Sunday, October 30, 2011

Order Raw Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtles... and a Giveaway!


It's no secret that I love chocolate. I love eating it, dreaming up new recipes, making it, and sharing it. This summer I sold my raw chocolates and desserts at the local farmers market. It was so much fun that I'm continuing the sweet goodness by selling a few of my most popular items throughout the Christmas holidays. I've decided to make some of these goodies available to anyone in North America during the holiday season.


From now until Christmas enjoy my raw chocolates...

Cinnamon Cashew Caramel Turtles
Cashews in cinnamon caramel, wrapped in rich dark chocolate 

Chocolate Truffles 
Flavors: dark chocolate, mint, coconut, hazelnut, banana, cinnamon spice, and orange

Caramel Pecan Turtles
Pecans and caramel wrapped in rich dark chocolate 

Get your turtles in red and green packages for Christmas, or my regular colors, pink and purple. Choose from white or gold boxes with ribbons or my bright pink boxes for your truffles.


To place an order, contact me via email for full details: heather @ sweetlyraw.com.

To kick things off, I thought it would be fun to do a chocolate giveaway. I've had a few giveaways before and they're always so much fun (choccie turtles in the easter egg box was pretty cute). I love reading people's answers.

The Giveaway:
1 pink box of truffles in assorted flavors and 6 caramel pecan turtles.


To enter:
Answer the question below and leave your email address. The cut off is midnight on Friday November 5. A random number generator will select the winner and then I will contact the winner, get your address and send your goodies! The winner will have 24 hours to reply to me or I will use the generator to choose another winner.

What is your favorite flavor with chocolate?

For me it's really hard to choose because it all depends what I'm eating in the moment, lol. My top are probably caramel, banana, coconut, and mint (I can't resist a chocolate covered banana or a chocolate mint truffle!).

Tis the season to eat or give some raw chocolate! 
Contact me - heather @ sweetlyraw.com to order or inquire.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Fun Fudge


My title is really cheesy but the "fun" just fit in so well with the other "Fs" lol. Today I made raw chocolate fudge while the snow, yes SNOW started falling. It was more like rainy snow though and fortunately it stopped and the ground is clear. We often have a light covering of snow by Halloween. I hope it holds off as long as possible this year.

This is the simplest dessert recipe ever because its preparation only requires a bowl and spoon. Yeah. I was going to mix it all up in the food processor but didn't feel like pulling it out or cleaning it just for this small batch. I pressed walnuts into the top and realize that they now look more like brownies but they're a fudgey consistency. Alternatively sprinkle cacao nibs, goji berries, or coconut flakes on top. Try variations. Roll the dough into balls and roll in lucuma, cacao, or carob powder. I'm telling you, this stuff is soooo yummy - I think the lucuma really makes it. See for yourself!


Raw Chocolate Fudge

Generous 1/2 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons agave
5 drops vanilla stevia
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon lucuma powder

Add the almond butter, agave (or other liquid sweetener), stevia, vanilla and a pinch of himalayan salt to a bowl.
Stir it all together.
Add in the powders and stir again. Sift if your powders are lumpy OR throw all the ingredients into a food processor.
Press into a small container lined with plastic wrap. Press chopped nuts into the top (optional).
Chill and slice!

Mister fudgey got dropped in carob powder! 

He can't resist rolling around in it!

Or just press the edges into carob!

Voila! 5 minute raw chocolate fudge for a cold rainy/snowy afternoon. Happy weekend everyone!

Oh, and if you haven't had enough of my passionate parfait action.... here's another one I made with the pumpkin and chocolate puddings last week...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just Can't Get Enough - Pumpkin Crunch Parfait


I guess I just can't get enough Fall flavors and goodies! I used part of the recipe from my Chocolate Pumpkin Parfait to make a Pumpkin Crunch Parfait that combines the pumpkin pudding with a coconut whipped cream and is layered with pecans and crunchy maple flakes. I made these for company and they were well received.


Coconut Whipped Cream

I've gone light on the nuts here, and kept it high in coconut. A few drops of stevia allow for less sweetener. Add a few pinches of ground ginger or fresh ginger juice, and cinnamon for a nice kick!
To speed up the firming of the cream, chill it in a large metal bowl. 

2/3 cup packed young coconut pulp
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 cup cashews
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
2 drops stevia
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil, until smooth and creamy.
Add the oil and blend to combine.
Chill the mixture for at least 6 hours or until it firms.

I've enjoyed several hikes up the little mountain in my town this Fall. It's such a beautiful view all along the way!




