Posts tagged no bake
My top #Rawgust meal ideas & raw banana bread recipe!

It's coming up to the end of the month. The end of August.... and therefore the end of #Rawgust

I didn't announce it directly on my blog (kept that to social media) but I made the decision on the last day of their life to give Raugust a go - that's raw vegan for the month of August. My boyfriend was also up for playing along which helped!

RAWGUST.jpg

I felt very unprepared and aware that it may not run perfectly or smoothly but that's ok. It was the spontaneity that spoke to me in the moment when I saw a post by the Ethcs crew that I really resonated with.

Having spent time at Raw Fest on the last weekend of July, and more recently exploring the connection between a plant-based diet and our innate sense of creativity for my forthcoming book, I am learning that a raw vegan diet has the potential to bring you even closer to that connection with self, with source, with nature.

My good friend Rhiannon Van Der Griffin recently shared her raw journey with me a part of my book research and I was inspired more than ever to try it for myself. 

In moments like this I come back to this quote by Matt Cutts. It's simply about getting curious to explore what becoming the very best version of you could look like. For 30 days.

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So how did the month play out for me?

NOTE: more in depth update in this post!

Well, I admit I wasn't perfect. I wasn't 100% raw. Probably about 85% in reality. 

One of the biggest reasons for wanting to do it, was to increase my repertoire of raw meal ideas for the future, and that I did for sure. In particular, raw sauces, dips and dressings for salads can REALLY make a salad.... it doesn't often matter what veggies you have in the bowl if you have an incredible sauce to smoother them in, right? ;-) Make enough for the week and you have easy meals lunches you can make in moments. 

I am going to put together a separate post sharing a big roundup of raw recipes from a vegan community I am part of, but for now I'd like to share a few of my favourite discoveries and tips.

I'd also love to hear about your own 'raw' adventures...

Whether that might simply be incorporating a green smoothie each day, or a raw lunch Monday to Friday, or more raw snacks. It's not about hitting 100% perfect, what works for you?

Have you felt any benefits going more 'raw'? Or what are you currently struggling with?

My favourite things to make...

  • Raw sauces etc (as noted above) - make a weeks worth.

  • Deyhdrated flax crackers which are great as a snack in the go, as cracker as a 'bread substitute' and also as croutons in a salad when sliced into tiny squares- recipe here

  • Bliss Balls are also an obvious go-to, BUT I did have a tendency to eat a lot of them and then be too full for a massive salad- ooops!

  • Courgetti- spiralised courrgette and carrot for a fun pretty bowl. Also great with the chunky bolognaise- see pic above - recipe to come.

  • Smoothies of all kinds - green, berry or banana and raw cacao for a chocolate hit!

  • Overnight oats - this one is a little contentious as to whether it's actually raw, since rolled porridge oats are technically heated in the rolling process. But this was often nice to wake up to instead of smoothie or fruit bowl in the morning, or as lunch on the go.

  • Mushroom curry - so easy and so good (see pic above) based on this recipe using cashews.

  • Lettuce wraps with a peanut satay dipping sauce (technical the peanut butter component wasn't raw) note: gem lettuce leaves work best- those in the picture were from my veggie patch.

Still a few more days of #Rawgust to go, so I will see what creations catch my eye- I will be back with more raw recipes here soon!

For now, I'll leave you with this recipe for a raw banana bread... I totally made this up as I went along, but it worked so well as a spin-off on a bliss ball style creation.

raw banana bread rawgust.jpg

Recipe: Raw Banana Bread Slice

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas

  • 2 tbs flax seed

  • 1 cup dates

  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup nuts- chopped (I used macadamias*)

  • 1/2 cup nuts- ground (I used pecans*)

  • pinch salt

* I loved the flavour and texture of the chunky macadamia pieces, but I imagine cashews or almond would also work well. Any ground nut could be used.

If you want a more intense 'double banana' flavour, try using dried banana pieces (not banana chips) instead of dates - or half and half.

Method:

Blend the banana with the flax, cinnamon and dates until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well to form a stiff slightly sticky 'dough'. (I pulsed the mix together in a food processor but you could do it by hand). 

Form into a log on a liner and chill for at least an hour to firm up. Once firm slice into pieces and serve. Store in the fridge for up to a week. This freezes well too.

NOTE: It makes about three times the amount shown, but I gifted most of it to my boyfriend before I had a chance to shoot it ;-)

raw banana bread rawgust.jpg
 

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Chocolate Crispy Cake 'Bliss Bars'

So here's a super simple recipe that I first made a month or two ago and I think I have now made at least 4 times since! It's a great one to make with or for kids too.

