Raspberry Cacao Brownies

Raspberry Cacao Brownies
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 1 cup soaked and cooked red beans (or from a can)
  2. 1 cup oat flour*
  3. 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/3 cup date paste**
  7. 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
  8. 1 cup frozen raspberries
  1. Preheat oven to 170C (375F).
  2. Blend all ingredients except raspberries in a food processor until smooth. Fold in the raspberries and transfer to a square baking dish lined with baking paper.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  1. * I activated groats by soaking them with a tablespoon of whey for 48 hours, rinsing and drying them. Then ground in my blender into flour. If that's too much work sub with stoneground wheat flour
  2. ** add a bunch of dry dates to the blender, cover with hot water, soak for 5 minutes, then puree. Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Seriously the HEALTHIEST and Most DELICIOUS Brownies in the World!

Dear all,

Yes, it is true. These brownies are proof that a dessert can be sweet, healthy and super delicious at the same time.


They are rich in fiber, antioxidants and nutrients. Even the oat flour has been activated to substantially reduce the amount of phytic acid that are abundant in oats (therefore you should NEVER EVER eat non activated oats! In case you are not up for the activation process, use another flour that has less phytic acid like wheat flour or use more buckwheat. Even refined white flour would probably be better than non activated whole grain flour. Read more on my post about activation http://plantbasedhappy.com/?p=6272). You will not even ind a trace of so called “healthy” sugars like raw sugar (still refined), coconut sugar (yep, refined) or way worse- agave syrup (highest fructose content of all sweeteners!).

The best natural sweeteners are: DATES!

Buy dry dates in bulk, add them to a high speed blender, cover them with hot water, then puree into date paste. Store the paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Easy and cheap. 

To make the brownies, simply whisk together the moist ingredients, stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the frozen berries.



Then bake in the oven until done… (click here to view the recipe http://plantbasedhappy.com/?p=8592)



This recipe is perfectly suited for someone who is following a low fat reversing heart disease plant-based diet.

Have some fun with the recipe by using different frozen fruits, chickpeas instead of red beans, cinnamon instead of vanilla, prune puree instead of date paste and so on. 

Enjoy the brownies!





Mushroom Risotto

When it comes to rice, you basically have two choices:

+ you activate brown rice. That means that you have to soak it with a bit of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for at least 12 hours. Even better to keep the water you soaked the rice in for the next batch of rice, which will increase the amount of phytase (the enzyme that breaks up phytates- complexes of phytic acid bound to zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and iron). Rinse the rise well before cooking it. You will get all the important minerals and fiber.
+ you use white rice. No need to activate it, because most of the phytates have been remove. White rice lacks nutrients including fiber. But at least it lets you absorb the nutrients form the food that you eat with the rice. The worst you can do is consume whole grains that have NOT BEEN ACTIVATED. Not only do they cause stress on your digestive system, they also interfere with the absorption of nutrients that you eat at the same time.


Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
  1. 1 onion, chopped
  2. 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  3. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  4. 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) vegetable broth
  5. 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  6. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  7. handful fresh parsley
  8. 1 punnet (about 9) brown mushrooms, halved and cut in thick slices
  9. sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
  10. optional: 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot on the stove over low/medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sautee until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and cook for a minute.
  4. Stir white wine and cook until completely evaporated.
  5. Add 1/2 cup veggie broth at a time and cook until it has been completely absorbed. Stir in between so the rice doesn't stick to the pot.
  6. Meanwhile, chop garlic, parsley and cut the mushrooms.
  7. Heat a non stick skillet over low/medium heat and add 1 tsp olive oil. Cook garlic for one minute. Add mushrooms and increase the heat to medium. Cook them for 2 minutes until slightly brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. When the rice is done, stir in the parmesan, mushrooms and parsley. Add salt if needed.
  9. Serve immediately.

Yoga, Breathing, Coding and Risotto

Dear all,

This morning, we all got up a few minutes earlier than usual (which is hardly a challenge given the fact that our kids wake up with the Australian sunrise at about 5am!) to start our day outside with a series of yoga sun salutations followed by some relaxing breathing exercises (great stress management technique!). Afterwards, we enjoyed bowls of activated cereal (if you are not sure what I mean by activated read this post ) with homemade soy yogurt, fresh fruits, and almond milk.


