Thursday, July 24, 2014

Green Kale Smoothie and Popsicles: Guest Post by Lisa Viger

I am featuring some of my favorite food bloggers on Fragrant Vanilla Cake this week, and today Lisa Viger gets the spotlight!  Her blog Raw on $10 a Day (or Less) has always been an inspiration to me.  She makes raw food look beautiful, while also keeping it affordable.  Anyone looking to make raw food on a budget should check out her page!  Also, she has a new cookbook Easy Affordable Raw, and it is filled with lots of delicious recipes and I even contributed a dessert recipe! It is soon to be published and you should all check it out as well (you can pre-order on Amazon).  Today Lisa is sharing a nutritious kale smoothie recipe that also doubles as popsicles!  I will now turn it over to her!

Kale is often called, “The World’s Healthiest Food,” and with good reason. It contains a remarkable amount of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K, which is crucial for bone and heart health.

This is the %DV that Kale provides per cup.
·         Vitamin K - 1180%
·         Vitamin A - 98%
·         Vitamin C - 71%
·         Mangenese - 27%
·         Copper - 22%
·         Vitamin B6 - 10%
·         Fiber - 10%
·         Protein - 5%

Kale is also an amazing plant in the garden, is easy to grow, and beautiful, too. Start some now for a delicious Fall harvest!

This smoothie is a nutritional powerhouse, but is also incredibly tasty and perfect for breakfast or an anytime snack.

Green Kale Smoothie
·         3 cups kale leaves, loosely packed
·         2 cups water, more or less for blending
·         1 cup mango chunks, frozen
·         1 cup strawberries, frozen
·         1 banana, sliced into 1 inch pieces and frozen
·         ½ cup chopped carrots (can be frozen for an extra frosty smoothie)
·         4 tablespoons hemp protein powder (optional)

·         Place the kale leaves and water in a blender first and process until smooth.
·         Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

 * Popsicle option ... Like any smoothie mix, this can easily be made into popsicles ... just pour into molds and freeze! 

Yield: makes about 3 servings
Nutritional information:       calories: 253      fat: 0 gr      carbs: 44 gr      protein: 14 gr


Lisa Viger is a vegan artist, author, gardener, food blogger, navel gazer, and lover of the planet and all its inhabitants. More than almost anything, she enjoys showing others that a healthy vegan lifestyle can be economical, simple, fun, and delicious, too. Lisa lives in rural Michigan in a twisty house on a windy hill that sits between a wild creek and a lazy berry patch. Her first raw food book, Easy Affordable Raw, is available now from Quarry Books.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Cauliflower Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto

Last Saturday Eric and I went to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market and we got our hands on some garlic scapes.  He had never had them before so we had to get some.  I used to buy them and roast them until crispy then eat them like fries, but I knew they were also delicious in pesto, so I decided to make a pesto with them this time. I love a good garlicy pesto!  I combined them with a bit of kale, basil and lemon juice along with some hemp seeds and sunflower seeds for the pesto and it was delicious!  I combined it with some cauliflower, fresh corn, tomatoes, bell pepper and celery and it was a delicious salad!  I shared some with Eric, but if I hadn't I think I would have eaten the whole batch in one sitting, since I was hungry and it was that good.  If you have some garlic scapes, this is a must try!

Summer Cauliflower Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto
Serves 2

Garlic Scape Pesto:
1 cup chopped garlic scapes
2 large kale leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
juice of one large lemon (about 3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hempseeds
1/4 cup filtered water (or as needed)
sea salt to taste

1 large head cauliflower, broken into flowrettes
2 cups fresh organic sweet corn kernals
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced

For the pesto, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth (adding more water if too thick, until it reaches desired consistency).  Toss with the veggies in a large bowl and serve!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tropical Sun Sorbet: Guest Post with Emily Von Euw of This Rawsome Vegan Life

I am featuring some of my favorite bloggers on my blog this week doing guest posts, and today Emily Von Euw gets the spotlight!  She makes some of the most delicious raw desserts and savory dishes I have seen, and in fact, the first raw cake I ever made was based off of one of her recipes.  I am always drooling over the dishes she posts on facebook and instagram!  If you haven't visited her page This Rawsome Vegan Life you simply must! After you are done reading her post and delicious recipe first of course. Now, I will turn it over to Emily!

