I’m a big fan of ‘superfoods’ which add extra powerful benefits to our diets, whether in powder or tablet form, or integrated into products or recipes. Creative Nature is one of the top brands on the market which offers premium, multi-award winning superfood products, packed full of vitamins and minerals without any nasties. You might have read my write-up of their delicious, healthy snack bars, or seen what I made using their maca powder and shelled hemp seeds (here’s a sneak peek below!).
With Christmas coming up, it was a lovely surprise to be sent some of their cacao powder and cacao nibs, to be used in some recipes for the festive season and super healthy ones to kickstart the New Year. The raw ingredient all chocolate is made from, cacao is known locally as ‘the Food of the Gods’ and is naturally rich in flavonoids, offering the ideal, guilt-free alternative to chocolate in its shop-bought form.
What’s more, Creative Nature products are available to buy from selected Tesco Stores in the Free From aisle, as well as being found in Ocado stores. This is great news to hear personally, as it’s been fantastic to see the brand grow from strength to strength over the past couple of months.
Chocolate, Chestnut & Cranberry Slice
So, here’s the first recipe I’ve created just in time for Christmas, a moist, chocolatey sponge spiked with the festive flavours of chestnuts and cranberries, with added richness from a coconut cream based ‘icing’. With no added sugar, gluten or refined carbohydrates, this makes the perfect treat without feeling guilty!
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 scoops chocolate whey protein (I used PhD Nutrition)
- ½ cup ground almonds
- ½ cup natural sweetener
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp Creative Nature cacao powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ can cooked apples
- Few spoonfuls of nut/hemp milk
- 50g cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 25g dried cranberries (unsweetened if you can get them)
- 1 can coconut milk (kept in fridge for at least 1-3 days)
- ½ scoop chocolate protein powder (I used PhD Nutrition)
- 1 tbsp Creative Nature cacao powder
- 1 tbsp natural sweetener
- 2 tbsp Creative Nature cacao nibs
1) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and grease and line a baking tin (traybake size).
2) Put the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the chestnuts and cranberries) in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into the mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter.
3) Open the coconut milk can and scrape 1 tbsp of the cream off, put in a bowl along with the cranberries and chestnuts. Mix well so you have a thick and chunky mixture. Add a few drops of vanilla extract or you can add the zest of an orange and a bit of the juice.
4) Pour the chocolate batter into the baking tray and dot the cranberry and chestnut mixture around, using a knife or spoon to gently swirl and fold in slightly among the chocolate mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes (you may need to cover with foil halfway through so keep an eye on it!).
5) Meanwhile, scrape the rest of the coconut cream into a small bowl then add the remaining ingredients. Beat well until you have a thick, creamy ‘icing’ and leave in the fridge until needed, allowing it to set a little.
6) Remove traybake from the oven and leave to cool slightly before cutting into 12 and carefully transferring the slices to a wire rack.
7) When ready to serve, spoon over some of the topping on each slice and sprinkle some cacao nibs over for extra crunch and richness!