Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little Christmas fun!

Hey everyone! I have a couple things for you today.  What with last-minute homework assignments before Christmas break and such, I haven't had much time to blog.  So...I have a few things today!
First, near the beginning of the month I made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Cake, from the amazingly creative Amie Sue of Nouveau Raw! Here's the link and some pictures if you want to make this recipe.
I highly recommend it--the chewy crust and the creamy filling with peanut butter is divine! The only edits I made: I didn't want extra chocolate ganache, so I just made half the recipe.  It blended fine but balled up super quickly into a hardened mass--I later realized this was because I used agave straight from the fridge.  Cold agave mixed with liquefied coconut oil instantly makes whatever you are blending solid! So, take your agave out of the fridge a while before making the ganache!

Amie Sue's photographs do it more justice than mine, so head over to her site to check it out, as well as some of her other amazing recipes!

Secondly, yesterday I had a gift exchange with some friends at school.  We all brought desserts as well, and since I didn't want to sit there lonely while everyone chowed down, I made a new creation that all my friends enjoyed (yes!! :) )--Peanut Butter Brownies!

Peanut Butter Brownies (makes enough for a 9x9 pan)
2 cups pecans
2 cups pitted Medjool dates
1/3 plus 2 tbsp. cocoa/cacao powder
2 tbsp. agave
2 heaping tbsp. organic peanut butter

Process the pecans in a food processor to a fine meal.  Add the other ingredients and blend until mostly smooth.  Dump in your pan and press down the brownies evenly.  These make nice, thick brownies, and I unfortunately didn't catch a picture :(  But if you want to make these, I suggest putting some type of raw frosting on top--it would be divine! For lovely frosting recipes you can always jot on over to blogs like 'Gone Raw,' 'Sunny Raw Kitchen' or, of course, 'Nouveau Raw'. 
That said, I have lots of treat-making planned for Christmas.  I'll post pictures and updates when I get the chance! Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Babycakes success!

Hey everyone! A few days ago I got the much-famed vegan, mostly gluten-and-sugar-free cookbook for desserts and delicacies called Babycakes from the library.  Their bakery in New York City is called Babycakes NYC, and they even have a store in Downtown Disney in Florida! Anyways, I thought that since their recipes are amazingly healthy (no white flour! no refined sugar! nope, not here!), we'd try making them for the family.  The first recipe Mom and I tackled was banana bread.  And boy, was it a-mazing!!

Before I say anything else, I'll give you some pictures.  Half the loaves were plain (pillowly deliciousness!) and half were with chocolate chips for my little sister and dad.  They turned out great!!

Plain.......                                                                     ......and chocolate chip (enjoyed by my little sister)

They were sooo delicious! It was amazing to think that they contained ingredients like garbanzo bean flour, agave, rice milk, coconut oil, xantham gum, and so on! I would highly recommend this recipe...there's no nasty bean aftertaste like in some breads.  I won't recommend this book yet, but we'll be attempting more recipes soon, so I'll let you know the verdict!
For now, here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (gotta be Bob's, no sub)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup rice/almond milk
2 tablespoons of good quality vanilla
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush your loaf pan with oil and set aside.
In a medium bowl, measure in flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon and whisk. Add oil, agave nectar, rice milk and vanilla and then mix again. Fold in bananas until nicely distributed.
Pour batter into loaf pan (only halway!) and set in the oven. After 20 minutes, check on the loaf and continue baking until it passes the toothpick test. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

What a high-fruit, high-greens raw-foodist has for Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
A ton of my friends lately have been asking me what I'll make for Thanksgiving.  Well, I was going to make a big fall-themed feast for myself, but I was really in the mood for lighter dishes last night, and a nice hot soup. 
Sometimes I'll have cooked soup--usually not more than once every two weeks.  My favorite is a Chickpea Wild Rice Veggie Soup by Kahakai Kitchen.  Here's a link to her recipe:
I usually make a couple modifications, such as soaking and sprouting my wild rice instead of cooking it, skipping the potatoes and paprika, cooking my own chickpeas (don't want any BPA :) ) and cutting down the cooking time.  This is a delicious soup, though, and I highly recommend it as a hearty, warm, satisfying vegan soup! Here's the Kahakai Kitchen's picture of the soup.

