Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chocogasm Pie and the Raw Love-in

What's the best way to stay raw?
Surround yourself with inspiration. I've chosen to do that in the form of attending raw potlucks, trying tons of new recipes, and staying prepared by bringing plenty of raw stuff to work with me. If I don't give myself a reason to go off raw, I won't. And some of the things I've been making have made me giddy with food lust.

This past weekend I hosted a raw potluck at my house. If you aren't already on, try it out. You could find a raw group in your area that you didn't even know about. Potlucks are great. You can meet new friends, try new dishes, and spend time with some very wonderful people who are all in the same raw boat. The conversations seem a lot more open, deep and lively than any I've had at parties with cooked food and tons of booze.

Beyond the beauty of hanging with raw peeps, I have to do some blog braggin. I created a dessert that is the most amazing one I've made yet. Honestly, I want to marry me. And though I tend to make food in a very Zen way--not measuring, just going by taste, texture and visual--I'm going to attempt to recreate the recipe for you. Just remember to keep tasting what you're making. That's the best way to make good food. And to get chocolate all over your face like a kid.

Victoria's Chocogasm Pie

I used the same crust from my banana/coconut cream pie. See post. However, you can sub any nuts you prefer. I think hazelnuts and chocolate are an ideal match. I also made the crust have a bit of salty tang to really complement the dark cacao. For this recipe, I put the crust in a large springform pan, just on the bottom, not rising up on the sides.

First Layer That's right. This pie has layers.
  • Meat of 3-4 young coconuts. Reserve coconut water
  • 2 cups of cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of maca
  • 3 Tbsp of raw cacao powder-add more to taste
  • 1/4 cup agave-again, add more to taste
  • 1 tsp lecithin granules
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
Put the coconut in a food processor and blend. Add in the cashews and blend until smooth, adding a bit of the reserved coconut water if necessary. You want to maintain a thick consistency, yet not lumpy.

Add the remaining ingredients. Keep tasting. The pie should have a dark, chocolatey taste that makes you want to stick your head in the bowl and eat it all.

Pour the layer into your springform pan. If you don't have one, you can just use a regular pie pan. Put into the freezer.

Second Layer
  • 1/2 or 1 cup raw almond butter, depending on how thick you want this to be
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder to taste
  • agave to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Blend ingredients thoroughly in the food processor, until mix achieves a consistency like dark chocolate icing. This is a ganache kinda deal, but not. It's a Ganot.

Set mixture in the fridge for a bit if it's not thick enough, or just add more almond butter.

Pour mixture onto first layer. I waited until the first layer was really set well. Spread evenly, return to freezer.

Third Layer
  • Meat of two coconuts; I opened quite a few and used the more pudding-like meat for this.
  • Agave to taste
  • Vanilla to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Arrowroot powder (If you don't have this, don't sweat it. You can add some thickness with coconut oil)
Blend in mini food processor, regular food processor or blender. Pour mixture into plastic bag. Cut off the tip and squeeze mixture onto top of pie.

Top off pie with sprinkle of cacao nibs.

It seems like a lot of work, but in reality, I made this pie in under an hour.

Rawk on!


PS: With all of that leftover coconut water, I strained it, put it in a big pitcher, and put in frozen strawberries as ice cubes. Fantastic drink that everyone was diggin on. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raw Quickie

If you enjoy making flax crackers, then you've probably experienced the mess left after cutting them up. I've found that the "crumbs" from flax crackers, which are really just deliciously flavored and dehydrated flax seeds, are fantastic to throw in a glass jar and use for topping your salads. Or whatever other topless food you want topped.

Tonight, I threw together some local arugula—incredibly peppery—with lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, a cut up avocado, and then threw a handful of flax cracker crumbs on top. Magnificent.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Sunrise Smoothie

After a weekend of feeling not-so-hot, this was the perfect way to end my Sunday. Amazingly, not 15 minutes after drinking this deliciousness, I felt like I'd had a blood transfusion. Sinus headache gone. Fatigue gone. Brilliant. The color is as gorgeous as the feeling it gives ya.

Sunday Sunrise Smoothie
  • 1 beet
  • About 6-8 carrots
  • 3 apples of your choice (I used 1 Granny Smith and 2 Red Delicious)
  • About 5 stalks of celery
Juice it up and do the happy dance.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stinky Heaven, Thy Name is Durian

Durian. For those who have experienced this notorious fruit, it brings one of two reactions: revulsion or shuddering ecstasy.

Durian gets a bad rap. It has been described as having a smell ranging from stinky feet to rotting garbage. Some say it's redolent of gas leakage. You're prohibited from eating it in public in some areas of the world. And even that bald guy on the Travel Channel, the one who will willingly eat a roasted goat penis, refuses to put Durian past his palate.

So why, you might ask, should you even bother with this olfactory offender? Because it is THE BOMB.

It's not called The King of Fruit for nothin.
The durian is the fruit of a tree family that includes hibiscus and okra. This fruit is not just about stank. It's high in fiber, and it's a good source of Thiamin, Vitamin B6 and Manganese, and Vitamin C. Some people are turned off by the calories (1 cup of durian contains 13 grams of fat and 357 calories), but raw foodists understand that counting calories isn't necessary. You'll find that you fill up on durian pretty quickly, so share the smelly love with some adventurous friends.

How the hell do you open this thing?
Inside each of these spiked footballs lies individual pillows of creamy goodness, surrounding a small seed. To open the fruit beast, you can find a natural seam, and take a chef's knife or serrated bread knive, cutting along, then splitting open.

This is the Barry White of fruits, baby.
Besides being a nutritional champ, durian is known for its, uh, aphrodisiacal effects. I've heard tales of durian parties that turned everyone into a pile of bliss. I witnessed firsthand a guy trying durian for the first time. He started to sweat, and became euphoric, claiming that durian could save the world.

What does it taste like?
Everyone has a different opinion on this. I think it tastes like a flan with onions. But it's really good. How it looks may be a bit off-putting. As you can see, the inside resembles an eviscerated alien. The only way you'll find out is to try it. It took me two tries to get into the durian groove. Now, I can't deny that it definitely makes me buzz with pleasure, and eating it is, in itself, a sensual experience. So I'm down with the durian.

Try it! You may like it. You may also hate it.
If you want to dip your little toe in the stinky pool instead of jumping in, here's an easy and delicious way to try durian:

Durian Shake, Rattle and Roll
  • 4 durian pods
  • Meat and water of 1 young coconut
  • 1 banana (frozen works great)
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tspb maca
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  • squirt of agave
Blend, drink, and assure your neighbors that there is no gas leak. If neighbors are attractive, invite them over to share.