Raw Chocolate Lava Cake :)

Hi everyone! Just a real quick post today, to tell you about an idea for a raw chocolate lava cake. For some reason, I came across several SAD versions of this cake today, so it made me wonder if there was a raw version.

A quick search for a raw chocolate lava cake recipe came up empty, so off to the happy raw kitchie I went:)

I don't have an exact recipe, but don't worry, you really don't need one! Just use your favorite raw brownie/cake/date-nut ball recipe! The filling pictured is the old stand-by, chocolate avocado pudding, but a raw chocolate sauce would be more authentic:) You will also need a small 1 cup bowl, and some cling film to shape the cake.

Here is how to assemble the cake:

1. Make your favorite raw brownie or cake recipe in the food processor. I made a basic recipe like my raw caramel brownie bites, using 2 cups of nuts, and one cup of dates with some cacao powder, vanilla and salt. This made more than enough for 2 small cakes, each in a 1 cup bowl.

2. Take a small handful of the brownie mixture, and press it out onto some parchment, about 1/2 inch thick, and cut out a circle using the small bowl as a cutter. Cut another circle if you are making two cakes.

3. Line the small bowls with cling film, and press the remaining brownie mixture evenly into the entire bowl, about 1/2 inch thick. There was a little left over mix, enough for about seven little brownie bite truffle balls:)

4. Fill with your favorite raw pudding, or chocolate sauce(equal parts cacao powder and liquid sweetener like agave, maple, or coconut syrup, and a pinch of salt).

I used the ingredients shown, plus a little water to loosen the pudding a bit. I had some filling leftover, too:)

5. Top with the cut-out cake circle, and press around the perimeter to seal in the filling. I found it helpful to pull the cling film in a little while pressing gently on the top of the cake edge.

That's it! All done:) They were chilled for a short time because I wasn't ready to eat them yet, but I bet they are real good warmed in the "D" for an hour. To un-mold, hold the bowl in a clean cloth wrung out in very hot water for a minute, and pull it out by the wrap. As you can imagine, they are quite rich...almost half was enough for me:)

I had some caramel sauce to squeeze onto the plate, too:) It was similar to this recipe, if you would like exact measurements:)

Love ya!

~ETA~ the extra filling made an awesome fudgesicle:


Keepin' My Cool :)

Welcome back everyone! Hope you are all staying cool. The Adirondack mountains have chilled out a bit lately, but it is still warm enough for one of my favorite raw treats, Popsicles!

They are so easy to create, and help keep you hydrated in the hot weather in a fun way.

The "recipe" is simple, just use your favorite liquid like fruit puree, juice, or smoothie (yup, even a green one). If you like fudgesicles, you can use your favorite avocado pudding, yum!

Even banana soft-serve is delish as a Popsicle. For the pops pictured, the white was 1 young Thai coconut, pureed with a splash of coconut water, a dash of coconut nectar, and a squeeze of lime. The yellow was sweet, juicy pineapple, and the red was dark, sweet cherries with a spoon of coconut nectar. Some flavors taste a bit less sweet to me when frozen, but you can omit all sweeteners if you prefer:)

My favorite flavors in this pop were the pineapple and cherry:)

Check out this very cool stainless steel ONYX Popsicle Mold from the tickle Trunk. I absolutely adore it!

The mold is so well made, I think it could become a family heirloom!

One great feature is that the pops can be made one at a time, the perfect thing to make with that little extra smoothie that won't fit in the glass. Frozen pops can be removed as soon as they are solid, and new treats can be made since you need to use a new stick each time. The company is actually working on re-usable bamboo sticks! In the meantime they do come with extra sticks, and you can find replacements if needed.
The tops have a colorful silicone seal around the stick, and they give you an extra set, too. I found it easier to insert the stick from the underside of the top, so the seal doesn't pop out.

I will be reusing the 'spent' sticks myself in a crafty trivet or something :)

I stored a few Popsicles (removed from molds) in the freezer, wrapped in parchment paper:

I even made some like my bloggie friend, bitt, who used sweetened tea. Mine were double strength mint tea, sweetened with coconut nectar. Yum!!! The orange pops are persimmon...absolutely fantastic! The nice ripe persimmons got a little smushed on the way home from the market this weekend, so into the Popsicle they went! I still have an older plastic mold, so I used that for this batch.

They were all so cool and refreshing, but the mint was especially nice.

