Category

Desserts

Raw Strawberry Chipotle Brownies

These no-bake raw brownies dusted with powdered dried strawberries and a hint of chipotle pepper are so easy to prepare! I may have included a few obscure ingredients like dried strawberries and strawberry medicine flower extract but you can easily replace these items with easier to find ingredients. Dried mango, cranberries, cherries, and freeze dried raspberries are equally delicious and pair well with the chipotle in the icing! ( freeze dried raspberries are available at The Banff Tea Company) I buy my dried strawberries at The Light Cellar in Calgary and sometimes dehydrate fresh berries to use in this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

The Brownie

  • 11/2 cups of raw pecans or walnuts
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup of soft pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of dried strawberries, chopped into smaller pieces or dried fruit of your choice

Line an 8 X 8 inch brownie pan with parchment paper leaving enough around the edges so that you can lift the brownie with the paper out of the pan once set.

Chop 1/4 cup of the pecans or walnuts roughly by hand or in a food processor. Set aside to mix into the batter later.

 

 

Chop the remaining pecans or walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add the vanilla, cacao powder, and dates.

 

 

Process until the mixture comes together. It should stay together when you pinch it into a ball. If it is too dry and crumbly add a small amount of water and process again until it comes together.

 

 

Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl. Add the reserved roughly chopped nuts along with the dried fruit. Mix well with your hands to combine. Press the mixture into your prepared baking pan using the back of a spoon to ensure that it is pressed in firmly and evenly.

 

 

Set aside while you prepare the icing.

The Icing:

  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • a dropper full of Strawberry Medicine Flower Extract (available on line or from Bite Market in Inglewood in Calgary) If you can’t find this extract, substitute 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or a few drops of essential oil of orange.

 

 

 

 

 

To prepare the icing set up a double boiler over medium heat on your stove. (place a stainless steel bowl over a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water)  Add the coconut oil first, allowing it to melt. Whisk in the brown rice syrup,  and then finally the cacao power. Continue to whisk until the mixture comes together and thickens.

 

 

 

 

With a spatula scoop the icing out of the bowl  onto the prepared brownies. Using an offset spatula smooth the icing over the prepared brownie. Set aside while you prepare the strawberry chipotle dust.

Strawberry Chipotle Dust:

  • 1/2 cup dried strawberries (for the dust the berries need to be fully dehydrated and not pliable. If you don’t have any really dried out berries use freeze dried as an alternative)
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup xylitol powdered in your blender (a sweetener made from birch trees that is non-caloric and also toxic to dogs!)

In a blender powder the dried strawberries until finely ground. In a small bowl combine powdered berries with chipotle and powered xylitol. Place a tbsp. or so of the powder into a small sieve tapping gently with your hand over the iced brownies to distribute evenly.

 

At this point I set the brownies into the freezer for about 1/2 hr. before removing them from the pan to slice. You can slice them right away but they are easier to handle frozen and will keep their shape once cut and thawed.

Cut into 2 in. squares. Place a little piece of whatever dried fruit that you used in the brownie on top of each square! Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies

 

Chewy, chocolatey, gingery and gluten free! I think I have perfected this gluten-free version of my favourite Christmas cookie! Ground oats and almonds replace the flour and chia gel replaces the eggs and gives these cookies just the right amount of chewiness! You can grind your own almonds to make almond flour, however; it is sometimes difficult to get a consistent grind in a food processor so I often purchase almond flour by Bobs Arrowhead Mills.

 

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of almond flour (finely ground almonds)
  • 21/2 cups of gluten free rolled oats ground to a fine flour in a blender
  • 11/4 sp. ground dried ginger
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of ground chia or flax seeds mixed into 3 Tbsp. of water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil at room temperature (otherwise it will not mix)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. baking soda mixed into 1 Tbsp. boiled water
  • 11/2 cups of dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/4 cup organic granulated sugar to coat

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. No need to pre-heat the oven at this point as the cookie dough needs to cool in the refrigerator for an hour prior to baking. Sift the almond flour, oat flour, dried ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cacao together into a medium sized bowl.set aside.

