Kreativ Blogger Award

I was pleasantly surprised while reading one of my favorite blogs this morning. I was nominated to receive the Kreativ Blogger Award by the lovely Joanna Stevens of Promoting the Raw Food Diet While Debunking the Myths.

Thank you so much Joanna, I am truly honored to be considered for this. I was shocked to see my name in such great company.

The award requires that I share seven things about me you may be surprised to know. I have not shared much personal info on my blog, so this is a little hard for me...but here goes:)

1. I met my husband at a punk night club, on his birthday, and we have been together 26 years:) We went to see The Ramones on our first date.

2. I adore children, and ran a home based daycare for 12 years. I worked at least 50 hours a week and loved every minute of it! I usually cared for 3-8 children at a time, and was also raising two of my own. I gave up my business when I thought we were moving several years ago, but the deal fell through.

3. I have a wicked sense of humor. I think I inherited this from my Dad, who told me he now has a website, as he pointed to the cobwebs on the ceiling:)

4. I have vivid memories of being in my high chair and playpen, and surprise my mom with details of the house at the time that she had almost forgotten.

5. My pets right now are an 8 year old chocolate lab, and a 34 year old blue front Amazon parrot.

6. I have 10 raw food books, but have only made recipes from 2 of them.

7. I love the number 12. I was born in August, on the 12th of course, at 12:12. The last two numbers of my birth year also add up to 12.

8. The last two numbers of my birth year are....whoops, I almost forgot we only needed 7 surprising facts:)

I am happy to pass this award on to seven of my favorite blogs, in random order:

1. Aimee from A Bitt of Raw
2. Snowdrop from Adirondack Raw Food Connection
3. Joyce from Beautiful Living Food
4. Berry Blue Toes from the blog Berry Blue Toes
5. Joanna from Promoting the Raw Food Diet While Debunking the Myths
6. Kara Maia Spencer from Raw Vortex
7. Susan Powers from Rawmazing

bonus fact~ I was recently asked if there was a secret to staying married so long, and part of the answer was right out my back door! I always see the rainbow through the clouds...I snapped this pic a few minutes ago!


Hugs and Hemp

Hugs first!....{{{Hugs}}}

As you may know, today is International Hug a Vegetarian Day! Of course every day should be HVD, but oh well!

And now, the hemp !
Creamy Hemp Basil Sauce from Gena at Choosing Raw.

The following recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Gena from Choosing Raw. It makes a generous amount, especially for one person, so I found quite a few ways to use it:)

Gena was kind enough to allow me to repost her recipe here. Please click here to view Gena's original post on this recipe.
Creamy Hemp Basil Sauce (yields about 1 1/2 cups — possibly a bit less)

½ cup hemp butter
½ cup water
1 tsp lemon
1-2 dates (pitted)
1 tsp oregano, dry
½ tsp thyme, dry
¼ cup fresh basil, packed
¼-1/2 tsp salt (start with ¼ and then adjust to your taste)
1 tbsp olive oil


Blend all ingredients in a blender, food processor, magic bullet, or Vitamix until well mixed. Adjust water if you’d like it thinner—but keep in mind that it will thicken in the fridge.
Gena used it as a sauce for spiralized carrot and zucchini pasta and suggested it would be good as a dressing for slaw...it was! I made the sauce a bit thicker by adding a little less water.

The Creamy Coleslaw is shredded carrot, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and a sprinkle of hemp seed mixed with the sauce.

I also used some as a dressing for a simple Creamy Kale Salad. It makes two servings. I loved it so much, I had one for lunch, and the other for dinner!!!!

Creamy Kale Salad

1 small bunch of kale, stems removed
1 cup tomato, 1/4 inch dice
3/4 cup Creamy Hemp Basil Sauce
2 Tablespoons hemp seed
sprinkle of salt
drizzle of olive oil

Makes 2 servings

1. Tear kale into bite sized pieces, and place into a medium sized bowl.

2. Sprinkle kale with salt and olive oil, and massage with hands to soften.

3. Add Creamy Basil Hemp Sauce and hemp seed and mix well.

4. Top with diced tomato and an extra sprinkle of hemp seed, if you like.

This creamy kale salad was so awesome. I love to find a new twist on an old favorite like kale salad:) I am definitely making this one again!

