Mint Choc-Chip is my favourite ice cream flavour, ever, and I’ve been experimenting lately to make a worthy raw version that meets my high expectations (in case you’re wondering: the mint should sing as a clear flavour but not be toothpaste-like; the chocolate should be dark and bitter). The addition of kale or spinach juice to this ice cream makes me feel oh-so-vindicated of my ice cream obsession and as the ice cream is sandwiched between two delicious, raw, vegan brownie slices, this dessert is a super pretty one to serve to skeptics of healthy food.
The trick to getting these to look neat is to freeze everything in rectangular slabs and to make a template to cut them out with before assembling. It’s worth this extra fiddling about; freezing them together in layers won’t come out as good, (trust me).
RAW CHOCOLATE BROWNIE
1 CUP DRIED DATES, SEEDS REMOVED + CHOPPED 1/2 CUP ALMONDS 1/2 CUP PECANS 3/4 CUP RAW CACAO (or DUTCH PROCESSED COCOA, not raw)
1/4 CUP WATER (IF NEEDED)
Whizz all the ingredients in your food processor until combined. You may need to add a little water to make the mixture turn around but make sure it’s not too wet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up a little. Then divide the mixture into two and roll each out separately with a rolling pin between two pieces of greaseproof paper to about 1cm (1/3 inch) thick. Leave them in between the papers and place on a flat tray in the freezer for a few hours to set.
RAW MINT CHOC-CHIP ICE CREAM
5 RIPE BANANAS, PEELED AND CHOPPED 2 DROPS EDIBLE SPEARMINT (OR MINT) ESSENTIAL OIL 1/3 CUP LIGHT AGAVE NECTAR 1/3 CUP FRESH SPINACH AND/OR KALE JUICE
1/3 CUP RAW CACAO NIBS
Whizz all the ingredients except the cacao nibs in your blender or food processor until really smooth. Place in a container into the freezer for an hour until the ice cream begins to thicken and set. Remove it before it hardens completely and stir through the cacao nibs (this way they won’t sink to the bottom as the ice cream is partially set). Now pour the ice cream mixture into a plastic-wrap lined rectangular tray or dish and freeze for at least 4 hours.
Decide what shape you’d like to make your ice cream sandwiches (I did think about a hexagon, but then I couldn’t be bothered. There was ice cream: I wanted to eat it). Use a piece of paper as a template to cut your brownie slices out with a sharp knife and group into twos. Use the same process for cutting the ice cream, cutting one ice cream slab for every two brownie slices. Sandwich the ice cream between two brownies and you’re done! Store any extras in the freezer wrapped in greaseproof paper inside an airtight container.
You need a dehydrator for this recipe, which is not my usual modus operandi, but I promise it’s worth it. These cookies taste incredible – they remind me of a more chocolate-y Kingston biscuit. Because these are raw, they’re loaded with healthy nuts, coconut oil, dates, flax and cacao instead of not-so-healthy sugar, cream, butter and flour. Good, right?
1 CUP ALMONDS, SOAKED FOR A FEW HOURS 1/2 CUP CASHEWS, SOAKED FOR A FEW HOURS 1/4 CUP FLAX SEEDS, GROUND TO A POWDER IN A COFFEE GRINDER 3/4 CUP DATES 1 TABLESPOON AGAVE NECTAR PINCH OF SEA SALT
1/2 CUP CACAO POWDER
Drain the almonds and cashews and whizz them in a food processor with the ground flax seeds until they break down and combine. Add the dates, agave nectar, salt and cacao powder and process until a dough forms – you might need to add a tiny bit of water to make this happen. Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper until an even 1cm thick. Cut out cookie shapes and place on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate overnight or 8 – 9 hours until dry. They won’t be rock hard, but that’s a good thing.
CHOCOLATE CREME FILLING
1/3 CUP COCONUT OIL 1/2 CUP CACAO POWDER 1/3 CUP AGAVE NECTAR
PINCH OF SEA SALT
Whizz all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up before sandwiching in between two cookies. You can keep the sandwiched cookies in the fridge for about three days.
My best friend told me last week that I absolutely must try this recipe for Raw Caramel Slice, sooner rather than later. A friend of hers from work brought it in to share and my dessert aficionado friend reported it as spectacular. I duly bought the ingredients and had them sitting in the pantry until yesterday when I finally had time to give it a try. As usual, she was right. These are good.
I made a few adjustments by adding extra salt and I made my chocolate topping with cacao butter rather than coconut oil, but otherwise this amazing recipe is originally by Rachel of In Spaces Between – Raw Choc Caramel Bites.
1 CUP MACADAMIA NUTS 1 CUP ALMONDS
1 CUP MEDJOOL DATES
1 CUP MEDJOOL DATES 2 TABLESPOONS COCONUT OIL 1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT 1/3 CUP WATER
2 PINCHES FLAKED SEA SALT
1/2 CUP CACAO OR DUTCH PROCESS COCOA 2 TABLESPOONS DARK AGAVE NECTAR 3/4 CUP GENTLY MELTED CACAO BUTTER
SMALL PINCH OF FLAKED SEA SALT
Base Whizz all the base ingredients in a food processor until combined. You want to keep a little bit of the nutty texture in there. Press into a square or rectangular tin and set aside.
Caramel Blend all ingredients in the food processor until smooth, adding water slowly as you go. The coconut oil when refrigerated will thicken the mixture. Spread this on top of the base and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Chocolate Topping Melt the Cacao Butter in a double saucepan on a very, very low heat and stir until liquid. Blend with the cocoa, agave and salt until very smooth. Pour and spread it over the caramel layer, freeze or refrigerate for an hour and you’re done!
