real raw kitchen: February 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

REVIEW and RECIPE: Rawsome Vegan Baking and peanut butter bars with chocolate and bananas

This is a peanut butter bar topped with chocolate mousse and bananas. These are amazing and I can't even begin to tell you how delicious they are. They are half my own creation and half of a genius little creation from the mind of Emily von Euw. The recipe is from her amazing new book, Rawsome Vegan Baking, which you should plan on buying right away. Why?

Because she's a genius and the pictures and recipes are awesome. And also, this recipe is in there.

I didn't have the toppings for the peanut butter bars, so instead I topped it with my own chocolate mousse and bananas. It was amazing. It felt like an Elvis-meets-Emily-hybrid-dessert, which is fine because those are the two best things about dessert, anyway.





And the book? Well, let me tell you something .. of all the raw foodies to make a book I think this is the exact person and exact book that should have come together. The pictures are gorgeous, as usual, and the recipes are just so drool-worthy that I felt like kicking myself as I thumbed through the pages (because why couldn't I think of something so fantastic?!). 





They are indulgent, fairly simple, and just beautiful to look at. Divine. The recipes are no exception, either. As is true to her genius brain, the recipes hit on all the marks: delicious, decadent, simple ingredients, beautiful, and creative. They add an edge that seems to be missing in much of the raw food world, right now, mostly because of the creativity in both the recipes and the imagery. 

Her personality shines throughout each recipe, as well. She didn't sell her soul in order to produce a book and she didn't allow a shoddy book for the sake of her own personality, either (a common problem among eager bloggers). Instead, the book so definitely represents her in every capacity all while being a fantastic collection of recipes and photographs. 

Emily was so kind to send me a copy to get a glimpse and I think it's perfect timing since the release date is in March. This is my very first creation based on her original recipe, and I'm excited to bring you more in the near future ..

In the meantime, you can go pre-order her book now!! Support this lovely lady, and support me too ... when you make a purchase through my links I get a miniscule   tiny  small kickback at NO cost to you!

Monday, February 24, 2014

REVIEW: dharma glass straws

First, I'd like to say .. whoa. It's been over a week since I've posted and that's a little crazy to me. This past week .. and past few months, in fact .. have been wonderful in that they've provided me with huge learning curves, incredible opportunities for growth, and proven to be great indicators of my strength as a woman. Meaning, this shit has sucked. So naturally, the last thing on my mind has been recipe development, let alone pictures or posts. This really seems backwards because it's one of my favorite things to do and could probably make this shit suck less. However, that's just not how life works and so I guess I'm flowing with this thing called Life.



What made it suck slightly less, though, are these glass straws. Glass Dharma reached out to me and asked if I'd like to sample their products. If you've been reading along for awhile then you know I love a good, economical, environmental way to be trendy. So of course I was delighted to try them on for size!

Soon after a neat package arrived at my door with lots of little goodies. I've been playing with these straws for the past week and I have to say that I'm hooked. I think that they will make fantastic gifts when the holiday season comes around and they serve as a wonderful buffer to my enamel when I'm gulping juice after juice.


So what's so great about these straws, besides the cute little color-coordinated beads?? 


Glass Dharma has a wonderful outline of their fabulous products on their site ...

Plain and simple, here’s how and why they work:
  • Glass straws don’t leach toxins into your food as you drink.
  • Each time you use your glass straw equals one less plastic straw ending up in your landfill.
  • One glass straw replaces thousands of plastic straws. (How many times will you use a straw the rest of your life?)
  • Using your glass drinking straw adds a feeling of beauty to your day.

GlassDharma glass drinking straws are:
  • Made of borosilicate tubing and is the strongest glass commercially available.
  • Means that we have spared no expense in bringing you the strongest, most durable drinking straw possible.
  • Annealed to Corning, Inc. specifications (a process that strengthens the glass).
  • So you can have confidence you are purchasing the highest quality glass straws available.
  • Made of glass which does not leach ANY TOXINS into your food.
  • So you can use your non-toxic straws with confidence.
  • Created with the beauty and elegance that only glass can give.
  • You’ll feel like royalty – with a touch of ‘glass’.
  • A great environmental addition to your kitchenware.
  • Great for hot or cold drinks, microwave and dishwasher safe!!
  • Are fully backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
  • If they don’t meetyour expectations, return for a full refund.
  • Covered with our unbelievable Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage.
  • Means that if they ever break, we’ll replace them - Free, (Why do we do this?)
  • Hand-made in the U.S.A. Buying from GlassDharma means that your dollar is not going off-shore - it stays right here in the U.S.A.

