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Keto Fat Bomb: Sweet and Creamy Avocado Mash

29 Jun

Avocado will always be a sweet fruit to me. Wish I had a sexier photo for this one… but all I wanted to do was to eat it all up.  Growing up, this used to be one of my favourite foods: simply mashed up avocado, sweetener, and heavy cream.  Now that I have embraced the Keto Way of Eating, I can now enjoy all these fats again!

Avocado

Sweet and Creamy Avocado Mash (1 serving)

This is such an easy and quick fat bomb! 3 ingredients, 3 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1 Tbsp Swerve, erythritol, or xylitol, or more to taste
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp heavy cream, to taste

Method:

  1. Mash all the ingredients together with a fork.
  2. Taste and add more sweetener or cream.
  3. Enjoy!

Note:

This serving has 4.4 g of NET carbs, 4.3 g of protein, and 43.3 g of fats. I did not add the sweetener to this recipe’s nutrition facts as erythritol/swerve/xylitol are not real sugars and our bodies lack the ability to break them down. Because of this, we can safely NOT include their sugar alcohol amount in our overall carbohydrate count.

 

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Raw Eggs and Cream Keto Ice Cream (Churned/Whipped/Simply Frozen)

20 Jun

We have been using Stevia for a while now but we recently discovered Swerve… and WOW. We love Swerve. What’s the first thing I made? Keto Ice Cream! And it was a hit!

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This keto ice cream:

  1. uses WHOLE EGGS because we want to eat eggs whole (or maybe I’m just too lazy to separate them),
  2. doesn’t require an ice cream maker (What? Take it out of storage?),
  3. is versatile:
    1. for the lazy Mama, this recipe can be prepared in 5 minutes with minimal washing up,
    2. for the more discriminating palate, it can be made into a wonderful soft serve ice cream in just 3 hours.

Raw Eggs and Cream Keto Ice Cream

10 servings (per serving: 203 kcal, 17g fats, 2g protein, 4g carbs with erythritol/ 12g carbs with Swerve)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2/3 c Swerve confectioners or erythritol, or to taste (I’d urge you to start out with 1/4 c and test as you increase the sweetness. I’d like to think I can decrease the amount of sweeteners myself, but we find 2/3 c works best with raw cacao powder. Much less is needed if you add vanilla whey protein. Note: Swerve has a higher carb content than plain erythritol)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 T raw cacao powder, for chocolate ice cream OR 3 T vanilla whey protein (like Jay Robb’s),  for vanilla ice cream

 

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Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a 1 quart mason jar.
  2. Blend well with immersion blender.
  3. (Or place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.)
  4. At this point, you can do three things: simply freeze it directly in the mason jar, put it in an ice cream machine, or whip it up to make soft serve ice cream.

 

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Version 1: Simply Freeze

Cover mason jar with a lid and freeze. You can either choose to mix it every hour to make sure it freezes well or just leave it to freeze. Either way, defrost for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This ice cream will taste like regular ice cream.

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Version 2: Ice Cream Machine

Place mixture in an ice cream machine to churn until done. Enjoy now or freeze and eat later. Defrost for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This ice cream will taste most like regular ice cream.

Version 3: Soft Serve

Whip the mixture until airy and slightly stiff. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours. Serve during this time period for a homemade soft serve ice cream.

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(NOTE: You can freeze the rest if there are leftovers, but it won’t taste as wonderfully as the soft serve, the simply frozen, or the ice cream machine versions.)

Our Favourites in Order?

  1. Soft Serve (i.e. whipped, then frozen for only 3 to 4 hours)
  2. Simply Freeze or Ice Cream Machine (just remember to defrost 10 minutes before serving)
  3. Soft Serve leftover that was frozen for longer than 4 hours (This is the least favourite of the group, but it is still delicious. Just remember to defrost 15 to 20 minutes. )

Enjoy!

NOTE:

Erythritol, which is also the main ingredient in Swerve, is a sugar alcohol. It is not a real sugar and our bodies lack the ability to break it down. Because of this, we can safely NOT include the sugar alcohol amount in our overall carbohydrate count. The net carbs in this recipe without Swerve or Erythritol would be around 1.8 g.

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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.

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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.

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

Crust:

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.

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Filling:

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.

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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.

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ENJOY and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

8 Oct

This post is for days when an exact recipe won’t do, when you don’t feel like being predictable, and when you want to play in the kitchen.

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I haven’t eaten Praline Pecans in years. I have cooked them before but with egg whites and butter. I’ve also wanted to buy them many times since turning Vegan (8 years now!) but the ingredients invariably list butter, egg, cream, and/or corn syrup, and I’d put the package back on the shelf.  I decided it was time to make my own Vegan version using better ingredients.

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The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

I brought out:

  • 16 oz pecans

I lay them flat on a prepared cookie sheet (with a Silpat mat) and toasted them slightly for 5 – 7 minutes at 350F. Then, I poured them in a big bowl and added:

  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

I stirred well to coat evenly, then added:

  • enough maple syrup to slightly coat the pecans (I added around 4 Tbsp, but start with 2 Tbsp and keep adding by Tbsp until you think you have added enough)

I stirred again to coat the pecans evenly, then added:

  • Sucanat, to taste (I added around 1/2 c, but start with 1/4 c and keep adding by tablespoonful until it is just sweet enough)
  • sea salt, to taste (I added around 2 tsp, but keep tasting as you add by the 1/4 tsp)

I stirred to incorporate well. You want to make sure the sugar is sticking to the pecans. If not, you need more maple syrup. Now for the chocolate.*  I added to the bowl:

  • half a bag of Vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (around 5 oz, but add whatever amount you want)

I stirred one last time to incorporate everything. Taste. Is it sweet enough? Is it just salty enough? Then, I poured it out on the prepared baking sheet, making sure it was in one layer, and baked at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant, toasted, and the chocolate chips slightly melted. I took it out of the oven and allowed it to cool. Place in the refrigerator if you can’t wait.

*NOTE: at this stage, you can bake the pecans without the added chocolate chips. After baking, you can then drizzle melted chocolate in fancy patterns over the cooled pecans. The result will be even prettier Pralines but the thought of more washing up put me off this step. It probably would have been worth it though.

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When cooled, dig in. WOW. This was delicious!

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I’ve been nibbling on these Chocolate Pecan Pralines since yesterday. I left a plate out for my husband to try and he finished them off too. I love it when he enjoys my food!

