Monday, July 21, 2014

Raw Rhubarb Cherry Hand Pies

One advantage to everyone knowing I make desserts for my blog, is that I get given free vegetables and fruit sometimes.  My neighbor brought me a huge stash of rhubarb from her cabin and I knew I had to make something to use some of it fast.  Some of it got frozen right away, but I thought some pie with a bit of it that I left out would be wonderful!  I had never tried it with cherries before, but the combo sounded like pure deliciousness so I was going to give it a go.

I was going to make a large pie with maybe a crumble topping, or a tart but then I thought about it and that is what I always seem to make so I thought outside of the box this time.  Maybe a galette? Pretty but not different enough.  So I settled on hand pies. 

 Who doesn't like their own pie after all, especially one that is hand held and not messy.  I admit when I was a kid, I was in love with those little cherry pies that you could buy at the gas station. Probably just because they were cute, because they didn't taste all that great, just like a lot of sugar.  I liked the idea though.  I could make cute raw hand pies that tasted good, now that was a good idea.

I made a soft dough, and wrapped it around a jammy cherry rhubarb filling (which did not taste raw, thanks to the dates making it gooey).  I knew they would be amazing as was, but they needed a little glaze to make them pretty.  They were 100x better than any cherry hand pie I ate as a kid!  I now think I need to experiment with hand pies a little more in the future, endless possibilities for filling makes me excited!

Raw Rhubarb Cherry Hand Pies
Makes 6

2 1/2 cups finely shredded dried coconut
2 cups sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat (or additional coconut)
2 cups ground golden flaxseed
1 1/2 cups soft medjool dates, pitted (if they are not soft, soak them in water until they are and drain well before using)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 2 medium)

2 1/2 cups fresh organic rhubarb, sliced
3 cups pitted halved cherries, divided
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
a pinch sea salt

2 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid
1 tsp raw coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
2 Tbsp filtered water

To make the crust, combine all the ingredients but the banana in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the banana, and process until holding together like dough (if it seems too dry add a tsp of filtered water, if too sticky a few more Tbsp flaxseed). Divide the dough into 6 balls, and roll out 1/8 inch thick on a piece of parchment (if too sticky, refrigerate for about 10 minutes and oil your rolling pin).  Set rounds aside in the fridge.
To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, 1 cup of the cherries, dates,  coconut nectar and sea salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped but still a little texture.  Stir in the remaining cherries. Spoon a little filling into the center of each dough circle, then fold it over and flute the edges (or use a fork to crimp them shut).  Dehydrate for about 30 minutes until the outside of the dough is dry (this step can be skipped the dough will just be softer). 
To make the glaze, whisk together all ingredients until smooth (it may seem clumpy at first, but it will thin out). Drizzle over the pies (I find it easier and neater to put it in a ziplock back and clip the corner off then drizzle) and serve!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Raw Tropical Bonanza Jamu Freesh Cake: Guest Post by Jonny Freesh!

This week, I am featuring a few of my favorite raw food bloggers on my blog.  It is my honor to have them guest post and share a bit of their delicious food with us all!  The first blogger I am featuring is Jonny Freesh. Ever since I first saw his recipes I have been inspired by them. They are beautiful, delicious looking (and tasting, I have tried a few), and I am jealous of all of the yummy tropical fruit he has access to (in a good way).  He is also a rapper, and his lyrics are about raw food!  How awesome is that?! You all should visit his blog when you are done here and check out the deliciousness there. Now I will turn it over to him!

When Amy asked me to do a guest post on her blog I got really really super excited. I've been admiring her stunningly gorgeous Raw Desserts for well over a year and it's a huge honor to contribute to her site. She was the one who inspired me to take my swirling game to the next level. As my hilarious New Yorker friend would say, “Her Swirl Game is Ferocious!”

We've been communicating online for a while now, and it quickly became apparent that Amy has a penchant for tropical fruits. When she revealed that she liked Durian I swear I shed a tear of joy ;)

So I wanted to bring something special for this awesome opportunity. I may have gone a bit overboard lol, as there are 6 different Tropical Fruits in this delicacy, including Jackfruit and Snakefruit, two tropical fruits that I rarely see in recipes.

I also wanted to create something really unique and new. So that's where the Jamu comes in. Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal medicine that commonly comes in the form of a Turmeric juice here in Bali. So I put some Turmeric Powder in the yellow layer, which also had the benefit of making the color much more vibrant.

For those of you that are thinking, ewwww, turmeric in Dessert!?!? I encourage you to give it a try. I find that it mixes surprisingly well with chocolate, and it gives a delicious zesty tang to this cake.

