Apple Spice Granola Recipe – a staple in our house

Ever been suspicious of what these supermarket breakfast cereals contain? Often less nutrition than the cardboard boxes they come in.

Here is a time proven raw granola recipe I was introduced to years ago by my good friend and mentor Chad Sarno. Not much tweaking needed to happen since. Some creations are just perfect. Saying that, especially this basic granola recipe is almost crying for some playful changes or addition of ingredients like Maca powder, chia seeds, cacao nibs, Sacha Inchi powder, freeze dried fruit slices etc.. Knock yourself out! 😉

wet nut mix for apple spice granola

Don’t be afraid to substitute or add other nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, coconut chips or brazil nuts. Just adjust the amount of date paste to obtain the desired sweetness.

I often use sprouted buckwheat for this recipe as it is a reasonably priced alternative to lot of highly priced nuts, like pecans or walnuts. Buckwheat also dehydrates beautifully into a crispy crunch. I believe the thick ‘slimy’ run-off from the sprouting grains also helps to bind the granola clusters together – similarly to what happens with flax and chia seeds when you soak them.

This brings us to another great little secret wit this recipe. By soaking and sprouting the nuts and seeds and then mixing the wet ingredients with date paste, apples and whatever spices and superfood powders you want to add, you achieve a natural clustered crunchy granola after dehydration. Adding wet and dry ingredients to nuts and seeds before dehydration and then dry the lot together in clusters, bars or any shape, will nicely attach the flavours and hold all other components together.

Now just pop your granola clusters into a bowl, add some banana slices and pour your freshly made almond milk or raw organic Jersey cow’s cream over it and enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Salad with Granola

You are still waiting for the actual recipe, right?!
Here it is:

Apple Spice Granola
Makes 4 cups

  • 1 c pecans or walnut pieces, soaked10-12 hours
  • 1 c almonds, soaked 10-12 hours
  • 1 c sunflower seeds, soaked 10-12 hours
  • 1 c hulled buckwheat, sprouted for 1-2 days
  • 1-2 c date paste
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 3 apples, diced small
  • 2 T cinnamon, ground
  • 1 T maca powder
  • t natural sea salt
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  1. Keep the sprouted buckwheat aside. Using the food processor, pulse all other nuts and seeds until coarsely ground. Add in a large bowl to the sprouted buckwheat.
  2. Also using the food processor blend the dates with a small amount of water until it becomes a smooth paste. Dry dates will require soaking over night.
  3. Toss the paste along with the diced apples, chia seeds, maca powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt with the nut mixture. Hand mix well. Adjust flavour with lemon juice.
    wet nut mix for apple spice granola
  4. Continue by crumbling the ‘wet’ granola onto Teflex dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 145 F for 2 hours. Over the next hours turn the temperature gradually down to 115 F. Turn trays periodically. After 6-8hours flip over and remove Teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 105 F for 12 more hours or until crisp.
    wet granola ready for dehydrator
    This process is important to stop the granola from fermenting during the dehydration process. Not that it would be bad for you, yet the flavour would be slightly different 😉 It would definitely clear up any phytic acid remnants after the soaking and sprouting.

    Spaced granola clusters on dehydrator tray

    Notice the space between the clusters when wet!

  5. Store in sealed glass jars.

4 dehydrator trays of granola

Enjoy!
René
🙂

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Fermented Foods – nourishing traditions re-discovered

[Please be aware that this is an old post from 2012 in preparation for one of my still very popular ‘Traditional Cultured Foods’ workshops!]

Have you ever pondered the miracle of digestion?

How is it that we can eat certain foods and in a matter of, literally, seconds we feel a surge of energy? While at other times we eat things for comfort yet we feel horrible shortly after.

How come?

You have probably heard the term ‘gut flora’ before. Did you know that our intestinal tract, where most of the digestion and assimilation of food happens, contains Trillions of micro-organisms? These little critters outnumber our human body cells by a factor of 10! Means 90% of the cells and the genetic material we contain in our body is our gut flora!!!

In an ideal world our bodies live in perfect symbiosis with these friendly micro-organisms. They even take charge of the health of our gut lining and the cells it consists of. While we in return are supposed to provide a healthy nourishing living environment for them.

