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I’m really, really happy I made these. A little while ago, I watched this charming little video and knew that I needed some macaroons in my life relatively soon. Inspired and excited, I hit the kitchen in a huge way. A huge, raw and dehydrated kind of way (I’ve included instructions for making them in the oven too). I worked from a favourite recipe of mine, incorporated some chia seeds and almond meal just to boost up the satiety factor and some chai spices to warm me up all cozy. They’re perfectly crisp on the outside and almost fudgy on the inside

I love them with tea or when I want a bit of something chocolatey but! Aside from the maple syrup, none of these ingredients are exactly local. I do love raw desserts. I think they’re amazing little feats of deliciousness, but I get this little guilt thing happening when I start to enjoy them more often. The really good ones depend heavily on exotic, imported ingredients. I guess most locally-focused coffee enthusiasts have to contemplate this issue sooner or later. I’ve gotten so used to their constant availability that to think about life without chocolate, vanilla beans or coffee is well… heavy. Other than discussing the virtues of moderation, I’m not sure what else I can say about this topic… Food for thought I guess. Fudgy, sweet, spicy and chewy food at that.

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chocolate chai macaroons with chia seeds
adapted from Raw Food Real World
serves: makes about 30
notes: If you decide to bake them in the oven, they will be more cookie-like and smooth on the outside and less fudgy. Also, if you’re a raw purist, go for agave instead of maple syrup.

3 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup cocoa powder (I used raw cacao, but any type would be fine)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
tiniest pinch of ground cloves
couple twists of black pepper
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, lightly warmed to liquify
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F if using an oven.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, chia seeds, cocoa powder, almond meal, sea salt, spices and water. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract and stir again until fully combined and no dry cocoa powder/almond meal remains.

Cover and place dough/mixture into the fridge for about 15 minutes. The chia seeds do their thing and really bind the mix, making it much easier and less messy to scoop.

For the oven: drop heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture onto a parchment lined sheet. No need to space them out too much. Place them in the oven and bake for about 2 hours or until firm and dry on the outside.

For the dehydrator: drop heaped tablespoonfuls onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 6-8 hours if you want them fudgy and longer if you want some chewiness. Also, I have a really budget dehydrator by Nesco. I just dropped the mix onto its grated layers and went with it. Maybe if you have a high roller type like an Excalibur you need to line the sheets with something? No idea.

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  • Ashlae29/09/2011 - 6:16 pm

    Holy. Yum. These look delicious – and I just so happen to have everything in my kitchen to make them.ReplyCancel

  • Charissa29/09/2011 - 9:30 pm

    I love, love, love homemade macaroons…at home, we’re making these a lot! It’s something we all can eat (some of have allergies, or try to avoid sugar, wheat) so it’s perfect!!!

    I like the chai twist to it!ReplyCancel

    • Laura30/09/2011 - 11:32 am

      It’s definitely the allergen/sensitivity friendly dessert of choice around here… except for people who don’t like coconut. But those people are crazy anyway ;)ReplyCancel

  • anna30/09/2011 - 12:50 am

    I love how the coconut taste stays in your mouth, and the chia seeds are a bonus too! Lovely dessert!ReplyCancel

  • Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit30/09/2011 - 7:53 am

    I love that you warmed them up by adding cinnamon and ginger. I love ginger and chocolate but have never thought to add the two in my macaroonsReplyCancel

    • Laura30/09/2011 - 11:31 am

      My favourite cookie of all time is a gingery chocolate crinkle rolled in cinnamon sugar. Such a perfect combination, especially in the cooler months.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley01/10/2011 - 8:31 pm

    Wow, these look amazing and so easy to make. Can’t wait to make them. When r u writing a cookbook?!ReplyCancel

  • Isobelle02/10/2011 - 12:40 am

    These look wonderful! I will have to try these out.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda02/10/2011 - 11:14 pm

    The spices in these macaroons sound delish! I’m sensing these in my future!ReplyCancel

  • Jo03/10/2011 - 2:33 am

    These look great! Just wondering if you would be able to substitute a different kind of oil for the coconut oil, or do you need to have an oil that is solid at room temperature?ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/10/2011 - 8:16 am

