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Fundamentals of Raw Food: Day 16

raw vegan chia pudding

Week 4 of Fundamentals of Raw Food has officially started!!! Only 4 more days left and then I’m done with the course. I can hardly believe how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. I’m really excited about the final project that I’m working on too!

The first thing we did was to create more nut milk for some additional recipes that we will be completing as part of the curriculum. I also created a cashew milk for the first time, as it is a component of the dessert recipe I am working on for my final project. 

The first project of the day was to create some tart crusts! These are so cute, aren’t they? They will eventually be filled with a lemon and chamomile tart filling. I can’t wait to taste it!

raw vegan tart crust raw vegan tart crust

After making the tart crusts, we made another breakfast (or anytime snack for that matter) dish. This is a banana chia pudding topped with a chai cream and some seasonal fresh fruit. The chai cream was amazing. It tasted just like a chai latte, and it gave me a great excuse to finally purchase some cardamom!

raw vegan chia puddingraw vegan chia pudding raw vegan chia pudding raw vegan chia pudding

We had another lesson in artfully plating and properly dressing salads today as well. If you toss the leaves in the bowl with the dressing and then arrange them on the plate, you get just the right amount in every bite. We have previously practiced with kale and a green of our choice in artfully plating salads. Today, we were given butter lettuce to practice with. It’s so light and fluffy. It almost looks like a flower when you make a little tower from it. Then, it’s easy to tuck little bits of vegetables into the folds. I feel like Christmas has come early with all the red and green bits tucked into my butter lettuce tree. =D

butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing

The class assignments are a bit lighter this week to allow us time for testing our final project recipes. We had to submit our first process/testing photos, so I can give you a little sneak peak of what I am working on. I started the prep work for my appetizer and my dessert. The appetizer will contain a yogurt cream sauce inside of a cucumber roll and my dessert is going to be a mash up of a mango lassi and a panna cotta. The photos below are my yogurt before starting incubation, a honey pecan wafer, and my panna cotta experiment in the molds, getting ready to go into the fridge to set up overnight.

raw vegan coconut yogurt raw vegan toule raw vegan toule raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta

Raw Food Fundamentals: Day 15

raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate

Day 15 is Raw Food Fundamentals at Matthew Kenney Academy is completed! Today was an exciting day because I got to make some tasty breakfast items, and a fancy cheese plate! It just so happened that I finished the cheese plate on the weekend, so my husband and I were able to snack on it in the afternoon while we busied ourselves with bottling his home brewed beer. 😉

The first task of the day was to flavor our coconut yogurt. Mine was very tangy from the strong probiotics that I used in it and the extra time that I let it ferment. I added a little honey, vanilla, and some ripe bananas to make a delicious banana flavored yogurt. With this, I layered in some fresh mango along with my finished tropical buckwheat granola. I topped it all off with a pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey. It was tangy and sweet and delicious!

raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait

The extra granola that was left was also amazing eaten as cereal with some homemade hemp milk and a little roasted dandelion tea (a reasonable facsimile for coffee if you want something that is caffeine-free, acid free, and good for your liver!).

raw vegan sprouted buckwheat granola with hemp milk

…And now the moment of truth. CHEESE PLATE TIME! With a little coaching about mixing flavors and textures together and the subtleties of plating something like this, I went to work. I actually own a cheese board too. I bought it for my sister’s baby shower last year, but I mostly use it for plating flax crackers and sauces or other snacks. Who doesn’t love food served up on a fancy piece of slate?

I did a little extra credit work on my cheeses since I’m on the slow track for this class. In addition to the 3 cashew cheeses that I made (rosemary crusted, orange/rose, and red wine/pepper), I wanted to try some with macadamia nuts as well, so I made 2 additional cheeses – one which I stuffed  with green olive, and another which contains layers of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Yup, it’s Simon & Garfunkle cheese. 😉 As my cheeses were all of the savory and salty variety, I paired them with sweeter elements and included some crunchy items on the plate as well. There are dried apricots, figs, and cantaloupe, fresh cherries, almonds, pecans dipped in raw honey and topped with the leftover homemade chocolate chops, and my trio of chia crackers that went into the dehydrator yesterday.

raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate

Following my nut cheese extravaganza, we made some more nut milks to prepare for tomorrow’s recipes and got to spend some quality time cleaning up our final project recipes, as well as making our grocery lists and daily schedules for testing out our final recipes and plating. I’m so excited!!!

