Eating raw food doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. In fact, there are a number of ways, seven specifically right here, that can keep more moola in your piggy bank! And, who doesn’t want some more moola?! These money saving tips are easy to incorporate and still keep raw exciting and delicious.
Buy sunflower and pumpkin seeds – A lot of recipes call for the use of expensive cashews, pine nuts, pecans, etc. You can make the recipes less expensive by using sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds without sacrificing much flavor, if any!
Juice pulp – Use your left over juice pulp and make raw dehydrated crackers out of it! Here is a video where I show you how. No need to waste that pulp by throwing it out when it can be the base of yummy raw crackers and crusts.
Almond (or any nut or seed) pulp – No need to throw this out! Make raw banana bread with it. Here is a recipe showing you how to make Cinnamon Banana Bread Squares.
Make homemade nut butters – I showed you how to make your own raw nut and seed butters before here. It can make a big difference in your wallet if you make your own. Big!
Simple smoothies – For a lot of us, green smoothies are a staple in our diets. But, making them with a bunch of fancy greens and fruits can add up in cost. When you need to save a few bucks, consider making green smoothies with simpler ingredients such as bananas and spinach, but add sass and variety to them by incorporating different spices or extracts. Think: nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, cayenne, Chinese Five Spice, garam masala, vanilla (or other flavor extracts), etc.
Raisins in place of dates – Many times I use raisins in place of dates to save money. Pie crusts, cheesecake crusts, and cookies are a great place to start with this tip. They add sweetness and binding abilities without costing you as much.
Buy in bulk – I talk about this a lot. Buying in bulk does save in the long term, even if it does briefly hurt in the short term. I buy almonds from Bremner Farms (just bought 30 pounds this week!), nuts/seeds/and other goods from Blue Mountain Organics, and Amazon. All great places to stock up!
What are some of your favorite tips for saving money when living the raw lifestyle?
I’m still on vacation over at mom’s house (check out my Green Mommy Blog for updates on what we’ve been up to), but I wanted to share my latest love that I had today…
I love bananas and romaine, but usually I have it in either a fresh organic smoothie or as a sandwich (large leaf of romaine with a peeled banana inside). But, today, I thought to myself… I want a big fresh romaine salad and what better topping to put on it than BANANAS!!! I know it might seem weird to have sliced bananas on a salad, but heck, we often add mango, apples, berries, and other fruits to salad. I thought… why not bananas? Then, I added my Ginger Shallot Dressing to it. OMG – SO YUM! I will be having this combination a lot more in the future. A LOT MORE! Plus, it’s so easy – romaine, bananas, and simple dressing. Don’t you just love easy and fresh and delicious raw recipes that fill you up with energy?!
Speaking of Ginger Shallot Dressing… it’s going to be available in my new book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Transition Recipes, which is going to be available SOON! The update: the book is out of my hands now. It’s going through the distribution process and I’m told it’ll show up on Amazon anytime in the next 1-3 weeks.
UPDATE: I just ate my second salad for a lunch (my first serving I had earlier was for breakfast – lol). It is SOOOO good! And, I made a quick batch of Raw Vegan Cardamom Ice Cream for us to enjoy tonight. Mom is making vegan pizza (not raw) for dinner with organic crust, organic heirloom tomatoes, organic basil from her back yard, and Daiya cheese. I figured we should follow that with raw ice cream. :)
Yesterday, my mom, Kamea’s Nana, came over to babysit so Greg and I could have a mini date. There is a great organic restaurant (not vegan or raw, but with some vegan options, as well as salads), Calistro Bistro. It’s about 2 minutes away, if that, and I’m super grateful it’s there. They have a happy hour with delicious appetizers half off. So, Nana came over and we left baby Kamea in Nana’s capable hands for just under an hour. (That’s all I could stand to be away from her! It was tough!) In hindsight though… she didn’t sleep much that night (last night) so I am even further behind on sleep than I was before the date, and perhaps I should have taken the time while Nana was here to nap instead of go out. :( Live and learn. ;) Oh, and while Nana was here, we gave Kamea her 2nd bath. She took to it MUCH better than the first one we did (details here about the 1st one). She didn’t cry at all the 2nd time.
