Sunday, September 30, 2012

Autumn Beauty


I'm a summer girl through and through but I must say that I love a beautiful Autumn. Sometimes we get hit hard up here with a cold rainy Fall and early winter, but so far (knock on wood), it's been a beautiful one. Blue, sun filled skies and warm temperatures. Just my style. It's so much more enjoyable because I can spend lots of time outside basking in the fall colors and catching the last bit of warmth before our looong Canadian winter.

I've had my camera out a lot lately to capture the stunning surroundings that I'm fortunate to live among, and just had to share my pictures here with you. These photos were all taken in my parents yard. J and I are housesitting for a few months and it's such a lovely time to be here.

Last night we went out in the boat and caught the magnificent full moon in one direction...

In the opposite direction the sun was setting!

This was taken from the deck. You can see the stone fire pit to the left. I just love a good bonfire there. There's something special in this picture... look closely. Can you see it? ;)


Lake shot through the trees... I love the colors.


Shot of the lake and trees on a different day from the deck again. The lake was calm and the water reflected the clouds. Unfortunately my camera didn't do it justice but still pretty.

This was taken from the boat last night as the sun was going down. 

J fishing. 

Check it out - more orbs! 

Lookout out to the left from the dock. The water is very low right now - normally those rocks are covered. 

The big Golden Tree... so tall and proud. 

J landed on this lake from heaven - that's how we met!

The white spot is actually the moon but my camera couldn't quite capture it. 

Stay tuned for an Apple Cinnamon Chia Porridge recipe.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Strawberry Lime Coconut Cream Parfait


Here's my last summery post before I start sharing delicious Autumn goodies - BUT today's recipe can be enjoyed any time of year in different ways....

I made these parfaits a few weeks ago and served them on two occasions. They were a hit! I mentioned in my blueberry crumble post that there is easily some extra crumble topping to be used elsewhere. Between the layers of a parfait is the perfect place for it.


I modified my strawberry lime mousse cake filling (more berries, less cashews/sweetener) to create a thick pudding and layered it with the whipped cream recipe below in addition to the crumble and frozen/thawed strawberries and raspberries.


I've made lots of different whipped cream recipes over time, depending on what I have on hand. This time, the irish moss gel I had on hand inspired the recipe.


Whipped Cream

This whipped cream thickens quickly when spread in a large flat dish and is perfect for piping!

3/4 cup cashews
1/3- 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup irish moss gel
2 tablespoons agave
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 drops stevia
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and creamy.
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Pour the mixture into an 8-8" pan (to create a thin layer and thicken faster) and chill at least 6 hours.


Looking for other whipped cream recipes to accommodate what you have on hand? Try one of these!

Young coconut and irish moss based whipped cream
Young coconut whipped cream
Cashew and coconut milk whipped cream
Young coconut macadamia whipped cream
Nutless whipped cream
Coconut milk and irish moss whipped cream (nut free)

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Avocado Lime Cheesecake


Remember last winter when I made Vanilla Avocado Cheesecake?? It's one of the highest viewed recipes on my site on a regular basis. You might have thought it looked yummy or interesting but it tasted great too! For me, the flavor and texture were spot on.

Vanilla Avocado Cheesecake

For ages I've been wanting to make it again and the perfect opportunity came along when I had a bunch of extra limes lying around (do you find limes go bad fast?). I decided to make a few modifications to my original recipe and turn it into an Avocado Lime Cheesecake!


I just had to double the recipe too, so this filling is enough for a 6" or 8" springform pan. I chose to make small cheesecakes again but next time I plan on making an 8".

This time I used raw honey in the recipe... honey goes so great with lime! But of course you can use agave, maple syrup, or coconut nectar to keep it vegan.

Remember that every avocado is a different size so tweak the sweetener to your liking. Might need a few drops less or more of stevia.


Avocado Lime Cheesecake

Crust

Use the crust from the original recipe or choose any of your liking (this time I used a date nut crust).
Press into a multiple mini cheesecake pans or into a 6" or 8" springform pan (all depends how thick you want it).

Filling

2 medium/large avocados
6 tablespoons coconut nectar
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
6 drops stevia
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons melted coconut butter
lime zest, to taste

Blend the avocados, agave, lime, vanilla, and stevia until smooth and creamy.
Add the oil, butter, and some zest. Blend to incorporate. Add more zest if needed.
Pour over the crust.
Allow to firm in the fridge for at least 8 hours.


Topping

I simply used frozen strawberries that I thawed, pureed with a bit of lime juice, and a few drops of stevia. I stirred in some chia seeds to thick the mixture.

So there ya go! Let me know how you like it if you decide to make. You can do something more fun and different with the topping if you like.

