Friday, October 16, 2009

raw kitchen humility

I called this post 'raw kitchen humility', because I wanted to demonstrate that although raw food recipes are inventive and fun to prepare, sometimes they don't turn out exactly as planned! It is all part of the learning process of working with food in this way, so I thought I would share a recent kitchen endeavor that didn't go exactly as I'd hoped, but in the end I was able to salvage the recipe and learn something along the way!

The recipe in question is 'pumpkin bars'. I was inspired by a video on The Renegade Health Show that features a recipe from Frank Giglio's cookbook, Raw for All. I'm not sure of the exact ingredients or measurements for Frank's recipe, as they were not really evident in the video, so I thought I would 'wing it', as they say. How hard could it be? Well, I didn't have many pumpkin seeds on hand, and as you can see in my version, I improvised quite a bit. Also, I have never worked with raw pumpkin, although I have worked with squash. Anyhow, the recipe:


2 cups raw pumpkin (peeled and chopped)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chia pudding
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup (I know, technically not raw but oh so flavorful)
1 tsp mesquite powder*
1 cup dates*

Icing (my recipe)

3/4 cup brazil nuts

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
2 tsp psyllium husk

Process pumpkin first, add in rest of ingredients in a food processor until smooth. For the icing, process ingredients in a blender. Add psyllium husk. Process until smooth.

The short version is that I prepared the bars without adding the dates. I prepared them with the icing and everything, and they still didn't taste quite right (raw pumpkin is somewhat bitter and bland if you are not used to the taste).

So, this morning I took out my chilled pan of pumpkin pie bars, processed some date syrup* (about 1 cup dates with 1 tbsp water) and then scooped my pan of bars into the food processor. I also added 1 tsp of mesquite powder*. What resulted was a much tastier 'pumpkin pie bar' recipe from my original attempt. If making again, I would reduce the amount of maple syrup to 1 tbsp. These are fairly sweet!

some pumpkin pie cookie drops with various toppings:

I hope you enjoyed my raw kitchen blunder rant! Any suggestions about how to tweak the pumpkin pie bar recipe would be greatly appreciated! Also, do you have any raw kitchen humility to share?! :-)


Raw In Syracuse said...

The recipe i received was much less complex. I actually made them last night but I don't care much for them... maybe with the leftover pumpkin, i'll give your version a try! I didn't find the original recipe to be very pumpkiny (I know that's not a word, but I don't care :) I hope yours turned out better than mine!!! Thanks for posting!

barefoot_and_frolicking said...

Hey Raw in Syracuse,

I agree - even with my thwarted attempt, they still didn't turn out very well. Something about the taste and texture, as well as raw pumpkin (my first time trying raw pumpkin, although I've had rawsquash before). Glad to know I wasn't the only one who had an interesting experience working with the ingredients :-)

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