      In terms of structure and everything, I think any oil would work really. But the extra virgin coconut imparts a lot of rich, coconut-y flavour. Perhaps another nut oil? Or are you allergic to nuts? Extra virgin olive might be neat. I’ve always loved it paired with chocolate…ReplyCancel

  • Cookie and Kate10/10/2011 - 12:15 am

    I’m so intrigued by your macaroons! Cardamom, chia seeds, black pepper… I never would have thought to combine the three!ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/10/2011 - 7:51 am

      The first batch was waaay too spicy! Went a little crazy with the chai thing and everyone was kind of… wincing when they tried them. Oops. These are a perfectly restrained and balanced version promise!ReplyCancel

  • ana19/11/2011 - 4:11 am

    Looks delicious!
    One question: I don’t have a dehydrator so I’ll try to do it with my oven….on what temperature should I dry them?


    • Laura19/11/2011 - 8:26 am

      200 degrees Farenheit! They will be more cookie-ish if I remember right.ReplyCancel

  • joanne17/09/2012 - 2:33 am

    I’m trying eat healthier sweets, and was wondering if yacon syrup could be substituted for maple syrup?ReplyCancel

    • Laura18/09/2012 - 12:36 pm

      Hi Joanne,
      I haven’t worked with yacon too much, but I gather it’s the same level of sweetness as maple syrup. I think a 1:1 substitution would work out fine. Might have more of a molasses kind of taste, but that could be quite delicious too :)

  • […] (makes about 30 macaroons, adapted from The First Mess) […]ReplyCancel

  • Heather29/04/2014 - 8:14 am

    Hi Laura!
    First off, I have to say I love your blog! I grew up close to St. Catharine’s (now living in Toronto) and it’s so nice to have a food blogger to follow who lives so close by!
    I love these cookies and have made them several times already. I’ve somewhat recently made the switch to a plant based diet and I’m trying to cut out sugar (which has been really hard for me!) so it’s nice to have something easy to make and snack on. But just one question. Do you think I could substitute the maple syrup for rice malt syrup? I know someone asked about yacon but I’m not sure if this would be the same?
    Again, thank you so much for the lovely recipes and blog. I can’t get enough of it!

    • Laura Wright30/04/2014 - 7:10 pm

      Hi Heather! Thanks for your kind words and for connecting with this fellow Ontario-ite. Love it when some somewhat local peeps reach out. And in answer to your question, I’m not even sure! I’ve never used rice malt syrup before. Assuming it’s as sweet and relatively the same consistency as maple, I’d say go for it :)

  • […] (adapted from these) […]ReplyCancel

  • […] (adapted from these) […]ReplyCancel

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Couscous! The food so nice, they named it twice. Except this isn’t couscous. It’s cauliflower in a funny little disguise. From first glances this looks like a lovely grain salad with some chopped herbs, a bit of seasonal fruit and a sunny yellow curry dressing. But up close it’s a jumble of the teeniest cauliflower florets you could ever imagine mixed up with all of those great things. Neat, huh? I actually love eating cauliflower this way, it’s nice and crisp and kind of tricks me into eating more crucifers, the health all star of the veg world. Typically I roast it, but this dish is just too much fun

September is always a patchwork of undeniably summery days and cool, crisp fall previews around here. My schedule has been kind of wonky and irregular and we’ve been trying to soak up every last bit of enjoyable outdoor time. All of it has been having some unfortunate effects on my food habits. Skipping meals, nibbling on white bread here and there, indulging in sweet things, more coffee than I can usually handle, wine! and on and on. I’m not beating myself up for it at all. I’ve definitely been enjoying it but! I feel like some predictability is in order for my day to day lately.

So! Getting back down to it. I’ve adequately prepared myself in the food department. Lots of veggies, big bowls of grains, batches of soup and even bigger helpings of this non-grain-but-sort-of-grain-like salad in the fridge. Oh, and some Udo’s oil, a fresh jar of chocolate Vega and plenty of herbal tea. Seriously, it’s like a health food store in here!

