Orange Gogi Berry Better Than Newtons

I’m back with another Low Fat Raw Vegan dessert recipe :)

Remember my Better Than Newton cookies from last year? No? Well, check them out; they’re delicious! And, they were so well received, I’ve considered selling them. I just need to do the costing and figure out packaging and labels and talk to some people, and, and, and. Sigh. That’s why I’ve only considered it.

Ok, onto this week’s LFRV recipe.

Orange Goji Berry Better Than Newtons

1 1/2 c chopped dates (pitted)

1 1/2 c chopped figs (stemmed)

1/4 c goji berries

2 – 4 TBSP orange juice, fresh squeezed

Start by juicing half of a medium orange. Juice will be roughly 1/4 c. Either put juice aside or use it to soak goji berries if they’re hard.

Add dates, figs and orange juice to bowl of food processor. (If you’re using the orange juice to soak the goji berries, remove the berries from the juice before adding to dates and figs.) Process until coarsely incorporated. Add goji berries and process until mixture forms a ball.

Use a small ice cream scooper to scoop balls of cookie mixture. Place cookie balls on a teflexx dehydrator sheet and flatten to desired thickness. Place teflexx sheet on mesh dehydrator sheet lined tray and dehydrate at 145F for an hour. Reduce heat to 105-110 and dehydrate three more hours. After three hours, cookies should be firm enough to peel off of teflexx sheet. Flip cookies and place onto mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate another 3-4 hours. Cookies should be firm to the touch, like an under-done oven-baked cookie. The outside will not be sticky, but the inside will be warm and gooey.

Store cookies in the refrigerator or freezer. Great cold/frozen or warmed in the dehydrator.

My batch made about 9 cookies at about 150 calories each.

I reluctantly shared one of these cookies with a friend, and the first thing she said was, “Wow! These are better than Newtons!”  I. Know!

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Low Fat Raw Vegan Strawberry Cake

Ok. This isn’t really a cake. But is is low fat. And it is vegan. And it does contain strawberries. Lots of strawberries. Yum!

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Low-Fat Raw Vegan Strawberry Cake

1 c (heaping) dried dates, pitted

1 c (heaping) dried figs, stemmed

1 1/2 quarts (about 3 cups) sliced strawberries

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/4 c coconut/palm sugar (optional)

Prep dates by removing  pits, if needed. Prep figs by removing stems. Roughly chop both and place into a food processor. Add juice of half a lemon. Process until pasty. (Mix may begin to form a ball; that’s ok!) Remove date/fig mix from processor and press into a small cake, brownie or pie pan. (Two mini tart pans would probably work too.)

Prep strawberries by washing and stemming all of them. Slice about half of the strawberries into thin slices and place them in a bowl. Top the sliced berries with coconut sugar (or other sweetener), if using. Set aside and allow to macerate for at least 30 minutes. Place the remaining berries in a food processor and pulse until berries become a chunky paste. 

Place processed berries on top of date/fig mix in pan. Refrigerate while remaining berries are macerating – about 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and top with sliced berries. Return to refrigerator overnight for a more ‘cake’ like texture.

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Notes:

  • This dessert is surprisingly cake like after it sits overnight in the fridge. If you want to cut and serve as a cake, consider doubling the amount of dates/figs.
  • If adding fat is an option, process some shredded coconut or almonds/almond meal with the dates/figs. This will also make the base layer more cake like, and it will allow for cutting and removal of cake pieces from the pan.
  • For a more gel-like middle layer, add chia seeds to the processed berries.
  • My strawberries were very sour. (Strawberry season hasn’t hit my part of the country yet.) If yours are too, you may want to add sweetener to the processed berries as well. Remember, however, the sugar from the macerated berries on top will soak through to the processed layer as the cake sits.
  • For a sugar free cake, use a non-nutritive sweetener like stevia to macerate the berries.
  • If strawberries aren’t your thing, try a different berry or fruit. Blueberries naturally have an abundance of fruit pectin and will naturally gel on their own after they’re processed. If you make a blueberry cake, expect the middle layer to be much more gel-like than the strawberry cake. (Cherries would also make a delicious cake!)

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I love this recipe because it’s 80-10-10 friendly, and it fit nicely into my month of raw challenge. If you’re interested in incorporating more raw foods into your diet, join us for the Raw Fusion Challenge on Facebook. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your dietary choices, but the focus of the group is high-raw vegan.

