Raw Vegan Hanukkah and Christmas Menu Desserts: Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts: Indulge Without The Guilt
by Joanna Steven
It is fitting that the last in the Christmas and Hanukkah recipe series is dessert. As popular and useful that chia seeds have become, it should come as no surprise to find Chia Pumpkin Pudding with Pecans as part of this important menu. To add a little chocolate surprise to the meal, we also have the recipe for Tropical Chocolate Truffles. It’s a favorite recipe and is enjoyed by all – raw foodist or not.
Raw Vegan Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding With Pecans – A Great Holiday Dessert! And, It’s Gluten Free!
Chia seed pudding is top on many people’s list of favorite desserts. It will be fun to have one for the holidays! Chia seeds are packed with ALA omega-3 fatty acids (7 grams per quarter cup) and they are also very high in dietary fiber (15 grams per quarter cup). If you love chia seed pudding, you will love the autumn flavors of pumpkin pie spice in this recipe!
Although this pudding looks and tastes like pumpkin pudding, it’s actually made with a carrot! Carrots give this a more intense “orange” color, and it’s the pumpkin spices that really make you think you’re eating a pumpkin dessert. Carrots are also more commonly found in your refrigerator so you can make this dessert anytime.
The easy chia seed puddings involve mixing chia seeds with prepared non-dairy milk. But for the creamiest chia pudding, start with soaked cashews and dates.
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 to 6 hours and rinsed
- 3 Medjool dates, pits removed, cut in quarters, soaked in 2 cups water (reserve soaking water)
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract *
- 2 packets stevia extract, or to taste *
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 1/4 cup dried chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped, raw pecans
* For gluten free, make sure vanilla and stevia are gluten free
Place soaked cashews in a Vitamix or other high speed blender. Add soaked dates and the reserved soaking water, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and stevia to the blender. Using a potato peeler, shave the outer part of the carrot into the blender until you get to the pithy center. Discard the center. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour the cashew-carrot milk into a one quart container. Add the dried chia seeds to the milk and stir vigorously with a fork for at least a minute. Let sit for 15 minutes and stir again until the chia seeds are well blended and no longer clump together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours. You can make this the day before you serve it. The longer it sits, the creamier it gets!
Serve in small bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of chopped pecans.
Per serving: 235.1 calories, 14 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 1.8 g omega-3 and 3.1 g omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.0 g protein, 25.9 g carbohydrates, 7.2 g dietary fiber and 16.3 g sodium.
Chocolates Without Guilt – Tropical, Chocolate Truffles
Sometimes research presents us with facts we don’t want to hear, but every now and then we receive a gift. Like finding out that chocolate is actually good for us! Anyone who has ever eaten chocolate is familiar with its ability to “lift our moods”. There is also evidence that chocolate can lower high blood pressure. In addition, the flavonoids (polyphenols) in chocolate are very powerful antioxidants which can counteract harmful free radicals. The good news just keeps coming! But before we go buy a bag of snickers bars, you need to know a few factoids:
- Data showed only dark chocolate was effective in lowering blood pressure
- Studies indicate milk may prevent the antioxidant absorption from chocolate, so here’s another vote for dark over milk or white chocolate
- Flavonoids are weakened when cacao is processed
- Many chocolate treats are very high in saturated fat and calories so they should be eaten in moderation no matter how good they are for you
Here is a recipe that can give you all the benefits of chocolate but none of the guilt. This RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE recipe has no milk, very little saturated fat, ZERO cholesterol and no unnecessary processing of the cacao. It makes a perfect Christmas and, Hanukkah gift and is VERY AFFORDABLE and easy to make. Compared to a Godiva truffle, this recipe has 75% of the calories, 60% of the fat, only 20% of the saturated fat, and twice the fiber at a fraction of the cost.
You can serve these guiltless chocolate treats to dozens of people of all ages and food preferences. They will gobble them down and plead for the recipe. With all the goodness of these precious morsels, there still isn’t a way to remove the calories, so if you are trying to lose weight, you will have to restrain yourself to several a day.
- 1-½ cups of raw walnuts
- 12 pitted Medjool dates
- 1/3 cup of raw cacao
- 1/3 cup of finely chopped, dried mango*
- 3 T of raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut (optional)
*Mango can be replaced with other dried fruit, like dried apricots or cherries
Cut dates in half, remove and discard the pits, and set dates aside. Take ¼ cup of walnuts, chop and set aside. Put remaining 1-¼ cups of walnuts in a food processor with an S blade and process until fine. (In an 11 cup food processor, this will take about 20 seconds). Add the pitted dates and blend until the nuts and dates stick together, around 45 seconds. Add cacao and salt, and blend until the mixture is smooth (another 20 seconds).
Times may vary depending on the size of the dates and the food processor. Put the mixture into a bowl and, by hand, mix in the chopped mango and chopped walnuts until they are evenly distributed throughout.
From this mixture, make about 28 round truffles by shaping and gently rolling them in your hands. After each one is made, roll immediately in shredded coconut.
Refrigerate truffles for several hours before serving. They will last for a week in the refrigerator; however, they usually disappear long before that!
Makes 28 truffles. Each truffle has 81 calories, 4.6 g of fat, .8 g of saturated fat, NO cholesterol, 1.3 g of protein, 10.7 g of carbohydrate and 1.8 g of fiber.
About Dr. Joanne
After spending decades as a successful engineering executive at IBM and spending another 9 years as the CEO of Ampro Computer Company in Silicon Valley, Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams pursued her PhD in holistic nutrition. Nutrition and health has always been her life-long passion and in 1999 it became her full time mission to help people achieve remarkable health by eating a delicious and nutritious plant-centric diet. From Sebastopol, California, she writes the food blog, www.FoodsForLongLife.com where she shares raw and cooked vegan recipes along with articles on nutrition. She is currently working on her first book which will be published next year.
About Joanna Steven
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