Sunday, 31 August 2014

Chocolate Avocado Smoothies (raw & dairy free)

Peruvian Hass Avocadoes
I have to come clean here: making avocados into a smoothie seems a bit of a waste of a good avocado to me. I love the texture and flavour of this princely fruit but actually like them best just as they are, on toast or with slices tossed into a salad or mashed up in guacamole or this avocado and egg dip. But when an octet of Peruvian avocados winged their way to me it seemed like an ideal time to experiment.

Intuitively a dairy-free option seemed like the way to go. Ideally I would have used coconut water as the liquid, but I didn't have any to hand. I had a look at coconut and almond milk options, but they were all full of sugar, vegetable fats and other additives. If only I'd read Janie's post on making your own almond milk before going ahead, but I didn't. In the end I resorted to a tin of coconut milk. To keep things as Peruvian as possible I used maca and raw cacao powder both grown in Peru. The maple syrup, oats and banana may have come from a different continent, but honour, I felt, had been served.

Talking of serving, how did the smoothies turn out? Really rather well. Thick and creamy,  rich and chocolatey, healthy too; we had them for breakfast and they kept us going for several hours. Result.

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Raw Chocolate Smoothie
Raw Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
A vegan friendly breakfast smoothie which is not only deliciously thick and chocolatey, but has plenty of nutritious ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 1 large Peruvian Hass avocado
  • 1 large banana - peeled
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • ½ tin coconut milk (fresh would be best)
  • 2 tsp (or to taste) maple syrup
  • water
Instructions
1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place in a liquidiser together with the banana.2. Add the oats, maca, cacao, maple syrup and coconut milk.3. Add enough water to make the volume up to 1 litre and whizz for a few minutes until smooth.4. Pour into glasses and drink with gusto.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 large or 4 small glasses

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Spelt Cocoa Breads with Avocado Egg Filling

Avocado Stuffed Pitta Breads
If there was one crop other than lemons I wish we could grow easily in the UK, it would be avocados. I would have an orchard full of them. Not only are they buttery and delicious, but they are also quite good for you. High in potassium, the unsaturated fats are said to be healthy ones and they are relatively low in calories.

When I was sent a basket of ripe Peruvian Hass avocados, to say I was pleased was an understatement. I hadn't known such bounty since CT and I worked on an avocado farm during our antipodean travels many years ago. We ate the fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So in remembrance of times past, we cut into one almost immediately and had it spread on toast, just as we used to back on the farm when we used it as a butter substitute. Oh, how delicous. These avocados were particularly tasty with a gimme more creamy texture.

Guacamole has long been a favourite of mine and makes for a very tasty vegan dip and accompaniment to all sorts of dishes. But I also find avocados have an affinity to eggs - maybe it's the shape. One of my favourite party dips is an egg and avocado one and as I hadn't made this for ages, I thought it was about time it was resurrected. What better accompaniment than some homemade bread, juicy sweet homegrown tomatoes and some crisp lettuce.

Avocado & PitaThe Great British Bake Off seems to have taken the world by storm this year and pretty much everyone seems to be talking about it. Last week was all about bread, so I thought I should join in the fun and get a little creative with flour, yeast and of course chocolate. Having a pretty good idea by now about pairing chocolate with savoury foods, I decided that adding some cocoa to my bread would marry well with the creamy eggy dip. I wasn't wrong. My pitta pockets, stuffed with the avocado egg filling along with some lettuce and tomatoes was pure heaven.

The pitta pockets exhaled a chocolate fragrance on opening and were resileint enough to hold the contents. They had a soft and inviting texture and although thick were not in the least bit leathery - way better than any shop bought pitta breads I've had. The chocolate pitta also did a grand job of mopping up the juices of a vegetable stew. The avocado and egg dip was as delicious as I remember it. We both felt we could eat this again and again.

Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage is all about chives this month, so although I've already sent one entry, I couldn't resist sending this one too.







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Cocoa Pitta Breads
Spelt Cocoa Pitta Breads
Soft and delicious pitta breads with just a hint of cocoa to give added depth and flavour.
Ingredients
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 250g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 scant tsp Himalayan pink rock salt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 330ml warm water
Instructions
1. Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water, then combine this in a bowl with the other ingredients.2. Turn out onto an oiled work surface and knead for a few minutes - the dough will be sticky, but be wary of adding any additional flour.3. Place back into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.4. Turn out onto an oiled work surface and knead again for a few minutes. The dough should have absorbed all of the water my now and not be so sticky.5. Cut into 8 pieces and kneading each one briefly shape into flat ovals, either with hands or a rolling pin.6. Place the ovals onto a lined baking tray (or two, depending on size). Place inside a plastic bag and leave to rise for about 15 minutes.7. Bake at the top of a hot oven (225C) for about 5 minutes when the breads should be lightly browned but still soft. Cover with a tea towel until all the bread has been baked. This will not only keep them warm, but keep them soft too.
Details
Total time: Yield: 8


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Avocado & Egg Dip
Avocado and Egg Dip
A versatile and tasty dip that can also be used as a sandwich filling.
Ingredients
  • 2 large boiled eggs
  • 2 large avocados - stoned and peeled
  • half a small onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • a good grinding black pepper
  • 4 stalks chives - snipped
Instructions
1. Roughly mash the avocados with the lime juice.2. Stir in the onions and pepper.3. Add the eggs and roughly mash into the avocado.4. Stir in the mayonnaise and pile into a serving dish. Top with the snipped chives.
Details
Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Cocofina Organic Coconut and Cocoa Bars - Giveaway #51

Organic Snack Bar
Some of you may remember the splendid coconut products I reviewed a few weeks ago from Cocofina. One of the products was a 40g coconut and cocoa snack bar which is organic, nutritious and very very tasty.

Cocofina have kindly offered up a box of these bars to one lucky Chocolate Log Blog reader - I am trying not to be too envious and I've sworn I won't enter the competition incognito. The box contains 24 bars and is worth £35.76.

To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Gleam widget below. You will need to leave a comment on this post, answering the question, which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Gleam will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of all entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified as well as any that fail to follow instructions correctly. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.

Coconut & Cocoa Bars

Prizes are offered and provided by Cocofina and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.

Closing date is Wednesday 24 September 2014

Do take a look at the Chocolate Log Blog giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

Cocofina Bars

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