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Coconut Lemon Fudge

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I can't say this is as easy as 1, 2, 3 because it's probably easier. Perfect if you're in a rush to make something sweet maybe for the holidays still or whenever you're crunched for time. My mother always started baking cookies and pastries weeks before Christmas and by the time the tree was up and decorated the dining table and the pantry were full of all kinds of seasonal delights. Coconut lemon cookies were always on her list and they were my inspiration for the ingredients used here to create similar flavors in a raw way. What started out as lemon bars resulted in something more like a delicious fudge with a wonderful texture. These melt in your mouth but aren't as sweet as the traditional ones you might be used to so add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter. 

Coconut Lemon Fudge Bars
(Makes 32 bite size squares)
1 cup melted coconut butter
juice of 2 large lemons
4-5 tbsp coconut palm sugar / your favorite sweetener
2 tbsp shredded coconut
4 tbsp coconut flour
optional: add some lemon zest for extra strong lemon flavor

Combine all of the ingredients and press the mixture into a plastic-wrap-lined, flat dish. Place it in the fridge and allow it to set for an hour or two. You'll need a very sharp knife to cut it into cubes before serving. I've told you it was simple!

Happy Holidays!!!

My Favoritessst Smoothie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My favoritest of all so far, I thought I had to share with you so you can reek the benefits too! The outrageously delicious flavor and beyond perfect texture is one thing....the other is how much energy it gives you! I was never a coffee drinker but I hear it wakes people up. ; ) Well, if you want more energy than you know what to do with but with much less caffeine and a bunch of nutrition, then this is for you.
Just in case you're not convinced, here are some added benefits: cacao is full of antioxidants, coconut oil is mainly comprised of the healthy medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), hemp protein contains all amino acids and is very easily assimilated, and maca will give you wings!

High Energy Chocolate Smoothie
2 frozen bananas (slice them before freezing)
1 1/2 cup frozen berries or other fruit
~ 5 ounces (little over half a cup) apple juice / or juice of your choice / or water + some sweetener
2-3 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp hemp protein
1-2 tsp maca powder (use less if you're new to maca)
~ 1 tbsp honey (not vegan!) or your favorite sweetener
optional: pinch of cayenne pepper (which I forgot today and missed it!)

* These ingredients are for a 16 oz. (~ 1/2 liter) glass. To measure the amount of fruit for any serving size you might want to make just fill your glass with frozen fruit, pour it in the blender then fill that glass again about a third way to half way again. This will give you a full glass of smoothie every time.

Blend all the ingredients till smooth. If you have a high speed blender this will be easy but if you have a simple one like me then working with such little juice will be a challenge so help it by mixing it on top while it's running. Be careful so you don't hit the blades. (Of course you could help it by adding more juice too but you won't end up with such a wonderfully thick texture!)

Scrape your blender out so you don't waste a drop. I sometimes wish I could turn mine inside out! : )
Top it off with some cacao nibs and drink it up or eat it with a spoon...that's what I do. 
Make sure you put more bananas in the freezer for tomorrow 'cause you know you'll want more of this.
Enjoy! And you can thank me later : )

Poppy Seed Bars

Monday, December 19, 2011


 I love poppy seeds so much that I really don't need to make them into any kind of special recipe...I simply eat them with a spoon. Yes, I am a poppy seed monster. : ) But I felt like playing around and wanted to create the raw version of something I used to buy a lot in a store in Hungary. There it's called "mákos pite", which translates into "poppy seed pie" but I couldn't imagine anyone would call them "pie" here. If you ever walk into a European pastry shop chances are you will find a selection of pastries and sweets with poppy seeds. I'm not talking about a little bit of whole seeds sprinkled on top of a roll, etc.....no, I mean the "real thing" with piles of black filling that beat chocolate or any other sweets in my world. It has no competition whatsoever. And yes, I have health benefits to add to that because they're incredibly rich in minerals (I highly recommend them if you're anemic). I even took a picture for you that speaks for itself... Poppy seeds are also a complete protein (!) and especially high in oleic and linoleic acids, which is particularly good if you struggle with your cholesterol levels. Rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, these seeds are also soothing to the nerves, and can help you sleep.
I know some of you might freak out and think "what in the world is this???" If you grew up in the U.S. chances are you're used to poppy seeds in very small amounts only in salad dressings or sprinkled on top of bagels. Well, here's your chance to try something new that might just become your new addiction too. : ) Their nutty flavor held my sister and I captive from the time we were able to hold a fork and poppy seed pasta, gnocchi, pastries, etc. were always what we screamed for every time we were asked "What do you girls think we should make for lunch tomorrow?"  

