real deal chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

I screamed when I finally cracked this recipe. What can I say? I scream for ice scream.

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I especially like to give a long, piercing cry of happiness for rich, smooth, ridiculously chocolatey ‘real deal’ chocolate ice cream sprinkled with crunchy chocolate-covered espresso beans which pack an intense coffee punch. With a side of chocolate-covered frozen banana slices topped with chopped salted peanuts. With a side of chocolate, naturally.

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When it comes to vegan, Paleo ice cream, I’ve tried it all. Avocado, coconut milk, cashews – they were good, and they were definitely eaten, but they just weren’t right. A grainy texture, a funny aftertaste, or just simply odd, they didn’t live up to my chocolate ice cream expectations.

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So, naturally, I tried about twenty different variations of chocolate ice cream. All in the name of research, of course. Call me fastidious, but this is some seriously good ice cream. And the chocolate-covered espresso beans? Don’t even get me started.

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Rich, creamy, full of chocolate and deliciously healthy ice cream studded with bursts of full-bodied roasted Cambodian espresso beans. Silky smooth melt-in-your-mouth ice cream with crunchy nuggets of flavour – it really does call for the obligatory closed-eyed ‘mmm’ face. It only takes three ingredients, doesn’t require an ice cream maker, and is 87 calories with 2g of fat per serving. Read: you can eat the entire two-serving recipe without feeling the tiniest bit guilty.

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What are you still doing reading this?!

 

real deal chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans

by Alessandra Peters

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

    For the Ice Cream

    • 225ml unsweetened almond milk
    • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
    • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

    For the Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

    • 20 espresso beans, roasted
    • 50g dark chocolate, melted

    Instructions

    For the Ice Cream

    1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large microwave-proof bowl.

    2. Microwave for a minute, then whisk again until completely combined.

    3. Pour in to ice cube trays and freeze until solid, about 2-3 hours.

    4. Blend ‘ice cubes’ of chocolate mixture in a high-power blender until you get rich and creamy ice cream, scraping down as needed! It will turn in to a sort of chocolate shaved ice at first, but keep blending and it will come together.

    5. Freeze in an air-tight container until ready to use.

    For the Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans

    1. Dip the espresso beans individually in to the melted chocolate, then set on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.

    2. When all of them are dipped, place the tray in the fridge for ten minutes or so until the chocolate sets.

    3. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge until ready to use!

    To Assemble

    1. Scoop large scoops of ice cream into bowls.

    2. Sprinkle with chocolate-covered espresso beans.

    3. Serve and enjoy!

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    healthy snickers ice cream bars (vegan, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

    I’m not going to lie to you.

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    Most days, I would take my favourite green smoothie, full of green goodness and vitamins, over anything remotely processed without hesitation. But some days? Well, sometimes you just need a little creamy vanilla ice cream topped with smooth peanut butter and a sprinkle of crunchy chopped peanuts, all covered in chocolate, in your life. These bars are seriously good.

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    It’s a week until school starts again today, and I feel enervated just thinking about it. It’s been such a beautiful summer spent with those closest to me doing what I love most, and just the thought of getting up at too early an hour to even speak of makes me want to prolong summer for a few more years. I mean, what am I going to do when there’s no immediate access to healthy snickers ice cream bars if I’m feeling peckish?

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    Exactly. I know the title of this post is quite the oxymoron, but I’m almost positive that this is the healthiest frosty, rich vanilla-speckled ice cream slathered in soft, rich peanut butter and a myriad of peanut pieces dipped in deep, dark chocolate will ever be. The timid sweetness of the coconut milk vanilla ice cream and the powerful, daring punch of peanuts work so well huddled together under the shell of pleasantly cold and crunchy chocolate. Agave nectar gives the ice cream a touch of caramel-ish sweetness which ties everything together beautifully. Tantalising flavours swirl together to recreate that very familiar taste – you won’t even know it’s healthy. Promise.

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    I mean, who could resist that?! Sorry I’m not sorry.

    healthy snickers ice cream bars (SCD, GAPS, candida diet, anti-candida diet, 21DSD)

    by Alessandra Peters

    Prep Time: 30 minutes (+ 3 hours chilling

     

    Ingredients (makes 8 bars)

      For the Ice Cream

      • 1 can full fat coconut milk
      • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
      • 3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 2 whole vanilla beans, seeds only

      For the Peanut Layer

      • 5 tablespoons natural peanut butter, warmed until soft and gooey
      • a handful of unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

      For the Chocolate Layer

      • 12 ounces dark chocolate, melted
      • 1 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

      Instructions

      1. To make the ice cream, place all ingredients in to a bowl and whisk until well combined. If you have an ice cream maker, set it to ‘soft serve’ and make the ice cream. If you don’t, simply pour the mixture in to an 8×8 inch dish lined with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours. If using the ice cream maker, scoop the ice cream into an 8×8 inch dish lined with plastic wrap when it is done and freeze for at least an hour.

