Monday, December 27, 2010

How to Make . . . EZ Date Paste

This Holiday Season I hope you are enjoying family, friends, and taking time for yourself to unwind, relax, and regain your balance! For myself, I spent a joyful Christmas with my daughter and her two sons, and was really happy to connect with my son and relatives in Ontario (we could have talked for hours). So now I am getting back into my itty bitty kitchen to create new raw recipes for the booklet I am working on. YES, I DID SAY I AM WORKING ON A BOOKLET.....yesterday I made a Chocolate Pumpkin Pie that was divine, and today I am creating Gingerbread Cookies - what fun!

So with all the holiday desserts being enjoyed at this time of year, I wanted to give you another choice to soothe that sweet tooth. Even though there is a lot of info on the negative effects of sugar, there are alternatives - especially for us raw foodies! So how about taking control over what you eat and making your own from scratch?

Top right picture shows how the Date Paste will look in the blender when you quickly mix it up at home. My blender, a Vitamix, whips this into a smooth, thick and creamy paste, but a regular blender will also do the trick.

Three of the best varieties of dates for raw food prep are medjool, khadrawi and honey dates. (Date sugar, made from dates only, is heated in the process and not considered a raw food.) I use medjool dates and love them even as a snack when in a hurry.

Maybe you are wondering what you can use the EZ Date Paste for? You can use it as a replacement for anything that calls for a liquid sweetener, like agave, honey, yacon syrup, stevia, date sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, etc. But since Date Paste will be less sweet than other sweeteners, you will want to keep taste testing to find your sweetness level.

EZ Date Paste
1 cup Medjool dates, with pits removed
3/4 to 1 cup water
pinch of sea salt (Optional)
splash of lemon juice to preserve (Optional)
  • Combine ingredients in your blender
  • Blend until a smooth paste-like consistency
  • Pour into a glass jar with a lid and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks
  • I used 3/4 cup water for 1 cup of date paste
  • Less sweet than agave so use 50% more (if recipe calls for 1 Tbsp agave, use 1-1/2 Tbsp date paste)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Raw EZ Rawpple Mash

Here is a great solution to satisfy your craving for sweets (with the bonus of being very filling). And if your goal is to keep raw food simple - this recipe couldn't be any easier! (No food processor??? Just chop apple, dates, and mash banana!)

Raw EZ Rawpple Mash
1 organic apple, cubed
2-3 Medjool dates, soaked
1 small organic banana, peeled
  • Soaking the dates for a few minutes makes easier mixing in food processor
  • Drain liquid from dates and put in food processor with cubed apple
  • Process to small chunks
  • Add banana and process again for a few seconds (not to liquefy)
  • Place in a bowl and enjoy
  • Goji berries or raisins can be added to food processor (optional) 
  • Yield: 3/4 cup for one person

Monday, December 6, 2010

Raw Brazil Nut Truffles

If you haven't dried the fruit yourself, use dried fruit that is organic and unsulfured. Dried fruits like blueberries, pears, papaya, pineapple and apricots all work well.

Selenium found in Brazil nuts is a powerful antioxidant linked to lower rates of cancer and heart disease and may help boost the immune system along with possibly discouraging the aging process.

Raw Brazil Nut Truffles
1 cup Brazil nuts, ground
1/2 cup coconut flour (process shredded coconut in food processor)
1/2 cup organic dried apricots, unsulfured
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup Agave
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
Extra Agave and ground Brazil nuts (or shredded coconut) to roll truffles
  • Process all ingredients in food processor until dough turns into a ball
  • Scoop spoonful of dough and shape each spoonful into round balls
  • Take one truffle and dip in Agave
  • Then drop truffle into brazil nuts (or shredded coconut) and roll until coated
  • Place on plate and repeat for each truffle
  • Yield:  20 truffles