Review: LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

It feels like forever since I’ve posted. I have been doing plenty of cooking though so have a lot I want to share, it’s just been a little busy my end so I haven’t been able to get it together to post.

You’ll have to wait a teeny bit longer for more recipes though as today I’ve got a product review for you- LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars!

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

If you’re a long-time reader of Coconut and Berries you’ll know I’m a big fan of energy bars to stash in my bag for when I’m out and about. It’s still not always easy to find healthy, vegan food away from home. I do have to say that I have been fairly impressed with the food on offer on my university campus. You can get super cheap herbal tea (!), and I’ve just discovered that there’s even a café with a fully vegetarian menu and daily vegan options!

Still, for the 5 minute breaks between classes, snack bars are ideal, and LoveRaw Bars are my new favourites Smile.

I imagine most of my readers know about the benefits of raw food already, but if not, you may be interested to learn that heating certain foods means that you lose a lot of their nutrients and all the natural enzymes which are so good for us. With this in mind, LoveRaw slow-dry their bars to preserve the vitamins and minerals of the quality, organic ingredients used.

I’ve been on a big raw kick recently ( more on that to come too…) so these came at the perfect time.

I love the story behind the company too. You can read more about Rimi, the founder, and how LoveRaw came to be here. Rimi is clearly passionate about healthy food and committed to creating the products as healthy as possible. The bars are all hand-crafted and packed in Cheshire, UK. I like the idea that there are real people behind what I’m eating rather than just machinery!

I had the opportunity to try 3 of their flavours:

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

  Coconut & Chia

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

  Rosehip & Lemon

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

Cacao & Maca

A bar made with wholefoods ingredients- nuts, dried fruits and superfoods with no added sweeteners or fillers is already a plus for me, but, just as importantly, they taste delicious too.

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

The coconut bar was perfect for this coconut-loving girl. It’s nice and chewy from the shredded coconut with a pleasant crunch from the super-nutritious chia seeds. I talked a little about chia seeds earlier here.

LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bars

This might  have been my favourite of the 3, though it was so hard to choose! The chocolate taste is nice and prominent, and there are definite nutty, malty undertones from the maca, though I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint the flavour exactly without knowing what was in it. Oh, and this one’s got cacao nibs in too which add a little bit of crunch. I’ve recently learnt about the nutritional benefits of maca, traditionally used in Peru. It’s most known for its positive effect in balancing hormones so is especially good for women to be consuming.

Lastly, I tried the rosehip and lemon bar. No picture of this one as it was eaten on the go, but I still made sure to savour it. This one’s very different from any other snack bar I’ve had but was really lovely. Lemony and fruity/floral-tasting, as to be expected really from its name! Rosehip is another one that’s been getting recognition recently for its health properties. It’s a concentrated source of Vitamin C, as well as having high levels of antioxidants and other vitamins.

There’s a 4th flavour, Apricot & Camu Camu, which I haven’t yet tried. It looks as though it’s currently sold out (19/10/13) on the LoveRaw website but hopefully it will be back in stock soon. I see it’s got lucuma in, which I love!

Where to buy? LoveRaw Bars are currently available across London, in Wholefoods stores, Planet Organic and the Natural Kitchen, Marylebone. But, if you’re not in London there’s no need to fear! Love Raw also sell online direct from their website and you can buy boxes of 12 bars of each flavour. I’d love to see LoveRaw introduce a mixed box as I wouldn’t be able to pick just one flavour!

Have you tried LoveRaw Superfood Bars yet? What do you look for in a snack bar?

Note: These products were sent to me for review purposes, but the opinions expressed are my own.

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Leek, Sun-dried Tomato & White Bean “Risotto”

Leek, Sundried Tomato & White Bean "Risotto"

I’m back! Did you miss me?! I doubt anyone actually noticed I was away, it was only 2 days off blogging after all, but having got into the habit of posting every day it felt strange not to publish a post for a couple of days…

Leek, Sun-dried Tomato + White Bean "Risotto" (Cauilfower Rice)

Most vegans, myself included, go vegetarian for a time before moving to vegan, and in that period, whenever I ate out, the typical restaurant menu offering was risotto (usually “wild mushroom” ! ).

