Raw Banana Cream Pie

Status

Raw Banana Cream PieIt sure has been a while since my last post! I’ve been busy with my giant Frankie 100 project coming this spring and haven’t been playing in the kitchen much. However, tonight my husband will join me to attend the Conscious Eating Niagara potluck which I haven’t been to in forever, so I thought I’d update the blog with today’s creation.

It’s another case of, a little of this, a little of that. Actually, I had some raw bars in the freezer that I decided to blend up and make in to the pie crust. It’s all about the filling.

Mandi’s Banana Cream Pie

Crust Filling
Almonds

Hazelnuts

Coconut Flour

Dates

Coconut Syrup

Touch of Moroccan Spice Mix (includes chili, ginger, cinnamon)

Bananas, regular & small red bananas

Coconut butter

Real Vanilla Bean

Touch of Himalayan Salt

Stevia

 

 

Raw Peach Squares

I picked up some fresh Niagara peaches at the Peach festival in Niagara on the Lake this weekend. Here’s a little raw recipe that I’ve whipped together for a party tomorrow. As usual, this is a play it by ear recipe.

This is just a quick post so I don’t forget to post about it. I’ll have to grab a photo later when I cut these in to squares. Right now it’s setting in the freezer.

Raw Peach SquaresRaw Peaches n’ Cream Squares

Filling

  • Coconut butter – about 400 grams
  • 8 ripe peaches
  • a touch of stevia, to taste
  • a touch of vanilla
  • a pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Crust:

  • Coconut flour
  • Coconut oil
  • Dates
  • A touch of ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Blitz the coconut butter in the food processor until it makes a smooth cream.
  2. Cut the peaches up in to slices and start to drop them in the food processor until everything is blitzed together.
  3. Add the other ingredients to taste.
  4. Pour batter in to a bowl and set aside on the counter.
  5. No need to clean the food processor. Just throw about half a cup of coconut flour in and start to blitz it, then add dates and some coconut oil until it still starts to come together as a dough. Add more coconut flour as needed.
  6. Use some coconut oil to grease a square pan. I have a flexible non-stick silicone pan that I like for raw desserts. Press the crust in to the bottom, then pour the batter in. Set in freezer for at least 2 hours. Cut in to squares and enjoy!

The flavour has come out quite subtle and creamy and really nice. Let’s see if the drunkers at the party appreciate it or not.

Raw Peach Squares

Q. How do you make raw halvah?

Q. Hi there I was looking on google for raw halvah recipes and I saw a picture of your halvah with date icing but couldn’t find the recipe and I was wondering if there was anyway you would mind sharing it or pointing me in the direction of a good one.

Raw halvah squares topped with date icing. I think that all halvah must be raw?

A. Hi, you’re right! I originally made that recipe and took a photo before my blog was up.

Here’s how you do it. It’s pretty easy. The key is to have a really good food processor or vitamix to make the coconut butter, or to buy/order coconut butter.
You need equal parts sesame seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes OR raw tahini and already made coconut butter. And a sweetener like coconut syrup, agave, raw honey or maple syrup. Add that to taste. If you’re using about 400 grams each of coconut and sesame, about 1/3 of a cup of sweetener is usually enough for me but you can taste it to see how you like it.  I like coconut syrup but any of those will work. You can use a little Himalayan salt to taste.
You need to blitz the coconut butter first. If you’re making your own coconut butter, blitz the coconut flakes and a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to help it come together. That takes at least 5 minutes to really become creamy and a good machine is important. Then add your seeds or tahini and a hint of salt. Only at the very end should you add the sweetener. If you add it too soon it becomes too sticky and the rest won’t blend. When you add the sweetener, don’t over blend. Just pulse a few times until it comes together.
Then spread it in to a pan of some kind and let it set in the fridge or freezer. It will harden into a delicious halvah.
The date icing was really just blitzed dates that I spread on top which was tasty but optional.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Vegan Peanut Butter Pie (or Vegan Peanut Butter Cups) – GF & mostly raw

This is basically a raw dessert, except for the peanuts are roasted. But it’s hard to beat that roasted peanut butter taste, so I’m taking one for the team on this one.

I’ve know that coconut butter would be the perfect way to thicken a peanut butter filling since I started playing with coconut butter in desserts a couple of years ago. It didn’t let me down!

Jaime and Krister are awesome. They had elephants at their wedding!

I pulled this out for my dear friends, Jaime and Krister’s going away party. They’re moving to Boulder this week. We’re going to miss them!

This recipe is definitely approximate. Adjust ingredients to taste. The main thing is to use equal parts coconut butter & peanut butter.

Ingredients

  • 400g coconut butter
  • 400g natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of coconut syrup, to taste
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

Crust

  • Dates & Coconut Flour in aproximately equal parts. About 1.5 cups of each.

Chocolate layer

  • Coconut oil, aprox 1 to 1.5 cups
  • Raw cacao powder, aprox 1 cup
  • 1/4 tsp of NOW stevia or to taste
  • Himalayan salt to taste, optional

Directions

Make the crust first. Blend your dates into mush in the food processor, then slowly add your coconut flour until it makes a dough. Grease a pie plate or springform pan with coconut oil, sprinkle with some coconut flour so the crust won’t stick, then press the dough in.

In the same food processor, blend your coconut butter until soft and smooth. Add the peanut butter, then the salt. Add your coconut syrup last. Don’t over blend once you’ve added the coconut syrup. Adjust the amount of syrup according to taste. Pour the peanut butter mixture onto the pie crust. It appears very liquidy but it will solidify. Chill in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate layer.

For the chocolate layer. gently warm up your coconut oil to get it to melt by putting it in the dehydrator or near something warm. If you’re not concerned about keeping the recipe raw, you can just set this up as a double boiler setup in a metal bowl over another filled with boiling or hot water. Once the coconut oil is melted, whisk in the other ingredients. Adjust the stevia in the recipe carefully. You don’t need the chocolate layer to be very sweet since the peanut butter filling is sweet. Pull the pie from the freezer and pour the chocolate layer over the top. Then put it back in the fridge or freezer to set. Let it set for about 4 hours before serving, or however long you want in the freezer.

I froze mine a week in advance and brought it out at a party today. It was a big hit!

I plan to use the same recipe to make peanut butter cups. It’s just that with little individual cups, it will be much harder not to pig out on them!

Quick & Easy Vegan Oat Milk in a Bodum

I’ve added Part II of this blog post, making quick and easy raw almond milk, here.

***

I’m leaving for a trip to Sweden next week to go to the Herrang Dance Camp where it will be difficult to eat the way that I like to. I’ve been planning to take a lot of food with me including a variety of my nut butters and my new favourite raw coconut wraps for lunch, power wraps and Larabars for snacks, and definitely vanilla Sun Warrior protein powder and chocolate Greensuperfood powder to make smoothies for breakfast.

Dilemma. What to do in place of almond milk in my breakfast smoothies? Mixing protein powder with plain water is just too thin. So I started to brainstorm ideas for a really quick, easy and portable vegan milk option to go.

I also like making raw almond milk this way, but the oat milk (which isn’t raw) is definitely more portable.

As for making homemade milks, almond or other, I hate using nut milk bags. They’re messy and a big hassle. It’s always tough to wash out the granules around the bag seam, and I just dislike the whole process. So recently I thought, why not use a coffee bodum instead?

Raw Vegan Oat Milk

  • 1/4 cup of oats*, ground in the food processor
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan lecithin granules as an emulsifier, preferably sunflower, otherwise soy
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
  • pinch of stevia (I only NOW brand, most of the others are gross)
  • dash of vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract), to taste
  • pinch of cinnamon, to taste
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 2 cups of water

If you don’t have a bodum, you could use some sort of a smoothie shaker instead. I find these very practical for mixing up my Sun Warrior smoothies in the mornings.

Ingredients listed are for a single batch which you can shake or mix up as is… but if you’d like to be more organized about it, I’ve multiplied this recipe by 16 to make a big batch of the powder to take with me on my travels.
*I’ve used quick oats here for convenience, but use rolled oats if you have the time and organizational skills to soak your milk overnight before drinking it the next day.
If you can’t easily obtain one or some of the ingredients, you can still make a version of the milk, but after much experimenting I found that the inclusion of the lecithin, xanthum gum and arrowroot powder really made a big impact on the resulting creaminess. In fact, I just did a taste test on my picky hubby and he picked the oat milk over almond milk!

Dump the ingredients into the food processor. Then blitz it to make a powder.

Fill your bodum with 1/2 cup or so of the powder. If you don’t have a bodum, you could stir or shake this up and then pour it through a strainer of some kind, or just drink it with the “pulp”.

Add water, about 2 cups, and stir vigorously. Then use the bodum strainer to *slowly* strain your milk from the pulp. Don’t try to go too quickly as the strainer may get a bit plugged.

My bird, Gaudi, loves the oat milk!

Advantages to Oat Milk:

  • Cheap! Even with the xanthum gum and lecithin, homemade oat milk is a million times cheaper than store bought OR homemade almond milk.
  • No wasteful packaging. Nuff said.
  • Low calorie. Though Almond Breeze is low in calories, homemade almond milk is not necessarily low calorie. The oat milk definitely is though; about 40 calories per cup which is on par with Almond Breeze.

Raw Vegan Banana Coconut Cream Pie

Busy weekend coming up! Last weekend was the Frankie Tribute Weekend in Toronto which was a huge success but kicked my butt. I’m the primary organizer for the event and it was the culmination of months of work. Exhausting but completely worth it.

I was feeling under the weather last week and unfortunately had 7 days of laryngitis which carried right through the big weekend. I’ve also had some trouble with my eyes so I haven’t been able to wear my contact lenses lately. Time for another juice feast!

No rest for the wicked! Tomorrow is Niagara VegFest which will be a big weekend for my Health Nut products, followed by the Toronto Raw Vegan Festival next weekend which is even bigger! I’ve got 400 cheese (yes 400!) aging in a special fridge and about two dozen cases of nut butter ready to go. We’re also making some raw vegan cheese skewers with grapes for people to try.

Busy busy. But I can’t neglect this Sunday’s Conscious Eating Niagara potluck! Doug McNish will be coming along and very thoughtfully my friend Karen just gave me a copy of his new cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well, so I can have it signed.

Somehow I managed to have a bit of free time today to make my potluck item. I decided to whip something up using ingredients I already had at home. The result is an absolutely delicious Banana Coconut Cream Pie. I love my plain Coconut Cream Pie recipe too, but this is a nice alternative. The real vanilla bean really brings out the vanilla flavour. Delicious!

Banana Coconut Cream Pie

Ingredients
  • 6 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 tsp real vanilla bean powder – the best part, artificial vanilla wouldn’t be the same in this recipe
  • 1 tiny scoop of NOW stevia, about 1/8 of a tsp (***WARNING: some stevia is gross, this is the only brand I’ve tried that I would recommend)
  • teensy pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Directions
  1. Blend the coconut flakes and coconut oil in the food processor to make coconut butter. Scrape the sides frequently and be patient. It takes a while6 cups of dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
  2. Add the bananas and blend some more.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and adjust to taste.
  4. Pour the filling into your crust of choice and set in the freezer for at least an hour to set.

