Sunday, December 30, 2012

Citrus Carpaccio with Grapefruit Lavender Ice Cream, Pistachio Crumble, and Lavender Syrup


I have to admit, I am not a big winter fan with the cold and all, but one thing that makes me very happy is the abundance of citrus fruit.  Oranges, grapefruits, lemons...I love them all, and I love using them in desserts even more!  Although I enjoy making a lot of pies, cakes, cookies, and rich stuff, this weekend I thought I would make something a little lighter.  Partly because my dehydrator broke (which I was very sad about, but I ordered a new one so I am happy) and partly because I was in that sort of mood. 


Plus, citrus deserves to be shown off, it is lovely!  So I thought a carpaccio would be a perfect way to do so.  I just made some Raw Grapefruit Lavender Ice Cream, and I knew it would be perfect with it!


I thought a crunchy element would be nice as well, so I added some tart pomegranate seeds.  But it needed some nuts and saltiness as well, so I created a pistachio coconut cumble and it was perfect with it!  Lastly, I made a lavender syrup to drizzle over it and voila...winter citrus beauty!  It was heavenly, and just the type of light dessert I was craving!  People would not need so many new years resolutions to eat healthier if they made desserts like this!

 
Citrus Carpaccio with Grapefruit Lavender Ice Cream, Pistachio Crumble, and Lavender Syrup
Serves 2

Syrup:
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp dried lavender flowers
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Crumble:
1/4 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup large flake coconut
1 Tbsp agave nectar
a large pinch sea salt

2 pink grapefruits (such as Rio Stars), Peeled, and thinly sliced horizintally
2 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced horizontally
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Raw Grapefruit Lavender Ice Cream

For the syrup, combine all ingredients together in a small bowl, and stir to dissolve agave nectar.  Let sit for at least a few hours. 
For the crumble, combine the pistachios, coconut, agave nectar, and sea salt in the blender and pulse until coarsely chopped and sticking together a bit. 
On each of 2 plates, place the grapefruit and orange slices decoratively, and scatter some pomegranate seeds.  Place a scoop of the ice cream, then spoon some of the crumble around it.  Drizzle the syrup over the citrus.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Raw Pink Grapefruit Lavender Ice Cream

 
 
 As it nears the end of 2012, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you that visit my blog. I have recieved some of the most beautiful and kind messages from you all, and I am extremely grateful that you support me.  I never thought that therecipes I posted would even be looked at almost 3 years ago when I started, and this year I have felt so overwhelmed with love and support as my stats continue to rise thanks to you.  So thank you so much for reading and trying out my recipes, it makes me so happy that you do so!  I very much appriciate each and every one of you and I hope you all have a wonderful 2013!
 
 
I also thought I would share with you a recipe that I recently made for ice cream.  Since I am in love with Rio Star grapefruits, they found their way into my ice cream.  I decided to pair them with lavender as well, since citrus marries so well with it. Let me tell you, the aroma from the ice cream base was heavenly. 

 
 
Once it had frozen it was even more delicious, the silky base, slightly tart grapefruit flavor and floral lavender putting me in my happy place.  If you have not tried this flavor pairing you must!
 

Raw Pink Grapefruit Lavender Ice Cream
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup grapefruit juice
3 Tbsp grapefruit zest
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
2 cups young coconut meat, chopped
1/2 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
seeds of one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
3 Tbsp dried lavender

Add grapefruit juice to a food processor, along with zest, cashews, coconut meat, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture through a fine meshed strainer and press through until you have removed any coconut bits (you can skip this step, but it makes for a smoother ice cream). Stir in lavender, then pour the strained mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, and pour into a freezer safe container. Let chill in the freezer for a few hours until a little more firm before scooping.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pomegranate Maple Caramel Cakelettes

 
I cannot get enough of pomegranates lately.  They are going into everything, savory and sweet.  There is just somthing so attractive about the little red jewel like fruits that makes me want to put them in everything. Last week, I got to imagining them in more desserts, and I started to think about pairing them with caramel. 

