Raw Chocolate Mousse

Since today is another snow day, I figured I would share one of my all time favorite recipes. I found this in the book Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis. If you haven’t seen this book, here’s what it looks like so you can pick it up the next time you’re raw book shopping:

If you remember, a long time ago, I posted a picture of the Raw Food Real World Lasagne. It was amazing. If you want to take a trip back on memory lane, see my old father’s day dinner post!

But today is all about the chocolate mousse. If for no other reason, you’ll want to pick up the book just for this recipe!

Maybe it was the sex appeal that Sarma brings to the facing page that makes this just a pit more savory. I guess I also have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for fuzzy pink sweaters. But the pig tails?  Ah, no thanks.  J 

The hardest part about making this recipe is finding the Young Thai Coconuts. I’ve always got my eyes out for a sale, but that doesn’t seem to happen enough. This time, I found a few that looked good and healthy (See How to pick out a good coconut). The big surprise I had came when I opened them and found that there was lots of great coconut meat that I could make mousse with!  Thus, check out the picture in the measuring cup. I opened them earlier in the day, poured a little coconut water over them and wrapped them up so that it would be no problem when it came time to put it all together.

Notice the test-tube in the crease of the book. One change that I make in their recipe is that I use the scraping of one vanilla bean rather than the liquid vanilla extract. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you don’t get any chemical taste in the final spoon full.

And I love the fact that you just throw everything in the blender and whip it up!

The only thing you really have to look out for is getting coconut shell in the blender. Thus, when you remove the meat from the shell, look it over closely. I’ve missed some shell before and it totally ruins the emotional effect that this dessert lets you experience. You really don’t want to break up the bliss.

I’ve learned that a little goes a long way with this recipe.

I now pick out reasonably small containers to let it both set up in and serve in. These little ramekins work great.

I can’t wait for the next sale on Young Thai Coconuts just so I can make this dessert again!


Raw Chocolate Dipped Truffles

Today, winter officially arrived with a morning rain and afternoon snowstorm. It was just above freezing, so what fell came down in large flakes and quickly covered everything. Fortunately the cloud only took an hour to pass by so the snowpack came in around a half inch. It’s beautiful to look at, but you don’t want to venture out.

Thus, it’s a great day to make truffles! … and eat them too!

A few days ago I went hunting for a really easy raw truffle recipe that would only take a half hour or so from start to finish. I looked around a bit, but didn’t find anything that caught my eye until I visited Lisa’s Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) blog. If you haven’t noticed, that blog has been linked in here for nearly a year! I love her commitment to the blog and how well she puts together the artwork. It’s just fun to read and beautiful to look at.

Yet, anyway, if you scroll back a bit in her blog, you’ll find that on the 2nd, the menu included a dessert – Double Chocolate Truffles! When I saw what she posted, I immediately new that I’d found the truffles I’d been looking for.

Today, everything came together in such a fine way that I got to make this recipe my own. And yes, they are as good as they look – but I couldn’t settle for just eight, so I kind of doubled the recipe. I wanted to give away a few and cut down on the chocolate just a little (I’m virtually out now, … need to visit Raw Vegan Source again). Too much raw chocolate will keep you up all night. So I almost doubled everything that Lisa shared with the world (except the cacao). Here is my version!

Recipe – Raw Chocolate Dipped Truffles:

Truffle balls:

  • 1 cup soaked (dried) raw almonds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup (8) medjool dates (pitted)
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • Scrapings of the inside of one vanilla bean
  • Pinch salt

Chocolate Dip:

  • 4 Tablespoons melted raw coconut oil
  • 4 Tablespoons raw agave
  • 4 Tablespoons Raw cacao powder

Soak a bit more than a cup of almonds for 4-6 hours before starting. Rinse and dry completely so as to not add any water to the mixture (cacao and water don’t mix).

To make the balls, add the almonds, raisins, salt and scrapings from the inside of the vanilla bean into the food processor and grind up. After you’ve worked it a bit, add the dates. You’ll need to play with it a bit in order to really get it broken down nicely. Once it’s nice and smooth, roll into small truffles and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. You just want to get them cold, not frozen. Meanwhile, it gives you time to cleanup and put together the dip.

For the dip, add all three ingredients (oil, agave and cacao powder) and quickly mix. It doesn’t take much, but make sure you don’t have lumpy cacao. That makes mixing it up a little harder to do.

After the balls have cooled and your chocolate dip is ready, roll the bottom of the cold truffle through the melted chocolate and place it on parchment paper. The coconut oil should quickly firm up. It might take a couple more minutes in the freezer, but they’ll look like this:

And as you can see from the first picture (way above), I thoroughly enjoyed that treat! The ball is mildly sweet and a soft nutty chew. You have to hunt for the vanilla and the chocolate flavor is tame allowing you to actually discern the raisins. The Chocolate glaze is powerfully dark and rich. It makes you want to suck on it just a bit before chewing through the rest of it.

This is truly a winter time treat!

Oh, I never like throwing out anything – especially when it comes to raw chocolate!

I just happened to have a few soaked almonds left over that I rolled through the bowl that I used for dipping the truffles and I wound up with … turtles!

These were amazing too! These were the first things to disappear. There is something about sweet chocolate on almonds that I just can’t pass up. Now, if I’d just used cacao butter rather than coconut, these would have firmed up at room temperature. But no worries for they disappeared within about five minutes!

These truffles really did mix up fast with no fuss. I’d highly recommend them if you’ve got a craving!

Make and experience joy – these truffles just might help!

A Good Day

How many times have you said good day to someone and not really thought about it? Some people speak these works with good intent, yet they are hollow. The essence that should back this phrase should be felt. It is a greeting (or farewell) that is only as good as the energy used to fill it – which is all too often, weak and forgettable.

