We’re getting into the summer spirit with Prana, a line of wholesome, organic products that are great for eating on their own, used in dishes, for baked goodies, and as snacks.
Prana is the Canadian success story of Marie-Josée Richer. Based out of Montréal, Canada, the mother of three started this company with a desire to ‘change the world’ and to democratize organic food. Considering that on the whole, organic food is costly, Richer wanted to make it more accessible to the masses and something to be integrated into diets on a daily basis rather than as an occasional luxury.
Her philosophies and relationship with food stem from her years abroad in places like India and Thailand; in these countries, eating well is heavily integrated into the minds and psyches of its people.
Interestingly, her background is in bio-chemistry– but upon her return from East and South Asia, her goals changed; she wanted to open her own company with a focus on sourcing quality ingredients and making them available to Canadians.
For the first 5 years, the company was purely grassroots: she worked out of her mother’s basement, sourcing, preparing and packaging all the food. Now, in their 11th year, she has her own company with 70 employees that handle all the production line work.
On this occasion, she lets the food do the talking for us. Rather than preach the benefits of organic and vegan fare, she simply serves it to us. It’s colourful, fresh and not at all heavy in the stomach. Since it’s getting warmer outside, she offers us Ice Cream Sandwiches; they’re chalk full of hearty almonds and a rich dose of chocolate.
These are perfect for BBQ parties and summer picnics.
And for those who are wondering, they happen to be gluten-free and vegan friendly.
Almond Cookies filled with Chocolate Avocado Cream
For the cookies
- 1 cup of almonds, powdered
- 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 330°F.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Make scoops of cookie dough about the size of a ping-pong ball and place them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Press them lightly with the palm of your hand to flatten them. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be golden-brown but not too brown, and the centres should still be white. If they’re still soft when you take them out of the oven, that’s normal, and they’ll finish as they cool, while keeping a soft centre. Leave them to cool completely.
For the Chocolate Avocado Cream
Note: Don’t worry, you can’t taste the avocados. They’re used for texture and creaminess. All you will taste is sweet chocolate.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/2 cup of raw cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup (you can add more if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Spread the chocolate cream on 4 cookies, and use the remaining 4 to make a sandwich out of them.
- Roll the sides of the cookies in chopped almonds for an optional garnish.
- Freeze the cookies for 15 minutes to let them set, and serve.
For more information on where to find Prana Organic products or to order online, visit their website.