Monday, April 25, 2011

Ani Phyo's Fresh Mango Cobbler

If you haven't entered my blogger giveaway to win a a copy of Chef A.j.'s book, Unprocessed, it's not too late. If you haven't read the responses, I highly recommend that too. Very inspiring stuff in there!

The long Cleveland winter is officially over! It's almost May, so I think it's safe to assume it won't snow again. It's almost 70 degrees and the sun is shining. My windows are wide open as I type this and as warm  wind blows through my living room. I'm grateful and happy that Spring is here.

I'm also grateful that my family and I were invited over to a friend's house for brunch yesterday. When I asked what I could bring, the host requested a dessert. "Perfect," I thought, "perfect for a girl without a kitchen! I can bring a raw vegan dessert."

Are you familiar with the craze that is raw vegan desserts? I was first exposed to the concept when I met Toby, a woman who was eating exclusively raw. She served me a raw vegan key lime pie and it was extraordinary, along with everything else she made. I toyed with the idea of going raw for a few weeks, mostly because of the lure of eating a lot of very sweet, very rich desserts. You see, one of the promises of "going raw" is that dessert is practically a daily indulgence.

"Enjoy live-food desserts without guilt or worry! By eating live-food desserts in this section, you might actually lose weight!"
Bull s#!t.

That was a quote from raw food guru and multi cookbook author Ani Phyo. But I won't hold it against her. I have to take responsibility for being an idiot. In the time that I spent being "raw" I think I gained ten pounds. "Lose weight" my a$$!

My recommendation? When you do decide to indulge in a dessert, go raw. No question. Raw desserts are basically composed of three things: fruit, nuts and dates. So at least you are getting some vitamins and minerals with your sugar. But don't be fooled, these treats should be the exception, not the rule, of a healthy diet.

So when it came time to have some fun making a dessert, I went right to Ani. I've got a copy of one of her cookbooks, Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. In it she raves about her Fresh Mango Cobbler. And I have to agree, it ranks up there with the best desserts ever. It could go head to head in a competition with Jane Esselstyn's Incredible Unnamed Dessert (which was actually inspired by a Chef A.j. recipe called "Chocolate Fundue"). During the pre-brunch taste test, everyone in my family loved it.

Even the incredibly picky Maya!

I thought it would be nice to present the Fresh Mango Cobbler in a trifle bowl. So pretty!

Want to experiment with an Apple Cobbler version of this? Check out Chefjellynow's Raw Apple Crumble.  I'm definitely making that one the next time I'm asked to bring a dessert. His blog, The Real Meal Today, is very new. Let's give this Nutritarian Chef at Whole Foods the Healthy Girl's Kitchen warm welcome (and by that, I mean check out his blog and leave a comment)!
Have you caught wind of the raw vegan dessert craze? Are you/were you sucked in by it's allure like I was?


peaceful mama said...

YES! I totally agree, & was sucked in by it's allure! I will tell you this, though...I did 30 days of 100% raw including date/nut/cacao brownies and I did feel a LOT of energy LOL. I think agave is horrible & it gives me a bad headache..I think the agave raw desserts are a total scam (not "healthy"). And then date/nuts are a bad combo for the digestion. I'm still trying to get over my date/nut dessert addiction!

JL goes Vegan said...

That cobbler looks gorgeous!

I sure didn't go higher raw to lose weight (I'm going cuckoo for nuts and avocado right now!) I did go higher raw for the nutrition benefits--it's done wonders for some of my digestive issues. And, now that it's spring (I started higher raw in the winter,) I think I'll love it even more. So many wonderful fruits and veggies to eat raw this summer! Can't wait!

(I should add, I'm also one of those people who didn't lose weight going vegan, either. But I also didn't go vegan to lose weight.)

The Collage Experience said...

My daughter was raw for 7 years -- until she got pregnant and started having so many cravings - so she switched to vegan. Now raising a healthy, happy vegan three-year-old.

I had been vegan at the time (about 5 years ago) and decided to try raw because my daughter loved it so much. I lasted about two weeks!!! Went back to vegan where I felt a whole world of choices opened. :)

Note: My daughter lives in NYC -- seems vegetarian, vegan, raw restaurants are almost as popular as Starbucks. (ok, bit of an exaggeration but there are so many choices). C'mon Cleveland, give us a hand here.

Carol1one said...

When I input my foods into The Daily Plate last night I saw "one date = 66 calories"! And raw desserts use a LOT of dates (and nuts). So I think I knew to be wary...

I'm in love with "Raw Apple Crumble". I posted it on Dr. Fuhrman, from McDougall's newsletter (with a spotlighted chef). Lots of apple slices in proportion to the dates/nuts. And it's the kind of "dessert" you dream about in the middle of the night! :O)

1 date = 66 calories? I still can't get over that! (Good to know, though)

Jane said...

I was TOOOOOTALLY sucked into the raw dessert craze BY chef AJ! I did not even know what a date was until I had her chocolate fondue. That is what inspired me to make it as much as I do - yet I prefer it with (cringe) no cocoa, cut into squares or ribboned with no nuts.

vegan for 333 a day said...

I adore raw desserts... but rarely make them due to the cost and insane amount of calories!.. but when I worked in restaurants...oh I had so much fun making amazing, decadent raw desserts... oh yeah!!

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