Monday, 7 December 2015


Chocolate chocoalte chocolate. Yes, I am bit obsessed by chocolate lately, but I couldn’t help to share with you this awesome recipe for the most delicious (and healthy!) pudding EVER!

Only two ingredients and ready in less then one minute. You just need to blend the two ingredients together in an high speed blender and, like magic, you end up with the most delightful chocolate dessert you have never tasted.

So, are you curious to know which are the two ingredients?
I am sure you are!

One ingredient is raw cacao powder and the second one is...persimmons!
You won’t believe how delicious can be such a odd combination!

How they can hold together? Well, thanks its pectin content.
While blending persimmons in the food processor, its sugar content and the pectin warms up and the cacao powder works as a binder as well crating this incredible pudding-like persim-choco-pudding!

These persimmons might look weird, but they are from the tree of a friend of mine and they are suuuuper-organic and ripened on the tree. Their are so flavorful and their texture is just wow!

Pectin: good for your pudding and good for you!

Pectin is is a gelatinous substance, also present in apples, which is usually used as a thickening to make jams. 

Pectin, more specifically, is a soluble fiber. As all soluble fibers, it is helpful in lowering serum cholesterol and remove fat from the gastrointestinal tract.

In particular pectin is useful in managing diabetes because it slows the absorption of food after meals. It removes unwanted metals and toxins and help to lessen the side effects of radiation therapy. Pectin also help to lower cholesterol and to reduce the risk of heart disease and gallstones.


make 3-4 small puddings

1 cup of persimmon flash
2 cups of raw cacao powder

- Add the two ingredients to a high speed blender and blend for 10 seconds.
- Transfer the mixture to plastic molds. Be quick because it thickens pretty quickly!
- Let it cool in the fridge for half an hour. You can also enjoy it straight away if you wish!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


Have you ever tried to make your own chocolate?
If you never tried because you thought it was not your stuff or because you thought it was too difficult to make, from today on you won’t have any excuse!
Probably a maitre chocolatier would be horrified in listening how I temper my chocolate, but well, it works and it works pretty well too.
You might ask why should you make your own chocolate. Here I have three good reasons:
First of all, because it is much fun;
Second, because you can use coconut sugar instead of the super-refined white sugar;
Third, because buying raw chocolate is usually very expensive.
I do have a forth reason, though: you should give it a try because it is so damn delicious that you won’t buy any chocolate bar anymore! I promise.

Furthermore you can “personalize” it as you like, by adding maca, mesquite or cinnamon powder for example or toasted hazelnuts, almonds, cacao beans or salt on top.
You can basically make any flavor you like. Be creative!

As you may know already, the most difficult part in making chocolate is tempering it. You should have a marble table, but because I bet most of you, like myself, don’t have it -sigh!-, I found a very easy and accessible way to temper my chocolate. What do I use? Well, I use a big aluminum bowl -like the one you can find at IKEA- and it works great.

Since we are getting closer to Christmas, I thought of posting this recipe so that you might use this raw chocolate as a presents for your loved ones. Who doesn’t like chocolate, after all?

Raw Cacao: is it a superfood?

There are two different way of thinking regarding chocolate.

According to some people raw chocolate has to be considered a “drug” -like coffee, cocaine and marijuana for example- because of its caffeine and theobramine content. Theobramine stimulates the central nervous system, possibly creating addiction. This is the main reason why some people doesn’t consider chocolate a superfood, but a stimulant. Furthermore chocolate contains oxalic acid, which reduces calcium absorption in the intestines.

According to others, though, chocolate is a “magic” food because of its high content of antioxidants -which are taught to play a major role in the absorption of free radicals that can damage our cells and tissues-, and minerals. The most abundant mineral is magnesium, known as the “anti-stress mineral”, making in very important for relaxing our muscles and our mood.

So what should we do? As latins used to say “In media stat virtus” which means that you can enjoy it, but in moderation.

