Friday, September 12, 2014

Raw Carob Cream Squares and Exciting News


Today I have some exciting news to share with you along with a recipe for one of my favourite new raw treats. As many of you already know, I've been working on a raw vegan dessert recipe book since last October. All my hours of love and dedication to creating new recipes has paid off. Thanks to my beautiful and talented photographer, Melissa Welsh, and the team at Quarry Books, the book is really coming together and will be available to everyone on January 1, 2015.

My book, Sweetly Raw Desserts its available for preorder on Amazon now! You can check it out HERE.

Now onto carob cream squares. I also have a recipe video for these which I'm posting below. If you haven't tried carob… you should! Its the pod from the carob tree which has been ground down to a powder. It is slightly sweet, high in fiber, and low in calories. It looks like chocolate and is often used as a substitute but doesn't taste like cacao. I really like that it doesn't have any of the stimulating qualities that cacao has so you can eat it any time.


Carob Cream Squares

Base

1 cup almonds
2/3 cup hunza raisins
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup mulberries
1 teaspoon water

Grind the almonds to flour in a food processor. Add the raisins, cashews, coconut, and mulberries. Grind until broken down (this takes a few minutes). Add the water and pulse to combine. press into the bottom of an 8x8" pan.

Carob Cream

1 cup pitted, packed dates
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup carob powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Process the dates in the food processor until they are broken down, like a paste. Add the water, carob, maple, and vanilla powder. Start with pulse (or the water could splash out of from the lid like mind did). Process until completely smooth. Add half of the oil. Process. Add the rest and process again. Spread the mixture over the base. Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours or freezer for about 4 hours before slicing.

Carob Drizzle

1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1tablespoon + 1 teaspoon carob powder, sifted
1/2 tablespoon pecan butter
1 1/2 teaspoons warm water
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle over the chilled bars.




Here's my latest video for raw wild jungle peanut butter caramel cups. These are SO gooood!!




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Raw Chocolate Fudge Covered Superfood Squares


Something really neat happened a few weeks ago. I was contacted by the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper in Canada, and did an interview for an article they were writing about raw food. Out of the 45 minutes of chatting that I did with the journalist, only bits and pieces were included - some not even accurate - but it was really cool to be included. A photographer came to my house and did a photoshoot of my with my desserts. One good sized photo made it into the paper. A really fun and beautiful shot!



Now onto a recent recipe that I created for Vivapura's blog. I covered some raw superfood squares with a chocolate fudge, creating a great afternoon pick-me-up.



Chocolate Fudge Covered Superfood Squares

Superfood Squares

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup pistachios
1/4 cup dried mulberries
2/3 cup lightly packed dates, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons maca powder
2 tablespoons lucuma powder
1 1/2 teaspoons mesquite powder
1 teaspoon baobob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup cacao nibs, optional

In a food processor grind the almonds, cashews, pistachios, and mulberries down to crumbs. Add all remaining ingredients except the water and cacao nibs. Process until broken down. Add the water. Pulse to combine. Add the cacao nibs and pulse in. Press into an 8x8" pan (I pressed them into 3/4 of the pan to make them thicker). Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours and then slice into squares. Chill in the freezer until ready to dip them into the chocolate.

Fudgey Chocolate Coating
1/2 cup melted cacao butter
1 cup + 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, ground in a coffee grinder
1 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup warm water

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Pour the chocolate into a bowl that is sitting over a pot of hot water. Dunk each square into the chocolate. Lift out with a fork and set on a parchment paper lined tray. Allow to set in the freezer. Sprinkle with lucuma powder before eating.


And here are some of my latest raw dessert recipe videos!

Raw blackberry ice cream


Raw superfood chocolates


Superfood chocolates made into hearts!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Raw Snacks At Urban Remedy


I recently received a box of tasty raw snacks to try from a company called Urban Remedy. They sell juice cleanses, healthy raw food snacks, entrees, and desserts. Their philosophy is that food is medicine and they want to make organic, nourishing food available to everyone.


You can pick one of three juice cleanses to do in the comfort of your own home for as many days as you wish, while drinking 6 different juices a day.

The Signature Cleanse is for beginners HERE. 

The Purify Cleanse is for the experienced cleanser HERE. 

The Super Green Cleanse is great for the advanced cleanser HERE.


