Saturday, December 19, 2009

When the Weather Outside is Frightful...Raw Hot (well, warmish) Chocolate Made with Nut Milk

The weather is certainly frightful where I live in the Northeast today, and there’s nothing more delightful than a cup of hot chocolate to sip while you stay cozy inside! My hot chocolate is really more on the warm side, but just as tasty as the real thing! I made it with Brazil nut milk. I don’t do nut milk very often – I’ve never really been a milk person anyway, so it’s not something I’m looking to substitute – but for hot chocolate, I’m all over it! I used a regular blender, not a Vita-Mix for this nut milk – so you can, too! No fancy tools required. I also used panty hose (clean ones!) to strain, rather than a fancy nut milk bag, which I also don’t have.
You could use cashews instead, if you don’t have or don’t like Brazil nuts. For plain milk, just skip the cocoa powder. Add vanilla if you are craving a little egg nog-like treat, or a teaspoon of cinnamon and pinch of cayenne for Mexican cocoa.

Here it is, Ang's Raw Warm Chocolate:

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1 cup Brazil nuts, soaked at least 2 hours (Cashews would work, too, and would require less or no soaking, if you don’t have time, and less straining)
3-4 cups water (depending on how thick and creamy you like it) that has been warmed to less than 112 degrees – I didn’t measure, but I stuck my finger in, and it felt comfy, so I’m guessing mine was about at body temperature
1-2 tablespoons raw agave nectar, to taste
2-3 tablespoons raw cocoa powder, to taste
Drain nuts and add to blender.
Pour 3-4 cups warmed water into the blender, and blend at the highest speed for several minutes in a regular blender, less if you have a Vita-Mix or other high speed blender (the high speed blender will also warm your water as it blends – be careful and stop to let it cool occasionally so it doesn’t get too warm and roast your nut milk!) Strain through a nut milk bag or pantyhose into a bowl.Pour milk back into blender, and add agave nectar and cocoa powder to taste. Leave out the cocoa powder for regular “milk,” add vanilla and a little more agave for egg nog, or do cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne for Mexican hot chocolate. Blend for another 20 seconds or so, and enjoy…raw appétit!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have Your Carrot Cake, and Eat it Too


I was faced with quite the predicament this afternoon: no (well, very little) food in the house, and a little bit of a dessert craving. I just about always have dates and walnuts, which I would usually throw together with raw cacao powder to make brownies, but I was running low on cacao, and I wanted to save the half cup or so I did have for an emergency. (Raw girls can have chocolate emergencies, too!)

The one thing I did have was carrots…they were the stubby ugly ones left in the bag, but they were there. I’ve thought several times of making carrot cake and how I would do it, so I seized the opportunity. I didn’t decorate the top with anything cute, but you could whittle Barbie-sized carrots and stick them on top of the frosting, with little pieces of parsley for stems, if you were feeling like a big food nerd.

Cake:

2 cups of raisins

2 cups of walnuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

2 cups of carrots, finely shredded or grated (I used my spiral sliver to make very thin tendrils…remember, you aren’t cooking it, so you need a pretty fine shred so the carrots are soft enough – you don’t want to crunch when you bite in!)

Blend raisins, walnuts, salt and cinnamon in food processor until the mixture is very smooth…you will hardly see pieces of walnuts anymore, the nuts will be releasing their oils, and the whole thing will turn into a doughy ball in the food processor. Add carrots, and pulse chop a few times, until the carrots are incorporated but still visible. Spread onto a plate or tray, about ½ to ¾ of an inch high, in a round or rectangular shape, whatever catches your fancy. You may notice that the walnut oil and carrot juice create a slightly greasy goo around the plate. Don’t worry. You can either sop it up with paper towels, greasy-pizza-style, or transfer the cake to another plate before frosting. Chill the cake before frosting if you can.

Frosting:

½ cup dates (I used very soft Medjool dates – if your dates are hard, soak them for at least an hour, then drain before using)

1 cup cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours, then drained

4 tablespoons fresh orange juice (or lemon, if you prefer)

Blend in food processor until very smooth and a little fluffy – be patient! Spread on cake and serve in small pieces, as it will be very sweet and rich…raw appétit!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Classes start in January!

I'll be teaching Alissa Cohen's Living on Live Food Level 1: Chef Certification beginning in January.

Kick off the New Year and make good on your resolutions by getting started on raw!

Are you ready to start losing weight, having more energy, and feeling positively radiant by eating the healthiest and tastiest food ever? This class is for you!

You’ll learn everything you need to get started on raw and living foods right now – no fancy gadgets or complicated techniques required! Just delicious, easy to make meals made of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Join me to in this day-long class, where we’ll discuss the basics of a day-to-day raw food lifestyle and make tasty dishes like “salmon” pate, angel hair pasta, fettuccine alfredo, stuffed mushrooms, collard roll-ups (a perfectly portable, take-anywhere raw meal!), broccoli soup, and of course, dessert...a delicious date nut torte, and more.

You’ll leave class knowing how to set up your raw kitchen, shop for food, and prepare meals that even the kids will love!

January 23
10am-3pm
Wilmington, DE

$125
Includes breakfast & lunch, raw recipe booklet, and Chef Certification from Alissa Cohen.

To sign up for class or ask any questions, please call me at 617-797-9994 or email at angelasalvucci@hotmail.com. You must sign up in advance. Check out www.rawteachers.com/angelasalvucci for more info on future class dates.

I will also be thrilled to work with you individually or in a group in your home - just get in touch and we'll work out the details!

Holiday Crowd Pleaser: Creamy Spinach Dip

It’s not the greasy, cheesy, mayonnaisey mess that restaurants serve – but that’s a good thing! No one will complain that they miss all that fat when you bring this the holiday party, because this dip is so yummy! Avocados are the secret ingredient that makes it rich and creamy. I got inspiration for this from Alissa Cohen’s Spinach Dip recipe in Living on Live Food, and kicked things up a little with more spices and flavoring. You could do even more, adding fresh or sundried tomatoes, or more of your favorite herbs.

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16 oz baby spinach (Adult spinach is fine, too)

2 large or 3 medium, quite ripe avocados

2 large cloves of garlic

½ of a lemon’s worth of juice (about 2 tablespoons, or more if you like lemon)

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1-1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ cup packed fresh basil

Start by pureeing spinach in the food processor. It may take a while to get going, just be patient, and keep scraping down sides. Then add avocados, and the rest of your flavoring.Adjust salt, pepper, lemon, etc as necessary – working with fresh veggies means you never quite know how much seasoning it might need. Blend well, and serve with veggies to dip. My favorite is endive. Raw appétit!