Archive | August, 2009

Raw cherry chutney! It exists!

25 Aug
raw cherry chutney exists and it is delish

raw cherry chutney exists and it is delish

I found this recipe for cherry chutney on renegadehealth.com during a bout of insomnia while i was fasting and have only just had a chance to make it. Don’t ask why I was perusing food websites at midnight – I was feeling, let’s say, peckish on day four of eating nothing but clay and pysllium husks… Anyway – I digress – cherry chutney. 

I’m always looking for raw flavour-filled treats to pep up my alfalfa salads and having eaten my way through a zillion variations of raw pestos decided it was time!! It also helps that cherries are in season…The other brilliant benefits of this chutney – are that it is super healthy, nutrient intact and perfect for serving to my non-raw mates with some extra strong cheese.  Here is the original recipe from Katrina Blair’s recipe book. My edited version is below it.

The ingredients
1 cup cherries
Small handful raisins
3 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tamari (a wheat free soy sauce flavour)
1 1/2 clove garlic
1 inch ginger
1 tbsp curry
Dash of fennel, mustard seed, cardamom, cumin, garam masala, cinnamon all ground

How to make it
Blend or use a food processor!

THE HYPOCRITE’S VERSION (with ingredients on hand and for once, no blending)

The ingredients
1 punnet of stoned cherries
1 finely chopped red onion
3 tbspns of apple cider vinegar
handful of raisins
1 tbspn honey
2 tspns of cinnamon, cumin, garam masala

How to make it

I just put everything into a bowl, stirred it all up and let the already juicy cherries absorb the flavours for about 30mins.

How to eat it
I had it with an avocado and baby spinach salad. If wasn’t feeling worthy, I would have liked to have eaten it with a big chunk of a strong goat cheddar (definitely not cow)…

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Raw pesto is besto

15 Aug

 

enjoy your raw pesto with your other raw favourites

enjoy your raw pesto with your other raw favourites

Being a BIG fan of cheese of any flavour, smell, size and shape, and a fan of basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic, you can imagine that there is a special place in my heart for pesto. I also distinctly remember the life-changing moment when my old friend Beezie taught me the basic recipe. On discovering how easy it was to create those big yummy spoonfuls of heaven, I think I ate it every day for a year.

Now more inclined to enjoy the raw equivalent of anything, I’ve finally let go of the fact that pesto is ONLY pesto with parmesan in the recipe. While Genoan chefs will be turning in their graves at the thought of a raw recipe version, I’ve gone a step further and decided that anything with nuts, leaves and oil is a pesto. If it was a Sicilian recipe I wouldn’t dare fiddle with it…

TRADITIONAL RAW PESTO
1 big bunch of fresh Italian basil
3 generous dollops of olive oil
1 cup of pine nuts
Sea salt for seasoning
½ garlic clove (or less – it will be very strong)

FRESH SUMMER PESTO
½ bunch fresh Italian basil
¼ bag of baby spinach leaves
2 sticks of celery
1 cup of cashew or macadamia nuts
½ cup of pine nuts
Juice of a juicy lemon
Zest of one lemon
Generous dollops of olive oil
Dash of sea salt

ASIAN PESTO
½ bag of baby spinach
½ bunch of coriander (cilantro)
1 big dash of sesame oil
1 swig of sunflower oil
1 cup of cashew or macadamia nuts
1 finely chopped and seeded red chilli
Juice of a juicy lemon
¼ clove of garlic
Dash of cracked black pepper

How to make it
Blend in a blender

Best and easiest raw chocolate recipe ever

10 Aug
best, easiest, yummiest raw chocolate recipe ever

best, easiest, yummiest raw chocolate recipe ever

Having now taste-tested/gorged myself on the many new brands of raw chocolate popping onto the shelves at my local health food stores, and in the spirit of the current financial crisis, I decided to find the easiest, tastiest recipe to make my own.

There are loads of recipes for raw chocolate on the internet, and loads of raw recipe books with some great ideas in them. The ultimate recipe I looked for would, as usual, not involve too many strange ingredients, no fancy equipment and wouldn’t take too much time. But i found that even following the most basic recipe, it’s very expensive to set up! However once through the financial pain barrier – and even in mid mix – I can guarantee it is worth it. Particularly as I am not only satisfying my chocolate addiction, I am also adding lots of really important nutrients and antioxidants into my system without the dairy found in classic cooked chocolates. As per an earlier blog, some of these include sulphur (the beauty mineral), magnesium (balances hormones), PEA (molecule of joy), neurotransmitters and aphrodesiacs…

As I discovered, the key is to get the basic mixture just right for your taste and then adding whatever extras you like; raisins, goji berries, almonds, orange zest, chilli, peppermint oil, cinammon, sunflower seeds…

KATE MAGIC
I started with Kate Magic’s basic recipe, which is based on an equal ratio of fats, sugars and chocolate. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, Kate Magic is something of a raw chocolate guru and fountain of knowledge on raw food lifestyle. She shared this recipe with me at one of her raw chocolate talks in Camden.

The key ingredients:
200g of ground cacao nibs (or 150g of cacao powder)
200g of coconut butter (or cacao butter)
200g of natural sweeteners (agave syrup, date syrup, Lucuma powder, zylotol)

How to make it
1. Mix cacao with melted cacao/coconut butter and add sweeteners to taste.
2. Put in cake tin.
3. Pop in fridge.
4. Cut into pieces

SUNNY RAW KITCHEN and CHOC CHICK and BUZZLE
These recipes are so similar – I’ve combined them all. Hence I also would say that if you follow this formula, you can’t go wrong.

The key ingredients
1 cup (100-150g) coconut butter
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
4 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
2 tsp vanilla (orange, mint would be good too)

How to make it
1. Put coconut butter in a bowl and place in another bowl of hot water, stirring until liquified.
2. Stir in other ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and pop into freezer for 5-10 mins. Alternatively, you could put mixture into little moulds.
4. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours or in the freezer for half an hour.

Top tips from Choc Chick
1. Around 70g of powder (4tbs) and 100g of butter makes approximately 2 trays of chocolates (slightly less powder makes the mix easier to pour but equal amounts make a slightly harder chocolate – so experiment to see what suits you).
2. Keep the heat low so as to not overheat and take care not to boil the butter as this will damage the nutritional benefits of the raw chocolate
3. Enjoy yourself or place in gift bags for the perfect gift!