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!"
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?