Recipe: Banana Softie with Cinnamon Sauce, A Raw Food Vegan ‘Ice-Cream’

100% Raw Food and Healthy Bliss!

This raw food vegan dessert is a favorite, even amongst cooked-food eaters! The banana makes this dish look and taste creamy, just like real ice cream, but there is no dairy or added sugar as you will soon see. I hope, with this recipe, you can see how much more there is to make with a blender than just smoothies! Personally, I found that my Ninja blender motor wasn’t strong enough to blend frozen bananas. Luckily, I borrowed a KitchenAid blender and used the Puree Button and it worked just fine. When you consider spending more money on an expensive blender like the Vitamix, it’s the high-power motor that makes the difference.

The main ingredient of the Banana Softie is frozen bananas. Organic is best if possible of course!

Buy bananas ripe before freezing

I like to buy organic bananas on sale, just before they are too ripe, and use them for this dish. You can keep a small stockpile of frozen bananas in the freezer ready to make a batch of softie for family and friends. The key to freezing the bananas is 1) peel each banana first and 2) chop into pieces before freezing.

Store frozen bananas peeled and chopped

If you’ve ever tried to freeze a banana whole with the skin on, you would have quickly learned how difficult it is to peel a frozen banana and how much harder it is to put whole frozen bananas in the blender! So, peel, chop and place your frozen banana pieces in a plastic bag or glass container in the freezer. Let freeze solid before making this recipes (at least 24 hours is best).

Banana Softie (100% Raw Vegan Ice Cream) Ingredients:

  • 6 organic bananas (peeled, chopped and frozen)

Banana Softie Sauce/Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp organic cinnamon powder
  • 4 Tbsp. Raw Honey or 2 Organic Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 2 Tbsp. filtered water
  • 1-2 Organic Medjool Dates, chopped for added topping (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. Raw Cacao Nibs for added topping (optional)

Banana Softie Directions:

The lucky winner of the Vitamix Blender can use their new blender to make this recipe. You can also use a normal blender, but make sure it has a decent motor. For example, a Cuisinart brand should be ok but a Nutri-Bullet may not be able to blend the frozen banana.

Blend, and serve…so easy!

All you need to do is place the frozen chopped banana pieces in the blender and add about 1/4 cup filtered water. (The water just helps to puree the bananas into a creamy blend). If your blender doesn’t blend the bananas, let then sit out for about 10 minutes to thaw a bit and try again. (Of course, with a Vitamix…this will not be a problem!)

Once the bananas are blended in a yummy creamy softie form, you will be ready to serve! Be prepared to serve immediately because the softie will start to melt rather quickly. For that reason, it’s best to make fresh and serve fresh. If necessary, you can make the softie and store in the freezer prior to serving.

In that case, keep the sauce and topping separate and garnish later.

Optional: Cinnamon Sauce and Raw Toppings
The Cinnamon Sauce tastes amazing with Banana Softie! To make the sauce, stir raw honey (or pureed organic Medjool dates), cinnamon and water into a sauce. If your raw honey is quite thick, you can blend the sauce in a mini food processor.  Note: raw honey is not a vegan food; if you’re vegan, use organic Medjool dates in your Cinnamon sauce.

Banana Softie with Cinnamon Sauce

Drizzle the cinnamon sauce on top of each bowl of banana softie and suddenly your raw food dessert is looking very yummy! Additionally, you may add some raw cacao nibs and/or chopped dates on top.

Banana Softie with Chopped Dates

When I worked at the Spa Samui Detox Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand, this dish was very popular and all of the fasters wanted to know how soon after their fast could they eat the Banana Softie! At Spa Samui, they also offered Mango Softie (which is the same dish but uses fresh frozen mango instead). Personally, I never liked the Mango Softie because it was never creamy like the Banana Softie but you can certainly give it a try and decide for yourself. If you want to try Mango Softie, simply peel, chop and freeze about 4-5 mangoes and follow the instructions as per above. You can also experiment by preparing ‘2 scoops’ of ‘ice-cream,’ one banana and one mango.

