Sunday, May 25

Raw, raw ...

Raw food recipes

In the 21st century, food techniques have become so broad and some of the preparation methods so extravagant that they don't even resemble simple regular cooking methods anymore. For instance, Molecular Gastronomy - in other words, experimental food science - is pretty incomprehensible and almost not possible to perform in a regular household. However, while so much was modernizing, some culinary arts were going back to almost prehistoric times. As pollution and and nutrition became closely related and the intake of nutrients minimized in the last fifty years, a new concept emerged - raw food. 
The raw food diet started in newest chapter of history. In the 19th century it was used as a way of healing illnesses, like cholera in USA, but was soon accepted after that as a legitimate healing and recovering treatment in Swizerland

As oppose to trying to explain the entire history of this diet, I will try to give you variety of recipes to try and prove to some of skeptics out there that this food preparation can also produce very tasty and flavorful food. Most of the people today have the opinion that what is healthy cannot taste good. I think that this "brainwashing" is just a product of the fast-paced life, which is lived today, as well as a product of people being "chained" to big fast food-chain corporations, which have succeeded in their goal of selling more by using artificial additives  in their food preparation.

I was inspired to look into the raw food realm by one of my coworkers, a young girl, that made some great desserts this way, so I started to explore more...
Whether you just want a change, or if you need to do it for your health, I have picked up some ideas from my friend Leanna, the web, and books. Here are my choices:

TIP: As you start preparing raw food meals, you’ll soon realize that ingredients are just a guide and approximate, and that your major conductor should be your own taste buds.

TOOLS:In Raw food preparation, it's useful but not mandatory to have these few preparatory tools: Spiralizer and Dehydrator, and of course food processor. But don't worry if you don't have them, spiralizer can be easily replaced by regular grater, dehydrator with ordinary oven and food processor with blender or even coffee grinder to grind all those nuts and seeds.

Have fun and enjoy your healthy, light raw meals!

Raw Pasta Primavera:

Pasta described here consists of veggie noodles and uncooked blended sauce made of tomatoes, spinach or similar. For the noodles you can use any type of long vegetables like zucchini, squash, even   
Zucchini - 2 medium-sized, possibly spiralized or grated into strips like linguine 

Marinara Sauce:

1 cups Field fresh Tomatoes 
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
3 Sun-Dried Tomatoes in oil
½ Red Bell Pepper
¼ cup cashews or walnuts
3 Garlic cloves
¼ cup Fresh Basil
1 tsp dry oregano
Sea Salt - To taste
Fresh ground black pepper - To taste
Chili flakes - pinch or more if you like spicy

Leanna’s pesto sauce:

If you prefer more, green pesto type sauce, try this sauce:

1/2 avocado
Juice from 1 small lemon
1/4 cup walnuts
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Small handful of fresh basil
Two big fistfuls of fresh spinach

Blend until smooth (Serves 2-4).

Spiralize or grate zucchini into linguine style strips and set aside.
Add all ingredients for a sauce into blender and blend until smooth. Pour over your zucchini pasta and sprinkle with some basil or oregano.

Raw crackers

1 cup flaxseed
water, as needed
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 tbsp capers

dried oregano
1/4 cup hemp, chia, sesame seeds mix
1 tbsp chopped olives, to taste
sweet paprika or chili powder for spicy crackers
The night before soak the flax seeds, covering them with water. The following day coarsely grind them in blender, to get a “sticky”mixture. Rinse the capers and soften the sun-dried tomatoes, then blend them with olives, seeds. Combine the 2 mixtures, add spices to your taste and roll the “dough” on a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Cut the dough with a wet spatula. Let crackers dry for at least 6 hours, turn crackers over when they get solid and detach from the baking paper.

Raw Pad Thai
If you like Asian flavor in your raw food diet, this one is for you:

1 Squash grated into strips
½ broccoli chopped
100 grams bean sprouts
1 red pepper
2 cups cashews (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp crushed ginger
1 crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
pinch of  chili flakes or more for more spicy taste
Chopped roasted peanuts 

Run all ingredients in the blender to smooth the sauce and pour over grated squash. Add broccoli and bean sprouts and chopped pepper with a palm of chopped peanuts and coriander.
I added some tuna on top as well.


Raw Lasagna Marinara
Principle is same like for pasta – instead of wheat noodles use layers of zucchini or squash. For the filling use vegetables and tomato sauce - uncooked and replace cheese with cashew mix. Walnut mix can be replacement for ground meat.

Lasagna noodles:
1-2 zucchinis or squash

Cashew cheese:
1/2 cup cashews soaked overnight in water, drained
¼ cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsps dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Water, as needed

Pesto sauce 1.