And- of course- a slice of one of Burleigh Baker’s long fermented sourdough bread– toasted, with a bit of vegan butter and jam. What a wonderful morning!

I wish our children were taught yoga in school on a regular basis. It’s so important for their wellbeing. In fact, here are the subjects I think are absolutely essential for our lives nowadays and should be part of every school curriculum: 

  1. yoga
  2. meditation and stress management techniques
  3. nutrition and sustainability (finally getting rid of old myths like the benefit of dairy and the importance of animal protein and swapping them with the healthiest diet, which has been proven to be a plant-based diet))
  4. coding (computer programming)

Until these subjects are being introduced at schools (and I have still hope that eventually, they will find their way into our curriculums), it’s up to us to teach our children. That’s why we started with yoga and breathing this morning. We’ll do it about three times a week for about ten minutes, either in the morning or in the evening. Sometimes the kids like to spend a few minutes with a guided meditation for kids (a few minutes is enough usually but they can extend this time if they feel like it). There are plenty of wonderful resources online. On and off I stop them when we are out and about to remind them to listen to their breathing and the sounds from their surroundings, feel the wind/ the sun etc, and taste the salty air (depending on where you live). It’s really just about being mindful and feeling connected. These are very calming moments and only take a couple of minutes. Another very powerful tool is visualization– tell your kids (or try it on yourself) to imagine taking a lemon out of the fridge, smelling it, letting it fall onto the cutting board (hearing), scraping the skin with their fingernail (touching), cutting it in half and tasting it (tasting)- who wouldn’t be salivating like crazy at this point? This little experiment shows kids how powerful their imagination is. Now they can visualize themselves swimming, practicing an instrument, ballet etc in their minds. Professional athletes use this tool to prepare for their training and competitions. You can also visualize yourself being happy and smiling or simply lying in bed, breathing in a relaxed way. It’s amazing how well it works!

If you are interested in coding, I have found some sources online that have worked really well for our kids: lightbot (free app), swift (free app form apple) with free in-store workshops for kids, www.youthdigital.com (not cheap online tutorials, but incredibly good- look for coupons online!) and codeacademy.com (for older kids and adults).

In order to be happy, centered, lean and fit, you also have to eat the right foods. So yesterday’s dinner consisted of a fruity kale salad (one of our kids’ favorite salads) with oranges and pomegranate seeds (see recipe here http://plantbasedhappy.com/?p=8148)


mushroom risotto as an entree and fresh seasonal fruits for dessert. 


You might wonder why I used white arborio rice for the risotto instead of brown rice. When it comes to rice, you basically have two choices:

  • you activate brown rice. That means that you have to soak it with a bit of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for at least 12 hours. Even better to keep the water you soaked the rice in for the next batch of rice, which will increase the amount of phytase (the enzyme that breaks up phytates- complexes of phytic acid bound to zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and iron). Rinse the rise well before cooking it. You will get all the important minerals and fiber. 
  • you use white rice. No need to activate it, because most of the phytates have been remove. White rice lacks nutrients including fiber. But at least it lets you absorb the nutrients form the food that you eat with the rice. The worst you can do is consume whole grains that have NOT BEEN ACTIVATED. Not only do they cause stress on your digestive system, they also interfere with the absorption of nutrients that you eat at the same time. 

Therefore, for yesterday’s risotto, we had white rice and lots of nutrients! Preparing foods properly might sound difficult at first, but as soon as you know a few basic facts is really easy. last but not least, here is the recipe for the risotto: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?p=8576



Special Post: Exam Food for my Students

Dear Students,

You are having a busy time ahead of yourselves with tons of exams, late night studying and high stress levels. Just a word of solace- we’ve all been there and you’ll be fine! Just keep breathing!


