It has been a busy couple of weeks since the Calgary Stampede has taken over town.  We have watched a man ride a bull through the streets of downtown at the parade, sat in awe as a spectacular fireworks show light up the city, and eaten too many pancakes at the Stampede breakfast.  While all this stampeding has been fun, I am glad that it is coming to an end, now I can get out of my boots and back to my normal routine.

We have also been in the midst of a major heat wave, and with no A/C in our house we have a temporary ban on oven usage.  It is like we are unintentionally on a raw foods diet, which is great because we are coming up with all sorts of new recipes and who wants to eat a hot meal when it is 100° anyways.  I found a huge selection of cherries this week at the farmers market, everything from sweet to sour and black to yellow.  I picked up a bunch to snack on around the house, but that did not work out since Minda did not really catch on to the idea of spitting out the pit.  She really loves the taste of the fresh cherries though, so I made this raw(ish) cherry cobbler.  After all nothing says summer and celebration like a cobbler.  I know that it is one of my favorite things on the buffet table at a picnic or barbeque.  I used dry roasted pistachios in the cobbler because I think they are the best for balancing out the sour cherries, but if you want a truly raw cobbler you could substitute raw almonds for the pistachios.  Pitting the cherries can seem like quite a messy chore, but it is definitely worth the effort.  Pair this cobbler with some yogurt for a healthy breakfast or snack, or for a real indulgence, homemade ice cream after a hot day.

Raw Cherry Cobbler

3 cups fresh cherries, pitted

13 soft medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup dry roasted pistachios

Place 5 of the dates in a bowl and cover with water, let soak for 30 minutes.  Take half of the cherries (1½ cups), slice them in half and place in a glass pie pan or desired serving dish.  Put the remaining cherries, 5 soaked dates, lemon juice, and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor.  Process until it is the consistency of salsa, pour over the cherry halves, and stir gently.  Next make the topping by placing the remaining dates and pistachios in the food processer and pulsing until it is the consistency of crumbs.  Spread the pistachio crumbs over the filling and gently press down to make a loose crust.  Serve immediately, or can be refrigerated up to three days.