Monday, October 20, 2014

Raw Pine Nut Butter Rosemary Lemon Cookies

 I got a good deal on pine nuts recently, which almost never happens.  I love them, they are so silky, buttery, and delicious and they make the perfect raw nut cheese.  I used some of them to make a raw pine nut butter and was the most heavenly stuff you can think of.  Right up there with raw macadamia coconut butter. I consider both of these items a treat, and I savor every last smudge of them let me tell you...since pine nuts and macadamia nuts are a luxury and I am not made of money.
I could have just eaten that whole jar of pine nut butter as it was, but since I am not a pig, and since I like to get some use out of things that are a little spendy, I decided to make a few recipes with it.

The first of which was Raw Pine Nut Butter Rosemary Lemon Cookies.  How I came up with that?  Well I wanted some pine nut cookies in the fashion that peanut butter cookies were made.  Soft, crave worthy cookies. But I wanted something a little more interesting than just plain pine nut butter cookies, so that is where the lemon and rosemary came in. Two of my favorite ingredients to use with pine nuts are lemon and rosemary, so voila!  A delicious combination!

The dough was wonderful.  Something that could have been eaten just as it was.  I decided to stir in some golden raisins and more pine nuts for pops of sweetness and texture.  I dehydrated them overnight to get more of a "baked" cookie texture, then decided they needed to be a little prettier, so I added a lemon glaze.  They were simply heavenly!  The texture was wonderful, soft, and buttery.  They had a hint of tart lemon, the scent of rosemary and the flavor of pine nut.  If you make raw pine nut butter, these are a must try.  Sooo good!  I don't want to keep anyone from making them though because of the price of pine if you must, you may substitute raw cashew butter.  They will not have the flavor of pine nuts of course, but you will still be able to enjoy the heavenly rosemary and lemon in the cookies.

Raw Pine Nut Butter Rosemary Lemon Cookies
Makes 18

3 1/2 cups raw coconut flour (home made is preferred*)
2 1/2 cup sprouted oat flour
3/4 cup ground flax seed
1 Tbsp ground psyllium husk
1 cup soft medjool dates, pitted
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
3/4 cup raw pine nut butter (recipe follows)
1/3 cup raw coconut butter (NOT oil), warmed to liquid
3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup raw pine nuts

1/4 cup raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid
2 tsp raw coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
filtered water as needed

For the dough, in a food processor, combine the coconut flour, oat flour, flax seed, psyllium husk, dates and salt, and process until the dates are very finely chopped and it is all well combined.  Add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, coconut nectar, pine nut butter, and coconut butter and process until smooth like dough.  Add the rosemary and pulse until mixed in.  Mix in the golden raisins and pine nuts. Roll into 18 balls, and place on a lined dehydrator sheet.  Dehydrate at 115F for about 12 hours, or more firm, but still soft.
To make the glaze, whisk together all ingredients until smooth, adding a little filtered water as needed (it may seem clumpy at first, but it will smooth out, add water until it is a thick, but pourable glaze) and drizzle over the cookies (I like to put mine in a ziplock bag with the corner cut off and squeeze it out).  Let the glaze set (it will happen faster if you pop them in the freezer for about 5 minutes).  Store leftover cookies in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

*I prefer not to use store bought coconut flour because I find that it makes for drier not as tasty cookies.  You can use it if you wish, but I can not guarantee you will end up with the same delicious result.  To make your own coconut flour, simply buzz finely shredded dried coconut in a high speed blender for about 30 seconds until fine (but not too long or it will start to become butter). 

Raw Pine Nut Butter
Makes about 1 ½-2 cups

3 ½ cups raw pine peanuts
½ tsp sea salt or to taste

In a high speed blender, combine pine nuts and sea salt and blend until very smooth, using the tamper to push the mixture down into the blade.  It will take about 2-3 minutes.  If you do not have a high speed blender, you can make this in the food processor as well, but keep in mind it could take 10-12 minutes to get a smooth butter so be patient.  Store in a jar in the fridge.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raw Maple Walnut Cheesecake

The aroma of maple syrup is simply heavenly.  I happen to work next to the cooling rack at work (I work in a health food store deli) and one day last week my coworker had baked off some scones that contained maple syrup.  OMG...the smell was making me so happy and hungry at the same time.  Kind of torture since it was not time for lunch break yet.  I decided then and there that I needed to make something maple based the next time I made a dessert.  

It ended up being a raw maple walnut cheesecake.  Simple really, compared to most of the cheesecakes I make.  Just maple and walnuts as the main stars.  But that is how I wanted it.  Creamy walnut laced coconut based cheesecake with a hint of maple and maple syrup, plus crunchy walnuts in the cake and on top of the cake, and a maple swirl.

