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Pili Nut, Cranberry, Chia Crackers

A few months ago I discovered a delicious nut, the Pili Nut. It’s similar to a pine nut in it’s texture and creaminess, but larger like a macadamia nut or peanut. I was able to purchase these nuts from www.RawFoodWorld.com. They also sell a delicious Pili Nut Butter, which reminds me of creamy chocolate syrup or rawtella – just delish!

Anyway, I absolutely love snacking on homemade chia crackers, but wanted something a little more unique. So, I decided to make chia crackers with pili nuts, pili nut butter, and some dried cranberries. “Wow!” Is all I have to say about this yummy little cracker recipe! Hope you like it too…

Pili Nut, Cranberry, Chia Crackers
Ingredients.
1 cup chia seeds
3 cups water
1/2 to 1 cup pili nuts chopped
1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 to 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1 T Thai coconut sugar sap
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions.
Combine chia crackers and water in a big bowl and stir. Let set till slightly gelatinous. Stir again. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread evenly over lined dehydrator tray(s). Dehydrate on 104F degrees for about 1-2 hours. Score the mixture for cracker shapes. Dehydrate another 3-4 hours. Place a dehydrator tray with mesh screen over top and flip. Remove liner and tray, and place tray with flipped chia mixture back in dehydrator. Dry for another 4-8 hours or more until crackers are desired texture. Cool, break apart and eat. Store them in an air tight container. These crackers won’t last very long at all!

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Raw Candied Almonds

This is such an easy and delicious recipe for sweet and salty nuts. The recipe came about when I got my first Healthy Surprise box.

A little background…Healthy Surprise is a great concept and a great company. Each month you receive a hand-picked package of delightful and healthy vegan snacks, ranging from nuts, chips, to power bars, and dessert treats. The brands included are superb! Sign up for Healthy Surprise by visiting them at http://healthysurprise.com/

Now back to my story…so in my first box I received a bag of Hail Merry Vanilla Maple Nuts. These nuts were the BOM! I wanted to try and make my own version, and what I ended up with was a delicious and candy-like snack. You will need a dehydrator. If not, you can try using the oven at very low heat. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Here’s the recipe:

Raw Candied Almonds
Ingredients.
(note: Ingredient measures are not exact. Everything to taste.)
2 c raw almonds (soaked for at least 8 to 10 hours, drained)
1 1/2 c organic Grade B maple syrup
1 T organic non-alcoholic vanilla extract
1 T lucuma powder
about 1/2 T Himalayan pink salt

Preparation.
Combine maple syrup, vanilla extract, lucuma, and salt into a big mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Fold in the soaked almonds and mix well. Set aside for about 1 hour (preferably in the fridge) and let marinate. Pour nut mixture over lined dehydrator trays, making sure nuts are spread apart. Dehydrate on 115 F or slightly lower temp for about 24 to 36 hours. Check in between time to see how nuts are drying. They should not be wet, and should be like hard candy. Add more salt if desired.

Once dried, remove from trays and break nuts apart so that they are in individual pieces. Some may have syrup stuck to them like candy, but that’s what you want. Place in a container and stir them with a spoon to separate some more. Store in air-tight container in the cupboard for up to two weeks. Or keep in the refrigerator/freezer for longer storage.

Other options.
Use a variety of raw nuts and seeds.

Fresh Fig Squares

A dear friend of mine from work, and his wife, always provide me with delicious and super fresh produce straight from their garden. I am so spoiled. They bring me everything from artichokes, eggplant, herbs, chard, collards, peppers – and now figs!

I love fresh raw figs! I usually buy them this time of year, but they can be a bit pricey and don’t store well if you don’t eat them right away. The figs my friend gave me really rawked! I used them up so quickly I forgot to take a picture of them. So the pictures of the fresh figs you see are not mine – sorry. (Link from the pictures to see where I found them at.)

So here’s a little information about the figs and just how great they really are. Figs are considered one of the world’s oldest known foods. Long before sugarcane was used, figs were the sweetener of choice and used in many dishes for that reason. Figs are great fresh and dried. Figs are high in fiber and a great source of potassium. They are a natural rich source of phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, and vitamins. Figs are super delicious and sweet, and low in calories. It’s the perfect healthy snack for all. The nutritional benefits are unlimited!

