Spring feels are in the air! Here are three easy recipes from the book to get you in the mood.
This creamy strawberry cake tastes much more decadent than you think it would, considering how easy it is to make. Simplicity wins again! If you don’t have shredded coconut, just use extra almond meal instead
Fills a 9″ pie dish.
¾ cup dates
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted or softened
Pinch sea salt
2 cups raw unsalted cashews
½ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted or softened
⅓ cup blonde coconut nectar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp natural vanilla extract
2 tbsp purified water
½ cup fresh strawberries
4 or 5 strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
Fresh mint, optional
Coconut Whipped Cream, optional
Add the dates, almond meal and shredded coconut to your food processor and blend until the dates break down to small chunks. Add the coconut oil and salt and blend until a dough forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor on occasion with a rubber spatula. Remove mixture from the food processor and place in the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) pie or casserole dish. Use your fingers to even it out.
To make the filling, add the cashews to the processor and blend into a coarse powder. Add the coconut oil, coconut nectar, lemon juice, vanilla and water and blend into a cream. Once again, you may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the strawberries and blend once more until there are no chunks left. Pour on top of the crust (fits a 9-inch pie dish) and use the spatula to even it out. Put in the freezer for 2 hours to harden. Cut into slices and store in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with strawberries, Coconut Whipped Cream and mint, if you please.
This snack is such a fun way to eat raw veggies; it feels way more treat-like than it actually is.
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium carrot
½ medium cucumber
1 medium or large avocado
2 or 3 green onion stalks
Lemon, if needed
6–8 rice paper sheets, plus extra just in case
1 cup (25 g) fresh basil
Sea salt, to taste
2 tbsp (25 g) almond butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) tamari
1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut nectar
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
Chili flakes, a pinch or two
Cut the red pepper, carrot and cucumber into skinny 3-inch (7.5 cm) pieces. Cut the avocado into skinny wedges and the green onions in half lengthwise and into 3-inch (7.5 cm) strips. If you aren’t eating immediately, squirt some fresh lemon juice on the avocado wedges so they do not brown.
Add some water to a large enough pot to lay the rice sheets down flat in. Heat the water to a temperature that is hot, but not too hot to touch. Have a plate ready to lay the rice paper out on. Place each sheet one at a time into the warm water for around 30 seconds, or until it completely softens. Carefully pull it out of the water and place it down on the plate as flat as you can. These can rip easily, and you might need a few tries to get it right.
Place a few pieces of each veggie and the basil into the center of the rice paper, followed by a pinch of salt. Roll the left and right sides over top of the veggies as tight as you can without ripping it. Fold the bottom part over it, and continue rolling it until it’s closed.
To make the dip, mix the ingredients in a small bowl and use a fork to whisk it. Add a small spoonful of water if you feel it needs it. Serve with the rolls.
SUNDRIED TOMATO PASTA PESTO
I’m a sucker for anything with fresh basil— and even more so if that basil is on pasta. And if sun-dried tomatoes are involved as well? Then it’s really on. Make sure you use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil for this one, they make for a better sauce.
2–2¼ cups uncooked gluten-free pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Basil leaves, for garnish
¼ cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
2 cups packed fresh basil
⅓ cup olive oil
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
Cook the pasta according to its directions. To make the pesto, add the sunflower seeds to your food processor and blend them into a coarse powder. Add the basil, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and sea salt. Blend until a paste forms, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula. Set aside until the pasta is ready.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and be sure to rinse it before putting it back in the pot. Throw in the cherry tomatoes, and add desired amount of pesto. I like to use all of it because I like it extra saucy. Garnish with basil leaves and enjoy!