Even though I’m going to be out of town next week, I volunteered to make some treats for a bake sale being held by some vegan ladies that I know. If you happen to live in Silicon Valley and having nothing going on, or if you need to bug some pet food, please drop on by. Some of the recipes that I will be blogging about in the next week will be there! An added plus is that Pet Food Express is one of my favorite pet stores. The staff is really knowledgeable without ever making you feel like they are trying to sell you on something. And they have some animal rescues in the area host adoption events. So at the very least, you’ll always get to see some potential four legged friends, which will be guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Even if you won’t be there, if you do have some friends in the area, please invite them!
This event will be held on March 15, and will be benefiting Doggie Protection Services.
So I’ve been thinking about what raw treats would last well at an all day bake sale, and I immediately thought of truffles, which are typically thicker in nature, and chewy in texture. I found my inspiration from The Sweet Life Online, and the recipe can be found here. My recipe is an adaptation.
Chocolate Orange Truffles 2 Ways (Makes about 24 small truffles)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup dates
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- pinch of salt
- 1tbsp agave
- Option 1: 1/4 cup raw cacao plus 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- Option 2: 1/4 cup coconut flakes ground in flour plus 1 tbsp lucuma powder
- Soak the walnuts and dates in filtered water for 30 minutes.
- Drain and add the walnuts and dates in the food processor with the orange juice, zest, agave and salt. Process until it forms a dough.
- Add the 2 tbsp cacao powder and pulse until combined.
- Remove and set in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and roll using heaping teaspoons.
- Place your dusting ingredients in a bowl.
- Drop each truffle individually into the bowl and swirl the bowl to coat the truffle.
- Ready to eat, or for storage, place in an air tight container in the freezer.
I love making raw larabars. But I have to be honest, sometimes the recipes out there get a little bit old. I wanted to try making some myself, and these are amazeballs! I wanted to use fewer dates and try using a different binder ingredient so that the larabars would hold together nicely. And I found it in chia seeds. Chia seeds have become so popular for their benefits that even my mom knows about them! Benefits include:
- Keeps you fuller longer
- Reduces blood pressure
- High in omega-3 fatty acids
- Easier to digest than flax seeds
But what a lot of people might not know, is that when combined with water, they congeal into a paste that can be used in raw recipes. My recipe incorporates chia seeds, agave and dates as the binder, providing a light sweetness in every bite, without being overpowering. The cinnamon gives these bars a coffee cake like taste. Try them and I’m sure you will love them too!
Cinnamon Coffee Cake Energy Bars (makes 16 small bars)
- 1/4 cup of chia seeds
- Filtered water
- 1/4 cup agave
- 1/2 heaping cup of pitted dates
- 2 tbsp filtered water
- 1/2 cup almonds unsoaked
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1/4 flaked light coconut
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup vegan semi sweet chocolate chips
- Put the chia seeds in a small bowl. Add enough filtered water to just cover the seeds.
- Let the chia seeds sit covered for about 20-30 minutes, or until it forms a thick gel.
- Combine the chia seed gel, agave and dates into a food process and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Put the oats, sunflower seeds and almonds in a food processor and process until crumbly.
- Add the coconuts flakes, and liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and process until it forms a doughy mixture.
- Add the cinnamon and pulse until combined.
- Remove from food processor and press into a bread pan.
- Place in the freezer to set.
- Take the vegan chocolate chips in a double broiler and stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Take the bars out of the freezer and cut into 16 pieces.
- Scoop the melted chocolate on top of each bar. OR drizzle and create your own designs!
- Place back in the refrigerator to set (about 10 minutes).
- Instead of vegan chocolate chips use raw carob chips or raw chocolate sauce
- Instead of chocolate, incorporate raisins before pressing into pan
Place wet ingredients into food processor
Mix until it is smooth
Dry ingredients: Almonds, oats and sunflower seeds
Dry ingredients processed
Most of the desserts I have made up until now have been a little bit on the heavy side. So I’ve been craving something a little bit on the lighter side. I have seen a ton of recipes for chocolate mousse and I decided I needed to make it.
