real raw kitchen: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

HOW-TO: avoid the raw food cult


For some reason there seems to be a cultism around raw food and this makes me so sad. I first started out raw because I was just having so much fun .. then I kept with it because of all of the benefits. It's a lifestyle that brought me joy around food and vitality in an otherwise very ill body.

What I found shortly after calling myself a "raw foodist" is that there were many people pointing out that no-maple-syrup-is-not-raw and that roasted-sweet-potatoes-don't-count.

Pff. So what?

I make every single item I eat from scratch and the vast majority of it actually is raw. Plus, I make pretty awesome raw desserts, so I must be a partial raw foodist, right?? It's true, I'm not 100% raw and I actually don't think I'd like to be. I eat mostly raw and I love the culture around it but is there a way that we can support it--and each other--without making it seem like an all or nothing commitment?

I find the same thing happen with the vegan community, as well. Self-proclaimed vegans that actually don't check the ingredient labels on their cosmetics for animal products (or testing) are shamed for being a shallow vegan and not truly fighting for the cause...

Wait. What?!

I'm all about passion and even more about romance, but is there really such thing as a "bad" vegan?? It's a slippery slope that many diet dogmas find themselves in and quite frankly is something I'm embarrassed by as a self-proclaimed raw foodie. It's off putting not only to anyone that isn't already a part of the culture but even to those of us within it. I find myself staying slightly away from the 100% raw lifestyle mainly because I don't want a guilt trip for the one cooked meal I actually did eat. (Oh the horror when others find out that the raw food blogger ate a cooked veggie burger!!)

It's an elitist dogma that further separates us from mainstream dieters and deters people from trying it on for size in the first place. And that is the exact opposite reason why I fell in love with it to begin with! I fell in love with the creativity, the growth (both physically and spiritually), the freedom (how good it feels to eat in abundance and not be pained by it!), and the overall allure of such a different lifestyle than the mainstream eats. But when others begin shaming me for not being a fully committed, fully raw "raw foodie" then that's where I draw the line. At that point this lifestyle is more alienating for you if you cannot congratulate a person for making gains in their own personal growth rather than discounting them as a credible community member.

Luckily, the major figures in the raw food community that I have interacted with and look up to have not shunned me or anyone that I know of. I think this is partly due to the semi-celebrity status they hold among us regular folk, but also because more-raw-food is better than no-raw-food. What I have found, however, is that in some small circles there are discussions of whether or not something is technically raw and whether or not spices should be used in a raw dish ..

Let's all just agree that any savory dish with a little cumin sprinkled in it tastes infinitely better than with no spice at all, alright??


So here are some of my own pointers that I return to when I find that I am getting too sucked into the dogma:


  1. Relax. Seriously. Are meal times becoming stressful? Are you becoming increasingly worried with what is "raw" and what is "processed"? Then take a step back and just relax. If you are more disturbed by whether or not your meal is pure than you are basking in the deliciousness of it all then this lifestyle is not working. It's supposed to open doors, not close them.
  2. Celebrate the progress. Whether it's your own progress or the progress that others make toward a plant based lifestyle, it is always worth celebrating. Avoid being a raw food snob and instead rejoice in the fact that someone is making a healthy choice (and the same goes for any dogma!).
  3. Share your secrets. A lot of times this lifestyle can become secretive, almost like you're hiding out so you can just eat in peace. When this happens your life becomes very isolated and this only distances you from other, potential enthusiasts. Rather than acting as if this lifestyle is yours and yours alone, share your meals with others. This can be tricky at times because you also don't want to push people away for sharing too much information, but if they have questions, offer answers. If you want to eat out with your friends, then go for it and stay as raw as you are comfortable with. Be open about your choices and show others that it is an approachable topic, not an elitist club.
  4. 4. Give thanks. Take a look around at your current situation. How incredible is that? Very little of the total world population is so blessed enough to pick and choose what kind of diet they have, let alone nourish themselves in abundance. Take a moment to feel good and grateful about that.
    5. Be creative. If you’re eating out then get creative with the menu. Many people get frustrated at the limited options on some menus and that can sometimes come off as snooty. Instead, roll with it and piece together a meal that works for you.