A ‘normal’ ice-cream will contain added sugar, artificial colors and flavors, sometimes gluten and of course dairy. No wonder people get acne, bad skin, puffiness, port digestion and even acid-reflux after eating it. Choose the raw food vegan gluten-free version and you have no added chemicals. Instead, you get extra the healing power of real food! Cinnamon is known to help regulate blood sugars, bananas are a great source of potassium and mangoes are high in Vitamin C, and several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers. See how much fun eating raw food can be! And it’s good for you too!

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Raw Food Dessert Recipe: Cacao, Hazelnut & Banana Bliss

Raw Hazelnut Cacao Bliss

This recipe is fast and easy for a delicious raw food dessert. Have you ever tasted a fudgesicle pop? Well, if you freeze this chocolate-like creation, it actually tastes like a fudgesicle! But this is a healthy version, full of anti-oxidants and other nutrients.

Make this tasty gluten-free vegan treat to share with family and friends…they will not even know it’s a raw food! It’s also great for kids, and with this dessert…they are getting valuable nutrients in addition to a great taste.

Raw Food Recipe: Cacao, Hazelnut & Banana Bliss

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts, ground (can also use raw almonds)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp. raw maca powder
  • Water from 1 young green coconut plus coconut flesh (can replace with 1.5 cups cold water + 3 Tbsp. coconut oil)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw ginger, grated (optional)
  • 6 raw dried organic apricots, chopped (optional)

Healthy Bliss…yes!

Grind the hazelnuts or almonds with maca and cacao powder. There is no need to soak the nuts. Use a mini-food processor to grind the nuts to a fine powder. (You could also add 1-2 Tbsp. of other superfoods, such as acai powder, pomegranate powder or goji berries.)

In a blender, blend the coconut water and bananas. Add the ground nuts and powders and blend again. Add the raw honey and/or fresh ginger (optional) and blend again.

Pour mixture into a container. Top with chopped hazelnuts or almonds and chopped apricots. Place in freezer and let sit for 6-8 hours. Serve with love, and enjoy!

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Raw Food Snack: Recipe for Sesame Balls or ‘Raw Halva’ Dessert

Sesame Balls

This is my ‘healthy’ version of Halva, a very popular and traditional Middle Eastern Dessert made with ground sesame and sugar. In this version, we will use raw sesame seeds and raw honey or agave (whichever you prefer). This is a great snack for kids and it’s healthy! Sesame seeds are a great natural vegan source of calcium.

Raw Sesame Ball Yum!

In a mini food processor, first blend/grind:

½ cup organic raw white sesame seeds

small dash of Himalayan Sea Salt

Then add 3-4 Tablespoons Raw honey (or agave nectar) and blend again. Add more sweetener if the mixture is too dry.

The mixture should be moist enough to roll into small balls (about the size of a walnut).

Place a handful of whole sesame seeds on a plate and roll each ball (walnut size ball) onto whole seeds to coat the ball with sesame for a nice, appetizing look.

Sesame balls topped with goji berry or mulberry,
Cacao version rolled in raw coconut flakes

You can decorate each Raw Halva Sesame Ball with goji berries, raisins or dried mulberries. To get even more creative, try adding raw cacao powder for a Raw Chocolate Sesame Ball Dessert…yum!

Serve and enjoy! This recipe is so fast and easy, you will be amazed. I have shared this with family, friends and at raw food potlucks and it is always a favorite.

Affirmation: ‘I accept myself for where I am on my journey knowing that just being on the path is a good thing!’

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Durian Fruit – Benefits of this stinky yet delicious favorite of the Raw Food World

Durian: smells bad but tastes great?

Durian: smells bad but tastes great?

Ahh, the blessed durian! Seems like people either love it or hate it. Durian is a fruit native to South East Asia and happens to grow all over the island of Koh Samui, Thailand.

It is the big brown spikey fruit that you may seem at certain times of the year piled high on little road stands around the island. Inside the durian is the soft, custard-like flesh of the fruit and it tastes delicious. If, that is, you can get over the smell! Yes, it is the durian fruit that is widely known for being the worst smelling fruit ever. The smell is often compared to rotten eggs, dirty socks, smelly armpits and even toe jam. And it’s true!

