Friday, January 30, 2015

Top 5 Raw Vegan Party Foods That Everyone Will Love

I think the Superbowl is this weekend. You can tell how invested I am in sports, because I am not even that sure about it. I am not so excited about whether or not people I don't know can catch a ball, but I am excited about food. When you start eating raw foods, parties become a whole new game. You don't want to show up empty handed, but how many times can you be the person who brings a salad or crudites? Not many people get as excited about vegetables as they should, especially (pardon the stereotype) the football-loving crowds. Luckily there are so many more options with raw food! If you play your cards right, you don't even have to call it raw food... it is just food! And everyone can enjoy that!

I have selected five of my past recipes that really pass the test when it comes to serving people who aren't accustomed to this diet. Don't give up on the salads, but don't be afraid to show them there is more to you than just salad! Tip: I made number one last night, but switched the brazil nuts out for macadamia nuts. Heavenly!

1.Raw Reuben Dip

2. Raw 10- Minute Tacos

3. Raw 7 Layer Dip

4. Raw Chipotle Babaganoush and Sprouted Sundried-Tomato Hummus

5. Raw BBQ Cauliflower

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Parallels of Healing Spiritually and Physically

I never fully addressed the traumas I have lived through as I was living them out. I think it is a common human coping mechanism to take disturbing situations and become numb to them, just so you can survive. The trouble is that a lot of the time we never heal from these traumas appropriately. By continuing to ignore that thing a person did to us, that thing we saw, or that thing we did to another person, we are planting a seed of apathy that will only continue to grow. Along with the apathy we develop tolerance for that which ought to be intolerable. We think it is acceptable that these traumas occurred because no one around us is making a fuss about it, usually because they have developed a hard, calloused denial of their own. But one day, after pulling away from that willful complacency, we begin to see things through our own eyes. It is difficult not to become enveloped with vengeance or spite, but the truth is we need that energy more to nurture our own wounded spirits back to health. When we do, we come away with the truth that these things which we allowed to occur were not okay. We embrace that which is right and set our path towards a better future.

As odd as it may seem, detoxing and embracing a healthier lifestyle is a similar sensation to this phenomenon. On the surface it may seem to many that this is a superficial effort, aimed at appearance and the praise of others. But true healing of the body is in full connection with healing of the soul. The same tolerance you may have had for wrongs done against you, you have for wrongs you have done against your own body. I may have had boils, and acne, and felt uncomfortable with my inflammation, but I accepted that. Wasn’t that just the way it was? Wasn’t medication the answer everyone went for? Why should I eat anything other than the food at the restaurants that were surrounding me? If the FDA approved something as safe, why wouldn’t it be?  Likewise, I pulled away and saw new truths. Anger arose in me about doctors that had endlessly prescribed antibiotics, or companies who had taken hundreds of dollars from me to seep chemicals into my body. Laying this aside, I have been able to heal, and am still healing both physically and spiritually every day.

Healing is real. You can always improve, not matter how desperately you feel dragged down by the devastation of the world. There is beauty in this world, and when you do your best to bring it out of yourself, that beauty will be called to you in return. Do not accept something just because it has been given to you. Do not despair that the world is ugly. You hold the power to reshape your own world. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Raw Red Pepper Corn Chowder

Cold weather usually doesn't inspire cold soup. But who said raw soups had to be cold? Leave your produce out of the fridge for a bit and let the blender bring it to room temperature. Another nice trick is to warm your bowls (if they aren't plastic) in the oven to take the chill off.

Keep in mind that 88% of the corn crop in the U.S. is genetically modified. I try to watch my corn intake, because some people say it is nearly impossible to get non-GMO corn. I feel this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is definitely a crop that you need to pay attention to. Make sure your corn is organic, whether you are buying fresh or frozen.

1 cup of corn
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 cup water or hemp milk
1/2 cup zucchini
1 carrot
1/4 cup red onion
3 mini yellow baby bell peppers
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon hemp oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon  paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon corriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
dash of white pepper
Pink Himalayan salt to taste
small handful of cilantro*
dash red pepper flakes*
1/2 cup corn *
1 red baby bell pepper*
1/4 cup red onion*

Place all ingredient, excluding starred items, in a blender and blend until smooth. Chop the additional onion and bell pepper and add to soup. Add additional corn. Chop cilantro for garnish. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Country Apple Cupcakes with Maple Coconut Butter Frosting

I have been going a little cupcake crazy lately. It must be the cold winter! Luckily this recipe is a healthy way to enjoy a decadent treat. You can keep this recipe 100% raw vegan by using coconut nectar or agave instead of maple syrup and using cinnamon instead of bee pollen. Either way, these are a fast plant-based comfort food that will remind you of country home style cooking… minus the cooking.


