Date Paste

Date paste is a great sweetener for so many dishes. It can also be used as a substitute for honey or maple syrup. Having some date paste in the freezer allows you to create dishes when you feel called to.
IMG_6207Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1 1/2 cups of filtered water

Prior Preparation:

  1. If dates have stones remove them.
  2. Soak dates in 1 1/2 cups of filtered water for 1 hour until soft.

Directions:

  1. Drain dates reserving the soaking water.
  2. Blend dates with 1/4 cup of soaking water, in a blender until smooth. If required add more soaking water 1 Tbs at a time.

IMG_6210The date paste should be very smooth. This can then be stored in the fridge for about 4 days. I store my date paste in the freezer. I use an ice cube tray and spoon 1 Tbs of date paste into each section. I then freeze this. Once frozen I remove the individual date paste serves and store in a zip lock bag in the freezer. When I need some date paste I remove the amount I need and let it defrost. A note on date paste, it will not freeze solid like water does.

In vibrant health, Vicki

 

Cashew Yoghurt

I was first introduced to Cashew Yoghurt in Deb Durrant’s Sweet Online course. This simple and easy to prepare recipe has changed my breakfasts. I definitely have a sweet tooth and enjoy chia see puddings, fruit salad and cashew creams or smoothies for breakfast. However sometimes I wanted something creamy but not the sweetness that usually goes with it. Cashew yoghurt is my answer.
img_6408.jpgIngredients:

  • 2 cup cashews
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 4 capsules of acidophilus

Prior Preparation:

  1. Soak cashews in 2 cups of filtered water for 4 hours or over night

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  2. Blend cashews with 1 cup of filtered water until smooth and creamy.
  3. Open the acidophilus capsules and pour the content into the blender. Blend again to combine the acidophilus with the cashew cream. Discard the capsule cases.
  4. Pour cashew cream into a a yoghurt maker and leave for 5 – 10 hours.

IMG_6407I use an easiyo yoghurt maker. I pour boiling water into the easiyo thermos until it reaches the red shelf. I pour the cashew cream into the easiyo container, screw the lid onto the container and wrap newspaper around it. I then put this container into the thermos and leave for 5 hours. After 5 hours I then replace the original boiled water with new boiling water and again leave for 5 hours. After this second time I will taste the cashew yoghurt. If it still has a cashew taste I will once again replace the boiled water with new boiling water and leave again for 5 – 8 hours.IMG_6308
The acidophilus capsules I use are Solgar non-dairy acidophilus, as these can be used for fermentation. If you do not have Solgar non-dairy acidophilus check with the manufactures that the acidophilus capsules or powder can be used for fermentation.

I have also made the yoghurt with 1 cup of cashews and 1 cup of hazelnuts. The taste of the yoghurt has a hint of hazelnut and is a lot more tangy. I would love to hear what you think of this yoghurt.

In vibrant health, Vicki

Flours used in Raw Desserts

Like any recipes, cooked or not, there can be some ingredients that require preparation prior to making the dish. Having some flours already made and stored in the fridge means that when the urge takes you to make a sweet raw dessert you are able to do this. My three favourite flours that I keep on hand are Almond, Cashew and Oat.

almond flour in a wooden bowl, almondsAlmond Flour

Almond flour is the leftover pulp from making Almond Milk which has been dehydrated at 41C for 12 hours. Once dried it will have clumped together. Either process the dried almond pulp in a food processor or the dry jug of a blender to produce the flour. Sift the flour to remove any lumps and store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Any pulp leftover from making nut milk, like hazelnut or brazil nut, can be dehydrated and processed in the same way to produce a flour. The flour will lend a different taste to the dessert being created.

Cashew Flour

Cashew flour is produced by ‘whizzing’ small amounts of cashews in the dry jug of a blender. I use my Vitamix for this. The flour that is produced is then sifted to remove any lumps and the process repeated until the desired amount of cashew flour is reached. The flour is then stored in an air tight container in the fridge. It is important not to over blend the cashews or they will become cashew butter. I also store the left over ‘lumps’ of cashews in the fridge and use them to make cashew milk, cashew cream or the filling in one of my desserts.

Oat flour in old wooden bowlOat Flour

Process rolled oats in either the food processor or dry blender jug until flour consistency. Sift the flour to remove any lumps and store in an air tight container in the fridge. A lot of raw desserts use nuts for either the base and/or the filling. By using oat flour it reduces the amount of nuts used but it also ‘lightens’ the the pastry crusts or biscuits.

