Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raw Vegan Dessert Helper—Use As A Crumble Or A Crust

Raw Dessert Helper on papaya with coconut garnish.

Raw Dessert Helper made into a pie crust.

Day 20
of our “One Month Raw Food Cleanse”
The one thing that makes eating raw easy to do is the wonderful desserts. There are some incredibly complicated, gourmet raw desserts that can take days to prepare, but this recipe is easy, useful and versatile. I keep a container of this delicious crumble in my refrigerator at all times. It’s a combination of heart healthy raw nuts (you can use walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts), a sweet dry fruit (dates, raisins or other dried fruits like dried apricots), shredded raw coconut, salt and a few flavorings (I use cinnamon but you can also use nutmeg or vanilla). You can turn any bowl of sliced fruit into a beautiful dessert. You can also press it into a pie crust and use it for your favorite chilled pie recipe (either a raw pie recipe or fill it with your favorite probiotic rich frozen yogurt and top with fresh berries). You will be tempted to just eat it with a spoon but try and contain yourself since it’s pretty high in calories.

In this recipe, I use walnuts and raw almonds. Unfortunately, in 2007 a bill requiring all raw almonds to be pasteurized was passed even though contamination in almonds is very rare. The worst part was that pasteurized almonds can still be labeled “raw”. The good news is that you can still find real “raw” almonds at your local farmers market and also online (make sure you know your source).

Almonds are known to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease perhaps due to their LDL lowering monosaturated fats as well as their high content of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. A low glycemic index food, almonds protect blood sugar surges and help protect against diabetes. They are also a good source of riboflavin, magnesium and manganese.

Walnuts also reduce the risk of heart disease and contain significantly more omega 3 fatty acids than other nuts. They are also a low glycemic index food and a very good source of manganese.


Dessert Helper—Nut Crumble and Crust [16 servings as a topping]
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw, unsweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 jumbo Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Process almonds in a food processor until they are in chunks (since almonds are harder than walnuts, they need just a bit more processing, but don’t over do it). Add walnuts, coconut, salt and cinnamon and process until course. Add dates and raisins and process until the mixture is a good “crumble” consistency. If you want to use this for a pie crust, process until it starts to stick together a bit but be careful not to over process. Use what you need for a topping and store the remaining mixture in a sealed container and refrigerate.

Per serving: 135 calories, 10 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, .6 g cholesterol, 3.2 g protein, 10.3 g carbohydrates and 2.4 g of fiber.

Menu for Day 20
Breakfast is a berry smoothie (I just can’t get enough of them) with frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries, banana, vitamineral green, flaxseed oil, soaked almonds, a soaked date (throw the soaking water from the date in the smoothie too!) and a handful of kale. Lunch is leftover soft tacos from last night’s dinner. Tonight I will be making a raw tabouli salad with some raw corn on the cob (even when I’m not raw, I always eat my corn on the cob without cooking it. Once I tasted it that way, I have never cooked it again). I’ll share the tabouli recipe with you tomorrow if it comes out good. For dessert, this wonderful dessert helper on top of some cantaloupe and strawberries.

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