With little or no time or nerves to shop or even thinking about cooking, I expect a lot of you will feed on processed unhealhty foods over the next week. Does that help you do well? I doubt it. As we all know though, our minds work best in healthy bodies (“mens sana in corpore sano”). The intended meaning is that only a healthy body can support a healthy mind, so we should strive to keep our bodies in top condition.

So here is a list of very easy and quick to prepare snacks and a few words of advise (you would probably not listen to your moms, but hopefully to your tutor):

  • Eat alkaline foods (plant-based foods) which do not cause or enhance inflammation in your bodies (animal products do). You don’t need your bodies being busy fighting inflammation when you’re already stressed!
  • Limit your shopping trips by buying a lot of healthy plants and freeze them (kale leaves, banana, berries, etc)
  • Make a large batch of snacks once and freeze them (raw balls or goji squares for example)
  • Chop various vegetables once a week and store them in the fridge. That way, you can throw salads together in no time. 
  • Stay away high fructose energy drinks, they are poison (like other poisons, fructose can only be metabolized by the liver which will slowly lead to a fatty liver; high fructose concentration releases 100 times the number of oxygen radicals and can cause pancreatic and arterial damage. Instead, have a moderate amount of coffee, exercise moderately (you can always squeeze in a short run which will give you an immediate energy boost and releases endorphins- “happy hormones”) and meditate for a few minutes (I use a great app called “calm”). Above all: Keep your calm!
  • If possible, and I know you might think “WHAT???” activate your nuts, seeds and grains. Soak quinoa, brown rice etc overnight in water with a splash of lemon juice before you use them the next day (rinse well before using them). Soak large batches of nuts and seeds at the same time overnight, then dry them for a few hours on low temperatures in the oven. Store them in the fridge. They make a fabulous snack. The reason behind all this effort? Phytic acid in the foods bind to important minerals like phosphorus, calcium, zinc or magnesium and prevents your body form absorbing the nutrients. So try to stay from raw nuts and seeds thinking these are healthy foods. They are only healthy if prepared properly. And believe me when I say this takes very little time!!! One minute to throw nuts in a bowl with water, another minute to transfer them to the oven and turn it on… and don’t forget to turn if off 🙂


I hope you’ll enjoy some of these –or other– healthy foods!


Raw Cacao Balls

Totally addictive! 


Klick on the title below for the recipe  

Raw Chocolate Balls


Turmeric Ginger Latte

A soothing, relaxing anti inflammatory drink


Klick on the title below for the recipe

Almond Milk Turmeric Latte


Soba Noodles with Avocado

Seriously, they are prepared in 12 minutes


Klick on the title below for the recipe

Soba Noodles with Creamy Avocado Sauce


Raw Black Forest Cake Balls

OMG, soo delicious! 


Throw 1/4 cup each pecans and almonds, about the same amount dates and cherries and about tablespoons of raw cacao powder in a food processor. Add a bit of water and blend until you get a sticky mixture. Start off with just one teaspoon of water, then add a bit more if needed during processing until the mixture starts to stick together. If you like, you can coat the balls with raw cacao powder.


Goji Squares


Klick on the title below for the recipe  

Yummy Goji Squares


3 Ingredients Chia Pudding

Stir 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1/2 tbsp maple syrup into 1 cup almond milk. Refrigerate for a few couple of hours. Enjoy!


3 Ingredients Wrap

Green leaves, banana, almond butter (activated, if possible). No recipe needed 🙂



Very Berry Smoothie

Seriously, anything will do. Choose a plant milk (activated almond form Pure Harvest or coconut milk or coconut water), throw in banana chunks for sweetness, greens (kale gives you the most nutrients), a couple of dates (sweetness and energy), any type of fruits (berries, mango, watermelon) and any superfoods you might have at home (hemp seeds, maca powder, acai powder, bee pollen etc). Swap juices with smoothies. Juices don’t contain much needed fiber and will cause sugar spikes (followed by sugar lows). 


Simple Avocado Toast 



Almond Butter Banana Toast

sprinkle with seeds and nuts (chia, pecan, almonds- activated if possible)


Klick on the title below for the recipe

Wholegrain Toast with Almond Maple Butter and Banana Slices


Good luck on your exams and TOI, TOI, TOI!!


