Pancakes, flat jacks, hotcakes, griddlebacks, and panky doos

Pancakes, flat jacks, hotcakes…no matter what you call them they’re delicious.  If you disagree, message me and we can have a pank doo (pancake) debate.  If I do find a non-pancake lover, I’d have the right mind to slap them across the face with one (like on the movie Grown-ups).  For those of you that are in agreement with my love of pancakes, here’s a dip your toe in the raw water recipe of deliciousness.

I got this recipe from Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive.  It’s a great book for athletes and non-athletes alike.  Vegans, health-nuts, and just people trying to be healthier can get some great ideas from it.  While Brendan’s recipe calls for buckwheat flour, I use whatever is on hand.  I would suggest keeping to a gluten-free flour, in order to keep these light on the stomach and easy to digest.

If you’re a brave raw foodist you can, like me, first sprout the buckwheat, or other grain.  Then dehydrate until crunchy.  Next grind in your food processor to desired consistency.  Now you have raw, sprouted, living flour!  Because this is such a process that takes several days, I do a big batch at a time and store it in the freezer.  The steps are REALLY easy, it just takes a bit of planning.  Probably a total of ten minutes actual work time.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, the time, or simply the gumption, start out with buckwheat, quinoa, or even almond flour.

Now, on to the recipe:

Stuff you need:

1 cup buckwheat flour (or other gluten-free flour, preferably sprouted)

1/4 cup flaxseed, ground (I use sprouted flax seed)

1/4 cup hemp protein powder (I use Garden of Life’s raw protein powder or Vega Protein Powder which is mostly raw)

2 teaspoons baking powder (this is optional and make sure to use aluminum-free powder : ) )

1 teaspoon cinnamon and whatever other spices your tongue desireth

1 banana

2 cups water

1/4 cup raw oat flakes or some other flakes like barley flakes, or you could add sprouted buckwheat, walnuts or anything else for some crunch and texture interest

Other fruit, like berries.  Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, or dingle-berries (I don’t know what those actually are).  If it’s berriesque it belongs in the pancakes!

Directions:

1. Stir together the flour, flaxseed, hemp protein, baking powder, and cinnamon until they seem like one.

2. In a food processor blend the banana a some of the water until smooth.

3. Add the banana mixture and rest of the water to the  flour concoction and stir until smooth

4. Mix in the berries and oat flakes, and whatever else you want.

5. Now here’s where there’s a fork in the road.  You can a) dehydrate the pancakes on low or b) heat them on VERY low over the stove in a pan.  Of course dehydration will take a…while.  If you prefer to heat over the stove, but still want most of your food living, just be sure to keep the heat very low.  The pancakes should get firm on each side after sitting about five minutes.  The center will be moist and undercooked, but delicious none-the-less.

Now every good pancake has to have a delicious topping.  You can do the ever so over done maple syrup or agave nectar, honey if you desire.  In my opinion though, this raspberry topping I made for Todd really completes it.

Stuff you need:

1 cup raspberries

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon stevia or maple syrup or agave nectar (may need more according to taste)

Directions:

Blend everything together in a coffee grinder or food processor.

Throw it on top of your pancakes.

Now, I’m no expert, but the sweetness and fun color of this topping seems like a great way to introduce kids to raw pancakes.

And there you have it: A gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, nut free, low sugar, healthy carb, healthy fat, nutrient dense pancake of scrumptiousness.  They’re high-fiber, high vitamin c from the berries, provide plenty of essential fatty acids omega 3-6-9 from the flaxseed and hemp protein, high-enzyme, and just over-all good for you.  : )  Compare that to the average pancake which is made with white flour (no fiber), egg (no omega 3s unless you buy free range), milk (no enzymes,  no probiotics (important good bacteria stuff that your tummy and immune system like), not to mention the puss that’s included from over-milking the cow’s (yuuuum!)), and oil (unless it’s an extra virgin oil sourced from GOOD fats (like flaxseed, coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil, etc) it offers virtually no benefit other than making your fat cells engorged (delightful).  I think we know who wins this one.  : )

Renee

Pasta

If you don’t like cheese this is not for you.  If you don’t like noodles, this is not for you.  However, if you’re one of the billions of smart people out there who love the creaminess of Alfredo this is dedicated to you!  If you want a pasta that’s not as heavy and doesn’t leave you feeling so full, it’s for you.  A pasta with more nutrient dense calories than regular pasta.  If you want a pasta that just tastes freakin delicious, you clicked the right spot.

