Thursday, December 11, 2008

Healthy Raw Holiday Continued.....Desserts

One of the strong selling points of the raw food lifestyle is its amazing desserts. From time to time, I still have trouble trying to fathom that recipes so decadently delicious can actually be nutritious and health promoting. but with most raw desserts, it is true. Recently there has been lots of controversy on whether raw agave nectar is a healthy sweetener or just as disruptive to the body as processed corn syrup. There was a great article that was published by Natural News Health Ranger, Mike Adams, today that might help to debunk some of the negative news you may have seen in the media. You can read the article in it's entirety here. Today's selection of desserts are two of my favorites from our Real Food Tulsa Holiday Meetup:
Peach Cheesecake

3 cups pecans
1 cup dates. pitted and packed

Process the nuts & dates into a fine crumb crust. Press dough into the bottom of a large (10" - 11") spring form pan or mini individual pans.

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling

4 cups cashews, finely ground
1/2 cup raw honey (local is best if you can find it)
1/2 cup agave nectar
Juice of 2 medium lemons
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over the nut crust.

Peach Layer

8 cups peaches, diced (fresh or frozen, thawed)
4 dried pineapple rings. soaked 2-3 hours
1 large, ripe banana (or 2 small)
1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (optional)

Puree all ingredients until smooth in a food processor or blender. Pour over cheesecake layer. (In the photo, orange slices were placed on the cheesecake layer first, then the peach puree poured on top.) Chill in the freezer to set. Run a knife in between the cake and the pan before removing the ring. Enjoy!

Maple Pecan Chocolate Squares

2 cups coconut oil, melted
6 cups raw cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup maple syrup
2-3 tsp maple flavoring
1/2 cup whole pecans

Place the first 4 ingredients into a bowl and combine ingredients with a a mixer. (Can be done by hand.) Spread chocolate mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or half sheet pan and put into the freezer for one hour. Take out of freezer to score and press pecan half onto each separate square. Return to freezer for another hour or 2 and then cut into squares. Store in freezer.
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