So where shall we look first to improve our state of health and wellbeing?

Right! Our GUT FLORA 🙂

Unfortunately most of us have a less than optimal cultural mix in our digestive tract. Many environmental factors, the contraceptive pill, anti-biotics, alcohol, stress, etc. can devastate the healthy and beneficial bacteria in our gut. This opportunity is used by toxic and foreign bacteria to populate our gut. That means the percentage of beneficial bacteria can drop dramatically with severe health implications. For a more complete explanation please inform yourself on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s website, her books on  GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and many youtube videos.

Fermented foods variety

One key factor in one’s nutrition on the way to restored wellbeing is Fermented Foods. Our ancestor’s diet consisted of a variety of fermented foods and beverages. Through the commercialisation of the world’s ‘food’ supply many of these traditional fermented foods are not any longer part of everybody’s diet. Fermenting food was a prime way of preserving food and simultaneously increased its digestibility and nutritional profile. That’s how our symbiotic relationship with our beneficial gut flora evolved. We are meant to consume fermented foods on a regular basis!

A glass of Kombucha

Kombucha with Curry Cashews

The Weston A. Price Foundation is doing excellent work in educating the public about this important factor in our nutrition. And so am I 🙂

We have secured the beautiful Mahurangi West Hall as our regular venue for one-day workshops and raw food chef trainings. It is a historical building, in the most scenic setting, newly renovated with all the creature comforts (including our dear, yet superfluous dishwasher).

Mahurangi West Hall

So what’s on the menu? Shortened as of today, 18.8.2012!

  • Sauerkraut, of course!
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Sour Beets and other fermented vegetable

    Sour Beets

    Sour Beets

  • Kim Chi
  • Natto
  • Kombucha

    A glass of Kombucha

    Kombucha

  • Water kefir

    Water Kefir

    Water Kefir

  • Kefir (dairy) and yoghurt from organic milk
  • wild-fermented sourdough

    Sourdough

    Sourdough

  • Gundru from Nepal/Tibet

    Gundru

    Gundru

  • Cider
  • Chinese Pickles
  • Japanese Nuka Bran Pickles
  • Quinoa Chicha
  • and more… What is crossed out we’ll deal with in future workshops!

This will be a very interactive workshop, balancing demo with hands-on preparation. You will take home the absolute confidence that fermented foods are easy to make and can be a regular staple in your diet.
As always, samples of all our organic food and the full recipe booklet is included. We will have a late lunch at the end of the workshop sampling our creations.

The workshop starts at 10am. We will be finished by 3pm.
That will give you enough time in the morning to visit the Matakana Market and get your knives sharpened there by Mike. 🙂

To ensure a very private atmosphere and an optimal learning environment this class is limited to only 12 students.
We are receiving bookings already. This workshop is going to be sold out shortly.

Your investment is $300+gst for the half day, including an organic lunch and samples as well as the comprehensive recipe booklet.

For bookings please refer to our Event Calendar page.

Bookings are essential for this workshop! Your payment confirms your booking. Due to the high demand and limited space we are not able to hold spaces which are not paid for in advance.

Feel free to get in touch with questions and booking requests here.

OK, I’ll better get back to all those bubbling vessels in our kitchen and hot water cupboard 😉 This is the most Fun I have had in preparing a workshop. I’m determined to pass that Joy on to you!

See you on August 25th for a nourishing Fermented Foods workshop!

Much Love,
René
🙂

Water Kefir, Kombucha, Curry Cashews

Raw Chocolate Bar Recipe – Finally!

After filling my Facebook page and ‘Timeline’ with tempting pictures of raw chocolate bars I received so many orders that I will have to move to a more empowering strategy. How about you make these beauties yourself and send me a sample?! 😉

Yumberry Chocolate Bear

“Give a man a chocolate bear and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach him…”

Although the recipe listed below has been working well for me over the months you might encounter problems when adding nut flours or fruit powders to your liquid chocolate mix. Sometimes the cacao butter separates when cooling down (especially when adding liquids). To avoid this from happening you can melt just 50% of it and shave the rest with a grater. That will keep the temperature of the whole mix down. That also means your chocolate will solidify quicker. I tried it today. Worked like a Charm! Also the surface of the finished bars seems to be much smoother.