      2. Take the ice cream out of the freezer. Spread your melted peanut butter over the ice cream in an even layer then sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Put back in to the freezer for another 10-15 minutes. Take it out again and lift the mixture out of the dish. Unwrap the block of ice cream, then carefully cut it in half horizontally. Cut into four vertically to make eight equally sized bars.

      3. Refreeze these bars while you prepare your chocolate! I like to melt mine over a double boiler, watching carefully to ensure it doesn’t burn. Add the coconut oil once the chocolate has melted completely. Make sure that you have a prepared baking tray lined with baking paper to place the dipped bars on, then take the bars out of the freezer.

      4. Dip the bars in to the chocolate quickly, turning the bar round so that it gets an even layer of chocolate. Place on to the prepared tray, then repeat until all the bars are dipped. Once the chocolate has hardened, you can either place all of the bars in to an airtight container or wrap them in waxed paper individually to store. Re-freeze until ready to serve

      5. To serve, take the bars out of the fridge and let them defrost in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This way, the ice cream softens slightly so that they’re easier to eat! Enjoy!

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      chocolate mousse (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

      Chocolate mousse. Delicious, healthy, lusciously smooth, rich, velvety chocolate mousse. Seriously. 

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      Sometimes, all you want is a thick, sleek spoonful of indulgence. The deep, dark notes of chocolate enriched with the light, sweet, airy tones of creamy whipped coconut, unique, fragrant vanilla bean seeds which speckle everything with tiny black flecks and the crunch of bitter cacao nibs dance with the tongue in a slow, romantic waltz as this creamy chocolate mousse rolls around your mouth. Ribbons of indulgent sweetness mixed with thick, lusciously rich chocolate create a real magic moment in these busy, bustling summer days.
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      The abyssopelagic flavours meld together in a way as beautiful as a child’s imagination. I couldn’t believe it when I first tasted it; starting off as a simple coconut whipped cream to top the remnants of the raspberries I picked a few days ago, my affinity to chocolate led me to throw in a handful of cacao, and from that moment onwards, things just got better and better in that kitchen.
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      I’m absolutely not ashamed to admit that I’ve taken a liking to inhaling the entire recipe within a few minutes; it’s quite incredible.

      chocolate mousse (GAPS, SCD, coconut milk chocolate mousse, vegan, Paleo, health, organic)

      by Alessandra Peters

      Prep Time: 10 minutes

      Ingredients (serves 2)

      • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
      • 1/2 cup cacao powder
      • 4 tbsp agave nectar
      • 1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out with the back of a knife
      • cacao nibs, to serve (optional)

      Instructions

      1. Take the two cans of coconut milk out of the fridge. Turn them upside down, then open both with a can opener. Pour the coconut water into a container for later usage – I love using it for smoothies in the mornings – then scoop out the thick white coconut cream at the bottom of the can and place into a large bowl.

      2. Using a hand whisk, whisk for 1-2 minutes until you achieve a fluffy mixture which holds stiff peaks. Alternatively, use a stand mixer and mix for about 20 seconds.

      3. Take out around three tablespoons of coconut whipped cream and put it in a separate bowl to use as a garnish. In the larger bowl, add the cacao powder, agave nectar, and vanilla bean seeds, then whip again until fully incorporated.

      4. Divide the mixture between two large ramekins or glasses. Take the coconut whipped cream which was set apart earlier, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle with the mixture, and pipe a swirl on top of each serving of chocolate mousse. Set the mousses in the fridge to set for an hour or so before serving. If using, sprinkle with cacao nibs at the last minute.

      5. Enjoy!

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      chocolate macaroons (grain-free, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

      I can live without most foods – I think being intolerant to over 72 foods proves that – but chocolate? I opine that chocolate is cathartic to the soul. I have been making my own chocolate for a year or so now and I can absolutely, positively declare that I will never, ever revert to the greasy, pathetic ‘chocolate’ sold in the shops. Seriously, try it; it’s incredible. Also, I’ve never had a macaroon.

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      What?! I’ve never had a macaroon?! No, I haven’t. I know. How did the mixture of gloriously crunchy desiccated coconut, fluffy mounds of whipped egg whites and sweet, familiar sugar escape my grasp in the fourteen years I’ve been on this planet? And guess what? I don’t think I’ll ever taste a ‘traditional’ macaroon. Why would I want to revert to refined, over-processed sugar and whites of a chicken’s unfertilised eggs? I really don’t. How about a wholesome, healthy, and deliciously tasty chocolatey macaroon which is incredibly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside? ‘Hark!’ the kitchen angels sing!