Don’t miss out on the after-the-blog fun; follow Veggie V on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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Raw Fusion Reset

Please join me, Veggie V, and Mattie from Mattie’s Raw Fitness Beauty for the Raw Fusion Reset on Facebook.

RFR2

We started the group to help you (and us!) get back on track with your healthy eating plan – just in time for summer ;-)

While the group’s focus is raw veganism, everyone is welcomed. Some of us, myself included, are planning a 30 day, 100% challenge, and others are just there for ideas on how to add more raw foods into their lives.

The Raw Fusion Reset officially begins Monday, May 6, but we’re already gearing up for a healthy, happy, and raw-food packed month by posting shopping ideas, uncooking and juicing ideas, recipes, and tips, and a whole lot more!

Join us!

Cherry Date Balls

I accidentally ordered some dehydrated cherries last month, and I finally got around to using them.

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Cherry Date Balls

1 c Dates

1/4 c (scant) Coconut

1/2 c (scant) slivered almonds (or whole, but slivered process better)

1/2 c freeze dried cherries (or other dried/freeze dried fruit of choice)

Add all ingredients to food processor and process until combined. Mixture will be crumbly but should hold together when pressed.  Scoop mixture by the TBSP (or cookie scooper – I used a size 50 scooper), pack tight, and roll into a ball. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. (If you freeze, thaw for a few minutes before eating; they become very, very firm.)

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Top 7 Posts of 2012

Ok. It’s January 13, and I have yet to post anything this year. That’s bad. Bad, bad, bad! I’ve been a bad blogger, and for that I apologize. Sincerely.

One of my goals for 2013 is to blog more often. I’m off to a very good start. Bad blogger!

I could list all of the reasons I haven’t been blogging, but all you have to do is go back a few months and you’ll see all of the reasons. Sometimes my real life gets in the way of blog life. And sometimes they cross paths. Right now, they are on separate paths, and my real life is winning. I’m teaching 10 classes this semester between two schools, both of which are about an hour away from home. (But only about 30 minutes away from each other, which is nice.) And, since school just started last week, I haven’t gotten used to my new schedule yet. But, as soon as I do, I’ll have some time to create new recipes and share all of my veggie adventures with you :-)

To get the ball rolling on 2013, though, let’s take a look at 2012 one more time. Here are the top posts from 2012…

#1: Cookie Dough Balls: This was by far the most viewed post last year, and rightfully so! These are delicious! I still make them often, switching up the ingredients.

#2: Butter Pecan Balls: Again, super delicious! I just made a batch of these over the holidays, and they were gobbled right up. So good! And so easy :-)

#3: Super Simple Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls: These dessert balls really are super simple. The simplest! Just throw some PNB, cacao (or coco) powered and your favorite sweetener in a bowel, vanilla if you want, mix to combine, and roll into a ball. You can make a batch of these in a few minutes and be on your way to dessert heaven. They also freeze well, but there probably won’t be any left to freeze :-)

#4 Raw Zucchini Bread: This was one of my first attempts at raw bread, and one of my early uses of the dehydrator. Great way to use up all of that summer zucchini!

#5 Brownie Dough Bites (plus Cake Batter Balls): Who doesn’t love brownies? And, who doesn’t love easy to eat and travel with brownies? And cake batter, well, ’nuff said.

#6 Peanut Butter Banana Muffins: I ate some many of these last fall that I should be sick of them. But I’m not. I haven’t made any in a while, but I’m pretty sure there will be peanut butter banana muffins in the oven this week. Oh yah!

#7 Grain Free Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies: I just made these two days ago. I was craving cookies and had all of the ingredients in the house. Too good to pass up! And too good not to eat up ;-)

Grain Free Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies

Tahini Dressing

I’ve eating huge salads almost every night for dinner for months. I can’t get enough! Typically, I dress my salads simply with olive oil (organic, first cold pressed) that I massage into the greens (usually kale) and a few squeezes of lemon juice. But, on a recent road trip to Philadelphia (shout out to Phili!), I ate the most delicious kale salad from a Whole Foods cold bar. So good! I was sure to make a note of the ingredients so I could recreate the dish at home – and that I have, my friends; that I have.

