Raw Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie is an American favourite, using Oreo cookies for the crust with a mint cream filling. While I’ve never had the original version I’ve always liked the sound of it so I came up with this raw recipe.
Not only is it free of all the bad stuff like refined sugar and flour, it’s packed full of nutritious goodness in the form of avo, coconut and almonds. My son loves it and I love watching him eat something so healthy and yummy!

I’ve used agar (also called agar agar) to set the filling. It is made from a Japanese seaweed and is a very strong setting agent, so be sure to be precise with your measurements. Also be aware that agar powder and agar flakes require different measurements, so you would have to convert if using flakes (1tsp powder is equal to 1tbsp flakes.)

Ingredients

For the crust:

2 cups raw almonds, soaked for four hours, rinsed and layed out to dry (while this step is not necessary for the recipe to work, it’s always good to soak your almonds to release the digestion-inhibiting enzymes)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
150g fresh medjool dates (about 8 dates)
2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

For the filling:

400ml organic coconut milk
2ml agar powder
200g avo flesh (ie. weighed without skin or pip) this is about 1 1/2 Avon
40g organic virgin coconut oil
pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
120g raw honey
8 drops organic peppermint essential oil
1/2 tsp spirulina or wheatgrass powder (this is optional – it simply gives you a more intense green colour for your filling)
15g raw chocolate

Method:

Place the almonds, cacao powder, salt and 2 tbsp coconut oil in a food processor. Remove the pips from the dates and roughly chop them. Add to the food processor. Process until you have a fine crumb which sticks together when pressed. Turn the mixture into a loose-bottomed pie dish or a pretty glass serving dish and press to about 5mm thickness. Refrigerate.

Place the coconut milk in a saucepan and sprinkle the agar powder over the top. Whisk thoroughly. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes exactly. Agar needs to boiled to be activated, but its setting properties are destroyed if it is brought to too high a temperature, so use a timer! Allow to cool to room temperature.

Place all the ingredients for the filling, except the chocolate, into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste to see if you are happy with the sweetness and the mint flavour, which you can adjust if you like. Pour into the crust. Grate the chocolate over the top, and refrigerate until set (at least 4 hours.)

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Pomegranate always makes for an impressive addition to any dish when you have guests. These beautiful little ruby-like jewels are bursting with flavour and packed with health. Over 8000 years ago they became one of the first cultivated fruits, and ever since have been a symbol of prosperity and abundance in many cultures.
They are rich in vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants – specifically punicalagin, a polyphenol unique to pomegranates, and anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving pomegranate juice its rich red color.

Ingredients (serves 3-4 as a side dish)

1 medium-sized bulb of fennel
1 pomegranate
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 handful fresh mint
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp organic maple syrup or raw honey
Oryx Desert Salt to taste

Method

If you have a mandolin use it to finely slice the fennel. Alternatively a sharp knife will do the job with a bit more effort!
Cut the pomegranate in half, and gently remove the arils (seeds), trying not to burst them. Discard any bits of white membrane, and add the arils to the fennel.

If the spinach leaves are large you can roughly chop or tear them, otherwise leave them whole. Remove the mint leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Add to the fennel and pomegranate.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon and maple or honey. Pour over the salad. Season to taste with salt and toss thoroughly.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

These brownies are gluten- and grain-free, and by using stevia and only a small amount of honey to sweeten they are very low in carbs too. The use of almonds, flax, egg and avo means that they’re a decent source of protein; and the coconut oil, along with the flax, is great for controlling cholesterol. A truly guilt-free treat!

Ingredients

65g raw cacao paste
80g organic virgin coconut oil
60ml raw almond butter
60ml raw honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup ripe avo
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla powder
1 cup ground almonds
60ml ground flax seed
1 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
1/4 cup chopped raw pecan nuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a square baking dish with coconut oil.

Place the cacao paste, coconut oil, almond butter and honey in a glass or steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl over the saucepan, gently melting the ingredients.

Mash the avo with a fork until smooth. Whisk the egg and vanilla, and combine with the avo. Set aside.

Combine the ground almonds, ground flax, stevia, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Once the chocolate mixture is completely melted and whisked together, slowly pour it into the egg mixture whilst whisking vigorously, to prevent the heat from scrambling the egg. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chopped pecans.

Spread the batter into the baking dish and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Fig, Berry and Coconut Cake

IMG_0938

I love fresh figs, and they’re even better roasted with a bit of honey. This cake is very simple and quick to make, as well as being wheat-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. Perfect for afternoon tea 🙂

Ingredients

60ml raw honey, plus a little extra
60ml organic coconut blossom sugar
125ml organic virgin coconut oil
2 free-range eggs
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
2 tbsp acaì powder
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 cup organic or homemade coconut flour
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
2 large fresh figs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Cream the honey, sugar and coconut oil with an electric beater. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Add the vanilla, salt, acaì powder and tapioca starch and beat well. Add the coconut flour and baking powder, and lastly stir in the berries.

