Cashew Pear Cream

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Cashew -Pear Cream (cream or whipping cream substitute)

This is the healthiest, most delicious replacement available for whipping cream. Use in a breakfast bowl, on fruit salad, on pumpkin pie, apple crisp, baked or grilled fruit or other desserts.

1 x 15 oz can or jar of pears in water or juice or about 2 cups home canned pears with juice

1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours* and drained)

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Directions

  1. Blend ingredients at high speed until very smooth.
  2. Pour into a jar and refrigerate. For a thinner cream sauce, use 1-1 1/4 cup cashews, for a thick whipping cream consistency, use 1 3/4-2 cups cashews.

Notes:

Use home canned pears if available.

To make a raw pear cashew cream, use ripe fresh pears (2-3 large pears) and 1/4 cup water or coconut water with 1 1/2-2 cups cashews. 

*Soaked cashews blend more easily, but raw cashews (well rinsed) can be used.

 

Plain Cashew Cream (no pears)

1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours* and drained or just rinsed)

1/4-1/2 cup water or coconut water (depending on thickness desired)

2-3 medjool dates (other other dates – double amount if using small dates)

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Directions

  1. Blend ingredients at high speed until very smooth.
  2. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.



Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 24-28 cookies.

 

 Old Fashioned PB Cookies

 

 

1 cup (250 ml)           dates, pitted, packed              

1/3 cup (80 ml)         boiling water                          

1 cup (250 ml)            natural peanut butter (if very thick, thin with 1-3 Tbsp oil)

1 tsp (5 ml)                 vanilla    

1/4-1/2 tsp (1-2 ml)  salt

1/3 cup (80 ml)          ground flaxseed            

3/4 cup (125 ml)        oat flour, coconut flour or almond flour (or other flour as desired)

 

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. Put dates in a 2-cup measuring cup, pour in boiling water and cover for 5-10 minutes to soften dates.  

3. Place dates (with water), peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy.
4. Add the flaxseed and flour and pulse until thoroughly mixed.

5. Form into 1 inch balls. Place on an silicon mat on a cookie day or on an oiled cooked try. Press with a fork the flatten.

6. Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

7. Cool. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

 




Super Seedy Energy Bars

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Energy bars make a healthy snack for active people or can supplement a light lunch.  Commercial bars often higher in sugar than you might imagine.  These provide protein from seeds and contain no added sugars (unless dark chocolate is used as a topping!)

 

 

Bars

 

3 cups (750 ml) dried fruit (well packed) (half dates then your choice – figs, prunes, pears, etc.)

3/4 cup (185 ml) sunflower seeds, soaked and dehydrated*

3/4 cup (185 ml) pumpkin seeds, soaked and dehydrated*  

3/4 cup (185 ml) hemp seeds

3/4 cup (185 ml) chia seeds

1 cup (250 ml) walnuts or other nuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (125 ml) cocoa

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla

¼ tsp (1 ml) your favorite salt (optional)

 

Topping (optional)

 

85-100 g dark chocolate bar

1/3 cup (85 ml) almond or peanut butter

 

  • Pulse walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside in a bowl.
  • If dried fruit is soft, process in food processor with cocoa powder, vanilla and salt (if using) until they are well blended. (If fruit is not soft, steam about 10 mins in a steamer basket before processing.)
  • Add hempseeds, chia seeds and nut/seed mixture to the dried fruit and pulse until just combined. You may need to divide the dough if your processor is not big enough.
  • Pat dough on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll with rolling pin till mixture is evenly distributed in pan. Add chocolate topping, if using.  You can sprinkle hempseeds, walnuts or coconut on top for decoration.
  • Freeze a few hours then cut into bars. Package individually if you wish and return to the freezer.  I purchase small bags for this and use stickers to seal. You can also use wax paper or plastic wrap. 

 

 

*  Soak seeds in 2 cups (500 ml) of water 2-4 hrs then dehydrate till dry. This is optional – raw or roasted seeds can also be used.

 

Variations:

 

  1. Use any combination of nuts (e.g. pecans or almonds instead of walnuts)
  2. Use 3/4 cup (185 ml) of coconut in place of one of the seeds, or reduce seeds to 1/2 cup (125 ml) each and add 1 cup coconut. 

 




Walnut Cookies


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I absolutely love these cookies. They contain no oil, no sugar and are gluten-free.  They are also delicious and are an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids! 

Makes 3 dozen small cookies.

