Friday, August 1, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Cooler

I used to be quite the cocktail maker before I decided that alcohol wasn't for me.  Making the cocktails was about mixing different flavors together and coming up with something that was balanced and delicious. I still believe that about drinks, even though the ones I make now are mocktails.  They are however every bit as delicious as the ones with alcohol I used to make.  This Strawberry Rhubarb Cooler I made myself last week on  hot day after working in a hot kitchen was so delicious and refreshing I decided to share it with you all.

Strawberries and rhubarb are already a favorite sweet tart combination of mine, and here I combined them with tart lemon juice and cider vinegar which are also good for cleansing the body.  I added in a bit of mint for a cooling effect as well and it was delicious with the fruit.  The drink was perfectly balanced and sooo good!  If you have an over abundance of rhubarb like I have had lately, you must try this drink!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cooler
Makes 2

about 2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves
ice cubes
1/2 cup fresh organic strawberries pureed
1/4 cup fresh rhubarb, pureed
stevia to taste
4 cups sparkling water or filtered water (if not wanting fizz)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Place ice cubes into the bottoms of 2 glasses with the cilantro. Muddle to crush the mint.  Add strawberries, rhubarb, and stevia to a glass with 2 cups water, add 1 Tbsp cider vinegar and  1/4 cup lemon juice to each and stir until blended.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Salted Nut Roll Bites

I have my boyfriend Eric to thank for this recipe happening.  He told me that I should make a rawified salted nut roll a while back, and has mentioned it a few times since, each time I put it off since I had other things I wanted to make (sorry Eric).  Finally they happened though!

Salted Nut Rolls are a classic Minnesota candy all of us that grew up here are familiar with.  Pearson's Candy makes them locally.  Nougat on the inside, caramel and salted nuts on the outside.  I always thought they were quite delicious when I was little.  Of course I have not had one in over 15 years probably, but I thought rawifying them sounded like fun! I made them smaller instead of big bars so they would be individual servings.  I used a coconut based filling for the center, a raw caramel, and coated them in different types of nuts instead of just peanuts to keep it interesting.

They were way better than the nut rolls I had as a kid.  The pecan were my favorite, but they were all delicious.  I think it would be fun to experiment with other types of nuts on them as well, or even some cacao nibs and chocolate drizzled over if you are chocolate inclined.  Yes, I mess with the classics, nothing like putting my own spin on something and making a new creation!

Salted Nut Roll Bites
Makes 16

1 cup coconut butter (not oil)
1/3 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
pinch sea salt

1 cup soft medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp raw pecan butter
3 Tbsp raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp filtered water (or an additional Tbsp if it seems too thick).

3/4 cup Raw Pecans, chopped
3/4 cup Raw Jungle Peanuts
3/4 cup Raw Almonds, chopped

Whisk together all of the filling ingredients until smooth, then place into a pastry bag and pipe into mounds (about 2 Tbsp worth) on a foil lined sheet pan.  Place in the freezer until hard, about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together the caramel ingredients.  Once the fillings have hardened, place the bowl of caramel next to the pan, and dip each center (mounded side down, leaving the bottom bare) into the caramel, then into the one of the bowls of nuts.  Repeat with about 1/3 of the centers, then switch to a different nut etc. (you want to have an equal amount of 3 different kinds when you are done).  Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set. Store in a container in the fridge.

*Note: if you want to just do one type of nut, you can just increase the amount of that nut to 2 1/4 cups.  Also, feel free to use other types of nuts than the ones I did and make it your own!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Cabbage Corn Slaw

Fresh local organic sweet corn is one of my favorite parts of summer.  So, when I get my hands on it, I am pretty happy.  I could eat it raw straight off the cob, but I find lots of creative uses for it.  Last week, it found its way into my coleslaw.  It had a creamy, tangy walnut butter dressing, sweet local cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil from my patio as well. Honestly, I ate the whole batch it was so good!  This is one of those recipes that seems like you would want a small portion but it ends up being your entire meal because you go back for seconds!

