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South Africa’s healthiest & most delicious dark chocolate (plus to-die-for wheat-free chocolate tart recipe!)

Cocoafair - Heinrich Kotze - CEO and Thelo Van Wyk - Executive Chocolatier

Heinrich Kotze – CEO and Thelo Van Wyk – Executive Chocolatier

A few weeks back I was invited to do a chocolate tour at CocoàFair in the Old Biscuit Mill. They are known for their decadent dark chocolates which are my favourite primal treats, so of course I jumped at the opportunity.

I took my Mom along with me and Heinrich kindly took us through his chocolate factory! It was like being a kid again, learning about the chocolate making process from seeing the actual whole cocoa pod and watching the art of chocolate making taking place before my very eyes.

Chocolate-Cocoafair

CocoàFair are Africa’s first Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory founded on social entrepreneurship, meaning that the profits from the company go back into Cape Town’s communities to support local initiatives.

Their values and ethics as a brand are something I truly admire about them. You know that when you purchase their (very reasonably priced) chocolate, you can feel good about the fact that CocoàFair is putting your money to use by paying fair wages to farmers producing the raw materials, creating employment opportunities, and starting projects driven by social innovation that will benefit the development of communities in South Africa.

When we began the chocolate tasting part of the tour, Heinrich said he would be starting out with the 95% dark chocolate – and I was preparing my taste buds for some major bitterness…

But when that chocolate hit my tongue, I couldn’t believe it – it’s not something I can explain, this chocolate is something you need to go and experience for yourself!

It’s also extremely healthy as far as chocolate goes as it has very little sugar and no other added preservatives. They try and keep their chocolate as pure and simple as possible.

For those who try to avoid sugar all together, they have some 100% cocoa mass, roasted cocoa beans or cocoa nibs for snack time.

Chocolate-Cocoafair2

I was super chuffed on discovering this little gem of a shop as after Macadamia nuts that pack in a good 76% of fat, cocoa beans come in at 55%. However to benefit from the high fat content (the more fat the better on a primal diet), you really need to be eating as dark a chocolate as possible, which has always been a big challenge for me as I’m not so fond of the bitter taste of the usual 90% dark chocs that I find on the shelves of local supermarkets.

He even has cranberries coated in dark chocolate – no words!!

Take my advice and go experience it for yourself!

This past weekend was our good friend ‘Mr Cereal Killers‘ birthday celebration so I decided to try out a dark chocolate tart that my sister Cara Lee has spoilt me with before. I used 500grams of CocoàFair’s 95% dark chocolate and although I don’t think I got it as good as my sister’s version, it was definitely a party favourite. Even the kids were devouring it!

Wheat-free (super rich & delicious!) dark chocolate tart recipe:

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  • 500 grams of CocoàFair’s 95% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey (you can add a little more if you want it slightly sweeter – taste the final raw mixture to test!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grinded Himalayan crystal salt
  • 6 free range eggs
  • Cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Use some coconut oil to grease a baking pan around the sides and bottom and dust with a fine layer of cocoa powder.
  2. Using another glass dish which is slightly bigger than your baking pan, fill it about half way with water.
  3. Use a layer of tin foil to wrap your baking pan and place it in the water bath and set aside.
  4. Preheat your oven to 135 degrees celcius.
  5. Using the double boiler method on the stove, heat all your chocolate and coconut oil together in a deep pot until it’s completely melted.
  6. Mix in your honey and salt.
  7. Beat your eggs in one at a time.
  8. Now carefully pour your mixture into your baking pan.
  9. Bake in the oven (in your water bath) for about 50 minutes and then remove (from oven and water bath) to cool.
  10. Once it’s room temperature, put your tart in the fridge for a few more hours to set.
  11. You can decorate it with some strawberries or raspberries and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.
Dessert is served!

Dessert is served!

It has quite a different texture to what you’re probably used to, very dense and very rich, but absolutely divine!

Enjoy and if you try it, let me know how yours turns out!

