Sunday, 31 March 2013

raw brownies with berry + banana sorbet

These are like a fruit heaven with chocolate gates. That was my first thought as I bit into one anyways. I don't make sense so maybe you shouldn't listen to me. At the same time... I made this for you so maybe you SHOULD. Who doesn't want creamy berry and banana sorbet lovingly smooshed between two raw brownies? Is "smooshed" a word? Do I know? What is the meaning of life? Did I brush my teeth this morning?

You may have noticed I've been using a lot of frozen fruit in my recipes lately and that's because I keep forgetting to go grocery shopping for fresh produce. But I am actually doing just fine - drinking a lot of smoothies, basically. And I mean, clearly frozen fruit is awesome because it IS fruit. As I was washing dishes I realized that "fit" is included in "fruit". Fruit = fit! Hah... see what I did there? Why so many questions in this post? Did YOU brush your teeth today? 

I will be enjoying these with my girlfriend later tonight, while we watch Pocahontas. Can we get any cooler? I have an answer this time: no, we cannot. Watching 90's Disney movies and eating this recipe is the highest possible level of cool. Now you know. So get you beautiful bum in the kitchen and get un-cooking.

You're gonna have a bit of extra sorbet but this is NOT a bad thing; make it into a smoothie or eat it up with a spoon. Oh, yes.

raw brownie berry sorbet towers: makes two towers

1/2 cup raw nuts or oats
1/2 cup raisins or dates
2 tablespoon hemp seeds
2-3 tablespoons cacao powder
Pinch of cinnamon and chili powder 

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
3 tablespoon maple syrup or other liquid like water or vegan milk

To make the brownies: pulse the walnuts, hemp seeds and cacao in your food processor until they become a rough flour, then add the raisins, cinnamon and chili and process until it sticks together in a rough dough. Press into circles with a cookie cutter and put in the fridge or freezer until solid (about 30 minutes). 

Make the sorbet: SEPARATELY blend the banana, strawberries and blueberries until smooth like sorbet, adding 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to each, if you want to. This simply makes it creamier and sweeter. It doesn't NEED the extra sweetness so you could add water or vegan milk instead. Keep in the freezer until you are ready to make the towers. 

Assembly: spread the different sorbets onto your base brownie as you like, then top each one off with another brownie. Sprinkle with berries, coconut, cacao nibs and whatever else you like. Eat right away or keep in the freezer. Enjoy! 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

jewel fruit tart with caramel almond filling

This simple recipe is sure to please those skeptical that delicious desserts can also be healthy. Although there is nothing like a fresh-picked bowl of berries in the summer, I love the way frozen berries glisten with frost; I think they look like gems or jewels. Jewels packed with anti-oxidants! The beeest kind. 

I made this tart for a friend's housewarming party this evening, which I am looking forward to attending. The new house is right by the beach and the weather is gorgeous today so I anticipate a beach walk tonight, after we all enjoy the berry goodness positively overflowing in the walnut raisin crust of this recipe. 

I was going to keep it extremely minimal and just make the crust then fill it with fruit and be done (to be honest, extremely minimal would be just bringing fruit... but too bad) but I decided to make an almond caramel filling that I put the berries on top of. You can leave it simple or add the sweet filling - up to you, as always!

fruit tart with caramel almond filling: 

2 cups walnuts
2 cups raisins

Filling (optional but recommended):
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup or 1/2 cup date paste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Water, if needed

3 cups frozen berries (or however much you want)
1/2 cup goji berries

To make the crust: pulse the walnuts in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the raisins and process until it stick together, forming a rough dough. Press into a tart tin. Put in the fridge and let it set for about 2 hours (this is preferable but not absolutely necessary). 

To make the filling: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Spread gently into the bottom of your tart crust and then let it harden in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Now top the tart off with all the berries, slice and serve! 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

berry ice cream cake with chocolate eggs, pistachios and cinnamon

Here is my Easter gift to you! I actually had no idea what I was going to make until I began getting out ingredients yesterday morning and even as I was making it, I still didn't have a clear idea what it was going to end up being. But look how it turned out! It's just a sign of how easy raw food recipes are. Yeah, man. Yeah. 

I'll give it to ya straight: this recipe is an ice cream cake made of bananas and cashews with different layers of strawberry and blueberry. On top is a nest of cinnamon sticks surrounding coconut cream eggs. The "eggs" are simply dates filled with coconut oil, covered in raw chocolate. I also sprinkled on some chopped pistachios for colour and edged the cake with more cinnamon sticks. 