In a separate bowl beat coconut oil together with 1 Tbsp. of fresh ginger and the chia gel with a hand mixer.

 

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Add the coconut sugar and molasses. Blend well.

 

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Add 1/2 of the dry spice and flour mix along with the baking soda mixed in hot water to the wet ingredients.  Mix until well combined and then add the remaining dry mix. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips or chunks until well combined.

 

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Place the bowl in the refrigerator for an hour to set up a little bit. Roll into 11/2 inch. balls and coat with the organic granulated sugar. Place on the cookie sheet leaving space for them to expand as they bake.

 

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Bake at 325 F. for 12-14 min. Cool on a wire baking rack before removing from the cookie sheet.

 

 

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Raw Cultured Cashew Cheesecake with Blackberry Preserves

My mom makes the best baked cheesecake, the kind that you allow yourself only one slice because it is so rich but you can’t help slivering away at it because it is so good! This recipe is my effort to recreate that cheesecake raw. I have used a mixture of cashews and macadamia nuts because the mac nuts give it that “baked” texture. You can use cashews exclusively, however; the resulting texture will be smoother and creamier but equally delicious.  Cultured with acidophilus, this cheesecake is an abundant source of probiotics. Just remember to get it started 3 days before you want to serve it! I made 4 mini cheesecakes in 3 inch ring moulds, and one in a 4 inch mini spring form pan. Alternatively you can make one larger cheesecake in a 6 inch spring form pan or 6 of the smaller ones.

Use whatever berries are in season for the topping. I used blackberries however; blueberries and raspberries are delicious as well. You can even use frozen fruit.

 

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Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of raw, organic cashews
  • 1 cup of raw, organic macadamia nuts
  • 3 capsules of acidophilus
  • 1/2 tsp. organic lemon zest
  • 4 Tbsp. of clear agave or raw honey
  • 2 tsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp. of vanilla powder
  • pinch of salt

Soak the cashews and macadamia nuts in a bowl of water overnight on your countertop.

Strain the nuts and combine with just enough water to blend (about 1/4 cup) until very smooth. Empty the contents of your acidophilus capsules into the mix and blend again briefly to incorporate. Be careful not to overheat the mixture in the blender as it might kill the probiotics. Line a medium sized bowl with a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth. If using cheesecloth, make sure that you have a large enough piece to wrap the mixture and to twist up the ends overtop.

 

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Gather up the ends of the nut milk bag or the cheesecloth, twisting it snuggly on top. Set into a plastic colander over your bowl and then place  a weight on top. I use a big river rock that I use for a pestle but a mason jar full of water works great! Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit on your counter top for 24-36 hours. The speed at which it ferments will depend on the temperature of your kitchen. You will be able to tell when it is ready because it begins to smell a little bit sour. I usually opt for 36 hours or a little more in my cool kitchen.

 

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When the mixture is ready, unwrap it and spoon it into a medium sized bowl. The texture will have changed once it has fermented. It will appear fluffier and aerated.

 

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Add the 1/2 tsp. of lemon zest, 4 tbsp. of desired sweetener, 2 tsp. of nutritional yeast, 3 tbsp. of lemon juice, 1 tsp. of vanilla, and the pinch of salt to the nut mixture. Stir well with a spoon. Feel free to adjust the flavour adding more sweetener or lemon if desired. Set aside while you make the crust.

The Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw almonds (sprouted if you have a dehydrator) *
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/4 coconut oil, softened

(* to sprout almonds, soak overnight in water on your counter top. Drain and rinse. Dehydrate for 24 hours at 117 degrees F.)

Grind the almonds well in a food processor. With the motor running, add the coconut sugar and the coconut oil. Process until combined. Place your ring moulds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Distribute the crust evenly amongst the moulds and set in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes or so to set. As the coconut oil cools in the mix the crust will become very solid.