What do you think? What are your tips for avoiding a dogma or label?

xo


Thursday, January 30, 2014

RECIPE: vanilla avocado pudding



This pudding is the perfect combination of creamy, sweet, comforting, fattening, and healthy. It's all the right things mixed into one. There are tons of avocado pudding recipes out there but only a handful are of the vanilla variety and even fewer use almond extract in it .. which I think carries mine to the top of the list of favorites.

Avocados are a raw foodies favorite obsession but I've noticed a sad trend lately and that's the "down-with-the-avocado-pudding" trend. It seems that many people are tired of using avocados in their puddings and I can't imagine why. When paired well with other ingredients it provides the perfect consistency and flavor. Not to mention it is SO incredibly easy to make and so, so accessible to most people (avocados are so much easier to buy and prepare than, say, a whole coconut, coconut manna, or some other odd ingredient).

That's why it's still my favorite pudding ingredient.

There. That settles that. Here's my recipe ...

Vanilla Avocado Pudding
Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2-4 T sweetener (i.e. maple syrup, coconut nectar, etc.)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/8 t almond extract
  • 4-5 strawberries, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  • Scoop out the green flesh of the avocado and place everything (except the strawberries) in a food processor. Process until completely smooth.
  • Mix with sliced strawberries and serve!
How easy is that?! And it's such a treat that it feels like it takes time ... not in my kitchen!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: January 29, 2014

I've had quite a few requests to bring this series back and so here it is! I'm very excited for it, as well, because I think it really speaks to the whole blogging-community-thing .. right? Sharing is caring and if you can gain inspiration from my site then rock your pretty little self on and be inspired! 

Even though I'm so excited to bring this series back to life I'm also a bit sad about this post for two reasons.

  1. I am working on some cute graphics to help fancify the WIAW series and I made them last night after a long day of work but was too tired to apply it to this particular WIAW. So I'll just have to wait until next Wednesday to let it make its debut.
  2. I have had an odd appetite lately. Almost no appetite actually. Food doesn't sound appealing to me right now and salads sound like way too much work. I hardly recognize myself. I've been drinking juice, hoping to glean some nutrition, and forcing myself to eat lots of fruit for calories. At night I stuff myself as much as I can handle with the only meal that sounds good to me: massaged kale and roasted sweet potato. I think this is one huge part why I've paused the WIAW series because I really don't have anything interesting to post! I think it'd be pretty boring to say "today I had a green juice and three peaches" ... who eats like that?!
So, please be patient with me. 

In the meantime, here's an honest glimpse into a busy girl's life. 

Red Pepper Smoothie. This is a recycled picture but this is something I love. I purposefully made it this morning to get more veggies into my body since I've been eating mostly fruit. This has freshly squeeze orange juice, red bell pepper, frozen strawberries and cucumber. So, so good. I love it so much!
 Clementine juice with strawberries. I love citrus season and every week I buy a box of clementines. Then, on the lucky morning that I decide to juice them, I get an entire liter of clementine juice that I then blend with a pint of strawberries (with green tops). So freakin' delicious.


 Vanilla Avo Pudding with Berries. I made this again this past week and it was delicious, as usual. It's an excellent way to get fiber and fat into your diet without the over-consumption of nuts and seeds. I'll have the recipe up soon! Check back for it :)


 Vanilla Custard Tart with Blueberries. Another creation I made this week and a recipe that I will be posting soon. The nutty base layer is covered in a vanilla cream custard and topped with fresh berries .. mm mmm.


Raw Cacao Orange Cake I have had zero issues with having an appetite for this. So freakin' good. It's easy to make and relatively low in fat for a raw dessert. I could eat the entire thing in a sitting if I let myself!


