"Reinventing Indulgence" One meal at a time!

Archive for the ‘fruit’ Category

Vegan day 304: Raw Vegan Apple Pie

It’s APPLE SEASON so I did have to make a few apple pies! There is a difference between vegan apple pie and raw vegan apple pie! Obviously, raw is not cooked! 


I needed the warm apple pie feeling yesterday to calm my anxiety about the hurricane which was and still is a nightmare for many of my friends, families, neighbors; their pets too, businesses, transportation and structures. 

The cooking went on or un-cooking I should say. I am so grateful that I have power. I had originally wanted to make this recipe first- now I was ready. I soaked the almonds for two days and then went right into my mistake. I was to grind the drained nuts and dates. Perhaps I should have used a food processor but instead I used my Montel Healthmaster which resembles almost a Vitamix. I added enough water so that it would mix. I guess I should not have done that because now it was too moist. I set the mix in a pie tray and dehydrated it for a few hours but that didn’t help. I later caved in and committed a raw vegan cardinal sin. I baked it. It was good lol I’m sorry and I will try try again! I know I ruined it as far as raw goes. The enzymes are lost in cooking and the benefits of the essential fatty acids in the nuts were gone. I could have eaten it raw- it would have been like a cinnamon apple oatmeal with maple syrup. I didn’t though.

The filling was similar to yesterday: apples, sucanat, maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon.

The crust was almonds (2 cups soaked, drained and crushed) and dates 1 1/2 cups (soaked, drained and crushed). 


Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Tuesday, October 30th 2012 blog]
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Vegan day 303: Vegan Apple Pie

Vegan Apple Pie

I made this on Sunday and writing about it now. It’s been a crazy few days due to Hurricane Sandy. The news shows are here to help us but it’s really easy to get caught up in it and become overwhelmed. I made this pie on Sunday afternoon.. my anxiety was sky high. Some how, some way.. there is something about warm apple pie that no amount of calming medicine can come close to achieving. As my windows were shaking, trees blowing and branches falling, I was amazed that I could even focus on the recipes long enough. I’m pretty sure actually that I messed up a few things. 

I followed a few recipes online. First, I will say that I have never even made a pie. After researching a few different recipes, I got the direction that I wanted to go in. I was surprised not to see eggs included in some of the recipes nor egg replacers or flax. You see, I really don’t know what I am doing.. lol perhaps I should take a vegan pie making class. They have them at the Gourmet Institute. Perhaps not though, because they are not fat and sugar free at all! 

The ingredient list that I ended up using:
I doubled this recipe for two pies!

Crust

Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Almond meal flour 1/2 cup
Baking powder 1 tablespoon
Salt
Dates 1 cup
Cold water
BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER- Earth balance buttery spread of course (1 cup)

Filling
Apples (4)
Maple syrup (1/2 cup)
Sucanat whole cane sugar (sprinkle on top of apples)
Lemon juice 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Whole wheat flour

I used almond meal flour simply because I had it. I make my own sometimes with the almond pulp left over from when I make my own almond milk. I dehydrate it and then grind it. You don’t have to do all that- you can simply use whole wheat flour and even some unbleached white flour if you must. I mixed together the dry ingredients for the crust and then added the  . This is where I may have messed up. I used all of the dates here but I think some were for the filling. In any case, I used those ingredients interchangeably – dates, maple syrup   and sucanat. Use pitted dates if you can or be sure to take the pit out yourself. You can soak them first or after. Be sure to let them sit for about 20 minutes. Date paste is when you grind the soaked dates with some of the soak water for a smoother consistency using a food processor. 

Cold water- what’s that all about and COLD BUTTER? This is critical. I actually had to watch a youTube video for the how to. The idea is to achieve a flaky crust. You mix in the ice cold water and very cold butter.  Don’t let it melt is the point. Leave it flaky looking. I really couldn’t believe HOW MUCH BUTTER I HAD TO USE. THIS IS TOTALLY FATTENING- VEGAN OR NOT!
This too is when I realize I need a rolling pin
Set the pie crust in a pie tin. You need to roll out more batter for the top of the pie too. Mine is not pretty. That’s for advanced pie making lol. I am lucky I made the pie even look like a pie.

