Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Recipe Recap


My new blog, Food and Yoga for Life is in full swing. I've been posting regularly on it and thought Id share a quick recap here in case you missed anything. As you know, there will be a full range of recipes featured along with many other things but so far all the recipes have been vegan and some are raw.

First I posted all about why I started a new blog and a recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondies.


Next, I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Parfaits. These were sooo delish and very easy to make! 

My third recipe was for Raw Ranch Veggie Wraps. My favorite veggie wraps (who needs a wrap made out of grains when you can have one of these?!), with 2 different ranch dip/dressing recipes, and a caesar dressing.


After that I posted two Butternut Squash Soup Recipes. Both so silky smooth. One is traditional while they other is spiced up!


Finally, a Kale Slaw with Barbeque Walnut Crumble recipe. A hearty and delicious salad meal. You will want to make this again and again.


Happy Halloween!!! It's an exciting one here, as Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate just arrived for a visit. Let the good times begin!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My New Blog and Vegan Pumpkin Blondies


Yesterday I launched a new blog! This is something I've wanted to do for a while and finally got to it. I'm really excited as it will allow me to broaden the scope of what I truly want to share with you. From now on, only raw vegan desserts will be shared here on Sweetly Raw and all else - NOT just food - will be shared at Food and Yoga for Life. I hope you'll stop by and check out my new nook.

I explain the reasons for it and what you can expect in my first post HERE. You will also find my recipe for Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondies. Yum!


Let me know what things you'd like to see on Food and Yoga for Life. See ya over there! ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Raw Apple Cinnamon Crepes


Have you ever made raw vegan crepes? They are so good and super easy to make and super versatile. You just need a dehydrator for the actual wrap. I've made lots of different fillings over the years, with a combo of bananas, chocolate, and caramel usually being my favorite but this Fall I had a hankering for something seasonal. Instead of the all banana wrap I normally make, I opted to add pears too since I have an abundance floating around my kitchen these days.


I made these at the same time I dehydrated a huge batch of granola because I had 2 extra trays in my 9 tray excalibur. The great thing about these wraps/crepes is that it's just one or two ingredients blended together. So if I'm already filling the dehydrator and have a little room to spare, these are perfect.


Apple Cinnamon Crepes

I had to garnish the crepes with an extra touch of caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and diced apples but top them with whatever you love.

Banana Pear Crepes

Try with banana and pear, or just banana! While I've never tried it, I'm sure apple and banana would work well too.

2-3 bananas
1-2 pears

Blend the bananas and pears in a blender until completely smooth.
Pour a thin layer onto teflex dehydrator sheets and spread evenly using an offset spatula.
Dehydrate at 115F for 6-8 hours, or until you can peel it off the teflex. If still a little too moist/wet on the underside, continue drying for 1/2 - 1 hour.
The crepe sheet should be pliable.
Cut the sheet into 4 squares.

Apple Cinnamon Cream Filling

3/4 cup cashews
5 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2-3 medium apples or pears, diced small (peeled optional)

Blend all but the apple in a high speed blender until smooth. Set aside.
Fold the cream with the apples or pears - if you want a creamier filling fold in less apples and vice versa.

Assembly

Spoon some apple cinnamon filling onto a crepe (If you want a more rolled up crepe, spoon a smaller amount of filling. If you want a fuller crepe, add more filling).
Either roll or fold over the crepe flaps.
Drizzle some caramel sauce and/or chocolate sauce on top.
Garnish with extra chopped apple or pear, optional.


Check out this gorgeous rainbow in my yard! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Raw Food Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Little Vacation


Last Thursday evening J and I began our journey to Southern Ontario to visit his family and friends for a long weekend. It's a great time of year to be down here because the leaves are turning incredible colors and the weather is warmer than at home. I get to enjoy the big maple trees that we don't have up north.
On our first full day here we went up the mountain at Glen Eden ski hill to take in the views of the Niagara escarpment.


We rode the chair lift - something I haven't done since I was a kid!



Lots of beautiful walking paths.

I love this barn!

J and his brother on the ridge.

