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This is a wonderful frosting that isn’t loaded with refined sugars or artificial food dyes. If you wish for this frosting to be more on the yellow side to reflex the lemon flavor, you can add small pinches of Turmeric until the color you desire is reached. Below I am sharing/teaching you why I used particular ingredients when creating raw frosting. Enjoy!
Soaking the cashews is key (!) and this step should never be skipped. Soaking causes the cashews to swell, giving a bit more volume for the money and it softens them which is vital for creating creamy texture. It also helps to reduce the phytic acid that resides in all nuts, which will make it easier on your digestive system.
Whether you use fresh Young Thai Coconuts or canned full fat coconut milk, this ingredients helps give body, creaminess and hint of coconut undertone. It is a healthy fat that also acts as an emulsifier, brining the recipe together. If you can’t find Young Thai coconuts you can use the canned, but do your homework. Aim for organic, BPA free, and free of other ingredients.
I used maple syrup because it is more alkalizing for the body than most other liquid sweeteners. You can use raw agave, coconut syrup or any other liquid sweetener that you like to use. But keep in mind that each sweetener has a slightly different flavor profile.
The role of vanilla in sweet goods is like the role of salt on the savory side: it enhances all the other flavors in the recipe. You can use vanilla bean (seeds only), powdered vanilla, vanilla extract or vanilla paste. There are actually quite a few health benefits to vanilla. I won’t get into that here, but did you know that the anti-inflammatory compounds in vanilla are destroyed by excess heat? If the vanilla pods or powder are improperly processed and/or exposed to higher than optimal temperatures, the benefits are lost. Yay, for raw frosting!
I use salt in just about every dish I make. Using salt in desserts does not make the dessert salty. It just wakes up all the flavors in the dish. Salt has the power to change the nature of whatever you’re eating, as it elevates and balances the flavors. But it’s all about choosing the right salt, and in the right amount. The biggest offense would be to use your basic iodized table salt. It’s best to use natural sea salt that compliments the ingredients in the dessert. I have written more regarding Himalayan pink salt, click (here). Even the tiniest grain of salt is important.
It is a healthy fat but also gives the frosting the overall body. Once chilled below 76 degrees it firms up, making this frosting perfect for decorating. But not all coconut is equal. Most commercial coconut oils are refined, bleached, and deodorized. Some are even hydrogenated.
Look for coconut oil that is a virgin, cold-pressed, vitamin E rich, “biologically pure” one that is identical to unextracted oil from coconuts. To make virgin coconut oil, fresh coconut meat is grated and expeller-pressed to produce coconut milk, which is then centrifuged to separate it into solid components, oil, and water with no heating, refining, bleaching, or deodorizing.
Sunflower lecithin is made up of essential fatty acids and B vitamins. It helps to support healthy function of the brain, nervous system and cell membranes. It also lubricates joints; and helps break up cholesterol in the body. It comes in two forms, powder and liquid. I prefer the raw sunflower lecithin. It has a thick, dark and sticky consistency with a nutty-seedy rich aroma and surprising pleasant flavor. Setting aside all the nutritional benefits, it is a natural emulsifier that binds the fats from nuts with water creating a creamy consistency. To read more about lecithin, please click (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.