Monday, January 30, 2012

A Citrus Hurricane

Grapefruit Granita- Raw

If you don't follow professional golf and weren't watching the televised tournament last weekend, then you probably missed the little hurricane wind episode we had here in the California desert. The golf tournament formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, now called the Humana Challenge was in full swing when hurricane force winds over 90 mph swept into town and blew over stands, leader boards, etc on the course and trees everywhere. It was so dangerous, they halted the play and called it a day. President Bill Clinton was here so you might have maybe heard something but probably not. With our mostly sunny climate, we get very little sympathy from the national news around here during the winters.

Apple throwing tree from Wizard of Oz
It was wild how the wind storm came out of nowhere and attacked us for the better part of the afternooon.  But during the winds our citrus trees were pelting out fruit to anyone that might get too close, kind of like the scene in the Wizard of Oz with the apple trees throwing apples at Dorothy and her crew except these trees had no visible arms. The fruit just came a flying!

The next morning it was completely still, the course was miraculously cleaned up and the golf tournament continued and looked like nothing happened but the rest of us where left with the aftermath of massive debris everywhere.

Eucalyptus trees were the biggest casualties, as they are just too bulky for the high winds around here.
This is our neighbor's unit as one of the golf course trees came colliding with their unit across the cart path and fence.
Trees out of the ground, roots and all.  See how "foggy" the sky is? Thats' sand!
The best little surprise out of the whole ordeal were scenes just like this one...



Citrus Fruit Everywhere!

Grapefruit both regular and pink, Tangelos, Meyer Lemons, Regular Lemons

It was all so exciting to get so much fruit but then we realized we only have so much time to eat it all! I'm a little acid sensitive so I can't do too much at once but Rich just loves "eating off the trees" as he calls it. This year they hacked up our beautiful Minneola Tangerine tree, the one I wrote about as giving off the juicy "Tangelo Bombs" last year. There are hardly any branches left to bear fruit. (That really irks me as it was totally unnecessary and we look forward all year to these delicious fruit!) Hopefully next year!

So in honor of all the fruit we have at our... table, I'm going to be exploring some citrus options for the next few posts, hope you don't mind. It's just that time of year.

First Up.... 

Grapefruit Granita- Raw
This is so simple and yet so refreshing. 

2 cups fresh grapefruit juice, strained
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice, strained

Blend together agave and water in a blender until well combined 
(room temperature water makes this easier)
Then add in the grapefruit and lemon juices and blend again. 
Pour into a non-reactive pan, I used a 8x8 baking pan.
 And freeze. 
Check every hour and scrape back the frozen top with a fork or back of spoon. 
3 times should be enough. 
It should take about 6 hrs but can be left for 3 days if you like.
Serve in a chilled glass with sprig of mint for garnish 
and eat right away!

Alternatively, you can let freeze solid and when ready
 break into chunks and pulse in food processor to get ice crystal shavings.

Add Some Booze!
For those non raw peeps reading this, 
you can add in a little vodka too- about 2 tbsp
 (this will keep it from freezing solid, among other things.)

Another option to dress this up is place in a chilled glass and 
pour your favorite champagne over for
 a specialty drink style bubbly slushie.


That's it for now!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for a great week ahead!






Saturday, January 28, 2012

And The Fun Continues...

Raw Vanilla Cashew Creme Parfaits
I have to tell you, I feel like I've discovered something brand new! I've been making cashew creme for a while now and while I thought it was a good substitute for regular creme, I wasn't too excited about it to tell the truth.

Then I stumbled on a blog, TheRawtarian.com and saw her raving about this "fruit dip." I had to try it! I wrote down the recipe and made it while I was playing with the raw Nutella (last post.) 
It seemed all too familiar but...

I was surprised! and R, who was always a little mediocre about the creme, really liked it too! 
So I was all excited to share a new recipe with you, only to find as I compared it to the previous one I've posted about here, that it's pretty much the same with just a subtle difference- vanilla! and a little less sweetener.

It's like a whole different thing and I'm amazed! 

Just a little tweak and it made all the difference!
So in the interest of being complete here is the new version and I'm calling it:


Vanilla Cashew Creme
aka "Fruit Dip"

1 1/2 cups Cashews, soaked 1- 2 hours
1/2 cup Water
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, in liquid form
2 Tbsp Agave or Honey
1 Vanilla Bean or 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
splash of lemon (optional)

Blend until creamy
Chill in Fridge


This really is amazing with fruit!
Vanilla Cashew Creme Paired with RAWtella, Bananas and Raspberries
For the Crepes, I tried a couple different ways to go. I came across a video of Ani Phyo making crepes and she uses flax seeds with either apples or bananas. Some reviewers said that the apple was a little less sweet so since I was pairing mine with raw Nutella and fruit, I thought that might be better.