 
I told my Mother about my idea of pairing pomegranates with caramel and she said it sounded weird and that she never had heard of that before.  I explained that the tart and sweet along with the silky caramel and crunchy pom seeds would be lovely.  She still didn't believe me, but since I do not stop when I think of something I am craving, I went with it.  I thought I could add a little maple, and "bake"some raw maple pomegranate cake in my dehydrator, top them off with the caramel and more fresh seeds.  It sounded delicious, and I was confident it would be.  
 
 
I made the cakes mini, as it is the Holidays, and all things mini are proper right now, but I may as well have made one big one and cut a piece the way I ate them.  The combination was amazing, and the cakes were simply beautiful with the golden caramel and red pomegranate seeds atop the cakes.  I can imagine these being served at a fancy new years party!  Too bad they are are all gone...


Pomegranate Maple Caramel Cakelettes
Makes about 18

cake:
2 cups raw almond meal*
2 cups dried shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups sprouted oat or buckwheat flour (or additional almond meal)
2/3 cup raw agave nectar or honey
2 small organic apples, diced
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups pomegranate seeds

Caramel:
20 medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp coconut or macadamia butter
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup water

pomegranate seeds for garnish
To make cake, combine almond meal, coconut, and oat flour in the food processor and process until finely ground. Add agave nectar, apples, sea salt and process until very smooth. Place in a bowl and stir in pomegranate seeds.  Place batter on a teflex lined dehydrator* sheet, spread out into a rectangle about 1 inch high and dehydrate for about 12 hours, then flip over (carefully using another flat cutting board or something to assist) and dehydrate another 4 hours or so until firm, but still soft in the middle. Flip back over, cut into 1 1/2 inch squares, and if not dry yet, place the squares back in the dehydrator for another couple hours. 

For the caramel frosting, combine all ingredients in a food processor anf process until very smooth (you may need to let process for a while for all the ingredients to warm up). Press the caramel through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel.   Top each cakelette with the frosting. Garnish each with a few pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

*For the almond meal I used soaked, skinned, and dried almonds, finely ground in the food processor. You can use almond pulp if you like, just dry it first.

**If you do not own a dehydrator, you can make these in the oven at the lowest possible temp. Just place on a lined baking sheet, and bake for about 6 hours, then check them as they will take less time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Delicious "Lumps of Coal"


When I was little, on the night before Christmas, my Dad would tell me to leave a Pepsi out for Santa.  Because, as he told me, Santa liked Pepsi and cookies, not milk and cookies.  Of course, now that I am an adult, I know why Santa wanted Pepsi.  Of course, like any kid, I wanted to stay up and see Santa, but my parents always told me I had to sleep.  I did not want to be naughty and disobey, because they would threaten me with getting lumps of coal in my stocking around Christmas.  Of course I never did, even if I was naughty. 


Now that I think about it, we are all pretty naughty during the year, it is just human nature, I mean we can not possibly be good all the time.  So, maybe we all deserve a little coal?  Just kidding, but I made some coal last weekend that would make you feel as if you had been good even if you had in reality been naughty. I had leftover raw brownies, and I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to combine them with good stuff and dip them in chocolate? 


So I mixed in some festive goodies, pistachios, cranberries, and chopped dark chocolate with a bit of orange zest, and made some delicious lumps of "coal." They were delicious, naughty or nice I have a feeling nobody would complain with recieving this coal.  I think I have been pretty good this year, but I would be happy if Santa showed up with this. 

