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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ABC Marbles

ABC Marbles? What the heck are those? Well, they’re these…

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I couldn’t decided what to call my newest dessert balls, so I asked for suggestions on Facebook. Someone suggested ABC Swirl, and while I loved the idea of ABC, the swirl didn’t quite fit, so I went with marble. My original idea was Almond Butter Carob Marble Balls. Ha! Apparently my kitchen inspiration has been just slightly better than my recipe naming inspiration 😉

ABC Marbles

1/2 c + 2 TBSP almond butter

1/4 c carob

2 TBSP maple syrup

Combine 1/2 c almond butter, carob powder and maple syrup in a ball until thick batter forms. Add  the two tablespoons of almond butter to the mix and smash in to combine. Roll into balls and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Notes:

Nut butter: You can use any nut or seed butter – almond, peanut, cashew, sunflower, etc.

Carob: You can easily swap the carob out for raw cacao or coco powder. The carob powder I’ve been using is by Bob’s Red Mill, and it’s super sweet. It’s much sweeter than the Chatfield’s brand.

Maple Syrup: You could easily use another liquid sweetener – even date paste.

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Cinnamon Sugar Snack Bite

I originally created this recipe as a raw-ish snicker-doodle, but I didn’t quite achieve the flavor for which I was seeking. So, I thought maybe I could call these sugar cookies. But the flavor wasn’t quite right for those either. Undaunted, I kept eating, and, finally, it hit me…They taste just like a cinnamon sugar Pop Tart. Ah…a flavor from my past. A predominate flavor from my past. *sigh* And, thus, Cinnamon Sugar Snack Bites/A Raw-ish Ode to Cinnamon Sugar Pop Tarts (frosted, of course) were born.

Cinnamon Sugar Snack Bites

1 c almond pulp, dehydrated and processed into a fine meal

1/4 c brown rice syrup (or another thick and sticky liquid sweetener)

1/4 c coconut sugar (or other granulated sweetener)

1 TBSP vanilla

1/2 t (or more) cinnamon

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t cream of tarter

Combine everything in a bowl until well incorporated. Scoop into large tablespoons and roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 6 large balls.

Options: I have a ton of options for this one!

Almond pulp: I love that this recipe uses left-over almond meal. I had bags and bags of almond meal in the freezer and was desperate for a way to use it. I thawed it, dehydrated it, and whirled it in the food processor into a fine powder. (You could also do this in a coffee or spice grinder or the dry contain of a blender.) Side note: We tried running the almond meal through the grain mill attachment on the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, even though it says not to, and it got all clogged up. Twice. Sigh. Guess we won’t be doing that again. Boo.

If you don’t have almond pulp, regular almond meal or almond flour will work. If you can’t have/don’t want to use almonds, you can make any nut or seed meal of your choice by grinding some frozen nuts/seeds of your choice in a food processor or coffee/spice grinder.

Brown Rice Syrup: BRS is not grain free, nor is it raw, and it may contain arsenic, so it might not be your sticky sweetener of choice. You need a really thick and sticky sweetener, so whatever works for you is fine: coconut nectar (bonus – it’s raw!) or raw honey (if that’s how your roll) are probably both good choices. A thinner liquid sweetener might work, too: maple syrup, agave, etc.

If you don’t want/can’t use nutritive sweetener, dates are probably your best best. Make a thick date paste by blending soaked dates with little or no water.

Coconut Sugar: Any granulated sugar will work here: raw/turbinado sugar, sucanat, regular granulated (vegan) sugar, brown (vegan) sugar, etc. If you don’t want to/can’t use nutritive sweetener, a little powdered stevia will add a nice touch of extra sweetness to the mix, as will xylitol or erythritol.

Cinnamon: I recently started using ceylon cinnamon, and it’s much stronger than “regular” cinnamon. At least to me.

Vanilla: I recently purchased some vanilla powder, but I didn’t use it in this recipe. If you are using vanilla powder, use sparingly. Vanilla is a background flavor and shouldn’t be noticeable.

Baking Soda/Cream of Tarter: These ingredients might seem a little weird in the recipe, but they really add to the overall flavor. The baking soda gives a nice saltiness and zing to the snack bites, and the cream of tarter provides that little, “Hum…What is that?”