In many places around SE Asia, durian fruit is banned in hotel rooms, buses, taxes and public areas because the smell is so strong, it can linger for hours, even days.

But, just like an aged cheese that might initially smell uninviting, when you get to the flavor, it can be astoundingly good! Amazing good! Quite possibly the best raw food experience you could ever possibly have!

The Durian Fruit, a favorite amongst Raw Foodists

The Durian Fruit, a favorite amongst Raw Foodists

Durian is sold fresh, either as an entire fruit or conveniently opened up and packaged for you. They also make durian chips which are deep fried – it’s like a potato chip but slightly thicker and made from durian. Even though the chips are cooked and fried, they are certainly a better alternative to potato chips which are most likely genetically modified and most certainly contain preservatives.

Like cheese, some people like the fresh durian more firm while others prefer it more soft, like a custard. In the supermarkets here in Thailand, they will not let you touch the pre-packaged durian because everyone wants to poke it to see how it feels!

In Thailand, they also make durian ice cream and durian candies. Thai people love the fresh durian! They instinctively know the durian fruit is good to de-stress naturally, gain energy & make you feel happy!

Local, Organic Tropical Fruit - Durian!

Local, Organic Tropical Fruit - Durian!

Durian is considered to be ‘The King of all Fruits.’ The ‘Queen’ is said to be the mangosteen, which, interestingly enough, comes into season at the same time as durian. Many people say that to balance out the energy of durian, one should also eat mangosteen sometime in the course of the same day as eating durian.

There are many health benefits to the durian fruit. It is excellent for overall cleansing because it is a natural sulfur food. It is an excellent source of good fat which is important to the raw food diet. It is organic and locally grown, so especially is you visit Asia, you should be eating this fruit and not buying imported irradiated grapes from Brazil!!

Perhaps the best health benefit of the durian fruit is that it gives you a natural high. It is an excellent raw food for relieving stress naturally due to the high amounts of tryptophan in it. Tryptophan is a naturally occurring element in the durian known to relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain and pre-menstrual conditions (PMT).

Freshly Cut Mon Thong next to Durian Ban

Freshly Cut Mon Thong next to Durian Ban

Just as there are different varieties of apples, there are several different types of durian. The ‘Durian Ban’ is the small round shaped durian and is more used for the seeds which are traditionally cooked and eaten in Thailand. The ‘Mon Thong’ is one of the most popular varieties. In Thai it means ‘Golden Pillow’ and it really does look like a golden pillow! This durian is know to be sweet and very tasty. Then there is the ‘Channee’ which is a bigger durian.

I encourage you to try them all and see which durian you like best! If you can’t make it to South East Asia for your durian, try your local Asian market. Many times they sell whole frozen durians. Ask around! Whatever you do, don’t miss out on trying this very special fruit!

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Raw Food Recipe for Just Like Cheesecake – A Healthy, Delicious Dessert!

This is such a great raw food recipe – especially if you are trying to make a healthy dessert for non-raw foodists – believe me, they will be sold on raw foods after trying this fantastic creation! In fact, it really does taste Just Like Cheesecake!

This is a raw vegan dessert, and it really does taste Just Like Cheesecake!

When you make this at home, you might want to double the recipe and make 2 cheesecakes at once – they tend to preserve fairly well in the freezer and it saves you having to make it twice! I learned how to make this myself at the Raw Food Class offered by the Spa Resorts in Koh Samui, Thailand. Now you can enjoy this recipe from the comfort of your own home!

There are 3 parts to making this raw cake:
1) the crust, 2) the filling and 3) the topping.

Crust

Ingredients:

      Macadamia Nuts – 2 cups (soaked overnight)
      Dried Figs – 1/4 cup, chopped
      Raisins (white) – 1/4 cup, chopped
      Dried Coconut Flakes – 1/4 cup

Sprinkle the coconut flakes along the bottom of your pie plate. Blend together the macadamia nuts, raisins and figs in a food processor and create the ‘crust’ with this mixture, carefully molding into an even layer on top of the coconut flakes. Can refrigerate to let set while making the filling.