I admit - I have been making mostly banana ice cream cakes lately, but I just can't stop. They are so easy and you can do almost anything you want with them, as you can see in my last few recipes. Anyways, Easter colours are usually light shades of pink, green, blue and yellow and so I think I got most of those covered with this recipe. Not the yellow but hey, I can't do everything. Wait a sec - does sunshine count?

Before I made this cake, I was really wanting to make SOMETHING with some kind of raw vegan creme egg because they are such a popular Easter dessert component. But I was at a blank for ideas. Then it hit me when I took out my dates as I was making the ice cream part - I could make eggs from dates! So I filled them with coconut oil, covered them in raw chocolate and sprinkled on some chia, hemp and black sesame seeds. They turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. *Proud face*

berry ice cream cake with chocolate eggs, pistachios and cinnamon: 

Vanilla ice cream cake layer:
1 banana
2/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup dates
1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry layer
1 banana
2/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup dates
1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 strawberries

Blueberry layer:
1 banana
2/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup dates
1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 blueberries 

Chocolate cream eggs:
3 dates
1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional) 
Raw chocolate, in liquid form 

Cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup chopped pistachios 

To make the ice cream cake layers: blend the ingredients from each list separately and until smooth, adding as little water as possible. Then spread each layer into a spring form on top of one another, gently stirring together some parts of the layers with a spoon. This will give it a swirl effect. Put in the freezer for a few hours until it's set. 

To make the "eggs": take the pits out of the dates carefully, not pulling them apart completely. Fill each one with a tiny bit of coconut oil, if using, then cover in liquid chocolate and put in the fridge or freezer until hardened. 

Assembly: take the cake out of the spring form pan. Place a few tiny cinnamon stick in circle like a nest, and put the chocolate eggs in the middle. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios around the egg nest and line the sides of the cake with cinnamon sticks. Enjoy! Store in the freezer if you don't eat it all right away. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

raw lasagna with cashew cheese and broccoli sun-dried tomato pesto

I know, FINALLY something that isn't a dessert. Sorry I have a major sweet tooth, okay. Believe it or not, I do eat things other than raw cake and chocolate in the daytime. Usually I keep it simple with fruit, juice, smoothies, salads and sometimes zuke pasta but I also like to get fancy sometimes. I've been wanting to make raw lasagna for you and tonight I did! It was a very quick, spontaneous, improvised recipe that ended up (thank goodness) being quite tasty. 

I made a simple cashew cheese with garlic, rosemary and lemon and then a "pesto" (I don't know what else to call it that sounds nice) of sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli. Like I said, I improvised. Mostly because I am running out of fresh produce and really must go shopping. It is a scary feeling, being myself, when you know you are running out of bananas. 

I don't like doing the same thing over and over again so after making one serving of lasagna, I made rolls with the rest of the zucchini strips and fillings. Mmm... spirals of raw whole food goodness in each bite. I wanna get back to the kitchen now so I can A) clean up the mess I made, but more importantly, B) to eat the rest of these!

lasagna with cashew cheese and broccoli sun-dried tomato pesto: serves 3-4

Lasagna noodles:
1 zucchini

Cashew cheese:
2/3 cup cashews
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional) 
Salt and pepper, to taste
Water, as needed

Sun-dried tomato and broccoli pesto: (or use the pesto recipe here)
1/2 head of broccoli
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes 
1 tablespoon olive oil (only if your sun-dried tomatoes aren't already stored in oil)
Salt, pepper and dried herbs, to taste
Water, as needed 

Other layerings:
Basil leaves

To make the noodles: slice the zucchini on a mandolin. Or very thinly with a sharp knife. Set aside. 
To make the cheese: blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth and thick, adding as little water as possible. Set aside. 
To make the pesto: blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth and thick, adding as little water as possible.
Assembly: layer the noodles with the pesto, cheese and whatever you else you like, alternating as you go. If you want, make roll ups too! Enjoy. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

blueberry strawberry banana ice cream cake

All I've eaten today is blended frozen fruit which ends up being like ice cream, or this recipe. I love my life. This cake is one delicious demon. It is creamy, sweet, fresh, tart and colourful all at once. Actually that has nothing to do with demons so never mind that. Plus it is super easy to make (surprise, surprise) and can be eaten the same day you make it. I'm probably going to eat 3/4 for my dinner tonight.

Cannot. Resist. Fruit. 

I ran out of bananas (it felt the freaking raw vegan apocalypse over here) so I used walnuts in the berry layer for creaminess. If you don't want to use that many nuts, because there's also cashews in the vanilla ice cream cake layer, then use another banana or one cup of dates. And another option is to decorate the finished cake with chocolate drizzle. You know my stance on chocolate - you can't go wrong with it. 

