Cashew Cream Dip with Apples

Walker and I enjoyed this silky smooth dip with thinly sliced apples. It was a delicious, mostly raw snack.


Little buddy was running back and forth to dip his slices in my dip. It helped that he was dressed up as a Fire Chief I think 😉


Seriously, if you have little ones…you HAVE to check out the Melissa & Doug outfits on Amazon – this is his: Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Costume Set, my MIL picked it up for Walker for Christmas 🙂


Cashew Cream Dip


  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in filtered water, drained
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch fine sea salt, to taste


Add all ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix). Process on low, going up to high slowly, tamping as needed, until smooth. Pour into small bowls, chill for at least an hour, for the flavors to develop. Enjoy with thinly sliced apples, or a favorite crunchy fruit. – Also wonderful drizzled over a bowl of oatmeal…..

Serves 2 to 4.


PS: Check out my giveaway for a copy of 500 Best Quinoa Recipes!


Raw Caramel-Fudge Brownies

A few months back I was sent a copy of Matthew Kenney’s app “Raw Express” to review.

Well, it took me forever to get my iPad back from The Toddler. Turned out he was fascinated by the app. Like in rapture, watching the interactive videos over and over. With 12 videos to watch, it is well worth the $4.99 to watch the foods being created in front of you. More so, Matthew is simply relaxing to listen to. Which brings me to another author – who trained under Matthew:

Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make is a wonderful tome. I met Amber and her then boyfriend (now husband) in the summer of 2011 at Vida Vegan Con in Portland, Or. I finally got a copy of her cookbook awhile back and jumped in. What I truly like about Amber’s style is she is flexible. Cooked if you want, raw if you want. I had already made a couple of her recipes from her website/blog over the past 2 years so I knew I would love the book.


Of course dessert was on my mind –


An intense dessert where a few bites satisfies.

Raw Caramel-Fudge Brownies


Brownies –

  • 1 cup dry pecans
  • 1 cup dry walnuts
  • ¾ cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Caramel-Vanilla Icing –

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 to 4 hours, drained
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 6 Tbsp melted virgin organic coconut oil


Brownies –

Add the pecans and walnuts to a food processer, process until coarsely ground. Add the dates and process until mixed in. Add the cocoa powder and salt, process until finely mixed.

Line an 8×8″ baking dish with plastic wrap, press the mixture in the dish. Chill the refrigerator while you make the frosting.

Caramel-Vanilla Icing –

Add the ingredients to a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix), process on high until smooth, tamping as needed. Spread over the brownies, return to the refrigerator till firm on top.

Remove from pan by pulling up on the plastic wrap, cut into pieces. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.


PS: Truly iPad’s shine in the kitchen. I have mine often on the counter. Oh to have it mounted on my refrigerator, next to the stove 😉

Mostly Raw Mini Key Lime Pies

Having seen a recipe for raw key lime pies posted recently on Good Veg I decided to make my version –

We are having a late summer suddenly, it was over 82° yesterday. Perfect time for a cold ice box treat, no? Cara’s recipe called for 2 4″ spring-form pans. I am to the point if I bring in anymore unitaskers, Kirk is going to steam and start tossing my implements out the window. But more so, finding the pans locally wasn’t going to happen. And did I need to drop $14 or so on Amazon and then wait 2 days? Umm, no. I wanted pie. Like now.

Changes besides pans? Finding raw macadamia nuts is hard when you live out in the boonies. Even if I drive to the town over, where there is a well stocked co-op. So I cheated and used roasted/salted. And oddly enough I think it was a good choice. The salt adds a nice flavor. On the other hand raw cashews are easy to get locally. Cara used agave nectar, I used raw honey. I have some serious issues with using agave. But for me just because a recipe is vegan doesn’t mean it is better. I’d rather support my local bees and their health. And the local bee keepers. (When did I become a stereotypical PNW hipster?? All I need are chickens in my backyard……)

Anyhow, back to the luscious dessert/breakfast/anytime meal…..I would call it more a key lime cheesecake. Creamy and smooth, it would fool most into thinking it was dairy. But at the same time it isn’t heavy like dairy cheesecake is. And while I used 3 mini pans, I’d think an 8″ cake pan would also work fine. As long as you line the pan and make sure it is very cold, removal is easy.

On the limes? Mine took 3, although they were pretty juicy/big. I had bought 6 to be sure. Better find another recipe soon 😉

Almost Raw Key Lime Pies


Crust –

  • ½ cup roasted and salted macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted

Filling –

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • ¾ cup fresh lime juice + zest of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup raw honey, preferably locally sourced
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted


Cover the cashews with cool filtered water, let soak for about 3 hours, drain.