I was lucky enough to try the four different raw brittle flavours: banana, lemon, ginger, and chocolate. They all have a base of banana, sprouted almonds, and coconut, and are crunchy and sweet.

They also have really great raw brownies: coconut brownies and almond brownies - both of which they sent me and I thoroughly enjoyed (and took photos of) BUT, they were accidentally deleted from my camera. I highly recommend them though.


The ginger brittle is my favourite!

I've been enjoying chunks of the brittle on smoothies and soft serve. Its great right out of the bag too and travels well. Here's my recipe for a raw chocolate protein soft serve!


Raw Chocolate Protein Soft Serve

1/2 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
8 large almond milk ice cubes
6 drops of stevia

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth but do not over-blend. It should be thick and frosty. Sprinkle with Urban Remedy's crunched up brittle. 

Check out Urban Remedy for all kinds of awesome organic snacks, meals, and juices!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2 New Cake Recipes: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Banana Blackberry Ice Cream Cake


Today I'm sharing 2 of my latest raw vegan cake recipes that I've created and posted on Vivapura's blog. The chocolate peanut butter cheesecake is totally decadent and perfect when you have a chocolate craving. The blackberry banana ice cream cake is light, refreshing, and fruity for these hot summer days when you want something to cool you down. 


I have some new raw recipe videos up on Youtube too!

My FAVOURITE new recipe is Raw Coconut Cream Bars. If nothing else, you have to make these if you're a coconut lover. 



Raw Superfood Cookies dusted in lucuma are a great afternoon snack and pack well for a hike or day at the beach. 




Raw Chocolate Wild Jungle Peanut Butter Cheesecake 

I've incorporated wild jungle peanut butter into a luscious raw chocolate cheesecake and topped it with a peanut butter drizzle and crunchy peanuts. This is best served with a side of vanilla ice cream (find the recipe HERE). Again, you'll want/need to cut the richness of the peanut butter and chocolate. 

Crust
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup pitted, packed dates
1 1/4 teaspoon water

Grind the almonds and peanuts to crumbs in a food processor. Add the dates and process until they're broken down and combined. Add the water and pulse in. Press the mixture into a 6" spring form pan. Set aside.

Filling
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend the water, cashews, peanut butter, maple, and vanilla until completely smooth. Add the cacao powder and coconut oil. Blend to combine. Pour the filling over the crust. Spoon a small blobs of peanut butter on top and use a chopstick to swirl it in. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours and then in the fridge for 12 hours.

Peanut butter drizzle
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cashew butter
3/4 teaspoon water

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle around the edge of the chilled cake.

Garnish

Arrange the peanuts around the top edge of the cake.

Now for something light and fruity! A banana based ice cream cake with a chocolate crumb crust. 


Blackberry Banana Ice Cream Cake 

Chocolate Nut Crumb

1 cup pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup monukka raisins
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Grind all ingredients (except the cacao nibs) together in a food processor into crumbs. Add the nibs and pulse to incorporate without breaking them down. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 6" spring form pan. Set the rest aside.

Ice Cream

4 medium bananas
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup coconut sugar
----------
1 cup blackberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder

Blend the bananas, cashews, and coconut sugar until completely smooth in a blender. Transfer half of the mixture into a bowl. Add the blackberries and vanilla powder to the remaining mixture and blend until smooth to incorporate. Pour a big blob of the banana mixture over the crust in the pan. Pour some of the berry mixture into the middle over top of the banana mixture. Keep pouring a blob into the middle, alternating fillings until they've been used up. Drag a chop stick from the centre out to the sides all the way around creating a pattern like the one in my photo. Arrange a few blackberries on top. Freeze for 8-12 hours. Let sit at room temperature (about 30 minutes) until the sides soften just enough to remove the ring of the pan. Press the remaining chocolate crumb mixture on the sides. Slice and eat!


You always get FREE shipping on orders over $75 with Vivapura. 

And I have a new savoury recipe on Youtube! Raw sun dried tomato and olive spread is great with zucchini noodles, on crackers, or with veggie sticks. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Choosing Raw and No Bake Sunflower Oat Bar Recipe


Recently I was sent a copy of Gena Hamshaw's new recipe book, Choosing Raw: making Raw Foods part of the way you eat. You're probably already familiar with Gena's popular and excellently written blog, Choosing Raw, where she shares many raw and vegan recipes along with bits of her personal life, and the stories of readers who have recovered from eating disorders and have turned to a vegan diet. As Gena has recovered from her own eating disorder, many people have confided in her and have been inspired to heal and share their stories in the hope of helping others.


