creativity, kitchen credit, and some raw treats to finish
I’m going to get a bit controversial here.
I’ve been thinking about cooking…creating in the kitchen…. and eating today. What a surprise, no? Anyway, on this train of thought, I have come to the conclusion that you cannot be a well- rounded cook if you can’t cook without a recipe. You just can’t. It’s like being in a covers band, playing at the pub on a Saturday night, and likening yourself to Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys. Ha, good one, mate. I’d even go as far as saying you can’t be a “good” cook if you can’t operate alone; drawing from only your knowledge, using the skills you have honed… cooking intuitively.
It’s all well and good to be able to replicate someone else’s recipe… very commendable even. If you look at recipe-cooking honestly, you can’t really take credit for the dish in it’s entirety, can you? You can be credited for being skilled in kitchen-related techniques and reading comprehension, yes – but the real creativity and vision came from somebody else. I think this is a huge issue in the food-blog realm, and a massive can of worms within internet ethics…. here’s a very succinct example from Allie (who links back to me and my recipe she tried).
I think cooking without a recipe is the best way to improve as a cook. Take risks, combine different ingredients, make mistakes. It’s the only way to truly learn in my opinion.
I’m really into making raw cookies at the moment. I’m really getting the hang of this dehydrating thing… it took me quite a few goes to get the knack, but I’m really loving raw “baking” now. I suppose this is another example of how cooking is a constant adventure of learning, creating, making mistakes and having (eventual) success… you’ve just got to stick with it.
- 1C raw buckwheat groats, ground into a flour (use a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder)*
- 1C grated raw pumpkin (losely packed into cup measure)
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 1/8t ground cloves
- 1/16t ground nutmeg
- 1t lemon juice
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2t sea salt
- 1/3C chocolate (chips/nibs/or grated – whatever you have… I used some of my home made raw vegan chocolate)
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until a very sticky dough is formed.
- Wet hands, roll into small balls and flatten.
- Place in dehydrator at 60 degrees for 6-8 hours (oven on lowest setting with door open may work here too… they don’t take too long if you like a soft cookie) just keep testing (eating) them every few hours until you get the consistency you like.
These are particularly good warm straight from the dehydrator; the chocolate is gooey and the cookie soft. They harden up on cooling, but the bonus to this is that they can be garnished.
I decided to sandwich these together with a cacao/avocado frosting type thing…. I totally practised what I preached in my opening rant. I know I have some sort of recipe for an avocado chocolatey spread somewhere on this blog but a) I couldn’t be bothered looking and b) I enjoy just ‘winging it’ most of the time.
I simply whizzed in the food processor 1 large avocado, 2T cacao powder, 8 large pitted medjool dates, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of agave syrup. Taste as you go, and you can’t go to wrong in my experience (actually, you can go very, very wrong, but I’m trying to be encouraging here).