Saturday, August 15, 2009

Busy in the kitchen with Ani's Raw Food Dessets Book!

Oh boy was yesterday a busy day in the kitchen for me! I hadn't expected to make so many delicious treats! I have tons of pictures to share but unfortunately, not many recipes as most came from Ani Phyo's newest book, "Ani's Raw Food Desserts." And while I'm sure it's not exactly illegal to post recipes from the book, I DO want to support this book as much as possible. So I will share my pictures in hoping that it will inspire you to get off your lazy ass and go buy this AWESOME book! After making these recipes, it is safe to say that this is my favorite raw foods book so far! (Can you tell I love sweets?) It's easy enough to live off of fresh fruit and creative salads without the use of a recipe book, but when you get that sweet tooth craving, it's good to have some amazing, simple, and totally out-of-this-world-I-can't-believe-this-is-raw-it's-so-good recipes. At first glance, these recipes looked too simple to be good; I thought they would be bland or mediocre. But no, these are so scrumptious, reminding me that sometimes simpler is better!

(As a side note, a few months ago I purchased "Just Desserts" Ebook by Heathy Pace and "The Best of Raw Freedom Community" and "The Best of The Sunny Raw Kitchen" both by Carmella. While I have yet to make anything from these books quite yet, the recipes look INCREDIBLE and from what yummy-ness I have experienced on the Raw Community Forum and on both these ladies' blogs, these books MUST be amazing, and might just take the lead. I'll have to get off MY lazy ass some day and make something from them!)
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Let's get started.

First off, I made Lemon Cookies. I'm not sure where I first discovered this recipe, but here's a link to where I think it originated...here.

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These were tart and sweet! It could have used a little less lemon juice, but I think that's because I have very tart lemons. My work sells a big bag of at least 6 NON organic lemons for just over $1 so I used one of those. I find that organic lemons have a sweeter flavor for the most part. I did, however, use an organic lemon for the lemon zest and some of the juice needed in the recipe.

NEXT I discovered what quickly became an all-time favorite...Carmella's Kelp Noodles in Peanut Sauce! WOW! I didn't expect this to turn out so AMAZINGLY delicious! I just couldn't imagine how those ingredients were going to taste enough like a peanut sauce but holy crap, they did! The almond butter, tahini, lime, and coconut butter made the perfect combination to create a tasty Thai Peanut sauce! I let the noodles marinate in the sauce in the dehydrator for 30 minutes and then sat down to a delectable meal of soft noodles in a creamy sauce. The next day, I ate my leftovers. The noodles and veggies were much softer from marinating over night, but I still wanted the semi-warm taste from the dehydrator, so again I popped it in for 30 min. Even BETTER the next day! You gotta try this recipe, especially if you are curious about kelp noodles!

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NEXT, after bumming around on the RFC, I came across a recipe for Ani Phyo's "Black Sesame Sunflower Bread" and was reading about the positive responses, and decided I should make it. I had made it before a few years ago, but it was right before I got really sick, which turned me off to EVERYTHING I was eating at the time. I couldn't even remember if I liked this bread. So I figured it was time to try it again. And another winner! You can dehydrate it in as little as 5 hours, which will give you a moist, soft bread, or you can leave it in longer for longer storage. I did a little of both. I'm not a fan of totally dry raw breads, so mine are all still relatively pliable.

I made mine with regular sesame seeds, as I couldn't find black ones. Black seeds look a lot prettier, I think, but I'm sure it tastes just as good! Also, I cut most of the pieces even smaller than the recipe calls for, as sometimes my appetite isn't big enough for a whole piece. Here is a slice with avocado, tomato, and sprouts:

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NEXT I made "Breakfast Toast" out of Ani's Raw Food Desserts. I'm eating a piece as we speak! I kept mine on the slightly softer side. I like it topped with almond butter and bananas and then popped into the dehydrator to warm it up.

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NEXT I made Ani Phyo's "Key Lime Kream Bars", "Carob Walnut Cookies", "Ice Kream Sandwiches" (made with key lime bars and the cookies), "Liquid Chocolate", "Bonbons" (made with key lime bars and liquid chocolate), and "Chocolate-Covered Bananas" (made with liquid chocolate.)

The Key Lime Kream Bars were sweet and tart and extremely versatile. They could easily be made into a cheesecake, by pouring the recipe over your favorite crust in a spring form pan. I poured my mixture in a spring form pan, imagining that would be the easiest to work with. I really just wanted to make the Ice Kream Sandwiches. While the mixture was in the freezer, I made the Carob Walnut Cookies. I flattened out the mixture with my hands, and then used a circular shape to cut out the cookies. Since I don't have cookie cutters, I took apart this metal frosting applier thingy...what's that thing called that you use to make piping with frosting on cakes? Whatever it is, I used that. It just shows that sometimes you gotta be really creative! Anyhow, once the Key Lime Kream was frozen, I used the same circle to cut out pieces of that. Since the shape was so small (maybe only 1 1/2 inches wide) the height of the Kream looked a little tall between the cookies, so I cut east piece in half, which gave me two circles of Kream! Once all the cookie sandwiches were assembled, I had a lot of Kream left. I cut the rest into bars, save for the oddly shapes scraps that came from around my circle cut-outs.

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What should I do with all these scraps, I wondered? Make Bonbons, of course! I quickly whipped up some Liquid Chocolate which is just coconut oil and cacao powder, with mesquite powder and agave nectar being optional additions. Since I didn't think I needed much, I made only half the recipe and used a mixture of raw carob and non-raw cocoa powder. Here's my adaptation:

Liquid Chocolate
Adapted from Ani Phyo's Raw Food Desserts

1/2 cup liquid coconut oil (measure, and then place in bowl in dehydrator until liquid)
1/8 cup raw carob (I put both "chocolates" half-and-half together in a 1/4 cup measure)
1/8 cup cocoa powder (or cacao, or all carob, or whatever you want!
1/2 tbsp agave nectar

Sift your carob/cocoa mixture into the liquid coconut oil (I DID NOT sift when I made this, and it was VERY chunky. Lesson: SIFT!) and add the agave. Wisk together. Now you can cover up anything from Kream bars to fruit and beyond!

Once my liquid chocolate was made, I took the Kream scraps, let them soften on the counter for a couple minutes, pressed them into a rounded tablespoon (would have worked best with a small ice cream scoop) and then put them on a plate to freeze. Once re-frozen, I tossed them in the liquid chocolate, and then put them in the freezer again. After minute or two, I followed that with another coat of liquid chocolate since it was looking a little thin (the warmer the chocolate, the thinner the layer will be.)

I figured while I was making Bonbons, I might as well make Chocolate-Covered Bananas as well! I cut three bananas into thirds, skewered them (cut the long skewers in half), froze them for a few hours, and then dipped them in the liquid chocolate. Well, my method was more of spooning the chocolate over the bananas to get them evenly coated. I topped them with goji berries, and popped them back in the freezer. The liquid chocolate hardens within seconds, and is perfectly ready for eating after a minute or two in the freezer, so you can have your dessert in a flash!

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Like I said, I didn't sift my cocoa, so the chocolate looks a little chunky. But it tastes amazing!

Wow, this feels like a VERY long post. Hope you enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. I know I need to own that book and you've just helped convince me even more! I want that breakfast toast and the walnut biccies!

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