Minerals in 1 ounce of poppy seeds. ~ You'll get more than this in just one bar!*

Poppy Seed Bars
(Makes 8 bars)
1/2 cup agave syrup/honey
little water
You will use some of this for the pastry and some of it for the filling.

For the "pastry" layers:
1 cup quinoa flakes (or rolled oats/barley, etc. if you use any of those)
4 tbsp almond flour (if you can't get almond flour just grind some almonds or use more flakes/rolled oats, etc.)

For the filling:
2 cups ground poppy seeds
pinch of ground vanilla (or vanilla extract)
4 tbsp raisins/currants

1. If you're using honey melt it if necessary because you want is as pourable as possible. Add a couple of tablespoons of water (or nut mylk if you prefer) to it and mix well.
2. Grind the quinoa (or whatever you're using) and mix all the pastry ingredients with just enough of the honey-water to get a crumbly texture, which sticks together and can be pressed into a dish.
3. Mix the filling ingredients with the rest of the honey-water.
4. Line a small dish (mine was about a 3 in x 6 in, which is ~ 7-8 cm x 15 cm) with plastic wrap and, with a spoon, press half of the pastry batter into it followed by the poppy seed mix and finished with the rest of the pastry mix. Press all of them down as hard as you can. Place it in the fridge to settle and harden. It'll be easier to slice and it will hold together better. I cut my batch into 8 bars. Use a really sharp knife and be as gentle as possible...after all, they're not held together by eggs, etc.


I am a little bit shocked by how much these resemble the traditional, baked version. I didn't expect them to come out like that. The truth is, I was planning on recreating a poppy seed filled wafer that is just two very thin layers of wafers filled with tons of poppy seeds. I have no regrets...I think I ended up with something even better and these kinds of pastries definitely have their place on the holiday table....just in time for Christmas. Needless to say, I devoured all of them in a couple of hours... : )
I hope you'll love them too. Enjoy!
If you have questions, just ask!

*Sources: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/203/2

Onion Rings with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just like the ones you're used to...they're crunchy but soft, they're oily but in a satisfying way. Here is one that's not quite quick and not so easy but may be well worth your time and effort! I guess there are two cases when you would "bother to" make these: one is if you really want some onion rings and two, if you have guests coming, especially those that haven't been introduced to raw food, this would be a great finger food or something that would balance out a salad...besides getting them hooked ; ) on raw foods, right? I must say though, making these onion rings will easily result in a huge mess and they're the most delicate things and are so fragile to touch once they're done....but I'll share my trick with you. I've been "suffering" from OCD ever since I can remember and when I was little I was always the one who breaded pieces of chicken - yes, chicken! :(  - or mushrooms or whatever my beloved grandma was getting ready to fry for a Sunday dinner. Here's what I always did and I still remembered to do today: use both hands for breading the rings but make sure to never mix them! Keep one hand for working with the dry mix and one with the wet mix. Also, every time before you transfer a ring from one batter to the other tap it against either the next ring in that bowl or the side of the bowl. That's all! You will not make a huge mess and your mixes will not mix and become something gooey. This makes it possible to coat the onion rings without your fingers ending up three times as big because of batter accumulating on them. So roll up your sleeves and make the batters:

Onion Rings
(Serves 2-3 for a snack)
1 onion (as round as you can find)

Dry batter:
1 1/2 cup flax golden seeds (you might need to make more as it gets harder to coat the rings when     there's hardly any left)
Grind the flax seeds as fine as possible and mix all the ingredients.

Wet batter:
olive oil
Mix oil and water in about a 2 to 1 ratio and add some salt.

1. Slice the onion as thick as you wish (mine are about 1/3-1/2 in or ~1 cm)  and gently separate the slices into rings.
2. Dip each ring into the dry batter first. They will pick up a bit of the flax seed mixture. Then dip them into the wet batter and finish with the dry.
3. Place them on a screen and dehydrate them at 115ºF (46º) until they're crisp. This will take several hours so if you'd like them for a late lunch you could do it early in the morning. If you need them earlier you can make them in the evening and dehydrate them overnight. They can sit on the trays for a day or two without spoiling. I kept mine there for two days and went back to snack on them whenever I felt like it.