Easy Bread Machine Vegan Whole Wheat Brioche Buns

10 Sep

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I have been baking Vegan Ensaymadas this past week and wondered if I could ease the process by using my bread machine. Good news… it works! This method takes 3 1/2 hours instead of 9 hours.

Easy Bread Machine Whole Wheat Brioche Buns

Put all the following ingredients in order in your bread machine:

  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 3 Tbsp flax seed meal mixed with 9 Tbsp water
  • 6 Tbsp Earth Balance butter, you need for a buttery taste. If you want to substitute an oil, I would suggest Coconut Oil. This would naturally give your brioche a more coconut flavor, instead of a buttery one. Your choice.
  • 9 Tbsp Sucanat, or your choice of sweetener
  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour*
  • 1 1/2 c bread flour*
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast

*I wanted this recipe to be hardier than the light and fluffy Ensaymadas from my previous post: less of a pastry and more of a bread. If you want to create the more fluffier, softer, and lighter Ensaymadas, use unbleached all purpose flour or spelt or whole wheat pastry flour.

Set to dough stage. When done, take the dough out and divide it into 12 portions.

Making the Buns

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To Make Brioche in Brioche Molds:

  • follow this recipe here after the 3 hour rising period. However, allow the brioche to rest uncovered for only 45 – 60 minutes before baking.

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To Make Easy Brioche Buns:

  • roll each of the 12 portions into a ball
  • place on a prepared baking sheet (greased or lined with Silpat mat or parchment paper)
  • flatten into a bun
  • allow to rest uncovered for 45 – 60 minutes
  • bake at 350F for 10 minutes or until golden brown
  • if the under side of the buns are too soft, you can turn the buns over and bake for another 10 minutes. This should crisp all sides of the buns well.

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These whole wheat brioche buns are sweeter, softer, and fluffier than ordinary hamburger or hot dog buns, but hardier than the Vegan Ensaymadas I made earlier. These are perfect for sandwiches with fillings that tend to fall out easily, like Sloppy Joes. I also used them for Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches and Vegan Burgers last night.

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Vegan Filipino Ensaymadas

9 Sep

When I worked in the restaurant industry, I was asked to be the Pastry Sous Chef at a well-known restaurant. I was excited at the prospect and my future as a Chef, but I turned it down. I couldn’t justify feeding and serving people dishes high in fat, sugar, and calories anymore. I wanted to feed people foods that helped them become healthy, not unhealthy. Uncertainly, I left the restaurant and started my own personal chef business dedicated to people who had health issues. It has been years since I ran my personal chef business and family life consumes my time now, but my view of food has not changed and has, in fact, become more focused on health as I have become a mother.

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After years of Raw Veganism, I am recently getting back into Cooked Food and have discovered that I still enjoy both cooking and baking (not to mention eating). This past week, I wanted to recreate the Filipino Ensaymada. In high school, our house would smell of these freshly baked Brioche Buns every week. They require hours of time in the kitchen along with sticks of butter, egg yolks galore, loads of white sugar, and more than a handful of cheese. My mother’s recipe creates a golden pastry that is truly decadent and mouth-watering. However, I wanted to create a healthier version using whole-foods and plant-based ingredients for my family. I looked through the dozen Ensaymada recipes in my kitchen and found Pat Limjuco Dayrit’s to have the least amount of sugar, eggs, and butter. I decided it was a good place to start. Thank you Ms. Dayrit! I made changes to your recipe and it worked for this Vegan Mama in the Kitchen!

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Vegan Filipino Ensaymadas (Makes 12 buns)

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar, or your choice of sweetener
  • 1 tsp yeast

Let stand for 10 minutes. Mix in:

  • 1 c flour: unbleached all purpose, spelt or whole wheat pastry flour

Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size. In a mixer, cream together:

  • 6 Tbsp Earth Balance butter, you need this buttery taste. If you want to substitute an oil, I would suggest Coconut Oil. This would naturally give your Ensaymada a more coconut flavor, instead of a buttery one. Your choice.
  • 9 Tbsp coconut sugar, or your choice of sweetener

Then add  1/4 c at a time to the creamed butter and sugar, this egg substitute mixture:

  • 3 Tbsp flax seed meal mixed with 9 Tbsp water (I grind my own brown flax seeds. It’s probably more aesthetically pleasing to use golden flax and to grind it better than I did. You’ll see the whole flax seeds in my dough below.)

Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook and add:

  • the flour mixture from above

When well incorporated, add in little by little:

  • 2 c flour, all purpose, spelt or whole wheat pastry flour

Allow machine to knead well, around 5 minutes. No need for extra butter. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 3 hours until doubled in size again.

Divide into 12 portions. Now, grease with Vegan butter or coconut oil:

  • working area
  • rolling pin
  • a long wooden stick, optional

Greasing your tools allows you to work with the dough easily and ensures that your dough doesn’t stick to them. Roll each portion of dough into a thin circle. At this point, you can add the following optional fillings to the dough in small amounts. I choose NOT to add anything to the dough, but if you want to, go right ahead. I love it when recipes are personalized:

  • Vegan butter
  • coconut sugar, or your choice of sweetener
  • grated Vegan cheese, if you like
  • other non-traditional fillings could include jam or chocolate shavings or even Nutella, if you will

Carefully roll the dough around the stick. If you don’t have a stick, simply roll it into a very thin and tight mini jelly roll.

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Push the dough off the stick (if using) and coil into a tight circular shape inside a well-greased fluted brioche mold. My molds are about 4 inches in diameter. Allow these rolls to rest and double in size again for 4 hours.

Place molds on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven at 350F for around 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure they are baked through because baking with flax seeds requires a slightly longer baking time. You can place a piece of foil on the tops of the Ensaymadas so that they don’t burn while their bases bake longer. You can also use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread: 180 – 190F is good. Take them out of the oven when ready.

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When cool enough to handle, brush with a small amount of Vegan butter and dip the tops in sugar immediately. I use organic cane sugar for looks here but you can go ahead and use coconut sugar too.

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These buns will last a few days if stored in a ziplock bag. I keep them in their molds until I’m ready to serve them, at which time I take them out of the mold and pop them into the toaster oven to bake for about 10 minutes until crisp all over. Serve these plain or with jam.

