Thursday, August 25, 2011

Raw Cinnamon Rolls

I used to love walking over to my Grandma's house for her famous made from scratch cinnamon rolls. She'd always have a fresh hot pan waiting for me and my friends which we'd quickly eat up. I can still smell the cinnamon that would fill her house from these fluffy delights. YUM...my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

In trying to create a healthy version of my Grandma's cinnamon rolls, I thought I'd try a raw version to make them as nutritious as possible. These turned out fantastic! Don't let the steps fool you, these are amazingly easy to make. :)

Ingredients:

Dough
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch sea salt

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup dried plums, chopped
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

Icing:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup almond meal for garnish, optional


Directions:

Dough - In a food processor, blend dates, coconut oil and vanilla until a paste forms. Add
almond meal, flax seed, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse until a cohesive dough forms. Add a bit of water if necessary. Remove and set aside.

Filling - In a food processor, add dates, plums, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and cashews. Blend until smooth adding a bit of water if necessary. Remove and set aside

Icing -
In a food processor, add cashews, honey, vanilla and water. Blend until smooth adding more water if necessary. Remove and set aside.

Method - Place your dough on a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll into a large rectangle shape about 1/8 inch thick. Damp your roller with a bit of water to prevent sticking! Next, spread the cinnamon filling on top of the dough using a flexible spatula.
Wet spatula to prevent sticking. Using the paper, roll dough into a log. Place in freezer a few minutes to firm up, then cut into sections of desired thickness. Place on a serving tray and top with icing. Garnish with almond meal if desired. Warm gently in oven or dehydrator if desired.





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Sweet Purple Power Crunch

This is my 2 year old son's new favorite salad recipe, and mine too! It's super sweet and crunchy with an unexpected orange based dressing. I also just love to look at this salad with it's amazing purple color contrasted by the pretty green pumpkin seed....it's beautiful! :)

Ingredients:

1 small head purple cabbage, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup purple raisins
1/2 cup raw pumpkin sees

1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Stevia or honey to taste

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

To a large bowl, add chopped cabbage, onion, raisins and pumpkin seeds. Set aside. To a small bowl, add orange juice, vinegar and olive oil and lightly whisk together. Add stevia or honey to taste. Pour onto cabbage mixture and lightly toss. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or allow to sit for 20 minutes for flavors to incorporate.

Kiwi Sorbet

Kiwi's are an amazing fruit. They are packed with vitamin C and have this amazing bright green color that is very unique. They are also a great meat tenderizer because they contain a protein dissolving enzyme. Because of this enzyme, you won't find them in any dairy based ice creams. Knowing this, but wanting a kiwi flavored ice cream, I came up with a kiwi sorbet instead. It's still creamy without the cream....and oh so yummy!

Ingredients:

10 kiwi
1/2 cup organic raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of stevia or honey to taste

Directions:

Peel and cut the kiwi into small chunks. Next, place in a freezer safe container and freeze for several hours until frozen. Once frozen, take out of the freezer and let soften for 15-20 minutes. Place frozen kiwi, raisins and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add honey or stevia to taste and pulse several times to mix. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

This is a yummy dressing that even kids will enjoy. It's sweet and takes seconds to blend in food processor or blender. It's also good to use as a marinate for chicken or mild fish too!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or pinch stevia
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients, except olive oil, to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Slowly add olive oil until well combined and emulsified.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Raw Carrot Cake

This has got to be one of the "World's Healthiest Carrot Cakes"! It's filled with raw whole ingredients and lots of yummy carrots and fresh spices. It's also the easiest carrot cake I've ever made so that's worth mentioning as well!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oat flakes
3/4 cup almonds
3/4 cup dates, pitted and soaked in water
8 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* Add stevia, maple syrup or honey to taste if additional sweetness is desired

1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons raw honey

Shredded carrot or orange peel for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Place oats in a food processor and grind into a flour. Pour flour into a large bowl.

Place almonds into food processor and grind until finely chopped. Place ground almonds in bowl with oat flour.