If you want to keep this recipe raw, you can probably substitute salt for the baking soda and a tiny bit of lemon juice for the cream of tarter. (I’m going to try that combo next!)

Balls vs Cookies/No-Bake vs Bake vs Dehydrate: I’m sure these snack bites could easily be flattened into cookies and either baked (at 325 for a few minutes) or dehydrated (until firm on the outside), or the entire batch could be squished into a small, square dish and cut into squares (or pressed into molds or free-formed into bars or….)

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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Balls

I had a hard time deciding if I should call these Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Balls or Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge. But, since I automatically shape the majority of my desserts into balls, I guess crunch balls it is. But, you could easily spread this out into a small container and cut it into a few bites of fudge, if you’re so inclined.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Balls

1/4 c (heaping) raw cacao (or unsweetened coco) or carob

2 TBSP cacao nibs, crushed

1 TBSP coconut oil, melted (could sub nut or seed butter or even non-dairy milk (won’t be as rich and fudgy))

1 TBSP nutritive liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave, date paste, etc) or stevia (start w/ one pkt – about 1/4 tsp)

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp peppermint extract (or more if you REALLY like peppermint)

Optional: Liquid (non-dairy milk, water, coffee, chai tea, etc) to moisten fudge mixture if needed

Combine nibs, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Set aside to soak while mixing other ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix  cacao, sweetener, and coconut oil. Stir to combine. Add additional liquid if necessary. Mixture should be rich and fudgy. Stir nibs mix into fudgy mix. Scoop mix by cookie scooper into a container and store in the fridge or freezer. (Or spread into container and cut into squares.)

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Raw Coconut Caramel Dippers & a Raw Foods DVD Contest

I’ve been obsessed with raw caramel dipping sauces lately. Seriously. Check out these awesome, easy recipes!

Raw Caramel Sauce

5 jumbo medjool dates (or 8 regular size fruits)

1-3 tsp vanilla extract (I use alcohol free)

splash water

Blend dates, water, and vanilla in a small, bullet style blender until smooth. Drizzle over or apples or other tart fruits.

Raw Caramel Sauce

5 jumbo medjool dates (or 8 regular sized fruits)

1-3 tsp vanilla extract (I use alcohol free)

1 TBSP raw cacao powder (or carob powder for a chocolate-free sauce)

splash water (start with 1 tbsp)

Add all ingredients to a bullet style blender cup and blend until smooth. Dip apple slices into caramel or drizzle over your favorite fruit, pancakes, toast, etc.

Raw Coconut Caramel Dippers

5 jumbo medjool dates (or 8 regular size fruits)

1-3 tsp vanilla extract (I use alcohol free)

1-2 TBSP shredded coconut (super fine shred works best)

splash water (about 1 TBSP)

Add all ingredients to bullet style blender cup and blend until incorporated. Coconut will not blend until smooth, but will blend enough to create an awesome dipping sauce for apples, banana skewers, strawberries, or even stuffed into whole, pitted dates.

Are you familiar with the works of Jennifer Cornbleet? I have two of her books and absolutely love them! Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People and Raw for Dessert: Easy Delights for Everyone are both amazing, and I have been drooling over Jennifer’s videos on her YouTube channel for months.  Guess what…Jennifer has a new DVD that’s releasing next month, but you can enter to win a free copy! She’s giving away one DVD each week, so even if you don’t win this week, you still have another chance 🙂 Enter to win today; I did!

Jennifer Cornbleet has just released an excellent new DVD that’s loaded with
tips and recipes to make eating well a breeze no matter how busy you are.
It’s full of time-saving techniques and dishes that taste great and will
keep your body energized.
Throughout the month of November, you can enter to win a copy for free! For
more information, and to enter to win, click here

Chocolate Craving

Apparently I’ve been craving chocolate lately. How do I know? I’ve been making chocolate treats left and right!

If you follow me on Facebook, I shared these recipes last week. But, just in case you missed them, or if you want them in a more printer-friendly format, here they are again 🙂

Chocolate Ice Cream

1 cup dates, pitted

2 tbsp raw cacao (could sub carob)

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

1 tbsp water (adjust to desired thickness)

1 tsp cacao nibs

2 tbsp raw slivered almonds

Blend dates, cacao, vanilla and water until smooth. Stir in cacao nibs and 1 tbsp almonds. Top with remaining almonds and freeze until firm. Store in freezer.

