For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with cookbooks. While in high school in the 80’s, I can remember spending what to me was a fortune at the time on a big hardback Martha Stewart Entertaining cookbook. I had no use for it because I certainly didn’t know how to cook, nor would I be preparing elaborate meals for company any time soon. Still, I’ll never forget the excitement of snuggling up with that book on a rainy fall afternoon and losing myself for hours.
Today, I own hundreds of cookbooks and it takes a lot to get me excited.
I’m lucky to be sharing with you a recipe today from what I think is one of the best cookbooks of 2014, my friend Tess Master’s book, The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks–100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes!.
If you don’t know Tess, she is the blogger behind theblendergirl.com. She writes gluten free vegan recipes for smoothies, meals and desserts.
On a personal note, she’s the kind of person that makes the world a little brighter. She has a spirit that flies and takes everything she touches with her. When you read her work and see the amazing photos in her book, you get swept up in this spirit.
You start to think you could fly too.
You might be thinking that a book entitled The Blender Girl is just another smoothie book. If you’ve tried any of Tess’s smoothie recipes you would know that that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but this book is so much more. Tess manages to create appetizers, salads and main dishes that all utilize the blender in at least one component. Think dishes like Fresh Spring Rolls with Orange Almond Sauce and Twisted Caesar Pleaser.
Some of my favorites are the Tastes Like Ice Cream Kale smoothie, which will win over the most skeptical green smoothie critic, and the Green Queen salad. The Alkaline Tacos are also to die for! Even the carnivores in my family loved them.
In addition to over the top recipes, The Blender Girl also has some really amazing resources, with details on soaking, sprouting and dehydrating. (I even learned something about quinoa if you can imagine!) The section where she talks about eating a probiotic-rich alkaline diet is a must read! After reading this book you will feel like you know Tess. You will also be motivated, which I think is really key to making a book stand out these days.
Just so I can show you what a genius in the kitchen Tess is, she’s agreed to let me share one of the recipes from The Blender Girl with you today. How she manages to make a dessert be both healthy and decadent is simply amazing, don’t you think?
- 1 cup (160g) raw whole almonds
- 1/2 cup (80g) firmly packed chopped pitted dates, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup (18g) cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup (240ml) coconut oil in liquid form
- 1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup (180ml) raw agave nectar
- 1/2 cup (35g) cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups (420g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- Pinch of natural salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- Shaved vegan chocolate, to garnish (optional)
- Finely grated orange zest, to garnish (optional)
- To make the crust, grease a 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25cm) springform pan with coconut oil. Put the
- almonds, dates, and cacao powder into your food processor and process until well combined and the
- mixture forms a dough. Form the dough into a ball; if the dough doesn’t hold together, you may need to
- add more dates and process again. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
- To make the filling, put all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed and blend for 2 to
- minutes, until rich and creamy. To achieve the smoothest filling, stop the machine periodically and
- scrape down the sides of the container. Pour the filling into the crust. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze the torte for 8 hours.
- To serve, transfer the pan from the freezer to the fridge at least 11/2 hours before serving; let the torte
- defrost in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan and then cut the
- torte into slices with a very sharp knife. Keeping the slices together, return the torte to the fridge to
- continue defrosting for at least an hour before serving.
For more recipes like this one and to become inspired, check out The Blender Girl now!