I think I would prefer onion rings with some kind of tomato based dip such as ketchup but since it's not tomato season, I made this:

Chipotle Mayo
(Makes about a half a cup)
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 clove of garlic
juice of 2 lemons (or 1 lemon and some water)
splash of nama shoyu (or salt)
splash of umeboshi  vinegar
chipotle powder 

Blend all the ingredients until you get a very smooth consistency. Taste test it and adjust flavoring if necessary. Serve with the onion rings.

Onions have tons of health benefits.  They are a strong anti-inflammatory and can boost your immune system, help get rid of mucus and prevent colds (perfect timing for the winter months when at any given time there's someone with a cold around us, right?). They're also a good anti-coagulant so if you or someone you know were warned to watch your/their cholesterol levels then onions should be on the menu often... Enjoy!

"Roasted" Mushrooms with Fennel Salad

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As you probably know by now, I like to keep it simple. I prefer to spend no more than 20 minutes in the kitchen and still create something delicious.This dish is really quick to prepare but you'll need time to leave it in the dehydrator for a while. It's so delicious though that it's really worth waiting for and your house will smell heavenly! The mushrooms are just like roasted mushrooms and are nicely complemented with a simple salad that is not heavy on dressing or overpowering herbs, etc.
As I mentioned before, mushrooms are incredibly healthy and fennel bulbs are very rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer qualities. They're also a very good source of fiber and some vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C (to boost your immune system), folate (a B vitamin that will help reduce your homocysteine levels and lower your chances of a heart-attack), and potassium (to help  lower high blood pressure). These precious bulbs have other medicinal qualities too. They can improve digestion, help with urinary tract infections (UTI), and even provide relief from migraines! Of course it's always an option to just eat them for their unique flavor...

"Roasted" Mushrooms
(Serves 2-3)
~20 white button or crimini mushrooms
1/4 red onion
2 in sprig of rosemary
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbs nama shoyu (contains soy!)

1. Brush the dirt off the mushrooms, trim the ends of the stems if necessary and quarter each head.
2. Prepare the marinade by mixing the olive oil, shoyu sauce, and a little water.
3. Take the rosemary leaves off the sprig, chop them really fine and mix with the oil and shoyu.
4. Slice the onion and toss everything in a bowl to mix well.
5. Place it all in the dehydrator (leaving them in a relatively flat bowl works best) for a couple of hours at 115ºF (46ºC) and toss them around every 15-20 minutes or so.

Fennel Salad
(Serves 2-3)
1 apple ( I used a Fuji but I think green apples would work really well. Just use your favorite kind or whatever you have available)
1 fennel bulb and some of the feathery top (that looks a lot like dill)
few slices of red onion
2-3 tbsp of walnut oil
dulse flakes
Optional: chopped walnuts, salt & pepper or herbs of your choice

1. Quarter the apple, remove the core, and slice the quarter pieces crosswise and as thin as possible.
2. Slice both the fennel bulb and the onion paper thin (or as thin as you can).
3. In a salad bowl, toss everything with walnut oil, sprinkle with dulse (add salt and pepper if you like) and garnish with some of the feathery parts of the fennel chopped up.

Now the question is, why would you go to a restaurant?

Featured in Funky Raw, UK's raw food magazine

Believe It or Not, I've made Curry!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Going raw shouldn't mean giving up on your favorite cuisines such as Indian, Thai, Mexican, etc., right? I keep experimenting with dishes that I really enjoy and I would love to have from time to time, not to mention adding variety to my daily menu! Speaking of variety, this week was finals week, which means I've been living on tons of nuts and chocolate for days so I'm especially ready for a treat, and I wanted to make a new dish. This was so delicious...I will have to make a second batch tomorrow : )
I've already talked about the health benefits of mushrooms and cilantro but there's a main ingredient in this flavorful bowl that is more than worthy of praise...yes, you guessed right, I'm talking about coconut. Whole coconut, coconut water, coconut butter, coconut oil...it doesn't matter what you consume, they're all very good for you. Coconuts are high in fat, but it's the good kind of saturated fat that's really easy to digest and is readily available for energy. Besides the healthy fat, they have a myraid of other health benefits such as being high in easily digested protein, supporting thyroid health and helping with kidney issues. To top it all, they have antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antifungal properties. Sorry diamonds, coconuts are my best friend!