For my crust this time around, I used pecans, dates and because I was low on dates a few prunes too. I also through in some cinnamon ’cause I felt like it. You can read more about raw vegan pie crusts here.

Chachi & Mandi Gould

Point & Curl with Chachi at the 2012 Frankie Tribute Weekend.

Raw Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Chaga!

Chemotherapeutic Ice Cream? 

For the May Conscious Eating Niagara potluck I’m bringing ice cream made in my shnazzy new machine. I had planned to make something chocolaty, maybe with caramel or cherries again, but when I started to make the base and added in the pure vanilla bean powder it was too delicious so I left well enough alone.

The secret ingredient? Instead of using plain water for this recipe, I decided to give it superfood properties and used the tonic made with Chaga mushroom powder instead! Don’t worry, Chaga does not give off even a hint of mushroom. It has an earthy tea-like quality too it that’s very subtle and it worked perfectly with the vanilla bean. And now this ice cream has chemotherapeutic properties. How cool is that?

If you’re not familiar with chaga, it’s a fabulous superfood. Here is what my friend Lee at Truly Organic Food has to say about chaga:
“The chaga mushroom is well known for its full spectrum of immune stimulating phytochemicals. It is also high in betulin or betulinic acid which is a chemotherapeutic agent, which is why the pharmaceutical industry is interested in it and is currently doing many tests on it’s constituents. Chaga is best consumed in it’s natural stated as a tea tonic, that has had time to brew over 20 hours.”<

I made this ice cream in a much larger quantity for the potluck, but here would be the recipe for a basic recipe:

  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in water until plump
  • 2 cup chaga tonic liquid (or purified water)
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for about 4 hours
  • 1 cup raw agave (coconut syrup or maple syrup would also be nice)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla bean
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  1. Blend your soaked cashews first with only some of the liquid to ensure that the mixture is smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours so that the mixture is cold before using your ice cream maker. I recommend over night.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream machine and enjoy!

Raw Vegan Ice Cream

My request for my birthday was an ice cream maker so that I can start to make raw vegan ice cream. I was never a big ice cream person because the heavy dairy never sat well with me, but since trying the coconut and cashew based ice creams, I’m now an ice cream convert!

I wanted to get one of the ice cream makers that uses ice and salt so that I can use it even when our freezer is really full. Also, when my father was given the Cuisinart ice cream maker that you frequently see in stores, it didn’t work well for sugar-free ice creams at all. Because it used the method where the entire bowl goes in the freezer, it just didn’t get cold enough to really solidify the ice cream so it stayed soupy.

After some research, I decided that the Hamilton Beach model would give me the most bang for the buck. Since I’m not planning to make ice cream all the time, I wanted to pick a reasonably priced machine and I settled on this one.

It took me a while to get the rock salt that’s required for the machine. I realized after requesting a salt-working machine that I didn’t know what type of salt I would need! I did a lot of research on it and it was frustrating. Ultimately, I just bought some of the salt that people would put on the sidewalk in the winter but found one that didn’t have additional chemicals in it.

Finally organized to get the ice cream party started, I asked my husband what flavour he wanted me to make first. He kept saying strawberry, which I’m not particularly keen to make straight away, so I persuaded him to choose from one of the following Vice Cream recipes that also appealed to my own taste buds.

My main picks were:

  • Black Forest
  • Pecan Pie
  • Maple Walnut
  • Maple Pecan
  • Chocolate
  • Cherry Garcia

He picked Black Forest which works for me! I didn’t have a chance to pick up frozen cherries so I ended up soaking some dried cherries in advance instead. So here’s my version of the Vice Cream recipe:

Raw Vegan Black Forest Ice cream:

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked in water until plump
  • 2 cup purified water
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for about 4 hours
  • 1 cup coconut syrup (agave or maple syrup would also work)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
Method:
  1. Blend your soaked cashews and water in the blender or food processor to make a smooth milk. Add the cocoa, salt and coconut syrup and blend until silky smooth.
  2. Place the mixture in the freezer for 40 minutes to 1 hour or in fridge over night. (I went with over night.)
  3. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. Once ready, remove the cover and blade from the ice cream maker and fold in the cherries, distributing evenly. Serve immediately or transfer to containers and store in freezer till ready to use.

I think it came out really well! I might have been able to get the cashews just a tiny bit smoother if I had blended it for longer but it’s definitely tasty. The cherries are the best part. I like ice cream that has *stuff* in it. I’m looking forward to feeding some to my hubby later on when he gets home.

Raw Vegan Notella Brownie Cheesecake

Last night was our April Potluck for Conscious Eating Niagara. At the last potluck I took some requests and my friend Fabienne voted for something with chocolate so voila!

The base was a chocolate hazelnut brownie, then a chocolate coconut filling and Notella by Health Nut for the icing. It was a winner! Sugar free, gluten free, chocolaty goodness.

