21 Nov 2013

CHOCOLATE ALMOND COOKIES WITH FUDGY FROSTING


My inspiration / goal for these was to use the nut pulp left over from the almond milk my mom made yesterday. I succeeded. Because the almonds were put through a blender and then strained, their consistency is extremely fine, so I guessed they'd work great in a cookie recipe, having the same texture as the original baked version. My guess was right! These cookies are delicious and nutritious (I feel like I say that all the time... because I do) and anyone can make them because they don't require any special or great skills


That's right; I just brought Napoleon Dynamite back into your life. You can thank me later. Right now all I want you to do in scurry into your kitchen and try making these! It took me a second to get used to their super smooth texture and very almondy flavour but once I did, I hastily gobbled down like three. Plus with the fudgy chocolate frosting, you really cannot go wrong. Oh yes - we're doing double chocolate here, folks. It's gettin' real.


Since almond pulp is an ingredient (although you CAN use plain almonds if you want), this implies that you should also have some almond milk in your fridge, ready to be drunk. This is ideal because everyone knows that chocolate cookies and milk are BFFs. This is the cruelty-free version of that eternal friendship. Point being: eat these cookies with your fresh almond milk. Keep it whole, keep it good, keep it cool. But hey, I know you always do. Wink.


I'm feeling pretty joyful - literally, full and almost bursting with joy - today because after a week of a lot of negativity entering my life, things are looking bright again. Let me say right now that I am basically always ecstatic (often to the point of not being able to control blissful laughter) about the nature and circumstances of my life. I am seriously BLESSED and I actively remember this at all times. That being said, the past several days have been unusually tough. A couple people I care very much about were fairly upset with me (for valid reasons). I developed some strange illness - a mix of mono and the flu - so I couldn't go to school. Mother Nature chose to bless me with her monthly crimson gift. All these things combined left me stranded at home, alone, coughing endlessly and painfully, with only my abnormally stressed-out mind to question if I was an evil person or if the world just misunderstands me. It also messed up my metabolism, exercise regime, and skin. Woe was me, relatively speaking. 


Fortunately, it seems I am through the worst of it. My friends are letting me back into their lives, my sickness is packing it's bags and waving farewell; meaning that soon my body and brain will get back to normal and I can return to my regularly schedule program that is life! The way I see it: this week was like a challenge, forcing me to realize more than ever how lucky I am for all that I have. In addition, getting healthy again is getting me mega pumped for a party I'm going to on Friday.

I hope you guys like hearing about my personal life because I sure do find it useful to write it out. This is my online diary for the world to see. If you don't care to know about my daily living, the internet is great in that it lets you scroll past all this junk and get right to the good stuff! That being the recipe. No losers here! Only cookies.


CHOCOLATE ALMOND COOKIES WITH FUDGY FROSTING 

Cookies:
1 cup almond pulp (or 1 1/2 cups almonds) 
1 1/2 cups medjool dates
1 heaping tablespoon maca powder
2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Frosting:
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut nectar

To make the cookies: throw all the ingredients in your food processor and process until it all sticks together. Form into balls and press into cookies on a baking or dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for 2-4 hours, or "bake" at the lowest temperature in your oven, until they hold together. Alternatively you can leave them as is and put them in the fridge. Up to you. Ain't nuthin' but a texture thang.

To make the frosting: mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Frost your cookies. Nom.

20 Nov 2013

POWER SMOOTHIE with FRESH ALMOND MILK


Today's post is simple and short. This is primarily because the recipe I WANTED to give you is taking longer to dehydrate than expected. Hint: it has something to do with chocolate and cookies. Oh, wait. That gave it away, didn't it...

My mom made almond milk with our new nut milk bags this morning and I thought it would be delicious added to my daily smoothie. I was right. Here are some easy recipes for making your own nut milk. The flavour is incomparable to the store-bought variety. Nuff said.


