Wednesday, 27 February 2013

vanilla torte with chocolate "buttercream" frosting & maca slices

I fashioned this recipe after something called a Dobos torte. A reader asked me to make a raw version of it just as I was brainstorming what to make next... (fate or coincidence?) Whatever your beliefs, I think this turned out pretty yumtastically.
Yes, I do invent words.

Luckily most of you won't know what a Dobos torte is so I'm off the hook for not recreating it that well. It's supposed to be a vanilla sponge cake, thinly layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with hard caramel slices. I didn't make enough layers because (a) this cake doesn't need that many layers to make it filling and satisfying; I didn't want to make each slice a challenge to eat because it was too much and (b) I just didn't make enough cake or frosting. I'M NOT PERFECT, OKAY.

I chose to make maca slices on top because I couldn't think of anything to make a raw HARD caramel from. Date caramel is out-of-this-freaking-universe-delicious but it's not the right consistency for this. So maca powder blended with coconut oil, which turns solid here at room temperature (thanks, chilly Northern climates) did the trick and looks fairly decent, in my own subjective opinion. What say you?

If you'd like to use avocado instead of cashews, go ahead. I would have done that but my avocados chose to go rotten without telling me. What jerks. Just because they're sexy, beautiful and everyone loves them - they think they can do whatever they want. (Okay but actually I was just oblivious and let them go bad. Shut up.)

vanilla torte with chocolate "buttercream" & maca slices: 

1 cup oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
1-2 cups dates
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod 

1 cup cashews (or 1 avocado) 
1/4 cup cacao
1/4 cup melted liquid coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup, date paste, or other sweetener
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Maca slices:
2 tablespoons each of maca powder, liquid coconut oil, and maple syrup 

To make the cake: pulse the oats and groats in your food processor until they are small crumbs. Add the dates and vanilla and process until it all sticks together slightly. Put in a bowl and set aside. 

To make the frosting: if you're using an avocado just throw everything in and blend. If not, pulse the cashews in your food processor until they become very fine crumbs, basically cashew butter. Add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Put in a fridge. 

Make the maca slices: blend the ingredients together then spread into a circle the same diameter as your cake. Let it harden in the fridge, this might take an hour or so. 

Assemble the thing: on parchment paper, press about 1/3 of the cake mixture into a thin circle layer with your hands. You can use a pan to help you shape it or draw a circle and use that to guide you. Transfer this carefully onto your presentation plate. Spread on 1/3 of the frosting evenly. Make another layer on the parchment paper and transfer it onto the first layers of cake and frosting. Continue until you run out. Cut the maca circle into eight slices and place on top of your cake. THEN EAT IT.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

glowing morning juice

Okay I seriously have no time to write this post right now so I'm gonna speed type the recipe below and hope you make this ASAP. I'm off to write a mid-term exam and have all the confidence in the world that this gorgeous green elixir will give me all the energy and brain power I need to ace it! 

glowing morning juice for energy: 

1 cucumber
1 bunch kale (maybe 5 cups?)
3 celery stalks
1 bell pepper
3 apples
1 cup mint leaves 

Juice it! Drink it! Love it!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

kombucha with goji berry green tea

My boyfriend says I should call this a love potion (or health potion). I'm going to save that title for a juice recipe that's coming up, but that doesn't mean it's not true for kombucha - this fermented mushroom tea is carefully made with love and so it makes loves! Oh... that sounded more sexual than I thought it would.

I'm going to be lazy here and just copy and paste this recipe from The Kitchn. (So the recipe below was not written by my hands.) There's nothing special about how I make my kombucha and the original process is tried and true. The only difference for my recipe is that I used goji berry green tea and agave nectar instead of white sugar. As long as there is a sugar for the bacteria to eat, it doesn't matter what kind it is. You could also use cane sugar. Whatever floats your boat. Or in this case... your baby mushroom.

I just found this good looking raw kombucha recipe which I will try for my next batch. I love GT's kombucha and it's entirely raw so there's my incentive. Plus... I obviously just like raw food.

