salted almond raw chocolate

This past winter we were lucky enough to escape the cold weather and spend time in Pavones, Costa Rica.  It was there that I was introduced to splendor of raw cacao!  I’ve always been a chocoholoic but this took my affinity to a new level!  Chocolate that not only tastes incredible but is actually good for me!

Costa Rica Sunset

Pavones Sunset

Raw chocolate comes from the nut of the cacao fruit or from the Theobroma Cacao Bean translated into “the food of the Gods” which grows indigenously in rainforest climates such as those in Costa Rica.  It has been a treasured commodity and used medicinally since ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations.  It is known to have superfood properties that boost health and vitality.

salted almond raw chocolate3

Raw cacao is not roasted and processed like cocoa powder and contains high levels of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, zinc, essential fatty acids and sulfur.  It contains theobromine which is a mild stimulant which may prevent depression by producing neurotransmitters (messengers in the brain that influence thoughts, emotions and energy levels).  It is four times higher than goji berries on the ORAC scale.

The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants to absorb free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidants present in the food.

However, as with everything…moderation is key!  Too much raw chocolate can tax the adrenal glands, kidney and liver.  It is a diuretic and stimulates the central nervous system sending us in a state of “fight or flight” which is never a good thing (unless you’re being chased by a bear!).

Raw cacao has a strong, bitter taste.  Some eat it plain but, the bitter taste can be mellowed when blended with a little coconut oil and a sweetener such as maple syrup.  The indigenous people of Pavones harvest and sell raw cacao on Saturdays in the center of town.  Before we left I bought every cacao ball I could find!  It’s a wonder how I snuck through customs with pounds of this stuff!


Salted Almond Raw Chocolate Bark

3/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup raw almonds

pink Himalayan sea salt


-Mix cacao powder with coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.  If needed, place over a very low heat until coconut oil melts.

-Stir in raw almond slices.

-Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

-Sprinkle with sea salt

-Let cool in the refrigerator until set.

-Cut into pieces and enjoy!


If you can’t find raw cacao powder in the store you can purchase it online.  I apologize, I am not familiar with store bought brands so I am unable to testify for it!


If you have tried this brand or another brand or raw cacao powder please let me know what you thought!

coconut rhubarb crisp

I haven’t had rhubarb since I was a little kid picking it out of the neighbor’s garden and sneaking away to enjoy the tart, sweet taste of summer!  When I saw it neatly displayed at the farmers’ market last week I couldn’t resist buying a bunch!


Rhubarb is high in phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin A.  Surprisingly rhubarb is a source of calcium, 1 cup contains 105 mg!  It also contains Lutein, a compound that’s responsible for keeping our eyes healthy and skin vibrant!  Lutein protects against environmental factors and free radicals, which can cause diseases such as cancer.


I made this sweet treat for Shaye’s Birthday dinner.  The spices and orange rind make this crisp explode with flavor!  I just wish I had coconut “ice cream” to serve on top!

Coconut Rhubarb Crisp

2-3 cups rhubarb cut into chunks

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1 tablespoon coconut oil (solidified)


½ cup gluten free oats

½ cup gluten free flour (whole wheat flour would work well too!)

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ teaspoon himilayan sea salt

¼ cup coconut oil (solidified)

Preheat oven to 375

In a bowl, combine rhubarb, sugar, spices, orange rind and coconut oil.  Spoon mixture into a pie dish.

In a separate bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, coconut and sea salt.  Cut in coconut oil and spoon mixture over rhubarb.

Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until top is crispy and bubbling, enjoy!

coconut rhubarb crisp ~vegan, gluten free~

mom’s day and lemon meltaways


Why can’t every day be mother’s day???  I didn’t have to change one diaper all day and was spoiled with treats.  One treat in particular was a trip to the local scoop…a self-serve frozen yogurt café.  They now serve Chloe’s frozen fruit which is dairy and gluten free, just three ingredients banana, water and a little bit of cane sugar.


It was SO good, if you haven’t been, GO!  I topped, mine with chocolate granola, strawberries, toasted coconut and dark chocolate chunks…heaven in a cup!


And in case that wasn’t enough dessert for one day I made Lemon Meltaways a raw dessert adapted from  These little bites do just that, melt in your mouth!  Made from raw cashew butter, honey, lemons and coconut oil they are sure to please!


Lemon Meltaways

½ cup raw cashew butter

juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

sea salt

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Stir all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.  (I placed the coconut oil and cashew butter over a very low heat for a few minutes to assist in the melting process.)

 lemonmeltaways ~raw, vegan~

Place mini baking cups in a baking dish, double layer the cups for added support.  Pour mixture into baking cups then place in the freezer.  When frozen, dig in and enjoy!

lemon meltaways ~raw/vegan~

These goodies will be made for the GLOW YOGA 2 year anniversary open house, come check us out this Saturday at 11!

I will be offering a Spring Special package: 1 initial visit and two follow up visits for $120

Learn how to be the Healthiest YOU!