Monday, March 31, 2014

Green is the New Orange - Raw Vegan Smoothie

Green Smoothie - raw, vegan and gluten-free

Want a quick, nutritious and tasty way to start your day?  Try my Green is the New Orange smoothie.

One of the ingredients in this green smoothie is Matcha green tea powder.  Matcha is like no other green tea as you are ingesting the whole leaf and is 10 times more nutritious than other green tea's. You can drink it straight as a hot tea, add to smoothies or other recipes.  It has a very green, earthy herbal type flavor and aroma.  I love it and can drink it straight, but if you're not into greens, you may want to add sweetener to it.

The health benefits of Matcha are numerous and some are:
*Rich in nutrients
*Energy Booster, but *not* like caffeine - it is subtle, does not cause the jitters and provides 4-6 hours of mild steady energy
*Powerful Detoxifier and Antioxidant
*Boosts metabolism and burns calories
*Calms and relaxes while keeping you alert

It is said that over a thousand years ago Monks in Japan would drink Matcha tea during long meditation to keep them alert yet calm. This is due to Matcha is rich in L-Theanine.  But not all Matcha tea's are the same. I use Organic Ceremonial Grade which is a high grade quality powder - do your research.  One final note - if you're new to Matcha, start with 1/2 tsp for about 1 week then 1 tsp per day max - in my opinion.  I drink it almost every day and can definitely feel the benefits.

Green is the New Orange

2 handfuls spinach
1 tangelo
1/2 cup mango
2 bananas
1/2 cup water (adjust as needed)
1 Tbs flax meal
1 tsp Matcha

Blend until smooth and creamy, pour into mug and enjoy!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Raw Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Raw Vegan Cheesecake - Raspberry Lemon
I don't make these types of desserts too often, but when I do, I have so much fun creating!  I thought of a few more ways to garnish my raw vegan cheesecake while Mark and I were enjoying bite after bite, but looks like I'll have to do that next time.

Red, White and Blue - and lemon too!

Just a pretty view from the top, looking down on all that natural fruity goodness!

Nut-free crust, fresh lemon juice, red raspberries and creamy lemon cheesecake filling!

One thing I like to do is keep it low fat.  I know, we're already eating low fat.  We love nuts, but I don't like to over do it, especially since the base for the creamy lemon filling is made with cashews.  So I used one of my basic nut-free crust recipes as a graham cracker type base and it was perfect!

Yummy dessert!

My official taste tester, who does not like traditional cheesecake or any type of cheesecake for that matter, gave two thumbs up and a BIG cheezy grin (pun intended) that he approves this recipe.  I asked if I needed to make any changes or if there was too much or too little of anything.  He said, and I quote: "too little." I said okay, too little of what?  He said: "too little of a slice!"  Yep, he was correct.  He got another slice. 

Raw Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake
8" springform pan

1 cup flax meal
1/4 cup dried coconut shreds
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1/2 cup medjool dates (or dates of choice)

Put all ingredients into food processor and process until mixture can hold together by a few pinches with your fingers.  Do not over process - this crust resembles a graham cracker type crust.  Put crust into an 8" springform pan and press down evenly and firmly.  Put in fridge.

Lemon Filling:
2 cups cashews - soaked for at least 4 hours, rinse and drain
1/4 cup coconut milk (can substitute with almond milk)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut oil (liquefied)
1/3 cup agave
1 tsp vanilla
pinch sea salt

In vitamix/blender, blend until smooth and creamy.  Pour into crust filled springform pan and spread evenly around.  Put into freezer uncovered for at least 90 minutes or until the top is somewhat firm to touch.

Raspberry Puree:
2 cups frozen raspberries (or fresh)
1/3 cup agave
1 Tbs coconut oil (liquefied)

Blend all ingredients until well combined.  Pour into a measuring glass and set in fridge to chill. 

After lemon filling is set, slowly pour the raspberry puree on top and spread around evenly.  Put back in freezer for several hours - I left mine in over night.  Remove from freezer and springform about 60-75 minutes prior to serving.  Top with berries of choice or leave as is - perfect either way. 


If you want more of my recipes sooner than later, I post on IG (Instagram) daily.  While I do post regularly here on my new blog, sometimes life takes over and IG is quicker.  However, plans are to post more often here :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Raw Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Smoothie

I love carrots! Especially organic carrots.  Not just because they're clean, but they are also sweet and oh so tasty.