I absolutely love the sauce. You know it is good when you spend 10 minutes scraping out the blender!

It also made the perfect sandwich spread. This is a ezekiel tortilla spread with a little of the creamy hemp basil sauce, and topped with alfalfa sprouts, crisp maple jicama bacon, sliced tomato, and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. This was seriously good!

Since there was such a generous amount of sauce, there was still enough for today's lunch, sushi! It made a wonderful dipping sauce. If you like a spicy sauce, try mixing in a little powdered wasabi. I tried it in a little bit, but preferred the sauce sweet:)

Hemp is one of my favorite ingredients to use in raw recipes. It is really a powerhouse of nutrition.
If you enjoy adding hemp to your raw food diet, here is another wonderful way to enjoy it.

Thank you, Gena, for allowing me to share your wonderful recipe.{{{BIG HUG!}}}

'International Hug a Vegetarian' Day Friday, September 25, 2009


Hemp Power Ball Truffles

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a yummy, healthy treat. It is a great way to use hemp seed butter. It is adapted from a recipe I found online.

Hemp Power Ball Truffles

For truffles:
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup hemp seed butter
2 tablespoons carob powder
2 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons cacao nibs, ground fine
2 tablespoons goji berries, ground fine
1 teaspoon maca powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon

For decoration:
About ¼ cup hemp seeds, to roll truffles in
Whole goji berries, for decoration if desired

Makes 16 one inch truffles

1. Combine all ingredients , except hemp seeds and whole goji berries, in a small bowl. Mixture should be shiny and smooth, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. You can add a little more carob if it seems sticky. You may chill the mixture to firm it up a little before shaping.

2. Roll into 16 one inch balls.

3. Roll each ball into shelled hemp seeds.

4. Press one goji berry into truffle, if desired.

5. May be stored covered in fridge for about 1 week or so, if you hide them!

Click here for more hemp recipes, many are raw:)


Veggie Expo and a recipe:)

On Saturday I went to the NY Capitol Region Vegetarian Expo in Saratoga.

I was happy to see some of exhibitors with products I was familiar with, like Artisana Coconut Butter:)

Here is a recipe featured at the Artisana booth as it appears on the hand-out. Thank you Artisana!
Cole's Coconut Fruit Dip

8 oz. Artisana Coconut Butter
2 fresh ripe organic peaches or nectarines (feel free to experiment with other fruits!)
1 large organic lime
2 tablespoons raw and organic agave

Peel lime and remove seeds. Remove pits from fresh peaches. Place fruit and Artisana Coconut Butter into Vitamix or powerful blender and blend until smooth. Add agave for sweetening to taste.

This makes a super creamy and delicious fruit dip. Slice apples or prepare other fruit for dipping and enjoy. You can add even more agave for a Creamy Peachy Frosting that is super healthy!
A little more about the Expo....
I had a chance to sample some of the Zukay Live Foods dressings. They are so good, and raw!
Here is a pic of Scott who was so nice and took a minute to briefly explain to every person who came up to the booth about the benefits of probiotic fermented foods. These are a great healthy alternative to your own dressings.

Another familiar product line exhibited was Navitas.

There were some lovely products at this booth from The Garden of One

Look at all the goodies from Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe:)

There were lots of compassionate books...

I got a sneak preview of the book I was fortunate enough to win from Gone Vegan. Thanks Gone Vegan! Here it is on the way home from picking it up at the post office today. What a beautiful day for a walk:)

There were some booths I could not get a picture of because they always had a large crowd of people around them and all you would have seen is the backs of all the people:) They were the ones selling fresh baked vegan goodies of some kind! There were lots of yummy samples.

I must say that the people I met here were all so awesome! Everyone I spoke to was so friendly and caring. Many showed a great interest in raw foods. There was one Raw Food specific booth, but sadly it was empty. I was sorry Gena from Choosing Raw was unable to make it:( I hope you are feeling better!

As noted in their website, the Expo is the first in the Capital Region area to bring together and promote the global health benefits of green sustainable living, environmental awareness, and compassion for animals and all beings while highlighting their relationship to a plant-based diet.

