If I thought the label vegan was stigmatizing, never mind what people think when you tell them you are eating raw food! I have had friends flat out refuse to go to a raw restaurant with me (where’s the meat? where’s the heat? they exclaimed).
Eating raw foods could be as simple a summer salad, or snacking on some fresh fruit, which are not too horrific in the slightest. For those eating only raw foods (not me, don’t worry), this would quickly become boring! This is when it becomes exciting, because the experimentation in raw foods has created some luscious treats, perfect during the hot summer when you don’t want to turn on your stove or oven.
Summer berries are at their prime right now and I know the virtues of eating berries, plain, unadorned, in all their glory.
Let me fill you in on a secret: there is food synergy at play. 1+1 does not equal 2. Combine your favourite summer berries and top with a nutty topping for a delicious crisp. No oven required.
This is the second secret: macerate your berries. Blend your berries. Use a portion of your berries to create a sweet juice, just as if you baked your crumble and it is oozing those lovely fruit juices. I cringed when I mashed my blackberries (my beautiful blackberries!), but it is what brings this dessert to the next level. It isn’t just berries and nuts.
I was inspired by the recipe in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth and Raw Food Made Easy to create my own Raw Mixed Berry Crisp. I used blackberries and raspberries, which were a wonderful combination, but choose your favourites (blackberry-peach? raspberry-mango? blueberry-pomegranate?). The cinnamon-almond-date topping would work with any fruit! If you don’t plan to eat everything at once, I suggest keeping the topping separate from the fruit. Sprinkle over top just prior to serving… because if you aren’t going to eat it for dessert, you may as well have it for breakfast! :)
Raw Mixed Berry Crisp
1/2 cup almonds
1/8 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup raisins
2 Medjool Dates, pitted
1 tbsp coconut sugar, maple syrup or agave
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups blackberries
2.5 cups raspberries
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1. Pulse almonds, coconut, cinnamon, raisins, dates, sugar and salt in a food processor until coarse. Do not over-process.
2. Take 2 cups of berries and mash with a fork. Combine with remainder of berries and nutmeg. Add sugar to taste.
3. Divide berries between 4 ramekins and top with almond mixture.
(For individual servings, I would mash 1/2 cup fruit and add to 1 cup fruit, and top with 1/4 of the topping)