I have been obsessed - no, scratch that, addicted - to this recipe since I made it a few days ago. It has been SO hot here (30c+ degrees  everyday) and the only way the fam and I can bear it is with cold drinks! Mom realized early on that frozen fruit and booze do the trick for her and my dad. I took note of that, but swapped the vodka for bananas! You can add water (or better yet, coconut milk) to this to make it the BEST smoothie ever, or leave as is to create the perfect sorbet: creamy, cold, sweet and luscious. Who needs added sugar when you have the sweetness of the fruit!? I am quickly realizing mango will define my summer, and there ain't nothing wrong with that. 

Tropical Sun Sorbet

1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen pineapple
2 bananas

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth and thick just like the perfect sorbet. Note: this serves one mildly hungry person so if you are like me and love your fruit, double or triple the recipe!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Raw Rhubarb Cherry Hand Pies

One advantage to everyone knowing I make desserts for my blog, is that I get given free vegetables and fruit sometimes.  My neighbor brought me a huge stash of rhubarb from her cabin and I knew I had to make something to use some of it fast.  Some of it got frozen right away, but I thought some pie with a bit of it that I left out would be wonderful!  I had never tried it with cherries before, but the combo sounded like pure deliciousness so I was going to give it a go.

I was going to make a large pie with maybe a crumble topping, or a tart but then I thought about it and that is what I always seem to make so I thought outside of the box this time.  Maybe a galette? Pretty but not different enough.  So I settled on hand pies. 

 Who doesn't like their own pie after all, especially one that is hand held and not messy.  I admit when I was a kid, I was in love with those little cherry pies that you could buy at the gas station. Probably just because they were cute, because they didn't taste all that great, just like a lot of sugar.  I liked the idea though.  I could make cute raw hand pies that tasted good, now that was a good idea.

I made a soft dough, and wrapped it around a jammy cherry rhubarb filling (which did not taste raw, thanks to the dates making it gooey).  I knew they would be amazing as was, but they needed a little glaze to make them pretty.  They were 100x better than any cherry hand pie I ate as a kid!  I now think I need to experiment with hand pies a little more in the future, endless possibilities for filling makes me excited!

Raw Rhubarb Cherry Hand Pies
Makes 6

2 1/2 cups finely shredded dried coconut
2 cups sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat (or additional coconut)
2 cups ground golden flaxseed
1 1/2 cups soft medjool dates, pitted (if they are not soft, soak them in water until they are and drain well before using)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 2 medium)

2 1/2 cups fresh organic rhubarb, sliced
3 cups pitted halved cherries, divided
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
a pinch sea salt

2 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid
1 tsp raw coconut nectar (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)
2 Tbsp filtered water

To make the crust, combine all the ingredients but the banana in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the banana, and process until holding together like dough (if it seems too dry add a tsp of filtered water, if too sticky a few more Tbsp flaxseed). Divide the dough into 6 balls, and roll out 1/8 inch thick on a piece of parchment (if too sticky, refrigerate for about 10 minutes and oil your rolling pin).  Set rounds aside in the fridge.
To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, 1 cup of the cherries, dates,  coconut nectar and sea salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped but still a little texture.  Stir in the remaining cherries. Spoon a little filling into the center of each dough circle, then fold it over and flute the edges (or use a fork to crimp them shut).  Dehydrate for about 30 minutes until the outside of the dough is dry (this step can be skipped the dough will just be softer). 
To make the glaze, whisk together all ingredients until smooth (it may seem clumpy at first, but it will thin out). Drizzle over the pies (I find it easier and neater to put it in a ziplock back and clip the corner off then drizzle) and serve!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Raw Tropical Bonanza Jamu Freesh Cake: Guest Post by Jonny Freesh!

This week, I am featuring a few of my favorite raw food bloggers on my blog.  It is my honor to have them guest post and share a bit of their delicious food with us all!  The first blogger I am featuring is Jonny Freesh. Ever since I first saw his recipes I have been inspired by them. They are beautiful, delicious looking (and tasting, I have tried a few), and I am jealous of all of the yummy tropical fruit he has access to (in a good way).  He is also a rapper, and his lyrics are about raw food!  How awesome is that?! You all should visit his blog when you are done here and check out the deliciousness there. Now I will turn it over to him!

