A Fig, Hazelnut Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Yes Basil Sauce By GreenChefs Golubka

fig hazelnut pizza golubka 01 A Fig, Hazelnut Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Yes Basil Sauce By GreenChefs GolubkaPhotography Golubka

The other day, we were taking a walk on the beach and recollecting our many summers spent on the Black Sea shore. Sochi (where the 2014 winter Olympics will be held) was where we usually stayed with family, in a charming old house. Whole days were spent on the beach, bathing in the gentle water and soaking up the sun, completely content. Summer in Sochi is truly magical, with warm windless days, chilly evenings, fireflies, and water temperatures that are refreshing yet welcoming. And that is where we got our yearly dose of figs. In our hometown, figs were a rarity – expensive and shipped from afar. But Sochi was a different story. Come the “velvet season”, at the end of August, and the many fig trees in the streets and backyards exhibited the plump fruit. For some unknown reason, the locals did not care for them. So we became fruit thieves in neighbor’s yards, justified by the fact that the figs would go to waste without our rescue. It’s a known fact that the less the time between harvesting and eating, the better the flavour. And freshly picked, those figs tasted like honey, and their sweetness lingered on our lips all season long.

The other true jewel of those times in Sochi was hazelnut. Hazelnut trees were abundant and beautiful with their trios of ready to pick nuts hidden in green cocoons. We would take bags of freshly harvested hazelnuts to the beach and crack the nuts with smooth sea rocks. They made for an unforgettably tasty snack. Folk medicine is rich with tales of the nut’s healing powers. In fact, one such remedy calls for the mixture of figs and hazelnuts to be taken at the end of the meal to aid digestion.
Now that figs have come into season, we decided to build this pizza around them with the addition of hazelnuts, caramelized onion, and basil sauce.

fig hazelnut pizza golubka 02 A Fig, Hazelnut Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Yes Basil Sauce By GreenChefs Golubka Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

The Perfect Holiday Treat, The Double Chocolate Hazelnut Candies by GreenChef Julie Morris

chocolate raw candy holiday julie morris 01 The Perfect Holiday Treat, The Double Chocolate Hazelnut Candies by GreenChef Julie Morris Photographer: Julia Morris

I have to admit, as a natural food enthusiast, Halloween and the entire holiday season ( Thanksgiving, Christmas ) really puts me in quite a quandary. On one hand, I love the mild madness that ensues around this time of year. The costumes, the parties, the creativity, the (idea of) candyland-come-true . . . clearly there’s some serious residual little-kid excitement in full force here. The irony is that much of what Holidays is about (conventional candy . . . and lots of it) is basically my nemesis. It’s not a matter of fun-size package denial, it’s a matter of reality: hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, red #5, or any ingredient made in a labcoat for that matter, generally equates to things humans should not consume.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to pull a scrooge moment. I understand this isn’t the time of year to tout the benefits of things like toothbrushes, raisins, or a nice apple. But don’t you worry; I’ve got plans for us. Better plans. Plans like, ahem, chocolate hazelnut plans. And while these chocolate hazelnut plans may still totally reside in the treat category (aka – don’t eat the whole recipe in one serving . . . everyday), this dessert is billions of times more beneficial than traditional holiday candy fare. Aside from using clean natural ingredients, it’s full of superfoods too. Raw cacao powder lends its copious antioxidant content and abundant minerals, and the chocolate coating utilizes the natural sweetness of mesquite powder (the milled mesquite pods from a low-lying South American shrub) making the exterior especially low in sugars. I’ve even snuck a little bit of optional adrenal-supporting maca powder into the filling of these candies, perhaps as a preemptive healthy strike against any conventional sugary “incidents.”

This dessert is billions of times more beneficial than traditional holiday candy fare.

Needless to say, these candies are an all-around “yes.” The exterior chocolate coating will remain solid at room temperature, and the inside pocket is a soft, sweet blend of cacao and hazelnuts. You can use ice cube trays for as molds for these, or get fancified and use real-deal candy molds with deep vessels to properly contain the filling. If using candy molds, double the amount of chocolate coating that the recipe calls for (the filling will remain the same). Short on time? Simply melt down a dark chocolate bar and use as the exterior coating instead of the raw chocolate recipe below.

chocolate raw candy holiday julie morris 03 The Perfect Holiday Treat, The Double Chocolate Hazelnut Candies by GreenChef Julie Morris Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

GreenChef Vanessa Sherwood | Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

blkmousse GreenChef Vanessa Sherwood | Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

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!

Hazelnut-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Serves 12

Crust:

½ cup shredded dry coconut

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil

11 tablespoon raw cacao nibs- optional

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