Drain dates (reserve water for smoothies or drinking) and place in food processor. Pulse several times until finely chopped. Place in bowl with oat flour.

Place carrots in food processor and grind until finely chopped. Place into bowl with oat flour.

Place flax, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger and additional sweetener if using in bowl with oat flour and mix well with hands. Place firmly into pie pan and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm.

Meanwhile make the icing by placing the cashews, orange juice and honey in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Pour on top of cake once chilled and enjoy! Garnish with shredded carrot or orange peel.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Apple Cranberry Stuffed Squash

This stuffing is slightly sweet and bursting with fall flavors. It would be a wonderful dish for the holidays or whenever you're craving something warm and hearty. I like to put this stuffing in squash but you can use other veggies such as red pepper or portabella mushrooms and it's equally delicious.

Ingredients:

2 Delicatula, Acorn or other squash of choice
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pecans
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup dried apples
1/3 cup dried cranberries sweetened with juice
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sage powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place in a baking pan cut side down. Fill pan with enough water to cover the bottom. Bake squash for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and drain any remaining water. Turn squash cut side up onto pan and let cool.
Meanwhile, place all other ingredients into a food processor and pulse several times until finely ground. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times during this process. Place stuffing into squash. Place in oven at lowest temperature for several minutes to warm slightly.

Neapolitan "Ice Cream" Loaf - Dairy Free

I used to stay a couple of weeks at my Grandma's house every summer. These times were filled with water parks, mini golf and Neapolitan ice cream. I ate so much Neapolitan ice cream one summer that I haven't been able to eat it since. :) However, in memory of my Grandma, I celebrate this new healthy twist on my old time favorite.

Ingredients:

8 bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons raw cocoa or carob
Raw honey or stevia to taste

Directions:

Place 3 bananas and the vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. Add stevia to taste if desired. Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and freeze at least one hour or until hardened. Next, place another three bananas and cocoa in a blender and blend until smooth. Add stevia to taste if desired. Pour over vanilla layer and freeze until hardened. Lastly, place the remaining 2 bananas and the strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Add stevia to taste if desired. Pour over chocolate layer and freeze until hardened. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften a bit then cut into individual serving portions. The parchment paper allows for easy removal. :)

* The traditional layers place the strawberry layer in the middle which is how the direction have you follow. In the picture, I placed the strawberry in the middle instead.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Inflammation Healing - Tomato Caper Basil Salad

Did you know capers are one of the best sources of quercetin which calms and prevents inflammation. Just two tablespoons a week is all you need too! I've included them in this salad as they pair wonderfully with sweet tomatoes, but you can sprinkle them on almost anything. Also, this salad is great by itself, but I like to serve it on top of chicken, steak, fish or baked potatoes.

Ingredients:

1 large shallot or 1/4 red onion, chopped
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (use a variety of colors for visual interest)
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon caper brine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Add shallot, tomatoes, capers and basil to a large bowl and lightly toss together. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, caper brine and olive oil. Pour on top of tomato mixture and mix well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mango Salsa

I love making different types of salsas, but one of my all time favorites is mango salsa. It makes for more of a sweet and spicy mix which I love. Just make sure your mangoes are ripe or they will be too hard and bitter. Peaches, Pineapple and Papaya work well in this recipe if you can't find ripe Mangoes.

Ingredients:

3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 ripe mango, diced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Stir well with and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Mango Blackberry Guacamole

I love adding fruit to guacamole. The sweet, tart and creamy flavors all meld together and are absolutely delicious. Here the slight tartness of mangoes pair beautifully with the creamy avocados. The addition of sweet blackberries add color and visual interest while rounding out the flavors.

Ingredients:

2 avocados, slightly soft to the touch

1 cup white onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped and seeded

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup blackberries, chopped (substitute blueberries any other type of berries)
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Halve avocados and scoop out flesh with a spoon. Mash in a bowl with a fork. Stir in onion, jalapeno, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add mango and blackberries and fold softly into mixture. Store in an air tight container covered with parchment paper to prevent avocados from browning.

