Saturday, December 28, 2013

Raw Dessert at its finest: Fruit Loaf Cake






I couldn't think of an apt title for this cake besides "Fruitcake" which makes it sound like those rock hard sugary dried fruit discs that are notorious around the holidays.  This version is raw, and inspired by a little cake photo I saw on pinterest yet couldn't find the link.

Any fruit for the center can be used; I used raspberries and clementines because we have so many, and I thought the vibrant orange would be pretty against the red of the berries.  Pretty maybe, but clementines are weird in a dessert, to be quite honest.  Next time I make this, blueberries, mango or kiwi will find their way into the center.

I do believe the sliced banana outside makes it easier to come out of the pan, but if you line the pan with wax paper and chill it well, the cookie crust alone should suffice.  This recipe is really easy to make, yet looks complicated.  All you need is a few hours' chill time and you're good to go!

Bonus: this tastes even better overnight.  So it makes a pretty rockin' breakfast after last nights' dessert.  Hey maybe lunch, too!

Raw Fruit Loaf Cake
yields 8 big slices

Ingredients:

Outer Shell:
20 small dates (or 15 larger medjool dates)
1-1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, unsweetened
water, as needed

Fruit:
1-1/2 bananas
2 clementines
1 cup or so fresh raspberries
(feel free to sub in any of your fave fruits!)

Directions:

1.  In a glass loaf pan or plastic tupperware, (any shape of your desire really) line up slices of banana as shown:


2.  Food process the crust ingredients, adding enough water as needed for the mixture to come together and form a big ball of dough.  Press the cookie part around the bananas well, saving some of the dough for the topping (which will become the bottom when inverted).



3.  Layer the fruit of your choice, then pack down carefully the remainder of the dough to seal in the fruit and create a rectangle/box.  Chill for a few hours or overnight.



4.  Run a knife under hot water then slide it around the loaf, carefully.  It helps to use the knife to slightly pull the cafe away from the container's edge.  Invert and slice!




Saturday, December 21, 2013

Persimmon Biscotti






My mom went to Costco the other day and bought home a flat of pears and persimmons, and after eating a pear (one of my fave fruits if you haven't read about my pear frittatta yet), I eagerly set about baking with a couple of the overripe persimmons.  I jogged a bag over to her and her coworker at their office for a good workout and little surprise gift.

They were both very thankful for the treat, as it is still hovering at freezing in Eugene, with snow still on the ground.  These are warm and spiced persimmon biscotti that are just as good fresh as they are in a week or two (providing they last that long).  I actually made two variations; one with finely diced persimmon and the other with pureed, and though they were both good, this one was deemed the winner.

Persimmon Biscotti

Ingredients:


2 cups gluten-free or regular flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c. pistachios, shelled and chopped
1 persimmon, diced or pureed
optional: 1/2 nondairy chocolate chips


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line baking sheets.
2. In a bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients (except eggs) and cream together. Add in the eggs one at a time.
3. Add the flour mixture, not over-mixing. Stir in the persimmons and pistachios and chips if using.
4. Form the dough into a log on the baking sheet. Bake about 35 minutes and cool for 20 minutes.
5. Cut the log into 3/4-inch-thick slices and put back on the baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden, 15-20 minutes longer. Let cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Clean Eating Carrot Bread







I made this recipe last night when I was craving something sweet, and wanted something warm and filling to accompany my lentil soup and veggie dinner.  I came across this Carrot Spice Bread Recipe here, and played with the measurements and varied several of the ingredients to my liking.
The result is this gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free spiced and lightly sweet bread that will give your kitchen a warm and comforting aroma.  Enjoy the bread after it cools several minutes out of the oven; then slice and serve for breakfast, a snack or dessert.   If you invert the pan while the loaf is still hot, it may come out in sections.  I do believe it may be incredible as well served as french toast, or cut into a slab with cinnamon applesauce on top.







Clean Eating Carrot Bread
Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or sunflower oil spray or line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together into a small bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients including carrots. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


4.  Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and then depan. Let loaf cool for 10 minutes longer then slice.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Donuts: A Perfect Winter Breakfast




I adored these, though my other taste testers pointed out they are a better breakfast than dessert, so I suppose you could add a little maple glaze to jazz them up.  I for one was ecstatic that grinding sunflower seeds into a flour actually worked, thereby increasing the nutritious value and adding a perfect compliment to the pumpkin and spice taste.  These are light moist little pumpkin treats that may convince you that you are enjoying decadent donuts.  Enjoy!

Note: don't over-bake these; these will seem slightly underdone, but when the toothpick comes out mostly clean, ket them cool in the pan to come to the perfect doneness (is that a word?)



Baked Pumpkin Donuts:
Gluten-free, Vegan, Nut-Free and Refined Sugar-Free
Yields 10 small "donuts"

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oat flour (or finely grind up gluten-free oats)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup finely ground sunflower seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp coconut milk
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease doughnut pan with a spritz of sunflower seed oil or dab of coconut oil.
2.  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the coconut milk, pumpkin, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
3.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir with a spatula until barely combined, careful not to over mix.
4.  Scoop the batter into the doughnut pan filling each cup to just below the edge (about 1/4-inch from the top). Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until the donuts are lightly golden brown at the edges, or until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Slide a thin spatula around the edges of the doughnuts to help de-pan them.  Enjoy warm!