Bottom Line:

Would I recommend them? YES
Did I love them? YES
Are they affordable? YES

The Pros:
  • They are environmentally friendly
  • They are strong and durable
  • They are unique with the double dots
  • They come in many sizes
  • They are easy to clean
  • They are a decent price
The Cons:
  • They break if dropped (duh, be careful)
  • There isn't a corresponding lid to hold them in place
And that's really it. The reason I love them is because the "cons" aren't really cons about the product, but more of a natural part of the experience.


You can buy them here. Enter the code "BSF" for a 10% discount on your purchase!

Let me know what you think!

xo




Thursday, February 13, 2014

ROUND-UP: romantic, sexy, gorgeous valentine's day recipes


Nothing says "excuse" like a perfectly made up holiday such as Valentine's Day. What other day do we excuse our decisions, indiscretions, excesses with the flick of a hand other than one like Valentine's Day. Well, I love these kinds of holidays for that exact reason. I rarely (if ever) celebrate them the way they are meant to be celebrated but instead I take that opportunity to think up the sexiest foods I can.

Sexy food? Yup. 

So what is 'sexy'? Chocolate. Raspberries. Sauces. Creamy. Easy. Lick-off-your-body type foods. I've added two new recipes to my sexy repertoire this year and looked up the rest just so we can revel in the abundance of it all. Isn't plant food great like that? We get to celebrate the abundance, not feel utterly guilty!

From left to right, the top and then the bottom:

easy chocolate pudding This pudding is DI.VINE. One of my favorite indulgences because it's delicious and so, so easy.

vanilla avocado pudding If I'm not in the mood for chocolate (which is hardly ever) but I want something sweet and groan-worthy, this is the pudding I go to. It's quick, easy, delicious, and deceptively healthy.

sweet cherry tart I've been all about the 801010 lifestyle, which is centered on low fat meals, and so naturally I'm all about the sweet cherry tart. It's delicious and amazingly simple. So good, I can't even describe it. You have to try it for yourself.

cacao and strawberry pie Chocolate and berries goes together so well that I think they were separated at birth. This is a sweet and light dessert that leaves you feeling good (and still sexy!) rather than full and.. um.. rounded. Perfect for Vday.

cacao and raspberry magic cake This is my latest dessert creation and I'm obsessed. It's so good, full of so many different layers in each bite, and is the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and salty.

chocolate valentine's hearts with pink frosting These little guys are perfect for groups or for bite-sized treats. They are cute on display and easy to gobble up.

chocolate mousse cups This amazing dessert is really just the perfect combination of everything that is good in this world. Easily one of my top 5 desserts... and I make and eat a lot of desserts.

valentine's day cheesecake This is one of my very first raw desserts so the picture doesn't do it justice. But it's so cute and such a classic it just has to make this list.

Take a look-see and let me know you're favorite!

xo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

RECIPE: chocolate valentine's hearts with pink frosting


With a "holiday" like Valentine's Day coming up it just makes sense to have heart-shaped foods with chocolate and pink-something. So this time around I have made some chocolate brownie-cookies with a pink coconut frosting. Tasty, simple, easy, and sexy all at once.

Chocolate Valentine's Hearts with Pink Frosting

Ingredients

For the cookie:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 4-5 dates, soaked and pitted
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup coconut manna
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (not raw)
  • 1-2 T beet juice
  • 1 t vanilla

Instructions

For the cookie:

  • Place the walnuts in a food processor and process until a flour forms. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and process until a chunky dough forms.
  • You can place in a baking dish to make brownies, or roll out between two plastic sheets to make cookies.
  • Place in the fridge until ready to frost.

For the frosting:

  • In a glass bowl and the coconut manna and coconut oil and place over a pot of warm water. As it melts, mix to incorporate.*
  • Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  • Spread onto cookies and place in the fridge to harden.
*A Note: The frosting may be thick or it may be creamy ... either is fine. I make this frosting often and it's always a guess to how mine will turn out!

