Tag Archives: raw desserts

Raw Comfort Food

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Sometimes a little raw comfort food is all you need after a too long day! See the beauty about raw food is the creativity in it all. Especially when it comes to desserts, it’s super hard to make a mistake! I mean, it’s all fair game, and is somehow always completely delicious: cacao (always cacao!), coconut shreds, dried fruit, raw honey, frozen bananas, nut butter…I could go on and on! Really, whatever you’ve got that looks particularly happy–throw it in! And to boot, since you’re never putting sugar into the mix, you can feel good about getting a health boost at the same time.

Enjoy!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes! Life, Death & Life Again.

Fact:  A raw foodist CAN have carrot cake!  Fact: A raw foodist CAN have cream cheese frosting!  Fact: A raw foodist CAN eat an actual cupcake that you have to pell the wrapper away from! 

And my favorite fact of all.  I remember so fondly the times when my mom would make her famous carrot cakes.  Quite ahead of her time I must say, and very rustic…hand grating all the carrots, using half the sugar, and maybe even whole grain flour…but after she’d put it in to bake, me standing there, licking the Imagebatter off the spoon, and THEN…oh, and then…using my fingers to wipe clean the bowl.  So I thought that moment of nostalgia would forever be in my past until last night… FACT: Raw foodists CAN lick the batter bowl clean.  To boot, we don’t even have to worry about salmonella!

So I did it!  I made what I am told are delicious carrot cake cupcakes.  It was a bit arduous, so much so that I didn’t even realize that I was making them to the beat of my own drum–I didn’t have the tv or radio on at all.  And even though I’ve really stopped watching tv, I do like to have some background chatter while I’m making food.  Of course, there were the typical “Jinji, really?” moments.  First, I need a bigger food processor.  The little kitchenaid dealie isn’t going to cut it anymore!  I found myself ridiculously working in batches with 6 cupcakes worth of batter.  Next, I’m learning there are rules to baking.  Like, mix some ingredients first, then add the others.  With cooking, you can have flexibility…do what feels right.  But not with caking!  (caking, because it’s not really baking, is it?)  But the carrot shreds in too early, causing great upset to my dates and walnuts, and the happy goo they were trying to create together.  So, stop take out the shreds that hadn’t interrupted and continue.  Stop, remove have the 1/2 done goo because of small container, continue.  Did I add the spices?  Should I??  Continue.  I mean that’s a good 30 minutes of un-do and re-do and a big mess!

But finally in spite of myself, I came out  with a batch of frosting, and the lovely batch of batter pictured Imagebelow–shoved into silicone cupcake holders  (both the shoving and the silicone was actually pretty brilliant.  After they refrigerated for a while, I got nice densely packed uniform cupcakes that were super easy to remove!).  And, once I got half a brain and stopped trying to carve out perfect swirls of icing, like how it looks like in pictures, I put all the frosting in a ziploc bag and clipped the corner to pipe it out.  I’ve since learned Imagethat everyone knows to do that, but at the time I thought it was a stroke of pure genius. 

So everything cooled out in the fridge for a while as I basked in all my newfound carrot wisdom.  FACT: A rawfoodist CAN safely. literally, and relatively guiltlessly eat both the frosting and the batter with his/her finger before they even get the chance to make contact.  Sigh.  Oh!  And a joke:  You know you’re a raw foodist when “how long does it have to go in for?”  refers to refrigeration, not baking in the oven!  Hilarious, I know, I know.

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 The Forbidden RAW Carrot Cake Cupcake

  • 2 c grated carrots–squeeze the juice out using a papertowl, and reserve for a juice or a shake
  • 1 cup dry walnuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1 T unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 T cacao nibs
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 T raisins

Process the walnuts and dates until they’re like a larabar consistency.  Add in carrots until everything is well combined.  Then, add everything else.  Put into a silicone cupcake tray.  Refrigerate for an hour or so.  Done.

Frosting

  • 1 c soaked cashews
  • 6 dates, also soaked
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t cacao powder

Process everything together, adding water as needed to get it to frosting consistency.  Spoon into a ziploc.  Refrigerate for the remainder of the time the cakes are getting cool.  

“Pop-out” the cupcakes, then pipe! Then top with hemp seeds, cacao nibs, cacao…coconut shreds, cinnamon.  ENJOYYYY!!! These are GOOOOD!

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…And the Rest is Pudding!

That’s a saying, right?  Well I’m back on the Raw!  But this time, instead of as an experiment, I am feeling really confident and committed to maintaining a high-raw diet.  For me, life is just tastier that way!  And, if I play my cards right, I might find life is easier this way too.  Even having been about 75% raw since completing my raw diet experiment nearly 3 months ago (WOW), I have continued to notice a quiet, very subtle escalation in benefits.  I don’t need as much sleep each night as I used to.  My skin feels lovely, and my jeans fit great!  I have bounds of energy, and I rarely get sleepy during the day.  My mood is good and steady as she goes!

Most my meals are really all raw, except fish here and there, Ezekial bread and grains.  I’ll keep doing those things.  So where does the extra 10% come in to qualify me as a “high-raw” participant in the raw foodie club?  DESSERT.  I’m super psyched about raw desserts, and I know I’ve talked about them here and there, but I’m more convinced than ever of the power of them, and the delicious-ness of them!  Not to mention that moonpie I had at One Lucky Duck that has made me a believer for life.  Not a whole lot of raw fruits in these desserts–its luscious raw cacao, coconuts, cashews, avocados (yup!), oh there are bananas, but then also raw honey, and agave nectar here and there.  The beauty for me, beyond the taste even, if that’s even possible, is that these are Superfoods we’re talking about here!  These are life sustaining, healthy foods to eat.  No guilt.  No food remorse.  All the taste, and then some.