This unfortunately wasn’t to my liking, not just because I would have liked to see a bit more creativity, but what came out of the kitchen was always a plate full of stodge. Pretty much just rice, lots of cream and butter and maybe the odd piece of vegetable if you were lucky. Too rich for my tastes and not heavy enough on the veg!

Maybe I shouldn’t complain, at least there was something vegetarian available, not usually the case with vegan meals….

Leek, Sun-dried Tomato & White Bean “Risotto” (Grain-free) |

I’m not against rice in any way and have made pleasant enough vegan risottos at home using it in the past, but wanted to try something a little different this time.

If you’ve been reading a while you may remember my Cauliflower Fried Rice with Grilled Asian Tofu, a dish I really enjoyed. So along the same lines, I decided on cauliflower as the rice component in my risotto!

I used a white bean purée to give the dish some creaminess and studded it with rich sun-dried tomatoes and sautéed leeks for a good punch of flavour.

I loved that this dish was substantial but not heavy and think it would be a great base for all sorts of flavour combinations. A Spanish paella with tomatoes, brightly coloured peppers and olives would be scrummy I’m sure, or how about adding chunks of sweet potato and spinach? You could also add some nutritional yeast for cheesiness.

Oh, and there’s none of that standing over the stove and stirring endlessly that traditional risotto involves here.

Leek, Sun-dried Tomato & White Bean “Risotto” (Grain-free) |

Leek, Sun-dried Tomato + White Bean “Risotto”

Yield: 2 Servings


  • 1/2 Medium head of cauliflower (to yield approx 3 C when chopped fine)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil + 1 tsp (divided)
  • 1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp Dried thyme or a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1-1/2 C/1 Can Cooked white beans
  • 1 C Vegetable broth
  • 1 Large leek, trimmed and sliced into half-moons
  • 1/3 C Chopped sun-dried tomatoes (soft or rehydrated)
  • 2 Tbsp Pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)


  1. Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until you get a coarse “rice” like texture. Be careful not to over-process as you want some texture.
  2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium-size pan and sauté onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add garlic and thyme and continue to cook for a minute, stirring. Add half the white beans and the vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend this mixture using an immersion blender  until a smooth purée.
  3. Meanwhile, in another pan, sauté leeks for 10 minutes in remaining oil with a pinch of salt, for 10 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Add the leeks, sun-dried tomatoes, remaining white beans and cauliflower rice to the white bean purée, season well with salt and pepper and stir. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes until everything is warmed through. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.
  5. Divide between 2 bowls, top with a few grinds of black pepper and toasted pine nuts.

What’s your experience of the typical veg meal on the menu?

Are you a risotto fan?

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Pesto Polenta Triangles, Balsamic White Beans with Cherry Tomatoes + Basil

Pesto Polenta Triangles, Balsamic White Beans with Cherry Tomatoes + Basil

P is for…Polenta!


I was a little confused about the difference between cornmeal and polenta and the line between the two does seem to be fairly blurred. This is one opinion from the Kitchn. I tend to think of polenta as medium or coarse cornmeal and use it mainly for making cornbread (!) and cornmeal pancakes.

This post from Little Vegan Bear reminded me that it’s great on it’s own too. You can eat it creamy and soft (I like it this way for breakfast as an alternative to porridge) or pour it into a dish, cool it, cut it into shapes and bake or pan-fry until crispy.

Many people seem to think they don’t like polenta but I’m convinced that’s because they haven’t had it cooked well. It is very bland so needs plenty of seasoning to make it taste good.

I stirred in some pesto and sundried tomatoes to really amp up the flavour here and served it with some simple balsamic white beans with tomatoes and basil which complemented the dish well.

Pesto Polenta Triangles, Balsamic White Beans with Cherry Tomatoes + Basil

Pesto Polenta Triangles:

2C Water
3/4C Polenta
1/2t Salt
1/4C Non-dairy Milk (unsweetened)
1T Nutritional yeast
1 1/2T Pesto
1/4C Sundried tomatoes (oil-packed or dried + reconstituted in hot water)

Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size pan. Add the polenta and salt and turn the heat down, it might splutter so be careful! It will start to thicken quickly so whisk vigorously to avoid lumps.

If you’re using regular polenta, stir to thicken for 5-10 minutes then add the remaining ingredients. If using instant polenta it will only need about 2 minutes to thicken up.

