I put this together when I was under the weather (ta Covid 😓) and needed something very simple but uplifting.
Our lovely customer Dan, actually planted the seed months ago when he mentioned that he made an amazing banana bread using our cacao. This recipe is inspired by one crafted by Cookie and Kate (although we’ve switched out processed chocolate for our cacao).
If you’re not convinced, here’s feedback from Adam: “It’s better than good, it’s great. The banana and the cacao are competing for your taste buds. So bouncy and fluffy. Just so fluffy.” As chef, I was pretty happy with that.
✨ ⅓ cup melted coconut oil/extra-virgin olive oil/high quality vegetable oil ✨ ½ cup sweetener (we used agave, but you can use maple syrup or honey) ✨ 2 eggs (we made a vegan flaxseed replacement, which worked a treat) ✨ 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx 2 ½ medium bananas) ✨ ¼ cup oak milk ✨ 1 tsp baking soda ✨ 1 tsp vanilla extract ✨ ½ tsp salt ✨ ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top ✨ 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour (white or regular) ✨ Yummy bits: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts/cacao chunks, chopped dried fruit…
Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. (We didn’t have one and just used a cake tin and it still worked out great).
In a large bowl, whisk the oil and sweetener together. Add the eggs (or egg replacement) and whisk together well. Whisk in the mashed bananas and milk.
Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend.
Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined.
Add any of the additional yummy bits (nuts/cacao) in now.
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. (Usually closer to 60 mins if you have added additional yummy bits like nuts or cacao). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least 10 minutes. Cool before slicing and devouring!
We thought it would be useful to set some guidelines around how much cacao paste to add for your daily brew. This guidance draws upon our experience and personal recommendations, but each of us is different. As with any fine brew – feeeeel into the process. Try different strengths and flavours. You’ll soon know the optimal amount depending on the time and occasion.
There are lots of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right amount for you. Depending on your metabolism, size, sensitivity to stimulants, and how clean your diet is in general, cacao will effect you in different ways. A two a day coffee drinker is likely to have a different experience to someone who strictly sticks to water and herbal teas.
If you don’t want cacao to interfere with your sleep, then we don’t recommend more than 1 Tbsp after 2pm.
If you are new to drinking cacao, especially if you aren’t a coffee drinker, then we would recommend starting with 1 Tbsp. Our personal preference is to drink our cacao thick (like a Turkish coffee), so when we prepare a gentle serving we will normally decrease the amount of liquid in this brew. (As a general rule: always start with LESS liquid and add more if your cacao is too thick).
If you want to cosy up with cacao in the evening, then we would also recommend a gentle serve. As you may already know, cacao gives us an energetic boost which is fabulous for the morning and midday, but not ideal if we want to get an early night.
2 Tbsp is our day to day go to. It provides a lovely long lasting boost, but without the jitters. I usually drink 2 Tbsp of cacao every morning (spiced in different ways, according to my mood – check out our earlier post about how to spice/sweeten your cacao).
This amount of cacao can bring enhanced alertness and also kick start creative juices. Often my colleagues will see me on our morning Zoom catch up with cacao in hand, it’s the perfect brew to dust the cobwebs from my eyes and embrace the day with fresh zeal.
What we can say for sure, is to approach a full ceremonial dose with caution. A ceremonial dose cacao is intentionally intended to be felt in the body, particularly for the heart opening effects. We’ve experienced many ceremonies celebrated with the consumption of cacao, and found ourselves too alert for sleep (we took this as an opportunity for more singing and meditation, but this might not be for everyone!)
The invitation is really to experiment for yourself and most importantly, to enjoy it!
While living in Mexico, we mastered the art of creating our own peanut butter. We were inspired by Celia, a tremendously inspiring Mother & Grandmother, who we served alongside in the kitchen. Celia roasted & blended the peanuts at home and then brought in tubs of mouth-watering peanut butter that she sold to hungry yogis & meditators. Since then, we’ve spent years perfecting the perfect peanut blend. It’s exceptionally easy too – our fav, Minimalist Baker, has a great recipe on how to make your very own nut butter. For us, the only thing that pips our love of freshly made peanut butter is artisan cacao paste….
This recipe is a fantastic fusion of two of our favourite obsessions – home made peanut butter and cacao paste.
Peanut Butter filling
1 cup canned organic coconut cream
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave syrup)
Pinch of sea salt
100g Cacao Artesanos Cacao Paste
100ml melted coconut oil (plus extra)
2 generous tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave syrup)
1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped, toasted
Peanut Butter Filing
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and melt together, stirring constantly, until nice & runny.
2. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10–15 minutes.
3. Once slightly cooled, pour your mixture into a silicone, square ice-cube tray and transfer to the freezer to set for a minimum of one hour or until completely firm.
4. Melt the chocolate ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly, until thick and creamy. Set aside to cool slightly.
Remove one of the frozen peanut fillings from the mould and, using tongs, a spoon or even your fingers, dip it in the dipping chocolate.
Place on a wire rack and quickly top with the chopped peanuts and a pinch of salt. It’s recommended to work quickly before the chocolate sets. Repeat until you’ve coated all your peanut fillings. Transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes to chill and firm.
This is the trinity of divine: decadent cacao, sweet dates and crunchy coconut. And THEY’RE HEALTHY. Whip these bad boys up to impress your guests, or just treat yourself. These bliss balls also freeze really well, so you can make them advance and simply thaw when needed! We like to make a big batch every fortnight and just defrost a few each morning. Loaded with delicious Cacao Artesanos 100% pure cacao paste, these are the perfect pick-me up for when you need a wee energy boost.
12 Medjool dates
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup Cacao Artesanos 100% pure cacao paste
tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup extra shredded coconut for rolling
Prep the dates by placing them in a bowl and covering with water. Stand for an hour, drain and remove the seeds.
Process the soaked dates, almond meal, shredded coconut, coconut oil, cacao paste and chia seeds until the mixture comes together. Transfer to a bowl and allow to stand for 20 minutes – this will allow the chia seeds to soften.
Place the coconut you set aside for rolling into a bowl.
Measure out 1 tablespoon of the mixture, (a level tablespoon), into balls. Roll the balls into the shredded coconut to coat. Hey presto!
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