Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cheers! A Very Yummy Raw Holiday Beverage

'Tis the season! For holiday parties, family, food...and for many people, yummy holiday cocktails. Raw foodies don't have to be left out when it comes to drinking fancy, celebratory beverages...we just have to be a little more creative!
Here's a recipe for a drink inspired by one I had - with booze - many many years ago. Back when we were young New York gals, my friend Megan and I made a tradition of going out for yummy holiday cocktails around Christmas time. A bartender at the Blue Water Grill in Union Square made us his specialty concoction, a spicy, creamy spiked martini. Megan and I disagree on what it was called...I say "The Spice Route," while she insists it was "The Spice Rack." But we agree, and have reminisced many times, that it was delicious, and certainly a very good holiday drink.
This one's for you, Megan! The Raw Spice Route:

1/2 cup cashews (or almonds)
2 cups water
3-4 medjool dates
One vanilla bean (or a teaspoon or so of vanilla extract)
1 teaspoons cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoons or more each of nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves

First, blend the cashews, dates and water until very smooth. Check for consistency and desired creaminess and sweetness. Add a few more dates for more sweetness. I used very soft medjools, so they blended easily, but if your dates are a little drier, you may want to pit and soak them for a half hour or so first. Also, cashews will work best if you are using a regular blender, because they are softer. Almonds will probably work fine in a high speed blender, although you may want to strain the milk after you blend it. Add more cashews for creaminess, or a little more water for a thinner drink.
Blend in the seeds of one vanilla bean, or vanilla extract, as well as the spices. Start with a little on the spices, and add more if you want a spicier drink.
Serve at room temperature, chilled and/or over ice, or warmed slightly in the blender.
I got fancy and garnished with a vanilla could sprinkle on a little cinnamon or nutmeg. Enjoy with someone you love! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Warm Up with Mexican Chocolate Truffles

Somebody has flipped the switch to all-out winter, across the country it seems. Brrrr...
People who can easily imagine eating a raw diet in the warmer months, when gazpacho and salads and cool fruit smoothies are all you feel like eating any way. But eating flavorful, warming foods like ginger, cayenne and other spices can make you feel toasty all over, without turning on the oven or boiling the kettle for tea.
Such is the case with these scrumptious Mexcian chocolate truffles, which I made for the Art Loop at Fresh Thymes about a week ago. And since the base is dates and walnuts, you can even eat them for breakfast (believe me - I have!).

Mexican Chocolate Truffles
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates, pitted
1/4-1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or a pinch of vanilla beans
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1-2 tablespoons orange zezt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a food processor, blend walnuts, dates, salt and vanilla until a uniform dough forms. You should not see any walnut bits any more, the walnuts will be releasing their oils and greasing up the food processor, and the dough will be balling up.
Add the cocoa powder, orange zest, cinnamon and cayenne. The amounts I listed above are just a guide - start with a little, and add more of one or another to taste.
Process again, tasting for a nice balance of the flavorings, until well combined, and dough is again balling up.

Either roll into 1/2-1 teaspoon size truffles, or refrigerate the ball of dough, if it is still a little crumbly, to make it easier to work with. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. before serving, dust with a 1:1 mixture of cocoa and cinnamon (I put mine in an old spice shaker). These should keep for at least a week in the fridge, longer in the freezer...unless I come over!
Enjoy your cozy, warming treat...raw appetit!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Raw Food Dinner January 19...Plus a preview with some tasty goodies Friday, December 3!

In the mood for a healthy treat? I'll be sharing some raw goodies - both sweet and savory - at Fresh Thymes Cafe in Wilmington during tomorrow night's Art Loop, from 5:30-8:30pm. Fresh Thymes is host to the beautiful work of local artist Kate Hunsinger. Great art and and raw treats - can Happy Hour get any better than that?

Wilmington already loves Fresh Thymes Cafe, and its proprietresses, Jane and Jenn, for their fabulous fresh, local, seasonal cuisine. Come by on January 19 for a 3-course, gourmet raw food dinner! I’ll be talking a little bit about how raw food can benefit your health…and serving up tempting appetizers, a phenomenal pine nut and zucchini lasagna, and a decadent – yet guilt free! – dessert. This dinner is perfect for folks with allergies – most raw food is naturally free of gluten, eggs, dairy, etc. – vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to try something new! If you already love raw food, think about how awesome it will be to go to a restaurant, be able to eat everything on the menu, and enjoy a meal that tastes incredible, and makes you feel GREAT! Call Fresh Thymes at 302-656-2026 to make your reservation, as space is limited. Email me at with questions...

3-Course Raw Food Dinner

Wednesday, January 19


$40 per person

Fresh Thymes

1836 N. Lovering (Lincoln & Lovering)

Wilmington, DE 19806