The French are known for doing freakishly delicious things with their fruit. Take for example, clafoutis, a tasty flan-like cake filled with the season’s best fruit. An easy, fancy pants dessert that you can whip up in no time.
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar (1 tablespoon to dust the baking dish)
¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used light coconut milk)
¼ cup plain yogurt
3 free range, organic eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2-3 cups of your favourite fruit (thinly sliced apples, pears, mangoes or berries work great – just go with the seasons!)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9-inch pie or tart dish with the margarine and dust the entire surface with sugar, add more if you need it. Give the dish a tap to get rid of the excess sugar.
3. In a blender or large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients except the margarine and fruit and blend or stir vigorously until the batter comes together. It should be thoroughly mixed with no lumps.
4. Pour half the batter into the pan. Gently top it with fruit (in a fan shape if you want to get all fancy like) and slowly pour the rest of the batter on top. Make sure you cover all of the fruit.
5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are nicely golden-brown).
6. Best served warm. Before serving, top it off with powdered sugar and go à la mode for a well rounded dessert.
Waffles – the fluffy breakfast food of the Gods! Gabe and I whip up a batch of basic animal-free waffles that are just as tasty as the conventional Eggo, with the added perk of adding a bunch of delicious ingredients into the batter (we opted for blueberries and coconut).
Top it off with your favorite yogurt, granola, fruit, or get fancy with a Coconut Rum Syrup and you’ve got a breakfast fit for a king, queen or family of picky royals.
Gentlemen – need some uplifting in the pants department? According to Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., a professor of food science at the University of Maine, “They’re loaded with soluble fiber, which helps push excess cholesterol through your digestive system before it can be broken down, absorbed, and deposited along the walls of your arteries.” She says “they’re also packed with compounds that help relax your blood vessels, improving circulation.” (Source: MensHealth.com)
In layman’s terms? Better blood circulation equals a stronger erection, as well as a myriad of other health benefits. Blueberry season just ended here in BC but luckily, I’ve already eaten my fill. I’ve turned the rest into some mighty tasty spicy, sweet jam to keep the fire going all year long. I should add that you do not need to possess a male appendage in order to enjoy this jam. Note: Never made your own jam before? I recommend you read up on what you need and how to do it here: http://www.pickyourown.org/jam.htm. You don’t want to end up burnt, sad, or even worse, jamless! Makes 4 half pint jars.
4 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup of jalapenos (seeded for medium hot, unseeded for uber hot)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup apple cidar vinegar
4 tablespoons liquid pectin
pinch of salt
In a large bowl, mash the blueberries and stir in the sugar. Pour into a saucepan and set aside. Combine the jalapenos, vinegar, lemon juice, and vinegar in a blender or food processor and pulse it few times until smooth. Add the mixture into the saucepan with the blueberries. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Thoroughly stir in the pectin, raise the heat, and bring it to a boil. Continue boiling for one minute. Remove from heat, skim off any foam and transfer into sterilized jam jars, leaving about a 1/4 inch from top. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and tightly seal the jars.
With at least 2 inches of water over the top of the lids, boil the sealed jars for 7 minutes. Set on the counter to cool.
My friend Marcus from Eat Raw Vegan is a raw foodie with a passion for health and happiness. He made some remarkable raw vegan brownies topped with shredded coconut, and dagnabbit they were good (times two). His brownies were so good in fact that I’ve made them a few times with a few modifications to cater them to my taste (you can find the original recipe on Marcus’ blog at www.eatrawvegan.com). Thanks Marcus!
Maybe you’re thinking, “But are they as good as baked brownies?” Well, if you’re comparing it to the fudgy, gooey, butter-based mass of chocolate heaven that you’ve come to know as the typical brownie, that’s just not fair. But if you’re looking for a healthier alternative that’s delicious and good to the ol’ belly, this is it.
Here’s my take on the raw brownie, aptly re-named, Unbaked: The Brownie.
1 1/2 cups of hazelnuts, soaked in water overnight, drained and rinsed
8-10 pitted dates
1/2 cup of cacao powder (Dutch-pressed variety cocoa powder works too, although it’s not considered “raw” anymore because it’s roasted at a high temperature)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
pinch of salt
1. Process the hazelnuts until coarsely ground. Add the dates, vanilla bean, and salt. Process until dates are incorporated but there are still chunks of hazelnuts. Add water if you find it’s too dry or crumbly.
2. Spoon the mixture into a small cake pan and press down. Top with shredded coconut or extra cacao and pop it in the fridge until your ready to serve your raw-some dessert.
Panna cotta is a smooth, creamy Italian custard-type dessert that literally translates as ‘cooked cream’ in English, which to me sounds as charming as a boiled onion. Thanks English. This fine dessert is traditionally made with sugar, vanilla, cream, and gelatin as it’s binding and gelling agent.
If you’re trying to reduce your consumption of animal products, or already avoid animal products, you might consider avoiding the typical gelatin as it’s made from collagen that’s been extracted from by-products of the meat industry. That’s right friends, Jell-o is actually wiggly, jiggly, colourful blobs of animal.