Chocolate Almond Truffle Squares

Chocolate Almond Truffle Squares
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16 squares
  • For the Base Layer
  • 1 cup chopped almond sliver (could be roasted)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • For the Fudgy Chocolate Truffle Layer
  • ½ cup almond nut butter (I used Justin’s maple almond butter)
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ to ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Crunchy top
  • 1 tbsp of cacao nibbles
  1. To make the base layer, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until it’s combined. Transfer to a saran-wrap-lined pyrex loaf dish glass. Place in the fridge/freezer while you make the filling.
  2. To make the filling, place all the ingredients in a bowl and warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds, then stir well when everything’s melted to form a smooth, dark mixture. Taste and add more maple syrup if necessary. Remove the base layer from the fridge, then pour the filling over the base and smooth over with a spatula.
  3. To create the crunchy layer, sprinkle cacao nibbles. Finally, transfer the container to the fridge and let firm up for at least 1 hour.
  4. Using the scram-wrap, remove from the container. With a sharp knife, cut into sixteen small squares. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them – they melt fast! Enjoy!


Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons (or to taste) maple syrup
  1. In a food processor mix the avocado and the banana until the texture is creamy and they are no pieces left.
  2. Add the cacao powder and the maple syrup and pulse a few times, make sure to scrape the bowl in between.
  3. You can serve right away or it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can also put the left overs in an ice cube container and freeze it. It makes great frozen treats.
  4. I have been making this recipe since my kids were little. It’s super easy and it tastes great.


Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 cups coconut meat
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • ¾ cup refined coconut oil, melted
  1. Place everything in the vita mix (or a high speed blender) except for the coconut oil and blend until smooth (make sure there’s no more little pieces of coconut meat).
  2. Add the coconut oil while the blender is still running.
  3. Transfer to serving bowls.
  4. You can eat it right away or refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.


Zaza Coconut Squares

The Coconut Squares are one of my favorite dessert. I used to make them -just like the Pumpkin Cheezecake – when I had my food company Zaza Raw. At the time, I would open so many young coconuts that my hands would be all bleeding after – ok I might be exaggerating a little but not by much! They were a pain to make but when you are only opening one or two it’s easy and the kids think it’s the coolest thing. The coconut meat is also available frozen in some stores like Whole Foods. And to make it even easier I tried it with the fat of a coconut milk can and it works well.

Zaza Coconut Squares
Serves: 16 squares
  • Base
  • 1½ cups walnut
  • 1½ cups pecans
  • ¾ cup black raisins
  • ½ cup dry shredded coconut
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Vanilla Coconut Topping
  • Coconut fat from one can of coconut milk (I prefer the brand 365 from Whole Foods) - you can also used the coconut meat from 2 young coconuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dry shredded coconut
  1. Base
  2. In a food processor combine the nuts, pulse until the nuts are ground and very small.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a parchment lined pyrex pan 13" x 9" and spread into an even layer.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to chill and set.
  6. Vanilla Coconut Topping
  7. In a small bowl mix all the ingredients.
  8. Spread it in an even layer onto the chilled fudge base.
  9. Sprinkle a few tablespoon of dry shredded coconut.
  10. Put the pan back in the fridge.


Raw Paleo “Pumpkin” Cheezecake

I used to own a food company called Zaza Raw. I made raw-vegan-paleo desserts that I sold at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Safeway and other grocery stores across the country. I folded the company in  the summer of 2015 for various reasons. If you are curious about the story/journey, I’d be happy to share it with you over a glass of wine (or two or three!). I still have people talking to me about the treats I used to sell so I’m sharing a recipe today!

If you look at the ingredients you’ll notice that there’s no pumpkin. You might ask why is there no pumpkin? Well, raw pumpkin is gross and really hard to work with plus you can’t find it year around. When you bring a seasonal item to be on shelf in the fall you’ll need to produce during the summer so the distributor has it in August in their warehouses so I wasn’t able to buy fresh pumpkin in June.

I eventually learned that the FDA has rules and you are not allowed to use the word pumpkin in the name if there’s no pumpkin in the ingredients, which makes sense- I just wish I would have known before printing a few thousand labels! So I ended up using organic pumpkin from a can, technically it’s not raw but it was the only way I could use the name pumpkin, and I would use the tiniest amount possible. So if you want to add pumpkin to this recipe go ahead but be advised and start with the smallest amount.

