Ingredients, tools and helpful how tos:


Ingredients, tools and helpful how tos:

Tips for making raw cheesecake: http://fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/2013/07/making-perfect-raw-cheesecake.html

Ingredients:
 

Flours:
Almond Flour: To make almond flour, grind sprouted (soaked and dehydrated) almonds to a fine consistency in a high speed blender only about 30 seconds or less (but not too long or you will have nut butter).  Store in the fridge.
Coconut Flour: To make coconut flour, take 3 cups of finely shredded dried coconut and blend until fine flour in a high speed blender only about 30 seconds or less (but not too long, just until it is flour or it will become butter).  Store in the fridge.
Sprouted Quinoa Flour:
To make sprouted quinoa flour, rinse quinoa well, then drain and cover with water again. Soak 8 hours, then drain well and place in a sprouting jar or jar covered with cheesecloth.  Let sprout for about a day, or until tails begin to form on the quinoa.  Place on a dehydrator sheet and dry for about 12 hours until crunchy.  Place in a high speed blender and grind to flour.

Sprouted Buckwheat Flour:
Soak raw buckwheat groats for 30 minutes in filtered water, then rinse and drain well.  Place on a lined dehydrator sheet and dry for 24 hours until crispy and completely dry.  Place in a high speed blender for about 30 seconds and grind to flour.  Store in the fridge. 

Sprouted Oat Flour: Soak raw oat groats for 8 hours, then drain well.  Spread out onto a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate until dry (about 24 hours).  Place in a high speed blender and grind to flour.  Store in the fridge.

Flavorings:

Vanilla: I buy whole vanilla beans to use in recipes because I believe they have the best flavor, but if you do not have access to them, feel free to use organic pure vanilla extract. 
Essential Oils: Sometimes in my recipes that call for lavender or citrus I use essential oil. However you can not just use any kind it has to be ok for consumption. Du Terra essential oils are perfect for my recipes and can be ordered on their site.  I use their lavender, orange and lemon oils.
Lavender:  I use dried lavender flowers in many of my recipes and they can be bought at most health food stores in the bulk section.  Just be sure they are food grade organic.
Sweeteners I use:
Coconut nectar: I often use coconut nectar in my recipes as I feel it is one of the better raw liquid sweeteners.  It is low glycemic and made from the sap of flowers from the coconut tree.  It can be found at many raw suppliers online or in health food stores. 
Raw Agave Nectar: I tend not to use as much raw agave nectar now as I used to because there is a lot of controversy around the use of it.  If you cannot find coconut nectar or prefer to use it you are welcome to. 
Maple Syrup: Technically maple syrup is not raw, but it is a wonderful sweetener and contains minerals that can be beneficial.
Raw Honey: Although not vegan, honey is a wonderful liquid sweetener with lots of health benefits and it works great in raw recipes. 
Stevia:  If you are diabetic or trying to stay away from sugar, stevia is a great option as it will not affect your blood sugar levels.
Dates:  I use dates when I can to sweeten, because they are about the most natural sweetener you can find.  I use them in crusts and to make raw caramel because of their sticky texture.  I use medjool dates, which still have the pits when I buy them because I find that they are softer than the pitted.  You can use other soft dates if you like.  If they dates you bought are not soft, soak them in filtered water and drain well before using in recipes.
Date Paste: To make date paste, soak dates in filtered water for 30 minutes or until softened, then drain, and blend until smooth, adding a little filtered water if too thick.  Store in the fridge. 
Nuts and Seeds:
For the nuts in my recipes, I use raw nuts and always soak them.  What soaking does is it makes the nuts easier to digest.  Some nuts need a longer time to soak because they are larger or harder, such as almonds which need 8 hours.  Cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, macadamias and hazelnuts need about 4 hours.  If they recipe calls for them to be soft, such as cashews in a cheesecake filling, they are ready to use after soaking.  But if they need to be crunchy, such as in a crust, dehydrate them for about 24 hours until dried. 

Buckwheat: I often use sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats in my crusts because they give it a nice crunch and cut down on the nuts.  To make them, simply soak the raw buckwheat groats for 30 minutes in filtered water, then rinse and drain well.  Spread out on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate until dry, about 24 hours. 
Peanut Butter: I make my own raw peanut butter from jungle peanuts, but if you are not strictly raw you can feel free to use roasted peanut butter as long as it is unsweetened (such as maranatha brand). 
Almond Butter:  Almond butter is easily made at home if you have a high speed blender, but if you do not, you can buy raw in  most health food stores or online. 
Coconut:
Coconut Oil: I use a lot of coconut oil in my recipes involving creamy elements because it adds richness and helps them to set up properly when chilled.  Also, I believe that healthy oil such as coconut is beneficial to your body and is needed in order to absorb nutrients.  You always want to buy raw unrefined virgin coconut oil. Since it is solid at room temperature it will need to be warmed for use in recipes. I simply place mine in the dehydrator in a glass measuring cup until it is melted. 

