Many raw desserts use dates and cacao. Two foods that many people don’t know much about. But, both are considered superfoods and packed full of nutrition. Plus, they are versatile and can be made into scrumptious raw desserts. This blog has a recipe for raw chocolate “cheese” cake which is one of the best uses for dates and cacao.
Dates are packed with nutrition and are great for binding and sweetening desserts. The recipe in this blog uses dates to bind the raw crust and adds the sweetness to the crust. One little known fact about dates is they are a great source of iron. Many vegans are challenged to get enough iron in their diet and dates provide 5.3 mg per cup. Beef on the other hand only has 2.6 mg per 3.5 oz. All this fear about vegans not getting enough iron is clearly not an issue when you see that dates have more iron than beef. Other fruits that have iron include peaches, apricots, raisins and prunes. Surprisingly, sunflower seeds contain 8 mg of iron in 4 oz. The only down side is that many of these foods have more calories than other foods but when you are eating raw and plant based foods calories are not as much of an issue.
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate. Many times chocolate gets a bad rap but that’s because it is often mixed in with fatty milk and processed sugar. When you take the purest form of chocolate and mix it with agave it becomes a healthy food. Cacao has been found to be very high in antioxidant flavanoids, sulfur and magnesium. Plus, the essential fatty acids in cacao may help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. And, as for the reason we crave chocolate so much, it is full of theobromine which is a mild, non-addictive stimulant that may treat depression. So next time you feel a craving for chocolate reach for the cacao and feel the lift that you need.
And here is a great recipe to use if you want a fun and yummy way to get these foods in your body.
Vegan Raw Chocolate “Cheeze” Cake
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ¼ cup organic cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoon water, as needed
- Grind the almonds in a food processor.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and process to combine into crust.
- If mixture is too crumbly and dry, add a little water
- Press into the bottom of a round 9 inch pan. Set aside.
- 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup agave
- 1/2 cup water
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3/4 cups cacao powder
- Put cashews in food process and process until it is like cashew butter.
- Blend cashews, agave, water, vanilla and salt in blender.
- Add coconut oil to blender and blend in.
- Add cacao ¼ cups at a time until it is a smooth mixture.
- Pour mixture on top of crust.
- Freeze cake for 3 hours.
- Take out of freezer about an hour before serving.