I found the recipe and was a little bummed that it was vague about how thin to spread it or really what the desired doneness would look or be like. She also said it should make 4 crepes and I spread it really really thin and only got 3 crepes. Plus I let it dry almost twice the time she suggested and it still wasn't completely dry. But my thinking was, if it's completely dry, won't it be more of a chip? How will I fold it without it breaking? So I had to guess when to remove it from the dehydrator and let it go as long as it was dry-ish and still pliable. It wasn't tacky to the touch. She said her recipe with the flax would be less leathery but it still was. Maybe I did something wrong? Not sure but...

Apple Crepes with Bananas and RAWtella and Chocolate drizzle


It looked good! It tasted good!  Very mild in flavor and a little hard to cut through but I get that it won't really be like a crepe and I'm okay with that.

Ani's Apple Crepes

1 cored and diced apple
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp Agave
1/2 cup water or as needed.

Blend apples, flax,agave and water until smooth.
spread evenly on a lined dehydrator tray.
Dehydrate 4-6 hrs at 104 degrees F or until completely dry. 
You can flip off the liner and dry a couple more hours.


After I tried that, I had to know what the banana crepe from The Rawtarian would be like so I whipped up a batch of that as well. So simple!

Banana Crepes with Vanilla Cashew Creme and Berries with Strawberry Drizzle

Banana Crepes 

4 bananas
 1/4 cup of water 

Blend up in the blender 
Pour onto a lined Dehydrator tray
Tilt tray to spread mix around 
 Dry overnight
 Peel from Teflex and flip
Dry about another hour
But still pliable
and I got me (4) 8"crepes!


Banana Crepe or Fruit Leather
This was very banana-y, very sweet and delicious! It's more like a fruit leather and that's is not bad at all. It is a little stickier and harder to cut than the flax version though. 
(You need a very sharp knife to cut through and your crepes get kind of smooshed so expect that.)

I would almost recommend making large full dehydrator tray square crepes, cut into quarters and then cutting into bite sized strips before rolling creme and/or fruit inside. Or maybe even a burrito style roll up would be good! Just a thought. But very tasty!

Strawberry Sauce

1 cup Strawberries
1/4 cup Agave

Blend until well mixed.
Add more agave to taste


Chocolate Sauce

1/2 cup cacao powder
3/4 cup agave (or maple syrup)
4 tsp melted olive oil

Blend in a small blender.
Will keep fro a week or so.

I hope you enjoy these simple delicious basics!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fun with Raw Nutella

Raw Nutella (RAWtella) with Apple Crepes, Strawberries, Chocolate Sauce and Cashew Creme
Have you noticed lately that Nutella (the hazelnut and chocolate spread) seems to be all the rage here in the states? There are all sorts of recipes using it. The first and last time I had it, I think I was sixteen and it was brought to me with my breakfast bread basket while in London. The idea excited me- chocolate for breakfast! But I have to say I was disappointed and never tried it again.
(what can I say? I was sixteen.)

So after seeing this sudden trend, I thought I'd give it a try again but with a raw twist this time. I looked up Nutella and the main ingredients are sugar, then milk, then hazelnuts with very little chocolate. When it was originally invented in Italy back in the 40's it was created to extend the shortage of chocolate created during war time with blending it with the over abundant local hazelnuts. It was half hazelnuts and half chocolate.

This sounded better to me than a sugar and milk based recipe.

So I got down to business and I can tell you I have a whole new love!

Without further adieu I give you....

Raw Nutella (RAWtella) with Strawberries

RAWtella

1 cup hazelnuts, soaked about 1 hr, strained
1/3 cup cacao (or cocoa in a pinch)
1/3 cup agave syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup almond milk (or water)

Grind up the hazelnuts in your food processor until finely ground
Add all but the almond milk and continue pulsing until mixed. 
It will probably ball up.
Start adding almond milk and pulse until you reach the consistency you desire.
Keep in a cover container in the fridge.

Can't tell you how long it will last because ours was gone in a flash!


What to do with RAWtella?
 Here is the fun part!

Use it for dipping any kind of fruit. 
What doesn't go well with chocolate? 
Raw Nutella with Bananas

Mix it with fruit in a parfait
RAWtella, Cashew Creme, Bananas and Raspberries
( Ps: I discovered a new version of Cashew Creme that will knock your socks off! Next post- promise!)