Note that I spoke of RAW chocolate -or RAW cacao-, which is way different from commercial cocoa powder used to make sweet treats. Also common chocolate bars are not made with raw chocolate, so they only keep the negative effects discarding all the good once which is a shame. So, please stay away from commercial chocolate bars, rich in white sugar too, and enjoy them only once in a while. 


1 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw coconut sugar (powdered in a high speed blender)

2 tbs mesquite / maca powder or
2 tsp cinnamon / ginger powder
Sea salt flakes / cacao nibs / coconut sugar / toasted hazelnuts / almonds

- If you have a block of cacao butter, grate it or cut it in small pieces with a knife.
- Melt cacao butter in a metal bowl over water filled pot or stovetop at low heat (you should never heat over 110 °F or 45°C).
- Stir until all lumps are gone and take off the heat. Stir in cacao powder and stir to make sure you dispel all powder lumps. Than add coconut sugar. Whisk vigorously until smooth -you can also transfer it in a high speed blender if you wish-.
- Transfer to a large metal bowl and using a spatula, rapidly spread the mixture along the entire surface of the bowl in order to lower its temperature (tempering). Keep tempering the chocolate until the bowl is cold.
- Line a baking try with paper parchment and pour tempered chocolate over it. Spread it heavenly with the help of a spatula. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once the chocolate is set, turn out onto serving platters or wrap nicely.
- You can keep it both in or out of the fridge.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


When I was a little girl my mum used to make a chocolate and vanilla cake I loved so much. I remember myself eating it for breakfast with my huge cup of tea.
Did you say, “for breakfast”? mmmmm...Yes, I did.
I don’t know if you are familiar with Italian breakfast, but the typical one is milk or caffè-latte (milk with a splash of coffee) with cookies or a homemade cake. Yes, lots and lots of sugars! I know. 
A big cup of oatmeals with plant milk, a green smoothie or a slice of wholegrain bread with avocado is way healthier, but you know, changing habits is never easy and changing Italian’s mind about breakfast is almost impossible: they want their cookies or a slice of a cake with their milk. Stop.

I was saying then that that cake was delicious and what I loved the most was the fact that it was thick, very think. I love cake to be thick if you missed something!
It was made with all purpose flour, sugar, eggs and butter, like all the “normal” cakes.
Unfortunately I found out to be celiac height years ago and my mum has never made it since. Sigh.

But there is a good news! I finally found the perfect balance of ingredients to make it gluten-free and way healthier then the original one: no butter, no refined sugar and no eggs. Yeah! And I promise, it is D E L I C I O U S! This is one of those recipes I really urge you to make. You can’t fail. You can only enjoy!

Difference between cacao powder and cocoa powder

You can basically get three different powders from grinding chocolate beans:
The most nutritious is raw cacao powder, which retains all the antioxidants cacao is rich in and also its very high content of magnesium, the “anti-stress mineral” -it has a relaxant effect in the body-. Raw cacao powder is obtained by unroasted chocolate beans.

Then you can get natural cocoa powder, obtained from roasted chocolate beans. After grinding it is not further processed and keeps the acidity chocolate has and it has a milder brown color. It is fat free and sugar free. Most of the beneficial benefits of cacao are lost, but it still keeps the natural strong chocolate flavor.

The last and the worst one is the dutch processed cocoa powder, which is treated with an alkalizing agent to reduce the acidity -making it slightly sweeter- and to modify its color -it becomes deep brown-. This process gives it a milder and more palatable flavor, but remember, this is far away from the natural one!

So, which one should you use?

To make this cake, go for the natural cocoa powder. It doesn’t make sense to use the raw cacao powder and then cooking it. And please, stay away from the dutch processed one from now on!
Use the raw cacao powder to make raw teats or raw chocolate (recipe coming soon!).

