Raw Mango Mousse With Irish Moss

Mango Mousse Cups

Mango Mousse Cups

This recipe is inspired by my Raw Cacao Mousse recipe. I keep playing with Irish Moss, a new ingredient for me, and wanted to come up with a fruit-based version of the mousse. I used dried mango but am looking forward to using fresh mango when it is in season again.

Recipe:

(Makes four 6oz puddings, but you can use smaller containers to make more cups!)

5 Pitted Dates (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

1/4 C. Brazil Nuts (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

1/3 C. Dried Mango (torn into smaller pieces and soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

3/4 C. Irish Moss Puree (how-to and recipe here)

1 C. Almond Milk

1/2 C. Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

Pinch of sea salt

4 Tbsp. Dried or fresh Wild Blueberries, for the bottom of containers

2 Tbsp. Shredded Coconut

Directions:

1. Combine soaked brazil nuts, mango and dates in food processor or vitamix and blend until mostly combined, scraping down the sides if needed.

2. Add prepared Irish Moss puree and blend until smooth.

3. Add remaining almond milk, coconut milk, salt, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, blending for a few minutes until completely smooth and chunk free. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough to your liking before pouring it into cups!

4. Add blueberries to the bottom of your containers. Pour mango mousse into 4 mini mason jars or ramekins, sprinkle with shredded coconut, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The Irish Moss takes a bit of time to set up and become firm.

5. Enjoy! You are a raw dessert goddess!

Raw Cacao Mousse with Irish Moss

Cacao!

Cacao!

There seems to be a trendy ingredient as of late…Irish Moss. I see it pop up in all the raw vegan pies and puddings in fancy juice bars and vegan cafes, and have been a bit confused as to what it is and how to use it. It is a gelatin substitute and thickening agent that creates a fluffy texture in recipes.

This is a 2 day process that requires overnight soaking, so you can make this ahead! Not at the last minute, or you will be sad.

Irish Moss How-to

Buy Irish Moss from your local health food store or Whole Foods. I used the Divine Organics brand. Irish Moss is actually a type of seaweed and is full of trace minerals such as magnesium, super important for your health!

1. Grab a cup of moss from the bag and place in a very large bowl. It will be in large kelp-like leaves. It will smell like horrible fish and the sea. Don’t be afraid (I was!).  Add water to cover by a couple of inches. There will be sand and weird white and black gritty things covering the moss, as it is from the sea. Soak overnight or all day long.

2. After at least 6 hours, the moss will double in size and be lighter in color. Rinse the moss a few times with cold water until you no longer have sandy bits falling into the bowl.

3. Add soaked moss with 1.5 cups of fresh water (not the soaking water) and blend in a food processor or Vitamix until totally blended and gel-like in consistency.

4. Store in a container up to a week.

Raw Cacao Mousse Recipe

(Makes four 6oz puddings, but you can use smaller containers to make more cups!)

5 Pitted Dates (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

1/4 C. Brazil Nuts (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

3/4 C. Irish Moss puree

1 C. Almond Milk

1/2 C. Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (if using cocoa powder, use 4 tbsp as cacao is stronger)

Pinch of sea salt

Raw Cacao Nibs, for sprinkling on top

Directions:

1. Combine soaked brazil nuts and dates in food processor or vitamix and blend until mostly combined, scraping down the sides if needed.

2. Add Irish Moss puree and cacao powder, blend until smooth.

3. Add remaining almond milk, coconut milk, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, blending for a few minutes until completely smooth and chunk free. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough to your liking before pouring it into cups!

4. Pour into 4 mini mason jars or ramekins, sprinkle with cacao nibs, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The Irish Moss takes a bit of time to set up and become firm.

5. Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Backpacker Pancakes (grain free, gluten free)

pancakes

Pancake heaven

As a gluten free traveler with persnickity eating habits, I learned pretty quickly to carry my own ingredients with me for anti-starvation purposes. Since I have a sweet tooth and love baking but cannot eat hardly any packaged baked goods (I’m semi-paleo diet and don’t eat any grains at all) I bring my own ingredients for sweet treats. I always travel with a small container of Manuka Honey (this stuff is amazing when sourced from New Zealand!), raw cacao powder (instant hot chocolate!), a bit of cinnamon, and coconut flour. Each time I checked into a new hostel, I would purchase a container of eggs and a tub of Yoplait’s “Fresh’n Fruity” greek yogurt from a grocery store nearby. Side note: Yoplait’s yogurt has way cuter packaging in New Zealand than the States. I could always have honey and yogurt for breakfast, or eggs. Easy peasy! New Zealanders do not refrigerate their eggs. The first time I saw an aisle full of eggs right next to the cookie aisle and the “long life milk” (i.e., unrefrigerated soy milk and rice milk) aisle, I laughed. Perfect! I do not have to fight for more fridge space at the hostel!

yogurt

Fancy Fresh’N Fruity Yogurt!