Summer Cabbage Corn Slaw
Serves 1-2

1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 cup fresh sweet corn
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup sweet corn
3 Tbsp raw walnut butter
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 medjool date, pitted
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt to taste

3 Tbsp raw shelled hemp seeds

In a large bowl, combine all of the veggies and basil.  In a high speed blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and well combined.  Toss with the salad, and the hemp seeds.  Serve!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raw Snickers Shake

When I was a kid, Snickers was always a favorite of mine.  The candy bars and of course the ice cream bars.  I remember buying those in middle school at lunch and thinking I was getting a real treat. I was thinking about those the other day when it was 90 degrees and one of them sounded really good...and then I thought, why not make a raw shake version of a Snickers?  My Boyfriend Eric was all for it especially when I decided to make the shakes after we spent about an hour walking outside. He is always up for anything sweet containing chocolate, caramel and nuts anyhow having a larger sweet tooth than me.  

So, I made a base which tasted like a Snickers but a little caramelly due to the maca and lucuma I added to it. I made half of it chocolate to get the full Snickers effect, then added in a layer of caramel and crunchy jungle peanuts along with some cacao nibs for more chocolaty goodness.  This was some serious deliciousness.  It tasted like Snickers in shake form, and although I would consider this a treat, much less sugary than if it were real Snickers.  It was inhaled fast that is for sure.  If you are a Snickers fan, you must try this!

Raw Snickers Shake
Serves 2

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

6 large bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
1/4-1/2 cup raw hemp milk or 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
1 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp raw jungle peanut butter
stevia to taste (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup raw jungle peanuts
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

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.
For the shake, combine banana, hemp milk, maca, lucuma, vanilla, maple, peanut butter,  and stevia in a blender and blend until smooth, using the tamper to press the mixture into the blades. Pour half into glasses, then top with half the caramel, some of the peanuts, and some cacao nibs.  Add the cacao powder to the remaining mixture in the blender, and blend until smooth.  Pour over the other half of the smoothie in the glasses and top off with more caramel, peanuts and cacao nibs.  Serve!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Raw Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Sandwiches

I got my hands on some amazingly flavorful fresh cherries, and all I could imagine making with them was ice cream.  It just sounded so good!  It might have had something to do with the hot weather we have been having.  Cherry ice cream, with a bit of chocolate. Now that sounded even better. But I didn't stop there, my mind was wandering and I loved the direction it was going in.  You see, I was out on a long run, and sweating like crazy while this was going on in my mind and the ice cream was sounding better and better.  I finally decided to make ice cream sandwiches. Flavorful cherry cacao nib ice cream sandwiched together with chocolaty cookies.

There was no turning back, these ice cream sandwiches were happening. I made the most a simple banana based cherry ice cream, laced with cacao nibs and it was good just as was, but I knew it would be freaking delicious paired with the fudgy dark chocolate cookies drizzled with dark chocolate I had made. Cherries and chocolate are a match made in heaven, especially when put together as ice cream sandwiches!

Raw Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 10

Raw Chocolate Cookies:
2 cups ground flaxseed
4 cups finely shredded dried coconut
2 cups soft medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup chopped raw red beet

Cherry Ice Cream:
3 large frozen bananas, cut into pieces
2 cups frozen cherries
6 medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup raw cacao nibs

1/2 cup raw dark chocolate chunks or chopped raw dark chocolate

In a food processor, combine the ground flaxseed, shredded coconut, dates, and sea salt and process until finely ground.  Add the cacao powder and beet and process until smooth.  Place on a sheet of parchment and roll out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 12 rectangles and place in the freezer to harden. 
To make the ice cream, combine all ingredients except the cacao nibs in a high speed blender and blend until smooth using the tamper to push down the mixture into the blades (but not too long or it will be too liquid). Alternatively you can use a food processor but keep in mind it will take longer and you will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor a few times.  Mix in the cacao nibs.  Put the ice cream in a bowl in the freezer until the cookies are hard. 
Once the cookies are hard, spread the ice cream over half the cookies about an inch thick, then top with another cookie.  Place back in the freezer and let freeze until firm.
When ready, melt the chocolate (I put mine in a bowl in the dehydrator for about 15 minutes).   Drizzle over the tops of the sandwiches, then place in the freezer for a few minutes to set the chocolate.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Raw Green Tea Mint Raspberry Dream Cake

Every day when I am out walking and running, I see wild raspberries along the way.  I have been anxiously waiting for them to come to perfect ripeness, and finally last week they were ready.  So Eric and I went out and harvested all that we could find that were ripe.  Let me tell you, it was worth the mosquito bites and scratches, they were yummalicious! Nothing beats wild raspberries, and these happened to be black raspberries.  