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These Vegan Filipino Ensaymadas were a hit at our house. Light, puffy, soft, and not at all heavy and doughy like you would expect whole grain breads to be. If you are looking for a healthier sweet bread to serve your family, then I would suggest you try it. They taste wonderful with jam. Tomorrow I think I’ll dip my bun in hot chocolate.

 UPDATE: I have been able to cut down this recipe from 9 hours to 3 1/2 hours by using the bread machine. Check it out here: Easy Bread Machine Vegan Whole Wheat Brioche Buns.

A Super Easy Vegan Meringue and Cashew Cream Deconstructed Sans Rival Cake

15 Aug

My parents friends would gift us Silvanas and Sans Rival on special occasions. I would look forward to eating either one of them as soon as I could. These extravagant Filipino treats just melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more. Both made from meringue, buttercream and cashews, Silvanas is a frozen cookie while Sans Rival a frozen cake.

After a day of baking and tasting Aquafaba Meringues, I knew I had to try making a Vegan Version of Silvanas or Sans Rival. I decided on something in between: a dessert bigger than a cookie and smaller than a full-sized cake. I also wanted a dessert that would be more meringue and less of the loaded fats.

How about a deconstructed cake? Layers of Vegan Meringue, Cashew Buttercream and Cashews! Perfect.

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Vegan Aquafaba Meringue

This is the exact recipe from my Aquafaba Whipped Cream.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

  • 1 c cooking liquid of chickpeas
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Whisk in a mixer for 10 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Like the photo below.

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To make cakes: Draw 4 circles around 6 inches or 16 cm in diameter using a bowl or plate on parchment paper. Turn the paper around so that the pencil/ink drawings face the baking sheet. Spoon or pipe the Aquafaba Cream into round cakes on the parchment paper using the outline of circles as your guide. You want them to be around half an inch thick.

Leftover Whipped Cream? No Problem.

You will have some cream left over. You can either save the cream to serve with the cake later on or make small meringue cookies.

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To make cookies: spoon or pipe the cream into small macaroon shaped cookies on a Silpat mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Baking the Meringues

Place the the baking sheets in a preheated oven at 200F. The small cookies bake for 2 hours. Take the cookies out at this time. The bigger cakes bake for 2 1/2 hours, turning the baking sheet around halftime. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue cakes in the oven until it thoroughly dries out (if needed). Carefully peel off the meringues from the parchment paper gently.

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Cashew Buttercream

Soak for a couple of hours:

  • 1 c raw cashews

Drain and rinse cashews. Place in high speed blender with:

  • 1/4 t sea salt, optional
  • 2 T your choice of liquid sweetener, like coconut nectar, maple or agave syrups
  • 1/4 c your choice of liquid, like water, orange juice or even coffee

Blend well to create a vegan buttercream.

Cashews

Place in a food processor and process so that there are both bigger and smaller (almost ground) chunks of nuts:

  • 1/2 c cashews, toasted or raw

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A Super Easy Vegan Meringue and Cashew Cream Deconstructed Sans Rival Cake (Serves 8)

Place the first meringue layer on a plate, top with a thin layer of cashew buttercream and sprinkle generously with chopped cashews. Place another meringue layer on top and repeat layers of thin cashew buttercream and sprinkles of cashews. Repeat with the other two layers of meringues. Freeze immediately. Serve this cold and straight out of the freezer, otherwise the meringue will become soggy. If you have leftover whipped cream, you can serve the cakes with some too.

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My son took one look at the cake and exclaimed: “Couldn’t you have made it with something else other than cashews? I would have loved to eat it.”

Oops, sorry. (He’s allergic to cashews.) I could have made it with hazelnuts or almonds I guess, but it is traditionally made with cashews.

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My husband and I already ate half the cake. It is a luscious mix of cooked and raw deliciousness.

I love my kitchen and I have missed cooking in it. My blog had been quiet for almost 3 years, but changing from RAW to COOKED Vegan has reignited my passion for food. Thank YOU for keeping in touch with me through the silence and stopping by again to enjoy the food on my table.

Balsamic Strawberries with Aquafaba Whipped Cream

14 Aug

Growing up, there was always some type of cream in our refrigerator: clotted, double, light, whipped. You name it, we had it. Our family loved cream with desserts, especially berries.

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After turning Vegan, I sort of missed all that lovely cream but I also knew that it caused my eczema. So I did without because nothing vegan came close to it (ok maybe cashew creams but my son is allergic) until my discovery of aquafaba whipped cream. Unlike dairy-based creams, aquafaba whipped cream is much lighter, not to mention lower in fat and calorie content too. It is airy and fluffy almost like marshmallow fluff and creates the perfect vegan companion to berries. In the following recipe, I combine a traditional Italian strawberry dessert with the cloud-like cream.

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Balsamic Strawberries

Gently toss together in a bowl:

  • 16 oz strawberries, quartered
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice if you prefer that)
  • 2 Tbs your choice of sweetener, I use Sucanat
  • pinch of black pepper (optional)

While the strawberries are macerating for 10-15 minutes, whip up the vegan cream.

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Aquafaba Whipped Cream

Aquafaba is the cooking liquid of beans. I personally keep the cooking liquid of beans as soup stock, but for now soup will have to wait as my family indulges in this vegan cream.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

  • 1 c cooking liquid of chickpeas
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Whisk in a mixer for 10 to 15 minutes until peaks form.

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Serve

Place balsamic strawberries in a bowl and top with the aquafaba whipped cream. You can sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on top and garnish it with mint, if you like. We were too excited to dig in so I didn’t have time to get mint from the garden. It was delicious nonetheless. Enjoy!

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My family thoroughly enjoyed this dessert. I love that I can now have berries and cream again. My son and husband LOVED it too. My son kept saying how the cream tastes like marshmallow and my husband was shocked to hear the cream was made from bean water.

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You can refrigerate the rest of the cream or finish it off or bake them now. As I write, the rest of our aquafaba whipped cream has been piped and is in the oven baking as vegan meringues. We are already excited about tonight’s dessert.

Easy, Quick and Yummy Vegan Crunchy Chocolate Rice and Oat Granola

22 Jul

Love chocolate in your granola? Don’t want nuts or seeds in it? Want it in 15 minutes? No problem. Like all my recipes, this is easy and quick.

