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You’re Gonna Go Nuttzo For These No-Bake Granola Bars

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May 1, 2014 gluten free recipes (pls note that all raw/vegan recipes are GF- these are predominantly cooked recipes) , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

I’m not generally much of an in-between kind of girl. My hair is black, or it’s white. (Or, currently, it’s black and magenta, which is, again, kind of serious looking, in a really fun and unserious way.) Either I’m working 20 days in a row, or I’m twiddling my thumbs for equally as long. I’m in love with and deeply attracted to extremes, in all facets of life. In line with my character, I vacillate between making the most ridiculously complex food ever, and the simplest. Lucky for you, dear reader, today I came up with a granola bar that is stupid easy and also AMAZINGLY tasty. Better yet, it’s gluten free, grain free, paleo, high protein, and vegan. These would be good with any nut or seed butter, but the chocolate Nuttzo adds a killer dessert-y flavor, plus a bunch of nutrients and omegas via flax seeds.

To make these awesome little guys, throw all of the below in a bowl, stir until combined, pour in a pan, and put in the fridge or freezer. Get back to it in an hour, cut into bars, and knock yourself the hell out never buying granola bars again.

1 cup nuts (I used raw almonds), whole or broken, doesn’t matter
1 cup coconut flakes (exchange for dried fruit if you don’t like coconut)
1 cup sprouted dried buckwheat (buckwheat is a seed, not a grain, fyi, and it’s now delightfully inexpensive sprouted and dried in the bulk section of health food stores)
3/4 cup chocolate Nuttzo
3/4 cup date puree (puree dates, or buy dates pureed)
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut nectar, honey, or maple syrup
3 scoops protein powder of choice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Like I said: mix together until it’s all gloppy and uniform, spread in a pan, and refrigerate. That’s it. If you have no patience, like me, put them in the freezer and they’ll be ready in a half hour. If you have patience, put them in the fridge and it’ll be more like an hour or two. Keep them in the fridge so they stay hard until eaten, or keep frozen if you plan on having one as a grab-n-go snack later in the day.

The buckwheat gives these a Rice Krispie treat texture, so I wouldn’t omit that, but beyond that you can basically change out any ingredients here you want to keep flavors current. Add dried fruit, add more nuts, change the nuts, change the protein powder, add cocoa powder, do whatever you want because you’re not baking these so you’ve got nothing to worry about. What you see is what you’ll get when you make the batter, only it will firm up a bit once cold. If by some change you add too much stuff and the mixture isn’t spreadable, just add more nut butter until it is, and taste to make sure they’re still sweet and salty enough.



nuttzo




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.


Red Velvet, Minus the Bug Juice

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Jul 18, 2012 , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

I must admit that I’ve never eaten a slice of  commercial red velvet cake.  I was brought up to be wary of unnaturally colored things, so I have had a bite once or twice of others cakes, just to see what all the hoopla was about, but it was nowhere good enough to eat a big heaping serving of artificial dye.  I did make a red velvet cake for a friend’s birthday a few years ago, and tried to do so first with natural dye.  The result was a muddy mess, and I resorted to the “real” stuff, since red velvet, not mud velvet, was the type of cake she’d chosen when asked.  I was aghast at the fact that one cake takes AN ENTIRE CONTAINER of red dye, which most people know is made from carmine, a type of bug.  Sure, Americans eat all kinds of kooky things, like bread with “dough conditioners,” which are made of human hair, but I tend to avoid all that because I’m a complete snot when it comes to food.

Anyway, last night I decided to make pudding, and I wanted to make something a little different than the standard chocolate-avo ones I’ve been making for ages.  I wanted it to be avocado based, but a bit lighter than just all avocado, and a little chocolaty, but not overly so.  I decided to cook up some beets, which technically makes this a not-all-the-way-raw pudding, and did my usual “let’s throw stuff in the blender and see what happens!!” routine.  The result was a delectable concoction that I’ve decided to call red velvet pudding, because of its color and mild cacao flavor.  It doesn’t seem terribly different in ingredients than the other avo-based puddings I’ve posted the recipes for, but the quantity of beets makes for a substantial difference in both color and flavor.

