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Vegan Iron Chef Challenge: Pears and Nuts – swell

Vegan Iron Chef Challenge: Pears and Nuts

Raw carob brownies topped with Masala Almond Pear Cream for the 2nd Vegan Iron Chef challenge

Raw carob brownies topped with Masala Almond Pear Cream for the 2nd Vegan Iron Chef challenge

I didn’t know about this Vegan Iron Chef challenge until very recently, too late to submit anything for the first challenge (apples and ginger).  With the huge amounts of VeganMoFo posts in my Google Reader, it must have gotten lost in there.  And I’m cutting it very very close with this challenge deadline anyway, as I just read about the secret ingredients this afternoon: pears and nuts.  Lucky for me, I had some pears lying around the house.

I’ve got two inspirations for this recipe.  The first, obviously, being the roasted pear dessert I made for the La Dolce Vegan challenge last week, which had me dreaming about a date-sweetened, masala-spiced raw sauce for fresh fruit or desserts.  The second came from the beautiful submission at the Tofu Queen blog of a raw pear tartlet with an almond crust.  Since I’d already had the idea of making a raw (or at least mostly raw) sauce, seeing that photo made me think of what kind of raw base I could use for the purposes of the post, since looking at a bowl of pear and nut sauce isn’t very exciting.

I’ve been on a carob kick lately.  I know a lot of people hate it, but you can pretend it’s chocolate when you look at the pictures if you want, coz I made me a rich and delicious raw carob brownie (walnuts, dates, carob, vanilla, and water is all that’s in it, then topped with pecans).  The sauce was so nice on top of this (albeit rather nut-heavy and fattening, but you know, YUMMY), although I can definitely see it on top of non-raw desserts or bread, or with fresh fruit and dare I say it, even on top of fresh pear slices (I did it and it was good)!  Here is a closeup shot of the brownie, slathered in the Masala Almond Pear Cream:

Raw Masala Almond Pear Sauce over raw carob nut brownies

Raw Masala Almond Pear Sauce over raw carob nut brownies

Raw Masala Almond Pear Cream (makes about 2 cups):

1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked and drained

2 pears, cored and chopped (peeled too if you can’t handle it)

5 dates, pitted and chopped

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4-1 cup (or more) water

Place the almonds in a food processor or blender and process into a powder.  Add the pears, dates, masala, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of the water, and blend for several minutes until smooth, adding additional water until desired consistency is reached.

If you’re more awesome than me and have a Vita-Mix, you could probably get an ultra smooth cream out of this.  I just used our mediocre food processor and it worked fine, it’s just has a few small pieces of date and almond in it.  Still, so delicious!  I could eat it like a pudding, even.  This is some versatile yum.

23 Responses to “Vegan Iron Chef Challenge: Pears and Nuts”

  1. jennlynskey says:

    Wow and it’s raw. That looks great! I like the artistic shot with the pear with the leaf.

  2. Foodeater says:

    So simple yet so luscious… I had to give this lovely recipe a Stumble! Now I have to try and make it myself :)

  3. I must show those brownies to my raw friend!

  4. Shelby says:

    Oh my goodness, these brownies sound amazing!

  5. Megan says:

    That looks so beautiful!

  6. Agnes =)) says:

    OHHHHH OHHH !!!!!! I’M SO glad I found your blog right now !! I’M high raw vegan right now following a 100 % raw diet… SOOOOO inspiring , this is the inspiration I’m always looking for!! THANX Soo much!!!! :) )) Your blog’s full off ideas!!

    I’ve just started MY own blog and will be SOO pleased to see a comment from you!! pls visit me at


    Waiting for you!! Have a great day!!

  7. melisser says:

    Masala Almond Pear Cream! That sounds amazing.

  8. Stunning presentation, as usual!

  9. Dynah says:

    Wow, the cream sounds really interesting!

  10. Christopher says:

    That looks great! I love spicy/ chocolatey things together.

  11. Megan says:

    Okay, I’m coming to stalk you.

  12. a-k says:

    I’m always up for a good vegan stalking!

  13. vegancowgirl says:

    The photos are causing me to droll. I happen to love carob – in baking – so cheers to you!

    Thanks for the great post.

  14. Yum! That’s such a creative use of pears and nuts! I bet I’d eat the cream straight out of the bowl it was made in…but I do love carob too!

  15. DJ says:

    I love a carob brownie too, and this sauce looks delish!

  16. Liz² says:

    I love what you did with the ingredients! versatile, and yummy and raw! I think I have to make this to put over something, anything. A spoon? :)

  17. Vegannifer says:

    I’ve been really impressed with the Iron Chef challenges and your challenge result is no exception! Fantastic job!

  18. All of your food looks so delicious! You’ve got a great blog! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes out.

  19. a-k says:

    Thanks, everybody, for the kind words! This really was easy and fun to make (and makes a great granola base too!). I think I’ll be making it again real soon…

  20. andrea says:

    what is the exact recipie for the brownie?



  21. Tina says:

    Do you have a recipe for the brownies? Did you just blend all the ingredients together and that’s it? Or do they have to sit in the oven for several hours like most raw recipes?

    • a-k says:

      I ground 1 c walnuts, 1 c pitted dates, 1/4 c raw carob powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and added a little water as necessary to help homogenize it. Shape it into a square/rectangle or press it into a pan. Then you can either refrigerate it, or dehydrate to get a bit of a crust on there. It’s definitely “wetter” than a brownie, but it’s a delicious sweet treat!

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