Gena's book is great for those who are starting out on a raw and/or vegan diet, anyone who leads a busy life and doesn't have much time for food preparation, and for people who are looking to expand their recipe repertoire. From the start, Gena encourages her readers to make any recipe their own by exchanging ingredients and making it their own. As a chef, blogger, and recipe book author too, I can relate to the importance of encouraging readers to experiment and turn my recipes into something that suits them.


The book contains a mix of cooked and raw recipes which I think opens the door to more people - there is something for everyone in here. Another great feature is that Gena includes 21 flexible, easy to customize meal plans. She also dedicates a section of the book to addressing myths and misconceptions around raw and vegan diets. Gena presents the information based on her own personal experience and from her knowledge as a certified clinical nutritionist.

Two other great things about the book: the recipes are very easy to follow and most of them are accompanied by beautiful photographs (photos are very important to me. I think its the top selling feature of a cookbook).

Cobb Salad - doesn't it look amazing?! It's next on my "recipes to make" list. 

So far I've tried 3 recipes from the book: No bake sunflower oat bars, Green herb dressing, and Almond butter and sun dried tomato dressing. All were fantastic. I tossed the almond butter tomato dressing with zucchini noodles, avocado, and fresh tomato for a fantastic dinner one night - well ok, it happened 3 or 4 nights!



I'm fortunate enough to be able to share one of the recipes from the book with you. The No Bake Sunflower Oat Bars are a delicious, healthy, sweet snack. Gena gives the option for different nut or seed butters. I made them with peanut butter, and I also used half cacao nibs and half mini chocolate chips. They were also a little thicker than hers because I used an 8x8" pan. I needed a bit more sweetener because they were a bit too dry. I keep the bars in the freezer and enjoy them in the afternoon when its crazy hot outside.


No Bake Sunflower Oat Bars

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cacao nibs
2/3 cup sunflower seed, cashew, peanut, or almond butter
6 tablespoons agave nectar or brown rice syrup

1. Line a small (7 x 11' or 9")baking dish with foil or plastic wrap. Mix oats, seeds, raisins, and cacao nibs in a large bowl.
2 . Whisk together the nut butter and 1/2 cup sweetener. Pour over the mixture, and mix well, until everything is sticky and combined. If the mixture is too dry, you can add more sweetener as needed.
3. Press the mixture into the lined baking dish. Cover with another layer of foil or plastic wrap, press well into the baking dish and refrigerate for 4 hours. Cut into bar shapes, wrap, and keep refrigerated until ready to use. They ought to keep for 2 weeks.

From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

If you check out Gena's recent blog post HERE, you'll find a recipe from her book for Heat Free Lentil and Walnut Tacos. They look delicious! (photo from Choosing Raw).


Yum, I hope you check out Gena's book and blog! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raw Blackberry Cheesecake


An abundance of blackberries that a friend recently picked for me inspired this cheesecake. It was SO good! You see, this is the first time I have access to fresh wild blackberries because we didn't have them in Ontario where I used to live - I'm thrilled to live on the West Coast now and have access to a whole new range of ingredients to play with.


Raw Blackberry Cheesecake

I garnished the cake with more blackberries, coconut flakes, and a dusting of coconut creme powder which mimics icing sugar!

Crust

3/4 cup cashews
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 teaspoon water

Process the cashews, coconut, and dates together in a food processor until ingredients are ground down. Add the water and process briefly to incorporate. Press the crust into a 7" or 8" spring form pan.
Optional: Sprinkle 1 cup of blackberries over the crust and mash them with a fork.

Filling

2 cups blackberries
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup coconut sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 drops stevia, optional

Blend all but the coconut oil and stevia until completely smooth in a blender. Add the oil and blend again to incorporate. Taste and add the stevia if needed. Pour the filling over the crust and mashed berries. Freeze for 4-6 hours and then transfer to the fridge for 12 hours.

Garnish

Blackberries, coconut flakes, and coconut cream powder - all optional!


And a reminder that I'm having a 30% off summer book sale for a limited time! A combo of my 3 most popular ebooks: Raw Chocolate Dream, Just Desserts, and Ice Cream in the Raw for only $31.49! Check out THIS POST for all the details.