Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Treats

Chocolate Brownie Bites

Brownie bites, brownies, fudge, truffles, monkey balls- (oh yeah- more on that below) whatever you call them, these little beauties are a staple for going raw. It's usually one of the first things you learn to make for pure chocolate survival. You can make them into brownie squares or even a cake if you like but I like to roll them into balls, dust with a coating of something and then I pop them into the freezer, with the hopes that they will last longer. They really don't make it very long around here though, despite my attempts.

Don't be too concerned about the amount of nuts you see as when portioned into these bites you are getting very little at once. Unlike regular brownie bites, one of the great things about these is that they are so rich and filling you can't really eat too many at one time. One is usually all I can do.

Another great thing is that they take literally no time to make and of course are just full of great ingredients.

Eat them as treats, or little protein snacks to boost your brain power (You don't think walnuts look like brains by coincidence do you?) They make good treats to take with you for energy as well. It's all good.

The ones I roll in coconut R. has renamed "Monkey Balls" and they are his favorite and no, he is not a child. Even though he swears he is not a "sweets person,' he makes these disappear pretty fast. That "one" I mentioned before is usually all I get out of the batch.

So in the spirit of Halloween I am going with "Monkey Balls" and have added a little raspberry coulis for drama.

Monkey Balls

Brownie Bites Recipe

3 cups walnuts (un-soaked)
2/3 cup raw cacao, unsweetened cocoa
20 dates (you may want to soak in some water to soften for a few minutes)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp seas salt

Coating Options:

Coconut, unsweetened and shredded
Almonds, chopped
Hemp seeds
More cacao or cocoa or even carob

Blend the nuts briefly in a food processor. You want it coarsely chopped (Be careful to not over blend as walnuts become oily and can quickly become walnut butter.)
Add in the dates and pulse until will combined. Add the the rest of the items and blend until it starts to ball. Press between your fingers and if it holds, you are good. You may need a drop or two of water to get the right consistency- crumbly but sticky like dough.

5  Ingredient Brownies
When it all sticks pretty well then you can start to roll into bite-sized balls. I do the rolling all at once then put out dishes with toppings and roll them in those.

OR Don't roll in anything at all. Your choice.

They will keep for a few days in the fridge or a couple of weeks in the freezer. So they say.

Tip: I reuse the container the dates came in to freeze the balls in. That way they don't get crushed.

Printer friendly recipe

Raspberry Coulis

1 cup of raspberries, fresh or thawed
agave or soaked dates to taste

I just blend this up in a small blender or Magic Bullet and add in the dates or agave to sweeten to taste. You can strain out the seeds if you wish.

Besides the look of blood for Halloween, raspberries and chocolate are a favorite!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Treats!

Apple Butternut Squash Soup and Caramel Almond Apples
It's a few days before Halloween here in the states and I don't know about you all but I find myself thinking of treats. Back in my early trick or treating days, the worst thing that could happen was someone giving you an apple. Anyone else remember those people? or am I just dating myself here?

It was just around that time that my dad, who was an ER doctor said he would be taking our candy to the hospital to have it x-rayed before we could eat any- talk about scary! and NO apples! Fine with us- the no-apple part but then apple-giving fell out of favor about that time anyway.

Until recently I have been luke warm about apples. I know they are really good for us, "An apple a day..." and all that but mehh... just not that interested. Was I traumatized by Halloween? and look what happened to Snow White!  All I know is that apples were never very exciting and one of my last picks out of the fruit line up.

Honey Crisp Apples
That is until I came across the Honey Crisp apple.
This little gem is new in town, literally it's only been around for about 5 years and came from the University of Michigan. It's sweet and tart and when you bite into it a piece snaps off in your mouth, hence the name "crisp."

If you haven't tried this yet, it may just get you excited about apples again- like me. They are a little more money that the other apples you see in the store and I think this is why more people haven't been hooked in yet but once you try them, you'll see that it's worth grabbing them while you can. They are only around for a limited time in the fall.

So with my Honey Crisps in the house I made a couple of recipes that I think everyone will like.

Caramel and Almond Apples

These are wonderful and you don't have to worry about all the chemicals and processed sugar in the store bought caramels or caramel apples.

Wholesome Treat Ingredients

Caramel Recipe:
1 cup dates (soaked in water to soften)
14- 1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
dash sea salt

Starting with the 1/4 cup almond milk, blend all until smooth in a food processor or blender, stopping ever so often to scrape down the sides.  Add more milk if needed but you don't want it to be runny. Mixture should be smooth.
You can enjoy this as is as a dip or proceed to dress the apples on a stick.

Other ingredients:
Almonds or other choice of nut, coarsely chopped
popsicle sticks

Plunge a popsicle stick into the apple of your choice at the stem area.  Frost the apple with the caramel paste. Place the nuts in a shallow bowl and press the apple into the nuts until it sticks in the paste. 

That's it! So easy!

Printer Friendly Recipe link

Apple Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is delicious!

It's made from fresh ingredients, in your blender- so simple and if you like go ahead and heat it gently on the stove. Remember to heat only until it's too hot to your finger, this means it also won't burn your tongue but more importantly it keeps all the nutrition in the food and keeps it raw.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients
4 cups Butternut Squash (2/3 of one medium sized), peeled seeded and chopped.
1 young Thai coconut- meat and water (need a refresher on how to open these?)
1 apple peeled and cored, coarsely chopped 
1 cup diced carrots, I used baby carrots as that's what I had
4 dates, pitted and stemmed.
juice of 4 oranges
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2  shallot, peeled
1 cup cashews, soaked in water
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
Pumpkin seeds for garnish

Go ahead and put the cashews in enough water to cover while you get all else prepped. When ready to use, just drain off water.
Peel and chop the squash making sure to remove the peel down to the orange- past the yellow or if you want even faster prep take advantage of the butternut squash you can buy in cubes (Trader Joe's for one does this.) I put the squash in a giant bowl and covered with water while I prepped the rest. Some say it removes the starchiness from the squash.

Put coconut water in first and then other ingredients, with the squash being last. You may need to hold off putting in all the squash until it blends down a little bit. Blend until desired consistency. 

Note: If you don't have a high speed blender, you may need to do this in small batches to get it well blended.

Also if you are not a big curry fan ( like me) , don't worry as this flavor is really subtle. If still not sure add a little in at a time and taste.

For spider web topping:
I used half the cashews separately to make the spider web topping. If you don't want to do this go ahead and add all of them into the blender with the other ingredients.

In a small blender (magic bullet) I added the cashews and 1 Tbsp of water at a time and kept blending until I got a thick creamy consistancy. You want it thin enough to draw but not too runny. Then I put it in a ziplock bag, removed the air and clipped a small section of the corner to draw a spiral on the soup top. Finish by dragging a toothpick through the spiral from middle out.
Before eating just blend it all in.
Hope you give these a try and let me know how it goes.

Happy Halloween!


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