Tag Archives: almond

Rawlicious indulgence

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As the weather finally begins to warm up around here, my body naturally starts to crave more fresh and raw foods. While looking online for some raw inspiration last week, I came across Ani Phyo‘s site and saw that she was coming to Portland for a talk and book signing Thursday! The timing couldn’t have been better. Ani was great! I think her gorgeous looks alone sell a lot of people on eating raw foods- I can’t believe she’s 42! She talked about the benefits of raw foods, and answered questions about eating raw on-the-go or while traveling, eating raw in colder climates, and more. She was promoting her new book, Ani’s Raw Food Asia, but I purchased her Ani’s Raw Food Essentials book because I wanted a more basic book to start. I try to eat a lot of big salads and smoothies (especially smoothies with spinach or kale- my husband thinks I’m disgusting, but it’s such a yummy way to get your greens!) but as far as the more complex raw foods preparation, I really have little experience. I also don’t have a dehydrator yet, which many raw recipes call for.

Raw food, which Ani considers food that is not heated above 104F,  is great because it is unprocessed and retains all the beneficial nutrients and enzymes that nature intended it to have. I personally don’t believe that it’s healthy for me to eat too much raw foods during the colder months because when I do I get very chilled. I have a rather cold constitution. When I did my yoga training we had a class on Ayurveda and I am predominantly Vata with a bit of Kapha.  I try to consume warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne, but even that isn’t enough to warm me! So it’s hard for me to imagine living a completely raw lifestyle while living in Portland, but once it warms up I like to a much higher ratio of raw to cooked foods in my diet.

While raw food diets should be based mostly on vegetables, they also lend themselves well to some amazing desserts! Raw food desserts are generally not low calorie, but they are packed with nutrients and satisfying. Yesterday was my last day of clinicals this semester (!) and so we brought in some treats. I wanted to bring something gluten-free, because a friend of mine in the group is allergic to gluten and I also wanted to bring something raw so I adapted a recipe from Angela‘s no bake date bars to make some amazing chocolate coconut date bars. These were a big hit! I always worry when I bring my “healthy treats” that people will turn up their noses at them, but my class mates gobbled them up!

Raw Coconut Chocolate Date Bars:

Crust:

1.5 cups almonds

1.5 cups dried unsweetened coconut (Angela uses oats and I have used these too with yummy results, but I didn’t have any gluten free oats)

10 pitted and chopped dates

2-4 tablespoons coconut oil (you can use another kind of oil, but the flavor of coconut oil is worth seeking out!)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:

2.5 cups pitted dates

2 tablespoons raw cacao or regular cocoa powder

2 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional)

1 teaspoon maca powder (optional but gives a delicious malty flavor)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup pure water as needed

Directions:

Line a 9×9 in square baking pan with parchment paper. Pulse ingredients for crust in food processor until a crumbly and slightly sticky mixture forms. Start with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and add more if your mixture is still too dry. Press 3/4 of this mixture into your prepared pan. Reserve the rest for topping.

Now wipe out the food processor (it doesn’t need to be washed) and add your filling ingredients, starting with 1/4 cup water and adding more as needed to form a thick, spreadable paste. Spread the filling over the first layer and top with the reserved crust, pressing down lightly. Top with a few more cacao nibs if desired. Freeze for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for a few hours to set up before slicing into 16 squares. Store in the fridge or freezer for longest shelf life.

Have a beautiful day! I get to take it easy today because tomorrow I’m running my first 10k! :D

xo/Nikita

The search for a delicious and nutritious cookie wages on…

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Just another pretty chocolate cookie?

I could call these cookies “Double Chocolate Cookies” or something equally unoriginal… but the truth is, these babies are Chocolate-Chocolate chip-almond butter- chickpea flour- quinoa cookies. Vegan and gluten free. When put like that, they sound terrible don’t they? I promise they are not. They are soft and fudgey, definitely not a “crisp” cookie. They are sweet enough for dessert, but nutritious enough to be a stand alone snack or even part of a breakfast. I may have eaten 6 total today.

The fact is, I am a shameless chocolate addict and compulsive baker. This can be problematic… and by problematic I mean it can cause my pants to get too tight. My mother’s words of wisdom on staying thin : “Never buy bigger pants.”  Since walking around in public with your pants unbuttoned is seen as uncouth, I guess it’s time to explore other options. ..

Deprivation is for suckers. I want to have my cake and eat it… well 6 times. So I head to the kitchen to work some magic…

I adapted this recipe from Marla‘s Almond Chickpea Cookies but changed several things. I was really pleased with these but I think next time I will tweak them again in my quest for perfection. If it turns out better, I will post the new recipe, but these were great, too!

Chocolate-Chick(pea) Almond Cookies

1 cup chickpea flour

3/4 cup quinoa or other gluten free flour (or regular flour if you are not avoiding gluten)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

stevia to taste if desired

1/2 cup almond butter

1 ripe banana

1/4 cup agave (or more to taste)

1/2 cup vanilla soymilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1/2- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

ground almonds, shredded coconut, or coarse sugar for rolling

Method: Preheat over to 350F. Combine almond butter, banana, agave, and extracts and beat with electric mixer. Slowly beat in the soymilk. Combine dry ingredients separately and slowly beat in. Fold in the chocolate chips. Roll in balls (about 1.5- 2 Tablespoons worth of dough) and dust with almonds, coconut, or sugar if using. Place on a baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes.

I haven’t run the nutritional info, but these are clearly loaded with protein and fiber and low in sugar. More importantly, they’re chocolate.

Enjoy!

Nikita