Friday, November 6, 2009
I found out from a doctor that Aboriginal people process refined sugars differently than white Australians. He told me that the body of an aboriginal person will hold onto EVERY ounce of refined sugar, leading to inflammation and immobility whereas other body types tend to digest it more quickly. That seems to explain the onslaught of disease once we hit the early 40s or so. I'm so thankful for the discovery of AGAVE NECTAR. Now I can (still) have my cake and eat it too!
This is another raw and deliciously healthy dessert I've been wanting to make for a while and decided to do it as a weekend treat (ya know how we NEED our weekend treats). This cake is even MORE delicious than it looks. True! The mousse filling is extremely smooth and melt-in-your-mouth. What I love about this cake is that it holds its shape beautifully without having to be kept in the freezer; the fridge will do. That means you can serve and eat straight from the fridge without delay.
The creamy texture has to be experienced. It's SO creamy and SO melt-in-you-mouth (did I say that already?) that your eyes will be rolling back inside your head with every delectable bite. The cacao butter added to this recipe gives it the creamy, mousse-ey texture and it's worth scouting out your local stores for the ingredient (because, if you come from Western Australia - like me - you will have to scout). I bought it from Manna Wholefoods in Fremantle or Alive Organics in Bayswater will also have it.
The original recipe called for raspberry sauce but being in the midst of strawberry season, I used strawberries. O la la! So good.
Here's the recipe from the you-can-always-count-on-gliving-for-a-great-raw-recipe GLIVING. Make sure you use a small cheesecake tin for this and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Today I attended a raw chocolate making class with my good friend Jas. We drove an hour to Fremantle to learn all about what makes raw chocolate SOOO nutritious and delicious. The team from Roar Vanilla filled us in with all the history and science behind the cacao bean. Wow, what alot of interesting facts!
The class began with a sampling of a cacao bean. Hmmm, the words that came to mind were woody, waxy, bitter-chocolatey, crunchy and ...browny. We then sampled chocolate almond mylk. That was sure yummmm! Then we sampled and watched a demonstration of four different types of raw chocolate: plain, goji, spirulina and (my favourite) almond chocolate. The chocolate was AMAZING! The first sensation you notice is the intense flavour of cacao. You also notice that it quickly dissolves in your mouth and doesn't leave a sticky residue like Cadbury chocolate does. The third thing you notice is that you don't need much to feel satisfied.
I'm sold! Yep, I think I can quite easily enjoy a couple pieces a day, given these benefits. I'm a happy girl!
Some really facts about raw cacao:
"Raw Chocolate is an incredible food for wellbeing! It is wonderful for balancing brain chemistry, is a natural aphrodisiac and elevates your mood and energy. It is a great source of serotonin, dopamine, anandamide (“bliss" neurochemical) and phenylethylamine (PEA) which are all neurotransmitters associated with feelings of wellbeing and used for alleviating depression. Cacao also contains MAO inhibitors which keep these wellbeing neurotransmitters in our system for longer!
It is also the number one source of magnesium – which assists in brain functioning, heart heath and bone strength, and aids in stress reduction as well as muscle relaxation. When the brain has enough magnesium, it acts with clarity and focus. Cacao is high in chromium, which assists pancreatic health and helps to regulate blood sugar levels and iron." (http://www.roarvanilla.com/chocolatetherapy.htm)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Of course, I HAD to embrace the challenge of coming home and putting together a raw version, to make this pleasure GUILT FREE! This was my first attempt at making raw ice-cream so I'm sure there's room for improvement.
So basically, you choose your two favourite raw ice cream flavours...and make them. I used chocolate, from a recipe I found at gliving - click here for a video of the recipe, and mint, from Russell James (be sure to add raw chocolate chips - see below for chocolate sauce, chill and then chop). Grab a round metal bowl, line it with plastic wrap and fill half way with the first of the two ice creams. Freeze. Pour and smooth down the second of the ice creams on top. Freeze. Apply a layer of raw peanut, almond or cashew butter onto frozen ice cream. Lastly, add a layer of raw chocolate cookies or cookie crumbs. Freeze. Turn out onto a serving dish and pipe raw whipped cream on top (1 cup young coconut meat, 1 cup almond or cashew cream, 1 tea vanilla extract, 1/2 cup coconut butter, agave to taste. Blend til smooth and place in freezer til firm enough to pipe). Sprinkle with crushed cashews and drizzle with raw melted chocolate (1/4 cup melted cacao butter, 1/8 cup raw cacao powder, 1 tb maple syrup, 1 tb raw agave. Mix in bowl with spoon).
This is a fun recipe to try and like all ice-cream cakes, you make yours to suit your own style. Personally, I think anything with chocolate, ice cream and nuts is a sure thing.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Our instructor - Miss Janice - was the perfect host chef. I learned SO MUCH and used every square inch of paper to write everything down.
We made green smoothies, chocolate brownies, date torte, mock salmon pate, stuffed mushrooms, collard wraps, broccoli soup, fettucine and raw spaghetti. We received valuable teaching about how to put foods together according to the five tastes (sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter), how to use herbs and spices to create ethnic flavours, superfoods that balance hormones....and too much more to mention. It was all GREAT!
Thanks Miss Janice for a fabulous time!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
As eager as I was to obey, we made sure to do the right thing (as an example to our children!) and order salads first. I ordered a huckleberry raw pizza (the picture was overexposed) which was simple yet delicious, Nate ordered the house salad with orange dressing and the Ethan and Tali had a children's meal (almonds, strawberries, raisins, raw crackers) then we dove into dessert tastings!
Here are a few pictures of the raw desserts Cafe Bliss serve. I don't remember the names of them but we ordered the caramel slice-looking-square, the mint chocolate square and a few of the heart shaped raw chocolates. They were very kind to give us some complimentary chocolates as well. They were all incredible and it was difficult to choose my favourite. Tali's favourite was the mint squares!
They assured me a Cafe Bliss raw recipe book will be released by Christmas 2009. You could probably order that by clicking the link to their website at the top of this post.
Hmmmm, what to do with fresh, ripe apples?? Raw Apple Pie, of course!
My mother-in-law Gwen and Aunt Sandy were both enthusiastic helpers in project apple pie. We gathered all our ingredients and put together two killer pies. Aunt Sandy got busy preparing the crust by blending almonds, coconut, vanilla extract,dates and stevia in a food processor, Mum picked, peeled and sliced the apples, and I made up the sauce by blending wild raspberries, dates, apples and water then tossed the sliced apples through the sauce and poured them on the crust in the pie dishes. They were sprinkled with remaining crust crumbs and placed in the freezer to set for half an hour.
Like I said, everyone enjoyed two killer raw apple pies.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
3 large zucchinis
fresh oregano, thyme, basil
Using a potato peeler, peel long strips until you reach the core. Discard the core. Make the strips as wide as possible. Pull leaves off herbs and squash between fingers. Toss into a bowl with zucchini, dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
2 cups soaked cashews
juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic
pinch sea salt
nutritional yeast flakes (to taste)
Blend all ingredients until smooth. You may need to add water. Add more lemon or yeast to taste.
Half a small onion
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T olive oil
2 T agave syrup
enough water to give smooth consistent
Place a layer of zucchini pasta, making sure to overlap pieces. Spread some pasta sauce, and top with chopped tomato pieces. Place another layer of pasta, sauce and fresh tomato. Top with a layer of pasta. Spread cheese as a top layer.
Garnish with a drizzle olive oil, fresh ground black pepper and some squashed herbs.
NOTE: Make spaghetti by spiralizing the zucchini instead of slicing it. Toss through sauce and herbs and serve with a dollop of cashew cheese.
Make spaghetti by spiralizing the zucchini (using a spiralizer) instead of peeling it. Toss through the pasta sauce with fresh herbs, serve with a spoonful of extra sauce (if desired) and a dollop of cashew cheese.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Raw Chocolate Fudge
1 1/2 c ground raw cashews
1 c raw unprocessed honey
3/4 c tahini or nut butter (like almond, cashew or macadamia nut butter)
4 T chocolate coconut butter (or cacao butter, but it's very expensive)
2 T carob powder or raw cacao powder
dash vanilla extract
Blend together in a food processor (don't try using a blender, like I did. Doh!). Pour into a lined dish and freeze til firm enough to slice. Slice into squares and store in a lined container in freezer. You must line the container or else the fudge will stick.
Another yummy fudge recipe can be found at the coolest green website, G Living. Click here. I do need to note though, I melt butters and oils by placing them in hot water instead of in a saucepan over the stove. I'm eager to try this recipe.
What do ya do with a batch of fudge that didn't turn out the way you like it?? Make Fudge Cookies!
I tried a fudge recipe from the Raw Food Real World recipe book but I added WAYYY more maple syrup than required. Yuppp! I also didn't like the salt crystals so I decided to turn them into Raw Fudge Cookies. You could make these with any fudge recipe. I've had raving reviews and people are eager for the recipe...so here it is.
1 c cashew or macadamia flour (hand crushed nuts)
1 c fine oatmeal
1 or 2 T cacao or carob powder
1/4 c coconut
1/4 c agave or maple syrup
2 teas vanilla extract
1 or 2 T chocolate coconut butter (much cheaper than cacao butter)
4 or 5 slices soft raw fudge (as much or as little as you like)
Blend all together in a food processor. Roll tablespoon sized mixture into balls and flatten slightly with the back of a fork. Store in a container lined with baking paper and keep in freezer. Note - they will stick to the container if it is not lined. Be sure to place baking paper in between each
layer of cookies.
Raw Strawberry Pie
First, make the Pie Shell:
- 1 cup raw almonds (or 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup cashews)
- 1/2 cup soft pitted dates
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
It is very important to first grind the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Then, add the dates and vanilla, and blend well. Press thinly into a pie plate to form the shell. Set in fridge.
- 3 cups fresh strawberries
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 c medjool dates
- 1/4 c agave syrup
- squeeze lemon juice
I found an incredible looking Raw Strawberry Coconut Cream Pie at the Rawmazing website. Check it out. That's definitely on the to-do-list
Raw Strawberry Cereal
I had just run out of my raw cereal supply so thought a strawberry batch would be a nice replacement. Here's the recipe:
Fill blender with washed and hulled strawberries, 1 cup almond pulp, a handful of soaked almonds, 1/4 cup agave (or to taste) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Blend altogether and pour onto dehydrator sheets. Smooth over the surface of the sheets. Dehydrate for 12 hours and then break up into cereal sized pieces and freeze.
I like to have it in the morning sprinkled over fresh fruit and cashew milk. Delicious!