Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Raw Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

I don't think I can ever get sick of strawberries.  Even if I had access to them year round (which I technically do, because you can buy organic ones year round here, but they are out of season most of the year and only good for the spring and summer months) I would not tire of them.  So, I have been eating tons of them lately.  They are so good right now, and the perfect ingredient for a delicious dessert as far as I am concerned.  Which is why, on a whim I decided to make some cupcakes with them last weekend.

Strawberries and cream cupcakes.  When I thought up the idea while daydreaming earlier that day it sounded amazing.  A sweet vanilla cake, smattered with jammy strawberries and topped off with a light coconut vanilla cream and a fresh strawberry.  Made me mentally drool just thinking about it.  So, I decided to make these a non-dehydrated cupcake this time, because I was too impatient to wait for that, I wanted (almost) instant gratification (ok, so about an hour  and a half gratification, but I am willing to wait that long at least).

They came together pretty quick, simpler than most of the cupcake recipes I have made, and they were so worth that hour and a half.  Heavenly describes them perfectly.  All my favorite flavors and things...vanilla, cake, berries, cream.  You need to make these part of your summer before it is over and berries are out of season again.  Trust me!

Raw Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Makes 8

Cream frosting:
 cups fresh young coconut meat*
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar, or your choice of raw liquid sweetener

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds of  a vanilla bean

3/4  cup raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid)

5 1/2 cups finely shredded, dried coconut
1 1/2 cups soft medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak them in filtered water 30 minutes and drain well)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups finely ground golden flaxseed
1 cup coconut butter (not oil)
1 cup coconut water or filtered water at room temperature
2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

To make the frosting, combine the coconut, coconut water, coconut nectar, sea salt, vanilla, vanilla bean, and process until smooth.  Add the coconut butter with the processor running to incorporate it completely.  Once blended, scoop into a bowl, and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour until it reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream.
Meanwhile, for the cake, buzz the finely shredded coconut in a blender just until finely ground (but not too long or you will get butter).  Add to a food processor with the dates, vanilla, and sea salt, flaxseed, and process until it is well combined and very fine.  Add the coconut butter and water, and pulse (you don't want to over mix or the cake will become heavy) until well combined (if it seems to dry, add a little more water by the Tbsp).  Add the strawberries and pulse briefly. Press the batter cake into 8 muffin tins.  Set aside. 
Once the frosting is chilled, place in a pastry bag and pipe over the tops of the cupcakes.  Serve! (these are best eaten right away at room temperature, but if you have any left, store in the fridge)

*If you cannot get fresh coconut meat, you can use raw cashews instead.  Soak 4 cups raw cashews in filtered water, 4 hours then drain.  Continue with the cake recipe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Raw Summer Squash and Cauliflower Samosas with Apricot Fig Chutney

I have been craving lots of spices in my food lately.  So I decided to make something a little Indian inspired.  Raw Samosas!  The minute I thought of the idea while I was at work, I knew I had to make them that night.  They sounded better and better to me the more I thought about it too!  I had some summer squash and cauliflower that I thought would be wonderful in a curried filling so it was perfect!

They turned out awesome after a few hours in the dehydrator, and I made a sweet apricot fig chutney to go alongside them which paired well with the spices in the filling.  This is why I love summer, access to lots of fresh veggies to make creative things with!

Raw Summer Squash and Cauliflower Samosas with Apricot Fig Chutney
Makes 14

2 1/2 cups finely shredded dried coconut
2 cups sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats (or additional coconut)
2 cups ground golden flaxseed
1 cup yellow summer squash, diced
1/3 cup filtered water or as needed
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar or your choice liquid raw sweetener
1/2 tsp himalayan salt

1/4 cup raw coconut butter (not oil), warmed to liquid
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, diced
2 small yellow summer squash, diced
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp himalayan salt or to taste

Apricot Fig Chutney:
1 sweet apple, diced (divided)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 fresh apricots, diced
1/2 cup fresh figs, (or dried and rehydrated) quartered
1/2 cup dried apricots, rehydrated and quartered
1/2 cup raisins
a pinch sea salt