How do we get raw pasta?  Firstly, we could search the shores far and wide for the exotic “Kelp noodle”.  We could search online and pay a gazillion dollars for shipping and handling. We could go into every health food store within a 100 mile radius and get funny looks or shrugs(remember I’m in the south).  So that won’t do.  We could try to think of some way to create our own noodle from scratch using flaxseed instead of egg, sprouted flour instead of white, and dehydrate??  Sounds like a complicated mess.  We could buy a fancy spirolini tool and surely our pasta woes would go away.   Well you are more adventurous than I, because I am simply going to vegetable peel some zucchini, and maybe, if I’m feeling brave, some squash or carrots.

When making your noodles, think fettuccine for the thickness and size of the noodle.  Simply peel away all the green from the zucchini or outer part of whatever vegetable you decide to use.  Then peel each side of the vegetable lengthwise, rotating it as you go.  For us, three zucchini equals about two servings, or one for me two for Todd.  Lol.   Letting the noodles sit out for a while helps them to become softer.  Additionally, you can soak them in water.  Sometimes I rub them with olive oil and a little sea salt.  You’ll just have to try different techniques to see what you prefer.

What shall you put on those naked noodles?  Why! A delicious cheese sauce of course. (Today anyways.)

Rawfredo Sauce:

1 cup soaked cashews

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 cup water

Directions:

Throw everything in the food processor and blend.  You can add a little lemon juice if you like.  Make sure not to add to much water or it won’t be as thick and creamy.  Give it plenty of time to blend so you won’t bite into a chunk of cashew.

To this mix I like to add:

Marinated Mushrooms:

Namu Shoyu Sauce

Minced Garlic

Olive Oil

1 cup mushrooms

Directions:

Add a small amount of each ingredient to the mushrooms.  Give the mushrooms a massage, they’ve had a hard life and you have know idea what they went to get here, what with being removed from their dark stump and all.  Set them in the dehydrator to get warm and soft, but not too long.  Usually I just have them going while I’m preparing everything else.

I also like to add in diced red bell pepper, or whatever other vegetable I fancy at the time.

Now who wants cold pasta?  Not I.  So I “cheat” a little bit (Don’t tell the crazy raw foodist clan or they come burn my stove down!)  I put the whole mix into a pan and cook over VERY low heat standing right over it and stirring it constantly.  This allows everything to meld together and get nice and warm.  Hint: if it were to get over 115 it would burn your tongue.  So it should be warm, not hot.  When I first gave this to Todd, he didn’t know what it was, he just knew it was delicious.  He thought I had actually used alfredo sauce and was wondering where I got the noodles from.  Basically, you HAVE to try it.  It’s law.

What’s so great about this pasta for our bodies?  Because you’re not cooking it, it’s going to have enzymes and be easier to digest, while providing energy, which is the purpose of food in the first place.  The zucchini is low in calories, while it doesn’t shine with any single vitamin zuccihni is just all around good for you with a few B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, amino acids (to build protein), iron, and other minerals.  It also high in fiber.

The cashews provide good fat and fiber to help you feel satisfied.  If the cashews are truly raw and soaked they will contain enzymes, specifically lipase, which helps your body break down the fat.  While cashews and nuts ARE high in calories and fat, studies have been conducted that show people who snack on nuts tend to have a healthier weight than those who don’t. Yay!  The key, as always, is moderation.  If you have a nut based meal for lunch, you probably wouldn’t follow with a nut based snack and nut based dinner.  It just depends on your calorie and fat needs.

