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One Eggnog to Rule Them All

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Nov 20, 2015 raw vegan recipes , , 0 Comments

When eggnog hits the shelves, my life gets complex. Do I get the dairy one, which is organic but not grassfed, and has a perfect texture bc of  gums? Or the grassfed one that has no binders and is subsequently too runny? Or the non-dairy one that is as delicious as the branding implies but has multiple gums and binders? And why the *%&$*# do they all have SO MUCH SUGAR, no matter which I pick?

So, it’s DIY time. In the past I’ve made everything from raw vegan nog to eggy custard cream, and I love them all. This morning I decided it was go time, and I wanted a sugar free version that I could use to make a latte out of without starting my day on a sugar high. What I created is therefore paleo, low glycemic, vegan, and  raw if you are using fresh/unpasteurized almond milk.

Secret ingredient: 

artisana




Coconut butter is an awesome ingredient to work with. It’s just ground organic coconut meat, and it makes liquids thicker without having to add more nuts. Sometimes nut milk + nut butter = too much nuttiness, so this gives things a different flavor. Any brand is fine, just make sure to stir well before using because the meat and the oil tend to separate.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups almond milk (either homemade or a fresh / no gums or fillers one, preferably)

1/3 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup Swerve or other erythritol

1 dropper liquid stevia (I used toffee)

dash vanilla

1/4 tsp lecithin, optional, to emulsify

1/8 tsp nutmeg, or more to taste

1/8 tsp turmeric, for color

pinch salt

 

Blend all ingredients until creamy. Shake before using once stored in fridge.

Yield: 4 cups



eggnog




Choc-Avo Mousse: a Smoother Take

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Sep 22, 2015 raw vegan recipes 1 Comment

My love for chocolate avocado mousse is a well documented one, and I didn’t really think there was anywhere further to go with my basic recipe for it… until I discovered Zuddha coconut oil.  It is the lightest yet most succulent coconut oil I’ve come across, and I love that it is cold processed in small batches.  Over time I’ve simplified and refined my recipe, so I’m posting my newest version now. =)

Chocolate Avocado Mousse 
Ingredients:
2 large or 3 small avocados
3/4 cup raw honey OR maple syrup OR 3/4 cup water + stevia & erythritol to taste
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup Zuddha coconut oil
1/4 cup water, or more if needed to blend
1 tbls vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt

Method:
Blend all ingredients until creamy. Eat immediately as a pudding, or refrigerate as a mousse. Decrease water for frosting or truffle consistencies.


A Nod to Autumn in L.A.: Raw Vegan Mango-Persimmon Cheesecake Cupcakes

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Nov 4, 2013 raw vegan recipes 0 Comments

Somehow I’ve made it over five years in L.A. as a farmers market floozy without visiting the Santa Monica market more than a handful of times.  My argument against it is that over half the vendors are the same as Hollywood, which I frequent regularly, and that parking is a pain.  Recently I moved from WeHo to Beverly Hills, and suddenly it’s like I’m a million miles closer to Santa Monica, so why not brave the parking (which really is no worse than anywhere else, and at least there are free lots) and revisit Produce in YogaLand?

I went this past Wednesday (just fyi, the market, followed by a stroll down Ocean Ave. then True Food Kitchen for lunch makes a really nice day date) and it was SO worth it.  In addition to all the normal and wonderful autumn-in-SoCal stuff, they had organic mangoes, which I have never seen at ANY market in the Los Angeles area.  I’ve never even seen pesticided ones grown locally!  Years ago I read an article that they were farmed in Santa Barbara and occasionally randomly made it to O.C., but Orange County might as well be where Santa Monica used to be, aka too far away.  I was so taken aback by their very existence at a close farmers market that I didn’t even think to ask how long they would be in season for.