**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, February 11, 2014

RECIPE: cacao raspberry magic cake


Does anything pair better than chocolate and raspberries? Anyone? The answer is a big, fat, resounding "NO". And do you want the absurd truth about this cake? This was a kitchen disaster for me. I had deemed it a failure before I pulled it out to photograph.

I originally planned something involving cashews (which I was out of) and lots of dates (which I was low on). All I had were macadamia nuts and a few dates, some juicy raspberries and some fresh cacao butter and cacao liquor. Why I thought this was a disaster is beyond me, but let me tell you, I was ready for disappointment.

Then. THEN. The most fabulous thing happened. THIS happened. And I'm delighted. It's the perfect matrimony of sweet, savory, creamy, and tart. It's perfect. I happen to love the taste of macadamia nuts and I prefer my cakes to not be too sweet, so it worked out perfectly. You can choose to forgo the macadamia nuts and stick with cashews (or even add more sweetener). Regardless, this is divine. And beautiful. MMmmm...


Cacao Raspberry Magic Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 cups macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (more if you prefer a sweet cake) (not raw)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4-5 dates, soaked and peeled
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • cacao shell (recipe below)

Instructions
  • Place the almonds in a food process and process until a flour is formed.
  • Add the dates, salt, and cacao powder and process until a chunky dough is formed.
  • Dump contents into a 6" springform pan and press down until even.
  • Next, place the macadamia nuts in a food processor and process until a flour is formed.
  • Add the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil and process until smooth. (Add 1-2 T of water as needed to facilitate blending).
  • Dump contents over the crust and smooth over until even.
  • Place in the freezer for an hour, then move to the refrigerator.
  • Pour the cacao shell over the top and place in the refrigerator to harden. Top with fresh raspberries, coconut nibs, whatever sounds good!
Cacao Shell

Ingredients
Instructions
  •  In a glass bowl, add the cacao butter and cacao liquor. Make sure everything that comes in contact with this is 100% dry. Any amount of water will create a chunky, curdled consistency.
  • Place the bowl over a pot of warm water and stir until melted.
  • Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir to incorporate.
  • Pour into mold or over dessert. Place in the refrigerator to harden.



**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, February 10, 2014

What I'm Reading Now: Cecelia Ahern


Sometimes I feel like I have a huge duty to share with you all the latest raw-related material .. and then I realize, how boring is that? Of course I'm obsessed with this lifestyle and I could read endless books regarding the diet but at the same time I have to give my creativity room to flourish as well. my favorite way to do this is by reading fiction books that have a flare for romanticism. 

I'm a girl. What can I say?

Don't you fret, though, I have plenty of books that are directly related to this raw lifestyle as well as the spiritual aspect of a wholesome and pure life. It happens. But today I have to be completely honest and share with you one of my favorite indulgences. 

Speaking of indulgences, I also tend to indulge in some Ally McBeal whenever I'm feeling especially girly but that is neither here nor there and a little bit less respectable than a good old-fashioned book. Again, I'm a girl. What can I say? I love the McBeal.

This book that I'm reading now is by one of my (many) favorite authors, Cecelia Ahern. I discovered her way back in high school and so I think I just have a loyal dedication to her for that very reason. Other than that, I love her writing style. It's refreshing, descriptive and incredibly creative. Most of her novels are so heavily based in fantasy that it feels good to be transported into something somewhere else.



This is the latest of her books and so I've only just begun, but I can say with complete confidence that I've loved every single one of her books. They aren't as challenging, emotionally or intellectually, say, as some of my other favorites (like White Oleander or Tipping the Velvet) but her writing is intelligent nonetheless with a beautiful flare for description. 

Is she girly? Yup. Is she popular. Maybe, I don't know, I don't keep up with the "latest". Is her writing simple? Mostly. Even still, she writes in a way that makes it easy to disappear into a distant land all the while without soiling your precious neurons with dumbed down writing and raunchy plot lines.

Some of her other books that I've read are below. I'd really recommend any of them, not just the one I'm currently reading.



**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!




Thursday, February 6, 2014

RECIPE: avocado herb pesto with zoodles



Three years into this whole full-time raw food thing and this is still one of my favorite meals. I can't explain it. It's always and reliably delicious, filling, and causes zero bloat or indigestion. I love it from the very center of my being. I decided to make it for a raw food potluck I had with the girls and needless to say it was a hit.

I hope you find happiness in your pesto bowl much like I have!


