For whatever reason, many of the recipes I worked on this week ended up being raw or mostly raw. In part, I was continuing my quest for some travel-friendly treats for my son and decided to try some raw fruit and nut balls, similar to Larabars.
I was also testing recipes for my menu planners for limited diets free of gluten, grains, dairy, eggs sugar and other common allergens. Many raw recipes work great for people with a lot of food limitations. The only drawback I find is that they use nuts extensively, which is a common allergen. I find though, that seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds can be used in place of nuts in some of these recipes.
As far as eating raw nuts goes, it is really best to soak them for a varied amount of time, depending upon the nut or seed. This process is what releases their enzyme inhibitors and unlocks their full nutritional value. In terms of soaking, you can either soak just long enough to germinate, or longer to sprout (however it’s difficult to sprout some nuts).
I have to admit that I didn’t soak the nuts and seeds in the recipes I tested this week. This was partly due to the recipes not asking me to do this and in part laziness and impatience on my part. However, if I were to do them again, I would soak the nuts and seeds in these recipes.
Here is a list of some new and yummy things I made this week:
Cashew Apricot Bliss Balls (raw). These turned out pretty good but if I made them again, I would use a different kind of dried apricot. The ones I used were from Trader Joe’s. They are unsulfured but I had forgotten how tart they are. I also used lemon zest instead of orange zest, simply because I didn’t have an orange. But they would be a lot better with the orange zest. I also would up the cardamom and ginger powder as they were not that noticeable. Also, like I said above, I would soak the cashews for 2-2 1/2 hours.
Cherry Walnut Bites (almost raw; can be made raw with raw chocolate or leaving out the chocolate). These are delicious. If I made them again, I’d use raw chocolate or raw cacao powder. Again, I would soak the walnuts – they require 4 hours germination time.
Seed Cheese from Rawvolution (raw). This cheese if made from sunflower seeds so it is great for dairy-free and nut-free diets. The original recipe for this raw and dairy-free cheese calls for a raw soy sauce called, Nama Shoyu. But since many people I cook and plan for can’t eat soy, I left this ingredient out. I balanced out the recipe by adding a little salt and water. I also used only about 3 cloves of garlic, verses the 5-6 called for. It was plenty garlicky for me and my husband really liked it. We’ve been enjoying it on pasta and toast. When I make this again, I plan on soaking the sunflower seeds – they require 2 hours germination time.
Curried Kuri Squash Soup (from the Kuri Squashes from our garden – not raw). I didn’t write down this recipe as I made it this time. But I normally cream this soup with ground up cashews and season it with curry, ginger, and salt. I think I also added a bit of honey to sweeten a bit this time.
No-Bake Zucchini Cake (almost raw; can be made raw with raw cacao). This is a quick and easy, yummy dessert. It may seem strange not to bake the zucchini but you really don’t need to! It is rich, moist and dense. But also so healthy, you could have it for breakfast. When I make this again, I’m going to soak the nuts for 6 hours.
Raspberry Cream (raw) This is my new favorite smoothie or dessert. Don’t let the avocado in it fool you – it is simply delicious and you wouldn’t even know the avocado is in there! I made it as the recipe called for and also with dates instead of banana. Both were yummy. Sorry, no picture. Both times I made it, it disappeared too fast!
Balsamic and Basil Salmon: cooked in a cast iron skillet, this was Monday’s dinner. Fast and easy, I simply cooked the salmon with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil. Seasoned with salt and dried parsley. When it was done, I drizzled a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top and garnished with freshly chopped basil from the garden. Very fast and very good!
Raspberry Cream Recipe – adpated from www.WildHealthFoods.com
- ½ cup frozen or fresh raspberries
- 1 large ripe banana or about 4-5 soft dates
- 1ripe Avocado
- Pinch salt
- about 1/2 cup or so homemade almond milk
1) Blend all ingredients until smooth.
2) If you want to make your own almond milk, soak 1 cup almonds overnight, drain the water, then blend with 5 cups filtered water and a bit of raw honey. Strain through a mesh strainer or “nut bag.” Yum!
And once again, I am writing this post as part of the Tuesday Twister Carnival at GNOWFGLINS.com. Make sure to check out the other wonderful and nourishing foods the other participants cooked up this week!