The health benefits of kombucha are pretty awesome. I'm not saying that it's like a super miracle cure for all ailments or the secret to longevity - that comes with eating a whole foods, plant based diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly and laughing a lot - but this fermented mushroom tea definitely has it's perks. It's excellent for detoxification, your immune system, and keeping your digestive tract happy and healthy. It's got loads of good-for-you bacteria that help keep your gut clean and efficient. Try it out! Buy a bottle at your health food store, see if you like it. If so - try making your own.

kombucha with goji berry green tea:
3 1/2 quarts water
1 cup agave nectar/raw cane sugar
8 bags goji berry green tea (or whatever tea you prefer)
2 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored) kombucha
1 scoby per fermentation jar
Stock pot
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids, 6 swing-top bottles, or clean soda bottles


Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.
1. Make the Tea Base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sweetener to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.
2. Add the Starter Tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)
3. Transfer to Jars and Add the Scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar (or divide between two 2-quart jars, in which case you'll need 2 scobys) and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towels secured with a rubber band.
4. Ferment for 7 to 10 Days: Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won't get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically.
It's not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.
After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.
5. Remove the Scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick.
6. Bottle the Finished Kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle. (Alternatively, infuse the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another jar covered with cheesecloth, strain, and then bottle. This makes a cleaner kombucha without "stuff" in it.)
7. Carbonate and Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha: Store the bottled kombucha at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it's helpful to keep it in plastic bottles; the kombucha is carbonated when the bottles feel rock solid. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.
8. Make a Fresh Batch of Kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.

Friday, 22 February 2013

carob caramel tarts with coconut

These are just plain good. They are the perfect recipe for anyone because raw food skeptics will be like: "Oh snap. This is HEALTHY?" and you guys who already know raw vegan food is delish will say: "Mmm, what a wonderful world. I love Emily so much." Yes. You will say it.

Anyway, what I am saying is that this is a great treat to make for people you want to convince veganism is an awesome lifestyle and diet choice. They are straight up chocolate and caramel filled goodness that any mouth can appreciate. If you don't like chocolate, caramel or coconut... I'm worried about you. Seriously.

Now I have been saying "chocolate", but I've been lying. I do that. I actually used carob in this recipe because (a) I ran out of cacao but also (b) because I LOVE carob and felt it should get some recognition. Sometimes I prefer carob to chocolate, to be honest. It is a little sweeter and has a unique deliciousness all to it's own. I think it tastes fruitier.

Just like cacao, carob has a plethora of health benefits. It's got tons of antioxidants, fiber and nutrients. It has less fat than chocolate, and is sweeter. But if you really can't be swayed to try it - or you think it's nasty and gross - go ahead and sub in cacao or cocoa. I won't beat you up or anything. Although... I could. Vegan muscles yo. Thank you, kale and tempeh.

carob caramel tarts with coconut: makes about 7

1 cup cashews
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates

Caramel layer:
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt (optional) 
Water, as needed (around 1/4 cup) 

Carob layer:
1/4 cup carob 
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 cup dates (or maple syrup) 
Water, as needed (around 1/4 cup) 

To make the crust: pulse the nuts into crumbs in your food processor. Add the dates and process until it can stick together. Press into the bottom of lined tart or cupcake tins and set aside. 

To make the caramel: blend all in the ingredients together in your food processor or blender until smooth, adding as little water as possible. Spread into the bottom half of each tart crust and put in the fridge. 

To make the carob part: blend all in the ingredients together in your food processor or blender until smooth, adding as little water as possible. Spread on top of the caramel layer of each tart crust and put in the fridge until they have set, about 30-60 minutes. Take out of the molds, top with coconut flakes and enjoy!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

golden chocolate maca truffles

Okay, so these sort of failed. They taste great! But I used an old ice cube tray instead of a legitimate chocolate mold, and I also made my chocolate recipe too soft so they were even more difficult to get out. Anyways, the recipe is good - just be sure to use a REAL chocolate mold, or line whatever else you choose to use. I have tweaked the chocolate recipe to be firmer so you don't run into the same problem I did.

I've never used maca powder before but I received a bag of it (along with several other goodies which I will be writing a post on soon) from Nature's Happiness and I wanted to try it out right away. Apparently it has been used as medicine for a fairly long time and recently it has begun being touted as a super food, attracting health nuts around the globe. It helps to provide energy and restore hormonal balance, according to most sources.

