Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Money Saving Tips for Going Raw in the New Year

One of the main excuses I hear of why people can't eat the way I do is that they don't have any money. Now, if someone doesn't want to eat the way I do, I have no problem with that! But the idea that someone may be convinced that being healthy is outside of their affordability is upsetting. Health is for everyone, and any thought otherwise is a trap of a system that is enslaving you. The difficulty is breaking free from the box that our culture has drawn around us. We need to rethink the way in which we approach food, even if that means ridding ourselves of certain habits we have become comfortable with. So I have listed some money-saving tips I have adopted over the past year. I hope you find them helpful for your new beginnings!

1. Buy a juicer, a dehydrator, a blender, and a food processor. I know, this list is getting off to a shaky start, but you have to spend money to make money, right? These are your 4 investment pieces. They will keep you from buying tons and tons of prepackaged raw treats. As much as you think you will be eating only salads, your body is going to tell you otherwise at one point or another. Don't focus on having the best until you know this lifestyle is right for you. We are still using a $50 dehydrator that has paid for itself already!

2. Reuse. With a raw diet there is no excuse to throw out food. Use fresh produce as your main dishes, and throw slightly older produce into the juicer. Juice your apple cores, stems, and tops. Then save your pulp for dehydrated goodies like crackers, breads, chips, cookies, nuggets, and burgers. Same goes for nut milks and nut pulp. Items that don't look beautiful can also be added to smoothies or soups where everything is blended together anyway. It is amazing how much mileage you can get out of one bag of apples!

3. Make your own. This goes along with number 2, but think as far as you can with this one. Mustard is simple to make, and besides saving money making your own is much healthier. Buying kombucha at the store can get pricey, but making your own you have an ongoing endless supply! Sauerkraut is good for your body and cabbage is cheap, so why waste money on jars? Why spend money on harsh cleaners when white vinegar and baking soda get things clean without the chemicals?

4. Buy in bulk. The things you use in massive amounts, buy in massive amounts. Typical bulk items in my house include coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, grains, spices, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and carob powder. You will feel better making less trash as well!

5. Grow your own, when you can. Even if you only have a little room, do what you can! A simple herb garden can save you on spices and teas. Tomatoes and cucumbers are simple to grow. If you have too much of something you can always dry it, freeze it, or pickle it for later.

6. Substitute. I know red bell peppers are superior to green bell peppers. Everyone knows that. That is why red bell peppers cost twice as much money. But does your recipe need red bell pepper, or will it blend together in a way where green would work just as well? Same can go with berries or squashes or nuts. Pay attention to what is on sale or in season.

7. Sprout. Why does anyone buy ready sprouted sprouts? They have been sitting around the grocery store where they risk contamination and cost ten times more than buying the dry goods you want to sprout. Having sprouts is good for emergency situations where you are strapped for cash till your next paycheck and can't afford to buy something green. Besides, it kind of reminds me of fun elementary school science projects!

8. Forage. Don't go crazy if you don't know what you are doing, but just about anyone can identify dandelion. Find a spot of grass that you know isn't chemically treated and pick yourself a salad. It is free and more nutritious than a lot of store bought lettuces.

9. Distill your own water. Maybe I should have included this with number 1, since it is about a $100 investment, but a distiller will save you money in the long run and you won't be hauling bottled water home from the grocery store. It tastes great, gets rid of the bad stuff, and the only thing you need to do is add in some minerals at the end. Which you should be adding anyway.

10. Don't forget where you are NOT spending money. A lot of things you used to spend money on start disappearing when you adopt a healthier lifestyle. Most expensive dinners out are over, unless you live near a raw restaurant. You won't be dropping money in the vending machine or grabbing a quick bite at the drive-thru. No more expensive bar tabs. No more chemical cleaners or beauty products. And if you do a good job, you might notice a lot fewer trips to the doctor's office.

Good luck in the new year!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Raw Triple Chocolate Doughnuts

I am finally coming out of my holiday coma. Let me tell you, Christmas is a hard time for health! I have actually mainly been consuming juices, smoothies, and salads now that family time is over, but I still thought I would share with you these treats I had for Christmas morning! Maybe for the new year I will give you more daily cleanse tips!



1 1/2 cups pecans (soaked 8 hours)
7 dates
1/2 cup carob powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut butter
1/3 cup carob powder
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, maple syrup, honey or agave)
1/4 cup cacao nibs

In a food processor combine the soaked pecans, dates, and carob powder. Blend until almost dough-like. Using a silicone mini-doughnut mold, shape the mixture into doughnut forms. Place donuts on dehydrator tray and dehydrate overnight (roughly 8 hours) at 105 degrees. In the morning, warm coconut oil and coconut butter at lowest temperature in a saucepan, just to the point of melting and turn off. Stir in carob powder and sweetener until even melted chocolate mixture. Remove doughnuts from the dehydrator and drizzle with chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and place in refrigerator for chocolate frosting to harden (roughly 15 minutes). Enjoy!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Quick Raw BBQ Cauliflower

Around the holidays it seems like I not only don't have time, but have negative time. I have to cut things out of my normal daily routine to fit in making dishes that people who aren't raw won't find "gross". I have gifts to make, since my budget is limited and my new family (by marriage) is huge! And growing! I have to clean the house because on my side of the family my son is the only child, so Christmas morning revolves around him... and our living room. Then running around buying last minute gifts and going to parties, and I look in the fridge to realize I haven't been grocery shopping enough. And I am also broke. And the fast food place by the shopping center starts seeming to make sense... gross sense, but sense. Look at all the raw treats I made this weekend, and you'll know why I am exhausted (yes, all raw vegan... even the egg nog which I didn't take a picture of)!




I mean, what can I possibly eat with half a head of cauliflower, a few cherry tomatoes, and some raisins... wait! There is hope! No dehydrating, sprouting, soaking, or fermenting needed for this recipe. Instant raw satisfying goodness that I paired with a cheesy kale salad and some sauerkraut. Don't give up when being healthy gets tough, just get creative!


1/2 head of cauliflower
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (I used honey, but you can use maple syrup, coconut nectar, or agave)
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Place in a medium-sized pan or large bowl and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and set aside. Place all other ingredients in a small food processor or blender and mix until smooth. If the mixture is too thick add a bit more water. It should be the same consistency as barbecue sauce. Pour over cauliflower and stir until evenly covered. You can eat immediately (if you are rushing), but waiting at least 15 minutes helps the cauliflower become a bit more tender.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mexican-style Sprouted Forbidden Rice

I haven't had rice in a few months now, since I decided to focus on the raw route. But guess what? Going raw doesn't have to mean giving up rice! It just means re-thinking it! So here is a simple recipe that is also delicious!



1 cup black rice
1 avocado
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of corn (fresh or thawed)
1/4 cup onion
1/2 a jalapeno
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1 large handful of cilantro
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Pour your rice in a sprouting jar and mesh close lid. Rinse and drain, then completely cover in water, plus a little extra (as it expands). Allow to sit overnight (at least 8 hours). Drain, rinse, and drain again. Your rice should now be sprouted (as you can see it almost looks as though it has popped). Pour rice into a large bowl. Chop tomatoes, onion, avocado, and jalapeno. Add to bowl. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and stir evenly. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Raw Salted Chocolate-Covered Caramels

Healthy raw vegan salted chocolate-covered caramel? Yes, please! This recipe is so simple, I almost wouldn't post it, except that it tastes THAT GOOD. I will be the first to admit that the appearance could use a little fine tuning... originally I was going to make these more like turtle candies, but in retrospect they would be really great as uniform cube shapes. But once they are in your mouth, who cares what they looked like on the plate!