Because Nutella is famous for pairing with crepes....

Raw Crepes and Bananas with Raw Nutella (RAWtella)


And we had to make several crepes...

Raw Apple Crepes with Raspberries and Raw Nutella (RAWtella)

and there were still more crepes...

Raw Apple Crepes with Strawberries, Chocolate Sauce, Cashew Creme
and of course RAWtella!
(PPS : Crepes will be in the next post too along with the To Die For Cashew Creme!!)
Valentine's Day is coming you know!

It's hard to pick a favorite way to eat RAWtella. 
It was ALL SO GOOD!

We had it for breakfast, snacks, lunch even dinner one night! 
and why not, it is just nuts and fruit really.

I was feeling a little chocolate saturated but then I caught myself thinking today...

I do have more hazelnuts....maybe I'll whip up another batch!


Hmmm....Can you ever have too much chocolate?

I don't think so!
 ;-)




Sunday, January 22, 2012

Breakfast of Champions- To Go!

I've been speaking to a friend of mine that wants to eat better but needs an easy routine for grab and go food  with his busy work schedule.  Plus he's been told to up his Omega 3s to help with eye fatigue. Crunch time is leaving for work in the morning having something ready to go and also having food that will keep him from running out for lunch or snacks when his energy starts to wane during the work day.

Energy, great for Omega 3's, quick and can be prepared a head of time. R loves his chia cereal so much that this was easy! It's the packaging that makes this even better.

Here's what I'm thinking....

A week's worth of glass pint canning jars, a little prep time on Sunday and we got grab-and-go all taken care of!

In each canning jar place one of the following mixtures:

Apple Pie:

2.5 Tbsp Chia Seeds, whole
2 Tbsp dehydrated Apples, diced
2 Tbsp Raisins
2 Tbsp Walnuts, chopped
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
1/2-1 packet Stevia

Southern Pecan Pie


2.5 Tbsp Chia Seeds, whole
2 Tbsp Pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp Cranberries
2 Tbsp shredded Coconut
1/2 -1 packet of Stevia

Southern  Pecan Pie Style Chia Pudding
Banana Bread


2.5 Tbsp Chia Seeds, whole
2 Tbsp Walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds, chopped,
2 Tbsp dehydrated Banana chips
Sprinkle of Nutmeg
1/2-1 packet of Stevia

Chocolate Pudding


2.5 Tbsp Chia Seeds, whole
1 Tbsp (heaping) Cacao Powder, or Carob or if you have to Coco
1 packet Stevia
pinch of Salt (optional)
dash of Cinnamon
Chocolate Chia Pudding

Almond Milk To Go








The combos are endless so get creative!


All you do when ready is add 6 -8 oz of Almond milk to the jar,
screw the cover on, turn upside down and shake until well mixed.
Then let sit however long you want.

It transports easily like this until you're ready to eat and then just shake it up again. Pour it into a bowl or eat right out of the jar- your choice!

How long you let it sit is a personal choice. Some say at least 10 minutes for it to thicken, some like to let it sit over night or at least an hour or so. The beauty of it is that you can add milk to make it for breakfast the night before, or add the milk before you leave in the morning to make it for a lunch or afternoon snack at work. Or take some milk to work and mix it all up about 10 mins before you want to eat it. It doesn't matter.  It won't go bad and it's all good!

Chia Cereal in the Jar Minus Toppings




Here are some options you can try as well: 

  • Chop a banana or apple to put on top when ready to eat.
  • Peaches are good too... as are berries, oh heck you get the idea- add some fresh fruit!
  • Instead of the Stevia powder mixed dry in the jar, you can use the Stevia drops, like the Sweet Vanilla Creme when ready to eat. You'll want to keep a bottle at the office too!
  • If you're at home skip the Stevia powder and add a Tbsp each of Vanilla extract and Agave or Maple Syrup when ready to eat instead or the stevia drops!!!

And since I mentioned the Stevia Liquid drops, do you know they also come in flavors like Lemon Drop, English Toffee, Chocolate Raspberry, Peppermint etc. etc. Oh MY!

Ps: if you are fortunate to have Trader Joe's around, they have a great selection of dried fruits and nuts- not sure about the Stevia and no Chia- yet. C'mon Trader Joe's!

And another thing: the jars of the pre mix will keep as long as you keep a tight lid on it. So line them up on the kitchen counter, keep them in the pantry ready to go, or keep them at your desk in the office. You've got an instant meal or snack, all ready whenever you are.