Freeze dried Passionfruit chocolate bars

Be aware that when making raw chocolate you will leave the field of approximates and enter the Sacred Realm of Alchemy. So tread carefully and record your recipe trials and precise amounts!

And here we go with:

Raw Chocolate Bars

Makes enough chocolate to brighten a hairy day
(36 ice cube tray bars and 1-2 teddy bears)

  • 1 lb (454g) raw organic  cacao butter
  • 2 c cacao powder
  • 1.5 c cane sugar/xylitol, ground into a powder
  • 1 t + vanilla powder
  • 1-2 drops lime juice (Not more!)
  • 1-2 drops tamari sauce
  • ¼ c raw cacao nibs, optional
  • 1 t freeze dried fruit powder, optional
  1. Melt the cacao butter carefully in a bowl over hot water. Be careful not to overheat it. Stir continuously! That will yield about 2.25c of liquid.
  2. Transfer to a blender jar and add the remaining ingredients. Mix at high speed till everything is emulsified into a homogenous mixture.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into chocolate molds or small plastic wrapped tartlet shells. You can drizzle some fruit powder into the mold before pouring the liquid chocolate. Silicone ice cube trays are best.
    Silicone ice cube trays
  4. Drop the cacao nibs into the liquid chocolate. They will float. You can stir them in if you wish.
    Chocolate Buttons
  5. Chill. The quicker the chocolate solidifies the better.
  6. Serve on cold dishes or paper as the chocolate melts easily.

Tip: Variations can be made with different essential oils and essences. Use your imagination! Citrus oils work well, Geranium goes, and even Basil rocks!

Great New Zealand made freeze dried fruit powders and whole fruit here: Fresh As!

Yumberry and Cacao nib bars

Enjoy and Happy Birthday!
René
🙂

PS: While we are on it… To further your raw chocolatier education please do yourself a favour and visit my dear friend Amy Levin’s website www.ooosha.co.uk! She is the ‘Master of Raw Chocolate’ and has a bunch of her best recipes listed on that website. Make sure you try the Textured Mocha Truffles!

Almond Lime Cookie recipe – a versatile sweet raw treat

You would never think these little darlings are raw, would you?!
Trust me, they are 🙂

A cookie jar of Love

Among the White and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart and Amy Levin’s Candied Hazelnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting they almost disappeared at last week’s Divine Desserts class. Yet… try them! The flavour and texture is pretty close to marzipan, well worth the effort of hot-soaking, peeling, soaking, dehydrating… Double the batch and have your family help you peel the almonds. They might get a cookie for it 😉

And here is how:

Almond Lime Cookies

Makes about 60 cookies

  • 3 c almonds, hot-soaked, peeled, soaked for 6-8 hours, dehydrated until crisp
  • 4 T agave nectar or light honey like clover
  • 1/4 t natural sea salt or to taste
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 t lime zest
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  1. Process all of the almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Add the other ingredients and process into a firm dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and flatten between two teflex sheets into 0.5cm thickness. With a cookie cutter cut out heart-shaped cookies and place on dehydrator sheet.
  4. Dehydrate at 42° C for 8-12 hours or until crisp.

Enjoy!

René
🙂

A lunchbox full of sweet Love

Raw “Chef” or what?! Your Feedback requested!

Help!!!

at recent chef training with Anna

This is not a recipe post – for a change, and neither is it a class announcement. However, classes and teaching it is – my Passion!
My dear friend Sanjiv Deva of Total Business Solutions, after studying my business plan, pointed out to me that I’m sending mixed messages. Right he is!
Nowhere in my planning attempts was there talk about ‘real’ chef work. Coming out of mechanical engineering that might not surprise you. It did surprise me however when Sanjiv pointed it out.
What comes up a lot when describing my business and calling is: education, inspiration, teaching, raised consciousness, entertainment, health awareness, culinary education… You get my drift.

So, if there is no catering, cooking, baking, feeding people – means: no chefing, what is it???

Yes?

What does one call a person who enjoys inspiring others to explore unknown culinary territory, that comes with the side effects of increased energy, wellbeing and fun? …and puts the responsibility for peoples’ health and food choices back to where it belongs: to the people themselves.

