Thursday, July 2, 2015

Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies (with Dried Cherries on Top)




These brownies are quick and heavenly!  The recipe is from Jenn Cornbleet's book, Raw Food for 1 or 2 People- a book that I often recommend to clients or anyone interested in trying their hand at raw food for the first time!  


RAW "ONE BOWL" BROWNIES
 
Yield: 8 brownies, 4 servings

These are truly one-bowl brownies--you'll never have to wait more than 5 minutes again when that chocolate craving strikes.

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, unsoaked
dash salt
8 pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup dried cherries

Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until coarsely chopped. Remove 1/4 cup of the walnuts and set aside. Add the salt to the remaining walnuts and process until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and process until evenly distributed. Add the water, dried cherries, and reserved walnuts, and process briefly, just to mix.

Pack the mixture firmly into a square container. Stored in a sealed container, Brownies will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.

- See more at: http://www.learnrawfood.com/books/recipes/raw_food_made_easy/#brownies
Yield: 8 brownies, 4 servings
These are truly one-bowl brownies--you'll never have to wait more than 5 minutes again when that chocolate craving strikes.
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, unsoaked
dash salt
8 pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup dried cherries
Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until coarsely chopped. Remove 1/4 cup of the walnuts and set aside. Add the salt to the remaining walnuts and process until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and process until evenly distributed. Add the water, dried cherries, and reserved walnuts, and process briefly, just to mix.
Pack the mixture firmly into a square container. Stored in a sealed container, Brownies will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.
- See more at: http://www.learnrawfood.com/books/recipes/raw_food_made_easy/#brownies

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Raw Vegan BLT Wrap with Eggplant Bacon and Creamy Avocado-Mayo


 The following recipe has several components, but it's well worth putting together.  The main ingredient in the wrap, eggplant bacon, can be made ahead of time.  It also lasts a couple of months in the fridge since it's dehydrated, so it's easy to keep some on-hand for use anytime. 

RAW VEGAN BLT:

Ingredients:


Paleo Wrap
Romaine Lettuce, cut into thin ribbons
Eggplant Bacon
Thinly sliced red onion
Tomato slices
Avocado mayo (or your favorite store bought healthy mayo)
Optional:  Raw pickles, sliced jalapenos, a touch of mustard

Directions:

1)  Begin by placing a Paleo wrap on your plate.  Smooth a layer of avocado mayo on your wrap.

2)  Layer the eggplant bacon, lettuce ribbons, onion and tomato onto your wrap.

3)  Add the additional optional ingredients of your choosing, and then simply fold both sides of the Paleo wrap inward to complete your wrap

4)  Enjoy the healthiest and tastiest version of a BLT ever! 



See below for instructions on making the raw eggplant bacon and raw vegan avocado mayo.  To save time, you can also sub in your favorite natural mayo.  The best natural type that I've found is from Wilderness Family Naturals.  It contains healthy, raw oils and no distilled vinegar or soy.  It does contain eggs, however, and is thus not suitable for strict vegans.  

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IMG_7916 (520x347)









Raw Eggplant Bacon
from www.choosingraw.com
Makes about 20 thin slices, or sized according to your eggplant

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, peeled and then sliced lengthwise into thin (1/4 inch thick or less) slices
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2-3/4 tsp smoked paprika (adjust to taste)
Black pepper to taste
Optional add-ins: garlic, tomato sauce, cumin, cayenne pepper, mesquite powder

Directions:

1) Mix all marinade ingredients (tamari through pepper) together. Submerge eggplant slices well, and let marinade for at least an hour.

2) Place slices in a dehydrator and dehydrate at 115 degrees till totally dry: this should take about 12 hours. For crispier bacon, dehydrate longer.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can bake these at 350 for about 18 minutes or until golden, occasionally basting them with marinade.

Garlic and cayenne will add a nice kick to these; so will spices of your choosing. Cumin is a common addition to eggplant bacon, though it’s a very distinctive taste, and I like these on the simpler side. No matter what, they are sweet and salty slices of raw, vegan heaven! 


IMG_5768


Simple Raw, Vegan Avocado Mayonnaise
 from www.choosingraw.com
Ingredients:

1 small or medium Haas avocado, cut in half, pit removed, and flesh scooped out
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons raw olive oil
Directions:

1)  Add the avocado, lemon, mustard (if using) and salt to a food processor or high speed blender and process till it's blended up well. Stop a few times to scrape the bowl down if need be.

2)  With the motor running, drizzle in your olive oil. Continue blending till the mixture has taken on a creamy, light texture.

3)  Makes 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depending on the size of your avocado).




Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can Eating Greens do more for your Heart than Stents, Surgeries, and Statins?

 

Advanced medical treatments for heart disease, such as bypass surgeries and stents, can be life-saving in an emergency.  However, in truth, both stents & bypasses are temporary patch jobs.  If you have blockages in one place assume you have them everywhere--and unless you radically change your diet, stents, bypasses, and statins are no guarantee that you won't have a future cardiovascular event.

Little recognized information about stents and bypass surgeries:

- 27,000 deaths occur annually from bypass surgeries & stents.
-  48,000 annually suffer complications from interventions.
-  Over time the risk for failure increases for both stents & bypasses.
-  45% of our Medicare budget is spent on cardiovascular disease--according to Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe of Emory University.  Imagine.
-  Although stents & bypasses are absolutely necessary if someone is in the middle of a heart attack--in the case of stable disease they do not protect from future heart attacks, they don't prolong life, they do not treat the illness, and they do not significantly alter the disease.

