Cooked: Vegan Raaka S’Mores

S’mores… Who doesn’t love the flavor fusion of decadent chocolate with soft pillowy toasted marshmallow sandwiched between crunchy sweet graham crackers? It’s something I’ve missed for a very long time and I’m going to go so far as to say this vegan S’mores creation far outweighs any other I’ve had, vegan aside. I think the secret was in the chocolate. I recently discovered a line of chocolate that I’m absolutely smitten with! It’s a company called Raaka! They ethically source their cacao beans, never roast them to leave the true flavors intact as to honor the essence of what chocolate is… They are also here in Brooklyn and make their handmade bars in small controlled batches. I recently signed up for their chocolate of the month mailings: BEST. DECISION. EVER.  For this particular vegan S’more, I chose their 75% dark bar that boasts tasting notes of golden plum, rice wine and pistachio. It’s truly something to behold. Another great bar for a S’more would be their vegan Coconut Milk or the Bourbon Cask bar. Yum!   For the marshmallows, I can’t find anything better out there than Dandies! Definitely go with these as they are flawless puffed delights sans gelatin.   IMG_4526   Ingredients:

  • Vegan Graham Crackers (I used Erewhon brand)
  • 1 bar of Raaka chocolate (I used 75% Madagascar)
  • Several vegan marshmallows ( I used Dandies)

Directions: There are actually a couple ways to pull this off, if you have access to a flame and want to roast your marshmallows the old fashioned way, by all means — please do it! I went ahead and just set the marshmallows on the graham crackers with a tray underneath (just in case!) on broil in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the marshmallows began to brown slightly. Next, place a couple squares of Raaka on the warm toasted marshmallows and close with another graham cracker! This is about as close to camping as I get, and boy is it delicious!   To check out more of what Raaka has to offer: http://www.raakachocolate.com/

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Raw: Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips

I’ve had some of the store bought kale chips in this particular flavor and I did enjoy them, but let me just say… These ones are so much better! Not to toot my own horn or anything like that… Seriously, give these a shot. I just kind of threw the ingredients together by taste and ended up with something that I’m going to make again and again since they keep disappearing!

kalechips

Sour “cream” & onion mixture per one medium head kale:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Raw Cashews (soaked for 3-4 hours and drained)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped White Onion
  • 2-3 Scallions
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Water (as needed to make a creamy texture)

Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend thoroughly until a very creamy texture is achieved. In a large bowl combine washed and torn pieces of kale with the sauce mixture and massage into kale until fully coated. Place on dehydrator sheets and set to 115′ F for 6-8 hours depending on desired crispiness.

Enjoy and repeat. Trust me, you’ll want to!

Raw: Coconut Pudding

This is such a simple yet decadent dessert. I love having this chilled in summertime. Something about the sweet smoothness of coconut flesh is just divine! Luckily for you all, it’s pretty darn simple to throw together and very healthy at that! No added sweeteners are necessary.

coconutpudding

In a high speed blender combine the following:

  • 2-3 cups young coconut meat (this is sold frozen in health food stores, but the best way is to scrape it out of a young coconut yourself)
  • 1/3 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Blend until thoroughly smooth and at desired consistency, place in a covered container and chill for several hours, garnish with dried coconut (optional) and devour! Yum!

*Note: You may also add 1/4 cup raw cacao powder if you’re desiring a chocolate coconut pudding.

Product Review: Coconut Bacon by Phoney Baloney’s

coconutbacon

I attended The Seed on this past rainy Saturday in NYC with my beautiful fiance and a good vegan friend of ours . What an amazing paradise full of vegan food, products, information, yoga and people! I must have been in a vegan-coma-daze because I only took a couple of photos toward the end of the day and both didn’t really turn out well enough to post, sorry! At any rate, we picked up a few things that we’ve been partial to for awhile at the event like Treeline vegan nut cheese; who needs dairy anymore? One Lucky Duck raw chocolate chip cookies that taste heavenly! And some seaweed based caviar-like spread called Caviart. YUM!

One product we came home with was something we tried for the first time; coconut bacon!? I honestly was never a bacon die-hard or anything before I stopped eating animals nearly 8 years ago. Sure, I enjoyed it and I definitely remember what it tastes like, it’s not something you forget. Every once in awhile I’ll get a craving for something smoky and savory which I usually quench by making a BLAT (Tempeh Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato). The thing I like most about this coconut bacon is the very thin and crispy texture it has, unlike tempeh bacon. I also feel better about eating coconut than I do any soy product these days. This product is pretty awesome and versatile and the taste is… SPOT ON! Almost in a freakishly perfected way. I highly recommend this product to people who love that smoky, thin and crispy bacon taste and want to eat a completely plant-based replacement that is soy free and most importantly, ANIMAL free!

I could see myself using this on a baked potato, in a sinful rendition of vegan mac n’ cheese, on a BLAT sandwich, in a salad and MORE! The bag says it can even be used in baking… which strikes me as pretty weird, personally. Although I know the whole bacon dessert thing is in full swing these days with oddities like bacon chocolates, shakes, cupcakes and donuts. As long as you’re not hurting any of my pig friends to appease your peculiar food desires, I say pick up a bag of this awesome coconut bacon and knock yourself out!