Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nut Butter Truffle Recipe--the sequel

Raw/Vegan Nut Butter Truffles (well almost raw if you use store bought nut or seed butter)

Be warned: everyone that tries these LOVES them and tends to fight over them! (I love that!)

This is loosely based on the recipe Lucy's Peanut Butter Balls pg61 of "Kristen Suzanne's Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes"

3/4 c. peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter, or almond butter etc.)
1/2 c. agave nectar (or more)
1/2 c. pitted, chopped dates (or more), soaked if they seem dry
1/2 c. (plus additional) dried coconut, shredded and unsweetened--add as much as you need to thicken it into a dough
1/4 c. or to taste raw cacao powder
dash Himalayan sea salt (leave out if the nut butter is already salted)
a dash of vanilla if desired
additional cacao powder mixed with organic cane or palm sugar for coating
In a food processor fitted with the "S" blade process together the nut butter, agave nectar, & dates--adding a little water if needed to facilitate blending. Stop and scrape down bowl if needed. Add this mixture to your Kitchen Aid mixer bowl and add remaining ingredients and mix well. If you don't have a good stand up mixer you can just knead ingredients together with your hands. Taste and adjust any needed ingredients. You want a stiff dough. Chill for at least 2 hours. Portion out into little teaspoon size balls of dough, (I use my #100 cookie scoop) roll in additional cacao powder mixed with a little organic cane or palm sugar. Keep chilled in refrigerator or freezer until ready to devour.

You want to make the truffles small enough for one bite each. This way it's neater and they don't get cacao powder all down their front. Use this recipe adaptation as a guideline--experiment and make it your own! Have fun with it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to handle invitations to dinner at friends' houses or social gatherings

"I want to have you over but I don't know what to feed you!" Or "Are you still on that crazy diet?"

These questions have come from quite a few friends who love me dearly and I love them dearly! There are a couple of things going on when we ask someone to dinner: (1)The social/emotional/interacting aspect and (2) The need we women have (or humans in general) to nurture and feed each other.

I reassure my friends that are inviting me--don't make a fuss! Green salads are a safe option--hopefully they would have one anyway (lol). I will bring snacks that I can eat and I will taste a small amount of their lovingly made dishes and of course whatever I bring I share with them.  Also I sometimes have a secret weapon in my purse--an avocado or a tomato, or both and I'll "whip" this out and slice it up at the table and everybody else usually gets jealous. 

Food is a BIG part of everyone's lives. We spend quite a bit of time thinking, planning, purchasing, preparing, and talking about food. It is a part of our social life. Even as we share a meal with others we may talk about the next meal or our favorite meals we have eaten in the past. We are bombarded with the media with advertisements and visuals of food to entice us. We have our five senses that tempt us. Sometimes we may even fear a conspiracy as the moment we promise to eat more healthy foods, someone will bring in something tempting (and not so healthy) to work or we drive by a doughnut shop and we smell the warm, fresh doughnuts or bread or pastries or KFC--you know what I'm talking about! Or even at the gym, working out to stay in shape, we are shown commercials of gorgeous looking food which is very tasty but usually not the best for us, well I digress.

Why do we like to have people/or family over for a meal? We love to interact with them. We show our love by making sure they are taken care of and well fed. We love to talk and mingle with them. It's not about the food when we stop and analyze it. Why are we getting together? For food or socializing?

Let's look at these questions: If it's only for food that we are getting together, 9 3/4 times out of 10 I will bring a snack or dish to share that I know that I can eat and I know that people will like--and inspire them to know that it's fun and tasty to eat more healthy dishes.

If it's for socializing purposes that we are getting together, (and who can get together without food?) I will bring a dish to share that I know that I can eat and I know that people will like--and inspire them to know that it's fun and tasty to eat more healthy dishes.

If I'm in a hurry and I haven't made the effort to make something, I'll stop by a grocery store and pick up a vegetable platter, or a fruit tray (sometimes both!) and bring that. Or I could bring a watermelon and cut it up when we get there--that would be fun! People are always appreciative of the healthy alternatives. This is especially handy and lifesaving at church gatherings where we tend to be known for our desserts and yummy (but not always healthy) entrees.

I love getting together with friends and family! That is most important to me! The food is secondary and I also respect their need to feed people and show their love in their own ways.

I love you all, thanks for listening!

P.S. For fun, check out on YouTube Angela Stokes from The Raw Food World singing "How do you have a social life with raw foods?" sung to the tune of "How do you solve a problem like Maria" from the movie "The Sound of Music". Funny, creative, and inspiring!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chocolate Brazil Nut Ice Cream (Raw Vegan)

Chocolate Brazil Nut Ice Cream (Raw Vegan)
From "I Am Grateful" Recipes & Lifestyle of Cafe' Gratitude pg. 146

Makes 1 quart
(Julie's notes are in parenthesis)

2 c. Brazil Nuts
4 c. fresh water
3/4 c. packed pitted dates (soak in a little water if they seem dry)
2 T. lecithin (make sure it's non-GMO)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 inch of vanilla bean
6 T. raw chocolate powder (or carob powder)
(I might add a 1/2 dropper full of vanilla creme liquid stevia or more dates if it needs more sweetening)

In the carafe of your (high speed blender is best) blender, place Brazil nuts and the 4 cups fresh water. Blend on high for a few minutes. Don't let the milk get too hot while blending. Strain milk through a milk bag or cheesecloth. Reserve pulp for cake recipes.

Rinse the blender and return the milk along with the dates, lecithin, vanilla, salt, and chocolate powder to the blender. Blend well and freeze. (I usually just pour it in plastic resealable containers and freeze it in those because I'm too lazy to bring out the ice cream maker and all the paraphernalia that goes with it).

This mix can be kept in your fridge until ready to use and will freeze faster when cold.

This is a rich chocolate ice cream. (On a scale of 1-10 the kids gave it 8-9)