The first morning I woke up at the Backpacker’s Hostel in The Bay of Islands, NZ, I wanted pancakes. Actually, I wanted crepes.  What is a crepe made out of anyway? Eggs, flour, milk. I reviewed my ingredients. I have eggs. And I have some yogurt that is basically thicker milk. And I have some coconut flour that is basically like flour. I had purchased a ripe white peach during the height of their summer season in March, and found a stick of butter in the hostel fridge that looked sanitary and edible. I can work with this. I take a giant spoonful of coconut flour, a giant spoonful of yogurt, and crack two eggs in a bowl and mix. My idea for a crepe quickly transitions into a pancake recipe when I realize how thick the batter is – and how much it looks like buttermilk pancake batter!

pancake batter

Batter

I sauté the white peach with some cinnamon and newfound butter in one pan, and cook off the pancakes in another pan, which to my amazement, come out PERFECTLY. They look like real buttermilk pancakes, are kind of fluffy, and are delightfully browned. As I sit outside on the porch overlooking the ocean, my strikingly tall and beautiful Dutch roommate Sanne sees them and exclaims, “Oh my! You have actually cooked a breakfast! You are a cook! I wish I could cook.” And runs off to fetch her cereal and milk to join me. We had a long discussion the day before in which I tried to explain to her, with English as her third language, that I do not eat bread or flour. She was astonished, “You do not eat glutens? Or flour? Carbs? But all I eat is carbs!”

This morning, she looks at my pancakes and asks, “But this is not carbs? Not flour?”

“Nope,” I replied, “It’s made of coconut!”

“This is really really good!” She says as she tries a bite of her first no-carb pancake, “This is soooooo good!”

And so the recipe is born. It gives me enough energy to run off on a boating adventure all morning! This boat!

boat

Eat pancakes, go boating!

3 Ingredient Backpacker Pancakes (Grain Free Gluten Free)

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3-1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt (if it is a thick or greek yogurt, use a little more – if it is a thinner yogurt, use a little less)

….the extra 2 ingredients…if you feel fancy 😉

1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt

You can also add a little lemon zest, blueberries, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Start with 1/3 cup yogurt and see if the batter is thick enough. It should feel and look like conventional pancake batter. If it is too thick, add a little more yogurt. Heat a cast iron pan over low-medium and melt a tsp of butter or coconut oil. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, drop large spoonfuls of batter in the pan. I can usually fit 3 small pancakes in a 10 inch cast iron pan. After 3-4 minutes, when the pancakes start to bubble on top and is light brown on the bottom, flip. Wait for the other side to brown and remove from pan. Repeat until all pancakes are done!

This recipe makes 6-8 hearty but small pancakes and feeds 1 super hungry person or 2 semi hungry people. Add some bacon and you have the perfect breakfast! Serve with butter and jam or maple syrup drizzled on top. Yum!

Raw Lemon Coconut Pie

When I lived on Maui for 6 months, I frequented a place called Maui Kombucha in Haiku. They served fresh kombucha on tap, raw salads, and RAW PIE. My first bite of raw pie was a slice of semi-frozen key-lime coconut, as thick as possible with a dense nutty crust. It was a hot humid day, and the pie was like pie and a lemon bar and ice cream and limeaid all at once: perfection. This divine, life changing pie was $7.50 a slice. And so worth it. At first it was a weekly indulgence – I would ceremonially select a day of the week to have this pie, sometimes with my dutiful roommate Amber, who helped support my growing obsession and loved it (nearly) as much as me. Sometimes we couldn’t get pie together and she would come home with a slice, I would see it, and then need my own. And drive down the hill to get my own, that second.

Did I mention that Maui Kombucha was less than a 5 minute drive away? And that they had 3-4 different flavors a day? And that there were always new flavors that I needed to try? Sometimes it was chocolate coconut, sometimes lilikoi (passionfruit), sometimes carrot cake. But always, always, the lime was the best. And always the base of every pie was coconut. Early into my growing pie obsession, someone broke my heart. I decided raw pie was the only thing that would mend it back together, for $7.50 a slice. My heart was so broken and my sweet tooth and sadness were so strong, I quickly developed a daily pie habit. The kombucha baristas soon knew me as the one who came for pie to heal my broken heart, partially because I told each of them, one by one. I would come for pie during the strongest of thunderstorms and the brightest of sunny days. I would come for pie on the way out to the beach, or on the way home from the beach. I would go the moment they opened, or moments before they closed, always in a panic, hoping that they would have the coconut lime flavor.