Demo class at Wise Cicada

This is a serious request for your, dear readers’, input.

Initial attempts: raw food teacher, culinary educator, living foods consultant… all sound a bit klutzy.

Teaching at Green Expo

So with my main service being raw food demo classes and hands-on trainings and workshops for lovely mainstream people as well as freaks like you and me ;-), what shall I call myself, apart from René Archner???

The raw BBQ Man

The raw vegan BBQ Man?

There is plenty of space below ↓ for your constructive comments. Asking for ‘baptism by fire’…

With great anticipation and much Love,

René
🙂

Chef training lecture

Superfoods 201 – the next chapter

Join us for our next journey into the mysterious realm of Superfoods. We are talking – in my humble opinion – about foods with high nutrient content and density that may positively affect our wellbeing, health and performance. Walking through any well stocked health food store, you will recognise them by their unusual names (at least in our Western understanding) and also their intriguingly high price tags – compared to the standard fare, we have become so used to.

Yum Berries

Many of these foods are sourced from pristine environments like the Himalayan mountains (Goji berries) and the Amazon rainforest – hence their ‘unusual’ names. These plants and their fruits and roots are oftentimes not farmed but wild-harvested which explains their high content in nutrients (non-depleted soils) and also the higher price compared to other foods.

Maqui berries

Foods in this category are Goji berries, Acai, Maca, Noni, Maqui, Suma, Sacha Inchi, Camu Camu, Chia seeds and many more. Many of these are supplied and distributed by companies like Matakana Superfoods. On their website you will also find much detailed information about the different Superfood products.

Superberries Maqui, Yum, Acai, Goji

Among the more ‘common’ superfoods are blueberries, young coconuts, apple cider vinegar, cacao, turmeric, green tea, wheatgrass, sprouts etc.

And yes, we are offering you another class around these preciously packed nutrient-rich foods. Exploring the ones we have not touched on in our last class on the subject, Superfoods 101. To name a few: Maqui, Yum, Mangosteen as well as some old friends like Maca and Cacao.

Superfood pralines

Coming up this
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012, 7-9.30pm
at the Wise Cicada Cafe in Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand

Your investment: NZD60
including all samples and the complete recipe booklet of the class.

This class will be centered around a systematic approach to using Superfoods in you daily diet. What (powder, berries) can you incorporate where (your green smoothie, almond milk) and how – for maximum benefit to your wellbeing, health and performance. With a bit of good luck we will have Kevin from Matakana Superfoods with us to introduce a few of his products and to answer your questions about the different power foods.

Seats are limited to 20 students. Book your space today!

Ring René to book on: 027 555 1622 or contact us here.

Alternatively go right ahead and confirm your booking by paying the course fee through our PayPal portal by clicking on the button below.

PayPal Buy Now

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday!
Warm regards,

René

🙂

PS: We still have room at New Zealand’s first hands-on Raw Chef Training, Level 1. I have extended the Early Bird rate till Monday, April 30, 2012. Book your space Now!

Rene teaching

Raw Cheese Cake- the secrets revealed

Here is the recipe!

Acai Goji Cheesecake

‘Finally!’ I hear you say 😉

First of all let me express my gratitude to Matthew Kenney and his book ‘Everyday Raw’ for inspiring me to venture into the realm of vegan raw cheese cake ‘imitations’ (far yummier than most of the baked dairy-based ones – apart from yours, mum ;-))

This recipe is not for the faint-hearted chef – as the ones who have attended my Raw Cheesecake Master Classes can confirm. You will have to run your high power blender with an open lid and fold over the filling with a rubber spatula while blending.

Cheese cake making

In my element at the Wise Cicada – making raw cheese cakes.

But don’t worry. I can happily supply you with custom made cakes of this kind upon request. Just drop me a line on our ‘Contact‘ page. As long as you are in Auckland, NZ… 🙂

White Chai and Chocolate Raw Cheesecake

And you are still looking for the recipe, right?!
OK, I will give you the non-chocolate version as a basis for your experiments. For a cacao alternative just add 1 cup of cacao powder in the very end. Be aware, that you are adding a whole cup of dry powder to a mixture that is already quite thick. More spatula work!!! …and watch the temperature of your filling mix! Once it starts steaming, you’ve left the realm of raw foods 😉 – and so have the life enzymes.
Only remedy in that case: Lots of extra Love.