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raw cauliflower couscous with curry vinaigrette, apples, grapes and herbs
inspired by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein’s Raw
serves: 6-8
notes: I just break the florets up by hand and rough chop them, but if you trim most of the stem off, you could probably just blitz them in the food processor and get the same effect. Garam masala is in the salad ingredients because it is traditionally used as a finishing spice.

1.5 tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1.5 tbsp agave nectar
salt and pepper
scant 1/2 cup grape seed oil

1 small head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
2 green onions, white and green parts sliced thin
3 sprigs of parsley, leaves chopped fine
1 sprig of mint, leaves chopped fine
1 apple, small dice
1 cup grapes, halved (I used a concord-style grape)
1.5 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp garam masala
salt and pepper

Make the vinaigrette: place the curry powder, white wine vinegar, agave nectar salt and pepper in a blender. Blend that up for two seconds just to dissolve the salt. Add the oil all at once. Turn the blender on again to combine evereything into one homogenous mixture. Set aside.

Make the cauliflower couscous: break the cauliflower into florets. Trim off as much of the stem as you can. Break up the florets as small as you can and chop roughly to make pieces as uniformly sized as possible. Place into a large bowl. Alternatively, you could use the food processor method described above.

Add the vinaigrette, green onions, parsley, mint, apple, grapes, poppy seeds and garam masala to the cauliflower. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

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  • marywornoff27/09/2011 - 6:29 pm

    Please tell me what garam masala is and where can I find it in the grocery store?ReplyCancel

  • Anna28/09/2011 - 10:36 pm

    The combination is exotic and not overpowering one another. Genius combination!ReplyCancel

  • LIVING LUCID03/10/2011 - 7:49 am

    […] I’d love to try this cauliflower couscous recipe […]ReplyCancel

  • gangy buffet13/10/2011 - 10:56 pm

    Made this tonight! SO good.. I replaced with Red Wine vinegar because I was out of white. Yummy! Will post to my website soon, with a link to yours!

    I love your recipes BTW, totally in the style of mine! Would you like to be on my blogroll, Because i’d love to have you there! Let me know!ReplyCancel

  • […] | cauliflower “couscous” salad + falling back inSep 26, 2011 … Couscous! The food so nice, they named it twice. Except this isn’t couscous. It’s cauliflower in a funny little disguise. From first glances this looks … […]ReplyCancel

  • happy little life15/08/2012 - 6:33 pm

    looks truly amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole13/05/2013 - 9:54 pm

    Just made this tonight and it is oh-so-delicious! The spices, herbs and fruit make for a great combination. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Yola28/06/2013 - 2:12 am

    I made it yesterday and I love it! It’s so yummy. However, I didn’t like the taste of grapes in the salad (everybody has their own taste ;) ) but so far this is my favourite recepie and I don’t longer miss cooked curry because of your salad ^^ thank you <3ReplyCancel

  • Sarah18/12/2013 - 11:36 pm

    Made this salad for dinner- it was very tasty! Thanks for the recipe! Didn’t have a few of the ingredients on hand so just worked with what I had, turned out great!ReplyCancel

  • Ella12/06/2014 - 11:32 pm

    We just made this for dinner and it was so delicious! This was our third try with cauliflower couscous and we’ve loved it each time! I really liked the grapes and garam masala here, what a delicious flavor fusion. Thank you so much for the recipe <3
    P.S. I have a recipe on my youtube channel (above) for no bake & almost vegan peanut butter energy bars that I think you would really enjoy. Just thought I'd let you know! They're really delicious and super easy :) Have a great day!ReplyCancel

  • […] Heavily adapted from The First Mess’ Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad. […]ReplyCancel

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Okay, what I’m about to lay on you here is a bit… Thanksgiving-y. I know that it’s so far away and it’s still summery in spots and you don’t even wanna think about telling the same stories to your relatives over and over… But! This dish is definitely appropriate for everyday celebrating. And it’s so easy. It just takes a teeny bit of planning.

But back to Thanksgiving (yes!). It’s definitely my favourite holiday. I love the sincere appreciation of harvest time and how it brings people together. It’s pretty special. We’re at a peak time where I live: all kinds of squash and vegetables and fruits are available. I’m so thankful for it all. It’s been brisk and mostly grey and well.., I wanted to eat some squash. Stuffed with delicious and maybe just slightly festive things. Not too festive, just a little bit. A taste even.