If it is hot where you live, I would love to hear about your ways of staying cool!

For those interested, I should be back soon with a kombucha update since momma SCOBY has given birth haha!!!

I would also like to thank the lovely Pure2Raw twins, Michelle and Lori, for featuring a few of my socca pictures on their blog earlier this week in a feature called "Socca Sunday"! Although it is not raw, I am totally in love with it! Thanks so much, Michelle and Lori:)


Kombucha, Baby!

Hi everyone! Hope you are all healthy and happy!

Well, another post, another... science experiment:)

I feel a bit like a mad scientist in the happy raw kitchen lately. It was so much fun making fermented nut cheese, I actually got brave enough to try my hand at making kombucha!

It is something I wanted to do for quite a while now. Anyone who loves this wonderful brew knows it can get quite expensive to buy commercial bottles of kombucha. But now there is a sort of kombucha shortage due to recent concerns of "slightly elevated" alcohol levels contained in one particular brand. This shortage gave me the little push needed to brew my own:)

There is so much info about making your own kombucha, but most methods seemed simple enough. Make a sweetened tea, and add a SCOBY(Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) "mother". After making the mixture, just let it sit for a while. So easy!

Michelle and Lori make it look really easy:)

Wait...add a SCOBY???!!! I have heard you can usually get a "baby" one from a friend.

Hmmmm...That might be a little problem. As much as I love living in the middle of nowhere, I doubt any of the chipmunks around here have a SCOBY to share with me. Of course they can be bought on the internet, but there is another way to obtain the precious SCOBY.

Make your own SCOBY from a bottle of commercial kombucha! YAY!

I grew my very own SCOBY, after watching this video.

This method looks even easier!

Here is what I used:

Equipment: Pot for boiling water, wooden spoon, 1/2 gallon mason jar, new clean handkerchief.

6 cups water, 6 tea bags 6 tablespoons of sugar, one bottle of Pure Essence kombucha.

1. Boil 6 or 7 cups of water, and remove from heat.
2. Add 5 or 6 tablespoons (approx 1/3 cup) sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. Steep 6 tea bags for 12 minutes.
4. Cool the tea.
5. Add a commercial bottle of raw kombucha to a big jar, and pour in the cooled tea.
6. Cover jar with a clean cloth, secured it with just the ring from the top, and let it sit, undisturbed and out of direct sun.
7. Wait......... :)

All the sites for making kombucha stressed how important it is to have everything very clean, so I washed and rinsed everything very well. We have well water, so I boiled it for a few minutes before adding the sugar and tea bags. So, I was a little concerned, and thought it was the dreaded mold when I saw a dark mass of something floating on top after two days. I was going to dump it, but let it go a while just to see what would happen.

That same night there was a thin white film floating on the top of the tea.

The third day, the lumpy thingy was about the same, but the white layer was a little thicker. There were also bubbles forming all around the perimeter.

By the fourth day the white layer was even thicker...and the dark blob was actually lifting the film a bit,

and even looked back at me!

I was still concerned, and searched the internet for more information. I sent a few pictures to a really nice person, Todd, who has a blog about kombucha, and had made a SCOBY from a bottled kombucha. He answered me right away, and said the pictures looked like a healthy SCOBY. I was so surprised and excited. Thank you, Todd! He said to taste it at this point, but it was still sweet like tea.

It also dawned on me around this time that it was July, not June like the sticker on the jar said:)

I left it for a few days longer, just a week total, and tasted it again. This time it was slightly sour and had more bubbles.

OMG, kombucha!

It really tasted good, and was quite bubbly:)

This all happened really quickly...everything I heard or read said it would take a few weeks, but here is what I think happened...

The room where the jar was is very warm and quiet. You are supposed to use only plain green, black or white tea, to start. I went to a tea and health food store to pick up some plain tea, and the lovely girl there said she had used Yogi brand kombucha tea to make her kombucha, so I bought some.

Also, I made a little mistake, and only used a half gallon jar, so the mixture was stronger than it would have been in a gallon jar like the video.*

*uh, never mind that last sentence :)...it was a 64 ounce jar in the video...yup, a half gallon like I used.