Speaking of wild rice and chickpeas, though, some of you might not know how to prepare them.  So, for sprouted wild rice (chewy and tastes the same as cooked wild rice!), soak about 1 cup of dry wild rice (make sure it's high-quality) in 4 cups of water for a 2-5 days, changing the soaking water once a day.  I've had wild rice be ready as early as two days; as soon as most of the rice is split open to reveal the whitish inside and it has increased by about x3, it's done.  Make sure you rinse it every day so it doesn't go bad! Sprouted wild rice is delicious in a variety of raw food dishes, and I like it more than cooked wild rice. 

Next--chickpeas! Chickpeas aren't raw, but I enjoy having chickpeas in the fall and winter.  I cook my own, since I don't want any of those BPA chemicals and more that come from can linings! Also, when you soak your own dried chickpeas, you can get rid of the majority of the inhibitors that are on chickpea skins to protect it.  (Look into why soaking nuts before you eat them is good--nuts have the same type of phytic acide on them that makes it harder to absorb nutrients.  It's an ingenious method, really! Plants are amazing!)
Soak however many chickpeas you want in a bowl with x3 as much water overnight, or for at least 8 hours.  Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and boil them in water, then simmer them until they have reached your desired consistency.  Enjoy!

So, for my lighter supper, I made a turkey out of fruit.  Cute, right?!? Everyone loved it!
It's just sliced bananas on the bottom, topped with an orange half.  Then, you make 8 skewers, with grapes on each end and a variety of berries (blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry are nice, though I only had raspberry on hand) in between.  Lay those out and cut half of a pear as the turkey body.  You can add raisins for the eyes, and cut dried fruit (I used mango) for the mouth.  Lastly, I used a goji berry for the wattle. 
I also had a green smoothie for my supper in addition to the turkey.  It was a great Thanksgiving! Everyone enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chocolate Banana Cake!!

It was one of my best friend's birthdays recently, and I celebrated by making a grand, large-scale cake version of chocolate banana brownies she had tried and loved a few months ago.  Here's some pictures!

I was trying to do a cool design with bananas on the top, but I was running out of ripe banana and it ended up looking a little like someone inebriated had made the design.  Oh well, it tasted great!

The oozing delicious frosting from the side...mmm :)

Yep, it was delicious!!
Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Banana Cake (or brownies):
Cake/brownie layers:
2 cups walnuts
2 cups almonds
2 cups dates
2 medium-large RIPE bananas, peeled
1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
2 tbsp. agave or honey or maple syrup

(I know, it's a lot of ingredients.  If you're making brownies, definitely halve the batch--I doubled it so I could have two 9" cake rounds.  If you use a 6" springform pan, you won't need as much.)
Grind the walnuts and almonds as finely as possible in a food processor and transfer to a bowl.  Process the dates, bananas, cacao/cocoa, and agave (don't bother cleaning out the processor) together until they are as smooth as possible (mine still had small chunks of dates, but it's not a big deal once you mix everything together).  Mix the date mixture and nut flours together in the bowl until they're mixed together properly.  Empty half of the cake into a 9" pan (adjust accordingly if using a smaller cake pan) and press down until smooth.  Invert the pan onto a dehydrator sheet.  Repeat with the other half of the dough, and dehydrate both cake rounds at 115 for 2-3 hours, or until firm on the outside.  Carefully flip one round onto a serving tray, frost with frosting, and layer with banana.  Then add the other cake round on top of it, cover with more frosting, and decorate with sliced banana to your heart's content!
Chocolate Banana Frosting
2 ripe bananas
1 tbsp agave
2 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
A little water to start blender if necessary

Blend all ingredients together, and smother over Chocolate Banana Cake!
This frosting has a thinner texture than some thicker frostings, though it isn't runny.  If you wanted it to be a little thicker, you could add some pitted dates into the blender. 
Enjoy! This cake is rich and delicious.  By the time everyone in my family, plus my friend and some neighbors who came over, had a piece, it was gone.  :) They all loved it! So, enjoy!

Lastly, I just made these this evening.  I made the Peppermint Truffles from Sweet Gratitude, except I didn't use their chocolate coating--I made one of my own.  They WERE very yummy, but they had the texture of a gooey fudge instead of a hard, bitable chocolate.  Whoops! I guess I messed the ratios of coconut oil and agave up, since agave doesn't freeze and coc. oil does. 
Anyways, since my brother hates mint (and bananas! Devil child!) I made some of the chocolates without mint.  But...that was a few days ago.  I reminded him multiple times, in my defense, and I thought he didn't want them anymore. 

