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Vegan Thanksgiving Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie

24 Nov

I love experimenting in the kitchen. I especially love experimenting when I host a dinner at my house. Sometimes it is daunting because I want to impress my visitors, but at the same time, the suspense of succeeding/failing at a recipe makes it even more exciting when you can share the journey with other people.


Tonight’s excitement was my Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie! I cooked Thanksgiving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 6 people today. Everything was pretty much planned and I knew my recipes would be just perfect. So, I decided I needed a surprise for myself. I’ve made many Apple Pies before. Many were good, but I wanted to try something different: boiling the apples. I thought boiling might take away the flavors of the apples, but it didn’t. In fact, I think this Apple Pie was THE BEST Apple Pie I’ve ever baked. Everyone raved about this pie and asked for seconds.


Vegan Thanksgiving Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie (one 9″ pie)


Mix together in a bowl:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Work in:

  • 1/4 c coconut oil or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

When the mixture looks like crumbs and the oil/butter is distributed evenly, add

  • 1/4 c cold water

Mix well and form into a ball. Roll out to form a circle and place carefully on to a pie shell. Prick and bake at 400F for 10 minutes.



Bring a pot to boil, add:

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries

Simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. It will look like mush. Drain well, saving 1/4 c of the apple water and discarding the rest. Mix the 1/4 c apple water with:

  • 2 T arrowroot powder

Simmer until thickened. Take off heat and add while whisking:

  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c Sucanat or other unrefined sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Add in the cooked apples and cranberries. Mix well and pour into the pie shell.


Crumb Topping:

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c Sucanat or other unrefined sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Work in:

  • 4 T coconut oil or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

The mixture is done when it looks like crumbs and the oil/butter is distributed evenly. Crumble the topping over the apple filling. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.



The Sweeter Side of Cayenne

17 Jan

A perfect way to spice up your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Treat!

Dip Mama’s Easy Raw Chocolate in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Dip (I prefer using 3/4 tsp cayenne in the dip mix for this one) for a kick!

Add some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Sprinkles on banana slices and enjoy with homemade Raw Almond Butter on the side!  Delish!

I love eating apples (especially sour ones) with a side of sea salt. Dipping apple slices in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Rub brings apple slices up to a whole different level! Try it also with freshly sliced jicama ‘fries’!

Raw Applesauce for Vegan Baking

10 Jun

Raw Applesauce

Ariel asked “Do you think raw applesauce will work as well as regular applesauce as a substitute for butter in baking?”

Ariel, good news! Raw applesauce does WORK as a substitute for oils in quick bread recipes. As an experiment, I baked Vegan Blueberry Muffins and Vegan Zucchini Bread this morning with raw applesauce. I got excellent results! We have company today and the 12 pieces of Blueberry Muffins are already gone and only half of the Zucchini Bread is left. Not only did I have the chance to tell everyone about Vegan foods, but what a great way to further Un-Process our food!

Note: I just pureed unpeeled raw apples without honey or seasonings. You can add another sweetener if you prefer, but honey denatures at around 120F to 140F. Also, check your quick breads 5 minutes before the specified finish time. I found my muffins and breads were baked quicker than usual.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Vegan Zucchini Bread

Half Raw and Half Cooked: Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad

3 Jun

Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad

Sometimes it’s easier to incorporate more RAW food into my family’s diet by mixing it with COOKED food. For families still in transition, adding RAW foods to COOKED not only increases the quantity of unprocessed foods into the family’s diet, but also simplifies the process of serving up unpretentious raw foods.

Here is a Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad recipe.  Instead of using processed mayonnaise, I use nutritious coconut to create the creamy sauce and to enhance the flavor of curry.  I did serve up a pure raw version (using sprouted raw quinoa) and this half-cooked version for lunch today.  Well, I guess you can guess which one my family preferred and ate.

