Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel have created a unique take on food in their vegetarian cookbook, Decolonize Your Diet (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015). It boasts the same 100+ recipes as other cookbooks, the same colorful photos and delicious meals. But it also exists to give a new meaning to traditional Mexican food, as it reaches not simple outside the borders of the USA for inspiration, but into other indigenous American peoples, and back through history. These authors urge Mexican-Americans and those of Latino heritage to return to their food roots for physical health and spiritual connection. Though aimed at a culture “decolonizing” their traditional American diets, this cookbook is accessible to anyone and everyone who picks it up. From classic appetizers like guacamole to rich desserts, explore the energizing, healing properties of a plant-based, Mexican-American diet.
This special occasion dessert has the delicate consistency of flourless chocolate cake while also delivering solid nutritional value. The amaranth and sweet potato provide protein and fiber to balance the sweetness of the honey. In addition, cacao may help to prevent heart disease and alleviate depression. This gluten-free recipe, using 100 percent whole foods, is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy chocolate! Because this cake is dense and rich, we recommend serving small slices.
• 5 oz (150 g) bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) extra virgin coconut oil
• 3/4 cup (175 mL) raw local honey (mild-flavored, runny variety, such as clover)
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked pureed sweet potatoes
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 4 large eggs
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) raw ground cacao
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/3 cup (80 mL) amaranth flour
For topping:• 6 oz (175 g) fresh raspberries
• 1 5.4-oz (156-mL) can coconut cream (not coconut milk), refrigerated for 24 hours
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Generously grease a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan with softened coconut oil.
2. In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure bottom of bowl doesn’t touch water), melt chocolate with oil, stirring with a heatproof spatula until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and set aside.
3. Place honey in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
4. Lower speed to medium and beat in sweet potato and vanilla, then beat in melted chocolate.
5. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping sides of bowl as needed. After last egg is added, beat mixture for 5 minutes (this will add volume to cake).
6. Sift cacao, salt, and amaranth flour into a separate bowl and fold mixture into batter. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 25–30 minutes, until edges are set but center still jiggles a little and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out with moist crumbs.
7. Place cake on a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.
8. Loosen edges of cake with a knife, then release springform from pan and cool completely before serving.
9. For topping, spoon coconut cream into bowl of an electric mixer and whip until it is light and fluffy and holds soft peaks. Serve cake in thin slices garnished with fresh berries and a dollop of coconut cream.
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Reprinted with permission from Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel, published by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015.