Brownie Base:

  • 3 cups of hazelnuts (aprox.)
  • 3 cups of dates (aprox.)
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa (aprox.)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
  1. Yes, these are all approximations. It might have been more hazelnuts and fewer dates. You just start by blitzing the hazelnuts in the food processor.
  2. Once it makes a fine “flour” add about half of the cocoa and then start adding the dates until it comes together into a kind of dough. If it’s too dry and isn’t coming together, add a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  3. Once this is blending up nicely into a dough, add the rest of the cocoa to taste.
  4. Voila! Press into a lightly greased spring form pan. I recommend sprinkling coconut flakes on the bottom of the greased pan before you press in the dough. It helps to prevent sticking later.
Cheesecake Layer
  • 200g dehydrated coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 800 mL of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut syrup or agave
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 6 probiotic capsules (optional)
  • squirt of lemon (optional)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
  1. If you want this to be more like real cream cheese, start by adding your probiotics to your coconut milk to soak in a bowl while you start the rest of the recipe.
  2. Blitz your coconut flakes and coconut oil in the food processor until it makes a creamy coconut butter. This takes a while.
  3. Add your coconut milk and blend. Add some lemon juice to the mix if you’d like.
  4. Once this is smooth, add your cocoa and then start to add your sweetener and taste to get the right amount of sweetness to your taste. Add a pinch of salt if you like.
  5. Pour over the brownie base and set in the fridge for at least 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Ice the cake with raw vegan Notella by Health Nut et voila!


Cheesecake

The Mighty Kale Chip

Kale chips are awesome. Everyone thinks they’re weird until they actually try them… and then they think they’re awesome! Still weird, but totally awesome too. Yum!

I made some kale chips last week for my birthday gathering and a lot of people were asking about them.

There are a lot of proper recipes out there for kale chips, both raw and cooked, but I’ll jot down my go-to ingredients for the record which follows below. However, the best kale chips I ever had were these.

Raw Garlic Kale Chips from Nouveau Raw. Click to check out her recipe.

Approximate recipe for about 2 good bunches of kale:

  • 1/4 cup of raw tahini
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard powder or mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini and water. Then whisk in the rest of the ingredients and add more water as needed to make a quite runny sauce. Adjust the ingredients according to taste. Just be careful if you’re using mustard powder because it can be quite strong.

2 important steps:

  • Wash your kale thoroughly – there can be spiders hiding in there!
  • Cut out the stems.
Cut your kale into the desired pieces. Remember, it will shrink. Then add the kale to the large bowl with the sauce and toss it until each piece of kale is coated.
If you have a dehydrator, great. Spread it out on sheets and dehydrate at 110 degrees until it’s crispy. I usually leave it overnight. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can do this in the oven on a lined cookie tray at the lowest temperature with the oven cracked open. I’m not sure how long this would take in the oven so keep an eye on it.
Yum!

Superfood Pecan Pie

Another potluck has come and gone, and this time it was Pecan Pie on the menu. Specifically, raw vegan superfood pecan pie. As usual, it was a little of this and a little of that to get the right flavour. I was really pleased with it and the feedback was excellent.

These quantities are very approximate and it was to make an oversized pecan pie.

Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 1/2 c. Coconut butter
  • 1/2 c. Yacon syrup
  • 1/2 c. Coconut syrup
  • 1/2 c. Coconut sugar
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of Mesquite powder
  • 2 tbsp of Maca powder
  • 2 tbsp of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 c. water (or as needed)
  • And my secret ingredient… 2 scoops Sun Warrior Raw Vanilla Protein Powder
Method

Blitz the coconut butter in the food processor, then add the other ingredients slowly, in the order listed, blending every time you add something and tasting frequently. Adjust according to the consistency you want and the thickness that you’re going for. This makes a super yummy caramel kind of sauce.

Coat the pecans (about 8 cups) in the sauce. I tossed them in a separate bowl and made sure that each pecan was thoroughly coated in the caramel. Then I pressed the mixture into the pie crust and let it set in the refrigerator.

For the pie crust I made my usual almond & date crust. You can read more about pie crust options here. In this case, I used about 4 to 6 cups of almonds blitzed in the food processor with about 1 cup of dates, then pressed into a pan. You can dehydrate this for a firmer crust or leave as is. I dehydrated mine this time.

My husband couldn’t make it to the potluck but he did ask that I sneak him a piece to bring home. It’s a good thing that I set it aside at the beginning because it went really quickly!

Superfood Pecan Pie

Raw Spice Cookies

On Sunday I went to an amazing raw vegan dinner party. Our hosts, Toni and Paul, are high raw and they really know what they’re doing. Toni made a phenomenal dinner. My friend, Lee, took a lot of photos so I’ll post some once she’s got them available.

I decided to make a little something to contribute to the dinner but didn’t want to do one of my big desserts since I knew that Toni would have planned something. I decided to make some cookies… with a secret ingredient!

A lot of the raw cuisine is very dense in calories and fat. Good fat, but still too much of it when you’re looking at all the nuts and seeds in your regular meal plus dessert on top of it. So I’ve been looking for fruit and veggies that can hide in desserts and help to bulk them up in a lower calorie way.

My secret ingredient for the spiced cookies… parsnips! I love parsnips! They have a nice carrot like quality to them but also a flavour all of their own that is a bit sweet and a bit spicy. Perfect for a spiced cookie.

Equipment:

  • Food Processor
  • Dehydrator (you don’t need a dehydrator for every recipe, but it helps for cookies. Otherwise, put your oven on the lowest temperature and leave the oven door cracked open.)

Rough Ingredients:

  • 6 or 7 parsnips, shredded
  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds or other nuts of seeds of choice
  • 1/2 tablespoon+ of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon+ of ground ginger
  • cardamom to taste
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
Directions:
  1. If you have a setting for it on your food processor, start by shredding your parsnips. Remove shredded parsnip from the food processor to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend seeds until it starts to form a thick paste.
  3. Add dates & blitz.
  4. Add spices & blitz
  5. Add shredded parsnip & blitz.
  6. Spoon cookie dough on to dehydrator sheets. An ice cream scoop works really well. Mash down with fork.
  7. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 6 to 12 hours.