The Cooked Half

Heat with a medium flame:

2 tbspns coconut oil

Lightly saute for 5 minutes or until tender:

1 sweet onion, chopped

Add and saute for a minute or 2:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp mild curry (more or less, depending on your family’s taste)

Add to the pot:

1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

2 cups quinoa

3 cups of water

Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Fluff and set aside.


The Raw Half



apples, diced

Coconut Curry Sauce


Half and Half

Per serving, mix together in a bowl:

sea salt, to taste

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup apple, diced

1 cup of cooked quinoa (as above)

enough Coconut Curry Sauce


Where’s My RAW Oatmeal?

4 May

I don’t know how my family transitioned into a less processed diet without our family’s staple raw breakfast: raw oatmeal. Made from oat groats, apples and dates, I was inspired to create this porridge from my old Muesli recipe. It really is delicious and when first transitioning into a more unprocessed and raw based diet, my husband would lovingly say, “I don’t want the cooked oatmeal, I want to eat the RAW oatmeal”.

When Karen Ranzi, author of Creating Healthy Children through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods, had breakfast at our house one day, she wrote down the recipe immediately after eating two bowls. She said it would be the first thing she would make for her family when she returned home.

Needless to say, we eat it at least once a week. I hope you and your family enjoy it too!

Soak overnight, rinse and drain well:

2 cups raw oat groats (if you can’t find whole oat groats, you can use steel cut or rolled oats but these are not raw)

Blend in food processor (chunkier) or high speed blender (smoother and creamier) with about 1 cup of water and the rest of the ingredients:

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbspn lemon juice

1 cup dates, seeded

1 cup raw nuts, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained (optional)

3 apples, cored, no need to peel

Serve topped with other seasonal fruit (optional).

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!


1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in


6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling


7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in


8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as


12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit

Apple Kale Juice

21 Feb

Apple and Kale waiting to be juiced

We can’t stop eating kale salads at our house.  We love the leaves but don’t like chewing through the tough stems.  So what to do with the leftover kale stems?  DON’T THROW IT!  JUICE IT!! This easy juice is so yummy.  It is perfect for kids and hubbies who aren’t in the mood for their greens because it tastes like pure apple juice heaven.

Juice together:

stems from 2 – 3 bunches of kale

2 bags of apples


Apple Almond Yoghurt

30 Nov
I have recently debated adding some raw dairy into my diet. But, I created this yummy breakfast instead! So, why debate further? (For today anyway.)

For yoghurt, puree together:
Pinch sea salt
½ teaspoon probiotics
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 cup water

Mix in:
3-4 apples, diced (you can change the fruit here for different flavors)
Agave nectar or honey, to taste
Vanilla beans or extract, optional

Almond Butter for Kids

28 Apr

After tasting some raw almond butter on bread, I overheard a little 2 year old say, “Mama!  I don’t like this!”  My own son says in dismay (when I try to substitute raw almond butter for peanut butter): “I don’t think this is peanut butter!” No fooling them!  Kids who have tasted PBJs know their PBJs and know when peanut butter isn’t used. So, how about trying something else?
For a snack, I have been very successful at serving these Apple Sandwiches.  Nothing to it:
Simply slice apples thinly. Spread a thin layer of raw organic almond butter between two apple slices to make a sandwich. 

More Than An Apple A Day

28 Feb
Raw Applesauce
I hardly used to buy packaged applesauce unless I used it as a butter substitute in baking because nobody here would really eat it.  And, I have tried to limit any processed foods at home.  So when I read a recipe for raw applesauce, I just turned the page of the recipe book.   But last week, we had just too many apples leftover and I didn’t want them to go to waste.  I made RAW applesauce for myself, but served my son and husband some.  Well, they loved it!  Best of all, their bowls came back to me empty.  They have both asked to have some more since.  I am glad because I know I’m giving them more than a day’s worth of apples to keep the doctor away!
This recipe is adapted from Living On Live Food:
4 apples, seeded and chopped (no need to peel – love this part because I’m not wasting time or fruit)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
just enough water to enable you to puree well
Place all in a  food processor (I use our Vita-mix) and process till smooth.  YUM!!!