 
Delicious "Lumps of Coal"
(raw chocolate dipped brownie truffles with cranberries, pistachio and orange)
Makes 12

Brownies:
1 cups raw almond meal*
1 cups dried shredded coconut
1cups sprouted buckwheat or oat flour (or additional almond meal)
1/2 cup raw cacoa powder
1/3 cup raw agave nectar or honey

2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large banana, sliced (about1 cup)

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup raw pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup raw chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 Tbsp orange zest

Raw chocolate:
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup raw coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

To make brownies, combine almond meal, coconut, buckwheat and cacao powder in the food processor and process until finely ground like flour.  Add the vanilla, banana, and sea salt and process until well blended and the consistency of batter.  Spread out onto a teflex lined dehydrator sheet, about 1 inch thick, and dehydrate for about 16 hours, flipping over after about 12.  The brownies should be dry on the outside, but still a little fudgy in the middle.  Break into pieces and place in a bowl.  Add pistachios, chocolate, cranberries, and orange zest to the bowl. Mash and mix together with hands until well combined. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls, and shape like coal (a little uneven, not perfectly round. Place on a piece of foil on a plate, and place in the freezer until very cold (about 30 minutes). 
Meanwhile, to make the raw chocolate, whisk together all ingredients until smooth in a small bowl. Once "coal"has chilled, dip each piece into the chocolate, making sure the whole thing is coated, and place back on the foil.  Once they are all dipped, place back into the freezer until chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!  Store in the fridge. 

 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Raw Peppermint Chocolate Trifle


 
Ever since I made a raw chocolate mint swirl cheesecake a few weeks ago I have been dreaming about the combination.  Honestly, it had reminded me of the candy cane pie at Baker's Square.  That was always my favorite Christmas dessert as a child, my Dad would always buy that pie for Christmas and I looked forward to it more than the food at Christmas Eve dinner.  I would not eat it now however, because it is loaded with dairy, processed sugars and who knows what else.  But it was good then, and it left an impact on me forever.  I thought about trying to recreate a raw version of it for the last couple weeks, but then as I was paging through a magazine and I saw a magnificent looking trifle....
 
 
Suddenly, the pie seemed not grand enough for Christmas and I started dreaming about a chocolate mint trifle!  Layers of chocolate cream, mint cream and chocolate cake...topped off with vanilla cream and dark chocolate.  Like something out of a dream.  Well, it was in my daydream.
 

 
I have to admit the process was much more fun than making a pie and not only that, there was more creamy, minty filling to be enjoyed, my favorite part.  Plus, the chocolate cake was way better than pie crust. 
 
 
Move over peppermint pie from Baker's Square, this may just be the most heavenly Christmas dessert I have tasted.  The combination of chocolate, mint, vanilla, silky cococnut cream and decadent cake had me swooning!
 
 
 
Raw Peppermint Chocolate Trifle:
Serves 2 generously

cake:
1 cup raw almond meal*
1 1/2 cups dried shredded coconut
1 cups sprouted buckwheat or oat flour (or additional almond meal)
1/2 cup raw cacoa powder
1/3 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1 large banana, sliced (about 1 cup)

1/8 tsp sea salt

Cream 1 1/2  :
1 1/4 cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
3/4 cup coconut water
3 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/2 cup plus1 tablespoons raw agave nectar or raw honey
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds of half a vanilla bean (the other half of the one you used for the filling)
2/3 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
 
1 large bunch organic spinach leaves
2 tsp peppermint extract, divided
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder

shaved raw chocolate
 
To make cake, combine almond meal, coconut, oat flour and cacao powder in the food processor and process until finely ground. Add agave nectar, bananas, sea salt and process until very smooth like batter. Place batter on a teflex lined dehydrator* sheet, spread out into a rectangle about 1 inch high and dehydrate for about 12 hours, then flip over (carefully using another flat cutting board or something to assist) and dehydrate another 4 hours or so until the cake are firm, but still a little soft in the middle. Flip back over and place on a flat surface. Cut into one inch squares, and set aside.