Part of Wellness Weekend, Allergy Free Wednesday

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cherry Almond Pudding Parfait


Sweet smooth cherry cream with a hint of almond... chewy, nutty crumble... juicy cherry puree... and a few token peaches for color and extra taste. What's not to like?

Here's another use for the crumble topping from my last post. Can you tell that I like it? lol. I like to set aside just a bit of the crumble to use in a few parfaits because there's more than enough to cover an 8x8" dish. I love a versatile recipe. In this case I can use the crumble as a topping, layered in a parfait, and as a cheesecake crust (with just a touch more water added).


I think this was the last bag of cherries I have bought for the summer so I had to put it to delicious use. Besides many a handful, I turned the cherries into a sweet puree - half for this recipe below, and the rest into the freezer for winter use. I like to freeze fresh fruit in the summer so that I don't always  have to buy it frozen in the cold months.


Cherry Almond Pudding

1 cup cherry puree*
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Blend all but the butter and oil in a high speed blender until smooth.
Add the last two ingredients. Blend again to incorporate.
Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

*Cherry Puree

Blend just over 1 cup cherries on the lowest speed in a high speed blender (not sure how it would work in a regular blender).
Pour into a bowl and pick out the pits.
Pour back into the blender and blend again (doesn't have to be smooth but must be pit free).
*Alternatively, pit each cherry and then puree briefly in a blender or food processor.

Assembly

Layer the cherry pudding with cherry puree, and crumble topping (or chopped nuts). Almonds would be nice here to compliment the almond extract in the pudding.


Happy Sunday!
Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wellness Weekend

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

End Of Summer Fruit Crumble


It's definitely the end of summer around here. Fortunately though, I still have a bucket of fresh wild blueberries in my fridge (which is quickly dwindling). The rest are tucked away in the freezer for the winter... but fresh berries are necessary for a raw crumble. Despite the fact that I've made raw fruit crumble a few times this summer, I haven't made blueberry crumble - until a few days ago. I held the idea in my head since the berries started ripening but I didn't get to it until recently. Time just has a habit of getting away on me, especially this time of year. Too many things to do when the weather is great and too many ice cream recipe to test for the contest, etc, etc. Alas, it was extra special when I made it and could finally take a bite.


This recipe is super easy, as is any raw crumble - the best part is that you don't need to bother with cooking time. So as soon as it's packed into the pan, it's done! Perfect dessert item to bring to a party. Ice cream is optional of course but I prefer it. It just seems to create the proper balance of textures and flavors - plus it you decide to warm the crumble in a dehydrator, the frosty ice cream is especially divine in contrast.


If you're a regular reader then you may already know part of my recipe. I've posted it many times as it's my "go-to" option for a crumble topping. I do play around depending on what ingredients I have on hand or what I'm in the mood for, but generally I use the following as my base recipe.


Blueberry Peach Crumble

Crumble Topping

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted, packed dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup ground raw oat groats, or regular oats
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons water

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.
Transfer to a bowl and make the filling. 

Filling

2/3 cup blueberries
3-4 dates, pitted and chopped
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
-------------------
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup diced juicy peach (unpeeled)

Blend the first three ingredients in a food processor.
Transfer to a bowl and fold in the 4 cups of blueberries and peaches.
Spread the mixture into the bottom of an 8x8" pan.
Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over top. Serve with raw vanilla ice cream.


Tips
I recommend making the topping first while the food processor is dry, so that the nuts can blend best. 
You can use half almonds and half walnuts as I sometimes do.
Sub pecans for walnuts. 
Use oat groats ground in a coffee grinder or vita mix, OR regular oats ground in a food processor. 
Add cinnamon to the crumble.

Check out the gorgeous sky after the sunset the other night. I missed the actual sunset but it was so pretty I had to take a pic.


Part of Wellness Weekend, Allergy Free Wednesday, Healthy Vegan Friday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two Ways With Raw Veggie Burgers


Are you a burger lover? I have never been - but occasionally I enjoy a raw veggie burger. Yes, it's true that it takes a while before you can bite into your burger because of the preparation and dehydration time required but when all is said and done these gems are well worth it. I like to make a big batch because the finished product keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks and even a few months in the freezer.


I've made several raw burger recipes over the years and most have turned out great, but I always prefer the easiest recipe. The one I have for you today is super easy and only uses very basic ingredients. After grating, chopping, grinding, mixing, and shaping, you can sit back while your dehydrator does the rest of the work. Then the fun part begins...

How do you like to dress up your burger? I have two different ideas to share here.

First, a more traditional burger with chard instead of lettuce (as the bun), tomato, cheese, "ketchup", avocado, and beets.