What steered me in this direction, to make this delectable smoothie creation, is the color orange.  Ever turn I made there it was - orange.  From carrots to fruits, clothing to flowers, the cool motorcycle I was behind and even my big knife with the orange handle.  So I took the hint and went from there.

Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

Gooey Crumble:
2 dates
small handful walnuts
pinch of cinnamon

With fork and knife, or hands, crumble together in the old fashioned way.  This is fun and gooey. Set aside.

1 super large organic carrot or 2 average size
2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup hemp milk (or milk of choice. adjust as needed)
a few shakes of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

Blend smoothie ingredients until creamy. It will be somewhat thick, but if you want it thinner, add some water a little at a time until you've reached the desired texture. 

Put a little of the gooey crumble at the bottom of bowl, mug or dish of choice - this is for when you've finished the smoothie, you can enjoy the last little bits.  Pour into dish. Stick gooey crumble on side of dish and lick fingers - this is so while you're enjoying the smoothie you can take a pinch, dip it in the bowl and pop it in your mouth.

Say it with me: mmmmmmmm!


If you want more of my recipes sooner than later, I post on IG (Instagram) daily.  While I do post regularly here on my new blog, sometimes life takes over and IG is quicker.  However, plans are to post more often here :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Raw Carrot Pulp Bread

Raw Carrot Pulp Bread

We love carrot bread!  Just because we eat a raw diet doesn't mean we can't have it - especially since it's raw.

I finally came up with a pretty decent raw version that is also nut-free, and as always gluten-free and vegan.  Mark gave it two thumbs up with a big ear to ear chipmunk face grin, so I guess it passed the taste test. 

Raw Vegan Carrot Bread - Gluten-Free and Nut-Free

I played around with my basic flat bread recipe until I came up with this delicious bread.  Above is the entire loaf after 2 hours in the dehydrator.  Next I cut the scored sections into slices and back into the dehydrator it went for a few more hours.

Delicious and Healthy Raw Bread

I love everything about this bread, from flavor to texture.  Let me back up, when it is finished, the outer layer may seem a little dry, but bite into it and the moist carrot bread flavor will burst in your mouth!  The texture is dense, but not too heavy or wet.  In fact, I think the texture looks very similar to baked carrot bread.

Once the bread cools, store it in a sealed container and place in fridge.  It is even BETTER after a few hours in the fridge - very moist and oh so good!  Okay, I'll stop drooling over my bread and get to the recipe.

Raw Carrot Pulp Bread

Dry mix:
1 cup flax meal
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1 Tbs Psyllium husk
1/2 cup coconut flower
1 tsp Saigon cinnamon (regular is fine)
1/4 tsp ginger powder
pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Wet mix:
2 cups carrot pulp
1 ripe banana
1 cup dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heaping raisins

Put all of the above wet mix *except raisins* into a food processor and process until well combined. 

Add the wet mixture into the dry mix bowl along with 3/4 cup additional water.  Add in the raisins.  This will be a thick dough like mixture.

Put mixture onto a dehydrator sheet, work it into a ball and then hand form it into a loaf.  Score the loaf at approximately 3/4" thick which will give you about 1/2" or so slice.  If you want a thinner or thicker bread, just remember to allow for shrinkage and adjust the time accordingly.

Place in dehydrator at 145° F for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, carefully remove it from the sheet and onto the mesh tray - do not flip it over.  Put the loaf back into the dehydrator for 1 hour at 115° F.  After the 1 hour, remove again and put on cutting board.  Cut the scored sections into slices.  Place the slices back onto the mesh tray and into the dehydrator at 1105° F for another 4-6 hours.  Total time in the dehydrator is approximately 6-8 hours.  Please note that time will vary due to weather, moisture, thickness of slices, preference, etc.

I already have plans for other breads, so stay tuned :)

Oh I almost forgot!  I made a spread for the bread, but it is so good we really didn't need it.  However, since I have it shown I will give the recipe for that too.  It's pretty basic and is also used in some deserts I make.

Sweet Lemon Spread/Icing

1/2 cup heaping cashews - soaked, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs agave
turmeric, peeled - about a pinky finger tip size
1/8 cup water

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Depending on blender type, you may need to adjust the water.  This is a tasty spread/icing that can be used on crackers, bread, cakes, pies, fruit, veggies... so many things.

