Making smoothies is a fantastic and easy way to… drink your vegetables! Although I am a person who loves eating raw salads and I try to have at least one big green salad daily, sometimes I just don’t have the time or maybe the only thing I want to do is to have a refreshing smoothie and relax on the couch.
Vegans should consume even more green leafy vegetables in order to fulfill their daily needs in several vitamins and minerals such as calcium. So, if you aren’t exactly a “green salad” person or you want to reassure that you consume enough greens, one or two green smoothies daily could be a wise and definitely healthy choice.
Since red is my favorite color, today for my smoothie I used a whole beet (root and greens) blended with some fresh, fragrant strawberries. Beet greens are actually the most nutrient-dense part of the plant since they are rich in minerals such as calcium and vitamins, while beet roots give their subtle sweet taste together with considerable amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In order to make my energizing smoothie even more nutritious I added some flaxseeds and 2-3 medjool dates for their sweet taste. Beyond its great taste, this smoothie can serve as a nutritious and filling snack between meals.
- ¼ cup raw beetroot peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup tender beet greens, chopped
- 1 ½ cups strawberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup water
- 2-3 dates or 2-3 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tbsp flaxseed
- Wash the dates or raisins, remove the seeds, soak them in ¾ cup of water for half an hour or more and keep the water for using it in the recipe. If you have a really powerful blender you can skip soaking and add all the ingredients in the container.
- Add all the ingredients in the blender and blend at high speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Serve immediately.
Note: If you like frozen smoothies, put the strawberries in the freezer for at least two hours and use cold water or maybe some ice cubes.
“…Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever…”
(4 mini cheesecakes)
For the base
- 3 tbsp dry grated coconut
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 3 tbsp raw almonds
- 3 Medjoul dates, pitted
- 1-2 tbsp orange juice or water
For the filling
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for 4-6 hours and drained
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- 150 gr strawberries, washed, stems removed
- ½ tbsp raw, finely grated beetroot
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup raw agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
For the décor
- 4 strawberries halved
- extra grated coconut
- Lay a tray with greaseproof paper and place over 4 small metal rings for mini cheesecakes. Alternatively you can use 6-8 cup muffin pans lined with paper cups.
- Prepare the base: In the food processor, process the almonds until powdered. Add the grated coconut, the flaxseed and the dates and process for one minute until the “dough” forms into a ball.” Divide it into 4 parts, place one on each metal ring and press with our fingers to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Prepare the filling: Blend the drained cashews with the strawberries and the lemon juice. Stop blending every few seconds and clean the walls with your spatula until all the solid parts are blended and a smooth cream has been formed.
- Add the agave syrup, melted coconut oil and beetroot and continue blending until homogenized.
- Pour the cream mixture into each metal ring or muffin cup and with a spatula flatten their surface.
- Decorate with strawberries, dried coconut or other topping of choice and leave in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours until set.
- Serving: Using a knife, remove the metal rings. Transfer them in a serving plate and enjoy.
Note: In order to make their texture even more interesting, you can add in the base mixture 2-3 tbsp dried buckwheat sprouts. Dried buckwheat sprouts are crispy with an almost neutral flavor and thus they give a sense of crisp wafer in the base without altering its taste. We can find them in some organic or vegan food shops and if we have a dehydrator, we can also prepare them by ourselves.
When we crave for something sweet, some raw vegan desserts I make are our favorite choice, as they have both fantastic taste –if you’ve ever eaten a raw chocolate cheesecake you probably know what I mean- and great nutritional value.
Lately I was looking for an easy and 100% raw vegan, super-tasty chocolate brownie recipe and after experimenting a little bit I came up with this! It is exactly what I was looking for since they are moist, fudgy and really satisfying with some crunchy nut bites. Besides, each portion provides valuable nutrients and beneficial fats, without added sugar, processed starches or gluten. Their only disadvantage is that it’s hard to resist eating more than one serving!
Just remember to keep them in the fridge, especially during summer, as coconut oil in temperatures above 24 °C tends to melt and thereby your brownies may soften too much.
For the brownies
- 2 cups Medjool dates (400 g)
- ½ cup raw cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup ground flaxseed (60 g)
- 2 cups finely shredded coconut * (150 g)
- ¾ cup avocado flesh cut into small cubes (150 g)
- 3-4 tablespoons maca powder (optional)
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) coconut oil melted
- ½ cup Brazil nuts or coarsely chopped hazelnuts
For the topping
- 5 tbsp agave syrup or other raw liquid sweetener
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1 tbsp water
- Line a small square or rectangular baking pan with greaseproof paper (mine was 25×16).
- Wash the dates and carefully remove their seeds. Put them in the food processor together with the coconut oil and the avocado and process for 2 minutes or until a smooth cream has been formed.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except Brazil nuts) and process on medium speed until incorporated.
- Put the mixture on the kitchen counter and press slightly with your hands. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and knead until incorporated.
- Transfer into the pan and press the mixture with your hands to spread it evenly and make sure it has a uniform thickness. Flatten the surface with a spatula.
- Prepare the topping: In a bowl mix the agave syrup with the water and cocoa very well. Melt the coconut oil in a double boiler (in summer in Greece coconut oil is permanently liquid!) and add in the mixture while stirring.
- Pour over the brownie and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.