Meanwhile, to make the cream topping, combine all ingredients but the coconut oil in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the coconut oil with the motor running and process about a minute more. Divide into 3 bowls. Place the cream from one of the bowls back into the food processor and add the spinach and 1 tsp peppermint extract.  Blend until smooth and place back into the bowl.  Add the cream from the second bowl to the food processor and add the cacao powder and 1 tsp peppermint.  Blend until smooth, then add back to the bowl.  Place the bowls in the freezer to set until frosting consistency, about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how warm it has gotten. Once frosting consistency, you are ready to assemble the trifle. 
To assemble the trifle, scoop some of the green vanilla mint cream into the bottom of a bowl.  Top with some of the cake, then some of the chocolate cream.  Top with more cake, then more vanilla mint cream, then more cake, then chocolate cream, then the plain cream.  Garnish the top with the shaved raw chocolate and enjoy!

*For the almond meal I used soaked, skinned, and dried almonds, finely ground in the food processot. You can use almond pulp if you like, just dry it first.
**If you do not own a dehydrator, you can make the cake in the oven at the lowest possible temp. Just place on a lined baking sheet, and bake for about 6 hours, then check them as they will take less time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Raw Lavender Lemon Macaroons


I was in the bulk department at the health food store I work in, by the spices and I noticed a woman filling up a large bag of dried lavender.  I am a little curious at times as to what other people use it for, as I often get asked the question when I buy it.  So I asked her what she was using it for and she replied, a herbal neck wrap.  I should have guessed, as she was also buying a lot of buckwheat.  Hopefully she didn't think me too nosey, but in the back of my mind, before I had asked the question I was imagining her making some sort of exotic dessert...it was a lot more glamourous than the reality.  I think most people do not think to eat lavender, they simply use it for relaxation.  That woman's large bag of lavender inspired me though, to create a dessert. 


It is actually one of my favorite things to use in desserts!  It is wonderful with fruit, and especially delicious with lemon!  Which is why I decided that raw lavender lemon macaroons would be downright heavenly!

 
When I whipped up the dough and sampled it, I knew they would be something special.  I wanted to simply eat them as they were and not have to wait to dehydrate, but I was rewarded for waiting...they were amazing!  I was not done yet however. 

 
These needed to be dipped in dark chocolate.  Afterall, why not make them even more delicious.  Being patient definately paid off....what a beautiful, delicious use for lavender.  I could go for one of those herbal neck wraps while enjoying it...it is winter after all!


Raw Lavender Lemon Macaroons
Makes a dozen

Macaroons:
3/4 cup raw almond meal*
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 Tbsp dried lavender

Chocolate:
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

Place almond meal, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sea salt in the food processor and process until well combined. Add the agave nectar and process until the mixture holds together. Add coconut and pulse until the mixture holds together, then add lavender and pulse until well distributed. Form the mixture into 12 balls, and place on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for about 12 hours, or until they are dried, but not so much so that they are not a little chewy in the middle.
To make chocolate, whisk all ingredients together until smooth in a bowl and let sit until it thickens a little (about 15-20 min). Lay out a sheet of foil on a sheet pan. Dip each macaroon into the chocolate and place on the foil. Once all dipped, put in the freezer to set. Once chocolate has hardened, enjoy!

*I used soaked, skinned and dried almonds to make the meal.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Raw Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Snowballs


Instead of thinking of snow as something cold and wet, which makes driving difficult, I prefer to imagine it as fluffy marshmallows, powdered sugar or flaked coconut.  You see, when I look out the window and the snow is filling up the yards and driveways with beautiful little falling flakes it looks to me like dessert. 

 
This is why I decided that I needed to make some sort of snowballs which were actually edible.  Many people make cookie snowballs, but I decided that ice cream would be just as appropriate.  I know, cold ice cream in the winter...but actually, I don't mind as I enjoy it year round.  I love the stuff! 


I thought about plain vanilla, but vanilla laced with mint sounded perfectly wintery and I could not resist the combo.  The ice cream base was delicously minty, sweet with vanilla and melted on my tounge, much more delicious than eating real snow. 

