As I write this, I am somewhere in the gorgeous Wiltshire countryside on retreat, looking after a group of 15 people. My job is to create conscious cuisine all week long, taking care of our guests when they’ve finished their sessions in the studio or out in the field (their group work sessions could involve anything from chakra meditation, inner self healing, to deep karmic energy work whilst I am busy creating away in the kitchen).
It means a lot to me, to nurture our guests! I never quite know what the moment is going to inspire, but I do know that my food will always be chock full or nourishment, it will have a great energy to it and is always made with a big heart full of love.
Conscious cuisine all plays an important part of the spiritual journey, nurturing, nourishing and shining a light of compassion and love.
This is a new recipe that I came up with on retreat. My guests adored it, so I am, of course delighted to introduce you to my Raw Chocolate Covered Cardamom Slices! Absolutely delectable.
So, what’s the big deal about cardamom?
The star of the show here is cardamom. It’s divine! It’s funny how I really got into this incredible spice though. I was homeschooling my son (back in the day) and this particular time, he was creating a spicy rice dish or something. I would let him go out and acquire his own ingredients, inspired by whatever he discovered or felt a pull to. This fine day he came back with cardamom seeds, in their pods. “Hmmmm I thought. Surely not as easy as using it pre-ground from the jar – but I know my son must have a good reason for this”.
I observed with curiosity, eager to learn something new (homeschooling was never about teaching, it was all about learning new stuff together)…
OMG! First there was the aroma. It flooded the kitchen with a sweet, zesty spicy fragrance. Then there was the infusion of flavour… a world apart from the pre ground stuff. It was alive, vibrant and just WOW, in a way that was always rapidly lost through the pre-ground cardamom. I’ve been using the pods ever since. It has totally transformed my culinary experience of spices. If you keep the seeds in their pods, they essentially keep all of their special, fragrant qualities, oils and magic, until exactly the moment you need to unleash them into their fullness. If you haven’t yet discovered cardamom pods, you are in for a real treat.
Watch my quick video here to see how easy they are to use and for extra info and tips…
More on the health benefits of cardamom and where to buy them from in my article here:
All About Cardamom and it’s Health Benefits
OK, Raw Chocolate Covered Cardamom Slice Recipe – here we go!
This treat is surprisingly easy to make, especially if you have a food processor (a simple, inexpensive one will do) or a high powered blender. You’ll need a loaf tin (or similar sized container) and parchment paper. They’re made with super healthy ingredients. They’re also naturally gluten-free, vegan and without refined sugar, as you’d expect in the Conscious Kitchen!
- 75g sunflower seeds (1/2 cup)
- 75g cashew nuts (1/2 cup)
- 175g pitted dates (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 10 cardamom pods
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grind sunflower seeds and cashew nuts down in a food processor. They don't need to be finely ground (somewhere between roughly ground and finely ground works best for this).
- Toss in the dates (if your dates are very hard then you will need to soak for a little while ahead of time). Blend in the processor until the dates are starting to break down (enough so that the mixture starts sticking together when pressed between your fingers).
- Remove the outer pods from your cardamom and then use a pestle and mortar to grind down the seeds finely (or alternatively remove the pods and repeatedly chop over with a sharp heavy knife until finely chopped). Watch my video above to see how best to do this with cardamom pods.
- Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon and vanilla to the food processor and blend for a few more seconds until everything is mixed together nicely.
- Line a 2lb (1kg) loaf tin (or similar sized container) with parchment paper and press the entire mixture into it firmly. It’s important to compress firmly to make sure that everything holds together to perfection. Try to compress fairly evenly (this will help the chocolate to sit on it well too). Pop it into the freezer (or fridge) to chill whilst you make the chocolate. Chilling is not essential yet, although if the slice does get cold, the chocolate will set a lot faster when you pour it on - yay!
- Gently melt the coconut oil and then mix in the cacao, coconut sugar and vanilla extract.
- Pour the 'chocolate' that you've just made on top of your base and then pop in to the freezer or fridge to rapidly set.
- It is ready to slice and serve as soon as the chocolate sets (usually a couple of minutes).
- You can store this in a fridge in a sealed container for a few days or you can store in a freezer for a few weeks (it also serves right out of the freezer, with no or very little defrost time required at all).
Pin for later…
Let me know how you get on in the comments below and please feel free to ask any questions.