2 organic bananas with a healthy dose of homemade raw vegan organic cashew butter To make your own cashew butter, simply place two cups of unsoaked cashews in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, and a pinch or two of Himalayan crystal salt. Process until it turns to butter. You’ll need to stop it every minute or so to scrape down the sides and help it along. You can, if necessary, add a little olive oil to help it along, but I don’t find that I need to do that.
After I made the video showing you how I open a young Thai coconut, I wanted to make a smoothie I’d been tossing around in my head that included young Thai coconut. I grabbed my camera and recorded the following video, even though I hadn’t made the recipe until now. How will it turn out? You’ll have to watch to find out. As you’ll see, I didn’t have a name for the recipe at the time of recording, but here is what I came up with: Butterfly Blossom Smoothie. It seemed just right. :)
OK! I am cracking up at the shot YouTube automatically chose to show in the beginning of this video. hahahaha – I think I’ll keep it like that.
Butterfly Blossom Smoothie Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com Yield 3 cups
Kashi Organic Shredded Wheat w/ Raw Granola topped with Organic Rice Milk
I was famished when I woke up today and I wanted something QUICK! Monkey was hungry! So, I ran for a bowl of cereal. The Raw part was the granola, which was from the company Two Mom’s In The Raw (they now have their raw vegan granola available at Starbucks!) I like the granola for the most part but sometimes I get a funny taste in my mouth with it.
1 Quart fresh organic Greeeeen Juice
After the cereal, my body was craving something pure, fresh, Raw, and alkalizing. I made a juice with my Hurom juicer comprised of the following ingredients: cucumbers, kale, Swiss chard, lemon, and celery. It was fabulous. Green juice does a body GOOD!
2 small Raw Chocolates
About a year ago I made the Mint Chocolate Jazz recipe from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. I enjoyed 2 of them. They remind me exactly of York Peppermint Patties – only my recipe is healthy! I love having a freezer full of organic Raw vegan chocolates for those times you need a bite. Mmmmm! (I don’t eat a lot of Raw chocolate while pregnant, but a little bit here and there.)
Huge Salad with Light-n-Lively Tahini Parsley Dressing
My salad was seriously large. It was filled with organic romaine, carrot, and red bell pepper topped with a version of my Light-n-Lively Tahini Parsley Dressing from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Salads & Dressings – except that I used cilantro instead of parsley. Cilantro is a great herb that is full of nutrition and has the ability to help draw toxins (especially heavy metals) from the body.
Celery with fancy schmancy nut butters
In practicing to be a mommy, I went to the kitchen with the intent on making the kid-friendly Ants On A Log recipe. Instead, I ended up using Rejuvenative’s Raw Vegan Organic Almond Butter for two celery logs and their fancy schmancy Pecan Pie Butter (they sent me samples). I write fancy schmancy because the Pecan Pie Butter tastes unique and gourmet. It’s made from pecans, dates, almonds, cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg. I ended up liking the Pecan Pie Butter even more than the almond butter today. It was so yummy on the celery.
I made a quicky shake with 2 scoops of raw protein powder mixed with water. It filled my up nicely for a while.
2 cups organic Greeeeen Juice
I made extra juice when I made my morning batch and here is where I finished it off.
2 organic bananas & 1 small organic pickle
I love bananas… aren’t they like the perfect FAST snack. They’re sweet, nutritious, inexpensive, and did I say FAST? If you make sure that you keep a steady supply of these on your counter than you can do all sorts of things from eating them plain (did I mention what a FAST snack it is?) to blending them into smoothies, sauces, nut milks, desserts, and soups.
The pickle… well, I am pregnant. ;)
2 “Pretty High Raw” Tostadas (organic)
These were made from sprouted corn tortillas from Food for Life (they’re not raw but they’re pretty much minimally processed). I topped them with cooked black beans, (raw) fresh salsa, (raw) guacamole, (raw) lettuce, and (raw) Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce.