When Amy asked me to do a guest post on her blog I got really really super excited. I've been admiring her stunningly gorgeous Raw Desserts for well over a year and it's a huge honor to contribute to her site. She was the one who inspired me to take my swirling game to the next level. As my hilarious New Yorker friend would say, “Her Swirl Game is Ferocious!”

We've been communicating online for a while now, and it quickly became apparent that Amy has a penchant for tropical fruits. When she revealed that she liked Durian I swear I shed a tear of joy ;)

So I wanted to bring something special for this awesome opportunity. I may have gone a bit overboard lol, as there are 6 different Tropical Fruits in this delicacy, including Jackfruit and Snakefruit, two tropical fruits that I rarely see in recipes.

I also wanted to create something really unique and new. So that's where the Jamu comes in. Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal medicine that commonly comes in the form of a Turmeric juice here in Bali. So I put some Turmeric Powder in the yellow layer, which also had the benefit of making the color much more vibrant.

For those of you that are thinking, ewwww, turmeric in Dessert!?!? I encourage you to give it a try. I find that it mixes surprisingly well with chocolate, and it gives a delicious zesty tang to this cake.

And to make this cake extra super seriously special, I used Mangosteen. Here in Indonesia they call Durian the King of Fruits, and Mangosteen is his Queen. And deservedly. She is a divine concoction of sweetness and tartness, adorned in an elegant, regal, and yet simple costume.

Which, as you can probably imagine from looking at it, isn't exactly easy and quick to unpack. Which is why I rarely use it in recipes. It takes quite some time to separate those cute little white pods from the fairly large seeds that dwell inside. And each whole Mangosteen is about the size of a child's fist, so it takes about 3 kilos of fruit to get the 1 cup of de-seeded fruit required to make a significant amount of Mangosteen tasting substance.

But if any blog is worthy of the extra time and care required to create a Mangosteen cake, Fragrant Vanilla Cake is it. One day I hope Amy is afforded the opportunity to play around with a few kilos of the Queen of Fruits. Alas, man can but dream. Without further ado, here is the recipe for The Raw Tropical Bonanza Jamu Freesh Cake.

P.S. The word Freesh means to make Raw Food. I was never a fan of the word Uncooking and cooking raw food just doesn't sound right.

The Raw Tropical Bonanza Jamu Freesh Cake

Makes one 9 inch cake

Blender, Food Processor, 9” Spring Form Pan

2 cups Walnuts (soaked & dehydrated)
1 cup Desiccated Coconut
¼ cup Coconut Oil
1 cup Dried Figs
½ tsp Salt

White Layer:
1 cup Young Coconut Meat
1 cup Coconut Butter
¼ cup Raw Coconut Palm Nectar
¼ cup Coconut Water
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Coconut Water (for swirl)

Yellow Layer:
1 cup Chopped Jackfruit
½ cup Chopped Snakefruit
½ cup Passionfruit Goo
1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked)
2 tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ cup Raw Coconut Butter
½ cup Coconut Oil
2 Vanilla Beans

Purple Layer:
¼ cup Dates soaked in ½ cup Coconut Oil for 10-20 Minutes (Use Both)   
1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked)
¼ cup Fresh Purple Mulberries
1 cup Mangosteen
2 Vanilla Beans
A Pinch of Salt

1.  Blitz all crust ingredients until well mixed and it easily sticks between your fingers.
2.  Wipe down Spring Form Pan with coconut oil and press crust firmly down into the bottom of it.
3.  Blend all White Layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
4.  Set aside 3 tbsp for swirl and mix with 1 tbsp of Coconut Water.
5.  Put 1/3 cup into an icing syringe or piping bag and put in fridge.
6.  Pour remainder into pan and put in freezer.
7.  Blend all Yellow Layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
8.  Set aside 3 tbsp for swirl.
9.  Put 1/3 cup in piping bag or icing syringe and put in fridge.
10.Pour on top of white layer and put back in freezer.
11.Blend all purple layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
12.Pour on top of yellow layer.
13.Put small dollops of the 3 tbsps of yellow and white layer you set aside earlier around the top of the purple layer and swirl with a skewer or thin chopstick.
14.Pipe icing around side of cake.
15.Put in freezer to set for 3-4 hours.
16.Slice, serve, and bask in the glow of the tropical fruits of Bali. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review of Choosing Raw and Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream Recipe