Raw(ish) Vegan Red Velvet Pudding:
2 medium avocados
1/2 cup honey or coconut nectar or agave OR 1/2 cup water plus 1 dropper flavored stevia
1 cup baked beets with 1 cup beet water, 1/2 cup reserved
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup dried cherries, reconstituted
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup lucuma powder
2 tbls cacao powder
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 dropper chocolate-raspberry stevia

Add all ingredients EXCEPT 1/2 cup of beet water to blender. Blend until creamy, adding reserved beet water as necessary for texture. Fruit can be changed up with any other red fruit. Chill in refrigerator until cold.

To serve: this is hearty and thick enough for usage as a frosting, but light enough to parfait with fruit and granola. I just put it in a little cup and added a dollop of almond butter and a smattering of cacao nibs.






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.


Pretty Pretty… Smoothie?

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Jun 14, 2012 , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Recently I heard about adding beets to smoothies, so since I had some cooked ones in the fridge this morning I decided to try it.  And WOW, do beets gorgeous up a drink! I also added chia kombucha to this for extra fruitiness and tang.

This is the smoothie I made:





And this is how I made it:

1 1/2 cups purple kale leaves
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 small cooked beet
1 white nectarine
a 1 inch piece of frozen banana
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup black chia kombucha
1 scoop protein powder
1 tsp camu camu powder
stevia to taste

Camu camu intensifies the sweet tart fruitiness, coconut milk mellows it out a little, and I swear, you can’t even taste all that kale! I prefer purple kale for red smoothies because besides the additional antioxidant benefits of purple foods, it’s nice to sometimes to have normal looking/not swampy smoothies.


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!


The REAL PowerBall: Raw Vegan Sugar-Free Soy-Free Grain-Free Gluten-Free High-Protein Chocolate Cherry Cookie Dough Truffles

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May 1, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

I may feel like hell, I may have yet to find out if the brain damage from being chemically poisoned for the last six months plus is permanent or fully recoverable, and I may have an MRI in the morning so a neurologist can view said prospective brain damage that is scaring the hell out of my little claustrophobic self, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still be as much of a trooper as possible and play in the kitchen experimenting with new desserts!

The two raw cookie dough ball recipes (chocolate chip and oatmeal) I’ve made were good enough to warrant a new version, this time with the leftover dried tart cherries I had from the fruit and nut bars I made last week.  I wanted the cherry flavor again, but I also wanted chocolate.  Additionally, I wanted to stick to just nuts rather than nut flours and butters.  The end result is sort of a LaraBar gone wild… it’s a bit denser than the previous cookie dough balls, but still indulgent and light enough to feel like a cookie.  As I was rolling them I realized these could also be considered truffles, because they take well to toppings like hemp seeds and cacao powder.  I’ve kept with my usual sugar-free theme, but since these contain dried fruit they aren’t particularly candida friendly.  They do have a solid amount of fiber to counteract the sugars in the fruit by way of flax, though.  As always, feel free to simplify as needed or change out any ingredients you don’t care for.

Chocolate Cherry PowerBalls:

2/3 cup dried tart cherries
3 large dates
Soak fruit in warm water for 5-10 minutes, then process in mini-Cuisinart until fairly smooth.

2/3 cup nuts- I used 1/2 almonds and 1/2 walnuts
Process in same mini-processor (no need to wash in between, and you could do them together if desired) until crumbly.

Add:
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tbls raw cacao powder
3 tbls ground golden flax
2 tbls cacao nibs
1 full dropper chocolate-raspberry flavored stevia
1 tsp vanilla

Mix until combined thoroughly, then either gather into a ball or place on saran wrap and roll into a log. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes then roll into 3/4 inch balls. If you refrigerated these as a log, they can be sliced into small cookies to save the time of rolling by hand. Delicious, protein-packed, fiber filled, and a healthy chocolate cherry treat either way!

They may not look too different from your average raw treat, but the cherry chocolate combo is heavenly. =)