Raw Voilà Recipe: Fauxplait

‘Fauxplait’

I originally created this recipe in the Summer of 2007, and to this day I still enjoy its simplicity.

Four basic nutritious ingredients transformed into a succulent concoction that’s surprisingly reminiscent of yoghurt and full of essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants—a good-for-you indulgence!

1 and 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, medium chopped and tightly packed
1 cup young coconut flesh, small dice and tightly packed (the thicker the flesh the better)
3 tablespoons raw Tupelo honey
1/8 teaspoon grey sea salt (fine grind)

Using a high-speed blender, blend together all of the ingredients until creamy, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides and help the mixture turn over. If you have a Vitamix or other type of powerful blender, the end result should be virtually seedless with a silky texture. Fauxplait can be served immediately or chilled for a couple of hours to fully set prior to serving. Fresh strawberries make the perfect garnish, though dried raw coconut flakes and fresh mint are also wonderful choices (as shown in the above photos).


A few tips…

The listed ingredients roughly amount to 16 ounces, enough for three comfortable servings or six small servings. Double or triple the recipe as needed.

Fauxplait isn’t overly sweet, however if your strawberries are quite tart, you may need to increase the amount of honey to help balance it out. And, of course, if your strawberries are pretty sweet, you can decrease the amount of honey. Keeping the mixture ‘just sweet’ was my original intention, but it’s really going to come down to your individual preference. Something helpful: Reserve the strawberry tops for adding to smoothies or salad mixes. Those precious greens also provide essential vitamins and minerals. Any unused strawberry tops can be stored in an airtight container inside of the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Exceptionally high in vitamin C, strawberries are a great source of antioxidants as well as potent anti-inflammatory properties. To help limit your exposure to harmful pesticide residues often associated with conventional produce, try to purchase organically grown strawberries as often as possible.

If you find that the young coconut flesh is a bit too thick to easily process, add a small amount of young coconut water, a teaspoon at a time, to help loosen things up. Be mindful that the more liquid you add, the thinner your mixture may be in the end. Fauxplait is meant to be viscous rather than runny.

Young coconuts will vary from one to next in how much flesh is found inside. Some are quite young to where the flesh can be akin to jelly, some with flesh starting to solidify but still quite soft, and others more mature with flesh that is thick but pliable. Opening each one is a surprise. Since there is really no perfectly accurate way to definitely be sure exactly how much flesh is inside of each young coconut, it may be wise to purchase two to three at a time, just in case. Discovering there is not enough of an ingredient in the midst of recipe prep might not be so fun, though I will admit from past experience that it can result in an ‘exciting’ adventure!

Young coconuts can be found at International Markets as well as some health food stores. They may occasionally be found with their green shell still intact; however, they will most likely be sold with their outer shell removed and the white ‘husk’ found underneath visibly displayed. The white ‘husk’ should be smooth and not dimpled as if drying out and free of any strange pigments. Most young coconuts will have a mild and sweet flavor, though some can be rather bland, and some even a little bit salty. But they should not taste bitter.

Coconuts in general are rich in fiber, potassium and phosphorus as well as lauric acid which provides antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The healthy fats in coconuts promote digestive healing and wonderfully boost your metabolism. Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes, perfect for rehydrating after vigorous exercise.

Raw Voilà Recipe: Superfood Chocolate-Banana Pudding

‘Superfood Chocolate-Banana Pudding’

A quick, easy, fun and nutritious way to indulge in raw chocolate while also obtaining extra vitamins and minerals.

Best enjoyed freshly prepared and served at room temperature.

A portion or two of this intensely-flavored pudding can readily quell even the strongest of chocolate cravings!

2 level teaspoons raw cacao powder
1 level teaspoon raw maca powder
1 level tablespoon raw lucuma powder
1 level tablespoon raw coconut butter
pinch of pink crystal salt
1/2 cup ripe banana, tightly packed
1 ounce pure water

There are a few ways to make this pudding, which are either by using a food processor or blender, a mortar and pestle, or a bowl. Utilizing a food processor or blender will result in a very smooth consistency (as shown above in the first picture). Creating the pudding with a mortar and pestle or a bowl will result in a tapioca-like texture. You can choose whichever method you prefer. If I am short on time or simply want the pudding to be satin-like, I will process all of the ingredients in a food processor until creamy, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides and help the mixture turn over. And if I instead feel like taking a somewhat rustic and alchemical route, then I will use a mortar and pestle. I present Superfood Chocolate-Banana Pudding either in dessert cups or very small bowls, garnished in the middle with thinly sliced banana.