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Easy and Yummy Vegan Chocolate Rice and Oat Granola

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1 c rice cereal (my child loves Envirokidz Chocolate Koala Crisp but any will do)
  • 1/2 c vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 T flax seed meal
  • 4 T your choice of liquid sweetener: like coconut nectar, maple syrup, brown rice cereal or agave syrup
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t sea salt

Bake for 10 minutes or until toasted at 325F on a prepared (greased/lined with parchment paper/Silpat mat) cookie sheet. Set aside to cool. Keep refrigerated until needed. NOTE: you can make these into delicious travel bars, like my other two, but it will be easier to break.

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Serve alone or with your choice of milk or yoghurt and/or fruit.

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Breakfast Dessert anyone?

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Time for Berries!

17 Apr

We love berries at our house.  Most of the time, we love them plain, although my son really loves them with a little raw honey (kids and their sweet tooth!).  Sometimes, we enjoy them on top of our fruit pudding* or raw oatmeal.  Occasionally, I’ll serve them with some greens and a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. (*Note: we haven’t had dairy in our home for over a year.)

Mixed Berries with Greens

The easiest way for us to get some berry goodness is through smoothies, like “More Greens Please!” Strawberry Smoothie and Berry Spirulina Smoothie.

"More Greens Please!" Strawberry Smoothie

When I want a quick treat, I love my Quick and Easy Raw Ice Cream Base which takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.  I eat it as is or wait till it is frozen.  A wonderful alternative is simply mixing frozen bananas and berries together in a food processor for a raw ‘ice cream’.

Quick and Easy Raw Ice Cream Base

When I have some extra time, I love to make some Berry TreatsRaw Strawberry Cream Pie is easy to serve a la minute!  And it looks beautiful.  My son is allergic to cashews, so I substitute with macadamia nuts when I make this at home – but I much prefer the taste with cashews.

Raw Strawberry Cream Pie

These Raw Blueberry Bars are wonderful if you miss Fig Newton’s or Pop Tarts or crave cereal bars!

Raw Blueberry Bars

Or maybe you crave an Easy Blueberry Peach Crumble for breakfast, snack or dessert!

Easy Blueberry Peach Crumble

Can you tell we love berries?

Just an FYI, Driscoll’s is having a Twitter Chat tomorrow: Wednesday, April 18th at 7pm EST with Sommer of GreenandCleanMom.org! They will be discussing how to eat green for Earth Day with Driscoll’s organic berries. And, 5 lucky chat participants who answer their green living questions correctly will be chosen to receive $20 in Driscoll’s coupons!  You can find Driscoll’s Organic Berries in most local supermarkets (even my health food shop will sometimes carry this brand too)!

Blissful Bites: Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse

8 Mar

Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse is also heavenly to prepare with only 5 ingredients. You will have a delightful dessert in less than 10 minutes (clean up included)!

When little hands help... you never know what they are going to add. Hmph... those sprinkles don't look like anything RAW to me, but what's important is he's helping me create a RAW TREAT that he absolutely loves.

As my sous-chef, I think my son purposely miscounted the dates and added 1 more to our mixture.  It was a little sweet for me and my husband, but my son was in dessert heaven.  The recipe is reprinted here with the kind permission of Christy Morgan, chef and author of Blissful Bites.

Blend until it becomes a paste:

12 dates, soaked for 2 hours and pitted, or ¾ cup maple syrup (we used wet dates, so we didn’t need to soak them)

Add and blend until smooth:

2 ripe avocados

1/3 cup raw cacao powder (we used raw carob powder)

1 tsp vanilla flavouring or 1 fresh vanilla bean

Serve in martini glasses with:

4 strawberries, sliced

Makes 2 – 3 servings.

Double Chocolate Delight

29 Jan

I can't keep those little hands away from my freshly made batch of Double Chocolate Delight!

Lou at my local health food shop is a Raw Foodie and he makes these delicious raw double chocolate cookies once in blue moon.  Last week, we bought 4 pieces – but my son and husband looked at me, as if to say: “Is that it?”  Needless to say, after reading the ingredient list, I decided to come up with my own version.  I didn’t use cacao nibs or lucuma powder in mine, but mine taste similar.  As you  can see from the photo above, my son just couldn’t wait to eat one.  And after he did, he ran excitedly all over the house looking for his dad to tell him they were fresh out of the food  processor.

Thank you Lou for the inspiration!  These Double Chocolate Delights are… delightful!!!

Grind in food processor until fine and set aside:

big handful of pecans or walnuts, raw or soaked and then dehydrated

Next grind in the same food processor until fine:

1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for a few hours to soften, rinsed and drained

Add into the food processor and continue to mix together until you have a soft and even batter:

a big pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract (non-alchohol)

2 soft dates (soak if you have to)

6 tbspns raw honey or agave syrup or maple syrup

Then add in:

1/2 cup ground pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Dampen your hands when handling the batter so it isn’t too sticky.  You can roll a tablespoon of batter into a ball and then roll it in cacao powder for ‘truffles’.  Or as the photo shows above, roll a tablespoon of batter then flatten it into a circle. Serve as is or top with just a little of either raw honey/agave/maple syrup or raw chocolate sauce (mix raw honey/agave/maple syrup with a little raw cacao powder), and sprinkle with some cayenne seasoning too if you like!

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’!

Easy Raw Dark Chocolate Bars for Every Season

25 Dec

Easy Raw Dark Chocolate Bar

After trying to get rid of his allergies for almost 3 months, my son told me the other morning that he only wanted to eat processed candy on his birthday and on Christmas Day because he didn’t want to get sick anymore. Well, he has been obsessing about Peppermint Candy Canes and Peppermint Chocolate Bars even before this holiday season came around. Hmmm, sound familiar?

Well, believe it or not, where we live, all the ‘pretty healthy’ candy canes were all sold out by December! Lucky for my son, a dear friend whose child also has allergies, bought an extra box of TruSweets for him. He decorated our tree with nine of them and ate only one today. As for Peppermint Chocolate Bars, my son was happy to discover that his Mama can make pretty healthy Raw Dark Chocolate Bars for him in less than half an hour! Here’s how:

I use my weighing machine quite a bit. I prefer to weigh ingredients instead of use measuring cups because I have less to wash up afterwards! Notice: my weighing machine is permanently in a ziplock bag to ease clean up!