Green Juice. This is a recycled picture but something I've been consuming on the daily. I'm cramming myself with nutrients in as efficient a way as possible and this seems to do the trick. I sip on anywhere from 32 oz to 64 oz throughout the day. Then when I'm hungry again I have some fruit. It's been really helpful keeping my energy and spirits up!


Life Changing Bread by My New Roots. I also made this bread this week. So, so good. It's so easy, so tasty, and flour-free. I can hardly eat it because it is SO filling and swells up in your belly (in a good way) but the bites that I do take feel pretty damn good. My SO has been trying to gain weight lately (isn't that adorable??) and this is what prompted me to make this bread. He's been scarfing it down and singing its praises for how good it is and how filling it is. He likes his bread with raw honey. I like it by the handful.

And there it is: a week of eating in my real raw kitchen.

Any recommendations on what to make this upcoming week?? I'd love to hear from ya!



xo



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RECIPE: raw cacao orange cake


This creamy and rich cake is the perfect matrimony of sinful and light. The orange and chocolate pairing is one I've never been a fan of (I'll never forget that time I accidentally bought the orange chocolate bar and how so incredibly disappointed I was) but this works wonderfully and is just so sweet on my tastebuds. It served as a sort of celebration. Of what? Who knows .. there was no birthday and no anniversary. Instead, it was a celebration that my life is really beginning right. now.



What does that mean? Well, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm building this blog in order to replace my current job (though that'd be a welcome success!). Instead, it means that I'm going to honor it as the creative space that it is and make it the best it can be for the simple sake that both my and your time is invested in this. If I have an aspect of "work" that I truly look forward to then I'd say my adult life is really a lot more fulfilling.

As a result I'm migrating over to Wordpress. Eventually. And this is why I needed a celebration cake. Wordpress is no joke and I've spent a better portion of this weekend trying to make it work for me. I've made huge gains but also realized I have much further to go. While I feel as if championing Wordpress certainly warrants a celebration cake I also feel that this cake provides a motivation to keep working hard on transferring everything over .. because I'm convinced it will take months before the site is up and running.


So keep your eyes open for some changes. And in the meantime, celebrate adulthood with me with this cake. I swear to God (or whomever) that it's amazing and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I moaned when I took a bite.


And it's low in fat, which is always awesome.

Raw Cacao Orange Cake

Ingredients

For the crust:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 4-5 medjool dates, soaked
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 t orange zest
  • 1/2 t vanilla

For the filling:
  • 2 cups medjool dates, soaked
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1 orange, juiced and zest
  • 1 T Brazilian Ginseng (optional)

Instructions
For the crust:
  • Peel and pit the soaked dates and place in a food processor with remaining ingredients. Process until everything is incorporated.
  • Dump contents into a small springform pan and press down until even. Set aside.

For the filling:
  • Peel and pit the soaked dates and add to a food processor. 
  • Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides as you go.
  • Spread the paste over the top of the crust until even. Please in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with cacao powder or nibs (or even orange zest!) for garnish.



Friday, January 24, 2014

RECIPE ROUNDUP: january 24, 2014

It's Friday. This means several things. Firstly, thank God the week is over. That's always what Friday means to me and every other employee in an underpaid field. Also, Friday means Inspiration for me. This weekend I will have two full days of sunlight (weather permitting) and two whole days to play with food and try to pretend I'm a photographer. Usually I try to cram this kinda stuff into the early morning so I can go outside and play for the rest of the day, so that means Friday is my cram time for thinking up delicious things to make.

So this Friday I wanted to share with you the different things I've come across. These dishes are delicious and inspiring on their own but have left me buzzing with ideas that hopefully can come to fruition soon. At this particular moment in time I'm having serious thoughts about chocolate--good thoughts--for perfectly justifiable feminine reasons so I think a chocolate-something will make its debut, as well. 

(And for those of you that say the cravings during PMS are an unhealthy reflection of your reproductive system .. well BOO YOU. I don't care. I crave chocolate equally every single day of the month but I RELISH in this week for the fact that the rest of society seems to excuse these cravings ...)