 

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Remove from the fridge and divide the filling evenly amongst the moulds. Press it down well with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make sure that it fills the moulds completely. Place in the refrigerator overnight. The cashew cheese will set up nicely in the fridge, allowing you to slide the moulds off. At this point you can make the topping, saving it in the fridge to decorate the cheesecakes once they have set.

 

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After 1-24 hours, remove the cheesecakes in their moulds from the fridge. Gently ease an offset spatula or a paring knife around the inside edges of the moulds and then pressing up from the bottoms, slide them out of their ring moulds. You can tidy up the edges with a spatula or a knife.

 

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The Topping:

Ingredients:

  • 11/2 cups of fresh berries (1/2 cup to puree and 1 cup of whole berries to mix into the puree)
  • 1/8 cup of soft pitted dates (medjool)
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract

Blend 1/2 cup of the fresh berries, and vanilla, in a blender or mini food processor with 1/4 cup of the fresh berries. The whole idea here is to create a thick jam that you will mix the remaining cup of fresh berries into to top the cake! Stir the remaining berries into the slurry. Decorate your cakes with the berry mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

Raw Blackberry Tarts with Cashew Coconut Cream

Perfect plump Blackberries at our local farmers market are always my inspiration for a raw pie! It almost seems a shame to cook fresh berries in their state of raw perfection. This recipe is the perfect solution, not to mention that there is no fiddly pastry to deal with! You can use fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or a mix in place of blackberries if desired.  A thick jam is made by pureeing fresh berries with dates and vanilla before being tossed with whole berries. The mixture is then spooned into a simple  ground almond crust.  If you don’t have little fluted tart shells you can make these little pies in 1/2 cup or wide mouth one cup mason jars if desired before topping with cashew coconut cream.

 

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The Crust:

(makes 6, 3 in. individual tarts or one 9 inch pie.)

  • 11/2 cups of raw almonds (sprouted and dehydrated if possible but opt.)
  • 4 soft pitted dates
  • 1 Tbsp. of softened coconut oil

Grind the almonds finely in a food processor. With the motor running, add the dates and coconut oil until the mixture comes together.

 

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Line individual tart pans or your pie plate with plastic wrap.  If using mason jars, this is not necessary. This will prevent the almond crust from sticking to the plates. Divide the crust evenly between the tart pans or spoon the entire mixture into the lined pie plate. With the back of a spoon press the mixture evenly into the plates, easing the crust up the edges to form a nice border. If using mason jars, just press into the bottom of the jars.  Place into the refrigerator to set while you prepare the filling.

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Filling:

  • 4 cups of fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup of pitted soft dates
  • 1 Tbsp. of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine 1 cup of the fresh blackberries with dates, maple syrup and vanilla in your blender until smooth. This will create the jam that binds the rest of the filling together.

 

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Fold the remaining 3 cups of berries into the prepared jam.

 

 

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Fill chilled tart shells and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with Cashew Coconut cream. (recipe follows)

 

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Cashew Coconut Cream:

  • 3/4 cup of raw cashews
  • 11/2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 11/2 Tbsp. of melted coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup of clear agave syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup of water

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until silky smooth. Place in the refrigerator to set up slightly before spooning onto your raw pies.

 

 

Raw Berry Shortcake

This is an easy and delicious way to utilize the pulp that is left over from the almond milk that you will need for this recipe! I am forever tossing out little freezer burned bags of almond pulp after freezing them with the best intentions!  I have used fresh organic strawberries and blueberries for this dessert but fresh peaches are also delicious as are nice ripe pears in the fall or winter. This recipe, pictured below, has been portioned into 1 cup wide mouth mason jars. It is a great way to save leftover shortcakes as they will last refrigerated for several days sealed tightly in a jar. I have also made this in a 6 inch spring form pan. The cream sets up nicely in the fridge and you will end up with a sliceable cake.  You will find raw coconut flour at you local health food store.