I started to hide my pie obsession from Amber, because she knew it was getting bad. Sometimes I would go eat pie by myself and then announce my craving to her later and suggest we go together later that day, so I WOULD SECRETLY GET PIE TWICE IN ONE DAY. There was one week where I actually spent nearly $100 on pie at Maui Kombucha. My poor roommate Amber feebly suggested, at the end of this week, that I learn how to make this raw pie myself, to save money. What? Me? Make a raw pie? The dessert that solves all my sorrows and must be made by magical kombucha-chugging fairies is something I could do myself? And then I actually thought about it – how hard could it be?

This is how the recipe was born. I made a passionfruit version in Maui because they grew in the yard, but lemon here in California (because I have meyer lemons at my disposal). Thank you broken heart, for you helped me find my new favorite dessert. And thank you Amber, for calling out my pie insanity.

This is raw, vegan (totally 100% vegan if you sub agave for the honey), and paleo friendly. It is “sweet and sour like a lilikoi”  as Hawaiian native Paula Fuga likes to say in her song “Lilikoi” which I played on repeat while writing this. Just so you know.

Raw Lemon Coconut Pie

Raw Lemon Coconut Pie

Filling:

1 C. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 6-7 lemons)

Zest of 1 Lemon

1/2 C. Coconut Butter

1/4 C. Raw Honey for a super tart pie or 1/3 Cup for a sweeter pie

2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

1 big pinch Coarse Sea Salt

Crust:

1 Heaping Cup Raw Almonds, soaked 6-8hrs (you can also use leftover ground almonds from making almond milk (it will measure out to about 1 1/2 Cups after soaking, but do not use almond flour because the texture will be different)

1/2 C. Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

6-8 Medjool Dates

Zest of 1 Lemon

1/2 tsp. Course Sea Salt

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

Pour boiling water over the 6-8 dates (use 6 if they are huge, 8 if they are smaller) in a small bowl and set aside. This will help soften them so they blend easier.

Filling:

Zest 2 lemons using the small-holed side of a cheese grater. Set aside half for the crust. Place the other half in a food processor or blender, along with lemon juice, honey, salt, vanilla and coconut butter. I recommend microwaving the coconut butter for 30 seconds so it is easier to work with. Since we don’t all live in Maui forever, (sigh) coconut butter can get pretty hard with a normal indoor temperature, and the microwave helps. Process until the mixture is well combined and turns a light lemon yellow in color. Scrape down the sides once, making sure to get all the honey blended in, and combine for a few more seconds.

Remove the lemon mixture, set aside in a bowl, and quickly rinse out the blender or food processor of excess lemon filling. It’s ok if there is a bit left over – it will help combine the crust next! Don’t make the crust before the filling! If you do, it is really sticky and hard to clean off before you make the filling. It’s better to have a little lemon in the crust instead of chunks of almond in the filling  – right? Right.

Crust:

Take the soaked dates out of the hot water, discard water. Remove the pits if they have pits. If you are working with soaked almonds, process them alone for about 30 seconds until they are coarsely ground, then add the other crust ingredients. If you have ground almonds leftover from making almond milk (about 1 1/2 cups measured out), throw all the crust ingredients in together: almonds, dates, lemon zest, vanilla, shredded coconut, salt. Process until the mixture starts to stick to the sides and ball up, looking a bit sticky. Grab a piece of crust and pinch it together with your fingers. If it crumbles apart immediately, add a spoon full of honey. If it is really gummy and super sticky (unlikely) you can always add a spoon full of shredded coconut. Adapt to the crust!

In a 10 inch glass pie pan, press the crust dough into the bottom and sides until it is about 1/2 inch thick, so it looks like a traditional pie crust. You do not have to press the sides very high up. Pour in the lemon filling. If the filling doesn’t reach the height of the crust, you can always press the crust down lower to meet it. You can also divide the dough up for multiple small tarts of different sizes. Sprinkle the top with a little leftover lemon zest and shredded coconut for extra ZEST and cuteness.

Freeze for at least an hour. Cut with a sharp knife and serve with a pie server.

Enjoy your lemon pie, lovelies!

recipe: faux buttermilk pancakes

I have discovered the perfect gluten free, vegan pancake recipe. After much trial and error, this is it! These pancakes are thick, fluffy, do not stick to the pan, and are so so SO satisfying in a way that real buttermilk pancakes of the past used to satisfy. When I took my first bite, I jumped with joy and screamed. Now I can die happy one day, knowing that I have created my dream pancake! The recipe is relatively simple with the exception of a little prep work-proccessed almonds-which I always seem to have on hand, since I make my own almond milk semi-frequently. What are processed almonds and how do I make them? Here is the recipe!

Faux Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients

1 C. Brown Rice Flour
1/2 C. Tapioca Flour
1/2 C. Soaked, Ground Almonds (brazil nuts work well too)
3 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Unsweetened Almond Milk/Brazil Nut Milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
3 Tsp. Ener-G egg Substitute
1 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds
4 Tbsp Warm Water
3 Tsp Agave
2 Tbsp Melted Earth Balance
1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, whisk brown rice, tapioca, and almond flours, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.
In a medium sized, microwaveable bowl, combine flax meal, water, and Ener-G egg replacer. Whisk, microwave for 20 seconds, then stir again to combine. I find that egg replacer and water don’t thicken up unless they are microwaved, which gives it a gooey, egg like consistency, and a thicker pancake batter. To the liquid mixture, add melted earth balance, almond milk, agave, and vanilla extract. Whisk or stir until well combined, then add to flour mixture and whisk until well batter looks thick with only a few small lumps. Do not over-stir!
Heat a medium sized, non-stick skillet to medium heat and add a tiny bit of earth balance to coat the bottom. Pour 1/3 Cup of batter onto skillet and wait until you see a few bubbles pop, then flip. Pancake should be golden brown. Add a few chocolate chips or thawed blueberries before flipping, if you like! Just a warning, if you add frozen blueberries, the batter tends to get too soft around each blueberry, resulting in a mushy texture that isn’t so awesome. Therefore, thaw the berries, or hold off altogether. I find that this pancake is so awesome plain, it doesn’t need much but a drizzle of pure maple syrup and some fruit on the side.

Enjoy immediately! Feeds 2 hungry vegans/makes about 6 large pancakes.

recipe – coconut tapioca pudding

Homemade Has Never Looked so Good


After a recent dining excursion ended with coconut tapioca pudding topped with fig compote, I decided it was time to make my own. Although it takes a little longer to prepare, the larger pearl size (as opposed to small pearl) is satisfyingly gummy in a creamy coconut base. A small amount of agave instead of the usual refined sugar lends a surprising brown sugar flavor. Top with local berries, add a drizzle of chocolate syrup, or enjoy it plain. Go eat your pudding!

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

1/3 C Large Pearl Tapioca
3/4 C Water
1/3 C Agave Syrup
2 1/4 C Canned Coconut Milk (about 2 cans)
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Sea Salt

Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes, until all water has been absorbed. In a medium saucepan over medium to high heat, combine soaked tapioca, coconut milk, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a bubbling simmer (low-medium heat) for 15 minutes, stirring often. In the last 5 minutes, add agave and stir continuously. Pudding will thicken slightly, and thickens more after cooling. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so a film does not form on top. Stir in vanilla. Refrigerate in a large bowl or 6 individual servings for a yummy treat!

 

recipe: granola for life

Warning! If you are currently satisfied with the granola you already eat, do not read this post! Otherwise, you may never go back to your old granola again. This granola recipe is full of Omega-3’s, protein, healthy fats, fiber, and has just the right amount of crunch and sweetness. It was originally inspired by a childhood trip to The Inn at Occidental, a small Northern California Inn, where the granola was served to me as a child in a massive bowl. I remember feeling full of vitality and energy while riding a horse on the beach later that day. Whether it was the pure adrenaline of horseback riding, or the protein in the granola, it did not matter. I was full of life and felt vibrant! This granola should have you raring to go with energy all day, and is not as sweet as some other granolas. Ditch that boxed granola and never look back.

Ingredients

2.5 C. Rolled Oats
1/2 C. Pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 C. Raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 C. Raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 C. Sesame seeds
1/2 C. Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C. Shredded Coconut
1/3 C. Coconut Oil
1/3 C. Honey
1/4 C. Ground flax seeds
1/2 C. Currants
1/2 C. Golden raisins

Directions

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except flax, currants, and golden raisins. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with a rack in the center of the oven. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut oil and honey, stirring until the coconut oil has melted and the oil and honey are somewhat combined. Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients, mixing together with a wooden spoon. On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, spread granola mixture evenly, and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking.
Granola will look golden brown when done, but will not look crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle curants, raisins, and flax on top, roughly combining with a wooden spoon. Allow it to cool before removing from pan. Granola should keep, regrigerated (omega rich foods, like ground flax seeds, are not stable at room temperature) for 10-14 days.

Facts

Why use coconut oil? Coconut oil is easy to digest, maintains thyroid health, as well as lowers your LDL (bad Cholesterol) levels. It contains 50% lauric acid, which is known to help control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Coconut oil has also been shown to help your body absorb vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (if you add blueberries to the granola, you will absorb even more antioxidants), and can even help prevent viruses, due to its fabulous antimicrobial properties. How cool is that?