In addition to two fabulous mangoes (they’re a little cost prohibitive, meaning two was a splurge, but goddamn they’re amazing tasting), I also have new pantry goodies I’d been wanting to use in a recipe: Dastony stone ground raw organic cashew butter and sprouted almond butter, and Imperial Tonics “Ancient Wisdom” powder that I’ve been adding to my morning Longevity in a Bottle & Cococeps beverage.  Ancient Wisdom is super mild-tasting for having strong herbs in it like He Shou Wu and Astragalus, so I’ve been curious about how it would work in a raw cookie.  The nut butters I was excited about just because, hey, it’s fancy raw nut butter and I didn’t have to make it.  And of course, this is Hachiya persimmon season, so I don’t go making much sweet stuff without including those juicy gems. Thus, my Nod to Autumn in Los Angeles Dessert: raw, vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, superfood enhanced, local organic fresh mango and persimmon cheesecake cupcakes (with a raw cookie crust, no less, which is way more thrilling and tasty and shockingly good for you than plain ole blended walnuts and dates).

 

Crazy Healthy Super Yummy Cheesecake Recipe:

Cookie Crust:
1 1/2 cups Living Intentions Sprouted Super Flour (crazy unique superfood raw organic flour product, no substitution would work and it will change your raw culinary world so you should basically have it on hand already)
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
3 scoops Ancient Wisdom
2 tbls sprouted almond butter
1 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients together (everything except the nut butter, sweetener and oil), then incorporate wet. Stir with a fork until a heavy dough that is slightly crumbly forms. Dough should shape easily, but not be gooey. Add extra flour by the tbls if needed to obtain a slightly crumbly texture. Line 12 muffin tins and divide mixture evenly among 12 cups, pressing crust up around sides of each. Freeze while you make other layers.

Persimmon Layer:
2 small very ripe Hachiya persimmons, or 1 large
3/4 cup raspberries (frozen are fine, they’re for color)
1 cup raw cashew butter
1/4 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup milk product
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbls coconut oil
Remove calyxes from persimmons, then add all ingredients into a high power blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Divide mixture between the 12 muffin cups, and put back in freezer.

Mango Layer:
1 1/2 cups chopped mango
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbls coconut oil
Blend all ingredients in a high power blender until creamy and smooth, then divide between 12 cups once the persimmon layer in the freezer is slightly firm.

Garnish: drizzle cashew butter atop the mango layer and pull through decoratively with a toothpick if desired.



mangocheesecake




Magical Mulberry Squares (raw, vegan, gluten-free, low-glycemic, soy-free, grain-free, paleo friendly)

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Feb 25, 2013 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Lately I’ve been wanting to make a fruity raw dessert that was neither chocolate nor overly nutty, but I’ve been uninspired by winter fruits.  Persimmons in fall are pretty much my last love until stone fruits return in spring– my winters are spent begrudgingly munching on Fuji apples that provide no groundbreaking dessert ideas.  So, I took the dried fruit route today and hit my cupboards up for inspiration, and thankfully, my cupboards (and freezer) did me right.  Here is a chewy, sweet, tangy and decadent treat that is packed with superfoods and contains very little added sweeteners.

Magical Mulberry Squares

Base:
1 cup dried mulberries, ground in food processor or blender
1/2 cup whole dried mulberries
1/2 cup cashews, ground as above
1/4 cup dried raisins and/or cherries, ground as above
1/2 cup lucuma powder
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbls coconut nectar or honey
1 tsp camu camu powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

Grind fruits and cashews, then mix together with all other ingredients. Mixture will be malleable and slightly sticky. Press into a 8″ baking pan and refrigerate.

Topping:
3 tbls almond butter
3 tbls coconut oil, melted
2 tbls coconut nectar or honey
1 tbls lecithin powder
1 tsp Longevity Power “Maca Bliss”*
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Mix all ingredients together and pour over base layer. Once firm, dust with lucuma powder and cut into squares of any desired size.
*Maca bliss is a unique maca product; it is extracted at low heat, has had the starch and fiber removed, and unlike regular maca, has no overly malty flavor. It is available online here.






Cantaloupe Pudding in Any Season (raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

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Aug 27, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

This weekend we went to visit my parents, and my mother gave us an enormous and wonderful array of fruit she’d dried to take home. We’ve got gallon size bags of raisins, bananas, cantaloupe, and pineapple, all of which are dried to just chewy, not firm/shelf-stable and will stay fresh indefinitely in the fridge.

