Tag Archives: healthy dessert

Raw Vegan Buckwheat Porridge with Raspberry Jam

First thing’s first: It’s tasty, and we’re not even vegan.

It just happens that nearly half the time when we make food, it turns out to be vegan. We aim for having fresh/healthy ingredients in our kitchen at all times. There are exceptions, of course.

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Maybe you can relate to this too (Friday evening after a looong week):

-“Honeeeyyyy, look at all the goodness I’ve bought! We’ve got some nice broccoli, cauliflower, salad, cherry tomatoes, ripe bananas, juicy mangos, fresh coconuts – I can’t even name half the stuff!”

-“Oooh, sounds delicious! We could make a nice big bowl of salad for dinner, what do you think?”

-“I’m pretty tired to cook anything though, and I could do with some comfort food. What about a pizza?”

-“Awwwhhh, pizza! It’s been ages since we had one. And a beer!?”

-“Yeah, a nice cold dark beer!!” (mutual agreement reached)

-“We’ve got quite a number of fresh groceries though, you think they’ll keep until tomorrow?”

-“I’m pretty sure they will”. (mutual agreement reaffirmed)

Two days of 7-11 sandwiches, three nights of eating-out and 2 new coffee-shop discoveries later you look at the salad wilted ONTO the side of the refrigerator… Fortunately this only happens occasionally.

Auste has been trying out some raw porridge recipes, and the first time I took a bite, I was less than amazed as it didn’t have a specific taste. It had a texture of what would could be a ground cashew nut porridge. However with every spoonful of this textury mix with raspberry-honey sauce, I wanted more. It still didn’t reveal any distinctive taste, but I just couldn’t stop. It had minor hints of vanilla, oats, and cinnamon – all in one. I only ate it cold, and didn’t even consider heating it up.

It is also suitable to take for lunch to a refrigerator-less office. Tested twice.

buckwheat porridge raw vegan breakfast

For the porridge (adapted from Oh She Glows):

3/4 cup buckwheat groats (they have to be raw, not roasted)

1 1/2 cup of water for soaking

400 ml milk (I used soy milk cause that’s what I had at hand, but I imagine almond milk would work even better with the flavours here)

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp honey (or Agave syrup for a raw version)

1 tsp vanilla extract (or you can use vanilla pods – even better)

1 tsp cinnamon

For the jam:

1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)

1 tbsp honey

raw vegan raspberry jam breakfast

1. Soak the buckwheat groats overnight. They will be slimy and smell a bit strange in the morning, so you have to rinse them a couple of times and they’ll be ready to use.

2. Mix the buckwheat groats with the other ingredients and blend until smooth.

3. Taste it. If you can feel the buckwheat and you don’t like the texture – add more milk with chia seeds and more honey / vanilla / cinnamon to taste. Make it a little bit more liquid than you would like it to be and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour.

4. Make the raspberry jam. Simply crush the raspberries using a fork and mix them with honey. If you want the consistency to be a bit more jam-like add some chia seeds.

5. Take the porridge out of the fridge, pour the raspberry jam on top, add fresh berries, nuts or anything else you fancy and enjoy!

Raw Cacao Coconut truffles

Since we started exploring Bangkok it almost became a tradition for us to get up as early as 5am on Saturdays and set off somewhere to watch the sunrise. Most likely pollution has something to do with it, but the sunrises here are spectacular. One of our favourite places to watch them is from the skytrain between Ratchadamri and Sala Daeng stations: the orange sun peaking through the mist of the foggy Lumphini park with skyscrapers in the horizon looks pretty magical.

Lumphini Park, Bangkok

So there we were, bright and early, having travelled all the way from Bearing to Sala Daeng by 6:30, waiting for the sun to appear. Unfortunately it was so cloudy that the sun didn’t come out until about 8am. So instead of taking a few rides back and forth on the skytrain to watch the sun (I know it sounds silly, but the best view is in between the two stations!) we decided to grab some coffee and take a stroll in the park. We saw one of the giant monitor lizards in the water and we were so fascinated to see it from such a small distance that we stalked it along the shore.

monitor lizard, Lumphini Park, Bangkok

But then we had to do some shopping. Shopping is tiring. I spend hours browsing through hundreds of items and very rarely find what I’m looking for. Yes, I’m picky when it comes to choosing my stuff, but only because I want to make sure I really like it and that it’s going to stay with me for a long time. That reflects my philosophy in life in a way.

4 hours later we just wanted to find a nice cosy coffee place to sit down. And it turned out to be an impossible task… we walked around for a while until we gave up and just sat down on a bench in the shopping mall opposite Central. We decided to just go home. We were making our way out, but one poster caught my eye: Veganerie. A vegan cafeteria, hidden on the top floor of Mercury Ville mall. Could it be better? (more info about Veganerie here)

Veganerie Bangkok Veganerie Bangkok

Veganerie Bangkok

As I was enjoying a raw chocolate brownie with a soy milk latte, I remembered these little bites of goodness we used to make a lot. Raw chocolate truffles. Dates are expensive in Bangkok, so we haven’t really made them here. But I stumbled upon a different recipe on this blog, that uses coconut oil and butter instead of dates, and thought of giving it a try. This is Thailand, so all things coconut should be cheap and available everywhere, right? Well, not really. Coconut oil – ok. Coconut butter?.. Say again? I expected this would be a challenge to find.

So I resorted to this version of the truffles. Now the only thing I didn’t have was coconut flakes. I thought I could just pick them up at any random store, or even our local market. And how wrong I was… coconut flakes don’t exist here in Thailand. I think with so many fresh coconuts available everywhere people here just make their own. With no oven though and curious ants in the kitchen roaming freely on anything that is not triple packed I didn’t dare to try. But then on a Saturday trip to Little India a week later we accidently found a tiny shop with all kinds of baking supplies you can imagine. And they had coconut flakes! Not to mention 1kg of pure cocoa for 300 baht (!) So we made the truffles. And they tasted great. Although I still prefer the version with the dates.

raw cacao coconut truffles

Here’s the recipe (adapted from The Squeaky Kitchen):

1 cup ground almonds

1 cup dried coconut flakes

3/4 cocoa powder

1/3 cup honey (replace with agave nectar if you’re vegan)

1/3 cup coconut oil

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well together. If you’re using the same cup for measuring then measure the ingredients in this order: coconut flakes, almonds, cocoa powder, coconut oil, then honey. When the cup is oily, the honey runs off incredibly easy!

raw cacao coconut truffles

  1. You can roll the mixture into balls straight away OR you can place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes first. This will allow the coconut oil to set, so the balls will not be so oily and you won’t need as many coatings of cocoa.

Something fun that I hadn’t tried before was to wrap something inside the balls. I used dried cherries, but you can also use cranberries or nuts – anything you fancy! And if you mix it up, it creates a nice little surprise with every truffle that you bite into.

raw cacao coconut truffles

  1. Coat the truffles in cacao powder, coconut flakes or crushed nuts. They’re best after you’ve let them sit in the fridge* for at least 12 hours as the dried coconut flakes have time to absorb the oil and become soft. Supposedly they should keep in the fridge for up to a week or longer in the freezer. In our house there were never any left after 2 days, so we don’t know. Has anyone managed to not eat them all straight away?..

*Something to bear in mind: this version of truffles is high in coconut oil which melts in room temperature. So make sure you keep the truffles in the fridge as otherwise you’ll have little oily puddles under every one of them.

raw cacao coconut truffles

Espresso and oat truffles. No sugar, no butter, no flour.

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Guys and gals, this is sooo good! First time I made a small batch, perhaps 5 or 6 truffle balls, just to test them. Second time I made a hundred of them and brought them to work. They were all gone in a few hours, even the notice paper (photo below). Did they eat the paper??

cat

Some comments I received:
“Thank you very much for the Birthday treats, very yummy.  Please may I have the recipe.”
“Hi Vidmantis
Happy Birthday! Thanks for the lovely, sweet (sugar-free!) truffles.
Can I have the recipe, if it’s not a guarded secret? I have some vegan friends coming for dinner next Saturday, and I always struggle to come up with a good pudding. These would be great!”

If you like chocolate, you MUST try them. They taste just like chocolate truffles, but there is no chocolate in them. Recipe at the bottom of the post.

Before making the 100 truffles I had a conversation with Auste:

-Me: “It’s gonna take me ages to make them…”
-Auste: “I’ll help you”.
I look at her after 2 seconds and guess what I see!

aust

100 truffles later…

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To make 15 truffles you need:

15 large medjool dates, pitted [or normal dried dates soaked in water]
4 tbsp rolled oats (not instant, quick-shmick oats)
2 tbsp dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut [olive] oil, room temperature
2 tbsp cacao powder
½ tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
½ tsp ground cardamom [nutmeg]
1 shot cold espresso [for a completely raw version replace with water – the taste will be slightly different though]

1) Mix all the ingredients in a food processor for about 1 minute or until it forms up like a ball. (I used a fork to mash the soaked dried dates and it worked OK)

2) Place the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

3) Form small round truffles with your hands.

4) Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, finely chopped almonds, shredded coconut or rolled oats.

5) Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

Coconut oil has more flavour than olive oil, and has a higher burning (smoking) point, but olive oil in this recipe worked fine. I didn’t have cardamom, therefore used a teeny tiny bit of nutmeg as its flavour is quite dominant.

If you haven’t already, you need to start following Green Kitchen Stories. Their family is beautiful, creative and inspiring, sharing the love for healthy vegetarian food. This recipe was posted by them a while ago, but as it is so good, it needs to come to light once more. I have **slightly** modified the recipe, but it was still delicious.

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