6/29/09

Ani's Raw Food Desserts


There are 85 recipes in this lovely book. I have only had it since last Wednesday, and I have already made the Breakfast Toast, Ice Kream Cones*, Cherry Brownie Hearts, Liquid Chocolate, Lavender Chocolate Bars, Key Lime Kream Bars, and the Carob Walnut Cookies! Everything I made was wonderful. Most recipes are quick and easy to make. I am looking forward to trying all the recipes in this book.

* for the cones, I made circles with the batter, instead of rectangles. I was short on time and that is how I usually make them.

Ani has graciously allowed me to share her recipe for Carob Walnut Cookies! It was my first time making anything with carob, and I loved it.

As you can see, I made Ice Kream Sandwiches as described on page 27 of the book. The Key Lime Kream Bars(page 25) are the perfect filling for these yummy cookies!

Ani's description of the cookies:
Sweet raisins, malty carob, and rich walnuts are ground together to make a delicious, dark sweet cookie. Packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and EFAs, these cookies keep you trim and your skin radiant.

Carob Walnut Cookies
makes 8 to 12 cookies













1 cup raisins
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw carob powder
1 teaspoon mesquite powder(optional)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Combine the raisins, walnuts, carob powder, mesquite powder if using, and salt in the food processor. Process until the dough begins sticking together.

Press the dough into 2-inch cookie cutters placed on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Shoot for a thickness of 1/3- to 1/2- inch. Or, make 1- to 1 1/2 - inch balls and flatten.

Place cookies in the freezer to chill and firm up for 30 minutes or more before serving or transferring to the fridge for serving later.

Will keep for many weeks in the fridge or freezer. Thaw 5 minutes before eating.

From the book Ani’s Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009. Find out more at www.dacapopresscookbooks.com.

Thank you to Chef Ani Phyo for this charming book.

Special thanks to Lindsey Triebel at Perseus Books for the delightful correspondence needed to make this possible.

Here is my picture of the delicious Breakfast Toast

They are crisp and light, and so good warm from the dehydrator. I was happy to share them with my parrot, who loved them , too!

Here is my picture of the Lavender Chocolate Bars













I used slightly less of the lavender, as it was my first time using it. This is a very elegant chocolate, and I think it would make a lovely favor for a bridal shower, or just a little thank you gift. If making this in a warm climate, you may find it helpful to use cocoa butter for all or part of the oil in this recipe to make a harder chocolate. I slipped it into a chocolate treat bag before packing it in a bridal favor box. Both the treat bag and boxes are available at large craft stores.

Edited to add....

Coconut Ice Kream (with a little blackberry and raspberry)

Key Lime Kream Bars (as a popsicle)

Trail Mix Cookies

I left these yummy cookies in the shape of the little scoop, just the right size to pop in your mouth!

Sesame Snap Cookies

These may be my favorite cookie from the book:)

6/25/09

Good Morning!














One of the benefits to eating primarily raw food is the extra energy you may experience. Most mornings, I wake up at least an hour before I need to, feeling good and ready to go! Lately I have been sneaking out quietly and going for an early morning walk. I love this special time of day...the air is so fresh. The trees are filled with singing birds. Just me and the little critters I hear scurrying in the woods as I walk by:) I live close to a pretty lake, and it looks so lovely with the early morning mist on it. I can slip back in the house before anyone knows I'm gone. It's a great way to start the day.

This morning, after making breakfast for my family and sending hubby off to work, I looked in the refrigerator to see what would make a good smoothie. There were quite a few types of berries, so here is what I made:

Blissful berry smoothie













1/2 pack acai
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup red raspberries
1/4 cup dried goji berries
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup of ice

just blend it all up and enjoy!
p.s.
I did not really measure out all the berries, 1/4 cup is approximately a small handful for me:)

There are so many benefits to eating berries.

You can see their antioxidant value here.

I have been enjoying acai for about 3-4 years now , but is there yet another "super" berry????
Oh nooooooooo!

This smoothie is a quick way to get in all the goodness of berries, but just eating them by the handful is my favorite!















