Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Raw Chocolate Factory

I was going to post about a yummy sandwich I ate the other day but decided that keeping the chocolate trend going for a bit was much more exciting. I've been having a blast in my little chocolate factory making orders for Valentines Day. If you're in need of a chocolate fix, pop by! I'll feed you till you can't eat any more. My friends will attest to that.

Here's a peek at a few of the things I've whipped up...

Trays and trays of jumbo chocolate almond butter cups and peanut butter cups.

Almond butter cups are proving to be the most popular but my favorite are still the peanut butter cups (something I didn't eat for years and am now enjoying). The first bite out of a nut butter cup is always the best! Isn't that true for anything?

I've been making Chocolate Macaroons too. OMG these are yummy! I made 2 variations. One chewier than the other. Some with raisins and slivered almonds, the other with crunchy dehydrated buckwheat. My mom who doesn't like coconut loves these and asks for one every time she comes over.

I experimented with some raw white chocolate. I have a bit of tweaking to do and then will share the recipe. I made fun little cups with it and even coated some in dark chocolate which was nice.

Truffles galore...

Gold box of 15 - Dark chocolate, coconut, banana, cinnamon spice, orange, hazelnut, and maca...

What's your favorite flavour with chocolate?

And of course, lots of Caramel Pecan Choccies!

Email me heather@sweetlyraw.com for full details and to place your order. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Give Me Coconut

Coconut is one of my favorite foods. In fact it finds its way into most of my desserts in one form or another. I love the jelly of a fresh young green coconut, thick creamy coconut milk, the texture of shredded dried coconut, sweet coconut water, coconut butter, coconut oil... in any form really. Just give me coconut!

I'm off my sugar cleanse. Three weeks I was on it and am feeling great! Now I'm enjoying sweet things again. I made coconut yogurt the other day and turned it into a few tasty treats. I love it and have made it before but never posted about it. If you like coconut, I hope you'll make it too. It's a great and tasty way to get probiotics into your system!

The process is easy peasy and it's only two ingredients. Young coconut and powdered probiotics (I use one from Natural Choice Products).

Raw Coconut Yogurt

1 1/2 cups packed young coconut pulp
1 - 1 1/2 cups young coconut water
1 teaspoon probiotic powder

Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth, starting with 1 cup coconut water.
If your pulp is really thick and meaty, you probably need the extra 1/2 cup. Adjust accordingly.
The blender should make the mixture warm which is good.
Transfer to a glass bowl and cover with a towel. Place it in a dehydrator at 100F or into an oven with pilot light on, or near fireplace - basically somewhere warm.
Allow the yogurt to "incubate" for at least 5 hours, or up to 12 hours depending on how warm it is. Look at it and taste it after 5 hours. It should have "poofed" up a bit. If you want it tangy leave it much longer.
At this point stick it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap - or transfer it to a container.
Chill and eat! Use it in recipes. Yum yum!

I made this simple yet delish Yogurt Parfait today by layering the coconut yogurt with goji berries, blueberries, sprouted dehydrated buckwheat, and shredded coconut. It had all the textures I like and a nice subtle sweetness to it.

Yesterday I turned yogurt into a Frosty Strawberry Coconut Pudding. I blended frozen strawberries, coconut yogurt, ice, and protein powder. Oh boy this stuff is yummalicious!

Chocolate Coconut Cups were on my agenda yesterday too... Chocolate and coconut just seem to go hand in hand, don't they?

Order Sweetly Raw Valentines chocolates from now until February 10th. Treat that special someone in your life - or treat yourself!

Coconut truffles. Mmmm!

Happy Sunday! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Raw Chocolate for Valentines Day

Valentines Day is just around the corner. How will you be celebrating with your special someone?? I'll be in Toronto with my sweetie!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm doing a Raw Chocolate Valentines Special just like I did at Christmas. I have an assortment of goodies to choose from and if I do say so myself, they make lovely gifts. I'm so excited that I finally have my labels for the caramel pecan choccies! What do you think of them? 

Here's what's available from the Sweetly Raw Chocolate Shop! I'm taking orders from now until February 10thAll orders placed in the next 24 hours (by 8pm Jan 26th) will receive a FREE caramel pecan choccie cluster

For full details and to order, email me heather@sweetlyraw.com

Chocolate Truffles in 8 flavors: Dark chocolate, mint, orange, cinnamon spice, maca, coconut, banana, and hazelnut. Choose from a box of 6, 12, or 15. 

Caramel Pecan Choccie Cluster

Pecans and caramel in dark chocolate

Jumbo Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cups (not raw)

So treat yourself or your darling to some organic raw vegan choccies for Valentines

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Raw Vegan BBQ Wraps and Chocolate

BBQ wraps are my new favorite way to roll up veggies! I stumbled upon this when I recently made a half batch of Abeba Wright's raw BBQ chips as part of my savory dehydrator blitz. This recipe was posted on the Renegade Health Show including a video of her showing exactly how to do it (and by the way, Abeba is the coolest ever). You wouldn't think much of the written recipe at first glance but are these ever fantastic. The mixture is bursting with flavor. 