Caramel:

6 dates, pitted
1/2 cup tahini

Chocolate Covering:

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, maple syrup, honey or agave)
2 tablespoons carob powder
pink Himalayan salt granules

In a food processor, mix dates and tahini. Stop periodically to stir the sides of the food processor. Pulse again. Stop, stir, and pulse until uniformly blended. Take a cookie sheet and line it with wax paper. Roll date-tahini mixture into balls (or squares as I recommend above) and place on wax paper. In a pan at the lowest setting, warm the coconut oil just to the point of melting and turn off. Mix in sweetener and carob powder until smooth. Pour over top of caramel balls (or squares). Sprinkle with salt granules and place tray in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Take out and enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Truffled Kale Lasagna with Hemp Cheese

In a magical world you could make a healthy, delicious raw lasagna in less time than it takes to make a Standard American Diet lasagna. Oh, wait. It IS a magical world! You can make this lasagna in less time than it takes to make a frozen lasagna! You can make this lasagna in less time than it takes to microwave a lasagna... okay, that last bit isn't true. But you don't want to use a microwave. Trust me, you don't.

 Hemp Cheese

1 cup hemp seeds
1 cup coconut milk (or nut milk of your choosing)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 lemon, juiced
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Additional Ingredients

2 yellow squash
3 cups kale
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tomatoes
pink Himalayan salt to taste
nutritional yeast for dusting
dash red pepper flakes
additional truffle oil for drizzle

 In a small food processor combine the hemp cheese ingredients and blend until creamy. Set aside. Using a mandolin slice your yellow squash into thin strips lengthwise (the finer the better). Lay these on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Chop your kale to a fine texture and move to a bowl. Add truffle oil and lemon and massage kale. Allow to sit while you slice the tomatoes. Now start arranging your first lasagna layer by placing three squash strips next to each other. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and add your cheese layer. Lay 3 more strips on top of cheese in an alternating direction (this helps with the shape). Sprinkle with salt and add a kale layer. Add 3 more strips of yellow squash in an alternating direction and add a bit of salt. Place tomato slices and add your final 3 strip layer. If you wish, cut the 4 edges with a sharp knife to make a uniform square which will look more lasagna-like. Dust with nutritional yeast, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and a bit more salt, and add a tiny drizzle of truffle oil. If you desire you can also garnish with additional tomato and hemp cheese, as shown above. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Raw Lemony Mushroom "Risotto"

Risotto was up there as one of my favorite cooked meals... creamy and decadent. This was my first attempt to make a raw version of the dish, and I must say it was pretty tasty. The texture is different of course, but the flavors are the same. You could also call this dish "creamed cauliflower with mushrooms" and serve it to guests who might be afraid of words like "raw" or "vegan".


1/2 head of cauliflower
2 cups baby bella mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 cup hemp seeds
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
pink Himalayan salt to taste
rosemary and lemon for garnish

In a small bowl combine olive oil, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and salt to make a marinade. Chop mushrooms into thin slices and add to bowl. Cover mushrooms evenly with marinade and allow to soak for roughly 15 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a dehydrator and dehydrate for 1 hour at 107 degrees.

In a small food processor or blender, combine the hemp seeds, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, rosemary, lemon, olive oil, and salt. Blend until smooth.

Chop the cauliflower into small chunks. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower into a fine grain-like texture. Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl and cover with hemp sauce mixture. Add mushrooms and stir. Garnish with rosemary and lemon wedge.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Raw Gobi Matar

Last night going through some old papers my husband asked if I wanted to throw away a carry-out menu for an Indian restaurant. At first I said no, knowing that on certain occasions we may eat cooked food again (special family events or weddings... maybe). Then I thought about it, and told him to toss it. I love the spices and flavors and sauces of Indian food, but if I study different Indian recipes enough I can figure out how to make a raw version that fits my craving.

I am reminding myself, as I go through this process, that the goal is not to be "untainted", perfect, or fit in a mold. The goal is to constantly improve my health, my impact, and my happiness. Last night I sang Christmas carols to my son, and my voice sounded better than it has in a long time. Better than I can remember it sounding. No cigarettes, mucus-producing dairy, or heavy oils to clog up my throat. It made me feel like I have been doing something right.

Anyway, here's the recipe for you.


1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen, run under warm water to thaw)
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (hydrated)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
dash of cayenne pepper
dash black pepper
Celtic sea salt to taste

In a bowl soak cauliflower in lemon juice and salt for about 30 minutes until tender. Add peas to bowl. Chop red onion and add to bowl. To make the sauce, place the remainder of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add additional water if the mixture is too thick. Pour sauce over vegetables in bowl and stir until all surfaces are thoroughly covered. This dish also benefits from not being served immediately.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Simple Tepache

In my teens and early twenties I used to be quite the soda drinker. I gave up soda (dropping ten pounds instantly), but still drank a lot of sugary store-bought juices. Now the only drinks we have in the house are juices we juiced ourselves, smoothies, water, tea, dandy blend, coconut water, kombucha, and today's recipe... tepache! This isn't exactly traditional tepache, which is made with piloncillo and mixed with beer, but this way is much healthier. A lot of recipes also call for cinnamon and other spices, but I enjoy it in this simple version.

I know a lot of people get terrified of fermentation, but this is one of the simplest things I make! Trust your instincts and if something smells or looks wrong, toss it and try again. That being said, a little white foam is normal. The beauty of this drink is that it is great for reusing food that would otherwise be wasted. Also, don't be worried about the sugar involved. Just like with kombucha, the sugar is for the culture.


2 quarts of water (distilled, filtered, or spring)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
rind and core from 1 pineapple (excluding green top)

Take the rind and core of your pineapple and wash thoroughly. Be sure to check bottom, as sometimes I have found this to have mold. Place rind and core in a large open-mouth jar. Add coconut sugar and fill with water. Stir. Cover with a coffee filter or cheese cloth and secure down with a rubber band, so that you have air, but are not risking dust or contaminants. Let the mixture sit on the counter for 2 days. Do a sample taste. Depending on your climate and the time of year it might need a bit more time. (I noticed it takes about a day longer in winter than it did for me in summer.) Enjoy!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Raw Carrot Cupcakes

The colder month have put me on a dessert kick, so here is one you don't have to feel guilty about! I had two last night. The frosting is really what sets it off!


Cupcake

3 medium-sized carrots
1 cup walnuts (soaked 4 hours)
1 cup raisins
4 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
dash of Celtic sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse into an even, chunky mixture. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners (recipe should make about 6 cupcakes). Shape mixture into liners and pack tight.

Frosting

2 tablespoons coconut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener of your choice (coconut nectar, maple syrup, honey, agave)
1 tablespoon hemp or almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon to dust

Combine coconut butter and coconut oil in a pan and warm at the lowest setting, just to the point of melting and turn off heat. Add sweetener, milk, and vanilla and stir until evenly mixed. Coat the tops of your cup cakes with frosting and set in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes for frosting to harden. Dust with cinnamon before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Frosted Pistachio Rosewater Star Cookies

It is never too early for Christmas cookies, right? My challenge this year is to make as many different kinds of raw vegan cookies as I can that are yummy enough that people won't focus of the fact that they are raw. Last night's creation was a good first step! You don't even need to let your guests know if you decide to put algae in their cookies! Mmmm... Christmas algae... I jest. In all seriousness, I wish I had made more of these!