Tastes best cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
This feels like eating a dessert for breakfast (and it works as a dessert, too); it’s reminiscent of bircher muesli mixed with a fruit compote, except this raspberry and apple combination is free from refined sugar. The tiny pieces of chopped date are toffee-sweet surprises amongst the creamy chia pudding. The raspberries are full of vitamin C and Manganese and the chia seeds give you complete protein, a good dose of fibre and slow down the conversion of carbs to sugars, so a good start for your morning 🙂 They’re also high in Omega-3s. By eating chia rather than fish oil, you’ll be reducing the pressure on diminishing fish stocks in the world, and it’s a nice change from flaxseed oil.
I make this recipe in recycled jars for easy transport to work on the mornings I run out of time for breakfast. They’ll last a day in the fridge but are best eaten soon after making as chia seeds absorb up to nine times their weight in water (so drink lots)! Makes two.
3/4 CUP RASPBERRIES (I USED FROZEN ONES) 1 APPLE, PEELED AND CHOPPED 1 TEASPOON CINNAMON 4 DRIED DATES, CHOPPED INTO TINY PIECES
1/4 CUP WATER
CHIA BANANA PUDDING
1 BANANA, PEELED 3 TABLESPOONS WHITE CHIA SEEDS 1/2 CUP FRESH ORANGE JUICE 1 TABLESPOON LEMON JUICE
1/2 CUP ALMONDS
1 DESSERTSPOON CHOPPED PISTACHIOS
1 TEASPOON CURRANTS
For the raspberry compote, pulse all ingredients in a food processor until combined but still a little chunky. The dates won’t blend into the mixture, but this is a very good thing, trust me.
For the chia pudding, blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. The chia seeds will begin to thicken into a gel within the mixture creating the pudding-like texture.
In two glasses or jars, alternatively layer the chia pudding and the raspberry compote on top of each other. Sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios and currants. Good morning!
Hello from Hong Kong!
I’ve been neglecting my blog because I’ve been on holiday, but I’m sneaking in a few minutes to write a post. I’ve had lots of amazing food here so far, two of my favourites being a super fresh, green coconut at a thai restaurant and coconut and chocolate raw cheesecakes from Mana! Fast Slow Food. I’m yet to try their raw ice cream and I’m looking forward to checking out Grassroots Pantry this week for dinner, too. I’ll report back. The raw cheesecakes made me think of one of my favourite desserts I haven’t shared yet: Pomegranate Raspberry Cheesecake.
This recipe is almost the same as the Blueberry Cheesecake, but uses raspberries inside and pomegranate on top instead of blueberries. It’s also a blatent rip-off of Russell James’s pomegranate cheesecake concept, except that I use a lot less coconut oil and have a chocolate-almond base rather than a cashew base.
1 CUP ALMONDS 1/2 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR CACAO POWDER
1/2 CUP DRIED DATES, CHOPPED
1.5 CUPS RAW CASHEWS 1 TABLESPOON LEMON JUICE 1/3 CUP AGAVE NECTAR 1/4 CUP COCONUT OIL
3/4 CUP RASPBERRIES
POMEGRANATE SEEDS TAPPED OUT FROM 1 POMEGRANATE (I do it like this)
EXTRA AGAVE NECTAR
Line the bottom of a springform cake tin with cling film – I used quite a small one with a removable base for this recipe.
For the base, place all base ingredients in the food processor and process until it all comes together. Your food processor won’t like this at first and will make a loud noise as it grinds through the almonds. Persist. You may need to scrape down the sides every so often and add in a splash of water to help it along. Once it’s all come together pat this into the base of the tin and up the sides evenly. You may need to wet your hands with water slightly to smooth it out. Place it in the freezer until the filling is ready.
For the filling, place all ingredients in the food processor except the coconut oil and blend until smooth as possible (mine took around two-three minutes), then add in the coconut oil in a stream until incorporated. Spoon on top of base and smooth the top with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate overnight or place in the freezer for a few hours. When you’re ready to eat it, press the pomegranate seeds onto the top and drizzle with a teaspoon of agave nectar to make it shiny.
I’ve always liked orange matched with chocolate. This tart is best eaten in small doses, however. It’s fudge-y, heavy, make-you-feel-ill chocolate-y. Hmm, I’m not selling this well but it really is delicious when you’re in the mood for such decadence, especially with some tart fruit like strawberries, raspberries or fresh orange wedges, and is a fantastic introduction to raw desserts for the skeptical. Plus, unlike a normal chocolate tart there’s no animal fats, cream or processed sugar, (just a hell of a lot of coconut oil and agave nectar).
2 CUPS ALMONDS – FOOD PROCESSED INTO CRUMBS 3/4 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR CACAO POWDER 1 CUP CHOPPED DRIED DATES 1/2 CUP DESSICATED COCONUT
2 TEASPOONS DESSICATED COCONUT FOR DUSTING THE TIN
4 CUPS SOAKED RAW CASHEWS 1 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR CACAO POWDER 3/4 CUP COCONUT OIL 3/4 CUP AGAVE NECTAR 1 TABLESPOON ORANGE ZEST 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE 1.5 TEASPOONS OF CINNAMON
1/2 TEASPOON OF SALT
Line the bottom of a springform cake tin with cling film. Dust the bottom of the tin with 2 teaspoons dessicated coconut.
For the base, place all base ingredients in the food processor and process until almost smooth – you want to keep a bit of the almond texture in there. Pat this into the base. You may need to wet your hands slightly to smooth it out. Place it in the freezer until the filling is ready.
For the filling, place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth as possible. Spoon on top of base and smooth the top with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for at least three hours. Dust with sifted cocoa/cacao before serving.