Sun-dried tomato and broccoli pesto:

1/2 head of broccoli
2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes in oil 
Bunch of fresh basil
Salt, pepper and dried herbs, to taste
Water, as needed

Pesto sauce 2.
Use Leanna's pesto recipe from previous Pasta recipe 

Other layering:
Chopped Mushrooms/Tomatoes etc

Walnut filling:
11/2 cups walnuts, soaked overnight in fridge, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 tbsp of dry Herbs de Provence (thyme, sage, rosemary, basil etc..)

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

For noodles: slice the zucchini on a mandolin, or very thinly with a sharp knife. Set aside.
For the cheese: blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth and thick, adding as little water as possible. Set aside.
For the pesto: blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth and thick, adding as little water as possible.
Assembly: layer the noodles with the pesto, cheese , chopped vegetables and walnut filling, alternating as you go.

Raw pizza with seed crust, pesto and veggies:
It’s good to have dehydrator for this recipe but you can make it by using oven as well.

1/4 cup hemp seeds,
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cashews
1 tsp salt & pepper
2 tsps dried basil or fresh
1 tbsp water, as needed
1/4 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves

Spinach pesto:
3 cups spinach
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1 peeled garlic clove
salt & pepper
water, as needed
3  tbsp olive oil

1 Portobello mushroom
1 bell pepper
1 tomato 
1 tsp oregano/basil dry mix

For the crust: pulse all ingredients in the food processor until it sticks and shape two pizza crusts shapes with your hands . Place it or special tray to dehydrate. If using oven, cook the crusts on a parchment paper at the lowest temperature for 4-5 hours,  until dry and crispy. 

For the pesto: Process all ingredients in food processor to smooth pesto consistency. 

Cut veggies into thin slices and mix in with herb blend.  You can marinate them in  oven  until they soft. 
After the crusts are finished, spread the pesto over and cover with soft  veggies.


Raw desserts

Maybe main meals were not your type of food and taste, raw wholesome  uncooked dessert will change your mind completely. They can actually bring out some flavors hard to achieve with cooking. You’ll be surprised!

Date biscuits

Dough ingredients:
¾ cup ground almonds
¾ cup of coconut flakes
2 tbsp of ground chia seeds
¼ cup agave nectar/maple syrup/honey
A pinch of salt
½ cup dried figs
½ cup dates
Orange zest of one orange

Mix in processor figs and dates. Add orange zest after mixing
To make the dough, mix dry ingredients before adding the maple syrup or agave nectar.  If the dough still really too sticky, sprinkle a little more ground coconut.
Roll the dough on a board or paper sprinkled with ground coconut. Spread prepared filling in a middle of dough and roll or flip to get “sandwich” of coconut dough. Roll it to get firm and compact “sausage”.
Cut into cookies. Let them stand  an hour or two at room temperature before serving so they have time to firm up a bit.

Chilli chocolate truffles
1 cup roasted grind hazelnuts + 25 whole roasted hazelnuts
½ cup dates chopped or mashed
½ cup walnuts
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp goji berries
1 tsp of maca powder (optional)
pinch of cinnamon
A little cayenne (if you don’t like spicy your truffles, leave cayenne out)

Grind hazelnut in food processor until fine powder and set aside. 
In a food processor puree now walnuts, dates, vanilla, salt. Add the puree and 3 tbsp cocoa in bowl with powdered hazelnuts. Mix all ingredients by hand.Shape small truffles and stuff each with a whole roasted hazelnut in the center.
Coat them in goji coating:
To make the coating, pulse goji berries in food processor and add other ingredients of the coating: maca, cinnamon and cayenne.
Keep in the fridge until serving.

Lavender ice cream with dark chocolate:

2 cups soaked raw cashews (in water over night)
Coconut meat from 2 young coconuts (1-2 cups)
1 cup of water
1 cup agave/honey/maple syrup
Seeds from vanilla bean
2 Tb vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
3 tsps dried lavender
1 bar (100 g) of dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
1tbsp lemon/lime juice (optional)

Blend all ingredients except coconut oil and chocolate in your blender until smooth and creamy. Add in the coconut oil and blend with the chocolate chunks. 
Feel free to add some lemon/lime juice to this if you like pinch of citrus taste in your ice-cream..
I you have an ice cream maker use that, if not, place your bowl in the freezer and stir every 30 or 60 minutes until it's solid.

Pistachio bars
1 cup pistachio
¼ cup whole sesame seeds
¼ cup honey
5 ml dry rose petals ground
½ tsp rose water
Grapefruit zest
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped with a knife

Blend in food processor all ingredients except grapefruit zest. In a bowl mix the powder with almond meal and grapefruit zest. Add honey and mix with your hands until the mixture is smooth and you can form a ball of dough!
Leave in the fridge for an hour.
Take it out and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to form a rectangle of dough to a thickness of about 1 cm.
Then cut the rectangle in half and spread coarsely chopped pistachios on one of the two halves.
Press second dough sheet over and cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars.