Main Pie Filling

Ingredients:

      Raw Cashews – 3 cups (soaked overnight)
      Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice – 3/4 cup
      Raw Honey – 1/2 cup
      Coconut Milk (fresh is best) – 1/2 cup
      Sea Salt – 1/2 tsp.
      Whole Vanilla Bean (take out the seeds)- 1/2 each

Mix all ingredients together in a high-power blended (like Vita-Mix) or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour this mixture evenly over the crust. You can add more fresh lemon or lime to taste, as desired. Place the pie in the freezer to let set while making the topping.

Topping

Ingredients:

      Fresh Strawberries – 2 cups (can use frozen as a substitute)
      Dried Figs – 1/2 cup, soaked overnight and chopped
      Raisins (white) – 1/4 cup, soaked overnight and chopped
      Raw Honey – 1 Tbsp.
      Sea Salt – 1 pinch.
It really tastes Just Like Cheesecake!

It really tastes Just Like Cheesecake!

Process all ingredients together in a high-power blended (like Vita-Mix) or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate the topping and pour this mixture evenly over the filling just before serving. Place the pie itself in the freezer to let set for at least 24 hours before serving. Can freeze the cheesecake for up to one week.

Enjoy this wonderful creation made from the healing foods of Mother Earth and blended especially with love!

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Raw Food Recipe for Raw Energy Balls – Fast & Easy!

Raw Energy Ball - Pure Heaven & Good for You!

Raw Energy Ball – Pure Heaven & Good for You!

This is something that I just threw together with what I had at home.. You can use pretty much whatever dried fruits you like as long as they are soaked in advance. Don’t be afraid to try your own combinations and see what magical blend you can create!

Raw Energy Balls are great for kids, perfect for traveling, and make a nice desert for the entire family. You can also bring them to a picnic or share with your work colleagues – even people who are afraid of the raw food diet seem to love them :)

Always check your nuts and dried fruits for any signs of mold before you soak them. If you see any white fuzz or obvious mold, it’s best to throw out the whole container and buy fresh again. Mold is the biggest thing to watch out for in dried fruits. With raw cashews, always split the cashews in half and check the insides – that is where the mold usually hides. Again, if you see any mold, get rid of them!

Try to soak in a glass or wooden bowl!

Try to soak in a glass or wooden bowl!

Ingredients Needed:

      Raw almonds (peeled) – 1-1.2 cups
      Raw dried dates (pitted) – 15-20 dates
      Dries apricots – 8-10 apricots
      Fresh tamarind (or tamarind paste) – about 1/3 cup (paste – 1/8 cup)
      Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (3 Tbsp.)
      Himalayan salt or sea salt, to taste
      Organic Coconut Flakes
Once soaked, your dried fruits should look plump again!

Once soaked, your dried fruits should look plump again!

Soak Overnight:

  • 1 -1.5 cups almonds
  • 15-20 dates (pitted)
  • 8-10 dried apricots

After about 12-15 hours, rinse your soaked items and put aside. Start to take even amounts of almonds to date to apricot ratios and blend them up in your mini-food processor. I usually add a pinch of Himalayan salt or sea salt and about 2 tsp. of fresh tamarind to each batch. For the above amount soaked, I would add about 1/3 – 1/4 cup fresh tamarind in total.

Tamarind has a wonderful sweet and sour taste that adds a different element to the sweetness of the dates. (If you can’t find it fresh, try to look for a tamarind paste in your local Asian market.)

Mixing up some Raw Energy Love!

Mixing up some Raw Energy Love!

Once the whole lot is blended, put it back into a bowl, and add about 3 Tbsp. virgin organic cold-pressed coconut oil.

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with a spoon. (Your blend should be nice and creamy with no chunks of fruit or nut. If it’s chunky, put it back in the food processor for another round.)

Energy Ball Love

Energy Ball Love

Have another bowl ready with dried coconut flakes, in total about 1 cup of flakes.

Take your blended mix and form into small balls with your hands, then roll the ball around the coconut flakes until covered. Continue all all your mix is gone.

Let the energy balls refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours just to form well and to allow the flavors to blend.

Then, start to share your Raw Energy Ball Love!

This recipe makes about 15 Energy Balls. Preparation time: About 1 hour.

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