 

2 cups (500 ml) pitted dates (loosely packed)

3/4 cup (185 ml) water

1/4 cup tahini or almond butter

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 cups walnuts, finely chopped (or coarsley ground in blender

1 cup rolled oats, ground into flour

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt (optional)

 

  1. Cook dates in water. Mash.
  2. Put dates in a large bowl and stir in vanilla, ground flaxseed, tahini and salt.
  3. Add nuts and ground oats.
  4. Stir until mixed.
  5. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheets (line with silicon cookie sheets or lightly oil pans) and press down with fork. (use water to keep fork from sticking to cookies). Top with a pecan half if you like or decorate as desired.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until browned.

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Stuffed Dates

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Makes about 46 stuffed dates

 

These are beautiful treats. They freeze well and are delicious just slightly thawed. You can get creative with the decorations, but nuts work especially well.

 

Dates

2 pounds (908 g) or about 46 large, soft, Medjool dates

 

 

Chocolate/Nut-butter Filling

 

2 cups (500 ml) dates, packed

1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water

1/2 cup (125 ml) nut butter (organic peanut butter, hazelnut, cashew, almond or other nut butter)

1/4 cup (60 ml) cocoa or carob powder

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla

1/4-1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Nuts for decoration (3 hazelnuts or almonds, 1 cashew, or 1 pecan or walnut half per date)

 

  1. Place dates in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Pour boiling water over the dates and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put dates and water into a food processor. Add nut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt (if using). Process until very smooth.
  3. Put filling in a bowl, cover and place in the freezer for a few hours or until firm and easy to work with (can also be put in the refrigerator overnight).
  4. Slice Medjool dates lengthwise and remove pit, so that each date fans open and can be fille
  5. Stuff dates with filling (2-3 teaspoons per date). Press nuts on the top of filling to decorate
  6. Refrigerate or freeze until serving. If freezing, remove the dates a few minutes before serving to soften slightly.



Vegan Caramel Turtles or Easter Eggs

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Makes about 30-40 turtles or 20 easter eggs

 

If you loved turtles in your former, non-vegan life, these will be quite a treat.  The caramel can be used as a layer in raw brownies, for truffles, and many other treats. If you are able, invest in some silicon cookie sheet mats.  These are mats that perfectly on a cookie sheet. They can be used for baking cookies (no spray or oil required) or for makign all sort of raw treats. Double or triple recipe, if desired.

 

Pecans (80 or 120 halves) for turtles; 40 hazelnuts for eggs 

2 organic, fair trade chocolate bars (2 x 85 g/3 oz)

 

Caramel Filling

 

1 cup (250 ml) pine nuts  

1 cup (250 ml) pitted, tightly packed medjool dates or other dates 

½ tsp vanilla

 

  1. Place dates, pine nuts and vanilla in a food processor and process until very smooth. It should look like caramel.  If using hard dates, steam the dates to soften or cover with boiling water for about 5-10 minutes. Drain well before processing. Refridgerate for several hours or freeze for a couple of hours to decrease its stickiness. You can freeze for longer periods of time but will need to let the caramel soften slightly before using.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets silicon cookie mats or parchment paper. For turtles, place nuts on the cookie sheets, with 4 pecan halves for each turtle if you want them larger or 2 if you want them smaller. Arrange them as shown below. 
  3. Make a ball with about 2-3 20150729_091243teaspoons of the ‘caramel’ and press caramel top of each of nuts to flatten caramel. (Use about 2 tsp for the smaller turtles and 3 for the larger ones). For eggs, take a heaping tablespoon of caramel, press in the hazelnuts and mold into an egg. 
  4. Freeze the naked turtles or eggs until solid (2-3 hours or overnight).
  5. Put the chocolate bars into the top of a double boiler or in a small pot over low heat and heat until the chocolate is entirely melted. Stir to make it smooth.  If the chocolate thickens while melting a small amount of coconut oil will improve the consistency.
  6. Take one pan of turtles out of the freezer.
  7. Lift each turtle off the parchment paper or silicon mat and brush chocolate to cover the bottom. Place back on cookie sheet and brush chocolate over the top of the turtle. Do this for each turtle, then return tray to the freezer. Remove second tray and repeat.  If making eggs, coating is a little trickier as they are not flat.  I usually do the top half, re-freeze, flip and do the other half.  If you can find silicon egg molds, this would be helpful.  Use your imagination in decorating the eggs.
  8. Let the chocolate set completely before removing the turtles from the trays. Place in an airtight container and store them in the freezer. They taste best right from the freezer!

 

Variations:

 

  1. For vegan milk chocolate turtles, use rice milk chocolate bars. Drizzle with dark chocolate, if desired.
  2. For a beautifully decorated turtle, melt some rice milk chocolate and drizzle over the dark chocolate.
  3. Mix chocolate with nut butter.
  4. Use peanut butter instead of pine nuts for a less expensive variation. 
  5. Buy some chocolate molds and use the caramel to make caramel chocolates.
  6. Add a pinch of your favorite salt (I use Himalayan sea salt for this).