Thursday, June 26, 2008

Simple Summer Sippers


Oh how I love summer! The heat, the sun, the lake, the flowers, the grass, the trees, the ducks on my lawn, the rain.....etc etc...you get the idea. I also really enjoy an abundance of fresh fruit by itself or blended to create a fruity drink. I love to sip on anything light, watery, and delicious! Here are a few goodies I've whipped up.

Green Pineapple

I had two great pineapples the other day, and was trying to think about what I should do with them. I realized that the answer is simple - enjoy them as they are, which is what I normally do when I have pineapple, because it's not an everyday occurance. Anywho, I enjoyed plenty of it, "au natural" (enough to give me little burns around my mouth), and turned some of it into a green smoothie!

pineapple
spinach
water
mango
lemon juice

Purple Puff

Berries also make fabulous drinks. Around here, a few kinds of berries are abundant in the summer - bluberries, raspberries, and strawberries. We pick and then freeze them for the winter. Right now we're still using up last years crop, but soon it will be time to pick more! I like frozen fruit in a smoothie, for that added frostiness, but feel free to use fresh berries in this recipe. Oh, and sorry, no quantities for any of these recipes, because I always throw in a little of this and a little of that. You can follow my ingredients as a guideline, experimenting to see what tastes good to you.

1- 2 cups amond milk
handful frozen wild blueberries
handful frozn strawberries
handful walnuts
agave to taste
bit of lemon juice


WaterMelon Mint Madness

Yes, you can even "sip" fruit from a spoon too! It doesn't have to be in a glass. Mmmm, watermelon is one of my favourite summer fruits, especially on super hot days. Give this drink a try with other melon such as honeydew or canteloupe! The mint is optional but it tastes great and addes pretty green specs even after it's blended. To accentuate the strawberry flavour, and add eye appeal (great if you are serving to guests), drizzle strawberry sauce on top and garnish with fresh mint (which goes so well with watermlon). Serve in a bowl or a glass.

Lots of watermelon

strawberries

lime juice, to taste

fresh mint, optional

For the strawberry sauce, simply blend strawberries with agave to taste, and a little bit of lemon to bring out the flavours.

Chocolate Decadence
Now, what is any season without a little chocolate? I say, the more, the merrier - but I love to sit outside with a chilled chocolate drink in the summer. A few weeks ago, a friend brought me a case of young coconuts, when she visited from the city. Ever since, I've been making one of these drinks every few days! It's a coconutty-chocolatey take on the "best iced coffee" by Ginger, but I find that this recipe doesn't taste like that. I used to add lots of maca to get that "iced coffee" taste, but this one tastes much more chocolatey. Normally I make these creamy drinks with macadamia or cashews, but the other day I decided to use walnuts, and I'm so glad I did. There is a softeness in the flavour that I really enjoy, plus the nut itself is soft, blending easily into the drink. I blend everything together and then add ice at the end to make it frosty. This is more like the consistency of cream, rather than a thick smoothie. I add about 1 tablespoon each of the cacao and carob, and then just a bit of the other powders, and agave to taste.

1 young coconut
(water and pulp)
large handful walnuts or macadamia nuts
cacao powder
carob powder
agave
lucuma
mesquite
maca
vanilla
ice


I hope these few simple recipes have inspired you to get the blender out and whip up some yummy drinks for your summer fun! :D

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pizza Pizza!

I don't eat raw pizza too often, but when I do, I enjoy it so much. The options are endless!
A while back I made some really great pesto pizza crusts that were left in the freezer until recently when the urge hit.
The pesto crusts are made with: sprouted buckwheat, sprouted sunflower seeds, basil, spinach, olive oil, walnuts, parsley, sea salt, and garlic. I was really really happy with the way these turned out, and can even act as tasty crackers.

Here's how I made this Double Pesto Pizza:

1 pesto crust, layer of pesto (from Alissa Cohen's Living on Live Foods), thick layer of walnut meat from Russell James' lasagna*, sliced tomato, thinly sliced zucchini, sliced avocado, diced red pepper, and arugula to top it all off.
*Walnut Meat Layer
1 ½c walnuts soaked 1 hour or more
1c sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
2T dark/brown miso
2t dried oregano
2t dried sage
5T nama shoyu
½t cayenne pepper
2T olive oil
1T agave nectar
1t sea salt
Grind all ingredients in a food processor, leaving the mixture slightly chunky.
Heathy's Notes: I omitted the sage, added a bit of garlic , some onion powder, and I used only 2 tbs of nama shoyu - I found it plenty salty this way, in addition to the sea salt and miso.

On the same crust I made a simple veggie pizza topped with:
cheese sauce, sundried tomato sauce, thinly sliced zucchini, sliced tomato, sliced mushrooms, and diced green pepper. After a trip into the dehydrator, this was absolutely delightful! Looked just like the "real" thing, without the cheese on top.
Click here , here, and here for more great pizza ideas by Carmella.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Spring Brunch

This weekend I put on a buffet style brunch for out-of-town visitors. Putting on a meal like this for others gives me absolute pleasure! Weeks ago I planned the menu and got to work, dehydrating crackers and breads, along with some of the sweet things, all of which keep well in the freezer. I'm always amazed at what a process it is to create a full gourmet raw meal, or better yet - a whole buffet. A few days ago I continued preparations, making the cake and various creams that would be used, and finally, on the morning of the big day it was just a case of putting things together - making the salads, quiche filling (which would turn brown if I made it even the night before), plating, etc. Fortunately I had the help of my friend Denyse who is eager to learn about raw food...and is the most amazing chocolate maker!


