Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Raw Vegan Desserts! :)

Raw Vegan Dessert Recipes and Ideas Alright, we've covered the raw vegan options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snacks by now. So it's time to move on to desserts - something we all absolutely love! =) Wouldn't it be quite nice to eat a dessert guilt-free and not feel weighed-down by the sugar and heavy cream and flour afterward?

Why choose raw desserts over cooked and baked ones? Well, first of all, they don't usually contain any processed sugar - white or brown! Yes, we just avoided the number #1 killer food - even while eating a dessert. Secondly, since the ingredients are not cooked, they are still nutritionally very dense (see this old post about the benefits of eating raw foods). Imagine trading all the empty calories for some real ones even when you are on a dessert binge. Third, they're WAY simpler (and, in most cases, quicker) to prepare than traditional desserts - no pre-heating the oven, baking for several minutes to hours, and scrubbing the bakeware thereafter. Fourth, if you happen to be vegan, you also get to avoid all the heavy cream that later weighs us down. Concocting a raw sweet, yet healthy, treat in a jiffy is super simple!

So what are the usual ingredients in a raw dessert? Typically, dates are the primary sweetener. If the dessert involves fruit, ripe fruit is the best form of natural sugar. Honey and stevia are other viable, minimally processed sweeteners. Sometimes, organic, high quality agave syrup / nectar or Grade A maple syrup are used, though overuse of these is discouraged as they're processed too. The major source of fat and creaminess in raw desserts is coconut meat or avocado (believe it or not). For chocolate, organic raw cacao powder is used. Imagine eating chocolate, sans sugar, in desserts and still maintaining your weight! Yes, raw cacao powder is a great aide in weight loss - check out the superfood catalog. Pie and tart crusts, cookies, cake mixes, etc are typically made with nuts and seeds or shredded and dried coconut - compare that to white flour tossed with dollops of butter or margarine in conventional desserts!

Equipment-wise, raw desserts are typically done in a food processor. That takes care of crusts, mixes, etc. A blender is used in preparing, for example, cream cheeze (the 'z' in cheeze indicates it's a vegan "cheese", made of cashews, almonds, etc.), frosting, filling, ice cream, etc. Funkier raw desserts, such as fruit lather, cinnamon rolls, and tart, cookies, etc. are done in a dehydrator - agreed that a dehydrator does take longer that an oven but we still bypass the soaking and scrubbing chore ;). Of course, tart and pie pans are used where needed. An ice cream maker is quite useful to make real raw ice creams.

Finally to the fun part - recipes with pictures. I must say I don't have a whole lot of personal pictures of raw desserts but I shall add what I have. In other cases, I'll pull something from the Internet and say so.

Raw vegan chocolate mylk - 2 cups homemade almond milk, half cup water as thinner, half banana, and 1-2 tbsp raw cacao power to taste. High speed blend. My personal favorite =) (and a copyright recipe :p). I swear, you'll never feel the same about any branded chocolate milk.

Raw vegan chocolate mylk

Fudge brownie topped with fresh berries - Followed this recipe by Ani Phyo

Brownie with fresh berries

Raw banana ice cream - Followed this recipe with my own tweaks: 1.5 raw banana if large or two smaller bananas, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder, and 1 tbsp agave. 

Raw vegan banana ice cream

Trail mix cookies - recipe courtesy Ani Phyo, again.

Trail mix cookies

Peach crumble - Crust made of pecans, medjool dates, virgin coconut oil and pinch sea salt. Filling made of peaches and pinch vanilla powder.

Raw peach crumble

Carrot cupcakes with raw cashew cream cheeze - Here is the recipe. The picture here is not as beautiful as one on that link but mine has a candle on it, to mark my birthday! =)

Carrot cupcake with cashew cream cheeze

Raw vegan chocolate fondue - 1/2 cup dates, 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, 3/4 cup cacao powder, organic, raw, 3 avocados, mashed, 1 cup water or to desired consistency. Add the first three to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add cacao powder and avocados and run until blended. May need to scrape the sides from time to time. Drizzle water gradually while running to get desired consistency. It gets thicker and sweeter when let sit for a while. Adjust ingredients accordingly. Recipe courtesy Heather Haxo Phillips.

Chocolate fondue from Compare their recipe with the raw one and hail raw vegan desserts =).

Raw vegan mango lassi - 1 cup homemade almond milk, 1-2 mangoes to taste, and ice. High speed blend. Add a couple of dates if the natural sweetness of mango and almond milk is not enough. Concocted it very recently while experimenting with homemade almond milk and fresh fruit. I'd like to believe that I invented it!

Raw vegan mango lassi

I will leave you here, making you want to appreciate and adopt healthier eating options. This post also concludes the series on the various food options in the raw vegan lifestyle. Click the 'What do I eat?' label in the word cloud on the right to check out all posts in this series.

This also happens to mark my first year with this lifestyle - I started eating raw vegan in late May 2012. So, in my next post, I'll talk about the enormous benefits I reaped. Then there are some more matured topics planned for this blog - optimal body weight, blueprint of our food choices, deep dive into green leafy vegetables, and much more. Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for all the exciting stuff!


  1. this was a wow read.
    i had no idea so much was possible.
    but immediately it gives rise to so many questions.
    to start with, what is homemade almond milk?
    (ps:remember people in india are reading ur blog,namely me,)and so many ingredients are just not available here.)

    1. Thank you for reading, Anjaii :). Well, homemade almond milk is simply almond milk made at home :D. Here is the recipe - 1 cup almonds soaked overnight, 2.5-3x water depending on desired consistency, 3-4 pitted dates -> high speed blending -> nut milk bag straining.

      A nut milk bag is coarser than a cheesecloth. Here is what it looks like -

      What are items are you having a hard time with in India?