Raw Rainbow Salad by Ascension Kitchen. You know I love throwing superfood berries into my dressings and so I'm drawn to this variation of a superfood dressing as well. Not to mention the photography is beautiful.

Strawberry Ginger Smoothie by Kitchen Treaty. This blog is so neat for the fact that it is based on a meat eater and a veggie co-existing in the same home and the same kitchen. Naturally, I love it. And then this smoothie sounds so delicious and refreshing that I MUST try it. I've had little to no appetite these past few weeks so this may be a great way to get some calories in without having to worry about meal planning/prepping.

Quinoa, Avocado Vanilla Pudding, and Berry Breakfast Parfait by Choosing Raw. This recipe ain't new but it is intriguing, to say the least. There has been some movement to use quinoa as a breakfast item instead of a dinner item lately and I'd like to think I'm on board with that. Paired with some of my favorite stuff (vanilla avocado pudding with berries?!) then I think I can like it, easily.

Winter Abundance Bowl by My New Roots. My favorite (and essentially only) cooked meal right now is a delicious variation of this bowl. I make my own with roasted sweet potato, boiled mung beans, massaged raw kale, pomegranate seeds, and my basic tahini dressing. So good and warming on those nights that you just need a messy mix of food.

Chocolate Brownie Cake with Raspberries by Real Raw Kitchen. I love this recipe because it hits this craving-spot that you never knew you had until you take a luxurious bite. It's quick and easy to make and a chocolate-lovers dream come true. I'm craving it at the moment so I thought I'd throw it into the mix. 

Creamy Carob Chia Mousse by Coconut and Berries. This sounds like such a delicious matrimony of my standard raw chocolate mousse and my carob mousse pie and one I'd like to experiment with. Plus, I love eating anything out of fancy wine glasses!

Cabbage, red capsicum, olive & parsley salad by Supernatural Food. This salad is so simple but just seems like a groan-worthy experience that can fill you right up. I've had a slight aversion to salads lately (wtf, I know) but this one actually looks appetizing to me and I may want to try it until my appetite gets back with the program.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

RECIPE: sprouted buckwheat cake donuts


I have been holding onto these for awhile and I'm not sure why. I was saving them, waiting for something special to bring them out. But now I realize this is silly and that it's time. These donuts need to be had and you all must get this goodness into your repertoires, stat.




I frequently mention my complete relief when my SO approves something I've made and I think I should probably note that this is not because I have him on a pedestal nor do I have an I-am-nothing-but-a-food-scientist-without-his-approval stance.

In reality, it is an accomplishment because when we very first started dating he thought this whole lifestyle was absurd. "Pretentious!" he would shout. He didn't want any part of it. Any raw foodie he had ever met in his past was weird, pretentious, shallow, and apparently also connected to a very superficial spirituality ("wtf is 'enlightenment' anyway??"). How he came to this conclusion I have no idea. It felt sort of reminiscent of a bad experience or a raw food meal gone bad. Though I don't blame him .. he lived in LA for a few years and you're bound to meet some ex-normal-people that turned into LA-weirdos. It happens.

So when we met he was not at all about this raw food thing. I, however, was. I was enamored, obsessed, and completely driven to submerse myself into the culture. I played with the food for quite some time before coming out to him as a "raw foodie" and it was mostly because I wanted to be able to prove to him that the food could be good and I could still be a good person. No pretentious attitude. No shallow affiliations. And certainly no bullshit spirituality.

So when he asks me to make him a raw dish, a green juice, or asks me about my thoughts on meditation and vision boards I can't help but squeal (on the inside) with excitement. Of course I try to act completely nonchalant like our conversations are just a typical part of marriage, but on the inside all I can think about is how I've won. I've proved to him that this lifestyle is fantastic .. not because he needs to be a raw foodie, but because he loves one and also loves that aspect about me. And that is how I know a recipe is good. If the avowed-raw-foodie-hater passionately loves me--a devoted raw foodie--as well as my food .. well then, yes, I've won, indeed.