Coconut butter:  Not to be confused with coconut oil, it is the whole flesh of coconut.  I use a lot of coconut butter in my recipes because it has a wonderful sweetness and is so easy to make at home.  To do so, in a high speed blender, add 3 cups finely shredded dried coconut and blend at high speed using the tamper to press it into the blades until it is smooth and creamy.  This will take about 1 minute.  Pour into a jar and enjoy! You can store at room temperature, and it will become solid but it will need to be warmed for use in recipes. I simply place mine in the dehydrator in a glass measuring cup (or in the glass jar I am storing it in if it fits) until it is melted. 

Young coconut meat: I use a lot of fresh young coconut meat in my recipes because it is creamy and sweet.  Too open you need a cleaver.  Lay the coconut on its side, hold it firmly closer to the bottom and bring the knife down near the top a few inches down from the pointed part.  You should break through to the center where the water is.  Set the coconut on its base so the water doesn’t run out, then pour the water into a container (don’t throw it away, it is delicious).  Finish cutting the top off going in a circle around the top.  Scoop the meat out from the coconut with a sturdy metal spoon (I use a large eating spoon). 

Cacao:
I believe that raw cacao has more health benefits than regular cocoa powder, but if you can not find raw cacao powder, you can use unsweetened natural organic cocoa powder.  I buy my raw cacao online at Vitacost.
I do not have access to raw cacao butter at a price that I can afford, so when I make my chocolate I use coconut oil and raw cacao.  If you have access to it, feel free to use it!  Chocolate made with coconut oil melts easier at room temperature.  This is the recipe I use for raw chocolate when I make chocolate chunks in ice cream, cookies, or for garnish:
Raw Chocolate Chunks:

½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
¼ cup raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
A pinch of sea salt

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and well blended.  Pour into molds, or out onto a sheet of foil and place in the fridge to harden.  Chop into chunks. 

Kitchen Tools:
Dehydrator: I use a dehydrator for many of my recipes to get my food to the proper “cooked” or “baked” consistency but not destroy the enzymes and nutrients while I do so.  They are handy to have if you are serious about a raw food diet.   I use a 5 tray Excalibur dehydrator for my recipes, but I used to have a 4 tray and it works just fine.  Use what you can afford, most of them will work for my recipes although you may have a hard time with the round ones with a hole in the middle.  I recommend the square type with trays that slide in from the front.  If you look online you will find that you can purchase them on sale and they are not as expensive as you may think.  If you are not ready to buy one and do not mind if your food is raw, you can use your oven at a low temperature for the recipes, just keep in mind it takes a lot less time to cook. 

Food Processor: I use a Cuisinart 9 cup food processor for my recipes, and it has been very sturdy so I would definitely recommend it.  If you do not have a high powder food processor keep in mind that you may have bits left in your batter or cream so you may need to use a fine meshed strainer (which I sometimes do anyhow since coconut tends to leave bits). 

Blender:  I use a Vitamix blender for my recipes, because a powerful blender is needed when making things such as nut butters or to get your cream very smooth.  However a regular blender may work if you have a tamper to push the food down into the blades so that it does not stick to the sides. 







 

31 comments:

  1. I love your recipes and posts. I had to try this one as I have so many food allergies now and really miss the granola bars I could take on the go. Finally a recipe I can make without wheat, corn, rice and egg. Thank you for sharing with everyone, it is so kind of you! :)

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    1. Thank you so much :)! I love the buckwheat granola and it is more allergy free than other granolas which is nice. I am so happy to share with you!

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  2. Hi Amy! I have recently dicovered your blog and it has been wonderful for me, I think it's a fantastic page with delicious recipes and great photos. But I have a little questions for you: you use coconut in different forms in almost your dessert recipes, I like it very much, but it's a great source of saturated fat... How could it be sustituted for a healthier ingredient? What would you use? Would it be possible use olive oil, or corn oil for example? Thank you very much.

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    1. Coconut oil is a very healthy oil, as long as you buy the virgin raw type and not the processed. Corn oil is not healthy and olive oil would not taste good. So I reccomend just use the coconut oil unless you are allergic. There have been many studies done on the health benefits of coconut oil and how it does not act as other saturated fat does in the body. You might want to read a few articles on it :).

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  3. Is there anywhere on your blog where you explain about coconut nectar and how it is made?

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    1. Not anywhere on this blog, but you can check out this link: http://www.naturalnews.com/030110_coconut_nectar_vinegar.html

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  4. Hi Amy,

    you often say "x amount cashews, preferably soaked"
    Do you measure the cashews (or any other nuts) before or after soaking?

    Thank you!

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    1. Yes, they are measured before soaking.

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  5. Hi Amy, I love your blog - you make everything look so beautiful. May I ask what substitute I can use for nuts. My daughter is anaphylactic.
    Thank you very much for your time.
    My best,
    Jenny

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  6. It depends on the recipe (since the nuts are used differently in different ones), if you would like to tell me which one you had in mind to make, I would be happy to help :)!