 
Once it was ready and frozen, I shaped it into "snowballs" and coated them in sweet coconut flakes.  Oh my were they ever delicious.  I imagine a snowball fight would be much more fun were these tasty snow balls involved. Although it would not be much of a fight because everyone would stop to eat them. 

 
Raw Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Snowballs
Makes about 8

1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup young coconut meat, chopped
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
seeds of one vanilla bean
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

 Add coconut water to a food processor, along with cashews, coconut meat, agave nectar, vanilla, peppermint, and sea salt. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture through a fine meshed strainer and press through until you have removed any coconut bits (you can skip this step, but it makes for a smoother ice cream). Pour the strained mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, and pour into a freezer safe container. Let chill in the freezer for a few hours until a little more firm before scooping. Scoop into balls, and place on a foil lined sheet.  Put coconut in a bowl, and drop each ball into the bowl, coating it with the coconut (one at a time), pressing the coconut into the ice cream to adhere, then place the balls back on the foil until you are finished.  Either serve immediately, or store in the freezer, in a container with a lid.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Raw German Chocolate Cakelettes



The kitchen smelled of warm sugar and spice.  I was standing next to my Mom, grabbing pieces of dough to make her favorite Christmas cookie, pfefferneuse.  I attempted to roll a rather large piece of dough into a ball and place it on the cookie sheet, and she told me "Not so big, we want these to be small." I wondered why, because in my little five year old mind, I thought bigger was always better when it came to desserts.  The biggest piece of cake was always the one I went for afterall.  She explained to me that when making Christmas cookies, you want to be able to sample many different types so you want them small. In my mind that just meant that I could eat more.  But Mom was smart, and later on in life I realized she was right, small is better when it comes to Holiday desserts.
 

I have made a few Holiday desserts this year, the cookies and bars all bite sized, following Mom's rule.  But last weekend I decided that I wanted to make little cakes, or "cakelettes" as I like to call them.  Raw German chocolate cakelettes to be more specific.  I know that does not sound like a Holiday cake nessecarily, but I needed a little break from the Holiday theme.  Afterall, nobody is going to refuse chocolate cake with caramel and nuts even if it is not traditional Holiday fare. 

 
I decided that it was the perfect time to make German chocolate cake also, because I have never made it before!  I used my raw chocolate cake base, and decided to cut the cakes into little hearts, because I couldn't resit.  The cake scraps were delcicious as I snacked on them while I made the frosting, I knew this was going to be good.  I topped them the cakes off with my raw date caramel filled with plenty of coconut and pecans as a German chocolate cake frosting should be. 

 
They were adorable, increadibly tasty, and I even shared some with my Mom who was proud that I made mini cakes as she is all for the small desserts even when it is not the Holidays. 


Raw German Chocolate Cakelettes
Makes 24

cake:
2 cups raw almond meal*
3 cups dried shredded coconut
1 cup sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat or oat groats (or additional almond meal)
1 cup raw cacoa powder
2/3 cup raw agave nectar or honey
2 small organic apples, diced
1/4 tsp sea salt

Caramel:
20 medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp coconut or macadamia butter
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
 
6 Tbsp finely shredded, dried coconut
6 Tbsp chopped raw pecans
 
To make cake, combine almond meal, coconut, buckwheat and cacao powder in the food processor and process until finely ground. Add agave nectar, apples, sea salt and process until very smooth like batter.   Place batter on a teflex lined dehydrator* sheet, spread out into a rectangle about 1 inch high and dehydrate for about 12 hours, then flip over (carefully using another flat cutting board or something to assist) and dehydrate another 4 hours or so until the cake is firm, but still soft in the middle. Flip back over and place on a flat surface. Cut into 12 small hearts or other shapes, using a cookie cutter.
For the caramel frosting, combine all ingredients in a food processor anf process until very smooth (you may need to let process for a while for all the ingredients to warm up).  Press the caramel through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel.  Stir in coconut and pecans, and top each cakelette with the frosting.  Enjoy!

*For the almond meal I used soaked, skinned, and dried almonds, finely ground in the food processot.  You can use almond pulp if you like, just dry it first. 

