Thank you for sun-kissed afternoons, spring’s first bounty of berries, fresh sprigs of mint and smart, smart friends.
Since returning from Vida Vegan Con, I’ve been living in awe of the incredible impact my friends have had on my world. People I adore have introduced me (and millions more) to banana soft-serve, overnight oats, and green smoothies. In these small ways, they have transformed the way I eat, which has changed the way I feel and in turn the way I interact with the world around me.
One of those people, who has been cultivating the future of our food landscape is Amber Shea Crawley. I’m sure many of you have read her blog for years, followed her journey at the 105 Academy (now the Matthew Kenney Academy) and enjoyed many memorable meals with her recipes.
Recently she found a way to garner even more of my adoration. Practically Raw Desserts, her second book, is packed full of all my favourite treats to play with in the kitchen: creative, simple, and delicious desserts. Her recipes are flexible and fun – and the results are true celebrations of the brilliant flavours of real food.
With ten chapters, Practically Raw Desserts has something to please everyone’s palate. I enjoyed the range of recipes from classic chocolate truffles to devil’s food cupcakes or marzipan buckeye bars. The directions provide lots of options to accommodate most kitchens (so no dehydrator required!!!). Although, like most raw recipes my blender and food processor saw a lot of action as I created the confections Amber inspired.
After a quick flip through the pages I knew I wanted to make a tart. Fruit tarts are always stunning and such crowd pleasers. Amber’s Strawberries & Creme Tart promised the perfection of pairing berries and coconut cream. I used blackberries and raspberries as strawberries still need a few weeks of ripening in my area, even with the switch it was swoon-worthy.
Next, I thought I’d try Amber’s famous Five-Minute Blondies which were terrific. They are sweet but so packed full of healthy fat and protein that I found myself enjoying a square as an afternoon snack or as a balancing bite with my morning coffee.
Then things got a little more decadent with the Marzipan Buckeye Bars. Think: almond butter, coconut sugar and chocolate. So…so…so…good.
Finally, I made a beautiful batch of Classic Cacao Truffles. There is no denying the incredible creaminess that cashew butter imparts to a delicious, rich ganache. These would be fantastic to wrap up to share with your favourite friends, or perhaps to use to make some new ones.
Now can you see why I’m so grateful for my smart, talented, friends? They make life so deliciously fun.