Leftover pumpkin pudding can be turned into a delicious shake! I blended a bit of the pudding with ice, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and stevia. It tasted a bit like eggnog. Yummm!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Parfaits


Since Thanksgiving I've been on a pumpkin kick - I have zero interest in pumpkin during any other time of the year. The mousse I made last year inspired these pumpkin parfaits. I topped the puddings with raw chocolate sauce and sprinkled cacao nibs on top.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding Parfait

Pumpkin Pudding

Silky nut free pudding! I used canned pumpkin and coconut milk (yup, I took the lazy quick route on this one), but you can roast your own pumpkin if you wish and make your own coconut milk by blending the pulp and water of a young coconut - make sure its thick.

2 cups cooked pumpkin
1/3c + 4 tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 cup irish moss gel
1/4 cup pitted, packed dates
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch himalayan salt
12 drops stevia
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend all but the oil in a high speed blender until smooth.
Add the oil to incorporate.
Chill the pudding for a few hours in the fridge.


Chocolate Pudding

Gotta love an avocado based chocolate pudding. It's tried and true! You can use either a food processor (which I did) or blender for this one since everything is soft, but if using a processor chop the dates in it first.

1 cup mashed avocado
7-8 tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 -2/3 cup water
1/3 cup pitted, packed dates (chopped)
2 tablespoons carob powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
12 drops stevia

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor, until smooth and creamy.

I also made the parfaits in martini glasses for dessert and wine night! 


It's so fun seeing all the wonderful Autumn goodies popping up in the blogsphere. What yummy things have you made? 

Part of Wellness Weekend

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Goodies


I hope you had a great thanksgiving last weekend. I'm grateful for the magical one I enjoyed with friends and family. I happily buzzed around my kitchie preparing Autumn inspired desserts for our feast.

Pumpkin pie is always a "must"! In years past I've made raw pumpkin pies/cakes and always enjoyed them. I really like the pumpkin mousse tarts with coconut whipped cream that I made last year. The filling is so great on it's own, and is nut-free to boot! Three years ago I made a yummy carrot based raw pumpkin cheesecake.


This year I opted for a vegan Pumpkin Pie by the lovely Gluten Free Goddess, served with a scoop of raw vanilla ice cream. The Universe tested me on this one... First I discovered that my molasses had gone extremely bitter (ok I admit it was a few years old but I thought this stuff lasted forever). So in the middle of preparing the filling I had to walk to the grocery store. That was fine because I needed a lime or orange too. Well, wouldn't you know that I got chatting with someone and forgot it! I used lemon instead. The filling was absolutely delicious but I think I added a bit more liquid to make the cashew cream than I should have - the vita mix definitely wanted more than 2 tablespoons! The pie didn't get all the baking time it called for because it darkened quickly on the top and I didn't have foil to cover it and continue baking, and then the oven started smoking and set off the smoke alarm. Sheesh! As Karina states in the recipe, the pie will set up even more as it chills and I allowed it to do so for 24 hours. I knew it was underdone (stupid oven) but crossed my fingers and said a little prayer, lol. At the moment of unveiling, I got the spring form ring off just fine, it seemed nicely set.... but once I cut in, it was still on the soft side. My guests didn't mind one bit and thoroughly enjoyed, just as I did. The flavor and creamy texture are glorious and the praline (which I wanted to eat all by itself) and crust add a great touch. I decided that leftovers would be best served semifreddo style!


The full Thanksgiving moon was exquisite over the lake...

The second dessert I made was a Cranberry Concord Crape Cheesecake with Cranberry Date Compote. The filling gets extra silkiness from the cacao butter, and the textured compote topping has a nice tartness to contrast the sweet filling. A nice combination.


Cranberry Grape Cheesecake

Crust

1 cup almonds
1/3 cup ground oat groats
3 tablespoons maple sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

In a food processor, grind the almonds into fine crumbs.
Add the remaining ingredients except the oil and blend to combine. Add the oil last and pulse to incorporate.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 6" or 8" spring form pan (depending on how thick you want it). Set aside.

Filling

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups cashews
3/4 cup grape juice
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 drops stevia
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
2-3 drops orange essential oil (optional)

Blend all but the oil and butter in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.
Add these remaining two ingredients and blend to incorporate.
Pour the filling over the crust and tap the pan to release air bubbles and even out the surface.
Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours.


Cranberry Date Compote

1 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh grape or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest or 2 drops orange essential oil

Add all ingredients to a food processor and grind together, keeping some texture.
Spread over the chilled cheesecake.