2 cups dried apple slices (buy pre-dried or dehydrate your own)
6 dates, pitted
½ cup dried coconut flakes
¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (buy pre-sprouted or sprout your own)
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of Celtic sea salt


½ cup of coconut butter
2 dates, pitted
¼ cup maca powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
3 tablespoons almond or hemp milk


Bee pollen for sprinkling (or cinnamon to keep the recipe vegan)

Put all cupcake ingredients in a food processor and blend until even and doughy. This will take a few runs for the coconut to break down, and you will need to stop the food processor and stir the sides periodically. Once you get the mixture into a state where you can easily roll it into balls, shape the mixture into tiny cupcake shapes and place in cupcake wrappers (if desired). In a smaller food processor, combine all frosting ingredients and blend until smooth. Again, you will have to stop and stir the sides of the bowl periodically. If the frosting mixture is too thick add a bit more almond milk, but DO NOT overdo it. You want a butter cream consistency. Fill a frosting bag with the mixture and top cupcakes. If you do not have a frosting bag, cut the tip off of a sandwich bag and use that. Top with bee pollen or cinnamon. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes for the frosting to harden a bit. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Things I Eat That Aren't Raw Vegan... and Why I Don't Care

There are a million different reasons why people choose the diets they do. On the positive side people are taking into account their health, the impact on the environment, or ethical leanings. On the downside people might make the choices they do out of convenience, impulse, or cheapness. Worse than all of these, to me at least, is not making a choice for yourself at all. Sometimes people make initial decisions and then become a bit lackadaisical about the details. It is easy to become swept up in dietary movements and think, "I do this because I am vegan". Or raw. Or paleo. Or anything. I am not a fan of extremes or mob mentality.

So here is a list of things that aren't raw vegan that I still include in my diet because, well, my diet is mine. I respect everyone who may oppose these decisions I have made personally. Whatever you decide to eat, or wear, or buy, I hope you do so consciously. Continue making the best decisions for you!

1. Maple Syrup- No, it isn't raw. The trees are tapped and then the sap is boiled to make syrup. It does, however, contain over 54 antioxidants and has a high mineral content. When compared to something like agave, maple syrup is much more beneficial to your health.

2. Honey- I prefer raw honey, but obviously this is not technically vegan, as it comes from bees. There are some ethics debates as to whether this hurts or helps the bee population, and I have heard both sides. I have known beekeepers, though, who LIVE bees. These people wouldn't do anything to endanger their little workers. I do think it is important to be specific about the source of your honey. I also can't help but appreciate the health benefits of this magical substance. Honey kills anti-biotic resistant bacteria, helps with seasonal allergies, and is full of nutrients and minerals.

3. Bee Pollen- As with honey, this is also not technically vegan. But it is anti-inflammatory, packed with B vitamins, and a source of protein and anti-oxidants.

4. Olives- Most olives are cooked in the canning or jarring process. Some are packed in brine, which isn't the best. They also help control blood pressure, lower cholesterol, protect against anemia, and are a source of vitamin E. You can also buy raw olives, which is great, but they are hard to find and a bit expensive.

5. Dandy Blend- Yes, it is a hot beverage. Hot beverages are boiled water, so obviously not raw. But this drink has over 50 trace minerals, is rich in photo-nutrients,  reduces inflammation, and is an excellent digestive aid. It also beats any coffee cravings you might have, in case you are trying to avoid caffeine or acidity.

6. Tea- I must say, if you call yourself a raw vegan to the extent that you avoid drinking herbal teas, I might have to question your motives. There is a plethora of amazing herbal and medicinal teas out there that are ethical and healthy. Many of these amazing teas are caffeine-free. At this point, if you are avoiding tea because it is cooked, why are you raw vegan? Don't ask, "Is it raw?" Ask, "Is it harmful or is it beneficial?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Cheesy" Broccoli Stuffed Avocados

One of my biggest problems with the raw vegan community and people seeking a healthier lifestyle is that not everyone is actually healthy. There is a trend of no-fat dieting that goes on that has me worried. Well-renowned bloggers and health enthusiasts talk about achieving the illusive "thigh gap" and warn against "avocado abuse". While I see the importance of avoiding cooking with heavily processed oils like canola, I see nothing wrong with moderate consumption of healthy fats like raw coconut oil, nuts, and avocados. In fact, consumption of these healthy fats improves brain function. Also fats help absorb essential vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Having no fats in your diet leads to dry skin, which is bad if you are acne prone like I am.

