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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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Edamame Avocado Vegan Pesto

I love this delicious, yet simple pesto recipe using edamame beans. It goes great as a spread, or used as a sauce on your favorite raw or cooked pastas (i.e. zucchini, spaghetti, etc.). For those of you who prefer not to eat edamame, you can exchange it with delicious fresh peas. If you do use edamame, be sure to select organic. Edamame beans are immature soybeans inside a pod that can be eaten fresh, or peeled and boiled which is a more traditional method of preparation and use. They are high edamame is rich in protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. It’s important to find true organic sources of this soybean, as soybeans are one of the top GMO plants next to corn. However, if you are comfortable with the source, you will definitely enjoy edamame and benefit.

When I made my pesto I didn’t add any lemon, so it’s important to use it right away as the avocado begins to brown. You can slow this down by adding lemon juice to the recipe and storing it in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. 

I used my pesto in a vegan wrap, made with fresh mushrooms, onions, and Mexican squash (also known as Chayote).  I used a gluten free, vegan tortilla and spread the pesto on it. I also lightly sauteed the veggies on low heat. You could marinate them and then dehydrate the veggies, or just prepare it raw. You could also use lettuce wraps or raw wraps in place of the vegan tortilla. 

Here’s the recipe for the pesto. Enjoy!

Edamame Avocado Vegan Pesto

Ingredients:

1 cups well packed parsley

1 cup shelled walnuts 

1 cup edamame beans (not the pods)

1 ½ T organic miso

1 cup avocado (about 1 large pitted avocado)

1 T Bragg’s

1 tsp or more Garlic Powder (to taste)

1-3 T water as needed for consistency

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add water as needed. 

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Nothing but the Juice!

For those of you who have been following my personal blog, you know that I recently completed a 10-day Master Cleanse, followed by a three-day juice feast. Since then I have been on a 100% raw food diet, and I feel great! It’s been a long time since I have been so pure, but I’m glad I did it. I’m still in my “reboot” stage, and will be till I deem necessary. Regardless, I’m going to continue to be much more conscious of my body’s personal needs than before so I don’t slack so much.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a list of my favorite juice combinations that I have been having over the past few weeks. I don’t have any pictures, but I’m sure you can tell the yumminess just from the combinations listed below. I do plan to post some more raw food entrees and desserts real soon. In fact, I’m working on some right now. Till then, get the ol’ juicer out and “juice baby, juice”!!!

Here’s the juice:

Apple Cucumber.
2 gala apples
1 cucumber

Apple Grape.
1 large bunch grapes (red)
3-4 gala apples

Carrot Apple.
10 large carrots
2 gala apples

Coconut Cucumber.
1 large cucumber
2 cups or less coconut water

Green Lemonade. (adapted from Natalia Rose, Raw Detox)
1 head of Romaine lettuce
6-8 kale leaves
½” ginger
juice of 1 lemon
2 gala apples

Lemon Cucumber Mint.
Lemon (peeled)
1 Cucumber
fresh Mint to taste

Mango Lemonade.
Mangos
Lemons

My V8.
12 long carrots
1 red bell pepper
2 large beef tomatoes
6-8 leaves kale
½ bunch parsley
1 bunch spinach

Orange Cucumber Spinach.
3 oranges (peeled)
1 cucumber
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
1” ginger

Pineapple, Orange, Carrot.
1 pineapple (peeled)
2 oranges (peeled)
2-3 long carrots

Watermelon Black Grape.
1 small seedless watermelon (remove rind)
1 bunch black seedless grapes

Watermelon Strawberries.
1 seedless watermelon (no rind)
1 package fresh strawberries

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.

“Tuna-Less” Stuffed Avocado Served with fresh Machet (Lamb’s Lettuce)

Here’s another great way to have your “tuna” and save the fish too!
I was checking out a variety of blogspots and recipe sites when I came across a variety of “tuna-less” recipes that use sunflower seeds and dried Dulse flakes or granules.

Usually I use almonds and soaked Dulse or soaked Wakame, as I have in my Collard Greens Stuffed with Spicy Mock Seafood Pate, and my Mock Tuna recipe published in my book Raw-Riffic Food’s Raw Food Basics.

This recipe is simple, and truly has the flavor of canned tuna. You will be quite pleased with the flavor. The avocados I used were fresh from my friend’s garden. Super buttery and creamy. I love the flavor of home grown. I love complimenting avocado with Lamb’s Lettuce or Machet. It’s hard to find this beafy lettuce, but Trader Joe’s has it and at a great price! Here’s the recipe:

Tuna-less
Ingredients
2 cups soaked raw shelled sunflower seeds
½ juice from one lemon
2-4 scallions, minced (use whole scallion including greens)
1½-2 stalks celery, minced
1T dried dill flakes
2-3T dried Dulse flakes or granules

Preparation
Drain soaked sunflower seeds and placed in a food processor. Process until seeds are crumbly and chunky. Add lemon juice and salt, and pulse until it has the consistency of canned tuna.

Place in a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and serve.

“Tuna-Less” Stuffed Avocado Served with fresh Machet (Lamb’s Lettuce)
Ingredients
1 batch prepared Tuna-less (see recipe above)
2-3 large ripe avocados (peeled and stoned)
1 bag Lamb’s Lettuce (about 10-12 ounces)
chili sauce (optional)

Preparation
Fill avocado halves with generous scoops of prepared Tuna-less. I added a few drops of hot sauce to the inside of the avocado halves before adding the Tuna-less mixture. Place prepared avocado halves on top of a large bed of fresh Lamb’s Lettuce. Serve with drops of chili sauce around the plate, or by itself. This is a very filling dish. (Note: you can store the Tuna-less for up to 3 days in a closed container inside the refrigerator).

Kicked-up Fruit Salad

‘Tis the season for delicious fresh fruit. There’s nothing more refreshing and satisfying than a chilled, kicked-up fruit salad!
This salad has a variety of fresh and frozen fruit, greens, spices, and crunch.
Serve this recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even a filling snack. It’s super easy and super satisfying. Enjoy!

Kicked-up Fruit Salad.
Ingredients:
1 large watermelon wedge diced
1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries (wild berries preferred – frozen okay)
1/2 cup dark cherries (stemmed and pitted – frozen okay)
1/2 cup pineapple (diced small – frozen okay)
2 T dried organic shredded coconut
2 cups fresh mache (lambs quarter greens)
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1/2 cup organic raisins or mixed dried berries
1-2 T Balsamic vinegar
3-6 drops Coconut flavored SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia
3-4 shakes Tajin (Mexican chili seasoning with lime)

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss well and serve. Yummy!!!

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