Having ingredients on hand in your kitchen is a great way to start setting up your kitchen. If you would like some other ideas of setting up your kitchen please contact me via email. vicki@inspiredchange.com.au

In vibrant health, Vicki

Carrot Crackers

almond carrot crackersI love making almond milk or any nut milk really. At the moment, I am enjoying a decaf coffee with warmed hazelnut milk, sweetened with cinnamon and maple syrup while I type this post and listen to the rain outside. Anyway I have digressed.  Making all these nut milks means I have lots of leftover nut pulp to work with so I’m experimenting with different recipes, to use up the nut pulp. Usually when I make the nut milks I will add a date or two to slightly sweeten the milk which means I don’t use any sweeteners when I use the nut milk for breakfast and smoothies. The only draw back with that is that the nut pulp is sweet so I can only use the pulp for a sweet dish.

A few weeks ago I decided to start making my nut milks plain – no dates or spices so that the leftover nut pulp could be used for a savoury dish as well as a sweet dish. As the weather is now cooling down I am wanting more heavier food so what better thing to make than crackers. Crackers can go with salads, dips, soups or spread with mashed avocado and sprinkled with celtic sea salt for a snack. Yum.  Below is what I put together and I have to say they were so nice. To have a slight spicy flavour through the cracker from the garam marsala was great and while the crackers where dehydrating the spiciness permeated the kitchen. With the smell through the kitchen I was so looking forward to when I would be able to try one. I was not disappointed.

I hope you enjoy these crackers as much as I did.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4cups of almond pulp – from making almond milk
  • 1 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garam marsala
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 Tbs olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place almond pulp, flaxseed meal and garam marsala in a bowl
  2. In a high speed blender process the carrot, zucchini, onion and water till smooth
  3. Pour carrot mixture into the bowl with the almond pulp mixture
  4. Mix together to form a wet dough
  5. Add olive oil to the bowl and mix thoroughly
  6. Divide evenly between two dehydrator trays and smooth, flatten to the size of the dehydrator tray
  7. Place in the dehydrator and dehydrate for 6 hours
  8. After 6 hours turn the crackers over onto a mesh sheet. Score so that once completely dehydrated you can snap the crackers apart. Dehydrate again for another 8 hours.
  9. Store crackers in the fridge or freezer.

In good health, Vicki

Raw Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Cashew Cream

I have a confession. Every now and again I will sneak off to the shops to buy a tub of chocolate mousse and vanilla yoghurt. This treat is SO decadent – the chocolate mousse rich, velvety and chocolate while the vanilla yoghurt is sweet and smooth and goes so nicely with the mousse. The tubs are only little so I use the smallest of my tea spoons and slowly savour each mouthful. If the kids are around I’ll get them one each also and we all sit there quietly taking in the flavours and textures. I love that they can be still at times and really be present with what they are eating.

Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Cashew CreamEven though this product is good quality there are still some ingredients that I am not happy with. Well today I created something that rivals this dish and for me there are no nasties, no diary, no gluten and I always have the ingredients on hand so can make it whenever I wish. Hmmm maybe that part isn’t good! I’m looking forward to when the kids come home so they can give me their opinion.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mousse

  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and cut up, soaked for 30mins
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 4 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/8 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 drop doTerra Cinnamon essential oil (optional)
  • 1 drop doTerra Wild Orange essential oil (optional)

Vanilla Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup cashews soaked over night
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4cup + 1Tbs date soaking water
  • 1/8 tsp celtic sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place all chocolate mousse ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Use the tamper to push the ingredients down so they blend together or turn the blender off and scrap the sides down and few times.
  2. Put mousse in the fridge to chill for 1 hour
  3. Place all vanilla cashew cream ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Again use the tamper or scrap the sides down until all ingredients are blended together and the consistency is smooth.
  4. You may need to add some more date soaking water, 1 Tbs at a time, to get the desired consistency
  5. Place vanilla cashew cream int he fridge to chill for 1 hour.
  6. To serve, place a few spoonfuls of mousse into and bowl along with a few spoonfuls of the vanilla cashew cream. I also added slices of a nectarine.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is very decadent and was a great way to celebrate some fantastic news I received.

In good health, Vicki