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  7. Love your stuff...did my first attempt at a raw cheesecake last night as well as starting the lavender blueberry almond cake. A few questions and issues....I have a vita-mix. I always have such an issue with stuff getting stuck in it and the blades stop. Making butters, etc. Do you have any tips? SO I tried to use it as a food processor for the cake part last night and it stopped the motor. I'm guessing I definitely need a food processor. I also cracked open my first coconuts last night....getting the meat out is so much work. How do you use it? Do you put it in in chunks or shred it? How do you measure it (I left mine in chunks). And how can I store any leftover chunks? And do you measure the dates by placing them in a measuring cup or smooching them is? I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get in to this more...(like I bought a dehydrator but it has the hole in the middle so I guess I'll use the oven)!

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    1. Hmm, is it an old vitamix? Are you using the tamper to press the stuff down into the blade? I know they can overheat if you allow the blade to go too fast for too long and not have anything in it. Otherwise the blade should not be stopping, maybe there is something wrong with it. I always use a food processor for my cakes, and I do the liquid ingredients first if it is a dehydrated cake then the dry so it goes smoother. I just leave my coconut in chunks. I don't measure my dates usually, I put the amount of dates in the recipe. If I were to measure them though, I would pit them and pack them into the measuring cup.

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    2. Yes, it is old (I've had it 12 years). Thanks for the help! I'm sure I'll have more questions along the way....:)

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  8. That might be why ;). I am happy to help with your questions :)!

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  9. I'm inspired to eat healthy; start vegetarian and work my way to vegan/raw foods. There is just so MUCH to learn (all the different ingredients)but my biggest question is: How do you get your protein on a daily basis? I've never been much of a meat eater so I never get enough, but going vegetarian well I'm just lost.

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    1. I take raw protein powder and hemp protein powder (since I work out a lot), as well as eat things high in protein like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and dark greens. If you are not raw, you can do things like cooked beans and quinoa (the quinoa can actually be sprouted and be raw, and you can sprout lentils). If you have a lot of questions, feel free to e-mail me with them at fragrantvanillacake@gmail.com I am all about helping people eat healthier and find what works for them :)!

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  10. AhhHhh~ ReCiPe HeaVeN ~
    ThAnK YoU FoR ShArInG:~)

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  11. Do you mind sharing the information once again- I couldn't find it.
    1. Brand for coconut flakes, oil, water
    2. Do you buy them online?

    Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful recipes!!

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  12. I do not buy a brand for any of those things. I actually just buy the finely shredded dried coconut at the health food store I work at and I buy young Thai coconuts at an Asian market (which is where the water comes from, it is fresh).

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  13. I always drool when I see your posts! I am so excited to make some of these, but I am not 100% raw, and I'm afraid my other half would not be psyched about another gadget in the kitchen! It will be a little while before I purchase a dehydrator, so could you give me an idea about the best temp for the oven and approximate cooking time changes? And would you recommend leaving the door open with a fan? (I read somewhere that helps to keep the heat moving.)
    Thanks for all you do!

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    1. I would say do it at the lowest temp. Possible. I have not done it so I am not sure how much less time it would take, but it will be done faster since the oven is hotter. You are so welcome :). Maybe someday you can have a dehydrator ;)!

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  14. Just a quick question: When making coconut butter, do you use unsweetened flakes?

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    1. Yes! Unsweetened finely shredded dried coconut. NEVER buy the sweetened stuff.

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  15. Hi Amy, love your blog and recipes - have made a few of them and they are amazing. Quick question - are there any other ways to make coconut butter? I don't have a high speed blender and when I put dried coconut into my food processor it doesn't change very much in consistency or appearance :(

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    1. Thank you! I am happy you are enjoying my recipes :)! Unfortunately no, there is not. It has to be a high speed blender with a tamper to press the coconut down into the blades.

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  16. Hi Amy, in one of your recipes where you use coconut flour, you say don't use store-bought flour, rather make your own - why not store-bought? Is it not raw, or is it because home-made is probably healhtier, or any other reason? Tnx!

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    1. I say not to use it because it does not taste as good and it is drier, so the recipe ends up needing a lot more liquid. I just want my readers to end up with the same results I do when they make the recipes.

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  17. Is it okay to use storebought buckwheat flour instead of making the sprouted kind that you call for in your recipes?

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    1. You could try, but store bought is not raw, and the texture might not come out as nice. I would suggest sticking to the sprouted kind. Really it only takes 30 minutes of soaking then drying it which is hands off time. If you do not own a dehydrator you can dry it in the oven at a low temperature...I think that would still be better than buying it at the store.

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  18. Hey!

    The sprouted flour is stored in the fridge, can you tell me how long will it stay good for? :)

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    1. About 6 months? I am not sure, mine never lasts long ;)!

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