Monday, November 24, 2014

Raw Sweet Potato Cranberry Granola

My Mom told me a few weeks back that I should make her some Sweet Potato Cranberry Granola. She had loved another flavor of granola I had made and said that this could be her Thanksgiving themed granola. Not that people eat granola for Thanksgiving, but you know everyone is in a festive mood and has lots of sweet potatoes and cranberries on hand.  I liked the idea.  Add in a little maple, nuts and cinnamon and it would be delicious.

Funny, I am saying that sweet potatoes and cranberries would make a good granola flavor because those two things were what I disliked most on the Thanksgiving table as a child.  It for sure had something to do with the overly sweet sweet potatoes in syrup and can shaped cranberries.  As an adult I have grown to love sweet potatoes and cranberries, I just know that they do better when prepared simply and not loaded with sugar.  They made the perfect combination in this granola, my Mom was right!  This stuff is pretty darn addictive!

Raw Sweet Potato Cranberry Granola
Makes about 8 cups

2 cups raw buckwheat

1 1/2 cups dried large coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups 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 sweet potato
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup filtered water
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp raw coconut oil, liquefied
1 cup dried cranberries

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 and nuts. In a food processor, combine the coconut nectar, coconut butter, sweet potato, sea salt, vanilla, maple, water, cinnamon, 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 dried cranberries.  Can be stored in an airtight container for a few weeks at room temperature.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Raw Chocolate Pecan Pie Mousse Cake

Apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie were always musts at my Grandmother's house on Thanksgiving.  I always had to have a piece of each, but the pecan was my favorite.  A preference I shared with my Mom and Grandmother but the rest of my family didn't seem to care for the pecan. I could never understand it.  The combination of caramel and pecans in a pie was pretty delicious.  I wanted some pecan pie this year, ended up a little different than that because I love cake as well and chocolate.  So what I created ended up being a Raw Chocolate Pecan Pie Mousse Cake.  

Pecan pie alone just wouldn't cut it with me because I tend to vary from tradition.  I love what resulted though because this cake was freaking delicious!  I made it a little different than the typical chocolate mousse base I use for cakes because avocados are super expensive right now.  That is what I usually use for chocolate mousse because it is easy, rich and silky.  But I decided to use a little lighter and cheaper ingredient, zucchini.  Before you go thinking that sounds crazy in a mousse cake, it ended up just as silky when I mixed it with the coconut and you could not tell it was in there.  

 I put a layer of pecan filling in the middle and on top of the cake and it was amazing with the decadent chocolate mousse.  We are talking heavenly cake here.  It tastes like something that is really sinful to eat, but hey, it has veggies included so that makes it healthy right?!  I think this is even better than pecan pie because you get chocolate mousse included as well.  Why reserve it for Thanksgiving though, this would be good any time of the year!

Raw Chocolate Pecan Pie Mousse Cake
Makes one 6 inch cake

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

2 cups young coconut meat*
3 cups diced zucchini
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar or your choice of raw liquid sweetener
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
2 tsp maple extract
1 1/4 cups raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid) 
3/4 cup raw cacao powder

Filling and Topping:
1 cup soft medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw pecan butter or other raw nut butter
1 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to liquid
filtered water as needed
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or your choice liquid raw sweetener
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt

1 1/2 cups chopped raw pecans, divided

whole raw pecans for topping cake

Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process buckwheat, coconut 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, zucchini, 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. Set aside.
For the filling, combine all ingredients but the pecans in a high speed blender and blend until smooth (adding filtered water as needed until it is a desired consistency).  Mix in chopped pecans.
To assemble cheesecake, pour half the chocolate filling over the crust, then spread half the pecan caramel mixture over that, then pour the remaining chocolate filling over that.  Place in the freezer to set for about 4 hours.  Once the cake is set, spread the remaining pecan caramel mixture over the top.  Cover the top of the cake with the whole pecans. Store cake in the fridge.

*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, November 22, 2014

Raw Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

 What is Thanksgiving dinner without dessert?  Yes, the savory part of Thanksgiving tends to be the star in most people's minds, but to be completely honest, dessert was always the thing I looked forward to as a child the most.  I would always save room for a piece of pumpkin, pecan and apple pie.  That was what my Grandmother served every year.  The pecan was my favorite.  But I have a feeling that if we still had a big Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma's house I would be bringing some sort of dessert.  I no longer have a big family Thanksgiving, just a small one at home but dessert is still important to me.  Maybe it is to you as well, so I thought I would share with you 22 of my recipes that I feel are fit to serve at your Thanksgiving feast! As you may notice, it is heavy on the cakes, because those are my favorite, but I have smaller things like cookies and candies if you want to go lighter.  There is lots of food porn in this post even if you don't make any of it, at least you can drool over some dessert deliciousness.  Lastly, I wanted to say I am thankful for all of you that visit my blog!  You make my day with your kind words and it makes me so happy when I hear that you have made one of the recipes!  I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving with your families!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Raw Savory Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and since many of you are putting together your menus I thought you might like a bit of inspiration in the form of savory recipe ideas to make.  I know it can be a challenge when you are eating raw and plant based to find things to make.  I have compiled a list of raw recipes, some from other bloggers I admire and some of my own.  They are not all traditional, but they are seasonal.  I like to switch things up a bit.  You will not miss the Turkey with these delicious dishes!  Stay tuned, tomorrow I will be sharing my top Thanksgiving Dessert recipes! 

by Susan Powers of Rawmazing

by Susan Powers of Rawmazing

By Amie Sue Oldfather of Nouveu Raw 

By Sarahfaé Bedelia of Addicted to Veggies

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Raw Miso "Roasted" Mushrooms and Green Beans with Rich Parsnip Puree

 People assume that because I have a blog and make lots of food that I will be slaving away all day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  In reality, I want to enjoy my day as well, spending time with the ones I love and not in the kitchen.  I mean, I spend all day in a kitchen at work, and to me Thanksgiving is a day off, a day of rest.  Really, I want to be lazy.  So most likely I will be making something simple, like this dish I made last week after work when I thought some comfort food might be good.  Mashed potatoes sounded amazing, but I opted for parsnips instead, creating a rich puree enhanced with buttery pine nuts for something even better.  They were a little sweet, which I enjoyed.  I am a big fan of parsnips though, especially in raw applications with their wonderful flavor.  I made some "roasted"crimini mushrooms and green beans as well which had the most intense crave worthy flavor and they paired perfect with the parsnips!  I think this would make the perfect simple Thanksgiving dinner, or part of it.  You could make accompaniments for a more elaborate meal, and even use portabello mushrooms if you wanted something more meaty.  It was perfect for a weeknight as well though, with little fuss required!

Raw Miso "Roasted" Mushrooms and Green Beans with Rich Parsnip Puree
Serves 2

1/4 cup Nama Shoyu
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp white miso
1 clove garlic, minced
10 crimini mushrooms, halved
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed

Parsnip Puree:
4 cups parsnips
1/2 cup raw pine nuts, soaked for 2 hours and drained
2 Tbsp nutri yeast
sea salt to taste
filtered water as needed

Whisk together the nama shoyu, oil, miso, and garlic in a small bowl.  Toss the mushrooms and green beans with it, then spread out on a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 3-4 hours at 115F until softened. 
Meanwhile, to make the parsnip puree, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth, adding a Tbsp or two of water as needed.  Place in a bowl and warm in the dehydrator for 30 minutes or so if desired, and serve with the mushrooms and green beans.