Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hot! Hot! Hot: Hot Chocolate! (FREE of dairy, salt, oil and added sugar!)

            
Hello My Friends!

Anyone who has seen the holiday movie The Polar Express knows what I was thinking when I wrote my title for today's post! Oh yeah. It's that hot chocolate song scene on the train that's delicious enough to make every adult in the room want to sneak away to go make some hot cocoa, stat! Well, over the years I've experimented with nutritarian hot cocoa recipes here and there but never found one that absolutely knocked my socks off, and didn't have a too-thick or gritty texture, so I set off to make my own and now that I'm happy with it, I'd like   to share it with you! 

There is no guilt in a properly made hot cocoa positively overflowing with rich fudgey, fluffy vanilla-y goodness! At least there shouldn't be! Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals that make it a-ok in my book to use in nutritarian recipes. I'm actually a nutritarian rebel of sorts, because I prefer the dark cocoa variety, that has been dutched, or processed with alkali, while Dr. Fuhrman advocates the use of Natural Cocoa, no dutch, no dice. What is alkali and what does it do? Heck, I don't know. Perhaps I should. Oh well! The way I figure, I live 100% nutritarian, all of the time.  I'm not going to fuss for now. I'm sure the natural version is healthier, but it just doesn't give me the flavor I'm looking for, and this keeps me off of swiss miss (gag) and blissfully happy 100% nutritarian ALL of the time, so for now, I'll just have to be a rebel. That ok with you? :) Good. If you want, feel free to use the natural version. But be warned, the results while good, aren't what I'm drinking! And I am one happy camper!

"The secret to being a blissful nutritarian is learning to make food into memories, and memories into food, and making sure neither intends to kill you!" ~Jemoiselle

hehehe That's the ticket. Moving on!

So, this method requires some prep work. Yay, eh? We basically need two major components: a diluted date puree and a homemade nut milk. My favorites are cashew (super creamy, doesn't really need strained) almond (classic, affordable) and my ultimate fav, raw macadamia milk (super buttery but $$!) so choose one and let's get this show on the road!



To make homemade nut milk, you only need four things.

1. Nuts, raw and unsalted
2. A nut-milk bag (for straining)
3. A powerful blender (vitamix, blendtec?)
4. A large bowl

Nutritarian cooking is easy! It doesn't have to be all fussy. Being exact is not necessary, besides, it is good to know your ingredients! How do you think I came to create recipes? Mistakes! Experiments! Never measuring! What does thick almond milk taste like? How about thin? Which do you prefer? How will you know unless you just jump right in? With that said, a good basic recipe follows:



Jemoiselle's Easy Homemade Raw Nut Milk

1/2c raw nuts
5c water

Directions: Puree nuts and water in a high powered blender.  Strain out the "meat" by pouring the smooth pureed liquid into a nut-milk bag, and squeezing it out into a large bowl. Pour into a refrigerator friendly pouring vessel, and enjoy. Done.

See? That was easy. Too thin for your preference? Add more nuts next time (or this time, but being flexible is great!) or is it too thick? Add more water. I'm almost certain this consistency will not be too thick for anyone. It's comparable to 1% milk, in my opinion. We use it to add TEXTURE to drinks, but usually, I do not make drinks made entirely with nut milks. Texture is the secret. A little bit goes a long way!

The nut milks also add visual interest. They brighten up an otherwise dark drink. They can be frothed in a milk frother and that froth can be piled high like a mountain and sprinkled with so many delicious variations of spice, like cinnamon, cocoa or pumpkin pie spice! It gives the illusion and appearance of richness, like a guilt free whipped cream or marshmallows on whatever we choose to use it with. It's versatile. It feels naughty. It's not. I love it!

So, the next component we need is a date puree. I make this in large batches too, and use it to sweeten anything from lattes to hot cocoa to sweet potatoes in a flash. It's rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, tastes great, and lasts nicely in the fridge. Here's how we make it. Again, you need to learn the "science" of the ingredients! Adjust it to your preference if it's not sweet enough, and vice versa.



Date Puree

1lb Dates, pitted (preferably medjool, but any will do!)
Hot Water (fill the entire vitamix or blender carafe up)

Place dates in blender. Fill blender nearly all the way up with hot water. Allow the dates to soak in the hot water for a few minutes. Blend until velvety smooth. Place into pourable refrigerator vessel and enjoy.

Now, we've got the date puree for sweetening all sorts of things using all the fiber in the dates (no guilt there!) and we've got the nut milk we'll use as our creamy component. Let's make some hot cocoa!



Jemoiselle's Nutritarian Hot Cocoa - 12 oz mug

1 slightly heaping teaspoon dutch dark cocoa powder
1/4c date puree (more or less to taste)
1/4c nut milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/2c hot water (or to fill your mug)

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Variation: Dip a toothpick in pure peppermint oil, and swirl in completed mug of cocoa!

Mayan Hot Cocoa Variation: Sprinkle the top with a bit of cinnamon and/or spices like clove and nutmeg!

Here's how we roll. Take that cocoa, put it in the mug. Pour in the date puree. Add the hot water, stir until smooth. In a frother, (I use Nespresso's Aeroccino and LOVE it!) froth up about 1/4c of that nut milk with the vanilla until steamy and fluffy! Add to mug, gently mounding the foam on top. Dust with a bit of extra cocoa or cinnamon. Enjoy!

Don't forget to come back and tell me how you liked it!







