Erin Stanczyk | eat.move.rest.

cacao

Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Love Yourself To Life!

Yesterday morning I lead yet another early bird spin class full of hard-working, sweat-dripping FlyRiders at Fly and we were definitely feeling the love! As Valentine’s Day approaches, it can be a time of overwhelming emotion for many of us--some positive, and some negative. My playlist and message in class was that whether you have someone to share this holiday with or not, there should be no shortage of self-love! 

Ultimately, you can't expect to be loved by anyone else until you learn to truly love yourself. Part of loving yourself is pushing yourself to try new things, face your fears, embrace your flaws, and accept your weaknesses. We are all perfectly imperfect!
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The other part of loving yourself is treating yourself, and what better way to do that than with a guilt-free, yet incredibly delicious dessert?! It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a little (or a lot) of chocolate! However, my Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse recipe is anything but unhealthy--in fact, it's raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed full of antioxidants and healthy fats!

Feel free to jam out to one of my favorite songs from yesterday's ride while you peruse, and click here to visit my Spotify channel, where you can check out more of my favorite songs & playlists to work out and rock out to!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The breakdown

Avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas and are one of the few fruits that have a high fat content, but, it's the good kind! Healthy fats are actually good for our heart and cholesterol levels, so don't fear the fat! Avocado also does wonders for hair, skin, nails--you name it--this super smooth superfood is one you don't want to go without. Check out my simple Holy Guacamole recipe here!

Bananas are full of potassium, as we well know, but did you know that when a banana is leopard-spotted it is actually ripe and ready to eat? I used to eat my bananas even when they had a some green on them, until I learned that a fully ripe banana is so much sweeter and better for you, because all of the starches have converted into sugars that your body can then use for instant fuel and energy. It also makes for a super-sweet addition to a refined-sugar-free dessert! For more on the benefits of fully ripe bananas and the lowdown on Fruit vs. Refined Sugar, visit my blog post to read up on why fruit won't make you fat!

Cacao is virtually the same as cocoa, except that it is raw, whereas, cocoa has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw foods retain all of their living and active enzymes that aid in healthy digestion and antioxidants that fight off disease-causing free-radicals in the body. Raw! Raw! Raw! For more on the benefits of cacao, check out my top 10 superfoods blog post!

Dates are the sweetest of all the fruits, and are full of natural, unrefined sugars. I love to use dates as a replacement for other less healthy sweeteners like regular table sugar and syrup. They also make a great on-the-go snack, packing a good amount of calories into a small tasty package that you can bring anywhere with you! For another delicious date recipe, check out my Rad Raw Blackberry Cheesecake recipe here!

Sea Salt is simply evaporated salt water, and is an upgrade from regular table salt because it contains trace minerals that the body needs in order to thrive. Adding just a dash to a sweet dessert can help to really round out the flavor.

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

raw, vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, oil-free

It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a little (or a lot) of chocolate, however, my Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse recipe is anything but unhealthy--in fact, it's packed full of antioxidants and healthy fats, and best of all, it is oh-so fluffy, smooth and sweet! Share it with a loved one or better yet, treat yourself without the guilt! This recipe also makes the perfect fruit dip or goes great spread on toast!

ingredients:

  • very ripe, speckled banana
  • very ripe, soft avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
  • 5-8 pitted & soaked dates (or other sweetener)
  • dash of sea salt

method:

  1. Pit dates and soak in warm water.
  2. Place peeled ripe banana in food processor or high speed blender along with avocado and blend for a minute or so, scraping the sides in between if need be.
  3. Add in cacao or cocoa powder, sea salt, and pitted dates and make sure slightly mixed in before turning food processor or blender on again.
  4. Blend for 2 minutes or so, scraping down the sides as you go. Give it a taste test and add more sweetener accordingly.
  5. Dish up, top with fruit and a sprig of mint and enjoy!

options:

  • top with cinnamon, coconut flakes, a sprig of mint, and/or fresh berries
  • use as a fruit dip
  • use agave nectar, coconut nectar, maple syrup, or stevia for sweetener in place of dates
  • spread on toast or use as a fruit dip
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Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | Valentine's Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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Treat Yourself

This Valentine's Day, treat yourself and shower yourself with unconditional love! Release what isn't serving you and embrace what is! 

