Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A "Raw Revolution"-ary idea

I have a confession to make. Remember the slice of pie I posted the other day? Well, it was somewhat easier to make than I led you to believe. It's true that I got the idea to whip one up after viewing the DVD, but I didn't actually use their crust recipe (although if I had the time, it would've been my first choice).

As a busy mom on two (a 7-year-old and a just turned 7-month-old, who's a bit of a handful at the moment), I sometimes have no other choice but to cut a few corners. Although I have a reputation for mainly posting raw recipes from scratch, lately I've been more open to the use of convenience products, doing a "semi-homemade" thing like a raw Sandra Lee.

Now, I don't live right next to a Whole Foods or other health food store, so I get even more excited by any raw convenience food available in my local grocery store. Its small selection of Raw Revolution bars (I think they only carry 3 or 4 flavors) have kept me on the raw track in a pinch, as they are easy to find when hunger strikes while I'm out and about.

Curious about the other flavor options (specifically the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough I've heard so much about), I contacted the company (Raw Indulgence) to see if I could try some more. I have to say that I was truly impressed with its quick and polite response. To top it all off, I was even more surprised with the generous number of full-size samples in the box sent to me (Thanks Raw Indulgence!).

There were two of every flavor, except for only one Apple Cinnamon Organic Greens Super Food Bar and five of the Tropical Mango (I think it is because its about the same size as the apple cinnamon and the cookie dough that was absent from the box; but, I'm not complaining, as they really did send a lot).

Lucky for my readers, I opted to save one of each flavor (except for the apple cinnamon, since there was just one; I really need my greens) for a giveaway. I thought I'd pick two winners, one gets the chocolate flavors, while the other gets the chocolate-free.

The chocolate flavors include Hazelnut & Chocolate (I need to ask my grocer to add this one), Chocolate & Cashew, Chocolate & Coconut, and Raisin & Chocolate. If you like chocolate, post that you do for one entry and mention/link this post on your blog for entry No. 2.

As for you chocolate-free fans (or if you just want to try a break from the chocolaty stuff), tell me you want yours cocoa-free for entry No. 1 and link to this post to increase your chances of winning (don't forget to add a separate comment for the extra entry). Flavors include Cashew & Agave Nectar, Spirulina & Cashew (I'm a big fan of anything with spirulina), Coconut & Agave Nectar, and of course, Tropical Mango.

Since I had some extra Tropical Mango bars, I decided to dress one up a bit. Raw convenience foods are even better when you give them your personal touch. So, it's no surprise to see mine formed into a cupcake shape, using a reusable silicone cupcake liner/mold. It is topped with a mound of mango and some coconut flakes to complete the look.

Unfortunately, although it looked like a cupcake, it was too moist to replicate the crumb-like texture I strive to achieve in my usual raw cupcake recipes. With that in mind, I recommended opting for the chocolate flavors when forming your "semi-rawmade" cupcakes. The cocoa in them helps to absorb some of the oil from the nuts in the bars. I also advise using a fork to break apart the bar before gently reforming it into a flakier (yet still rather dense like a brownie) "cake."

Both the cocoa-based and chocolate-free flavors also work well for forming pie/tart crusts, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post. For example, the apple pie slice pictured at the top, is actually comprised of a Cashew & Agave Nectar bar, molded to hold an apple, date paste (I had some on hand from making my own raw cupcake recipes) and pie spice filling. I reserved some excess bar pieces to form the crosshatch pattern on top and garnished it with more apple pieces.

So if you're interested in getting your hands on some of these bars, pick some up at a store near you, and/or enter this giveaway (the directions already stated in this post) by Tuesday, March 30, 2010. I'll pick two winners (one for the chocolate and one for the chocolate-free flavors) on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Good luck everyone :-)