Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sweet Potato Fudge Cookies - Semi-Raw and Vegan

Sweet Potato Fudge Cookies

I'm quite pleased with how this experiment turned out!  Delicious, chewy, fudgy, healthy and guilt-free cookies that are vegan, gluten-free and semi-raw. 

I like to keep most of what I eat nut-free, but of course I do enjoy the occasional nut loaded food.  Instead of using any type of nut or seed, I decided to try a sweet potato to create a yummy raw cookie.  Well, short version... raw sweet potatoes do not agree with my digestion, plus there are some things that are simply not meant to be eaten raw, in my humble opinion. 

Anyway, to satisfy my curiosity and tummy, I steamed the sweet potato.  Voila'!  That worked out much better.  Even though the sweet potato is lightly steamed, with everything else involved I consider this recipe to be semi-raw.

These cookies are dehydrated, but no worries as there's other options in case you don't have one or feel like waiting a few hours until they are done.

Before I get to the recipe for these super yummy cookies, I just want to make note that the dough is very thick when processing.  So if you do not have a good heavy duty food processor, you'll probably want to split it in half and finish processing it that way.  I'll explain in the recipe when to split the batch.

Sweet Potato Fudge Cookies
Semi-Raw and Vegan

2 cups roughly chopped steamed sweet potato (not yams)
1 1/2 cups semi-packed medjool dates (if dates are hard, soften them up a bit in water)

Put the above ingredients in food processor and process just enough to break down a bit.  Leave the mixture in the processor and add in the following:

1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 oat flour (I make my own from gluten-free oats)
1 Tbs agave (or more to desired sweetness)
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
fresh water

Start processing until everything is well combined.  If mixture seems too dry, start adding water 1 TBS at time.  At this point, if your processor cannot handle the dough mixture, remove about half of it to a bowl and continue processing until well combined and then do the same for the mixture in the bowl.

Form into cookies and place on mesh tray.  Dehydrate at 115° F for approximately 7-10 hours.  Time frame will vary due to location, weather, humidity, dehydrator, wetness, thickness, etc.

No dehydrator?  No problem.  Simply roll the cookie dough into bite size balls and if so desired, roll the balls into shredded coconut, hemp seeds, etc. then pop them in the freezer.

Or... if you're not raw, pop them in the oven at a low temp for about 30 minutes or until desired doneness. 

Store in freezer or fridge. 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Raw Vegan Veggie Herb Flatbread

Veggie Herb Flatbread - Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free

Please excuse the photo quality.  I typically take my photos outside, but lately it is way too hot for me to do that.  If I did, the food would look like a pile of goo and I don't think that would look too appetizing. ;)

This is a version of my other flatbreads.  I made my Raw Vegan Sloppy Joe's over the weekend and wanted something a little different than the others, so I created this one.  It's very flavorful and went quite well with the Joe's!  Let's just get right to the recipe...  

Raw Vegan Veggie Herb Flatbread

1 1/2 cups flax meal
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup heaping nutritional yeast
1 Tbs phyllium husk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine above ingredients in large bowl and set aside.

1/3 cup heaping sundried tomatoes - soaked in 1 1/2 cups water until softened.  Reserve soak liquid and set aside.

1 very large tomato
drained sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup onion roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove roughly minced
1 small peeled zucchini
1 small carrot roughly chopped
1 Tbs Herbs de Provence
1 tsp Mediterranean Basil
1 tsp Mediterranean Marjoram
1 tsp onion powder
pinch of sea salt

In food processor, process until well combined and somewhat resembles thick pasta sauce. 

Add 1 cup of the reserved soak water to the dry mix bowl and combine.  This will be thick.  Stir in the veggie mixture and combine well. 

This made 1 full tray plus a small square.  Spoon the mixture onto two lined dehydrator trays - pending on how big you want to make the squares.  Evenly spread the mixture, but don't spread it too thin as it will shrink up a bit in the dehydrator.

Put into the dehydrator at 145° F for 1 hour only then turn down to 115° F.  About another 30-45 minutes after that, or when the top is dry to touch, transfer the flatbread to a mesh tray.  Put a mesh sheet on top of the bread along with a tray, flip it over and remove it from the lined sheet by slowly peeling it off.  Put it back in the dehydrator until done.  I typically rotate the tray around on the hour or so, but is not necessary.  Total time will vary due to location, weather, humidity, dehydrator, wetness, thickness, etc.  I live in the dry desert, so this only took approximately 6 hours. 

Cut into desired sizes and once completely cooled, put into a ziplock bag or other container.  This will also soften the bread.  Can be stored on counter for a couple days or put in fridge.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Raw Lemon Lime Coconut Cheesecake - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Raw Vegan Lemon Lime Coconut Cheesecake

I won't get long winded on this post... don't hold me to that though.

First off, the photos truly do not give a great representation of how good this was, but since I won't be making another one for a while I figured I might as well post them.  The Arizona sun is just really harsh right now unless you get out there at a certain time without it melting everything.  And indoors, well I just can't seem to get a decent pic.  Anyway, lets move on.

Mark loves lemons and limes, but not cheesecake... at least not traditional cheesecake.  He surely doesn't seem to have a problem eating every last crumb of any of my raw vegan cheesecakes ;)  So I decided to make a double layer of his favorites - one of lemon and the other, you guessed it, lime.  Even though we rarely eat these types of desserts at home, I still like to create them for a splurge and then we share the rest with others.

Speaking of... I sent some with Mark to his work and it was a bigger hit than I expected.  That really made my day!  I sliced up the rest of it and he took it to work this morning. 

Raw Vegan Cheesecake - Lemon Lime Coconut

I really hesitated on posting the above pic, but just imagine taking a bite... taste the freshness of the lemon lime creamy filling and then the coconut nut-free crust... mmmmm.  So good! 

Raw Lemon Lime Coconut Cheesecake
Vegan and Gluten-Free

1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut (I used shreds)
1/2 cup flax meal
1 cup medjool dates
pinch of sea salt

In food processor, process a few minutes until well combined.  Mixture will be semi-crumbly.  Put into an 8" springform pan and press down firmly.  Place uncovered in fridge while making the fillings.

Lime Filling:
2 1/4 cups ripe avocados (I used 2 huge jumbo avocados)
Coconut meat from 1 Young Thai Coconut (approximately 1 cup)
Juice from 3 limes
Zest from 2 limes
1/3 cup agave
2 Tbs coconut oil (liquid)
Coconut water as needed

Put all ingredients *except the coconut water* into high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  You'll probably need to use a tamper and work it down or stop the blender and scrape the sides, etc.  The mixture will be thick, but if it seems too thick to blend, add in a small amount of coconut water a little at time. You don't want to thin out the mixture, just enough water to help it blend.

Pour the mixture into the springform pan and place uncovered in the freezer for at least 60-90 minutes.

Lemon Filling:
1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked 6 or more hours, rinse & drain)
Juice and zest from 1 1/2 lemons
3 1/2 Tbs coconut oil (liquid)
*1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/3 cup agave
pinch of sea salt

Add in all ingredients, but start with *1/4 cup of the milk.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  As with the lime mixture, you'll need to tamper down the ingredients.  If needed, add the remaining almond milk.  Mixture will be thick but creamy.

Slowly spoon the mixture on top of the semi-frozen lime mixture and carefully spread it around.  I saved a little of the lime mixture and sort of mixed it in with a little of the lemon mixture on top, but is not necessary. 

Place uncovered in the freezer at least several hours or overnight.  To serve, remove from freezer at least 60 minutes to slice, then let it sit at room temp or in fridge until defrosted.  Time frame varies due to multiple factors.