How to Eat Like You Live At the White House – Go Raw for Dessert!
Posted on February 11 2010 | (4) Comments
Category:Raw Snacks and Desserts
Washington, D.C. has always been ‘fertile soil’ for politics, but something new is taking root at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – a vegetable garden. For the first time since Eleanor Roosevelt planted her famous Victory Garden, the most famous family in America has turned the most famous house in America into a celebration of freshly harvested food.
Everyone knows it is healthy to eat fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables every day. That isn’t a new concept. What is new is the idea that these foods should be most of what we eat.
Enjoying an abundance of assorted fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables is the basis of a raw food diet.
Raw Food Desserts
What do you think of when you think of a raw food diet? Do you think of sinfully sweet desserts? Most people don’t! Hopefully my new book, Raw for Dessert, will change all that.
For me eating raw food isn’t a diet in the traditional sense. Raw food is lifestyle choice for people who enjoy a tasty, easy, healthful way to eat the best that Mother Nature has to offer...especially when its time for dessert.
Traditional desserts are loaded with fat: trans-fats, saturated animal fat, and refined polyunsaturated fats. But raw desserts are loaded with "good fats": the mono-unsaturated fats, present in avocados, almonds, and olive oil; Omega-3 fatty acids, present in hemp seeds, flax seeds and walnuts; and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, present in coconut and coconut oil.
While it’s true that you want to avoid eating too much fat of any kind, as long as you are getting enough fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, and not overeating, you don't have to worry about including the good fats in your diet.
So if you’ve been skipping dessert...it’s time to put it back on the menu!
Raw desserts are especially good news for people who have food allergies or digestive problems. Delicious gluten-free desserts and vegan desserts can be created in practically no time with a simple combination of raw food ingredients.
Dessert from the White House Backyard
The charming Obama girls were undoubtedly the inspiration for the White House garden’s berry patch which will provide luscious fruits to toss onto breakfast cereals or mix with lemon juice or vinegar to make delicious salad dressings. The berries will also certainly be the centerpiece of a wide range of desserts...including simple raw desserts such as macerated fruit.
One of my favorite recipes in Raw for Desserts is the summer fruit trifle, pictured below. It’s made by alternating a pastry cream made from young coconuts, with fruit and a ‘shortbread crust’ for extra crunch.
The red-white-and-blue layers make this a great All-American choice for 4th of July, Memorial Day, or entertaining heads of state that are watching their intake of processed sugar and flour. (Are you listening, Mr. President?)
Jumble Berry Upside-Down Cake
I’d like to say that Sasha and Malia were my inspiration for the raw dessert recipe below. I’d like to...but I can’t. The truth is that I created this recipe to find a way to satisfy my own sweet tooth without the ordeal of baking.
My Jumble Berry Upside Down Cake is a taste treat and a bit of eye candy, too. It’s an elegant, after-dinner treat that makes little girls feel very grown up and grown-ups feel like kids again...even if they live in the most famous house in America.
Jumble Berry Upside-Down Cake Ingredients
Yield: Filling for one 6-inch cake
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
- 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon light agave syrup
- 2 1/2 cups Shortbread Crust (see below)
- Place the berries and agave syrup in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine.
- Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Line a 6-inch cake pan with a parchment-paper round.
- Place half of the berries on the paper.
- Top with half of the Shortbread Crust, distributing it evenly.
- Press down with your hand to compact.
- Repeat with the remaining berries, and then cover with the remaining crust.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours before serving.
- Invert onto serving plate.
Shortbread Crust Ingredients
Yield: 2 1/2 cups (enough for one 9-inch pie or tart)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 pitted Medjool dates
- Place the coconut, walnuts, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade.
- Process until finely ground.
- Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. (Don’t overprocess.)
- Stored in a sealed container, Shortbread Crust will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or for 3 months in the freezer. (The crust doesn’t need to be thawed before using.)
Double Duty Crust
One of the key elements of the Jumble Berry Upside Down Cake is its shortbread crust. This versatile ‘pastry’ is featured in other treats in Raw for Dessert, including my tropical Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Caramel Sauce.
Trust me...it tastes as good as it looks!