A bunch of us went for dinner and bowling one night. I haven't bowled since I was about 13 years old and let me say.... I'm veeery rusty! lol


We're all ready to go!

I think she got a strike that time.

I'm thinking in my head "strike!" but I think I only knocked a few pins down. I need to practice!

J's mom, his sister, and I went to Chrysalis hot yoga for a class. J and I took a class last Christmas.

Afterward we ate lunch at the adjoining Naked Sprout Cafe which I did a review on last year.

I really like this raw restaurant - the ambiance, service, and food are all great.

We started with an appetizer of coconut poppers with cashew ranch to share. It was incredible!

We all loved it!

Breaded young coconut strips with ranch dipping and sunflower sprouts. Again - divine!

All 3 of us had the caesar salad for our mains. It came with smoked coconut "bacon", parsnip croutons, and rawmesan. It tasted like a peppery hemp dressing. Very delish! I would definitely order this again.


Lots of delicious desserts to choose from, as posted on the board - Unfortunately a lot of them were sold out.

I ordered the linzer torte cheesecake to take home and share with J. It was delish - garnished with dehydrated strawberries.


L got a vegan brownie to take home and I got some to share with J as well. They sell vegan, gluten free brownies and cupcakes from Kind Food. I like to each order one and share to get two smaller desserts! :) This was fabulous! Especially with coconut bliss ice cream for dessert after dinner. Mmm.


It's been a wonderful trip and now it's time to make the journey home early tomorrow morning....

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cream Squares


Pumpkin pumpkin and more pumpkin! Does it get any better this time of year?! I love dreaming up new ways to use this orange ball - mostly desserts ;) For Thanksgiving on Monday I made pumpkin pie and no bake pumpkin pie cream squares. Both were a success and both will be made again! Chewy date nut crust, with a smooth creamy filling, topped with coconut cashew whipped cream and a sprinkle of pecans. Let me tell you, I could eat these every day.


No Bake Pumpkin Pie Cream Squares
Vegan and Gluten Free

An elegant, healthy, and delicious dessert for the holidays. Remember the caramel I used for the caramel apple cheesecake? I used it drizzle a special touch over these bars. Totally optional of course but if you really want to wow your guests, I'd go for it. 



Crust

I felt that these squares needed pecans in the crust. Pecans and pumpkin just seem to go hand in hand, don't they? Be careful not to over process the dough or it will be come oily.

2/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup pitted, packed dates
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons water or vanilla

Grind the almonds to flour in a food processor.
Add the pecans, coconut, and salt, Pulse a few times to chop the pecans.
Add the dates and 1 teaspoon water. Process into a dough. Do NOT over process or the oils will release from the pecans.
Make sure the dough will hold together when pressed in your hand. If still slightly crumbly add another 1/2-1 teaspoon water and pulse briefly.
Press into the bottom of an 8x8" pan. Set aside.

Filling

This gorgeous filling is nut free and could be enjoyed as a pudding with less coconut oil. It's not overly firm. It's the kind of filling that needs to be eaten on a plate. Your fork or spoon will easily glide through all layers of the bar, and while we have eaten them with our hands around here, it will get a little messy. Want a firmer/ more cheesecakey filling? Simply add more coconut oil and a touch more sweetener to compensate.

1/2 cup pitted packed dates
1/2 cup SO Delicious vanilla coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Make sure all ingredients are room temp to avoid ceasing the coconut oil.
Puree/chop the dates in a food processor.
Add the milk, vanilla and maple syrup and process until fairly smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times and keep pureeing.
Add the pumpkin and spices. Puree to get it as smooth as possible.
Add the coconut oil and blend again.
Spread evenly over the crust using a mini offset spatula.
Chill in the fridge for 12 hours (or overnight).
Note: Since the filling is on the softer side, simply freeze the bars for about an hour before slicing (after putting the whipped cream on top).

Optional: If your food processor leaves some texture from the dates (which mine did and I wanted it super smooth), simply add the blended date mixture to a high speed blender along with the pumpkin and spices. Blend until smooth and then add the oil and blend to incorporate.