Enjoy creating!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Raw Soft Spicy Corn Tortillas - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Raw Vegan Tacos

Who says you can't have tacos when living a raw vegan lifestyle?  Not me!  Mark and I LOVE tacos and we practically devour them once we sit down.  
We used to eat them on greens, but once I started playing around making a variety of flat breads from sweet to savory, Italian to Mexican, etc., I finally came up with a version of what I call my Soft Spicy Corn Tortillas.  
Soft Spicy Corn Tortillas - Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free

Soft Spicy Corn Tortillas
1 1/2 cups flax meal
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Pinch of sea salt
Put into large bowl, stir to combine and set aside.
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes - soaked in 1 1/2 cups water to soften, drain and reserve water
2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup roughly chopped onion 
1 cup full of corn
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ancho chili pepper
1 tsp smoked cumin powder
Put all of the above (veggies and spices, not flax mix) into a food processor and process until well blended.  There will be little bits and that is perfect.  I do a taste test in case I need to add more spices.  If you do not like spicy, then omit the cayenne and ancho chili pepper.
Add the reserved soaked water from the sundried tomatoes to the flax meal bowl and combine well.  Add the above mixture and stir until combined.  It will be thick, but if it seems too thick to spread, add some water a little at a time - NOT too thin or watery though.  It needs to remain a thick spreadable mixture, almost like thick pancake batter.
Sometimes I can fill up 3 dehydrator trays, 2 large and 1 small, but this varies.  Line the mesh tray with a teflex sheet then spread the mixture out evenly until it’s around ¼” thick or so - you don't want it too thin. as they will shrink up.  You'll need to work with the mixture like pizza dough as it will be kind of gummy.
Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour then lower to 115 degrees for a few hours until done - approximately 3-6 hours.  Time will vary due to moisture, weather, etc.  I rotate the trays around during the dehydration process just to get them evenly dehydrated.  
Once they are dry on top, remove them from the teflex sheet and onto the mesh sheet.  If you haven’t done this before, simply put a mesh sheet on top of the tortilla along with a tray, flip it over then slowly peel the teflex sheet away from the tortilla.  Put them back into the dehydrator until done. 
Soft Corn Tortillas in the dehydrator - about half-way done
Cut into desired pieces and once cooled, place them in a Ziploc bag or other container - this will soften them to be more pliable.  I leave mine on the counter as they are eaten within 2 days.  Otherwise, store in fridge.
Raw Vegan Enchilada Style Veggie Wraps

Besides soft tacos, I use these to make a variety of raw vegan dishes - such as veggie wraps, enchiladas, sandwiches, etc.  

I'll also post the recipes for my "cheese" sauce, pico de gallo and taco filling.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Peace ☮

Friday, March 7, 2014

Raw Apricot Bars - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Raw Vegan Apricot Bars

Whether fresh, dried, in smoothies, desserts, jams or savory meals, we love apricots!

One of Mark's favorite treats is my Raw Apricot Bars.  Like many of my other recipes, this has expanded from a few ingredients to several.  Coming up with different recipes depends on what I have on hand and my taste buds at that moment.  For the most part I like to keep it simple, but then there are times I want to be more creative and use a variety of ingredients. 

These apricot bars are chewy right off the bat with loads of flavor!  I can't go on without mentioning the nutritious side of this delicious bar.  Besides Vitamin C, apricots are a good source for Vitamin A as well as potassium and fiber, just to name a few.  I don't want to overlook all the other ingredients in this recipe, but I would be writing a short novel on each one if I did.  I'll just say that this is one healthy raw vegan treat.

Raw Apricot Bars - Vegan and Gluten-Free

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup dates
1 cup dried apricots
2 Tbs dried coconut shreds
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

In food processor:
- add cashews and process until semi-small bits
- add in the dates and apricots and process until broken down somewhat
- add in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined and can hold its shape - form into a firm ball to check then pop it in your mouth.

In an over lined 8x6 dish (or size of choice) scoop mixture in - it may appear that the dish is too small, but hang on we're not done yet.  Pat down enough so you can take the over wrap of the lining and cover the mixture.  Use your hands, spatula, small cup or other item and press/roll firmly down on the mixture until entirely evenly flat and firm. 

Put dish into freezer for at least 60 minutes.  Cover the dish, but not sealed.  Remove from freezer, lift out with the lining and onto a cutting board.  Discard lining and cut into desired size bars. 

I keep them stored in the freezer and we take one out when we want a snack.  They don't freeze like an ice cube, so you can eat them as soon as you take one out or let it sit on the counter for a few minutes if you prefer a more softer bar.  You can store them in the fridge as well, but I believe they last longer in the freezer - hidden behind the bananas so Mark can't find them.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cashew Pine Nut Cheese - Raw Vegan Zucchini Rolls

Raw Vegan Zucchini Rolls

Zucchini.  The versatile vegetable that is loved by raw vegans alike and is a main staple in our home.  From simple raw chips to pasta noodles, fries, smoothies, desserts, lasagna to wraps and... well I'll stop here before I start drooling all over my laptop.

Easy Raw Vegan Cheese Recipe

I've had a love affair with zucchini all my life.  My grandma used to make this yummy tomato, yellow squash and zucchini dish that I would scarf down whenever she made it.  Oh my gosh that was so delicious!  I think I need to recall how she made it and turn it into a raw dish - Rocki style.

Zucchini Rolls with Raw Vegan Cashew Pine Nut Cheese

Zucchini rolls are so easy to make and the variations you can come up with are endless.  For this version I made one of my chunky raw cashew cheese recipes to hold all the goodies inside.  Then I grabbed some veggies for the filling, tuned the radio to KSLX for some good old classic Rock n Roll then started rolling zucchini... and rockn' out.

Cashew Pine Nut Cheese - Raw Vegan Zucchini Rolls

For the cheese:
1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours, rinse and drain)
2 Tbs pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs water

Put all ingredients into your vitamix/blender and blend until semi-smooth - unless you want it entirely creamy.  If so, then continue to blend and you may need to add a little more water.  I wanted this cheese to have a thick and somewhat chunky texture to hold it's shape.

For the wraps:
1 very large zucchini
green onions

I used my mandolin to make thin zucchini slices.  You can use the veggies I have listed or other veggies you would like (tonight we had zuc rolls with a pile of shredded carrots and the cheese for the filling - nom nom nom!)  Spread some of the cheese onto the zucchini slices.  Start at one end and top with one of the veggies, roll once, add another veggie, roll once... you get the idea.  End with a little dab of cheese to make sure it sticks.

And there you have it.  Zucchini rolls 101.  Easy as pie.  Mmmmm... pie.  I think I want dessert now.

Peace ☮,

Chocolate Crunch Smoothie - Raw Vegan Shake

Raw Vegan Chocolate Smoothie

Yesterday was an extremely busy hair pulling day for me and I do believe that I was going in several directions at once.  When I finally stopped, I was beside myself - literally.  We both looked at each other and agreed that there was just one thing on my (our) mind and it was one of my chocolate smoothies.  But this time with a crunch factor.  And more chocolate.

So I put on my mad scientist outfit and channeled Gene Wilder (from Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein).  My laughter and excitement overcame me while creating.  I'm sure my neighbors were wondering what was going on.  Then it was complete.  I.  MADE.  FIRE!  Oops... wrong movie. 

I initially named it Chocolate Crunch Stress Relief Smoothie.  It is out of this world and was exactly what I needed.  Rich chocolate taste - check.  Thick and creamy - check.  Crunch factor - check.

So now I present to the world my creation! 

Chocolate Crunch Smoothie - Raw Vegan Shake
1 healthy serving

1 cup coconut water
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs cacao powder
1 Tbs cacao butter (approx 1" chunk)
1 Tbs coconut oil
2 large frozen ripe bananas
1 Tbs cacao nibs

Put all ingredients into vitamix/blender *except* the cacao nibs, and blend until thick and creamy. With the blender running, add the nibs for just a quick moment to break them down a little bit so that you still have the crunch factor.  Pour into a big mug, stick a straw in, find a cozy spot and let the stress melt away. Ahhhhhh... just what the doctor in me ordered.

Peace ☮,

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spicy and Savory Brussels Sprouts- Raw Vegan Snack

Brussels Sprouts - Spicy and Savory

Brussels Sprouts.  We love them!  So many ways to prepare them and they are delicious steamed.  But I just had to get these little guys back into my raw diet.

I've seen several variations of Brussels Sprout chips from individual leaves to the whole entire sprout, so I thought I would put my own spin on these delicious little munchkins.

Brussels Sprouts in the dehydrator
I had a big batch on hand, so into the garden I went.  Oh, I call my kitchen "the garden" :)  Anyway, Mark and I love spicy food, so I made half of the batch savory and the other spicy.

Raw Vegan and Gluten-Free Brussels Chips
The end results from my official taste taster: "YUM-MEEEEEE!" (imagine eyes wide open with a big grin on his face while reaching for a handful)  I guess that means they passed and can be added to my recipe pile in the corner of the garden.  One of these days I plan on preparing some e-books for all my raw vegan recipes.