Weekly Meal Plan 13

Hi All,

I would love to tell you, that I am done with all my Christmas shopping, that I have send out our annual Season’s Greetings family picture, that I have personalized the children’s annual video message from Santa Claus (https://www.portablenorthpole.com/) and that I have planned our culinary highlights for the traditional Christmas dinner. Sadly, I have to admit that I am running SO LATE with everything and although I tried hard to avoid any December stress, there was no escape and so, once again, I have a list of 500 things to do and only a few days left!


And it looks like I am not the only one…

images (1)

Somewhere in the depths of the internet, I read this definition about stress today:


This is so true! I found endless links to website which try to help people cope with the pre- Christmas stress (and Xmas stress and post- Xmas stress). In short, you are advised to drop Xmas greeting cards, limit presents and simplify your dinner menu. Sounds very reasonable and I was contemplating these suggestions for about a minute.

BUT HOW CAN YOU NOT SEND OUT A FAMILY SEASON’S GREETINGS CARD?? It’s a beautiful way to connect with friends, especially the ones you haven’t seen in a long time.

HOW CAN YOU LIMIT PRESENTS, when you can delight someone with a thoughtful present? I don’t want to miss out on my joy of preparing homemade cookies, almond butter, granola etc for our friends and family and of wrapping them beautifully. And to miss out on look of utter surprise and happiness when you found the perfect gift for your children- no way!


Of course I will not drop, reduce or cut down on a single thing and yes, I will probably almost loose my mind and will be super exhausted come the Christmas day, but IT IS SO WORTH IT and I don’t want to have it any other way.

Let my weekly meal plan help you through the next few days and of course I will have a post about our Xmas dinner menu- soon, I promise, no matter how stressed I will be :). In the meantime, depending on where you live, either warm yourself with some AUSTRIAN APPLE “SCHMARRN”,


cool yourself with a delicious CHILLED CUCUMBER AVOCADO SOUP 


or revitalize yourself with a nutrient rich STRAWBERRY SPINACH AND BANANA SMOOTHIE.


As usual, you’ll find these recipes in the weekly meal plan and the recipe folders.

WeeklyMealplan13 ShoppingList13

Enjoy the next few days, have some vegan eggnog to calm yourself and… BREATHE!!



Weekly Meal Plan 12

Hi All,

I am in the process of getting our warm winter clothes out of the closets where they have spent the entire year because we will be spending the holidays in cold and wintery Europe. From the southern hot hemisphere we’ll dive straight into the northern cold. I am already having warm thoughts when hot punch bowls, stuffed roasted apples and endless simmered stews come to my mind- not to forget all the amazing Austrian, German and Italian dishes we will enjoy over there. I am already planning to post an “Austrian Special” with the most popular dishes from my home country- of course prepared in a healthy plant based way! But before we’ll fly off, let’s not forget the yummy highlights of THIS week! Here they are:



I was actually planning to serve this dish as an appetizer with corn chips, but I ran out of time to whip up a main dish and quickly come up with the ida of pairing them with grilled tortillas- I am not a fan of cheese substitutes, but our kids used to love grilled cheese sandwiches and so on and off I give in and buy some grated vegan cheese. The combination of the mango, corn and peach is incredibly delicious. Feel free to add more red onions the salsa than I put in the recipe-for our children I have to go easy on the raw onions..



Try to get whole wheat couscous instead of the regular one. Plain couscous doesn’t taste like much and has to be spiced up with different ingredients.



Here in Australia, the peach season os at its best and we are devouring the sweet yummy fruits. I tried to use as little sugar as possible in this recipe- when using ripe peaches their sweetness goes a long way.



Let’s not forget to add enough leave greens to our diet! Smoothies are always a great and easy way to add them.



What a vitamin booster! And anti-oxidants booster! And tons- of- other- nutrients booster! And so good!

Check out the rest of the weekly recipes here:


Have fun cooking,


Weekly Meal Plan 11

Dear All,

What do Goji berries, corn and pumpkin have in common?

