Travelling is rewarding in so many ways. For me- the thrill of it continues well after a trip comes to an end, because there is no better way, than seeing another country, to return home full of inspiration to re-create a raw food version of their national dish.
Last week, that country was Holland, but you might already know that from my latest post and restaurant reviews in Eating Amsterdam, Raw Food Style.
While visiting, my friend Jesse van der Velde interviewed me on how I discovered raw food for the first time and asked me to share some of my top strategies on creating lasting lifestyle changes, as well as my three very best healthy eating tips.
This inspirational man by the way is like the Tony Robbins of Netherlands! If you don't know him yet- meet Jesse, Europe's renowned personal trainer, power energy coach, author, star nutritionist and the mega sensation behind www.jessevandervelde.com , www.superfood.nl and www.detoxyourworld.com .
In our interview he asks me about my favourite superfoods, a question to which I shamelessly declare my love of mulberries for their toffee-like, chewy, caramel properties.
This caramel obsession of mine stems all the way from childhood, when my grandma- angels rest her soul- had a whole stack of it ready for me every time I came to visit. She would boil an entire can of sweetened condensed milk for something like 3 hours until it turned into gooey caramel heaven and grandma's house became the only place a sweet-tooth-of-a-child could ever dream of living in.
Well, Stroopwafels (which you may know as caramel thins, toffee biscuits, syrup waffles or treacle waffles) happen to be a hugely popular caramel syrup and baked butter batter treat, which originated in the Netherlands.
It was a no-brainer then, that as soon as I got back, I'd create my own healthy version of the most delicious biscuit in the whole entire world. [Disclaimer: This statement is so all mine, but I bet I'm not the only who thinks stroopwafels are the bee's knees to your tastebuds.]
DUTCH SUPERFOOD STROOPWAFELS
For the essentials
Cookie cutter (I used a 4 inch food presentation ring)
Dehydrator (but you can also bake the biscuits in the oven, they will no longer be raw, but they will still be the healthiest gluten free biscuit you could get your hands on)
For the biscuit
2 cups walnuts, soaked overnight
1 cup hazelnuts, soaked overnight
1 cup hulled flaxseeds, dry
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp mesquite meal / algarroba powder
1 tbsp maca root powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup pure water
For the caramel
1 cup pitted dates, soaked for a minimum of 2 hours
1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup mesquite meal / algarroba powder
-Spread the biscuit mixture over a teflex sheet of your dehydrator tray, carefully evening it out with the use of a spatula. The thickness should be about 0.5-1cm if your cookies are going to dry in one solid form. Use a cookie cutter or a food presentation ring to create as many cookies as your dough allows.
-Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 8-12 hours, turn the dough plank over onto a mesh sheet and place another mesh sheet or even two over your cookies, so there is some weight on them and they don't start curling up at the edges whilst drying. Return to the dehydrator for another 8-12 hours.
-To create caramel, you will need either a Vitamix or a powerful food processor. Transfer all the caramel ingredients into the machine and blend on high, while using a tamper or a pulse button (if using a food processor). Continue to blend until you reach a smooth, sauce-like consistency.
-Spread the caramel over each biscuit, you can then either eat right away (you will want to, believe me!), return to the dehydrator for another 2-4 hours to make it more dense or transfer to the fridge for 1-2 hours to make it more solid. Note that if you transfer to the fridge, it is best for the stroopwafels to remain there until serving, as they would start to moisten and soften later while 'defrosting'.
Are you in love? Me too!