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A delicious green smoothie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Being of Irish descent (My Dad was born there), I usually like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but considering my current pregnant state, a green smoothie will have to do this year!

So I thought I’d share my favourite green smoothie recipe with you today and wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
~Irish Blessing

st-patricks-day

Green smoothies are great for a midday energy boost!

Ingredients & Method:

Take a quarter of a cucumber, 1 apple, bunch of spinach leaves, a banana, some water and a couple ice blocks and blend.

Instant energy and hydration and it tastes really good!

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Oodles of Zoodles!

I won’t lie to you, giving up pasta was a tough call for me. A really tough call. Especially during the first few weeks, but once I got my primal feet wet and started experimenting with different ideas and recipes, and of course once I started to lose weight, I didn’t really miss it anymore.

And zoodles aka – zucchini noodles – are my new favourite thing!

zoodles

So simple to make, you really don’t need any fancy equipment except a cheese grater:

zoodles

Grate up a zucchini or two, stir fry your zoodles very quickly, or put them in a covered microwave dish for a minute or two or high. Drain the excess liquid and cover with your favourite sauce (primal of course), spices and toppings and enjoy!

Benefits of Zucchini:

Zucchini’s contain magnesium, fiber and folate (the real ‘folic acid’). Great for maintaining strong bones, preventing constipation and supporting your metabolism.

PS – have you checked out the 90 Day Challenge yet? It’s full of yummy recipes and ideas to help you kick start your weight loss journey.

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The perfect Valentines Day chocolate dipped strawberries

Valentines Day is all about the chocolate. And the love. But mostly the chocolate. So I thought I’d do a quick recipe for you that’s both sweet, chocolatey and healthy!

chocolate-covered-strawberries

Ingredients:

Strawberries
1 cup of chopped dark chocolate
Half a cup of coconut oil
1 cup finely chopped nuts – pecans or almonds (optional)

Method:

Melt your dark chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler and then let cool to room temperature. Dip each strawberry into the chocolate mixture and lay out on a dish in the fridge to set. Another option is to roll the strawberries in your chopped nuts after you’ve dipped them in the chocolate for a more crunchy treat.

Happy Valentines Day and enjoy your treats! xx

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Summer Primal snack ideas

Over the Christmas season we tend to over indulge in chips, fizzy cooldrinks and unhealthy snacks in general. I mean what’s a late afternoon braai without the snacks?! Chips and dips are personally my biggest weakness so this summer I made more of an effort to stock my fridge with healthier alternatives.

Here are some ideas for quick and healthy primal snacks:

Summer-Primal-snack-ideas

cucumber-salmon

Cucumber toothpick stacks:

Slice up a cucumber into 5mm slices (they need to be nice and thick to support the toothpick stack). Then stack it with a piece of feta, an olive, a folded mint leaf and a cherry tomato.

Sweet melon and parma ham:

This one’s pretty self explanatory 🙂

Fruit platter:

You can use any fruit you have for this, slice it up nicely and whip up some double thick cream (not low fat!! full cream!) as a dip.

Cucumber and salmon ‘crackers’:

These are my absolute favourite! It’s like mini sushi. Slice up some cucumber, add a dollop of full cream cottage cheese, then a thin layer of norwegian salmon, topped with a sprinkle of dill. Yuuuuummmy! 

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Quick and easy summer braai’s

Summer braai’s are usually full of chips and dip, toasted sarmies, Savanna lights, garlic bread and meat covered in All Gold, Mrs Balls or mayonnaise. By the time dessert is served, I’m usually stuffed (but I’d eat it anyway…)! I’d promise myself that I wouldn’t eat for another day, but by breakfast the next morning, I’d be starved.

So this is my new way of dealing with summer braai’s and it makes me feel oh so healthy with plenty room for dessert. (Dessert! You mean there’s such a thing as a tasty sugar-free, wheat-free, grain-free dessert?! Yes – watch this space!)

summer-braai

High-fat low-carb all the way.

And when possible, organic and free-range everything!

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