ABC Marbles

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

photo(330)

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 ūüėČ

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.

photo(332)

photo(333)

photo(340)

 

Brownies

I’ve been craving brownies since December.

First, I tried this fat-free black bean recipe. It was OK. I’ve tried other fat-free black bean recipes, and they’ve been OK too. All have been very cake-like. Good when you’re in the mood for that type of brownie, or even a piece of chocolate cake, but not so good when you aren’t sure what you want. Apparently that wasn’t what I wanted.

Then, I tried a fat-free brownie that used sweet potato instead of beans or bananas. It was OK. But, guess what, I can’t find the recipe. Ugh. I guess you’ll have to settle for some a photos.

upside down brownie

I also made this  blondie, which was very interesting. Cooked quinoa. Crazy!

photo(315)

Sadly, I wasn’t super thrilled with either of these recipes either. The blondie was a different flavor I wasn’t fond of – not bad but not great. And, I ended up having to bake them for almost four times the length of time in the recipe. I don’t know what the difference in moisture could have been, but wowza! They were in the oven forever, and I could have left them in even longer. The regular brownies didn’t do it for me either. I probably didn’t leave them in the long enough (the oven had been on all day), and instead of being fudgy, they were gelatinous. I don’t do anything anything gelatinous. Luckily, after a night in the fridge, they firmed up a bit, and I ate them with the mindset of cold chocolate oatmeal.

Finally, I tried making a batch of raw brownies. Just about every vegan food blog, and maybe non-vegan blogs, have a recipe for raw brownies – and why not?! They’re delicious and super easy to make.

photo(318)

The recipes are all about the same: dates, cacao and some kind of mix-in. My recipe isn’t anything special in design, but it sure tastes good!

Raw Brownies

20 jumbo medjool dates (40 regular size) – soaked if hard

1/4-1/2 c raw cacao (or carob – to taste)

1/8 – 1/4 c almond meal or flour (I used dehydrated and processed almond pulp left-over from making almond milk.)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

2 TBSP (heaping) raw cacao nibs – optional

1/4 c (scant) sliced almonds – optional

Add dates to food processor first. Process until dates have broken down. (You don’t need to process them into a paste, though.) Add cacao powder and almond meal and process again until mixture forms a ball. Add your mix-ins and combine by hand. Press mixture into a small container, silicone molds, or form into balls and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow to thaw a bit before eating¬† if freezing.

photo(323)photo(322)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo(320)photo(319)

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 ūüôā 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

Carob Peanut Butter Banana Butter/Fudge

I have a problem. A serious problem. My body is rejecting a vital nutrient. Something I need. Something I can’t live without! Oh, the horror! I can’t….I can’t…I can’t eat chocolate anymore!!!!! (insert sobs and wails of anguish)

I’ve shared before that I have gallstones. They bother me off and on, but I’m usually able to keep things under control by watching my diet. The first thing to go was dairy, which had been making me sick for months – years really since I’ve been lactose¬†intolerant since birth – so in a way, my pesky gallbladder helped me go vegan. Nice. But now it’s bothering me and more and forcing me to cross foods and drinks off my OK list rather quickly. Not nice. (If my gallbladder was on Santa’s list, it would get a lump of coal for Christmas!)

I’m sure you’re wondering why¬†I don’t just have the stupid thing taken out and be on my merry way, chocolate bar in hand (with a decaf latte in the other, followed by a popcorn chaser *sigh*). At first, I couldn’t get a surgeon to agree my symptoms warranted¬†removal, then I finally got a GI doctor to refer¬†me to a surgeon, but my symptoms went away,so I was advised to wait. Flash forward to today and me calling the GI doctor with a message that it’s time to get that referral! I’m nervous, but if I focus on the chocolate, I think, hope, know¬†I’ll be OK!

My pain is your gain!

I couldn’t completely give up on the chocolate experience, so I payed¬†a visit to my old friend, carob. Years and years ago, I gave up chocolate due to a caffeine¬†sensitivity. (I still have it and shouldn’t eat chocolate even when my body isn’t rejecting it, but it’s just so darn good! My symptoms have lessened over the years, and I don’t eat much at any one time – mostly because of the calories.) During that time, I experimented with carob and had pretty good results.

As soon as I opened the canister of carob powder, my nose remembered the unforgettable scent. And then, after I tasted my new creation, my tongue remember the unmistakable tangy bitterness of the lovely carob fruit. (Did you know carob was a fruit?!) 

A little carob powder, a super ripe banana, some bottom of the jar peanut butter, and a secret ingredient later (psst…it’s beans!), this tasty, not too sweet/rich/tangy spread/fudge emerged.

Carob Peanut Butter Banana Butter/Fudge

1/2 c white beans

1/2 c peanut butter
1 very ripe banana

2 TBSP carob powder

4 pks stevia

pinch table salt

Puree beans. Puree banana. Heat peanut butter for easy spreading (30 seconds in microwave). Combine all three. Add carob powder, stevia, and a pinch of salt (if using natural PNB with no salt or sugar).

Store in refrigerator.

Click here for nutrition information.

I used chunky peanut butter; you can see the peanut pieces in this photo.

I planned about 4 servings of about¬†2 TBSP each.¬†If you want to spread the mix into a dish and chill until a little more solid, I’m sure you could cut it into about 8 little squares.¬† I used my mix as a butter/spread on toast, on fruit, and on a spoon.