If I was to pick a theme for the last few days I'd say: 'abundance'. During this harvest season we are reminded of how Nature is so very generous, and this year we are blessed to partake in its amazing bounty like never before!
Pick, Eat and Be Merry!
In spite of the whirlwind that is my life right now, I made a point to put time aside in order to do some gardening. I find it so nourishing and meditative! Not to mention that I came back with bagfuls of beets, carrots, kale, swiss chard, tomatoes, beans and various types of lettuce. I feel so grateful for this opportunity to play in a garden, albeit not my own.
We also spent part of one afternoon picking fruit! Yippee! A friend of ours has several fruit trees on her property. They could have been left to ripen a little longer but she felt that time was of the essence as she had started to get nightly visits from a bear. While I lost myself in the blackberry bushes (Ahhh, Heaven!!!), Don gave her a hand with the apples and pears.
The simplest technique for unripe fruit is to give the tree a shake and let the fruit fall on a large tarp from which they are then transferred into a bucket. Easy peasy!
She also has a tool similar to the one I used in California to pick avocados last spring. It brought back such fond memories of this magical experience.
I was glad I had taken our camera along as I discovered the most beautiful flowers growing in her garden.
My Raw World These Days
On a different note, I gave a really fun food prep class on the weekend, demoing a number of raw vegan versions of popular recipes that usually call for dairy or animal products: Ranch Dressing, Corn Chowder, Cultured Nut Cheeze and Tuna Salad. They were all received with surprise and enthusiasm, especially the dessert: Cheesecake! I could feel that these few recipes were opening up a world of new possibilities for the participants and it felt so darn good! ;-)
I'm also making great progress with the new recipe book which is super exciting! It will be available in soft cover hopefully sometime this fall. It's a lot more work than the ebook format I've done in the past but will definitely be worth the extra effort. The aspect I like the least about the book writing process is that I have to hold on to my new creations instead of readily sharing them with you here. Guess there's no way around it... *sigh*
Thankfully there are so many other talented recipe creators out there to cover for me in the meantime! This week's recipe is from a lady who is greatly contributing to the health movement in Calgary. I must admit that I haven't made 'nut balls' in what seems like ages. While they used to be a regular dessert early on our raw journey, I've been seduced by the fancier gourmet cakes, pies and other scrumptious yummies that one can whip up in the raw.
These Coco-Chia Snowballs are just bursting with wonderfully nutritious ingredients! Actually I just realized that The Raw Life Health Store happens to have a lot of them on sale this month, including chia seeds for under $5 a pound!!! Woo hoo!
I like how simple these Snowballs are to prepare and they are such a delicious way to get all that goodness! The main modification I made was to grind some of the chia seeds called for as it had a little too much of a crunch factor for my taste. Just make sure to refrigerate the balls for at least 24 hours so that they can firm up nicely and to allow the ground chia seeds to fully absorb the surrounding moisture.
Adapted from a recipe by Karin Haemmerle
1/2 cup organic dark chia seeds, whole
1/2 cup organic dark chia seeds, ground
1/2 cup raw sesame tahini
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tbs cacao powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 cup raw honey or agave
2 tbs organic virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup + 2 tbs shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
Combine all ingredients.
Form into 1 inch balls.
Roll in finely shredded coconut, place on cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to allow the ground chia seeds to get absorbed.
Or press into a pan and sprinkle extra coconut on top. Refrigerate and cut into serving pieces just before eating.
Variation: Replace 1/2 cup chia seeds, ground with a mixture of 1/4 cup hemp seeds, 2 tbs ground chia seeds and 2 tbs shredded coconut.
Carmella's Note: Don used a small plastic scoop instead of rolling the balls in his hands. So much quicker and a lot less messy!