I served them with a side of cheezy kale chips, and cucumber slices.


Raw Mushroom Veggie Burgers
Adapted from this recipe

2 cups button mushrooms, diced small
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts or pecans, soaked and ground in a food processor
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked and ground
3/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tamari
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons dried tarragon

Toss the veggies together in a bowl.
Add the ground nuts and all other ingredients stir together thoroughly to evenly incorporate everything.
Pack the mixture into a 1/3 cup measuring cup and turn it over onto a teflex lined dehydrator sheet.
Tap the cup to get the filling out. Press down gently to flatten the patty.
Dehydrate at 145F for 1 hour. Turn the temperature to 115F and continue dehydrating for 5-6 hours, transferring onto the mesh sheet after 1-2 hours.


My next idea is a BBQ veggie burger wrap


I did a post on these a while ago... i stumbled upon this great wrap when I made a last minute decision to turn a bbq chip recipe into wraps - and it worked! Anyway, I simply spread my avocado caesar dressing on the wrap along with lettuce, burger sliced in thirds, tomato, beet, asparagus, and marinated/dehydrated mushrooms. 

Lay your wrap flat and layer caesar dressing, lettuce, sliced burger, tomato, thin slices of beet... 

Lay a strip of asparagus along the top, followed by marinated mushrooms (sliced mushrooms in a bit of tamari and olive oil. Marinate for a few hours and dehydrate for a few hours to draw the water out and get a "cooked" look and taste). 


Wrap it all up, seam side down. 

Make sure to have a side of caesar dressing....

Heathy's Caesar Dressing

2 medium avocados
1/2-1 cup water
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup lemon juice, or more
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoons himalayan salt
1-2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
1 date, pitted

Blend all ingredients until smooth, starting with lesser amounts of salt and pepper. Add enough water to achieve desired thickness.

...because you'll want to a dollop on every bite. Mmmm!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Coconut Lucuma Chocolate Swirl and a Tasty Review


Here's a yummy treat that I whipped up in the past few days. With a bunch of irish moss gel needing to be used up I needed to think fast. I wanted something I'd never made before...

Delicious coconut butter was calling my name, and a glimpse of lucuma in the cupboard got me inspired. Do you ever do that? Open your cupboard, scan your ingredients, and get tasty ideas in your head?  It was intended to be a mousse, but it ended up being much firmer than that after chilling it for a while. I'm going to work on this recipe because there's potentials for a few directions and I love the ingredients and resulting flavor. In the meantime I thought I'd share the recipe with you. It's smooth, sweet, and nut-free. I topped it with the perfect compliment - crunchy bitter cacao nibs.


I also made chocolate covered lucuma coconut cubes. I simply spread some of the mixture into a small container lined with plastic wrap, chilled it, cut into cubes, and dipped it into chocolate ganache. It was a deeelicious treat! No pic because they were so delicious that there was simply no time before we ate them, lol. Use your imagination ;)


Lucuma Coconut Mousse

This should really be called cheesecake mousse, because it's rich and thick - almost sliceable like a cheesecake once it's chilled.

NOTE - If using moss gel that is already chilled, packed it firmly into the measuring cup. Also, make sure the water in the recipe is WARM. This is important because of the high ratio of coconut butter and if the other ingredients are cold, the butter will get lumpy and won't blend properly.

3/4 cup irish moss gel
7-8 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons lucuma
2 1/2- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/2 cup coconut butter

Blend all but the butter until smooth and creamy.
Add the coconut butter and blend again to incorporate.
Pour into bowls or ramekins and chill OR spoon into a piping bag and pipe into a pretty glass.

For more of a proper mousse texture, use 8-12 tablespoons water.

To get the marbled effect I simply drizzled raw chocolate sauce with some added coconut milk in 3 strips on the inside of the piping bag before spooning the mousse into the bag.


On another yummy note... you have seen Rawtella featured on this blog several times. I'm a huge fan of  this healthy raw vegan replacement for Nutella. I also love the various flavors it comes in. WELL folks, now there is a new addition to the collection. Much the same, but Rawmio is made with sprouted almonds! It is so silky, smooth and delicious.


Rawmio Silk is my favourite. It has it's name for a good reason - this spread is ridiculously silky smooth.


Another incredible new product at Raw Guru is Sunbiotics - the very first chewable raw vegan probiotic tablet! How awesome is that?!


They are deeelicious and sweetened with coconut sugar. 

Another new product is a tasty raw trail mix consisting of pumpkin seeds, wild almonds, pistachios. mulberries, currants, goji berries, dark chocolate chunks, and golden berries.


Part of Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday