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Chocolatey cashew (& carob) cream

Chocolatey cashew (& carob) cream

This super-simple dessert used carob powder to give a lovely, chocolatey flavour.  Carob is a tropical pod that contains a sweet, edible pulp and inedible seeds.  After drying, the pulp is roasted and ground into a powder.  It has a flavour a bit similar to chocolate.  The sugars in cashew nuts, bananas and carob make this dessert very sweet.  You will get the smoothest texture if you grind the cashew nuts very finely on their own in a coffee/spice grinder before adding to the other ingredients but its still lovely if you don’t bother.  I never do.  the recipe is from “Cooking without” by Barbara Cousins.

For 4
115g/1 cup raw cashew nuts
15ml/1 tbsp carob powder (health stores and gourmet shops), sifted
140ml filtered water or unsweetened almond milk/hemp milk/Koko coconut milk
2 large bananas
1 tbsp flaked almonds

1. Blitz everything in a small food processor for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
2. Spoon into 4 ramekins/glasses and refrigerate minimum 20 mins or overnight.
3.Toast the flaked almonds very lightly on a dry frying pan until very slightly coloured.  Just before serving, sprinkle on top of the carob cream.

Variation:
If you are feeling fancy, add a sprig of fresh mint and serve with a side of fresh raspberries.

Why this is better for you:
This dessert is a good, easy to make “treat”.  Its not intended to be eaten every day as it has far more natural sugars than you need in a healthy diet.  Carob is a great substitute for chocolate.  Chocolate contains at least 2 stimulants – caffeine and theobromine.  These stimulate your nervous system, which, in turn, increases heart rate and contracts muscles. It’s a lot like the fight-or-flight response.   The better quality chocolate (over 70% cocoa and ideally organic) contains some good antioxidants but eating more than a couple of small squares once or twice a week would be loading you up with stimulants – just like drinking coffee does. 

Cashew nuts contain some protein and beneficial fats help keep your blood sugar levels (and energy and mood) even.  Although bananas are high in sugars and not much else, they do contain fructo-oligosaccharides which can help feed beneficial bacteria in your gut.  Beneficial bacteria are needed for mood, clear skin, healthy digestion.  They are also important for your immune system to protect against infections, colds and abnormal growths.