Tag Archives: strawberry

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

Summer Salad with Fresh Fruit, Edible Flowers, and Herbal Lime Dressing

Summer Salad with Fruit and Herbal Dressing

I made this light summer salad for dinner this evening because summer has come to Florida! We are experiencing the afternoon torrential downpours, as well as the heat and humidity. My porch plants  start to protest if I skip even one day of watering. Some of them even prefer twice a day (I’m looking at you, tomatoes).

This summer salad recipe is flexible; the ingredients can be changed up to suit your own tastes and produce availability. I really enjoyed it with the tangy fruits, as the dressing is subtly sweet and herbal, so the flavors compliment each other nicely. The addition of tender greens and sprouts also provides a nice balance of flavor to counter the sweetness in the fruit. Finally, the edible flowers are totally optional, but I grew them in my garden without any chemicals, and I love how they add a little extra “art” to the presentation. 

Summer salad with fruit and honey lime dressing

Regarding the health benefits of this dish…

I strive to include raw leafy greens in as many of my meals as possible. They are full of fiber, vitamins, absorbable calcium, iron, and they are my favorite source of protein. Per calorie, many leafy greens have more protein than meat, and you won’t be sacrificing any of the valuable phytonutrients in the process of consuming it. When you consume them raw, you keep all of the heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes intact!

Sprouts are a nutritional powerhouse! Because the little plants are preparing to use a lot of energy to become great big plants, they are full of vitamins and enzymes (a type of protein), which help you to break down your food more efficiently and absorb more nutrients from it. The protein in seeds is higher quality and more absorbable when they are sprouted. Additionally, many nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors, which are not broken down until they are soaked and the germination process begins. During the sprouting process, essential fatty acid content is higher than in the seed alone as well.

Fresh fruit in a variety of colors ensures a variety of nutrients are present in your meal! Pineapple, kiwi, and strawberry are all excellent sources of vitamin C, some of them more so than citrus! Pineapple is highly anti-inflammatory, strawberries are a great source of zinc (from their seeds), and while kiwi’s best traits are being high in fiber and vitamin C, it might also help you get a better night’s sleep. I’ve got some organic apples in there too. Apples are a great source of potassium and the skins contain an antioxidant called quercetin (also found in onion peels, but we don’t want to eat those!). It can help to block histamine response if you are an allergic type of person, and it combats inflammation of your neurons, which means apples are good for your nervous system and might help to prevent dementia. Apples help to keep us sane. 😉 Their high fiber content also helps to reduce cholesterol.

Marigold petals are edible! Their bright orange color comes from carotenoids – the same antioxidant family that gives carrots a similar hue. Three particular carotenoids in marigold petals are lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. The former two help to protect against damage to your eyes as you age. So, get out there and nibble on some flowers! I tossed a few cucumber blossoms in there for good measure. I had to trim back my vines a bit today due to my limited porch space. I knew they were edible and I don’t let perfectly good food go to waste in this this home! (http://www.livestrong.com/article/444206-health-benefits-of-marigold-flowers/)

The dressing for this salad is really amazing. I used a probiotic drink called jun that I brew myself (along with kombucha and a slew of other things I enjoy fermenting), fresh lime juice, local raw honey, flax oil, and fresh sage and peppermint from my garden! Every single ingredient serves to boost the nutritional value of the meal. The jun adds more biodiversity to the gut flora (and a very pleasant floral green tea flavor to the dressing). Combined with improving my gut flora, local raw honey has done miraculous things for my seasonal allergies. I like to add a small amount to my food/drinks a few times a week. As I have significantly reduced my oil consumption, flax seed oil is one that I still consume in small amounts, as it is the only plant based oil that has more omega 3 than omega 6, making it anti-inflammatory. One of the reasons that sage and mint pair so nicely together is because they are botanically related! I love to pair related plants. They always seem to compliment each other, flavor wise. Peppermint is great for digestion and sage can help to improve memory function. It’s also anti-inflammatory and was once thought to be crucial in fighting off the plague!