Many of the booths were there to educate people about the horrible reality of factory farming. There are links provided with the pics at the end of this post if you want to know more about the organizations dedicated helping animals. Happily, the vegan raw food diet does not contribute to such atrocities.

Here are a few pics of some of the wonderful organizations helping animals in need, and the beautiful people who love and care enough about our friends to dedicate a good portion of their time to saving them.
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary(Hi Cassie!)

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

New England Anti-Vivisection Society

Maple Farm Sanctuary

Here are a pair of the sweetest greyhounds from Greyhound Rescue of N.Y.

If possible, please support some of the organizations here or in your area that provide such a haven for our amazing animal friends. They might not exist without contributions from other caring people, like us:)


Raw Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I recently signed up to receive a weekly raw newsletter, and this luscious raw lemon poppy seed cake recipe was in last weeks letter. I hope it is O.K. to post the link to the recipe, since it is also found online:)

The links to this recipe are no longer working. Due to so many requests for the recipe for this lovely cake, I am now posting the recipe, copied and pasted, as it originally appeared on Raw Freedom Community.

1 1/2 c grated Jicama *** if it's too 'juicy' squeeze the liquid out by hands*
1 Granny Smith Apple pealed & ground
2 c. Almonds soaked/dehydrated ground fine
4 T golden flax ground fine
1/4 c agave
1 tsp vanilla
lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c poppy seeds.

Mix all Ingredients and form in any shape you want; I made a 5 1/2 inch round dish lined with saran wrap.

Then top the first layer with Frosting

Then top the 2nd layer/round. Flip out and place on a plate and frost the whole cake (top & sides)

Frosting: ****THIS IS SO LIKE 'Costco' white frosting!

1 c OMEGA NUTRITION coconut oil (it does not smell/taste coconuty) The one I used is just like Crisco !

Beat/Whip this with beaters! from my SAD baking days!

Add 1/4 c agave

Juice of 1/2 lemon IF YOU LIKE MORE LEMON DO juice of 1 and or zest. whip again.

Spread quickly as it starts to melt a little.

Sprinkle Poppy Seeds on sides or designs if you make a different shape.

Top with Lemon zest curls or slices.

Place in Ref for an hour or so. Serve at room temperature!

 Thank you to wyjoz for this wonderful recipe!
This is a gorgeous lemon cake that is incredibly fast and easy to make. I did not measure everything exactly, and it still turned out so good!

I added a few drops of lemon extract to the cake and icing to enhance the lemon flavor that I love so much, and shaped the cake in a small bundt pan. I spooned on the creamy lemon icing and garnished with lemon peel rosebuds and a few fresh mint leaves.

If you love lemon like I do:) this is a fantastic recipe.


Raw Vegan Bacon

It seems like there are a lot of raw recipes for SAD foods. This may be because people want to find a raw substitute for their old favorite foods, especially comfort foods.

Some people don't mind this idea, especially while transitioning to a raw food diet. It does make it easier to have foods you are used to eating.

However, some raw foodies think you should not try to copy a SAD food, mainly because the results fall short of actually tasting like the food they are imitating. Also because it may be trying to re-create a food that you don't want to eat, like the "M" word. (meat, sssshhhhh)

With this in mind, I am still going to offer you several raw vegan bacon recipes...lol!

There are some really cute names that people have given their recipes, like bac-un, and fake-un. This is a fun idea, since it is not really bacon:)

I'll just refer to mine as bacon, but you gotta love mock meat names like sham ham, fakin’ bacon, not dogs and phoney baloney, right?

I know everyone has different tastes, so there are a few options, if you are craving something bacon-like.

Although there are actual recipes, I encourage you to mix and match the components and find your perfect bacon. Most recipes have just two parts, a base veggie for the bacon, with some kind of marinade. If you come up with your own recipe, and would like me to post it here, let me know!