Melt by placing a bowl of cacao butter in another bowl full of hot water and stir occasionally:

4 oz raw cacao butter (before melting, I first use my fork to break the cacao butter into small pieces… so melting takes only a few minutes)

When melted, add to the cacao butter:

pinch of sea salt

1 drop of doTerra peppermint essential oil (optional, or other flavours to suit your taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 oz raw agave syrup/raw honey/maple syrup

2 – 3  oz raw cacao powder, depending on how dark you want your chocolate

Mix well. Pour into molds and place in fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from fridge or freezer, pop out of molds and enjoy!

I use metal moulds (above) and silicon mini-muffin moulds. For the latter, I only fill them halfway. After they solidify in the fridge/freezer, I pop my thin chocolate

Chocolate Hearts are for every season!!!

Easy Blueberry Peach Crisp or Crumble

10 Jul
Blueberry Peach Crisp

For breakfast, snack or dessert, this is delicious, fresh and easy!

The Crust

Pulse together in a food processor:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
3 tbspns raw local honey or your choice of sweetener, or 6 tbspns pitted dates
2 cups raw almonds, unsoaked, grind to crumb-like consistency (not into a fine powder)

Filling

blueberries and sliced peaches

To Serve

Quick and Not That Involved: Like an easy granola and fruit dish, simply place fruit in a bowl and top with crust. Enjoy!

Prettier and More Involved: More like a Crumb Cake, pat down crust on a pie plate, top with peach slices and place some blueberries around the edge, top with more crust and pat down firmly, add one more layer of peaches and blueberries around the edge and top with the last layer of crust. Pat down firmly. The peaches and crust compliment each other very well – so you want more peaches than blueberries. Freeze slightly before serving to make slicing easier (use a sharp knife). Enjoy! Top with orange cream or banana ice cream, if desired.

Raw Blueberry Bars

26 Jun

A Raw Blueberry Bar

Thinking about really nutritious, fresh, un-processed, Raw Pop Tarts or Raw Cereal Bars or Raw Fig Newtons?  Either for breakfast, a snack or a dessert, this is it! This truly healthy recipe is very easy, simple and the family will love it.  Blueberries are now in season and tastes fantastic with vanilla, coconut, lemon and maple syrup!

Raw Pastry

Grind into a fine flour with a Vitamix or Coffee grinder:

1 cup sprouted and dehyrated soft wheat berries*

* Alternatives: sprouted and dehydrated oat groats (or simply grind rolled oats if this is easier), soaked, rinsed and drained nuts (make sure they are dry thoroughly – I usually store them in the fridge for a few hours in a sieve after rinsing them)

Place in a bowl and add:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (without alcohol)
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil
2 – 3 tbspns maple syrup, according to taste

Mix together.  Flatten with the palm of your hands or a roller on a flat surface. Refrigerate or freeze until hard.  Carefully separate pastry from surface.  Cut into long strips and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Blueberry Jam

Mix together in a food processor:

1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional but brings out the taste of sweet blueberries)
1/4 cup dates, soak if required
1 cup fresh blueberries*

*Alternatives: You can use your choice  of seasonal fruits here, like strawberries, figs, etc.

To Serve A La Minute

Place pastry strips on a flat surface.  Top half of each strip with blueberry jam and fold the other half on top to form a type of sandwich.  Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Donut Holes

28 May

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

My husband tells me today that he’s been craving Donuts.  Not just any donuts, but Krispy Kreme Donuts. And he’s been craving it for 3 weeks.

Ugh.  Really? Why didn’t he tell me earlier?

Not one to encourage processed foods in my house, I scramble and come up with these Cinnamon Donut Holes tonight.  Son was happy I had dessert and devoured them.  Hubby doesn’t crave the other donuts as much anymore.

I consider that a success.

Place in a bowl:

1/2 cup raw coconut flour (use high speed blender or food processor to grind dried shredded coconut to a fine powder, be careful not to over grind or else you will end up with coconut butter)

1 cup raw oat groats flour (soak oat groats overnight, drain and rinse the next day, sprout if you wish, dehydrate and process in a high speed blender to a fine powder – or grind raw rolled oats to a powder, if you wish)*

1 cup raw sprouted soft wheat flour (soak soft wheat berries overnight, drain and rinse the next day, sprout if you wish, dehydrate and process in a high speed blender to a fine powder)*

* I always have these on hand and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Add to the bowl:

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tbspns extra virgin coconut oil at room temperature

5 tbspns raw local honey

Mix together until a batter forms.  If it is still to dry, add just a little water at a time to create a batter that sticks. Roll into small balls.  Coat with ‘powdered cinnamon sugar’. Although not raw, this is the least processed and closest alternative to the sugar coating of regular donuts.  Grind together in a high speed blender:

2 tbspns ground cinnamon

6 tbspns Sucanat (dried whole cane sugar)

Alternatively, you can coat the donuts with more ground coconut flour or dip in raw chocolate syrup (2 tbspns raw local honey mixed with 1-2 tbspns raw carob powder or raw cacao powder) for a Donut Fondue!

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Once refrigerated or frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature before serving.

Quick and Easy Raw Ice Cream Base

9 May

Strawberry Ice Cream

I don’t have a tub of store bought ice cream in my freezer. So, on Mother’s Day like on any day, when I (or my husband or my son) want a treat I have to work for it.

I decided on Strawberry Ice Cream.

The easiest way to make raw strawberry ice cream is to process frozen bananas and strawberries in a high-speed blender or food processor, but two caveats: 1. you need frozen bananas and frozen strawberries in the freezer, and 2. ice cream made this way though creamy always tastes like bananas. Another way to make raw strawberry ice cream is with freshly made creamy nut (like almond) milk and an ice cream maker, but this requires soaking almonds overnight. A very popular way to make raw ice cream is with cashews because of its creaminess but this too requires soaking cashews overnight and an ice cream maker.

We hardly make anything with cashews because of my son’s allergies, but because this was for me and hubby and because I had no inclination for bananas or waiting a day for my treat, I simply used raw cashew butter. So, here is a very simple and quick base for any raw ice cream. Makes enough for 2 people.

Tip: I place my small food processor on top of my measuring scale (which is always covered in a zip lock bag, so it stays clean) for an easy and quick prep. I don’t have to use measuring cups, just the scale, so less to wash! Place in a food processor and process well:


pinch of salt

1 1/2 oz or more raw local honey (or preferred sweetener, like agave or maple syrup)

3 oz extra virgin coconut oil, warmed to liquefy by placing bottle in warm water

3 oz raw cashew butter

For flavor, add a handful of strawberries or a tbspn or 2 of raw cacao/carob powder or a tspn of vanilla extract or a tbspn matcha powder for green tea

enough water to make the ice cream smooth, about 2 – 4 tbspns

Taste to adjust the sweetness. Place in an ice cream maker to create an airy ice cream, or simply place in a container and freeze for about 45 minutes to 1 hour for a denser dessert.