As Dr. Eric Topol, a specialist in the field, has stated,    "We can't cure this disease until we address the fundamentals of lifestyle."  What he is referring to is the fact that the typical Western diet causes an internal cascade of inflammation, heart disease, plaque formation- and all too often, heart attacks. 

What prevents heart disease?  Exercise helps, but evidence points to diet being the most crucial piece of the puzzle.  This is known because advanced athletes with a poor diet still develop heart disease. 

According to research conducted by the author of the groundbreaking book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselsyn:
Eating GREENS actually repairs your heart and prevents further problems. 

According to Dr. Caldwell's bench mark long-term nutritional research, a person can put the brakes on heart disease in just 3-4 weeks if they rejuvenate the endothelial cells that line their blood vessels by many healthy greens in their diet daily.  Greens heal the endothelial cells so they can produce life-giving nitric oxide--which prevents stickiness, keeps plaque from forming, and dilates blood vessels.  Nitric oxide is the strongest vasodilator there is: 
In conclusion, make kale, collards, spinach, arugula, and romaine your best friends! 

For long-term heart health, Dr. Esselstyn recommends an all plant-based diet that's high in anti-oxidants in order to change internal biochemistry and even strengthen the protective cap over any pre-existing plaque.  This strategy  prevents future cardiovascular events, even if you've had one already. 

What damages endothelial cells? 
Any food with processed or heated fats (especially "fast foods" and those with trans fatty acids- such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils), refined sugars, and caffeinated coffee. 

Sources:  

http://www.dresselstyn.com/
http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Berry Vegan Smoothie Popsicles for Kids

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My daughter LOVES making and eating popsicles.  A variety of make-your-own popsicle molds are readily available on-line (try Amazon.com) or check your local department store.  Some are now made with silicon, which is wonderfully flexible, dishwasher-friendly, and easy to use.

The following recipe is very kid friendly because of its flexibility.  To include my daughter in the popsicle-making process, I simply gather all of the ingredients on the kitchen counter and then ask her to add each one to the blender.  As long as all the basic elements of the smoothie base are included, the popsicles turn out great!  Because of this, you can allow your child to add a little more of one thing or less of another (allowing them to use their own creativity and intuition), without worry that the recipe will "flop"!

Ingredients:
  • Your favorite vegan milk:  sprouted rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc. (around 1/2 c.)
  • Orange juice (around 1/2 c.) 
  • Fresh or frozen banana (1-2) 
  • Berries (1/4-1/2 c.) 
  • Spinach (optional):  My daughter calls these "leaves" and always likes to add a couple, because she sees me add a ton to my smoothies daily!  Children are more sensitive to the bitter taste than adults, however, so she has learned to add just a few- to suit her taste. 
 Directions:  Blend until smooth.  Then, pour the smoothie into the popsicle molds, freeze, and serve when solid. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cafe Manna's Raw Tacos (Brookfield, Wisconsin)

Raw Tacos from Cafe Manna
I am a fairly frequent visitor of one of the only vegetarian restaurants in Wisconsin... the lovely Cafe Manna.  This cafe, located in Brookfield, offers multiple raw vegan dishes, as well as a variety of delicious vegetarian fare.  

Other than the raw tacos, I highly recommend their Limonade beverage- a limey twist on lemonade, made with fresh kale, lime and agave.  For dessert, try the chef's chocolate bites.  This chocolate treat comes with a seasonal berry sauce, and the creamy chocolate treats are actually made with avocado!  

Visit www.cafemanna.com to check them out! 

Question of the Day:  
What is your favorite place to get healthy meals out on the town?  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Seek Health?

When answering this question, there are the obvious answers...
- for physical comfort on a daily basis
- freedom from lifestyle-related diseases (which are actually most!) 
- to have plenty of energy in order to accomplish all of your goals and enjoy life fully
- for longevity

What transcends these goals, however, is the implications of the fact that your body is the window through which you see the world.  Thus, when you change your body through deep detoxification and eating high life force foods- when you bring it to a higher vibrational level- your personal world changes.  You see things more clearly and more vividly. Direct perception of the aliveness of the world and the interconnectedness of all things & beings becomes a visceral reality to you. 

I leave you with the following quotation that so succinctly states this truth:  From the Essene Gospel of Peace, Book 4: 

“First shall the Son of Man seek Peace with his own body, for his body is as a mountain pond that reflects the sun when it is still and clear; but when it is full of mud and stones, it reflects nothing.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Raw Vegan Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Frosting and Caramel Raisin Filling





Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Frosting and Caramel Raisin Filling: 
makes 6-7 servings Adapted from a recipe @ This Rawesome Vegan Life Blog.  

dough:

3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup ground flax seeds
3/4 cup raisins 
3/4 cup dates
Pinch of salt (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
Dash of cinnamon 

coconut frosting:

1 heaping cup young coconut meat
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons raw agave syrup (or other preferred sweetener) 
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Water, as needed

caramel raisin filling:

1 cup dates
1/4-1/2 cup coconut water 
Cinnamon powder, to taste
1/4 cup raisins

To make the dough: pulse the almond meal and ground flax in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it all begins to stick together. Roll the dough into a square about 1/4-1/2 cm thick.

To make the frosting: blend all the ingredients together until it's smooth and drizzly. Set aside.

To make the cinnamon caramel filling: blend all the ingredients together - except the raisins - until smooth and thick like a paste. Set aside.

Cut the dough into strips and spread the filling evenly on each one, then sprinkle on the raisins and gently roll the strips up. Cover with the frosting and celebrate your healthy creation!


I enjoyed these treats immensely!  And, I enjoyed knowing that they were incredibly nourishing as well.  Read more about dates on my previous post, "10 Reasons to Make a Snack Date with a Date."