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Salty & Sweet Buttery Bark

21 Jun

Do you love the tastes of Salty and Sweet together? Do you prefer Semi-Hard Chocolate Barks to Super-Hard ones? Do you like Buttery Foods? Then this is for you!

Almond Chocolate Bark 3 - this

Salty & Sweet Buttery Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c cacao butter chunks (3 1/2 oz or 100 g)*
  • 1/4 c raw cacao powder (1 oz)**
  • 2 1/2 T Swerve Granular (2 T if you want it less sweet and more of a “dark” chocolate ~ but warning, Salty Sweet is awesome!)
  • 2 T butter (I used KerryGold unsalted… yum!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I used flavouring here without alcohol, but extract is just fine too)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 c crushed almonds

*You can use coconut oil instead, but cacao butter tastes so much better!

**You can use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder. You can also use around 4 1/2 oz (125 g) of unsweetened chocolate instead of the cacao butter and cacao powder, but it won’t quite taste the same.

Almond Chocolate Bar 4 - this

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients, except nuts, in order into a pan over low heat.
  2. When melted, mix to incorporate well.
  3. Place wax paper/parchment paper/clear film in a container.
  4. Sprinkle most of the nuts onto the prepared container.
  5. Pour in the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spread well so the mixture is even.
  7. Top with the rest of the nuts.
  8. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. You can also keep these in the freezer, but it’s perfectly buttery out of the fridge.
  9. Enjoy.

We love this at our house! Hope you do too!

Almond Chocolate Bark 1 - this

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 2 g.


With Swerve

With erythritol

Almond Chocolate Bark 3 - this

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Vegan Chocolate Protein Truffles

19 Jan

I recently decided to go on a SLOW CARB HIGH PROTEIN VEG regimen in hopes of gaining some muscles and increasing my athleticism. I’m only on my second week and have already seen amazing results. I thought I was eating enough protein on my 80:10:10 Vegan Diet, but maybe not. These last few days have shown me how favorably my body is responding to my new diet changes and it is making me think that my individual constitution may just require more than 10% protein. In short, I am loving what these new Slow Carb High Protein meals are doing for me.

Chocolate Protein Truffles (Makes around 12 pieces)

Today, I missed chocolate. I wanted to make sure my snack was high in protein too and, thus, Chocolate Protein Truffles. These have almonds, cashews, coconut, cacao, maca, flax, pea protein, chicory root fiber, chia seeds, and stevia. Enjoy!

chocolate-protein-truffles

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1 scoop Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Protein Powder Nutritional Booster
  • 1 1/2 T flax seed meal
  • 1/2 T maca
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 T stevia powder

Mix into the dry ingredients by hand:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 – 5 oz (or 8 – 10 T) nut butter, depending on consistency add more if needed so that your truffle balls are just moist enough (I used my homemade almond-cashew -coconut butter)

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Mix well until crumbly. Test by rolling one into a ball. Is it too dry? If so, add a little more nut butter. You don’t want it too moist so that it is too soft. Roll into 12 balls. Sift some cacao powder into a bowl and roll the balls in the powder.

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Refrigerate and enjoy.

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

IMG_1744004

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.

IMG_1745005

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.

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!

Easy Raw Pizza

29 Aug

Easy Raw Pizza

 

The last time we visited my mother-in-law, she ordered delicious Raw Pizza for me which I just devoured.  As soon as I got home, I needed to make my own – one that required the least amount of time, the least amount of ingredients and still be yummy.  This week, I have been indulging in a very simple Cheeze Pizza and my husband, a California Pizza Kitchen Thai Pizza Lover, inspired me to create this Raw Thai Pizza.  After eating one large pizza pie to himself, he exclaimed: “That is a yummy raw pizza!”

Ummm, need I say more?

Enjoy!