When all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is very thick, pour into a lightly oiled container, smooth out top and leave to cool. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cut polenta into 6 equal triangles (or shape of your choice). Heat a pan over high and add a drizzle of olive oil. Pan-fry polenta triangles for a approx 3 minutes on both sides until crisp.

Serves 2-3

Pesto Polenta Triangles, Balsamic White Beans with Cherry Tomatoes + Basil

I like to use larger white beans like butter beans here but cannellini would also work well. I love this bean dish. It’s sweet and syrupy from the balsamic and red onion, and the juicy cherry tomatoes, just beginning to collapse, burst in your mouth. Plenty of garlic and basil round everything out.

Balsamic White Beans w/Cherry Tomatoes + Basil:

1/2T Olive oil
1/2 Red onion, diced small
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1/4t Dried thyme (optional)
125g/4oz Cherry tomatoes
1 1/2C/1 Can cooked white beans
2T Balsamic vinegar
Salt + pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. Cook red onion for a few minutes until soft, add garlic and thyme and sauté for another minute. Add Cherry tomatoes and continue to cook until beginning to collapse. Finally add white beans and balsamic vinegar and cook until warm through and the balsamic has reduced.

Season with salt and pepper and serve

Serves 2-3


Pesto Polenta Triangles, Balsamic White Beans with Cherry Tomatoes + Basil

A few dishes using polenta that I’ve got my eye on…

This Polenta topping for fruit crumble from David Lebovitz sounds a lovely way to change up my favourite oaty version

This Sweet Potato & Coconut Polenta with Asian Vegetable Fricasée sounds absolutely delicious and is really different to any other polenta dishes I’ve seen.

These South-western Bean & Cornmeal Cakes- You knew I’d feature a patty recipe didn’t you?!

Over to you…

Have you had good experiences with polenta? What do you make with it?


Side Notes: Coconut and Berries now has a print recipe feature! Just click on the link “Print Recipe here” and you’ll be taken to a pdf showing only the recipe without the rest of the post and pictures, for easy printing. Hope it’s helpful for some of you.  

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato + Quinoa Patties

K is for…Kidney Beans!

Kidney Beans

Since I’ve been featuring some less common ingredients recently I thought I’d take it back to basics and highlight a vegan staple- beans! At least they’re a staple for me and if they’re not for you, why not?!

Packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals and low in fat, they’re a highly nutritious, not to mention versatile, ingredient.

Kidney beans are not the most used variety in my kitchen but as this A-Z series is all about challenging me (and you!) to explore different options they seemed a good choice for “K”.

It’s so easy to get into a rut of using the same chickpeas and brown rice, or whatever your favourites are, over and over, and forget that there’s a whole world of food possibilities out there. As healthy as chickpeas and brown rice are, a varied diet is also important.

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties |

Until recently, I’m sure the only recipes I’d used kidney beans in were for chili! Kidney beans at their finest but not very original. I’ve since tried a couple of other things, namely Vegan Richa’s Dal Makhani - Black Gram and Kidney Beans in Creamy Buttery Gravy and Dreena Burton’s Mediterranean Kidney Bean Burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan, both very good.

Since I’m going through a phase of making everything into patties, that’s what I did here for these Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties. 

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties |

I combined my beans with mashed sweet potato and quinoa for the basic patty mixture, added in sautéed kale, carrots and onions for a veggie boost, and rounded everything out with a little curry flavour.

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties |

These have a lovely texture, soft but not mushy, with a nice crisp exterior. They hold together well too so if you wanted I imagine you could pan-fry them instead of baking for a darker crust. Feel free to use whatever spices or herbs you like.

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties

Yield: 8 Patties (4 Servings)


  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut or Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp Mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C Coarsely grated carrot,
  • 1 C Kale, chopped
  • 1/2 C Mashed sweet potato
  • 1 C Cooked Kidney beans
  • 1-1/2 C Cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Chickpea flour


  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash kidney beans with a strong fork or potato masher (you could pulse in a food processor too but make sure not to over-process). You want some chunks for texture. Add sweet potato and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Warm oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic, spices and salt and continue to cook for another minute so that the spices toast and become fragrant.
  4. Add kale and carrots and cook for a further 2-4 minutes until greens are wilted. Stir in lemon juice.
  5. Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl along with the cooked quinoa and mix well. Stir through chickpea flour.
  6. Shape into patties with damp hands to stop them sticking. Mine were about 1/3 C each. If you make them larger or smaller adjust cooking time accordingly.
  7. Bake patties for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.
  8. Serve hot with marinara sauce.