Just in case you’re more of a dip your toe into the water kind of person or you don’t have a food processor I’ll be nice and share.  If you want to try the noodles, but not the cashew alfredo cheese, here’s a recipe I made before I ate mostly raw:

Skinny Alfredo Sauce:

1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free plain organic yogurt

4 oz organic low-fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup of PLAIN almond, soy, or fat free organic milk

1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Combine yogurt and cream cheese in a sauce pan until mostly melted.  Add garlic and salt and slowly pour in the milk while continuing to whisk the mixture.

Now you can enjoy your vegetables and your pasta too!

Renee

Todd eats mostly raw and healthy stuff a lot for at least 30 days

I’m back!  Well, I was never away.  Of course the usual excuses follow: school, work, husband returning from Iraq, moving, etc.  Although I’ve been away I haven’t stopped living or loving life!  I was excited to get my report that I had over 1,500 views on my blog in December!  In January my husband, Todd, decided he wanted to do a detox/liver/colon cleanse with me.  He made the decision to eat as healthy as possible along with the cleanse.  Really???  Yes.  This came from an all-american he-man-woman-hating cheese-burger beer guzzling(sometimes) normal young army guy.  At this announcement I was both nervous and excited.  Pictures of food spewing out of his mouth, faces or comments about the food, or him losing so much weight he looked like he came from a concentration camp ran through my head.  At the same time of course I want the love of my life to experience his optimal healthy body.  After everything settled down in January we began our “Todd eats mostly raw and healthy stuff a lot for at least 30 days”.  Too long of a title?  The first few days were shaky.  I was working and Todd ran in and asked if a vanilla milkshake was raw.  He used his big blue puppy dog eyes and explained he was REALLY craving one.  But alas, as a health food enthusiast, I could not succumb to such trickery.  I did however make him a shake at home as soon as I got the chance.  Not your McDonalds hydrogenated-oil, high fructose corn syrup, fractioned milk goo, but delicious nonetheless.

I Need a Vanilla Milkshake! recipe:

1 frozen banana

1/2 scoop raw protein powder or Vega Shake and Go smoothie

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or honey or 1 teaspoon stevia powder

1 cup almond milk (creamier) or water

Ice as needed

Directions:

Throw everything in the blender as fast as possible.  Add ice as needed and according to textural desire(nice phrase!) Then quickly put it in a cup and savor to kick that milkshake craving in the a**!

We live a very busy lifestyle with friends, family, school, and work.  We run into a variety of scenarios, many of which involve food.  Wait, that’s every American.  Hmm.  So because we happen to be normal people we also happen to be imperfect.  Neither of us aspire to be perfect, we just try to do our best at that moment, on that day, in that year.  We don’t live by rules or dogmatic thinking, and we certainly don’t push our goals onto other people.  So, we do enjoy the occasional drink, steak (especially Todd), and sushi.  Because of Todd’s high protein needs we found it easiest for him to still incorporate meat into his diet.  There are many recipes however that require no cow’s that he likes quite a bit.

Todd’s Tacos.He calls them tacos…there not…there burritos more or less….and he scares people when he says “Oh you should come over and try our raw tacos!” Response”Whaaaat?  Raw taco meat???”  Pictures of Todd biting into bloody, ground up, hamburger meat are running through there head, I’m sure.  (Sorry to be so graphic?)  Anyways, heres the recipe:

Taco Meat:

1 cup raw soaked walnuts (no other nut will do…okay maybe…but it won’t be as good.)

1 carrot1 tablespoon organic chili powder (at least….it’s a “to taste” thing)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon water

Raw Cheese:

1 cup cashews soaked

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (not raw, but great source of B12 and that ever saught after cheesy flavor)

1 teaspoon sea salt2-4 tablespoons water

Raw Sour Cream:

1/4 cup cashews soaked

1 tablespoon vinegar (raw apple cider)

1-2 tablespoon water

Tomatillo Salsa:

4 Tomatillo (They are green “tomato like” vegetables covered in a light green leaf)

5 Tomatoes (which every variety you prefer)

1 onion

1 teaspoon sea salt

Fresh cilantro

Taco Meat Directions:

With the texture of taco meat in mind process all ingredients in food processor.  You don’t want it too crunchy or too mushy.  Carefully add the water, as you don’t want too much.  Taste as you go along to get the desired flavor.  Feel free to add a variety of spices.

