This recipe was inspired by a week of eating only raw food. It is just a delicious treat and a break from the salads and smoothies. I feel fantastic when I'm eating this way. Raw food contains so many more enzymes and nutrients than cooked food and your body just soaks them up and uses them for healing. Before I share this recipe with you, I want to tell you about why embarked on this raw adventure. There were three main reasons.
- Cleansing and Cleaning. Even though I have been sticking to my MS diet, I just felt like a I needed a break from digesting cooked food. Raw food contains live enzymes that help with the break down of food and aid the digestion process. This means that the food can move more quickly through your system and not hang around for too long (which can cause bloating etc.). All the raw juices and smoothies are also very cleansing and really wash out your system, whilst nourishing it too. You really do feel 'clean and sparkly' after a week of raw.
- The Big Reset. Do you often feel that you need to press a reset button on your eating habits? We all pick up bad habits. One of mine is not eating a substantial enough lunch. This sets off an unhealthy chain of events. I end up snacking the whole afternoon on food that is not terribly nutritious (still MS diet legal though). Then, I'm starving by 5pm and I eat the kids' dinner leftovers. So, when it comes to dinner I'm actually not hungry at all. However, because I didn't have a substantial lunch, I feel like a I need a substantial dinner. So, I actually end up eating too much and feeling full and bloated. At this point I know that I need to discipline myself again, press the reset button and hopefully get rid of these habits that are clearly not working for me! A week of raw food helps with this. Also, once my body is clean I want to keep it that way.
- Nutrient Boost. Raw food is great for getting loads of nutrients in you, quickly! I drink a raw fruit and vegetable juice for breakfast, then eat a salad with high quality ingredients for lunch and then a similar salad with guacamole or raw pesto for dinner. In between I'm eating nuts, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and fruit. It truly is a nutrient fest and my body loves it! I have so much energy, my mind is clear and I feel more emotionally stable. Another interesting thing I've noticed is that I get better quality sleep when I'm eating this way. This could be because my body is just working more efficiently which helps with sleeping patterns.
A Note on Raw Cacao
Raw Cacao is very different to it's processed sister cocoa. They have the same origin but cocoa has been highly processed and contains additives such as heated fats to make it taste better. This is not what you want to be using in your MS diet. It's dead and devoid of nutrition. Cacao on the other hand is packed with a very high level of anti-oxidants.
Cacao's greatest claim to fame is it's flavonoid content. Flavonoids are antioxidants also found in tea, grapes and berries, and they appear to improve health by altering cell-signaling pathways, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. The institute notes that more research is needed, but some studies suggest that flavonoids might help prevent cancer as well as brain ailments such as Alzheimer's disease. I'm pretty sure MS is on this list too!
Word of Caution: Cacao does contain a little caffeine which, in high doses, is not good for MS. So, enjoy it little by little and then you will reap the benefits. As always, be aware of food that doesn't agree with you and causes a reaction in your system.
You can buy it fairly cheaply from your local health store but make sure it is raw and organic!
Cacao Covered Nuts
Ok, finally, it's time for the fun part! I always imagine that a week of raw is going to be hard but I actually never find that it is as challenging as I think it's going to be. I love the way it makes me feel and I can still eat some pretty yummy foods such as these cacao covered little beauties. These add a little variety to the raw menu and are a great snack/treat. They honestly taste like store bought chocolate covered nuts. Super delicious!
Raw maple syrup is the secret ingredient which adds the sweetness they need. Enjoy them in small quantities and restrict yourself to one portion a day. I thought of making a whole lot and keeping them in the fridge but then thought better of this because I know myself and I wouldn't be able to resist eating all of them in one go. They would be calling my name from the fridge the whole day! Luckily they are very quick to make!
1 handful mixed nuts (I love almonds, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seed)
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 TBSP maple syrup
Break the nuts up a little. You can roughly chop them but make sure the bits are still quite big. Put them in a small mixing bowl.
Add the cacao and maple syrup and stir until they are all mixed together and the nuts are covered by a sticky chocolate mixture. You may need to mix for a bit longer than you think you should. Don't be tempted to add more maple syrup as then the cacao won't stick very well and the mixture will be too runny.
Transfer to the fridge for about 30 minutes so that the cacao can set. You could also just eat them there and then. This is what I do most of the time because I just can't wait!
If you enjoyed these or would like to add a comment, please do so below, I always love hearing from you!