Sunday, February 14, 2010
My Valentine gave me an amazing box of RAW chocolates today...I haven't tried them all, but the caramel, macadamia coconut, and Hunza raisin chocolates were delicious! They came from Coracao Confections (coracaoconfections.com)...highly recommend them. Not only are they beautiful, but the dark chocolate outsides and all-natural fillings are incredibly tasty, and don't have the ultra sugary, heavy taste that I remember (and remember loving) about even high-end chocolates. YUM!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I really haven’t missed much from the cooked food world since I went raw, and as time goes on, I crave or miss less and less. The exception over the past several weeks – perhaps because of the time of year – is the amazing, totally rich and decadent, REAL hot chocolate served at certain specialty chocolate stores and bakeries. By REAL hot chocolate, I mean chocolate that has been melted and thinned with a little…well, in most cases, with a little cow juice. My former self, and to an extent my raw self, was/is a chocolate snob, and a little bit of a connoisseur…and I certainly had my favorite hot chocolates…City Bakery was my all-time favorite, but Burdick’s in Cambridge, MA, Jacques Torres, and Vosges all have fabulous versions. City Bakery in
Anyway, I wanted to make a raw version. I experimented a bit…an avocado version was tasty, but never the right consistency…and I think I’ve got it pretty well nailed. Although, for the sake of humanity, I may continue my research. In any case, here’s the recipe, below.
1/3 of a cup raw cashews
1 cup water
¼ cup extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil, warmed to liquid consistency
½ cup raw cacao
¼ cup raw agave nectar
First, make your cashew milk…you can do this in a Vita –Mix if you have one, or a regular blender. The beauty of the cashew is that it is a soft enough nut that it should turn into nice smooth milk that you won’t have to strain, even from a regular blender. Use more if you like, in a 1:3 nut to water ratio, but I wanted to make just enough for two small servings.
Next, whisk together your cacao powder and agave with a fork. Get out all the lumps. Then add “melted” coconut oil, little by little, until you have gorgeous, glossy, smooth chocolate syrup. Add several tablespoons of the chocolate to the cashew milk – I used 4-5 heaping tablespoons – according to taste. Gently blend together, or hand whisk. It’s better to do this once the cashew milk is a little bit warmed from the blender (NOT hot, of course!), so that the coconut oil doesn’t congeal. Once the chocolate is all blended with the nut milk, it will thicken a bit upon standing, and only get more delicious (if less “hot”).
Please note – this is not really a health food. Merely a HEALTHIER version of something that would otherwise contain processed sugar and dairy. Please only make this as an occasional indulgence, as it is high in calories and fat…and despite it being “healthy” fat, and having a few antioxidants and minerals courtesy of the chocolate, it’ll give you love handles if you have too much.
If you have extra chocolate sauce, throw some raisins in it, toss to coat, spread out on a plate and throw it in the freezer…homemade, raw chocolate covered raisins!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Last weekend, I taught my first raw food class – an Alissa Cohen Living on Live Food Level 1 – and had a ball. I think the students enjoyed it as well, and I’m really looking forward to teaching more classes very soon! Check out www.rawteachers.com/angelasalvucci for upcoming classes.
During class, I mentioned that once you get the hang of it, it can be fun and relatively easy to make raw versions of some of your favorite cooked foods. I said “Except maybe something like Salisbury Steak.” Well, a few days later, I found myself in possession of quite a few mushrooms, and decided to try for a version of that TV dinner, elementary school cafeteria classic.
I think I’ve probably actually had Salisbury steak maybe once or twice, and I looked at a few online recipes to get an idea. It’s basically meatloaf patties, maybe seasoned a little differently, perhaps made with a different cut of meat, but who knows – it’s all beef to me. Anyway, several of the recipes called for
3 portobello mushroom caps, chopped
1 cup walnuts
½-1 teaspoon steak seasoning (blend of dry spices)
1-2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu
Extra dash of onion powder (there likely already is some in the steak seasoning)
2 teaspoons olive oil
First, process walnuts in a food processor until they are finely ground. Set aside. Put mushroom in a food processor, and process until it is in very small, but still recognizable pieces, like a very fine dice. Add mushrooms and spices and oil to walnuts, and smoosh together with your hands. I recommend starting out small with the spices, and tasting as you add a little more, so it doesn’t get too salty. Form into oblong, ½ inch high patties, about four. Dehydrate for 3-4 hours.
In the meantime, make your mushroom gravy!
1 ½ cup chopped button mushrooms, but 6-8 extra sliced thin
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu
1 tablespoon olive oil
Blend 1 ½ cups if button mushrooms and liquids (again, start small with the salty seasoning!) in a food processor until smooth, then add the slice mushrooms. Stir to combine, and warm in the dehydrator if desires.
Serve with raw mashed “potatoes” or creamed spinach for that authentic TV dinner treat! The photo here is not pretty, but it is pretty tasty!