Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raw Lemon Drop Balls

As a kid, I loved going over to Grandma's house. She always had the best toys and treats. I vividly recall a beautiful white crystal candy jar that she always had filled with lemon drops and butterscotch. Of course, I had to sneak a couple of each when I was there. :) With these fond memories, here's my adult version of lemon I need to work on the butterscotch!

2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 tablespoons raw honey
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded

Place all ingredients except the coconut in a food processor and blend until a cohesive dough forms, scraping down the sides as needed. Place coconut in a small separate bowl and set aside. Pinch off small sections of dough and roll into 1 inch sized balls using the palms of your hands. Repeat with remaining dough. Toss one ball at a time into the coconut shreds to coat the outside. You may need to wash your hands a couple of times during the process if they become to sticky. Store in the fridge for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for several weeks.

Orange Salad with Sweet Lime Dressing

This is an easy salad that anyone can whip up in just minutes. The oranges give it a bit of sweetness while the lime dressing offers a bit of tartness. The addition of pumpkin seeds add a wonderful crunch that pulls this salad together.

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz organic mixed greens
2 organic oranges, peeled and segmented
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), lightly toast if preferred
2 medium carrots

Combine lime juice, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until dressing emulsifies. Set aside. Make long strips out of the carrots using a vegetable peeler. Set aside. Next place salad mix in two separate individual bowls. Top each bowl with equal amounts of orange segments and carrot strips. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top. Serve immediately with lime dressing.

Raw Apricot Macaroons

I went home to visit my Dad recently so I wanted to make him something special. He loves apricots and coconuts so I mixed the two together and came up with a wonderful fruit cookie. Within one day he ate them all so they must have won his approval. I'll definitely be making these again for him soon....

2 cups dried apricots
3 cups dried unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
Pinch of Sea Salt

Soak the apricots for 3-6 hours in enough water to cover the top by 1 inch. Drain and save water for smoothies or drinking. Blend all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a cohesive dough forms, scraping down the sides as needed. Pinch of a small section of the dough and form into a cookie shape. Place on a mesh dehydrator screen or parchment paper and dehydrate for 15-18 hours or until they are soft on the inside but firm on the outside. Store in the fridge for several weeks.

Raw Mayan Brownies

I'm passionate about Mayan hot chocolate so it was a given that I should try to make spicy Mayan brownies. I'm really happy I did too because these came out fabulous and are a great pick me up in the middle of the afternoon. The rich dark chocolate comes through boldly and is followed by a slight heat from the cayenne, chili and ginger making it a great "heat and sweet" mix that will leave you satisfied!

1/2 virgin coconut oil, softened
1 cup dried cherries sweetened with fruit juice
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with hands leaving bits of whole cherries. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a food processor until a cohesive dough forms. Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with parchment paper and spread mixture evenly into the pan. Cover and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm. Remove from freezer and let soften for 10-20 minutes and cut into small squares. Store in an air tight container for several weeks in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raw Banana Oat Bars

Talk about bananalicious! These banana oat bars are incredible and packed with healthy ingredients. They are my version of banana bread which I love. They have the same sweet banana flavor but are served cold which is better in the summer heat anyway....

1 banana, very ripe
2 cups raw oats
1 cup raw almond butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a cohesive dough forms. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch pan with parchment paper and spread dough evenly into pan. Cover and place in the freezer for 12 hours allowing flavors to come together. Cut into squares. If too hard, let soften a bit before cutting. Store in freezer for only one to two weeks or they may lose their freshness and flavor. Makes 16-20 bars.

*You can replace the almond butter with peanut butter if you prefer an added peanut taste.

Raw Cocoa Sesame Halva "Beauty Balls"

Halva refers to many types of nut butter based sweets served across the Middle East. Here I used sesame which is a popular ingredient in Halva. I also call them beauty balls because regular consumption of sesame with strengthen you hair, skin and nails. So I eat what I love and like what I see in the mirror....bonus!

1 cup raw sesame seeds
1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup raw honey (place jar in warm water to soften if needed)
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend sesame seeds in a food processor until you have a coarse texture while scraping down the sides as needed. Add cocoa, cinnamon and sea salt to the to the food processor and pulse several times to mix well. Place mixture in bowl and add honey, tahini and vanilla. Mix with hands until a cohesive dough forms. Pinch off dough and roll between hands forming about 1 inch sized balls. These will store in the fridge for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for several months. Makes 20-25 balls.

* Did you know that sesame seeds contain more protein per weight than any other seed or nut???

Raw Fruit Muesli Cereal

This cereal is so much better than anything you will find in a box! I couldn't believe how tasty it was the first time I tried it. It also filled me up so much that I was full until lunch....normally I eat a snack (or two) between breakfast and lunch so this is VERY filling. :)

2 cups raw oat flakes
1 cup dried apples, chopped
8 Medjool dates, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries sweetened with fruit juice
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. To serve, place your desired portion in a bowl and top with your favorite raw nut milk. Eat immediately or cover and let sit for 30 minutes for oats to soften and flavors to mix. Top will fresh fruit if desired. Store in an air tight container for several months.

Raw Maple Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a great substitute for regular oatmeal cookies which my husband loves. So it's amazing that he thinks these are better than the real thing! I give the credit to the real maple syrup and cinnamon which give them a deep rich flavor. They are truly fantastic!

10 Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup oat groats (steel cut oats), can use "old fashioned oats" for a chewier texture
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of Sea Salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a cohesive dough forms. Pinch off a spoonful of dough and form into a cookie shape. Continue with rest of dough. Place in an air tight container and freeze for one or two hours until cookies are firm. Cookies can be stored in freezer for several months.