Following are instructions for how I make this pudding with a mortar and pestle.

Place in a small- or medium-sized mortar the cacao, maca, lucuma, coconut butter and salt.

Using the pestle, combine everything until a thick paste is formed.

Next, incorporate the water, small increments at a time, and thoroughly mix until creamy.

Separately, in a small or medium bowl, mash the banana with a fork until a semi-smooth pulp is formed.

In most cases, puddings are quite silky, but part of the intent with this technique is to retain some texture for an interesting mouthfeel.

You can either transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of mashed banana, or add the banana pulp to the chocolate mixture in the mortar.

As you can tell by the following picture, I chose the latter option.

There’s just something magical about creating concoctions in a mortar!

Simply fold together the banana pulp and chocolate mixture until well blended.

Once blended, the pudding should have a tapioca-like texture (as shown below).

Following are instructions for how I make this pudding from start to finish in a bowl.

Place in a small or medium bowl the cacao, maca, lucuma, coconut butter and salt. Using the back of a spoon, combine everything until a thick paste is formed. Next, with a fork, mash the banana into the mixture until it becomes as smooth as possible. Last, incorporate the water, small increments at a time, and thoroughly mix until well blended. Again, the texture should be tapioca-like.

Blending the cacao, maca, lucuma, coconut butter, and salt first ensures that all of the core ingredients are properly combined. Mashing the banana into the paste nicely fluffs up the mixture and allows for a wonderful depth of flavor. For this particular method, it is easiest to incorporate the water as a final step.


A few tips…

The listed ingredients amount to roughly 6 ounces of Superfood Chocolate-Banana Pudding, enough for one medium serving or two very small servings.

In the list of ingredients, I noted 1 tablespoon raw coconut butter. The coconut butter used in this recipe consists of puréed whole coconut, not to be confused with solidified coconut oil as the term ‘coconut butter’ had suggested in past years. Coconut butter is rather concentrated but does not give an oily aftertaste. It is actually reminiscent of creamy white chocolate, perfect for desserts or for enjoying straight.

If your coconut butter is rather firm, the mixture may bead up a little. That is perfectly alright. The coconut butter should soften during the hand blending process. However, you can choose to first gently melt the coconut butter by immersing the sealed jar into a bowl of very warm water, periodically opening the jar to stir the contents.

Overripe bananas do not work well for this recipe as their concentrated flavor overwhelms the other ingredients. Bananas that have just become ripe and have small- and/or medium-sized brown spots throughout the surface of the peel are perfect (example shown below). Bananas with peels covered in large brown spots or that are completely brown are too ripe for this recipe.

In the list of ingredients, I noted 1 ounce pure water. 1 ounce is equal to 2 tablespoons. This pudding is meant to be viscous, but if you prefer yours to be thinner, feel free to add extra water a tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached. Keep in mind that too much extra liquid could dilute the end result.


Tidbits…

Cacao powder is produced from raw cacao beans native to Central and South America. Almost all of the cacao powders currently found on the market are created by pressing raw cacao beans at low temperatures, separating the fat (cacao butter) from the bean. Cacao powders can also be created by simply grinding raw cacao beans into a fine powder; however, the flavor and texture will greatly vary from cacao powders created by removing the fat. Raw cacao is very high in magnesium and sulfur and is one of the most antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense foods known.

Maca powder is produced from a root vegetable native to Peru and is a member of the radish family. It has a slightly sweet, malty flavor. Maca is an adaptogen, a hormone balancer, and an excellent source of minerals, B vitamins and protein.

Lucuma powder is produced from a South American fruit that is low-glycemic with a flavor reminiscent of a maple-flavored biscuit. Lucuma is a great source of carbohydrates as well as fiber and iron.

Raw Voilà Create: Inspiration

I generally prefer to use a recipe whenever I want a dish to turn out as I expect. However, there are times when I’ll go with the flow and spontaneously create from within. The latter especially occurs when inspired by whatever produce I may have on hand. Instances such as those can be the most fun, and actually often lead to the formation of new ideas and even recipes. I suppose one could call it a delicious cycle!

Just the other day, inspiration struck and I found myself experimenting with ingredients for a sparkling blueberry drink.

I had no real intention of seriously inventing anything, but surprisingly the result was quite tasty.

Always be open to allowing inspiration to flow in whatever direction it may lead.

Many times those adventurous and limitless occurrences can be fulfilling.