Sprouted Buckwheat Pizza Crust

Soak in water overnight:

2 cups buckwheat groats

Rinse and drain buckwheat well.  Add to food processor with:

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup flax seed meal

2 medium zucchinis, chopped

Dehydrating Pizza Crust

Spread on Texflex sheets, makes 3 large ones or 6 small pizzas.  Dehydrate 8 – 12 hours, then turn out onto mesh screens and dehydrate another 1 – 2 hours at 105F.  Alternatively, dehydrate on full at 150F for 1 – 2 hours, decrease to 105F and dehydrate until dry but still soft, 2 – 4 hours.

Raw Cheeze Pizza

For A Cheeze Pizza

Makes enough for 2 large raw pizzas.

Blend ‘Cashew Cheeze’ well in a high speed blender:

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbspn nutritional yeast

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for a few hours

Spread this cheeze on the pizza crust.  Top with vegetables:

marinated cherry tomatoes (2 cups quartered and mixed with 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp sea salt)

mushrooms, sliced

olives, pitted and sliced

basil, sliced thinly

Sprinkle top with:

nutritional yeast

sea salt

Dehydrate at 105F for an hour, if desired, and serve.

 

Raw Thai Pizza

For A Thai Pizza

Makes enough for 2 large raw pizzas.

Blend together well in a high speed blender:

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 inch ginger root, skinned and chopped

1 scallion, chopped

1 tbspn unrefined sesame oil

1 tbspn brown rice vinegar

2 tbspns maple syrup

2 tbspns water

3 tbspns Nama Shoyu

4 tbspns raw almond butter (or peanut butter for those transitioning)

Spread sauce on dehydrated pizza crust.  Top with your choice to toppings:

Shredded carrots

Sliced mushrooms

Tomatoes, sliced or cherry tomatoes, quartered

Scallions, sliced

Bean sprouts

Cilantro

Dehydrate at 105 F for an hour, if desired, and serve.

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.

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

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

Holiday Pecans

30 Nov
My cousin Ami served her father’s Christmas Butter Garlic Pecans a few years ago and it was delicious and addictive. I think I kept pestering her to make it since then because I never knew Pecans could taste so good. In the past few years, I have discovered other recipes for Pecans. Here is a Holiday Raw Pecan recipe with rosemary and cinnamon. People never guess this is raw. Enjoy!

Mix together:
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Bragg’s Amino
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 cups pecans

Saffron Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

30 Nov

One thing that my family and I have had difficulty finding is good raw sweet potato soup recipe.  So, I created one.  This is smooth and subtle.  We love it.
Let saffron steep in citrus juices for 10 minutes:
Pinch of saffron
2 limes, juiced
4 oranges, juiced
Puree citrus mix with the rest of ingredients:
4 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions, white and green parts
4 fennel stalks (or celery)
1 avocado
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (around 7 cups)
Garnish with:
Pecans coated in honey
Fennel leaves

Coconut Snowballs

21 Apr

I really enjoy Sarma Melngailis’ book Living Raw Food.  I love her outlook on food.  She is not strict raw herself and neither are her chefs in her restaurant – yet her mission is to introduce people to raw food and hope that they enjoy it.  I was lucky enough to eat at Pure Foods and Wine for my last birthday and delighted in her raw Peppermint-Cacao Ice Cream (the recipe is in her book).  It was the most delicious chocolate mint ice cream I have ever eaten – raw or otherwise.  For the next month after that, I enjoyed my own quick version at home: cashew butter, coconut oil, raw chocolate, honey, mint leaves, sea salt and a little water.  Yum. 

I recently tried her Coconut Snowballs.  They taste like a mix of marzipan and/or condensed milk – and therefore, a hit with kids as well.  I love raw sweets because they are nutritious and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.  I have adapted the recipe as we prefer to use honey instead of agave syrup, because honey in its raw form is high in enzymes, contains minerals and helps our immune system.  Agave syrup, like maple syrup, is a cooked sweetener, which despite its preparation is consumed by a lot of raw foodies.  Raw local honey is a better option, in my opinion.

Process until finely ground in food processor:
2 cups Brazil nuts, soaked overnight and drained
Add and process until you have a thick sticky dough:
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup local raw honey
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract (without alcohol)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Form into balls and dip and roll in more shredded coconut.  We have stored these in the freezer and we simply take it out as we wish.