For the bacon base there are several options. Here are some suggestions.
1. Eggplant, aka aubergine, I think is the most popular
2. Zucchini, aka courgette
3. Yellow summer squash
4. Jicama, if you can slice it really thin:)*
5. Young coconut strips, or coconut chips for bacon bits

*To slice the base veggie used for the bacon, I love to use my electric food slicer. This is the one I have, pictured below.
JCPenney has several models, and they are sometimes on sale.
A mandoline will work, but if you have a very large veggie it may be difficult to slice.
I find the electric slicer to be faster and safer than the mandoline.
If you make raw veggie lasagna, veggie chips, ravioli, manicotti, or bacon, you will find it very useful.

I find the thinnest possible slices of jicama to be my favorite.
You don't have to slice squash paper thin because it shrinks so much, and may be too thin after drying.
Eggplant works well sliced a little thicker than a nickel, and looks the most like real bacon. I love making the eggplant bacon:)

For the marinade:

Some spicy options include black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, onion, and salt.

For a bit of sweetness you can try agave, dates, honey, or maple syrup.

There is often some kind of vinegar, with the most popular eggplant bacon recipe using ume plum vinegar. You may want to check the nutrition facts for the plum vinegar, especially if you are watching your sodium, as it has 1050mg per teaspoon.
Apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient most raw foodies have on hand.
Nama Shoyu is also popular for raw bacon.

Another ingredient necessary for creating an authentic bacon is oil or some kind of fat. Any mild oil, or olive oil, or even an avocado should give you a bacon-esque texture:)

For the smokey flavor, there aren't any raw options, so you may choose to leave these out. Smoked paprika, liquid smoke, chipotle pepper, smoked salt, smoked black pepper, and Lapsang Souchong tea. I find a little goes a long way with these ingredients, and they do give an authentic smoked bacon flavor to the finished product:)

Now for the recipes! There are many online, which I will provide the links to. One simple BLT recipe just used long strips of dulse as the bacon:) I hope you find one you like. Please let me know if there is another raw bacon recipe you would like to see here. Also, if your recipe is posted here, but you would like it removed, just let me know:)

Most of the following recipes are for eggplant bacon.

Raw Bac-un(bacon) from queenfluff on gone raw

Yummy Raw Vegan Bacon from Detox Darling

Recipe by Matthew Kenney, posted here by raw+simple

Raw Bacon by missveganlove, posted on sparkpeople

Bacon! by inspiredbyeverything, posted on gone raw

Raw Bacon, by rawclaire, posted on gone raw

Eggplant Bacon (raw vegan) by iRaw, posted on Foodbuzz

Bacon and Eggs, posted by rawbryan (raw Chef Bryan Au) on gone raw

Bacon, Why Not posted on from sad to raw website

My own recipe is posted on gone raw, of course:)

Here it is with some slight modifications

Crisp Bacon

2 or 3 excalibur dehydrator sheets


1 medium eggplant, sliced thin, lengthwise*
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, not raw
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon agave, or maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons water, or a little more to thin mixture

*I split the wide end of the eggplant an inch or so vertically in the middle and overlapped it to create straight slices (after marinating), or trim the eggplant to a rectangular shape before slicing, as pictured. Trimmings can be chopped for bacon bits. Peeling the eggplant is up to you. You can slice the eggplant into rounds if you prefer, like eggplant bacon chips:)


1. Mix all ingredients, except eggplant.

2. Lay the slices out on parchment paper.

3. Brush one side of the sliced eggplant lightly with mixture, add water to mix as needed. I use my fingers or a pastry brush. Turn each slice over, and brush the other side. The eggplant will become soft and if you like you can shape it to resemble real bacon:)

4. Transfer with the parchment to mesh dehydrator sheets.

5. Dehydrate at 115 degrees till crisp, flipping and transferring to mesh sheets 1/2 way through. Mine took about 12 hours as they were very thin.

Store in glass jars 2 weeks. If they wilt, you may re-crisp in dehydrator about 1 hour.

Adjust all ingredients to your own taste. Quantities also vary according to the size of your eggplant, and how thinly it is sliced. I use organic eggplant, which is usually a bit smaller than conventional.

Here are a few pics of makin' the bac'un!

