Raw “Honey” Mustard Sunflower Seed Dressing

I’ve been really intrigued by juice cleanses lately and I’ve been dying to do one. I just remembered today about the juice cleanse you can get delivered right to your doorstep! It’s called BluePrintCleanse and there’s three different levels of cleansing and the juice comes to you ready to go and you just drink them throughout the day. For those of you who don’t own a juicer or don’t have time to do all the juicing, BluePrintCleanse is the way to go. I do have a juicer, and I would like to do all the juicing myself. I have plenty of greens to do it, so hopefully it works out!

For those of you who don’t know, or think juice cleansing sounds crazy, it’s actually something that almost everyone can do and should do (however, you should always do research on the process if you’re unsure and if you have questions about your overall health consult your doctor or nutritionist). Over our lifetime, we’re exposed to vast amounts of chemicals and toxins. There’s pollution, exposure to cleaning products and other toxic chemicals, processed foods, and old waste in our system that can best be removed by doing a juice cleanse. I’m waiting for at least two or three days off from work to do this, because I have no idea how high the levels of toxins are in my body and how doing this will make me feel. I have been eating well the last several years, but before then it was all junk food and some fruits and vegetables here and there. Now, the majority of my diet is fruits and vegetables. My eating is clean, but I want to feel clean from the inside out. Right now, I’m trying to focus on preparing for a cleanse by eating light and mostly raw (which is how I eat anyway for the most part). For lunch today I decided to have a nice light salad with some raw homemade dressing.

I usually make this with cashews but at the moment, I don’t have any. I do, however, have plenty of sunflower seeds. Salads are such a quick and easy light meal to prepare and having homemade salad dressing on hand is a must for me.

Recipe:

1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

1-2 cloves of garlic

small piece of ginger (about the size of your garlic clove)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp stone ground mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

a couple dashes of salt, mustard powder, and turmeric

1 tbsp maple syrup or agave

1 tbsp onion

1 cup water

Add all the ingredients to your blender except the water and pulse a couple of times. Add about half the water and blend. Add water until you have a creamy consistency. If you like your dressing to be a little spicier, you can add more mustard or more onion or both. If you want it to be sweeter, add more agave or maple syrup. This dressing is creamy and can be a little thick, so if you want to thin it out more add more water until the consistency is perfect for you!

Raw Peanut Butter Carob Oatmeal Cookies

I suddenly had an urge to make something sweet and something chocolately. I made two batches of these, one with actual peanut butter and one with almond butter. The almond butter actually turned out even better in my opinion, but either way it’s delicious! I’ve seen a lot of recipes for oatmeal cookies like this where the batter is heated on the stove before being chilled. I decided to go all raw and just mix everything together and chill them and see how it went. It turned out great, they make awesome little cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic raw oats

dash of salt

1 tsp flax seed

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup liquid coconut oil

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter

1/3 cup carob powder

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries or pited dates

Put the salt and oats and flax in one bowl. Put the coconut milk, maple syrup, almond or peanut butter and carob powder all in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and mix everything together until the oats are all well coated and everything is incorporated. Take the cherries and / or dates and put them in a food processor to chop them up small and then mix them into the whole thing. Cover a tray with plastic wrap and place about a tbsp of batter down and flatten it to make cookies. You can of course make these as big or small as you like. Put them in the freezer for one to two hours and you can keep them in there and eat them or transfer them to your fridge and eat them. You could add chopped nuts to these or coconut flakes and they’d be even better! Goji berries would also be awesome in these in place of cherries.

If you want these to be really peanut buttery add another 1/4 cup! With this recipe it’s just a subtle amount of peanut buttery flavor

Sun-dried Tomato and Rosemary Quinoa Burgers

I love veggie burgers. They’re easy and relatively quick and you can use almost anything to make them. I’ve made chickpea burgers and garlic white bean burgers and ones with all the veggies in my fridge. I always use beans as a base and you can add in any kind of grain like quinoa or brown rice. I like to use mine on salads or have it with avocado and some cashew cheese sauce. These would even be good dehydrated. These can be made completely raw if dehydrated and beans and quinoa are sprouted beforehand.

Ingredients:

cooked or sprouted quinoa

1 can or about a cup and a quarter of sprouted white beans ( I used white navy beans but any white beans would be fine!)

