Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

EASY Raw Vegan Recipe – Banana Nut Cookie Dough Bites

by Kristen Suzanne in banana, dehydrator, recipe, walnuts

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 Sedona.
 
Without further ado… here is my EASY recipe for delicious Raw Vegan Cookies.
 
Banana Nut Cookie Dough Bites
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 8-10 cookies
2 cups walnuts (soaked and dehydrated*)
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 cup raw homemade dehydrated banana slices, packed**
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar Update: I’m no longer a fan of agave and would use raw honey, maple syrup, or coconut nectar 
 
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.

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Monday, August 31st, 2009

A Week of Kristen

by Kristen Suzanne in banana, chia seeds, stevia



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!!!

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Go Vegan! & Daily Raw Food Intake

From Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life blog: Eat Like You Give A Damn (that’s a picture of my t-shirt with those words – my BFF bought it for my birthday *grin*)…

“At the wee age of 10 years old I was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma or — in other words — BONE CANCER (gasp!). I endured almost 3 long years of chemo and lost my lower right leg. I’m also a veggie-lovin’ vegan who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and never even heard the word “vegetarian” until, uh, college? Seriously. There was rarely ever a vegetable cooked in my house that didn’t have a ham hock (aka: pig’s knee) in it! Every meal incorporated meat or dairy (usually both) until my first semester of college where not only did I hear the word “vegetarian” but I became one instantly after reading about the plight of farm animals. It was then that I made some life-changing connections between the meat on my plate and the miserable life of the individual it came from.”
Read more of this great story
here.

HBO SPECIAL: Death On A Factory Farm
I’m eager to see this, and while I’m sure it’ll be hard to watch, I feel a responsibility to do so.

My Raw Food Intake Today
I feel extra awesome today, no doubt from all of the kick-ass healthy Raw vegan foods that are nourishing my body! Oh, and by the way, when I post the food intake, my husband is eating the same. Sometimes he gets extra snacks, or a big protein smoothie or two, or larger portions than me… just depends. Either way, I thought you’d like to know how my husband eats, too, for the most part. And, he loves it!

Vibrant Plant Blood (a.k.a. green juice, although this was anything but green)
~ This was so delicious, refreshing, and just what I needed to cleanse and start my day off right.
Vibrant Plant Blood included (all organic): 1 large beet, 1 lemon (peeled), 1 head of broccoli (stalk and florets), 1 inch ginger, 4 med-large carrots

Banana Sprouted Flax & Rice Protein Smoothie
~ This combo keeps me fueled, filled, and satiated for a long time. It’s simple and tasty. I get my sprouted flax seed powder
here and the sprouted brown rice protein powder here. The recipe was 2 cups cold water, 2 bananas, 1T flax powder, 1 scoop rice protein powder.

Large Kale Salad
~ Ooooh! This was good and fun. I’m keeping the recipe a secret, but only for a short time. I’ll post it later – giving it its own special post!

Carrot Sticks with Cheezy “Brazil Nut” Nacho Sauce
~ Well, I ran out of hemp seeds – bummer! So, I improvised and made the recipe with Brazil nuts (full of selenium). It was very good, but not as addictive as when I make it with hemp seeds. The cool thing is my carrots were bought at the Farmer’s Market this weekend, so they’re organic, locally grown, and
Super Qi food. I love that!

Vega Bar (Berry flavored)
~ These are pretty tasty and filled with nutrition. I like having raw and vegan bars on hand for easy snacking or when I’m running out the door.

Kale Salad (large serving) and Spinach Thyme Soup
~ The soup recipe was featured in
VegNews magazine, as well as in their most recent email newsletter.

Pomegranate Cheesecake
~ Total sweet heaven. I don’t see how anyone could ever miss cooked desserts when you have something this extraordinary and decadent to enjoy.

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Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Girl Talk: Cloth Period Pads & Panties – I’ve Always Been Intrigued

by Kristen Suzanne in banana, chia seeds, Hemp, kale, Kristen Suzanne

It’s time for a little “Girl Talk” on Kristen’s Raw Blog.

The idea of using organic cloth pads for “period time” has always intrigued me… and, scared me a bit. I love the eco-friendly aspect of it, as well as not having to always buy organic cotton pads (I’m not a fan of tampons, even if they are organic, and only use them on rare occasions). However, I’ve always been a bit shy to try the cloth pad option. But… it keeps coming to my attention, so I decided it was time to give it a try. When I was buying my husband a hemp sweater from Rawganique for Valentine’s Day, I saw they had these “LunaPanties: organic cotton period panties” and I decided to give them a try. I haven’t had the chance to use them yet… but that full moon is on its way. UPDATE: I’ve used them and they are a bit stretchy to wear they don’t fit that well. The “pad” part is fine, but the overall comfort of the underwear isn’t anything to write home about. 

Then, that same week, I was reading up on some blogs I follow, and a fellow blogger actually wrote an informative post on the topic. I highly recommend checking it out. She writes, “The minute I tell folks I use cloth menstrual pads, their expression noticeably changes into one of confusion and sometimes disgust. But as I glowingly tell them about the benefits of cloth both to myself and to the environment, they start to listen and realize it’s not so weird or strange after all.” Read more here.

On to the topic of Raw food now… Here is my food intake/plan

Water w/ New Chapter Organic’s Berry Greens (I buy mine from Vitacost.com but they also sell it on Amazon and in some Whole Foods Markets) and Amazing Wheat Grass Powder
~ I like the taste of these two products, both together and independently. It’s a great alkalizing way to start my day. I also add them to smoothies, too, if I’m not drinking them straight with water.

2 Bananas
~ Bananas are easy, full of vitamins, and taste awesome. Need I say more?

Cherry Tomatoes, Carrot Sticks, and Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce
~ I know… AGAIN? Emphatically… YES! I cannot seem to get enough. I’ve been making it every other day. If I’m not eating it with veggies, I eat it with Raw corn chips, and I’ve even enjoyed it w/ organic, baked corn chips. I love the flavor!!! It’s a satiating snack that keeps me filled for hours.

Strawberry Fennel Kale Salad (2 servings)
~ I’ve also been eating a lot of kale salads lately, trying different combinations of ingredients. This was a lovely combo.

3 Spoonfuls of Chia Seed Pudding w/ Raw Cashew Milk
~ This is a great way to fix a sweet tooth. And, chia seeds are loaded with nutrition (read more
here). The Raw cashews and chia seeds are from Navitas Naturals.

Goji Berries (a few small handfuls)
~ I’m making a new dessert recipe, with goji berries, so I have them sitting on the counter. I’ve been munching on some here and there when I walk by them.

Kelp Noodles and Raw Marinara
~ I have a bag of kelp noodles begging to be used in the refrigerator. I think I’ll whip up some Raw Marinara tonight and we’ll enjoy that for dinner… alongside some
Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce and Corn Chips of course – ha ha.

Dessert
~ We’ll either have some more Chia Pudding or the new dessert recipe I’m working on. Either way… we’re having dessert!

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