I’ve recently been making a lot of desserts for others and using flavours that I know others would love. It’s been great as there is no waste however there is very little left over for me! I decided to make a dessert just for us, one that I knew we would love and keep all to ourselves. I had a really big urge to make something chocolate orange flavoured (or Jaffa flavour) and it was a great way to use up some more of my wild orange essential oils (which I have a lot of). The essential oil is not necessary for this recipe but it does add a significant amount of extra orange flavour which I love! However, if you prefer a milder orange flavour you should leave it out as the rind in the crust can be quite strong and bitter. There isn’t too much that I feel like I need to say about this recipe as it’s a fairly straight forward one to make. My only note would be that in order to get the filling extra smooth it really is worth soaking the cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. Lately, I’ve become quite lazy with soaking my cashews so I just pour some boiling water over them and let them sit for about 15 minutes instead. It does soften then quite well but nowhere near to the extent of properly soaking cashews. It’s a lot more convenient and means that I’m much more likely to make more desserts as I can be more spontaneous with them and just whiz one up with little prep work but my fillings are never as smooth as they used to be and I find that it means I’m adding lots more liquid to my recipes. For this particular recipe, I just left it a bit more grainy. I totally didn’t mind it as it still tastes delicious but if you’re very picky with your textures it’s worth soaking the cashews properly. The recipe is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar-free.
Since my blog is all about eating for hormone health I also wanted to take this opportunity to chat about that fact that I’m having a mild craving for oranges lately and how I’ve discovered that this may be linked to iron deficiency post period. I’m not sure if I’d call it a craving as it’s not overly strong however I do feel like eating oranges more than before which is strange for me as I’ve never been the biggest fan of citrus and prefer my sweet summery fruits like bananas and mangoes and cherries and peaches. I’ve also recently been noticing some mild headaches towards the end of my menstrual cycle. I have suffered from hormone headaches continuously for years (due to my low progesterone) they definitely improved over the years as my progesterone slowly increased however I only got complete relief from my headaches when I was pregnant! Pregnancy is a high progesterone state and is said to be one of the best indicators in assessing if headaches are hormonally triggered. In my case they definitely were. I’ve struggled so long with my deficient hormones that I’m finding that any symptom that I experience I will automatically assume a hormonal link, even though this may not necessarily be the case. As soon as my headaches came back I automatically blamed it on my low progesterone (which is still mildly low due to the fact that I’m still breastfeeding) however I’ve noticed that most hormonal headaches happen in the pms state of the cycle right before menstruation begins. Mine are occurring for 3–4 days post menstruation which actually suggests a drop in iron due to menstruation and not a hormonal imbalance.
I bring this up because if your one of the many women that struggle with low iron or anaemia a desert like this really hit the spot for me and made me feel much better. Raw cacao powder is a great source of iron and the extra hit of orange in the dessert add extra vitamin c to help with iron absorption. It also explains my orange cravings as citrus is high in vitamin c. I remember a few of my pregnant friends that struggled with low iron during pregnancy would have massive orange cravings! Orange or citrus cravings are common for low iron. Personally, I’m relieved that for once this is not a hormonal issue! But I’m also a little concerned as I can’t take supplements due to my overactive gut that expels concentrated doses of anything quite violently. As always I shall be turning to food to increase my iron and making a conscious effort to add plant-based foods that contain lots of iron and vitamin c. We are also nearing the two year period with breastfeeding so we are weaning slowly. I am pretty sure breastfeeding is the main culprit behind my iron deficiency headaches. Ps. The myth about only being able to absorb iron from animal products is finally slowly being debunked! Plant-based foods for iron are far superior and more delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe and consider adding a dessert like this to your diet if you struggle with low iron.
|Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Tart|| |
- 2 cups walnuts
- ¾ cup pitted dates
- ⅓ cup cacao powder
- Zest 1 orange
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 cup cashews (soaked for 4 hours or overnight)
- ½ cup cacao butter
- ½ cup cacao powder
- ½ cup maple syrup
- Juice half a large orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 drops orange essential oil (optional)
- Break down the walnuts in a food processor. Add the rest of the base ingredients and process until sticky.
- Press down evenly on to the base and sides of a standard tart tin and set aside.
- For the filling begin by melting down Cacao butter in a saucepan over low heat until all dissolved. Set aside.
- Add all the filling ingredients except melted cacao butter to a blender and blend until smooth as possible. Add the Cacao butter and blend again.
- Pour filling over tart base and smooth out with spatula. Place in freezer to set for about 3-4 hours.
- Decorate with raspberries and orange slices and enjoy!