I made this for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve had it about 7 times since, maybe more. I snuck it into the movie 2012 the other night – what an awesome treat for a movie. I gave my husband a sip and he kept drinking it and drinking it (chugging may be more like it)… until he got a brain freeze… that’s when he finally gave it back to me.
All I can say is… yum. It’s filling. It’s satiating, almost like a dessert, yet not overly sweet, making it great for any time of the day. It’s nutritious. It’s fun. It’s simple.
This recipe came to me as I was falling asleep, as most of my recipes do. Like usual, I rolled over in bed, grabbed my iPhone and started emailing the notes of my ideas to myself.
Here’s the thing… most Raw vegan cookies use some sort of dehydrated fruit to help bind it and add sweetness. But, I can’t recall ever coming across a Raw vegan cookie recipe that used dehydrated banana slices! They’re perfect… FULL of flavor, sweet, chewy-like, and delicious. Knowing that I could pair them with walnuts (or any nuts) would give me wonderful banana nut flavors. After I made these, my first bite sent my head swimming in joy.
You can enjoy these delicious treats by themselves, of course! Or, have them alongside a tall glass of Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk (recipe here). Or, crumble them in a bowl with raw granola and enjoy as your breakfast. Or, crumble them over Raw vegan vanilla ice cream.
Now, making these requires using dehydrated banana slices that are HOME MADE. Don’t use the ones bought in the store. They’re too hard and probably have crappy preservatives on them. So, if you don’t have a dehydrator yet, then borrow someone’s or get one! And, while you’re at it, get the Excalibur (details here), because it’s the best on the market and has a fantastic warranty.
Without further ado… here is my EASY recipe for delicious Raw Vegan Cookies.
Place the walnuts, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade and process to a coarse grind. Add the dehydrated banana slices and process until they’re broken down and incorporated. As that is happening, add the raw agave nectar. Process the mixture until you get a dough-like consistency. Form into small cookies (either flat as shown in the picture or in balls). Enjoy!
* For optimal digestion, use walnuts that have been soaked and dehydrated. To do this, soak the walnuts in filtered water for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse. Spread the walnuts out on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 135 degrees for 45 minutes. Lower the temperature to 105 degrees and continue dehydrating until dry (approximately 12-24 hours).
** This recipe is designed to use dehydrated banana slices that you make yourself so they’re not processed with any other ingredients other than the bananas themselves. You’ll notice that banana slices in the store tend to be crunchy. By using homemade dehydrated banana slices, they maintain a softer, chewier texture, which is great for this recipe, and they’re fresh and pure. To make yours, simply slice the bananas and dehydrate them for about 18-24 hours or until a dry, chewy texture is obtained.
For the past week, I’ve been living up the Raw lifestyle big time (like usual I guess, haha, but more intense. I took out a bunch of my recipe books and I’m having a blast in the kitchen. Details below…
Here is a picture of my refrigerator loaded to the gills after we went to Whole Foods Market and the farmers’ market (where I’m a part of an awesome certified organic CSA). Most of the goodies are from the farmers’ market, but a few things I had to score from WFM such as kale, mustard greens, blueberries, raspberries, celery, cilantro, and parsley.
Here is my light reading of the week… a couple of great magazines. VegNews and Purely Delicious. I’m also reading a book by Deepak Chopra, M.D. My goal is to spend time away from the computer for a few days because my right eye has been twitching for a week. It feels the most irritated when I’m working on my computer or using my iPhone, which I do ALL the time. Those two things must be the culprits because 1) I get PLENTY of sleep and 2) My body is full of any and all vitamins that if there was a deficiency it would cause that. Some could offer the suggestion that it’s stress, but my life is pretty calm for the most part in spite of my fertility adventures (will update you on that this week). And, again, once I start working on my iMac or look at the iPhone, my eye feels strained.
We’ve been having 1-2 large green smoothies every day (I took a break from juicing this week – I like to change it up from time to time). Green smoothies (green shakes, green monsters – whatever you want to call them) are a staple in my life. They’re super easy to make and HELLO! they’re loaded with nutrition, fiber, and goodness. I topped this one with home grown sprouts for fun (see my video on how to grow your own sprouts here).