Cookie

1 1/2 cups pistachios (soaked 8 hours)
7 dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut flour (already ground or grind your own)
2 teaspoons hemp milk
2 teaspoons rosewater
1 teaspoon matcha, spirulina, or blue green algae powder (or a mix of all 3)

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until dough-like. Flatten onto a cutting board and use a cookie cutter to make your desired shapes. You may need to dust the cutting board with some additional coconut flour if the dough is too moist and sticky. Place cookies on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 100 degrees for roughly 8 to 10 hours.

Frosting

1/3 cup coconut butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener of your choice (coconut nectar, honey, agave, maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a pan, at the lowest setting, warm coconut butter and coconut oil to the point of melting and turn off. Mix in sweetener and vanilla. Coat frosting on cookies. You can use a frosting bag for more accurate lines, or just use a plastic sandwich bag and cut the tip!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What a Raw Vegan Needs to Be Healthy

Every diet has specific areas that need focus. While I have felt the benefits of going raw, I do recognize that I need to be aware of what my body needs. Supplements are always helpful, but your diet should incorporate these elements as well. Since I love top 5 lists, here are my top 5 areas of focus that can easily be neglected in a raw vegan diet.


1. Protein- While people LOVE to exaggerate how much protein you need it is still important! Luckily there are plenty of sources of protein in the raw vegan diet, as long as you are not neglectful. Nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes, and many vegetables are packed with protein. My favorite source, which I get into my vegetarian son, is green peas! Most people are not even aware that peas have protein!

2. B12- This one is easy for me, because I LOVE nutritional yeast! I know, how appealing can something called yeast be? But this terrific product is the best cheese flavor substitute, and also works in soups and sauces the way broth would.

3. Omega 3- Why do all these health enthusiasts push flax, chia, and hemp seeds? Because these are the places you get your Omega 3s! Hemp isn't as high in Omega 3 as chia and flax, but all three are pretty much essential to any raw bread, cookie, or cracker I have ever made!

4. Iron- I don't know if it is just me, but I know when I need more iron. My body craves it. Luckily it can be found in more than just meat. Dark leafy greens, broccoli, fennel, seeds, and nuts are all good sources.

5. Vitamin D- Good news! The best raw vegan source of vitamin D is absolutely FREE! Sunlight! Go for a walk, get out of the house! Making sure you have this covered also helps you get a little exercise. If you live on the East Coast like I do though, you may want to supplement... especially during the grey, cold winters.

Monday, December 1, 2014

My First Raw Thanksgiving

Hello! I haven't been blogging much over this holiday break, but I have been cooking a LOT! I am so excited about how much I have been learning, even if a lot of my learning has had to come from mistakes. My husband, my son and my parents enjoyed a wonderful meal and with some great support from my mother, who made two raw dishes herself, I was able to stay raw!

One of the big tips I have, now that the weather is getting colder out here on the East Coast, is to keep your plates warmed if you are eating savory food. It is amazing what a great trick this is! No one wants ice cold dinner, so leave the food out if it is safe to keep it out of the fridge and transfer onto an oven-warmed plate right before serving. Use potholders the whole time though, it can be a bit dangerous!

Another exciting thing I discover was my raw gravy recipe! I have made raw gravy twice before and I wasn't impressed. This one was my own invention and I was pretty happy with the results! The recipe is at the end of this blog, in case you want to try for another holiday meal, or an everyday-holiday meal!

Guiding you through the pictures below, first is my full plate, of which there were two! (Hey, just because I am raw doesn't mean I don't like to EAT!) Portobello marinated and dehydrated mushrooms with gravy, stuffing (which I won't go into detail until my cookbook... it is that good), pickled brussel sprouts with maple carrot "bacon", and purple cabbage slaw (from my lovely mother). Further down I have images of my pumpkin spice cookies, made from juicer pulp, and my frosted cranberry crumb cake, which I made in individual sizes a few weeks ago and have the recipe listed from November.







Marinated Portobello Mushrooms with Gravy

Mushrooms

5 large portobello mushrooms
3 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
Celtic sea salt to taste

Clean mushrooms and cut into 1/2" thick strips. Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish or pan, and allow mushrooms to soak roughly 2 hours in the fridge. Space the mushrooms evenly on your dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 6 hours at 105 degrees.

Gravy

Leftover marinade from above
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon almond milk
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
Large handful of fresh herbs (I used rosemary, sage, and thyme)
Extra water as needed
Celtic sea salt to taste

Save the leftover marinade from your mushrooms, and combine in a small food processor or blender with the ingredients listed above. Add extra water as needed to reach desired consistency. Be careful not to water down.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Abundance and Origins: A Thanksgiving Challenge

Thanksgiving, followed by Black Friday, is a time when Americans shamelessly do what we do best: CONSUME. My challenge for everyone this holiday is to pause, think constructively, and formulate an educated decision that you are peace with before making your purchases. This is something I have been working on and improving upon myself. The goal of this exercise is not to shame or overwhelm. Instead you should be working towards self-actualization and self-improvement. Small changes may not change the world, but they may act as a spark to light bigger fires. Here are some questions to consider before you buy.


For Food:

Where were these fruits/ vegetables grown?
What chemicals may have been used?
Were these fruits/ vegetables genetically modified?
How will consumption of this product affect my health?
How will consumption of this product affect my family's health?
Do I know what all of the ingredients in this product are?
Were the farmers that brought me this product compensated fairly?
What was the impact of growing/ harvesting this product on the environment?
Would I have been able to slaughter this animal myself?
How was this animal treated while it was alive?
What was this animal feed?

For Gifts:

Where was this product made?
Who made this product?
Was the person who made this product compensated fairly?
Why do I need it?
Can I make this product myself?
Will this product last?
How has the production of this product impacted the environment?
How were the materials for this product obtained?
Is the person selling me this product being fairly treated/ compensated?
Do I know of any crafts-person/ artist who could make something similar for not much more money?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Raw Cranberry-Pomegranate-Coconut "Cheesecake"

This weekend we had Thanksgiving Part 1, where half of my family was there a little early who can't make it for Thanksgiving Part 2. Part 1 involves more vegans, so I ditched the traditional ideas and made a big tray of fruit and raw nut cheeses, and raw pumpkin soup for my husband and I while everyone else enjoyed the cooked things. I must admit my mothers roasted vegetables smelled and looked beautiful, and I am sure they were delicious, but checking the scale at my parents house I have now lost 30 pounds, without ever going hungry. So as wonderful as my mother's cooking is, I decided to stay on my raw path! For dessert I made this cheesecake in a large spring-form pan, and it seemed to go over well! Hope it inspires someone for their holiday!


Crust

1 1/2 cups brazil nuts
1 1/3 cups raisins
4 dates, pitted
1 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of pink Himalayan salt

Filling

1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
1 pomegranate
meat from 2 young coconuts
1/4 cup coconut water
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts
2 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, agave)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

1/3 cup of dried coconut flakes

Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and blend into a dough-like texture.Line the bottom of your spring-form pan with a thin layer. Run the cranberries and pomegranate through a juicer. In a blender combine the juice with the remainder of the filling ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the filling into the spring-form pan. Smooth the top with a spatula, then move the pan from side to side to make the top completely even. Put the pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Grind coconut flakes in a spice grinder. Remove pan from refrigerator, open the spring-form carefully and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Serve in small slices. Enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Raw Frosted Cranberry Crumb Cake

In all honesty I am a sucker for holiday themed food. Something about those specific flavors makes me feel cozy and loved, as ridiculous as that sounds. I made these for my husband last night and he said it reminded him of something his mother used to make. It is nice to still conjure up those fuzzy feeling even if our diet has become something very different. This recipe is something I think everyone in the family could enjoy, no matter what their diet!


