Friday, February 6, 2009

Full Circle

I had a happy renewal of my faith in raw chefs this week! To explain, let me tell you about some of my early experiences with the raw food lifestyle. I went to raw food classes with someone who was interested, but I only went because she invited me to go. I remember sitting there thinking "This food is so gross. I will never eat this way!" while in the back of my mind there was a little voice telling me I would need to "eat this way" and that I just wasn't ready yet. I realized later that part of the reason I thought the food was gross is that the food I tasted had no salt, or very little. That problem was easy to fix. The other one wasn't so easy - maybe it will sound familiar to some of you?

I got a recipe for a raw "carrot cake" and busily set about juicing oranges, juicing carrots, opening & chopping up fresh coconut, trying to make "whipped cream" out of orange juice & sunflower seeds in a blender as old as I was that couldn't blend two strawberries in a cup of water...I was frustrated & tired from all the work, my hand hurt from hacking at the coconut, and I was totally confused - since when is a "crust" made of almonds & dates? And since when does "cake" have a crust, anyway?! I was expecting Carrot Cake (that was the title of the recipe, after all) and this was not cake in any way, shape or form. I think if someone had told me I was going to be eating a pile of carrot-raisin mush plopped on top of some dates & nuts, with some orange flavored sunflower seed goo on top, I might have thought it was okay. This was just one example, but it's the one I remember, and it happened about the same time as a lot of other craziness in my life, and I gave up on the raw lifestyle.

I have since learned to eat food & just enjoy it for what it is, and life is a lot better. I know that there is no way to make a raw "cake" that is really anything like cake I ate before. I know I can make things that taste good, but I've thought about giving my recipes more accurate names like "Green Stuff in a Bowl" or just giving them numbers...

This week, Winona ( ) told me she had made this AMAZING cake, and after she mentioned it a couple of times & that it wasn't complicated, I thought, "Why not? It's not going to be cake, of course, but it might be good." So...I tried it...and it didn't take me three hours...and I made the batch into four cute little mini-cakes...and I made frosting...and IT TASTED LIKE CARROT CAKE!

I don't always trust my own judgement on these things, because it's been a long time since I've eaten the "other" kind of cake, so I got a second opinion from my mom, who said that she was impressed and that she thought that if someone was trying to be raw & liked carrot cake, this would really help!

I feel the wrongs I experienced in my former "cake"-making have finally been avenged, and I can eat my (raw) carrot cake in peace! (Or by the piece!)

It makes a fantastic breakfast! I made an orange flavored icing for mine by replacing the water with orange juice & using orange zest instead of vanilla. I used 2 large carrots instead of measuring 3 cups after grating. For the spices, I used 1 1/2 tsp. allspice plus 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.