The trip to Edmonton really wasn’t that great (crappy weather, driving right against the wind made for a Very expensive trip with our van, and we all felt miserable after going to West Ed’s Water Park, loaded with chlorine and whatnot. I felt completely drained and I ended up with a massive migraine, something I haven’t had in ages). We did meet some neat people though, and I made a fantastic discovery: Raw coconut butter.
Wow. This stuff is heavenly! Densely creamy, it’s sweet and exotic in flavor. It has a beautiful light cream color to it. Coconut butter is a whole food compared to coconut oil, as it’s coconut flesh pureed into butter. You can’t cook with it like you can with coconut oil, but it makes for a delicious spread. It’s solid at room temperature and will become spreadable at 35 degrees Celcius. I bought Artisana’s 16oz jar for 14$.
I’ve always wanted to make chocolate, especially healthy and potentially raw kinds, so I experimented. I heated 1/4 cup of coconut butter and 2 tbsp of raw honey at the lowest temperature I could to get it soft (but not liquid), then I added 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (I’m dieing to try raw cocoa powder! It’s really expensive though), mixed it all up and poured some into a small bread pan. I banged it into shape and stuck it in the freezer for a short period of time. I used the rest to make little drops with almonds and walnuts imprinted in them. The dirty buggers stuck to the plate…
It’s not as crispy as a normal chocolate bar (and I made the chocolate bar thicker then I intended), but it’s super rich in flavor and actually, when you bite into it right after it comes out of the freezer, it has a fudgey chewiness to it – Amazing! (Apparently, after being in the freezer for a couple of hours, it got pretty hard and crispy). This would be delicious grated onto something too… When I first showed my chocolate bar to Robin, he didn’t realize that I had made it myself. He couldn’t believe I had made a healthy, semi-raw bar out of 3 ingredients, and so quickly too. He couldn’t eat too much because it’s very rich, but he’s been talking about it all day long!
For a more normal chocolate texture, I think I’d have to use coconut oil and heat it up to liquid, and use some agave nectar to get the proper texture. It’s rather soft once I’ve let it cool out of the freezer for a bit (and it’s rather cold in the house) so I wonder how I can make a chocolate bar that’s less prone to melting… Actually what I really want to learn is how to make chocolates that have a gel/truffle inside, coated by a crispy piece of chocolate. I’ll have to do some research on chocolate making before experimenting again since I have no idea what I’m doing! I remember someone mentioning making chocolate with REAL stevia powder as an alternative sweetener… The quantity would be super tricky to get right, but I’d love to try it out!
What’s REAL stevia powder? It’s not the stuff you get in little sachets and droplet-bottles, that’s for sure. That stuff is bleached and loaded with maltodextrin, which is made from processed corn or wheat. REAL stevia powder is raw, unbleached pure stevia. It’s green in color and flavor and VERY sweet. Only tiny amounts are recommended in recipes as it can easily overpower, but I think that the green flavor compliments green smoothies well.
My Daybreak shipment from Estevan came in! I’m so excited =D
I’m surprised at how fancy their packaging is. And it all looks so fresh and clean. From left to right: oat groats, golden flax seeds, rolled oats, green split peas, buckwheat groats, green lentils, ezekiel bread flour mix for Robin, millet, and red lentils. I’ll be starting my locavore diet tomorrow!
I’ve been waiting for this moment… The moment of making that delicious raw dish I tried at the raw vegan potluck in Edmonton! The hostess had made it, and it was one of my favorite dishes there. She says it’s a sweet meal served during Christmas. And here it is, in all its glory!
Sweet Potato Casserole – Serves 5-6
Ingredients: 4 cups raw sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces, 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, 1/2 cup dates (I used an extra date or two), 1 tsp vanilla extract (I went without), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Celtic salt (I used about 1/3 tsp sea salt but would suggest even less), 1/2 cup water (use date soak water), 1/4 cup raw agave (I used raw honey instead, but agave nectar would actually make it more easily spreadable…).
Directions: Soak walnuts and dates, separately, overnight. Place half of walnuts, sweet potatoes, water, dates, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a food processor and process until decently smooth. Pour into a pie or baking dish. Grind the remaining walnuts to a course consistency and mix with the salt and agave/honey. Add on top of the sweet potato mixture and serve.
It turned out delicious and as I remember it, except, even after using less salt than suggested, the topping was too salty. I remember how not long ago I couldn’t even ponder eating things like yams and pumpkins raw… I made it for Robin’s family and I but even after telling them I was making supper they still made their own supper and stuffed themselves. They didn’t come down to enjoy it even after multiple call outs and in the end they barely touched it, which hurt my feelings since I was trying to be generous, friendly and sociable since I usually keep to myself… I will definitely make this again though, except with less salt in it.
*Can anyone help me figure out the whole sweet potato / yam thing? Even after doing some research on it, I’m still confused! Some sources say that yam is a type of sweet potato, other sources say it’s a completely different thing. I can’t trust the signs at grocery stores, they don’t seem to know either! I’ve seen pictures of them online and they look very similar, but I think the sweet potato seems to have subtle rings or lines going across it and they seem to have a tiny bit more of a red color to them and tend to come in a cucumber shape… I believe what I’ve been exposed to is yams and not sweet potatoes, but I’m not entirely sure. Here’s a picture of the big bad boy I used for the casserole:
Let me know what you think!
*Update* It’s a sweet potatooo!!! =D