Crust

1 cup walnuts (soaked roughly 4 hours)
1/2 cup raisins
3 dates, pitted
1 teaspoon coconut butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Cranberry Filling

3/4 cup frozen cranberries (if you use fresh you may need to add a bit of water)
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, coconut nectar, honey, or agave)

Frosting

1/3 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, coconut nectar, honey, or agave)
1 teaspoon vanilla

 Mix all crust ingredients in a food processor until dough-like. Line the bottom of a spring-form pan with the crust mixture. Rinse out the food processor and blend the cranberry filling ingredients to a chunky mixture. This will be your second layer. In a pan, at the lowest setting on your stove, warm the frosting ingredients just to the point of melting and turn off. (If you are concerned about over-heating you can also put these in a bowl and submerge the bowl in hot water until melted.) Stir evenly and pour frosting mixture as your top layer. Place your spring-form pan in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to set.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sprouted Lentil- Apple Burger with Raw Ketchup

Burgers and ketchup... can it get more Standard American Diet than that? Here is my raw food version of fast food. It wasn't fast, but it certainly was easy!


Ketchup

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, hydrated
2 dates, pitted
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
Celtic sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Add a bit more water, if needed.

Burgers

2 cups sprouted lentils
1 1/2 cups apple pulp (leftover from juicing)
1/4 red onion
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
Celtic sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Once desired texture is reached, scoop into small balls and shape into burger patty shapes. Place in the dehydrator at 108 degrees for 8 to 10 hours. Get creative with your wrap and toppings! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Different Diets on Thanksgiving

Holidays are tricky. Family is one of the biggest influences when it comes to food... especially parents who were raised in a generation of very different food ideologies. When I became a vegetarian at the age of seven, I experienced the fear that grips well-meaning adults about diet. The ever familiar, "Where will you get your protein?" was a common question, as was the statement from more distant relatives of, "It is only a phase." I was considered picky, although I would eat just about anything that wasn't meat. While there was a great concern about my protein (which resulted in lots of cheese, beans and tofu), there ought to have been more focus on me eating enough vegetables instead of dairy-heavy carbs. The point is that my family had genuine concern for my well-being. If I had been older or more self-responsible I may have been better at directing this concern.

Now that I have been eating raw foods these past few months, holiday gatherings are reminiscent of what it was to be a vegetarian child in the eighties. So I came up with a few survival tips, which should be helpful for any diet which may be different from the rest of your family.

1. Educate. We live in an amazing information era. In the eighties I wouldn't have been able to address someone's concerns of my diet by instantly pulling up articles on the health benefits of avoiding factory farmed meat on my smart phone, but now that's a synch! Make sure you are discussing these topics non-emotionally, and are not attacking someone else's diet. Remember, the best way to lead is by example. If someone notices you are healthier as you are explaining your diet, it may make it easier. Also, listen to your family members as well! Everyone has areas they can improve upon. Maybe if Aunt Gladys read an article about how important B-12 is, it is worth monitoring your intake too. Just make sure you do your research!

2. Prepare. Do NOT expect to be catered to. Just because veganism has blown up in your metropolis does not mean everyone on the country farm is cooking that way too... especially if you have gone raw! Make enough food for your own complete meal, or at least bring a ton of snacks. Even if Uncle Joe has assured you there will be a huge salad you can eat, you might get there to find out it is covered in bacon or ranch dressing. Make sure you bring enough to share too. Just because you have a different diet doesn't mean other people won't want to try what you are having!

3. Communicate. If you want to avoid hurt feelings let your family know right away that it isn't THEM, it's YOU. Your decision, your diet. Explain what your diet means and why you are eating that way. Reassure them that it is not a critique of their cooking, but a lifestyle change you have adopted for yourself. Your family might even surprise you... nowadays raw vegan items are popping up at Target and Safeway. Instead of being "that weird diet", your family might see some kale chips or raw truffles and buy them up thinking of you!

4. Let go. Just a tiny bit. Okay, obviously you need to know your limits, but you cousin figured out how to make nut cheese, but the nuts weren't truly raw? Eat it. Your mother-in-law made a salad but the lettuce wasn't organic? Eat it. Your dad cooks a large steak... no, I am just kidding. You don't have to do that obviously, but be just a little flexible. The point of your diet is to be healthier and create a better environment. Don't you think it is worth the mental health of your family and the saneness of your home environment just to let the little stuff go?

5. Love. Love your family, despite your differences. Love the earth that blessed you with a gorgeous bounty of fruits and vegetables. Cook with this love, not the stress of making things perfect, just making things good and wholesome.

Oh, and as a back up plan, bring enzymes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Carrot-Pumpkin Seed Falafel Salad with Dill-Hemp Dressing

Salads are a crucial part of a healthy diet, but the trick is to keep them from being boring. Homemade salad dressing is so easy to make, and not bogged down with the chemicals and artificial flavorings in most store-bought dressings. In the photo I actually used basil in the dressing, which tasted great too, but dill seems to complement the falafel more traditionally.


Falafel

2 large carrots
1/4 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (I bought pre-sprouted)
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Celtic sea salt to taste

Chop the carrots and onion. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse, stirring occasionally. Do not over-blend, as you want some of the texture. Roll into small ball shapes and leave on a paper towel or cloth to absorb excess moisture for roughly 15 minutes.

Dressing

1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 a lemon, juiced
small handful of fresh dill
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a small food processor or blender until smooth.

Additional Ingredients

1 large tomato
1/4 cup red onion
salad mix of your choice (I used a mixed herb blend)

Lay salad mix onto individual plates. Chop tomato and onion and cover salad. Carefully place a few falafel balls on top of salad. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Haters, Health, and Good Food

My blog is close to approaching the 5,000 views point. And like clockwork, out come the trolls. Well, one troll. Under my Raw Pizza Margherita recipe a stranger from the Internet posted, "That doesn't look appetizing at all." I deleted the comment, but it also got me thinking.

Though this was the first negative online critique of my food, it was not the first in the real world. Co-workers are one of the most common sources of criticism. My daily breakfast of a smoothie and a juice (pictured below) have received comments of, "What ARE you drinking?", "That looks disgusting," and "Is that swamp water?" Meanwhile I am silent as they tote bags of McDonald's past my desk.

 My morning breakfast of blueberry-banana smoothie and apple-green juice.

I will be honest, no one drools over smoothies and dehydrated juicer-pulp crackers the same way they do for Papa John's or a McGriddle, because the parasites can't survive off of fruits and veggies alone. Certain food can be an addiction as strong as alcoholism. And it is justified in our culture just as fiercely.

But I LIKE the way my food tastes, as does my husband. Both of us are making plans to go shopping for pants this weekend, because the old pairs are falling off us! Sure, my pizza might not look great to one stranger on the Internet, but to my family it tastes great! You know another thing that doesn't look great? Unhealthy obesity. Factory farming. Illness and disease. The boils under my armpits which I had to have lanced which disappeared when I gave up dairy and soy. I know every ingredient that has gone into the food I have been making the past three months, and I feel at peace with that knowledge.