POWER SMOOTHIE with FRESH ALMOND MILK

2 banana
1 cup frozen berries
1 tablespoon Jump Up and Go Go (Go Green)
1 cup almond milk 
1/2 cup chopped pineapple

Blend. Pour. Sip.

18 Nov 2013

ENCHILADAS with CHUNKY SALSA, CHEESY SAUCE & SPICY NUT MEAT


Enchilada police: arrest me now. These are too delicious to be legal. A chunky salsa of avocado, tomato, onion and cilantro mixed with a walnut taco meat spiced with cumin and coriander, all wrapped up in raw tomato-corn tortillas and covered in a creamy cashew cheese sauce. This is savoury food heaven.


I got mono from a friend on Thursday, and then proceeded to do the opposite of what I should have done; I partied all weekend instead of staying home and resting. It was worth it! But now I'm feeling pretty low. Also, on Friday night I did something kinda stupid and now a person I care deeply about doesn't want to talk to me for awhile. This is not helping my condition. To combat my emotional and physical sickness so far, I have downloaded The Very Best of Enya (don't judge me), composed a list of important documentaries to watch, and made these enchiladas.


Honestly I'm not feeling much better yet, but I hope it's just a matter of time... before this person wants to see my face again AND before I can swallow painlessly again. ONLY TIME. Ha-ha. Get the Enya reference? Okay, I'll stop.


Back to food. These are epic. Not authentic at all (you can't be when you make something raw and vegan, just being frank here), but mind-blowingly tasty nonetheless. It's quite a simple recipe and doesn't take long to make at all, not including dehydration time for the tortillas. The taco nut meat is almost too good to be true, and the cashew cheese sauce will make you sing. It goes without saying that the salsa is fabulous. Make these now, then freak out with joy.


ENCHILADAS with SALSA, CHEESY SAUCE & NUT MEAT

Tortillas:
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup corn 
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cashew cheese:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons miso 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup water, as needed
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Taco meat:
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Cumin and coriander, to taste
Salt, to taste 

Salsa:
2 tomatoes
1/2 onion
1 avocado
1/3 cup fresh cilantro 
Juice from 1/2 lemon 
Salt and pepper, to taste

To make the tortillas: put the onion, corn and tomato in your food processor and pulse until it becomes all mushy, add the flax seeds and salt and pepper and process until it thickens up. Spread this mixture evenly into 3 large circles on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 1 few hours or until they are pliable. Alternatively, you can spread the mixture on parchment paper-lined baking pans and put them in the oven at the lowest temperature. That's what I did. 

To make the cheese: blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl and set aside. 

To make the taco nut meat: pulse all the ingredients in your food processor until it forms a crumbly mixture. Put in a bowl and set aside. 

To make the salsa: chop up the produce, throw it in a bowl, and season it with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. 

Assembly: fill up your tortillas with salsa, nut meat and a little bit of cheese, then roll them up and cover them all with more cheese sauce and the remains of your other fillings. You'll have left over cheese sauce.

15 Nov 2013

TOMATO AVOCADO MUSHROOM CORN SOUP


An excellent way of eating warm, raw meals in the colder months is in soups. You can use spices, garlic, onions, and other vegetables and hot water to create creamy, flavorful, healthy bowls of goodness that will have everybody asking for more! This particular recipes uses garlic to add heat, and avocado for creaminess. The other ingredients are fresh and bursting with nutrition and great taste. I like adding chopped veggies to the soup so you have another texture. Grab a spoon!

This recipe was featured on Chalkboard Magazine about a month ago, and I figured it's time to share the photos and recipe on my own blog too. This soup is DELICIOUS, insanely healthy and so easy to make. There are literally zero downsides involved. Let's slurp raw goodness and dance to this song.


Tomato Avocado Mushroom Corn Soup

Soup:
3 white mushrooms
2 heirloom tomatoes
½ avocado
1 cup sweet corn
2-3 cups hot water
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 garlic clove


Toppings:
2 sliced mushrooms, marinated (recipe below)
¼ cup sweet corn
½ avocado, cubed
Basil leaves
Salt & pepper


To make the marinated mushrooms: slice them then toss in a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and tamari or soy sauce. Put in a warm spot for 30 minutes or in your oven at a very low temperature for 10-15 minutes. They’re ready when they have darkened and softened.