So I ate them.  :/
Which got me in hot water with my brother.  Apparently he still wanted them.  So, to make up for it, I made a couple chocolate peanut butter cups!
When they were taken out of the freezer, my family quickly demolished them.  What can I say...we're all nuts fors peanut butter!
I'm quite proud of this recipe, though--the chocolates hardened beautifully and quickly in the freezer.  :) Here's the recipe!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (almost raw)
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp agave
2 tbsp peanut butter (try to get organic, no-ingredients-except-peanuts peanut butter)
1 tbsp. plus 1 heaping tbsp. cacao/cocoa powder
1 drop stevia extract (opt.)

Blend all together in a blender.  Make sure to do it quickly, as you don't want the chocolate to harden (coc. oil/agave reaction) before you can get it poured.  Pour the chocolate into your cups (I used a metal mini muffin tray, without paper cups) and place in the freezer.  Freeze for at least 20 minutes, and pop out of the trays.  These have a delicious chocolate flavor with an overtone of peanut butter, and delicately melt in your mouth! Enjoy!
Well, everyone, I'll post some Thanksgiving favorites of mine soon.  Until then, have a fabulous week!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

A raw food talk, an interview, and a little something to make you laugh!

Hi everyone! Firstly, I wanted to share this amazing video of Kristin Chenoweth singing "If You Hadn't, But You Did." It's exactly the sort of musical theater song I'd love to sing someday--just watch it and you'll understand; it's hilarious! Here's the link--  The voice/video syncing is a little off (side effect of Youtube), but it's great nonetheless.  Gotta love Kristin Chenoweth!
Next, I talked last time about my interview with the paper. Here's the article--  I actually made the front page of the local paper--*gulp--which I didn't expect! We have a four-day weekend, and I'm kind of glad.  Hopefully this means I won't have the whole school asking  'Is that the crazy girl on the freak diet? What IS she eating now??'  Lol, that's how a lot of students react when they hear about it--like I purposely torture myself with terrible food so I can be healthy.  It's not like I've committed to being a nun or anything! :) You can have amazing, lovely desserts on raw food--and that brings me to the next thing. 
I'm doing a raw food talk tonight for a lady I know from church.  This summer I did a raw talk/recipe demonstration at the library, and she came.  She requested the brownies with ice cream for tonight! :) I happily obliged.  She has a group that meets every week.  I'm kind of nervous about talking in front of a ton of people I don't know, but it's not that different from an audition, and when it gets to applying for college I'm going to have to do lots of those!
So, here's the recipe for the brownies with ice cream.  I don't have pictures yet, but I promise to post them next time.  The thing I love about this recipe is it only has four ingredients, and is super easy to prepare as long as you have the bananas frozen ahead of time.  (By the way, DON'T freeze bananas in the skins.  Please.  It really...doesn'  Trust me, I know from experience.) They're absolutely delicious and will definitely win over most people to the decadence of raw desserts in their simplest form!

Raw Chocolate Brownies

2 cups raw walnuts
1 cup raw Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup cacao/cocoa powder

Grind the walnuts into a powder in the food processor, and then grind about half a minute more, till some of the walnut flour is sticking to the side.   Add the dates and cacao and process until it is mostly smooth and the mixture sticks together.  Put it in a brownie pan or form it into brownies if you make a smaller batch.  If you want them to be a little stiffer, you can store them in the fridge. 

Ice Cream (nut free)

4-5 frozen bananas, broken into chunks and allowed to thaw for 15-20 minutes
Optional: mix-ins such as chopped nuts, cacao powder, fruit (strawberries are great for a strawberry banana ice cream), chocolate chips, etc.

Put the frozen bananas in your food processor (don't bother cleaning it out).  Make sure there are enough to cover your food processor blades.  Add your mix-ins if you have any, and process.  It will take a minute or two, and you'll have to occasionally stop to scrape down the sides.
There you have it! Top your brownies with banana ice cream and serve.  A very versatile, simple recipe!

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zucchini pasta and an interview!