Raw Cheddar Cheese Directions:

Blend everything together.  The amount of water will depend on the thickness or thinness of cheese desired.

Raw Sour Cream:Process everything.  It gives that bite.  It might not taste like sour cream by itself, but when combined with other flavors it provides that sour your looking for.  You might want to add more or less vinegar.

Tomatillo Salsa Directions:

Sometimes I chop it all up by hand, sometimes I use a food processor.  It depends on how lazy I am or am not feeling, or if I just want a variety of “chop” sizes.  I’ve been none to add red bell pepper to the mix as well.

Todd likes it this way:Take one Food for Life Ezekiel Tortilla (made with sprouted grains and cooked at a low temperature)Spread a good amount of cheese.  Follow with taco meat.  Add spinach or lettuce and salsa.  Top with sour cream.  Fold it up into a burrito, but refuse to call it a BURRITO and always persistently and determinately refer to it as a TACO.I enjoy it this way, or if I’m wanting something light (and grain-less) it’s delicious as a “taco salad”. Just sprinkle everything atop of bed of spinach or lettuce of choice.  Yum.

Raw Taco Salad

I have so many more recipes too share!  Let me know if you have any special requests or questions!  I might answer. ; ) Renee

GMOs

I was recently at a grocery store and was told by an acquaintance to buy the corn because it was on sale.  When I pointed out it wasn’t organic she made a face.  So then I mentioned if it’s not organic it’s GMO corn.  She made another face.  I said “genetically modified organisms” to clarify.  She made another face and declared “well I’ve been eating it my whole life and I’m fine!” and trotted away.   Had I the chance…and attitude…I would have said “no, no you haven’t had it your whole life.”  GMOs are as recent as the 80s and only began to widely be used in the mid 90s.

What are GMO’s?  GMO stands for genetically modified organisms(eeew sounds sciency).  Basically it’s science’s way of making what we already eat better.  Better for who?  Better in what way?  Well for one thing to keep more bugs away GMO crops are used by farmers.  The two most popular GMO crops are corn and soy.  So what’s wrong with that?  Well in several studies when these foods were fed to mice and cows the animals suffered disease.  Namely liver and kidney disease.  Infertility is another potential side effect.  Impotence another possible effect, that’s right guys, IMPOTENCE.  Even if studies had not been done, I prefer to be a guinea pig while the verdict is out.  There are plenty of hungry and eager Americans raising their hand to volunteer their health.  I know it’s not possible for many people to eat 100% organic 100% of the time…I haven’t reached that ability yet.  But the least we can do, once educated is avoid food that comes close to not being….well food.  If you read more about GMO’s you’ll learn they can get a gene from anywhere and insert it into anything.  Tomatoes with pig genes anyone???

I suggest you read up on it on your own, so you know your stance.  I heard the word GMO thrown around for a long time and didn’t really associate much with it.  Then I watched this:

It doesn’t have a lot of frills, very “textbooky” about the way it explains the history of GMOs.  After watching this even if I didn’t care about GMOs or my health, I wouldn’t want to support Monsanto.  A huge, dirty, and conniving company.

Let’s celebrate the fact that we still have access to organic non-gmo corn with a  recipe.  Of course you can enjoy corn fresh off the cob, which is what we did at my cousin’s organic farm.   As you can see I’m quite serious about the whole operation.  I smiled once I bit into it.  : ) Yuuum.

But if you prefer to be more creative with your corn here’s a lovely looking recipe I got from http://goneraw.com/recipe/sweet-and-spicy-corn-chips

Ingredients:

2c corn nibs (I thawed frozen corn, but you could just cut directly off the cob too)
1 small zucchini (~6″ – the zucchinis at loblaws are so tiny right now!)
1 jalapeno pepper (small, de-seeded)
2 cloves garlic, derooted
1/4tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (you can leave this out if you don’t want it to be too spicy.)
1/4c flax, ground

Preparation:

Throw everything but flax in a food processor, process until smooth-ish. Add flax and either mix in food processor or by hand if you’re feeling ambitious (I wasn’t).