Line 3 Mini Cake Pans with plastic wrap set aside. Add the curst ingredients to a food processor, process until finely ground. Divide equally between the pans, press down with fingers or a flat measuring cup till evenly flat. Set in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Add the drained cashews, honey, lime juice and zest and vanilla to a high-speed blender, process on high, tamping as needed till smooth.  Add coconut oil, process until mixed and smooth. Immediately spoon into the prepared pans, smoothing down. It is OK to mound up the filling on top, it will firm up. Do NOT leave any leftovers in your blender, fill with hot water and soak right away. Don’t ask how I know this…..sigh. Good thing I have bottle brushes loitering around….

Refrigerate  till set, give it at least a couple of hours, overnight is best – the flavors develop, the lime becomes more mellow, less acidic.

To serve –

Turn gently over on a plate, peel the plastic wrap off and invert on a serving plate.

Makes 3 pies. Serves 3 to 6.

Proudly made with our Vitamix Blender –



Raw Orange-Cranberry Oatmeal Scones

In the past 2 years I have picked up a number of “raw” cookbooks. Some are great, some not so, some are too far out for me. Eating raw can be s simple as a salad or far more interesting. Before I was pregnant with Alistaire we were eating quite a few raw meals. Then we stopped, I didn’t have it in me while I was pregnant. I have had a pulling of late to try more raw. It has made more sense as we go farther down the path of unprocessed. Simplicity really – even if it does take a lot of work to get there. And I won’t fib, it is a lot of work. Grating, peeling, scrubbing, food processor or blender, dishes and so on. In the end it is worth the work. I really look at my food before I eat it, knowing how much effort I put into it.

And I fell in love with Going Raw: Everything You Need to Start Your Own Raw Food Diet and Lifestyle Revolution at Home this past week. It gave me the boost I needed to commit to more raw meals. In the breakfast section I saw the recipe for Orange-Cranberry Oatmeal Scones and I had everything on hand. Being that the main ingredient is oat groats if it failed it wasn’t a big loss $$. The scones are delicious, well worth the wait for them to be ready. (Although if you are not used to high consumption of fiber be forewarned, your stomach may not like you!!)

I adapted the recipe, using raw walnuts where the author calls for soaked walnuts that are dehydrated before using (soak raw walnuts for 6 to 8 hours). I didn’t feel like doing that step and if there is a huge difference, I didn’t see it. Although I know the argument is your body will digest nuts/seeds better.

The book is neat in one aspect – all the color photos. She walks you through the steps, stage by stage. The book comes with a DVD but my copy didn’t have it. Oh well! Hopefully I can watch it later at some point.

I’d say the only downside for the book is you really need a dehydrator. Well I have two. Hah! OK, maybe that is one two many, I use them for my TrailCooking work,my L’Equip Dehydrator goes down far enough temperature wise to use it for raw food. A dehydrator can be a counter block, if you use it enough it is handy. Even outside of raw foods – you can dry veggies and fruits for winter.

Orange-Cranberry Oatmeal Scones


  • 1½ cup Organic Oat Groats
  • ¾ cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 organic orange, zested
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup raw walnuts, diced


Soak the oat groats overnight in a large bowl of filtered water (8-12 hours). Drain in a mesh strainer and add to a food processor. Run on high until the oats are sticking to the sides and becoming finely chopped, scraping the sides as needed.

Add the dates and orange zest, process on high until mixed in and the dough becomes a ball. Add to a large bowl and mix the cranberries and walnuts in by hand.

Rip off a piece of parchment paper and pat the dough into a circle, about an inch high and 7 to 8″ wide. Use a bench knife or a pizza wheel to cut 8 scones.

Set on a mesh lined dehydrator tray:


Dry at 110° for about 5 hours. The scones will be firm on the outside and easily bitable inside.

Store in air-tight containers for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer.

Makes 8 scones.


Vegan Cashew Chipotle Cheese

I came across this recipe on Navitas’s website and had to try it out. I am a devout fan of their products, due to it being high quality and fresh. Lets say that in other brands I have had twigs in my Chia seeds, Navtitas are nicely sorted. Their raw cashews are on the same level; it is unpleasant to buy raw cashews that are soft or worse…limp! If you want good tasting meals, start with quality. And do check out their recipe section! You will be very inspired.

I used a chipotle powder sourced from Frontier Co-op, if you have a co-op or natural food store nearby, look in the bulk spice section. While I used 1 teaspoon, if you like less spicy, halve that. You can always add more in as needed.