To make the soup: blend all the ingredients until smooth and soupy. Adjust according to taste, adding water as needed. Pour into a bowl then drop on your toppings and enjoy!

14 Nov 2013

RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES with VANILLA CREAM FILLING


I saw this picture of some Hostess cupcakes on Tumblr awhile ago and figured I'd better make a raw and vegan version because... why not. Although I never ate the infamous baked treats before I became vegan, their imagery still managed to infiltrate my eyesight; good marketing does that. If you're not familiar with what I am talking about, Hostess cupcakes are just chocolate cupcakes filled with a vanilla cream, and topped off with chocolate frosting and an endearing little swirl of the vanilla cream.


Sadly, they're full of all the crappiest-quality ingredients you could possibly put together. Seriously - no one is living longer or fighting cancer by eating these guys. Fortunately, apart from their appearance, this recipe is the exact opposite, plus it probably tastes better (I'm a little biased though). The ingredients include dates, oats, cashews, coconut oil and cacao powder. Google any of those and you will see that they are all excellent for you. Hehehe. Sometimes it feels like the world is almost too good to us.


Here's a run down of the recipe: the cupcake part is made up of oats, date and cacao powder; the vanilla cream filling is mostly cashews and coconut oil; and the chocolate frosting is cacao powder, almond butter and whatever sweetener you like. My frosting skills are lacking, as you can tell by the pathetic swirls I failed at creating. I had to use a hoisin sauce bottle, okay? No fancy piping bags in THIS kitchen, we do it thrifty-style. Of course, it doesn't actually matter what your swirls look like, since they're all gonna taste equally delicious and wholesome.


When I made these they were very sweet and rich (almost too much so, and for me that is saying a LOT) so in the recipe I typed up here, I lessened the amounts of sweeteners. But as always: you can - and should - adjust the recipe to suit your tastes/available ingredients/whatever. Note: you will have leftover vanilla cashew cream... I assume this will not be a problem.


CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA CREAM FILLING

Cupcakes:
1 cup oats
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla cream filling:
1 cup cashews 
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
1-2 tablespoons coconut nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Chocolate frosting:
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut nectar (or other sweetener)

To make the cupcakes: pulse the oats in a food processor until they become flour-like. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it all sticks together. Press into lined cupcake tins and indent a thumbprint in the middle of each one for the vanilla cream. Put in the fridge.

To make the vanilla cream: blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Scoop a spoonful into each of the indents you made in the cupcakes. You'll have lots left over. Put the cupcakes back in the fridge.

To make the chocolate frosting: mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Let it re-solidify just enough so that you have a frosting consistency. Frost the top of the cupcakes and then using a piping bag, decorate the tops of your cupcakes with the vanilla cream. Eat right away or within 1-2 weeks.

9 Nov 2013

CHOCO MINT ALMOND BARS


You cannot really go wrong with any of the ingredients included in this recipe. For that reason, I don't take much credit for how delicious these bars taste. This is another excellent recipe for sharing with your skeptical loved ones, non-vegan friends or anyone you know who is hesitant to jump on the health food wagon. Their minds and taste buds will be BLOWN. In a good way. 


I know you guys have been asking for more savoury recipes (don't worry - raw vegan enchiladas are COMING), but today I couldn't get my mind off the idea of a sweet, nutty, chocolatey bar with maca and mint involved. Success was reached. These are exactly what I wanted. I think I'm gonna make brown rice paper wraps for my dinner, and these will be the perfect dessert. I don't even know how people find time to eat junk food when there are endless amazing whole food combinations to try! No time for refined white flour on my watch! 