Enjoy!

Sweet Oat Scones

1 May

Sweet Oat Scones

One thing many people miss when transitioning into a more raw foods diet is bread. While there are lot of raw crackers, flat breads and veggie chips, ‘white’ breads are more difficult to replicate raw. Without the use of yeast or baking soda, raw foods simply don’t have this light and airy quality. Instead, raw breads are dense, filling and nutritious: satisfying us instead of leading us to crave more and more.

This raw sweet nut-free bread recipe is simply delicious. It reminds me of thick sweet Portugese bread or a sweet bagel. It will satisfy if you crave those heavy breads. Very versatile, you can use this batter to make Blonde Brownies, Vanilla Cupcakes, Oat Muffins, or as above, Sweet Scones. You don’t need to dehydrate these, which makes it ready in 5-10 minutes if you have all the ingredients ready!

The Sweet Bread

Like my Mama Won’t Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake, this batter consists mainly of dates and oats.

The day before you make the cake, prepare the oat flour: 1. Soak oat groats overnight. 2. Drain and rinse. 3. Dehydrate until thoroughly dry by placing on 2 mesh screens on trays so the groats don’t easily fall out. I place the dehydrator on full for 1 hour then decrease the temperature to 105F. This takes about half a day. 4. Process 2 cups of dehydrated oat groats in a high speed blender, such as aVitamix, to make a fine flour. EASY ALTERNATIVE: grind rolled oat flakes into flour.

The Batter

Place in a food processor and mix together:

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted

Add in and process together:

2 cups oat groats that have been processed into fine oat flour as above (ALTERNATIVE: you can use rolled oat flakes that have been ground into a fine powder)

Add slowly to the powdery mixture until you have a batter that sticks together:

2 tbspns raw local honey

Mix in:

your choice of additions, like raisins or currants or cacao nibs

Form into your choice of shapes. For the scones, I used silicone mini-cupcake molds. You can place in a square pan and cut them into squares too. Just remember to grease your molds with oil first to ease removal.

A Raw Afternoon Tea

Accompaniments

(I was inspired to make these after reading Ani Phyo’s Ani’s Raw Food Essentials!)

Salted Butter

I love this alone with the Sweet Oat Scones because of the play of tastes between salty and sweet.

Mix together in food processor or by hand:

1 – 1 1/2 tsp unpasteurized white miso

1/4 cup coconut butter

Strawberry Jam

My boys prefer this alone with the scones.

Mix together in food processor or blender:

1/4 – 1/3 cup dates, pitted, to taste

1 cup strawberries

Enjoy your Afternoon Tea with some Sun Tea too!

Mama Won’t Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake

30 Apr

Mama Won't Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake

The Cake

Besides the coconut oil in the icing, this is a nut-free raw cake! Mainly oats and dates, this batter is versatile. You can make it into a brownie, cookie, cake, crumbs for fruit desserts, etc.

The day before you make the cake, prepare the oat flour: 1. Soak oat groats overnight. 2. Drain and rinse. 3. Dehydrate until thoroughly dry by placing on 2 mesh screens on trays so the groats don’t easily fall out. I place the dehydrator on full for 1 hour then decrease the temperature to 105F. This takes about half a day. 4. Process 2 cups of dehydrated oat groats in a high speed blender, such as aVitamix, to make flour. EASY ALTERNATIVE: grind rolled oat flakes into flour.

Batter: Place in a food processor and mix together:

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw cacao powder (you can substitute with raw carob powder)

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted

Add in and process together:

2 cups oat groats, processed into oat flour as above (ALTERNATIVE: you can use rolled oat flakes and grind into a powder)

Add slowly to the powdery mixture until you have a batter that sticks together:

6 tbspns raw local honey (you may need less)

use silicone molds for easy removal

Grease molds with extra virgin coconut oil (or olive oil). Place batter in molds to create small mini-cupcakes or layers of cake. Remove and set aside.

Mama Won't Mind If You Have Another Of Those Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Icing

How healthy can this chocolate icing be??? Avocado (vitamin E!) and coconut oil (the benefits are amazing)? WOW. And this icing can be used to top anything! Fruits, cupcakes, cookie, as a dip, top raw ice cream (banana ice cream or almond ice cream)… yum!

In a food processor, mix together:

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or raw carob powder)

1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup raw local honey

1 medium avocado

Pipe on top of cupcakes or place in between layers of cake, then pipe top of cake.

Note: Depending on your dates and honey, your cake may be just right or a little on the sweet side. If it is a little too sweet, you can use fruit (mashed up banana as ‘cream’, strawberry slices, raspberry, or other seasonal fruits) as the filling in between layers to break up the sweetness. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cream Pie

11 Apr

Strawberry Cream Pie

My cousin Miguel e-mailed me out of the blue last week and after reading my posts, he immediately set out to make his own Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie. I was so impressed when he e-mailed me just 2 days later with a photo of his own pie. Although his was made with a Graham Cracker Crust, the rest was all raw. He and his 2 year old little girl, Estelle devoured it. His response brought a smile on my face, “I’m SOLD! I’m inspired to eat raw desserts! Any more desserts involving strawberries or peaches in the making? “

Needless to say, I’m always so excited when others are motivated to eat less processed and more raw foods. So today, I looked in my fridge: strawberries – check, almonds – check and macadamia nuts – check. Thought I’d create a Strawberry Cream Pie!

So, Miguel, this is for you and Estelle!

What’s so great about Strawberries?

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber and iodine, the latter nutrient helps protect our thyroids and gonads from radiation exposure of iodine-131. Strawberries also contain potassium, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, and vitamin K. And they are abundant in the Spring. In fact, City Roots just announced that their strawberries are ready for picking.

The Recipe

The Soft Cookie Crust

Pulse together in a food processor:

1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
1 1/2 tbspns raw local honey
1 cup raw almonds, unsoaked, process to a powder

Create the crust in molds (first grease with coconut oil) or on 2 5″ pie pans or free form rounds. Freeze.