Spread the batter into a 20cm cake tin lined with baking paper or a silicon liner. Cut the figs into quarters lengthways and push them into the batter in a neat circle, with the inside of the fig facing upwards. Drizzle a little honey over the figs.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden, the figs caramelised and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine

Aubergine & Tahini Dip with Oryx Desert Smoked Salt

Hatzilim im Tchina

This is a very common dip in Israel and I often make it for Shabbat dinner. Traditionally the aubergine will be cooked on an open flame, giving it a smoky flavour. Using Oryx Desert Smoked Salt gives it that same flavour, while simply roasting it in the oven.

Ingredients

1 large aubergine
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon, or to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
small handful fresh coriander leaves
Oryx Desert Smoked Salt
Black pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 200C.
Pierce the skin of the aubergine with a sharp knife a few times. Place it in the oven, straight on the rack. Roast until the skin is blackened and the interior is soft, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Remove the skin of the aubergine and chop up the flesh. Combine with the rest of the ingredients, adding the smoked salt and black pepper to taste.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Goji and Baobab Bars

Goji & Baobab Bars

For those of you who have been saying that some of our recipes are a bit intimidating, here’s the perfect place to start. These energy bars are so simple to make, all you need is a food processor, no other techniques required!

Ingredients

1 cup goji berries
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
6 – 8 fresh medjool dates (about 125g)
2 tbsp baobab powder
1/2 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
4 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup organic virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp raw honey

Method

Place the goji berries and brazil nuts in a food processor and process into a rough crumb. Add the dates, making sure to remove the pips and process again. Add the baobab powder, salt, and ground flax and process to combine. Finally add the coconut oil and honey and process until everything is well combined and sticky but with a rough texture.

Spread evenly in a loaf tin lined with clingfilm (for easy removal) and refrigerate until set. Cut into bars and keep refrigerated.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Roasted Lemon Ice Cream

Roasted Lemon Ice Cream

My new favourite thing to do with lemons is to roast them. The natural sugar in the lemons caramelises, giving it a beautiful flavour somewhat similar to preserved lemons. This egg-based (but dairy-free) ice cream is packed full of an intense lemon flavour, the slight bitterness of which is off set by the honey. It pairs beautifully with my Raw Chocolate Tart, or just some shavings of raw chocolate.

Ingredients

380g whole lemons (about 3)
125ml raw honey
125ml organic virgin coconut oil
250ml almond or coconut milk
1/2 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of himalayan salt
4 egg yolks
2 whole eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Cut the knobbly end off the lemons and slice into quarters lengthways. Cut off the pithy white membrane which runs through the middle of the lemon and remove all pips.

Lemon Ice Cream 2

Place the lemons in an ovenproof dish and roast for about 1 hour, until the lemons are soft and slightly caramelised. Double check that there are no pips as adding these to the blender could ruin the flavour.

Place all the ingredients in the blender, adding the eggs last so that they don’t start to cook when they come into contact with the hot lemons. Blend until completely smooth. Ice cream is traditionally made with raw eggs, but if you’re put off by the thought of raw egg, continue blending until the mixture heats up to 65 C. You can measure this with a thermometer if you’re really worried, but basically if there is steam coming off the mixture the egg is cooked. You can also taste the difference when the egg is cooked.

Place the mixture in the fridge until cooled, and then put it into an ice cream machine to churn until frozen. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can simply put it in the freezer and mix with a whisk every 30 minutes to break up crystals, until almost frozen, at which point you can leave it to freeze till set.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Raw Chocolate Tart

Raw Chocolate Tart

This is a favourite with my family and friends, and no one can ever believe what the main ingredient is… avocado! Don’t let that put you off – it is rich, creamy and delicious; everything you want from a chocolate tart. And it’s so simple and easy to make.

This year I made it for Pesach dinner (we don’t eat wheat during Pesach and our desserts always have to be dairy-free as we don’t mix meat and milk.)
Word of advice: don’t tell people that there’s avo in it until they’ve tried it!

Ingredients

Crust:
2 cups whole raw almonds
60ml raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
150g fresh medjool dates
2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

Filling:
500g ripe avo flesh (about 4 or 5 avos)
180ml raw cacao powder
60ml organic virgin coconut oil
40g raw cacao butter, gently melted
180ml organic maple syrup
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1 tsp organic vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Method

Remove the pits from the dates and chop them up. Place all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and blend until you have a fine crumb that sticks together when pressed. If the mixture seems dry just keep processing until it’s sticky. Turn it out into a 23cm loose-bottom flan tin or glass serving dish. Press the crumb evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the tin, making sure that the top edges are straight and even. Refrigerate.