These little guides pictured with the wildflowers I picked this morning have been a great help. The orange flowers are butterfly weeds, the white daisy is the oxeye variety, the lacy white one is queen anne's lace, the shiny yellow flower with 5 petals is a buttercup (not edible).

6/19/09

Spinach Masala

This morning I saw this post by JoyceH on goneraw. The recipe from Russell James sounded so good I had to try it.














here are my modifications for 1/2 a recipe...just for 1:)
for salad:
1 five ounce package baby spinach (142g)
sprinkle with :
a little less than 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, didn't have macadamia
massage until spinach is soft and creamy.
add:
1/4 cup currants
1 teaspoon mustard seed, I used 1/2 brown and 1/2 golden
1 mango, cubed
1 green onion, chopped
pinch of ground coriander, no fresh:(
I packed it in a 4 inch springform pan while I made the sauce

for sauce, blend until creamy:
1 cup cashews, soaked rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon nama shoyu
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 clove garlic, not big on garlic, grated into blender
1/2 inch knob ginger, grated into blender

Thank you to Russell James for the recipe, and thank you to Joyce for letting me know about it!
Off to check out Joyce's beautiful blog:)

ETA...this was made (and posted) in a matter of minutes. Please check out Chef Russell James' blog for the correct ingredients and presentation for this recipe.
Also, JoyceH included this in a beautiful dinner. Check it out!

6/18/09

Life is just a bowl of cherries


...so here are a few ways to get rid of the pits!


I do love my little collection of things that make life easier. With several pounds of cherries in the house this week, the cherry pitter got quite a workout!











The little hand held stoner is great for small amounts of cherries. You may find helpful to hold it low over a towel to prevent spatters, as the pit 'shoots' out. Most kitchen stores should have it hanging with the gadgets. If you have many cups of cherries, you may find the larger model is well worth the investment. Last year, it was found in the regular supermarket for under 15 dollars. Click here to see if it is available near you. This is also a likely item to find at garage sales and thrift stores:)
*both of these stoners may occasionally miss a pit.

If you need some ideas, check out these cherry recipes from gone raw.
...omg, I just looked at them myself and really wish I had more cherries!

edited to add...made the cherry cacao cobbler and it was wonderful! Here is my post on it:)

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dads this Sunday!!!

6/15/09

One man's trash...

...is his wife's treasure!
Almost every Monday, hubby leaves me a selection of fruit he will no longer eat. We shop on the weekend, so he has a fresh supply for the week now, and he 'weeds out' the older fruit, as he knows I will put it to good use.
When shopping, there is usually a bin of older produce that the co-op marks down for quick sale. Organic bananas are my favorite thing to buy from there, as they are usually about 39 cents a pound. Two bunches came home this week :) To me these 'old' bananas are just right. I used to like a banana with just a spot or two, or even slightly green. Now I have realized how sweet and wonderful a truly ripe banana is! At least one bunch is always peeled and frozen for one of my favorite recipes...

Triple Thick Chocolate Shake













2-3 frozen bananas, break into chunks
1 tablespoon almond butter*
dash of almond extract
1/4 cup water, or a little more if needed
1-2 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder, or to taste
a little sweetener of choice, optional

Blend all ingredients in high speed blender until very thick and creamy.
Blendtec can use ice cream setting.

If you don't have a powerful blender, you can make this in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade. Even just plain, frozen bananas make a wonderful soft-serve treat! Try it, you will be surprised how yummy it is:)

Here it is as chocolate almond ice cream:


don't worry, I took care of the drip :)








6-8 frozen bananas, break into chunks
1 cup water
1/4 cup almond butter*
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
sweetener of choice, optional

1. blend all ingredients in high speed blender.Blendtec can use ice cream setting
2. transfer mixture to ice cream maker, follow manufactures directions, using about half the usual time to freeze. At this point mix in anything like nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
3. transfer to container and place in freezer for about 1 hour for perfect texture.
if frozen hard, let sit out of freezer about 20 minutes or so before serving.

