Three Raw Cookbook Authors Share Their Best Dessert Recipes
While ideal for Holiday celebrations, these raw desserts will add a healthy and delicious ending to meals at any time of year.
Pineapple Icebox Dessert
The pineapple, a renowned symbol of hospitality for centuries, can make a refreshingly welcome holiday dessert. “Pineapple is full of the enzyme bromelaine, which helps decrease inammation and swelling—and that can translate to increased circulation and clear skin,” says Ani Phyo, of Ani’s Raw Food Desserts. “I always choose fresh when available, but frozen pineapple will also work for this recipe.”
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
For the crust:
2 cups cashews
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
2 tbsp agave syrup
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
1/4 cup filtered water, as needed
2 1/2 cups chopped, cored pineapple
1. To make the crust, combine the cashews and vanilla in the food processor and chop to a crushed wafer texture (like a cookie crumb crust for cheesecake). Add the agave syrup and process to mix well. Sprinkle half of the crust onto the bottom of a loaf pan.
2. To make the filling, combine the cashews, agave syrup and coconut oil in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding water as needed to create a creamy texture. Spoon the mixture into a mixing bowl; add the pineapple and stir to mix well. Spoon the filling into the loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining crust on top. Pat lightly. Freeze for 2 hours or until chilled. Will keep for 4 to 6 days refrigerated or for several weeks in the freezer.
Chocolate Pecan Brownie with Maple Maca Ice Cream and Spiced Apple Compote
“Picture a dense chocolate nut brownie, smooth, cold ice cream and warm fruit compote that has just the right touch of spice, with a velvety chocolate sauce to round it all out. If that weren't enough, I garnish it with a drizzle of pure maple syrup,” says raw foods dessert chef Heather Pace. She explains that Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian root with a strong flavor and recommends using only a little, until one is acclimated to the taste.
Serves 6 to 8
For the brownie:
4 cups raw pecans
½ cup pitted, packed Medjool dates
¼ cup maple or palm sugar
2/3 cup cacao powder
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
For the ice cream:
2 cups raw cashews
2 cups water
Seeds from ½ vanilla bean
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp Maca root powder or to taste
For the compote:
4 medium apples, peeled and cored
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup raisins
2 tbsp goji berries
2 pitted Medjool dates, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 pinches ground cardamom
For the chocolate sauce:
1/3 cup cacao powder
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 to 3 tbsp water
2 tsp melted coconut oil
1. For the brownie, grind the pecans into crumbs in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process into a moist, crumbly dough. Press the mixture into an 8-by-8-inch pan. Chill.
2. For the ice cream, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Chill for a few hours. Process through an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions; or fill ice cube trays and freeze.
3. For the compote, soak the raisins and goji berries in water for 2 to 4 hours. Drain. In a food processor, chop the apples into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients to the apples, including the drained fruit, and stir together. Process half the mixture until smooth. Fold into the other half. Dehydrate for a few hours at 115° F, until the apples take on a warm, “cooked” feel.
4. For the sauce, blend all ingredients together until smooth.
5. To assemble the dessert, cut the brownies into portions and place a brownie on each plate. Top with ice cream. Swirl compote around the brownie and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
Incredibly Decadent Chocolate Cake
This recipe from Rose Lee Calabro’s Living in the Raw Desserts gets its body from almonds, its sweetness from dates and agave nectar, and its scrumptious chocolateyness from cacao nibs—all available at better grocery or health food stores. Plan ahead several days to allow time to soak and then dehydrate the almonds.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
For the cake:
2 cups almonds; soak for 12 to 48 hours, then dehydrate for 18 hours
2 cups pitted Medjool dates
? cup raw almond butter
¼ cup raw cacao nibs, ground super fine; or cacao powder
¼ cup agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
2 large ripe bananas, thinly sliced
For the frosting:
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
5 pitted Medjool dates
½ cup water
1/3 cup pine nuts; soak in water 1 hour, then drain
2 tbsp raw cacao nibs, ground super fine; or cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. For the cake, place the almonds in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process into a fine meal. Gradually add the dates, almond butter, cacao, agave nectar and vanilla extract, then continue processing until the mixture is well blended and forms a ball. If mixture isn’t blending, add a small amount of water, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency. Divide the mixture into two equal parts (for two layers), and form each part into a round cake layer about 8 inches in diameter. Place each layer on a plate.
2. For the filling, arrange the sliced bananas on top of the bottom layer and place the second layer on top of the bananas.
3. For the frosting, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, thick and creamy. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh strawberries or other seasonal fruit. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.