This is a “soft cheese”, for spreading or dropping on meals. It is great added to burritos, enchilada bakes, on top of rice dishes and so on – or even spread on crackers.

Vegan Cashew Chipotle Cheese 


  • 2 cups Raw Cashews
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp garlic (used granulated, which is freeze-dried)
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt


Add ingredients to a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) or a food processor. Process until just mixed (I found that I didn’t have to have it on high, running it from 1 up to 7 worked). Scrape the sides as needed. Keep processing until it is smooth. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if desired (it was perfect for us). Refrigerate until needed. Top with fresh or freeze-dried cilantro if desired.


Of Hiking and Raw German Chocolate Bars

I was so happy last weekend, Kirk and I got the boys out for two hikes, both at Mt. Rainier National Park, which is up the road from us (literally!)

On Saturday we took the two youngest on a lake hike to Bench & Snow Lakes:

On Monday we went to Sunrise, which is the highest road in the park – the parking lot is at 6400 feet – in Washington State that is alpine.

I posted this recipe earlier this week on my other blog, TrailCooking, it was so tasty I had to share it here as well!

Last weekend I made a batch of raw German Chocolate Bars that I was inspired by a recipe I saw recently on a favorite blog, NomEatNom, I made these bars using my favorite form of raw cacao, Navitas’s Sweet Cacao Nibs. The sweet ones add just enough to take any bitter cacao taste away. They have a pleasant boozy taste that works well in raw bars.

Find the Medjool dates and raw pecans at Costco or Trader Joe’s for savings, Costco now carries young coconut that is shredded but I find that Let’s Do Organic is my favorite. You can get it online or at natural food stores like Whole Foods.

German Chocolate Bars



Add everything to a food processor, process on high until finely chopped and it starts coming together in a ball. Line a bread pan with plastic wrap, pack the mixture in, flattening. Chill for a couple of hours, slice and wrap each bar. Keep refrigerated until trail time.


FTC Disclaimer: We received product samples for potential review/recipe development.

Trail Eats: 3 Raw Recipes

From our column Trail Eats in Washington Trails Magazine, in the July/August 2012 issue. The focus (or theme if you will) was healthy trail snacks in easy, portable form. Recipes that are raw, vegan and gluten-free.

These bars carry well, wrap tightly before packing.

Blueberry Almond Bars

Chop the dates up roughly. Add them and the remaining ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until chopped up, run on high for 3 to 4 minutes until finely diced and starting to stick together.
Line an 8″ x 8″ glass dish with parchment paper on the bottom, knock the mixture into the dish and flatten out, pressing down hard to compact it. Cover and refrigerate. Cut into bars of desired size, wrap each bar tightly.
For long term storage keep in the refrigerator, use up in 3 weeks for best taste.

These bars are full of fiber, nut protein and chocolate to crave the sweet monster but with no refined sugar (dates give the sweetness).

Chocolate Chia Bars

  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 cup Raw Almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool Dates(15 to 25, depending on size)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract

In a food processor pulse the almonds a couple of times, transfer to a small bowl. Add the dates and process until a paste forms. Add the nuts and remaining ingredients in, process until mixed.
Line an 8×8″ glass baking dish with plastic wrap, knock the mix out and flatten into the dish, until even, press down firmly.
Cover and refrigerate till cold, cut into bars and store tightly wrapped.
Chia seeds can be an odd texture if you are not used to them. To make them finer, grind them in a clean coffee mill first, use as directed above. When eating the bars be sure to drink plenty and to be blunt: if you are not used to a higher fiber diet eat these in SMALL servings!

Enjoy these little bites. They are a pretty green and purple from the pistachios.

Pistachio Truffles

  • ¾ cup Almond Meal/Flour
  • ½ cup D’Noir Prunes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter or favorite nut/seed butter
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped

Stir all the ingredients but the pistachios together until well mixed in a bowl. Add the pistachios to a shallow bowl. Use a 1 Tablespoon Disher (scoop) to make balls, roll gently in your hands to smooth out, then roll in the nuts, gently pressing them in. Store wrapped in the refrigerator until trip time, use within 3 weeks for best taste.
Makes about 15 balls.


Raw Peppermint Patties

Little chocolate cookies with the coolness of mint, can also be made into balls or bars. For bars, add to a plastic wrapped bread pan, press down tightly, chill and then cut.

Raw Peppermint Patties


  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups pitted Medjool dates, about 18 large
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt


Add everything to a food processor bowl, process on high until coming together. Taste to see if you need more peppermint and or salt. Use a 1 Tablespoon Disher to make balls, roll in your hands to compact and flatten gently. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, chill for an hour to set up, then transfer to an airtight container, store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 24.


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