Cover dehydrator trays with paraflex sheets and spread the corn chip batter evenly with a spoon. Dehydrate at 105 F for 1.5-2 hours, turn over onto mesh trays. Use a knife to score the shape of the chips and continue dehydrating overnight. Store in airtight containers.

NOTE: Makes two trays. I made my chips super thin, under a clearly misguided understanding of how thick corn chips are. And it barely made two trays in my dehydrator. So, you may want to increase the ingredients and make them a bit thicker, especially if you’re going to do a nacho plate thing and pile stuff on top of them. Mmmm nachos….

Well, I’m off to enjoy life.

Renee

Peachy Day

Happy Summer!!  Ok so I’m a little late to the game.  Lol.  I absolutely love summer.  Warmth, a reason to get in water, a reason to go outside, letting your skin soak up the rays, and if that doesn’t make you happy, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and peaches are in season!!!!  And kids are out of school running rampant like the little savages they are.  How could you not love it!  For breakfast I had this deliciousiness and because I’m nice I’m going to share:

Blueberry-Peach Oat Groat Breakfast:

Blueberry-Peach Jam:

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 a peach, chopped

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tsp stevia, or a squirt of agave nectar or honey

Directions:  Blend together the blueberries, peaches, and sweetener- just a little bit, you don’t want them to be pure liquid.  Stir in the chia seeds and let them soak up the delicious blueberry and peach juice for about 5 minutes.

Throw it on top of 1/4 cup soaked/sprouted oat groats, 1/4 cup blueberries, and the rest of the peach-chopped.  : )

You could enjoy the jam with some raw crackers, mixing it with almond butter.  Yum.  I’m going to play captain obvious and say you can make it with any berry!  Even cherries.  Oooo.

You know what else is delicious and refreshing during summer?  A cool and crunchy lettuce wrap:

Just take your favorite nut pate recipe, some sprouts, and roll it up in some Romain lettuce or collards.  Crunch…crunch…cruuuunch.

My trip to Jacksonville was wonderful.  I got to go to a raw food potluck.  My sister and I made Avocado-Chocolate pudding which was a BIG hit and Zucchini pasta with Cashew “cheese”.

Avocado-Chocolate pudding:

1 avocado

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Blend everything together until it’s delicious.  We played with the recipe a lot so the measures aren’t exact.  It all depends on if you like a dark chocolate, a coconutty taste, sweeter…etc.  To spice it up you could add organic extracts like vanille, hazelnut, or amaretto.  Yum.

The people at the potluck were wonderful.  You can join their group here http://www.meetup.com/JaxRaw/

I also enjoyed a birthday lunch at the best raw food resturant IM(ever so humble but absolutely right)O. http://www.thepresentmomentcafe.com/

I’ve been keeping things pretty simple.  Not using the dehydrator very often.  I did make some raw samoas for my sister and cousin when they came to visit.

The recipes here: http://reneegoesraw.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/raw-food-potluck/

I also made cabbage chips, like kale chips…but with cabbage.  They turned out pretty good actually.  I just threw a little sea salt and kelp powder on them and dehydrated until slightly crispy.