I really like these. They’re a nice lower calorie raw treat than some others, and I like the chewy texture. I’m sure they’d work well with carrot too. I’ll make them again, and hopefully I’ll have some more photos soon.

Pineapple Coconut Cake

I’ve been pretty sick this week. Cough cough. Unfortunately, that means missing today’s raw vegan potluck which is so sad! Not only did I miss last month’s because we were on vacation, but today there’s a special presentation from a raw chef. I’m disappointed to miss it.

I decided that I would still send a dessert in my absence. I had 2 very ripe pineapples waiting to make this dessert and they weren’t going to keep, so may as well let the other people enjoy. I was very careful when I made the dessert so it’s definitely germ free! I forgot to snap a photo before I sent it to the potluck which is happening now. Hopefully Lee takes some pictures.

This is a little bit like a raw cheesecake meets an ice cream (or sorbet) cake. When I first made this, I thought I wouldn’t do it with coconut butter and only with agar flakes, but then I changed my mind. So the version that I sent to the potluck had agar listed in the ingredients but you can skip it in the final recipe:

This is the photo of the 2 layer version with papaya on the top layer. I didn’t get a photo of the all-pineapple version.

  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Coconut Oil
  1. Blitz in the food processor.
  2. Coat bottom of a spring form pan with coconut oil, then sprinkle with shredded coconut. This will prevent the crust from sticking.
  3. Press the crust into the pan and set aside.

Pineapple Syrup

  • Take the juice of a fresh pineapple and put it in your dehydrator in a shallow pan. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 4 to 6 hours. Check on it to make sure it doesn’t over dehydrate. This will concentrate into a very sweet syrup that you can drizzle over your cake. (I took a nap and mine over dehydrated so I put the “candied pineapple” on top of my cake.)

Filling

  • 2 large pineapples
  • 2 cups raw unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Blitz the coconut and oil in the food processor to make coconut butter.
  2. Add the meat of 2 pineapples. Blitz!
  3. Poor over your pie crust.
  4. Let set in the freezer for at least one hour.

Mexican Raw Vegan Dinner Party


Last night I hosted my first 100% raw vegan dinner party. It was a lot of fun! My husband decorated the table with the colours of the Mexican flag and got some Mexican music from the library. He also made some margaritas to welcome the guests.

Not everyone in attendance was too familiar with raw, so I was definitely setting myself up for a challenge. I’m also continuing an anti-parasite detox after seeing an Ayervedic guy when I was in California at the beginning of January. As a result, I’m not allowed anything sweet, and the only fruit I can have is pineapple and papaya since they have digestive enzymes. All that came in to play in the menu.

I made tortilla chips which I started on Friday and dehydrated for over 24 hours to make sure they were really nice and crispy.

I made lots of guacamole, and a pineapple papaya salsa. I’m not really supposed to eat tomato right now either so I had a friend at the local farmers’ market make the traditional tomato salsa. I still had some tomato though since there was a bit in the guacamole and some in the burrito. I served the salsas in a pineapple.

For the guacamole, I like to use this highly rated recipe from All Recipes. I just skipped the cayenne since my salsas were already a bit spicy.

For the pineapple papaya salsa, it went something like this…

PINEAPPLE PAPAYA SALSA:

  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • 2 cups chopped papaya
  • .75 cup chopped red pepperc
  • .5 cup cilantro leaves, ripped off the stems
  • 6 green onions chopped
  • .5 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of cayenne optional

The burritos were made with a filling based on Sarma’s, the famous chef from Pure Food & Wine in New York. I decided to wrap mine in collard greens though since I like the wraps that are served that way at Rawlicious.

The “rice” was something that I sort of invented after some research. I would say that it was an acquired taste. Surprisingly, when I asked my husband what his favourite part of the meal was, he said the rice! But I know that my friend, Steph, wasn’t crazy about it. I made it with plantain, and it was a little bit sweet with that slight banana flavour, and a tiny bit slimy. I think that it would have suited her better if it were dehydrated longer. But Geoff really liked it so that’s saying something!

RAW VEGAN TORTILLAS

  • 5 cups fresh corn kernels, or thawed frozen corn – preferably organic*
  • 3/4 cup golden flaxseed, finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

*Ok, I used frozen which might mean that it wasn’t actually raw. I think they might blanch the frozen vegetables first. But close enough!

TORTILLAS METHOD:

  1. Blitz in food processor, smooth out on teflex sheets. Score into triangles and dehydrate at 105 for a looooong time. I left them for over 24 hours, flipping them once.
RAW VEGAN BURRITO FILLING:
  • 3 cups sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours or more
  • 2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hour or more
  • .25 cup irish moss, soaked for 2 hours or more (optional, but helps it to stick together)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 jalapeno, cored but with seeds, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
BURRITO FILLING METHOD:
  • Blitz in food processor. You might need to add a lot more water, or I ended up using some of the liquid from the big bowl of salsa that I had made earlier.
  • Dehydrate to get the desired consistency. I wanted mine to be formed into large “lumps” that were tender inside and crispy on the outside. You could break it into smaller pieces or leave it as a big log. It will depend on how moist you want it to be.
  • Toss burrito filling in tomato sauce, as listed here:
RAW VEGAN BURRITO SAUCE:
  • 4 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 2 small roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

BURRITO SAUCE METHOD:

  • Blitz in food processor! Toss burrito filling in the sauce.
RAW VEGAN SOUR CREAM
  • 1.5 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 1 to 2 hours
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 probiotic capsule, optional

