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
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.