My Mom also brought me a pint of fresh wild red raspberries that her coworker had picked over the weekend.  I was quite excited, I thought these beautiful berries needed to be used in a delicious dessert.  I wanted a cake, and I thought about all of the possible flavor combinations I could do with the berries, but I wanted to do something different and decided on green tea mint raspberry.  I had been meaning to pair green tea with berries, since I had enjoyed a delicious berry infused iced green tea my Mom made a few weeks back and I loved the combo, and I had fresh mint from the farmer's market so it was perfect!

This cake was so silky and dreamy since I included some avocado in the filling along with the coconut and the matcha powder (green tea) gave it an earthy quality that paired nicely with fresh mint and bright sweet flavor of the berries which I swirled into the filling in jammy ribbons.  It was heavenly on all levels.  I feel so fortunate this time of the year when my favorite local fruits and herbs are available!

Raw Green Tea Mint Raspberry Dream Cake
Makes one 6 inch cake

2/3 cup raw sprouted buckwheat groats (or additional coconut)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 cup dried finely shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped (if they are not soft, soak them in water until they are and drain them well)

Raspberry Puree:
1 cup fresh organic raspberries
2 medjool dates, pitted (and soaked in water until soft if not soft)
a pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice

3 cups young coconut meat*
2 cups avocados
1/2 cup coconut water
2/3 cup raw coconut nectar, raw agave nectar or raw honey
1/2  teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
2 Tbsp matcha powder
about 10 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid)

Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process flax, coconut, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
For puree, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  Set aside. 
To make the filling, in a high speed blender or food processor, combine coconut, avocados, coconut water, coconut nectar, sea salt, vanilla, matcha and mint  in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut butter and and process for a minute until blended. 
To assemble cheesecake, pour 1/3 of the filling over the crust then drop the puree by the 1/2 tsp over that and swirl it with a knife. Pour half the remaining filling over that (carefully so that you don't disturb the swirl). Then drop the swirl over that by the 1/2 tsp and swirl it with a knife.  Pour the remaining filling over that carefully, then drop more of the swirl by the 1/2 tsp over it and swirl with a knife in a spiral from the outside in to the center, then a toothpick if you want more intricate swirls.  
Place in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up. 
Once the cake has chilled, Garnish the top with raspberries before serving.

*If you do not have access to young coconut meat and you do not mind the recipe not being nut free, you can substitute 3 cups raw cashews soaked for 4 hours and drained in the filling.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lavender Raspberry Cacao Smoothie Bowl

 It is a hard choice, but if I had to pick my favorite fruit, it would probably be raspberries.  To me, they are the perfect balance of tart sweet, a little texture from the seeds and beautiful little jewels.  They are available during my favorite time of the year, ready to pick around my Birthday and I love finding the wild ones, they are the most flavorful.  Nothing beats picking the berries off of the bush and enjoying them right then and there.  Eric and I went out and picked a bunch, and my Mom bought some that a coworker had picked up in northern Minnesota and I could not have been more thrilled to have them on hand.  I made a cake with some, but I used some in this delicious smoothie bowl.

Every time I go out running, I pass raspberry bushes and although it is very tempting to stop and eat them I don't because most of them are not ripe yet...but it leaves me craving them.  And this time I had some waiting for me at home, and it sounded amazing to make a smoothie bowl with them and combine them with cacao and lavender.  It is one of the most heavenly combinations!  Trust me, you need to try this smoothie bowl, and if there are not fresh raspberries available to you, you may use frozen and it will still make you happy.  

Lavender Raspberry Cacao Smoothie Bowl
Serves 1

1 large bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
2 cups frozen organic black and red raspberries
1 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
1 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 scoop raw vanilla protein powder (optional, I used Garden of Life brand or Sunwarrior Blend)
1/4-1/2 cup raw hemp milk or coconut milk (depending on how liquidy you like it, I like mine thick so I add less)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
stevia to taste (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)

raw cacao nibs
chia seeds
shelled raw hemp seeds
dried lavender flowers
fresh red and black raspberries

For the smoothie, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, using the tamper to press the mixture into the blades.  Pour into a bowl, top with toppings (I used about 1 Tbsp of each).  Enjoy!