Saturday, January 14, 2012

DAY 6 - Daniel Fast

I have a surprise for you!


Yes, Daniel-Fast Fudge...because you've been soooo good!

One of my readers told me about it, and I immediately thought, "It probably has honey or agave in it," which we can't have.  But then I followed the link and, "lo, and behold!" there were only 4 ingredients and all of them were Daniel Fast-friendly!  So, before I tell you the day's menu, let's have a treat!

Daniel Fast Fudge
1/2 c. medjool dates, pitted
1 c. walnuts
3 T. cocoa powder (unsweetened, unprocessed)
1 tsp. vanilla (real, not imitation)
1/4 t. sea salt (optional)

Put everything in your food processor and pulse until moist and combined.  Form into small balls or squares.  Eat.  Ahhhh.

These were so yummy that my imagination started running...what about a combination of fresh, raw chunky peanut butter instead of walnuts for Peanut Butter Fudge?  What about a drop of peppermint oil for Chocolate-Mint Fudge?  What about throwing in some dried cherries with the dates and then substituting vanilla extract for almond extract for Chocolate-Cherry Fudge?  Or tossing in some live granola for "Chocolate Fudge Crunch."  The possibilities are tantalizing!  This is a fast, isn't it?

I have a party to go to tonight, and actually there are quite a few people on the Daniel Fast.  I am going to bring a plate of these and surprise everyone.  Won't it be fun to eat something other than hummus and carrot sticks?

Toss the dates and nuts into the food processor

Add the cocoa powder

Then add the vanilla...this is what I use.
It's vanilla bean paste...all natural and sooo
delicious!  Much more intense vanilla flavor.

Here is what it looks like all ground up

And this is what it looks like after being formed into squares

And now on to the real food of the day!

BREAKFAST:  Smoothie  (what fruit did you choose today?

LUNCH:  Butternut Squash or Pumpkin Risotto

Since it's the weekend, I thought I'd do a little s-l-o-w cooking!  This is a very tasty risotto, but if you've made risotto before you know it takes a bit of time to prepare.  It's really easy, so don't feel overwhelmed before you've even started.  It's the stirring that is so time-consuming.  I just stick close to the stove, doing dishes and preparing other parts of the meal while giving another stir as I go.

I have easy access to farm-fresh pumpkins and squash, so I decided to roast my own pumpkin and use that.  If you don't, just go to the grocery store or if even that seems too much, just buy frozen squash already cooked and cubed.

Roasting pumpkins is so easy...and the pumpkin meat is wonderful in texture, taste, and versatility.  If you've never done it, you should try it.

These are called sugar pumpkins or Cinderella pumpkins.
They are best for pumpkin pies. Don't ever buy a grocery
store carving pumpkin...they are watery and stringy.
They are supposed to be soft so you can carve them.
These are hard like a gourd, but the meat inside is tender
and rich.  Plus you get a bonus...seeds for roasting!

Just 45 min. in the oven at 350 yields a roasted
pumpkin that easily splits in half.  Then you can
scoop out the seeds and peel off the skin.
In 5 min. you'll have perfect pumpkin puree!

After you've selected whether you're going to use squash or pumpkin, roasted or prepared, you can begin the risotto by...chopping vegetables!  Don't you feel like you've been chopping a lot of vegetables?

Garlic and shallots

Shallots are more potent than onion but sweeter and richer.

A great oil choice for sauteeing is coconut oil.  It is solid in the
jar but melts quickly and has a very high smoke point (the point
at which oil smokes over heat).  It also adds a subtle sweetness.
Try popping popcorn in it!
Also, if you get it on your hands you can just rub it in---
it's very good for your skin!

This is sprouted brown rice, the very healthiest
you can buy.  If you can't find it at a health food
or specialty store, just use brown rice.

After sauteeing the shallot, add the garlic and rice.  Saute until
you smell a garlicky, nutty aroma

Now add 1 cup of water (regular risotto calls for chicken broth)
and the spinach and basil.  Stir until all the water is absorbed.
Then add another cup of water and stir...until all the water is
absorbed.  Then add another cup of water and stir...and finally,
add a 4th cup of water and STIR!

When the water is absorbed, add the pumpkin or squash

Mix it well

This is canned coconut milk.  I use two kinds,
regular and half-fat.  The reduced fat variety is much
more liquidy.  The regular has this rich, creamy top
with the milk underneath.  Taste it!  It's super sweet and
creamy and delicious!  Stir the cream into the milk.

Pour in about 1/4 c.  Most risotto recipes call for cheese or whipping
cream to finish it, but since we can't have either of those things
we'll use rich coconut milk!

Stir one more time until absorbed!

Keep's almost ready!

When the liquid is fully absorbed, the rice will stack up and
hold together.  It's finally done!

Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil.

Pumpkin Risotto
1 T. coconut oil
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 c. sprouted brown rice
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
1 c. spinach, washed and torn
1 T. Italian seasoning
sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper
4 c. water
1/2 c. roasted pumpkin (or squash)
1/4 c. coconut milk


Well, since lunch took a bit of time, let's have an easy dinner!

Remember the jar of organic marinara sauce you purchased?  Take that out, along with the sprouted fettucine (or whole-grain pasta of your choice).  If you want to go super easy, just boil the noodles, heat the sauce, mix and serve.  If you want a bit more nutrition and flavor punch, get out the old frying pan and saute up some onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, fresh basil and oregano and stir that into the sauce before topping your spaghetti.  It will taste almost homemade!

And now I'm off to the party!  Can't wait to see how everyone likes the fudge!


  1. I have another fun Daniel Fast dessert to share!! ;) Maybe you can keep it in your tool box for next year! ;) it's chocolate pudding made out of avacados. 2 small avacados, 4 pitted dates, 1 heaping tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sea salt and vanilla. Pulse in food processor- out comes perfect texture pudding you'd have no clue was made out of avacados! ;) you can add water to make it your desired consistency ;) mmmm

  2. to add an additional "sweet" treat, I found these for the kids.

    Peanut Butter Munchy Squares


    — 1 cup rolled oats
    — 1 cup pitted dates (I use honey, but any variety can be used)
    — 3 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
    — 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
    — 1/8 tsp sea salt, lightly rounded
    — 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or a nut butter (unsalted)
    — 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    — 3/4 cup natural brown rice crispy cereal (not puffed rice; reserve 1-2 tbsp)

    In a food processor, process oats until crumbly. Add dates and process until breaking down. Add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, salt, peanut butter and vanilla. Puree until mixture becomes uniform and sticky. Add brown rice cereal (reserving 1-2 tbsp) and pulse through. The mixture should form some balls in the processor. Transfer mix to an 8” x 8” pan lined with parchment paper. Press into pan, sprinkle on reserved cereal and press in. Makes 16 squares or 8 bars.

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  4. I was afraid to buy the vanilla bean paste because it has cane sugar and you cant have sugar or any sweeteners on the Daniel Fast. Is pure cane sugar allowed? I didnt think so

  5. Hi Dynamom, sorry I never replied to you but I'm just doing the Daniel Fast again this year and came across your question. Hope it's not too late to respond...maybe my answer will still be helpful. The vanilla bean paste has only 3 grams of sugar per teaspoon, which would be a miniscule amount in the serving of the recipe you made with it. I don't hesitate to use it.