Chia mix in snack bag 

As an option you can put the mixtures in little snack bags too. Just pour them in a jar when you are ready to mix with milk.

Just don't forget your spoon and the milk.
*You can even add apple juice instead of the milk or some even like just water mixed in.


Have never heard of Chia other than the pets? The check out this article
You really want to know about chia!


So tell us.... What combos are you eating with chia these days?



Friday, January 20, 2012

Cool Tools Plus a Tasty Asian Cucumber Salad

Whether you are eating a raw lifestyle or just trying to eat more fruits and veggies there are some kitchen gadgets that make food prep a lot simpler. Below are some of my favorite discoveries and to show what you can do with them I will be demonstrating their use with a simple yet delicious
Raw Asian Cucumber Salad or better known in Japanese as Sunomono Salad.
A Saladacco Spiralizer




A Spiralizer

This is a Saladacco Spiralizer and it has revolutionized how we think of pasta. No longer do we need wheat and gluten when zucchini, squash and cucumbers can easily take their place, thanks to spiralizers.

This is a handy little tool for making spiralized noodles, and thin slices. You set the blade with a slicing style, either noodles or slices, cut a vegetable (the straighter the vegetable the better) to fit inside the top chamber, in this case a cucumber, center it on the tiny spike, put the top on with the gripper holding the vegetable in place and turn the handle. It's very easy.

The sliced vegetable ends up in the catch basin in the bottom.

For sliced, the vegetable will come out in a ribbon of attached rounds. For noodles no cutting is required. They will be as long as the cut vegetable with the longest being about 3 1/2 inches.

A zucchini spiralized into thin noodles

Saladacco cucumbers left- Mandoline- right




















The Mandoline

Another great tool for thin uniform slices and even to julienne is the Mandoline. I originally purchased a stainless steel model that was more expensive but I was surprised to find the vegetables did not move easily over the blade and subsequently the slices came out uneven, ripped and pretty much ruined. This one works so much better, with less effort and was cheaper too and with the catch basin it keeps things a lot cleaner as well.

One word of warning here: as with all mandolines or blades, you have to be very careful and always use the guard to protect your fingers. I have heard many a story of people slicing their fingers, and always without the guard. Don't get cocky!


This unit has various blades that you select for different cutting styles as well as a turn dial on the side that raises and lowers the platform to adjust the thickness of the slices. You simply place the food item flat on the surface and with the guard on top, run the item over the blade.

 A peeled cucumber ready for slicing
The Saladacco sliced cucumbers (top) vs Mandoline sliced (bottom)

For a comparison, I sliced half the cucumber with each, using the thinnest setting on the Mandoline. The Saladacco slices paper thin with the Mandoline slicing at almost twice that thickness.
For the Sunomono Salad the Saladacco size is perfect!


Julienne Peeler


This is a handy little number when you just need to do some quick julienne slices and don't want to get out the mandoline. It's a peeler with little teeth. There is no variation so it's just one size. It's sort of the reverse of a Mandoline in that you drag the blade across the fruit or vegetable.

Julienne Peeler
Julienned Carrots
and now for the salad....

Sunomono Salad (Japanese Cucumber Salad)


This is my favorite thing to order at our local Japanese restaurant. 
I have them hold the crab that is customary in it and I could eat like 3-4 servings. I don't but I could! But now I can make it at home!
It's light and refreshing, slightly sweet yet tangy. 

Asian Dressing Ingredients
1 Large English cucumber- peeled and thinly sliced (English due to fewer seeds and thinner skin.)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp agave
1/2 tsp nama shoyu
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
a few shreds of carrot

Peel and slice cucumbers. Sprinkle slices with salt, toss and let sit 10 minutes. Gently squeeze out water.

Mix all ingredients except sesame seeds well and then toss with the cucumber. Place in individual bowls, adding a few pieces of carrot to each and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

For a more authentic salad add some soaked Wakame (seaweed) strips to the salad. I was out of it at the time of this post or I would have included it. It's a great way to get your sea vegetables in but the salad tastes great without it too.

Printer friendly

I hope you try some of these gadgets out or at least give the salad a try.


A spiralizer

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jewel Box Salad

Jewel Box Salad

While doing the round up of the Best of 2011's recipes, which are our favorites, I realized I have some how omitted sharing my favorite salad with you all! So of course today, I had to fix that and I really enjoyed doing that for you. (I know, the sacrifices I make for this blog.) ;-)

I call this a Jewel Box Salad because each little ingredients is like a gem of different flavors, each tasty on it's own but pulled all together is just delicious!