So I am getting started with some experimenting.  Of course I can never leave well enough alone, so I anticipate some slips here and there.  Food wars from time to time.  But I also look forward to some sweeeeet victories!  Oh, by the way, about that avocado.  I’ve heard a commercial on the radio now enough times to really get on my nerves.  Avocado’s are delicious.  They are really healthy, and a fantastic way to get essential fats in the diet.  Huge fan!  And probably personally eat enough of them in a week for 2 people! 

BUT!  Excuse me, Subway.  So sorry to be the one to burst your marketing campaign (really am!  especially since I love avocado’s so much!), but avocados are not a bonafide Superfood.  Cacao, Honey, Coconut, hempseeds, gogi berries, spirulina…these are all super foods for their unique set of diverse and life sustaining properties and array of high levels in minerals and vitamins.  I’m glad you have avocado’s, Subway, really I am.  It makes me feel like on my next road trip if I run out of pre-packed snacks, I can turn to you for a thing of avocados and a packet of salt (do you have sea salt?).  Let’s just be sure not to confuse the masses!  Afterall, haven’t you already tricked us enough into thinking your menu is healthy?  I digress.  To convince you that I truly do appreciate the avocado availability (even if they aren’t Hass), I made pudding last night…and guess who was the star?

Delicious Subway Pudding

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. raw almond milk
  • 1/2 c. raw cacao powder
  • Raw honey…add by the T until you like it
  • 2 T unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sea salt

Give it a good whir!  And enjoy!

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Raw: Re-Inspired!

 Wow! Spent the last couple of days in New York, and really wishing I had been able to visit while I was all-in on the raw diet.  It’s so completely normal, and dare I say, even mainstream!  Now, at about 80% raw though, i could still thoroughly enjoy my food experience there.  Raw is HUGE in New York.  Even only having been there 2 days, I got pretty good exposure.  I mean here, in Baltimore, there is raw food, yes.  Certain places with a bigger offering than others (The Black Olive, Zia’s, Great Sage)–but there!  Oh there.  In every borrough there are several.  I ate at two: Carravan of Dreams in Manhatten and One Lucky Duck by Union Square.  Each place with its own unique identity–beautiful, bountiful plates, carefully put together, and lovingly made.  Tons of diversity in the menu, and huge flavor in the food.  One Lucky Duck is actually owned by the same couple who authored Real Raw “cook”book–which has been an culinary inspiration to myself and many who I talk to.  So it was a MUST that I had to go there.  Most impressive?  Moonpie.  Raw cacao based moonpie.  UN.BE.LIEVABLE.  I also had the seaweed salad, that had an impressive mix of 4 different seaweeds and a killer dressing to go with.  Even outside of Manhatten though, regretably I didn’t get to go bu rave reviews for Rawstar in Brooklyn!  Next time.

So anyway, feeling really, really inspired with this Raw thing.  In fact, before I left for NYC, I had the pleasure of attending a special lecture by David Wolfe.  Can you say 7 courses of Raw heaven??  Not to mention his inspirational lecture about the deliciousness and power of Raw.  Amazing.  I don’t know, but I am thinking I need to get involved here….!!  More to come.

Banana Smoothie! Photo is a little dark, because I had to eat it under the light of the moon…but trust me–delicious!!

 

An inspired Raw Banana milkshake

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c. raw almond milk
  • pinch of sea salt
  • drop of raw honey
  • sprinkle of unsweetened coconut
  • dusting of raw cocao
  • a few shelled hemp seeds

Give it a good whir, and ENJOY!

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Amazing Food Finds: Dessert Edition, part 1

Yes, desserts!  A lot of people ask me: “How do you manage to avoid eating sweets?”  Then they follow with their personal stories of avoidance, willpower, and determination against sugar.  Well all sugar except the donuts they had at work one morning that they couldn’t refuse.  And of course, let’s not forget about cheat day where anything goes!

Well, I’m not sure where anyone got the idea I don’t eat sweets, because I delight in them at least three times a day, sometimes four.  In my own experience, and my observation of others, the solution to sweet cravings, is to simply…EAT SWEETS!  I didn’t say sugar.  I said sweets.  Dried fruits stuffed with cinnamon spiked almond butter (or PB2!)…Larabar/pure bar portions…fresh fruit with a light dollop of raw honey…Eating raw and dried sweet foods throughout the day will set you up for success.  Ask any raw foodist.  And believe me I did during my 2-week Raw experience–as long as you avoid refined sugar, you will not gain a pound, and you can dig in throughout the day.  Ever met an overweight Raw foodist?  Me either.  But believe me, I was shocked at the amount of sweetness there is in the diet.  You won’t need a donut, you’ll be able to cut out the cheat day (which, let’s be honest is there so you can eat white flours, refined sugars, salty things, alcohol, etc.), and maybe most importantly in terms of weight control–stop the night time grazing.

ImageBut this post isn’t really about philosophy of desserting, it’s about this:  Chocagave.  Any chocolate lovers out there?  Anyone interested in rich, dark chocolate sans refined sugar?  I know I was!  It’s 70 calories for TWO tablespoons!  Tablespoons are big!!  And this stuff is goooood.  Warm a sliced banana in the oven for a few minutes, slather on some raw chocolate sauce, add a few tablespoons of crispy brown rice cereal, and a sprinkle of sea salt.  DE.LIC.IOUS.

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