Monday, November 25, 2013
For Friendsgiving I was put in charge of bringing dessert. Ok, I volunteered. While I'm known for bringing raw desserts, I thought maybe for the holidays I'd bake something. Then I realized Thanksgiving is the perfect day for raw desserts. Here's why: When I thought about all the heavy cooked foods we would be having for dinner, I realized nobody is going to have room for yet another decadent dish. And I was right. By the time we finished eating, I was in the mood for something a bit more refreshing. Fortunately, I decided to pass up the pies and took my standard cashew freezer cake to a new level by adding some holiday flavors.
The cake is one layer of salty, nutty crust, followed by a creamy dairy-free eggnog layer, topped with refreshing cranberry sauce. So much holiday goodness in one healthy dessert. And since it's raw, you won't have to use any valuable oven space. You can even make it a day or so ahead. I served this to a groups of my friends who do not usually eat raw foods and everyone loved it.
Just about everyone knows that cranberries are good for you. Heck, cranberry juice alone can cure a UTI. But most people only consume cranberries in the form of juice (usually pasteurized and with added sugar or corn syrup) or in cooked dishes during the holiday season. But the majority of the vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients are in the flesh of the fruit and do not survive being cooked. This dish is a great way to consume the whole cranberry in it's raw form. Cranberries are incredibly tart on their own, but don't worry I added plenty of honey to make them palatable. This nutrient dense dessert is sure to please even the most skeptical guests at your holiday meal.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pecans
2/3 cup chopped dates
1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup pine nuts (or leave out and use 2 cups cashews)
1 vanilla bean scraped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup organic grade B maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/3 cup almond milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cup frozen cranberries, thawed (this makes them softer)
2 tbsp water
2 heaping tbsp runny raw honey
1. Put all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until moist and crumbly. If the mixture is too dry, add more water one tablespoon at a time.
2. Press crust into a 9 inch spring form pan and put in freezer. If you don't have one, line a pan with plastic wrap so that the frozen cake can be removed.
3. Put all the filling ingredients into the food processor and keep mixing until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides every so often to make sure everything is incorporated. It may take a few minutes to become creamy enough.
4. Pour filling over the crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Return to freezer.
5. Put all cranberry sauce ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth and runny. It should be more of a smoothie texture than cranberry relish texture. If you need to, add more water one tablespoon at a time.
6. Pour the cranberry sauce on top of the filling and smooth it out with a spatula.
7. Place in the freezer for at least two hours. If you freeze it overnight, take out at least 45 minutes before serving to thaw.
I served it with whipped coconut cream. You can find that recipe here.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Like I said in my last post, although it is getting cooler, I'm not ready to say goodbye to smoothies. But I am adapting them to make them include some of my favorite fall flavors. One of those flavors is persimmon. Persimmons are supersweet and delicious. If you haven't had one, I'd liken them most to plums without the tartness. They also have more fiber than apples in addition to Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, and a host of other nutrients.
This recipe also uses pink peppercorns. You may not realize how different they are from black peppercorns. They are flaky and hollow, with a milder spice than black peppercorns, and a citrus-like flavor that pairs wonderfully with fruit. Give them a try, but of course the smoothie will still taste delicious without them.
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 persimmon, sliced
1 large banana, frozen
juice of 1/4 small lemon
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1tsp pink peppercorns
1. Put the water and hemp seeds in the blender and blend until you have a creamy white hemp milk. You do not need to strain the hemp pulp. If you do not have hemp seeds, leave out the water and instead use 3/4 cup of milk or milk alternative of your choice.
2. Add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth.
3. Garnish with pink peppercorns and serve.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Autumn is undeniably here with its chilly mornings. And while I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to smoothies, I have been waking up craving warm cooked breakfasts. One of my favorite breakfast recipes comes from the incredibly talented Sarah Britton of My New Roots. She is an absolute genius in the kitchen and I've never tried a recipe of hers that I didn't like. Her pumpkin pie amaranth porridge is incredible and just what I've been in the mood for lately.
Unfortunately, when I am in a hurry in the morning it can be hard to find time to cook a hot breakfast. So I decided to make my version of Sarah's pumpkin porridge in a slow cooker. You don't have to stir constantly or wake up early. Just throw the ingredients in, turn the slow cooker on, and wake up to a hot healthy breakfast.
For variety and nutrition's sake, I used three types of "grains" for my porridge: amaranth, quinoa, and oat groats. Amaranth is a grain-like seed that is packed with protein and calcium. Quinoa is a good source of complete protein as well. I like to use whole oat groats when possible because they are the least processed form of oats and they are full of soluble fiber. These three cereals together make for a nutrient packed bowl of porridge.
Makes 6 servings
1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup amaranth
1/3 cup oat groats (or steel cut oats)
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 vanilla bean, scraped
maple syrup or honey to taste
Put all ingredients in your slow cooker and whisk to remove any chunks. Turn setting on low and get some sleep. When you wake, stir porridge and add sweetener of your choice. Serve with nuts, seeds, fruit, coconut, or yogurt on top.
This makes a large batch. I recommend making it early in the week and putting leftovers into mason jars so that you have individual portions in the fridge ready to grab and go for the week. Enjoy!