Raw Voilà Recipe: 50s Style Strawberry Shake

’50s Style Strawberry Shake’

One of the healthiest milkshakes you can make!

1 cup raw Almond Milk
1 cup ripe strawberries (green tops left on), medium chopped and tightly packed
6 small dates (or 4 medium dates, or 2 very large dates), pitted
1/2 of a large bourbon vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and seeds scraped
1 tablespoon raw coconut butter

Using a high-speed blender, first blend together the almond milk, dates and vanilla bean seeds until creamy. Then add the chopped strawberries and coconut butter and blend again until the strawberries seeds have been completely incorporated. If you have a Vitamix or other type of powerful blender, the end result should be virtually seedless. Pour the mixture into a tall glass. Garnish the glass with a small strawberry. Serve!

A few tips…

The listed ingredients should roughly amount to 18 to 20 ounces of strawberry shake.

This shake isn’t overly sweet, however if your strawberries are quite tart, you may need to increase the amount of dates to help balance it out. And, of course, if your strawberries are pretty sweet, you can decrease the amount of dates. Keeping the shake ‘just sweet’ was my original intention, but it’s really going to come down to your individual preference.

The raw almond milk used for this recipe is a pre-sweetened blend. If you use plain almond milk, you may need to add a larger amount of dates to suite your taste.

Bourbon vanilla has a wonderful deep, dark flavor that at first seems mellow but then becomes more apparent as it lingers on the taste buds. It’s perfect for this recipe since the strawberries are the star characters and the vanilla plays a supporting role.

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.

In the list of ingredients, I noted 6 small dates (or 4 medium dates, or 2 very large dates), pitted. Six small dates is equal to about two tablespoons, as are four medium dates and two very large dates. I chose to freely list the dates to make it easier, but you can go with the tablespoon measurements if you prefer.

If your dates are not soft and pliable, you can soak them in a small amount pure water, just enough to cover the dates, for fifteen minutes or longer until they plump up enough for ease in blending. If you store your dates in the refrigerator, they will become stiff from the cold but will usually somewhat soften up after being left out at room temperature for a while. If they still seem hard, then definitely utilize the soak method.

Raw Voilà Recipe: Marjoram Magic

‘Marjoram Magic’

A rich and savory cashew cream.

Simple to make and very versatile.

2 cups raw cashews, soaked (preferably 1 to 2 hours)
1/2 cup pure water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon peeled pressed garlic
1/2 teaspoon raw coconut vinegar
1 teaspoon first cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon grey sea salt (fine grind)
3/4 level teaspoon fresh sage leaves, minced and firmly packed
2 level tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves, minced and firmly packed

Using a food processor or high-speed blender, blend together all of the ingredients until creamy, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides and help the mixture turn over. Store in an airtight container inside of the refrigerator and use within 3-5 days.

A few tips…

The listed ingredients roughly amount to 16 ounces of Marjoram Magic. Number of servings will depend on how much you indulge. In addition to being used for spreading across sandwiches and wraps, Marjoram Magic works well as a base for salad dressings and quick sauces of every kind. Let your imagination take you where it will.

A garlic press was used to process the garlic into a creamy texture. If you do not have a garlic press, you can create a similar texture by mashing the peeled garlic into a paste using a knife and cutting board. Using the side of a large knife blade (sharp edge faced away from you), carefully mash the garlic down onto the cutting board. After each time you mash down the garlic, carefully scrape it into a pile using the blunt edge of the knife. Then carefully mash it down again with the side of the knife blade (sharp edge faced away from you). Do this until the garlic is transformed into a creamy texture. Better yet, buy for yourself a garlic press!

Marjoram Magic is meant to be slightly salty. My intent was to create a flavorful cream with less salt. Feel free to increase the amount of salt to your particular taste. However, I suggest increasing the amount of salt by 1/8-teaspoon increments at a time until the desired amount is reached. This will prevent unintentionally adding too much salt, and in turn ruining the batch. Something helpful: Depending on how I choose to use Marjoram Magic, I will sometimes add extra ingredients to whatever amount of raw savory cream set aside for a particular recipe. That way my main batch of Marjoram Magic remains untouched and can be altered per use if needed.

In general, soaking nuts allows for greater availability of nutrients and less impact on digestion. Additionally, soaking the cashews prior to making this recipe ensures they will become plumped up enough for easier blending to reach a creamy consistency. The suggested 1/2 cup of pure water should be enough liquid to aid in the blending process. At first it might seem like more water may be required, but try to be patient and definitely pause a few times to scrap down the sides. If you find that things still aren’t moving swiftly, then go ahead and include more water a tablespoon at a time. Keep in mind that too much extra liquid could dilute the end result.

As mentioned earlier, soaking nuts helps to create a smoother outcome in a recipe. However, if you are unable to pre-soak your raw cashews, no worry. You can still make this recipe by increasing the amount of water from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup (to compensate for some of the water that would have been absorbed by the cashews during soaking), and then following the recipe directions as listed.