Justin Fox Burks
Who needs flour, butter, or sugar when the alternative is a rich, raw, and salty ganache buttercup from the Raw Girls food truck?
After giving the pretty photo beside the recipe we ripped out of Health magazine the side-eye for weeks, we finally made it: Chocolate-covered Katie’s lemon icebox pie with puréed raw cashews and raw cauliflower. Sure, we were skeptical, but it turned out great. We began to wonder who might be making raw sweets in Memphis and if they’re any good.
From our understanding, here’s a little bit about what eating raw means in general. People who, in varying degrees, adhere to a strict raw diet are usually (but not always) vegan, which means they don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, or cheese. They don’t heat any of the fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains that they eat above 104 degrees in order to preserve the live enzymes that are present in the food. In many cases, raw vegans also steer clear of processed sugar and gluten.
It sounds like a difficult challenge to make a dessert without flour, butter, or sugar in addition to not being able to make it in the oven. If we don’t have dessert around the house, we might just pair a super-dark chocolate bar with a seedless tangerine or some berries after a meal and call it a day, but we were inspired by some of the creative and frankly delicious raw desserts we found in Memphis.
So if you’re planning to make an impactful change in your diet, trading in that caramel-drizzled blondie with a double scoop of ice cream for a healthy, raw dessert every once and again might just be an appealing and reasonable thing to try. To get you started, here are three of the best-tasting ones:
Coconutties are dense, compact, spherical nuggets with a distinctly chocolate flavor. We were told by the staff that Coconutties contain cacao, carob, dates, and almonds along with coconut. The result is a little sweet and a little savory and very satisfying. We also loved the Raw Chia Cacao Bars and the Raw Lemon Zing Bars at Cosmic Coconut.
(5101 Sanderlin Ave., Suite 104b; 901-729-7687)
Live Cream-Filled Cookies at
The Live Cream-Filled Cookies don’t pull any punches flavor-wise. You’ll taste the sweetness of the dried dates as it complements the rich blended cashew cream-like filling. The dessert looks like a cookie, but it definitely requires a fork. This was a standout among the dessert offerings at Two Vegan Sistas.
(6343 Summer Ave. #110; 1-800-984-0379)
Raw and Salty Ganache “Buttercup” at Raw Girls food truck
The Raw and Salty Ganache “Buttercup” could be served alongside any dessert, whether it be raw, vegan, or not, and still make a big impression. It’s honestly some of the best chocolate we’ve ever had. Think of it as a one-part chocolate bar and one-part very fudgey brownie with a side of rich and candy-like raw almond butter for dipping.
(5502 Poplar Ave. in the Hollywood Feed parking lot on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence