mini pie
Pie, Recipe, Uncategorized

Mini Cheeze Cakes – Mini Pies – Raw Vegan

mini pie

Raw vegan desserts are often better than their original inspiration. Ice cream, chocolates, cheese cakes… tiramisu: I’ve experienced vegan and raw vegan versions of each of these treats that would make your big toe shoot out your boot. Just another example of how plant-based living can be easy, delicious and healthy… win, win, win.

The inspiration for these mini-pies came from a chef and friend named Dorothy. I used to stop off and stay with Dorothy and her husband Robert when traveling from Michigan to Florida and the reverse. They were living in Nashville, TN, which was a perfect midway stopping point. Upon my first visit I was lavished with miso soup made with re-hydrated veggies from their garden. And the pièce de résistance or more appropriately “pie de résistance” were mini cheeze cakes that she pulled from the freezer, all organized by flavor in various ziplock bags. She had come to the realization that full-sized pies were difficult to store and thaw. Solution: mini pies.

Miso Soup
Miso Soup and Rehydrated Veggies

Flash forward 5 years and I’m now living in Florida and Dorothy and Robert are in Philadelphia… last I checked. I’ve never forgotten those pies and the brilliance of their miniature-ness.

Mini-pies require a mini-pie form

I started out doing this with small spring forms. This method works but you’re limited by the number of spring forms you have. Quality forms cost around $3-5 each or you can get 3 or 4 for $10-18. This is the more expensive and a more tedious way of going about this. Making raw pies 4 at a time is not an efficient use of time and plus those spring forms are a bit awkward to store. On top of that they’re usually coated with teflon. If you’re making raw vegan desserts, you’re likely informed enough to know that teflon is bad news and no matter how careful you are with teflon cookware, it inevitably ends up with scratches that can potentially flake off into your food.

silicon muffin pan

Silicon Muffin Pan (Silpan)

This is one solution that optimizes mini-pie making. These forms store well, hold from 6 to 12 pies at a time and they clean up quick and easy. The one drawback with these molds versus a metal muffin pan is that they aren’t rigid and bend and twist when you lift them from the counter. This bending makes a mess of your pies before you can get them in the freezer. The solution I found was to use a rigid piece of cardboard the size of the silicon pan. You could also use a cutting board. You will need enough space in the freezer to accommodate the silpan and the cutting board.

Basic Mini Pie Recipe

  • Crust – enough for 10 to 12 mini pies
  • 1 C dates (4 oz) – pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 C walnuts (2 oz)
  • 2 TB sprouted buckwheat (1 oz optional)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (.15 oz) – ground
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp water – if crust is to dry and doesn’t bind

Pulse ingredients in food processor with S-blade until combined. Texture should be coarse. Press mixture against side of processor to see if it holds together. If it crumbles, it is too dry. Run food processor on low and add the water. Ideal texture holds together when compressed.

Use a large spoon or 2 TB spoon to measure out crust and drop it into each of the silpan cells. I fill all the cells before I tap down the crust. Extra crust can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for later usage… or just eat it. For tapping down the crust I use the pusher from a Champion Juicer. Ideally you want something that’s round with a flat bottom that fits into the cells. Spoons don’t work. Get creative. Tap all the crusts down evenly.

Champion Juicer Pusher
  • Filling
  • 1 1/4 C raw cashews (5.15 oz)
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C agave or sweetener of choice (clear agave gives best look)
  • 2 TB Irish moss gel
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sunflower lecithin
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

Place all ingredients except lecithin in a high powered blender and blend smooth. Scrape down the sides of blender and continue blender until you have a perfectly smooth texture. Add the lecithin and blend for 5 to 10 seconds.

This is the base filling with no fruit added or coloring. It should have a sweet and lightly sour taste. We’re trying to replicate cheese cake, so that bit of sour is needed. Pour 1/2 to 2/3 of this mixture into your mini pie form. You want to fill the cells at least 1/2 way. I tend to fill them more than half. The left over pie filling will be used to make the fruit creme layer. Add a 1/2 Cup of fresh berries or thawed frozen fruit. This where you add color and flavor. Strawberries and blueberries are an easy addition but the skies the limit. You can also add CACAO POWDER to make a chocolate cheeze cake.

  • Flavored Filling
  • 1/2 C fresh fruit/thawed fruit or 1/4 C cacao powder
  • 1 TB agave
  • For strawberry I sometimes add 1/4 tsp beet powder for color

Blend smooth and top off your pie cells. Use a chopstick or tooth pick to swirl in the mixture. At this point you can also float a piece of fruit, flowers or cacao nibs on top. Once finished swirling and decorating, place the pies in the freezer for 4 hours to set. Once they’ve set you can pop them out of the silpans and store them in freezer bags. Easy as pie!

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear from you. Leave comments and even requests. – Keep It Live!

raw vegan onion bread
Recipe

Raw Vegan Onion Bread Recipe

raw vegan onion bread

There’s something about bread that makes it quite an addictive staple. Is it the texture, the flavor, the GLUTEN? Breads are a bit of a challenge on a raw vegan diet, but they’re not impossible. There’s a variety of approaches you can take in creating a raw bread. I’ve ventured down the raw bread rabbit hole many times with tasty and diverse results. Here’s one of my latest recipes:

  • 1 C Sprouted Buckwheat
  • 1 C Sprouted Almonds
  • 2 C zucchini – chopped
  • 1 C tomato – chopped
  • 1 C onion – chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C ground flax seeds or chia
  • 1/4 C psyllium powder or 1/2 C psyllium husk
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB agave
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 – 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt

When making breads, cookies and crackers I like to separate dry ingredients from the wet. I process/grind/prep the dry first and then move to the wet. The logic behind this is to keep the dry ingredients from sticking to a wet blender or food processor.

Directions:

  • Grind buckwheat, flax, psyllium, salt and almonds into a flour. Flax will need to be ground in a blender or coffee grinder.
  • Place flour in bowl or food processor.
  • Blend or process wet ingredients.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Should have a dough like texture.
  • Separate into grapefruit sized balls. Form into loaves on drying sheets and place on dehydrating trays. (Assuming your using an Excalibur or similar dehydrator) – Dry for 6 hours then slice loaves 2/3 the way through every inch and continue drying for another 6 hours.
  • Or use bread slice mould from www.easychipproducts.com – my preferred method – check out my past post and video
  • Dry at 155 F for 3 hours on drying sheets and then flip onto screens and dry for another 6 to 8 hours.

When and how you plan to use your bread will determine how dry you’ll want to make it. Bread slices can be dried to a cracker consistency which may not be desirable. Ideally you want an even dryness with a slight bit of flexibility. Allow bread to cool and then seal in a ziplock or airtight container and store in the fridge.

Pizza

raw pizza crust
Pizza Crust

Yes, this recipe above can be used to make 2 pizza crusts. Just follow the recipe and split the dough in half and smooth is out onto drying sheets as shown above. Pre-dry the crust at least 4 hours before topping it. I usually dry it 2 hours and then flip is off of the drying sheet and dry it another 2 hours before adding the toppings. Once you add toppings, continue drying the pizza for at least an hour.

raw pizza cheeze
Layer of Cashew Cheeze and Marinated Mushrooms
raw pizza
Layer of Fresh Tomato
raw vegan pizza
Ready for dehydrator
raw vegan pizza
Fresh out of the dehydrator

The above pizza was dried for about 3 hours before serving. The moister the end product, the shorter its shelf life. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. You can continue drying the pizza if you want a shelf stable travel snack… pizza jerky.

blog

Worm Bins and Vermiculture – Compost your kitchen scraps

What to do when you have a ton of compostable kitchen scraps or even tons of juicing pulp? That’s the dilemma I faced when I started working at Juice’d in Orlando, Florida. One of the answers I found was to “Get Worms”.worm bin

Yes I said “Get worms”. Not the kind your dog may get. The kind I’m talking about aren’t parasites, they are composters, they consume organic matter and produce rich soil. I was fortunate enough to see a presentation by the local worm lady Bernie Moro (Our Vital Earth) and was convinced that this was the route to go.

Since I was inundated with copious amounts of worm food from work, now all I needed was proper housing for my worms and the actual worms. Housing was easy to find. There a many DIY options and many purchasable options as well.

I went with the Worm Factory 360 which I purchased off Amazon. The worms I picked up locally from Our Vital Earth.
Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter, Black
It only took a month until I really started to see what the worms could do. As long as you keep them fed and provide them with fresh bedding (dry compostables) they will multiply and produce worm castings (poop) which is nutrient dense soil. This whole process is called “vermiculture”.

Enjoy this video of me adding another layer to my “worm condo”. Feel free to post any questions and comments. -Keep It Live!

How To, Recipe

Raw Vegan Onion Bread with Easy Chip Products Form

Driving from MI to AZ
Driving from MI to AZ

Greetings boys and girls. It’s been a long time since my last post and I’ve traveled many miles and had lots of experiences since my last days at Camp Rawnora in Michigan.Sunset_rainbow_TreeOfLife

I was in Patagonia, AZ managing the cafe at The Tree of Life for several months. I enjoyed my brief time in the cafe and living in raw vegan community. Patagonia is a special place and I was fortunate to be there for monsoon season. The desert comes alive when the rains arrive.

MeAndDatPMC

I lost my dad to cancer in September of 2015 and returned to Florida to be closer to my remaining family. I’m still grieving and processing his passing. I miss my dad, Mr. Phil. He was my biggest supporter and my raw food buddy. I love you “D”.raisedbed_LFE

Now I’m living in Orlando, consulting full time at a juice bar called Juice’d. I’ve got a garden, fruit trees and even a worm farm. I plan on returning to more frequent posts, videos, recipes and more.

cuke_macroblueberries

Here’s some onion bread goodness made with a great dehydrator form from my friends who created Easy Chip Products. Check out the video and if you want a form of your own: Tell them “Chef Adam sent me.”

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