I’m known to be a little bit kooky when it comes to finishing things; I’ll often ask Ace to slow down on eating something special so that we don’t run out too fast, and it’s been on more than one occasion that  perishables have gone bad because I didn’t want them to be gone and so, didn’t finish them.  It is in this frame of mind that I told Ace after we last were gifted dried cantaloupe to not go through it so quickly, only these days I am a wee bit forgetful… so I didn’t realize there was still a bag of dried cantaloupe left in until we brought home everything from our trip last night and I reorganized the fridge’s dried fruit area.  Having no idea what to do with it, since now we have a lot more and there is only so much dried cantaloupe that people can eat, I decided this afternoon to reconstitute it and make it into a pudding.  Thankfully, my experiment turned out quite nicely! You could follow this same process for any other mild-flavored dried fruit that you have an excess of.

Dried Cantaloupe Pudding:
3 cups sliced dried cantaloupe
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup soaking water
12 frozen raspberries
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbls lecithin powder
zest of 1/4 lemon
3/4 tsp lemon extract
a few drops of stevia, if needed

Soak dried melon in warm water for about half an hour until soft, then drain (reserve 1/4 cup soaking water). Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender, and blend until creamy and smooth. The raspberries were purely for color, as without them the pudding is rather beige; they help it obtain a more yellow tone. You could also add turmeric, which I didn’t because I have a new VitaMix pitcher and don’t want to discolor it.

Chessie was sitting in the fruit bowl while the melon soaked, and found it quite intriguing.


Killer Shrooms, Man

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Jul 5, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Since I mostly post sweet recipes, I wanted to share a very simple and versatile side dish I made this week: raw marinated mushrooms.  I’m a big fan of dishes that improve, rather than get yucky, as the week goes on, and these ‘shrooms do exactly that.  They continue to intensify in flavor, and get a bit softer but never get past a standard “cooked” texture. They’re quick and easy to make; the bulk of the work lies in chopping them, which if you wanted you could actually avoid.  Keeping them whole would yield less flavor throughout, but a firmer texture.  I happen to like the texture of cooked mushrooms, and really enjoyed how indistinguishable these were from their cooked counterparts.  This was definitely a just-throw-stuff-in-a-bowl-to-taste recipe more so than a specific-amounts one, and I honestly doubt you could make them in a way that tastes bad! They are so yummy, there isn’t even any need to add salt.

Easy Raw Marinated Mushrooms:
2 lbs button and/or cremini mushrooms, chopped into 1/4s or 1/8s depending on size
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
2 tbls dried dill
3 parts balsamic vinegar to each 1 part cold-pressed olive oil (use cider vinegar for a 100% raw dish)
lots of fresh cracked black pepper

Chop mushrooms and place in a big bowl. Add garlic and herbs, then pour vinegar about 1/4 cup at a time until you reach a point of saturation. Once the mushrooms won’t absorb any more vinegar, pour on a fraction as much olive oil. Doing it this way helps ensure the mushrooms absorbed vinegar, not oil, so all you need of oil is what you’ll be tasting, rather than them absorbing a bunch of extra oil.

These can be eaten as is, as a topping for a protein or grain, or added to a salad to act as both dressing and condiment. I made a snack of them on bell peppers with an oatmeal-based cheddar spread, which was a delicious mostly-raw lunch.





Health Note: I’m on week four of Dr. Terry Wahls’ “Minding Your Mitochondria” diet, and though it is far different than my standard way of eating, I’m noticing numerous physical benefits of it.  Part of the diet is to eat three cups daily of sulphur rich veggies.  Most vegetables that fall into that category are cruciferous, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  While those are very good for you, they’re hard on your thyroid (and mine is already ruined), and you should eat them cooked.  This dish is a perfect way to get in your daily allotment of sulphur rich veggies while upping your raw foods intake.  Mushrooms are also full of C and B Vitamins, making them an excellent immune booster.