Slicing the eggplant

Laid out on parchment

Brushing with the marinade

Scrunching to look like bacon:)

Here are a few pics of things you can make with the bacon:

One of my favorite ways to eat the bacon, a BLT salad

A BLT with sprouts on an ezekiel tortilla

Russell James' Wilted Kale Salad with eggplant bacon chips added

The following recipe was my very first bacon. It was one of those happy accidents:) I was trying to make a BBQ "potato" chip, and was using jicama for the chip. This is the recipe I was rawifying. After tasting it, I realized it tasted quite bacon-like, and so my bacon recipe was born! I must admit at the time I was transitioning, and had some in a BLT on real toast with some vegenaise..hehe.

Crispy Jicama Bacon

1 jicama peeled, and sliced paper-thin into rounds, strips, or chopped into 1/4 inch dice for bacon bits
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon agave, or maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Lay jicama out on parchment paper.

2. Coat both sides of jicama with a marinade. If making bacon bits, just mix the marinade with the jicama and spread onto parchment.

3. Dehydrate until crisp, flipping and transferring to mesh sheets 1/2 way through. The jicama may take up to 24 hours to get really crispy.

Here is the jicama as Canadian style bacon..sorry for the old pic:)

Jicama bacon bits on little tomatoes filled with nut cheese. Sorry, another old pic:)

I hope you find this collection of raw vegan bacon recipes helpful. It does make a unique addition to the raw food diet:)


Caponata Tartlets

A weekly staple for me is raw eggplant caponata. It is a very versatile recipe as it can be used on top of salad, to stuff mini tomatoes or peppers, or just "as is":)

Today I filled some mini-tart shells with the caponata. I made the shells a week or so ago and kept them in a glass jar. They held up perfectly! Just as crisp as when they were made. I used my Crisp Italian Herb Cracker recipe for them, but any of my almond cracker recipes work well for tart shells. The Italian herb blend matched those in the caponata today.

I have my caponata recipe in my very first post here, but will copy it for convenience:

Raw Eggplant Caponata

makes about 6 cups

1 medium eggplant,peeled, 1/4"dice approx 4 cups
1 cup tomato, 1/4" dice
1 sweet bell pepper,I used orange, 1/4" dice
1 celery stalk, 1/4" dice
¼ cup red onion,or more to taste, 1/4" dice
¼ cup olives of choice,I used a mix of green and black, 1/4" dice
2 tablespoon capers,optional, not raw
½ cup sundried tomato, soaked...or use 1/4 cup fresh tomato and 1/4 cup dried
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons agave, or 2 soaked medjool dates
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
all organic if possible

1. Prepare dressing ingredients in magic bullet or blender.

2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl and mix well with dressing.

I love to use my vidalia chop wizard for cutting all the veggies quickly and uniformly:)

If you would like to reduce the amount of oil, replace with equal amount of tomato soak liquid:) .

Good right away or can be marinated several days in fridge. This keeps very well and almost gets better as it sits. I love it served at room temperature or warmed in the dehydrator:)

The liquid that forms after marinating may be mixed back in, or carefully poured off.

Tarts should be assembled as close to serving as possible, but will stay crisp for an hour or so after.

Of course the caponata recipe is posted on my favorite raw recipe site, gone raw, along with my Caponata Crisps.

Caponata Crisps

makes 3 excalibur dehydrator trays

½ cup sundried tomato, soaked
1 small peeled eggplant, approx 2cups
1 sweet bell pepper, red,yellow,or orange
1 stalk celery
¼ cup red onion
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave
2 tablespoon olives, raw, black and green
2 tablespoon capers.optional, not raw
3 cup golden flax meal
all organic if possible

1. Process everything,except flax meal, in bowl of food processor until fine.

2. Add flax and mix well.

3. Roll,(covered with food wrap) 1/8” thick on parchment on mesh, or teflex sheets.

4. Pre-cut,and decorate with sliced olives and capers if desired.

5. Dry at 115 degrees approx 18 hours or till crisp.

Most crisps had a gentle curve to them, perfect for scooping caponata


Chad Sarno's Beetroot Ravioli

This is an amazing and versatile recipe from Green Chef Chad Sarno . It is found on the gliving website. Click here for the recipe.

There are some steps that will take time to prepare. You may actually need a few days:)

The creamy cheese filling can be made using probiotic powder, or rejuvelac. I already had some rejuvelac on hand, so I used that.