SOUR CREAM METHOD:

  • Blitz in food processor! Adjust to taste. You might want more lemon, or more liquid. Mine did get very thick in the fridge which ended up being good for helping my burritos to stick together, but you might like to make it more liquidy.
BURRITO ASSEMBLY:
Lots of large collard leaves. I bought 3 bunches to be sure that I would have enough that were the right size. Wash your collards in advance and let them dry for several hours so that they’re truly dry. You’ll be stuffing them with the burrito filling, the burrito sauce, and the sour cream.
For wrapping your burritos, I found this video to be very helpful. However, in this video she COOKS the collard greens. I definitely didn’t cook mine! Leave them raw. But this was the most helpful video I found for the trimming of the stems and the wrapping technique:

Next, dessert! The dessert was one of my usual recipe-less creations. The base had to be made without dates this time since that’s on my no-no list. I did miss the dates in the base, but I’d say that the pineapple and papaya layers were very successful.

I’ll make a variation on this dessert for the raw vegan potluck this Sunday. I’ll try to post a recipe at that time.

The pineapple syrup was the most exciting discovery. I juiced some fresh pineapple and dehydrated the juice in a shallow tray and it made a very sweet, concentrated syrup. It tastes so sweet, like there must be sugar added, but there isn’t! I’m going to use this technique again. For the dessert I make this weekend, I’ll incorporate more of that syrup into the crust to make up for the absence of dates.

One of the best things about having a raw vegan dinner party is that all of the work is done in advance! There’s no fuss to serve things hot and to time things so that they’re ready at the same time. It’s all totally done so you can let it be and enjoy time with your guests. Go raw vegan!

Sticky Gingerbread Loaf – updated – vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free

This post was originally from December 18th, 2010, but I’ve updated the recipe instructions today for clarity.

***

Paired with Elana's delicious vegan coconut cream frosting.

You can make this recipe as a loaf, a cake, muffins, cupcakes, whatever. I call it “new fashioned” gingerbread since it’s now sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan.

There’s a bakery in Toronto that makes a wonderful sticky gingerbread loaf.  Of all the tasty treats that they make, it’s this sliced gingerbread loaf that draws me back time and time again. It’s moist, spicey and delicious. Though many people consider this to be a seasonal holiday treat, this is one of my favourite kinds of indulgences year round. There’s something about the warm spices that draws me in. Not surprisingly, I have a similar obsession with all things pumpkin.

Of course, I don’t need that kind of sugar in my diet, so through much experimenting I’ve come up with a fabulous alternative version. And once I got to my R&D work, I figured why not make it friendly for my gluten-free and vegan friends while I was at it?

In the past, when I make gingersnaps I’m always pushing the boundaries of how spicey I can make them. I like a good bite of ginger to my gingery treats. None of this single teaspoon business for me. If there’s ginger in the recipe title, then I want the ginger to jump out and really hit me. This recipe delivers just that.

FLOUR

Alternatives to the alternative: I’ve experimented a lot with this recipe. If you’re not vegan and would prefer you can use 2 organic eggs in place of the flax and water combination. If you don’t follow a gluten-free diet, 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour works just fine, or 1.25 cups of spelt + 1.5 cups of amaranth flour also works nicely. You could even use honey instead of agave. This recipe is also tasty with a few fresh or thawed cranberries thrown in, or raisins are also nice.

New Fashioned Gingerbread Cake!

Baked as muffins with cranberries.

  • 2.5 cups of blended gluten free flours – my gf preference:
  1. 1 cup amaranth flour
  2. 1 cup buckwheat flour
  3. .5 cup sweet rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • .5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • .5 tsp salt

Topped here with a yacon syrup marinated ginger glaze and some of the ginger slices for a hippie garnish.

Wet Ingredients:

  • .75 cup agave
  • .5 cup oil (grapeseed or organic non-GMO canola)
  • .75 cup molasses (I use blackstrap for a more robust flavour)
  • 2 tbsp flax mixed with 6 tbsp of water*
  • 2 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 1+ tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients except for the boiling water.
  3. Make a well in dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Do not over mix. Gradually add the boiling water.
  4. Bake at 350 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 2 loaves, one 9X13 cake or 24 muffins.

Yields aprox. 24 small servings.

Icing or Glaze Options

This gingerbread is really good. I served it at several parties this holiday season and I’ll be I’ll be making it again for Christmas Eve and pairing it with this icing which is vegan and fantastic: http://www.elanaspantry.com/coconut-cream-frosting/

Vegan gluten-free sugar-free gingerbread

Loaf on the left was made with spelt and amaranth, cake on the right with all gluten-free flours.

I also like to shred some fresh ginger and marinate it in agave or yacon syrup and then brush the gingerbread with it like a glaze.

So if you’re looking for a great gingerbread loaf or gingerbread cake recipe, look no further! And better yet, if you’re looking for a vegan gingerbread cake recipe, or a gluten-free gingerbread loaf recipe, or a sugar-free gingerbread recipe, well aren’t you just lucky that it’s all rolled in to one? Whether your baking for the holidays or Christmas baking is months away, try this recipe. Seriously – Yum!

Raw Vegan Rumballs

What happens when you add alcohol to a raw vegan recipe? Adding spirits  to raw recipes is not in the true spirit of raw… but it sure is delicious. I’ve never been a drinker but I do like a tiny bit in a few desserts, and my mom loves rumballs so I figured I’d go for it.