To make the dough, combine coconut, buckwheat, and flax in a food processor and process until finely ground (essentially you are creating a flour, you want it that fine).  Add the remaining dough ingredients, and process until holding together like dough (if it seems too dry add little more filtered water 1 tsp at a time, if too sticky a few more Tbsp flaxseed). Roll out 1/8 inch thick in a large square or rectangle on a piece of parchment (if too sticky, refrigerate for about 10 minutes and oil your rolling pin).  Cut into 14 squares (you may need to re-roll some) Set squares aside in the fridge.
To make the filling, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine and chop (but not too much, you want it very chunky). Spoon a little filling into the center of each dough, then fold it over and press the edges together to seal.  Dehydrate for about 2-3 hours until the outside of the dough is dry (this step can be skipped the dough will just be softer). 
Meanwhile, to make the chutney, combine half the apple, the vinegar, the coconut nectar and cinnamon in a food processor and process until smooth.  Place in a bowl with the other ingredients and stir until well blended.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve the samosas with the sauce.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grapefruit Lavender Coconut Deodorant

I sweat a lot.  I have always been this way, since I was young, and my Grandmother would always tell me it was good to sweat. It releases the toxins in the body.  Well, I am the girl that after a run when I am stretching I create a small puddle with the sweat dripping off me. So I definitely always need to wear deodorant.  I don't want to be smelling funky...unless it is a new aromatic perfume I created myself from essential oils (which is a good funky not the bad stinky funky).  I have been using natural ingredient based deodorants for a while now since I try not to put chemicals on my body.  However none of them really worked that well.  I found one that worked pretty well, and it smelled good, but things still got funky sometimes after a long sweaty workout, or just a long walk in the hot sun.

I thought that was the best any deodorant was going to get.  Until I saw this recipe by Mind Body Green for a coconut deodorant.  I was intrigued. I wanted to try it!  I am all for trying things like this once.  It was simple, very few ingredients and easy to make.  When I mixed it together, it seriously smelled like dessert.  Because I chose grapefruit and lavender essential oils to scent it, the aroma reminded me of citrus coconut lavender macaroons.

But the question was...would it work?  I think you know the answer because I am sharing the recipe, but it totally worked!  I went on a long, sweaty run, and I had actually applied it the night before and it kept me odor free!  My arm pits actually smelled good.  I was pretty shocked.  I am never going back to my other deodorant now that I have this stuff, it is wonderful!

Grapefruit Lavender Coconut Deodorant
Recipe adapted from Mind Body Green 

1/4 cup raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup arrowroot powder
10 drops grapefruit essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
1 Tbsp baking soda*

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together, then pour into an empty deodorant container, or a glass jar (I just set it on my counter, remove about 1/4 tsp with my hands and rub it into my armpits when I want to apply) and set in the fridge until solid (if your home is cool enough, you can store it on the counter, which is what I do and it is soft enough to rub in, but if your house is warmer than about 75F, then you should store it in the fridge (and if you are using a jar, you will have to chip out pieces to use).
*Note, some people are sensitive to baking soda on their skin, if this is you, leave it out.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Raw Snickers Ice Cream Cake

Last week when I was out running, I was thinking about the fact that people often don't say the compliments that are on their mind.  Like for instance.  You think someone's hair looks extra good or you love their shirt, or you enjoy their company a lot or the help they give you.  But you do not tell them, you just keep it to yourself.  I decided that I needed to start saying these things to the people around me.  Let them know they are beautiful (or handsome) or appreciated, or whatever positive thoughts come into my mind.   After all, there is enough negativity in the world, why not put in more positive?

So a funny thing happened.  Not 5 minutes after thinking about being more positive, I was passing an elderly woman, and she looked friendly so I expected a hello, but instead I was greeted with "Wow girl, you are a runner! Bless you! Bless you! You go!" It made my day.  This woman clearly understood the concept of saying positive things that come into your mind.  I hope to be like her when I am 80.  Just a few thoughts that I think are valuable to everyone.  So what does that have to do with this Raw Snickers Ice Cream Cake?  Well...only the fact that eating a slice makes you happy.  I admit I made it for Eric because he was craving Snicker's Ice Cream so much and I know my rawified ice cream is SOOO much better than any refined sugar stuff he might go after at the store.

Vanilla caramel and chocolate ice creams,  with raw caramel, jungle peanuts, chocolate chunks, chocolate fudge, and raw cacao nibs.  Pure decadent deliciousness.  This was so much better than the Snicker's ice cream bars I used to eat as a kid! Trust me, you need this in your life.