I made some round chips and then decided to cover an entire teflex sheet with some of the liquid mixture in hopes of making pliable veggie wraps. It worked beautifully! My chips were a bit too thin so my note to self is to make them thicker next time - but nonetheless they were crunchy and addictive straight outta the dehydrator. The next day, however, they had softened up and I had to stick them back in the D for a few hours to crunchify them again. Didn't get a chance to get a pic of the chips as they were gone in no time. I will make the full recipe next time!

I've been making great wraps with lettuce (put down first to keep the wrap from getting soggy), spinach pesto, cucumber, tomato, avocado...

And my homemade sauerkraut! 

Then roll it up seam side down, and voila!

Abeba's BBQ Chips & Wraps

1 1/2 cups water
2 carrots
2 tomatoes
1-2 dates (soaked 30 minutes)
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 stalk celery
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (soak 30 minutes)
Dash of cayenne
Nama shoyu, sea salt, or tamari, to taste
2/3 cup flax seeds (soaked in water overnight)

Blend all ingredients except flax seeds in a blender until smooth. Check taste. 
Add flax seeds and blend again. The mixture should be slimy and a little thick, like pancake batter.

Drop by spoonfuls on teflex sheet. Dehydrate for 10-12 hours at 105F. Flip krackers and remove sheet. Continue dehydrating for 8-10 hours or until desired crispness is obtained. 

Yields 4-5 trays or 200-300 krackers.

*Heathy's Note:
BBQ wraps: Spread a thin layer of the blended mixture on an entire teflex sheet. Dehydrate for 4-6 hours at 115F or until you can peel the dried sheet off the teflex. 
Turn onto the mesh screen and continue drying until completely dry but still pliable. 
Careful NOT to over dry or the sheet will be come hard and brittle. 
Slice the sheet into 4 square wraps. 

Spinach Pesto Spread is great in the wraps!

I made a spinach pesto the other day. Pesto-ish I should say. Certainly not close to the conventional but I'm totally enjoying it, especially in my bbq wraps! I'll make it again using half basil and half spinach. I blended spinach with olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and apple cider vinegar

I've been making (and eating) a lot of sauerkraut lately. 

It goes on my breakfast eggs, into my salads, and sometimes I eat it straight up. You can see my kraut recipe HERE. I used green cabbage, beets, and carrots in my last batch. I just love the pretty pink color the green cabbage transforms into. Do you make your own fermented veggies? What's your favourite? I'm thinking about fermenting celery next, as funny as it sounds! 

I added a new post to Universal Eater featuring a Veggie Egg Muffin recipe. If eggs are your thing, check it out!

On a sweet note, the day of love is coming soon! 
I'm doing a Valentine's Raw Chocolate Special in honor of the occasion just like I did for Christmas. After seeing my chocolate Christmas pressies I had people emailing to try and order items that weren't available so this time I've added a few things to the list: Jumbo Almond Butter Cups (raw) and Jumbo Peanut Butter Cups (not raw).

What else is available?
Caramel pecan turtles

Chocolate Truffles in 8 different flavours: dark chocolate, coconut, orange, mint, banana, hazelnut, maca and cinnamon spice

I'm taking orders between now and February 10. Email me heather@sweetlyraw.com for full details. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adventures in Raw Vegan Breads

A few days ago I pulled out the ol' dehydrator and got creative in my kitchie. Raw breads, crackers, and wraps were on the agenda. Mostly recipes that were new to me - yummy looking ones that I bookmarked over time from various blogs. I made the tried and true Onion Veggie Bread recipe too just in case the others didn't turn out. I've tried recipes that were just plain inedible and had to be thrown out. I mean hey, after all that work you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I'm happy to say that I have two new favourite breads. One cracker recipe was a flop so I won't bother mentioning it, and I made BBQ chips/wraps (another post) which were almost as great as the breads.

Yes you can have your bread and eat it too!

Nut free, gluten free, raw vegan, soy free...

The first item of goodness is Gena's Raw Tomato Bread

Perks: This bread has a super duper tomato flavor, is pliable making it perfect for a sandwich, and nut-free. I didn't have any basil so left that out but the oregano came through as a subtle background taste. I suggest playing around to see what thickness you like (as with any bread or cracker). I like mine on the thinner side, but thick enough to hold nicely together when stuffed with fillings. Also, I want a MOIST, pliable bread. NOT a hard thin "bread" that's really a cracker if you know what I mean. Some bread recipes are actually crunchy crackers. That being said, I'm sure you could continue dehydrating this recipe and get delicious tomato crackers. Think I'll do that next time.

Raw Tomato Bread (raw vegan, gluten, and soy free)

Makes 8 large pieces

5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
3/4 cup flax meal
1 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu, or sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsps dried basil
1 clove garlic
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1) Blend all ingredients but the sunflower seeds together in a high speed blender till thick. Add sunflower seeds and blend till mixture is thick and uniform, but the seeds lend a tiny bit of texture. 

