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Sweeties and Sweets….

Nope, this blog post is not about Canadian candy that we call Smarties here in the U.S….

It is about 2 things in my life with which I need to set boundaries and be moderate in my intake…see the previous blog post for a bit of background here:

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/moderation-balance-biblical/

First, Sweeties?  I am talking about our Sweethearts…or rather our lack of Sweethearts, or our dreams about our sweethearts, or what we wish they might do (ahem)…And for this, I am going to point you to a great post written by my good friend, Sundi Jo Graham, about romantic movies.  Please do continue reading at the bottom of her blog to find my comment and the thoughts that I could have written a blog about myself!

http://www.sundijo.com/eight-reasons-why-i-hate-romantic-movies/

As for “Sweets”?

Well, unless you have been living under a carb-free rock for the last, I don’t know, millennium, you know that too much sugar is bad for you.  For some, even too much natural sugar from fruit can be bad!  Again, moderation.  I am a sweets-lover.  So, it is amazing too me when something is actually too sweet for me…and I definitely have to talk to myself and say, “you don’t HAVE to have something sweet after every meal.”  Brushing my teeth usually helps. That being said, there is another point here about balance that could be made…both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine tell us that we need to be balanced in our “tastes” at every meal, or we may actually become unbalanced.  So, when you keep yourselves from anything sweet all the time, it is normal and healthy to feel you need some…thank the Lord He made some good ones!  (And by the way, in those traditions mentioned, sweet doesn’t necessarily mean, sugary…sometimes it is another food, say for example, rice or oats that has a natural “sweet flavor” and balances out other tastes in the meal that be salty, pungent, bitter, what-have-you.  Also, I have heard it said that when one is craving sweets, they are lacking some “sweet” in their lives, so it is something to certainly to go to Our Father about and ask…and it may just be more time with Him that you are craving!)

ANYWAY.

It’s time for my awesome segue…

I love sharing healthy recipes with you, and since it is that time of year when sweets abound all around us, how about a sweet and healthy pie?

You may all be done with pie at this point, so feel free to skip away, but if you have another big holiday coming up and would like to serve something tasty that you can feel good about, maybe this is your option?

We did not have a “traditional” Thanksgiving this year…we went down to have lunch with my Grandmother in the nursing home, so we didn’t have to cook!  (Afterwards, we went to see the new Muppet movie.  It is Amazing, fyi.)  So, between my mom, hubby, and I, we are spreading out some of our “traditional” dishes through the holiday season, a little at a time.

I had seen a few recipes for “Raw Pumpkin Pie” this year, and after looking at them with sweet hubby, decided on one.  The funny thing is, we both like Pumpkin Pie, but it is not our favorite, so after getting a few of the ingredients (I had the rest already), I wondered, what I had been thinking?

Plus, we never got around to carving our pumpkin before Halloween (can we say totally busy and tired and out-of-balance?), so we had a perfectly good one ready to carve up for a pie…but it was HUGE!

And, I had just sent my BlendTech off to be repaired while it was under warranty (has been making an odd noise), so I was going to have to use my small food processor.

All of these little insights led me to only make HALF of this recipe and divide it between 4 little silicone tart pans to make my “Raw Pumpkin Pie Tartlets”.

Raw Pumpkin Pie (from Hallelujah Acres website)

http://www.hacres.com/recipes/cards/raw-pumpkin-pie

Submitted By: Jackie Graff – Sprout Raw Food

A sweet, tasty Holiday dessert with absolutely no baking involved!

(This is the full recipe; to do what I did, divide by half.  You will have a little extra filling, as well.)

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, peeled and seeded
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 4 dates soaked in 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup raw macadamias soaked 8 hours and drained (I used raw almonds because it is what I had)
  • 4 cups raw pumpkin, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup organic raisins
  • 1 tsp psyllium
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, washed, soaked for 8 hours, drained and dehydrated for 6 – 8 hours (I did not do this; I used Cashew Creme instead)
  • **1 date nut crust variation from The Hallelujah Diet Book (as opposed to the crust actually listed with this recipe.  For me, the other was easier, and I have used it many times before.)

Directions

  1. Place macadamias  (almonds) along with dates and their soak water into blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth.
  2. Add avocado, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pumpkin and blend until very smooth.
  3. Add psyllium and blend well. Let this mixture sit for 1-2 minutes and blend well again.
  4. Fold in raisins.
  5. Pour into piecrust and top with ½ cup of pumpkin seeds. (or cashew creme, as I did)

**Date and Nut crust Variation: As I was running low on almonds, but had plenty of almond flour, I combined 1 cup of almond flour with 1/2 cup of dates, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt in my food processor with 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup honey until it gathered into a ball…I then separated it into 4 sections, pressing each into a little tartlet pan.  When the filling was ready, I scooped it into the pans and placed them into the fridge to chill while I made the Cashew Creme.

Nomi Shannon’s (The Raw Gourmet) Cashew Creme

DIRECTIONS

Soak cashews overnight. Drain. Put in blender with just enough water to allow blender to do its job. Add only enough water to make it smooth, then add dates one at a time, or agave syrup or maple syrup to sweeten, taste for sweetness. You want to achieve a fluffy whipped-cream type consistency. I like it best when vanilla is added too.

1 cup of cashews will make 1 1/2 or more cups of cashew crème. (I only used 1/2 cup of soaked cashews.)

–for more great raw dessert recipes by Nomi Shannon, go to:

http://rawgourmet.com/recipes#dessert

The verdict?  Yum!  Before I added the pumpkin, I noticed that the filling tasted a bit like Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, if you have ever had THAT. And I love that flavor!  The pumpkin really didn’t change that, either.

Here is my precaution:  These little dudes are SWEET.  I mean, so super sweet!  Like, I only ate 1/3 of mine (one tartlet) the first night!  The next morning, I used part of the rest (of the same tartlet) as my sweetener in my oatmeal!  And then at lunch, I used the last bit as a sweetener/thickener in my green smoothie!  So, if you like sweets, you will enjoy this, but know that it might not be as hard as usual to exercise moderation…IF you are eating consciously, and not while watching TV or something else distracting…

Do  they taste like Pumpkin Pie?  A bit.  Really, they do!  The spices are spot-on…I think the sweetness threw me a little at first, but then, I think Pumpkin Pie itself is super sweet, so there ya go…

Whatever you decide, know that these are nutrient giving, life-in-your-cells enhancing treats…

Also, since we had soooo much pumpkin left, I chopped or grated the rest into fry shapes and noodle shapes to use as a fun vegetable all winter!  Let’s hear it for pumpkin fries and pasta, and being a good steward with what God has given us!  AND, Jon roasted the seeds.  Num.

Here’s to moderation…and moderation of your moderation, sometimes.  I pray you seek Our Lord for His Sweetness, in love and life, every part you can…

With a great big, non-pumpkin-innards-covered fingers hug (cuz my sweetie was my hero and scooped them out FOR ME!),

Robyn

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