Raw desserts and nourishing foods

Raw Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Raw Zucchini Chocolate Cake

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 and Cherry-Walnut Bites

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Recipe for Sliceable Dairy-free and Casein-free Cheese

Sliceable Dairy-Free Cheese

Sliceable Dairy-Free Cheese

I found this recipe for sliceable dairy-free cheese a while back on a forum and finally made it the other day.  It seemed like every time I looked at it, it just seemed too complicated but I think that was just a first impression.  It is actually very simple and tastes pretty darn good. It is soft but still sliceable and resembles a white, mild cheese like Montery Jack.

The great thing about it is it is free of casein (milk protein), which many of the commercial dairy-free cheeses contain.  The only cheese I have found that is actually free of casein is from Galaxy Foods.

It does contain cashews, so it won’t work for people who are nut-free.  And there are a few changes I would make based on my first experiment with it.  It seems as though I can never follow a recipe exactly so I also made some changes as I made it.  I’ll add these changes below in the recipe.

I made chicken burritos the night I made the cheese and it was really great on them!  It really added some nice creaminess and cheesiness to the burritos!

I haven’t tried this yet but the recipe says you can freeze the cheese and then shred it for pizza cheese.

Another tip from the recipe is for making the cheese to resemble American or cheddar cheese:  blend in 1/4 cup pimentos and 1 tsp paprika to the recipe. (see tips below)

The original recipe is called Sliceable Cashew Cheese and it is from Best Gourmet Recipes from the chefs of Five Loaves Deli and Bakery by Neva Brackett.  This is the original recipe with my changes:

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