They are soooooo moreish it's unreal.... a soft and chewy 'bliss ball' texture with loads of crispy flakes mixed through.

The added bonus with the high proportion of flakes mixed in is that it helps lighten up an otherwise dense snack... that's the only problem with bliss balls/energy balls- they are very dense for their size and if like me you have a tendency to 'eat with your eyes' - it's very easy to overdo it!

crispy cake raw bars 1a.jpg

Guilty admission- as I sit here writing this post, I have a box of these bites beside to take on a road trip with a friend this afternoon, BUT I have already munched through the about four of them! Oooops.... ;-)

This most recent batch I made had protein powder added instead of the coconut flakes. This really helps bump up the protein count, if that's your thing for for it. One tip- I found they flavour was so much better the following day- on day 1 I could slightly taste the protein powder but by the second day onwards it had pretty much disappeared as the flavours had time to meld.

You can use any type of crispy flaked cereal you like, but for extra nutritional value I used these amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat cornflakes by RealFoodSource (amaranth is shown in the photos here) 

You can press the mix into a square pan and cut into squares/bars or roll into balls, both work great. They freeze well too, and can even be munch o straight from the feeezer (mind your teeth- you may prefer to defrost a little!)

Add any 'mix-ins' you fancy, some other dried fruits, nutty chunks or an extract such as peppermint, orange or almond always go down well. If using an extract- about 1/2 tsp should do mixed in at the start, with other ingredients pulse through at theed for a chunky texture.

crispy cake raw bars 3a.jpg

Recipe: Chocolate Crispy Cake 'Bliss Bars'

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped dates

  • 1/2 cup cocoa (or raw cacao)

  • 1/4 cup ground flax (optional but I like the hidden nutritional boost)

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (or any ground nut)*

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 cup flakes cereal

handful chocolate chips or cacoa nibs- optional for extra crunch and chocolateyness

* for the protein version I swapped the ground nuts for defatted almond protein powder- you favorite neutral protein blend would also work here.

Method:

Place the dates, cocoa, flax, nuts and salt in a food processor. process until you have a soft-ish, sticky and clumpy mix- you will likely need to add 2-3 tbs water to create the right consistency.

Add the cereal flakes and choc chips (if using) and pulse through to mix in evenly.

Press firmly into a tin or roll into balls, Chill for an hour until firm.

Will keep for a week or two in the fridge or you can freeze them.

crispy cake raw bars 2a.jpg
crispy cake raw bars 4a.jpg

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding (with medicinal mushrooms!)

I have been adding medicinal mushroom powder to everything recently- well mainly anything chocolatey as the colour and flavours are perfect masked!

I bought a selection of organic medicinal mushroom powders from here and mixed them together into one blend tub which I keep in the fridge. I like to have a teaspoon a day in a chocolatey dessert or as hot drink with some cocoa and/or vanilla bean.

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

There are many reported benefits of medicinal mushrooms... I was first intrigued by the articles I read up on how mushrooms could help with focus (something I really struggle with as my creative brain fires off on all tangents!) I had also been aware of them at many health food shows but hadn't really explored them at that point. 

There are estimated to be over 5 million different species of mushrooms, yet only 270 are currently classified as ‘medicinal’ with their potent anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and immune-enhancing qualities. Some of the most popular are reishi, chaga and cordyceps- which are the three types I have.

This pudding recipe is a spin on a classic avocado chocolate pudding, and in putting this post together I realised I didn't actually have any other form of avocado pudding on this blog - every vegan food blogger has an avocado pudding!! ;-) (Now I do too!)

This recipe serves one (or two smaller servings), but I have also tried it with great success by multiplying and making a huge batch of pudding mix then freezing in muffin cups- perfect pudding portions at the ready!

You could mix other mild favoured superfood powders in if your preferred- such as maca or baobab or leave them out all together.

Bonus- this recipe only takes two minutes to blend up!

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Medicinal Mushrooms

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding with medicinal mushrooms

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado

  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (approx 3-4)

  • 3 tbs raw cacao (or cocoa powder)

  • 1 heaped tsp cashew or macadamia butter*

  • 1/2 cup water*

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (optional)

  • Tiny pinch of sea salt

  • Approx. 1 tsp maple syrup - only if needed

* You could also substitute the nut butter and water with 1/2 cup coconut milk.

Method:

Blitz all together in a small food processor/blender until super smooth. Taste and add a tiny drop of maple syrup if extra sweetness is desired. Spoon into a serving bowl and allow to chill a little to set if desired. 