This is one of those a little of this, a little of that recipes. My kind of recipe. Go with the flow and use your instincts. If you’re organized enough, soak your coconut and raisins in rum in advance. If you’d like to keep these alcohol free, just skip that step and I’m sure it would be delicious. You probably won’t need the coconut flour in that case since the recipe won’t be so wet.

Raw Vegan Rumballs

Plain rumballs, about to be rolled in coconut.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pre-soaked unsweetened, dry coconut. Soaked in about a quarter cup of rum for 24 to 48 hours.
  • .25 cup pre-soaked raisings. Also soaked in about a quarter cup of rum for 24 to 48 hours.
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1.5 cup dates
  • 3 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • .5 tsp maca, optional
  • .5 tsp mesquite, optional
  • .25 cup agave or yacon syrup or to taste
  • Raw coconut flour or almond meal to use if needed, maybe a quarter cup.
  • Unsweetened coconut for rolling.

Directions

  1. Blitz almonds and dates in the food processor until they make a very smooth dough. Temporarily remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. Blitz the rum coconuts and raisins until smooth. Add cocoa, salt, maca and mesquite and blend. Add some agave to taste. Keep in mind that when you add the date/almond mixture it will add additional sweetness.
  3. Return almond/date mixture to the food processor and blend with the coconut/raisin/rum. Blend until it comes together. At this point, decide if you’d like it to be sweeter and add more agave if needed. If the recipe is too wet, add some raw coconut flour or almond meal a very small amount at a time, blending in between.
  4. Once you reach the desired consistency, roll into balls and then roll in coconut.
  5. Share with friends and family so that you don’t get drunk!

Rum Balls, rolled and not yet rolled in coconut.

Sugarplums! Or should I say sugar-less plums?

What better way to “ease” off of a juice fast than to make delicious raw vegan holiday sugar plums? I started the day with some fresh juice and then moved in to holiday mode. I’ve had visions of
these little babies dancing in my head since shortly after last Christmas when I realized that everyone has heard of sugar plums, but nobody had ever actually had one before. This traditional Victorian Christmas treat is perfectly transferable recipe for a raw vegan treat. They’re actually already inherently raw and vegan and gluten-free too, so it just needed a little bit of adjusting to make them low glycemic.


My hat goes off to Sir Alton Brown for the original 5 star recipe which I’ve adapted here.

Raw Vegan Sugarless Sugarplums

Ingredients

    • 6 ounces raw almonds
    • 4 ounces dried plums

Plain sugarplums before they've been rolled in xylitol.

  • 4 ounces dried apricots
  • 4 ounces dried figs
  • 1/4 cup date or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 cup agave pr yacon syrup
  • 1 cup xylitol for rolling

Directions

Rolled in all natural, low-glycemic xylitol which is made from tree bark. Terrible name, but a great sugar alternative.

Put the almonds, plums, apricots, and figs into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 20 to 25 times or until the fruit and nuts are chopped into small pieces, but before the mixture becomes a ball.

Combine the powdered date sugar, anise seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, cardamom, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the nut and fruit mixture and the agave and mix using gloved hands until well combined.

Scoop the mixture into 1/4-ounce portions and roll into balls.

If serving immediately, roll in the xylitol and serve. If not serving immediately, put the balls on a cooling rack and leave uncovered until ready to serve. Roll in the xylitol prior to serving.

Sir Alton Brown says that the Sugarplums may be stored on the cooling rack for up to a week and that after a week, store in an airtight container for up to a month. I prefer to keep mine in the fridge.

Raw Vegan Trifle

In addition to the raw nut cheese platter that we took to the potluck yesterday, my good pal Steph and I made a raw vegan trifle. My husband loves trifle (especially making it with pound cake) so we have a nice trifle dish that was ready to be put to use. We used a brownie base for the cake, coconut cream, cherries and topped it with raspberries. It’s a great flavour combination. The only trick is that you have to keep it really cold because the coconut cream melts pretty easily and the raw brownie is a lot more dense than regular cake so it can weigh down on the cream. Still, it’s a very easy recipe and the presentation makes it seem more impressive and fancy than the actual work that goes in to making it. I’m going to have to be pretty approximate with the ingredients.

When making these types of desserts, you really need to just start blending and go with your instincts and common sense to get the flavour and textures that you want. Raw Trifle of Awesomeness

Raw Vegan Trifle of Awesomeness

with Raw Coconut Cream

Make coconut cream at least 6 hours in advance of the recipe. I recommend getting this step out of the way at least one day in advance so that it has time to set in the fridge. If you want to make sure that you get a very thick cream, use a full jar or 450g of coconut butter. You could also make a delicious trifle by replacing this coconut cream section with a raw vegan ice cream. 

  • 1 cup Coconut Butter (half a jar or about 3 cups of fine dehydrated coconut converted in to coconut butter by blitzing in the food processor)
  • 8 cups of Raw Coconut Milk (or equivalent)
  • .5 cup Coconut Oil
  • .33 cup lucuma powder (optional)
  • .25 cup Agave or to taste

Brownie Base These are the aproximate amounts for one layer: 