Soaked cashews are blended with the rejuvelac, and cultured 14-16 hours. I like to let my cheeses go 24 hours, since my house is usually a little chilly.

Once the cheese is fermented, it is mixed with some lovely herbs, nutritional yeast, pepper, and salt. I prefer to use dried herbs in most of my cheeses, as the fresh ones add moisture and sometimes separate from the cheese. I left out the shallots called for, and used a bit less salt.

The green garlic oil needs 1 day to infuse, but I made it earlier and kept it in the fridge:)

The beet ravioli wrappers need at least an hour or so to soften in the garlic oil and some salt and pepper.

To assemble, simply fill the beet slices with a little cheese, drizzle a bit of the green oil and balsamic, and add a sprinkle of chives. I had a wide beet, so I used 1 beet slice folded over instead of 2 per ravioli:)

This was so good! Well worth the time needed to make it:) Thank you to Chef Chad Sarno for this recipe!

The delicious cheese was my favorite part of this recipe. I did a little remix with the ingredients and used it as a dip for some red beet chips. Simply slice and dehydrate a beet until crisp. Sprinkle with the green oil and balsamic, add a few chives, and dip in the creamy cheese.

I also formed some cheese into a heart shape by packing it in a cookie cutter. This really took care of my 'cheese and cracker' craving! The crisp crackers were another variation of my rosemary crackers:

Italian Herb Crackers

2 cups almonds, soaked 8 hours, rinsed and drained
½ cup Chia seed, ground fine
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1-2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
1/2 -1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1 cup fresh water

1. In food processor fitted with “S” blade, grind almonds till coarse.

2. Add herbs, chia seed, and salt and process till combined.

3. With machine running, add water to form dough.

4. Let stand a few minutes to thicken.

5. Divide between 2 teflex sheets and roll covered with cling wrap.

6. Peel back wrap and sprinkle with extra herbs, if desired.

7. Replace wrap and roll lightly to set herbs.

8. Score as desired, or cut into shapes with cookie cutters as shown.

9. Dehydrate at 112 degrees, turning halfway through until crisp.

Store in glass jars for several weeks.


Another Cute Ssssssnack:)

Here is another very quick and easy snack your little ones might like. This one might appeal more to the boys however:)

Snackie the Snake

1 banana per snack
3 tablespoons almond butter, or nut butter of choice
1/2 teaspoon agave or honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small slice dried papaya, or any fruit leather you may have
2 currants, or 1 cut in half

1. Slice peeled banana into about 12 slices.

2. Mix nut butter with agave and cinnamon.

3. Spread a small amount of nut butter mixture between each slice, and re-assemble on plate in a slight wavy pattern.

4. Add currants for eyes.

5. Add sliver of papaya for tongue, cut as desired.

Best if prepared right before serving, or sprinkle with a little orange juice to prevent browning.


Sweet Strawberry Mice!

Here is a quick and easy treat for your little ones:) A cute back-to-school or after school snack!

Strawberry Mice

Ingredients per "mouse":
1 strawberry, remove hull, trim bottom to make it sit as desired.
2 pieces sliced almond
2 currants, cut in half, 3 halves are needed per mouse
1 thin strip dried papaya
toothpick for applying eyes and tail:)

1. Stick almond slices in strawberry for ears as shown.

2. Add cut currants for eyes and nose, cut side should be sticky, stick on using toothpick.

3. Insert papaya for tail as shown, making hole with toothpick if needed.

For "Cheese"
1 apple or pear makes several wedges

apple or pear, peel and remove core
lemon juice to prevent browning
drinking straw

1. Cut apple or pear into wedges

2. Push straw through wedges of apple or pear to look like swiss cheese:)

3. Sprinkle with lemon juice

Check out what happened to my sweet mice on Halloween!


My First Durian!

I finally got brave enough to try the "King of Fruits", the mysterious Durian. I have been looking at them in the Asian market where I shop for about 2 years now! I had never heard of this unusual fruit until becoming a raw foodie. Some of the things I heard about them were amusing, but the most talked about feature was its scent! I read about them being banned from hotels and mass transit. I read about the taste being something you either love or don't love. Some raw foodies I see online love it so much, they use durian as part of their screen name.