I served mine with crushed frozen raspberry pieces and desiccated coconut. You could also add an extra layer of fruit at the bottom of the serving bowl.

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Medicinal Mushrooms

 

 

 

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Chocolate Biscuity Tiffin (p.s great Fathers Day gift!)

I made these treats a few week back and they were so incredibly good, but I didn't take photos! I made another batch (with a tweaked recipe) the following weekend! I used the excuse that they were a recipe test ahead of Fathers Day... but in all honesty it was just an excuse to eat more tiffin.. and take photos!

I suddenly realised Fathers Day was just a few days away... but these are so simply hopefull you still have time to make them. The only specialist ingredient is the almond flour, and you do need fine almond flour (not just ground almonds) as this is what creates the texture. I buy this flour from Real Food Source but other health shops should stock it (just make sure it isn't whole ground almonds as sometimes the wording on the pack can be misleading).

The tiffin biscuit chunks are actually not a new recipe as I have used them top top these strawberry shortcake parfaits and also this 5-minute fruit crumble... but I had never thought to cover them in chocolate!  I highly recommend you try it as it is such a simple concept and so versatile.

The first batch was literally just the biscuity chunks and dried fruit covered in dark chocolate (and I forgot to photograph them properly). But then I wondered whether having a softer base surrounding the biscuit might be more authentic so I made a variation to incorporate this (shown just below).  Both options were great!  If you do the latter be careful not to make the base to soft as it might fall apart. I kept mine in the fridge so that it was firmer. 

If you are pushed for time go for the first option! It literally takes about 10-15 mins.

Tiffin with softer base and chocolate over the top.

Tiffin with softer base and chocolate over the top.

Tiffin with just melted chocolate (apologies for rubbish quality iPhone pic!)

Tiffin with just melted chocolate (apologies for rubbish quality iPhone pic!)

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuity Tiffin Slices

Ingredients:

Biscuit chunks:

  • 1/2 cup fine almond flour 
  • 2 tbs agave syrup (or syrup of choice)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (soft but not melted)
  • pinch of salt
  • a touch of water (approx 1tbs) 

Plus:

  • approx. 1/2 cup dried berries - I used cherries, cranberries and sultanas
  • 1/2 cup worth (approx 100g) dark chocolate (maybe less if you are just using it for a thin topping)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (this helps the pouring consistency of the melted chocolate)

Softer base (optional):

  • 1/4 cup cashew or almond butter (could use peanut butter but would have a stronger flavour)
  • 1/2 cup dates (soaked for a few mins and drained)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil- melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Method:

For the biscuit, combine all ingredients using your fingers (as if making pastry) to form small crumbs then grab fistfuls of the mix to bind together and break off small globs. Add a touch of water (if needed) to help it stick together a little better.

Lay the chunks evenly on a baking sheet and bake the for 5-6 minutes until they begin to go golden- note it wont take long at all so keep a close eye! 

(Only if making the base) Meanwhile combine all the ingredients and blend in a food processor- you should have very thick smooth paste. Smooth this evenly into the bottom of a smallish cake tin (it should be approx 1xm thick).  When the biscuit is cooked allow to cool a little and then press lightly into the base along with the dried fruit. 

(If not making the base) place the biscuit chunks in the bootom of a smallish cake pan and mix the dried fruit in evenly. There mix should cover the pan generously with only small gaps - so use a smaller pan if needed (or double the recipe).

Pour the melted chocolate over the top in a thick even layer. Allow to set in the fridge before slicing and serving. 

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuity Tiffin Slices
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Bliss Balls of Delight!

I made these a few moments ago and they are so amazingly delicious that I had to share since they would make the perfect last minutes Valentines treat... or a perfect way to show some love any day if the year!

every balls bliss balls turkish delight

Best bit... they only take 10 mins from start to finish. Winner!

These are like chocolate bliss balls crossed with Turkish Delight. Rich yet light and delicate. The beetroot dusted coating gives the perfect finish and a hint of subtly sweet and earthy flavour.  

To be honest of you dont have the beet powder, you can omit it- they just wont look so passionate! ;-)

Make a big batch as they'll keep well in the fridge/freezer for a few weeks. Perfect gifted in cellophane bags with a ribbon round the top too!

every balls bliss balls turkish delight

Recipe: Bliss Balls of Delight!