I couldn't resist making a mini tester for myself before it went to the guests ;)

Is it looking like Fall in your area? Check out all the leaves in my parents yard! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Autumn Delight Recipes


I've got Autumn treats and a super cute visitor to share today! I've made Raw Apple Crumble twice in the past month . I love this dessert when apples are in season. I like to serve it with a hearty scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce on top but when I want something fast I leave it plain. I use my favorite crumble topping along with a simple mixture of apples, dates, and cinnamon.


Crumble

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted, packed dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup ground oat groats
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

In a food processor, grind all ingredients together into a crumbly, yet moist texture.
If you want the mixture to press together a bit better, add 1-2 teaspoons of water.
Evenly spread the crumble over the filling.


Apple Filling

6 large apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
4-6 medjool dates
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of sea salt

In a food processor pulse 4 of the apples into small chunks and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Process the remaining 2 apples with the dates, cinnamon and salt, until smooth (like applesauce). 
Mix both together and spread into the bottom of a 9x9" pan. 
Sprinkle the crumble on top.


One of my favorites, Cinnamon Marshmallow Mousse, was on the menu recently too! I drizzled it with chocolate sauce and an extra dash of cinnamon. Yum yum! Perfect for this time of year. 

Cinnamon Marshmallow Mousse

1 cup irish moss gel*
3/4 cup cashews
6 tablespoons water
6 drops stevia
5 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon lecithin powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Pinch of himalayan salt
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil, until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender.
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Spoon into ramekins or dessert bowls and chill in the fridge until set (minimum of a few hours).

Or garnish with chunky coconut flakes and cinnamon!


Lemon Berry Swirl Cheesecakes with Berry Jelly were recently served up as part of a catering gig.


This little guy sauntered through my yard last week... adorable eh?! I got super close to take photos. He didn't seem bothered by me but then again he has some darn good protection!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! I hope you're enjoying the same magnificent weather that we are. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Grapes, Peaches, and Nectarines


I'm back on the sweet things again -  but in moderation! In fact, my desire for sweet things has diminished quite a bit. My body was definitely re-set from my sugar cleanse. I've been back at it in the kitchie again making yummy things.

A friend recently gave me a bunch of gorgeous concord grapes from her vines. To reap their juicy rewards, I blended them on a low speed in the blender and then drained the juice with a strainer. I was inspired to make squares with a chewy bottom, creamy grape filling, and whipped cream topping. I garnished with dried figs and served them with grape jelly. Yum!

Concord Grape Cream Squares

Crust

3/4 cup cashews or almonds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground oat groats
1 tablespoon ground yellow flaxseed
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons water, as needed

Grind the almonds in a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients except the coconut oil and water. Grind to combine.
Add the oil and blend again.
Add the water and pulse together until the dough will hold together when pressed in your hand.
Press the dough into the bottom of a small pan (I used approx 4x6"). You could double and use an 8x8" pan.


Filling

0.7oz soaked irish moss*
1 cup concorde grape juice
1/2 cup cashews
4 drops stevia
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid sweetener
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Chop the irish moss. Blend in a high speed blender with the grape juice until completely smooth and slightly warm.
Add the remaining ingredients except the oil and blend until smooth.
Add the oil and blend again to combine.
Pour the filling over the crust.
Chill in the fridge or freezer until firm, 6-12 hours.

*Soak in enough cold water to cover for at least 6 hours.


About a month ago, the abundance of ripe Ontario peaches inspired me to make a Peach Cake. Also with irish moss (you can see that I just can't get enough), they add a nice lightness to the dessert. I set the filling on a coconut almond crust and topped it with more peaches and fresh cherries. This recipe yields a 6" cake in a spring form pan. I didn't do any measurements for the crust but it's a basic date nut crust with the addition of coconut.


Summer Peach Cream Cake

Crust

Almonds, ground
Dates
Shredded coconut
Vanilla

Grind ingredients together in a food processor. Add 1-2 teaspoons of water if needed to press the mixture together.
Press into the bottom of a 6" spring form pan.

Filling

1/2 cup irish moss gel
2 cups diced peaches (no need to peel)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
8 drops stevia
1/3 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon psyllium
2 drops peach medicine flower essence (optional)

Blend all the ingredients except the oil and psyllium until completely smooth and creamy.
Add those two ingredients and blend again to incorporate.
Pour the filling over the crust.
Chill in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours, or up to 12 hours.


Juicy ripe nectarines acted both as the highlight and garnish of a summer time batch of Vanilla Mousse. I made my favorite, cinnamon marshmallow mousse without the cinnamon and added extra vanilla. I love this stuff. I sprinkled a layer of blueberries into the ramekins before pouring the blended mousse mixture on top.