Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Raw Healthy Treats for Valentine Sweets

Today is Valentines Day. I love to scrounge in the kitchen and cook up something sweet and gooey and chocolaty for my hubby and family. But we don't need the high sugar content and I do want healthy—and raw makes it even better. What did I come up with?

Raw Chocolate Macaroons

Chocolate macaroons are to be savored, and these are tasty as can be! Raw ingredients, shaped, and dehydrated, with a slightly crusty outside (similar to a baked product) and a delicious choco-coconutty inside.

I modified a recipe from Live Raw by Mimi Kirk.

2 cups flaked coconut (unsweetened)
3/4 cup raw almond meal or flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey, agave, or brown rice syrup (I used a mixture of honey and rice syrup)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp raw cocoa powder (or substitute carob)

In food processor:
Process coconut, almond meal and salt till blended. Add in remaining ingredients and pulse till mixed well. Make small rounded shapes in your hands and flatten the bottom on a nonstick dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 10 hours. 
Options: You could dip these in melted chocolate if you want or leave out the cocoa powder and add almond extract for a different taste.

Then I decided to make:

Apricot Squares

I found a recipe that used dried apricots which I had on hand. This recipe is from an E-Book: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: Guilt Free Desserts for the Whole Family (I don't know where I purchased it from and I can't easily find it online, but it's an awesome raw recipe book). I have modified it (like I do practically everything). It has a bit of a buttery-crunchy bottom and top layer (pecan crumble mixture) and an apricot-banana sweet center, and loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. (JJ gave this a thumbs up)

Bottom (and top) Layer:
Process these ingredients until you get a crumb-like consistency:

1 cup raw pecan pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs sucanat
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup honey (or agave)
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
1/4 cup raw coconut manna
1/2 cup raw flaked coconut
1/2 tsp salt

Place half of mixture aside for topping. Press half onto 9 x 9 inch glass pan and refrigerate.

Place the following ingredients into food processor and process until mixed well:

1 cup dried apricots, soaked for 2 hours and then drained
2 bananas
1/3 cup dried cane juice
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1/4 tsp salt

Spread apricot mixture onto bottom layer in pan. Sprinkle the pecan crumb mixture you have set aside on top. Refrigerate. Cut into squares. Yummy!

I hope your Valentine's Day was a delightfully healthy and loving one!

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