Click here for nutrition facts for durian

I was not sure how to pick one, but the eight or so the store had all looked about the same. They were in the refrigerated case each wrapped up in green netting with a handle. I suspect they were at one time frozen for shipping, and thawed.

I picked one up, and held it close enough to see if the infamous scent would be a turn-off, and I would not buy it. I inhaled its aroma...sweet...unique...not overpowering or unpleasant! I tossed it in my basket, along with a dragon fruit, a couple of young coconuts, some mint, basil, and a huge jicama. My total cost was about eighteen dollars, with the durian ringing up at $4.43...not too bad!

Once home, I placed it in the fridge, since that is were it was in the store. It stayed there for a couple of days, and then it was time!
Time to see what all the fuss was about.

Since I don't have high speed internet, I am unable to view all the videos out there about opening this prehistoric looking fruit. I got out the cutting board, and a heavy knife and looked at my durian. First I carefully removed the netting. It reminded me of my favorite giant souvenir pine-cone from a trip to Palm Springs a while back. Maybe they were distant cousins?

Next, I saw there were about 5 lobes to the fruit. Near the top where the stem was, I inserted my knife into a seam, and was surprised how easily it went in. The pod opened up to reveal a creamy pale flesh.

The scent of it was stronger now, but not what I thought it would be like. It was very sweet smelling. I tried really hard to distinguish just what it smelled like, but it is so unusual, I could not compare it to anything I ever had. The fruit practically fell out, it didn't seem connected to the spiky shell, only protected by it:) The mass broke into 3 sections, each one containing a large brown seed.

I saved the seeds, as I was not sure if they were edible too. I was actually able to split the rest of it open with my hands, and pull out the soft custard-like meat. I got a little more than 3 cups total from my durian.

I was still a little hesitant to taste it. Although the scent was not really offensive to me, I was not sure I wanted to eat it..lol! I had looked up a few recipes that used durian, just in case:)

Well, I have to say, I did like the durian! It was not 'love' at first bite, but it was 'like' at first bite! I ate about 1 cup of it, just as it was. It was soft, creamy, sweet, custard-like, all the things I read about it. I was so happy that I liked the king of fruits:)

With the remaining two cups, I made one of the most wonderful ice creams I ever tasted, a rich chocolate durian ice cream. It is silky, smooth, and fudgey, with an awesome creamy texture.

I also enjoyed a cup of it as a mousse... oh so good!

The recipe is courtesy of Dr. Frank Ferendo, author of the books Reasonably Raw, Holistic Perspectives and Integral Theory, and Spanish Lessons: A Midlife Adventure in Search of Meaning.

Please visit his interesting blog for more info about these books, and to read about his wonderful approach to eating raw!

Here is a video of Frank making the ice cream, although I can't view it, I am sure you most likely have high speed internet:)

Lucky for me it was also written out in another post, which I have permission to share with you here. I copied and pasted from the blog.

Sincere thanks to Dr. Frank Ferendo for his amazing recipe, and for letting me share it on my blog:)

Here is the recipe:

2 cups durian
2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1 cup water
1 cup raw agave (or other sweetener)
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 TBS vanilla extract
2 TBS dulse
4 TBS raw cacao powder
1 vanilla bean

Put in blender, chill, and then put in ice cream maker. Or, you can skip the ice cream part and eat it like a chocolate mousse. (Note: Even with a Vita Mixer you may have to blend half at a time.) To make even more yummy add cacao nibs and/or walnut pieces.
I used a bit less agave, as I found my durian very sweet. I used only the vanilla bean, and also added some soft chocolate chunks. If you like a harder chocolate chunk, use my chocolate chip recipe.

Soft Chocolate Chunks
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons agave
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder

1. Melt oil by placing in a small bowl over very hot water.
2. Cool slightly and add agave and cocoa powder.
3. Allow to cool until like thick hot fudge or frosting, but still able to stir.
4. Spread in shallow pan.
5. Chill until firm.
6. Chop into chunks
7. Keep in fridge or mix into ice cream.
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