Sunday, August 28, 2011

Inspired By Mint


First I want to say thanks to those of you who shared what diet works best for you! It seems as though a lot of us have similar requirements and feel best on a high raw diet with some animal protein. I'm SO happy that I made the shift. I'm not sure where I'd be today if I hadn't.

Now, onto the food. Mint has been a summer inspiration! I have it growing in my herb garden, but there are patches of magnificent wild peppermint growing in my yard too. It was begging to be used in a creation last week so I came up with Chocolate Mint Cream Bars. Oooh were they good and I have a few tucked away in the freezer for a special occasion. If you're a regular reader, you know I'm a huge fan of irish moss and love soft mousses and puddings so I decided to add this element to the mint bars. The result was a light, flavorful moussey topping on a dense chocolatey base which also acts as the brownies I sell at the Farmer's Market. I couldn't resist drizzling my favorite raw chocolate sauce on top.


Chocolate Mint Cream Bars

Chocolate Brownie Crust

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons water, as needed

Grind the almonds in a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine into a dough.
If the mixture is too crumbly and dry, add a little water.
Press into the bottom of a 9x9" pan. Set aside.

Mint Cream Topping

1/2 cup irish moss gel
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup packed peppermint leaves
1/4 cup liquid sweetener of choice
5-7 drops stevia
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1-3 drops pure peppermint essential oil*
2 teaspoons melted cacao butter

Blend all ingredients until smooth, except the cacao butter. Start with less mint oil and add more, to taste.
Add the butter and blend again to incorporate.
Spread the mixture over the chocolate crust and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing.
Drizzle chocolate sauce or any other garnish you like.

*Irish Moss Gel

3/4 - 1 cup water
2 oz soaked irish moss

1. Rinse a handful of irish moss in cold water until any bits of debris have been removed. Rinse until the water runs clear.
2. Allow the moss to soak in cold water for 6-12 hours.
3. Remove the moss from the soak water - do not rinse.
4. Chop the moss and blend it with the 1 cup water until it warms up and turns into a gel (you may have to scrap the sides of the blender down a few times).
5. Chill the gel in the fridge for 6-7 days, or use immediately. When using in recipes where it's already chilled and firm, make sure to pack it into the cup to get a proper measurement.


*Use a high quality one. Remember, a little goes a long way!


My latest book, Ice Cream In The Raw was released earlier this summer and in addition to creating the recipes, I use the book often. The vanilla is still my most tried and true favorite but many of the others are a second best. A customer requested Caramel Ice Cream with "some kind of crunchy things throughout". I made the Lucuma Caramel Swirl Ice Cream from the book with a little extra sweetener and without the swirl - then added chopped caramel pecan turtles. I have to say, it was pretty heavenly. I recently made the Mint Chip Ice Cream for an order and naturally had to make extra for myself as it's just so darn delish.


On another note, here are some cool pics I thought you might like - all taken by my mom this summer. This is the beauty we're fortunate enough to see on a daily and weekly basis around my house.

Mister Beaver going to make his home which is just around the corner from my home :)

This fox keeps coming around our house so we feed him. Isn't he adorable?!

This eagle has his nest just down the river so we see him from the boat. 

Great blue heron. 

I'm off to enjoy some sunshine by the lake before driving to the city this afternoon. I hope you're having a great weekend and to those of you on the East Coast, I'm sending loving vibes your way.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What great photography - beautiful nature photos with amazing colors ~ the food too!
Glad that you have found what works for you, that's important in life. :0)

Ela said...

I must have missed the discussion on what diet works best--have been away. I'd love to see what everyone said: I wish I knew for myself what I needed!

Mint is a wonderful inspiration and those bars sound just right. I'm glad for you that you're enjoying chocolate again. For me at this point, I've pretty much decided that it's not worth it for me--I love how it tastes but it just doesn't make me feel good. Of course, that may change...
love
Ela

Pure2raw twins said...

great minds think alike :)

wish we lived closer, one day we will swap recipes

xoxo
pure2raw twins

The Annessa Family said...

Mint and chocolate are a brilliant combination.

Brooke
www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

Ekaterina Trayt said...

Mmm, sounds yummy!

Is it possible to replace Irish moss gel with something vegetarian? I never saw it here in Finland. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

That is such a cute fox, what do you feed him?

Edward Marc

barefoot_and_frolicking said...

beautiful pics and great recipe! :)

Jade said...

It's morning tea where I am and this post has made me wish I could grab food out of the computer! The food looks amazing - as always! Love your blog so much xx

Anonymous said...

Would agar agar also work as substitute for irish moss? I don't get irish moss in my country but would love to try this amazing looking recipe!

Heather Pace said...

Nice to hear from all of you!

Ela - I understand. I know how hard it can be to figure out our exact needs. I know I have to be careful with cacao too... are you doing carob instead?

About the irish moss questions - im not sure if agar agar would work since I've never tried. Sorry guys!

ingrid.olarte said...

OMG! This looks so very delicious.. Love your blog!
Back Pain

Mel said...

Oh wow Canada sounds such an amazing place to have all those animals around you.

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

These bars look simply perfect! The minty topping looks light as a cloud.

LiveLoveNYC said...

those bars look yummy. great pictures - especially of that cute little fox!

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me where the discussion about what everyone is eating is? I have been trying to be Vegan and Raw Vegan and I have put on quite a bit of weight :(

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great recipes!!!! Love, love, love, raw desserts. A little piece of info, though; you should NEVER feed wildlife, EVER! Wildlife rehabers all over the world cringe when people say they are feeding wildlife. They shouldn't be that comfortable with humans. Not all of us are friendly. Habituation is a contributing factor for animals getting shot, poisoned, run over, and sick(for example, birds aren't ment to eat bread and french fries). They should be left alone to eat and behave in a natural manner. Not trying to be harsh. I am assuming that people who care so much about human nutrition would want to give our animal siblings the same respect. Again, love the food! Great website.