  • 2 cups Dates
  • 1.5 cups Unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 cup Raw Almonds
  • 5 to 6 tbsp Raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • pinch Himalayan Salt
  • Raw Salted Caramel sauce (highly optional – I only added some in because I had some left… but it’s definitely delicious! You could even use this for an additional trifle layer.)
Method:
  1. Make coconut cream in advance by blitzing coconut butter in the food processor and then adding other ingredients. Let chill in the fridge for 6 to 48 hours. The longer, the better!
  2. Make the brownie base by blitzing all ingredients in the food processor. For bottom brownie layer, press in to the bottom of the trifle dish.
  1. Cover first brownie layer with pitted cherries (fresh or if you’re using frozen, drain them in advance to avoid extra liquid) or other fruit of choice.
  2. Cover cherries or other fruit with half of the coconut cream.
  3. Place entire trifle dish and other half of the coconut cream in the fridge while you make another batch of the brownie layer.
  4. Use hands to press the 2nd brownie dough into a large disc. You can also make long dough “snakes to wrap around the trifle dish. You won’t be able to press this layer so get the brownies ready as much as possible with your hands and then just place on top of the coconut cream layer. As soon as you take the trifle back out of the fridge, act fast!
  5. Cover the brownie layer with another layer of fruit, then the rest of the coconut cream, then garnish with cherries or fruit.
  6. Keep the trifle in the fridge or even the freezer until ready to serve.
In a perfect world, we would have taken a break before assembling all of the second layers and we could have put the trifle in the freezer for a while. Since we didn’t have time to do that, the cream did get pretty soft and soupy but it was still delicious!

Raw Vegan Salted Caramel Macaroons

I love salted caramel! This combination came to me in a dream… well not really. I was partly inspired by my own experimentation and this outstanding looking recipe from the Sunny Raw Kitchen. The best part of this recipe is that the salted caramel is packed full of super foods. A truly delicious powerhouse. I get most of my superfoods and supplements from Truly Organic Foods. Check them out!
Raw Vegan Salted Caramel Macaroons
Salted Caramel Ingredients:

  • Coconut Syrup or Agave
  • Yacon Powder
  • Mesquite
  • Cinnamon
  • Maca
  • Lucuma (optional)
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

I’m afraid that I’d be hard pressed to tell you exactly how much of each. It’s a bit of trial and error. It’s mostly the syrup and the yacon powder and then you keep mixing and adding the other flavours to taste. A bit vague, I know, but totally delicious!

Once you’ve made the caramel sauce, you can make some delicious Salted Caramel Macaroons. For the macaroons, I just like to blend unsweetened dried coconut with dates. Toss the coconut in the food processor with enough dates to hold it all together. You can start with about 50:50 coconut:date and keep adding more of either ingredient to get the consistency you like. Then drizzle with the caramel, or you can mix the caramel right in. Yum!

Best Raw Vegan Carrot Cake

My contribution to the November Conscious Eating Niagara Potluck was a fall favourite of mine, carrot cake! Geoff and I even had carrot cake as our wedding cake.

Well, this recipe was a little bit vague as I was making it. I made such a huge quantity, enough for two full sized cakes, so I’ll do my best to scale this back to the size of a single cake. As is often the case with raw recipes, it was a little of this and a little of that so use this as a rough guide and use your own taste buds to get the balance right if you make it.

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 Carrots, shredded
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cups dates, blended into a paste
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground into a flour
  • .5 cup raw coconut flour or another .5+ cup of ground walnuts**
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste (I probably used more)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, or to taste (again, I probably used more)
  • .5 cup golden raisins, optional

** If you’re using raw coconut flour, mix that in, otherwise add the rest of the walnut. **If you’re not using coconut raw flour, you will likely need additional walnut. Coconut flour is very absorbent and soaks up a lot of the moisture from the carrots and dates. If you find that your cake batter is extremely mushy, add more ground walnut accordingly.

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake - a perfect bite.

Directions:

  1. Shred your carrots first and set aside in a large bowl. If you have a good food processor, you should have an attachment for shredding that will speed things up and keep you sane. Toss the carrot in the lemon juice to keep the nice orange colour.
  2. Make your date paste in the food processor. Once you’ve made this into a smooth paste, slowly add half of the shredded carrot and blend until reasonably smooth.
  3. Add your spices to to the date and carrot mash and blend.
  4. Dump the date and carrot mash in the bowl with the rest of the shredded carrot and mix well.
  5.  This is the point when I would grind my walnuts into a flour. Then add it to the big bowl of carrot & date. Mix well.
  6. Taste the batter and make sure that the seasoning is to your liking. At this point, I would add more cinnamon if I feel it needs additional kick.
  7. If you’ve mixed all of this in a big bowl and it still seems way too mushy, add more raw coconut flour or ground walnut. The batter should be moist but not runny. If you were to roll some of the batter in to a bowl, it should hold it’s shape.
  8. Prepare a spring form cake pan by oiling the bottom and sides with coconut oil. Then sprinkle either raw coconut flour, shredded coconut, or some ground walnut over the oiled surface until coated. Then fill the pan with batter and press your cake batter firmly into the pan.
  9. If you have a dehydrator, stick the entire cake pan in the dehydrator on 105 for one to two hours, until the surface looks pretty “cooked”-ish. If you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t worry about it. The cake will still be good, just a bit soft.
  10. If you want, you could call the cake done now, but I like to take it one step further. If you’re preparing the cake the day before, cover the cake and stick it in the freezer to set some more. The next day, while it’s still solid, remove the cake from the spring form pan and put it directly in the dehydrator for another couple of hours so that the top and sides become even more “cooked”-like and left soft.
  11. Ice your cake with coconut cream cheese frosting if desired, and serve!

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake after it has been dehydrated, before the frosting.

Coconut Cream Frosting:

  • 4 tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk or 1 tbsp more of coconut butter and 1 cup of water
  • Maple Syrup to taste (or agave)
  • Sea salt to taste

Frosting Directions:

  1. Blend coconut butter in food processor until smooth. 
  2. Add coconut milk or equivalent. Blend again.
  3. Add desired sweetness and blend.
  4. Refrigerate at least one hour to set the frosting. Ice your cake and voila!