There will be more trolls, because there will be more recipes from me that challenge the conventions of the Standard American Diet. There will be people who cling to the comforts of canola oil and mystery meat that want to call what I am doing weird or gross. But there will also be a rainbow of plants to meet me each morning and not being out of breath when I run up the stairs. There will be exciting new flavors, as well as a chance to live a little longer and watch my son grow. Some of the 5,000 views might recognize that and be inspired to make positive changes in their own lives. So, sorry haters, more recipes to come!

Not the best picture, but these size 10 jeans were too small for me a year ago. They are non-stretch and by the look of it, I need to retire them!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Raw Zucchini-Apple-Basil Bread

File this recipe under "Tastes Better Than It Looks". This is one of my favorite bread replacements so far. I created it with a bunch of my leftovers... apple pulp from the juicer, zucchini scraps, and sprouted chick peas that were on their last day. It is pretty satisfying to be able to use this stuff. To think this delicious bread was made from what I used to put down the garbage disposal! I made a sandwich with it using hemp spread, cucumbers, avocado, tomato, and a little homemade mustard!


1 cup spouted chickpeas (sprouted 2-3 days)
1/2 cup apple pulp (leftover from juicer)
1/2 cup zucchini
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 large handful basil
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
extra water (if needed for blending)
Celtic sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend, stopping to stir occasionally, until an even dough-like texture is reached. If you have trouble blending add a small amount of water. Spread a thin layer onto a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 105 degrees overnight or for roughly 8 hours.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Christmas Wants From a Raw Foodie

This year my family has been purging quite a bit (if you are curious about this, go check out my records for sale at ebay.com/usr/mandymod or my vintage items at etsy.com/shop/WayfairingStranger), so the holidays can seem a little overwhelming. We don't need tons of things and we don't have tons of money to get things for other people (and my husband's side of the family is HUGE!) I thought I would highlight this list of some items that I actually would like, as well as some that any raw food enthusiast would enjoy. I also included some ideas of what to give when money is tight!

WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS:

1. A Coco Jack. If you get heavily into raw foods, and are lucky enough to live near somewhere that sells them, chances are you are going to buy a TON of coconuts! They are the magical raw vegan food, perfect for smoothies, pies, custards, jerky, creams, and other possibilities I haven't even gotten to fully explore yet! The problem is, how do you get all the good meat out without chopping off a finger, throwing the coconut through the wall in frustration, or breaking the kitchen disposal with a misplaced wood chip? (Luckily I have only done number 3, but the other 2 could happen any day..) If I had a Coco Jack, all these troubles could be over! Check out their website to see how it works! http://www.coco-jack.com/

2. Matcha Powder. Okay, so matcha is high in antioxidants. It detoxifies. It calms. It enhances mood. It is high in fiber. It boosts metabolism. And it is a really pretty shade of green that goes great in raw desserts. It isn't cheap, so I keep putting off buying it. http://www.matchasource.com/buy-matcha-tea-s/1.htm

3. Membership to "The Rawtarian's Kitchen". This has got to be one of the hardest working lady's in the raw food movement. And you can have access to her ebooks for just $4.99 for the first month till November 17th! That is a pretty amazing deal! http://www.therawtarian.com/store/membership#welcome

4. Enrollment in Matthew Kenney's Online Plant-Based Culinary Education. This man is the gourmet guru of raw food. Pure genius. Every plate he puts out makes me excited, not only by thinking about the flavors, but thinking that human beings might actually be evolving. I have no idea what his courses cost, but I am sure they are worth it. http://www.matthewkenneycuisine.com/education/online

5. Cooking Molds. Really, I have discovered through this process that there are never enough molds. I need small quirky shapes for chocolates. I need medium spring-form ones for cheeses. I need large spring-form ones for pies. Not to mention flavored ice cubes, popsicles, patties, and cookie shapes for the dehydrator. I need them all! And even if I don't, I can always pass the unused ones on to my husband for making orgonite.

OTHER GREAT RAW GIFT OPTIONS:

-kombucha starter kits
-nut milk bags
-sprouting jars
-dehydrators
-mandolins
-spice grinders
-julienne peelers
-spiralizers
-high-speed blenders
-food processors

WHAT TO GIVE WHEN YOU ARE BROKE:

1. Homemade Teas. I harvested the last of our herbs of the season, and dehydrated everything. We had a LOT of lemon balm and a fair amount of mint. I found an etsy shop that sells organic cloth tea bags in bulk and wa-la! Add a few special flavorings to make it special and you are done! I added some rosehips and rose petals to one batch and nasturtium and dandelion to another. (I mean, dandelion is free, people!)

2. Homemade Salt Mixes. I also dried rosemary, parsley, basil, sage, dill, and oregano. Since we have been getting a good deal on pink Himalayan salt in bulk, I just added the herbs to some of this! The hardest part here was finding the containers! Use a spice grinder in you want a finer texture.

3. Raw Cookies and Truffles. There are a million recipes for this stuff out there, and if you find a good one it won't matter whether the person eating it is a raw food enthusiast or not. Everyone love treats!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Raw Pizza Margherita

More than any cravings I have had since going raw I have craved PIZZA. Not gross, cheap chain restaurant pizza, but the thin, flatbread goodness with quality ingredients. There are a lot of raw vegan pizza recipes out there. Most of them are loaded with vegetable goodness, and that is great, but sometimes I just want a the flavors of a Margherita pizza. Pure and simple, but with a healthy edge. This recipe fits the bill, and just makes Friday nights more fun!


Crust

1/2 head cauliflower
1 cup apple pulp (leftover from the juicer, or else use 1 apple instead)
1/2 cup golden flax seeds
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (hydrated)
1/4 cup red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
small handful of fresh mixed herbs (parsley, basil, and oregano)
Celtic sea salt to taste (be generous)

Grind flax seeds to a powder using a spice grinder. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a dough-like consistency is reached. You will need to stop and stir the mixture several times until this is achieved. Scoop out mixture onto dehydrator screen and smooth into a thin, even layer. With a knife or pizza cutter, score lines where slices will be separated. Allow to dehydrate at 105 degrees for roughly 8-10 hours.

Cheese

1 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon truffle oil
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small food processor until smooth.

Sauce

1/2 cup fresh tomato
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (hydrated)
1/4 cup red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
small handful of fresh mixed herbs (parsley, basil, and oregano)
Celtic sea salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small food processor until desired consistency is reached.

Additional Items

1 tomato
handful of fresh basil
dash red pepper flakes

Slice tomato and coarsely chop basil. Separate pizza slices and place on a plate. Spoon sauce and cheese onto crust and top with tomato, basil, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cranberry Tangerine Coconut Pudding with Pumpkin Seed Crumble

Here is a sneak peak into the holiday spirit! Though it may look like any old simple pudding, cranberries are very potent and their proanthocyanidins remove bad bacteria from your stomach and urinary tract lining (which is why they have been recommended for people with UTI). This pudding can also be pretty bitter, so if you can't handle it add some more sweetener or throw in a couple of grapes!


Pudding

1 cup cranberries
meat from 1 young coconut
2 tangerines, peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon almond milk
2 teaspoons coconut butter
2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, honey or coconut nectar)

Crumble

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, sprouted
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sprinkle of bee pollen (optional)

Put all pudding ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. In a spice grinder or small food processor combine the crumble ingredients and blend into a powder. Serve pudding in a bowl or glass and top with crumble. Garnish with extra tangerine, if you desire.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cinnamon Goji Fire Balls

Here is the treat for the raw foodist whose favorite candy was Red Hots! Spicy, but cinnamon spicy, which is a very different kind of heat than peppers. Basically I love any treat in ball form, because it is easy to eat and you can portion them out as you like.