Let’s talk about GMO’s next time.  What are GMOs??  Exactly why we need to talk about them.  : )

Raw Food Potluck

Ah, today the weather is so nice. It makes my little inner hippie heart want to throw on a yellow dress and dance in the daffodils. But alas, I was stuck inside writing a paper. : P Anyways, a couple of weeks ago I held my first raw food potluck. Lovely people and lovely food. I promised to put up some pictures of the delicious food, along with some recipes. First, I made lasagna, which I’ve already posted the recipe for. This time though, I did the cheese a little bit different, so here it is:

Ingredients:

CASHEW CHEESE
1 ¾  cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 pinch celtic sea salt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 small handful fresh or dried parsely

1 small handful fresh or dried oregano

FOR ZUCCHINI STRIPS
2 long and thick zucchini , peeled, and sliced into thin, wide strips with a peeler or mandoline
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 dash celtic salt
FOR THE MUSHROOMS
any olive oil left from the zucchini mix, and more if needed
nama shoyu
1 cup portabella mushroom caps, sliced into thin, wide and long slices
OTHER INGREDIENTS
2 big tomato, sliced into thin, wide slices
1 cup spinach, coated very lightly in any of the extra marinade from the mushrooms and chopped

Preparation:

1. To make the cashew cheez:
-Process the soaked cashews, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, celtic sea salt, onion, and herbs. The measurements are just approximate, so taste as you go, it should taste yummy like ravioli cheese. It should have a ricotta-cheesey texture, so add more lemon juice or water if needed.
2. To make the zucchini layers, coat the thin and wide zucchini strips with the olive oil and salt so they are coated but NOT dripping. Set aside, and reserve any extra olive oil and salt mix you have left for the mushrooms.
3. To make the mushrooms, coat the thinly sliced portabella caps in the EVOO and nama shoyu mixture, again so they are coated but NOT dripping.
4. Coat the baby spinach VERY lightly in any of the leftover marinade from the mushrooms.
5.TIME TO ASSEMBLE!! Arrange the layers like so: zucchini (slightly overlapping), cheez, tomato slices, mushrooms, spinach, and repeat. do this so its as tall as you like, and coat the top layer of zucchini with some more cheez and tomato.
6. Dehydrate at 130 degrees for an hour (this will not destroy enzymes because of the moisture content of the food at this stage), and then at 110-115 for another half hour to an hoour or so.
7. ENJOY!!!!

I also made Carrot Onion Bread that I got from http://goneraw.com/recipe/carrot-onion-bread

Ingredients:

1½ pound Carrots, whole
1½ pound Onions (Spanish, Brown), weight after prep.
¾ cup Flax Seed, soak as directed below
.33 cup Olive Oil (cold pressed, unfiltered)
½ tablespoon Salt

Directions:

Soak Flax seeds in a pint glass filed with water for 30 minutes before using.

While they’re soaking, process the Onions (quartered) in your Food Processor (FP) with the finest (smallest) slicing blade. (not the chopping/normal ‘S’ blade). Should make long thin strips/slices of onions. (Julienne) Set aside in very, very large bowl.

Change your FP blade to the finest grating blade you have and process the Carrots. Add to the bowl with the sliced Onions.

If soak time has passed. Put soaked Flax Seeds and the soak Water into your Blender. Refill the pint glass with water and add that water to blender also. Blend for just a bit, it will become a thick gel/cream with a few whole flax seeds and bits of all sizes.

Pour Flax cream blend into bowl with Onions and Carrots. Add the Olive Oil and the Salt. Stir very well with large spoon. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. While waiting cover 3 Excalibur dehydrator trays with cling film or use teflex sheets.

Divide your mixture evenly between the 3 trays and spread out evenly on each one, just less than a half inch thick. Place into Dehydrator and run until dried well on top. Flip onto normal uncovered trays and continue to dehydrate until almost crispy. It’s best to cut it about two hours after you flip it before it gets too crispy.

As an option, try stopping one tray before it dries all the way and leave those squares more flexible.

These cookies are just…yuuum.  Decadent? Yes.  Rich? Yes.  A little on the heavy side? Yes.  Overindulgent? Yes. Time consuming? Yes.  Worth it?  Yes!  So I looked over a couple of different raw “samoa” recipes and kind of combined them.  Here’s what happened:

For the cookie:

1 cup of almonds or cashews ground into a meal ( I used a coffee grinder, if you use cashews the cookie will turn out much softer, but will still be delicious)

1 cup of raisins or date, soaked

1 cup of shredded coconut, ground into a meal (I used a coffee grinder)

2 tablespoons raw agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract (optional)

The topping, Part I :   (I got this “raw condensed milk” recipe from http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/ I love that blog!)

