Day 13 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {my first love + chocolate cake}

Today I was so grateful.

So grateful for my body.

For my family.

For this journey called life.

I started my morning with my little body love note and I realized how thankful I am for all my body's cravings as of late.  The betrayal I so felt by my body for all its sugar, flour and sweet cravings the past few months have in fact been a total gift.

For the past three months I have hated my body, so very much despised it, for being uncontrollable and for my apparent lack of willpower with succumbing to eating {devouring} more sweets than I probably have in the last five years.

Then today I realized what a blessing these cravings have been.  All the brownies, cookies {dough}, cake, chocolate, etc. have reminded that I need {and want} sweetness in my life.  And for me, that undoubtedly includes food.

I am so grateful for my body and her intense cravings.  She needed to get my attention and realized it required drastic measures.  My body has reminded me of my innate LOVE of food, of sharing food and especially for creating one-of-a-kind desserts {all made from nature} that are so full of wholesome goodness, rich sweetness and natural deliciousness!

And oh how I have rejected this for so much of my life.  I have always been so stinking terrified of food - that which I truly love and brings so much joy to me I have completely shunned. I have done everything and anything at times to keep myself out of the kitchen for fear of what?  Fear of not trusting my body or the food choices me {she} would make.

So in light {an in honor of my first love} I wanted to share this DECADENT raw, vegan, gluten-free, you-name-it-free Chocolate Cake with you.  I first made it working as the pastry chef at Chakra 4 Vegetarian Cafe in Phoenix and last made it exactly a year ago for three amazing and beautiful friends' birthday - It is so perfect for Valentine's Day.  So perfect in fact that I saw nearly the same recipe in this morning's paper and so, I wanted to share with you.

What gift did your body give you today?

So much love + light to you and your sweet physical self.

xxoo Jamie

Raw Raspberry Ganache Layered Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake 3 cups dry walnuts 2⁄3 cup unsweetened cacao powder or carob powder 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup pitted Medjool dates, soaked for 15-30 minutes

Frosting 1⁄3 cup soaked pitted Medjool dates 1⁄4 cup coconut nectar (can substitute with agave, maple syrup or honey) 1⁄2 cup ripe avocado 1⁄3 cup cacao powder

Filling 1⁄2 cup raspberries

DIRECTIONS

To make the cake, combine the walnuts, cacao powder and salt in food processor and pulse until coarsely mixed. Avoid overprocessing. Remove the dates from the soak water (retaining for later use) and add to the mixture along with the vanilla.  Pulse until well-combined. Add date soak water as needed.  Mixture should hold together when you press it together between your fingers. Shape into two stackable cakes of desired shape and set aside.

To make the frosting, combine the dates and sweetener in a high-speed blender and process until combined. Then add the avocado until smooth.  Add in the cacao powder and process until well-combined.

To serve, frost the top of one of the cakes with half the frosting and top with the raspberries. Stack the second cake on top and frost the top and sides of the double layer cake.  Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for a couple hours to firm up.

The cake on its own will keep in the fridge for two weeks. The frosting will keep separately in the fridge for 1 week. The assembled cake with raspberries will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.