1/2 cup goji berries, soaked
1/4 cup brazil nuts
1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (bought pre-sprouted)
4 dates, pitted
2 dried apricots
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
additional cinnamon to roll

Drain goji berries. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a dough-like consistency. Roll into small ball shapes and allow to sit on a paper towel or cloth to absorb excess moisture for roughly 15 minutes. Coat a plate or cutting board with a thin layer of cinnamon and roll balls until completely covered. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Coconut Curry Lime Kale Chips

I know, kale chip recipes aren't that exciting for a recipe blog, are they? I mean, kale chips are kind of the gateway drug into raw food. But after I went up to bed last night my husband told me that the cat had jumped on the counter and was hovering over the dehydrator because the smells were that good. That's when I knew it was worth sharing.


1 large bowl of kale
1 tablespoon hemp oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of black pepper
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Combine kale, olive oil, and hemp oil in a large bowl and massage until tender. Add remaining ingredients and mix well so that everything is thoroughly coated. Space out evenly on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 100 degrees overnight (roughly 8 hours, may require less). Keep your cat away from the dehydrator and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Raw Apple Flax Cinnamon Buns

Sunday mornings call for a bit more than a smoothie sometimes... especially if you have been good and avoided eating any Halloween candy! So here is a sweet raw treat I came up with. Very good, although the recipe is a bit altered to make up for  some errors in my actual attempt (not enough sweetener, not sliced thinly enough, and not dehydrated long enough originally!) Enjoy!


Dough

1 cup of almond pulp (leftover from making almond milk)
3/4 cup golden flax
1 apple (I used Fuji)
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave, or coconut nectar)
1 tablespoon almond milk
dash of cinnamon
dash of pink Himalayan salt

Filling

6 dates, pitted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all spice
2 tablespoons water

Icing

1/3 cup coconut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave, or coconut nectar)

Grind flax in a spice grinder into a flour. Combine all dough ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth (you will need to stop and stir occasionally). Once you have reached a dough-like consistency, smooth out into long strips (recommended thinner than shown) on your dehydrator tray. Strips should be roughly 1/2 inch thick. Dehydrate for 2 hours at 105 degrees. Flip over and dehydrate for an additional hour. Remove the strips and lay on a cutting board. In a food processor combine all filling ingredients and blend until smooth. On the topside of each dough strip coat with the cinnamon filling mixture. Starting at one end curl the dough into a spiral. Dehydrate buns at 105 degrees for an additional 2 hours. In a pan, heat the coconut butter just to the point of melting and turn off. Add vanilla and sweetener and mix well. Transfer the buns to a plate and drizzle with the icing mixture. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes for the frosting to harden. Goes well with hot tea or dandy blend.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Raw Aged Turmeric and Black Pepper "Cheese"

Didn't I just do a "cheese" recipe not long ago, but you know what? This one is AMAZING. And a thing I love about cooking (or un-cooking) is that you learn and keep improving! This is the best "cheese" I have made to date and I am just getting started!

This is probably also the healthiest "cheese" I have ever made. Brazil nuts are more digestible than many other nuts, and do not even require soaking. Sauerkraut juice is an excellent probiotic. Turmeric has so many health benefits I can hardly list them all here, but a few are that it improves digestion, cleanses skin, and is high in anti-oxidants.Unfortunately we can't absorb turmeric fast enough to reap the full benefits... until we add pepper! Black pepper enhances turmeric's bio-availability, which is what makes this cheese such a superfood! (Yes, I decided this myself.)


1 1/2 cups brazil nuts
3/4 cup sauerkraut juice (water from homemade sauerkraut, see recipe for reuben dip)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon coconut milk (or nut milk)
2 tablespoons turmeric
2 tablespoons black pepper
pink Himalayan salt to taste

In a food processor blend the brazil nuts, sauerkraut juice, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, coconut milk, turmeric, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the black pepper. Blend until smooth. Should be a thick spreadable consistency, but if it seems too wet, add more brazil nuts. If it seems too dry, add more  coconut milk. Pour mixture into a small spring-form pan and smooth the top with a spatula. cover with a coffee filter or paper towel secured with a rubber band. Allow cheese to culture on the counter at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for roughly 48 hours. Remove from spring-form pan carefully (this is the hardest part). Cover outside of "cheese" with remaining 1 tablespoon of black pepper. If a rind is desired (recommended, but not necessary), dehydrate for 8 hours at 105 degrees. Serve with flax crackers, cut veggies, or fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Raw Red Pepper Hemp Soup

The air is getting chilly, and it is only going to get colder. Will I stay raw on those cold nights to come, for months on end in the unforgiving East Coast winter? Even if I have something cooked at some point, can I maintain my commitment to my health and the health of my family? I am enjoying the food we have been eating, but it is getting COLD. I think I have the answer, and it is soup. Yes, raw soups, but no chilled. Room temperature soups warmed, not on the stove, but with heat from spices! Bring on the cayenne, winter is just around the corner!


4 cups bell pepper (I used baby bell peppers, so I mixed red, orange, and yellow)
3/4 cup hemp seeds
1 large tomato
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup sauerkraut juice (water from homemade sauerkraut)
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
pink Himalayan salt to taste
jalapeno slice and baby bell pepper to garnish

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with jalapeno and baby bell pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time and Raw Food

The comment I hear the most now that I have been eating raw is, "But doesn't it take a long time?" In truth I asked this question myself quite a lot. Now let's take the same question and turn it back around, "But doesn't cooking take a long time?" It all depends, doesn't it? What are you eating?

While I have been trying to keep this blog filled with delicious and exciting raw creations, I can't make every meal as decadent as some. Last night I didn't get home till 6:45 PM. My son goes to bed at 8:00 PM, but I managed to get dinner on the table by 7:15 PM... raw food for my husband and I and a plate of raw veggies and rice for my son. I quickly spiralized some yellow squash and made a fast sauce of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, red pepper, onion, nutritional yeast, salt, and oregano. I even massaged some collards and splashed them with olive oil, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, salt, and a dash of chili pepper. It may not be the most Instagram worthy meal I have ever made, but it tasted better than some of the ones that do make it to Instagram! And who am I actually cooking for? My family or strangers across the internet?


So I thought I would write some quick tips I have learned since I transitioned to raw foods:

1. Get something going. Soak. Sprout. Ferment. Dehydrate. You don't even need immediate plans of how you will use these, but some of these processes take hours or even days! Get it started and the ideas will come as the food prepares. Buy lots of jars and designate a space for them in your kitchen. You will start noticing if it looks too empty, and you will remember to check when things are ready.

2. Go to the produce aisle. A LOT. I used to be a once-a-week food shopper, but now I am a one-big-trip-a-week food shopper. One trip is enough to cover the bulk of our shopping, but to keep up with all of our fruit and veggie needs I usually need to make 2 small trips directly to the produce aisle with a quick escape.

3. Fruit. Honestly, I tend to be a more savory girl than a sweet one, but recently I have been embracing the miracle of fruit. Nature was kind enough to provide us with delicious snacks and meals that require NO PREPARING and are the most healthy choices we can make for ourselves and our family! So why make it harder than it has to be? It is apple season, grab a freakin' apple!