At the same time, I was excited to discover buckwheat groats. Finally a wheat alternative that can be used for making bread and crackers. And the best part is that you can sprout them in just one day. Simply rinse the buckwheat groats, soak for 20 minutes, and then rinse and store in a colander on top of your counter top. Then, once in the morning and once when you get back from work, rinse them. In one day, you’ll see white tails forming from the buckwheat, and it’s ready to be used. You can dehydrate them simply by pouring them onto a dehydrator sheet, and then drying at 115 degrees for about 8 hours. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
I soaked and sprouted some last week, but having nothing left to do with them, I dehydrated them, and they’ve been sitting in my refrigerator ever since. So when I found a pie crust recipe that used dried buckwheat groats, I just had to incorporate it somehow into with the chocolate mousse.
So this recipe incorporate the best part of 3 different recipes I found on the web. Together they make up a healthier version of a chocolate mousse pie. A pie crust made of walnuts and buckwheat groats, a chocolate filling with bananas and avocado, and a cashew frosting make this a 9 inch pie I could eat all in one serving. The filling and topping are more creamy but light like whipped cream. Yum! Thanks Internet. Another dessert for the record books.
Chocolate Mousse Pie
- 1 Buckwheat crust (when I find the recipe I will post it)
- 1 Chocolate Mousse (recipe here)
- 1 Cream Topping/Frosting (recipe here)
It’s raining in earnest here in Silicon Valley for the first time in months. I had to work late, and that combined with the traffic and slick roads meant coming home late. I looked in fridge and found leftovers from the week, and I decided to combine it all into a lasagna. Really it was inspired from a picture of raw lasagna that I saw in a cookbook. Only I cheated by using items I already had.
- 1/2 cup oil free pesto (recipe here)
- 1/4 cup jalapeno cheese (recipe here)
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tomato thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini
- Cut the ends off the zucchini and cut it in half. Then slice with a mandolin on the thickest setting. Make 9 slices total.
- Add the olive oil and spinach in a separate bowl and combine with your hands. Really work it through until the spinach looks steamed.
- Start with 3 zucchini slices slightly overlapped.
- Add the “cheese”.
- Add the pesto.
- Add 1-2 slices of tomato. Make sure the lasagna is relatively level.
- Using your hands to mold, add a handful of spinach.
- Top with 3 zucchini slices facing perpendicular to the ones on the bottom.
- Repeat with the cheese, pesto, spinach and tomatoes.
- Top with the remaining 3 slices of zucchini.
Raw cacao powder is tough to find. But I finally found a bag at my local Whole Foods, and I’ve been dying to try it out.
To be honest, I don’t know much about pies. But I knew I wanted one with a crunchy and flaky crust, so when I stumbled on this recipe for Raw Macademia Salted Caramel Pie Crust, I knew I had to give it a try. This crust is so wonderfully thick and stiff, that I was able to use my little tart cups that I got just recently. Just make the crust, press into the molds and set in the freezer. It’s so easy.
Next I used half of the filling from this Raw Chocolate Cheesecake recipe. With zucchini blended with cashews and raw cacao. Who would have thought that it would taste so good! But trust me, you don’t even taste the zucchini at all. I used half the recipe, and it was a little over the amount I used to fill my mini pie crusts. Using these two recipes, I was able to make 4 small pies. Store them in the freezer and you can take them out and enjoy them right away. All in all it took me a little over 30 minutes to make, and they are fantastic!
Another crazy weekend. It was World War IV: Hopkins versus Bug. Guess who won?
Hopkins with the bug on the ceiling fan
I’m gonna get you!
Hopping into action!
Well ok, since that’s decided, now to get down to business…
I’ve been borrowing raw cookbooks from the local library for a couple weeks now. I initially bought a couple, but I was so disappointed by the ones that I bought, even though they had 4+ ratings on Amazon. Borrowing these books works out a lot better for me, because I get to test drive some of the recipes and decide for myself if those recipes work. On Friday I got The Art of raw living food. I was excited not only to see recipe for wraps, but also one for a burrito. This recipe is my version of the Baja Burritos.
The tortilla (makes about 7-8 tortillas)
- 1 1/4 cup carrots shredded
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 1/2 cup brown flax seeds ground
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- Pinch of salt
- Put the carrots in a nut milk bag and squeeze as much juice as you can out of them.
- Add all ingredients into a food processor and process. You will see the mixture puff up. Stop when fully combined. The mixture should be pasty and not runny. If the mixture is very stiff, then add a little bit of water and keep processing until the mixture is pasty.
