To mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, Lauren Lovatt, chef and founder of the plant-based culinary school Plant Academy and Feed Your Mind Candy – an experiential enterprise inspiring better mental health through food – shares a recipe for a delicious brain boosting snack.
When thinking of mind food it is all about balance. Having things you enjoy and not allowing your blood sugar to spike, which can make you feel less stable in general. Cacao gives us a dopamine boost releasing happy hormones, whilst carob helps to keep us grounded and is a natural blood sugar stabiliser.
These gooey little bars are the ideal brain boosting snack. Designed with a good dose of omega rich seeds, super fruits and brain nourishing nuts.
One cup walnuts (I use activated walnuts but not essential)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup carob powder
A big pinch of salt
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup cacao butter, melted
1⁄2 cup goji berries
1⁄2 cup chia seeds lightly ground
1⁄2 cup walnut pieces
In a high speed blender, blend the walnuts with the maple syrup, salt and water. Blend until you have a smooth paste.
Once smooth, add the carob powder and blend again. Now gently pour in the melted cacao butter and continue to blend until well combined. Don’t let the mixture get too hot or it will split.
Once silky smooth and delicious, check the saltiness to taste. Then stir through the goji berries, chia seeds and broken walnut pieces.
Pour into a square tin lined with baking parchment. Allow to set in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm.
Now, on top you can get creative. First melt your favourite raw chocolate bar then either pour or drizzle onto the set mix. You can sprinkle additions such as nuts, seeds, fruit or flowers. Allow to set in the fridge for a moment or just cut into squares and enjoy with a delicious chocolate sauce.
These make up to 20 squares and keep in the fridge in an airtight container for one week.