Sprouted Buckwheat Cake Donuts
makes 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry buckwheat, sprouted
  • 2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 5 medjool dates, soaked and pitted
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t vanilla

Instructions
  • Combine everything in a food processor and process until a sticky dough forms. 
  • Wet your hands and then split the dough into four equal parts (more or less depending on how many donuts you want).
  • Using your hands, roll each part into a ball and then use your thumbs to dig a center out of the ball. Continuously use your hands to smooth together the dough as you dig a hole in the center. This gives it the donut shape.
  • Place on a mesh liner in a dehydrator and dehydrate at 145 for 3 hours. You can use lower temps for longer periods, just look for a hard outside and cakey inside.
  • Top with your favorite frosting and enjoy! (here I used a cinnamon date paste (soaked dates, water and cinnamon blended) along with a vanilla coconut frosting (coconut butter, vanilla, coconut nectar).


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What I'm Reading Now: taking charge of your fertility

I've been a big reader for as far back as I can remember. I have an absurd collection of books that has taken over our home and it is constantly growing. There's something sexy about a well spoken, well read woman. Also, I'm a cheap date. Take me to an old bookstore and I can stay there for hours, free of charge!

I always have several books on cue, but there is a particular book I'd like to share with you because I think it's a very  important topic and also just so damn interesting.

 I feel this way about so many books, in fact, that I'm thinking about making it a series .. I've touched on several of my favorite books here and there (spanning way back to the birth of my blogging life and even way back on my personal tumblr account where I would write creative pieces and recommend books simply as a creative and therapeutic outlet during grad school, years ago ... ) but instead of making these recommendations sporadically I thought I'd try a series on for size.

What do you think?

Don't you worry, though. It will not take place of my What I Ate Wednesday series (that has since gone into hibernation). I've had quite a few requests to start that back up again and I'm right there with ya. I think it's a wonderful way to see what a raw foodie eats and gain inspiration for your own journey of nourishment (that's the whole point of blogging, right??). Right.

But as I've mentioned before and I'm just so embarrassed and sad to mention again: my WIAW series has taken a backseat for several reasons.

  1. I work so much that I leave my house before the sun comes out and don't get home until the sun is fast asleep. So there is no viable daylight for any kind of picture-taking. 
  2. My meals have been more snack-ey than meal-ey because I have had almost zero appetite for the last few months. Especially the last few weeks (and days). I think self-care is in major order and if I'm being honest with myself, I've been behind in that area, as well.
  3. I'm embarrassed at how insignificant my meals have become. For a woman that prides herself on beautiful food I sure do eat a lot of plain stuff right now!!
So let me get back into my groove-thang and once I do, WIAW is all yours!

I digress.

Back to the book. The book I'd like to highlight today is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. The book is enormous but written in such simple, layman's terms that it really is not at all intimidating once you crack it open.

I currently use this method and (so far) it's been a success. I've written about how birth control has wreaked complete havoc on my hormones and so for awhile I felt like I was at complete odds with my body. Using condoms as a primary source of birth control is great and has worked for me, but it's also always a bit scary not knowing exactly the odds of it working. Now, however, I understand my body and feel fairly confident in how it works (and also fairly confident that being in a committed relationship allows for this, safely).

Here are the highlights:
  • Birth Control. I can use it to prevent a pregnancy because, let's be real, I'm trying to get romantic, not expand triple in size.
  • Pregnancy Planning. At the same time, the book teaches you how to become pregnant and how to determine your fertility if you're having difficulty becoming pregnant. So it's an easy switch to make if you're ready for children.
  • Cervical Fluid. What a gross term, right? But every woman has it and this book does such a fantastic job outlining the fluid and how it corresponds with ovulation. This is key and has been a game changer. It's also helped me predict my cycle a lot more easily, rather than waiting 28 days later for the impending doom that is your Period.
  • Anatomy. This sounds strange, but your cervix is positioned differently all throughout the month, depending on your ovulation. I had no idea but now I do know. And knowing this can help you and your partner determine whether or not you're ovulating, as well.
  • Infertility. This book does a fantastic job outlining the various reasons why women have difficulty getting pregnant. Many of them produces beautiful and viable eggs and the sperm have no issues as well. Instead the book talks about the ovulation process, how to watch to see if you've possibly conceived, and whether or not your body implants the fertilized egg. 
  • Easy Reading. This is my favorite part. I'm all about complex topics and I usually read books with a dictionary in hand for any words I don't already know. But this book is written so simply that it tackles the topic perfectly.
  • Charts. If you'd like to track your fertility there are some recommended charts embedded in the text (and included in the back, if your book is new/unused!)
  • Pictures. There are some pretty elementary pictures included, which at first looks odd, but in reality they're very helpful.
  • Empowerment. I feel like such a strong, beautiful, fertile woman for knowing what my body is doing everyday. It's so beautiful to know what it's capable of and how in tune I can be with it.
I love it and I strongly believe that every woman should read it, preferably at the peak of puberty, so she is never in question about her body. Take a look and hopefully you like it!


**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!

Monday, January 20, 2014

15 recipes every raw foodie should master

So you're new to raw food, eh? But you aren't that big a fan of eating raw bell pepper and carrot sticks dipped in blended zucchini? (oh my gosh, me neither, and I totally did that when I first started .. ew) Transitioning into this lifestyle, or even incorporating more raw foods into your life, can be quite the challenge. Almost everything we know about food includes some kind of cooking and so the first thing our minds go to when we think "raw" is spears of crunchy celery and bell pepper and carrots. But that, my friends, is a sad way to eat your veggies.

Instead, why don't you fancy yourself with some avocado pudding or beet ravioli, paired with a fabulous salad topped with a tahini miso dressing?? Oh yeah. This lifestyle rocks and is abundant in food and creativity. So I've compiled a list of the top 15 recipes every raw foodie should master.

I was actually inspired to make this list when I came across this post by Kiersten over at Oh My Veggies and I thought it was a fantastic idea. So, I decided to do a raw version. She is absolutely right that there is a set of recipes that every vegetarian should know and love. The same holds true for every raw foodie.

So here you go, pictures and all. And, as a disclaimer .. some of these pics are bad. I mean, bad. The only record I have of them is my pre-blogging days when I tried to be creative with my phone and Instagram. I'm so, so truly, deeply mortified sorry.


Zucchini Noodles There are two sizes that are integral for fancifying your kitchen: teeny tiny and regular. I am digging the teeny tiny size right now, which pairs well with raw beet marinara and regular sized noodles pair exceptionally well with a traditional marinara sauce.



Kale Chips Don't get caught paying an arm and a leg for a measly 6 ounce bag of overpriced kale chips at the store. Make your own.


Banana Smoothie For some reason bananas have become the raw foodie spokesperson. I'm not sure how Banana Land feels about it but I love it! Here is what I do: take some uber ripe bananas, three stalks of celery, and water and blend 'em up in a high speed blender. So easy and such a critical staple in the diet (I don't know why, but I swear it is!).

aye ..

Raw Lasagna Everyone has their own version of a raw lasagna, and here's mine. It's delicious, it's booming with flavor, it's easy, and it's SO approved. Once you get the trick of draining your sauces and noodles down then it even holds up well, too.


Tahini Dressing I use this dressing almost every day. It is creamy, earthy, tangy and everything that is right in the world. It pairs well with roasted veggies, it is nice tossed with cooked grains, it compliments the creaminess of an avocado, and it makes any bed of greens drool-worthy. I make it all the time and I often make mini variations, if I'm feeling a bit adventurous, by adding turmeric or garlic or curry or rosemary, etc.

big *cringe* at this pic

Raw Granola My basic chocolate granola recipe is a killer one and really works best with a dehydrator. I have no regrets about this recipe and I'm obsessed with it. It is perfectly crispy and crunchy, has the wonderful nutty flavor of the buckwheat, and is relatively low in fat compared to other raw granolas. It also is amazingly delicious and chocolatey so it serves as both a breakfast and a dessert (as per usual on this blog).


