When Bioglan challenge you to recreate three of their recipes and one of them contains chocolate you don’t say no! They kindly sent me their Cacao Powder, Tropical Spirulina and Berry Burst Supergreens to try. Although so-called ‘superfoods’ are under a bit of scrutiny at the moment debating whether they are nutritionally worth adding to your diet, I personally love them because they add amazing colour and/or flavour to your food. I particularly love adding green powders to my smoothies in the morning because there is just something about that vibrant green colour that I can’t get enough of!
The first product I tried was the Berry Burst Supergreens which contains ingredients such as goji powder, beetroot powder, pomegranate powder and raspberry powder. The powder has a pink tint to it and a distinctive berry aroma that is reminiscent of the strawberry milkshakes I used to drink when I was younger (sadly full of IBS inducing dairy & sugar so I can’t be within an inch of one nowadays!). I’ve never been the biggest fan of berry flavoured powders so in all honesty I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one. The recommended daily usage is 2 tsp so to test it I added it to a smoothie with banana, frozen berries, almond milk, cucumber and peanut butter and was pleasantly surprised! It enhanced the berry flavour of the smoothie without adding too much extra sweetness. I expected the sweet stevia flavour to take over but it didn’t.
The recipe I was asked to recreate with this powder was pink lemonade so I chose a still version as fizzy drinks aren’t the best for my stomach. To make it I simply pulsed the following ingredients in my blender and poured it into a glass:
250ml cold water
Handful of ice cubes
½ tsp maple syrup
1 tsp Berry Burst Supergreens
Juice of 1 large lemon
So as you can see the powder gave it an amazing bright pink lemonade colour without all the artificial colourants. This is a really refreshing, summery drink that I will definitely be having again (maybe with a splash of gin in next time!).
The second powder I received was the Tropical Spirulina which simply contains spirulina, natural flavourings and stevia. I used to avoid stevia like the plague because it does have a distinctive taste but it is low FODMAP so I decided to give it another chance and it’s definitely a flavour you get used to. I barely notice it anymore! As I mentioned before I love my green powders but can’t stand the taste of spirulina so I was definitely sceptical of this one but tempted by the tropical flavouring as pineapple is one of my favourite fruits. When you first open the packet the straight away you get that distinctive spirulina smell but I decided to try a little bit mixed in water and surprisingly all I could taste was the tropical flavour. I 100% recommend this one!
The recipe I was asked to create with this powder was the new trend ‘mermaid toast’. Personally I thought mermaid toast was some kind of hilarious instagram joke when I first heard of it, a bit like charcoal lattes (seriously, next it’s going to be ‘hey everyone, drink mud lattes they make your arms grow!). But I’m up for a challenge so decided to give it a go and was actually quite surprised. I separated 125g of coconut yoghurt into 3 small bowls then mixed ½ tsp of spirulina to the 1st bowl, ¼ tsp to the 2nd bowl and left the 3rd bowl plain. The first thing I noticed was how well the powder mixed, I’ve never added powders to my yoghurt before but will definitely be doing it again! To decorate the toast, simply spread on some of each of the yoghurt mixtures and swirl them around to get your desired pattern.
The third powder Bioglan sent me to try was their cacao powder. You will probably have noticed by now that I am a massive chocoholic so I have my favourite cacao powder brands as I find some have an off-putting bitter taste. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little bit extra to get a good quality, smooth tasting cacao powder. I will definitely be adding this brand to my list as it is one of the best cacaos I have tried and didn’t have a bitterness that overpowered the recipe.
I was asked to create a chocolate mousse recipe using the cacao powder so I came up with this banana and coconut mousse:
1 ripe banana, roughly chopped (approx 125g)
75ml unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
40g Bioglan Cacao Powder
1 400ml can of full-fat coconut milk (chilled overnight)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Start by adding the banana, milk, syrup, vanilla and cacao to a blender or food processor and blend on a medium speed until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. Spoon out the top layer of the coconut milk (the cream) into a large bowl and discard the liquid, you should have around 200g of coconut cream. Using an electric whisk, beat the coconut cream for 1-2 minutes on a high speed until it has thickened and increased in volume. Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl them whisk for a further minute until everything is well combined. Divide the mousse between 4 ramekins, sprinkle over the toppings (I also used edible dried petals) and place them in the fridge for 2hrs before enjoying.