Raw Snickers Ice Cream Cake
Makes one 4x8 inch cake

1 1/2 cups finely shredded dried coconut
1 1/2 cups ground flaxseed
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup soft medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak in filtered water 30 minutes and drain well before using)

Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups coconut water
3 cups young coconut meat*
3 cups ripe bananas, mashed
3/4  cup raw date paste or another raw liquid sweetener if you prefer
2 Tbsp maca powder (optional)
1 Tbsp lucuma powder (optional)
2 Tbsp raw jungle peanut butter
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional, but makes it more caramel flavored)
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

10 large soft medjool dates
1 Tbsp raw pecan butter or other raw nut butter
filtered water as needed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt

1/4 cup chopped raw chocolate or chocolate chunks
1/2 cup raw jungle peanuts

1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup plus Tbsp raw coconut nectar
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
a pinch sea salt

raw cacao nibs 
raw jungle peanuts 

For the crust, in a food processor, combine all ingredients but the dates, and process until fine crumbs.  Add the dates and process until starting to hold together when squeezed (if it is not, add a few more dates).  Remove from the food processor and press into the bottom of a 4x8 inch loaf pan lined with plastic wrap (for easy removal) and press out flat.  

For the ice cream, add coconut water to a food processor, along with young coconut, bananas,   nectar, maca, lucuma, peanut butter, maple, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut butter slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. 
Meanwhile, for the caramel, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth (adding filtered water as needed until it is a desired consistency).  Set aside.
Once the ice cream is done churning, remove from ice cream maker, and remove 1/2 of the ice cream.  Whisk in 1/3 cup  raw cacao powder (to the 1/2 of the ice cream), then pour over the crust. Drop some of the caramel by the tsp over it, then scatter 1/4 cup of the peanuts and the 1/4 cup chopped chocolate over it. Swirl the caramel a little with a knife, then pour the vanilla caramel layer of ice cream over that.  Drop some more of the caramel by the tsp over that, then sprinkle with another 1/4 cup jungle peanuts, and swirl it slightly.  Place in the freezer for about 6 hours or overnight until firm.  
For the fudge, whisk together all ingredients until smooth (if too thick, add a little water, if too thin, add a little more cacao powder).  Spoon over the top of the cake so that it drips down.  Garnish the top with the the remaining jungle peanuts and cacao nibs and serve!

*If young coconut meat is unavailable, you can substitute the 3 cups fresh coconut with 3 cups finely shredded, dried coconut and 1 1/2 cups coconut water.  But, you MUST have a high speed blender to do this or it will never become smooth.  Blend the coconut first until it becomes butter, using the tamper to press it into the blades until it is liquidy, then add the coconut water and blend until combined. Add this to the ice cream base in place of the young coconut meat.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Asian Radishrabi Salad and Fermented Kohlrabi and Radishes

My Mother brought me some radishes and kohlrabi from the farmer's market last week and asked if I could make her a salad out of it.  She does this every year with kohlrabi, I think it is secretly one of her favorite veggies.  Or maybe she just buys it because it used to be one of the veggies her Grandmother grew in her garden.  I don't know what Great Grandma did with them, but I imagine she made something delicious.  So this time my Mom brought the kohlrabi home, she told me about an Asian Salad she had seen, and said that sounded good, so I came up with my own version of it with the kohlrabi, radishes and some celery and scallions added in as well. It was simple, but delicious and balanced.  I decided it needed to be shared with you all!

Asian Radishrabi Salad
Serves 2

4 small kohlrabi, tough parts removed, halved and thinly sliced
about 10 radishes, thinly sliced
2 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp raw nama shoyu
2 tsp raw coconut nectar or your choice liquid raw sweetener

1 Tbsp raw sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the veggies.  Whisk together the dressing in another bowl, then toss with the salad and the sesame seeds.  Serve!

While I made the delicious Asian Radishrabi Salad, I also made these fermented kohlrabi and radishes as well.  I thought might as well do my chopping at the same time!  I eat lots of fermented veggies because they are important for gut health (which keeps the rest of your body feeling happy as well).  I make sauerkraut, but I like to switch it up and do other veggies as well, which is where this recipe comes in!  It is delicious by itself or in salads.  I thought you might like to try them as well, so I am sharing the recipe as I made it.  

Fermented Kohlrabi and Radishes
Makes four cups

2 medium kohlrabi, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups radishes, thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 Tbsp sea salt
filtered water

Place the veggies in a bowl, and toss with the salt.  Allow to sit for about 30 minutes, to let them release water, then pour all of it into a clean canning jar.  Fill the jar with water to cover all of the veggies completely, then put the lid on and let sit for a week to ferment.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Raw German Chocolate Blizzard

Last week my Mom, my boyfriend Eric and I were discussing what our favorite blizzards used to be.  Mine and Eric's were pretty common ones, but my Mom was talking about enjoying one with walnuts, chocolate and coconut.  She couldn't remember what it was called, but I decided that it sounded to me like German Chocolate.  Then I decided that it would be really good rawified, so I whipped some up for all of us.

