Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Magic! Raw Seven-Layer Bars (Well, Seven-ish)

A friends mentioned she tried raw seven layer bars the other day (and said they were delish!), and so of course I had to invent a recipe for my own version. My mom used to call them Magic Bars, and I think the magic was that they were easy to make, with just a few ingredients, and the end product is greater than the sum of its parts. The raw ones are even easier – no baking! And I just kept using the same mini food processor for each step, without bothering to wash it out in between. Hey, it’s all going to the same place! This version is exceedingly better for you than the original, which uses graham cracker, butter, condensed milk, coconut (ok, I kept that ingredient), and various chocolate chip flavors and nuts. This one only has four layers, but I think in the original people were counting butter, condensed milk, and additional chip flavors as another layer…

Here’s the YUMMY recipe…

“Graham Cracker” Layer

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of dates, pitted

Pinch of salt, dash of vanilla or some vanilla bean

Blend the above in a food processor until smooth and balled-up…press into a 9 inch pie plate (or other smallish pan).

“Chocolate Chips”

1/3 cup almond butter

½ of the third of a cup of agave nectar (use a few dates and a tablespoon of water if you prefer not to use agave)

¼ cup raw cocoa powder

Blend almond butter, agave nectar, cocoa powder in a food processor. Here is a little more magic…somehow these liquidy things get more solid when combined in a food processor. Blend until a doughy ball forms. Roll little balls…about the size of two chocolate chips together, and dot over top of walnut and date layer.

Nuts Layer (No “ ”, because we’re actually using nuts here)

Crush up 1 cup of pecans (or another nut of your choosing) in a food processor, with a pinch of salt, and fill in where the chocolate balls aren’t…here’s a photo of half with nuts, half without.

Coconut Layer

1 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon agave (it is fine to sub in a couple of dates here, as well)

Combine well in a food processor and press over the mixture already in the pie plate. Freeze or refrigerate until it firms up a little (if you can wait that long), and cut into bars to serve. Store in freezer or fridge. You can bring to room temp before cutting and serving if you would like the coconut soft, or serve from the fridge if you like it firm and crumbly...

This is rather sweet, but totally delicious. Raw appétit!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Raw on the Road...with the Family Medjools

I'm traveling...again...which is the absolute hardest time to eat raw. Add to that a couple of parties to go to, meals eaten out, and being around family and friends...it is hard! But it is easier as long as I make sure to have a few treats for myself...I've posted the brownie recipe below before, but it is worth repeating because it is really easy to do...and really darn yummy! And a nice break from another plain salad or green smoothie, which are away-from-home staples...little treats spice up what can other wise get tiresome.
I have to say, though, my family is absolutely awesome about supporting my raw food lifestyle...my mom always has plenty of veggies, fruits, and nuts for me, and we even found raw kale chips at a Whole Foods the other day!...and my aunty made a raw zucchini pasta dish for a party over the weekend (creamy pesto sauce tossed with spinach and zucchini noodles...she saw it here in my post of March 10, and it is one of her favorites!).
Of course, you don't HAVE to be traveling to make these brownies...they are nice at home, too! If you don't like chocolate or don't want the little bit of caffeine, just the dates and walnuts are yummy on their own! Topping that with a slice of fresh fruit would be deeelish!

Easy Brownies
1 cup walnuts (pecans are nice, too, and I've also done it with cashews, although they make it a little crumblier)
1 cup pitted dates (try to use nice soft ones like medjools)
2-3 ( or 4 or 5) tablespoons raw cacao powder (or raw carob, if you prefer)
Pinch of sea salt

Process this all in a food processor until you can't tell the dates from the nuts...it seems like this will not be possible, but if you leave it in there long enough, it will. You'll notice the walnuts releasing their oils on the sides of the processor, and it will turn dark and sticky. Touch the sides of the container while it is processing to make sure it doesn't feel hot - you don't want to roast your walnuts! Roll into balls or shape into a brownie-like thing, and either refrigerate or freeze in an airtight container until it is time to nosh! Raw appetit!