Tahini Salad Dressing

2 TBSP tahini

1 TBSP tamari (low sodium)

1 TBSP lemon juice (juice of about half a lemon)

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)

Add everything to a small blender cup (I use a Magic Bullet) and blend until well combined and smooth. If mixture is a bit too thick, thin it with some water. Start with a very small amount and work your way up. (My tahini is very runny, so I haven’t needed to add any water.)

Optional add: Nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.

Assemble your favorite salad greens, add dressing to the greens, and massage dressing into greens until they are wilted. This works great with a sturdy green like kale. Add in your favorite salad mix-ins and toss together.

This amount of dressing makes enough to coat about 4 cups of salad greens, which, for me, is one serving ;-)

*Sorry for the lack of photos. Apparently the photos I had saved on my phone looked so good the phone ate them. Ha! Enjoy!!

 

gRAWnola

I finally did it; I made gRAWnola!

After reading a lot of recipes for raw granola, I finally settled on a combination I thought would suit me. And it did :-)

gRAWnola

1 c buckwheat groats, soaked

1 c almonds, soaked

1/2 c pumpkin seeds, soaked

1/2 c sunflower seeds, soaked

1 TBSP hemp seeds, heaping (not soaked)

1 c dates, soaked

1 TBSP (or more) date soaking water

1/4 c raisins, organic

1/4 c currants, organic

Optional add-ins: cinnamon, dash salt, cacao nibs, vanilla, other seasonings

First, make the date paste by blending the soaked dates and about 1TBSP of the date soaking water. (Use more if necessary.) You want the paste to be thick, but not too thick. It’s going to be used to make everything stick together. (NOTE: If you want to add a touch of vanilla flavor to your gRAWnola, add it to the date paste.)

Rinse and drain the buckwheat groats very well. Add them to a bowl. Add the rinsed and drained almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds to the same bowl. Add the raisins, currents, and hemp seeds to the bowl. Add any additional seasonings at this time. Finally, add the date paste, and stir to combine. Spread mixture onto dehydrator mesh sheets in a thin enough layer so nuts and seeds aren’t on top of each other, but not so thin that mixture isn’t sticking together. (If your gRAWnola contents are too small and fall through the mesh sheets, start your gRAWnola on a teflexx/paraflexx sheet, and transfer it to a mesh sheet after a few hours. To transfer, lay a mesh sheet on top of the teflexx/paraflexx sheet and flip.) Dehydrate for about an hour at 145F and at 110-115 for about 12 more hours.

Taste test your gRAWnola along the way. You might want it a bit chewier or a little more crisp. Dehydrate accordingly.

Oven directions: If you don’t have dehydrator or don’t want to use one, place your mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet (or use a Silpat) and bake at the lowest temperature your oven will accommodate until the mixture has reached the appropriate consistency. Check the mixture after two hours and then at least hourly after that. I haven’t tried this method, but I assume it will take at least 2-3 hours. (Kale chips done this way take 4-7 hours in my oven, which goes down to 170F.) Your gRAWnola won’t be raw anymore, but it will still be delicious!

Store your gRAWnola in an air-tight container. I have the best luck with a zip-top plastic bag (even better than a glass jar or glass bowl). Try eating it alone or with your favorite non-dairy milk.

Nut/Seed Free Options: Change up your add-ins! Don’t want to use nuts? Don’t! Don’t want to use seeds? Don’t! No hemp seeds? No problem! Try chia seeds, flax seeds or meal, sesame seeds, or don’t include any tiny seeds. The extra omega 3′s are nice, but not necessary.

Date Paste

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Raw Oatmeal

It’s definitely fall in my area, and that means cooler temps. A lot cooler temps. And cooler temperatures means I want heartier food. Notice I didn’t say warmer. That doesn’t seems to affect me much, but when I’m chilled, I want hearty, super filling foods. Instead of reaching for breads and pastas, this year, I’m reaching for raw grains. And the first little treasure on my list is oat groats.

I got the idea for this recipe from Rawfully Tempting’s Fabulous Living Oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal

1 c soaked oat groats

1 lg or 2 sm apples, chopped

1/2 c goji berries, soaked

1/2 c raisins (red or golden – soaked if necessary)

2 TBSP hemp seeds, heaping

Additional sweetener as needed (try stevia, maple syrup, dates or date paste, coconut or maple sugar, etc)

Soak the oat groats over night. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Add groats to mini-chopper. Pulse to breakup the groats so they’re easier to chew, or blend until they’re mushy like regular oatmeal. Remove groats and place in a bowl. Sprinkle groats with hemp seeds. Top with goji berries and raisins. Place bowl in dehydrator for a few hours to warm or eat at room temperature.