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Guest Post: Paleo in PDX






Today's post is found here on this awesome paleo blog, Paleo in PDX.  Fellow Oregon fitness and health enthusiast Alisa was kind enough to feature my Raw Mousse Cake with a Raisin Seed Crust Recipe.

It's an easy and rich dessert that will please everyone of all different diet restrictions.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!




Friday, December 6, 2013

Avocado Truffles

Dangerously good: these truffles are creamy rich and fatty.  But on the plus side, they are super filling and so creamy one is plenty, even for those with no willpower like me.  They are delicious chilled and even better slightly frozen when they are firm yet still creamy.  They are so easy to make, it is ridiculous, and they only time-consuming portion is waiting for them to chill.

I can't claim inventing this idea; it is loosely based on a bunch of avocado truffle recipes I found while perusing online, but this is the first I found with nondairy rice chocolate, and without additional sugar added.





Avocado Truffles
yields 15 to 20

Ingredients:

1 medium ripe avocado
1/2 cup nondairy rice chocolate chips, melted
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

Directions:

1.  Puree the avocado in a food processor.
2.  Melt the chocolate chips, and stire slowly into the avocado, adding vanilla and cacao, continuing to mix well.

3.  Chill this batter in the fridge 1/2 hour to an hour; scoop into balls (optional: roll in additional
loose raw cacao powder)





Then chill further in fridge or freezer for 1-2 more hours.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blueberry Coconut Donuts: Gluten-Free & Vegan Baked Donuts








Blueberry Coconut Donuts:

This is a recipe for gluten-free and vegan baked donuts (made without refined sugar, soy, and nuts). They make a light and healthy dessert or breakfast full of fresh blueberries without the traditional fried donut calorie bomb.
Made with coconut milk, coconut palm sugar and coconut oil, this is a light and airy coconut-tinged blueberry treat, and safe for most diets and void of all the common allergens.

This recipe yields 10 to 11 medium "donuts"--I used this super easy (and cute) Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan. It's way cheaper on Amazon than any other store, so I recommend using the link to (a) save money and (b) help me out to continue to provide my free healthy recipes!
Though these are technically not a donut since they aren't fried, they look like one and taste amazing, so hey, it counts.

 I love using fruit to sweeten my recipes, and these "little blue dynamos" are one of my favorites: high in Vitamin C, low in calories, sweet and full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.   My favorite blueberry tip:  Pick them in the summer and freeze bags to use at will for any time of the year.  This recipe can use either fresh or frozen blueberries; no need to thaw!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup coconut milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice*
1 mashed banana (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup quinoa or coconut flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Optional Glaze:
1/3 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar

Optional Blueberry Sugar:
Raw Turbinado Sugar
Blueberry Juice

Directions:

1.  Whisk coconut milk and lemon juice and set aside to curdle and form "buttermilk".
2.  Mix in mashed banana, melted coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut palm sugar.
3.  Mix in dry ingredients (gluten-free flours or a total of 1 and 1/4 cups regular flour if preferred), folding in fresh or frozen blueberries last.
4.  Pour into donut cake pan and bake for 16 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

fill pan 2/3 to 3/4 full
Let cool a few minutes when donuts are golden and spring back when touched, after about 16 to 20 minutes and then de-pan.  Drizzle on optional glaze and sprinkle on optional blueberry sugar.  Tip: spritz the pan with nonstick spray for easier de-panning.


Optional blueberry glaze and blueberry sugar garnish: 

Optional Glaze Directions:
Warm blueberries to soften and whip with powdered sugar and coconut milk until the desired texture is reached.
optional Blueberry Coconut Milk Glaze: drizzle over donuts while they are warm
Optional Blueberry Sugar:
Mix fresh blueberry juice with raw turbinado sugar; set aside to dry before using.

Wild Blueberry Sugar: located in some obscure health food stores, or make your own!

*This is my vegan buttermilk: regular buttermilk can be used, but a better buttermilk alternative is my favorite: unsweetened vanilla coconut milk mixed with lemon juice and set aside to curdle and thicken.




Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pumpkin Avocado Bread





Yeah yeah, I know.  More pumpkin.  But this recipe is really good, and it is the season for pumpkin and spice.  So hold tight; I'm just about out of pumpkin and will move on to other treats soon.

This is similar to my first pumpkin bread posting, though I believe it is even a touch tastier.  My mother mused out loud how delicious it was, and was shocked when I told her it is based off her original recipe, one that is also quite good but also quite "bad" due to copious amounts of sugar and oil.

Pumpkin Avocado Bread
yields 1 loaf


Ingredients:

1/4 cup nondairy butter or nondairy yogurt
1/4 cup ripe pureed avocado
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup raw cane sugar or coconut palm sugar (i erred on the lighter scant 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons chia seeds or ground flax meal mixed with 6 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 heaping cup pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-3/4 cup gluten-free flour
dash sea salt

Directions:

1. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or nonstick spray.
2.  Mix nondairy butter, avocado and sugar until creamy.  Add in chia seed or flax meal mix once it is thickened and gel-like, continuing to mix well.  Add in heaping cup of pumpkin and vanilla.
3.  Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing just until combined.
4.  Fold batter into prepared pan and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
5.  Invert pan and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing into.

This version keeps its moisture well, and is a creamy delicious version of an old favorite but without dairy, eggs or gluten.
Store leftover bread in an airtight container; will keep several days.