I bet you didn’t know that yes, I too,once joined the Raw Food Revolution. This meant total isolation while eating with people. My friends practically disowned me. My parents thought I had lost my brain. Yet I forged on…
I was living in Thailand at the time. I had coconut trees in my yard that I could crack open whenever I wanted, mango trees across the way that produced enough fruit for the village practically, lettuce in my neighbor’s garden that she would let me pick as needed, herbs galore in my garden, and fresh fruits and veggies growing up and down all the streets. I was in raw food heaven! It was so easy to join the revolution.
Well… sort of.
If you haven’t heard by now that raw foods is becoming a sort of fad. I’d like to think that I was part of the revolution before that. To me, eating raw foods means eating food in its natural state. I like simple recipes that showcase whole foods. Still, nothing beats a juicy mango on a hot summer’s day.
Here are some of my favs:
Nothing beats a simple salad. I like to use spinach, sliced carrots, red and orange bell peppers, grape tomatoes, avocado, and red onion. I top everything with cayenne pepper (I love spicy food) and a small amount of dressing made from mixing tahini, EVOO, fresh squeezed oj or apple cider vinegar, and some agave nectar).
I also love salads with bananas on them. Call me crazy, but you should seriously try this. I think I could add bananas to everything (and cayenne).
Tangy Grape Guacamole
This twist on traditional guac is ALWAYS the hit of every party and pot luck I bring it to. This is a perfect dish for any Memorial Day parties you will be attending. Yum!
2 cups of purple grapes, sliced in half
3-4 avocados, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
Salt & Pepper (and cayenne) to taste
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Leave pits in the bowl until serving to prevent browning. Serve on a bed of lettuce with sprouts if you want a fancier presentation. This dish doesn’t really need it though, cause it seriously kicks ass and people won’t care what you serve it in (point in case: I put it in a leftovers plastic tin for a pot luck I went to in San Francisco. I also made it in my hotel room!)
The secret ingredient in raw chocolate pie is AVOCADOS! I just love this creamy fruit. It is so versatile. They can be used in savory dishes or in sweet dishes. I make this pie by mixing avocados, bananas, raw cocoa or carob powder, and agave nectar together in the food processor. For the crust I use a date/almond mixture. Here is a recipes you could follow since I just test in the kitchen and go by taste.
Joel’s Carob Mousse Pie
- 2 c shredded coconut
- 11/2 c pitted dates
Place in food processor unit mixture holds together. Place filling in a pie pan and press it against the bottom of the pan to form a firm crust.
- 2 avocados
- 1 c carob
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2t cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut
Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth. Place the filling in the crust. Refrigerate for three hours and enjoy.
Or you could try Russel James’ Chocolate Torte with Whipped Cashew Cream.
You can also just make the filling and serve it as mousse, like this:
Raw Key Lime Pie
I love key lime pie. The filling for this is amazing. It also makes a great mousse. I also love vegan key lime pie from Grass Roots in Tampa. I don’t know the secret to their pie, but I suspect it is silken tofu. Enough about tofu… this post is about FRUITS AND VEGGIES.
Recipe from The Raw Table
Makes one 9″ pie, serving 8-10
3 C fine almond flour*
4-5 fresh medjool dates
2 T coconut oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 small ripe avocados
1 1/4 C juice from key limes (regular limes will also work fine)
1/2 C mango chunks
1/2 C agave nectar
1/3 C coconut cream concentrate or oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
To make crust, place almond flour, dates, coconut oil, and sea salt in a food processor and blend until it balls up. Firmly press crust into pie pan and set aside.
To make the filling, process all filling ingredients in a high-powered blender such as a VitaMix until smooth and fluid. Pour into pie shell and freeze about 4-6 hours or longer. I like to serve this topped with a little shredded coconut and mango chunks or slices.
*Almond Flour is made when you grind almonds for making almond milk. Almond pulp is what is left over. After the grinding process, strain it as much as possible and dry it in your dehydrator. It is kept best in the freezer in an air-tight bag or container.
If you do not wish to go through this process, you are certainly welcome to just use ground raw almonds, but you won’t get the same fine texture on the crust.
MY NOTES: I don’t use almond flour. I just put the almonds and the dates in my FP and blend until it clumps together, and then I form that into my spring form pan. I find it is more delicious than fine almond powder.
I made the pâté by adding almonds, carrots, ginger, red onion, and EVOO to the food processor. I stuffed them in cucumbers to serve as appetizers at a party.
Strawberry Mint Brownie Trifle
BROWNIES, (adapted from Jennifer Cornbleet’s recipe)
4 cup walnuts, unsoaked
16 medjool dates, unsoaked
1 cup carob powder
5 sprigs fresh mint
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cup coconut meat, from 2-3 young coconuts
2 cup cashews, soaked
1 cup coconut water
½ teaspoon sea salt
1½ pound strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 fresh mint leaves, (for garnish)
FOR BROWNIES: Wash mint and leave on counter overnight to dry. Or put in dehydrator at 110° for 2 hours (or more). In a food processor, chop 1 cup of the walnuts and set aside. Process remaining walnuts and salt until finely ground. Add dried mint (mint should crumble from sprigs) and dates and process until mixture sticks together. Add carob powder and water. Form mixture in two squares. Press reserved chopped walnuts into tops of brownies. Cut into 1-inch squares. Let chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
FOR COCONUT CREAM: Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
FOR STRAWBERRIES: Add agave nectar to the strawberries
TO ASSEMBLE: In bottom of trifle bowl, place brownie squares, top with coconut cream, then sliced strawberries. Repeat with remaining brownies, cream and strawberries. Put bowl in refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Garnish with mint leaves.
While I still eat mainly whole fruits and veggies, I do like some processed food indulgences. My favorites are Annie’s Goddess dressing and Mary’s Gone Raw Stick and Twigs in the tomato chipolte flavor.
Have you tried any ‘raw food recipes’? Tell me about them. How does ‘raw’ chocolate pie compare to it’s counterpart made from well, I don’t even know what the standard American diet’s chocolate pie is made from?