Raw Oreos

I was inspired by a post on Chocolate Covered Katie and made my version of them. Perfect hiking food I decided….my only issue was figuring out how to cut the cookies. I found I didn’t have a small enough cookie or biscuit cutter. Using a glass didn’t work, I needed to be able to push them gently if they stuck. Kirk came up with an easy solution, my Arrow Plastic Canning Funnel that was sitting in the drying rack. It was the perfect shape, I could reach right through and pop out the cookies. (Although I found mine at the local Walmart in the canning section for a couple of dollars, same brand – and it is US made). It was relatively non-stick also, where my metal tools gummed up a bit. The cookies take longer to make than most raw treats, the effort is worth it. Just make sure you have plenty of free time and don’t need an instant dessert.

And enjoy them, they are fantastic. I know I did. I ate…eek..3 of them today while hiking in the Central Cascades of Washington! I was so fueled I felt great!

Kirk gave me a day out and took the boys while I went hiking with a friend. A wonderful day! PS: The cookies taste even better slightly warmed in my backpack!

Raw Oreos

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/3 cups Medjool dates, pitted (measured after pitting, pressing in, used 17 dates)
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 + 1/16th tsp fine sea salt (which is a Dash + Pinch = Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons)
  • ½ cup Raw Coconut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey or agave nectar

Directions:

Add the cashews through salt to a food processor bowl, process on high until finely chopped and it comes together in a ball. Remove and put on a sheet of parchment paper, top with another sheet of parchment paper, press flat with your hands, then roll to cookie thickness with a rolling-pin. Take off the top layer and cut out 2″ circles, saving the scraps. Re-roll out as many times as you need, till you use up the mixture and have about 26 cookies. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer and let set up for about an hour.

Meanwhile place the coconut butter, sealed, in a bowl of hot water and let it soften to a liquid. Measure out and stir the honey or agave into it, beating until firmed up with a spoon. Divide between 13 of the cookies, placing a ball on each one, about 2 teaspoons worth. Press a cookie on top and gently squeeze to seal, pushing the filling between, or spread the filling with a frosting spatula. Store in the refrigerator wrapped. To avoid sticking, place parchment paper between the filled cookies if stacking.

Makes about 13 filled cookies.

~Sarah

Raw Blondie Brownies

I borrowed the idea from Amber at AlmostVeganChef (I met her last summer at Vegan Con in Portland, Oregon) and adapted the recipe to use 4 types of nuts and make a big batch for the family. I have an airtight box in the refrigerator that I keep bars in for when a snack is craved – it has worked out well! The recipe has sugar in it, making a more favorable bar for someone just starting out on eating nut/seed/fruit bars. And it really tastes amazing. You will feel like you are having an indulgent treat! You can also use roasted macadamia nuts if you prefer for a different taste.

Raw Blondie Brownies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • ½ cup raw macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup brown sugar, scooped/not packed (or use coconut or palm sugar)
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Directions:

In a food processor add the nuts and brown sugar, process until finely chopped. Add in the dates (if your dates are hard chop them up first) and process on high until the dates are finely chopped. Sprinkle the vanilla and sea salt on top, pulse until coming together.

Line an 8×8″ glass baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper, knock the mix into the pan and press with a spatula until even. Fold over the excess wrap and press down firmly to pack.

Refrigerate for an hour to set up before cutting. Wrap the pieces individually in wrap, keep refrigerated and eat within 2 weeks.

I cut ours into 8 bars.

~Sarah

Babies, Gardens and Raw Brownies

Raw brownies? Oh yes. So good even the Toddler wouldn’t leave me alone. Make sure they sit overnight in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld together, let come to room temperature before eating (although they taste great cold also, I found they get even more chocolate tasting when warmed up and soft….) Recipe is at the bottom, I get to bore you first with my kids & garden!

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Alistaire turns 3 months today. It is going by so fast! The outfit he has on today, Walker wore when he was 4½ months old and it is already snug on Alistaire. He could be my biggest boy!

Walker has helped me in the yards, working on spring cleaning and shopping for new plants to add as well! We went plant shopping on Sunday and came home with 7 new blueberry plants, strawberry plants and some herbs. I found that I lost 4 herb plants over the winter this year. A bummer but it was a cold one so not a big surprise.

Last year Walker and I added many more blueberry plants to an old raised bed on one side of the back yard, they are all doing well. We went through and spruced up things (there is much more added now, after this photo was taken):

He sees the blueberries as “his”!