Drink Your Purples

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Jun 25, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Everyone always talks about kale being one of the healthiest foods on the planet, but for some reason, you don’t tend to hear nearly as much about colored kales, like purple and red.  Something many people don’t know is that while greens are EXCELLENT for you, and very vital to health, red and purple foods actually contain MORE antioxidants.  In fact, what gives purple foods their color is actually the antioxidant anthocyanin, which fights heart disease/cancer/stoke/diabetes and boosts memory.  Dark red fruits also contain anthocyanin, and have lycopene too, which helps eyes and immune systems.  SO when you take a vitamin-powerhouse veggie like kale and add the properties of a red or purple food to it, you get some serious healthy power.

I tend to make smoothies with red and purple kale because after years of murky green and brown shakes, I want ones that look appealing these days.  The smoothie I made this morning is a perfect example of a breakfast that is both beautiful AND beautifying.

Purple Protein Shake:
2/3 cup blackberries (I used fresh bc they’re in season right now, frozen is fine)
1 peach
1 1/2 cups purple kale
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1-2 scoops protein powder
Optional: 1/3 dropper grape stevia. If you add this, the smoothie will have an overall grape-ish flavor that marries perfectly with its purple color.

Chessie decided to take a break from my neuro-rehabilitation notebook she was napping on and give a good sniff to this deliciousness.


Round Two: A Variation of Last Week’s Raw Vegan Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie

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May 30, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

This week I want to recreate the cherry-berry pie I made last week, but thought it would benefit from a fruity pudding layer in addition to the chocolate one.  I dried and reconstituted the fruit in a similar fashion (and used an extra cup of cherries so the pie was more full), but instead of just the chocolate avocado mousse, I made a raspberry mousse, then added cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder to about 1/3 of it.  This made a berry-chocolate pudding- if you wanted distinctly different flavors in the layers, you could make both this berry recipe and last week’s chocolate one. The raspberry mousse itself tastes “like a Sweet Tart” according to Ace- the camu camu powder lends a tangy, flavorful note.

This time, I skipped the coconut nectar in the fruit layer; the idea of it had been for glossiness, and you just don’t see enough of the fruit for that to matter. I also changed the crust slightly- the other one was very thin, and I wasn’t terribly keen on the figs.  For flavor and color I added cocoa powder to the crust, as well as a small amount of reserved dried cherries and strawberries.  I like the look and taste of this one better than the last.

For decor, I used fresh blueberries and cacao nibs, and also swirled some of the chocolate mousse into the raspberry layer on top.

Raw Vegan Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie, the Sequel:

Crust:
1 cup raw pecans
2/3 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup almond meal
4 dates
6 each partially dried (not reconstituted) cherries and strawberry chunks
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tbls coconut sugar
pinch Himalayan salt

Soak dates in warm water for ten minutes. Pulse pecans and walnuts in food processor, then add remaining ingredients and process until a sticky crumb is formed. Press into a pie tin and set aside.
Any other raw pie crust recipe could be subbed for this one, or any other nuts/fruit you prefer.

Cherry Berry Filling:
2 cups strawberries, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
5 cups cherries, pitted

Place cherries and strawberries onto a dehydrator tray (fruit should fill one tray) and dry at 108 degrees for about eight hours. Refrigerate until ready to use. To prep for pie, reconstitute by covering them in warm water for about ten minutes. Drain and squeeze gently, then mix in coconut nectar.

Raspberry Mousse:

2 large or 3 small avocados
1 small banana
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup buckwheat honey, coconut nectar or agave OR 2/3 cup water and 2 droppers liquid stevia
3 tbls beet juice for color
3 tbls lucuma powder
1 tsp camu camu powder

Blend until creamy. Remove 2/3 of mix and set aside.

Cacao Mousse:
1/3 raspberry mousse recipe
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 scoops chocolate protein powder

Blend until creamy, and thin with water if needed.

Assembly:

Place a thin layer of raspberry mousse on top of the crust, followed by a thin layer of chocolate mousse. Throughly strain the cherries and strawberries, and add them. Top with all but about 3 tbls of chocolate mousse (or all of it if you don’t want to use it for decorating), then with remaining raspberry mousse. Decorate as desired.










