Saturday, May 28, 2011

Package of Goodness

I ordered goodies from a new-to-me company, Nuts Online,  last week.  At first glance, this website looks like a roasted nuts and candy warehouse.  I had been googling bulk raw macadamia nuts, and Nuts Online popped up as an option. I started to dig around and found wonderful prices on several raw food items.  I ordered a few standard (like maca and buckwheat groats), and then went a bit wild.

The Nuts Online company seemed fun and friendly, and the order came crazy fast.  The macadamia nuts were so fresh and delicious; nothing like the dry, bland nubs that hang out in the bulk food bins.  (They were $13.99/lb, or $15.99/lb for organic, which is way cheaper than anywhere in Alaska.) 

This was my first time trying jungle peanuts, which many raw foodies rave about.  I love almond butter, but it just doesn't taste the same as PB when combined with chocolate.   These little gems taste much like peanuts, so I'm envisioning a mock Reese's pie in the future.  

However, the star of the box was the Turkish figs.  They are out of control.  Even TH will happily eat them for dessert.  I am trying to limit myself to two a day so that they last a while.  

I was so pleased with this order and I know I will use this company again in the future.  Next time I will note the shipping charge so I can report back on that.

I am in Seattle visiting friends (school is out- yahoo!), so will try to check in with all my favorite blogs when I can.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend!  

Question:  What are your plans for the long weekend?  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Road Food

I've been away from home for the past several weekends.  Extended time away from mi casa used to throw my meal plans into a tailspin.  I initially thought that going raw would prove equally tricky for travel.  I have to admit that it's actually a lot easier than other diets that I've followed in the past.  I eat what I want, when I want, and don't have to worry about portions or plans or food combinations.  It feels really good.  That being said, I did do a little snack prep for my trip to Fairbanks.

Nori Crisps
Raw nori sheets, cut into squares, covered with Annie's Goddess Dressing Knockoff by yasi, and dehydrated. 

Sunflower Pate 
a super easy, delicious recipe from Delightfully Raw

Raw Granola Bars
Made from:
shredded apples
shredded pears
soaked buckwheat, sunflower seeds and brazil nuts
dried blueberries
dried coconut
a little coconut nectar 
I need to tweak this recipe a bit before posting it in its entirety. 

I forgot to bring my camera to Fairbanks, so I can't show you my beautiful weekend with family and friends.  I am super excited to share that we now have green leaves!  When our leaves finally pop out they are a fantastic, lime green.  This picture doesn't quite capture the bright energy the leaves produce.  

I have three more days until school is out and the ultimate freedom begins!  :)

Question:  How do you plan to spend your summer?  Do you ever worry that it will be over too fast?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Raw Donut Holes. Really?

TH wanted chocolate.  What's a girl to do?  I can't leave him hanging.  I'm pretty much an expert Raw Recipe Internet Detective.  I should get paid for my sleuthing skills.  Have you seen A Dash of Compassion?  Insanely gorgeous blog.   I decided to try out the Rawbits recipe.   I substituted and altered;  this is what I did.

Raw Donut Holes, inspired by A Dash of Compassion 
1/2 cup ground chia seeds
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup ground flax
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp irish moss paste

Mix the first bunch of ingredients in a food processor.  Add the remaining four items and process until smooth.  Roll into balls and dehydrate overnight at 105.  

I then dunked the balls in the chocolate glaze recommended by A Dash of Compassion, and rolled them around in coconut, cacao coconut, and buckwheat crispies.

These were delicious straight out of the dehydrator.  The outside was firm and the inside was soft, light and cake-like; very reminiscent of donut holes.  

The glaze and the toppings really made TH happy.   

The perfect treat to take on a road trip to Fairbanks tomorrow (where it is rumored to be above 70 degrees!!).  Have a fabulous weekend!

Question:  Do you have a favorite road trip snack?  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Broc and Curry Cheeze

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a free raw e-recipe book (Profoundly Raw Recipes)  on The Raw Food World website.  I had a broccoli forest taking up my crisper space, so I decided to try out the Broccoli in Bliss Sauce by Solla Eiriksdottir.  Of course I didn't have a lot of the ingredients, so I ended up altering the recipe enough that I feel comfortable posting it here. 

Broc and Curry Cheeze
2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets and softened in warm/hot water (drain and set aside)

2/3 cup brazil nuts  
2/3 cups coconut butter, melted 
2 cups water (use sun-dried tomato soak water) 
1/2 cups sun–dried tomatoes, soaked 
5 pitted dates 
5 garlic stuffed olives  
1 tbsp fresh ginger 
juice of one lemon
2 tsp salt free seasoning (I like Costco's Organic No-Salt Seasoning)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp Himalayan crystal salt

Blend the brazil nuts, coconut butter and water until smooth.  Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend until creamy. (If you want thinner sauce, you can add more water.) Pour the sauce over the broccoli and dehydrate at 105 for 4 hours, or until broccoli is soft.  

I was looking to snazz up my normal lunches of veggies and dip and this did the trick.  I wanted to lick the Pyrex when I was done with lunch today, but couldn't because I wasn't eating alone.  It just about killed me.  

Question:  What's your favorite website/blog for tasty recipes?  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pea Curry

Bummer.  Blogger ate my last posts.  Maybe because I posted this delicious curry recipe?  I like this sauce because the base is peas, which contribute a decent amount of protein.

Please Pass the Peas Curry 
1 10 oz bag frozen peas
1 1/2 cup peeled carrots
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 cup coconut water
1/8 cup coconut aminos
1 date
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp coconut oil

If you add enough tumeric it looks pretty (and not like baby barf). 

Question:  What was the best part of your weekend?  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Confession Time

Dirty little secret:  Sometimes I eat raw chocolate sauce by the spoonful while reading Oprah magazine and watching Dancing with the Stars.  I admit it, not that I could deny it with the chocolate dribbles down the front of my shirt.

I've been out of raw cacao for a while, but when my stash arrived I decided to go big.  Kelli from animal friendly eating inspired me to make a raw ice cream cake.  I started with a crust of coconut, cacao, and coconut nectar.  The second layer was leftover banana cream pie filling from Sweet Gratitude, poured around a small glass bowl and left to freeze for a few hours.  Then I pulled out the glass dish and filled the empty space with chocolate ice cream.

Rich Chocolate Ice Cream
3/4 cup brazil nuts
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp raw cacao
dash of vanilla
pinch of salt
3 tbsp melted coconut oil

Yum, this was good.  After blending, I processed it my ice cream maker, but I think it would have been easier to leave it in the liquid form for ice cream cake construction. 

After freezing that layer, on top I spread blond buckwheat crunchies (from Sweetly Raw's Ultimate Ice Cream Cake ebook).  Then I stuck the glass bowl back in the springform and spread more chocolate ice cream around it.  Once that was frozen, out came the bowl and more banana cream was added to the cavity.  

Back in the freezer, then:

Oh. My.  Can you believe I had room for spoonfuls of chocolate sauce after licking this plate clean? 

The reason I had to admit my Oprah habit is because one of the featured stories was a fascinating article about a guy (Darin Olien) who gets paid to travel the world hunting down super foods.  Where was the recruiter for this job when I was in high school??  Anyway, one of the interesting things mentioned in the article was biomimicry, or the idea that nature holds the answers to all the problems we face. The article talked about how certain foods look like the body parts they can benefit.  (Click here for examples from Woman's Day).  I thought this was intriguing, but TH believes it's a lot of hooey, mostly because earth's environment developed long before humans evolved.   

Question:  Did anyone else read this article, and get all tingly thinking about the secrets of our natural world?  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Love you, Mom!

Hope all you mothers out there are having a fantastic day!  `I think you ladies have the most challenging job in the world, and it's nice to see you recognized for your hard work.

My mom and pops were in town so we celebrated the day with brunch at our cabin, followed by a muddy, icy hike.   Since it was my mom's special day, my dad let her bring home all the rocks she wanted.  :)  Her jacket pockets stretched down to her knees by the end of the hike.