Now that you are informed with your taste buds salivating for some delicious fresh figs, I have got a great recipe for you to try. It’s a great treat that I know you will enjoy. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. The recipe follows. Enjoy!

Fresh Fig Squares
Sweet and healthy totally raw treats

Base (square cookie sandwich base)
Ingredients.
3 c raw almond meal
1 c coconut flour
¼ c Lucuma powder
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
¼ c raw agave nectar (use up to 1/3 cup if needed)
1 c pitted Medjool dates (about 20-25 dates)

Preparation.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and process to mix. Add the vanilla and agave and process again until well combined. Add Medjool dates and process until a dough forms. Remove dough from processor and break into two equal parts. Roll each part into dough balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a well-shaped square that could fit on a dehydrator tray. Add almond meal as needed to keep dough consistency. Place dough sheets aside. Prepare fig mix as directed.

Tip: I place the dough in separate plastic storage bags and then use the rolling pin to spread them out. This helps get the perfect shape and keeps the dough from sticking to the roller. I cut the bag sides out to remove the dough square when ready.

Fig Paste Filling
Ingredients.
2 lbs freshly picked figs (stemmed)
1 T raw honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
1 T cold pressed coconut oil
¼ c chia seeds (use up to 1/3 cup if needed)

Preparation.
Wash fresh figs and place in the food processor. Process until figs are broken down. Add remaining ingredients except the coconut oil and chia seeds. Process until very well combined. Add the coconut oil and process until mixed. The consistency of the mixture should be that of a paste. Remove the fig mixture and place in a mixing bowl. Add the chia seeds and fold into the paste mixing well. (Chia seeds should be well incorporated and not bunched up to areas of the mix). Set aside for about 5 minutes.

Assembling the fig squares.
If you plan to dehydrate the squares, place one dough square on a dehydrator sheet onto a dehydrator tray. Spread entire fig paste mixture over the dough square, reaching every corner, and spreading evenly. It will be thick, but that’s what you want. Place the other dough square over top of the fig mixture – it should be like a giant sandwich. Trim of edges to make a clean thick giant squared off sandwich. Using a sharp clean knife, score into bite-size squares. Dehydrate for about 2 hours, then flip over to a mesh tray and dehydrate an additional 2 hours. Break apart squares and serve. You can leave fig squares out on the counter wrapped for up to a day, but store in the fridge for up to 3 days. The longer you dehydrate the squares the longer it can be stored. However, it may not be as moist and sweet.

Should you choose not to dehydrate, prepare the fig squares on a large flat surface or cutting board, and place cut squares on a tray to freeze for up to one hour, or refrigerate for several hours before serving. These squares will do best if eaten within 24 to 48 hours from time of prepping.

Serving suggestions:
1) Drizzle raw chocolate or carob sauce on top.
2) Serve with raw ice cream.
3) Spread raw coconut butter, or sweet hemp butter on top.

Orange-Cranberry Banana Bread with Orange-Cashew Glaze

In our house we go through about 1 to 1 1/2 gallons of raw almond milk per week. All the milk is homemade, using fresh raw, soaked almonds (organic is preferable), dates, lecithin, and non-alcoholic organic vanilla extract. You can find nut milk recipes here.

Almond milk is lactose free, cholesterol free, low in fat, protein-rich, and loaded with nutrients. It’s a great source of vitamin E, selenium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. Almond milk is also high in beneficial fiber, calcium and folic acid. It’s also much easier on digestion, safer for diabetics since it’s much lower on the Insulin Index, and most of the fat is mono unsaturated – the good fat. Drinking raw almond milk instead of cow’s milk or even goat’s milk is a far better choice for health!

So what do you do with the leftover pulp? Well, if you follow my blog you know that I have been experimenting with quite a few raw bread recipes using the leftover pulp. It’s also great in cookie recipes, pies, and a variety of other raw recipes, but my favorite use for it is in breads. Lately I’ve been experimenting with more creative ways to add moisture to the bread so it’s not so dense in texture. This is very tricky, but can be done. I’m sure there are even better ways to perfect this, but I’m pretty happy with my most recent bread experiment.

