Friday, 14 February 2014


I'm keeping my tradition to post something heart shaped here on Valentine's Day.
This year it'll be in the form of food:

Valentine's Day Salad
raw, vegan

You'll need
a small cauliflower
some handful of fresh spinach leaves
an apple
a handful of radishes
one pomegranate
a handful of fresh strawberries
fresh parsley and/or any other fresh herb of your preference
pre-cooked quinoa
feta cheese

For the vinaigrette:
oil and vinegar or balsamic of your choose
lemon juice
apple juice

I love strawberries in salads, and they go so well with a lot of things, especially with something salty and sour. It feels a little odd with fresh strawberries in february (over here at least), but then again it's only Valentine's once a year. And the ones I got were surprisingly tasty!

Chop  the cauliflower, spinach (and herbs), apple and radishes and blend together. Add pomegranate seeds and diced strawberries and pour the vinaigrette over. I used pomegranate vinegar and olive oil in mine.

Too raw for you? Add quinoa for more fullness.
This salad also tastes great with some pieces of strong feta mixed in!

And for dessert -

Apricot Hearts with Strawberry Marmalade
raw, vegan, gluten free
12 dried apricots (the dark, natural ones)
1 tbs agave syrup (or honey)
4 tbs almond flour / finely ground almonds
4 tbs hazelnut flour / finely ground hazelnuts
4 tbs fine coconut flakes

For the marmalade:
5 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2 dried apricots
some real vanilla powder

I wanted to make a set of raw sweets that would not use dates. Instead I went for dried apricots. The ones dried without sulcate are sweet and very rich in taste. I  made these raw cookies without the use of a kitchen mixer, just a hand mixer and then fork, as I used ready almond and hazelnut flour. If you are patient enough you could probably make it with no electrical equipment, just the fork.

Soak the apricots (for the cookies as well as the ones for the marmalade) in water until they are soft and squishy.  Squeeze out the extra water and mash them into a somewhat smooth paste together with the agave (or honey) by using a hand mixer or fork. Add the flours spoon by spoon, blend in with a fork. Add the coconut flakes and keep on mixing with the fork or knead by hand. If you have a proper kitchen mixer you can just throw everything in there and press the button. (If you use nuts instead of ready flour,  start the other way around by adding nuts first and grinding them into flour before you add the apricots!)

Press the dough out as thin as you can on a non sticky surface and take out hearts with a gingerbread cutter. Place the cookies on a plate and set aside while you make the marmalade.
You can also dry these in an oven at low heat for some hours. Or, they can also go bye-bye raw food and be baked, give them a try in a 200C oven for a few minutes.

For the marmalade, mash the apricots, add sliced strawberries and mash them quickly together with some vanilla powder.

Serve the cookies with the marmalade and a cup of mint tea!

As usual there's room for variation. Allergic to nuts? Try it with coconut flakes and rolled oats instead. One of those persons that just can't do coconut? The coconut flakes do add quite a lot to these cookies, but if you must then skip them and use more of the flours instead.

Happy Valentine's Day!