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato + Quinoa Patties

*Update* : You’ll find some more kidney bean recipes on the blog now! Check out my Chili Quinoa-Bean Bites (with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes) and Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream.

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Hemp Seeds Recipes


H is for…Hemp Seeds!


We’ve had Chia seeds already and today I’m featuring another nutritious little one- Hemp seeds. No, you won’t get high from eating these I’m afraid! Hemp seeds and marijuana do come from the same plant, cannabis, but different varieties with different properties.

Just like chia, hemp seeds are packed with protein, EFAs, Vitamin E and minerals, not to mention they’re really tasty. They have quite a distinctive flavour, slightly earthy and sweet.

I frequently use them in my meals but almost always just sprinkling them on top of whatever it may be. From salads and soups, to porridge, non-dairy yogurt and fruit. I’ve also recently discovered these flavoured hemp sprinkles from the UK company Good Hemp. They come in 3 flavours: Asian Spice, Italian Herbs + Sweet Cinnamon and are extra tasty. I can especially vouch for the Italian Herb being good on pesto pasta Smile.

For my A-Z challenge I decided I had to incorporate them into a recipe like I did for my Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos. I left it to the experts to come up with the recipes though and made 3 hemp recipes from 3 of my favourite bloggers.

Happy Hemp 2 Bite Brownies

First up was these Happy Hemp Two-Bite Brownies from Ricki Heller. They’re grain-free and also don’t contain any refined sugars. I use coconut sugar in my baking already but hadn’t found a good brand of stevia until recently so had avoided stevia sweetened desserts. I won a giveaway for some NuNaturals products and have to say these are unlike any others I’ve tried. Stevia can often have a bitter aftertaste but this one is completely undetectable.

NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia + Coconut Sugar

Back to brownies. Ground almonds and hemp seeds are the main ingredients leaving them with that perfect fudgy brownies texture- a slightly squidgy middle whilst still being crisp on the outside.     

2 Bite Hemp BrowniesEspecially good with a tall glass of ice cold almond milk. I couldn’t decide if I liked them being small or not. Mini treats are fun but 2 bites of these was not enough!

Beet & Hemp Seed Granola

Next, I made Gena from Choosing Raw’s Beet and Hemp Granola. This was my first time making granola of any kind and I was so pleased with how it turned out. Gena gives either the option to dehydrate or oven bake but as I sadly don’t own a dehydrator I had to go with the latter. I’m sure it didn’t compromise the taste but it might have resulted in the darker colour of mine, not quite the pretty beetroot pink it was before baking.

Beet & Hemp Seed Granola

I don’t buy store-bought granola as it’s far too sweet for me but this had just the right amount of sweetness- all natural from dates. The goldenberries (Incan berries) added a nice chewy, tangy contrast too.

Beet & Hemp Seed Granola

I served mine with almond milk and berries (N.b My blackberries were from the freezer which is why they look a little icy still!) . I’m excited to try out a bunch of other granola recipes now I know how easy it is to make, and far healthier and cheaper than buying it.

Hemp recipe number 3 was another breakfast recipe. Dreena Burton’s “Hempanana Smoothie” from her latest book Let them Eat Vegan (See this post for my review).

Hempanana Smoothie - "Let Them Eat Vegan"

This is a super simple concoction but needs no adornment. Just frozen banana, almond milk, a generous helping of hemp seeds and a dash of cinnamon. Hemp seeds are very soft so they blend down easily and leave the smoothie dreamily creamy! I ran out of straws ( I need to get myself a reusable one….) and slurping this from the glass left me with a thick milk moustache. I’ll definitely be making this again and again.

Hempanana Smoothie - "Let Them Eat Vegan"

I enjoyed this for breakfast alongside one of my Strawberry-Almond Muffins. (Oh, and that’s the Good Hemp Sweet Cinnamon variety sprinkled on top of the smoothie)

Incidentally, I just came across this recipe for Chocolate Hemp Banana Ice Cream the other day, which, along the same lines, uses hemp for richness. Can’t wait to try it out.

Have you tried hemp seeds? How do you use them?

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