So I made a stuffing for some garlic-roasted acorn squash with wheat berries, a few veggies, some herbs, spices, dried fruit and toasted nuts. There’s a lot of flexibility with this recipe though! You can use any kind of rice, farro, millet, different vegetables and spices, leave out the dried fruit, maybe add some chopped olives etc; whatever you fancy. I was going for that sage-y, hearty, traditional stuffing-flavour thing and it worked out beautifully.

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stuffed acorn squash with pine nuts, sour cherries and sage
serves: 2
notes: Roasting the squash with the garlic clove underneath is totally optional but so, so tasty. I try not to use frou-frou and buzz-y terms here, but it totally aromatizes it to high level, game-changer deliciousness (I’m sorry, really).

1 acorn squash
2 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
salt and pepper

1/2 cup wheat berries, soaked for at least a couple hours
1 tbsp grape seed oil
2 shallots, small dice (or 1 small-medium cooking onion)
1 celery stalk, small dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground coriander
3 sprigs thyme, leaves chopped up fine
1 sprig sage, leaves chopped up fine
splash of white wine (alternatively you can squeeze a bit of lemon at the end or use a bit of white wine vinegar at the end too)
3/4 cup vegetable stock (or water)
1/2 cup dried sour cherries, chopped up roughly
salt and pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (I just slide them into the oven for a bit while the squash is cooking)
3 sprigs parsley, leaves chopped fine

Start the grains: strain the wheat berries and place them in a small sauce pan with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until they are still a bit chewy (they will absorb more liquid later when making the stuffing). Drain if necessary.

Cook the squash: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. season the inside with salt and pepper. Place the smashed garlic cloves on a parchment lined baking sheet with a good amount of space in between. Put the seasoned squash halves over the garlic cloves so that the squash form upside down bowls over the garlic cloves. Place in the oven and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scrape a bit of the cooked squash flesh out. It should amount to about a 1/4 cup. Set it all aside.

Make the stuffing: heat the oil over medium and add the shallots. Cook until they begin to soften (4 minutes), add carrots, celery and the bay leaf. When the carrots and celery have softened up a teeny bit (about 4-5 minutes), add ground coriander, thyme, sage and dried cherries. Add the splash of white wine and stir the mixture around, scraping any bits off the bottom.

Add the drained wheat berries to the saute pan and stir to coat them in the mixture. Add the vegetable stock and simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the squash flesh you scraped out earlier and stir it around, incorporating it into the mixture (this will act like glue for the stuffing). Add the parsley and pine nuts, reserving a bit of both to garnish with at the end. Take off the heat.

On the same lined baking sheet, fill the squash halves with the stuffing as much as you can (there may be some leftover). Slide them into the oven to heat through completely. Garnish with remaining pine nuts and parsley, serve.

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  • Kelsey (Happyolks)22/09/2011 - 10:28 am

    The squash needs no words. Can’t wait for fall here :)
    p.s totally random, but pretty nail polish! love me a good shade of grey :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/09/2011 - 2:13 pm

      The shade is “case study” by essie. They have the best not-so-totally-girly colour selection!ReplyCancel

  • Russell van Kraayenburg22/09/2011 - 6:47 pm

    This is such a beautiful presentation. I love the recipe too!ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae22/09/2011 - 11:06 pm

    I saw a similar version on the new food documentary Forks Over Knives and am sooooo happy I found a recipe – cannot wait to make these!ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/09/2011 - 11:34 pm

      Gaaaah I haven’t seen it yet! I’ve heard so many great things though. Hope you like the squash :)ReplyCancel

  • My Fudo23/09/2011 - 11:57 pm

    That’s a wonderful stuffed squash. I better take all required recipes to prepare this tonight. ‘Think we’ll gonna love it.ReplyCancel

  • chad26/09/2011 - 1:26 pm

    that looks excellent, love the dried fruit addition and how can you beat pine nuts!ReplyCancel

  • Megan27/09/2011 - 11:31 am

    This looks so beautiful and tasty. I’d love to try a gluten-free version with quinoa cooked in a little vegetable broth.

