Thursday, June 27, 2013

Raw Single Cherry Birthday Cake

Day of my 22nd birthday came and I couldn't wait to create the perfect birthday cake and celebrate this spacial day. With this occasion I also decided to introduce myself properly and tell you more about me and why I'm writing this blog. I was born and raised in Slovakia and after finishing high school I moved to Sweden where I now live with my boyfriend, and study swedish language. I studied graphics design and my goal is to continue studies at a university in Sweden. I'm hoping to achieve this goal next year.

So why this blog and why raw food? I suffered from pancreatitis since I was 12 and my condition tended to worsen. I experienced several pancreatic seizures despite the medicine I took with every meal I ate. I use to eat unhealthy foods anyway and didn't believe I could ever get better. I would get angry and depressed every time I got a seizure. My mother (a doctor by the way) believed though that proper diet would solve my problems and started to talk about raw food. No cooking at all? I thought this must be some crazy idea. But I listened and even did my own research. I learned that meat and dairy products are not only cruel to consume but they are also unhealthy for me. I stopped eating meat, sugar and flour, cut down on dairy products and my health improved. First time since I was 12, I felt better. I decided to give the raw vegan diet a shot. And now after almost two years of raw vegan life style, my seizures ceased and I never felt better and more myself. I discovered I have much more energy and started with running and working out, which felt easy and fun instead of hard and boring.

I also found raw "cooking" to be real fun and it became one of my hobbies. I started with creating my own recipes and was told that I should have a blog. As a graphic designer I have experiences with photography so nothing stood in my way and I created this blog. I have a lot of recipe ideas so it'll be here for a while, I even think about creating a recipe ebook.  

Something more you should know about me? I love all kinds of animals, fitness and newly even yoga, which I found to be very challenging, sewing and remaking my clothes (I'm also big fan of fashion design), reading. drawing, photography and as I already mentioned, graphics design and all kinds of art. My biggest inspiration is my boyfriend who supports all my crazy ideas and very patiently listens to my monologs about nutrition. 

Now when I exhausted you with my story, let me tell you something about this gorgeous cake. I wanted to create something elegant and classy. Cherries are my favourite summer fruits and I wanted to use them as main ingredient. The core of this cake is all made from fruits and coated with creamy white coconut frosting. I couldn't wish to have a tastier cake, it was absolutely perfect and luscious. It made my day and I can honestly say I had a beautiful birthday!

Raw Single Cherry Birthday Cake

makes one 9-inch cake

2 cups medjool dates, pitted
1 cup dried figs
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried fruit of your choice (I used dried pineapple)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cherry cream:
2 cups soft dates, pitted, soaked overnight
2 cup cherries, pitted and sliced 
juice of one lime

Coconut cream frosting:
2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup full fat coconut cream
2 Tbsp raw agave syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

One single cherry for the top

9-inch springform pan

To make the cake: Place all ingredients in your food processor and processes until you get formable batter. 
To make the cherry cream: Place all ingredients in high speed blender and process until smooth. Save two Tbsp of cherry cream for decorative frosting, you will add it to coconut frosting to make pink roosting for bottom of the cake.
To make the coconut cream frosting: Combine all ingredients in high speed blender and blend until smooth, place in freezer to set until firm.

Assembly: Grease the bottom of 9-inch springform pan with virgin rape oil. Press half of the batter into springform. Top with 1/2 cup of sliced and pitted cherries and spread on cherry cream. Take the other half of the batter, form in flat circle and gently cover the cream so you get the second batter layer. Repeat the process with cherries and finish with cherry cream on the top. Place in freezer for about 4 hours. 
Remove the ring from your springform and carefully place the cake on decorative plate. Spread and cover with coconut frosting. Prepare the pink frosting by mixing 2 Tbsp of cherry cream and 1/2 cup coconut frosting, place in pastry bag and decorate the bottom of the cake. Use the remaining coconut frosting for decorating the top of the cake and place your single cherry in the middle. Place in freezer for about an hour before serving and store in fridge.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Raw Strawberry Filled Apple Dumplings with Creamy Mango Sauce *nut free*

What I love about Raw Food the most are the sweet, sin free recipes full of fruity tastes. I was never into using grains or too much nuts and seeds in my recipes. Although I like to use nuts and seeds occasionally. Fruits make me feel light and full of energy. Fresh, ripe and sweet fruits are the biggest part of my diet and I just love to experiment with different kinds and combine them in my recipes.

This recipe is inspired by traditional czech recipe that reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in Slovakia and big part of my family lives in Czech republic. Traditional sweet dumplings are made from pastry filled with marmalade and steamed. They are often coated with melted butter and topped with poppy seeds or nuts. 

It's very hard to fight your childhood memories linked to food, but I believe my juicy dumpling are better then any dumplings I ever tasted back at home. I didn't expect so much from this recipe since it's very simple and was done in minutes, but it was so good, I even liked it more then raw crepes, which is my favourite raw recipe. These dumplings are perfect for breakfast or even as dessert, enjoy!

Raw Strawberry Filled Apple Dumplings with Creamy Mango Sauce

makes 10 dumplings

Apple dumplings:
3 big apples, shredded
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 Tbsp mano sauce (recipe below)

Creamy mango sauce:
1 big ripe mango
1 ripe banana
1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder or vanilla extract

strawberries, sliced
poppy seeds

To make the dumplings: Mix shredded apples, cinnamon and 2 Tbsp of mango sauce with hands and form into balls. Make a hole in each and fill with shopped strawberries - you want them to be shopped to very small cubes. 
To make the sauce: Blend all ingredients in your blender and pour over your dumplings served on a plate. Garnish with sliced strawberries and top with poppy seeds.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Raw Veggie Burger Delight *nut free*

I must admit that I have never really eaten a vegetarian burger. I wanted to try it, but it was too late for me since I became a raw vegan. Only option that has left for me, was to create my own raw veggie burger. Then I came across another problem. All raw vegan burger recipes contain nice portion of nuts. Don't get me wrong, I actually love nuts and enjoy them every now and then in occasional recipes. But my weekly lunch/dinner recipe usually contains very little fat.

I used to look at my boyfriends plate when he enjoyed his vegetarian burgers and wondered whether he would like my raw vegan alternative if I made it for him. So I tried it and surprisingly, he loved them and ate four of them! I was very pleased that he approved this recipe and I gladly promised him to make the burgers soon again. 

Honestly, I'm not big fan of substitutions for meat. I don't need it because I don't miss taste of any kind of meat at all. But this burger tastes just wonderfully and it can make your diner/lunch a little more interesting. Eating only salads all the time can get boring in a little while. It can also provide newbies in vegetarianism the substitution they need. People eating standard diet eat meat all the time and the skip to vegetarian diet is not always easy, especially if one wants to skip to raw vegan diet immediately. In this case, this juicy veggie burger could be great help.

Raw Veggie Burger Delight

makes 4 burgers

1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup carrot, peeled and chopped, or pulp from carrot juice
1 cup parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp shoyu or tamari 

mix of green leafy vegetable
alfalfa sprouts 
tomatoes, sliced

To make the burgers: Place sweet potato, carrots and parsnips in your food processor and pulse until mashed. Take the mass into your hands and squeeze the juice out of it. Place back in the food processor and add remaining ingredients. Process until mashed. If the mass is too wet, squeeze it again or add more carrot pulp. Shape in four burgers and serve on bed of leafy greens topped with tomatoes, sprouts and parsley. Enjoy!