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I'm lucky in that my family is super open-minded, particularly when it comes to the culinary world. They've always been big on trying new things and have always had a strong leaning toward healthier foods. Of them all, I'm actually seen as the picky one. Strange, I know, given that one of my favourite foods is nutritional yeast...I remember once suggesting we go out to Veggie Haven, a vegan restaurant I wanted to try, only to find out that having been there three times in the last month or so, were wanting to try something new. I was a bit surprised at this, given that I am the only vegan of the bunch...
Anyway, I am generally the one who makes the dessert at family dinners, birthdays, the such. When I was younger, I would make mostly mereinge items - such as mereinge baskets filled wih fruit and whipped cream - and truffles. Since I've become vegan and gluten-free, I've become more creative, expanding my repertoire, and have made animal-free cheesecakes, a lot of mousses, a yule log and creme brulees. Discovering raw cuisine, I've made raw cheesecakes and more mousses. My family is indiscriminate when it comes to good tasting food. As long as it's delicious, they're happy and not too concerned with what's in it. If it's delicious and healthy - well, that's the ultimate goal in all our culinary creations.
For my mom's recent birthday, I made raw cinnamon rolls and almond cream, made from some of her favourite dessert foods: hazelnuts, figs and coconut. The rolls were a variation of this recipe.
1¼ cup hazelnut pulp (leftover from making hazelnut milk)
1¼ cup ground flaxseed
1½ tablespoons cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
3/4 cup soft pitted dates, packed
1/2 cup dried figs (heaping quarter cup)
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
In food processor, process dates, figs and water. You may need a bit more water to get it smooth. You'll still have bits of date skin, but it should all be of blended consistency.
In a bowl, mix the hazelnut pulp, flax, cinnamon and sea salt. Add coconut oil, agave and mix well. Add enough date paste to get a sticky dough consistency - you should be able to form a ball.
Spread mixture into a rectangle on a square of parchment paper. Form a layer on this rectangle with the date/fig mixture. Using the parchment paper, roll the rectangle. It should be wide enough that it rolls once.
With a sharp knife, slice 1.5-2" segments.
1 cup almonds, soaked 8 hours, well rinsed
3/4c water, as needed
2T coconut oil
Blend in a blender until smooth. You may need a little more or a little less water depending on your blender.
Spoon cream over roll, serve with a side of blueberries. The tartness of the berries goes incredibly well with the sweetness of the rolls.