Thursday, March 12, 2015

Raw Desserts Made with Love

Today is my day on the blog tour for Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-based Desserts by Christina Ross. So let me tell you all about this awesome raw dessert book!

The cookbook (or un-cookbook, rather) was born from Christina's adorable blog, Love Fed. She's been posting raw dessert and cooked vegan recipes there for quite some time. And now her raw dessert collection is available in a beautiful, full-color, photo-heavy book! It's filled with mouth-watering recipes for raw cakes, pies, brownies, puddings, ice cream, candy, and even doughnuts (yes, raw vegan doughnuts!!).

Just a few recipes I'm drooling over right now: Maple Banana Tiramisu Truffle, Chocolate Coriander Ice Cream, Frozen Coconut Key Lime "Cheese" Cake Bars, White Chocolate Macadamia Pops, Dark Chocolate Almond Bark with Sea Salt, and Sweetly Southern Pecan Pie Squares.

I had a hard time settling on what to make, but I ended up picking a couple recipes that I already had most of the ingredients for. Many of Christina's recipes call for what I call "Whole Foods ingredients," meaning a trip to the old WF is in order. Stuff like cacao butter, Irish moss, and coconut flour. But our WF is about 20 minutes from my house, so I took the easy route.

First, I whipped up these super-simple Strawberry Babycakes.

These are like the raw version of a strawberry shortcake, but they're about the size of a thumbprint cookie. The cookie part is made from cashews, almonds, and a honey substitute. She actually calls for honey the book (the only non-vegan ingredient in her recipes), so I used Bee-Free Honee, an easy swap-out. Agave or maple would work too. And the strawberry topping is made from berries mixed with chia seeds, which thicken and create a yummy gel.

These little bites were so fresh and had just the perfect hint of natural sweetness. I ate one before my morning yoga and run, and it kept me satisfied throughout both workouts.

Since spring is almost here, and the weather has warmed up to about 65 degrees, I figured it was as good a time as any to make popsicles! I've been dying to use my popsicle molds again! I made these using Christina's recipe for Blueberry Coconut Dreamsicles.

These were so easy with just three ingredients — fresh blueberries, coconut nectar (I actually used Bee-Free Honee again because I didn't want to buy anything new), and coconut cream. I enjoyed this icy treat while I cooked dinner last night, and the coconut was so creamy. Think coconut ice cream in popsicle form.

A word about coconut cream: I went to my neighborhood Vietnamese market for this, and the can marked "coconut cream" seemed awfully liquidy (more like coconut milk) when I picked it up and shook. But I bought it anyway. But as insurance in case that cream wasn't solid enough, I went through all the brands of coconut milk on the shelf and shook cans until I found one that seemed pretty solid. It was a can of coconut milk (not cream) by a brand called Coco King.

When I got the cans home, I opened the coconut cream first, and sure enough, it was actually coconut milk. But I opened the Coco King coconut milk, and most of the can was thick, solid coconut fat. That's the good stuff. That's what you need for this recipe. So word to the wise, shake your cans. Or if you can only find liquidy stuff, you can always refrigerate coconut milk or cream overnight until it goes solid. I just didn't have time for all that.

The publisher is allowing me to share the Blueberry Coconut Dreamsicle recipe with you! Here ya go!

Blueberry Coconut Dreamsicles
Yield: 5 dreamsicles
Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 2–6 hours freezing time
When my local Whole Foods Market sponsored a Blueberry Blast-Off Blog Challenge, I was excited—I have a ferocious appetite for all things blueberry. The contest specified using only ten ingredients, a breeze for me, since I tend to keep things simple anyway. The hard part was deciding which blueberry recipe to go with. In the end, nothing called to me more than the humble elegance of homemade Blueberry Coconut Dreamsicles. A dreamsicle is my version of the creamsicle, which, if you grew up in the 1980s like I did, will probably be familiar. They’re usually orange flavored, a pairing of sweet cream and citrus nectar. I thought the idea would translate well to blueberry and coconut cream (and be even more delectable, hence the name dreamsicle), and it did. I can guarantee kids of all ages (aka everyone) will appreciate these blueberries and cream pops. If you like, replace your pop mold’s sticks with 6” twigs for a rustic look.            

1 c. blueberries
2 tbsp. coconut nectar or sweetener of your choice (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ c. coconut cream
In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries, coconut nectar (if desired), and lemon juice. Mix lightly to coat the berries.

Place the coconut cream in a second medium bowl. Adding the blueberry mixture a few spoonfuls at a time, whip with a handheld electric mixer or whisk until thickened. Some of the berries will break down, releasing their juices and creating texture. If you want the berries whole, gently hand mix them into the cream using a rubber spatula. If you prefer a quicker method and a more vibrant purple pop, simply blend all the ingredients together in a blender.

Pour the mixture into pop molds. Freeze for 2–6 hours or until completely firm. Run the mold under warm water for a few seconds and gently remove the pops. Serve immediately or store in the freezer.


Dana Vickerson said...

Yum! I love raw desserts.

Marja @ StuckInYourBeard said...

Ummm THAT LOOKS LIKE THE BEST POPSICLE EVER! This week was the first niceish week we've had up here (high 40s to high 50s) and I am already so stoked for summer food to be a thing.

amber said...

That strawberry babycake is adorable!