It has a bit of a funny taste that may take some time for people to get used to, but I liked it right away. It's a mix between a caramel tone and something more savoury... almost like nutritional yeast. Weird but yummy! I'd like to remake this recipe soon with a real mold so they don't look like a rustic pyramid project.

chocolate maca truffles: makes about 15

1/3 cup agave/maple syrup/date paste
3/4 cup cacao or cocoa
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
Salt, vanilla, cinnamon, chili, etc. if desired 

maca filling:
2 tablespoons thick almond butter
2 tablespoons maca powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup 

To make the chocolate: blend all ingredients until smooth. Coat chocolate molds with 3/4 of the mixture and put in the fridge or freezer until hardened, setting the extra chocolate aside. 

To make the maca filling: blend all ingredients until smooth, then press into the hardened chocolate molds and spread the remaining chocolate evenly on top of each mold. Set in the fridge or freezer overnight, then take out of the molds and enjoy! 

Monday, 18 February 2013

back from tofino, back to the city

It was a wonderful little break in Tofino (on Vancouver Island) from the busy life I have created for myself here in Vancouver. I got to forget about work, school and the blog! To be honest, I missed making recipes, photographing them and writing for you guys. But I jumped right back into it - chocolate truffles are setting as I type.

Tofino has got to be one of my favourite places on the planet. I have visited a lot of places (on this continent) so that statement actually carries meaning. Vancouver Island is a home away from home because we - my nuclear family and I - have been going there for one week every year since I was a wee little baby. There's no other place that has the peace, tranquility, and contentedness that parts of the island have, as well as all the little islands to the east of it, between it and the mainland.

There's no big cities, and the residents live there because they have a passion for wilderness and simple living, and a dislike of consumerism and the daily stress of city life. I imagine I will live on Cortes Island (one of those little guys to the east of Van Island) for at least a short period of my life, maybe with my boyfriend. We could build a cabin (or find one), have a little garden, and focus on what's important - meditation; personal, spiritual and emotional growth; and connecting to the beautiful world around us!

Honestly, we don't do much when we are there - that's the whole point. We walk on the beach, watch the waves, storms, sunrises and sunsets, play games, read, and sleep in. The last couple years I have been bringing the Vitamix so I can have smoothies everyday. I also ate a lot of fruit each day, and had a large salad every night, along with some of what my family was eating - mostly cooked veggies and vegan meats. Gardein is seriously delicious, okay? 

We went into town one day and of course I visited the thrift shop. It is owned by a completely rad couple who seriously provide the definition for "far out". She makes jewelry from crystals, kelp and driftwood; I found two pieces I loved - one for me, one for the boyfriend. Mine is an amethyst wrapped in kelp and the one I bought for my beau is a chunk of the same stone embedded in a barnacle shell. 

I wish I were back there right now but alas, life is not about getting everything you want the moment you want it. Happiness comes from fulfilling your desires after you have overcome challenges to achieve them! Food tastes better after you exercise and likewise, relaxing breaks are better after you work for them. So until next year... I leave my heart with you, Tofino! Keep it safe for the next 12 months. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

fudgy raw brownies

Raw brownies are one of the best things in the world. They are - in my opinion - approximately 10,000 times more delicious than regular brownies and on top of that they are infinitely more healthy AND easy to make. I literally made these guys in ten minutes. They were promptly devoured in five.

I'd like to say that I won't be posting fora few days because I am going to Vancouver Island for an annual mini-vacation. Tofino, to be exact. There I will soak up the lovely rain, hug the ancient trees and frolic in the friendly sands. Oh, and probably pick up a few goodies in their raw food grocery store. It's a little town of surfers, hikers and all around kind hippies - I fit right in. See you soon!

fudgy raw brownies: makes 16

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups dates
  • 1/4 cup cacao (more or less)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground coffee beans (optional but recommended)
  • pinch of salt

Put everything in your food processor and process until it is all broken down and starting to stick together. Press a bit together with your fingers and see if it holds or crumbles. If it holds - press into a lined baking pan. If it crumbles, add a few more dates and process until it holds. Put the baking pan in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, then cut and eat! Great with fruit and nut milk.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

raw yam burgers & daikon fries with ketchup

Oh MAN, these are yummy. Fun and easy to make - what else is new? - and equally fun and easy to eat. They do get a tad messy but I trust you can handle this. It's family pizza and movie night at the von Euw household but this week I'm skipping the pizza and snarfing down one of these babies. (I don't literally mean an infant - I don't eat kids.) 