My Serendipity Kombucha:)

Here is Momma:)

And a better look at the lumpy thingy:

I reserved the mother and 1 cup of brew for my next batch, and filled 3 bottles (hubby's saved beer bottles). You can find bottles like these easily online or at local home-brew stores. They even come in a gorgeous cobalt blue:)

I used 1/2 cup of a different sugar, and the black and green tea this time. I used the Florida Crystals sugar because it is organic and vegan. As you probably know, some white granulated sugar is not vegan. Click here to see a few vegan and non-vegan brands of sugar. I will keep you posted about the new brew:)

Quick update on day 10...new batch has a nice, thicker SCOBY:

Is making lots of bubbles:

And seems quite happy:)

I know some of you may have made your own kombucha, but if you haven't and want to, give this a try. It is so easy, you won't believe it!

Here are a few great resources for making your own kombucha. I will probably add new links on this post as I find them.

Kombucha making basics from eat living food (PDF)

Kombucha Journal...30 languages and The Worldwide Kombucha Exchange.

The Happy Herbalist

Kombucha Kamp

15 tips for making kombucha.


Kombucha Unveiled

Click the links below to answer some FAQs about kombucha:



Cultures for Health

Sulis Health

Kombucha America

Funny Kombucha links :)

Adorable toddler Noelle eats a SCOBY!

SCOBY gone wild!

Are you a kombucha fan???


Raw Vegan Cheese

Ever since posting Real Cream Cheese, I have been slightly obsessed with making raw nut cheeses.

My first taste of vegan cheese was Cheese with Spring Onions from Zoe on Goneraw a few years ago. It is still a favorite for me, and I was reminded of it from a recent post about it on Goneraw. Thank you so much Zoe! Check out all the comments on this recipe...it was the most popular recipe on the site for a loooooong time!!!

Here it is as a spread, perfect for wraps or dips.

It is a very versatile recipe...this wheel had boursin herbs (molded in a small springform pan) and is my favorite version of this sunflower based cheese.

***Goneraw website is not dependable lately, so I am posting this popular recipe exactly as written :

Recipe Directions

Nut Free Option: Use 3 cups of Sunflower Seeds and no Pine Nuts.
Pre Prep: Wash/rinse the Sunflower Seeds very well and then soak in good water for at least 4 hours, 6 is better. Rinse and shake dry in your strianer or allow to air dry for a while.
In your food processor process the dry ingredients (sunflower seeds, salt and pine nuts) until a fine meal.
Then add the lemon juice and olive oil. Process again until smooth, Scrape off sides as needed. Get it so it is rolling as it moves around your processor.
Process until smooth yet very thick. Dont be scared to let it go for ages, the longer it goes the creamier it is. Then at the end add the Spring Onions and process slightly to break them into the cheese.
Allow to stand for 30 mintues. If you taste it while it is being made or right after, expect the lemon to stand out. It dies down after it has sat for a while.You can shape into cubes or balls and dehydrate for a while to get a firmer cheese for cheese salad, feta etc.
^  Recipe copied and pasted as it appeared.
Another favorite is Gena's Sweet Cheese and Crackers...a quick and easy cheese recipe, posted for the holiday's, but it's perfect any time of year:) Thank you Gena!

Here is a picture of my most recent attempts using the basic fermented nut cheese recipe, made with almonds and dehydrated slightly. It was really tasty, especially the cheddar version. Hint: it is flavored like cheesy sauce for kale chips:)

Here are my dehydrating guidelines:
 The cheese is dehydrated at 115 degrees for about 4-6 hours. Time will depend on how wet your mixture is, but these are the guidelines for mine usually. Just about 1/2" all around dries out to feel a bit harder, like a rind. I haven't weighed the rounds, but I use 2 cups of nuts or seeds for the small springform pan I use. The pan is 4"x1 and 3/4".

Oh, if you can let it age in the fridge a bit(this one went for more than 2 weeks), it is even better:)

I have received several questions about the probiotic powder used to ferment the nut cheese. I have used a few different brands (all good), as well as miso and rejuvelac. Here is a picture of the probiotic powders and capsules in a refrigerator at my co-op so you know what to look for. The 'New Chapter' brand is in the purple topped box, and is popular:

I am really looking forward to making some recipes from raw food Chef Russell James' ebook on raw nut cheeses. Check it out if you love making vegan cheeses as much as I do!!!

Remember to check out Russell's video on what to serve with your raw cheese:) His cheese in the video looks so good!

I used his suggestions and had a wonderful lunch recently:

I would love to know if you have a favorite raw vegan cheese recipe!!!
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