It was difficult to wait while it set, but once it was ready to devour, it was so good.  I shared some with my boyfriend Eric, because desserts are best when shared with the ones you love, and he greatly approved!  Trust me, if you love maple as much as I do, you need this in your life.

Raw Maple Walnut Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake

Glazed walnuts:
2 cups walnuts
2 Tbsp maple syrup (not raw, but if you prefer your choice of raw liquid sweetener may be used*)

1/2 cup raw sprouted buckwheat groats, dried in the dehydrator
3/4 cup dried finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped

3 cups young coconut meat**
2 cups raw walnuts, soaked for 4 hours and drained
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup maple syrup (not raw, but if you prefer your choice of raw liquid sweetener may be used*)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
2 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid) 

Maple Swirl:2 Tbsp maple syrup (not raw, but if you prefer your choice of raw liquid sweetener may be used*)
3 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid

1/4 tsp cinnamon

To make the glazed walnuts, toss the walnuts with the maple syrup and Spread out on a lined dehydrator tray.  Dry overnight at 115F until not sticky.  
Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pan with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process buckwheat, coconut, walnuts and sea salt in a food processor until it is fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside. 
To make the filling, in a food processor combine coconut, walnuts, coconut water, coconut nectar, sea salt vanilla, maple, and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut butter, and process for a minute until blended. Remove the filling from the food processor and place in a bowl). 
To make the maple swirl, combine the maple syrup and coconut butter and cinnamon and whisk together until smooth.  If too runny, add a little more coconut butter (you want to be able to use it as a swirl on top of and inside the cake).
To assemble the cheesecake, chop 1 1/2 cups of the walnuts coursely.  Scatter 1/2 of them over the crust, then pour half the cheesecake filling over.  Drop teaspoonfuls of the maple swirl mixture over that, then scatter the other half of the chopped walnuts over.  Pour the rest of the filling over that, then drop more of the maple syrup swirl by the tspful over that.  Swirl with a knife.  Place in the freezer for about 4-6 hours or until set.  Store in the fridge.
*Maple syrup is not raw, but if you wish you can use a sweetener that is like raw coconut nectar instead.
**If you do not have access to young coconut meat, you can substitute 3 cups raw cashews soaked for 4 hours and drained for the coconut and filtered water for the coconut water.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Raw Apple Thyme Crumble Tart

Sundays are my favorite day to go for a run. Partly because I am not getting up at some ungodly hour and running in the dark, but mostly because it is so serene and quiet out.  Sundays in the fall, even better. Last Sunday was glorious!  45 degrees and sunny, crunchy leaves beneath my feet, and painted trees.  Hardly any traffic out, just a few people out for morning walks with their dogs.  It was wonderful.  I was in such a good mood when I got home, I decided to continue having the perfect day and make apple pie.  Well, tart.  I was going to make a pie, but my pie plates are all too big so I made a tart instead.

I wanted a crumble topped pie.  Don't get me wrong, I love pies that have lattice as well, but it just seemed like too much work.  Plus that crunchy goodness on top of the jammy apples just gets me going.  Of course this tart with contain a bit of cinnamon, but I wanted to add in an herb as well.  I chose thyme.  Because the flavor of thyme with sweet apples is a perfect marriage.

This tart required a bit of dehydrating time, but that was ok because I had time to watch the football game and go for a walk with Eric while I waited for it to be dehydrated to perfection!  It was delicious, and trust me you want this warm with a scoop of raw coconut ice cream if you happen to have some on hand!

Raw Apple Thyme Crumble Tart
Makes one 9 inch tart

2 cups finely shredded dried coconut
2 cups buckwheat groats, sprouted and dehydrated (or additional coconut)
1 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups soft medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak them until they are and drain them)
1/3 cup raw coconut sugar
2 Tbsp chopped apple

2 cups dried apples
2 large fresh sweet apples, sliced
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
juice of one large lemon
2 tsp maple extract (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
5 cups sweet apples, sliced (such as honeycrisp, sweet tango, or pink lady)

