Raw Cacao Ganache Drops with Almond and Coconut Sugar
I have talked about Raw Ganache before and frequently find that I have a little left over, which I pipe onto silicone, and play with a bit - place some almonds and dust with coconut sugar, or chill and roll in ground almonds, or roll in raw cacao as truffles.
There’s a million possibilities. I love this treat because I can make a batch in less than an hour.
Raw Cacao Ganache Base
- 1 cup cacao powder
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup coconut oil (not butter) - melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Blend until smooth, it will be quite loose. Place the Cuisinart bowl in the freezer for 5 min, take out and pulse, do this for about 4-5 times until the consistency is like frosting (you remember that don’t you…). Then place it in a piping/pastry bag and place a dollop on wax paper or a silicone baking sheet. I then press an almond half on top and sprinkle coconut sugar on top.
There’s a million variations of this - different nuts - maple sugar - no sugar, coconut - cacao nibs - have fun.
Keep them cool as when the coconut oil warms they (will) lose their shape.
til we eat again.
Raw Cacao Ganache Cookies
This is an adaptation of a recipe from Pure Food and Wine’s Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart (Raw Food, Real World). While I love the tart and have made it often, I really love these tiny cookies that are made by repurposing the almond crumb crust into small cookie shells and piping the ganache as a filling into their centers.
I have been working on different ways to make a very thin cookie and have found a few molds. I am not done searching though. I really think these would be amazing with 1/8” of thinner shells.
The trick on the ganache is to prepare it in the Cuisinart then place the bowl into the freezer for 5 minutes, whip, then back into the freezer for 5, then whip and repeat until the ganache has set enough to fit into a piping bag.
I have been working on this recipe for a couple of months now and these images will be evolving as I continue to iron out various pieces of the production process.
Of all the cacao treats I have been experimenting with - these are definitely our favorites, because the ganache is so rich and creamy you really only need a small bite, not an entire slice of the cake, which is what started me thinking about converting the cake into a cookie.
The Recipe - original is on Page 231 of the book, buy it if you don’t already own it - these proportions and ratios are my own modifications.
Almond Cookie Base
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 3/4 cup raw almond flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup powder
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (not butter) - melted - but not heated
- pinch sea salt
All ingredients are available online or at a Whole Foods.
Blend ingredients in Cuisinart, it will be crumbly. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of mix into some mold, in the image above you can see that I used a mini silicone muffin pan, pressed the crumb mixture in, and tamped it down with a wood dowel. I then place them in the refrigerator for 20 min until the coconut oil firms, then pop them out. This takes a bit of time and I am working on ways to reduce this labor.
While the cookies are chilling, make the Ganache filling
- 1 cup cacao powder
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup coconut oil (not butter) - melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Blend until smooth, it will be quite loose. Place the Cuisinart bowl in the freezer for 5 min, take out and pulse, do this for about 4-5 times until the consistency is like frosting (you remember that don’t you…). Then place it in a piping/pastry bag and place a dollop on each cookie shell, cover with another shell.
Keep them cool.
You may find that you have some Ganache left over. Pipe it onto a silicon sheet and press an almond into the middle of it, garnish with coconut sugar (last image on the bottom)
Golden Beet and Avocado with Sweet Miso Dressing (raw).
Simple salad, easy to make. Use a spiroli to create a nest of beet atop greens. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on some avocado slices. Dressing is miso, agave, tahini, balsamic and coconut water in equal amounts then add in olive oil and blend til smooth.
Ok - why not start your long weekend with a simple juice cleanse on Saturday. I was inspired by my wife’s dedication to the last three days where she had 6 juices a day, every two hours. She was not hungry at all and was working out twice a day as well.
This particular cleanse was initiated by a gift we got from #TED this year - a free day (6 juices) from @BluePrintCleanse. We had as many juices as we could drink when we were onsite at TED and with the coupon, were able to sample their home service. Awesome packaging, delivery, everything.
If you want to try this on your own I have substituted my recipes for what she was sent - they are very, very close.
- 8 am - one green juice 12 oz
- 10 am - one green juice 12 oz
- 12 pm - one green juice 12 oz
- 2 pm - one spicy lemonade 12 oz
- 4 pm - one green juice 12 oz
- 6 pm - cashew mile 12 oz
The first juice and one that you have four of is the Green Juice I wrote about a while back - here’s a link to the post. We drink this every day, but during the juice cleanse you will drink four of them. (Hint: Add extra ginger if you like it ‘hotter’, this turns up your metabolism as well).