Make a 7-inch (18 cm) diameter cake

1 cup (150 gr) of brown rice flour
2/3 cup (100 gr) buckwheat flour
1/3 cup (50 gr) shredder coconut
1/2 cup (50 gr) natural cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 generous pinch of salt
1/3 cup (60 ml) coconut oil
1 cup (240 ml) maple syrup (or raw honey)
3/4 cup (180 ml)water (or any unsweetened milk of your choice -nut, seeds, rice, soy)
1 tbs unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add shredded coconut and whisk to combine.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add the maple syrup, water (or milk of your choice) and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to remove any lumps. Add the vinegar and whisk quickly to incorporate.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin.
- Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the corner comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
After 30 minutes you might want to protect the top of the cake with an aluminum foil to prevent it to burn on the surface.

Monday, 23 November 2015


Have you ever tasted focaccia?
If yes, you already know how delicious it is, if not, you should definitely make it!
Focaccia is like a fluffy flat bread with olive oil and salt, and the traditional recipe calls for white flour, lots of olive oil, water, salt and yeast. In Genova, where I live and where they invented focaccia, everyone loves it. They usually eat it by itself, to make a sandwich instead of using bread or for breakfast when they dip it in milk or cappuccino -I know, it might sound a bit odd dipping something savory in cappuccino and if I told you that someone dips focaccia with onions in cappuccino, that would sound even worst!-.
Anyway, I said “they” because focaccia is usually made with flour containing gluten and it is pretty hard to make it gluten free. BUT, after a few tests in the kitchen, I finally found the perfect recipe to make a delicious gluten-free focaccia. It mets in your mouth and it is incredibly delicious. Trust me!

Using virgin olive oil in baking is not the best thing ever, but I could’t think about making focaccia with coconut oil instead! I decided that, when I bake my focaccia I will “forget” all the things I am learning in my Natural Nutrition course.

Why shouldn’t we use olive oil for cooking?

I report an extract of the great book “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill” wrote by the researcher, psychologist and nutritionist Udo Erasmus:
“Unsaturated fatty acids* are anti-mutagenic (saturated fatty acids** do not have this protective capacity). This means that they can protect the genetic material in our cells from damage (mutations) caused by toxic chemicals or destructive rays. More than 80% of the fatty acids that virgin (unrefined) olive oils contain are protective, unheated, mainly monounsaturated and some essential unsaturated fatty acids.
When these protective unsaturated fatty acids are heated above 150°C (302°F), not only do they lose their protective effects, but they become mutation-causing themselves.”
(*) Unsaturated fatty acids: mainly oils from vegetable source.
(**) Saturated fatty acids: mainly from animal source (butter, animal fat) and coconut oil.

So, what should we use for cooking?
The best fats to use for cooking are coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter - homemade from organic butter is better).
You can use olive oil for cooking over the stove as long as you add a little water to keep the temperature under control.


Make a 21x31 cm focaccia

1 cup (150 gr) brown rice flour
1 cup (75 gr) arrowroot flour
1/2 cup (60 gr) chickpea flour
2 tbs cold pressed virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp rice syrup
1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm unchlorinated water
2 tbs cold pressed virgin olive oil
3 tbs unchlorinated water
1 tsp rock sea salt

- Place the three flours and the dried yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the olive oil and stir again. Then add the water and the rice malt. Stir well with a fork until the mixture is smooth -it should be a bit thicker that the crepes mixture-.
- Line a high edges baking tray (21x31cm) with parchment paper and grease it with one tablespoon of olive oil heavenly spreading it with your hand.
- Add the mixture and spread it with a spatula.
- Cover the focaccia with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for at least two hours (4 hours is best).
- Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
- With your fingertips breaks the focaccia surface in a few spots.
- Whisk the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil and the 3 tbs of water and splash them over the focaccia with your hands (without touching the surface!).
- Crush the rock salt with a mortar and pestle or with the base of a glass and sprinkle it over the focaccia surface. (If you like it salty add more salt because there is none in the mixture).
- Bake for 10 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 360°F (180°C) and bake for further 10 to 12 minutes or until the surface of the focaccia is golden.