Well, this week I let my family choose the ingredients. I asked our children to name one ingredient that I would then use in my meals. Our son didn’t have to think twice- his choice was sweet corn- which did not come as a surprise to me. He is as much into corn as I am into avocados. Our daughter found a package of goji berries in the pantry and remembered how much she liked to eat them. Goji berries are THE most nutrient dense food and in the past, I have used them in several recipes. This time I settled on delicious raw GOJI BERRY BALLS.


So, goji berries was easy. But what to do with the sweet corn kernels…? Because of the extremely hot weather I decided to cook as little as possible and make a salad instead. I whipped up a simple but extremely tasty CORN, AVOCADO AND BEAN SALAD WITH VINAIGRETTE. 


Last but not least, my husband also got to choose and picked one of his favorite vegetables- pumpkin. To his deep disappointment, I refused to make another pumpkin pie this week! Instead, I came up with a creamy Italian PUMPKIN RISOTTO. In the end, he was pleasantly surprised! But then again, so was I!


Enjoy this week’s meal plan and I hope you can use the corresponding shopping list.

WeeklyMealplan11    ShoppingList11

Happy plant- based cooking!


Weekly Meal Plan 10

Apples and pears are the big favorites every fall at the Farmer’s markets, but pumpkins seem to always steal the show.


Maybe because they come in a multitude of colors, shapes and sizes. Or maybe because there is no end to what you can make with the sweet and savoury squash. Pies, dips, muffins, curries,…as long as you use pumpkin, the outcome will always taste delicious! We start our pumpkin season around Halloween and end it…well, actually, we never let it end!

This week, I have included a couple of mouth watering pumpkin dishes in the weekly meal plan, so make sure you check out the butternut squash dip,


the mini pumpkin pies


and the coconut chickpea curry with squash instead of sweet potatoes.




Just in case you needed a reason to eat pumpkin, here are FIVE INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS packed into each yummy bite:

  • Pumpkin contains a whole lot of FIBER, which keeps you full of r a long time and is essential for your digestive system
  • one cup of pumpkin contains twice the amount of the recommended daily intake of VITAMIN A, which is essential for your vision and helps you maintain healthy skin, bones and teeth
  • Pumpkin is rich in the amino acid TRYPTOPHAN and SEROTONIN, which the body builds from Tryptophan. Tryptophan will make you nice and sleepy after dinner, Serotonin will improve your mood (you might want to stock up on Serotonin during the dark winter months!)
  • Pumpkin, especially the seeds, contain a lot of ANTI- OXIDANTS and BETA CAROTENE, which protect your body

That should do it for the pumpkins. Let’s embrace ourselves for the upcoming cookie season. The kids and I are getting ready to plaster the kitchen with flour and spices while doing the Christmas cookie bake… stay tuned for my next post.



Weekly Meal Plan 9

Dear All,

Thanksgiving is coming closer and I am in the process of putting together a wonderful mouth watering Thanksgiving dinner that I will post on the weekend. What I have in mind is a tasty, colorful and easy to prepare menu. For now, enjoy and check out my new recipes that are included in the newest weekly meal plan (WeeklyMealplan9ShoppingList9).

Our highlights this week were definitely the homemade lemon parsley hummus,


the overnight vanilla oats with banana and blueberries 


and the raw carrot cake.


Also, a quick reminder for everyone living on the northern hemisphere- if you don’t get enough sun exposure because the cold, foggy winter months are creeping in, substitute Vitamin D along with Vitamin B12.

Oh, and something else needs to be addressed: go easy on the non- fermented soy! A new study has shown- again- what a difficult crop soy is and what possible side effects non- fermented soy might have. Fermented soy, on the other hand, as used in tempeh or miso, seems to be ok as long as they are organic and non GMO (sometimes hard to find).

As long as we don’t know for certain, limit your soy intake- in our family we hardly use an soy products. There are plenty of soy alternatives to choose from. We add almond milk to our coffee, use oat, almond, hemp and rice milk in our cereal and enjoy coconut yogurts.

Enjoy the weekend,