1/3 cup chopped bell pepper

2 tbsp red onion

2 large gloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

2 or 3 sun-dried tomatoes

a few pinches of fresh or dried rosemary

some freshly ground pepper

dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Add all these ingredients to a food processor except quinoa and blend until pattie like but it will still have some texture. I like to add in quinoa last for good texture, you can add it in to the food processor too if you like but I just stirred it in at the end. Take the mixture and form patties onto a greased sheet pan. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes on each side or until they’re at your desired crispiness! Dehydrating you can do at 105 degrees and about 4 hours on each side will probably do. This recipe makes about 4 medium sized patties

You can freeze the leftovers and reheat them later for a quick meal later on or you can keep them in your fridge and use them the rest of the week. These would be delicious with homemade ketchup, homemade cashew cheese sauce (see creamy raw zucchini noodles for a recipe), and avocado. I like to eat mine without a bun but these would also be great on a nice sprouted grain bun or on some raw bread.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

I love a smoothie for breakfast. It’s light, it’s refreshing and it’s delicious! One of my favorite smoothies is a PB&J smoothie. This particular smoothie calls for almond butter, but if you like you can of course use peanut butter! The hemp powder adds extra protein while the chia or flax adds important omega 3’s. I chose almond butter over actual peanut butter because peanuts are one of the most common allergens, and almonds have more health benefits in the long run.

Recipe:

4 or 5 strawberries

2 tbsp almond butter

1 banana

1/2 cup coconut milk or soy milk

1 tsp hemp powder

1 tsp chia or flax seed

If you want this to be sweeter, add some agave or maple syrup. If you want a chocolate PB&J smoothie, add carob powder 1 tsp at a time until you have your desired chocolately-ness!

 

 

Raw Foods

A tart I’m working on and chocolate cashew cream

I’ve been feeling so inspired by raw foods lately. I first heard about raw foods when browsing through vegan blogs on tumblr and the like. Then I found a couple of raw foodists on youtube and checked out some of their testimonies and other videos. My first thought was, “this is crazy. Completely raw?” I, of course, was totally unaware of the vast world of raw food. All I could think of was a world without pasta and cooked veggies. I did a little research, I didn’t dig too deeply into thought because I just really didn’t know what it was all about. I thought it was kind of crazy to be honest. Months later, my mom being the nice lady that she is was doing some research on vegan restaurants in the area and found a particular cafe only about 20 minutes from our house. Not only was this cafe vegan, but it was raw vegan. They offer monthly cooking classes there and the one they were having that month sounded too good to resist to me. We signed up for a class.

After that class, I’ve never felt the same about cooked food. Always in the back of my mind, I think, “I could be eating raw.” I just don’t enjoy grains or baked goods they way I used to. I’ve learned so much about the world of raw foods, I feel so enlightened. There was this whole other world of food I was totally missing! I’ve taken two other classes since then at the same place and I plan to take another. I’ve gotten some incredible recipes. I was also inspired to go to the library to pick up some cook books by Ani Phyo (who is awesome, by the way). Now experimenting with raw foods is an entirely new adventure.

I honestly do feel the difference between energizing, living foods and cooked, overly starchy foods. Raw foods emphasizes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, pickled and fermented vegetables, and fresh herbs and spices. I’m going to feature a lot more raw recipes on my blog so anyone can experience the benefits of raw food! I’m going to experiment with salad dressings, desserts, dehydrated goods, breads, etc. I’ve already made a pretty delicious raw fruit dip made of cashews, coconut oil, dates and some other delicious and nutrient dense foods.

I’m not ready to give up all cooked foods yet, but raw foods is definitely going to take over the majority of my diet!

Let me know how you feel about raw foods. Have you experienced any benefits? Have you never heard of raw foods? What do you think about raw foods? Do you prefer cooked over raw, raw over cooked? Tell me anything, or ask me anything!

Energizing Green Juice

I made this juice today for an extra boost of nutrients to get me through the rest of my work day. Spinach, assorted greens, cucumber, grapes and apple all together form a mix of health benefits and raw energy for your busy day.

Recipe:

4 or 5 big handfuls of spinach

1 or 2 handfuls of spring mix (or more spinach)

1 cucumber

5 or 6 green grapes

1 apple

Wash everything thoroughly and juice the the vegetables first and the grapes and apples last. I know some people do not juice fruits and vegetables together, but I added the fruits to add a sweeter taste to the juice because it can be quite bitter with all the greens. I also like to get the benefits of both fruits and vegetables all in one drink. However, if you do not mind the taste feel free to leave out the fruits and have a nice refreshing green veggie drink. You can always add a couple drops of lemon or lime juice as well! Enjoy!