Raw Food Level 1: Day 14

raw vegan portobello sliders

Day 14 of Raw Food Level 1 at Matthew Kenney Academy is completed! Today, we checked in on our wheatgrass, dehydrated our nut cheeses to put a rind on them (not pictured), put together some last minute toppings and sauces for our sliders before plating and eating them, made sprouted buckwheat granola, made Bahian soup, and started planning for our final projects! It was a super busy, and very delicious day. I think this might be my favorite day of eating so far!

Here is my still growing and freshly harvested wheatgrass! I can’t believe I grew it myself, and it was so easy to do! All I did was soak the wheat berries overnight and then start the sprouting process. As soon as they had little tails, I sandwiched them between a layer of potting mix (to let them breathe without getting overly saturated) with a little organic fertilizer and garden lime mixed in. You don’t even need any fancy equipment for this. I did it in cheap-o aluminum lasagna pans that I found at the grocery store for about $1 each. Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage and lightly water daily, and you’re good to go!

growing wheatgrass growing wheatgrasswheat grass

 

I ran my wheatgrass through the juicer and decided to have a little fun, so I made a “wheatgrass bomb” with a juice base of apple, pear, cucumber, and lime. It was amazing. Maybe it tasted better because I grew the wheatgrass myself and had a deep appreciation for the work that went into it, or maybe the flavor of my homegrown wheatgrass actually was better than the stuff I’d been buying at Whole Foods. Hmmm…

wheatgrass juice wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb

After marinading some portobello mushroom medallions (thanks, ring mold!), some blending to make a few sauces (smokey tomato based “BBQ” and a creamy basil ranch), and a few toppings (salsa and shallot/spinach/thyme), we had free reign to mix and match whatever we wanted on our sliders. It was time to take out that “swiss cheese” that was completed a few days ago too.

I put a bed of red lettuce on all of my sliders to act as a moisture barrier. After that, this is what went on each of them (besides the marinaded portobello):

  • swiss cheese, bbq sauce, kimchi (homemade!), caramelized onions
  • yogurt, tomato, pickle (homemade!), shallot mix (this one was my favorite)
  • swiss cheese, ranch, salsa

I can’t believe I made every single thing on this plate from scratch. I feel so accomplished. My poor husband did not get to eat any of it. I devoured it at lunch time. 😉

raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders

We also started a batch of sprouted buckwheat granola, which will be going into a yogurt parfait tomorrow. We were given a base recipe and technique and told that we could alter it however we liked. I love assignments where I can take a creative license. I made a tropical granola with pineapple, coconut, lime, and cinnamon. There are some apple bits in there too for a little extra sweetness.

raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders

The last recipe of the day was a Brazilian-inspired “Bahian soup”. It’s a chunky soup that is traditionally made with seafood and the texture is a result of cooking the mixture down. In the raw food world, we mimic these textures and flavors with creative blending and ingredient mixing techniques. This soup was delicious. I love that it had a hit of spice up front, and then the flavors of tomato, coconut, and lime all came in to mingle playfully together afterward. the chunkiness of the tomato, the creamy texture of the soup itself, and the pieces of avocado all blended together to make a great texture as well.

My day ended with a delicious bowl of this soup and the beginning stages of planning my final project, which is to plan a full three course raw vegan meal! The meal I am working on takes its inspiration from Arabic, Greek, Indian, and Italian dishes. It should be a lot of fun!

raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup

 

Level 1 Raw Food: Day 12

raw vegan pancakes

I just completed day 12 in the Level 1 Raw Food course from Matthew Kenney Academy. I am well into my third week, learning some cool new techniques, and starting to think about my final project already!