All that's in these burgers and fries is a whack load of vegetables and spices. Goes like this: throw stuff in the food processor, rub things with your hands, toss something in the dehydrator and you'll get a gourmet raw food meal in no time! (Okay, I may have simplified that process a little.) But seriously - it's pretty much that easy. Look at the colours of this food.

It's alive. I'm alive. Let's boogy. 

I didn't actually mean to get daikon for the fries - I was looking for jicama but the grocery store didn't carry it so I went with what there was. The fries turned out great, nonetheless! They have a fresh crunch and are superb with the ketchup. I should say this though - if you are new to raw food and the flavours that go with it - you may want to use jicama for the fries. The burgers are bursting with flavour and when you pile them up with fixing's and lettuce - there ain't no better option for dinner. 

yam burgers & daikon fries with ketchup: serves 5 or so

1 yam 
2/3 cup green onions (or onion)
1 red bell pepper
4 dates
5 tablespoons ground flax seeds
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
4 large mushrooms
4 garlic cloves 
Salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, basil, turmeric, paprika (to taste)

1 jicama root or daikon radish (the size depends on how many you're feeding)
1 teaspoon veg oil (optional but recommended)
Salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, basil, turmeric, paprika (to taste)

1-2 tomatoes
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
Salt (to taste)
3 dates
Water or lemon juice (as needed)

To make the burgers: prep the veggies as needed and cut them into chunks. Then pulse all the ingredients in your food processor until everything becomes a thick, wet-ish mixture, but don't pulse too long. You want pieces of the food still visible and you don't want it to be too wet. Adjust according to taste. Then form into patties and dehydrate for 3-4 hours, or use your oven at it's lowest temperature. You could eat them right away if you like, but they won't hold their shape too well. 

To make the fries: peel the daikon and slice into fries. Rub in the oil and spices. Dehydrate for 3 hours or in your oven at it's lowest temperature, (or you could eat them right away if you like).

To make the ketchup: blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth, adding liquid as needed. Adjust according to taste. Serve the burgers, fries and ketchup with lettuce, tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, onions, sprouts, avocado, and anything else you like. Enjoy!

Friday, 8 February 2013

raw vegan s'mores

Okay, these are really rummy and really rich. You aren't gonna need more than one. I was asking you guys what I should make for my next recipe and this was a suggestion, thus - you now have s'mores. I'm not going to lie and say these taste exactly like the original. They don't. But they are delicious in their own elegant way, so enjoy them for that reason. Don't try to compare them because they're not the same! The purpose of fashioning them after s'mores is to evoke those childhood memories of sitting around the campfire with loved ones, looking up at the stars, and being simply content with an ooey, gooey sugary treat in your hands. 

Hmm... not much has changed. 

raw s'mores: makes about 15

1 cup oats
1 cup dates
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup cashews
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup agave/maple syrup (or 1/2 cup dates)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Use my raw chocolate recipe, a vegan chocolate bar, or whatever.

To make the crackers: process the oats, groats, cinnamon and nutmeg in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the dates and molasses and process until it clumps together. Roll thinly on a baking sheet and cut into squares, then dehydrate at your ovens lowest temperature for about 3 hours, or use your dehydrator and dehydrator trays. 

To make the marshmallows: blend all the ingredients until smooth (in your food processor or blender) and then scoop the mixture into a lined small loaf pan, small enough so there is a thick layer. You could also use the bottom of ice cube trays. Just think: will they be marshmallow sized? Put in the fridge until solid, then cut as needed to get the shape you want. 

When your crackers are done (and preferably still warm) assemble the s'mores! 
Cracker, chocolate, marshmallow, cracker. Yum, yum, yum, yum.

this also best choice to make beef bourguignon if you are have party