Summer Salad w/Fresh Fruit & Herbal Honey Lime Dressing
Serves 2
A light and filling summer salad that contains a wide assortment of vitamins and minerals and a rich layering of flavors. This recipe can easily be scaled up or down to feed as many people as you need it to.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Salad Ingredients
  1. 5 oz butter lettuce (or tender greens of choice)
  2. 1/2 red delicious apple (always buy organic apples)
  3. 4 large strawberries (always buy organic berries)
  4. 2 kiwis
  5. 1" section of pineapple
  6. 1/4-1/2 cup sprouts of choice (I used sweet clover sprouts)
  7. Edible flowers (optional - I used marigold petals and cucumber blossoms - both from my garden)
Dressing Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup jun (for a similar flavor, substitute 1/4 cup chilled jasmine green tea + 1/2 tsp honey + 1/4 tsp ACV)
  2. 1 lime, skinned
  3. 2 TB flax seed oil
  4. 2 TB local raw honey
  5. 6 fresh sage leaves
  6. 12 fresh peppermint leaves
Instructions
  1. Add 2.5 oz of tender greens to each plate (should be easy to divide based on standard sizing of packaged greens)
  2. Chop fruit and arrange on top of the greens to your artistic liking
  3. Add appx 1/4 cup sprouts to each plate (or just a few pinches - however much you like)
  4. Sprinkle with edible flowers
  5. Add all dressing ingredients to blender and blend until thoroughly combined (each serving is roughly the size of an espresso cup - shown in photo)
  6. Top salad with dressing
  7. Eat with someone who will make pleasant dinner conversation and give thanks for the bounty on your plate. 🙂
Notes
  1. Jun is a fermented drink that is made using a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts). It provides a blend of probiotics that are good for your gut. It is grown in a similar fashion as kombucha, but is grown in a medium of green tea and raw honey. This being the case, the jun has a light floral taste (pending the type of honey you use - orange blossom is my preference). I realize that most people probably do not have a jun culture, so the closest thing I think you could substitute to get a similar flavor in the dressing is an equal amount of a light jasmine green tea with just a small amount of honey, and an even smaller amount of ACV to account for the every so slight acidic flavor of the probiotics.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Strawberry Spice Sorbet & Fruit Leather Roll Ups (Raw)

Strawberry spice sorbet and fruit leather roll ups made from the same recipe!

I had an over abundance of strawberries because I went a little crazy at the farmer’s market last weekend. I bought a whole flat, fully intending to have a strawberry bonanza and make a week’s worth of strawberry recipes. I enjoyed snacking on them as-is too. 

Big bowl of pesticide free strawberries

Toward the end of the week, I had a lot more left over than I thought, so I decided to make some recipes with them that would keep for a while, but would require a minimal amount of work. Did you know that the same base recipe makes both the perfect sorbet AND the perfect consistency fruit leathers? That’s right, stick it all in the blender, then pour some in your ice cream maker and some onto your dehydrator sheets. No cleaning the blender in between!

Strawberry spice sorbet

The sorbet is divine and you don’t have to eat it right away as it remains scoop-able after re-freezing. The spices play with the palate so that it feels cold and warming at the same time. It’s really easy to turn the fruit leathers into fruit roll ups too. All you need is a little wax paper or parchment paper (I have tested both and they each work well), and some kitchen shears to cut through the rolls. They’d be a great healthy snack to toss into your child’s lunchbox. Adults love them too. My father loved the nectarine and honey leather roll ups I made last year!

Easy and healthy DIY fruit leather roll ups

Strawberry Spice Sorbet & Fruit Leather Roll Ups!
This is an easy and healthy way to make two things from the same recipe - fruit sorbet and fruit leather roll ups! You will need a blender, an ice cream maker, and a dehydrator. The standard recipe will make enough for a batch of sorbet or a batch of fruit leathers. Double it to make both! You can use any natural sweetener you like. A popular raw vegan option is date syrup, as it is unprocessed and you can make it yourself at home. A less popular raw vegan option is raw agave - it is raw, but processed. A non-vegan, but still raw option is raw honey, which will add a nice flavor and if obtained from a local source, will help you build immunity to the local pollen as well!
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 & 1/2 cups strawberry puree (appx 1 pint = 1-1.25 cups puree)
  2. 3/4 cup sweetener of your choice (healthier options: date syrup, raw honey, raw agave)
  3. Juice of 1/4 lemon
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 TB powdered ginger
  6. 2 tsp powdered cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp ground coriander seed
Instructions
  1. Wash strawberries and remove the green tops.
  2. Blend strawberries before adding any other ingredients. Add strawberries to blender until the required amount of puree is reached.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to blender.
  4. For sorbet, pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions. Transfer to freezer overnight for best texture results.
  5. For leathers, pour the mixture onto the center of the sheets slowly and tilt the sheets gently until it is spread to a couple inches from the edges. The amount will vary based on the size of your dehydrator trays. It is runny. Don't spread it. Just let it slowly go toward the edges and slide the tray back in. To keep the enzymes intact and keep it raw, dehydrate at 115 for at least 8 hours or until it is dry to the touch and leathery when you tug at the edges.
  6. After the leathers are done in the dehydrator, transfer them to parchment paper (wax paper works well too, but is not as wide, so you will end up having to cut your leathers before you transfer them, which is tedious), roll them up, then cut to the desired width with a pair of kitchen shears.
Notes
  1. Yes, the added sweetener is required if you want your sorbet to remain scoop-able and have fewer ice crystals after re-freezing and your leathers to have a nice stretchy and chewy texture.
  2. I doubled this recipe when I made it and half of it went into my ice cream maker for sorbet, while the other half went into my dehydrator for fruit leathers.
  3. It made roughly 1 quart of sorbet.
  4. It also made 3 sheets of fruit leathers in my dehydrator, which has trays measuring 15"x15". After cutting each sheet into 4 strips for fruit roll ups, I ended up with a total of 12 rolls.
  5. If you leave the leathers in longer, they will be fine. The sweetener keeps the texture nice and chewy so you won't have to worry about them drying out.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/