The second juice is a new one that I wrote about earlier this week, the spicy ginger lemonade. Here’s the recipe. (Hint: double the cayenne to intensify the metabolism burn).
The final juice of the day is really a nut milk and something we have all the time. The instructions are so simple, here’s the original post. (Hint: You might dial back the Agave here to reduce the sugar intake).
One of the secrets to a cleanse (and you can read about them here) is to drink plenty of water. Like two tall bottles worth. You are trying to wash everything out of the system.
If you can do this for one day, awesome! Two days, high five! Three days, call me. Four days….. well you have just entered the League of Awesomeness.
I am adding a new juice to the agenda today, Carrot/Ginger/YellowBeet/Lemon - it’s a mid day treat!
If you are daunted by the work - get a hold of Blue Print Cleanse - they are great folks. If you are feeling adventurous and have a cold press juicer, go crazy!
Til we eat (drink) again,
Raw Spicy Ginger Lemonade
This recipe was inspired by a conversation at lunch yesterday with a new friend who is a TEDx2012 speaker and raw food fan. I also happened to have a bunch of Meyers Lemons from my father in law and my wife is preparing for a juice fast this week which got me thinking about different types of juice. It’s also nice and warm outside, so it’s perfect drink to end the weekend with.
Simple to make and really tasty.
- Juice 4-5 Meyers lemons to get 1/2 cup of strained juice
- 4 cups filtered water
- 3 tablespoons raw agave
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
Blend, chill and serve
This is really as much a tonic as anything. The cayenne and ginger are amazing at heating you up which speeds up the metabolism.
Plus it’s easy, inexpensive and you can easily blend it with some tea and make yourself a Arnold Palmer.
Til we eat again
Original recipe for this dish is here
This is the variation that I use when we have dinner guests, or are just wanting to be a bit more fancy.
Raw Gingered White Cacao Truffles
Recipe adapted from @MatthewKenney Raw Chocolate - White Chocolate Fudge recipe.
Ingredients - see image above
- 1 Cup Raw Almonds, soaked (Matthew uses Cashews)
- 1 Cup Raw Cacao Butter, I have been ordering this online (see end of blog for shopping resources)
- 1/2 C Raw Coconut butter
- 1 Cup Raw Agave Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- 4 Tablespoons filtered Water
- 2 Tablespoon grated fresh Ginger (peeled)
- Pinch of Sea Salt.
- 1/2 Cup Raw Almonds, soaked, rough chopped
- 1/2 Cup Raw finely shredded coconut
- 3/4 Cup Raw Almonds, Ground fine into a meal
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
Blend all of the ingredients until creamy smooth.
Pour into shallow pan (I used tart pan that had a removable bottom, so I could push it through when the candy was frozen - made removal a breeze)
Spread the base until evenly distributed then sprinkle the almond/coconut mix on top. Optional: mix in some cacao nibs if you like.
Freeze for about an hour.
Unmold then divide into 1” squares, roll each one into a ball and set aside. When you have all of the balls formed - aim for consistency of size, you can then toss them in the Truffle coating of Almond Meal and Coconut Sugar.
Keep in the cooler until serving.
So far, these have been the best received of the Almond Treats I have made in the past month - the amount of Ginger concerned me, as I was not sure - too much, not enough? I love Ginger - and it seems like the 1 T was just right. Enough to give a hint but not be overpowering.
Next week I am making a variant of these but dipping in raw melted Cacao instead of rolling in almond meal.
Raw Cacao Butter - From Pacari Chocolate on Amazon
Coconut Sugar - From Coconut Secret on Amazon
Almonds - We get them from Nate at Fat Uncle Farms at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market - you can get them online here - though it doesn’t appear that you can get the Raw almonds online - note: going to ask Nate why not?
Your favorite salad lettuce
I am trying out the chat feature of Tumblr and thought I'd start with a question - not sure if anyone is listening.... my favorite is hydro-butter lettuce grown here in Carpinteria. Yours?
Raw Kelp Noodle Salad w/Chipotle Cashew Creme Sauce
The first I heard about Kelp Noodles was from @MatthewKinney and his book Raw Food Express which I have written about, and been inspired by in the past. This is an adaptation of his recipe and has become a fixture in the lunch time rotation of meals here.
The top image is the plated salad with a garnish of red carrot, peppers on a bed of Arugula.