Orange Cream

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 tbspns raw local honey
1 organic orange, juiced, around 1/3 cup
1 cup raw organic macadamia nuts, unsoaked (or raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed) I prefer cashews but macadamias are a great substitute if there are cashew allergies.

Refrigerate until needed.

Filling

1 pint of organic strawberries

Garnish

mint from the garden

To Serve

Make sure everything is cold when served and after putting it together, serve immediately.

Place Strawberry Slices on top of Crust

Top with Orange Cream

Add another layer of strawberries

1. Place an almond cookie crust on a plate.
2. Top with strawberry slices.
3. Spread orange cream on top.
4. Top with more strawberries.
5. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Alternatives

Petits Fours

Mini Strawberry Cream Pies

Or as my son likes them, sans crust: Strawberry Cream Kisses

Can I Have More of those Raw Oatmeal Cookies Mama?

4 Apr

The Yummiest and Easiest Raw Oatmeal Cookies

“Mama!” my son’s eyes widened as he exclaimed, “Daddy put one whole raw oatmeal cookie in his mouth and ate it in one gulp!”

Pause.

“So, can I have more of those raw oatmeal cookies?” he smiled.

Yes, these raw oatmeal cookies are delicious and they will have the kids and daddies wanting more! They are so very simple to make and highly nutritious. Cookies made of sprouted oats, coconut oil and almond butter… hmmm… I have no qualms serving it to my family anytime of day. We hardly enjoy dehydrated food anymore preferring fresh instead but this recipe may change all that.

Soak overnight. Next day, drain and rinse. Sprout for a day, if you wish:

1 cup organic oat groats

Place in a food processor and process until you have a nice thick batter:

pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbspns raw almond butter
2 tbspns extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup raw local honey
2 cups sprouted oat groats

Place by a spoonful on a Texflex sheet on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 110F until desired hardness, turning cookies over once and placing them directly on trays to dry quicker.

Note: my friend Bonnie reminded me that if you set your machine to 150F for the first 2 to 3 hours, the food being dehydrated will not reach a temperature of more than 110F and it will speed up the process of dehydration by at least half the time. After 2 to 3 hours at 150F, you can decrease the temperature to 110F for the remainder of the process. In doing so, these cookies will be done in about 6 hours.

Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie

2 Apr

 

Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie

 

After a few experiments to create one with the least ingredients and the least amount of time, here is a very easy, quick and ultra creamy Banana Cream with a sugar cookie Coco-Nutty Crust!  How can you beat a healthy banana pie like this: nutritious, unprocessed, quick for Mama in the Kitchen and yummy for your little (and big) one’s tummy!

 

Coco-Nutty Cookie Crust

Place in a food processor and process until small and almost powdery. Make sure not to over process as to turn into a paste:

1/2 cup macadamia nut

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Add in and process together:

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquefy by placing bottle in hot water and pouring the melted oil out

3 tbspns raw local honey

Press onto the bottoms of 4 (4 1/2″) springform pans (the kinds where the bottom can be separated from the sides, pie shown above) or press onto bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan (as shown below).  Place in freezer while you make the banana pudding.

 

Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie

Banana Pudding

In a high speed blender, process to a paste. It will first turn into powder and then into a thick paste:

1 ½ cups shredded coconut

Add in and puree together very well:

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup raw local honey

5 bananas

Pour into your spring form or pie pans with crust. Refrigerate.  You can also freeze the pie and thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.


Garnish with

thin slices of fresh bananas or coconut pieces

 

Enjoy!

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!

FRESH FRUITS

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

FRESH VEGGIES

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

SPROUTED GRAINS

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

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

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

SWEETENER

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

Our Green Valentine’s Day Sundae

13 Feb

 

Our Green Valentine’s Day Sundae

Who can resist this for breakfast or dessert?  My son wanted his Banana Lollipops today, but when he saw me preparing this, he changed his mind.

We all love this.

Happy Valentine’s To You!

For The Green Pudding, puree in blender together:

2 bananas

2 avocados

1 big naval orange

Place in sundae glasses.

Sprinkle top with ground flax seeds.

Top with Cacao Syrup, mix together:

2 tbspns raw cacao powder (or carob)

4 tbspns raw local honey

Sprinkle top with raw cacao nibs.

Serve and Enjoy!

Pastillas de Coco: Raw Pastillas de Leche

22 Dec
I recently read an e-mail from someone who visited the Philippines.  He wrote: “I now know why so few tourists visit the Philippines.  I will never go there again.”  It saddened me because I have so many fond memories of the Philippines: the kind happy people, the beautiful islands and its unique fusion of food with Malay, Chinese and Spanish influences.  
As I think about these negative comments during this holiday season, I have began to yearn for one of my favourite candies from the Philippines called Pastillas de Leche, a candy traditionally made from reduced carabao’s (water buffalo) milk and sugar.  So, I have created my own raw candy that I call Pastillas de Coco, because its main ingredient is coconut.  These taste very similar to the carabao milk version .  The recipe is so easy and quick – not to mention dairy free, unprocessed and healthier.
Place in a Vitamix or other high speed blender and blend just until it becomes buttery.  The shredded coconut will first become powdery, then it will become a paste.  The paste is what you want.  Do not over blend as the ‘butter’ may separate:
6 oz dry shredded coconut
Place in a bowl and mix with:
a pinch of sea salt
3 oz raw honey or agave syrup
Roll into small cylinders and cover with dry shredded coconut or powdered coconut (place dry shredded coconut in Vitamix and process until you have a powder), or even raw cacao powder.  Wrap with wax paper and cellophane, if desired.  You can also just roll them into balls to make Coconut Truffles.  Keep refrigerated.

Raw Oat & Nut Balls

21 Sep
My son said, “This is so good! I want more!”  Too bad my husband doesn’t like chocolate.  He keeps looking inside our sorry looking ‘snack’ cabinet.  It is almost empty and clearly without ready-to-eat snacks.  He peaks in the fridge next… no snacks in there too but for these yummy bites.  Yikes, I better make some snacks for him before he wastes away.
In the meantime, here’s this recipe.  Combine all ingredients and process in a food processor:
2 cups raw cold rolled oats (YES! There’s such a thing apparently!)
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup nuts or seeds
1/2 cup raw cacao butter
1/3 cup cranberries
1 tbspn raw cacao powder
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp cinnamon
Roll into balls and drop in more raw cacao powder to cover the ball. Note – raw cacao powder is a little on the bitter side, so don’t overdo. Refrigerate.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for ICE CREAM!

