Raw food gets a bad rap. People think you have to have lots of complicated equipment to make it and that it takes days to prepare anything out of a dedicated raw food cookbook. But chef Amber Shea Crawley is helping change minds and delight palates with her new collection Practically Raw. In recipes cleverly designed with variations, substitutions, and even cooked options, Crawley frees the reader to play around with living cuisine at her own pace.
Crawley’s Apple Pie Smoothie recipe (below) is a great example of her simple, welcoming style. Sweet, frosty, and creamy, this genius combo has become my favorite breakfast treat, not only because it’s delicious, but also because it takes only five minutes to whip up:
Apple Pie Smoothie
Yield: about 2 cups
I’ve made this as a bedtime snack just as often as I’ve made it for breakfast. You’ll feel like you’re eating a big, chilled slice of homemade apple pie—just without all the chewing!
1 large apple, peeled if desired, cored, and chopped
3/4 cup almond milk (commercial or homemade)
6 to 8 walnut halves, dry or soaked and drained
3 pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. Add a few ice cubes and blend again if a colder smoothie or thicker texture is desired. Serve immediately.
Almond milk: apple juice or any other nondairy milk
Dates: 1 tablespoon maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut nectar, any other liquid sweetener, or stevia to taste
Include 2 to 4 tablespoons soaked and drained raw cashews for an extra-rich and creamy version.
Sprinkle each serving of the finished smoothie with 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.
Include a handful of spinach to make it a Green Apple Pie Smoothie.
Per cup: 147 calories, 5.1g fat (trace sat), 25.3g carbs, 4g fiber, 2.1g protein
Excerpted with permission from Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make ©2012 by Amber Shea Crawley. Published with permission of Vegan Heritage Press http://www.veganheritagepress.com
Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.