*note: in both the above recipes the almond butter may be subbed with tahini, and the almond extract may be replaced with vanilla bean seeds.

chocolate sauce:
2 tablespoons agave
1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder

1. mix together in small bowl.
2. drizzle over ice cream or use to flavor nut milks

The ice cream maker is one of my favorite appliances in my happy raw kitchen:) The one I have is a factory refurbished Cuisinart model found at a kitchen store for 20 dollars. Here are several options if you don't have or want a machine.

How to make ice cream without a machine

Kids love to make ice cream this way

Any fruit 'smoothie' can be made into a delicious frozen treat. Simply blend any fruit with a little water and your choice of sweetener. Either of the above recipes can be made in Popsicle molds, the chocolate tastes like a fudgesicle:)
This sorbet was mostly peaches. They were a little wrinkly , but so sweet and juicy:)

6/11/09

Inspired by.....anything!

My love of crafting has often helped me in the creation of raw food. I have to admit to actually stenciling my crazy carrot bread. Today, raw food inspired a craft! Lunch was a yummy bok choy salad. You may have guessed by now where I got the recipe:) Thanks to Phytofoods for the recipe. I made a whole meal out of it by adding the tomato and carrot she suggested and also some julienned daikon, slivered snow peas, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. I also just used a whole little orange, instead of the juice called for.













As soon as I cut the bottom of the bok choy for this delicious salad, I was inspired! It looked just like a rose, and this piece was to be discarded. I remembered making prints once using the bottom of celery, but of course celery is much bigger. In a few minutes, I created several little cards using the bok choy as a rose! The leaves were made by the actual ink pad, and the words are rubber stamps.














If you are feeling creative, here is how the cards were made:
1. Dry the discarded end of the bok choy and rub it with the ink pad.
2. Stamp the roses on the card first.
3. Stamp a rose onto plain paper and cut it out to use as a "mask" (This will prevent the green ink from getting on the rose.)
4. Cover the rose on the card with the mask.
5. Stamp the leaves around the rose with the little ink pad. I added a little detail with a marker.
6. Using a rubber stamp, add the words.

This would be a good craft to do with your little ones, you may use some tempra paint for the ink, or try some beet juice!

Now this is really playing with your food!

6/10/09

On the road again.....













Seems like I do a lot of eating on the run lately! This morning I grabbed a breakfast cookie pop and packed a yummy salad for lunch. The pop pictured here has sprouted sunflower and pumpkin seeds in place of the buckwheat. If you have a dehydrator, you can whip up a batch of cookie pops...and have breakfast to go in a flash! Kids love them, they will eat almost anything on a stick...lol.

Breakfast cookie pops:
4 cup sprouted buckwheat groats*, measured after sprouting
1½ cup date syrup
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup chia seeds
½ cup goji berries
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 inch vanilla bean, seeds only
12 lollipop sticks
*or sprouted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Preparation:

1.combine all ingredients(except lollipop sticks,of course!).
2.let stand for about 1/2 hour to thicken.
3.form into circles(i used a burger press ) using heaping 1/4 cup per cookie.
4.place on teflex sheet and gently push in lollipop stick.
5.dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12 hours ,or as desired.
if you don’t want pops,just spread out to dehydrate,like granola,serve with nut milk makes great granola bars , too!

Try the yummy blueberry dressing from KMcR on gone raw. The salad was just mixed baby greens, blueberries, mango, and raspberries. Thanks to KMcR for the vinaigrette recipe!

6/6/09

Stop and.... eat the roses!


I really have enjoyed exploring my area for wild edibles this week. Of course this includes flowers, as well. I remember how lovely it was the first time my plate was garnished with an orchid at a beautiful restaurant . Now you can actually buy edible flowers in the market with the fresh herbs. Or, pick them yourself! During a brief bike ride this morning, I picked a fresh dandelion. The white lilacs and pink honeysuckle are from my yard. The orchid was saved from a restaurant salad. Here is this mornings breakfast:)

Sweet-n-Special Soup














3 small apples
1 very ripe Bartlett pear
3-4 big strawberries
for garnish
petals from dandelion, honeysuckle, white lilac
mint leaves

In high speed blender, combine apple, pear and strawberries until smooth.
Pour into bowl and garnish with flower petals and mint.