    Thanks for the inspiration :)

    – Megan

  • […] from The First Mess‘ Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pine Nuts, Sour Cherries and Sage […]ReplyCancel

  • Stuffed Acorn Squash «28/10/2011 - 10:02 am

    […] Stuffed Acorn Squash adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Emily05/11/2011 - 10:28 am

    Made this last night for dinner. It came out amazing. My whole family loved it especially my two year old. I think this will become a standby in the winter months to come. yum.ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/11/2011 - 11:32 am

      Your 2 year old liked it? That’s amazing! Glad to hear :)ReplyCancel

  • […] missed. We stuffed ourselves and felt properly festive about it. The main dish was this amazing stuffed squash from The First Mess. I think the dried cherries really made the stuffing. This squash may very well be making a […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Stuffed Acorn Squash adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Jo10/12/2011 - 4:16 pm

    Looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at

  • Melina28/12/2011 - 1:30 am

    I made this tonight with a few substitutions golden raisins instead of dried cherries and walnuts for pine nuts. It was amazingly easy and fabulous! I’m glad I made double the stuffing!ReplyCancel

  • […] Wheat Berry Stuffed Acorn Squash: Filling, fun, and the perfect leftover lunch. So chewy and flavorful! […]ReplyCancel

  • Amy17/11/2012 - 9:42 pm

    Hosting Thanksgiving and we will be having a vegan guest. This recipe just answered my prayers as to what I am going to fix for her!! Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • […] tried out a new recipe tonight – stuffed acorn squash.   Guess what you stuff it with ?  Wheat berries!  I’ve been dying to try wheat berries. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Stuffed: Acorn Squash with Pine Nuts, Sour Cherries & Sage […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] with Pistachio Pesto, Stuffed Portabellos with Herb Sauce, Butternut Orecchiette with Arugula, Stuffed Squash, Leek and Greens Tart with Cornmeal Crust, Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip and and […]ReplyCancel

  • […] in the winter. The First Mess is one of my favorite food blogs to read and she makes a delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe with Wheat Berries (which can be sprouted before hand and eaten raw in order to soak up their raw […]ReplyCancel

  • […] stuffed squash + harvest, served with spinach – slightly adapted from the original receipe, but nonethless […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Laura’s fun and intimate writing style. I highly recommend you check it out. I mean… stuffed acorn squash with pine nuts, sour cherries and sage? I WANT […]ReplyCancel

  • Marry08/01/2016 - 3:36 am

    I made this tonight almost to the letter & it was delicious. Someone said that acorn squash is boring and I totally disagree. My acorn was rich and creamy and the shape is so cute too.
    Thank you for the recipe.ReplyCancel

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Can we talk about the weather for a second? How about those cool days and even cooler nights? It’s perfect, right?! We can wear cozy sweaters, drink hot beverages and eat some local brussels sprouts to our hearts content. Everyone wins! Perhaps eating brussels sprouts and winning isn’t an equation you’ve heard of quite yet, but maybe just go with it for a bit. They have plenty of healthy attributes, but I just love their slightly cabbage-y and completely robust flavour.

Worthy of note: This shredding and quick sauteing method is a fantastic way to eat these cruciferous veggies. You can really inject them with lots of flavour that permeates all through that tangle of vibrant, green confetti. They don’t even look like brussels sprouts when all is said and done; just a heap of lovely, warm, deep green shreds with crunchy pecans on top and little bright red flecks of smoky paprika, almost coleslaw-ish.You can mix in other greens too!

I used to make this all the time last winter when I wanted a light, quick and warming lunch. I would hurry home in the bleak city winters, chop up a few things, heat up the pan, toss it all in and finish up with some maple syrup and a splash of apple cider vinegar. I actually started to crave it regularly after a while… Brussels sprouts cravings! How about that.

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warm brussels sprouts toss with maple and paprika
serves: 4-5
notes: Keep your eye on the shreds once they turn bright green! Overcooked brussels sprouts in any form are actually the worst. And if you don’t have smoked paprika, use the regular stuff! It will still be delicious.