And to make this cake extra super seriously special, I used Mangosteen. Here in Indonesia they call Durian the King of Fruits, and Mangosteen is his Queen. And deservedly. She is a divine concoction of sweetness and tartness, adorned in an elegant, regal, and yet simple costume.

Which, as you can probably imagine from looking at it, isn't exactly easy and quick to unpack. Which is why I rarely use it in recipes. It takes quite some time to separate those cute little white pods from the fairly large seeds that dwell inside. And each whole Mangosteen is about the size of a child's fist, so it takes about 3 kilos of fruit to get the 1 cup of de-seeded fruit required to make a significant amount of Mangosteen tasting substance.

But if any blog is worthy of the extra time and care required to create a Mangosteen cake, Fragrant Vanilla Cake is it. One day I hope Amy is afforded the opportunity to play around with a few kilos of the Queen of Fruits. Alas, man can but dream. Without further ado, here is the recipe for The Raw Tropical Bonanza Jamu Freesh Cake.

P.S. The word Freesh means to make Raw Food. I was never a fan of the word Uncooking and cooking raw food just doesn't sound right.

The Raw Tropical Bonanza Jamu Freesh Cake

Makes one 9 inch cake

Blender, Food Processor, 9” Spring Form Pan

2 cups Walnuts (soaked & dehydrated)
1 cup Desiccated Coconut
¼ cup Coconut Oil
1 cup Dried Figs
½ tsp Salt

White Layer:
1 cup Young Coconut Meat
1 cup Coconut Butter
¼ cup Raw Coconut Palm Nectar
¼ cup Coconut Water
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Coconut Water (for swirl)

Yellow Layer:
1 cup Chopped Jackfruit
½ cup Chopped Snakefruit
½ cup Passionfruit Goo
1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked)
2 tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ cup Raw Coconut Butter
½ cup Coconut Oil
2 Vanilla Beans

Purple Layer:
¼ cup Dates soaked in ½ cup Coconut Oil for 10-20 Minutes (Use Both)   
1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked)
¼ cup Fresh Purple Mulberries
1 cup Mangosteen
2 Vanilla Beans
A Pinch of Salt

1.  Blitz all crust ingredients until well mixed and it easily sticks between your fingers.
2.  Wipe down Spring Form Pan with coconut oil and press crust firmly down into the bottom of it.
3.  Blend all White Layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
4.  Set aside 3 tbsp for swirl and mix with 1 tbsp of Coconut Water.
5.  Put 1/3 cup into an icing syringe or piping bag and put in fridge.
6.  Pour remainder into pan and put in freezer.
7.  Blend all Yellow Layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
8.  Set aside 3 tbsp for swirl.
9.  Put 1/3 cup in piping bag or icing syringe and put in fridge.
10.Pour on top of white layer and put back in freezer.
11.Blend all purple layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
12.Pour on top of yellow layer.
13.Put small dollops of the 3 tbsps of yellow and white layer you set aside earlier around the top of the purple layer and swirl with a skewer or thin chopstick.
14.Pipe icing around side of cake.
15.Put in freezer to set for 3-4 hours.
16.Slice, serve, and bask in the glow of the tropical fruits of Bali. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Sleeping in, going for a run on a perfect cool summer morning, and making myself a smoothie bowl.  That is my ideal start to the day.  That was how it was last Sunday.  It doesn't usually go like that in the summer.  It is usually a hot sticky day here mid-July and 50 and 60 degree morning temps are pretty rare.  But I will take it!  My body was thankful for that as well.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for every day I am able to even get out the door and run pain free, bugs, humidity, heat, rain and all...but this cooler stuff was icing on the cake.  I like to think it was kind of a Birthday present the temps being cool this week.  I can remember the past few years it was over 100 degrees this part of July. Anyways, I was feeling so energized and happy Sunday and making this delicious Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl added to the happy part.  It was so yummalicious!

I enjoy coming up with a different smoothie bowl every week.  It keeps it interesting and exciting for me.  This time I was craving cherry.  In addition to the cherries, I added in some strawberries I had on hand as well and a dash of cacao powder and raw chocolate protein powder as well.  I topped it off with raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut and more cherries.  It was delicious!  This is the best type of that nourishes, energizes and tastes amazing!

Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl
Serves 1

1 large bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
1 cup frozen organic strawberries
2 cups organic cherries
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 scoop raw chocolate protein powder (optional, I used Garden of Life brand)
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
large flake dried coconut
fresh cherries

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!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Raw Sesame Vegetable Stir Fry with Celeriac Garlic Rice

I had a celeriac last week and I wanted to try making rice out of it.  After all, it seemed like it would be good for that with its white firm flesh. I made the rice, with a little garlic, nutritional yeast and salt added in and it was delicious, just like that.  I decided though that it needed something to go with it, so I made a sesame vegetable stir fry using what I had on hand.

The stir fry sauce was a little silky due to the tahini I added to it, and it was pretty crave worthy once paired with the veggies and rice.  The whole thing was one of the most delicious savory dishes I have made lately which is why I had to share it with you all!

Raw Sesame Vegetable Stir Fry with Celeriac Garlic Rice 
Serves 2

1 large celeriac (about 4 cups), cut into large cubes
1 clove garlic
sea salt to taste
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Stir Fry:
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 bell pepper
4 small carrots, halved and sliced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 small onion, sliced

1/4 cup raw tahini
2 Tbsp nama shoyu
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced

sesame seeds for sprinkling

For the rice, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until chopped up small like grains of rice (but do not over process or you will get mush).  Set aside.  Combine the veggies in a large bowl. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, then toss with the veggies.  Serve over the rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cherry Nectarine Mint Popsicles

Popsicles have become a weekly thing at my house this summer.  I love having them on hand to cool off for a snack after a walk on a hot day, and I think my boyfriend Eric feels the same since he always gets excited when I bring out the popsicles.  It is a good way to use up an over abundance of fruit or very ripe fruit as well!  Last week I had some very soft but flavorful nectarines and cherries, and I thought they would make an awesome combination!

That would have been wonderful as was, but to make it even better I decided to add in some fresh herbs in the form of mint. To me herbs and fruit are a match made in heaven in the summer, and mint is cooling so how fitting that I used some in a popsicle!  These were so delicious and I felt like a little kid enjoying them with their bright colors!  

Cherry Nectarine Mint Popsicles
Makes 6

Nectarine layer:
2 cups ripe organic nectarines, diced
juice of one lemon
stevia to taste or your choice liquid raw sweetener
about 4 fresh mint leaves

Cherry layer:
2 cups fresh organic sweet cherries, pitted
juice of one lemon
stevia to taste or your choice liquid raw sweetener
about 4 fresh mint leaves

Put all of the nectarine layer ingredients in the food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into 6 popsicle molds. Place the cherry layer ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour over the nectarine layer, then place the sticks in the popsicles and place in the freezer until frozen or overnight. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Raw Berry Rose Layer Cake

My Birthday was yesterday.  Which means many things to me.  I am now 29 years old, the summer is half over and I am enjoying my vacation.  You see, every year I take a week off of work for my Birthday, as sort of a present to myself.  Everyone deserves a Birthday week to enjoy themselves right?  Well at least I think so, and because it is my favorite time of the year I want to enjoy it!  So what all did I do to celebrate my Birthday?  I had a family dinner with Eric and my Mom at Heartland Restaurant on Saturday.  

I also visited the Minneapolis Farmer's Market with Eric, we are visiting Taylor's Falls for a hike today (something I have been wanting to do since last year) and am planning on going to a Minnesota Lynx Game and having dinner at my favorite raw restaurant Ecopolitan.  I have been looking forward to this week since last year. Because I get to enjoy doing the things I love with people that mean a lot to me, and because I get to make myself a cake.  Yes, that is one of my favorite parts of my Birthday as well.  I get asked a lot why I make my own cake...well it is simple. I get exactly what I want by making it myself and I actually enjoy making it.  I am like a child at play crafting that cake!  I thought long and hard about what I wanted and decided at the last minute to make a Raw Berry Rose Layer Cake.  

 That was the decorating process I just showed you.  My favorite part besides eating it.  This cake had red velvet layers, berry cream and fresh berries in the middle that I got at the farmer's market, and vanilla rosewater scented frosting to top it off. All of my favorite things in one cake.  And it was a beautiful pink color which was what I was going for.

It was so delicious!  I think any little girl (which is me sometimes because I refuse to grow up in some ways) or big girl would love to have this cake set before her on her Birthday to enjoy!  I know I did!  But hey, you don't have to wait for a Birthday to make this cake, it is so heavenly that you should make it just so you can enjoy it!

Raw Berry Rose Layer Cake
Makes one 6 inch cake

2 cups raw beet pulp (leftover from juicing)
1 1/4 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 ground golden flaxseed
5 cups raw coconut flour (home made is preferred)*

5 cups fresh young coconut meat**
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut water
1/3 raw coconut nectar, or your choice of raw liquid sweetener

3/4 tsp himalayan salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds of  a vanilla bean

1 tsp rosewater
1 cup raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid)

1/2 cup organic strawberries and raspberries

1 cup raw red beet

Organic raspberries and strawberries, about 2 cups (or enough to cover the middle and top of the cake)

Organic raspberries, strawberries, and roses for garnish

For the cake, combine the dates, vanilla, and sea salt, flaxseed, and coconut flour, in a food processor and process until it is well combined and very fine.  Add the beet pulp, and pulse (you don't want to overmix or the cake will become heavy) until well combined (if it seems to dry, add a little more pulp. Beet pulp may vary in moisture levels).  On a parchment or foil lined tray, shape into three 6 inch circular cake layers (I pressed them into a plastic wrap lined 6 inch cake pan, then inverted the cakes out onto the parchment). Place in the fridge while you make the cream.
To make the filling and 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, remove 1/3 and place it in a bowl. Scrape the other 2/3 into another bowl.  And the 1/3 back into the food processor and add the berries.  Blend until smooth, then place back into the bowl this will be the filling.  Add the 2/3 bowl to the blender and add the beet.  Blend until smooth and place back into the bowl this will be the frosting.  Place both bowls in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour until it reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream.

To assemble the cake, place half the berries over one cake layer, then spoon half the berry cream filling over that and spread to level.  Top with the second cake layer, then place the remaining berries over that and spoon the rest of the berry filling over, and spread to level, then top with another layer.  Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting, then place the rest in a pastry bag and pipe decoratively around the top and bottom of the cake.  Let the cake set in the fridge for about an hour before serving.
Once the cake is set, garnish with berries and roses and serve!

*Store bought coconut flour is a bit too dry for my tastes, I find that it dries out the cake too much and it is not as tasty.  I prefer to make my own coconut flour by buzzing finely shredded dried coconut in the high speed blender for about 15-30 seconds (but not too long or you will get butter). 
**If you cannot get fresh coconut meat, you can use raw cashews instead.  Soak 5 cups raw cashews in filtered water, 4 hours then drain.  Continue with the cake recipe.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Raw Marzipan Spumoni Bites

I decided the other day after running across a beautiful spumoni ice cream recipe on Pinterest, that I needed to make something spumoni.  I thought about making some ice cream myself, or even a cake, but then decided that some candy would be lovely.  My blank palate?  Marzipan.  Because to me that almond flavored doughy deliciousness would be perfect with the flavors of spumoni.

So, I made the 3 different flavors, cherry, pistachio and vanilla marzipan, layered them together, and I was simply going to cut them into squares and leave it at that...but then I got the wonderful idea to dip them in raw dark chocolate.  I have always loved marzipan plain, but marrying spumoni and marzipan was even better!  These might even be better than the ice cream form of spumoni.

Raw Marzipan Spumoni Bites
Makes 12

3 1/4 cups finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw almond butter
3/4 cup coconut butter, warmed to liquid
3 Tbsp raw coconut nectar, maple syrup or raw local honey
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
2 tsp pure almond exctact
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp filtered water

1 tsp matcha powder

4 fresh sweet cherries, pitted

Raw chocolate:
1/2 cup raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar or your choice liquid raw sweetener
a pinch sea salt

In a high speed blender or food processor, buzz the shredded coconut to fine flour (only about 15-30 seconds in a high speed blender, do not do it too long or you will get butter).  Set 3 cups aside in a bowl and the rest aside in another bowl.  To a food processor, add the almond butter, coconut butter, coconut nectar, sea salt, extracts, and water and blend until smooth.  Add the 3 cups reserved coconut and process until smooth like dough.  Divide the mixture into 3.  Roll one out 1/2 inch thick in a square on a foil lined sheet pan.  Place one back into the food processor and add the matcha. process until incorporated, then add the pistachios and pulse until mixed in.  Roll out the same as you did the bottom plain vanilla layer and place on top of the vanilla layer. Place the remaining part of the mixture back into the food processor and add the cherries and 2 Tbsp of the reserved coconut flour (you may need a little more, add a little if the mixture seems too sticky) .  Roll out as you did the other 2 layers, then place on top of the pistachio layer.  Press them together or roll lightly (but not too hard you don't want to squish them down) to adhere them together.  Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.  Cut into small 1 1/2 inch squares. 
Whisk together all chocolate ingredients until smooth, then dip each marzipan ball into the chocolate one by one, let the excess drain off and set back on the foil (I like to set them on a fork to dip them). Set in the freezer until the chocolate hardens, about 5 minutes.