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Smoothie

4 chilled bananas

1 heaping tbsp of raw cacao

1 heaping tbsp of roasted carob

1 tbsp alcohol free vanilla

1/4 cup nut butter and/or protein powder

1/4 c water

8 ice cubes

Add everything to a blender and blend until smooth. 

Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

I tried something the other day. I soaked and dehydrated some oat groats and then ground them into flour. Woohoo! Raw oat flour!

I have quite a few ideas for my new found discovery, and to begin my adventure, I started with oatmeal raisin cookies. Or balls. Or oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

1 c ground oat groats

3 T maple syrup

1 T water (if needed)

1 T chia seeds + 2 T water (to make a chia egg)

1 T vanilla

1 T raisins

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash salt

Combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chia egg, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Add raisins. Then, either shape into balls and freeze, flatten into cookies and dehydrate (1 hour at 145F and then 3-4 hours at 115-105F or until dry enough to make you happy), or just eat like oatmeal. I did all three!

No oat groats? No problem. Coarsely grind rolled oats or even steel cut oats into flour.

Don’t like raisins? No problem. Leave them out or use your favorite dried fruit (date bits, craisins, cherries, etc)

No maple syrup? No problem. Use your favorite liquid sweetener. Adjust for stevia.

Dough not sticking together? No problem. Try adding more chai seeds, more oats, or don’t add water to your next batch.

Don’t care for the flavors of pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon? No problem. Use whatever spices you like. Or don’t use any.

 

Better than Newtons

I have a serious thing for figs. Always have. Always will. Ok, maybe not always will, but I can’t imagine what would happen to make me not love figs. Case in point: I used to give tours to temporary workers at a local manufacturing facility that makes Fig Newtons. Seriously. After a day at the factory (jewelry-less and covered in hair nets), everyone left smelling like figs. Most people found this sickening. Not me. I relished in it. I looked forward to my Thursday tour group days. That was the only thing that got me through those long three months of employment with that company. (“Why only three months?,” you may be wondering. I got fired. Thank God for small favors!)

My obsession with Fig Newtons (small, squarish fig cookies for those of you not familiar) started in childhood; they were one of my dad’s favorite treats. And, being a fairly obese child, a cookie was cookie; bring it on! Luckily (unluckily?!), I loved the flavor and Fig Newton’s quickly became one of my favorite cookies, too.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and I still love figs, and I still love Fig Newton’s (Newman’s makes an awesome version too!), but I don’t love the preservatives, HFC, gluten, and whatever other nasties are floating around in a bag of Newtons. What to do, what to do…I know, make a healthier, vegan version of my childhood figgy treat! Enter, Skinny Figgy Bars ala  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (which can also be found in the awesome cookbook  Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas), which I made a few (dozen) times last year. But that was last year. This is this year, and this year I’m eating a bit higher on the raw spectrum, so I went back to the drawing board food processor, and this is what I came up with.

Better Than Newtons

1/2 lb figs, de-stemmed (I use Turkish figs)

1/2 lb dates, pitted (I use Medjools)

1/4 c raw almond slivers (or raw almonds, crushed)

1 lemon, juiced (about 2 TBSP)

Optional: 1/4 tsp almond extract and/or pinch of sea salt

Place everything in a heavy-duty food processor and process until mixture begins to form a ball. Scoop giant tablespoons of mixture out of the food processor and roll into a ball. (Note: Mixture will be VERY sticky!) Then, you have a couple of options: either (a) place cookie balls on a dehydrator teflexx/paraflexx sheet, flatten, place on dehydrator tray, and dehydrate for one hour at 145F; then, reduce heat to around 110F and dehydrate another 2-4 hours or until desired firmness/tackiness; store cookies in the freezer or refrigerator, or (b) place cookie balls in a container and store in the freezer or refrigerator. Either option is delicious!

I shared one of these cookies with a co-worker who can’t eat chocolate, so I make a special point to share chocolate-free goodies with her, and she said the cookies were the best treat I’ve never shared with her — and she’s even paid for some of my treats before!

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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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