Green Juice Green juice is a staple. It's a great way to start the day and is my preferred breakfast. It's filling, refreshing, and energizing (when you have enough). I make an enormous batch and then sip on it all morning. Then I wait for the stomach growls of the afternoon to begin eating and feel completely satisfied all throughout the day. It's a game changer and I recommend you find a combo you love.


Raw Brownies I feel like this kind of recipe is really what gets us to stick around this lifestyle in the beginning. And if you make this, then you will see why. It's undeniably good, yet packed with good-for-you fats. It's an incredible little package of health but also a moan-worthy treat.


Raw Chili This is a little bit less traditional but there are tons of recipes out there, floating around. This is my favorite and I make it with pride and just love it. Everyone I share it with is amazed at how it resembles regular chili so much, except for the fact that I serve it cold. It's so good, so flavorful, and a sneaky way to get a ton of veggies in.


Beet Ravioli This is not a standard meal by any means but it truly is a delicious and simple meal that is worth knowing. Why? Because when you first go raw all your friends and family will look at you like you're crazy and refuse to eat anything you make. Then you will whip this out and immediately have their attention.

you can see my budding creativity, here

Superfood Balls There are a TON of superfood ball recipes out there but they mostly end up tasting like a nutty, mushy, cinnamon bite. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I just need something spectacular. This version is my favorite and I made it up based on something I had tasted from a store years ago. It's a win and usually anyone that tries it loves it as well.



Avocado Pudding Avocado and chocolate seem like an unlikely mix but I feel like it's the first recipe most raw foodies try. Unfortunately, if you don't get it right it can be pretty funky. (I still remember the looks on my friend's face when she took a taste of my first-ever batch .. ) I've finally mastered it and I think it's time you do too.


Chia Bowl Chia seeds are the neatest little things and make for a creamy and indulgent bowl of goodness. They are especially helpful when you first go raw because they are quite filling. Usually, the transition is an odd one because the sensation of being satisfied and not stuffed is a new one, so it gets confusing trying to figure out where your true hungry actually lies. These little guys fill you up and satisfy you.


Superfood Nut Bar There are so many bar recipes out there and it's important to find your own. I like mine a little bit different than most because I like it chunky. I also like it with a layer of chocolate, but who is keeping score?? If you don't want the chocolate then leave it out and you've got a fantastic bundle of energy.


Raw Cheesecake A standard raw cheesecake recipe is  necessary in a raw kitchen so you always have something to build from. I love adding layers and colors  and flavors to mine.

Friday, January 17, 2014

VIDEO: 5 Fully Raw dressings

The single biggest factor in whether or not you find happiness in this raw lifestyle is based on your repertoire of dressings. No doubt in my mind about that. This is why I usually prefer salad over anything else, because I LOVE my dressings. I have quite a few recipes here for dressings, but I thought I'd share this quick and upbeat video of low-fat and fat-free recipes from Fully Raw Kristina.

Personally, I prefer a little fat in my dressings but I also know that it's nice to have a balance of low-fat recipes alongside the more fatty ones. One rule I always abide by, though, is that if I have fat in my dressings then my salad has no fat. If I have fat in my salad then my dressing has no fat. So these recipes would pair well with a salad with avocado in it. My fattier dressings usually go over lots of greens and no avocado or nuts or seeds. 

Watch the video and let me know what you think!





Thursday, January 16, 2014

RECIPE: almond butter fudge




It seems like every holiday season there is a plate of fudge waiting to be devoured. When I was in high school I felt like it was my calling to consume as much fudge as possible for fear that I wouldn't see it again until the next holiday season.

Well, many stomach aches and lots of sugary headaches later, I finally gave up on fudge.

Until now.