4. Buy what you can in bulk. Believe me, you will use it all. Nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and salt are main ones which you will always need, and it will save you time and money to have a good store of these items.

5. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Have a back-up plan for times when there is no time. As a single mom before I started paying attention to my health my back-up plan was a veggie burger meal at Burger King. This is NOT a healthy solution, but even in the health wasteland of chain restaurant suburbia, there can be some hope. If you aren't lucky enough to have a raw restaurant or a smoothie place near you, find a place with a decent salad bar. Get only veggies and bring your own homemade dressing (most places won't care). Or go to a restaurant that serves fresh guacamole or salsa and bring your own flax crackers. You can't guarantee that everything is organic, but a little outing once in awhile can save you from feeling alienated socially and dropping your goals completely!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Raw Reuben Dip

While this recipe lacks a lot of the traditional ingredients of a reuben, it has the essence of what I always loved about the treat- thousand island dressing and sauerkraut! It also makes for a really fast meal. The savory flavor of this recipe is a sure way to help kick any cooked food cravings!


Homemade Sauerkraut

1/2 head of green cabbage
2 tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Cut or shred the cabbage into fine pieces. Use a large mason jar, or similar glass container with a lid, and pack the cabbage in tightly. Cover with salt and smash down with a wooden breakdown the roughness of the cabbage a bit. Add caraway seeds and apple cider vinegar. Fill the remaining space with spring water or filtered water. Close jar loosely. Leave the jar out of sunlight at room temperature for about 3 days. The jar will need to be "burped"(opened to release any excess gas) about twice a day.

Reuben Dip

1 cup brazil nuts
1 large tomato
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in water at least 30 minutes)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons hemp milk
1 tablespoon sauerkraut juice (liquid from sauerkraut)
3/4 cup homemade sauerkraut
pink Himalayan salt to taste

In a food processor combine brazil nuts, tomato, sun-dried tomato, lemon, olive oil, paprika, nutritional yeast, hemp milk, sauerkraut juice, and salt. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and add the sauerkraut. Pair with your favorite slices veggies or flax crackers. Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunflower Seed Cheese Wheel with Rind

My husband has been feeling some positive results from going on a fruit fast, which is wonderful. I have been feeling the benefits of eating more fruit as well, but sometimes I need a little something to go with it. So this past Friday I paired our fruit with a "cheese" wheel. This was my first attempt at a cheese with a rind, and I assume there will be many more attempts along these lines in the future!


2 cups sunflower seeds (soaked 4 to 8 hours)
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons sauerkraut water
1 tablespoon hemp milk
1 teaspoon truffle oil
2 enzyme capsules
Celtic sea salt to taste

Drain and rinse soaked sunflower seeds. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour contents into a small spring form pan. Cover the pan with a coffee filter and rubber band (paper towel or cheese cloth will work as well). Allow to sit on the counter for 24 to 48 hours. After cheese has set, undo spring form pan and carefully set cheese in the dehydrator for an additional 8 hours (this step is to make the rind, you can skip it and go without the rind if you do not have a dehydrator.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Product Review: CocoBurg Raw Coconut Jerky

Here is my first product review, and I have to tell you that I kind wanted to start doing reviews because I was excited about this product before I even tried it! Where I live finding young coconuts isn't easy. The one store I know of that consistently has young coconuts is 30 minutes away, gets robbed quite frequently, and the coconuts have to be checked over VERY well for mold. So while in theory I could drive an hour round trip, buy my own coconuts, hack them open, and dehydrate them for hours, it is actually worth the $4.99 per 1 oz. package (or $7.99 for 2 oz. package) to save me the trouble. In the world of raw food items, this is actually pretty damn affordable.

I got to try all three flavors: Original, Ginger Teriyaki, and Chili Lime. I was fully expecting my favorite to be either Ginger Teriyaki or Chili Lime because I love flavors... bright, exciting, saturated flavors. While all three were great I was surprised that Original was actually my favorite. Original usually communicates "plain" or "boring" to my brain, but CocoBurg's Original is peppery goodness. As close to a steak as a raw foodist can get. I portioned out my bag carefully so that I wouldn't eat it all, but my husband came along and finished it off. I sprinkled a bit of the Chili Lime on a raw stir-fry I made (topping on salads would also be a good idea), which gave it an extra kick. This one is spicy though, so be warned! Luckily I love heat.

All of the ingredients used are organic and dehydrated at 115 degrees. CocoBurg is a great alternative to buying highly-processed treats. The flavoring is spot on. Whether you are eating raw, gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, vegan or vegetarian, this product meets your standards. In fact, my only complaint about their products are that they are already gone now and I need to get more!

cocoburg.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The 5-Minute Raw Apple Crumble

What else is there to say? Apple crumble in 5 minutes? Um, yes please! Just another recipe to disprove the idea that raw food takes too long. (I once believed this myself!)


2 apples (I used Fuji that we picked from an orchard!)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (mine were bought pre-sprouted)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon coconut butter
1 teaspoon water
dash pink Himalayan salt
drizzle of sweetener of choice (coconut nectar, maple syrup, honey, or agave)
sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine raisins, pumpkin seeds, tahini, coconut butter, water, and salt in a food processor until dough-like. Slice apples (the thinner the better). Place apple slices in a bowl and crumble the mixture over top. Drizzle sweetener of choice and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 Fast, Easy, Simple Raw Snacks

Sometimes after a long day, but between meal times, we slump on the couch completely exhausted and just need some small treat to satisfy us. Or maybe we are running out the door and don't have time to bother with dishes, let alone dehydrators, food processors, spice grinders, spiralizers, mandolins, and the like. So here are 5 simple snacks (all 5 ingredients or less), to keep you going on your path, aside from the obvious choice of just grabbing a piece of fruit (which is also an excellent option!)

-Cucumber slices, mashed avocado, paprika, and salt.

-Apple slices, sunflower seed butter, sweetener of choice (honey/ agave/ maple syrup/ coconut nectar), and salt.

-Almond milk, chia seeds, sliced banana, and cacao nibs.

-Tomato slices, chopped onion, greens of choice (basil/ dandelion/ arugula/ spinach), olive oil, and salt.

-Massaged kale, olive oil, coconut aminos, chopped bell pepper, and salt.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Raw Portobello Mushroon and Onion Quiche

This one was yummy, although I do need to work on its appearance a bit! Quiche is a great comfort food that some how manages to feel warm even when it is cold. I just ordered these mini springform pans, so that helped out with portion control (if I had made a large one I am sure I would have eaten the whole thing!)


Crust:

1 cup flax seeds
1 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (bought pre-sprouted)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
dash of pink Himalayan salt

Using a spice grinder, grind the flax seeds into a flour-like texture. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and mix until even. In a mini springform pan, line the bottom and sides with mixture, pressing evenly into shape. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before putting in filling.

