Sunday, July 14, 2013

Raw Dark Chocolate and Cherry Tartlets *nut free*

I already mentioned that my favourite summer fruits are cherries. I often eat a large bowl of them, just as they are, as lunch, dinner or snack. I enjoy them so much that I wanted to include them in some dessert recipe and idea of combination with raw cocoa sounded just great to my ears. 

I know that there are many rawfoodists that claim that cocoa is stimulant, contains caffein and shouldn't be eaten. But it also contains lots of antioxidants, vitamins, healthy fats and protein. Eating in moderation shouldn't be harmful then. I use raw cocoa powder in occasional recipes and I enjoy it every time. Cocoa is not my daily treat though. 

If you're concerned about using cocoa in your recipes, you can always substitute it with raw carob powder, also very valuable and nutritious food. I tried carob in many recipes and despite it's interesting cocoa like taste, I still prefer taste of real raw cocoa powder. In combination with cherries, it's real sweet treat! Perfect for sharing with your loved ones.

Raw Dark Chocolate and Cherry Tartlets

makes two tartlets

1 cup dried figs
1/4 cup dates, medjool, pitted
2 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 cup dates, medjool, pitted
2 Tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 cup whole fresh cherries for topping.

To make the crust: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you get a firm dough. Press into two lined tart tins and place in freezer for about an hour.
To make the filling: Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and pulse until smooth.
Assembly: Take the crusts gently out of the tins and fill with the filling. Top with fresh cherries and serve!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Raw Vegan Parsnip Rice Sushi

There are many ways how to prepare raw vegan sushi. Some of them are super far from the taste of real sushi and some of them are pretty close. I consider myself to be so called sushi lover, even though I fell in love with sushi after I went vegan. I never missed the fish though. Therefore I was very critical to raw sushi recipes and tried to create the ultimate raw vegan sushi, that would enjoy every lover of sushi.

Many recipes out there use cauliflower, quinoa or buckwheat. These alternatives didn't taste like sushi to me at all. Then I tried the parsnip sushi and I fell in love with it! I enjoy it so much more then rice sushi that was always too heavy for my stomach. Parsnip sushi is light, juicy and you can eat as many pieces as you want.

So don't wait any longer, purchase a bamboo mat, sushi sticks and let's trow some raw sushi party. You can fill your sushi with anything you want. I used avocado, carrots, portabello mushrooms and arugula. I also recommend you to try to fill your sushi with sweet potato, bell pepper, alfalfa sprouts or pretty much any other vegetable you can think of. 

Making sushi can be tricky and you may think, that you can't make it without proper equipment, but believe me, you can. I made sushi many times without any bamboo mat and it looked and tasted amazing. I usually don't even need any sticks, I just use my bare hands and enjoy my food the natural way. Another benefit of homemade sushi is the fun you experience while making it. It can provide great social event, much more exciting and healthier then BBQ party.

Raw Vegan Parsnip Rice Sushi

Parsnip rice:
2 cups parsnip, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup water
squeeze of lime juice

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 carrot, sliced longways
1 bunch of arugula 
1 big portabello mushroom, sliced longways

Side dish:
1/2 cup shoyu or tamari
Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

Raw wasabi:
1/2 avocado
3 Tbsp finely shredded horseradish 

about 3 nori sheets

To make the parsnip rice: Place chopped parsnips in a food processor and shred by using shredding disc. Place zucchini, pine nuts, lime juice and water in a high speed blender and blend until smooth, use more water if needed. You want to get creamy mixture. Place your pine cream and shredded parsnips in a bowl and blend together.

Place a nori sheet on your bamboo mat and spread your parsnip rice to cover the bigger half with thin (not too much) layer. Place avocado slices, carrots, arugula and portabellos in the middle longways and roll up firmly. Use your fingers to press the filling in while rolling. Tap some drops of water on the edge of nori sheet to glue it together. Using sharp knife create sushi bites.

To make the raw wasabi: Blend all ingredients together using hand blender or high speed blender to make creamy mixture.

Serve your sushi bites with raw wasabi, ginger slices and shoyu or tamari.