I consider this particular bread recipe to be more of a “tea” bread. Serve it with warm tea, or as a breakfast bread or desert bread. It’s the perfect amount of flavor – not too strong or sweet, and it has a light feeling in taste and texture. This bread is super moist. The banana and orange flavors in the bread are subtle. The orange cashew glaze I create compliments the bread perfectly with the perfect balance of sweet and citrus. Here’s the recipe:

Orange-Cranberry Banana Bread with Orange-Cashew Glaze
Bread – Ingredients.
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups almond pulp
1/2 cups whole psyllium husk
1 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp Himalayan salt (or to taste)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 T raw vanilla powder
1 1/2 T coconut palm sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts (optional)
1 to 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used Tagalo’s)

Glaze – Ingredients.
1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
6 pitted Medjool dates
1 1/2 to 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 T lucuma powder
2 T agave nectar
2 T coconut oil

Preparation.
To make the bread, first combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients (except for the coconut oil). Mix well. Add coconut oil, and mix well again. Begin to knead the dough mixture until you can form a big ball of dough. Begin shaping it into a loaf and place it on a dehydrator tray. Dry on 115F for one hour. Then dry for an additional 3 hours at 104F. Remove bread loaf from dehydrator to glaze.

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and thick. You can thin the glaze for better drizzling, or thicken for more of a glaze spread. Pour glaze over bread loaf and cover well. Or, you can drizzle glaze over top making a design. Place back into the dehydrator for another 2 hours on 104F. Remove from dehydrator and serve warm or cold. Add more glaze for a spread if desired.

Keep loaf well wrapped and store in refrigerator. Reheat in dehydrator if desired. Slice it up or one slice at a time. Save leftover glaze to serve with bread slices as desired.

I’m very happy with this recipe. If you do get the opportunity to make this bread, please share your comments on what you think, or how you improved on the recipe. I’m always interested to hear what others have to say. I hope you will enjoy it too.

Peace!=)

Debbie

Raw Sweet Breads

Over the past several months I have not had a lot of time to post new recipes or write reviews. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy making goodies in the kitchen when I can. I hope to start adding more recipes over the next few months. It may not be on a scheduled basis, but please do stay tuned for more yummies to come!

Not too long ago I came across a raw food blog from overseas that had a terrific and simple recipe for raw almond bread using the pulp from nut mylk. I was pleasantly surprised at the incredible texture of the bread that I began experimenting with a variety of sweet and dense breads using this base recipe. I’m sorry, but I can not recall the name of the blog. If I ever do I will update this post accordingly, but for now please accept my apology. I couldn’t pass up sharing the base recipe, and sharing my experimental add-ins. Please enjoy these delicious raw breads!!!

Raw Bread (base recipe)

2 cups almond pulp (from making nut mylk)
2 cups ground flax seed
½ cup raw agave nectar (raw honey, coconut nectar)
½ tsp Himalayan salt
*Other ingredients depending upon bread recipe

*Banana-nut bread:
2 bananas mashed
2 T ground cinnamon
½ cup crush raw walnuts
¼ cup mini vegan chocolate chips (optional)
1 tsp organic, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
½ tsp nutmeg

*Pumpkin-pecan raisin bread:
1 cup prepared pumpkin puree
½ cup raw pecan pieces
1 cup Hunza raisins
2 T pumpkin spice blend
1 tsp organic, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
(exchange agave nectar with Grade B maple syrup if desired)

*Mixed berry-nut bread:
1 cup Hunza raisins, or mixed raisins
½ cup crushed walnuts/pecans
¼ cup mini vegan chocolate chips (optional)

*Chocolate-chocolate chip coconut bread:
¼ cup raw cacao powder
2-T raw almond butter
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
½ cup mini vegan chocolate chips
½ cup organic dried coconut flakes
1 tsp organic, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
1 T ground cinnamon

*Superfood  Bread:
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
½ cup goji berries
1 pkg Amazing Grass chocolate flavored greens powder
1 T bee pollen
1 T maca powder
½ cup raw sliced almonds
½ cup organic carob chips (optional)
4-6 drops vanilla flavored Sweetleaf stevia liquid
(exchange agave for raw honey)
1 T ground cinnamon
½ T nutmeg

Preparation:

  • Combine ingredients to make the base bread mix.
  • Add a little water if necessary.
  • Combine additional ingredients as needed. Mix well with hands and form a dough ball.
  • Shape into a loaf and place on dehydrator tray.
  • Dry at 104 F degrees for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Cut loaf into bread slices and lay on dehydrator trays.
  • Continue drying for an additional 2 to 4 hours depending upon desired bread texture.
  • This bread tastes great fresh out of the dehydrator or cold from the fridge.
  • Be sure to store leftover bread slices in a tightly sealed container preferably in the refrigerator.
  • Bread will keep for up to two weeks depending upon dryness.