**If you do not own a dehydrator, you can make these in the oven at the lowest possible temp. Just place on a lined baking sheet, and bake for about 6 hours, then check them as they will take less time.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mini Raw Cranberry Lemon Swirl Cheesecakes

 
 
I have to admit, fresh cranberries do not find their way into my home often.  I keep dry on hand during the winter months for salads and desserts, but the fresh need cooking and sweetening to be palatable and I do not always want to deal with that.  I used them in crisps a lot last year, but this year, since I have been eating mostly raw, I wasn't sure if I would be using them. 
 
 
Afterall, can raw cranberries really be that good?  I was up for a challenge though, and craving something tart so I bought some.  I thought they would make a lovely addition to a raw cheesecake along with lemon.  I didn't just blend up the raw cranberries as they were, I decided to try partially "cooking" them in the dehydrator first and it worked out perfectly once I sweetened them a little, added some orange juice, and made a jam. 
 
 
I made a plain lemon filling, as well as cranberry for two tart sweet flavors and I knew they would be delicious once married in the cheesecake.  I poured them over a pistachio crust, and topped it off with some raw coconut cream because I couldn't resit. 
 
 
It was beautiful, like a winter sunrise and snow all in one and swirled together topped with cranberries.  Almost too pretty to eat, but who am I kidding, I devoured my cheesecake in no time. 
 



Mini Raw Cranberry Lemon Swirl Cheesecakes
Makes four 4 inch cakes

1 12 oz containers fresh organic cranberries
1/3 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
 
Crust:
3/4 cup raw pistachios
3/4 cup sprouted buckwheat, dried in the dehydrator (or additional pistachios)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped

 
Filling:
3 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
 
Cream:
1 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup coconut water
2 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar or raw honey
2 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean (the other half of the one you used for the filling)
1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
For the cranberries (to be later used in the cake, roughly chop them and place them in the dehydrator on a sheet.  Dehydrate for about 4 or so hours until they are softened.  (if you do not have a dehudrator, you can either soften them in the microwave, or in the oven on the lowest temp on a lined baking sheet for less time). Place in a food processor with the agave nectar, orange juice, and vanilla and process until smooth (add a little more juice if not quite a jam consistency, which is what you want). Set aside.

For the crusts, lightly coat the bottoms and sides of four 4 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process pistachios, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the pistachios and buckwheat are 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 pans, and set aside.
 
To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with coconut water, lemon juice and zest, agave nectar, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process for a minute until blended. Divide the filling in half and place half back into the food processor. Add 2/3 of the cranberries to the filling in the food processor and process until well blended. To assemble, drop the fillings, alternating between cranberry and plain over the crust in 1 Tbspful amounts. Once filled, tap on the counter to level then drop the remaining cranberry puree over the tops of the cheesecakes in small amounts.  Swirl with a knife. place in the freezer to set for about 4-6 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the cream topping, combine all ingredients but the coconut oil in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the coconut oil with the motor running and process about a minute more. Place in a bowl and put in the freezer to set until frosting consistency, about an hour. Place the cream in a pastry bag and pipe around the edges and bottoms of the cheesecakes. Serve! Store leftovers in the fridge.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Raw Grapefruit Rose Sandwich Cookies


When I was a child, eating a grapefruit meant slicing it in half, pouring about a cup of sugar over it and scooping out the flesh.  A little grapefruit with my sugar.  I got this habit from a family member who will remain nameless.  I thought grapefruit needed to be served with sugar in order to be palatable, that is until I was in college and my Mom gave me a bag of Rio Star pink grapefruits. 

 
She told me to try squeezing one and drinking the juice like orange juice.  I was skeptical, but I tried it, and I was pleasantly surprised!  It tasted wonderful! I realized that I had been eating grapefruit the wrong way all those years.  I have since eaten them like oranges simply peeling them and enjoying. 
 