Leave a comment or drop me a message on my contact page and let me know what you want to see more of, and don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter to stay up-to-date on current blog posts, my monthly In The Raw newsletter, and exclusive bonus materials!

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

May The Froth Be With You: My Dairy-Free, Frothy Hot Cocoa Recipe

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin StanczykComment

May The Froth Be With You

So I've been hearing a lot of buzz lately about the new Star Wars movie, and my mom and I were laughing about how long it would take to do a full marathon of all of the previous movies before going to see the latest installment. Well, with the short, cold days, it might not be a half-bad idea!

When it's cold outside and winter starts to drag, nothing is better than a good movie while sipping a cup of something warm by the fire--especially when it's super frothy! I've got just the recipe for you! 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | MY DAIRY-FREE, FROTHY HOT COCOA RECIPE

Nuts About Nut Milk

When I made the transition to a totally plant-based lifestyle, one of my favorite wintertime treats was off the table--hot chocolate! Not so fast, my friends! Who says you need milk and whipped cream to make a frothy, smooth, rich cup of cocoa?! If you're feel extra ambitious, check out my Homemade Almond Milk recipe; otherwise, there are tons of delicious dairy milk alternatives out there, like almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, and rice milk. Many of them are also fortified with essential nutrients like vitamin D. My personal favorite is almond milk--I typically get the organic unsweetened original flavor because it tastes great just as it is, and if I want sweetener or added flavoring I can simply add my own. 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | MY DAIRY-FREE, FROTHY HOT COCOA RECIPE

Cacao: The Superfood Of Chocolate

When upgrading your hot chocolate, opt for raw cacao powder instead of cocoa powder—same rich, chocolatey flavor, more antioxidants!  Cacao and cocoa come from the same plant, the same bean, but cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, keeping the living enzymes intact. Cocoa powder is simply raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. We’ve been slightly misled to believe that dark chocolate is super good for us due to the high levels of antioxidants such as resveratrol, but if you really want to reap the benefits of this superfood, use cacao, not cocoa! Many times cocoa powder also contains added sugar, whereas cacao does not! Read up on cacao on my Top 10 Superfoods blog post!

To make this hot chocolate even healthier, yet still tasty, you can eliminate the use of refined sugar by adding in dates--whole, unprocessed sugar, direct from nature's source!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | MY DAIRY-FREE, FROTHY HOT COCOA RECIPE

Scary Dairy

For many people, eliminating dairy can resolve a plethora of health issues, from acne to hormonal imbalances. 

My go-to, most-trusted resource for explanations to any health and wellness related concerns (backed by sound research) is NutritionFacts.org. My husband, Dusty, and I had the pleasure of meeting the founder, Dr. Michael Greger, at the International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare conference this last October, and he is phenomenal! I highly recommend investing in his recent book, as well: How Not To Die.

Below are three super quick videos on milk and dairy and the reason we're probably better off without them:

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | MY DAIRY-FREE, FROTHY HOT COCOA RECIPE

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

Dairy-Free, FROTHY HOT COCOA

dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, antioxidant-packed

serves:1 // time: 5min

This incredibly smooth, antioxidant-packed, superfood version of a wintertime classic will appeal to anyone, plant-based/dairy-free or not! The froth alone is enough to win over the heart of any warm beverage connoisseur, and your body will thank you for this chocolatey, not-so-guilty pleasure! 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | MY DAIRY-FREE, FROTHY HOT COCOA RECIPE

ingredients:

method:

  1. Put cacao powder in blender, followed by almond milk and blend.

  2. Remove pits from dates and add to blender and blend until smooth.

  3. Pour contents into small sauce pan and heat on stove on low heat until desired temperature is reached.

  4. Fill up your favorite mug, pop in a movie, cozy up, sip, and enjoy!

options:

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | MY DAIRY-FREE, FROTHY HOT COCOA RECIPE

Some Reading To Go With Your New Beverage

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Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.