13 Jun

Use the Vanilla Ice Milk Recipe below as a base for other flavors such as chocolate and strawberries!


I know our whole family thinks I’m pretty alternative where food is concerned but I do think they understand my concerns and reasons.  But sometimes, it still is a little difficult without more support.  Just recently, after dinner, the extended family decided to go for ice cream.  The preschoolers were excited.  The crying and whining suddenly stopped when they heard ‘ice cream’ and they cheerily walked themselves to the ice cream parlor a block away.  

In the ice cream parlor, our Uncle chided me from across the shop: “You may make delicious vegetables, but they [the ice cream parlor] make better ice cream!  Nothing is more American than ice cream!”  I didn’t know how to respond.  I was thinking: WOW.  This is exactly why people have health problems.  We dare not give a child a pack of cigarettes to smoke – but we think that treating a child to an over-sized ice cream on a cone filled with toxins (high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial coloring, genetically modified ingredients, I could go on) is grand.  But what came sheepishly out of my mouth instead was: “Well, I guess I have to make an even better RAW ice cream.”


As the mother of my son, I knew my son could possibly have sensitivities to the ice cream.  As his mother, I knew I wouldn’t sleep well that night because my son would probably not be feeling well.  He would probably feel sick for a few days, if not more.  Do I want my son to have the ice cream everyone else in our party was having?  NO!  I did want to say NO.  But I didn’t.    Would our son want the ice cream?  Probably YES. Would he want it even if we told him he would probably feel sick for the next few days.  YES.  So, I let it be and our son eagerly ordered a vanilla ice cream on a cone and BOY! did he look like a poster boy for an ice cream commercial.  

Our son digging into his Ice Cream Parlor Vanilla Ice Cream
Before we left the shop, our Uncle said, “I know these kids are going to have a good night’s sleep!”  That night, our son woke up 4 times with a cold and runny nose.  The day after, his eyes were watery and he felt sick for most of the day.
“Mama,” he said, “we won’t have that ice cream again.  It makes me feel bad.”
“Yes it does.  I’ll make you some raw ice cream. OK?”
“It won’t make me feel bad?”
“No sweetheart.”
A week later he was still gunky.  

Despite the cold, cough and fever, it was a good thing to let our son make his own choice – because he has learned something.  Instead of us, the parents, dictating constantly, our son was allowed more control over his choices.  This freedom to choose comes with more responsibility for the consequences that result.  And with this comes more knowledge and understanding about his own future choices.


Needless to say, I was motivated to create some yummy and nutritious raw ice cream as soon as we returned home from holiday.  Our son is allergic to cashews and most raw ice creams are cashew based. I first experimented with frozen bananas.  Our son likes them, but the ‘ice cream’ just tasted like banana to me and my husband.  So, I moved on to an almond cream base, sans dates because dates do have a certain taste.  I really just wanted a  solid Vanilla Ice Cream.  This recipe is ultra simple for any Mama without much time on her hands and it tastes wonderful.  It is a hit at our house.  My husband really likes it  and he’s hard to please.  When our son tasted this raw vanilla ice cream for the first time, he said: “Mama! This tastes better than the ice cream from the shop!  Thank you for making it for me…  I love you!”  

I don’t have to tell you that I think I have the best job in the world!!!

Raw Vanilla Ice Milk

Vanilla Ice Milk
The consistency of this ice cream is somewhere between a sorbet and ice cream, which is why I call it Ice Milk. The flavor is light and subtle.


Puree all together in a high speed blender:
2 cups raw organic almonds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
1 vanilla bean, ground in a coffee grinder
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups raw organic agave syrup (this product is new to me, produced at temperatures lower than 118F)
Place in a nut bag and squeeze out all the liquid.  Mix with other flavors if desired (1 pint of strawberries or tablespoons of carob to taste, etc).  Pour it in an ice cream maker.  Chill and churn for about 1 hour.

Banana Date Cookies or Raw Banana Muffins

6 May

I saw a recipe like this for a flour free cookie in a city brochure and thought to myself – wow, people are really trying to be healthy.  I wanted to see if it tasted good.  My son and husband don’t really like it a whole lot – but I brought it to a meeting where there were some kids and they ate it all up (and asked for seconds)!  I love it raw, a little cold from the fridge and eaten with Artisana’s Cacao Bliss.

3 large bananas
1 cup dates, chopped
2 cups oats (buy raw oat flakes, or if you can’t get them, rolled oats will do)
1/3 cup coconut oil (place it in warm water for a little while)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Place all in food processor.  Scoop onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or scoop on to Texflex sheets and dehydrate at 105F till you get the consistency you like.

Key Lime Pie

4 May
Avocados were on sale so I bought 10.  I was debating what to do with them when my husband asked for my old Avocado Cheesecake Recipe.  I decided to make a raw cake instead.  I looked at my I Am Grateful book and found a Key Lime Pie recipe – but it required lecithin, agave syrup and cashews.  We didn’t have lecithin, we don’t use agave syrup – and our son has an adverse reaction to cashews.  So I just adapted the recipe and it turned out just fine.  It is really silky and light – not like the heaviness of cream cheese.  It is also much much better the day after you make it!  
Note: My husband liked it, but my son only liked the ‘green’ part.  I love it when my kid asks for food that is ‘green’.  I also love that this Key Lime Pie contains Avocados and Coconut
The Crust
In the food processor, process until it resembles crumbs:
1 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1 1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup dates (seed and soak them if yours are hard)
1/4 of vanilla bean, scraped
1/8 tsp salt
Press onto a greased (use coconut oil) 9″ pie pan.
The Filling
Place all in a Vita-mix or other blender and puree well:
3/4 cup lime juice
8 oz avocado
1/2 cup + 1 tbspn honey
1/4 cup + 2 tbspn coconut milk (puree fresh coconut juice and fresh coconut meat together)
1/2 of vanilla bean, scraped
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 1 tbspn coconut oil
Pour into prepared pie crust and refrigerate.
The Top
Puree in a Vita-Mix or other blender well:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 of vanilla bean, scraped
pinch of salt
When filling is set, top with this mixture and place in refrigerator.  Top with lime, if you desire.  Allow flavours to come together at least overnight.