March 31, 2012

Raw Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Blueberry Coconut Frosting

I came across this easy recipe on Facebook.  These cupcakes spend a little time in the freezer and a little time in the dehydrator making them crispy on the outside and cake like on the inside.  They were a huge hit at the potluck.  Luckily I held out a couple at home so we could enjoy them.

The recipe calls for almond pulp from fresh almond milk. I don't use a juicer, but I do have a very good high speed blender. Whipped these up in my Blendtec and used cheesecloth to separate the fresh almond milk from the pulp. 

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Blueberry Coconut Cream Frosting

 - by Priscilla Soligo, founder of Rawthentic Food
This heavenly raw cupcake recipe by Chef Priscilla can be created easily at home.  All you need to get your hands on is one of those flexible silicon cup cake trays so you can pop out the base with ease.  That’s really the key to getting raw cupcakes to look this gorgeous!  Take note of Priscilla’s detailed instructions for creating the cupcake frosting with a firm yet creamy texture.


Cupcake Base:

  • 2 (258g) Cups Almond Pulp , (defrosted and excess water squeezed out.  Almond pulp is the left over almond after almond milk has been made with water in a blender and strained.
  • 1 (87g) Cup Dessicated Coconut Flakes
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Nectar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt (I used a Celtic Sea Salt, worked just fine)

Blueberry Coconut Frosting:

  • 2 1/2  Cups Coconut Butter Melted, (271g unmelted measurement)
  • 1 1/2 (190g) Cups Blueberries
  • 1 (60g) Cup Macadamia Nuts, (or cashews, pre-soaked 2 hours)
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Organic Honey, (or coconut nectar for lower glycemic sweetener)
  • 1 Cup Filtered Water


For the cupcake base
In a food processor, process all ingredients together and place cupcake dough into a large bowl.

Using 14 mini silicon cupcake molds, press the dough firmly into each one making sure the top is flat.  Place in the freezer for 2 hours for the cupcakes to get up.  This will make molds easier to remove.  During this time, commence making the frosting.

Remove from the freezer and here you have two options.

Dehydrator Option 1:  Remove cupcakes from silicone molds.  Place cupcake bases onto a mesh lined dehydrator tray (not teflex sheet) and dehydrate at 115 for 6 hours.  Remove from dehydrator and allow to cool all the way through completely before icing.

No-Dehydrator Option 2:  Remove cupcakes from silicon molds.  You are ready to ice your cupcake! 

Using a knife, gently place frosting on top of the cupcake and garnish with a blueberry.

Storage:  The dehydrated cupcake bases keep well frozen for up to two months in an airtight sealed container.  The non-dehydrated cupcake bases will keep for up to a month, or so in the freezer in an airtight sealed container.  The frosting will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks in an airtight glass sealed container.

Variation: Replace the blueberries with other berries such as, raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries, or a ‘very berry’ combination.

 For the Frosting

In a high speed blender, place in all ingredients except blueberries and blend until smooth and well incorporated.  Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mash the blueberries with a fork.   

Fold in gently (don’t over mix) blueberry mixture with frosting mixture so you can see two tones showing through.

Refrigerate frosting overnight, or for at least 8 hours before frosting the cupcakes.  For a faster set up try freezing and then stirring gently hourly for 3 – 4 hours to keep the temperature consistent.  This is a ‘cream’ frosting and won’t set stiff.

Almond Pulp and Almond Milk

 Almond Milk
  • 3 Cups Raw Almonds (pre-soaked 8 hours, or overnight, rinsed and drained)
  • 6 Cups Filtered Water

Tomato Mung Bean Salad

I'm very excited and nervous at the same time thinking about my upcoming Vegan Fusion workshop in Seattle.  The last two day workshop I attended, I was the most experienced vegan cook in the room besides the chef.  This time I will probably be with some experienced chefs who are taking their craft to the classroom or back to their restaurants to teach their cooks.  This class will be a bit challenging, but enjoyable I'm sure.  As time progresses, I find it difficult at times to get what's in my brain to come out of my mouth with grace. :-)

I received an email with the supplies and schedule of the course and I feel like I did when I was getting ready for a college class.  I've also been going through the ten day course via the Healthy Cooking Lessons website, a prerequisite for the course. I have three modules left. Chef Mark has asked us to be prepared with four or five choices of recipes we'd like to try out of the Vegan Fusion cookbooks.  We'll be working on preparing a training demo as well as shopping and prepping for our own demonstrations. I am really looking forward to it.  Two of the books Mark suggested we bring and choose recipes to demo out of I hadn't worked with;  The 30 Minute Vegan, and The Taste of the East.  I promptly purchased them and have been working out of them the past few weeks.

