Thursday, February 24, 2011

Soup and Crackers...in the RAW! Plus, Pumpkin Spice Bars

This really isn't a raw-food blog, but for the past few posts and the next several posts, I'm highlighting several of our favorite raw-food recipes for our daughter and her college friends.  They have challenged themselves to eat an exclusive raw-food diet for the next 30 days - an excellent idea that will help them have the energy and mental stamina to get them through their rigorous studies!

Soups are one of the easiest raw foods to prepare - and one of the tastiest to consume.  The nutrients are easily digested and will give you immediate energy.  To remain truly "RAW", the soups should be served at room temperature or a little warmer if you like.  

Today I'll be showcasing these recipes:

Sweet Potato Carrot Ginger Soup
Spicy Red Pepper and Jalapeño Soup
Sunflower Flax Crackers
Pumpkin Spice Bars

Sweet Potato Carrot Ginger Soup


4 cups carrot juice (from about 4 lbs. of carrots)
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 avocado
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. ground flax
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. honey
pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

A few words about the above recipe.  First, if you don't have a juicer, finely grated carrots will work just fine.  Instead of the 4 cups of carrot juice, use 1 cup finely grated carrot and 3 cups filtered water.  If you do use a juicer...

 
            ...be sure to save all of the carrot pulp. We'll be using it to make our "Pumpkin Spice Bars" later. 


Ground flax seed is an essential ingredient to the soup and cracker recipes.  Not only are flax seeds extremely heart-healthy, they also provide a "binding" agent that thickens the soup and holds together the ingredients of the crackers.  Buy whole flax seeds and grind them yourself. 

I use a handheld coffee grinder, but an electric one works great too!


This next recipe is a favorite around here!  Even though it's not "heated", the heat from the peppers are enough to warm you up on a cold winter day.

Spicy Red Pepper and Jalapeño Soup

2 large red bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, sliced
2 - 4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw cashews (or other raw nut)
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups filtered water
Blend all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
(P.S. To non-raw people out there: my son likes to put a bit of this soup over corn chips and heat in the oven until bubbly.  It makes an excellent, healthy substitute for nacho cheese!)


This recipe for sunflower flax seed crackers are "baked" in a dehydrator, but an oven set on it's lowest heat will work too (if you don't have a dehydrator).

Sunflower Flax Crackers
Mix together in a mixing bowl:  
1 cup ground flax seeds 
1/3 cup whole flax seeds
2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp. powdered garlic)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/3 cup water

Spread on dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 4 hours at 105 degrees. 

 Remove from trays and cut into crackers, then return to dehydrator for another hour. 
These crackers are great by themselves, or as a base for raw spreads and veggie burgers (I'll post our recipe for veggie burgers soon!)

After juicing carrots, I found that I had an ABUNDANCE of carrot pulp leftover.
I could just throw it to the chickens and turkeys, but I wanted to see if there were any uses for us humans before chucking it out to the farm animals.  My research led me to the following recipe and I'm so glad to have found it!  Even though it contains NO pumpkin, this recipe surprisingly has the texture and taste of a light, fluffy pumpkin pie.  We can get away with calling it "Pumpkin Spice Bars" since it has pumpkin spice added to it. :)

Pumpkin Spice Bars

For the filling, blend together in a food processor:
3 cups carrot pulp (or 2 cups finely grated carrots)
1 1/2 cup walnuts (or other raw nut)
1 cup pitted dates, soaked for at least an hour in 2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
pinch of sea salt
Blend until smooth, adding the date water as needed for creamy texture.

For the crust, mix together finely chopped walnuts (or other raw nut) and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Spread nut mixture evenly in a 9x13 pan.  Gently spread the carrot mixture on top of nuts.  Chill until firm.  Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of "Luscious Whipped Cream" and sprinkle with cinnamon.  YUM!

With our daughter away at college 1880 miles away, it's been fun to put together these recipes for her.  It's almost as if she is here looking over my shoulder, in the kitchen, sharing in the tasting and experimenting. 

I love and miss you sweet girl!!

3 comments:

  1. These all sound really, really, good. I'm definitely going to try them. I've been thinking of trying to eat raw (not 100%) and these recipes are going to be a good start. Glad you're posting them.

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