The brunch menu involved vegan french toast made with bread from our local bakery, The Flying Squirrel.  I doused slices in a mixture of almond milk,  a little melted Earth Balance, coconut nectar, vanilla, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon.  It smelled delicious baking and everyone seemed to like it.  I forgot to take a picture, but I did snap a photo of the toppings (smooshed frozen berries, maple syrup, coconut whipped cream from Sweetly Raw).

For the meat eaters in my family, I made a breakfast casserole by layering bread chunks, moose sausage, goat cheese, and local eggs (whipped with almond milk, salt, pepper, and oregano).  This was a big hit.  

Of course, green smoothies were enjoyed by all.  I so appreciate that my parents are always receptive to whatever I force them to try.   

 Raw Banana Cream Pie from Sweet Gratitude was waiting for us after the hike.  This is seriously light, fluffy, and heavenly.  I think it tastes way better than cooked cream pie. 

I don't 'cook' that often anymore, so it was kind of fun to experiment in the oven today.  

Question:  How did you appreciate your mom today?  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coffee Question

Over a year ago I gave up coffee after reading statements by Stephen Cherniske (author of Caffeine Blues) regarding plants' use of caffeine as a pesticide against predators due to its toxic properties. Cherniske also claims that when ingested by humans, coffee increases the release of stress hormones, is harmful to the liver, and leads to many other scary health disorders.  (Visit this article at for a collection of caffeine studies.)

Prior to giving up coffee I had been an Americano addict, drinking at least two cups a day.  I liked the taste, the smell, the little buzz it gave me, and the ritual of sharing coffee with others.  I remember visiting an acupuncturist for shoulder pain, and receiving stern advice to quit coffee.  However, I continued the habit, eagerly collecting studies that cited coffee's antioxidant and beneficial metabolic properties.

After reading about Cherniske's research, and beginning a high raw eating plan, I gave up coffee cold turkey.  My morning fix was replaced by a giant green smoothie, and, surprisingly, I had zero detox symptoms.  I made it through a cold Alaskan winter without a single coffee craving.  If I felt like a tasty beverage I would sip a cup of herbal tea, a kombucha, or blend up a frothy almond milk concoction.

So why in the heck am I having coffee cravings now, with warm weather around the corner? I don't get it!  The idea of coffee has been on my mind something fierce, and I'm wondering what it's all about.  Is it because summer means camping and rafting, and one of my favorite rituals is to crawl out of the tent in the morning to a mug of aromatic brew?  If so, why didn't I have these cravings last summer?  Maybe because I was on a newly raw high...?  

I need advice here.  How do all of you healthy people feel about coffee?  Do you avoid it, indulge a little, or can you not imagine life without it?  Do you have any interesting caffeine research to share? I'd love to know how others feel about this topic.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Zucchini Blueberry "Pudding"

I'm a late afternoon exerciser and I always snack a couple of hours before getting busy.  My normal snackage usually involves one of these items:

Today I needed to mix it up, and wanted to somehow incorporate veggies, fruit, and protein in a sweetish snack that would be quick to eat at work.  (Of course, a smoothie would be the perfect answer, but I don't feel like lugging Viv to school everyday, and smoothies don't taste as good several hours after blending.)  Here is my attempt at making a healthy, tasty, energy-sustaining snack, using two interesting companions.

I know, zukes are fruit, not veggies, buy whatevs. 

Blueberry Zucchini Pudding
2 largeish zucchinis, peeled and chopped
1 pint blueberries
1 banana
2 scoops protein powder (I used natural raw Sun Warrior)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp coconut nectar (or sweetener of choice)

1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup irish moss gel
2 tbsp sunflower lecithin

Blend all ingredients and then place in fridge to firm up.  

Okay, so this is really just a stiff smoothie, but I'm pretending it's more interesting than that. 

The clouds are doing weird things out our window right now.  Hope it's not snow.  (Sunset at 10 pm!!) 

Question:  What time of day do you exercise?  Do you eat before hand?