So, I'm super excited because I just got a call from our local newspaper and they want to interview me about my diet! *gulp* It's kind of nerve wracking, but I'm excited! They're going to come and take pictures of me making my supper tomorrow night.  I'm thinking I'm going to make a green smoothie, like I always do for supper, and then have a dessert so there's something a little fancier...I'm leaning towards a chocolate orange cheesecake I made a few weeks ago on our homecoming dance night.  A friend, my mom and I went out to eat and came back to eat cheesecake and watch movies :) I think that sounds way more fun than a high school dance, but that's just me! :)
Anyways, onto the grub...a couple nights ago my family had spaghetti.  My mom's partially raw--she eats a lot of raw food, but will often eat cooked food that she makes for the familt.  However, any type of gluten (i.e. white flour) or sugar will give a headache nearly as soon as she eats it, so she prefers zucchini pasta instead of normal pasta.  It's made with a funky little tool called a spiralizer.  Doesn't it look super similar to normal noodles? :D

For whatever reason, the picture's posting sideways and I can't get it to flip the right way.  Oh well!
Next, I had made carob fudge and completely forgotten to post this picture.  I can't remember where I found the recipe, but I did tweak it a LOT, so props to whoever originated it!

 Raw Carob Fudge

1/2 cup almond butter (you can use roasted, but obviously it won't be raw.  Depending on the almond butter you get, roasted is often creamier.  My fudge has more of a gritty texture because I use Maranatha Raw
almond butter, and it isn't ground finely. Other raw almond butters might be smoother though.)
1/4 cup agave syrup/nectar (can sub maple syrup, but isn't raw)
5-6 drops liquid stevia **if you don't have liquid stevia, just omit it and use a little less than 1/2 cup agave
2 tbsp. carob powder, sifted
2 tbsp mesquite powder, sifted (mesquite is what really gives it its flavor, but if you want you can substitute more carob)

Stir all together in a bowl! If you use the 1/2 cup of agave, your fudge will be a little gooier than if you use the stevia option.  This fudge is best kept chilled in the fridge or freezer, as it gets an awesomely fudgelike texture when cold.  Enjoy! 

Lastly, I'll provide you all with a link to the cheesecake I'm going to make.  It's orange chocolate, and from the amazing Susan of Rawmazing, where you can always find absolutely delicious recipes! The link is:
I keep the filling the same, but change the crust.  For my crust, I use: 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup dates, 1/4 cup cacao/cocoa powder.                         

Sooo...that's all for now.  I'll update later on how the interview went! Everyone enjoy your Friday! 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Hey everyone!

Hey everyone! This is my new blog, Teenage Girl on Raw, and my name's Megan Sperger.  I am 16 and have been eating the raw food diet for about one and a half years now, and my dad's been pestering me about starting a blog.  It sounded fun, so...I did! :) I love making and creating raw food dishes, and also love singing, acting, reading, writing...all that artsy stuff.  I'll be posting recipes, recommendations for other people's recipes, etc.  So, figured I start out with my first recipe--a delicious green smoothie I made the other day! Gotta love your green smoothies! I bring one to youth group every Wednesday night since they're so quick and easy, and every time someone new comes I have to explain what my 'green sludge' is all over again.  :) But I don't mind...I adore my green smoothies, and I personally think they're gorgeous!

Peachy Tropics Green Smoothie

2 cups fresh or frozen peach slices (if frozen, try to use ones you've frozen yourself from their summer season.  I have yet to find flavorful store-bought frozen peaches!)
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
2-3 cups kale

Blend together in your blender...or VitaMix (so excited when Mom finally caved and got one, since we blend stuff all the time!! My family isn't raw, but they will eat my food and eat a reasonable percentage of raw foods.) and enjoy! 

I also made an awesome parfait, adapted from one in Ani Phyo's dessert book--an almond-raspberry parfait.  It features her almond frangipane kream layered with raspberry sauce and fresh berries.  I made this for my whole family for breakfast once and they adored it.  I make it a lot--it's quick to put together, especially if you forgo the berries, which I generally do as well.  Mine wasn't very pretty--the kream was fairly grainy, which may be because it's an almond-based kream, not cashew, but it was probably because I didn't blend it very long.  I also didn't have a very big parfait glass, so I really packed it in, and still had enough of the sauce and kream to make another one if I wanted. 

Yummy! Have a great day!

Megan Sperger