- Using a rubber spatula, put the mixture onto non stick sheets. (Note: the sheets need to be non stick, otherwise it will definitely stick to the trays). Try to make your torillas as thin as possible. The thickness will affect the drying time.
- Dehydrate on 135 degrees for one hour. At this point, the top should be done. Flip the tortillas directly onto the trays (no non stick required here since the bottoms are done drying).
- At this point, you can score the tortillas and make them the size you would like.
- Dehydrate on 105 degrees until both sides are done. For me this took another hour.
- Store in an air tight container and use within 5 days.
Place all ingredients in the food processor
Process until the dough looks like this
Place the dough into your dehydrator sheets. (Note: my Nesco does not have non stick sheets, and so I tried parchment paper. This worked as a non stick surface, BUT did not allow the heat to pass through the tray, which is why I do not recommend doing this)
Jalapeno Cheese (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup almonds (unsoaked)
- juice of half lemon
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp chili powder (I used this recipe)
- 1/2 roma tomato (insides scooped out)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 jalapeno pepper with seeds
- Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
Place all ingredients in the food processor
The jalapeno cheese combined
- Add any vegetables you would like: I suggest spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, and zucchini.
- Add any garnishes you would like.
- Add the jalapeno cheese.
- Roll the burrito and add as many toppings as you like.
Jalapeno cheese and another topping, red bell pepper puree
Burrito with jalapeno cheese and red pepper puree
Since changing my diet, there have been very few things that I miss. But one thing that I do miss terribly are Wheat Thins. Especially when those lovely crackers go on sale at Safeway for $1.88 a box, like the last time I was there. I swear that my hand almost reached out and grabbed one before I could stop myself. Honestly it’s kind of scary that these crackers are so cheap…
Anyhow, I have been looking around and found several Wheat Thin recipes that are raw, but none of them worked for me. I made several with very disappointing results. Here I will show you the recipe I developed. The only thing I am still working on is the seasoning. Therefore I will leave that part of the recipe up to you. Otherwise these crackers have a wonderful texture without using too many nuts or flax seeds.
Oat and Almond “Wheat Thins” (makes roughly 3 cups of crackers)
- 1 cup oats ground into flour
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour made from almond pulp
- 1/8 cup flax seeds
- 5/8 cup filtered water
- 1 1/2 tbsp of agave
- 1 to 2 tbsp seasoning (I recommend more rather than less)
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp of salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- Place the filtered water in a small bowl and add the flax seeds. Cover and let sit for 4-6 hours.
- Grind the oats into a flour.
- Place the oats and almond flour into a large bowl.
- Add the flax seed “gel” into the flour and mix until combined.
- Add the agave and oil and combine.
- Add the seasoning including the salt and combine.
- Add the sesame seeds and fold in.
- Place the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Fold the paper in half over the mixture. (The parchment paper should be double the size of the working surface.)
- Use a rolling pin and roll the mixture to the desired thickness. (You can choose how thin or thick you want the crackers to be.)
- Score the dough into the size of crackers you desire. I recommend using a pizza cutter if you have one.
- Sprinkle salt on top of the dough.
- Place the crackers in the dehydrator. You do not need to use teflex sheets.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour.
- If the crackers are still not dry enough for your taste, then after one hour, reduce to 105 degrees and continue to dehydrate until done.
Enjoy these with:
- Almond butter
- Jam or jellies
- Any other dips you would like
Flax seeds soaked
Oats, almond flour and flax seed gel mixed
Dough after rolling
Crackers in the dehydrator
Crackers with homemade almond butter
I’m sad to admit, but I ate my first macaroon only this year. I was at the Fairmont for a work event and there were some small treats for the customers. During the afternoon sessions, I finally caved and tried one, and they were amazing. So I was glad that I stumbled upon a post for raw vegan macaroons, and I thought, I would make my own. My recipe is based on the post by gliving and can be found here.
Strawberry Nutella Macaroons (Makes about 18 macaroons)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp strawberry puree
- 1 1/2 cup shredded light coconut flakes
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla
- Stevia drops to taste (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup raw nutella (recipe can be found here)
- Puree the strawberries. Do not leave chunks.
- Combine the strawberry puree, coconut flakes, coconut oil, vanilla and approximately 1/2 tsp of stevia in a food process, and pulse until the coconut oil i combined.
- Taste and add stevia to taste. Do not make the cookie mixture too sweet. It should just be lightly sweet.
- Take a 1 tsp spoon for each cookie and place on a flat surface.
- Using a measuring cup (I used 1/4 cup measure), press the bottom against each cookie and press until you feel some resistance and stop. Use your fingers to reform the cookie if it breaks.
- Place the cookies on a mesh dehydrator sheet.
- Dehydrate on 115 degrees until the cookies are slightly dry on the outside, but still moist on the inside. (For me this took about 2 hours.)
- Separate the cookies into pairs. For one cookie in each pair, place the flat side up.
- Scoop 1/2 tsp nutella onto the flat side of one cookie in each pair.
- Using your palm, take the other cookie and press down to form the macaroon.
Happy Friday! I needed a little pick me up after my long work week. Ever since I heard you could make raw nutella, I’ve been dying to try it. And I thought that since I don’t eat bread, what better way to eat it, but in ice cream? No better way! This recipe is so ridiciously delicious, you’ll wonder how it can possibly be healthy.
Nutella (makes roughly 1 1/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 cup of hazelnuts (unsoaked)
- 1 tsp stevia liquid
- 7 tbsp raw cacao
- 4 dates
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup filtered water
- Place hazelnuts in a food process or high speend blender (high speed blender is highly preferred).
- Process hazelnuts until it resembles meal.
- Add the dates and about 1/2 tsp stevia liquid. Continue processing for a bit.
- Stop and add the raw cacao and process until the nutella looks like a paste.
- Add 1/4 cup water and continue processing. If the nutella is still pasty (meaning very thick), then continue adding the water. Process until smooth.
- Taste. Add more stevia if the nutella is not sweet enough for you, and process to incorporate.
- Store in an air tight container.
When hazelnuts are mealy, add the dates and stevia
If you continue mixing and the hazelnuts will not break down, add the water.
Complete thick nutella spread
Banana Nutella Ice Cream
- 3 bananas (ripe)
- 1/4 cup nutella
- 1/8 cup filtered water and more if needed
- 1 handful of walnuts for each serving
- Peel and cut the bananas into pieces.
- Place in an air tight container and store in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- Take the bananas out of the freezer and place into a food processor.
- Process until smooth. Do not over process. You can also leave small chunks of banana unprocessed if you would like.
- Remove from processor/blender and move to mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add the nutella and 1/8 cup water. Using a metal spoon, mix until the nutella resembles a pudding (adding more water as necessary).
- Add the nutella/water mixture to the banana ice cream. Mix lightly until combined.
- Store in a container in your freezer.
Add the frozen bananas into the food processor
Completed banana ice cream
The mixed nutella and water
Add the nutella into the banana ice cream
Mix the nutella and banana ice cream until combined
Top with walnuts and serve
Happy Thursday, or day before Friday!
I was looking for something to do with some ripe avocados, but didn’t want to make another pesto. So I thought, why not try guacamole with some raw veggies? Sounds bland, right? Not necessarily. I found a wonderfully simple recipe for guacamole on The Rawtarian. The recipe can be found here. I used basically the same recipe, but I didn’t use hard measurements, but something like this:
Guacamole Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients for the guacamole:
- 1 part avocado (plus another part diced avocado reserved)
- 1 part tomato (with the seeds taken out)
- 1/4 part sweet onion
- 1/4 part cilantro
- 1 squeeze of a lemon
- 1 pinch of salt
Note: What I mean by one part, is that if you use 1/4 cup avocado, then the reserve 1/4 cup avocado, use 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/8 cup onion, etc.
- Use a fork or food processor to process 1 part avocado until smooth.
- Add in the other part avocado.
- Cut the tomatoes, cilantro and sweet onion (rough dice).
- Add in the tomatoes, cilantro and sweet onion to the avocado mixture and fold in with spoon.
- Add in the lemon juice and salt and mix.
Constructing the lettuce wrap:
- Use 2 romaine leaves for each wrap.
- Julienne 1/4 zucchini.
- Thinly slice 3 small mushrooms (I used cremini mushrooms).
- Add the zucchini and mushrooms on the romaine lettuce.
- Add the guacamole on top.
Add the tomatoes, onions and cilantro