Thursday, December 4, 2014

Seasons Eatings: My Nutritarian Pumpkin Pie Recipe for YOU! (FREE FROM: Gluten, Added Sugar, Salt or Added Oil)



My Dearest Readers,

For many years now I have been working on my nutritarian crusts and cookies. Before I went all fruity (snicker) I used to be a huge foodie, cake baker, bread maker and pastry queen. LOL, let it be no secret, the holidays used to be my worst nemesis in the battle of healthy living! Battle no more, because for the last couple years I have absolutely blown my own mind with how BLISSFUL the holidays can be when you leave the junk behind and kick the cheat day habit to the curb where it belongs!



Holidays are for celebrating, and what better way than with food that is happy for you to eat it? Food that blesses us with a promise, that it will do it's very best to make sure we make it until the next holiday AND MANY MORE, to cherish and absolutely immerse one's self in the love and blessings that only true friends, family, and good health can bring! Am I right? When we celebrate, shouldn't we do so with food and such that doesn't threaten our ability to enjoy life with the ones we cherish most? So, Santa's cookies in this house are made from my own recipe for Nutritarian Gingerbread!




My Thanksgiving menu follows suit with Nutritarian versions of Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy, Steamed Veggies, Hot Cocoa and the best of all, my soon to be famous Pumpkin Pie with Nutritarian Whipped Cream topping! Nom!



With that attitude in mind, for the last couple of years my holidays have been incredible. I've found that when you leave the old behind, you automatically have this wide horizon on your hands just ripe with potential for developing new incredible recipes and traditions to replace the old with!  This year, I hit the ultimate gold mine with my Pumpkin Pie. I can honestly say that for me, it could not get any better. Impossible. It is melt in your mouth, can't-believe-it's-not-bad-for-me PERFECTION!



Now, as a holiday gift, I want to share my method with all of you to create the ultimate Thanksgiving or Holiday Pumpkin Pie! This pie was so good, it was the first thing I thought about for a few days after Thanksgiving. LOL! I looked forward to it so much, and couldn't believe how spot on it was for what some would call "The real thing." To me, this is every bit as delicious as the real thing, right down to the flaky just-the-right-amount-of-chew could fool a SAD eater crust. Oh the crust. Swoon! How I love thee!



So, this year, I was fortunate enough to have gotten my hands on a beautiful batch of raw macadamia nuts from Hawaii with a taste so buttery, so clean and rich at the same time, they have ruined me for other macs to be quite honest! They were the inspiration here, don't get cheap and substitute anything less than raw unroasted unsalted macs. I bake without measures quite often, since every single day for me is lived 100% Nutritarian, and it would be way too time consuming for me to write down the measures of each and every thing I eat. I eat a ton! So, this recipe has to be made carefully, with some love. Ok? Let's begin!



Jemoiselle's Blissfully Decadent Nutritarian Pumpkin Pie
I don't measure, these are my best estimates. Taste as you go, guys! Next time I make this, now that I know how incredible it turned out, I will write down exact weights and get it straight. This is very much a "for now" from what I remember, recipe!

Pie Filling:

1 can Pure Pumpkin Puree (next year it will be fresh, but this year had to be an exception.)
1c Pitted Medjool Dates (or, more or less to taste. Doesn't need much. I could have used less)
1/2 Package of Extra Firm Tofu (no salt or oil added, as pure as you can find)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4-1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice, to taste (I use spice islands brand blend)

Crust:

1-1.5c Raw Unsalted Macadamia
1-2c Oats (Gluten free oats)
1-2 tsp ground chia seeds (a great binder)
1/4-1/2 c water
1/4-1/2c Medjool Dates
              (I also like using homemade date syrup. Dates soaked in hot water, then pureed)
Optional: 1 drop butter flavored extract (propylene glycol base with a synthetic butter flavor)

Whipped Cream Topping:
1c (or more) Raw Unsalted Macadamia
1/2-1c Medjool Dates
1/2-1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 drop Almond Extract
Water, if too thick.
Optional: 1 drop butter flavored extract. I don't remember if I used this in the topping too! (same as above, found in cake supply stores)

Instructions

For the filling: Puree the filling ingredients in a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix and cannot live without it) and taste to get the sweetness and spices just right. It will set up nicely in the fridge, but don't let it get thin. It needs to be the consistency of a very thick, smooth pudding.

For the crust: Using a food processor, make the macs into mac butter, then add the dates, ground chia, extracts and alternate oats and water to get the consistency just right. You are going to press this into a pie plate, so pinch it between your fingers as you adjust. When it sticks together, it's ready.

For the topping: Blend all ingredients in a vitamix until light and fluffy, the consistency of soft cool whip. Taste test for sweetness balance and adjust as necessary.

Bake that pie: Press the crust into a pie dish. It should be thick, about 1/4 inch. Press it up the sides and bottom all around until it's even. Fill with pumpkin filling and bake approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees F (180C) just until the crust looks slightly light browned and the filling looks more firm. My pie filling developed cracks in the surface, which I will be working on in the months/years to come. It doesn't affect the taste, no worries!

Allow pie to cool then chill in the fridge. To serve simply slice with a sharp knife and top with a dollop of Nutritarian Whipped Cream. Enjoy! Keep in mind, I tried my best to remember how I made it for this post. If something goes awry with yours don't get discouraged! Just don't be afraid to change things up until it's the way you like it. If in doubt, drop by and ask me a question and perhaps we can troubleshoot it together.

It is my sincere hope that this recipe/method brings you so much joy this season that you don't miss the old type one tiny little bit, and that that realization might open your eyes to the possibilities of living 100% Nutritarian, even in the Holiday Season! I've never been happier. <3



Happy Holidays Everyone!

Jemosielle