Friday, March 26, 2010

Sweet Flax Chips

One of my students told me the other day that she’d love to have a sweet sort of cracker for her kids to snack on, maybe spread a little almond butter on and top with raisins…I figured it couldn’t be hard, so I did a little dehydrator experimentation, and came up with this recipe today…

1 cup flax seeds

1 medium-large banana, quite ripe

1 tablespoon agave

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Soak flax seeds in one cup of water for about an hour, till it forms a gluey sludge (do not drain, although the seeds should have absorbed most of the water at this point). In a food processor (I used my mini chopper for this), blend the banana, agave, and cinnamon until smooth and thoroughly combined. Stir the banana blend into flax seeds until well combined, and spread onto teflex dehydrator sheets. I spread mine to about ¼ inch thickness, about 3 seeds stacked, so that these would make nice sturdy crackers. Dehydrate 4 hours at 105 until edges begin to curl up, then flip into a mesh screen until the crackers become very crunchy…I’d say another 5-6 hours at least. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container. Serve, as mentioned, with a nut butter or even with ice cream as a scooper. Raw appétit!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kale Chips on My Mind: "Sour Cream" and Onion Kale Chips

I’ve had kale chips on my mind the past couple of days! Every where I turn, people are telling me about their kale chips. So I decided to make a batch…my favorite is pesto, but not being in possession of any basil, and having some raw sour cream to use in the fridge, I decided to try for a sour cream and onion version. And the results…as is always the case with kale chips…delicious. Only a few made it to maturity, because I kept sneaking by the dehydrator and sampling!

¼ raw (nut-based) sour cream (I had used Matthew Kenney’s version from “Everyday Raw” when I made mine. Most raw food books have a recipe in there…basically just soaked cashews, blended with salt and lemon juice)

1 big bunch of kale, washed and dried, about 6-8 cups

A little extra oil, lemon, and salt

Onion Powder

Wash and dry the kale, breaking off the stems and tearing the kale leaves into large pieces…about three inches across, in most cases. To your sour cream add 1 teaspoon additional lemon juice (there is likely already some in the recipe), 2 teaspoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Whisk thoroughly with a fork until the mixture resembles a thick salad dressing (It is good for this purpose, too!). Then add in about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of onion powder. Stir onion powder in, and, working in batches, massage dollops of the dressing into the kale until each leaf is moderately coated...It should look like more dressing than you would normally use on a salad. Spread out in a single layer on a mesh dehydrator sheet, and dehydrate for 4 hours, until very crispy. Try not to eat them all before they are done. Raw appétit!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Zucchini Noodles with Macadamia Basil Cream Sauce and Spinach

I am realizing that my blog posts have been fewer and further between these days. The thing is, I'm spending a lot of time planning my wedding - it's T-minus 4 1/2 months - and that leaves less time for experimenting with delicious raw food! I've been making a lot of my favorite staples lately...huge salads, green smoothies, zucchini noodles.

Last week, I had a big bunch of basil, and a couple of zucchini…but was feeling a little pestoed-out (who would have thought that was possible??). So I threw together a few things, and…voila! Zucchini noodles with macadamia basil cream sauce and spinach!

Here’s what I did:

Marinate about 6 cups – or more! - of baby spinach in olive oil, a squirt of lemon (maybe a ¼ lemon wedge) and salt and pepper…really massage the dressing in there, and then cover it and let it rest for a couple of hours.

For your zucchini noodles, use your spiral slicer, potato peeler, or mandoline to make long strips, whatever shape you like. I use 1 ½ - 2 zucchini per person, depending on the size.

For the sauce:

¾ cup raw macadamia nuts (cashews work, too, if you can't find the macs)

½-1 cup of water – start with a little and add more as you go!

Big bunch of basil – 1-2 cups packed

¼ - ½ a lemon (to taste)

Salt & Pepper

Garlic (optional)

Add your macadamias, water, basil and lemon to a high speed blender, regular blender, or food processor. The high speed blender will be smoother, but it will be delish in a food processor as well, just a little bit grainier. Blend until desired smoothness is reached, adding more water if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss zucchini noodles, marinated spinach and sauce together, and…raw appétit!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don't...Raw Almond Joy & Mounds Treats

Sometimes you feel like a nut…sometimes you don’t…and sometimes you need a little something sweet! I’m trying to cut down on the amount of agave I use in my recipes…it is basically just sugar after all, and it is somewhat processed, my friend Yuval recently pointed out too me. This little treat is made with nature’s candy…delicious medjool dates…and coconut. It really is reminiscent of a Mounds or Almond Joy bar, even though it is certainly not my most attractive recipe. Admittedly, it looks like, um, droppings, but looks can been deceiving! I’ve tried to do this a couple of ways, and this recipe is a good combination of very easy, and very tasty. You could drizzle on some chocolate syrup if you wanted it to be an extra special treat.

½ cup medjool dates, pitted

PLUS 6-8 dates for stuffing

3 tablespoons dried coconut (unsweetened, of course)

3 tablespoons coconut butter

2-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (leave it out entirely, if you prefer)

1 or 2 raw almonds to stick in the middle, if you feel like a NUT!

In a food processor (I recommend a mini processor here, as the amounts are little), blend ½ cup dates, coconut, coconut butter, and raw cacao powder until very well combined. Taste for your desired sweetness and chocolatey-ness, and add more dates if you want it sweeter, more cacao for an extra chocolate kick. To assemble, slit whole dates down one side, to expose the pit. Pry it out, and open date with your fingers, so it is like a taco. Press a ball of the stuffing mixture together, and press it into the date. Stick an almond or two in the middle of the stuffing if you like. Unless it is a huge date, the stuffing will be exposed, but that’s okay.

For chocolate syrup, you can mix equal parts agave and raw cacao together, and either dip the whole stuffed date or drizzle the chocolate on top. I sometimes do 1 part raw cacao powder, 1 part agave, and 1/4-1/2 part coconut oil if I want the chocolate to be more rich & stiff. I recommend storing these in the fridge or freezer, and they’ll be nice and chewy when you eat them. Raw appétit!