Several ideas for other flavors are dancing around in my head.  We may be eating a lot of Brussels Sprouts. 

Spicy & Savory Brussels Sprouts - Raw Vegan Snack
makes 60 bite size pieces

30 Fresh Brussels Sprouts - halved and set aside

Combine the following in a bowl:
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbs EVO (extra virgin olive oil)

Add Brussels and combine until well coated. Let sit for about 15 minutes.  Place cut side up on mesh dehydrator tray.  I sprinkled the following onto half of the Brussels batch: Smoked Paprika, Smoked Cumin and Ancho Chili Pepper powder.  However, the spices or other seasonings can be added to the oil mixture instead - it was an after thought since we love a little heat.

Dehydrate at 115° F for approximately 8-12 hours or until desired texture.  Time will vary due to veggie size, weather, moisture, etc.  These little munchkin snacks are full of flavor and delicious crunchy or a little chewy.

Notes: due to Brussels Sprout size varies from tiny to large, you may need to add a little more oil and/or adjust the seasonings to your liking.  If you do not have a dehydrator, no worries as you can use your oven.  They won't be considered "raw", but you can still enjoy this nutritious snack!

Peace  ☮

Monday, March 3, 2014

Raw Vegan Coconut Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Raw Vegan Smoothie Bowl - Coconut Fruit

I love smoothies for breakfast and my favorite is green smoothies - the greener the better.  However, a thick and creamy fruit smoothie bowl is always fun to eat from! 

One thing I absolutely love about creating smoothies is that there is a *ton* of options.  Just think about all the fruit, greens and veggies that are available to you and the numerous ways you can interchange them to create a new smoothie each and every time.  I LOVE eating this way - it's not only nutritious and delicious, but fun too!

Okay, let's get to the recipe for my smoothie bowl and then it's into the studio I go - then class this afternoon.

Raw Vegan Coconut Fruit Smoothie Bowl  
serves 1 healthy portion or 2 small servings

1 cup coconut milk
2 large frozen ripe bananas
1 Tbs flax meal
1 Tbs maca powder
2 tsp chia seeds
coconut water as needed in case too thick (or plain water is fine)

Put all ingredients into your vitamix/blender, except the chia seeds.  Blend until thick and creamy.  Depending on fruit size and blender, you may need to add a little coconut water.  While blender is running, add in chia seeds just long enough to mix in. 

Pour into serving bowl(s) and top with fruit of choice - I topped mine with star fruit, strawberries, dried coconut shreds and more chia seeds.  Set in fridge or leave on counter for about 10-15 minutes for chia seeds to absorb (this will thicken it) or eat immediately and enjoy this delightfully delicious and nutritious breakfast smoothie.

Just because you eat and live a raw vegan lifestyle doesn't mean it's boring.  Stick around awhile or come back often and you'll see why I say that.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Raw Ranch Dressing or Dip - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Raw Vegan Ranch Dressing or Dip

I'm really happy that I started my new blog, even though it still looks empty.  But no worries!  I will continue to transfer recipes from my old blog over to this one, along with adding all my other recipes.

We eat a lot of HUGE salads daily as well as other raw vegan yummies.  Mark loves salad dressing and me, well I can take it or leave it depending on the salad I make.  Through trial and error, we're both very happy with the dressings I've converted over to raw so far.  For instance, my Raw Vegan Ranch Dressing, which works quite well as a dip too!  This is also entirely nut-free, gluten-free (as all my recipes) and soy-free.

I'll admit that while I really do love this one, I'm still tweaking it here and there.  But if you love ranch dressing and eat a raw vegan diet, I'm pretty sure you'll love this one too!

Raw Ranch Dressing or Dip
makes a little over 1 cup

1/2 cup water
3 Tbs gluten-free raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1 Tbs raw agave nectar
1/2 cup raw hemp heart seeds
1/4 tsp dill weed
1 tsp Mediterranean Basil (or regular basil)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbs EVO (extra virgin olive oil)

Put all ingredients into your blender except the EVO, and blend until well combined - it will start to turn white and take on a somewhat creamy consistency.  I use a Vitamix and it only takes around 30 seconds or so, but go with your inner chef.  With blender running, slowly add in the EVO and continue blending a few moments more.  Pour into glass container of choice and put in fridge to chill or use immediately.

This dressing will thicken a bit more after chilled.  It also works great as a light dip for veggies or your finger ;)