1 tbsp grape seed or other neutral-flavour oil
1 shallot, halved and sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 lb (454g) of brussels sprouts, trimmed of tough outer leaves, halved and sliced fine/shredded up to the little cores
salt and pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup (or dark agave)
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and smashed garlic clove. Stir around until fragrant. Add the smoked paprika. Stir the shallots here and there until they are quite soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the shredded brussels sprouts and a splash of water. Stir and lift with tongs quickly until the shreds start to wilt just a bit and the colour has darkened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the apple cider vinegar and stir again. When the shreds are bright green and a bit limp (takes about 3 minutes), remove from the heat. Add the maple syrup and stir to combine.

Transfer warm mixture to a serving plate and garnish with chopped pecans.

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So if you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m not a raw food person. I live in a mostly cold climate that requires the consumption of soups, stews, curries, roasted veggies and, ahem, certain hot beverages involving whiskey. I love experimenting with living food recipes and eating at raw restaurants for sure, but as a lifestyle it’s not for me. I am, without a doubt, a dessert-for-breakfast kind of person though. Like, for sure.

Enter raw desserts. These treats are generally made from fruit and nuts (or raw cacao, irish moss, coconut meat etc). Oh, and they’re free of refined sugars, gluten and animal products. That’s breakfast material right there! Insanely delicious, filling and healthy breakfast material to be specific.

There is so much local fruit available right now: berries, peaches, plums, first apples and pears, all at the same time! It’s a miracle really. I make a simple crumble mix from dates and nuts to scatter on top and a vanilla almond cream to make it seem a bit more indulgent. An initial word on the almond cream: it’s amazing. Some vanilla bean makes it so lovely. I have a high speed blender so I can whip this cream up pretty easily, but I’ll add instructions for food processor usage as well. It might not be as smooth, but the flavour will still be outstanding.

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raw fruit crumbles
serves: 4-6 (a week’s worth of undeniably fabulous breakfast)
notes: If you are using a food processor for the almond cream, pulse the soaked almonds until they’re about one stop short of becoming almond butter, then add the other ingredients and put it to high until the cream is as smooth as possible. Also, I painstakingly peeled all of the almonds once they were done soaking. You don’t have to do this! It will taste just as good.

almond cream:
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
1/2 cup water (plus extra, I needed another tbsp, but this could vary)
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup, raw honey etc)
seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean (or 1 tsp extract)
teeny pinch of salt

1 cup nuts or seeds of your choice (I used a mix of pecans, walnuts, almonds and hemp seeds)
3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a smidgin of seeds from the vanilla bean (or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of sea salt

1-2 cups of sliced/chopped fruit per person
maple syrup, agave nectar or honey
ground cinnamon

Make the almond cream: place the soaked almonds and water in a blender. Turn the blender onto a low-medium speed to break up the nuts and stop when the pieces are starting to form a puree with the water. Add the coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla bean seeds, salt and more water if necessary. Turn the blender to high until the mixture is as creamy and smooth as possible. This took a couple minutes for me. Scrape almond cream into a container and chill thoroughly.

For the crumble: Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pule until the nuts become large crumbs and the mix holds together when you pinch it. Set aside or keep in the refrigerator if you’re making it ahead. Also, if you press this mix into a pan it’s like homemade Larabars! Awesome.

To assemble: Place sliced/chopped fruit into a bowl and drizzle lightly with maple syrup/agave/what have you. Sprinkle a teeny bit of cinnamon (or cardamom!) if you’re into that. Spoon some crumble mix evenly on top of the fruit and put a fat dollop of almond cream on there.