2) Turn mixture out onto a teflex dehydrator sheet and use a spatula or inverted knife to spread it out evenly on the sheet. 

3) Dehydrate at 115F for 15 hours. Flip the bread and score it into 8 pieces on the wet side, and dehydrate for another 4-6 hours, till totally dry. 

Michelle and Lori's Pepper Sunflower Seed Bread was next on the list. I loved the look of their thick bread sticks, and like the fact that it's also a nut free bread. Their recipe called for cardamom but I omitted it, and added a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the mix for a cheesy bread. I'm hooked on it! I made a thinner bread than theirs and it's not pliable but rather a moist firm bread that is great topped with spreads or as a side item to a salad.

Pepper Sunflower Seed Bread

2 cups sunflower seeds grind into flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup tahini
1 orange bell pepper
1/2 cup water
**2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Place all ingredients except water into a food processor and puree till combined.
Slowly add in water until everything looks combined. Bread batter will be a little thick and sticky.
Spread the bread batter onto a dehydrator sheet and shape any way you like.
Place into a dehydrator at 110F. Let dehydrator overnight or till you reach your desired texture for your bread.

*Don't have a dehydrator? The girls have an option for that!
**Heathy's addition for a cheese bread and omit the cardamom.

Sunflower pepper bread with dilly avocado spread... perfect addition to a salad, or as a snack. The spread is simply: avocado, fresh dill, apple cider vinegar, garlic, water, olive oil, and himalayan salt.

Onion Veggie Bread

This is a fabulous version of the popular onion bread that every raw foodie has tried. Since I don't like onion much, this suits me perfectly! Found on Gone Raw. Sometimes I just use 1 onion and sub extra zucchini. I like to add a little salt as I find it a bit bland with only one tablespoon of tamari. Play around to see what you like.

1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
2 large onions, shredded in a food processor
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tbs nama shoyu (or tamari)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt (added by me)

Mix together the veggies, olive oil, water, and shoyu in a bowl.
Add the seeds and mix to combine.
Spread a thick layer of the mixture evenly on teflex sheets. Score into desired sizes.
Dehydrate at 145F for 1 hour and then turn the temperature down to 115F and continue dehydrating for 6-8 hours, flipping over to the mesh screen halfway through.

What do these breads all have in common??! Sunflower seeds! I've been getting kinda seedy around here lately. You saw the chili sunflower and pumpkin seeds on my soup. I made roasted sunflower seed butter the other day too. I could have blended forever I'm sure, to get a completely smooth butter but I'm fine with it have a bit of texture. It's super easy...

DIY Sunflower Seed Butter

Toast a  minimum of 1 cup raw sunflower seeds in the oven at 350F for until fragrant and slightly golden.
Process toasted seeds in a food processor until completely broken down.
Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, and himalayan salt to taste (the salt really brings out the flavor). Blend again until smooth.
Enjoy on veggies, fruit, raw crackers/breads!

What raw bread and cracker recipes do you love?!
Shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays

Friday, January 13, 2012

Raw Vegan Meets Paleo

Thats right. My favorite way to eat since saying goodbye to my strict vegan ways (I'd call myself semi- paleo). Why do I love it? Simply because of the way it makes me feel. My palate could certainly do without it, but the food makes me feel grounded, balanced (physically and emotionally), and nourished. And to be exact, A lot of my diet still revolves around raw vegan food though and the following meal I enjoyed this week is the perfect example of combining the two diets. Also, being Day 10 of my sugar cleanse, this is the kind of food that keeps sugar cravings away. I find it fascinating that I have NO desire for sweet things when I eat this way.

Spaghetti N Meatballs
Raw zucchini noodles and sun dried tomato sauce with cooked moose meat balls, raw pesto drizzle, and raw parmesan. On of the best darn meals I've had in a while. Yum!

I'm not much of a soup person but felt inspired to make a creamy broccoli soup a few days ago after making some bone broth (with carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and himalayan salt).
I cooked some broccoli in the broth and then blended it along with the above veggies that I used to make the broth, cayenne pepper, and a big spoonful of leftover onion yogurt dip. Voila - easy creamy spicy broccoli soup. I topped mine with chili seeds I made the other day. Pumpkin and sesame seeds tossed with olive oil, chili powder, onion powder, and tamari - roasted in the oven.

The great thing about cooking (unlike baking) as that you don't need measurements for most dishes. Simply make it to taste!

Creamy Spicy Broccoli Soup


Bone, veggie broth, or almond milk
Himalayan salt
Yogurt or coconut milk or cashew cream

Cook veggies in liquid. Puree until smooth in a blender. Season. Enjoy!

Another meal I've been enjoying is paleo moose & veggie meatloaf. For those who are interested in the recipe, check out the post HERE on Universal Eater. 

Wishing you a happy weekend! It's minus a million here so I'll be bundled up inside :)