Here's what was on the menu:


Fruit Salad - A mix of watermelon, red/green grapes, orange, mango, pear, orange honeydew, pineapple, apple, dates.



Green Salad - Romaine, spinach, red cabbage, red and green pepper, grape tomatoes, cuucmber, and sunflower seeds tossed in a lemon/olive oil/sea salt dressing.

Spinach Mini Quiches - Carmella's amazing filling with Elaina Love's zucchini almond crust. Herby velvet green cream, gently mixed with chopped sundried tomato, garnished with dehydrated mushrooms.


Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms - Normally I go for Alissa's wonderful basil pesto, but with lack of basil this time, I opted for a Basil/arugula/spinach pesto.



Buckwheat Pancakes with Dilly Cream -
Vegan (not raw) buckwheat pancakes with cashew/dill/lemon cream swirled on top. Garnished with minced red pepper and fresh chives.



Cracker Platter with Salsa, Cheese and Veggies - An assortment of crackers: sundried tomato herb (really a bread but I dehydrated it longer for a cracker), Cheeze-Itz, Zucchini Walnut, Sprouted wheat, and Sarma Melngailis' corn tortillas (which I sometimes dehydrate into chips, but this time kept soft and pliable). A simple salsa of tomato, red/green pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, and sea salt; served with cheddar dip and veggie spears (cucumber, celery, and carrot).

On the Sweet Side...

Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake - On a walnut/macadamia/coconut flour crust, garnished with fresh strawberries. My all time favourite (even though I'm a chocolate lover). I just had to make this for the ladies.


Cookie Platter - Chocolate covered jicama balls, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate vanilla ice cream sandwich cookies, and banana nut brittle.
Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a Sunrider recipe that comes from a friend of mine who sells their products.

1 cup walnuts (soaked)
2 cups almond pulp (from making almond milk)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup raw honey
1 cup cacao nibs

Blend the walnuts, salt, oil, and honey in a food processor until mixed. Add the almond pulp and mix until blended. Stir in the cacao nibs. Scoop the batter onto teflex and flatten - dehydrate for 12-18 hours, or until dry enough to hold together.

This is a good recipe - I made sure my cookies were still really soft and moist, so dehydrated them for less than 12 hours. I'd like to try it with maple syrup or agave in place of the honey, which I found to be a little strong (perhaps it was the type of honey I was using or that I don't use honey very often). Also, I used less salt than called for.


Ice Cream Sandwiches - The ladies particularly ooed and awwwed over these. I have to say that I, too, was impressed with the way they turned out. It was completely by "accident". I started out with a different idea in mind for the cookie part - which didn't work, so I kept adding ingredients, therefore, I don't have exact measurements, but I can tell you what I do remember. They've got: walnuts, pecans, coconut flour, cacao powder, carob powder, dates, agave, sea salt, coconut, wee bit of spirulina, almonds...processed together, chilled, rolled, cut out, and then sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream.


Vanilla Ice Cream - A blend of young coconut, macadamia nuts, cashews, agave, pure vanilla, sea salt, and coconut oil.


Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies- These cookies were made with part of the dough from the ice cream sandwich cookies, minus the shredded coconut, spirulina, and some of the nuts, creating a really smooth, dense cookie that I rolled into balls, thumbprinted and dehydrated. The filling was simply raspberries, pureed with a bit of lemon juice and agave, that was spooned into the cookies just before serving.


Banana Berry Bites - Two fun finger foods using the same ingredients. Triple berry cream made of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, lemon, cashews, and coconut oil, pipped into hollowed out banana slices. Also, banana leather rolled with the berry cream and fresh banana to create berry crepe bites.

I think everyone enjoyed the brunch just as much as I enjoyed making it- and now I get to enjoy some leftovers :D

Monday, June 9, 2008

Belated Birthday

I've been wanting to post this cake recipe since I made it for "Project Raw - RFC's Birthday Cake", last month - as usual, I'm running behind, but what the heck! Better late than never, right? I like any excuse to make a cake, and it was really fun to hear about the cakes that other people were making.

Triple Berry Swirl Cake

This cake is a berry inspired version of CafĂ© Gratitude’s mud pie – same concept, but with different flavours.

Crust:
Make a nut crust of your choice.
Press into the bottom of a 6” springform pan, or into a pie plate.

Filling:
1 ¼ cup almond milk
1 ½ cups cashews
1/3 cup agave
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup melted cacao butter
1 tbs lecithin
2 cups mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries), set aside

Blend the first four ingredients until completely smooth. Add the cacao butter and lecithin. Continue blending until incorporated. Transfer 1 cup of this mixture into a bowl.
Add the berries to the remaining cream in the blender and pulse the berries until they start to break down, keeping some texture.
Transfer the berry mixture into a bowl.
Pour half of one cream onto the crust. Pour the other half on top.
Continue, pouring the first cream on top, followed by the second.
Now, with a knife, swirl the two creams together into a pretty pattern.
Chill the cake for a few hours, or until firm.