Next for the fun filling. Trying not to eat these as I made it was difficult. We cut the apples into thin slices. Then I added lemon juice, maple syrup, some sucanat and spice. Mix that nicely and use it to fill the crust. Lastly, use the remaining batter for the top of the pie and then glaze it with a couple of tablespoons of nut milk and sucanat. 

I baked this at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. It helped reduce my pre-hurricane anxiety. It was perfectly delicious especially with the cashewtopia ice cream on top!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Monday, October 29th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 302: Pineapple and chocolate

Why didn’t I make chocolate covered pineapple like you would see at a street fair… or at a chocolate party with dripping fountains of chocolate and endless fruit. Have you ever been to one of those parties? I have once and only once but oh if I could go again I would be in heaven- well only if it was a vegan chocolate party! Now I’m getting carried away! 

Two of my “almost daily” favorites are pineapples and chocolate hands down! It’s strange in a way to eat pineapple everyday- it’s certainly not a local fruit so it’s not really necessary but I do confess that I love it. What I like about pineapple health wise is the enzyme bromelain. It’s known for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. Personally, I often eat the pineapple saving the last piece for my skin. I use it directly on my face. Kids don’t try this at home.. lol as if any kids read my page. I actually wish I knew this as a kid! Seriously though, always test something on a small patch of skin first before trying it. I, on the other hand, am very adventurous. I try things first and research fully second! If you have time- this blog has a few different ideas for raw food skin maskshttp://vegetarian.about.com/od/beverage1/a/raw-skin-care.htm

For more information on pineapples, check out one of my favorite informative sites on whole foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=34

As for chocolate and even chocolate mousse like in the picture, I have spoken about it many times! I love my chocolate.. mostly because I can still eat it as long as it’s vegan dark chocolate. Of course as with most rich and indulgent foods, one has to exercise restraint and portion control.. and actually straight up exercise will help too if you are going to eat it a few times a week like me! I have had this chocolate mousse on my brain a lot lately as I just blogged it recently and am continuing to perfect it! 

This is a cute mini-meal morning, noon or night!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Sunday, October 28th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 297: Chocolate Avocado Mousse

This is the closest thing I have seen yet to VEGAN MAGIC!
This is a recipe that I learned firsthand in the LIVING AND RAW FOOD INTENSIVE at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. I love desserts and I love chocolate. When our chef, Celine Beitchman, said this was made with avocados- I was completely puzzled. After we made it and tasted it, I was even more amazed as I sat there in bewilderment.. a healthy chocolate wonderland.


Renee’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Avocado- 2 cups
Maple syrup- 1/2 cup
Organic sugar- 2-4 tablespoons (optional)
Coconut butter unscented- 2 tablespoons (optional)
Vanilla bean seeds- cut open one whole bean
Aged balsamic vinegar- 1 teaspoon
Shoyu- 1/2 teaspoon
Cocoa powder unsweetened- 1 cup

Raspberries
Mint leaves
Cacao nibs

This is quite simple!
Using a food processor: mix the avocado, maple syrup, optional ingredients, vanilla bean, balsamic and shoyu. Add in the cocoa powder; blend until you have the consistency you want and then chill it if you can wait that long to eat it. The only advice you really need here is to be careful tasting it. You will be so tempted not to wait that you may want to dive in near the blade. Use a spatula and have fun! Kids will love this!

Even though this dessert looks looks good without INSTAGRAM, feel free to check out my INSTAGRAM for fun! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3005383461754.2117441.1477431979&type=3
or join me direct VITAMINGEE

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Tuesday, October 23rd 2012 blog]

Vegan day 220: Fruit, granola & banana nut bread

It’s the simple things in life!
I love fruit!
I really couldn’t be happier eating fruit! When and how to eat fruit always seems to be a topic but not really for me. I just came off eating raw vegan for one month and honestly, fruit saved the day… and that’s any day.. any time.. for me! Each person is different though. I tend to eat fruit for breakfast, in smoothies, after working out and generally as a light snack before bed. Yes.. I eat a lot- anywhere from 6- 9 meals a day. Not the “Standard American Diet” (SAD) meals but just meals… mini meals… snacks– however you want to put it. I feel this style of eating is critical to my health and newfound metabolism. 
 