 

 

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(makes 6, 1 cup mason jar short cakes)

 

The Short Cake

Ingredients:

  • one cup of raw almond pulp (see Nut Nog recipe for nut milk instructions)
  • 1/2 cup of raw coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup of agave
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of almond extract
  • 1 cup each of sliced strawberries and blueberries.

In a medium bowl mix the almond pulp, coconut flour, agave, and vanilla and almond extracts together by hand. It will have a fluffy texture of crumbled cake.  Divide evenly into 6, 1 cup mason jars or a 6 in. spring form pan. Press evenly with the back of a spoon.

 

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Slice berries or fruit thinly and place a layer of fruit on top of the shortcake.

 

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Cashew Coconut Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water for at least 2 hours
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of clear agave (preferably clear as the amber variety will colour the cream)
  • 11/2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice
  • 11/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp. of vanilla powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of liquid lecithin (either soy or sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Strain the cashews. Combine all of the ingredients except for the melted coconut oil in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding the melted coconut oil last in a steady stream. Divide the cream evenly over the prepared short cake and berries, filling the jars within 1/2 inch of the top. Left over cream will last in the fridge for 3 days.  Set in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the cashew cream to set. Top with lots of fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries to serve!

 

 

Raw Salted Caramel Cacao Tarts

 

 

I made these tarts in mini 3 in. tart pans however you can make them in an 8X8 in. square pan and cut them into bars as well. As bars they were one of the most popular treats at my local farmers market booth this past summer! The leftover caramel is delicious spread on tart granny smith apple slices!  I have enhanced the flavour of the caramel with Caramel Medicine Flower extract. Medicine Flower has created an amazing line of  organic natural extracts that can be ordered on line at medicine flower.com. or purchased at specialty grocery stores. Lucuma also adds nutrition and  a creamy caramel like flavour. Lucuma is an exotic Peruvian fruit that is a beneficial source of carbohydrates, fiber, beta-carotine, vitamin B3, niacin and iron! It is readily found at your local health food store.

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The crust:

if using mini tart pans, line each with a single layer of saran wrap. If making as bars, line your baking pan with parchment.

  • 3/4 cup raw unpasteurized almonds (sprouted and dehydrated if possible) *
  • 1/3 cup raw shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 5 pitted medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil softened

*To sprout raw almonds soak in water overnight before dehydrating at 117 degrees F. for 24 -36 hours. Sprouting the nuts not only enhances their nutritional value but also gives the almonds a nicer crunch in the crust.

Process almonds in a food processor until crumbly. With the motor running, add coconut, dates, and coconut oil until the dates are well incorporated into the mixture.

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Press the mixture into the saran wrap lined tart pans or parchment lined square pan until evenly distributed. Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture firmly into the pans. Place in the freezer to set while you prepare the caramel.

Caramel:

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (raw or toasted. I use a home made combo of almond and coconut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla powder or liquid extract
  • 1/4 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp. lucuma
  • 1/2 dropper full of Caramel Medicine Flower extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, raw or toasted (to arrange onto the caramel)

In your food processor process the dates until broken down and mushy. With the motor running, add the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, lucuma, and caramel medicine flower extract if using. Continue to process until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of the container a few times to incorporate all of the ingredients into the mix. It should begin to form a large sticky ball!

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With a spoon or an off set spatula, spread the caramel onto the refrigerated crusts to a depth of 1/4 inch. You should have some left over which can be refrigerated for later use. This mixture is very sticky and can be hard to spread. Often damp fingers work better than a spoon. Arrange pecans onto the caramel.

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The Ganache:

  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • extra cacao powder to dust

Combine all ingredients apart from the extra cacao powder in a stainless steel bowl. Set over a saucepan with a few inches of water in it over medium heat to create a double boiler. Whisk as the mixture warms and the coconut oil melts to create a smooth, shiny, chocolate ganache. Pour equally over the caramel and pecans. Return to the refrigerator to set for at least 1/2 hour.

To garnish, place a tbsp. of cacao into a fine sieve and then tap gently over the tarts to dust. Decorate with extra pecans if desired, sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt.

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