Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Raw Chocolate 101

Yesterday I taught a raw chocolate class.... ah choccie - my favourite thing to eat, make, talk about, share with others ...etc etc... best thing in the world in my books!!!!

I believe everyone had a good time - how could they not? After a talk about the benefits and the ins and outs on how to prepare it, we moved to the kitchie to play! A big chocolate feast was enjoyed at the end of class - with so many leftovers that people took goody bags home.

So just what was on the menu? Cookies, cake, pie, pudding, sauce, smoothie, dark chocolate...

Choco Nana Shake
1 large frozen banana
1/4 cup cashews
1-2T raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 large dates, pitted or other sweetener
1 1/2 cups water (or 1 cup water/ 1/2 cup ice)
Blend all until smooth.

Chocolate Pudding
1 medium avocado
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor, until smooth and creamy.
For orange chocolate pudding, sub orange juice for the water and add 1/2 tsp orange zest.

Chocolate Sauce from my Just Desserts ebook.

Moist Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup almonds, ground
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 medium apple, peeled, grated
3 tablespoons cacao powder
1 tablespoon carob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla liquid

In a food processor, combine the ground almonds, walnuts, and dates into small crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to mix. Spread the mixture into a small pan. Chill. Slice.

Carmi's Dark Chocolate

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao powder
2-4 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Add in fruits and or nuts of choice. Pour into mini silicone molds or paper lined muffin tins. Chill in the fridge until firm.

Everyone made a chocolate cup, customizing with goji berries, cacao nibs, almonds, walnuts, raisins, mulberries, and coconut.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Dip strawberries into the liquid dark chocolate. Chill until the chocolate hardens.

Chocolate Banana Coconut Tart from Just Desserts.

Didn't they do a great job at decorating it?! :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Found on RFC, these cookies are amaaaazing!

1 3/4 cup ground cashews
3/4 cup ground oats
1/4 cup agave
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3-4 tablespoons cacao nibs
Stir together all ingredients. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment paper lined tray. Chill in the fridge until firm.

We also made a batch of Oatmeal Raisins Cookies, subbing 1/4 cup raisins for the cacao nibs.

Chocolate Macaroons
2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup cacao powder
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt

In a bowl, stir all ingredients to combine.
Spoon balls of the dough onto waxed p
aper. Chill in the fridge/freezer until firm.

Here are a few other action shots from the class.

A fun time had by all...I hope this inspires you to eat some raw chocolate! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dinner By The Lake

I had fun making dinner for a few friends the other day. It was so gorgeous outside that afternoon I thought "why not move my kitchie to the dock?!" I brought some of my ingredients, cutting board, knife, and spiral slicer down to the lake and set up shop!

Zucchini and carrot for noodles, parsnips for rice, cucumber and red pepper for nori rolls.

Spiralizing while enjoying the warm sunshine - I like!
Carrot and zucchini noodles
I couldn't resist snapping a shot of this sail boat on the water.

On the menu: Appetizer of Nori Rolls: Parsnip/macadamia rice, carrot, avocado, red pepper, and cucumber, with tamari for dipping.
Main course of Pad Thai from Russell James' new No Dehydrator Recipes ebook. Zucchini and carrot noodles with red cabbage, cuke, red bell pepper, cilantro, mint, and basil in a delicious, slightly spicy sauce.
Chocolate Berry Parfaits - chocolate avocado pudding, blueberry pudding, raspberry pudding, layered with blueberries, goji berries, and coconut.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Greeny Cocoa Beany

In this quickie, I have a delicious superfood shake to share with you. I was in heaven as I sipped this "un-tini" down by the lake a few hot sunny days ago.

I served it in a martini glass rimmed with agave and cacao powder. It adds an extra special kick for ever sip you take!

Greeny Cacao Super Shake
Serves 2

1 cup water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1-2 tablespoons agave
1 teaspoon carob powder
1/2 teaspoon spirulina
1/2 teaspoon maca
1/2 teaspoon lucuma
1/2 teaspoon mesquite
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon goji berry powder
1/4 teaspoon pomegranate powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Drink up!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blue Is the Theme Of The Day

As mentioned in my last post, I've got a cake recipe for you. While ice cream naturally goes with birthday cake, I didn't get around to making any for the actual event. I did, however, make some wild blueberry ice cream a few days ago since we have so many freshly picked berries.