Fruit is often said to be best when eaten alone. I will agree with that for the most part although if you want to combine a few fruits in a shake as opposed to eating a McDonalds make-believe burger for lunch.. hey.. you get it right? It’s all relative. My low sugar (diet) friends love to argue with me on the fruit topic because they view it as sugar. I would say that if you have serious sugar issues that you may want to watch the fruits that you eat and not over do anything but my friends.. they argue it from purely a diet standpoint and not one connected with disease. I will say for the most part- fruit is natures food- it’s alkaline- and it has the fiber necessary to slow down those sugars. It’s a perfect food if you ask me.
 
This is a typical breakfast for me. Usually I will eat the fruit first and then a few moments later my “bread” type food. Before going raw vegan this would always be Ezekiel bread or an arepa. I have been really good at not relying on those anymore- not as long as I have my dehydrated healthy granola around or my favorite raw banana nut bread that I get at Lifethyme on 6th Avenue!. My goal now is 80% raw so I’ll save my 20% for a wrap later in the day or a cooked grain!.
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Tuesday August 7th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 188: Sliced coconut bananas with cacao

My friends were about to do Pickle Back Shotsyes we are still on a holiday week! They glanced over at me.. some with that “aww you can’t eat or drink” look and others just flat out laughing at me. They were snacking and getting in “shot” mode! I’m like.. don’t even look at me that wayI could drink most of you under the table in one minute flat! This was a lifestyle choice- I could not be happier nor prouder honestly! I’m not going to be swayed nor tempted that easily either. I made it through the BBQ sessions.. I got this! Oh.. and don’t look at me with that pity face.. if you now know that I could drink mostly anyone under the table.. amp that up on the eating end! lol
So while they were laughing at me, I did for what any indulger would do- I called “CHOCOLATE” to the rescue! Not only did she help out but she brought bananas, coconut and strawberries with her. My friends were hardly done with their Pickle Backing when they finished off MY VEGAN SNACKS!
 
This is simply sliced bananas dipped in dried coconut flakes and then arranged with some raw vegan cacao and fresh farm strawberries! 
Yes it was as delicious as it looks! 
 
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Friday July 6th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 186: Dehydrated fruit

I had this dehydrator gift from a friend of mine for one whole year and a half. Now that I learned all about dehydration… it was time to open my present (besides the fact that she was really beginning to get mad that I hadn’t used it yet lol)- thanks Dawn!

It was perfect timing since the girls were with me to assist! Dehydration takes preparation.. time and care!
We jumped right in! I think by the time the directions were fully read to us… I had cored and sliced the fruit and the girls arranged it! 
We used apples, strawberries and peaches– all their choice! The apples are cored and then sliced as evenly as possible to keep dehydration times the same.

One difference between this and a professional dehydrator is that the more advanced ones have a built-in fan to keep the air circulating and to prevent bacteria which gravitates to warm and moist environments. You can also control the temperature. With raw food preparation, it is good to set the dehydrator on 105 degrees. I will give you a sneak preview of my other dehydrator (to the right) that I purchased recently. I used it in the earlier blogs of spicy sunflower seeds and tamari almonds. 


We had to manual rotate the trays with this dehydrator. I have to confess.. we kind of liked that.. each time we would taste it to see if it was done. After 24 hours- there is no picture because WE ATE EVERYTHING! lol

Cantaloupe JUICE
Later in the day, another friend helped with the healthy food and drinks for the holiday.  We bought fresh cantaloupes from the farm stand on route 28 in Ulster County. They cut up the cantaloupe and added filtered water. I think they may have dropped some sugar in there but luckily I only have raw and organic sugars on hand! It was super refreshing! Thanks everyone!


Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Wednesday July 4th 2012 blog]