Random note: I AM SO EXCITED, and not just because of this cake. Because then it wouldn't be random, now would it? I have found an internet location which will provide me with the best songs ever, for free, whenever I want them. I'm set for at least a year. It's Annie Mac's Soundcloud, where she gives you awesome free songs each week. Holy crap I just downloaded like a billion tracks and love every single one. You should do the same, and hopefully react the same. Let me know. 

Anyways - back to ice cream cake. I am seriously getting stoked about the increasing amount of sunshine here. The birds are chirping, the grass is growing, I feel the green slowly coming back and I want to run outside and plant seeds everywhere. The sunshine makes me think of growing my strawberries, which makes me want to eat strawberries...

So, here. Strawberries. 

blueberry strawberry banana ice cream cake: 

10 strawberries for outside, cut in half

Vanilla ice cream cake layer
2 cups cashews
2 bananas
1 cup dates
1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod (or 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
Vegan milk or coconut water, as needed 

Berry layer
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup fave vegan milk or coconut water, use as needed
1 cup dates, walnuts or another banana 

To make the first layer: place the halved strawberries around the edge of a spring form pan. Set aside. Now blend all the vanilla ice cream cake ingredients together until smooth, adding as little vegan milk or coconut water as possible (I used about 1/4 cup?). Spread into the bottom of the pan, this should press the berries to the inner edge. Put in the freezer.

To make the berry layer: blend it all up until smooth. Carefully spread over top of the vanilla ice cream cake layer and put in the freezer for about 2 or 3 hours, until it's set. Then cut and serve with other berries! Let it soften a little before eating, because it makes it creamier.

Friday, 22 March 2013

raw chocolate molten lava cakes with goji berries

Holy cow. If you like chocolate, you'll love this. It's like a mega awesome super chocolate party in your mouth which this results in an excellent, ethereal sense of well being. Don't worry if it sounds too intense - I know you can handle it. You're stronger than you think. Like an ant lifting 100 times your body weight. I will change the subject now because I feel this getting weird.

I remembered a few weeks ago that before I went vegan - and baking was my favourite new hobby - my specialty was a chocolate souffle that ended up being a lava cake because I took them out of the oven right before the inside baked so you got a soft chocolate cake surrounding a gooey middle. I figured I better make it raw and vegan. So here ya go, cutie pie. Indulge guilt-free. In fact, indulge PROUDLY.

I used cacao butter instead of coconut oil for the liquid center just for a change and LOVED it. Geez. The cacao plant gives us endless delicious food options. Just listen to this guy rave about the godly benefits of cacao here. You may have heard about the cacao controversy in the raw food world (or not...) - my personal stance on it is that I feel great after eating it, and ancient civilizations have consumed it since like the dawn of time without an issue. Case closed for me. Chocoholic for life, in the haus yo. 

This weekend I am planning on doing a whole lot of not much. If you came to my house - that would be creepy - you will find me sleeping, reading, watching old movies (who else loves Nosferatu from 1922!? Holla!) and making more goodies for you. And probably eating them all myself. Don't make fun of me. Oh! but I AM gonna be semi-productive and write a philosophy paper... at some point.

raw chocolate molten lava cakes with goji berries: makes about four cakes

1/3 cup each of raw oats, walnuts, dates, and raisins
1/4 cup cacao powder

Molten lava middle:
1/3 cup each of melted cacao butter, maple syrup, dates, and cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt, and chili powder
Nut milk, as needed 

To make the cakes: pulse the oats, walnuts and cacao powder in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the dates and raisins and process until it all starts to stick together. Using about 2/3 of the mix (you have to save some for the tops), press into the bottom and sides of lined cupcake tins and put in the fridge. Use the rest of the mix to make the tops by pressing it into cookie molds the same diameter of your cupcake tins. Put  those in the fridge as well.

To make the molten middle: blend all ingredients until smooth, adding the milk as needed to make it creamy and a "molten" consistency (whatever that means... hopefully you know). Take the cakes out of the cupcake molds and pour the molten mixture into each one, filling up almost to the top. Now carefully press the tops onto the cakes, gently pressing together the edges. Flip over and decorate with cacao nibs and goji berries. Eat da lava, mohn. 

A few substitution options: to make these gluten-free, use buckwheat groats instead of oats. If you don't want to use cacao, use coconut oil instead of cacao butter and carob instead of cacao powder. 

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