Coconut Persimmon Flan with Strawberry, Mango, and Banana Salsa (raw)
Young Thai coconut has to be my all time favorite ‘raw food’ ingredient. It’s so versatile; you can use it in sweet or savory recipes. I tend to have a sweet tooth, so I end up using it mostly for puddings, flan, or tart fillings.
The only thing I hate is the labor involved in hacking the coconuts open, scraping out the meat, and cleaning it. There’s just no easy way about it. Other that that, they’re great! I’ve experimented with several different knives. I destroyed my very expensive Viking cleaver- it worked, but the blade is too thin. I tried a couple of those cheap Chinese cleavers, but they don’t seem to be sharp enough. The guys at Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago (www.futurechef.com) came up with the solution- a heavy-duty cleaver that I think they use for chopping off fish heads (gross, I know). It was either that or a machete, and that would have just been too crazy.
This recipe makes enough crust for abut 10 tarts if you are using 4 1/2-inch shells. At the restaurant we use 3-inch shells, which are a nice size for a small dessert. Smooth-sided tart shells work best for this recipe, but any kind will do. If you try making a large tart, the crust should be a bit thicker to withstand the pressure of removing it from the shell or using a tart ring would work well too. As with the sour cherry tart, the recipe calls for both coarse and fine almond flour. Again, you can just grind the almonds and use 3 cups total, rather than separating between the coarse and fine crumbs. However, to make a slightly more refined crust, you may want to sift through the nut crumbs to remove any larger pieces – either way it will taste the same.
Try also serving it with the Vanilla Cream and spiced pinch of ground ginger.
Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles with ginger and lime (raw)
Peanuts are technically a legume, although you wouldn’t necessarily think so considering someone misleadingly named them “peanuts.” Make sure you get really fresh, organically grown peanuts. Some debate persists about peanuts having toxicity, but it seems this may be from peanuts that are too old; at any rate, most toxins and other undesirables are washed away in the soaking process. However, if you don’t feel comfortable eating peanuts, try this with cashews.
"One of our chefs, Amanda, helped us turn this idea into a really great, flavorful dish. The flesh of young Thai coconuts makes perfect noodles — although they are soft, they do not stick together and are as easy or easier to eat then regular starchy noodles."
True story: I got a call last week from the Food Network of all places. There is/was a contest going on called the Ultimate Recipe Contest- basically looking for the best recipe in six different categories (chicken, pasta, comfort foods, burgers, cookies and cakes). The casting director had come across my personal website www.somelikeitraw.net and thought that I would be able to come up with some pretty unique recipes for the contest and wanted me to enter some.
I have to admit I was a little flattered and a wee bit surprised. Yet another sign that raw food has hit the mainstream!! Anyways, I’ve entered my manicotti recipe for the ‘Pasta’ category and came up with a new chocolate cake recipe for the ‘Cake’ category which I am sharing with you today.
A lot of people ask where I get my ideas from. It does vary, but many times it’s just looking at a cooked recipe and trying to convert it to raw. This time I happened to have an old Gourmet magazine lying around with a fabulous photo of a chocolate-glazed hazelnut mousse cake on the cover. The light bulbs went off and I set to work on creating it ‘raw-style’. Hope you like it and wish me luck with the contest!
I’ve got a bit of a treat for you this week: Chocolate and Raspberry Cake with Ginger Chocolate Mousse. I’m sitting here snacking on the left-overs from that, feeling quite happy with myself as I plot and plan some big changes in my life over the next 12 months.
I’m sure I’m going to get some email about my choice of featured ingredient: Maple syrup; but I feel it’s important to look at ingredients that aren’t necessarily 100% raw sometimes, as they do offer a health benefit, and certainly have a lot to offer in terms of taste.
Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Ginger Chocolate Mousse (raw)
Makes 4 cakes
For the Base:
1/4 Cup Oat Flour*
1/2 Cup Cashew Flour**
2 TB Cacao Powder
2 TB Maple Syrup
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 TB Water
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Small pack of Raspberries for the centre of the cake.
Pomegranates are the hotest new superfruit for cocktails. It used to be all about the cranberry — now pomegranate is the ‘It’ fruit showing up in everything from Pomegranate Martinis (Pometinis) to Pomegranate Champagne. Touted for their myriad of health benefits and high anti-oxidant levels, they also taste great in mixed drinks due to their sweet and tangy flavor. This drink is only lightly flavored with a hint of pomegranate and tangy lemon and sweetened with healthy low glycemic agave instead of a sugar syrup. Low on calories and sugar and high in anti-oxidants and infused natural vitamins, this drink is not only beautiful and festive but could save your waistline as well this holiday season. The deep red color of the pomegranate pops against the the clear liquid. You can also add a splash of pomegranate juice if you want a stronger pomegranate flavor and color. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos