Recipe: Raw Pumpkin Pie and Cashew Cream

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Autumn food is always full of pumpkin. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin curries … and I love it! I’m sure the markets anticipate the demands for pumpkin-based treats and stock up on cinnamon and nutmeg. I know I’ve already run out of nutmeg … I love my fresh grated nutmeg. 20130327_151022

My daughter (one of the two masked creatures above) celebrated her Autumn Festival at school yesterday and all the families brought in seasonal food to share. Yes there was a lot of pumpkin there, and apples. Oh my goodness, my mouth was very happy! I brought in a raw pumpkin pie. I made one last year in the seasonal spirit at playgroup and couldn’t quite remember how I did it. So I suspect this year’s pumpkin pie is a completely new recipe – plus there was the added challenge of making it nut-free so that it could be shared in a school environment.

20130327_102930I’m pretty happy with it – but let it thaw a bit before you serve it. It is definitely yummier when you can taste the smooth pie mixture. Also, the pie was still a bit frozen when I put it out and the base stuck to the dish! Everyone just ended up scooping the raw pie off the top because the base had ended up moulding itself pretty well to the dish. Nothing wrong with a bit of scooping. I think at one point someone was just standing in front of it with a spoon. I take that as a compliment, but its a shame no one could taste the base, because that is yummy too. Coconut and pumpkin are good friends in the kitchen.

If I were to make a change to it I think I would add some coconut cream to the recipe to make it smoother and creamier. Only I didn’t have any at the time. Try it and let me know if that works. I think next time I would also add a layer of cashew cream on top before it was frozen. Or you could even layer the pumpkin and cashew cream a few times for a pretty stripey pie …IMG_3370

Raw Pumpkin Pie and Cashew Cream

INGREDIENTS

RAW COCONUT CRUST

200g raw coconut flakes (not shredded or desiccated)

1 cup dates

pinch of salt

1 tbs coconut oil

RAW PUMPKIN PIE FILLING

500 chopped pumpkin, skin and seeds removed

2 cm peeled raw ginger

1/4 cup ground chia seeds, soaked in water

3/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp grated nutmeg

swoosh of raw honey/maple syrup

 a little water/nut milk

METHOD

Blend the crust ingredients together until they begin to stick together. Press into a pie dish that has been lightly oiled with coconut oil. Press down well so the crust will be firm. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to set. Meanwhile make the filling.

Put chunks of pumpkin into the food processor and blend until finely ground, or as smooth as possible. Add remaining ingredients and blend again until the mixture is very smooth and thick. Add a little water or nut milk to thin it out and help it along in the blender – not too much!

Pour into the crust, decorate with pumpkin seeds, a little more grated nutmeg and set in the freezer.

Let the pie thaw half an hour before serving, and serve with a dollop of cashew cream.

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These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things (wholefood version)

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Yogurt with garlic as a salad dressing

Pasture-raised bacon is always a blessing

Eggs from my chickens, food fit for a king

These are a few of my favourite things.

Raw nuts that are soaked for several hours

Allowing me access to all of their power

Greens cooked with butter will make my mouth sing

These are a few of my favourite things.

Food that is raw and straight from the soil

Food that is grown with love and with toil

Food from the farmers without packaging

These are a few of my favourite things.

When I’m tired

When I’m cranky

And I’m feeling sad

I simply eat some of my favourite things

And then I don’t feel so bad.

Recipe: Neapolitan Banana Ice Creams

Aren’t these pretty? Banana ice-cream isn’t new but it sure is yummy and easy. We’ve made these ones with three different flavours: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. They take me right back to my childhood – those idyllic days before dairy-free, sugar-free and additive-free became my norm, and the delight in scooping ice-cream out of a tub that has three different choices of flavours all at once – although I would always go for vanilla. Still do. I love chocolate but chocolate ice cream has always made me feel like I am eating cold mud (I think I must be quite alone in the world with that particular visualisation!) and strawberry ice-cream was sweet and lovely until that artificial strawberry flavouring kicked in and the coughing would start. I can’t believe I didn’t discover banana ice cream until adulthood!

NEAPOLITAN BANANA ICE CREAMS

INGREDIENTS

4 ripe bananas

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbs maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla essence

250g fresh strawberries

2 tbs cacao powder

METHOD

Blend up the peeled bananas with the vanilla, maple syrup and coconut milk. Whizz it all together until it is lovely as smooth. This is the base mixture for the ice-creams. No need to remove it from the blender, just spoon it out and into the moulds as you go.

Spoon 2 teaspoons of this mixture into the bottom of your ice cream moulds.

Add the washed and hulled strawberries to the base mixture left in your blender and blend again until it is all smooth and pink. Add more strawberries if you like it pinker.

Spoon 2 teaspoons of the strawberry mixture on top of the base mixture in the ice-cream moulds.

Add the cacao to the pink mixture left in the blender now. Depending on how much of the mixture you’ve used already, you may need to add another banana or some more coconut milk to make it go a bit further. Blend until smooth. The cacao will turn the mixture quite brown and chocolately. Smells delicious even now!

Top up the rest of the ice-cream moulds with the chocolate mixture, place the handles and tops on the moulds and put them in the freezer overnight. It should be enough to make 12 ice creams. If you make these in the morning they might be ready by the time school is finished. It’s pretty fun to eat even if you get them out of the freezer too soon. Ice-cream on a spoon is just as tasty as ice-cream on a stick! If you do have some mixture left over, add some ice and coconut milk to the blender and drink it as a smoothie 🙂

Recipe: Raw Zucchini Noodles Salad

Zucchinis are my new staple vegetable. Once upon a time I relied on tomatoes as my meal base. Then after overdosing slightly on tomato-based meals (and developing a slight a sensitivity to some nightshades), pumpkin became the new tomato. Now that the weather is warmer I am cooking my food less and less and have been looking for meals that don’t require roasting, stewing or baking.

I’ve also been more or less grain-free for a year now. For the most part I’ve been pretty good at not eating bread, pasta rice and oats but I have always found pasta difficult to replace in meals. Zucchinis have presented a great alternative. Ok – we can’t pretend that zucchini is pasta, but it is bland enough to carry the sauce of the dish without carrying on about the fact that it is a vegetable and I have found sliced zucchini does an adequate job of separating layered ingredients in a lasagne. If you take the peel off first you can almost trick the kids … but my children are now used to zucchini in our dishes so they don’t mind any more.

I use my spiraliser to make zucchini noodles. I don’t bother to peel them anymore, don’t mind the green edges to them. Zucchini noodles taste awesome when they have been sprinkled with a bit of salt and rubbed with some olive oil and left to marinate a bit. After a while they soften almost to the texture of pasta, and they carry sauces and pestos really well. In these photos I have mixed through some olive tapenade and served the noodles with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan and toasted pine nuts and sesame seeds. For more protein I’ll top with an omelette or some pan-fried fish, chicken or sliced steak. I think it would be pretty awesome with grilled haloumi cheese also.

This was our family dinner the other night. Zucchini noodle salad with sliced omelette. Everyone except the toddler ate it up – but the toddler doesn’t count. Her whims with food at the moment are very unpredictable. On the whole it was a delicious, fresh-tasting meal.

Recipe:Raw Banana Cookies


I presented this recipe to playgroup this week but with dried pineapple instead of the chocolate chips that are pictured (don’t worry! You get to have the chocolate chips later on!) This recipe made 12 delicious cookies but of course I had doubled it for playgroup (and made the cookies a little smaller). They were so yum that I didn’t get a picture of them before they disappeared, but these are the ones that will appear next week 🙂

For the chocolate chip recipe I didn’t mix the chips in with the batter – just placed on top – enough for a bit of yum, in a pretty flower. The cookies themselves are pretty sweet so the chips are just for a bit of bling. These are vegan chocolate chips, which I am sure contain cane sugar so technically speaking these cookies are not sugar-free.

To make this recipe raw the cookies are ‘cooked’ in the dehydrator. They were done after one day and one night, at 70 degrees C, turning them halfway. They can also be baked in the oven for more immediate consumption! The benefits to dehydrating them means they preserve more nutrients and are more evenly dried out, whereas when you bake them they are still a little squishy in the middle, but equally yummy. Without the chocolate chips they’d be a good addition for a lunch-box treat (that is, if your child’s school doesn’t have a no-nut policy). They are a great after school snack.

RAW BANANA COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 small mashed banana

1/4 cup maple syrup (or a little less)

2 1/2 tbs water

1 tbs vanilla essence

chopped dried fruit of your choice / chocolate chips

METHOD

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide mixture into twelve parts and form into flattened cookies.

To dehydrate cookies: place cookies on a baking paper on the trays and dehydrate for 24 hours, turning the cookies and removing the sheet after 12 hours.

To bake the cookies: place cookies on a baking sheet into a preheated oven set at 160C for 20 minutes.

Recipe: Dirt Cups (raw food version)

I’ll be honest and say these are not my idea – I came across them on Pinterest when looking for fun seasonal morning tea ideas. I thought a gardening-themed snack would be perfect for Spring, when we are doing lots of planting and weeding at the moment. My version of Dirt Cups are free of sugar and grains (except for the lollies on top!), they use fresh raw ingredients and are suitable for vegans too .

This is what the original recipe I found looks like! There are lots of dirt cup recipes around the place. This one asked for layers of crushed up chocolate cream biscuits and packet-mix chocolate pudding, with lolly worms on top. It looked delicious – but for those of us who are sensitive to certain ingredients it also looks like a reaction waiting to happen. I know how super easy it is to prepare delicious treats that are sugar- and additive-free, so I’ve changed the recipe to include raw whole foods – except for the lollies! The lollies I found were vegan sour snakes, but they are short and stubby and look just like worms. I personally do not like lollies much, and my children only ever have lollies at birthday parties, but this recipe looked like too much fun and without the sweet and interesting little worms you might as well just eat this recipe out of the bowl … but then you’ll probably do that too – we did.

The Lavendilly Dirt Cups are pretty sweet, even without all the processed ingredients, and the whole thing is really rich. I made these for playgroup morning tea for people with little tummies (and their dads and mummies) so our cups had rather small portions, but we all agreed it was just enough! They are rather messy to make, and not very easy to present very neatly, particularly with small helpers, but they were pretty fun to put together and I think the whole point of it was to enjoy a bit of grubbiness, so pardon the presentation and enjoy the mess!

Very artfully presented 🙂


Lavendilly Dirt Cups

DIRT INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup dates

pinch salt

1/3 cup unsweetened raw cacao

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tsp water

MUD INGREDIENTS

1 /4 cup soaked dates

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 mashed avocados or bananas

1/4 cup unsweetened raw cacao

1/4 cup water

lolly worms (I used vegan ones)

METHOD

To make up the dirt, finely ground the nuts in a food processor, then add remainder of ingredients and process until it all looks like sticky crumbs.

To make the mud, process the dates, maple syrup an vanilla until smooth, then add remainder of ingredients and process again until you get a super-smooth chocolate pudding.

Layer the dirt and the mud in clear cups and add a few lolly worms on the top.