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  • Dawn13/09/2011 - 4:52 pm

    This is absolute perfection. I am all about dessert-y recipes for breakfast as well. I can’t wait to try this out!ReplyCancel

  • Elise13/09/2011 - 11:27 pm

    I only made the almond cream but it was amaaazing! My first nut “cream”. So easy to make too :) It was just a little gritty but I’m sure if I soak the almonds a little longer or blend them a little longer it’ll be perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey (Happyolks)14/09/2011 - 12:52 am

    yes, yes, and yes. I need to put this on my must-make-before-all-the-fruit-is-gone list. lovely.ReplyCancel

  • greenthyme20/10/2011 - 6:46 am

    This looks delicious. I just came across your blog through foodista. You have some amazing recipes here.ReplyCancel

  • Bhakti29/12/2011 - 11:46 am

    Simply delightful…. hope I can get my husband to eat fruits for breakfast in this way.ReplyCancel

  • […] carrot cake pancakes with tangy lime cashew cream serves: 4 special equipment: a blender or food processor notes: Grate the carrots on the fine side of the grater for a more refined textured pancake. Oh, and if you don’t have cashews, you can always make almond cream! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Raw Breakfast Crumble. When you hear “crumble” the first words you probably think are butter-laden, sugary and fattening. But this dish is quite the opposite. It comes from The First Mess and is not only raw, but also completely clean in terms of natural, healthy ingredients. Try this recipe in place of your typical bowl of cereal and you’ll be kissing your breakfast blues goodbye. […]ReplyCancel

  • marla07/06/2012 - 10:19 am

    Such a great idea for healthy crumbles!ReplyCancel

  • krystal29/07/2012 - 10:57 pm

    Instead of peeling the almonds, an easy way to remove the skin is to blanche them in hot/boiling water for about 30 seconds, then dunk them in cold water. The skins slip right off after that, and they are in the hot water such a short time that it is not supposed to kill the enzymes, so the almonds remain raw. Do this before soaking them :)ReplyCancel

  • […] got this idea from The First Mess blog. She does a raw date and nut crumble over a raw almond cream fruit topping. Doesn’t that […]ReplyCancel

  • Penny06/11/2012 - 5:26 pm

    I made this for breakfast today – Seriously divine! Thank you :-)ReplyCancel

  • […] you a great base for a black forest cupcake – I’d fill it with a vegan butter-cream or an almond cream like this one, and decorate with black cherries and grated dark chocolate.  […]ReplyCancel

  • Ashley07/04/2013 - 3:25 pm

    I just made the almond cream, and it is SO good. Just a little bit of sweetness that goes so perfectly with fruit! Love!!ReplyCancel

  • […] Breaking the fast… It might be because I have breakfast on the mind but I want to veganize these and eat them all right now–> Roasted Blueberry Coconut Quinoa Parfaits, Raspberry Maple-Pecan Granola, Roasted Strawberry Parfaits and Raw Breakfast Crumble. […]ReplyCancel

  • Jayme08/05/2013 - 10:34 am

    I found your site through, when searching for “can I make my own protein powder”. I was thrilled to discover that I can. I like the sounds of your raw fruit crumble and almond cream. The almond cream sounds delightful, never would have thought of that. Beautiful website, thanks so much! ~JaymeReplyCancel

  • […] This dessert, which doubles as a breakfast food, is not only delicious, but also healthy because it is free of refined sugar, gluten, and of course animal products. Use whatever local fruit is available: berries, peaches, plums, apples and pears are all good. Then add a crumble made of dates and nuts and indulge your guests with a vanilla almond cream. You can find the recipe here. […]ReplyCancel

  • Anna03/08/2013 - 8:06 am

    I have loved your Càmping story (have you tried to sleep under the stars?), and the drink seems lovely to me! Regards from BarcelonaReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Clarke17/10/2013 - 10:01 pm

    Great breakfast option. Love the idea of getting all your goodness in one bowl straight up.ReplyCancel

  • […] Was also quite tempted by this Raw Breakfast Crumble with homemade almond cream from The First […]ReplyCancel

  • […] first, is this raw breakfast crumble. It’s a mix of almonds, dates, cinnamon, honey, and fruit that we think would make the […]ReplyCancel

  • 23 Amazing Vegetarian Recipes26/01/2014 - 6:02 am

    […] Raw Breakfast Crumbles + Almond Cream – This dessert-for-breakfast style dish is a hit. You can even try it as a healthy snack, or for dessert too! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] smoothie bowl beet raspberry and vanilla smoothies bowl raw breakfast crumble quinoa apple […]ReplyCancel