Don't eat it too close to the honeysuckle bush :)

6/5/09

Give bees a chance :)


As most of you probably know, we are all affected by the declining bee population. There are some things we can do to help. If at all possible, plant flowers and plants that attract bees. Growing wild in my yard is a pink honeysuckle bush. Right now it is covered with dozens of busy bees and eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies, both great pollinators.

































































There are many organizations to help the bees. The Great Sunflower Project is one of them. Here is a site called Urban Bee Gardens
Check out what you can do in your area to help out our little friends.

6/4/09

Eating raw on the run

Sometimes if I have unexpected errands to run, I don't have anything prepared to take with me to eat. Keep in mind where I am, any errand takes several hours at least, since we live in the middle of nowhere :) When this happens, I can usually find a market with a take away salad bar, or just grab some fruit. Yesterday, while in the nearby town of Ticonderoga, I bought a bag of grapes from the market and headed downtown to enjoy them by the Carillon Falls .













It was only a bag of grapes, but the day was so beautiful, they tasted like the best grapes in the world! I was able to walk around the area a bit, and snap these pictures, before heading home. Here is the covered bridge in the same area.














This is a pic of the falls from the bridge












Today I had prepared my favorite caponata, so I was able to take it with me for lunch in a small cooler along with a jar of water from home.














I stopped by my favorite spot in my area to eat it. The sand/rock area on the left side of the picture is where I usually sit when I come here. The picture is taken from a bridge above the river, just over a spot where it is always raging.












The small oval container fits perfectly with a jar of ice water, which also acts as the ice pack to keep everything cold in my little mini-mate cooler.












This is my favorite place to walk or bike ride to in my neighborhood. Earlier in the week I walked along the river road and looked for the wild edibles mentioned in my previous post.














Here are some pictures of wild edibles I took during my walk, but I haven't been brave enough to eat any of them yet.


clover













milkweed













morel mushroom











There are a lot more pictures I took of plants I have to identify, and I will add them here when I do:)



red trillium









wild strawberry












I thought I would share this photo of a pretty moth. She followed me for a few minutes during my walk, and landed on these new maple leaves when I bent down to take a picture of some plant next to them. I guess she wanted her picture taken!












Wish I was quick enough to get a pic of the pair of deer that almost ran me down, maybe next time!

6/1/09

Wild edibles

Now, for sure, I know I am a full-fledged raw foodist. During a walk today, I stopped by a lovely babbling brook. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the scent of pine was in the air. I took a deep breath, admired the beautiful surroundings, and said to myself...I wonder if those pretty green leaves are edible!!!!


















Of course, you must be very careful when foraging for food in the wild. Some plants are extremely poisonous. Today, the only edible wild plant I knew for sure were the dandelion greens. Click here for some health benefits.













Last year I used some in salads and smoothies. Try to find a field guide to wild edibles or an expert in your area if you are interested in foraging. Click here for a site with lots of information. Check out this page for pictures of many common plants. The pictures may help identify safe wild edibles:) Here is a site with many recipes , some are raw. You may also search 'wild harvesting' or 'wildcrafting plants' for more information. This site looks like it has some great resources.

Here is a salad I made today. I picked the dandelion greens in the woods, where I know they don't spray, and it is far from any traffic.

Dandy salad with sweet orange dressing












for salad combine:
2-3 cups mixed baby greens
1 cup dandelion greens
1 sprig mint leaves, torn
3 strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup red raspberries
1/2 a navel orange, peeled and cut up

for dressing:
1/2 orange, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave, or a soft, pitted date
pinch of salt and pepper, optional

combine all dressing ingredients in magic bullet until creamy.

You may notice I am trying out my to-go ware:) They hold more than I first thought, more than 4 and a half cups (liquid measure) in each level!

Here is a website that has another brand of tiffin.
Check these out, too!
One more:)
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