Tahitian Cardio

I’ve found some pretty good workouts on youtube. The great thing about it is it’s convenient and a lot of them are fun and you can do them all in your own home. Sometimes I’m pressed for time so It’s really easy for me to go onto youtube and just click on a video and get right to the exercise. I found this series that I like called Island Girl and the instructor Kili really embodies fitness through Tahitian dance. There are several different workouts and they’re all great. You can feel the toning as you do it and they’ll make you surprisingly sweaty! The whole Island Girl series with Kili is on youtube and the link to buy the DVD’s is in the description

 

Crispy Spinach Chips

I love to snack so having something on hand that’s light and crispy and flavorful and healthy is the best thing in the world. I love kale chips and I made about a million batches this summer with all the kale I grew in my garden. I also experimented with collard green chips and they werent as good as the kale chips but still pretty good. Just recently I got the idea to do spinach chips, which turned out to be crispy and delicious. I do mine in the dehydrator because I believe the dehydrator truly gives the best results for this kind of chip. I’ve done kale chips in the oven and they were never as good as when they’re done in the dehydrator. Dehydrating takes out the moisture and dries the chips instead of baking them and possible burning them. They end up perfectly crispy every time.

I would definitely recommend getting organic spinach because spinach tends to be one of the vegetables that is most likely to be laden with pesticides. I urge everyone to buy organic and local whenever possible but I know for some people it’s just not in the budget or just not available. I certainly can’t buy everything organic either, I get what I can. But there are certain things that I always, always, get organic and one of them is spinach.  They have big bulk plastic bins of spinach that is USDA organic at my local supermarket and I always get it when I’m there.

Recipe:

5 or 6 handfuls of organic spinach

1-2 tbsp olive oil or another oil of choice

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1-2 tsp garlic powder

1-2 tsp

a couple sprinkles onion powder

1 tsp agave

1/2 tsp cayenne

*additional options: adobo, chili powder, cinnamon, vegan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, any other herbs or spices that you find delicious
Put all your spinach in a big bowl and coat with olive oil. You don’t want too much or the oilyness will delay the drying time. Add all the spices and then mix together with your hands and rub everything in to incorporate all the flavors. Place the spinach on several racks of your dehydrator and then dehydrate for at least 4 hours or longer until crisp and to your liking!

*If you’d like these to be raw, dehydrate at around 105 for 6 hours or longer

Vegan Blueberry Carob Pancakes with Strawberry Cashew Sauce

 

 

These pancakes are so easy to make and loaded with healthy ingredients. I’ve even made this pancakes quick in the morning within 20  minutes before work and just eaten them with maple syrup. However, they’re definitely best with the strawberry sauce.

Pancake Recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used buckwheat)

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of sea salt

3 tbsp carob powder

1-2 tbsp of agave or maple syrup

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp liquid coconut oil

as many blueberries as you’d like

 

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and then pour the wet ingredients in and mix well. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk and if too thin add a teeny bit more flour. Once you have a nice batter plop about 1/4 cup of batter or more (depending on how big you like your pancakes) onto a hot pan, griddle or whatever you have. Once they start to cook put your blueberries right in on top of each pancake.

 

Sauce recipe:

1/3 cup cashews

4-5 strawberries

1/3 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp maple syrup or agave

 

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender and then pour over top of your pancakes! If it’s too thin add some more cashews, if its too thick add more coconut milk or water to get the consistency you want.  I also like to add coconut flakes on top of my pancakes.

*You can use cacao or coco powder in place of carob, carob is just the “chocolate” powder I have on hand. You could also add cacao nibs or strawberry pieces or coconut flakes into the pancakes too. Be creative! These are also great cold too, so keep the left overs!

Apple Ginger Beet Juice

eets are awesome. I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but I love them. They’re beautiful in color and have a ton of great health benefits. Beets are energizing, they have zero fat, and have plenty of nutrients. They also make for an awesome juice. And apples are of course packed with fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C and they also add a sweeter taste to the juice.

I’m going to do a lot of juice and smoothie recipes lately because I’d really like to do a juice cleanse. I tend to pick at food at work and none of the food at work is healthy or good in any way. I find myself eating random crackers, pieces of bread, half a cookie, etc. It’s not good. I want to get myself back on track and really cleanse my body and feel refreshed and ready to really get back on track. I’m waiting for a time when I have at least two or three days off in a row so I can do it without having to worry about being without fresh juice. When I do do the cleanse I’ll definitely document it!

Recipe:

2 small beets or 1/3 of a large beet

1 small cucumber

1 apple of choice (organic if possible)

thumbnail size piece of ginger with skin on

 

Juice the cucumber and the beets first and then the apple and ginger. I always like to mix it a little bit after to make sure everything is well incorporated!