I decided to finally add plants to flank the back porch:

We transplanted two rosemary bushes that were about 3 years old:

Then added 3 blueberry plants:

Ford and Walker cleaning up the far back, I got them to clean out the yard gear shack and get it organized:

Alistaire enjoying being out in the sun – the weather has been great the past few days:

Another view of the back porch – on the left I planted 4 Pink Lemonade blueberry plants:

What started it all? When we bought the house it came with this patch in the far back – a smattering of blueberries and rhubarb. Seeing how happy Walker was in the bushes led me to plant more. Many more. We were at 27 plants on Sunday. Heh! Yes, we love blueberries. Especially with alpine strawberries growing under said bushes…and rhubarb! (Which I hope to harvest this week)

Back at the shack Ford was locked inside and Walker was trying to break in ;-)

Then on Monday the Toddler and Baby went plant shopping again with Mommy. Walker picked out 6 more strawberry plants to bring home and I found red huckleberry plants (I had to suppress squealing lest strangers think “what an idiot”). I need to dig holes for the huckleberries today, hopefully after nap time! I came to the conclusion last year that unless it produces edible things, it doesn’t get planted. I want the backyard to be an oasis for the kids as they grow up. And also so they can garden with me. And more blueberries planted may mean I actually get to eat some…since Walker beats me to them!

More photos to come, as everything fills out.

Now onto those delicious raw brownies!

Raw Brownies

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup raw walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups pitted Medjool dates (about 20)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

Add the nuts to a food processor bowl, process until finely chopped. Knock out into a small bowl, set aside.

Add the dates and process until a paste forms, add the nuts and remaining ingredients, process on high until a ball forms and the texture is as fine as you like.

Line an 8×8″ baking dish with plastic wrap, with enough extra to hang over the sides. Scrape the mixture out of the bowl into the lined dish. Pat out with a spatula, then cover with the over hanging plastic wrap and pat/press smooth till they fill the pan evenly. Chill overnight in the refrigerator, cut into bars and wrap each bar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For best taste, let warm up to room temperature before eating.

I cut ours into 8 bars.

~Sarah

Raw Cashew Brownies

As simple as can be and amazingly tasty! Walker ate an entire bar by himself and was crabbing when it was gone. These will satisfy the sweet tooth and give you protein. And why buy premade bars when you can make them so fresh in just a few minutes?

Look for raw cashews at natural food stores in the bulk section (think Whole Foods or PCC or similar). If you use roasted the bars will taste considerably different (and probably would still be great tasting! Just not raw…..). Just be careful when buying the cashews that they are not spotted or shriveled looking, you want a quality product that has turn over. If you can’t find them locally, Amazon carries many types, a good brand is: Navitas Naturals Really Raw Cashews.

For the dates I pick mine up at Costco, in the produce department and store them and my cashews tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

Raw Cashew Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 10-13 Medjool dates, pitted (about 230 grams weighed once pitted)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt (Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons)

Directions:

Add the dates to a food processor and whirl a few times to break up. Add the cashews, cocoa powder and salt, process on high until finely chopped.

Add the vanilla while running and process a bit more.

Line a bread pan with plastic wrap, knock the mixture into the pan and lay the extra plastic wrap over the mixture. Press down until it is a flat bar.

Let chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, remove and slice bars.

Keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.

~Sarah

Wow….That Was A Flop-O-Rama!

I get excited when I find new-to-me raw food cookbooks so when my copy of Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day came in I started reading it right away.

Well…apparently I picked the wrong recipe to try. I mean REALLY picked the wrong recipe. It was so bad that as I was taking a tiny taste of it towards my mouth my brain was saying “NOOOOOOO!!!!!”. Kirk was “It can’t be that bad” and then he was spitting it out.

I had wondered as I prepared the recipe that the amount of cloves called seemed rather high…but hey, I am open to new things. When done and tasted all I could think of was that taste you get in your mouth after a root canal – from the clove formula they put in. Or rather maybe if I had taken up smoking clove cigarettes in high school……

To be fair, I will give the book another try. I think this recipe might have been good with no cloves or at least no more than a pinch. Anyways, here is the recipe as made:

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 dates (pitted, used Medjool)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp raw agave nectar (or honey for non-vegan)

Directions:

In a food processor grind the almonds to almond meal.

Add the oil and dates, process until mixed in.

Sprinkle in the spices and salt, min in.

Add the agave and process until mixed.

Use a disher to make balls and roll smooth.

~Sarah

Book Review: Must Have Been Something I Ate (With Recipe)

Back in May I talked about the fantastic new book Must Have Been Something I Ate, by Peggy Kotsopoulos. As I wrote in my blog “This is an incredible book that isn’t preachy or leaves you feeling like you have wandered into weirdo-ville. If you want to feel better about yourself, please read it – the mind-body connections are well written and will get you thinking. It is just that – ‘The simple connection between what you eat and how you look and feel‘.”

Since picking up the copy of her book sent to me and reading it I started also reading the books by Brendan Brazier, the face of Vega. As I delve farther into the way we eat now I find inspiration by both Brendan and Peggy to keep at it. The better I eat, and serve my family, the better we all feel inside and outside.

Peggy’s book covers 5 area of food-mood connections: Energy, Anxiety & Stress, Sleep, Sex and Depression, all discussing how we can overcome these common issues.It discuss the food-weight connection, food-beauty connection and food-health connection, covering Immune, Digestive and PMS. Last but not least is the recipe section featuring lushly photographed recipes, 26 of them. A few feature Vega products, nearly all are delicious sounding (see here for when I made the Chocolate mousse with avocado).