It is a fine line and a constant struggle to try and improve your health while still maintaining a positive body image. I have admitted before that I have lost weight since I have made these changes in my diet. I once wore a size 13 jeans, but they no longer fit me. My mother just bought me a size 0 dress and it did fit me. This experience had me concerned. I did not want to be a size 0. I was worried about what this implied and I worried that if people knew I had something that was a size 0 they would assume I was unhealthy or anorexic. I became aware, however, that in all these cases I was judging myself based on other people's opinions. Were those pants an accurate size 13? Probably not. Is that dress an accurate size 0? Probably not. Does the size of my clothing or the number on a scale display whether or not I am healthy?

I eat three meals a day, and usually dessert. I avoid processed foods. I eat raw, and a lot of it. My health comes from listening to my body while acknowledging where the food I put in it comes from. I consume fats happily, especially in winter, and feel that these are a beneficial aspect to a health conscious diet. I am not a size 0 or a size 13, whatever a stitched-in label says. I can't properly instruct you on how to get a "thigh gap", and would much rather be able to instruct you on how to get a receptive mind. I don't want everyone to become identical preconceived notions of beauty. I want us all to celebrate and cherish the beauty of the earth and respect that beauty as it becomes part of ourselves.

And without further adieu, an avocado recipe.


2 avocados
6 stalks of broccolini or ¼ a head of broccoli
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 8 hours
3 tablespoons almond milk
½ lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon turmeric
Dash black pepper
2 additional tablespoons almond milk
Pink Himalayan salt to taste

In a food processor, combine the cashews, almond milk, and salt. Blend into a thick sour cream texture. Remove half of mixture and set aside in a small bowl. Add nutritional yeast, turmeric, black pepper, and more salt to the half remaining in the food processor and blend to a nacho cheese sauce consistency. Pour the cheese mixture into a new bowl. Chop your broccolini (or broccoli) and mix into your cheese mixture bowl. Let this marinate about 15 minutes so that the broccolini (or broccoli) becomes tender. Slice the avocados in half and carefully remove the pits. Pour in the cheesy broccoli mixture and top with a dollop of your sour cream mixture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Matcha Pistachio Bliss Balls

These little bliss balls are a perfect balance. On one hand they are packed with superfood powders like matcha, lucuma, spirulina, and blue green algae. On the other hand they have just enough sweetness to make them feel decadent.

Some people may have differing views on soaking pistachios. If you try and search pistachio soak times on the internet, you get a lot of mixed information. I have tried soaking and not soaking, and felt through my personal experience that my food digested better when I soaked the pistachios first. Pistachios are prone to mold, which may be why they are not recommended for soaking, so if you decide to soak for this recipe I recommend eating immediately.

I also used honey for this recipe because I find it to be the sweetest option, and matcha can be very bitter on its own. Any of the listed sweeteners will work if you are opposed to using honey, so no worries if you have ethical oppositions to using it.

6 dates, pitted
1 cup pistachios (soaked for 4 hours)
1/3 cup dried coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cacao butter (or coconut butter)
1 ½ tablespoons liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, honey, maple syrup, or agave)
1 tablespoon matcha powder
Dash pink Himalayan salt
3 teaspoons lucuma powder
½ teaspoon spirulina
½ teaspoon blue green algae

In a food processor combine the dates, pistachios, coconut flakes, cacao butter, liquid sweetener, matcha, and salt. Blend until mixture becomes dough-like. Roll into 1 to 1 ½ inch size balls. On a plate sprinkle the lucuma powder, spirulina, and blue green algae. Using a fork, mix the dry granules evenly. Roll balls in powdered mixture until covered. Enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Raw Vegan Cacao-Carob Cupcakes

There is no reason you can't have you cake and eat it too... or have your health and eat a cupcake too. Sure, this recipe has fat, but it is the good kind of fat. Eat them with the same moderation you would standard cupcakes, but enjoy them all the more knowing they don't contain dairy, soy, gluten, chemicals, artificial color, and all that other stuff that clogs us up or doesn't digest properly. These are gateway cupcakes, so once you get the gist of them it is easy to get creative and come up with your own modifications!


6 dates, pitted
1 cup walnuts (soaked 4 to 6 hours)
1/2 cup carob powder
2 tablespoons cacao butter or coconut butter
dash of pink Himalayan salt


1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup carob powder
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, agave, honey, or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon hemp milk
cacao nibs for sprinkling

Combine all cupcake ingredients in a food processor and blend until it eventually starts to form a dough ball shape. Separate dough ball into cupcakes based on the desired size and shape into cupcake forms. Place in cupcake liners to increase the affect. Combine all frosting ingredients (minus the cacao nibs) in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Top frosting on cupcakes, if desired by using a decorating bag. Top with cacao nibs and enjoy!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Raw is the New Punk

As a teenager I was heavily influenced by punk music. Many of us are, or at least fascinated at any early age with something that seems to define the rejection of cultural norms that we haven’t signed up for. With time it seemed to me that a lot of this culture had a set of rules within itself, often unspoken, which people involved followed. Aside from that too, it seemed that most of the culture around me was mimicking a previous generation’s rebellion more than creating one of its own. This being the case I found myself emerged even deeper into sixties psychedelic culture, which openly admitted to its revivalism. As much as I enjoy what was created in both these movements, they are both nothing new. Bands which presented sounds, images, and lyrics that once challenged conventions now have t-shirts for sale at the mall. Their songs are played in car commercials. Worse by far is the new response in music… to take fragments of all the genius that came before and stitch it up in a soul-lacking manner and present it with a fancy haircut to sell out stadiums.

I have equally submerged myself deeply into the art world. As a girl I thought this was my unending pool of self-expression. I thought that every masterpiece old and new hanging in the museum brought new insight to a grey world of daily redundancies. To an extent this was correct, as also is correct with some music, but my eyes became open to the reigning elite across the art world. Buying a painting was an investment, as was a tax break for donating it to a museum. The wealthy hold stock in deciding what ought to be valued and which struggling artists are to rise to the top. So as punk rock as Marcel Duchamp’s urinal might seem, the process to get it where it is today might seem less radical. And let’s not even begin to address Miley Cyrus’s presence at Art Basel.

So, in this day and age of internet access and instant gratification, what is radical? In a country of mass consumerism and commercialism what is rebellion? To me it is the ongoing effort to reject the candy bar, which profits a fat cat business man who employees a team of scientists and gene-modifying engineers to make a “food” substance packaged in plastic to sit on a shelf. Instead of supporting chemical-ridden products fresh off the conveyor belt we can come to the place where most, if not all off what we eat, is picked right out of the ground or straight off the tree. By rejecting the conventional norms in exchange for that which is simple, honest, and natural… that to me is the punk of today, and to which I aspire. 

Me 2001ish...

Me 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Burdock, Cucumber, and Mango Maki Rolls

“Raw vegan food… so, you just eat salads, right?”

Well, I am not opposed to salads, and actually I usually have at least one, maybe two, per day, but sometimes I like to be a bit more creative than that. So here is an example of some relatively simple maki rolls that are still raw! The hardest part isn’t making this recipe raw vegan, it is the challenges of sushi making in general! Once you get that down, you can change up the filling to whatever you like! Avocado, radish, bell pepper, asparagus... get creative!

Confession: I made these without a bamboo mat for rolling. I don’t recommend this, even though I did it. So do as I say, not as I do, and buy a bamboo mat! Here is a link to the maki making process, in case you need more visual examples on how to roll!

Sticky “Rice”

½ head of cauliflower
½ cup of hemp seeds
1 tablespoon hemp oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons coconut vinegar
Pink Himalayan salt to taste

