CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today CLICK HERE

Delicious cakes designed for people on a raw food diet

PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 May 2017

Blueberry and lemon raw celebration cake

Blueberry and lemon raw celebration cake


Monica Santos of Charged Berry has achieved the impossible - delicious cakes that are good for you. Emma Mayoh reports.

Monica SantosMonica Santos

Convention dictates that cake is sinful – and if it isn’t then you aren’t baking it right. The word conjures up images of fluffy Victoria sponges with cream and jam oozing out of the sides, cupcakes with mountains of swirly icing on top and carrot cake that we convince ourselves is part of our five a day.

But Monica Santos, who runs Charged Berry at Botany Bay in Chorley, proves you can have your cake and eat it. The 40-year-old produces stunning raw cakes that are packed with healthy ingredients and don’t contain wheat, gluten, dairy, refined sugar or preservatives.

She started eating raw herself ten years ago after she was diagnosed with coeliac disease – a condition where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten. She had endured years of ill health and had been diagnosed with everything from irritable bowel syndrome to depression.

‘Life was really difficult,’ said Monica, who lives in Chorley with husband, Elisio, brother, Miguel and children, Lucas, 21 and Alex, 14. ‘I just couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even manage the ten minute walk to collect my children from school. By 3pm I was done. I needed to go to bed.

A selection of Just For Me raw cakesA selection of Just For Me raw cakes

‘When the doctor suggested it might be depression, it was the final straw for me. I knew I wasn’t depressed. I was ill. I started doing my own research and then finally got diagnosed with coeliac disease. It was a real light bulb moment for me. Things just started to get better.’

While Monica admits the transition of removing allergens from her diet was her toughest challenge, today, she is a different person. She started to make raw cakes for friends which led to her launching her business.

And what Monica proves convincingly is that raw doesn’t mean joyless. In fact, her raw cakes, bliss balls, energy bars and smoothies, regularly put smiles on the faces of her customers.

‘When you have to cut things like wheat and dairy out of your diet it is a challenge,’ said Monica. ‘Starters and mains are easier but when it comes to gluten free desserts, it is a nightmare. Eating out is really affected.

Blueberry and lemon bliss ballsBlueberry and lemon bliss balls

‘With my cakes the focus is on all the wonderful, nutrition and healthy ingredients that are in the cakes. It’s not about what isn’t in them or saying that people are missing out because they have food allergies. They are charged full of foods that will fill you with energy and make you feel good.’

Monica, who used to work as a linguist for the NHS, sells her products via her website and from her shop in Botany Bay, near Chorley, as well as supplying other cafes and delis, including The Health Bar in Lytham. She also creates stunning celebration cakes.

She has ambitions to start supplying restaurants. She is currently in talks with a leading Manchester restaurant.

‘It can be so difficult eating out,’ she said. ‘It would be great to be able to offer fantastic, delicious desserts for everyone.

‘I feel very positive about the future. My life is so different just from making this change. I’m looking forward to doing more.’ n

More from Food & Drink

The seeds of an organic food co-operative built on Quaker principles were first sewn almost 20 years ago. Now, Growing with Grace is flourishing

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Take a bite from the county with a dining experience with a difference

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Michelin judges have put Lancashire and the Lakes firmly on the UK’s map of culinary excellence, writes Roger Borrell

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Modern Portuguese flavours and fabulous wine give you every reason to visit Canto at Ancoats

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

William Firth crafts high end products that help food and drink companies make their products shine.

Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Calyx founder Raphael Ogunrinde is drinking in the success of his Burnley business, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

BBQ doesn’t just have to be for the summer. Expert Richard Holden shares his advice on how to cook outdoors in all seasons

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

The Spice Club attracts diners in their droves. And it all started in a front room in Whitefield. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Asian Food
Friday, October 19, 2018

Talented chef Spencer Burge has driven Bertram’s Restaurant in Burnley to success

Read more
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Oli Martin is a head chef that has transformed the kitchens at Hipping Hall. Emma Mayoh finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is among the owners of Tast, a new restaurant helping King Street’s ambitions to join the gastronomic Premier League.

Read more
Manchester Restaurants Spanish Food
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

When is a pub not a pub? When it’s the Freemasons at Wiswell, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The winners of the 2018 Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony at Ribby Hall Village.

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The winner of the Tearoom/Café of the Year category announced

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search