Leanna’s “Nanaimo” bars:
2 Cups Walnuts
2 ½ Cups Medjool Dates, pitted
1 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
For the Frosting:
2 Cups Raw Cashews, soaked, unsalted
4 Medjool Dates, pitted (more or less depending on your desired sweetness)
Shredded Coconut, to taste

For raw chocolate glaze:
3/4 cup coconut oil  - not in a hard form but more liquid (keep it in a room temperature)
3/4 cup   maple syrup
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the base: Blend walnuts in food processor until finely ground, then add in the dates one at a time. Add in Cacao powder until evenly incorporated. Press the dough into an 8x8 pan and refrigerate
For the frosting: Combine all ingredients in food processor until creamy. Spread a thick layer of frosting evenly over the base and top as desired with shredded coconut  or/and chocolate chips or if you will put chocolate glaze over, then top with coconut and chocolate chips over the glaze.
For the raw chocolate glaze: Mix all raw chocolates recipe ingredients together in a blender or with a whisk until smooth.

Leanna's Peanut Butter Raw Cookies

1/4 cup of chickpeas
1 cup almond meal
2 tbsp natural sweetener like xylitol, agave syrup, honey or ground dates
3 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together in a processor or blender except chocolate chips. When blended well, add dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Shape cookies or make large square of the mass that you will cut into brownies and place them in a pan and freeze for 20-25 mins. You can make 6-8 pieces from this dough.

TWIST: If you prefer other taste then peanut, replace it with hazelnut or almond or other nut  butter.

Raw Chocolate Macaroons
(for about 15 macaroons)

1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 1/2 dried unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup agave nectar or other healthy sweetener
2 tsp coconut palm sugar
2 tbs coconut oil
1,5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Blend all the ingredients in a bowl and stir it well to combine. Use an ice cream scoop or large tablespoon to shape the macaroons on a baking sheet or other silicon sheet. Dehydrate it on 105 – 115 degrees in the oven for 12 to 18 hours. It should be a bit crisp on the outside.

Chocolate hazelnut caramel bars

1 cup hazelnuts or use hazelnut butter
¼ cup almond meal
1/2 cup dates

½ cup cashew butter
½ cup coconut oil
1/2 cup dates

Chocolate cream:
1/3 cup coconut oil
4  tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
¼ cup preferred honey or agave syrup

For the crust: process the hazelnuts in food processor, then add the dates and process until it all begins to stick together. Make square by pressing the mass into the bottom of baking pan and refrigerate.
For the caramel and chocolate layers: just blend the ingredients until smooth. You can add other flavors like vanilla, orange, chili , etc. Spread the caramel over the crust, followed by the chocolate cream. Refrigerate until is completely set, over night and cut into bars.

Banana chocolate caramel ice cream cake:

Crust (optional):
1 cup hazelnuts/almonds
1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp cashew butter

Chocolate pudding:
1 avocado
1/4 cup cacao
1 tsp coconut oil
½ cup dates

Banana ice cream:
3 frozen bananas
seeds of one vanilla pod

The crust: In  food processor ground nuts for a short time and then add the dates and process until combined. Press into the bottom of a pan and set aside.
The caramel: process the ingredients in your food processor until smooth.
For the ice cream: blend the bananas and vanilla in food processor until smooth. It may take a minute until it changes into ice cream, so be ready.
To assemble the cake: spread the banana ice cream over prepared  crust and then spread the caramel overt, mixing it into the ice cream a bit with a spatula. Then spread the chocolate pudding over this and put in the freezer overnight.

Super food balls with cacao:
You can adjust amount of ingredients, it’s important to get dry and firm mass that you can shape into balls or bars:

1 cup walnuts/hazelnuts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut flakes 
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup prunes/peaches and other dry fruits
1/2 cup dates 
1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil, if needed

Throw the dry ingredients (keep a little bit of each ingredient-chopped,  to add at the end) in your food processor, then add dry fruits and process until everything it starts to stick together. If too dry, add more dates or coconut oil. Put in the remaining chopped dry ingredients you left out to mix in with hands. Make balls and store for up to one week or press into a lined pan and set in the fridge until is firm.

Raw Carrot cake with Lime frosting
or raw carrot balls

Cashew lemon frosting:
1 1/2 cups cashews
Juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Water, as needed

Carrot cake:
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 cups oats
1 cups dates
1 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon

Frosting: blend all ingredients in blender until smooth, add water if needed. Refrigerate.

For the cake: blend the oats in food processor until powder, add other ingredients and process until it all begins to stick together.

To assemble: Make two round cake layers and freeze them until they firm. You can shape them with your hands or by pressing two halves of the cake mixtures into a two small round pans and taking them out and freezing on separate plates. Spread 1/2 of the frosting on the top of one and then other ½ on top of second cake layer. Freeze it to set frosting and later you can move it and set in the fridge overnight. 

Instead of making a cake you can just form balls from the cake mixture and if desired, dip into cashew frosting later.

More about the Raw food diet as well as some recipes here:
Clean Eating Survival Guide

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