Maki Rolls

4 sheets of nori
1 burdock root
1 cucumber
1 mango

Dipping sauce

2-inch cube of ginger
1/3 cup coconut aminos
1/3 cup coconut vinegar

In a food processor, combine all of the rice ingredients and pulse until granulated evenly. Set aside. Peel the burdock root and slice into thin matchstick pieces the same length as a sheet of nori. Cut the mango and cucumber into similar matchstick pieces. (If they are not quite long enough don’t worry, you can overlap!) On a dry cutting board lay out your bamboo mat, then lay out your first sheet of nori, shiny side down. Spoon out a thin layer of “rice” along the nori, leaving a bit of room at the back edge for rolling. (This is where you might want to look at the link up top.) Place matchstick vegetables (burdock, cucumber, and mango) in middle of roll, making sure they stretch out over the entire length of the nori sheet. Using one end of the bamboo mat, roll over top. Using a back and forth motion of the bamboo mat, seal the roll (again, you might want to look at the pictures on the link here.) Once you have a solid roll, set on dry cutting board and cut into 1 inch thick slices using a SHARP knife. If your knife is not sharp enough, sharpen it! Otherwise it will mess up all your hard work! Set cut rolls on a plate, and repeat these steps for each nori sheet. In a small food processor or blender, combine the ginger, coconut aminos, and coconut vinegar. Blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve with your rolls. If you have leftover veggies, get creative! As you see I wrapped mine up in a bundle with a scrap of leftover nori. If you have trouble sealing the nori, use a tiny drop of water to help the process along. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Humble Pie and Raw Vegan Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Asking for money is uncomfortable. I am not a fan of it generally, but I am a fan of growth. I have been taking a big look at where I am in my life, and where I want to be. This of course leads to the question of how to get there. I have some big aspirations for this blog, for my recipes, and for the future of my family. Some of these I am not ready to talk about yet, but a few which I will are my plans to make a cook book (already in the works), and the addition of my husband into some posts. John has a profound knowledge of herbalism, detoxification, and nutrition. Without him I would never be where I am today, and I can’t wait to share him with the worth!
Some of our aspirations could use a little help, and that is why you will notice to the right side of this page I have added a donate button. If you feel so inclined, and have appreciated anything I have shared with you, a dollar or two would help us out! So, there is the humble pie… now here is the REAL pie!


1 ½ cups raisins
1 ½ cups macadamia nuts
1 date, pitted
2 teaspoons cacao butter (or coconut butter)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of powdered ginger
Dash of pink Himalayan salt


1 apple (I used Fuji)
6 dates, pitted
1/3 cup tahini
¼ cup hemp milk (or almond milk)
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, honey, agave, or maple syrup)
Cinnamon for coating

In a food processor combine all crust ingredients. Blend into an even, dough-like texture. You may need to stop, scrape the sides of the container, and resume blending a few times. Once dough is ready, scoop into two mini spring form pans, or 1 larger spring form pan. Using your hands shape the dough into a crust. Set aside. Dice your apple into small chunks and set aside. In a food processor, combine the dates, tahini, hemp milk, and sweetener until you get a caramel like substance. Depending on the dryness of your dates you may need to add a bit more milk. In a small bowl, toss the apple with the caramel sauce. Pour this filling into your crusts and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Take out and remove from spring form pan. (It may help to carefully trace the edge of the spring form pan with a knife before opening, if the crust is too tacky.) Plate and coat with cinnamon to your liking.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

10-Minute Tacos

For the second time this month someone has asked my about eating raw vegan by saying, "But what do you do when you don't have any time?" So here is another speedy recipe to still eat well.

I will even let you in on a little secret... when it comes to raw less is more! Nature provides us with lush, flavorful ingredients that can be highlighted with the simplest touches. A pinch of salt, a squirt of lemon, or a sprinkling of fresh herbs can make simple picks from the garden a delicacy.

The other tip I have to share is to plan ahead. Just slightly. The reason this recipe is so deliciously simple is that I made sure to soak the walnuts ahead of time. After that, the recipe itself is a cinch!

 Walnut Crumble

1 1/2 cups walnuts (soaked 6 hours)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
Celtic sea salt to taste


2 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 an onion
large handful cilantro
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1/4 a jalapeno (or to your preferred spiciness)

2 avocados
1/2 a lime
1/4 cup red onion
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
pink Himalayan salt to taste


sprinkle of nutritional yeast


1 head of romaine lettuce

Combine all walnut crumble ingredients in a food processor and pulse just a few times to get an even crumble texture. Scoop into a bowl, and set aside. Rinse out food processor. Add all salsa ingredients and pulse to desired texture (I like a little chunkiness to mine). Pour into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine all guacamole ingredients and mash to desired texture. Tear off romaine leaves and set on plate. Scoop desired amounts of guacamole, salsa, and walnut crumble. Top with nutritional yeast. Enjoy!