Saturday night we had a birthday party to attend and I figured the restaurant probably wouldn’t have anything really healthy, so we filled up on this dish before we left the house. I made Raw zucchini/vegetable pasta medley with Lemon Basil Cashew Cream. It was refreshing and deliciously unique. (You’ll notice the “clump” of sauce in the center. I hadn’t stirred it into the dish when I took the picture. With raw pasta dishes it’s OK – even preferable – to have thick sauces because the water from the veggies helps to dilute it after it’s stirred together).
I had chia seeds in my breakfasts a couple of days last week. More specifically, Sunny Morning Chia Porridge (no oats in this porridge though!). The mixture consisted of chia seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, orange juice, cashews, stevia, almond extract, agave nectar, and cinnamon. It was just lightly sweet, making it ideal for my breakfast. And, full of energy of course!
For dessert all week, I’ve been making different variations of raw banana ice cream. My husband LOVES this stuff. Seriously. Every time I give him a dish of it, he swears… yes, literally swear words – like “Sh*t this rocks!” (he says other things, but I’ll keep this post “PG” rated), because he loves the stuff and is amazed at the texture and flavors. I like to make it in my food processor because it helps make it fluffy by incorporating more air (as opposed to making it in a blender or Green Star).
Banana Ice Cream Crumble: I made a crumble of walnuts, raisins, shredded unsweetened coconut, and a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt. I put some crumble in the bottom of two bowls. Then, I pureed frozen bananas. I put the banana ice cream in the bowls and then topped them with more crumble. Yum! The various textures were awesome – smooth raw vegan ice cream, crunchy nuts, and chewy raisins. Today I froze 3 bunches of bananas for more Raw Banana Ice Cream.
I also made a batch of my delicious soup, Kristen Suzanne’s Harvest Soup (Holiday Style with pumpkin spice added) – it’s fabulous, easy, and FULL of nutrients. Today’s batch was a tiny bit different than my original recipe. I didn’t have dates on hand so I used maple syrup. I could have used raw agave nectar, but opted for the maple syrup to support the holiday flavor theme of the soup.
Later this week I’m going to make my lasagna and hummus recipes (these recipes are always huge hits with family and friends). I’m also going to make some dishes of uber simplicity such as chopped (or spiralized) zucchini/cucumber topped with a drizzle of olive oil (or diced avocado), Himalayan crystal salt, pepper, and a squeeze of citrus. And, some huge salads are in order.
Raw Vegan Rocks!
**Update(it’s 4:39am, 9/1/09)
Well, I ended up having quite the chocolate craving tonight with nothing in the house stashed away for a rainy day. But, I didn’t wear a frown for long. I grabbed my Chocolate Recipe book and turned to the Chocolate Crunch Hazelnut Macaroons (recipe here) and in less than 15 minutes I was a smiling girl. Chocolate covered fingers and all.
Shortly after that… I was craving GREEN JUICE! So, I busted out my GreenStar (my favorite way to juice these days) and made about 10 cups of juice (I gave my husband 2 cups, I drank a quart, then we went on a 2 mile walk at 3:30 am and I’m now home updating this post while drinking the remaining quart of green juice). What was in it? So many good things. I’m calling it Army Green Juice (because the color was truly army green and gorgeous!). The recipe: 2 red bell peppers, 1/2 lemon, 1 orange peeled, 1 large cucumber, 1 medium cucumber, 1/3 bunch Italian parsley, 2 large heads of Romaine lettuce (my first time juicing Romaine, Mr. Monarch and Ms. Stokes-Monarch inspired me), 8 medium carrots, and 4 leaves of mustard greens. YUM!!! I’m full of RAW VITALITY!!!
I'm Kristen, and welcome to my blog. I'm a wife, mom, author, and I love to eat so food is usually the topic of my blog posts. I'm a former (almost decade long) vegan turned back omnivore who enjoys reading, rebounding, coffee, and dark chocolate. More...