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      Throw together some crunchy desiccated coconut, silky, smooth coconut oil, rich and creamy coconut milk, sweet and mild agave nectar, dark, deep cacao powder, and heavenly vanilla extract, mix it up, scoop it together, and bake. Done. The perfect little bites for when you’re craving a dose of chocolate.

      The usual caveats here: these are so utterly yummy that if you’re watching what you eat (or if you’re sensible enough to think that you really shouldn’t be eating 12 macaroons in a day – well done to you), you’ll want to freeze some for later. Trust me, they’re just too tempting!

      Loosely adapted from the wonderful Jenni at The Urban Poser!

      chocolate macaroons

      by Alessandra Peters

      Prep Time: 5 minutes

      Cook Time: 10 minutes

      Keywords: dairy-free egg-free gluten-free grain-free paleo soy-free sugar-free vegan

      Description: Delicious, dark, and chocolatey macaroons full of goodness! Made with three types of coconut, a splash of agave, and some cacao powder, these are as pure as you’ll get when it comes to macaroons!

      Ingredients (12 macaroons)

      • 2 cups fine desiccated coconut
      • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
      • 1/3 cup coconut oil
      • 1/4 cup cacao powder
      • 1/3 cup agave nectar
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract

      Instructions

      1. Preheat your oven to 320/160 degrees.

      2. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl until everything is well incorporated.

      3. Using a small ice cream scoop, melon baller, or teaspoon, scoop out macaroon mixture, making sure to press the mixture right down into the scooper before releasing onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper which has been greased with a bit of coconut oil.

      4. Bake for 9-10 minutes, but keep your eye on them! They burn quickly.

      5. Let rest for 10 minutes before you handle them so that they can firm up.

      6. Enjoy!

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      chocolate caramel pie (vegan, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

      Some things were not meant for sharing. This rich and gooey marriage of soft caramel, light and smooth chocolate mousse, and a sweet dark chocolate pie crust certainly wasn’t.

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      Avocado in chocolate mousse? Refrigerating coconut milk for caramel? Dates and almonds in a pie crust? You wouldn’t be mistaken if you thought summer holiday had fried my brain. Although it has, the weird and wonderful ingredients in this pie somehow manage to come together and create a truly delicious slice of heavenly healthiness. I went there.

      In other news, I’m officially a Daring Baker! Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies!

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      I love how pies like this come together in a matter of minutes with a bit of prep. Remember the days of cutting cold butter into flour and having to wait hours before being able to enjoy the fruits of your labour? Me neither. Simply make my simple caramel sauce and the pie crust before breakfast in the morning and you’ll have pie when you get home. It’s as simple as that; there’s nothing like pie!

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      Chocolate Caramel Pie (vegan, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

      by Alessandra Peters

      Ingredients (serves 18)

        For the Crust

        • 200g almonds
        • 8 large pitted Medjool dates
        • 50g cacao powder
        • 2 teaspoons water

        For the Caramel

        • 65g cane sugar
        • 1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight (at least 12 hours)

        For the Chocolate Mousse

        • two large avocados
        • 250ml pure maple syrup
        • 150g cacao powder

        Instructions

        For the Crust

        1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until fine and it just holds together. Press into an 8-inch, 20cm fluted tart pan. Chill the base for about 20 minutes.

        For the Caramel

        1. Take out your can of coconut milk and open it. Carefully scoop out the top layer of ‘cream’ into a separate bowl until you are left with coconut water.

        2. Heat the cane sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat until lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Don’t stir it – simply shake the pan a bit! Very carefully, remove the pan from the heat and add in the coconut cream teaspoon by teaspoon. Watch out as it will splatter! Add in the coconut until it has all been dissolved, whisking as you go. Bring to a boil again (3-4 minutes) until it thickens slightly. Pour the mixture into a glass jar and let cool, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Place in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.

        For the Chocolate Mousse

        1. Process all the ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth and chocolatey! Taste it, and if it tastes of avocado, add in an additional tablespoon of maple syrup and a tablespoon of cacao powder.

        2. Process again and keep going until it tastes rich, dark, and divine! Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

        To Assemble

        1. Prepare the caramel at least 4 hours in advance and the base about an hour in advance. Take out the pie base, then slather it with the caramel sauce! Top with chocolate ‘mousse’, then serve! You can prepare it up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge.

        I topped the pie with a caramel tuile made from the additional sugar I had when I was making the caramel – I simply took a fork, and guided the sugar into a pattern on some greaseproof paper. I let it set for 10 minutes and then garnished my pie with it!

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