Raw Corn and Zucchini Salad

This is a delicious way to use up your summer corn and zucchini. Plus, you don't have to do any cooking. Just chop, mix and eat. Letting it marinate for a few hours will soften the zucchini and allow the flavors to mix but it's great to eat right away too!

Ingredients:

3 ears corn, husked and cleaned or 1 bag frozen corn, thawed
2 medium zucchini, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Stand corn on a clean towel. With a sharp knife, slice downward to release kernels. The towel will catch the loose kernels. Discard cobs and place kernels in a large bowl. Add zucchini, lime juice, olive oil and parsley. Season with sea salt and pepper and mix well.

Vegetable Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles

This is perfect for a summer-time lasagna as it requires no cooking. It's also very light and gluten-free using thin slices of zucchini for the noodles. However, it still has a lasagna taste with the rich tomato sauce and creamy cheese so the kids and adults will still love it!

Ingredients:

Marinara Sauce:
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 pitted date or pinch of stevia
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cheese:
15 oz. ricotta cheese
4 oz goat cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese plus 1/4 cup reserved for sprinkling on top
1/4 cup fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves

Noodles:
3 medium zucchini slices
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil



Directions:


Noodles: Slice Zucchini in long thin layers using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife. Place zucchini noodles in a bowl and drizzle in lemon juice and olive oil. Lightly toss. Let marinate while preparing marinara and cheese sauce to soften noodles .

Marinara Sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside

Cheese Sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, parsley, and pepper. Set aside. Clean spinach leaves and tear in pieces with hands. Set aside.

Assembly:

Divide ingredients into three layers in a glass lasagna pan: Zucchini noodles first, marinara sauce second, cheese sauce third, then sprinkle with the spinach. Do remaining 2 layers. Top with reserved 1/4 cup Parmesan.




Vegan "Turkey" Loaf with Cranberry Sauce

This mock turkey loaf is just wonderful and has all the flavors of Thanksgiving without any of the meat. It's great for a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish. Or transform it into a gluten free "stuffing" by slicing the loaf into small squares or by placing the mixture into muffin tins before dehydrating or cooking.

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds
1 cup cashews
1 cup pumpkin seeds
5 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sage
1 cup dried cranberries sweetened with juice, soaked for at least 30 minutes to soften

Directions:

Grind almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Add the celery, onion and sage. Mix until a smooth dough forms. Remove mixture and place onto a dehydrator sheet or baking pan. Form into a loaf shape. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours or bake at 200 degrees for 4 hours or until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Drain cranberries saving water in a separate bowl. Place cranberries with 2 tablespoons of the reserved water in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add a little more of the reserved water if necessary. Spread cranberry sauce over the loaf.

Avocado Peach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Peaches are beautiful and ripe this time of year so I love incorporating them into salads and deserts. In this recipe, I've paired them with creamy avocados and spicy arugula making a simple well rounded salad. I used raspberry vinaigrette, but any fruity vinaigrette would work great here!

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados,
8 cups arugula or baby spinach
2 ripe peaches, pitted and diced
Juice of one lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Raspberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions:

Halve and pit avocados and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Toss with arugula and peaches. Place in individual serving bowls and drizzle with dressing.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or pinch stevia
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients, except olive oil, to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Slowly add olive oil until well combined and emulsified.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Easy yet delicious vinaigrette that great on any salad!

Ingredients:


1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Pinch stevia or 1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients except olive oil in a small bowl. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Raw Mushroom Soup

I really like mushroom soup in the winter as it's so warm and hearty. However, I wanted something that would also be good during the summer months. This recipe is a completely raw version of mushroom soup so it leaves all the nutrients and enzymes intact...bonus! It's so easy, I think I'll make it during the winter months too, but warmed slightly. :)

Ingredients:


1/4 cup almond butter
10 oz cups baby bella mushrooms or other mushrooms of choice
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 teaspoons tamari, soy sauce or sea salt
1/2 cup water
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with minced mushrooms and/or chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary. Pour into individual serving bowls and garnish with mushrooms or parsley. Best served at room temperature, but can be chilled as well.