I used a banana based ice cream for the blizzard, since I was too impatient to wait for a churned ice cream, and added in some of my favorite superfoods, raw cacao powder, maca and lucuma along with raw walnut butter to make it a bit silky.  It tasted enough like chocolate cake the type that is impossible to stop tasting.  I mixed in raw cacao nibs instead of chocolate chunks (because it was sweet enough), some raw walnuts and coconut.  It was fantabulous!  My Mom who never eats ice cream anymore, wanted a small cup of it and loved it!  Trust me, you need this deliciousness in your life!

Raw German Chocolate Blizzard
Serves 2

Ice Cream:
6 large bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
1/4 cup raw coconut milk (depending on how liquidy you like it, I like mine thick so I add less)
1 Tbsp raw maca powder
1 Tbsp raw lucuma powder (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp raw walnut butter
stevia to taste (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
1/3 cup raw cacao powder

1/3 cup raw walnuts, plus more for topping
1/3 cup large flake coconut, plus more for topping
1/3 cup raw cacao nibs, plus more for topping

For the ice cream, banana, milk, maca, lucuma, vanilla, walnut butter, stevia and cacao powder in a blender and blend until smooth, using the tamper to press the mixture into the blades. Stir in the 1/3 cup walnuts, coconut and cacao nibs.  Pour into glasses and top off with more walnuts, coconut and cacao nibs.  Serve!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Raw Zucchini Carrot Spice Cake

This recipe all started out with juice pulp.  Carrot zucchini juice pulp actually.  I love my juice and I juice carrots and beets a lot, but I never thought to juice a zucchini.  Until I saw that someone else had included it in their juice on Instagram and I decided that I must try it.  After all, I figured it would be a good rehydrator in my juice! I had a large zucchini sitting on my counter that was destined for cake...but I borrowed it for juice first. 

Juice pulp makes wonderful cake!  I admit I use beets the most because I am attracted to the color they produce in cake, but carrots are awesome as well, and zucchini mixed with carrot too, as proven by this deliciousness I made last weekend.  I know it is not fall yet, but I love these veggies in cakes with spice, so I decided to make a spice cake.  With sweet surprises of fig and crunchy pecans in the cake part as well.  Such a wonderful combination I decided when I could not stop eating the cake scraps I had trimmed from the final perfectly round layers.  

I frosted it with a fluffy, maple laced coconut based frosting that was perfect with the spices in the cake.  Almost a fallish combination, but I was happy to enjoy it in the summer.  The cake turned out simply heavenly!  The zucchini and carrot pulp provided the perfect moisture without you even knowing they were there! I love cakes with veggies included!

Raw Zucchini Carrot Spice Cake
Makes one 8 inch 2 layer cake

6 cups raw carrot and zucchini pulp (leftover from juicing)
2 cups soft medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak them in filtered water 30 minutes and drain well)
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 cups ground flaxseed
5 cups raw coconut flour (home-made is preferred)*
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini (the green part of the skin)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried figs (soaked in water until soft if very hard and drained well)
1/2 cup chopped raw pecans

4 cups young coconut meat **
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp maple extract (optional)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or agave nectar
1/2  tsp sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean, or 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid

For the cake, combine the dates, vanilla, sea salt, flaxseed and flours in a food processor and process until it is well combined and like flour. Add the pulp, and an pulse until well combined (but not too much or it will be heavy, alternatively if it does not fit in the food processor, you can mix the pulp in by hand, just make sure there are not large chunks.  If it seems too sticky, add a little more coconut flour).  Mix in the shredded carrot and zucchini as well as the chopped figs and pecans.  On a parchment or foil lined tray, shape into three 8 inch circular cake layers. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter and oil in a food processor and process until smooth.  With the motor running, add the coconut butter and process a minute more.  Pour the cream into a bowl and let sit in the fridge until the consistency of whipped cream.
When ready to frost, place one cake layer on a plate.  Spread frosting about 1/2 inch thick over the first layer, then top with the second.  Do the same with the next layer, then top with the last cake layer. Spread frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake, smoothing out.  Place the remaining frosting in a pastry bag, and pipe decoratively around the bottom and top of the cake.  Store cake in the fridge.

*Store bought coconut flour is often times too dry, and it may dry out your cake mixture too much.

**If you do not have access to young coconut meat, you can use 4 cups raw cashews soaked 4 hours and drained instead and filtered water for the coconut water.