Healthy lemon slice + a bakers guide to raw food

comments 15
Food & Recipes / Gluten free / Snacks

Lemon slice 5Lemon Slice 4

I first fell for the raw brownie, then the raw bliss balls and pretty soon I was riding the raw dessert train all the way to cheesecake nirvana. You could say I’m a baker turned master of the food processor.

So what’s all the fuss about raw desserts? And is it really better for you? The raw food movement is gaining huge momentum in foodie circles, fuelled by green smoothies and the urge to get back to food in it’s natural form. I was introduced to eating raw by the  ‘rockstar’ of raw food and lecturer at my school David Wolfe and more recently at a workshop run by the lovely Maz from Sadhanna Kitchen. Both advocate the eating of food as close to it’s natural form as possible, and have made careers from sharing their love for all things uncooked.

Put simply, the main principals of raw food are:

  • A diet made up entirely of raw, organic, uncooked, unprocessed food is essential for optimal health
  • Heating food above 46 degrees destroys the digestive enzymes and reduces the nutritional value of food

Raw foodies are in most cases vegan, and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed.

Now, as with any kind of new fad – I always believe a considered approach is key. I believe there’s ups and downs to every way of eating and new ‘diet’ – and as long as you’re doing your best to eat whole natural foods then you’re on the right track. Let’s just say I don’t see myself ditching my favourite pumpkin soups, hot cups of tea or comforting bowls of porridge any time soon! Plus for interest sake, in traditional Chinese medicine a diet made up of entirely raw food is not encouraged as it is believed to create an imbalance in the body and over-stresses the digestive system. Ahh yes welcome to the confusing world of nutrition!

One thing I do 100% believe in is the huge benefits that come with upping the amount of fresh unprocessed food we eat every day. Getting those nutrients in, without messing about with them in any way can only lead to good things for your insides. Me? I simply try for a bit of raw in every meal, be it a salad on the side of a main meal, a green smoothie in the morning, or a vegetable juice to really get things cranking. ‘Raw for 30 days’ is a fab documentary about raw food and it’s effect on Type 2 Diabetes if you’re interested in finding out more.

So by now you’re thinking – when is she going to the raw lemon slice? Okay hold onto your hats, because the very best part about the increased popularity of raw food – is most certainly raw desserts. Picture your favourite dessert, and then think of eating it minus the processed sugar, refined flour or butter. Then picture it still tasting amazing, and being full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre. I don’t know about you but that calls for a happy dance.

Raw desserts use a smart combination of nuts, grains, seeds, nut milks, natural sweeteners and fruit to re-create traditional treats in a more natural and healthy way. For example cacao + dates = a rich chocolatey flavour. Processed cashews can be turned into a creamy base for sauces and desserts. Combine nuts and dates  and hey presto, you’ve got a sweet tart or slice base.  Cool right?

Lemon Slice 2Lemon Slice 1

As I mentioned I’ve dabbled in the odd raw delight, from cheesecake, trufflesbliss balls to of course my favourite raw brownie. Today I decided to create a healthy (and raw!) version of a lemon slice. Traditionally made with granita biscuits, condensed milk, and sugar;  my raw version utilises bananas, dates and oats instead. I’ve taken this slice to a few parties and afternoon teas and it’s always met with a lot of enthusiasm. Be prepared for questions such as: ‘so, this is healthy?’ Yep. ‘And no refined sugar?’ Nope. Really? Yep.  :)

What you’ll need:

Base:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (use gluten free oats or substitute buckwheat groats to make the recipe gluten free)
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Icing:

  • 1/4 of a cup of raw cashews
  • 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut
  • 2 small, ripe bananas
  • 1/4 of a cup of coconut oil, room tempurature
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Zest of 1 large lemon

How to go about it:

  1. For the base – process the oats, coconut and dates in a food processor until it forms a crumb that sticks together in your fingers. Press the mixture into your slice tray to form the thick base. Try to keep this layer even by pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon.
  2. Next, blend the icing together. Process the coconut and cashews together until forms a fine crumb. Then add the remaining ingredients into your processor and whiz until smooth. Adjust to meet you taste – more lemon, sweetener or perhaps a few more cashews if you want a thicker consistency. Go nuts!
  3. Spread evenly onto the base and sprinkle with coconut. Leave in the fridge overnight to set.

Ebony x

The Author

Aussie food lover, holistic health coach, adventure seeker and marketer. Packing the happy & healthy into every day.

15 Comments

  1. Freya says

    Great Post Ebs! I like how you touched on the pros and cons of the raw food diet. In Western Medicine also, I have had doctors recommend that if you suffer from bloating and digestive problems, eating cooked and not raw foods is better for you as they are easier to digest. Makes it tricky to figure out what works for the individual with everyone advocating only Raw! Being the sweet tooth myself- I am always up for trying a new dessert. And a healthy dessert made with lemon coconut and banana? Sounds Amazing! I’ll road test this tonight. x

    • Thanks Freya! I totally agree – there is no way of eating that suits every single person! I think raw food is amazing, but you don’t need to be super strict about it. Let me know how the lemon slice goes! xx

  2. Cat says

    In the fridge waiting for it to set,, slight mishap when I forgot to add the bananas. Topping tasted good both ways :). with the base it doesn’t tell you when to add the coconut (though I could be blind). Can’t wait to try the finish product

    • Hi Cat – brilliant! You’re absolutely right about the coconut, I’ve now edited the post to include it when processing the base. Sorry about that! I hope you enjoy the finished result! Yum. Ebony x

  3. Jules says

    I’d love to try this recipe but can’t have fructose, hence medjool dates are off limits. What could I substitute them with as this slices looks delicious!

    • Hi Jules, thanks for getting in touch. Hmm it’s a bit tricky as the dates are the real binder of this recipe. However some date alternatives in raw desserts include bananas, apricot paste, coconut, apple sauce, softened tofu or mango paste. Have an experiment and see what works for you! : ) Ebony x

  4. Hi Ebony, This looks yummy and I’m super keen to give it a go. Just wondering how long it lasts for in the fridge? Thanks Nicola

    • Hi Nicola! Awesome – let me know how they turn out! The only thing in the slice I can see going a bit funny after a while would be the mashed banana. So I probably recommend eating within a week. Enjoy! Ebony x

    • Cat says

      Hi Nicola,

      Mine lasted over a week, it went a bit soggy towards the end but still super yum.

      I’ll be making another batch soon

      Cat

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  7. Molly says

    Hi Ebony,
    I just made the recipe and my base did not set! It is too crumbly! I am not sure what went wrong as I blended the ingredients for ages and it didn’t seem to stick!
    What can I do?
    Thanks,
    Molly

    • Hey Molly! What kind of dates are you using? Sometimes dates can be a bit dry – so try adding a few more to the base ingredients until it starts to come together in the food processor. Another option is adding a little coconut oil to help everything stick! I hope this helps! Ebony x

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