Saturday, January 22, 2011

My First Raw Vegan Recipe Thanks To Amber Shea - 5 Minute Vegan Blondies


Back when I was a former vegetarian gone omnivore, Nate and I were invited over once for 5 course raw vegan meal by a super sweet couple. The reason they invited us in the first place was for our open-mindedness to pretty much any kind of food. I was really intrigued by the whole "raw" thing because it seemed very new to me (this was over 10 years ago.) They prepared a very involved meal of raw sushi, butternut squash soup, avocado dip and some kind of of cake, perhaps carrot? Anyway, after driving away from that meal I felt incredibly ill  to my stomach and was unable to eat avocado again for 10 years. Since then of course I would have loved that meal and appreciated the time and money that would have gone into making such a spread. It truly must have taken them 2 days to make it all. I guess I wasn't as open minded as I thought. Come to think of it, maybe it was the lava lamp lighting that did the meal in for me. 

What in the heck is my point? Oh yeah, raw food. Since going vegan I found Amber Shea's blog; Almost Vegan. She says her diet is 99 percent vegan cheating only every so often which I love. If I were honest, my diet would probably fall near the 99 percent mark too. In the last few months she went to 105 degrees (a raw chef school) and is now a raw chef herself. I've been wanting to learn more about raw food, so her blog was an awesome find for me. What's even cooler is that she lives in Kansas City too and is writing a super cool vegan/raw/freaking awesome cookbook! I'm so excited! I have yet to find a book that is balanced and includes both raw and vegan recipes that isn't super preachy (which I don't mind for myself, but know most people don't like that so much.) For once I had all the ingredients for one of her raw recipes, a 5-Minute Single Serve Raw Blondie. YUM! Instead of putting the whole thing in one small muffin tin, I used 4 mini sized muffin tins. One of the smaller portion was all I needed. I love this recipe because it's super flexible. You can use a variety of different nuts and/or different kinds of dried fruit. I can't wait for your cookbook Amber! And of course you know I'm a more than willing tester :)

Nate's Two Cents:  Note to raw vegans:  A great way to get a non-raw vegan turned on to your cause is to make a raw dessert.  And make lots of it.  And serve it up with a nice hot cup of coffee with one raw sugar.  Are you listening, Tara? JK.  Anyway I agree about that meal we shared years back:  I'd appreciate it so much more at this point in my journey to wholefoodness, rather than at that point, when I thought meat was a necessity at every meal.   A nice big slice of avocado on a romaine leaf sounds pretty appetizing to me now.  Thanks, Amber, for the great blondie recipe.  And thanks, raw food people whom we feared out of ignorance: We really do remember that meal differently now.

8 comments:

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

YAY! I'm so glad you enjoyed the blondie(s)! I had thought about using mini muffin cups next time I make this, good call :D Thank you so much for all your sweet compliments. If/when recipe-testing time comes along, I will keep you in mind for sure!

Kylea Rorabaugh said...

Yum!!! Amber, I think I will need to try these too! Can hardly wait for your cookbook :-) and I , like Tara, am more than willing to be a taste tester!!! :-) Tara - great picture as always !!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the concept behind Amber's eating is "cheating" and you buy into the unattainable "untenable purity" vs. a more holistic approach.

Cheating sounds as if she lacks integrity. Which she doesn't.

Raw is the thrust of her life, but is smart enough to integrate beneficial alternatives from time to time.

Vegan Piggy said...

Allllriighty then. I have a whole heck of a lot of respect for Amber. I'll probably be one of the very first people to purchase her book. I am very comfortable with my own choices, and respect hers as well. I have never claimed myself to have reached "untenable purity." If my word choices offend you, then please remove the filters of your thinking that are telling you that I had anything negative to say about her in the first place. That is far from the heart of how I feel about her or anyone else's dietary choices. Does food really have to be this serious? Eeesh.

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

Wow, ok, I just saw this. While I have to say it's nice to hear someone defending my integrity instead of attacking it ;) it was wholly unnecessary in this case. Though I don't consider my 1%-non-veganism a matter of "cheating," clearly that's a convenient shorthand keyword to easily describe it. Zero offense taken, Tara - far from it...in fact, my brain didn't even really take notice of the word "cheating" in your post until just now.

Anyway, thank you to the anonymous commenter on one hand for having/promoting a positive view of me and my approach to food...BUT, thumbs down on nitpicking someone's words like that. The biggest thanks goes to you, Tara, for all your continuous encouragement and support. :)

kzrivera said...

I made these last night for a regular get together of the "gals." I am a little early for the Blondies Day (Jan 22) that Amber mentioned in the original post, but hey, great practice, right? They were AWESOME!! I modified the recipe slightly due to available ingredients in the house (pecans for cashews, figs for dates) and I added dark chocolate that I had ground down with my shredder attachment (the idea of having a garnish but it smelled so good I tossed a couple of tablespoons in). I was done in 20 minutes, end to end, including doing dishes. 20 minutes!!, nothing in my life it that easy AND my very diverse friends loved it! We have vegans hanging out with the Celiac Sprue folks and they rarely have a tasty treat great for both of them. Such happy mumblings around yumminess! Thank you both for this recipe and making it so east to find! I look forward to new additions (as so my vegan and CS buddies)!

Vegan Piggy said...

Aww, so glad you loved them. It reminds me that I need to try to make them again myself! Amber is amazing. I can't wait to get her book!

Heather said...

I'm looking forward to making this recipe, too! I can't eat walnuts (hypothyroidism) so I'll need to replace those nuts in the recipe. Any suggestions? Also, do you think it would turn out if I use honey instead of a more granular sugar?

As we have two new-ish raw eateries in our little city (Tacoma, WA), I've been trying to support them, eating a raw meal occasionally. And it almost always makes me sick. I think my body just really needs cooked food. Just goes to show that we are all different!