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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!

January 2012 Vacation to Los Angeles & Disneyland


My husband and I took a nice vacation at the beginning of January. We went to LA to visit some friends, do some touring, and hit Disneyland! Geoff is a huge Disney fan. Not so much the Disney films really, more of Walt Disney as a visionary.

We spent 3 days at Disneyland. That’s quite a lot out of a seven day trip but we really enjoyed ourselves. It’s a nice way to hang out and spend time together.

We also had some nice outings with our hosts. We did a quick tour of Balboa Island and Laguna Beach, we went dancing (Lindy Hop) one night… In particular, the night that we spent at the Queen Mary was really lovely. Being the living history enthusiasts that we are, this was a great excuse to dress up.

There was an unfortunate incident on the ship though. It was very crowded at the bar where the band was playing so initially we didn’t have a table and seats. We had to put my stole (fake btw), and the men’s jackets in a little pile on a banister and Geoff placed his hat on the top. While we were dancing, Geoff suddenly noticed that there was an older guy dancing wearing the same kind of boater hat. At first he thought it was neat that the guy had the same hat… until he realized that it was the EXACT same hat. His hat! As soon as he mentioned it to me I marched right over, took it off the man’s head and scolded him. “That’s not yours!” He wasn’t even apologetic. This wasn’t some cheapo fake boater hat. It was a nice, high quality and rather expensive hat. We couldn’t believe the audacity!

We managed to hit one raw restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. It was great! I was worried that it might be a little bit too much of a “scene” for Geoff to enjoy but he was a good sport about it. The menu was half cooked which was also preferable for him.

We each had tacos. His were cooked, mine raw. And then we had two outstanding raw desserts. He had the raw mocha cheesecake which was very good, and I had the raw tiramisu which was quite outstanding.

Raw Tacos

Cooked Tacos

Raw Mocha Cheesecake

Raw Tiramisu

Happy new year!

With my hubby last night, ringing in 2012.

Happy new year! I started the year by writing out some focus points for 2012 on some Marilyn Monroe cards. Yesterday I saw the film, My Week With Marilyn, and it’s added to my appreciation of her as a unique, beautiful and tragic woman. I’m using this statement of hers as inspiration for the new year: “I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.”

I started this morning off with some delicious beet, spinach, parsnip, celery and green pepper juice. One of my primary goals for the new year is to thrive on a VEG based diet. More vegetables, more greens, more raw and a happy tummy for 2012.

We’re leaving on vacation for California for a week. I’m looking forward to getting away, spending time with my hubby, and soaking the healthier influences that California has to offer. We’ll be doing a few days at Disneyland, visiting friends including my oldest and dearest friend from high school and a dance friend who I met in Sweden in 1999. We’ll go out dancing and dress up and go to the Queen Mary. And, very importantly, I’d like to visit a few raw restaurants! I’m not sure which ones we’ll get to yet, it depends on which areas we end up in when we’re hungry. Maybe Juliano’s or Cru or, well, any of them!



Holiday Recap 2011

Image

Sir Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake with my healthier variations. It was the belle of the ball!

Is it weird that I only took photos of the sweet offerings?

My family's favourite - hamentashen!

Rum balls for my mom. Raw vegan but with lots of rum.

Sticky Gingerbread cakes.

On a whim I whipped up some pecan cookies.

Visions of sugar plums!

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.

Green green green juice

I had considered easing off the cleanse tomorrow, mostly because I’ve got a party in the evening, but I’m enjoying it. I think I’ll continue tomorrow and ease off Wednesday instead.

I picked up some more veggies since I’ve been going through them so efficiently. I admit that I did not enjoy collards or leeks in my juice though, so those will wait in the fridge to be turned into something when I’m done with this. More kale was definitely in order, and I picked up a whack load of other greens too.

  My sister named my juicer Helga. Like a strong German woman squeezing out the juice with her bare hands. I think it’s appropriate too.

Green Juice Recipes?