Raw Condensed Milk:

  • 3 tablespoons golden flaxseed
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup dried shredded coconut, ground into powder, (I use my coffee grinder)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or use vanilla seeds)

The Topping, Part II:

1 or 2 cups dried shredded coconut

Chocolate Topping(and bottom):

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

2-4 tablespoons agave nectar, depending on the sweetness you want

Directions:

So you’ll want to start with the cookie first, because it takes the longest.

The Cookie Directions:

Combine almond meal and coconut in a food processor. Add maple syrup, dates, vanilla and sea salt, and process until it forms a ball of dough.

Flatten the dough into a sheet and cut out cookie-sized circles. To maintain authenticity, you can also cut a smaller circle out of the middle to make its familiar donut-like shape (donuts? Yum! I have such a sweet-tooth. Now, I’m getting off topic). OR you can take small pieces of doll, roll into a “snake” and the join the two ends together to form a circle.  Flatten gently.

“Bake” the cookies in the dehydrator, flipping once, until crisp (I left mine in there for almost 24 hours).

The “Raw Condensed Milk” Directions:

Soak the flaxseed in the water overnight.

Blend at high speed in the blender until the mixture is ‘fluffy’ and frothy. Very, very slowly add the agave nectar. Add the sea salt, coconut, and vanilla and continue to blend until mixture is very smooth and creamy looking.

Pour mixture into a shallow dish and place in the dehydrator.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for at least three hours, or until desired consistency is reached.

Use in recipes or continue to dehydrate to make ‘dulce de leche’
The Topping, Part II Directions:
Stir the dried coconut into the “raw condensed milk”.
Chocolate Directions:
Stir together coconut oil, cacao, and agave until smooth and melted.
Putting it all together Directions(Time for all these scrumptious desserts to get to know each other):
First, take the cookie and dip the bottom into the Chocolate dip.  Set cookies, bottom side up into the freezer for a few minutes.  The chocolate should become solid quickly.
Remove the cookies from the freezer and top each cookie generously with the coconut topping.
Drizzle remaining chocolate dip over coconut topping.
Place in freezer or fridge.  Keep in until ready to serve.  Yum!
Some other delicious dishes we had at the raw food potluck:
Raw Wraps with a “chicken” salad and veggies.  So good!
A lovely and refreshing Cucumber and Radish Dip
There were deliciiiiiious Popsicles and “fudgesicles”, but I guess we were all in such a hurry to eat them I didn’t get a picture!
I still have a lot more recipes to share.
My sister is on her 7th day of following a 100% raw diet.  She said so far, it hasn’t been as hard as she thought at all.  We talked a little bit about “detoxing” which can be anything from a headache, to stomach ache.   Maybe I’ll touch on that in a post some time.  This usually only last about a week at the most.  She hasn’t had any real symptoms so far.  : D
I’m off to talk to my wonderful hubby on webcam from Iraq!
Enjoy life!
Renee

Basic Raw Food Questions

So my sister has decided to “go raw” for at least 30 days.  As she’s started out she’s had plenty of questions for me.  Some things we talked about today:

Milk: Well by the time the milk comes from the lovely fat cow that has been given antibiotics, hormones to increase milk productions, and fed food with pesticides, the milk  itself has been processed to remove any bad bacteria.  Unfortunately this process also removes the enzymes and good bacteria present in the milk.  Even if you buy organic milk from the grocery store you would not be getting the same milk the calf lives from.  If you’re going to drink milk, I would definitely drink the raw version, just make sure to know the source you’re getting it from.  The reason laws were passed to pasteurize milk in the first place was because of “beat-you-down” bad bacteria like e. coli and salmonella.  BUT HOW WILL I GET CALCIUM???  Some high raw vegan sources of calcium include: Sesame seeds or tahini (sesame seed butter), flax seeds, almonds or almond butter, raw soybeans, dandelion greens, brazil nuts, and chia seeds.  With these foods you’ll be getting lots of other nutrients as well.  Plus, most of them are alkalizing so your body want have to rob from your bones in order to balance your pH levels.  : P

“I need the creamy texture of milk…I will die without it!  Literally.”  Ok, seesh.  Here’s your milk replacement:

1 cup nuts of choice (cashews are super creamy….sunflower seeds are cheap)

2 cups water

Blend it all together for…a while.

