Does chocolate fudge, lemon cheesecake or pineapple dessert cake sound tempting to you? Although your mouth may be watering at the thought, you may also be wary about all of the fat, sugar and lack of nutrition in desserts like these. However, what if you knew you could enjoy rich, delicious desserts without any guilt or extra pounds? The truth is, you can!
There are many ways to create unbelievably delicious treats with simple, all-natural, raw ingredients. Most people think that eating raw food limits them to nothing but salads and fruit. “I can't get full on fruits and vegetables!” they say, but what they don't realize is that raw food consists of much more than just leaves and carrot sticks! Nuts, seeds, dates, coconuts and nut butters are also raw and provide the substance that fills our bellies as well as the protein and fats that are needed for a healthy, well-rounded diet.
The other good piece of news is that these recipes are also very simple in design. Mostly they require that you gather a few ingredients together and toss them into the blender. Anyone can do that. It's just a matter of experimenting with different ingredients.
Here are three basic ingredients that you can experiment with to begin creating healthy, raw desserts.
1. Use a natural sweetener. Instead of using processed, white sugar which has absolutely zero health benefits and lots of negative effects, replace it with raw honey, juicy dates, raisins or bananas. Did you know that raw honey is considered a superfood because of the endless nutritional benefits including rich enzymes, anti-allergy elements, and antibiotic properties? It's true!
2. Use nuts and seeds for your ‘bulk'. Another secret to creating healthy snacks is to grind up raw nuts and seeds and use them as a replacement for white flour. Nuts and seeds are loaded with protein, essential fatty acids and minerals. They are also filling and satisfying. Each nut brings a different flavor to your dessert. Some of my favorites are pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and cashews.
3. Add a raw flavor. If chocolate is your thing, add a few tablespoons of raw cacao to your nut and honey mixture. Raw cacao can be found on-line or in health food stores and believe it or not, it's good for you! The cacao bean is actually super high in antioxidants and important minerals like magnesium. If you get a pure, raw, organic powder, the flavor is delicious and when combined with other raw ingredients, you can enjoy its rich flavor without any guilt!
Other ingredients you might like to add for flavor are coconut oil, lemon juice, pure almond extract or vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, mint, coconut flesh, pineapple or fresh berries. The combinations are endless!
With these simple guidelines and a little creativity on your part, you are on your way to developing your own healthy raw snacks. Here's a favorite raw brownie recipe to get you started:
2 cups raw walnuts, soaked over night and rinsed well
1 cup Medjool dates, packed
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
In a food processor, first blend the walnuts until they are finely chopped. Next add the dates and the cacao powder and blend until they are well mixed. The mixture will be very sticky and dense. Lay it out on a brownie pan and cut into squares. You can eat it like this or put it in the fridge for an hour to harden. Enjoy!