Makes approx 12-16

Ingredients:

  • 2 packed cups dates
  • 1 cup finely ground nuts (I used a mix of almonds, macadamia and flaked coconut)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa or raw cacao
  • 2 tsp rosewater (or more/less to taste)
  • 2 tbs beetroot powder
  • approx. 3 tbs water
  • To decorate: 2 tbs desiccated coconut and 1 tbs beetroot powder

Method:

Add the nuts to a processor and blitz until finely ground. Add all remaining ingredients except the water and continue to process until beginning to get sticky, and the water and process for a few more seconds until the mixture is very sticky and clumpy.  

Using your hands roll into balls and dust in the beet covered dessicated coconut. Allow to chill in the fridge to fully firm up. 

every balls bliss balls turkish delight
every balls bliss balls turkish delight
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No-Bake Choc Berry Beet Balls!

I am in love with beetroot power! Aside from the fact it looks super cool with it's bright red colour, it imparts a sweetness to recipes and well as a nutritional boost. Beetroot juice is known to be great for our blood, athletes love it as a pre-work out.

chocolate beetroot energy balls

In relation to other so called 'superfoods' beetroot power is actually pretty economically priced, another winner in my view. I mix it into smoothies and porridge but here I have used it as a coating for these chocolate berry balls (you could make other flavours such as choc orange).

I thought they were quite halloweeny or even Christmassy... even though I am trying to resist thinking about Christmas- I imagine they would look awesome in a bowl alongside some spiralling covered chocolate balls! ha ha

What are you plans for Halloween... will you be celebrating?

chocolate beetroot energy balls

Recipe: Choc Berry Beet Balls

Makes approx 15 balls

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup packed dates
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1 cup cashews or almonds
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup beet powder (plus extra to coat)
  • ½ tsp cherry extract (or sub for orange extract is that’s more your thing)

Method:

Blend all ingredients together in food processor until you have a slightly sticky well blended mix.

Roll into walnut sized balls with your and dust in the beet powder. Allow to chill in the fridge to firm.

chocolate beetroot energy balls
chocolate beetroot energy balls
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Halloween Chocolate Tiffin!

I originally made this Chocolate tiffin recipe in the run up to Christmas last year and I've recreated a Halloween themed version for Real Food Source using many of their ingredients.

Halloween Chocolate Tiffin!

It was a winning recipe back then and now it's gone even healthier with a green frosting in place of the dark chocolate topping. I put this question out on my Instagram page and on Facebook…

What makes it so green?

I had a few guesses and the answer is… Wheatgrass powder!  I blended it with coconut oil to get the firmer texture once chilled and cashew butter for a creamy richness plus a little coconut syrup and vanilla bean for sweetness and flavour. You can't taste the wheatgrass once it's slathered over this beautiful chocolate base, I promise! You could probably use any greens powder such of spirulina or chlorella if you have those instead of wheatgrass, but I haven't tested those.

It's a no-bake recipe and that's always a winner, it's perfect for making with children too!

 

Head over to Real Rood Source to find the full recipe here!

Halloween Chocolate Tiffin!
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Easy raw chocolate brownies

Guess what... it's national chocolate week! Time for a little celebration with a new recipe I think! 

I wanted to give you an indulgent chocolatey classic, yet something easy to whip up in minutes.

I have just the thing.  Actually it's a spin on these chocolate balls which are always a winner with people whenever I make them and so  a pressed a sliced version was a nice alternative. For some reasons changing the format of things always makes them taste different! I always remember when I was younger how much more I loved Maltersers in the cardboard box compared to in the regular packets! (anyone agree or am I just a weirdo!!)

You could add walnuts here for an even more authentic brownie if you fancy. I dusted the top with a raw cacao and coconut sugar blend.

Eve though they are not baked, these slices have a beautiful cake like quality to them, deeply rich, slightly crumbly and melt in the mouth. Keep them in the fridge and they'll stay more robust. They also freeze very well too not that they'll be around for long enough!

Easy raw chocolate brownies

Recipe: Easy raw chocolate brownies

Ingredients: 

Makes approx. 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup almond or cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut syrup
  • 12 pitted dates( based on deglet noor dates but if using larger medjool dates reduce to 7 dates)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacoa powder (plus extra raw cacao to dust- optional)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

Soak the dates in hot water for 5 mins and then drain. In a food processor, process all the truffle ingredients together to form a thick paste, it should be sticky but not to sticky to handle. Add the walnuts to the mix last and stir through by hand (or a couple of pulses) so they don[t break up too much.

Press the mix firmly into a lined 8" square pan. Dust the top with cacao if desired. Chill until firm before slicing. Keep in the fridge.

Easy raw chocolate brownies
Easy raw chocolate brownies
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