For the crust, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until fine crumbs and starting to hold together when squeezed (if it doesn't, add a little more apple).  Grease hands with coconut oil ( the mixture may be a little sticky) and press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan lined at the bottom with parchment, and place in the dehydrator.  Place the remaining crust on a lined dehydrator tray and crumble into small pieces (this will be the topping it may be a little sticky but it will dry).  Place in the dehydrator and dehydrate both the crumble and the crust for 4 hours (then you can remove the topping and refrigerate once crunchy), then carefully remove the crust from the pan (it is fragile at this point so use a spatula to help slide off the removable bottom of the pan) and slide the parchment onto the dehydrator tray drying for about another hour or two until crunchy. 
Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the dried apples, 2 large fresh apple, dates, nectar, sea salt, cinnamon, lemon juice, and maple extract, in the food processor and process until smooth.  Add the thyme and sliced apple and pulse, until chopped a little, but still very chunky. Place the mixture in a shallow glass dish or pie plate and place in the dehydrator.  Warm for about an hour to an hour and a half at 115F, Once finished, spoon into the crust, smooth out, and top with the crumble.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Raw Pumpkin Spice Granola

I used to make granola all the it always had to be in my cupboard and I was addicted sort of thing.  But then for some reason, I stopped because I got busy, and kale chips seemed to take over as my snacky food.  This was about a year ago.  Well, I broke that hiatus last week because I decided that granola and I needed to be reunited again. I think I began to realize how much I missed granola when I was telling Eric about how I had all these really good recipes and they were so much better than store bought.  

I was getting hungry at the thought of my granola.  And what better time of the year to make it than Autumn?  My favorite flavors always involved some kind of spice that scented the air with a heavenly aroma as they dried.  So, this time I chose to make Pumpkin Spice.  Oddly enough, I had never made that flavor out of the hundreds of granolas I have concocted.

It was delicious as ever!  Crunchy, munchy, sweet, and satisfying.  I love anything pumpkin, so of course that was a big win as well.  I like it as is, but I imagine this would be wonderful to top off an Autumn smoothie bowl or with hemp milk for breakfast!

Raw Pumpkin Spice Granola
Makes about 8 cups

2 cups raw buckwheat

1 1/2 cups dried large coconut flakes
3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup raw walnuts
3/4 cup raw pecans
1/3 cup raw coconut nectar, maple syrup (or your choice sweetener, more if you prefer sweeter)
1/4 cup raw coconut butter
1 cup chopped raw pumpkin*
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup filtered water
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp raw coconut oil, liquefied
1 cup golden raisins (optional)

Soak buckwheat for 30 minutes, rinse very well (as it has a slimy coating that needs to be removed) and drain well. Place in a large bowl, along with the coconut, seeds and nuts. In a food processor, combine the coconut nectar, coconut butter, pumpkin, sea salt, vanilla, maple, water, spices, coconut oil. Process until smooth and pour the mixture over the granola, and mix well with your hands. Spread out a lined dehydrator tray, and dry for about 12 hours at 115F until crispy. Stir in golden raisins.  Can be stored in an airtight container for a few weeks at room temperature.

*You may also use sweet winter squash, carrot or sweet potato in this recipe.  They all taste the same in the finished product. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maple Spice Pecan Butter Cups

Have I ever mentioned that I am in love with pecan butter?  Because I am.  I would eat a whole jar if it would not be completely gluttinous and unhealthy to do so.  That stuff is so good though!  I admit I have a jar in my fridge at all times, and sometimes I just eat it by the spoon. It is also good on apples, better than peanut butter in my mind.  Also, it makes amazing desserts.  The most silky raw caramel can be made with pecan butter included.

I wanted to make a dessert featuring just pecan butter as the star.  Which is why I ended up making these Maple Spice Pecan Butter Cups.  Simply pecan butter with a bit of maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of chipotle mixed in for a kick.  Plus of course the raw dark chocolate covering it.

This is all together a rich and simply heavenly combination.  I was already in love with pecan butter, but add in chocolate and spice and it is pure Autumn bliss. I think these would make the perfect gift for your significant other, or just a good friend should you choose to share them!

Maple Spice Pecan Butter Cups
Makes 12 large cups

1/2 cup raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
3/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup organic maple syrup or raw coconut nectar
a pinch sea salt

2/3 cup raw pecan butter
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp raw maca powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1 Tbsp organic maple syrup or raw coconut nectar
1 tsp maple extract

To make the chocolate, whisk all ingredients together until smooth, and set aside. 
Lay out 12 PB cup tins (not the mini ones, the larger candy size) or molds on a flat cutting board or tray, and fill them about 1/3 full with the chocolate.  Place them in the freezer to set about 5 minutes. 
In a small bowl, mix together the filling ingredients until well blended. Once set, spoon about 1 heaping tsp of filling mixture onto each, but not so much that it oozes to the sides (you want to be able to cover it with more chocolate and not have it stick out the top).  Spoon chocolate over each mound of nut butter enough to cover and fill to the top of the tins.  Place in the freezer to set for about 15-20 min. to set.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Raw Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk

 The pumpkin flavored goodies are out in full force.  My Mom even pointed out to me that the entire Trader Joes ad has a complete section of just pumpkin goodies.  Yep...and the cult status Starbuck's Pumpkin Lattes have already been here for 2 months as well!  I wouldn't touch one with a 10 foot pole...but not because it is pumpkin, rather because the mix is filled with artificial things and dairy.  There are vegan commercially made pumpkin coconut milks, or other non-dairy milks out there that would make a little better pumpkin spice latte, but they still have all of the sugar and some things that I would rather not drink in them. Which got me to thinking, why not make my own version of spiced pumpkin milk?