One of the favorites so far is a Thai recipe, the Tomato Mung Bean salad.  I kind of giggle a bit because it's from the 30 Minute Vegan series.  But, it's a thirty minute recipe after I spend three days sprouting the mung beans. Yes, I am finding that most of the recipes are for thirty minutes after I've done my prep work.  I've enjoyed everything I've tried so far. But, there's no possible way I'd find mung bean sprouts, one of the key ingredients, in this town.  As in all the recipes in these books, the ingredients can be substituted many ways, I'm sure I can find alfalfa sprouts and maybe some pea sprouts in town I wanted to make it with the mung beans.  So, it's a thirty minute recipe after three days of sprouting.  I tried it before the local potluck and it was such a great, refreshing salad, also very high in nutrition. I took it to the last potluck and it was a hit.

Tomato Mung Bean Salad
     The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of The East

3 large tomatoes, chopped (3 cups)
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1½ cups mung sprouts
½ cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 hot chile pepper, seeded and diced, or to taste, (I used a mild Anaheim pepper for the potluck)
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used wheat free tamari for my Gluten free friends)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Dash of cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and gently mix well.


Community Vegan Vegetarian Potluck March 23

Flower Arrangements by Christy Payton

I haven't posted in a few weeks.  I bought myself some new cooking tools, ceramic knives.  They're very nice, and, at first, pretty affordable.  As my friend said "They came with an expensive training manual." They got a little more expensive as I ended up needing a little medical attention. I got a little careless and tried to slice the top of my left index finger off like a carrot.  A few stitches and some swelling, it hasn't been very comfortable to use the computer.  Healing, now I can catch up posting some of the great dishes I've been making.  I have since broken down and purchased a cutting glove.  I'm using it too.

First thing I should do is share about our great local potluck.  We've been holding it for a year now in Longview and it's becoming a regular local event.

Our local vegan/vegetarian potluck keeps getting better.  Last week we had 45 people and for the first time, ran out of chairs.  Everywhere I looked people were tasting, chatting about the food, and sharing ideas with each other.  It really was an enjoyable potluck. The food is getting more and more adventurous.  We had some awesome dishes like the General Tso's tofu Felicia brought, or Linda's chocolate mousse with cashew creme. Three of our diners were celebrating their birthday's the same night.  Nice that they wanted to spend their birthdays with us.

Here's some of the great dishes we got to sample and learn about.

Stir Fry Carrots
Veggie Pizza
General Tso Tofu
Cheezy Spicy Kale Chips
Vegan Buttermilk Cupcakes with Vegan Chocolate Frosting
Hazelnut Banana Gâteau de Crêpes
Raw Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Blueberry Coconut Frosting
Homemade Vegan "Sausage" with Sauteed Peppers & Onions
Green Salad with Vegan Ranch Dressing, made with vegan sour cream
Mango Sweet Potato Salad
Vegetarian Fruit Salad ~ Fruit Salad with Greek Yogurt
Tomato Mung Bean Salad
Persian Eggplant Stew
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
Vegetable Barley Bake
Berry Pie
Vegan Pizza
Vegan Spaghetti with Zucchini Tomato Sauce
Vegan Coleslaw
Quinoa Salad
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
Baked Apples with caramel sauce

and much more...

March 17, 2012

Beets ~ What to do with a lot of them in the winter

I got to spend some time with Ruth last week. She's my favorite organic farmer. That's a treat in the winter because I don't see her much.  In the spring and summer she's working her organic farm and I get to see her weekly at the farmer's market.  With a full time job, organizing a family, and a working organic farm, she doesn't have too much time to just visit.  We did a short presentation a nutrition class about organic farming and plant based eating last week.  Then we got to enjoy a vegan lunch a local restaurant.

Before she came out she told me she had lots and lots of beets and was worried about them rotting.  There are far too many for just her family.  I told her to bring some and I'd do something with them.  Last summer I dehydrated some of my beets and it worked out great.  I grind them and use them in our smoothies or just eat them like any other vegetable 'chip'.

Beets are some of the vegetables my husband didn't like too much before I got some vegan cooking training.  It's one of those vegetables like spinach, so many of us grew up with this canned over cooked version of what the spinach or beets used to be, no wonder many people don't like them.  I like to chop them and put them in our raw salads and smoothies.  When they're in season and plentiful, I usually just roast five or six and leave them in a bowl for one of us to grab.  That is one of my own motto's, 'have the good stuff handy'. 

Garden beet is very low in calories (contain only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain only small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants. More about beets Beet Nutrition Facts.

Ruth brought out a nice big bag of large red beets, just picked the day before.  I gave a few to my friend Rachel, I made some beet chips, roasted some, pureed some and made some chocolate beet cupcakes with Kaylee.  I used them all.