This recipe needs to be made ahead of time, first the cashews need to soak for at least 1 hour but longer is better. Then you need to freeze the cake in order to set. It will require at least 5 to 6 hours minimum in the freezer. So keep that in mind when you make this cheezecake (you are also not allowed to use the word cheese if there’s no cheese). The nice thing is that if you make this for Thanksgiving or a party you can  make it ahead of time and leave it in the freezer until an hour before you need it.



Raw Paleo "Pumpkin" Cheezecake
Recipe type: Dessert
  • Crust
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 2 to 3 dates
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Filling
  • 1¼ cup of raw cashews
  • ½ cup of frozen butternut squash, thawed
  • ½ cup of frozen sweet potato, thawed
  • 3 tablespoon of lemon juice room temperature
  • ⅓ cup of water room temperature
  • ⅓ cup of coconut nectar room temperature
  • ⅓ cup of coconut oil room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of celtic sea salt
  • Note: I use frozen organic sweet potato and butternut squash, it's just easier with this recipe since they will already be soft once thawed. Stahlbush Island Farms is great but there's also other brands.
  1. To make the Filling
  2. First, soak the cashews and set aside. The cashews need to soak for at least an hour, two is better. Once the cashews are soak drain and rinse. Discard of the water. While the cashews are soaking you can make the crust (see below).
  3. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
  4. Place the cashews, water, coconut oil, coconut nectar, sweet potato, butternut squash, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a vita mix (or high speed blender) blend until it's creamy and there's no more lump. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough, it will become more sweet when you cool it down so be careful
  5. Transfer to the spring form pan over the crust cover with saran wrap and place in the freezer.
  6. To make the Crust
  7. Place the almonds and the dates in the robot coupe, pulse a few times until it's broken down in small pieces.
  8. Then add the oil and pulse a few more times, make sure to scrap the side of the bowl.
  9. Add ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil in a spring form pan and spread around
  10. Dump the crust in and press it at the bottom. Set aside



Raspberry Crumbs



Raspberry Crumbs
Recipe type: Raw Paleo
  • 2 C of Raspberries
  • 12 soft Dates, stone removed (separated in 2 x 6)
  • ½ C of Shredded Dry Coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 C of Walnut
  • 1 C of Pecans
  • 1 – 2 T of Maple Syrup
  • ¼ t Celtic Sea Salt
  1. First make the Raspberry Jam.
  2. In a food processor mix 6 dates and the Raspberries. Once it has the consistency of a jam and there’s no more lumps of dates, transfer the content to a bowl and then place it in the fridge to make it thicker.
  3. For the Base
  4. In a food processor, mix the walnut, pecans and dates until it’s broken down in small pieces. Add the coconut and mix well but not too much (stop before the nuts release their oils and it starts building up at the bottom). Taste and add one tablespoon of syrup at a time (you might just need one or none at all).
  5. Put ¾ of the crust mix into an 8inch glass-baking dish or a normal plate and distribute evenly.
  6. To make individual servings you can use a plain round cutter that’s between 2” and 3”. My kids love to make their own and it looks really nice.
  7. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the crust and sprinkle the remaining mix on top of the jam. You can eat right away but it might fall apart or chill for 2 hours.


Raw Chocolate Balls



Raw Chocolate Balls
I love snacking, it's probably my favorite thing. Here's what I have been munching on lately.
Recipe type: Paleo Raw Vegan
  • 1 Cup of Almonds
  • 1 Cup of Walnuts
  • ¾ Cup of Dates, pitted (as fresh as possible)
  • ½ Cup of Cacao Powder
  • ¼ Cup of Cacao Nibs
  • ¼ Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of Vanilla
  • Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
  1. In a food processor mix the almonds, walnuts and dates until it becomes a coarse meal. Add the Cacao Powder, Nibs, Maple Syrup, Vanilla and Salt.
  2. Process until the mixture forms a rough dough that can easily hold together when pinched between your fingers.
  3. Roll into small (1- 1½ inch) balls. Roll the balls into dry shredded coconut or cacao powder. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
  4. You can also add cinnamon, chili peppers, dry coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds... this is just a base.