Warm-You-Up Thai Green Curry
(Ingredients / serving!)
For the marinade:
3-4 crimini mushrooms
1 small baby bok choy
1 green onion or 2 slices of red onion
couple of slices red bell pepper
a pinch of grated ginger 
2 tbsp nama shoyu (this is NOT soy free!)
2 tbsp water
few slices of hot pepper (I used serrano)

For the sauce:
3.5 on (7 tbsp) coconut butter (you will need to melt it!)
1 tsp (or more) Thai green curry paste*
1/4 cup (or as needed) warm water
1 tbsp nama shoyu
1 tsp coconut sugar (or your favorite sweetener)
Optional: little crushed garlic (I didn't add any and it was plenty flavorful without it)

For garnish:
sliced green onion

*I used a paste that comes in a jar and the worst part is that it's loaded with table salt. Well, hopefully there isn't that much in there...it doesn't taste really salty. If you're near a great Asian market where you can get all the ingredients for it then you can make your own paste! Make sure to get some galangal (Thai ginger), lemongrass, and kaffir lime.

1. Slice thinly or chop all of the marinade ingredients (or whatever vegetables you may be using) and place them in a bowl. Mix them with the shoyu sauce and water and place the bowl in the dehydrator to warm for a couple of hours or as much time as you have on hand. If your coconut butter is in solid state then put that in the dehydrator (in a separate bowl) as well to let it melt.
2. Once the butter is melted you can make the curry base by mixing all the sauce ingredients. Do a taste test and add shoyu, sweetener, etc. if necessary.
3. Add the sauce to the marinade and stick it back in the dehydrator for a while.
4. Garnish with cilantro and/or green onions just before serving.
5. Thank the universe for all the wonderful ingredients : )

Chips and Dips

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yes, that is the true color of these chips. They're not the product of photoshop or any kind of other trick. Nope, they're nature's magic! Aren't they BEAUTIFUL!? Purple corn doesn't just have the most gorgeous color but it comes with amazingly powerful antioxidants too...as you might have guessed!
Most of us have been told that berries, especially blueberries, have the highest antioxidant content...that is until superfoods came along. But a lot of sources claim that purple corn tops the list in the department! I don't know about you but I was sold by the color itself and after hearing about the health benefits I pretty much wanted purple corn to be one of my staples. These chips are so savory and a great snack by themselves, or with a dip, or as crackers for a soup, or with any spread next to a salad, etc...
Take note: this recipe requires some planning because the corn needs to be soaked at least overnight (I soaked mine for two days though because I couldn't get around to making them so there's no such thing as oversoaking)!

Purple Corn Chips/Crackers
(Makes about the same amount as a medium size bag of chips)
1 cup purple corn (I used dry kernels that you'll probably find in the bulk section of your store)
1/4 cup flax seeds
2-3 tbsp hemp seeds
2-3 tbsp sesame seeds
few slices of red bell pepper
1/2 jalapeno
1 green onion (or a chunk of any kind of onion)
juice of half a lime
~ 1/4 cup (or as needed) of water/soaking liquid
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
optional: cayenne pepper or any other spice you may wish to add

1. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and make a spreadable batter adding as much soaking liquid/water as needed for the desired consistency. A dryer paste is harder to spread but takes a shorter amount of time to dehydrate and of course the wetter the mixture is the easier it is to handle but the longer it takes to end up with chips. 
2. Spread the mixture evenly on a teflex sheet and score them to your liking. The amount for this recipe fit on one sheet exactly and I got fairly thick chips that way, which were perfect for dipping..
3. Dehydrate at 115 ˚F (46˚C) for a couple of hours and then turn them and dehydrate them for another 3 to 4 hours, depending on your batter. They're the best fresh out of the "oven"!
....while the crackers are turning crisp you have plenty of time to make a dip:

Creamy Cashew-Lemon Dip*
(Makes almost a cup)
juice of 2 lemons (or 1 and add extra water)
1 small clove of garlic
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
splash of umeboshi plum vinegar
~ 1/4 tsp salt
water as needed for a smooth and creamy consistency
*Add spices and herbs of your choice to get something similar to the popular "Ranch" flavor.
  Add extra water to make it into salad dressing.

Blend all the ingredients until very smooth. Taste test and add salt, etc. Blend again if you added anything and you're done...

These chips are incredibly yummy, full of antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory qualities, and on the long list of benefits are also cancer-fighting qualities, the ability to lower blood pressure and help those with diabetes or people who struggle with obesity...oh and have I mentioned they're pretty and RAW?

The chips/crackers would keep for quite a while in a container if you had any leftovers.
If you have some of the dip left you can save it in the fridge for a few days.