The first thing I got to do today, which was really fun, was to take my “swiss cheese” out of the dehydrator, cut it up to make it look like swiss cheese, and sample it. It was really good! It even had a bit of a swiss-like flavor, and the flexible fatty texture of cheese. If I made it again, I think I’d let it ferment longer to develop a sharper flavor, but this is definitely a technique that I would use again. Totally worth it!

raw vegan swiss cheese

raw vegan swiss cheese raw vegan swiss cheese IMG_1558

After checking on some of my other fermented cheese projects in the fridge and dehydrator, it was time to plate the pancakes that just came out of the dehydrator. They started as humble swirls of batter on a dehydrator sheet.

raw vegan maple pancakes

They were transformed into this masterpiece! I layered them with bananas and seasonal berries, and I made a maple blueberry jelly to go on top. It’s really easy to make. Blueberries naturally contain a lot of pectin, so I just blended them with a little maple syrup until all the little bits were smooth and then I poured it into a bowl to sit for a few minutes. When I spooned it out, it was jelly. 🙂

raw vegan pancakes raw vegan pancakes raw vegan pancakes raw vegan pancakes

The next project for today was to make chocolate chips! Yes, there is such a thing as raw vegan chocolate chips! We blended up a chocolate-y mixture containing raw cacao and then piped it out onto dehydrator sheets. I filled 3 sheets full of them and I have a totally new respect for cake decorators. My first two trays were pretty ugly, and my third came out much nicer. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

raw vegan chocolate chips raw vegan chocolate chips raw vegan chocolate chips

My final project for today was to start one of my favorite food projects – coconut yogurt! This is so ridiculously easy to make. Blend up some coconut meat, toss in some probiotics, and within a day, you have tangy coconut yogurt, ready to eat! You can then flavor it however you like. 

raw vegan coconut yogurt raw vegan coconut yogurt raw vegan coconut yogurt

Juice Pulp Breakfast Bread (Raw Vegan)

carrot-juice-pulp-bread-raw-vegan

Ever wondered what to do with the juice pulp after you’ve made a beautiful batch of juice? Do you feel bad tossing it in the trash or composting it? Never fear! We can put all that nutritious fiber to good use and make a healthy breakfast flat bread from it! It’s not too sweet either, so you can add a fruit spread or a nut-based cream spread to the top if you’d like. I like to eat it with a nice glass of kombucha. 🙂

Raw vegan fruit, nut, and juice pulp flat bread for breakfast, served with a side of kombucha.

Root vegetable pulp mixed with a little fruit pulp is the perfect combination for this recipe. I used the leftover pulp from my pineapple, yellow beet, and carrot juice. When you make that juice recipe, you can also use this recipe to get the maximum benefit from that pulp and keep from throwing it away!

Pineapple-Carrot-Beet juice and bread made from the pulp.

Juice Pulp Breakfast Bread (Raw Vegan)
A not-too-sweet breakfast flatbread that is made from leftover juice pulp, fruit, and nuts.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr 15 min
Pulp from Juicing
  1. 3 cups chopped pineapple
  2. 8 medium organic carrots
  3. 2 yellow beets
Other Flatbread Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup flaxmeal
  3. 1/2 cup raw liquid sweetener of your choice (date syrup, raw agave, raw honey [honey is not vegan])
  4. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  5. 1 cup chopped pecans
  6. 1 cup chopped dates
  7. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  8. 1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but delicious)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. When well combined, split the "dough" into two portions and spread each portion out onto a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick sheet. It should be about 1/4" thick.
  3. Dehydrate about 18 hours (at 115 F), then carefully flip the bread over and transfer to a tray without a non-stick sheet for another 6 hours.
  4. It is done when it feels dry to the touch in the middle and can be picked up completely by the edges.
  5. Cut into pieces which are a shape and size that you would find enjoyable to snack on.
Notes
  1. I made my juice with an Omega juicer. Your pulp may be drier or wetter than mine. If you use a centrifugal juicer, your pulp will likely be wetter, and you will need to use less water. The "dough" should be moist and stick together when scooped up. It should not be runny.
  2. If you have a really fancy juicer like a Norwalk that presses every last drop of juice from your fiber, you can try the recipe with more water, but please note, that I have not had experience working with pulp in this state, and cannot guarantee the outcome.
  3. This bread is not very sweet. It reminds me a little of toast. It is perfect for adding your own fruit spread or nut based cream sauce to the top. If you prefer a sweeter bread, you can increase the amount of sweetener that is used. The bread may turn out more soft and chewy and less firm if you do this.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/