Here’s how you make it - look at the image in the lower left to see the ingredients, they are simple and you can substitute any of the vegs for things you like better. These happened to be what I had on hand. (I have used fresh raw English Peas, Corn, Zucchini, Enoki Mushrooms and Sprouts in the past few weeks).
- 1 Bag Kelp Noodles - we like the ones that are soaked in Green Tea - you can find them at Whole Foods or online here. We like the Sea Tangle (and no, they are not from Plutonium rich waters off the coast of Japan) - see note* at the end of this blog to read more about this fascinating new addition to our raw diet.
- 1 Heirloom Carrot - this one was bright red like a beet, but completely tasted like a carrot - I julienned it, then cut the strips into one inch long pieces, reserving a few aside for the garnish. We happen to be seriously fortunate to have a Farmers Market seven days a week here in Santa Barbara, so access to these types of vegetables have become commonplace. If you can’t find such things, improvise - it’s all good.
- 2 Mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 mini peppers - sliced, not hot - though you could use Serrano or Pasilla if you liked
- 1 Avocado - pitted, peeled and diced
I like to roughly chop the Kelp noodles, as they can be as long as spaghetti - you may like them long, your choice.
I assemble everything in a salad bowl and chill while I make the sauce.
Chipotle Cashew Creme Sauce
The ingredients are pictured in the lower right.
- 3/4 cup of soaked raw cashews (remember you soak them to unlock the enzymes, if you forgot, well, who are we gonna tell?)
- Juice from one Meyers Lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked chipotle chili powder (technically this may not be raw, so if you are a purist, leave it out. If you don’t like hot/spicy, leave it out, if you can’t find Chipotle Chili Powder, then don’t call it a Kelp Salad with Chipotle Cashew Creme, call it something else - I made up the name of this dish myself)
- 1 teaspoon Herb de Provence - we get this from Tom Shepard of Shepard’s Farm in Carpinteria at the Farmers Market - best I can get locally, it’s really fresh.
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (from Whole Foods). This gives the sauce a ‘cheesy’ taste
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3/4 - 1 Cup filtered water - I like a thicker sauce, so use less water.
Place all of the ingredients into a high speed blender (I use the Vitamix) so that it will pulverize the cashews and turn this into an extremely creamy textured sauce. I typically blend for one minute on high, then adjust liquid accordingly.
Once complete, I pour the sauce over the noodle, veg mixture and toss thoroughly.
Plate as pictured, or make up your own masterpiece and send me a picture!
Til we eat again…
ps. I was put on notice by my grandmother-in-law that I should be warning people about making sure that they had eaten before reading this blog - oops, I forgot.
*Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat! - this text is from the Sea Tangle Noodle website
Wild Arugula & Heirloom Carrot Salad w/Sun Dried Olives, Guacamole and Tomatoes
Sometimes I get inspired to turn an ordinary dinner salad into something a bit more composed. So it was last evening. I had some wild arugula from Whole Foods, some heirloom carrots (bright yellow, not orange), a tomato and avocado that needed to be used and some Santa Barbara Sun Dried Olives. So, instead of making a chopped salad, I decided to plate something nice and decorative, remember, we eat with our eyes.
I love my julienne tool (see it here on my Pinterest board, Products I Love), I used it to make a pile of shredded carrots in a minute, then chopped up the dried olives, made a quick batch of Guacamole, using Meyers Lemon juice, a bit of Chipotle Chili powder, sea salt from Kauai, then assembled the salad.
This is the fun part, as there is no wrong way to do it.
I started by layering up the Arugula, then sprinkled the carrot strands, sliced the tomato and decided to have them prop up the sides. Thinking garnish, I sprinkled the olives (reminded my of black truffles, but I didn’t hit the Lottery this week, so they weren’t), and then placed dollops of Guacamole on top. I used some hemp seeds as a sprinkle on the very top.
After the photo, I dressed it with extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic - very lightly then added a splash of sea salt, tossed it in the fridge for 10 min to crisp up and served.
So, what’s the take-away?
These are not exotic ingredients, just simple greens and vegetables. It was the ‘I want to make it something special’ attitude that converted the humdrum meal into something a bit nicer. This didn’t cost anymore yet the payoff was substantial. We both enjoyed looking at it - and hopefully you do as well.
Try it the next time you are making your ordinary salad - think, “How could I make this a bit more artful” then do it - and send me a picture!
Til we eat again.