I am a big, big fan of algae – yup I said it! And no, as much as I wish I was, I am not a mermaid! Algae, best known as spirulina, is one of those 'superfoods' that has been around forever and is loaded with nutrients that can have powerful effects on your body and brain. I find it gives me an energy boost like nothing else (okay, maybe coffee!) – especially the blue-green freshwater kind! It's called AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and it has the most beautiful colour. The absolute best way to eat it, in my opinion, is with chocolate and mint, as the flavours work beautifully together. Here's my favourite recipe...
For the base
1 cup Medjool dates (soak in boiling water for 10 minutes if dates aren’t soft)
1 1/2 cups walnuts and pecans
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw buckwheat groats
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
For the filling
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 8 hours
1/4 cup melted raw cacao butter
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/3 cup Medjool dates
2 tablespoons raw coconut nectar
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3/4 teaspoon peppermint oil
3/4 teaspoon AFA or spirulina powder
a pinch of sea salt
Garnishes: melted dark chocolate, pistachios, fresh mint leaves, and raw raw cacao nibs.
Line a 8×8 baking pan with grease proof paper.
For the base, blend all the ingredients in a high-speed food processor until you have a slightly sticky dough. Press onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
For the filling, place the cashews in a food processor and blend until they start to mix together and are broken down. Add the remaining ingredients, starting with 1/4 teaspoon for the spirulina and peppermint extract and taste as you go. Both of these ingredients have strong flavours, so add slowly. Blend until you have a thick, creamy mixture. Pour the filling on top of the crust and freeze for 3-4 hours to set.
Once ready to serve, drizzle with melted dark chocolate (I really went over the top here and made a whole chocolate layer!), raw cacao nibs, pistachios and fresh mint leaves. Slice into bars or squares. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.