Filling:

1 large portobello mushroom
1/4 a red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large handful of fresh herbs (I used parsley, dill, sage, and rosemary)
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 a yellow squash
1 tablespoon hemp milk
1 teaspoon coconut butter
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon white truffle oil
1/2 a lemon, juiced
pink  Himalayan salt to taste

Slice the mushroom and onion, then marinate in a mixture of olive oil, coconut aminos, cumin, paprika, and salt for at least an hour. Dehydrate marinated mushroom for 1 to 2 hours at 110 degrees. In a food processor combine the macadamia nuts, yellow squash, hemp milk, coconut butter, nutritional yeast, white truffle oil, lemon, and salt. Mix until smooth. Chop the fresh herbs coarsely and stir into mixture. Stir in mushroom and onion. Pour filling into crusts. Release the springform carefully and serve.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Raw Chocolates in Maca-Cinnamon, Vanilla-Coconut, and Dark

Sweets and treats. We need them sometimes. The tricky thing in the raw vegan world is what to use as your sweetener. As often as possible dates or fruit juice suffice, but sometimes they aren't quite the right texture or consistency. So often I face the three possibilities: honey (not vegan), maple syrup (not raw), or agave (not always raw, and not all that healthy). I have heard arguments from both sides as to whether the consumption of honey is helpful or hurtful to our declining bee population. It is hard to know which is true. Raw local honey can be beneficial to people with allergies and skin problems (i.e. me).  While maple syrup is technically not raw, it is anti-inflammatory, contains more minerals than most other sweeteners, and is high in anti-oxidants. Agave can have the advantage of being both vegan and raw (read your labels), but really is lacking in any sort of health benefits.

So, pick your poison (hopefully lack of poison), and if these three still don't do it for you, try coconut nectar, which is raw, vegan, and has better nutritional value, but may be expensive and depending on where you live harder to find. After doing some reading on this topic, I definitely need to add this to my shelves...

Anyway, on to the sweets!

Dark

2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons carob powder
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener of choice (see above options)

Warm the coconut oil on the stove enough just to melt it to liquid (as long as this is not over 118 degrees it still falls under raw) and turn off heat. Mix the oil, carob powder, and sweetener until smooth. Pour into a silicone mold of your choice (I got my cute flower one off of eBay for $1.50 with free shipping!) Place in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to harden, or freezer if you can't even wait that long! WARNING: These will melt if you leave them on the counter too long! So once you take them out of the cold, eat them fast!

Vanilla-Coconut

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon carob powder
1/2 tablespoon liquid sweetener of your choice

1 additional tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1/2 additional tablespoon sweetener of your choice
1 teaspoon vanilla

In your first pan, warm the coconut butter and coconut oil just enough to melt and turn off heat. Mix in vanilla and sweetener. This is your top layer to pour into your silicone mold. For the second layer, follow the directions for "dark" above in a new pan, and pour into mold. Place in the fridge or freezer, as instructed above.

Maca-Cinnamon

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon carob powder
1/2 tablespoon liquid sweetener of your choice

1 additional tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1/2 additional tablespoon sweetener of your choice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maca powder

In your first pan, warm the coconut butter and coconut oil just enough to melt and turn off heat. Mix in maca powder, cinnamon, and sweetener. This is your top layer to pour into your silicone mold. For the second layer, follow the directions for "dark" above in a new pan, and pour into mold. Place in the fridge or freezer, as instructed above.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Exploring New Possibilities

As I have made these transitions with my diet and my health, I have had it a lot easier than most. The reason for this is my husband. He has researched and studied about herbalism and nutrition for years and I am lucky to be able to feed off of his knowledge. Then again, he is lucky to feed off of my cooking (or un-cooking, as it is with raw food)! We have a pretty good thing going. No, I am not bringing this up just to brag. I have been thinking about how my husband and I should work together on this blog.

When I am writing these recipes I get excited about the FOOD. I am a firm believer that eating should be an enjoyable experience. But the "why" becomes a little bit trickier for me to communicate. For example: Flax seeds are good for you, or nettles are an excellent herb for just about everybody to take, because... just wait a second while I find a dry quote off the internet to answer this...

But my husband knows this stuff with a passion and rationale that I would love to share with the world. So hopefully in the near future we will figure out a way to work on this together, for everyone's benefit! If you have any suggestions, advice or questions that we might be able to tackle, let me know! In the meantime, I'll still be posting recipes, and we'll be planning together...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Raw Sprouted Lentil Bread

Sometimes you want a sandwich. Not a wrap, not a collard leaf. Sometimes you have a TON of sprouts in your sprouting jar and don't know what to do with them. This recipe solves both problems.


1 cup flax seeds
4 cups sprouted lentils
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
Celtic sea salt to taste (be generous)

Blend flax seeds in a spice grinder or small food processor (I used my Magic Bullet) into a fine powder. In a food processor mix ground flax seeds and all remaining ingredients, stirring sides occasionally, until you have an even, thick batter. Line your dehydrator with wax paper and spread a thick, even layer on the paper. Dehydrate at 110 degrees overnight (roughly 8 hours). Flip over and remove wax paper. Allow to dehydrate for an additional 2 hours on the other side. Enjoy! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Raw Vegetable Biryani

In case you haven't discovered this yet, I LOVE Indian food. Unfortunately going raw has limited some of these indulgences, but last night I made this raw vegetable biryani and paired it with raw samosas, mint chutney, lemon pickle, and date dipping sauce. I am not going to give away all of my secrets (you will have to wait for my cookbook for that), but here is a taste of the goodness!


1 large or 2 medium-sized parsnips
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup of sweet peas
1/2 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of diced red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut milk
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon corriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
pink Himalayan salt to taste
lime and fresh mint to garnish

In a food processor pulse the parsnip until it becomes a grain-like texture. Transfer to a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Plate and garnish.



Friday, October 10, 2014

Sprouted Coconut-Curry Hummus and Sprouted Mung Bean-Black Sesame Crackers

Sprouty sprout sprout SPROUT! Here is a living recipe! Enjoy!


Coconut-Curry Hummus

1 1/2 cups sprouted chickpeas (about 2 days to sprout)
1/2 meat from a young coconut
1/2 water from a young coconut
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam marsala
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
dash of cayenne powder
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until texture is smooth.

Mung Bean-Black Sesame Crackers

2 cups sprouted mung beans (about 2 days to sprout)
3/4 cup of black sesame seeds
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup dulse
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
2 teaspooons chili pepper
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
Celtic sea salt to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until texture is a smooth, sticky paste. Lay down wax paper in your dehydrator trays, and coat with a thin layer of the mixture (the thinner, the better). Dehydrate at about 109 degrees for 4 hours, then flip and dehydrate for an additional 5 to 6 hours. Break into chip-sized pieces and serve with hummus!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Raw 7 Layer Dip and Sprouted Chickpea-Sweet Potato Chips

Firstly, I want to admit that the refried bean layer of this recipe was very highly influenced by Dan the Life Regenerator's black refried bean recipe. If you don't know it, check it out. It was delicious.

Secondly, these recipes can start to become about habits and planning for the future.  They are good lessons actually. Sprout something. Soak something. You might not know how you are going to use it, but you will and it will stop you from eating crap.


Sprouted Chickpea-Sweet Potato Chips

1 cup sprouted chickpeas (2 or 3 days to sprout)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup of flax seeds
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup onion
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth (this may take awhile). Lay down your mixture on a wax paper sheet on your dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 4 hours, then flip and dehydrate for another 4 hours.

7 Layer Dip

Bean Layer

1 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add additional liquid if needed.

Guacamole Layer

1 avocado
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Mash all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Sour Cream Layer

1 cup soaked almonds (soaked overnight)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon hemp milk
1 teaspoon truffle oil
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add additional liquid if needed.

Additional Layers

nutritional yeast
lettuce
tomato
onion
chili pepper to garnish

Select either a medium-sized pan or two small bowls. Starting with the refried bean layer, work your way up making a smooth, thin layer for each. Once you have finished the last layer sprinkle with chili pepper and serve with chips. This dip also goes well with cucumber slices, bell pepper, celery or carrots!