Tag Archives: Dates

Raw Lemon Coconut Bars

11 Nov

I really love raw desserts.  They satisfy my sweet tooth without making me crave more.  I’m not sure how that works, but it’s one reason I’ve started experimenting with raw dessert recipes.  This recipe for lemon coconut bars is adapted from the Lemon Coconut Bars recipe in Ani Phyo’s Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.  There’s no baking, no white sugar, no flour, and they literally take about 5 minutes to make.  I think a raspberry or cranberry sauce would be a nice accompaniment to these bars, but maybe I’ll try that next time.

Ingredients

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1 to 1 1/2 cups pitted dates (I recommend buying dates with the pits, and removing them yourself.  Dates already pitted tend to be on the dry side.)

1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla extract, though the original recipe calls for a vanilla bean)

1/2 tsp sea salt

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon, or about 2 tablespoons

1 cup shredded dried coconut, plus some for garnishing the bars

Preparation

First, place the walnuts and almonds in a food processor.  Pulse until the nuts are chopped.    Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor, and process until you have a paste you can press into a pie plate or 9-inch square baking pan. Press the dough into the pan, and sprinkle with shredded coconut.  Refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving.

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Banana-Date Scones

3 Jan

Scones are a love of mine.  They’re great with my morning coffee, and make a great afternoon snack.  Most scone recipes involve quite a lot of butter, but this recipe is an exception.  It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon (page 224), and has very little oil in it.  I am not a vegan, but I do enjoy experimenting with vegan cooking.  Veganomicon has so many interesting and creative recipes, and has helped me expand my culinary horizons.

One of the things I also love about this recipe is that it gives me yet another way to use overripe bananas that never fail to make an appearance on my kitchen counter.  I buy bananas with the intention of eating them that way, but they always beat me to the punch and get too ripe.  Even a few spots make a banana unappealing to me.  I almost never waste them, though, and use them to make banana bread, muffins, scones, or pancakes.  I also love, love, LOVE dates and walnuts, and aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.  If you want a natural air freshener for your home, just bake something containing those spices.  I enjoy making a batch of scones and freezing them.  That way, I can pull them out one at a time and microwave them for breakfast.

I made some changes to the original recipe.  I used entirely white whole wheat flour, which you can usually substitute pretty well for white flour.  I also used soy milk instead of rice milk.  Other than that, I pretty closely followed the original recipe.

Ingredients

8 ounces of dates

1 T all-purpose flour

3-4 overripe, mashed bananas

2 T ground flax seed

1/3 cup soy milk or rice milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup brown rice syrup (in a pinch, you could also use 1/4 cup sugar)

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, or 1 cup white and 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Mash the bananas using a fork or a pastry blender.  Chop the dates (watch out for the pits), and mix in a small bowl with 1 T flour to prevent the dates from sticking together.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flax seed with the soy or rice milk.  Then, add in the mashed banana, canola oil, and the brown rice syrup.   Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix the flour mixture with the banana mixture.  Then, fold in the dates and walnuts.

Oil a 1/2 cup measuring cup.  Get out a large cookie sheet.  You can either spray or grease the cookie sheet to prevent sticking.  Scoop out dough using the measuring cup onto the cookie sheet, leaving around 3 inches between scones.

Bake the scones for about 30 minutes.  Because ovens differ, check on the scones after about 20 minutes.  They should be browned on the outside.