Run through a small mesh strainer OR a nut milk bag.  The liquid is the milk- you can sweeten it if you like, add it to smoothies, and raw cacao powder to it.  The “pulp” that’s left over can be used for “pates” or cookies, or dehydrated and ground into a meal or flour.

Sprouts? What are they?  Why sprout?  What can you sprout?

Basically sprouts are a seed, nut or grain in a certain stage of its growth period.  And you decide to interrupt that stage….by chomping into it.  Meanie.  We sprout because it releases enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins.  The little guys are high in protein too.  Some of my favorite things to sprout are mung beans and lentils.  These also happen to be two of the easiest.  Go here for directions on how to sprout lentils. http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/print/lentils.html super easy and the site has plenty of info on sprouting.  It’s not really necessary to buy a bunch of gadgets for sprouting, a mason jar should do the trick.  What to do with your sprouts?  Well, depending on what you sprouted you might want to throw them on top of a salad, in a lettuce “wrap”, in a raw sandwich,  in some raw soup, or whatever else you feel like!

Another point to make while talking about sprouting is soaking.  If you’re not sprouting your nuts and seeds, it’s best to at least soak them for 2 or more hours.  This allows enzyme inhibitors  (things keeping you from digesting that nut or seed easily) to be released from the nut.  Just remember: “Soaking the nut is better for the gut.”  <—- Ok that’s a ridiculous line.

My sister also brought up the question: How do you eat sushi?  It has rice on it so it’s not raw.  Weeeell, as ridiculous as it may seem, if my only option is a sushi roll (maki)….I pick off the rice.  Of course I could always just order sashimi.  Bottom line is, I really don’t eat sushi that often, and when I do I order it with raw cucumber and avocado and remove all the rice.  I actually removed the rice BEFORE eating a high raw food diet simply because it’s so starchy.

What’s xylitol?  Is it raw?  Xylitol is the alien captain come from Zeebus to bring peace to all earthly beings.  K not really.  It  is a sweetener sourced from fruit.  It’s not raw, it has to go through a long and treacherous process to get to us at the health food store, in the sugar-free gum, and the “healthy” ice cream at the grocery store.  It’s sweeter than sugar and contains sugar alcohols, so it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly.  Other than that, it has no real nutritive value.  It does have calories, but less than table sugar.

What’s stevia?  Stevia is a green plant that looks like this guy:

It’s waaaaaaaaaaay sweeter than sugar.  You can literally take a pieces of the leaf and start chewing it.  It’s very sweet….I know because I recently acquired a stevia plant and this is the first thing I did.  Just to make sure it was true.  : P   So in it’s purest form you would take the stevia leaves and grind them up.  I think once mine starts growing I will dehyrdate the leaves at a low temp and then grind them up into a powder.  Yes this will mean there is a green tint to anything I make that’s sweet and uses stevia.  Shrug.  At the moment I’ve been using white stevia in small quantities.  It’s not raw, but it only takes a very small amount to sweeten something.  The best part is it’ s zero calories and zero impact on blood sugar.  High five mister stevia, high five.

And last but not least my sister asked about olive oil.  Is it raw?  Yes you CAN buy it raw, but it’s not easily available.  Fats and oils are touchy subjects for some raw foodies.  The point of a raw food diet, to me, is to incorporate as many healthy living foods into my diet as possible.  Do I shutter from using a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a recipe?  No.  Should someone else avoid it?  If they feel that’s best for them then of course!  We each have to learn what works for us to be the healthiest and happiest.

Check out my sister’s blog as she “goes raw” for 30 days.  : )

http://myrawfood30.blogspot.com/

Peace,

Renee

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