With the copies of the book I also received samples of Vega nutritional supplements in a range of varieties, of which a few are used in the book.

I tried out the Choco Mocha Mousse on page 179. The recipe calls for the use of a high power blender (Vitamix) but seeing as I don’t own one (although every time they have a road show at Costco I have to slap my hands….) I used my food processor instead which resulted in a nice pudding, although I am sure it would have been much smoother in the mixer. Still quite tasty though!

Choco Mocha Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar (or plain granulated sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp Vega Shake & Go Smoothie – Choc-a-lot flavor
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 shot espresso (fresh or 1 heaping tsp instant espresso + 3 ounces water)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds, finely ground

Directions:

(My directions are different from the book as I used a food processor, not a Vitamix or similar blender)

Add the cashews, sugar, Shake & Go Smoothie and cocoa powder to a food processed, run on high until the cashews are finely ground.

Add the espresso, water and vanilla, process on high until smooth.

Shake the ground chia seed on top and process till mixed in.

Divide into dessert dishes and chill before serving.

~Sarah

PS: The winner of our giveaway was Jodi of Washington State!

FTC Disclaimer – we received copies of this book plus samples of food to be used for review.

Raw Veggie Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

Whole Foods had posted a link to a recipe on the Facebook page last week, I had to try it out! I changed it a bit (dried herbs) but overall kept to the original recipe. I did though pulse the sauce in two batches in my mini food chopper to make it a chunky sauce. Kirk isn’t a big fan of raw tomatoes and the chopping makes the texture better for him. It also meant I could be lazy and not dice up the sun-dried tomatoes…heh!

As for serving size? Whole Foods said 6 on their recipe. Unless it is a tiny side dish that isn’t going to happen. More like 2-3 people as a main dish.

Raw Veggie Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini, average size
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (about 18 for me)
  • 2 Tbsp oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained a bit
  • 1 tsp freeze-dried red onion
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Wash the zucchini, peel off the green and trim off one end. Using a Spiral Vegetable Slicer, make veggie pasta on the smallest size. If you don’t have a slicer use your peeler to make long thin peels, then cut into ribbons that resemble “pasta”. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Pulse the sauce in a mini food chopper or food processor until a thick but chunky sauce comes together. Add the sauce to the “pasta” and mix till combined.

Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3, depending on size of squash and ones appetite.

~Sarah

Fig Cake (Raw Food)

I had found a large bag of organic dried figs and made this for my Mother In-Law as she likes them. If fig seeds annoy you (and I hate them!) this gets rid of that issue. It tastes like a “Fig Newton” just without the crust. Yum!

If your cake isn’t compacted enough and crumbles, don’t worry – you can sprinkle it on top of other items, it is delicious.

Fig Cake

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup dried Black Mission figs (as fresh as you can find)
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts

Directions:

Trim the ends of the figs and add them and the nuts to a food processor. Process until finely ground. I used 2 of my mini cake pans, as described here, and formed 2 “cakes”. Press down tightly so it gets compact. Store refrigerated.

~Sarah

Cookbook Review: Vegan A Go-Go! (Date Walnut Energy Bar Recipe)

Looking through my copy of Vegan a Go-Go! I decided to make a batch of Date Walnut Energy Bars on page 158. That the recipe is raw, is even better….

This is a tiny book but is packed full of recipes (it is pocket-sized truly) and I have a couple more earmarked to try out soon….

One of the ingredients used was new to me for using, Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed. I have seen whole Hemp seed before but had never tried the hulled ones. Think sunflowers in the shell and then shelled ones – they are incredible smelling! Freakishly high in Omega-3’s as well. Whole Food’s carries the seeds but you have to look for them, they are well hidden.

Date Walnut Energy Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted (about 16)
  • ½ cup dried fruit (I used cranberries)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • ½ cup hulled hemp seeds (or sesame seeds)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Directions:

If your dates are past their prime (hard and tough) soak them in hot water for 30 minutes and drain. If soft and fresh don’t worry about soaking.

Add everything to a food processor bowl and process on high until finely chopped and the mixture is pulling away from the bowl.

Line a bread pan (9×5″) with plastic wrap, knock the mixture into it and spread evenly. Layer over the extra plastic wrap to cover and gently press down, smoothing out and packing down – you want a dense loaf.

Remove out of the pan and open up the plastic, onto a cutting board. With a quick motion slice into shapes desired.

Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

~Sarah

Raw Chocolate Cherry Brownies

These amazing brownies come from a book I ♥ and I am sure you are all sick of hearing about – but what can I say, they are so good! The Brownie recipe is from Raw Food Made Easy and is on page 142. Jennifer has the recipe on her website though!

While the recipe is very similar to the Raw Chocolate Cake I made last week there is the addition of chunkier walnuts and chopped sour cherries. Delicious! I made 3 mini cakes with the “batter” – see the link on the cake on how to pack them into the tins.

A raw dessert that is addicting!

~Sarah

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