I want to add another green juice that I’m enjoying. Yesterday I posted about the combination of Kale, kohlrabi, bok choy, celery, zucchini, cucumber which is my new favourite. I’m also enjoying cabbage, anise, spinach and parsley. It comes out surprisingly well balanced.

Gaudi, the Quaker Parrot, drinks the green juice!

I’m very much enjoying the new Omega 8006 juicer! This is my second full day of just juice. Well, I’ve eaten a few of the vegetables as I’ve been cutting them up but I’m being flexible about it. Really it’s been nothing but vegetables supplemented with a tiny bit of apple and clementine. I’m really not feeling very hungry at all. I’ve discovered that bok choy is really delicious through the juicer, and I’m getting the hang of my favourite combinations.

So far these combinations have been particularly good:

  • Carrot, beet, parsnip, ginger – An old favourite plus parsnip. Raw parsnip is so delicious!
  • Kale, kohlrabi, bok choy, celery, zucchini, cucumber – My new favourite.
Here’s a video of one of my birds drinking some delicious green juice!

New Juicer & Starting my Juice Fast!

Geoff drinks the juice!

Last week at the Conscious Eating Niagara holiday potluck, we watched a really inspiring film called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. After watching the film, I decided that it was time to upgrade to a better juicer. I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time, but that film was the clincher.

After much deliberation, I decided on the Omega 8006 which arrived this morning! I decided to start with a mostly liquid prep for a few days before moving in to a full juice fast once the juicer arrived. Today is Friday, and since Monday I’ve been drinking juice and smoothies… other than a major slip last night at the Bees’ Knees Dance holiday party. Nobody’s perfect! Today marks the beginning of my actual juice fast though and I’m pumped!

Starting today, I’ll drink only vegetable juice with a little bit of fruit added in here and there. I’d like to follow this until Tuesday and then ease into regular foods before Christmas.

My husband, Geoff, and the new juicer.

Juice!

Juice!

Juice!

Juice!

Juice!

Lee, my good friend from Truly Organic Foods, will also be organizing a group juice fast in February for a bunch of people to do it together. This will be a good warm up for that since this will only be about 4 full days and that will likely be a week. 

I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Lee, Marlie and Kent from Truly Organic Foods at the Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival a couple of weeks ago. I was selling my Health Nut specialty nut butters, raw vegan nut cheese and also some delicious raw vegan salted caramel macaroons.

Lee & Marlie of Truly Organic Foods

The festival moved from 1 day in June to 2 days in December. It wasn’t as busy as the famous June event, but I’d say it was still quite well attended. Perhaps because of the holiday season, stock wasn’t flying off the shelf like in June but the event was fun to participate in and it was good exposure. The nut cheese was definitely the big hit. I sold out of herbed cashew and the other cheeses did very well too.

Myself (Mandi) and Lee at the Toronto Raw Vegan Festival

I ate so many delicious things on Saturday including a lot of raw chocolate. I was pretty wired and stayed out late swing dancing on Saturday night. I was also one of the first people to arrive on Sunday and was very energetic right until the moment of closing.

Health Nut Butters & Raw Vegan Nut Cheese at the Toronto Raw Vegan Festival

I thought that the eggless egg salad from Nzyme was really delicious, as was a raw vegan tiramisu, brownie, etc. etc. etc. I absolutely loved the giant salad with “falafels” that Raw Solar Food was making. I actually had that salad both Saturday and Sunday, that’s how good it was.

Kent and myself (Mandi Gould), Day 2 at the Toronto Raw Vegan Festival

I’d like to participate in the festival again. Maybe next time I can get a table of my own, beside or near Truly Organic Foods so that I can spread out a little more.

Health Nut Butters & Truly Organic Foods

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!

Raw Nut Cheese Platter

Last night was our end of the year, Conscious Eating Niagara potluck. We decided to make it a bit more festive and special so I decided to serve some nut cheese as an appetizer as people were settling in. I served raw cashew cheese, hemp cashew and purple walnut cheese with maple mustard. Yum!

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Platter

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!