The challenge to really having a good day is not so much a challenge for it to be good to you but rather a challenge to yourself to really see the day for what it is! It is a matter of perspective. It is a matter of awareness.

Each moment in each day is the correct time to experience life as it should be – felt. You, being a great receptor of life, have the ability to consciously feel every nuance of every moment. It is a choice you make. It is something that you do. It comes with active participation. It is what we do.

Your eyes are one of the most brilliant feeling organs that we have, for they can feel invisible (smaller then microscopic) light that has (nearly instantaneously) traveled great distances to bring us one beautiful wavelength of energy. That energy tickles our retina so as to allow our bodies to reconstruct that photon into the image that makes up this very moment of life.

I’m not sure exactly what lead me to the following video, but I’m grateful that it came my way. It is both beautiful and heartwarming at the same time. It’s meditative and remember- able. I absolutely love the closing words of the old man “…And then, it will really be, a good day.”

I encourage you to watch this Louie Schwartzberg presentation, of a trailer, of a project that he’s working on (or worked on) for it feels like the project we are all currently working on with ourselves everyday!

I hope that this video touches you with as much sweetness as it brings to me.

May every one of your days be filled with moments that are as glorious as the moments that are brought to our attention in this wonderful video.

New Year’s Resolutions

Well, today’s the first day of 2012! The start of a new calendar year which isn’t too far off of the rise of the new solar cycle (tilt of the earth).  

But that’s not what brings me to the blog today. What brings me here is the observation that people seem to hate New Year’s resolutions. I don’t blame them. It seems pretty natural to not feel good about things that you don’t complete – if the resolutions that are made on New Year’s eve continually fail to come to life it would make sense that the emotions associated with resolutions would be inharmonious.

Last night, I got to do a little research into this feeling regarding resolutions at a New Year’s party. Absolutely everyone that I asked refused to make a New Year’s resolution sighting the fact that they refused to hold onto any previous New Year’s resolution that they’d ever made. This tradition made them feel like a failure.

It’s sad that this tradition made them feel like this. At the same time, it’s completely understandable. The pattern of failure is pretty pronounced so why would anyone want to make another resolution? I mean, if they did they might consider themselves a bit insane – for the common definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!

Well, I guess I might be a little insane.

Or maybe, I don’t see the New Year’s resolutions that I make as ways to set myself up for failure.

I see New Year’s resolutions as a seed of thought that gets planted in the heart of winter that you tend to throughout the year and, in time, that seed grows into what you originally crafted. And at the same time, I tend to select New Year’s resolutions that are in line with that I really want to do! I mean, who wants to do something they don’t want to do?

When selected correctly, that intentional commitment helps shape who you are. It’s an opportunity to keep on growing your spirit. It affirms your own strength and aligns your actions with intention. Ultimately, it is an uplifting process when done correctly.

Brother Sangha

This is where some people just need a little encouragement!

A short while ago, I came across a video that stuck with me from Brother Echo. I subscribed to his channel and found a nice inspirational video that I just have to share. This video is just over 14 minutes long, but it’s heart-felt and genuine. I highly recommend giving it some time.

Watching this guy is entertaining for he’s so dramatic and in tune with the words that he chooses. I especially like the part where his energy really opens up 11:30 minutes in. His sincerity shines through to the viewer in a way that can actually be felt. At the end, his wish for people to find that little jewel within themselves and let it shine is genuinely heart-felt and realistically doable.

On a personal level, his wish for mankind is in line with one of my own commitments which is another reason for making this blog post today. I’ve thought about them and will choose a few words to help bring these energies into manifestation.


Make more heart-felt eye contact with other people. It might seem strange to make this a commitment, but when I reflect upon how I’ve interacted in the past, the most treasured moments are those where I’ve let others feel the energy of my spirit via eye contact. This type of energy exchange is dynamic and immediate. There is no need for words and it is something that both people feel. Part of the process is to acknowledge that the energy experience occurred and to actively participate in keeping it alive for as long as what feels comfortable. Thus, I call this one of my New Year’s resolutions and it’s to actively share my spirit with others via eye contact.

 Now for a couple lesser resolutions.

Become a certified yoga instructor and teach yoga. That’s right, I’m going to put the energy into studying yoga so as to get the standard yoga alliance certification at the 200 hour level and I’m going to start teaching. The only thing that’s held me back to the commitment with regards to making it happen. Thus, the action item for me here is to find a program that will teach me the basics and actually do the work. I know that the correct teacher(s) will be available for me and the time needed for study will open up so as to make this a fantastic experience and, maybe more importantly, I see opportunities in teaching yoga that allows for interacting with others spiritually that doesn’t happen when your focused on being the student. I feel the energy is available for performing this task and the timing feels right.

And another…

Start producing videos for my blog. This one is a very simple first step resolution with regards to opening up more on a virtual level. The mechanics of it is to get a simple video camera where I can record myself, edit the video and place it on the web. The reason why this is a resolution is that it involves overcoming photo centric fears regarding seeing and hearing myself in a recording! Thus at the heart of this resolution is to find the truths in seeing myself on camera – are the thoughts that I carry with me the truth or not? I will get to analyze these feelings with this resolution. I know I can overcome this insecurity and this year feels like a great time to get that done!

That’s it. Looking these resolutions over, they seem really simple. They just seem like something you shouldn’t have to think about but rather just do. Thus, I’m going to just do these things and help myself grow a little more over the coming year.

Now is the time to make these things happen.

If Brother Echo inspires you to write down a goal for the upcoming year, I’m excited for you. The only time we change is in the now moment. Every little decision that we make leads us one step further on our journey. I’d encourage you to pick out something that you want to really see happen and feel if the energy is aligned to make it happen. If so, make it happen. Just like Brother Echo says, it’s your choice!

Good day!