[As always, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free!]
Funny title! Not mine, but it got your attention! (The book with this title is by Karyn Calabrese.)
Why should you soak nuts?
Nuts have a natural enzyme inhibitors that keeps them from sprouting. When you soak nuts, the enzymes breakdown, making the nuts easier to digest. Plus, when they release their nutrients for easier absorption, you get fuller faster!
This weekend, I soaked almonds, cashews, and walnuts overnight. Drained and blended them separately. Then I created some nurturing and delicious eats: pizza and cupcakes!
My brother saw pictures and he said sarcastically, “I’m sure that tastes exactly like pizza.”
Let me be clear, the purpose of creating healthier versions of classic dishes is not so they taste like them. This pizza is delectable creation, but it does not taste like Domino’s deep-dish. I use these words as a reference to show how you can be innovative with whole, nutritious foods. Don’t expect Domino’s–expect to feel energized, nourished, and enamored by a new take on an old favorite!
Note: the walnut cheese making isn’t time consuming–just plan in advance. The soaking and draining process requires a couple of days.
pepper, onion, and walnut cheese pizza
with a sweet potato socca crust
for the crust (If you want a thin crust, cut the ingredients in half)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
for the sauce:
- 1 15oz can of white beans (rinsed), I prefer the creamy cannellini beans
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup of water (addition water needed if you need to make the dip smoother)
- 1 Tbls lemon juice
for the toppings:
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced bell peppers (any color)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- dash of sea salt
- bunch of Arugula
- walnut cheese (see below) or if you’re cool with dairy, 2 oz goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- Peel and cube sweet potatoes then steam. Mash in a medium size bowl. Add the chickpea flour and water. Stir well. Pour into the greased pan and spread evenly around. Bake for 35 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, blend the sauce ingredients. Put aside. (It will be more of a sauce than a spread. Use less water if you want more of a hummus consistency.)
- Sauté the onions in a saucepan over medium heat with a little oil until caramelized. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar if desired. Add the peppers and sauté. Set aside.
- Remove the crust from the pan (it will probably stick a little bit). Drizzle the olive oil and the dash of sea salt after the crust has cooled for a minute. Then top with the sauce.
- Sprinkle half of the arugula. Add the onions and peppers. Add the remainder of the arugula. Top with the walnut or goat cheese.
- If you’re using real cheese, return to the oven for 7-8 minutes or until heated through. If you’re using the walnut cheese return to the oven for 3 minutes or less (otherwise you’ll toast the walnuts).
- Slice and serve with love.
[adapted from theleangreenbean.com]
- 2 cup nuts, soaked overnight
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon probiotic powder (or a few capsules, opened) or 1 and 1/3 cups nutritional yeast
- dried or fresh herbs for rolling
- In a blender, add together all the cheese ingredients except for the probiotics or nutritional yeast and dried herbs. Add more water if necessary for blending.
- Puree for several minutes until as smooth and creamy as possible. Stir in probiotic powder or nutritional yeast.
- Pour mixture into a jar or other glass container and cover with cheese cloth. Let sit for about 24 hours at room temperature to develop a cheese flavor. As it sits, the nut “cream” will also thicken up, making it easier to handle.
- Once the flavor has developed to your liking (taste test every so often), wrap each in the cheese cloth and place it in a colander with a weight or weighted plate on top. Put the colander in a sink or over a plate or bowl to catch any drips. (A lot of the liquid will be pressed out of the cheese.) Let it press for several hours.
- When it has the desired consistency, remove from the cheese cloth, shape into a wheel and roll in dried or minced fresh herbs (optional).
for sweet soaking and blending!
Now for the soaked almonds and cashews… I made almond milk (the almond pulp created almond flour) and cashew butter (see below). After I blended a few more goodies, I mixed everything together to create magnificent, satisfying cupcakes!
raw blueberry-coconut cupcakes
makes about 10 large or 20 small cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
- 1 cup coconut flour (grind coconut flakes to a fine powder)
- 1 cup almond flour (I made almond milk, then used the pulp. Store bought is fine.)
- 1/2 cup ground, dried blueberries or cherries (grind dried blueberries or cherries)
- 1/3 cup date paste (blend 1 cup soaked dates with 1/4 cup water)
- 2 tbsp almond milk (homemade or not)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp flax meal
for the frosting:
- 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup raw cashew butter (see recipe below)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, grade B or raw honey
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- coconut flakes, optional
For the cupcakes:
- Using a hand mixer or a blender, combine the coconut flour, almond flour and ground mulberries.
- Add the date paste, almond milk and salt and mix until combined.
- Finally, add the coconut oil and flax meal and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. It should look like thick cake batter.
- Line a mini muffin tray or a large muffin tray. Scoop a 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture for the small or a tablespoon for the large cupcakes. Gently press it into the muffin cups. Repeat with remaining mixture. Place the tray in the fridge or freezer while you make the frosting.
For the frosting:
- Using a high-speed blender or blender, blend the blueberries, cashew butter, and maple syrup or honey until well combined and smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend just to combine.
- If you’re fancy, scoop the mixture into a piping bag and attach a small tip. If you prefer my cheap version, scoop the mixture into a plastic bag and cut off a corner. Decorate each cupcake with frosting and the coconut flake (if desired) and return the cupcakes to the fridge until ready to serve.
about 2 cups
- 2 ¼ cups raw unsalted cashews
- 1 T. canola oil or olive oil
- ½ T. fresh orange juice or lemon juice
- ¼ t. salt
- ½ t. – 1 t. maple syrup, grade B (optional)
- In a blender, process the cashews until they resemble a very fine, almost powdery, meal.
- Add the oil, fresh orange juice and salt, and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the blender, making sure that the mixture is consistent and no clumps remain in the bottom. Blend for 30 seconds more.
- Store in a airtight container and refrigerate. Find delightful things to use it with, ex. cashew butter and jelly- CBandJ!
Nurture yourself. Eat well. Feel amazing this week and always!