Place all the ingredients for the filling in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth, but be careful not to blend for so long that the mixture heats up.
Pour into the set crust and use a spatula to make swirly patterns on top or just smooth it out, as you prefer. Refrigerate overnight or minimum 4 hours.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Homemade Coconut Yoghurt

Coconut Yoghurt

When I first started cutting out dairy, yoghurt was the hardest thing to give up… in fact I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it! I’ve spent a lot of time working on my coconut yoghurt recipe and have finally come up with the perfect one. I normally make my own coconut milk from fresh coconut but you can also use an organic tinned coconut milk or cream. No dairy, sugar, artificial colours or flavours, but still thick, creamy and delicious 🙂 Need I say more?

Ingredients

160g fresh mature coconut flesh
350ml hot water (or replace the coconut and water with 420ml organic coconut milk or cream)
1/3 tsp agar agar powder (flakes require different measurements so make sure you are using powder)
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder or 1 tbsp organic maple or raw honey
20ml baobab powder
1 tbsp of a high quality liquid probiotic, or the contents of 2 probiotic capsules
A glass jar, a piece of netting or breathable cloth, and an elastic

A note on making yoghurt

Two things are very important when making yoghurt: Firstly, the quality of the probiotic you use and secondly, hygiene. If you do not have a good quality probiotic it will not culture into yoghurt and you will merely have a nice tasting coconut cream. On the other hand, if you don’t sterilise the glass jar and wash your hands properly, you may end up culturing other bacteria. This won’t taste good and may even make you sick!

I’ve tried a few different probiotics and have found the best result with a liquid probiotic. I use Sambiotica or Nature’s Choice Ultimate Probiotic, available at Dischem.  Alternatively you can use Biogen Pre- & Probiotic capsules also available at Dischem. If you’re not in South Africa, you may need to experiment a bit to find the one that works best.

Probiotic Probiotic2 Probiotic3

Method

Firstly make sure you have a sterilised glass jar for fermenting the yoghurt. The easiest is to put it in a dishwasher, otherwise you can boil it for 2 minutes. Turn it upside down on a rack to dry. Also make sure that your hands are thoroughly clean!

Blend the coconut and hot water for 30 to 60 seconds in a high speed blender and then strain through a nut milk bag or muslin. Place the resulting cream in a saucepan. Sprinkle the agar over the cream and use a whisk to thoroughly combine. Bring up to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes exactly. Agar needs to be heated to activate it, but over heating will destroy it and it will not thicken. Remove from the heat.

Once the coconut cream has cooled down to body temperature, whisk in the remaining ingredients. If you add the probiotic while it is too hot, you will kill the cultures. Remember that bacteria are living things so treat them as such… they like to be warm and fed 🙂 Cover the jar with a cloth that breathes and use an elastic to secure it.

Coconut Yoghurt 2

Leave the jar in a warm place for about 24 hours. If it is particularly hot, 18 hours may be enough. If it’s very cold, gently warm your oven, turn it OFF and then place the jar inside. After a day the cream will have cultured into yoghurt and you can refrigerate it. In the fridge it may culture and thicken further. You should eat it within about a 10 days, if it lasts that long!

Health & happiness.

Love,
Raine

Lemon & Basil Truffles

Lemon & Basil Truffles

I love to use savoury flavours in desserts, and in these truffles the basil compliments the lemon really well. They are perfect to finish off a dinner or to give as a gift. Put them in a pretty glass jar and tie a ribbon around the neck… people always appreciate something that you have made yourself!

Ingredients

200g creamed coconut (or coconut butter, not coconut oil)
zest of 3 lemons
30ml lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
pinch of organic vanilla powder or 2 drops vanilla extract
1 tbsp baobab powder
pinch of himalayan salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
about 40g cacao butter
an empty egg carton and toothpicks

Method

Place all the ingredients except the basil and cacao butter into a food processor. Process until well combined. Then add the chopped basil and pulse to combine. If the mixture is very soft you can refrigerate it until it firms up. Take about a heaped teaspoon of mixture at a time and use your palms to roll it into a neat ball. Place on a plate as you go. You should get about 21 truffles. Place them in the freezer to harden.

In a small saucepan, gently melt the cacao butter (don’t be alarmed that it turns brown as it melts, this is normal.) You will need to melt more cacao butter than what you actually end up using – simply allow the remainder to set again and return to the packet. Spear a truffle onto a toothpick and then dip it into the melted cacao butter, swirling to remove any excess and ensure an even coating.

Lemon & Basil Truffles 2

Then stick the other end of the toothpick into an empty egg carton, allowing the cacao butter to set.

Lemon & Basil Truffles 3

Repeat with all the truffles. Once they have set you can give them a second coating if you like, and then keep them refrigerated. This is actually the first time I’ve made truffles in years and I really enjoyed the process, but if this seems like too much hard work for you, you can omit the last step of coating them in cacao butter!

Health & happiness 🙂

Love,
Raine