It is the time of the year we start looking intentively into recipe books and the internet for impressive desserts as the festive season is soon upon us!
This is the fourth year I'm planning a dessert class. I love this process as I get to taste various ideas in delicious recipes that I create in my new lovely kitchen!
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to indulge on sweet tasting, gorgeous desserts without feeling a sense of guilt? Surely there must be a healthy alternative to these gluttonous treats? Could raw desserts be the sweet fix to this guilty aliment? Raw desserts are a healthy substitute to the normal sugary desserts we often find ourselves gorging on. What’s more, since raw desserts also happen to be quite delicious in flavour, we don’t even need to sacrifice the taste and the pleasure. Instead, we can sit back and reap in the rewards these tasty delights provide us with.
Desserts happen to be my favorite and I have written three recipes books all about these tasty little delights!
Raw foods and thus raw desserts are often mostly made from whole foods. When you eat foods in their whole-food state, they are much more nutritious than eating foods that have been processed. Your body will recognise whole foods and knows exactly what it has to do to ensure that they are fully digested and that all the essential nutrients have been absorbed completely.
Raw desserts contain a combination of nutrient dense ingredients which makes them so beneficial for us to consume. Raw cacao butter is just one of the ingredients we find in a raw dessert recipe. This is a healthy fat which is much more beneficial to our bodies than the fats found in every day desserts.
Lets look a little closer at this delice Cacao butter
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. During this process, all the living enzymes in the cocoa are kept intact whilst the fat is removed in the form of an edible, stable vegetable oil, also known as cacao butter. This is a non-toxic solid that melts at body temperature, meaning that it is used and consumed in its natural state, bursting with all the vitamins and minerals that facilitated its growth. Let me share a little beauty secret with you here too: smear it over your face and hands before going to bed and voila! superb looking skin smooth and lushious.
Cacao is not to be confused with cocoa which looks the same but couldn’t be more different! Unlike cacao, cocoa is raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Unfortunately, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.
Flavanols are the beneficial plant-based nutrients found in cocoa that are responsible for cacao’s antioxidant power. When consumed daily, flavanols have been proven to help support a healthy circulation which is important for our overall health, as well as our cardiovascular health, cognitive health and blood flow. They work with your body to maintain the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your organs and tissues to help you look, perform and feel your best every day!
Not only is it rich in minerals (check out the magnesium article below), cacao also increases levels of certain neurotransmitters, stimulating a sense of well-being and happiness. This is only a short overview of the benefits cacao and its products can provide us with, however it is evident that it is much more beneficial for our bodies than the cocoa found in many of the chocolate products we find on the market today, making raw desserts a scrumptious and nutritious treat.
What else! Activated nuts and seeds
Other ingredients that often appear in raw dessert recipes are activated nuts and seeds. These are nutrient dense, rich in protein and up to 80% of their fat is unsaturated. They are also a proficient source of fibre, minerals vitamins and antioxidants. They can help protect us against high cholesterol and coronary heart disease as well as help manage our weight. However, eating nuts before they are activated can make them hard for our bodies to digest. People may often experience a heavy feeling in their gut known as indigestion after eating regular commercial nuts.
The activation of nuts and seeds involves soaking them in salt water and then dehydrating them at a low temperature to neutralise the anti-nutrients that occur in these plant foods. Describing the process as “activated” emphasises the fact that raw nuts and seeds are living and they just need that extra push to make their incredible nutrition available.
Raw nuts and seeds contain high levels of phytic acid, a form of phosphorous found in plants. Whilst this acid is useful to safeguard the seeds until germination, when it is eaten by humans, it binds to the minerals in the digestive tract, impairing their absorption and promoting mineral deficiencies. Some animals produce adequate amounts of the enzyme phytase that breaks down the phytic acid. However, humans don’t and consequently phytate heavy diets can be troublesome.
Eating a handful of nuts a day won’t have a huge impact on your nutrient absorption, but if you eat a lot it can have a detrimental effect on your health. It is especially important for those who follow a grain free diet who substitute nuts and seeds for flour to prepare them properly, otherwise mineral deficiencies will start to develop.
However, the phytates can be easily neutralised using this process making nuts and seeds much easier to digest. The combination of minerals and heat, within the defenition of raw works to break down irritating compounds whilst preserving the beneficial fats and proteins. This method makes nuts and seeds the perfect snack or ingredient in a raw food dessert ensuring we get the most out of them!
These are only some of the ingredients found in raw food desserts and thus, only a handful of the benefits they provide us with. Raw desserts are fantastic delicacies that not only deliver us with nutrients that are so beneficial to our bodies, but also fill our mouths with flavoursome goodness.
Yuuga Kemistri is now running a new Raw Vegan Desserts and Chocolate class in London if you want to expad your repertoir further email us at firstname.lastname@example.org