Good questions deserve good answers. Especially when you realize they are questions you have asked yourself several times. Someone in a group I manage on raw foods just asked what people ate for breakfast other than smoothies. Now don't get me wrong, I love smoothies and have them Monday through Friday to start my day, but on the weekends I usually crave a bit more. Maybe it is because going to brunch was such a social event in my twenties. The girls would gather around nursing hangovers eating tons of bread and eggs and bloody marys... it was fun, but my body didn't thank me. So here are some of my previous recipes compiled together to help out all of us that want more than a smoothie in the morning!
I may live in Hawaii now, but I am still a working stiff just like a lot of you... I just have a really beautiful commute! At the end of the day, and that 45-minute long commute, I can get low on energy for food prep. Once my dinner is done I want some dessert. I almost always want dessert. Heck, I had dessert already and I wouldn't mind some more right now! I digress...
Unfortunately I am not the raw Martha Stewart who has the whole day to work in kitchen to create a seven layer raw cake. I am also not the perfect health guru who can be satisfied with just fruit all the time. Sometimes I want a bit more!
I made these coconut carrot cake bites in 5 minutes. I dehydrated them for about an hour since I used soaked deglet dates, but if you used mejool dates dehydrating wouldn't be necessary. I used sunflower seed butter, but feel free to use whichever seed or nut butter you prefer!
2 cups carrots
1 cup dates, pitted
1 tablespoon raw seed or nut butter
1/3 cup coconut flakes
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of sea salt
extra cinnamon and coconut flakes for rolling
Put all ingredients in a food processor and mix, stopping to stir the edges every so often. Stop when mixture has an even, but not completely smooth texture. Scoop mixture and roll into balls roughly 1 1/2 inch in diameter. If balls are too wet (stop snickering children) you can dehydrate for up to 2 hours at 110 degrees or roll on a paper towel to remove excess water. Roll the balls in extra cinnamon and coconut flakes. Serve and enjoy!
So I moved to paradise, but maintaining my raw diet hasn't been easy. Hawaii may be beautiful, and the fruit may be plentiful, but certain elements have presented themselves as a challenge.
Firstly, to move out here I got rid of most of my possessions. This included kitchen items. Even what we had saved may still be in the mail. I finally just received my dehydrator again. I have my Ninja Blender and mini-food processor, but I am missing my large food processor, my spice grinder, my spiralizer, and my juicer. I also forgot to mention, the move has taken its toll on my pocketbook.
Which leads in to my second challenge. While fruit is everywhere on the island, prepackaged foods are expensive. I know, you think, "That's fine I don't eat prepackaged foods," but anything you can't pick is prepackaged. Do you need coconut or hemp oil? Maybe apple cider vinegar or spices? Even salt... you are gonna pay about a third more in price for all of these things. Thank goodness Costco has a few organic items.
My third big challenge with my diet since moving to the Big Island is that all the local produce is (obviously) different. While there are benefits of now having greater access to pineapple, mango, avocado, lychee, lillikoi, and coconut (not young thai ones mind you, the ones with harder meat), there are certain foods which were part of my daily diet before which are now both more scarce and more expensive. Sometimes too they flat out don't taste as good. Apples, peaches, plums, broccoli, and cauliflower have been main ones to fit in this category.
Moving to a new place is about embracing new changes, however, and learning from the differences of others. One fruit that is plentiful out here and has become a staple in our new diet is papaya. At the farmer's market we can buy these for 3 for $1, which in Hawaii is about as affordable as you can get! Papaya fruit is sweet and the perfect texture for smoothies. Most people throw out the seeds, but what isn't commonly known is that the seeds are parasite killers and the healthiest part of the papaya to eat! The seeds taste exactly like peppercorns and I have been using them in recipes the same way I would use black pepper.
Here is a salad dressing I came up with. It is a bit unexpected, but mouth-watering non-the-less!
seeds from 1 papaya
1/3 cup of papaya meat
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon hemp oil
1 tablespoon almond milk
1 teaspoon liquid sweetener of your choice (coconut nectar, raw honey, or agave)
dash of paprika
sea salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender or small food processor and mix to desired texture. Pour on top of your favorite salad and enjoy!