Almond Cacao Pear Delish – Meatless Monday

Which is better for you: Cacao or cocoa powder?

Cocoa powder is roasted which changes the molecular structure and reduces the enzyme content.

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Almond Cacao Pear Delish

GF. DF. EG. Vegan and Vegetarian

Ingredients

Beet and Lemon Layer

  • 2 cups plant milk
  • 2 Tablespoons agar agar flakes( 1 T. = ½ t powder)
  • few tablespoons of beet juice for colour*
  • 1/4 cup kudzu powder or chia
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • chopped toasted almonds or coconut for garnish
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Pear Chia Seed Layer

  • 2 cups juice
  • 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pears
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons maple, rice or coconut syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pomegranate (optional)

Chocolate Topping (optional)

  • ¼ cup raw, creamy almond or sesame butter
  • 1/3- ½  cup organic medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 avocado
  • 
1 tablespoon pure coconut oil (can be solid)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt or miso
  • 1/8 cup water (add in stages to get desired consistency)

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Method

Beet and Lemon Layer

1. Place the milk in a saucepan. Add the agar agar flakes and bring to the boil. Lower heat and cook till the agar dissolves.

2. Chop up a beetroot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and reserve beets for another dish.

3. In a small bowl add a few tablespoons of milk. Then mix the kudzu or chia seeds in. Add the sweetener, vanilla beetroot juice and lemon zest.

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4. Stir the agar mixture into the chia seed and keep stirring so that the seeds don’t clump.

5. If using kudzu instead of the chia seeds, stir into agar mixture and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat and set into a mould.

Pear Chia Seed Layer

1. Chop fruit.

2. Combine juice and agar agar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook till agar dissolves.

3. Add the pears and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off and add the sweetener and the vanilla (if using chia seeds for this layer add here).

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4. Set on top of the first mixture when the first mixture has ALMOST set at room temperature or refrigerate for a quicker set.

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5.  Cut and decorate with coconut, pomegranate, almonds, etc. *  Spoon beetroot juice around on the plate for decoration.

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Chocolate Topping (optional)

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1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or suribachi and process until smooth adding more liquid till desired consistency is reached.

2. Serve under or with dessert.

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Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Almond Crusted Sweet Potato and Apple Pie – Meatless Monday

Want to know the secret to a long life? Eat plenty of carotenoids! Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are filled with these healthy organic pigments.

Get started with this recipe for a sweet potato treat.

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Almond Crusted Sweet Potato and Apple Pie

GF, DF, EF

VEGAN, VEGETARIAN and PLANT BASED  

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 cups fresh cooked sweet potato or pumpkin
  • 1 cup cooked apple
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 -3 tablespoons rice syrup
  • 2 eggs (700 gr.)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger or cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • pinch of sea or Himalayan salt or miso

Crust

  • 1 ¾-2 cups almond meal (ground from activated almonds with skin on)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • 11 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • toasted coconut
  • Goji berries

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Method

Crust

1. Measure out the nuts and blend them to a fine powder.(almost a nut butter)

2. Add the oil, rice syrup, vanilla and slowly add the coconut flour until it forms into a more solid consistency.

3. If it is too soft add a little more coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time until it becomes solid enough to press into a pie pan.

4. Oil pie dish, and press the dough down with your fingers.

5. Heat over to 175 C (350 F) and pre bake pie crust for 10 minutes.

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Filling

1. Peel and steam sweet potato or pumpkin and apple together. (save peels of sweet potato, toss with olive oil and salt and bake).

2. In a food processor puree the sweet potato and apple, coconut cream, rice syrup, eggs, spices and salt or miso.  Taste and adjust if necessary.

3. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake another 30-40 minutes or until slightly firm.

*If the crust is getting too dark cover the pie with a piece of foil or other oven safe method and continue to bake until it is set.

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Topping

1. Put a mixing bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

2. Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open it from the bottom. Scoop the top layer of white, fatty goodness into a mixing bowl (save the coconut water for a hot day).

3. Blend the chunks of coconut milk with a hand mixer on high speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns softer. Add the sweetener (amount depends on how sweet you like it) and mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy.

4. Spoon the coconut cream on top of the pie, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and Goji Berries. I had some beetroot juice which I sprinkle on top to add more colour and intrigue to the pie.

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