Coconut Cashew Frosting

If you're a regular reader then you know how much I love whipped cream. I've made many variations depending on what I have on hand. I often like the addition of irish moss but in this case I didn't have any moss already soaked so I threw together this easy recipe. It's so delicious and perfect on pumpkin pie too!

1 cup full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup cashews
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and a high speed blender (important for the cashews to be completely broken down for proper thickening).
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Pour into a large shallow pan and chill in the fridge for 12 hours (if you want to speed up the firming, freeze for 1 hour and then put back into the fridge).
Spread or pipe over the chilled pumpkin filling.


What's your favorite way to use pumpkin?!

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Friday

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Protein Shake, Apple Butter, and Raw Cakes


Autumn is the only time of year I crave apples. Sure, I enjoy them any time but this time of year I actually crave apples and pears, cinnamon and nutmeg. I remember the first time I went apple picking in college with a dear friend and we had such a blast. We picked bags and bags for super cheap and then chowed down on the drive home as we decided what delicious apple things to bake - two chefs for ya. A few years later I got a work visa in New Zealand and easily found a job as an apple picker. Let me tell you, it was NOT as fun as the apple adventure a few years prior. It was a tedious job climbing up and down ladders with a huge barrel strapped to my chest, not to mention the fact that we were directed to pick from the worst tree section ever, as the "good" trees were left for the regular workers. Guess how long I lasted? 7 days doing that! lol. Lived on site in a gross camper during that week and just couldn't do it anymore. Thank god I moved on and got a job in a restaurant kitchen after that. Ok, enough about that...

First, I'm so excited to share some fabulous pictures of cakes that some of my readers have made and enjoyed recently and posted on my facebook page. So many people have left a comment or email about making my raw caramel apple cheesecake and avocado lime cheesecake and I'm thrilled that they enjoyed! If you've made one of my recipes, send me your pic and I'll post it with a link back to you. Well done ladies, these look so great.

Heather made my avocado lime cheesecake. Doubled it for an 8" pan.

Melissa made my caramel apple cheesecake.

Another Melissa made my avocado lime AND caramel apple cheesecake in bigger pans.

Simone made my mandarin cheesecake. I had the pleasure of meeting Simone at the raw dessert class I taught in Adelaide. We made this cake in the class and she's made it several times since then!

Now onto apple butter. Smooth, silky, and sweet. A dessert when stirred with granola or chopped cookies, a spread on fruit, muffins, or bread, and the perfect Autumn addition to a smoothie. I've made it before on the stove top and in the oven but slow cooker apple butter was a great idea from Oh She Glows. I'd never even considered the idea even though I've been a big fan of the slow cooker for the past few years. The best part is how easy it is. It's one ingredient and you don't even have to peel the apples. How much better does it get? You can certainly add sweetener and cinnamon but I like it plain, or naked as Angela called it. Straight up apple.


Easy slow cooker apple butter:

Core and slice 10 royal gala apples, toss into the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 4 hours (no water added). At this point they'll be super soft.

Once cooled slightly, puree in a blender until smooth.

Pour the liquid back into the slow cooker and cook for 1 more hour on high.

Now you have the optional choice of adding cinnamon, sweetener of your choice to taste, and a bit of lemon juice. Cool and refrigerate. I froze half the batch and kept half in the fridge to use up first.

Looking for more recipes? Check out my sweet stovetop apple butter and pumpkin butter, or apple squash butter in years past.


I thought it would be nice to feature apple butter in a smoothie. Apple Cinnamon Protein Shake was born! So creamy, thick, and deeelish.


Apple Cinnamon Protein Shake

I added lots of cinnamon and a generous sprinkle on top but you can add it to your liking. My protein powder is already sweetened with stevia, plus the natural sweetness of the apples so I didn't need to add any extra sweetness.

1/4 cup apple butter
3/4 cup water or almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
1 heaping tablespoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
4 large ice cubes
Sprinkle of nutmeg, optional

Blend all ingredients until smooth and frosty.


Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Wellness Weekend