 
So now every year when the Rio Stars come into season, I buy large amounts until they are no longer available.  I use them in drinks, salads, and simply eat them, but I love to use them in desserts as well. I have made pies and compotes, but last weekend I thought they would add a lovely flavor to cookies.

 
I made some simple raw vanilla cookies with a touch of grapefruit zest, and sandwiched them together with a rose scented grapefruit cream.  They seemed like something that would be served at a winter tea party, but I certainly didn't eat them properly.  I was too distracted by their deliciousness as I licked the cream off my fingers that had oozed out when I bit into one. 


Raw Grapefruit Rose Sandwich Cookies
Makes 12

Cookies:
1 cup shredded dried coconut
1 cup buckwheat, sprouted and dehydrated until dry (or additional coconut)
2 cups almond meal*
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract or seeds of one vanilla bean
2 Tbsp grapefruit juice
2 Tbsp organic grapefruit zest
1/4 tsp sea salt

frosting:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup grapefruit juice

2 Tbsp organic grapefruit zest
1 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
1 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean

1 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

For the cookies, combine the shredded coconut, buckwheat, and almond meal in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Add agave nectar, vanilla, juice, zest, and sea salt and process until well combined. Remove dough from processor and roll out on a piece of parchment 1/4 inch thick.  Place in the freezer for 1/2 an hour, then cut out with small heart (or whichever shape you like) cookie cutters.  Place them on a teflex lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about 24 hours until dry but soft in the middle.

Meanwhile, for the frosting, combine all ingredients except coconut oil and process until smooth. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process a minute more until well blended. Place the frosting in the freezer for about an hour or until frosting consistency, then place in a pastry bag and pipe onto half the cookies (bottom side up). Top with the other cookies to form sandwiches. Enjoy!  Keep refridgerated.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Raw Banana Caramel Walnut Ice Cream

 
You may think that because it is winter I would stop making and eating ice cream but that is not the case.  I am an ice cream year round kind of a girl, even when there is a blizzard going on outside.  In fact, last weekend in Minnesota where I live it snowed all day Sunday and in the evening I was sitting in my kitchen staring out at the beautiful falling snow and eating ice cream.  Afterall, snow reminds me of dessert and so it makes me hungry!  Dusty light snow is like powdered sugar and the large fluffy drifts remind me of marshmallows...so staring at it makes me hungry for desserts.  

 
Back to the ice cream though, I have a feeling anyone would eat this stuff in a blizzard if they took a bite, it was that good.  Raw Banana Caramel Walnut.  Satisfying my cravings for sweet, gooey, and crunchy.  It was really born out of a few leftover things I had around when I decided to make ice cream. Over ripe bananas, which make the best ice cream because they are the sweetest, leftover caramel from some other desserts and walnuts I happened to have on hand. 
 
 
A little random, in lieu of all of the Holiday desserts I have made lately, but sometimes I need a little break from that.  It was damn delicious and that was what counted.  I always find new uses for over ripe bananas!

 
 
Raw Banana Caramel Walnut Ice Cream:
Makes about 5 cups

Caramel:
10 medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter or macadamia butter (raw almond butter will also work)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
1/4 cup filtered water (or more if too thick, add an additional Tbsp at a time)


Ice Cream:
1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained
1 cup young coconut meat, chopped
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
seeds of one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
2 small, ripe organic bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1 cup raw walnuts, chopped

 To make caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.  Press the mixture through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel). Set aside.  To make ice cream base, add coconut water to a food processor, along with cashews, 1/2 cup cashews, coconut meat, agave nectar, vanilla, sea salt, and bananas. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream make and pour about a third into a freezer safe container scatter some walnuts over it and drop clumps of caramel over.  Add 1/2 the remaining ice cream mixture and repeat with the walnuts and caramel.  Add the last of the ice cream, then more walnuts and caramel.  Swirl with a knife and place the top on. Let chill in the freezer for a few hours until a little more firm before scooping.