*These will not freeze when kept in the freezer. Instead they stay nice and chewy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thai Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is bursting with peanut flavor and a bit of spice. It's cool and refreshing during the hot months of summer and can stand up great as a one dish meal making for an easy dinner.

4 garlic cloves
1/4 soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons ginger, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 chili paste
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other light oil

3 cups roasted chicken, shredded (preferably pastured organic)
3 cups Napa cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup red or orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup roasted peanuts or sesame seeds

Puree first 7 ingredients in blender. While machine is running, slowly add oil and blend until dressing is smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cabbage, carrot, pepper, onion, and cucumbers. Top with peanuts and dressing. Serve immediately

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Raw Pepita Seed Brittle

This is my raw version of Pepita brittle. It's so much easier to make than the cooked version and far healthier too. The hardest part is not eating it before its placed into the dehydrator!

1 cup raw Pepita's (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw honey
3/4 tsp sea salt

Soak seeds for 4-6 hours in purified water. Drain and rinse and let drip dry for a few minutes. Place Pepita's, sunflower seeds and salt in a food processor and pulse several times until slightly grounded but still chunky. Pour mixture into a bowl and mix with honey. If honey it hardened, place jar in a bowl of warm water until softened. Flattened the mixture out in a dehydrator screen and dehydrate for 18-24 hours. Let cool for 30 minutes. Mixture hardens after cooling. Break into pieces after hardened. Brittle will keep for several days in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shaved Carrot and Squash Salad

This is a simple yet elegant salad that makes a great side dish. The long thin strips are made with a vegetable peeler and make the salad easy to eat. Even kids will enjoy this salad with the fun long strips...

2 small summer squash
3 carrots
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

Trim the ends off summer squash and carrots. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash and carrots lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and minced garlic. Pour dressing over squash and carrot mixture. Let stand for a few minutes and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Raw Chocolate Fudge

This fudge is so good that I keep some around at all times. I like it best frozen as it takes longer to eat and I can enjoy it more slowly. It also reminds me a little of chocolate ice cream which makes me feel like a kid again.

2 cups raw cashews
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey OR 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce mixed with 1 tsp stevia powder

Place cashews in a food processor until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients until mixture is completely smooth. Spread mixture in an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper. Place in refrigerator or freezer until firm.
*If freezing, it's best to cut it into chunks after about an hour before it's completely frozen.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Raw Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Frosting

This was the first raw cake I ever made, and it turned out great! It looks complicated, but it's actually super easy. You only need a little patience as you have to freeze each layer before moving on to the next one. However, the yumminess of this cake is completely worth the wait and just look at the beautiful product!

1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups pitted dates, packed
1/2 cut dried apricots or mango, soaked 3-6 hours
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups almond meal or almond pulp (from making almond milk)
1-3 tbsp ground flax, if needed
1-2 tbsp honey, if needed
Finely grind walnuts in a food processor and set aside. Process the next four ingredients until smooth. Add the walnuts and the almond meal or pulp and continue blending into a smooth dough like texture. If the dough is too dry add a tiny bit of water. If the dough is too moist, add some ground flax seed. Add honey if dough needs some added sweetness. Chill until ready to assemble cake.

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp coconut oil, softened
Add the cashews to a food processor until finely ground. Next add the remaining ingredients and continue blending until smooth. Chill in fridge.

Vanilla Creme Filling
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut butter
Pinch of Sea Salt
Add cashews to a food processor until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending until smooth. Chill in fridge.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that it's hanging over the sides. This makes for easy removal of the cake. Press 1/3 of cake mixture inot the pan. Spread half of the Vanilla creme on top. Chill in freezer until slightly hardened about one hour.
Next press another 1/3 of cake into the pan. Spread the second half of the vanilla creme on top. Chill again in freezer until slightly hardened.
Spread the last 1/3 cake on top. Chill in freezer until slightly hardened.
Remove cake from loaf pan which should be easy if lined with parchment paper. Frost with blueberry frosting.
Garnish with dried coconut shreds or fresh blueberries if desired. Chill cake in fridge or freezer until firm before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Homemade Almond Milk

I simply adore homemade almond milk. The flavor is alive unlike the store bought kind and has a mild amaretto taste. You can drink it on its own or leave it unsweetened and use in place of anything that calls for milk.

1 cup almonds (soaked 6-8 hours)
3 cups filtered water
3 dates, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp maple syrup, pinch of stevia or other sweetener of choice
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1-3 minutes depending upon the power of your blender. Strain the liquid through a sprout bag, cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to separate pulp from liquid. Transfer to container of choice and keep in refrigerator. Milk will keep for 3 or 4 days. Shake well before using.
*Save pulp for use in other recipes. For an example, see my apricot almond cookie recipe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Raw Apricot Almond Cookies

This is my version of milk and cookies. The cookies can be made from the left over almond pulp with saves money and makes double use out of your almond. What you end up with is a chewy morsel bursting with tasty apricots!

1 cup almond pulp (left over from making almond milk) or 1 cup finely ground almonds
1 cup organic dried apricots (soaked for 1-3 hours)
1 cup organic dried dates (soaked for 1-3 hours)
1 cup organic unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Drain soaked apricots and dates saving the water for later use. Add all ingredients for a food process with the s-blade until well ground. Use the reserved water for the food processor to run if necessary. Process until a soft dough forms. Form mixture into 1 inch balls then flatten into the shape of a cookie. Dry in a dehydrate at 115 degrees until they are firm but still chewy about 8-12 hours depending upon your dehydrator.