If you have any suggestions for great bread add-ins please share them here in the comments.

Peace! =)

– Debbie

Banana-Yam Pancakes, Wraps, and Cannolis

Recently a friend of mine told me about the local Gilbert Farmer’s Market. I couldn’t believe I had not known about it before. After all, I only live about 10 minutes away. This market is fabulous! The produce is super fresh, beautiful, and very reasonably priced. I stocked up the very first day I went. I purchased wonderfully tasting Swiss chard for wraps, curly kale to make chips, baby carrots, cucumbers, Heirloom tomatoes and vine tomatoes, lemons, parsley, and of course, delicious and super-huge sweet potatoes and yams.  I felt like I was in heaven!

When I got home I realized I purchased way too much stuff, and began thinking of things to make that would last. Obviously I made kale chips – and they went the first two days. I also prepped all my chard so it was ready to use for wraps – and what great wraps it made! Finally, I decided to make raw pancakes using the sweet potatoes and yams. I had so much of it, I decided to make wraps too. The results were absolutely delicious! I was so excited about what I made, that I created cannolis with the last of the pancake discs. This lead to making some delicious Sweet Cream, and eventually that turned into delicious Mocha Ice Cream. But first for the Banana-Yam Pancakes…

Banana-Yam Pancakes, Wraps, and Cannolis.
Ingredients:
Extra large sweet potato/yam (peeled and chopped)
2-3 small/med bananas (peeled and chopped)
1 cup Brazil nuts (ground to a powder)
½ cup flax seeds (ground to a powder)
¼ cup raw pecan butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
2 T raw agave nectar or raw honey
Dash of sea salt
½ cup to 1 cup raw orange juice (as needed for consistency)

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender. Mix until pancake-like consistency, adding orange juice as needed. Take large spoonfuls or serving spoons of batter and shape discs or squares for pancakes and wraps on teflax paper on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours depending upon desired consistency.

To make cannolis check pancake discs after 5-6 hours. As soon as batter is no longer wet and slightly pliable, shape into empty cannolis. Use paper towels, or paper dowels to keep cannoli shape from collapsing. Dry until firm, but not hard. Stuff with Sweet Cream and sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips over the cream. Place in refrigerator for about one hour, and serve.

For wraps, remove wrap shape once the wrap is firm, but still pliable. Fill with your favorite veggies, greens, and other yummies. Roll-up the wrap and eat.

For pancakes, remove pancake discs after a few hours, when pancakes are dry but very pliable and warm. Spread coconut butter, and drizzle maple syrup over it. Top with fresh blueberries or banana slices.

Sesame-Sun Granola

Not too long ago I posted a granola recipe that was super delicious. Well, I loved it so much I made another batch. However, this time I changed-up the ingredients a bit, and I added lots of sesame seeds. The flavor was out-of-this-world terrific. In fact, it was so good, that we were eating the granola pieces as if they were crackers or chips – very addicting. You could probably make them into crackers…anyway. Here’s the recipe, try it for yourself:

Sesame-Sun Granola
Ingredients:
1 cup raw oatmeal
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup mixed dried berries and raisins
5-6 dates
drizzle of agave nectar or other syrupy sweetener
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup carob chips
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 T raw carob
2-3 T coconut oil
purified water

Preparation:
Combine all seeds, nuts, and dried fruit in a bowl. Cover with water and soak for 4-6 hours or longer. I soaked mix overnight. Drain water. Place soaked mix into food processor and roughly chop and pulse. Place in big mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except for coconut oil. Mix well. Melt coconut oil and stir into mixture. Spread mixture over dehydrator trays loosely. Dehydrate for 12-16 hours – depending upon desired dryness of granola. (The dryer the mixer, the longer the storage in pantry). Break-up or smash with rolling pin, and serve. Store in airtight containers in pantry or fridge. Serve with fresh fruit, nut milk or yogurt, or over your favorite dessert dish. I love granola!

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