How is your weekend going? I've gotta say that my Friday night was pretty fantastic. First I went over to my friend's place and sat in her sauna for an hour, where we proceeded to spontaneously burst into laughter, look at possible hiking trails for Sunday, punch-dance to this (just wait for it), and cleansed our pores until we were as smooth as new born babes. Then we headed over to a hippie vegetarian restaurant downtown that is literally always open and drank *all the tea*. Finally drove to this rad underground-ish dance party thing and it was basically spiritual boogying - it's a word, alright - until 3 am. Sleep was amazing.


Back to food though! This recipe is pretty rich so I doubt you'll want more than one or two slices but hey, it's a free country. Do what makes you happy. All the ingredients are excellent for you, and when they're put together, this is practically a nutritional supplement... THAT TASTES LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH. Everyone and their grandma are gonna love these. Make 'em. Eat 'em. Smile. You're welcome.


CHOCO MINT ALMOND BARS

Almond layer:
1 cup almonds
1 cup raisins 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan crystal salt 

Coconut mint layer:
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Peppermint oil, to taste 
1/8 teaspoon stevia (optional)

Chocolate layer:
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter 
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon coconut nectar

To make the almond layer: pulse the nuts in a food processor until they are crumbs. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a lined bread pan. Put in the freezer.

To make the coconut mint layer: whisk together the ingredients and then allow the coconut oil to resolidify a little bit, so you can spread it onto your almond layer. Do that. Put back in the freezer until it is totally solid.

To make the chocolate layer: whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Pour on top of the solid coconut mint layer and put back in the freezer (or fridge) until it has hardened. Cut and serve! These will keep for weeks in the fridge.

5 Nov 2013

PUMPKIN CASHEW CREAM CAKE with CHOCOLATE SAUCE


I had an extra sugar pumpkin in the kitchen since I only needed one for my raw pumpkin pie, so I figured I'd make it into a cheesecake-type thing. This isn't really like a cheesecake at all, but it gives you an idea of what to expect: a creamy, sweet, slightly tangy slice of heaven. The difference is, this recipe contains no dairy, gluten, eggs, or refined ingredients! Just whole, healthy foods to keep you living long and laughing... luciously? 


According to family and friends, my last pumpkin pie recipe was "outstanding" and I think this one is on the same level of mind-blowingness (I make up words, you just gotta deal). Because it is raw, you get the full flavour of the whole, fresh pumpkin, not a diluted version from a can. It's kind of like a pumpkin smoothie in the form of a cake. If that's unappealing to you, pretend you didn't read it. Just know: this recipe is a winner for all pumpkin lovers out there. 


The weather here in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada is not so hot today... literally. It's a tad chilly and more than a tad rainy (but what is a tad, anyway?) It's been pouring since yesterday evening. Fortunately, I've got a big ole cozy house to stay warm in, so I actually love this Autumn weather. It gives me a much-needed reason to stay inside and get caught up on my emails and school work. I am also spending a fair amount of time downloading recommended music today. Everything from Bjork to Curtis Mayfield to Big Boi: it is now in my eclectically-driven audio library. 


I am so excited to listen to all these new albums in their entirety! I'm making new friends who share the opinion that albums should be listened to in a social setting, and with full respect and attention given... meaning no distractions: lights out, everyone lying on the floor or in bed or whatever suits ya. It seems people my age take for granted the technological advances in the past few decades that make it possible to pick and choose single songs, and skip through them with a mere click on the iPod. The only way you used to be ABLE to listen to music was by buying the physical record and listening to the whole album; I think there is so much timeless value in that. 


I believe music should MOVE you, emotionally, physically, mentally. I want to nurture my spirituality, personal and universal identity, and humanity when I listen to a good album. Also, any way you can allow yourself to let loose and give into your animal nature (ex. flailing at the club or doing much the same thing in a tribal drum circle in the forest) is healthy and therapeutic! I'm in!

*Now get back on topic, Emily*... you came here for pumpkin cream cake! And pumpkin cream cake you will get. This recipe is delicious, nutritious and fergilicious. Well, not really the last one but I like to rhyme. Get the recipe by clicking here.