Because the idea of a creamy spiced pumpkin milk itself (not so much mixed into coffee for me because I no longer drink it) sounded delightful!  Kind of like Autumn's version of eggnog, but pumpkin instead of booze. I knew this was going to be good.  I made my classic coconut milk with pumpkin, and the spices that I feel should accompany it along with some maple syrup for sweetener (which I know is not technically raw, but it does have nutrients in it and I love the flavor, if you make it you can add your favorite sweetener).  It was sooo good!  Dessert in a glass really.  If you wanted to really go all out and a little decadent for breakfast, this would be good on cereal.  

Raw Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk
Makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups finely shredded dried unsweetened coconut*
3-4 cups filtered water (depending on how thick you want it)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or raw coconut nectar or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
1 tsp maple extract (optional
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 small chunk fresh ginger (or 2 tsp dried)
1 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups chopped raw pumpkin**

Add the coconut to a high speed blender, and blend until it is very fine, and starts to become liquid (like coconut butter).  Add all other ingredients starting with just 2 cups of water and blend for 1 minute until smooth, adding more water until you reach your desired consistency (I like mine thick, so I didn't add much more.  Strain if desired, or if you have chunks of pumpkin, but I like it as is).

*You may use 2 cups fresh young coconut meat instead of the dried, and coconut water for the filtered water if you wish.
**You may use any sweet winter squash for this recipe, or even carrot or sweet potato since the flavors are similar and you will not be able to tell the difference in the finished product. Also, if you do not mind the milk not being raw, you could substitute 1 cup cooked pureed (or canned) pumpkin for the fresh pumpkin.
***Note: This recipe will not work if you do not have a high powered blender with the dried coconut.  It will work slightly better if you use fresh with a less powerful blender.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Raw Spicy Sweet Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is one of my favorite Autumn desserts.  Probably because my Mom used to whip it up often.  I can remember coming home from cross country practice in high school to the aroma of apples and spice baking in the oven and being really excited for dessert later that night. Because I knew it would be apple crisp.  My Mom would always use Haralson apples in her crisp and pies because they were nice and tart against the sweet. I use them when I can get them from the local apple orchard, but I also appreciate a Honeycrisp or Sweet Tango lately.

Last Sunday I decided that I needed to whip up some apple crisp.  I made it a little different than the classic version I usually make this time though, adding in a bit of chipotle for a kick, since I love it with apple lately.  It did not take long to make the crisp, just about 15 minutes of prep time, and then I popped it in the dehydrator to warm it up and Eric and I went for a walk since it was a beautiful perfect Autumn day.  By the time we arrived home, it was all warm, delicious and aromatic.

It was super delicious!  Sweet and spicy, jammy apples that tasted as if they had been roasted in the oven (which is hard to achieve sometimes with raw), and the crunchy topping was perfect!  Eric and my Mom who I also shared some with approved, my Mom saying it was "Excellent!  As good as baked apple crisp!" I have to mention that she is my biggest critic, and very honest. She was right though, this apple crisp was the bees knees!

Raw Spicy Sweet Apple Crisp 
Serves 2

1/3 cup sprouted dehydrated buckwheat groats
1/3 cup finely shredded coconut
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup soft medjool dates, pitted
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp chopped apple

1/2 cup dried apples
1 large fresh apple
6 large medjool dates, pitted
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
juice of one small lemon
1 tsp maple extract (optional)

2 large sweet apples, sliced (such as honeycrisp, sweet tango, or pink lady)

For the crumble, combine all ingredients but the apple in a food processor and process until crumbs.  Add the apple, and process until starting to hold together when squeezed (if it doesn't add a little more apple).  Spread out onto a lined dehydrator tray, and dehydrate at 115F for 2 hours until crispy.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the dried apples, 1 large fresh apple, dates, sea salt, cinnamon, chipotle, lemon juice, and maple extract, in the food processor and process until smooth.  Add the sliced apple and pulse, until chopped a little, but still very chunky. Place the mixture in a bowl, and place in the dehydrator.  Warm for about an hour to an hour and a half at 115F, then when ready to serve, top off with the crumble.