Friday, September 23, 2011

National Women's Health Day...with Tasty, Healthy Desserts!

If you are free next Wednesday between 11am and 2pm, head to Devon Esthetique's new location in Chadd's Ford for their National Women's Health and Fitness Day event.

They'll have free nutrition counseling, free chair massage, free blood pressure screenings, and more! PLUS, healthy refreshments...including some yummy raw desserts made by yours truly.

Here's the recipe for the Mexican Chocolate Truffles I'll be making for the easy and SO GOOD! Gluten and dairy free, unprocessed and without any added sugar...or any added guilt!

Guilt-Free Truffles

1 cup medjool dates, pitted and broken into quarters
1 cup walnuts
Pinch of seas salt
Dash of vanilla extract of ½ of a vanilla bean (optional)

Blend ingredients in a food processor until completely combined, when the mixture balls up and gets doughy. Roll teaspoons of the mixture into truffles or mold into a square and slice into bars. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
Variations: Add a few teaspoons of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for Gingerbread Truffles.
Try ¼ cup raw cacao or carob powder for a chocolate treat. Add a dash of cayenne and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon for a Mexican Chocolate Truffle!

Medjool Date Caramel...Gooey Prefection

Here’s a great, simple way to turn the season’s amazing apples and pears into a dessert (or anytime) treat. I served this date caramel drizzled on top of a pear and apple tart at the raw dinner/demo at Fresh Thymes last week. But it is so good just drizzled on fresh fruit slices (or even on its own – naughty!), you don’t even need to go to the effort of making a tart! Tastes just like the caramel apples I used to love to get at the fair when I was a kiddo…even better! Dip some slices and sprinkle on some crushed nuts or coconut for an extra tasty treat.

Date Caramel
Makes about ½ a cup
½ cup (packed) of medjool dates, pitted and soaked for at least an hour
1 heaping tablespoon almonds (or cashews) (soaked for a few hours is best – not the end of the world if you forget!)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla (or more, to taste)
2-3 small pinches of sea salt
Several teaspoons agave nectar, to adjust sweetness (optional)

In a blender, combine almonds or cashews with 3 tablespoons of water. (You could also just use 3 tablespoons of an already-prepared nut milk or soy milk, and skip the blending.)
Blend to a milky consistency, straining out solid particles if necessary (if there are only nut tiny particles, and you aren’t picky, don’t sweat it).
Add soaked and drained dates, coconut oil and vanilla, and blend until smooth, pausing frequently to scrape down sides. (This step can also be done in a food processor.)
Add salt – a pinch at a time, so you don’t over salt – and blend again. Taste for salty/sweet balance, adding a little agave or a date or two more if you prefer a sweeter caramel.
Refrigerate in an airtight container to chill the caramel prior to using, if desired.