Cucumber Onion Salad

Cucumbers are abundant this time of year so its fun to come up with new ways to use them. I mostly like them in salads or pickling them. Here, I paired them with onions and dill and a little vinegar to make a refreshing simple summer salad. Easy and delicious!

Ingredients
:

3 medium cucumbers, seeded and chopped
2 sweet onions, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of stevia or honey to taste

Directions:

Toss cucumbers and onions into a large bowl. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, dill weed, salt and stevia in a small bowl. Pour over cucumber mixture. Serve immediately or let sit for 10-15 so flavors can mingle together.

Blue Cheese Chicken Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Whenever I cook chicken, I make a little extra and use the leftovers for a dinner salad such as this one. It makes for one easy dinner night throughout the week. This particular salad is an easy to make favorite of mine as I LOVE anything with blue cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. If you're not a fan of blue cheese, substitute feta, goat cheese or your favorite type of cheese.

Ingredients:

2 hearts of romaine, torn into small pieces or 10 oz salad mix
6 oz sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken, look for organic free-range if possible
1 cup kalamata or black olives, chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Red wine vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Place romaine in a large bowl and top with sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, olives, sea salt and pepper. Divide among individual serving bowls and top with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Pinch stevia or 1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients except olive oil in a small bowl. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Broccoli Cranberry Salad

This broccoli salad has a lot of crunch and a little sweetness. I like it best after it has set for a few hours so the flavors can meld together. However, it's good right away and a perfect salad for any season!

Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli, chopped into tiny bits
3/4 cup dried cranberries sweetened with fruit juice
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup homemade mayo, vegenaise or regular mayo
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch of stevia, tablespoon of honey or sweetener of choice
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place broccoli, cranberries, onion and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Next, whisk together mayo, vinegar and stevia. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Gluten Free Almond Bread or Crackers

This is a great way to utilize your almond pulp if you make your own almond milk. If not, you can use almond meal and still have a delicious gluten-free almond bread. I like it best paired with fruit only jellies for breakfast or a quick snack. However, it's as versatile as regular bread so eat up!

Ingredients:

4 cups almond meal (or almond pulp leftover from making almond milk)
1 cup coconut oil (softened) or extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely ground flax seeds
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
*Add herbs, garlic, olives, dried fruit, dried tomatoes, etc. for added flavor

Directions:


Place almond meal and flax seed in a large bowl. Add oil and salt and mix well with hands. Place a thin layer about 1/4 inch thick onto a dehydrator sheet or parchment paper using your hands. Smooth and score into squares of desired size. Dehydrate for 4-8 hours.
Alternatively, place 1/4 inch layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven at 175 degrees or lowest temperature for 2-4 hours.

*You want the bread to be hardened but still pliable. Dehydrate or bake longer to make almond crackers.

Raw Zucchini Spaghetti with Mushroom Marinara

This is a fun no cook all veggie spaghetti recipe. I used a Saladacco Spiral Slicer to make the spaghetti like strands out of zucchini. If you don't have one, you can use a vegetable peeler to make long strands that would be more like fettuccine pasta. Either way, it's a great way to get you and your family to eat more veggies!

Ingredients:

4-5 large tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes pack in olive oil
Pinch of stevia or 2 dates
8 oz baby bella or white button mushrooms
3 medium zucchinis, spiralized on thin setting

Directions:

Blend tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, sun-dried tomatoes and stevia in a blender until smooth. Add mushrooms and pulse several times until finely chopped but leaving some texture. Spiralize zucchini using a Saladacco Spiral Slicer on thin setting or peel into long strands with a vegetable peeler. Pour the sauce over spiralized zucchini.





Tomato, Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon and tomatoes are abundantly sweet and yummy this time of year. They naturally pair well with each other for this salad. Along with all this sweetness, feta cheese is added for its salt and tang which rounds out the all the wonder flavors of this salad.

Look for tomatoes in a variety of colors for more of a visual interest.


Ingredients

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine watermelon and tomatoes in large bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle with feta and almonds. Season to taste salt and pepper.