Today I have the pleasure of doing a review of Gena Hamshaw's recently released book Choosing Raw! When Gena told me she was sending me a copy I could not have been more excited.  I anxiously awaited its arrival and when it came I had to read it right away.  I love cookbooks, especially ones including vegan or raw food by authors I admire.  This is not just another vegan/raw cookbook though, it has information on why a vegan diet can be beneficial and how you can add raw foods into your diet without being strictly raw.  To begin the book Gena tells her inspiring story and journey towards health and how she struggled with an eating disorder and found balance.  She also addresses the nutritional concerns one might have when starting a vegan/raw diet, and also the myths associated with it.  I would recommend this book for anyone curious about a vegan/raw diet, or just starting out as well as anyone who is already eating this way because there are recipes in it that either end of the spectrum can appreciate.  If you are on the just starting out end, she has different sections in the book meant to ease you into eating this way.  

All of the recipes looked delicious to me, but the one I am going to share today that caught my eye was the Raw Vegan Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream. I am loving this sort of thing lately and that flavor combination sounded amazing. 

It was just as I imagined it too, creamy, sweet and refreshing with a little kick from the ginger!  Perfect for a hot summer day which is what I am experiencing right now.  I can't wait to try more recipes from the book!  If you would like a copy, you can find it HERE on Amazon! Also, you should visit Gena's Choosing Raw Facebook Page or Blog!

Raw, Vegan Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream

Makes 4 Servings

1⁄2 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more and drained
4 frozen bananas
2 heaping cups frozen blueberries
1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder if you’re using a food processor)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons almond or hemp milk (may not be needed for the food processor version)

If you’re using a high-speed blender:

Blend all the ingredients together in a highspeed blender. Use the tamper attachment to facilitate blending. Add a little more almond milk, if necessary, to facilitate blending.

If you’re using a food processor:

Place the cashews in a food processor and process until they’re broken down. Add the bananas and let the motor run until they’ve turned into soft. When you have soft serve consistency, add the blueberries, powdered ginger, and lemon, and blend until totally smooth. Add the almond milk only if you need a thinner consistency; you may not. Serve.

Leftover ice cream can be transferred to a sealed storage container and frozen for up to a week, then reprocessed in the food processor just prior to serving.

From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014.

Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Sleeping in, going for a run on a perfect cool summer morning, and making myself a smoothie bowl.  That is my ideal start to the day.  That was how it was last Sunday.  It doesn't usually go like that in the summer.  It is usually a hot sticky day here mid-July and 50 and 60 degree morning temps are pretty rare.  But I will take it!  My body was thankful for that as well.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for every day I am able to even get out the door and run pain free, bugs, humidity, heat, rain and all...but this cooler stuff was icing on the cake.  I like to think it was kind of a Birthday present the temps being cool this week.  I can remember the past few years it was over 100 degrees this part of July. Anyways, I was feeling so energized and happy Sunday and making this delicious Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl added to the happy part.  It was so yummalicious!

I enjoy coming up with a different smoothie bowl every week.  It keeps it interesting and exciting for me.  This time I was craving cherry.  In addition to the cherries, I added in some strawberries I had on hand as well and a dash of cacao powder and raw chocolate protein powder as well.  I topped it off with raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut and more cherries.  It was delicious!  This is the best type of that nourishes, energizes and tastes amazing!

Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl
Serves 1

1 large bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
1 cup frozen organic strawberries
2 cups organic cherries
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 scoop raw chocolate protein powder (optional, I used Garden of Life brand)
1/4-1/2 cup raw hemp milk or coconut milk (depending on how liquidy you like it, I like mine thick so I add less)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
stevia to taste (or your choice liquid raw sweetener)

raw cacao nibs
chia seeds
shelled raw hemp seeds
large flake dried coconut
fresh cherries

For the smoothie, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, using the tamper to press the mixture into the blades.  Pour into a bowl, top with toppings (I used about 1 Tbsp of each).  Enjoy!