This could also be a Fall Salad, and one local restaurant calls this their Summer Salad but the beauty of it really is that all the ingredients are available year round. Right now the red grapes are in season and are especially yummy .
Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette

I use a light vinaigrette to toss it all together and not overpower the flavors.

Our standby is Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette, which for convenience I always keep on hand. You can get this from most health food stores or even online sources.

What I especially like about it is that
it's a vinaigrette that doesn't bite back,
if you know what I mean.
Tangy enough but not so much that it chokes you.
Ever had that happen? Not fun!

While apple cider vinegar, at least' Bragg's is still raw, the dressing bottled and all is probably not.

So I have also included their recipe so you can make it yourself too. 

But first...



The Jewel Box Salad

Toss the following into a big bowl and add dressing, 
Toss Again.
Eat!
 or if you have to share, plate in and then eat!


Tender Greens
like Butter Lettuce and Radicchio 
or Baby Romaine

Apples, diced
(figure half and apple per person)

Grapes
halved, if big

Raisins or Dried Cranberries

Walnuts


Ingredient amounts are completely up to you but don't be stingy. 
You don't want to have to hunt for the gems.



Bragg's Vinaigrette
from the back of the Bragg's ACV bottle

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar ( ACV) 
(make sure it is organic and has the "mother"- other ACV may taste different)

1/3 cup Oil

1 tsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos 
(soy sauce or tamari may work)

1-2 tsp Honey

 1-2 cloves minced garlic

1 pinch all purpose seasoning, 
like Bragg's Sprinkles, Spike 
or Salt and Pepper to taste

Shake!
makes about 4 servings



How about you? 
Any favorite Jewel Box Salad combos you feel like sharing?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shredded Carrot Apple Salad


Shredded Carrot Apple Salad
Wonder what to do with left over carrots besides juice them? 
How about a nice simple salad?

 Great for a light snack or side dish!
Plus I think you'll find kids will like this one too!

It's one of those that gets better overnight.

No fancy tools needed. Just a knife, a peeler and a shredder.

Shredded Carrot Apple Salad

5 carrots, peeled & shredded
2 apples, peeled & shredded. 
(Sweeter apples better than tart- I think nut why not try the other too?)
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons honey or to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Mix together lemon and honey until honey is dissolved. 
Put all together in bowl and toss well. 
Let sit covered in fridge overnight (least that's what I did) and 
Enjoy!

I'm wishing I made more already. ;-)

Note: easiest to peel apples first and shred whole around core .



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top 10 Getting Raw Desserts


They say if you want people to give raw food a try, start with the desserts. 
So true because the desserts are so delicious!
Recapping some of our all time favorite desserts from the last year and change of this blog. 
Hope you enjoy!


No. 1 
(Pictured above)
This was a special recipe for me as this cake was a gift for a friend's birthday. Not only was it the first time I had ever made a raw cheesecake but I even had the nerve to test it out at a birthday party with folks that had no interest in raw food and guess what?
They really liked it!


No. 2

Ambrosia Salad
This is still one of my favorite desserts even though it is simply a medley of fruit with honey.
It's just gorgeous!


No. 3
Minced Fruit Pie
Rich isn't really a dessert guy but he said this was his hands down favorite.
 Gotta go with that!


No. 4
Winter Citrus Sherbet
This is a really simply base recipe for sherbet- you can substitute any fresh juice
 and treat yourself !


No. 5
Caramel Apples
Caramel and Apples- not just for October. 
This caramel dip has been a staple for me gettingraw
I make up the dip and have it on hand for a snack with apples all the time.
Come to think of it.....


No. 6
Chocolate Mousse
Pictured here, I have this swimming in a pool of Raspberry Coulis.
Another great staple recipe for when the need for chocolate arrives.
 This is so good!
No one will ever know what the key ingredient is.


No. 7
Brownie Bites
All dressed up as presents.
Another must when gettingraw
Make these and freeze them for fun or emergencies!


No. 8
Raw Bananas Foster Cheesecake
All I can say is:
This was pretty tasty!


No. 9
Upside Down Berry Jumble
Another Basic Recipe that can adapt to any kind of fruit you have on hand. 
So much you can do with the key ingredients here.
Always impressive and always delicious!


No. 10
Key Lime Pie
I LOVE key lime pie and this was one of my all time favorites raw or not.
 I was so surprised! 
and don't even get me started on how much better these ingredients are for you....


So there you have it! 
Our Top 10 Raw Dessert Recipes (so far.)

Many are basics that make GettingRAW a little easier,
 especially if you have a sweet tooth. 

More to come ;-)


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