I've seen this kind of recipe floating around Tumblr for years now with this same variation of ingredients .. usually it's with peanut butter and usually it's with honey. This recipe is so ubiquitous that I feel weird even posting it here .. but I also think it's a bit cruel to post pictures without a recipe :) 


This is like a healthier, nuttier version of fudge. It's not exactly what I was going for and so I'll be playing with the fudge idea a bit more this year, but I thought I'd share it with you anyway because it was still a delicious treat. It's like eating chocolatey almond butter squares that is a bit reminiscent of fudge. It's quick, it's easy, and the ingredients really aren't all that unique so if you've been playing with raw food or raw desserts then you likely already have all these ingredients in your kitchen.
merry merry merry!


Almond Butter Fudge

Ingredients
Instructions
  • Bring everything to room temperature to allow for easy mixing.
  • Put the wet ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  • Sift the cacao powder to remove clumps and mix into the wet ingredients.
  • Once everything is smooth, pour into a baking dish lined with plastic wrap.
  • Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours to harden.
  • Serve cool, it will melt if it is out for too long.
Optional Garnish
  • Cacao nibs
  • Cacao powder
  • Fresh fruit

YUM! Enjoy and let me know what you think :)



**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

RECIPE: passionfruit ice cream


This ice cream is the best. It's easy, it's healthy, it's very low in fat (naturally!), and has lots of good vitamins and nutrients that feed your cells instead of destroy them. 

I almost feel silly posting this as a recipe. It has two ingredients and is just so easy. You can adjust it however you'd like and sub in almost anything else instead of the passionfruit and it'd still be delicious. Heck, you could even sub the bananas! I'm thinking maybe some frozen blueberries, raspberries .. topped with maybe cacao sauce, nuts/seeds, fresh fruit .. The possibilities are endless. 

Personally, I was just looking for an excuse to play with my new juicer :)

Passionfruit Ice Cream
serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2-4 frozen bananas
  • 1 passionfruit

Instructions

  • Run the frozen bananas through your juicer with the blank plate on.
  • If you do not have a juicer like this, use a food processor or a Vitamix, scraping down the sides as needed (or even try using the really neat Yonanas machine!).
  • Scoop the ice cream into a chilled bowl.
  • Cut a passionfruit in half and scoop the insides out and onto the ice cream.
**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

RECIPE: strawberry shortcake parfait



This recipe is so simple, so delicious, and full of good-for-you fats that boost your brain power. It came to me in an instant while I was cleaning the house. I don't know where it came from, probably the divine food gods that were looking for a human vessel to bring this amazingly simple dessert/breakfast/anytime food to fruition. 

It's so simple that I even feel silly calling it a recipe. It's more of a combination than a recipe. Heck, it quite possibly already existed before I even thought of it! Regardless of its existence before me (and now after me) I'm so happy that I thought to put these ingredients together. It was just the perfect dish .. so light, creamy, sinful yet guilt-free. I just felt like I was walking on air after I ate one of these guys (which you get to see the progression below because I wanted to share the smothered goodness with you). 


And now, after I've eaten my fair share of this raw strawberry shortcake parfait, I'm listening to The Black Keys radio on Pandora and I'm just completely happy with life. Good food and good music will do that to ya.


 I mean, look at this. Creamy decadence in a fancy glass. What more could you want on a lazy Sunday?



Strawberry Shortcake Parfait
serves 2

Ingredients
  • 2 cups coconut meat, chopped*
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped**
  • 8-10 strawberries, sliced
  • 4-6 dried figs, no preservatives 

Instructions

  • Take the meat and place in a high speed blender or food processor. Add the coconut water and vanilla and blend until smooth, using your tamper to facilitate blending. (Coconut meat is tough to blend so if you don't have a high speed blender allow it to be chunky and add more water as needed).
  • Set the blended coconut in the fridge to firm up a little bit while you prepare the rest.
  • Remove stems from dried figs and slice.
  • Layer the dried figs, strawberries, and finally the coconut. 
  • Add fresh mint for garnish, if you'd like.
*See how to open your own coconut here.
**Use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you do not have access to fresh vanilla.




**
disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!

I submitted this recipe to a virtual potluck over at Pure Ella .. check it out here!