Add-ons: Try adding seasonal fruit such as apples, dates, or pumpkin puree. Use your favorite nuts and/or seeds instead of pumpkin seeds. Give your breakfast a tropical flair by adding banana (sliced or mashed/blended), coconut shreds, coconut milk, pineapple, etc. If you like your oats a little more like cereal, add your favorite non-dairy milk. Try blending it with the groats. (I find the water from the soaked groats and the soaked pumpkin seeds adds enough moisture.)

Ugly V8 Knock Off

It’s ain’t pretty, but it sure is tasty!

I was greeted by a box of left-over produce from our now defunct garden when I can come from participating in a 5K last weekend. (Side note: I am now sick with sinus issues. Maybe mom was right; you CAN catch a cold from the cold! Ha!) The majority of the box was tiny little Roma tomatoes, which Mr. M informed me were to be used to make tomato juice.  Ok. But let’s take it up a notch.

Knock-Off V8 Juice

tomatoes

parsley (stalks are fine)

carrot

celery

lemon (I used one small, peeled)

greens (I used kale)

Juice everything. Strain to assure no pulp. Add seasonings to taste. I added a splash of Bragg’s Aminos.

Sorry for the lack of a recipe. So far, I’ve found juicing is really a personal taste thing. I read a bunch of recipes on the internet before I made this juice, and most also called for watercress and/or spinach, onion, and garlic. I didn’t have any spinach or watercress, and I wasn’t sure how strong the onion and/or garlic flavor would be, so I skipped all of that, and the flavor was really good. I do suggest you go ahead and strain the juice before consuming because the tomato juice can be pretty thick.

Does anyone else make a mess when they juice?!

Almost Raw Not-Tuna Salad

I used to have a thing for tuna salad. Or I thought I did. In reality, I had a thing for the flavor comb of the salad, which, in our house, was mustard, dill pickles, and celery. Turns out, when I add mustard, pickles, and celery to just about any base, my brain thinks my mouth is eating tuna salad, and that makes them both happy. (Ah, the memories.)

I’ve made not-tuna salad with a variety of fillers in the past couple of years, and I’ve loved them all: chickpeas, tofu, lentils, nut meal, and the list goes on. But, since I’ve been eating at least 80% raw (about one cooked meal per week) and shying away from beans, grains, and lentils, I went down a different avenue this time. Enter, the ever-present garden staple…zucchini!

Almost Raw Not-Tuna Salad

1 c shredded or finely shopped zucchini (no need to peel unless you want to)

1 T prepared mustard OR 1 tsp mustard seed, ground (or more to taste)

2 stalks celery, finely diced

1/4 c chopped dill pickle OR cucumber (peeled unless skins are soft) plus 1t (or more) apple cider vinegar (Braggs is my fav)

2 green onions/scallions, finely diced

Dulse flakes, Kelp granuals, or crumbled nori – optional

Shred/chop zucchini and set aside in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to drain. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Add strained or squeezed zucchini and combine. Serve over a bed of lettuce, stuffed in a tomato, with a side of tomatoes, wrapped in your favorite raw wrap (Romain leaf, anyone?), between two pieces of raw bread, or scooped with raw crackers.

The first time I made this salad, I didn’t drain or squeeze the zucchini, and although it was a bit wet, the taste wasn’t affected by the extra liquid. So, if you’re not into squeezing your zucs, no biggie. But, you might want to eat your meal with a fork to encourage drainage ;-) I also don’t add the seaweed, but if you’re looking for that ‘from the sea’ flavor, give it a try.

I  use raw dill pickles in my salad. I’m able to find a local brand at my townie grocery store, but if you don’t care about the raw-ness of your pickles, try a commercial brand. Or, just dice some cucs and add a spash of ACV. Additionally, grind up some mustard seed if you don’t want to use prepared mustard (I really need to try making my own raw mustard!). With these simple swaps, your not-tuna salad can be 80-10-10 approved!

Sharing at: Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekends, Healthy Vegan Fridays