconut flakes, the stevia and the Coconut Manna. Mix until well combined.

Press into a square tupper wear box or anything rectangle of square-shaped. I used 2 tupper ware tubs approx 5 by 4 inches.

Put into the freezer for 30 mins or the fridge for an hour or more until the mixture has set. Then cut into squares and serve.

Amp up the yumminess even more by coating in raw chocolate!

  • 1 cup of Cacao butter melted
  • ¼ cup of Cacao powder
  • 2-3 tbsp of Agave Syrup,

Mix together and dip the Coconut bars into the bowl to coat. Place in fridge to set.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats are brought to you by Chakra Center’s raw food extraordinaire, Sarah Hook (see our staff-and-contributors page for details on Sarah and other contributors at Chakra Center).

Tuesday’s Treats: Raw Fruit & Nut Slab

Recipes, The Root Chakra, Tuesday's Tasty Treats

Raw Fruit & Nut Slab

A quick, easy, and delicious raw food recipe that is great to have around when cravings arise.

Keep in the fridge to have at hand. This will give you a boost of essential minerals, and it’s high in magnesium which will calm your system and leave you feeling blissed out.

Combine raw chocolate and mediation and you’ll be floating away.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of melted Raw cacao butter
  • ¼ cup of Raw cacao powder
  • 2-3 tbsp of Agave syrup, or 2 dropperful’s of Nu Natural’s stevia.
  • ½ cup of Chopped Almonds, Hazelnuts, pecans raisins & dates

Melt the Cacao Butter over some hot water in a bowl (you can grate it first so it melts faster).  Once melted, add in the Cacao powder and whisk to a smooth lump free texture, then add in your sweetener of choice. (Experiment with how sweet you like it)

Then for your chocolate mold of choice: I use a rectangle tupper-ware box. Pour in so that the chocolate mix is about ½ inch thick.

Then add the chopped fruit and nut, sprinkling onto the chocolate spreading evenly.

Pop into the freezer for 20 minutes. Once the chocolate has become solid, you can push it from the mold and cut into bite size chocolate chunks.

Reasons to eat Raw Chocolate:

Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:

  • Promote cardiovascular health – Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
  • Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
  • Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.
  • Serotonin – Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.
    • Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
    • Phenylethylamine – Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
    • Anandamide – Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.
    • Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
      • Magnesium – Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
      • Sulfur – Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
      • Essential fats: There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.

Important note- Raw Chocolate is a healthy treat but like any natural stimulant it’s not a good idea to have daily, especially for super sensitive beings.

Sarah Hook (a.k.a “The Juice Lady”) is a Holistic health coach, Raw Food Chef, and Creator of Juice Rehab – The Juice Detox. She’s also our “Tuesday’s Tasty Treat” lady at Chakra Center. She is passionate about helping people feel and look their best, and is on a mission to get the world to drink Green Juice. She lives in the UK.

Meet Celebrity Raw Food Chef Jason Andrew Wrobel

Interviews, The Root Chakra

The name’s Jason. Jason Wrobel.  And he tangles-up fruits and  veggies the way James Bond lassos his women:  it’s a scandalous love affair with exotic cuisine, prepared raw, not cooked.

Jason’s creations are sexy for sure, but surprisingly wholesome and nutritional – a flirtatious fling without the morning-after guilt.

And he’s freakin’ hilarious, to boot!

(Think of him as the James Bond of the raw food world, channeling an Austin Powers flair).

Today we’re kickin’ off our 30 Day Raw Food Challenge, Wrobel style. Get ready to get your veggies on!

How did you first get interested in raw foods/health/nutrition?

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I became interesting in vegetarian foods in my late teens after seeing some health issues arise in my family.

After watching “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and investigating jason_wrobel_004802_Edit_2 Mad Cow Disease, I became vegan in 1998 for ethical and health reasons. Truthfully, I was a junk food vegan until 2004, when I started to question if I was truly eating a healthy vegan diet. I started experimenting with more raw food recipes and ingredients and was amazed by the difference.

Going to the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in 2005, really started me on my path of becoming a professional raw vegan chef, health educator, and public speaker. Since then, life has been healthier and more amazing than I could have ever imagined.

What are some of the benefits you’ve seen in your own life from eating raw?

When I made the transition from primarily processed vegan food to more whole, raw organic foods, I noticed and felt a variety of changes. First, my energy levels went through the roof. I really had to adjust my lifestyle to doing more physical activities to channel all the newfound energy. My skin cleared up – I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or acne since. My weight stabilized and my digestion improved, too. Overall, it had a turbo boosting effect on my life – more energy, more clarity, better skin and a better body.

You seem to be a big proponent of superfoods. What are some of your favorite superfoods to use and why?