Vanilla Cake with Mulberry Maca Filling & Wild Blueberry Frosting

You can make 1 round cake and alternate between cake and filling.... or as I did, 2 cakes - larger one on the bottom and smaller on top for the 2 tiered effect.
Next time I'd like to fold blueberries into the filling for a nice touch. Maybe you'd like to give it a try...

Vanilla Cake
4 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups pitted, packed dates
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup e. v. coconut oil

In a food processor, grind the dates. Add the remaining ingredients and process into a smooth dough.

Mulberry Maca Filling
2/3 cup cashews
1/2 cup dried mulberries, soaked in 1/2 cup water for a few hours
1/2 cup goji berries, soaked in a bit of water for 20 minutes
2 tablespoons maca powder
1 tablespoon lucuma powder
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients until smooth, including the mulberry soak water.

Blueberry Frosting
2 cups blueberries
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup melted cacao butter
1/4 cup agave
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blend ingredients until creamy and smooth. Briefly chill in the fridge to allow for easier piping. Be careful not to chill for too long, or it will firm so much that it's hard to pipe/spread!

Spread 1/4 of the cake evenly into an 8" spring form pan.
Evenly spread 1/3 of the goji filling on top. Chill in the freezer for a short while to firm, making it easier to spread the next layer of cake on top.
Spread another 1/4 of the cake over the filling.
Chill the cake in the freezer for a few hours to allow it to firm.
Once chilled, spread the top and sides of the cake evenly with blueberry frosting.

Follow the same directions for the second, smaller cake.
Pipe frosting around the edges and decorate the cake however you like! Enjoy with friends! :)

Oh, and I want to mention that my mom thinks this cake looks like an old fashioned ladies hat... what do you think? That wasn't exactly the look I was going for, but it seemed this cake creation had a mind of its own!

Now into frosty creamy land... yum yum! This is a reeeally
simple recipe. It doesn't require making any nut milk, or melting coconut oil, or any of that stuff! :) Me likey!

Wild Blueberry Ice Cream
2 cups cashews
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup agave
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Chill for a few hours. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions OR freeze in ice cube trays.

This ice cream reminded me of one of my all time faves, Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream... and another refreshing one you might remember from this summer was the Lemon Balm Berry Ice Cream.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

End of Summer Fun

I was gonna call this post "Raw Spirit Fest", only to realize that I have next to no pictures from the event. Boo hoo! I've been waiting to attend this festival for the past few years... you'd think I woulda snapped some shots - but I was so caught up in the fantastic moment that I completely forgot. I decided to take a 6 day trip down to Washington DC as a little "end of summer hurrah!" Perfect opportunity to visit with my friend Kristen, and go to the festival - not to mention the fun of shopping at some of my favourite places that we don't have in Canada, like Victoria's Secret, Express, and Macy's.

Kristen kindly came to the festival with me on Saturday, despite not being a big fan of raw vegan.
We enjoyed listening to the speakers, touring the vendors, and eating the delicious food, but the highlight for me was meeting so many wonderful people.
Living in a small remote town there really aren't
many other people into this lifestyle so I always enjoy being in a place where I can connect with like minded individuals. I finally got to meet my buddy, the forever funny Charles Balcer that so many of you know from Give It To Me Raw , and the inspirational Philip McCluskey from Loving Raw.
I enjoyed a delicious lunch from Java Green Cafe in DC one afternoon ...and finally got to try a Gnosis chocolate bar. It was so delicious that I easily managed to plough through the whole bar in one afternoon.

Backtracking slightly, I was thrilled that my best college friend, Renee, came up to visit for a few days before my DC trip. We used to have a hoot of a time and get into innocent trouble together back in the day - things haven't changed - we still have a blast and enjoy each other's company to the hilt when we have a yearly visit.

Here are a few other snapshots from the end of
summer. I had my birthday party around a bon fire under the full moon (another year older, another year wiser!)

My super food birthday cake!!! Recipe coming in the next post...

Sunrise on my birthday
Yoga on the dock... my favourite place to practice
Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
...with strawberry sauce

A night out...
...with close friends, Lauren & Nicole
Freshly picked wild blueberries - the best part of summer!
Fabulous time spent with Kristen!
Ah, good times...
Where will my next adventure take me? I'm in the midst of planning!