Avocado Herb Pesto with Zoodles

Ingredients

  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 handful each of fresh basil, cilantro, parsley
  • 1/4 cup of truly sundried tomatoes (not in oil), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • a pinch of sea salt, to taste


Instructions

  • Use a spiral slicer to make noodles out of your zucchini. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and toss to coat. Place on some paper towels and allow the water to drain while you prepare the sauce. I prefer my noodles to drain for a few hours at room temperature.
  • Combine the avocado, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of seat salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Once the noodles are dry and soft, toss with the sauce. Add the sundried tomatoes and toss, once more.
  • SERVE!



**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, February 5, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: february 5, 2014


Do you like how I completely neglected you yesterday and failed to put up a recipe? Yup. I did. I took a break from recipes this week because I can't keep up with the eating of the recipes. I make all these fabulous things but can't eat it fast enough and end up giving away so much food! I don't know about you but I'm not trying to waste money like that. So instead, I opted to slow down on recipe development .. for now.

This week has been another busy one, packed with lots of duties and tasks. I've found myself gravitating toward an 801010 lifestyle, naturally, without really intending to. I think it was my body's natural way of consuming the right amount of energy to sustain all the hard workin' I have had to do!

Just like last week, these aren't incredible photos nor are they incredibly special recipes, but it's an honest look at what a regular ole' girl in a basic raw food life eats. 

Green Juice. That ain't new. But it's always worth noting because it really has become a staple in my diet. My favorite green juice is pretty sweet: 2 apples, 2 cucumbers, 1 head of celery, 1" ginger, 1 lemon or lime. Perfection.

Orange Juice. I've been loving this citrus season and I make fresh juice out of either oranges, clementines or tangerines every few days. This week I chose oranges and have been blending the juice with basil, bananas, and spinach for 60 ounces. So divine and filled me up all day.

Berries. I've had a serious slump in appetite, and I've mentioned it before, and the only fruit that sounds delicious when I'm hungry is a big bowl of berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries .. all of them. I like to blend them up with some water and sip on it throughout the day.

Macro Bowl. Seriously so good and so easy. I love mixing lots of veggies and sauerkraut together and then slurping up the goodness. I've been slowly adding these types of dishes into my diet, mostly in the evenings, and have noticed my energy boost right back up almost immediately. So good.

Abundance Bowl. I've been making this for years, and much like Sarah at My New Roots it's sort of just one of those meals I have regularly without ever bothering to share. My go-to combo: sprouted mung beans, massaged kale, sauerkraut, green onions, pomegranate seeds, roasted sweet potato in coconut oil, and a tahini miso dressing. It hits the spot every single time and even if my appetite is low I still enjoy it immensely.


Pretty boring, huh? I'm sorry, I really wish it was more exciting! I'm hoping this weekend I can get together some of my recipes on queue and share them with you! In the meantime, for a more real-life and real-time look at my eats, check out my Instagram!


What recipes have YOU been eating lately?

xo

Monday, February 3, 2014

DIY: upcoming home projects

Warning: this is completely unrelated to raw food ... sometimes I just want to be creative , yo'. 

I have been scurrying around during the daytime and collapsing into bed at night so I've yet to accomplish the many things on my ever growing To-Do list. Instead of admonishing myself for it and secretly resenting the fact that I'm happily busied each day, I decided to share with you my upcoming projects. Maybe you've seen them around the web or maybe you have other recommendations to make.

 Either way, I think we all have a lot to offer each other and this a great space to share our knowledge!

Magnesium Body Butter by Wellness Mama. This has been on my to-do list for quite some time. Magnesium is an excellent natural way to relax, is great for pregnancy, and helps digestion move more smoothly. Since we've had some pretty restless nights in our household I'm anxious to try this out.

Knitting. I've wanted to learn to knit for the longest time and I think it's the most usable hobby one can have. Plus, this blog (linked) has some pretty neat projects that I'd be so proud of if I had completed them! .. baby steps.


Homemade Hair Mask. I've used coconut oil as a hair mask in the past and I enjoyed it, though I found that it left my hair a bit limp .. I'm dying to find another natural hair mask that isn't oil based and is easy.


DIY Upholstered Headboard. I've been dying to revamp our bedroom for quite some time now it may come to fruition!


This is what's coming up in our household. What kinds of projects do you have?

xo