Pie Time! Raw Vegan Fresh Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie

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May 22, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

My cherry obsession continues, only now they are FINALLY briefly in season, so currently I’m getting my fill of actual live cherries, not frozen or dried ones.  Though not a “pie person” per say, I greatly enjoy raw apple pie, where you partially dehydrate sliced apples then reconstitute them so they acquire a slightly smooshy baked quality.  I decided to carry that technique over to fresh cherries and strawberries, and layer it with a raw food staple: cacao avocado mousse.  If you have some time of your hands, this is the perfect summer recipe to try!  I made the chocolate mousse/pudding a couple days ago (and we’ve been enjoying plenty of it on its own), dried the fruit yesterday, and made the crust/assembled the whole thing today.  Having done it in parts, the actual crust-making and full pie assembly took less than a half hour.

Note that the cacao mousse recipe is for a full multi-serving yield… because really, if you are gonna dirty your blender, you might as well have a couple days worth of pudding to show for it! Also, you can make it without adding any fruit- I thought it’d be great for the chocolate layer to have notes of cherry.


Raw Vegan Fresh Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie

Crust:
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup almond meal
5 dates
5 dried figs
pinch Himalayan salt

Soak dates and figs in warm water for ten minutes. Pulse pecans in food processor, then add remaining ingredients and process until a sticky crumb is formed. Press into a pie tin and set aside.
Any other raw pie crust recipe could be subbed for this one, or any other nuts/fruit you prefer.

Cherry Berry Filling:
2 cups strawberries, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
4 cups cherries, pitted
1/4 cup coconut nectar

Place cherries and strawberries onto a dehydrator tray (fruit should nearly fill one tray) and dry at 108 degrees for about eight hours. Refrigerate until ready to use. To prep for pie, reconstitute by covering them in warm water for about ten minutes. Drain and squeeze gently, then mix in coconut nectar.

Cacao Avocado Mousse:
3 extra large avocados or 4-5 medium ones
1 heaping cup cherries, pitted
3/4 cup coconut nectar, buckwheat honey, or agave OR 2/3 cup water and 2 droppers liquid stevia
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 scoops chocolate protein powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

Blend in VitaMix or other high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Assemble:
Place a thin layer of cacao mousse along the bottom of the crust. Drain any excess liquid from fruit, and pour in. Add about two cups of cacao mousse on top, until fruit barely peeps through- more can be added if desired.

Decor:
I used a pint of raspberries, and about 1/4 cup of cacao nibs for a topping. You can decorate any way you choose; I placed the raspberries around the edge, and made a sort of flower out of them by taking several berries and flattening them, then laying each around one main berry. I then put a small mint leaf in the center of the whole raspberry.





 






Black Forest Bliss Smoothie

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May 8, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Maybe it’s the anticipation that the all-too-brief cherry season is about to hit, but I’ve been on a major kick with dried and frozen cherries lately.  I am loving the “black forest” flavor of cherries and chocolate, as evidenced by my last blog for cookie dough balls.  While I always try to incorporate as many detoxing and antioxidant rich foods into my diet, that’s especially important now, as I’ve recently embarked on a healing journey from chronic carbon monoxide poisoning.  I’m doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and it forces toxins out of your cells as it forces oxygen into them.  Unfortunately, even though I have my Chronic Lyme Disease in remission, it still inhibits my body’s ability to detox, so toxins being pushed into my system = me feeling even worse.  Therefore I am embracing antioxidant and detoxifying foods with extra vigor… but of course I still want them to taste good.  With this smoothie, I’ve combined red kale with organic frozen cherries, protein, and cacao powder into a shake that tastes more “dessert” than “detox.”

Note that while I’m big on drinking smoothies, I am less big on making them, and I like to use a lot of ingredients, so I generally make enough for 2-3 servings at least.  This recipe yields 36 oz, enough for two meals and one snack.

Black Forest Bliss Smoothie:
1 cup milk of your choice
1/2 head red kale
6 oz frozen cherries (a little over 1/2 a 10 oz package)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/3 of a medium banana (enough to add texture and flavor, not enough to make the smoothie a sugar factory)
3 scoops chocolate protein powder
3 tbls cacao powder
1 tbls coconut oil
1-2 droppers chocolate-raspberry stevia
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

In the VitaMix, prior to blending

Finished product!