Swirly Chai Chocolate Raw Cheesecake

Basic Raw Lemon Cheesecake

Inspired by Matthew Kenney, yet adjusted to fill a big pie shell
Yields a large round tart pan with 16-20 pieces

Crust
4c shredded coconut

1.5 c cashew flour

1 T coconut oil

4 T date paste

Filling
4c cashews

3/4c lemon juice

1c coconut sugar

1c coconut oil, melted

1/2c filtered water, if required

1 t vanilla powder

¼ c lemon zest

Crust

  1. Mix all ingredients together well in a food processor, starting with the dry ingredients, then adding the ‘wet’ ones.
  2. Press into plastic-lined fluted French tart pan to desired thickness. Make sure the rim of your crust has an even height and thickness all around!
  3. Chill crust in freezer for at least 15min or until ready to fill.

Filling

  1. Blend all ingredients in a powerful high-speed blender until very smooth. Start with cashews, coconut sugar and the water-based liquids. When the cashews resemble a smooth thick cream add coconut oil. The flavours can be adjusted last. Adjust liquids as required for the blender to still turn the mixture over. You will have to use the plunger or a spatula to help mixing the filling. Give your blender motor a break from time to time and monitor the temperature of your filling closely. Too much water will make your final cake runny and too little liquids will make your filling too thick for your blender to turn it over without burning a fuse.
  2. To fill the crust properly the blender should contain about 1.2-1.5l of mixture.
  3. Fill the crust and chill in freezer overnight.
  4. Remove from tart pan and wrap with plastic film. Label with flavour and production date.
  5. Store in freezer.
  6. Remove 15-20min prior to cutting and serving

Other flavours can be achieved with red grape juice, acai berry powder, goji berries, chai extract, chai- or cherry concentrate, goji/apricot, cranberry, 2c of melted frozen blueberry/strawberry etc. Make sure to reduce the amount of water accordingly!!!

Good luck!

René

🙂

PS: Next trick: make two different fillings in one pie shell!

Goji Chocolate Cheesecake halves

Raw Food Chef Training – Level 1, a first in New Zealand!

Are you ready for this?
New Zealand’s first Raw Chef Training!

Magnificent Birthday Cake

After many requests for this kind of teaching we decided to offer a very involving hands-on workshop setting over a long weekend. If you are keen to embark on a committed journey into the culinary world of raw foods then this training is for you. This will be the first raw food chef training in New Zealand.

We will offer this training in several stages over long weekends, so even if you have to travel from the South Island or Australia it will be easy to fit it into your schedule. For our local students we also offer to participate in the catering of a five course raw gourmet meal to apply their newly learned skills shortly after the weekend training.

Chad's Red Radish and Microgreen Salad

Level 1 has been taught from

Friday May 25th to Sunday May 27th, 2012
at Eden Valley Lodge in Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.

Next one coming up now, click here!

These are the topics we will cover:

  • Fri pm: Basics of raw foods, the practice of simple and delicious meals for the whole family, kitchen setup and basic skills.
    Afternoon Tea and Dinner
    Cream of Zucchini Soup
  • Sat: menu planning, breakfasts, salads, lunch and dinners, simple desserts
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    Rawdezvous Cafe display
  • Sun: ethnic cuisine, healing aspects of raw food, sprouting, juicing and fermented foods, dehydrated snacks
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    Raw Food Sushi
  • One or two weeks after: A five-course dinner catered by you and other graduates for 20 guests at the Wise Cicada Café
    Raw Gourmet Fine Dining

Full recipe book, all meals and follow-up support included.

The next Raw Chef Training, Level 1 education is coming up on the first weekend in December 2012. For more information click here.

The seats at this hands-on training are limited to 12 students to assure the maximum learning for everyone. We are receiving bookings as you are reading this.
Get in touch to reserve your space!

You can either ring René on +64 (0)27 555 1622 or e-mail us through our ‘Contact’ page here.

I am looking forward to your booking and a great training.

Warm regards,

René
🙂