Superfoods are a great way to supplement a healthy, balanced, jason_wrobel-004067whole food vegan diet with mineral-rich, nutritionally-dense foods. My favorite go-to superfoods are Goji Berries, Raw Cacao, Baobab Powder, Noni Fruit, Maca Powder, Camu Camu, Hemp Seeds and Quinoa. I incorporate them into my existing recipes and create everything from smoothies and elixirs to granola, desserts, pastas and healthy savory dishes.

I found that adding superfoods to my lifestyle has allowed me to shift from focusing on the volume of foods I eat, to focusing on the nutritional density of the ingredients. Simply put, I’m getting more benefits and nutrition from eating LESS amounts of food now.

How did you get into YouTube vlogging?

My YouTube channel came about in July 2009 after friends and mentors kept telling me that I had to start showcasing my presentation abilities, knowledge, and comedy, along with healthy raw vegan recipes. Since then, I’ve been steadily growing my online presence and it’s helped me secure my first television show on a major network. YouTube videos were absolutely key to growing my brand and getting my name out to the world.

How have raw foods changed your life?

It’s given me a focus and direction to channel my talents, my love for food, performing, and nutrition and has provided me an outlet to speak to thousands (and soon millions) of people about the importance of a plant-based, vegan, high-raw lifestyle for our personal health, animal rights and the health of our planet.

Raw foods have infused my life with so much joy, energy, love, and brilliance – it’s like rocket fuel for my dreams!

What role does food play in spirituality, for you?

I think that eating closer to the earth, closer to nature, and as gently as possible has given me a deeper connection to a feeling of interconnectedness with all living things. By gradually transitioning toward a plant-based, organic vegan, raw food lifestyle – I’ve had the opportunity to look at how my actions, thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds affect other people, other animals, and this planet. It’s given me a greater sense of being, of purpose and, most of all, empowerment.

I know that I am directly influencing and changing the world for the better – and having a blast inspiring others to do the same.

Who have been some of your greatest inspirations/teachers on this path?

There are so many! Gary Yourofsky, one of the most amazing vegan educators and lecturers on the planet showed me I could be out in the public eye, sharing my message with fearlessness and passion. Cherie Soria, who took me under her wing in culinary school and inspired me to greatness (and who also told me I should be on TV!) Elaina Love, still my favorite raw food teacher and instructor of all time. Matthew Kenney, who I worked with in New York City for a short time – he taught me poise, leadership and trusting my instincts in the kitchen. And honestly, most of all, my mother, Susan, who taught me to have fun in the kitchen, to honor my connection with the earth and to be generous with my time, my knowledge and my food. Now this is starting to feel like an Oscar acceptance speech!

Tell us a bit about your new raw food ventures (TV show?)

I can’t tell you everything right now. What I can share is that I have a TV show on The Cooking Channel debuting in January 2013. It’s going to be the first TV program on a major cable network highlighting the longevity and anti-aging benefits of plant-based raw and vegan foods. I CAN tell you that there’s never been a show like this before. Think comedy sitcom meets cooking show meets man-on-the-street interviews. With some celebs thrown in for spice. It’s going to be incredible.

What is your favorite raw food recipe?

That’s like picking my favorite song or favorite book (oh wait, I’m jason_wrobel_004300actually doing that below!) Tough question here. I suppose the one I’m craving most right now is my Superfood Pad Thai Noodles. It’s spicy, sweet, creamy, and crunchy with the perfect al dente kelp noodles and tons of traditional Thai spices. It’s one of my classic recipes. You can find the recipe demo for the noodles on my YouTube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/JasonWrobelTV/videos

How can people help support what you’re doing?

Thanks for asking! Following me on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Pinterest. Also – subscribing to my YouTube Channel – The J-Wro Show. And, of course, watching my new TV show on The Cooking Channel when it debuts in January 2013. Oh – and I’m always up for receiving samples of other people’s raw food products. I LOVE how many people are making incredible vegan and raw foods to share on the store shelves. It’s truly inspiring to witness the creativity.

Flash Questions

You’re stranded on an island with only one book, which book would it be?
“Reflections on the Art of Living” by Joseph Campbell. I’ve read it more times than any other book in my life. It always has new treasures waiting for me.

Private concert – who’s playing?
Prince. And he invites me up to sing “Darling Nikki” and “I Feel For You” and then we share some gluten-free mac n’ cheese after the show. Next birthday, maybe?

Worst fear?
Being on my deathbed and feeling like I didn’t live the life I wanted to… or didn’t fully live my dreams.

Favorite song?
“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley. It stirs feelings of wonder, awe, love and a bittersweet longing for something or someone. It’s haunting beauty never ceases to move me and stir my soul.

Pet Peeve?
Closed-mindedness. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage… and curiosity. Oh, yes, and loud talkers. For God’s sake – we hear you loud and clear.

Best meal you ever ate?
I simply can’t pick one. It’s a toss-up between Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Terre a Terre in Brighton, UK and the first time I ate at Pure Food and Wine in New York City. Those are the kind of epic, mind-blowing meals that I will remember forever and have set the bar even higher for me as a chef and artist.

“Jason Andrew Wrobel is a world-renowned leader in organic raw vegan cuisine, culinary education and health entertainment. He is a graduate of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is nationally certified as a Raw Food Chef and Culinary Instructor.

Hollywood celebs such as Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Piven, Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, John C. Reilly, Steve Buscemi, Isabelle Adjani, Oren Moverman and Russell Simmons have raved about his healthy, innovative and delicious plant-based creations.

As a live speaker known for his empowering, passionate and comedic delivery, he has shared the stage with wellness luminaries and bestselling authors such as John Robbins, David Wolfe, Kevin Trudeau, Donna Gates, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Ron Teeguarden and Kathy Freston. 

His first DVD, Simple Vegan Classics, is an international bestseller. Thousands of people worldwide have learned how to prepare easy and nutritious raw vegan foods with this entertaining and educational guide. He is also the host of The J-Wro Show® on YouTube, showcasing healthy recipes, lifestyle transformation tips and culinary comedy.

Stay tuned for his new television show, How to Live to 100, debuting on The Cooking Channel in January 2013.

Visit JasonWrobel.com to check out his recipe demo videos, e-books, recipes, health tips, video blogs and upcoming live appearance dates.

http://www.JasonWrobel.com
http://www.twitter.com/JasonWrobel
http://www.youtube.com/JasonWrobelTV
http://www.facebook.com/JasonAndrewWrobel

Meet Vito Cortese, Italy’s Raw Food Pioneer

Interviews, The Root Chakra

Raw food – the Italian way!

Italy could arguably claim the title of “gastronomic capital of the  world” (though I’m sure the French would put up a good fight).

France certainly has earned its culinary fame, but it’s the Italians who are pioneering the plant world – rawawesome style!

My food experiences in the boot have been nothing short of epic (see my review on La Giostra  for a taste of the magic). 

But as my heart (and body) continually moves down the vegan/high raw road, what is a die-hard foodie living in Italy, to do?!

I found Vito Cortese.

Vito studied with America’s  celebrated raw food chef, Matthew Kenney, and has managed to capture the magic of Italian food, with a healthy/raw twist.

This talented chef is pioneering the limits of raw cuisine – Italian style!   He agreed to sit-down with me at the charming vegetarian café, Liberia Brac in downtown Florence to to tell me his story.

When did you first get into raw foods? 

Around February of 2009. I’ve been interested ever since.

What are the benefits you have seen in your health since making the transition to a high raw food diet?

I haven’t been sick in a long time. No “normal” problems like headaches, cold, flu, allergies – all the things I use to have often. Especially the headache. It hasn’t returned.

When did you first begin offering raw food classes in Italy?  

Halloween of 2009 was my first class, with the idea to repeat only once a year. But the class was such a success and people seemed really interested, so I began organizing classes around Italy from December 2009, on.

How have Italian’s received you? Very well. Most of my classes are sold-out. There is a max of 16 spots and I’m often overbooking! Italians seem to love it.

What is your favorite raw food recipe to make (main  course and dessert)?

My favorite main course is broccoli “au gratin” and the dessert is the “cassata siciliana” and the chocolate cake with the warm chocolate heart. I really enjoy making the desserts. They make raw foods more fun, and people are always surprised at what you can do with simple ingredients, without killing enzymes or using dairy and refined sugars.

Tell us about your business ventures/collaboration with Matthew Kenney: 

Matthew and I are really good friends with the same passion in common: we want to show people that it is possible to eat healthy and tasty in the same time! Now the biggest project is to open a raw food cuisine academy in Italy. It will be an interesting European project since we’ll be offering classes in different languages! We are also collaborating in training chefs and offering classes around the world!

How can people find out more information about your classes/ventures in Italy?

I built my business of Facebook, so on my page you can find out all information on my projects and classes, but very soon my website, www.nudocrudo.net, will be launched. Stay tuned!

For all you foodies who need a bit more Italian in your raw cuisine, Vito is your man.

…All I can say is, raw tiramisu?! Yes please!

Find Vito on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chefvitocortese

*All photos in this article are Vito’s raw food creations, except the one below. That’s Vito and me at Libreria Brac. 🙂