Monthly Archives: November 2015

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Raw Pecan Crust

purple pie cover

This pie was absolutely fabulous! It not only tasted great, its mostly raw so its super healthy! While I was making it, the taste and the aroma kept my toddler coming back for “tastes” so if your a mom, your kids will love it. We’re told to eat more fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy but if you want to live longer, we need to eat more purple foods. Their simply packed with antioxidants but most people don’t get enough of this color in their diet. According to a Nielson poll, over 2,400 people were asked which color from produce they eat in a typical day; 85 percent said green, 79 percent said yellow and orange, and only 18 percent said blue and purple!

So what could be smarter than sneaking in those purple foods into desserts and pies? Studies have shown purple foods contain properties such as anthocyanins that improve our memory and vision, slows aging, controls blood pressure, fights heart disease, and prevents cancer. According to the USDA, darker potatoes have more than 4x the antioxidants than other potatoes.

I’m a big fan of raw food but sometimes we can absorb more nutrients by cooking certain foods. But not all cooking methods are equal in retaining the most nutrients. A study has shown boiling sweet potatoes can help keep most of the antioxidant power than roasting, steaming, or baking. This is because boiling thins out the cell walls of potatoes and gelatinizes the starch, which enhances the bio-availability of nutrients. Another bonus in boiling is the glycemic index ends up about half that of baking or roasting giving us a lower spike in blood sugar!

The skin of sweet potatoes have almost 10x the antioxidant power as the inside flesh. When you bake sweet potatoes, the peel loses most of its nutritional power. Baking also reduces its vitamin A by a whopping 80% while boiling, substantially less. From a nutritional stand point, boiling is just better for cooking sweet potatoes. I didn’t use the skin for this recipe but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them after peeling them off! 😉

If you want to retain ALL of the antioxidant power of purple foods, I recommend using them in juices and smoothies. I love juicing purple fruits and vegetables for their superior antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. Click here for a delicious and super anti-aging juice, Purple Roots of the Earth posted right here on Vegan Health and Yoga.

Ingredients for Purple Pie Filling

  • 2 large purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw honey if you prefer)
  • 2-3 packets stevia sweetener (I use Sweet Leaf)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice

Ingredients for Fully Raw Pecan Crust

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup soaked & chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Instructions

  1. Boil thickly cut purple sweet potatoes with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Leaving the skin on prevents them from getting too mushy for this recipe. After their cooked, allow them to cool.
  2. Peel off the skin. Using the skin in the recipe will give you lumps in your pie which is why I left them out but if you want to include them you can.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir in all the pie filling ingredients. Fluff up the batter with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes on high.

purple potato filling

4. Next, add all the pie crust ingredients into a high speed blender and pulse until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to push down the sides. Mixture should be sticky and minced.

Raw Pecan Crust

5. Spray olive oil onto a round pie pan to prevent the crust from sticking and breaking apart when serving. Empty the mixture into the pan and push down to form your crust.

raw crust ready

6. Now add the purple pie filling and smooth it out. You can top your pie with anything you like but I used extra pecans and coconut to compliment the ingredients in the pie.

purple pie

7. Refrigerate for a few hours to set. You can serve your pie warm by placing it in a 350 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes.

I served this for Thanksgiving with some cranberry sauce and it was perfect! You can also use your preferred whipped cream or fruit sauce.
Hope you enjoy it! 😀

slice of lifeslice of pieslice2

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Resources:
Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Is it Better to Bake, Boil, or Steam Sweet Potatoes?
The Power of Purple Foods-Dr. Oz
Americans Don’t Eat Healthy

 

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Black Bean Walnut Brownies with Avocado Chocolate Frosting

brownies3
Would you believe these brownies have absolutely no sugar, no dairy, no eggs, no flour, no gluten, and not drenched in oil?! Its true! These plant based brownies are actually very healthy and full of fiber and heart healthy ingredients! Contrary to what most people believe about the vegan diet, this dessert proves there are infinite possibilities in being plant based.

Transitioning from the usual “boxed” desserts found at the store filled with processed ingredients doesn’t have to be hard and certainly not tasteless. Making brownies from scratch using plant based ingredients is so easy. Avocado frosting may not sound appealing at first but honestly, you won’t even taste it. This frosting is simply amazing and powers up these heart healthy brownies with an ultimate chocolate rich flavor! I used the pineapple to keep the mix moist and for added sweetness. The cranberries give another dimension of tart and sweet. Black pepper brings out the flavor of chocolate.

Ingredients for Brownies

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted soaked dates
  • 1/3 cup carob chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons carob powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 fully ripened medium avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey if you prefer)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon carob powder (or cacao if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Instructions for Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Start by soaking the dates in water for about 10 minutes. Medjool dates are softer and would be ideal, otherwise drain the water and chop dates into little pieces for easier blending.
  2. In the mean time, drain and lightly rinse the beans but don’t soak them. Gently shake out the water from a filter bowl.
  3. In a high powered blender, add beans, pineapple, cranberries, dates, carob powder, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, lemon zest, baking powder, pepper and salt. Everything EXCEPT the carob chips and only 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Pulse blend until everything is fully incorporated. Push down ingredients sticking to the sides as needed. Mix should turn out sticky and heavily minced.
  4. Next, remove the blade and fold in the carob chips and the remaining walnuts.
  5. Spray some olive oil in a square glass baking dish to lightly cover the sides and bottom. Spread and press down the batter into the pan evenly. Spray the top with a light mist of olive oil to keep from getting too dry.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Sides should be toasty and slightly dark. A knife should come out mostly clean.

baked brownies

Instructions for Frosting

  1. Add and mix all ingredients for the avocado frosting into a mixing bowl with a fork.
  2. Then, with a hand mixer, blend all ingredients thoroughly for a minimum of 5 minutes. The hand mixer works to fluff up the frosting more generously than using your hand.

avocado chocolate frostingfrosted brownies

After the brownies have cooled, spread the frosting on top. The coconut oil in the frosting gives your brownies a beautiful sheen and keeps the frosting from becoming too runny. Serves a minimum of 9 people.

ready to eat

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer