Raw Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Who doesn’t love chocolate covered strawberries? I can’t believe I haven’t thought about doing a healthy version of this earlier!

(recipe from Rawfoodrecipes.com)

2 tbls Raw Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 c Cacao Powder
1 1/2 tbls Agave Nectar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
10 organic strawberries

1) In a bowl, blend all the ingredients in the order above.  If the chocolate becomes too thick, put the glass bowl in a warm water bath to re-melt the coconut oil.
2) Holding the strawberry firmly by the stem dip 3/4 of the strawberry in the chocolate sauce.  Rotate in the chocolate but do not completely cover as you want to show a bit of the red from the strawberry.
3) Place a piece of wax paper on a cutting board for all the chocolate dipped strawberries to lay.
4) Pop in the freezer for 3-5 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.

The presentation may not be the most beautiful. I think my chocolate mix was not warm enough so the coconut oil became more of a thicker consistency. If I need to be conscious of presentation next time, I would make sure to remelt the oil. Regardless, this tasted de-lish. Had a great darkish chocolate taste.

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Raw Mint Brownies

I’m a sucker for anything chocolate + mint (OMG, hide those Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints from me!!), so I wanted to try a healthy version of the combination

(from Bee’s Knees Kitchen)

I followed the recipe:

    1 c Carob or Cacao Powder
1 c Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Vanilla Powder
Pinch Himalayan Salt
1/4 c Fresh Mint, chopped
1/4 c Agave Nectar
1/2 c Filtered Water
1/2 c Dates, chopped

In a bowl blend the carob/cacao powder, almond flour, vanilla powder and salt and set aside.  Using a personal blender, blend the mint, agave, and water until the mint is completely liquified.  Add the dates and blend until completely smooth.  Mix the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with a spatula.  Empty onto a dehydrator sheet and smooth out to a square shape of about 1/2 inch thickness.  Dehydrate overnight or for 10-12 hours.  Flip onto a cutting board and square the edges off.  Cut into 1 inch squares and dehydrate for 2 more hours.

It’s very rich. It has a hint of mint taste to it. I followed the recipe, but next time, I would probably double the mint because I love a strong mint flavor. It was good to snack on.

Raw Carrot Mini Cakes with Lemon Frosting

(Recipe from the Bee’s Knees Kitchen blog)

Carrot cake:
Major ingredients include carrot pulp (which I got from juicing), almond flour, coconut flour, chopped raisins and walnuts. Also mixed with some lemon zest, vanilla extract, stevia, cinnamon, and nutmeg. They were mixed and just molded into shape (no water needed!)

Lemon Frosting:
Cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, agave, and stevia were blended together. Then topped over the cake.

Comments on Final Outcome:
These were just delightful! Tasted great. My frosting had small cashew chunks since I couldn’t blend it into powder fully since the amount I used was too little for my big blender.

My reason for keeping this ingredient around in my life:
-Carrots are rich in caretnoids, which have shown to have some anticancer properties.

Berries “Nutella” Raw Crepe

A raw, flourless, healthy version of a sweet crepe (from Ani’s Raw).

Crepe:
Grounded flaxseeds, banana, and water blended together. Then dehydrated.

“Nutella” Cream:
The actual nutella is hazelnut chocolate spread, and this is exactly that, except made completely fresh and sugarless! It’s raw hazelnuts, cocao powder, agave, and water blended together.

I then spread the cream on one half of the crepe, topped with sliced strawberries and blueberries.

Fold crepe over, and there ya go! Great dessert or breakfast crepe.

Comments on Final Outcome:
I enjoy this crepe. The hazelnut cream is not too sweet. This is the second time that I made this, and this time I played with the recipe ratio, adding a little bit more of cocao and agave to give it more of a sweeter chocolate taste, and added more water than I did the first time around so it was easier for the hazelnuts to blend and so it didn’t come out chunky. The banana in the crepe itself added a nice complimentary flavor to the berries and nutella.

My reason for keeping this ingredient around in my life:
Hazelnuts are on the list of super foods because they’re rich in phytochemicals, which serve as antioxidant.

Raw Ginger Raisin Cookies

Main ingredients include buckwheaties (whole and grounded) and both fresh and ground ginger. I also used 1 apple, 1 banana, and raisins. Blended and mixed all together, and then dehydrated.

Final product is raw, flourless, sugarless, unprocessed cookie!

Comments on Final Outcome:
I thought these cookies were great! Usually, ginger is too strong for me to eat a lot of in one mouthful so I usually need to hide bits and pieces in my food. However,  for these cookies, even though I used a large amount of ginger, the taste was strong but still tolerable. My hubby begs to differ. He felt he was biting into just raw ginger, hehe. I didn’t think that!

My reason for keeping this ingredient around in my life:
Ginger is amazing! It’s a powerful antiinflammatory and a antioxidant, with anti-cancer properties.

Acai Bowl

I recently discovered acai bowl while I vaca’ed in Hawaii. It’s so big there (even Jamba Juice sells it!), but I’ve never heard of it here. Anyway, so glad it’s introduced into my life! The one time that I tried it in Hawaii, I tried it at a Health Bar that has been raved as serving the best acai bowl on Oahu. I have nothing to compare it to, but it was SO good that it led me to start making it back at home at least once a week now. I catered it to my own CSD (crazy sexy diet) style.

I blended frozen acai with some frozen strawberries. Topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and banana. Then topped with bee pollen and granola (I use raw buckwheat granola since regular granola is processed and has a lot of sugar in it), and then drizzled with agave.

Comments on the Final Outcome:
It’s so good and refreshing. It’s like a healthy dessert. My hubby who is not into any of this raw stuff loves the acai bowl. I included bee pollen because the original acai bowl I tried had it (it was unique to that particular place), but it adds a little pizazz to the bowl.

My reason for keeping this ingredient around in my life:
-Acai – a superfood with 10 times the amount of antioxidant as compared to blueberries
-Bee pollen – it has all these claims that it’s extremely nutritious. I don’t know if there’s actual scientific evidence to back this up, but I’ll still eat it since it can’t hurt.

Almond Awesomeness

I wanted to try something basic as my first raw cooking experience, so I made fresh almond milk! I’ve found numerous almond milk recipes, using different water base, sweeteners, or almond ratio. I opted for a simpler recipe since I wanted unsweetened milk.

I used raw organic almonds and water (2:5 ratio) and a little bit of vanilla extract. I blended everything together and then sieved the almond milk with a nut milk bag, and viola — I had myself some fresh almond milk!

After making almond milk, you have a lot of almond pulp left over, and that can be used for other raw recipes!

The first time, I used the almond pulp to make banana cinnamon bread. I just mixed the almond pulp, some bananas, and cinnamon in a food processor, then dehydrated it. The end result — raw, flourless, sugarless yummy bread! (I forgot to take a picture of the bread to showcase!)

The second time I made almond milk, I dehydrated the almond pulp, which ultimately made almond flour. I plan to use this to make some raw desserts in the future.

There’s so much you can do with almonds! Hence, the title: almond awesomeness!

 

Comments on Final Outcome:
I enjoy the simple taste of fresh almond milk. I was thinking of experimenting with other recipes but I think I’ll just stick to the first one I used.
I liked the banana cinnamon bread, but I had such a big batch that I couldn’t eat it all, and then it went bad after a few days.

My reason for keeping this ingredient around in my life:
(I  will have this subsection every time I present a new ingredient in a post. This is also to help remind myself of its importance)

Ounce for ounce, almonds are the one of the most nutritionally dense nuts. They have twice the amount of antioxidants with their skins on, and they’re among the richest source of vitamin E in the diet. They’re also good blood sugar regulators.