I asked my husband, who has a birthday around the holidays, what he wanted to eat for his birthday dessert. He said without thinking twice, Rudolph Cherry Cobbler. It’s a raw vegan, paleo, and gluten free recipe from my Holidays Recipe Book that he’s been a raving fan of for the past five or so years. I said to him, “Really? That’s what you want for your birthday?” He said, “YES! It’s the best and I can’t eat just one serving, I keep going back for more.” I can’t say I blame him… it is friggin’ delish. The squishy and delicious cherries explode with flavor in your mouth.
This recipe has become a staple in my life for the past few weeks. I have been really turned onto chia seeds and my body has been wanting more of them. From the most simple water and chia seed porridge to something as wonderful as my Longevity Chia Porridge… It is all good.
This recipe, in particular, is near and dear to my heart. One of my biggest and main goals in life is to live to be a centenarian. And by filling my body with longevity supporting foods I will accomplish that goal.
Longevity Chia Porridge.
What you’ll need:
- Chia seeds
- Filtered water
- Herbal tea
- Goji berries
- Longan berries
- Coconut (shredded and dried)
- Cacao nibs and powder (optional)
Chia porridge already set. (1/3 cup chia seeds stirred with 1 cup filtered water. Wait a few minutes and stir again.)
Next morning take the chia porridge from your refrigerator and put whatever portion you desire to eat in a bowl (put remaining chia porridge back in the refrigerator for the next time). It’s nice to let your bowl of chia porridge warm a bit to room temperature if you have the time. Plus, the warm herbal tea in the next step helps warm it.
Brew organic herbal tea (I make a delightful blend of many kinds including nettles, raspberry leaf, rose hips, Spring Dragon Longevity Tea, spearmint, lemon balm, and whatever else… Chaga mushroom too!)
Take a few splashes of your tea and add to your chia porridge. This warms it up a bit.
Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of Heaven Mountain or Bija Heaven Mountain goji berries (They are the absolute best and the only goji I will buy available on amazon.)
Add 5 to 8 dried longan fruit pieces (Longan fruit are a wonderful food with numerous health benefits… reputed for things like healthy heart, blood, beauty and a sex tonic –> Yowza. I like them best in a smoothie or a chia porridge like this.)
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut (dried and shredded) ** I have used on occasion Living Fuel’s CocoChia mixture that I stir in …. this includes the coconut plus some extra chia seeds as well as their xylitol sweetener.
1 to 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder mixed with cacao nibs (I take a jar and I combine cacao nibs with cacao powder and shake it up. I like this combination and I use it in my smoothies, chia porridge, and other recipes.)
Sweetener, if desired but I don’t. I’m however appreciating more food lately without added sweetness. Plus, if you use the CocoChia from Living Fuel it adds a little xylitol sweetener.
Stir everything together. Let it set for 10 minutes or so if you have the patience. :) By allowing it to set for a few minutes the goji berries and the longan berries get a little chewy and make for the most delightful texture.
******* By the way… Have questions or comments? Use twitter or my Facebook fan page to chat. Links are on the right-hand side of my blog. —>
All this time…. I’ve been eating goji berries and semi-enjoying them. Never crazy for them; rather, I kind of tolerated them because of their amazing nutrient profile. I used to eat them with cacao and raisins to mask a bit of their texture and flavor. Turns out, it was the brand of goji berry that was the problem.
A couple of weeks ago, I tried a different brand and cannot believe the difference. Turns out that not all goji berries are hard and almost crunchy. They’re not all dry in texture and flavor. Who knew?!
Now, most of you know I’m a big fan of Navitas Naturals products, and I still am! But, it’s time to move over when it comes to goji berries. In fact, we were at a raw restaurant recently where the lime cheesecake was served with goji berries on top. We noticed that the berries were soft, yet didn’t seem wet from soaking. I began to wonder how this could be… my goji berries never had that texture or color. I now realize it was a different brand, probably the brand I now love.
I’m a Bija / Heaven Mountain Goji Berry girl now!
Bija goji berries are richer in color, flavor, and texture. It’s like night and day. They’re soft. They’re chewy. Their color is deeper and more vibrant. And… the real test? Kamea. I can’t get her to eat Navitas Naturals goji berries whether dry or soaked. But, Bija? She eats them by the handful.
Check the difference out in this picture below. Dry and light colored goji berries vs moist, chewy, and densely vibrant goji berries (so much that they clump together). I’m so glad I tried Bija Heaven Mountain Goji Berries. They also sell a blue bag called just Heaven Mountain. Same awesomeness!!!
What do you think? Have you tried Bija Heaven Mountain Goji Berries? Do you have a favorite brand?
I LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES!!!! For all of you out there who are intimidated my raw food, or who don’t know where to begin… this is it! Whip up a blazing awesome green smoothie for your breakfast and TAKE ON THE WORLD! (Want to learn more? Read 3 Problems Smoothies Solve here)
Here is today’s all-organic concoction. It made about a quart. I loved it so much, I drank it all down in about a minute – lol.
Blend it up and voila! Energizing – Satiating – Fun Breakfast
|Kamea with new pink boots!|
Chef Steph from Excalibur Dehydrators was so super sweet to send Kamea these adorable pink boots. She can’t wait to wear them when we take her in the stroller when the weather gets chillier (and I think this also warrants a trip up to Flagstaff when the snow falls). How friggin’ cute are those?!?!?!
Raw Vegan Snacks
Here is a sampling of snacks I’ve been having this week…
Veggie Crackers N Miso Cashew Spread (recipes below)
Protein Greens Fix (recipe below) Not particularly super tasty, but you know me… when I want some fast and quick protein, I shake up some Sun Warrior Raw Sprouted Rice protein powder with water and chug it down. The difference this time is that I’m adding a couple of extra things to it.
Goji Raisin Mix This is simply goji berries and raisins mixed up. I like this combo because I like to sweeten up goji berries a bit and the raisins are perfect for this. I keep a bowl of this on our counter.
|Veggie Cracker w/ Miso Cashew Spread|
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 16 crackers
2 cups zucchini, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
3/4 cup beet, chopped
3/4 cup flax meal
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato powder*
1 teaspoon coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon garlic, pressed
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
Process everything in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade until pureed. Spread out on a dehydrator tray lined with a ParaFlexx non stick sheet (I use one tray for a thicker cracker, but you can make them thinner and use two trays). Dehydrate for one hour at 130-140 degrees F. Score into desired shape and size. Reduce temperature to 105-115 degrees F and continue dehydrating another 10 hours. Flip, peel off ParaFlexx, and continue dehydrating until you reach desired dryness.
* To make sun-dried tomato powder, grind sun-dried tomatoes in a blender until you get a powder consistency (or close to it).
Miso Cashew Spread
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield about 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
3-4 teaspoons organic miso*
Stir the ingredients together in a bowl and spread on top of a couple Veggie Crackers.
* I LOVE this Garlic Red Pepper miso from SouthRiverMiso.com and use it in many recipes.
Protein Greens Fix
I put 1-2 cups of water in a shaker bottle and add 1 scoop of Sun Warrior’s protein powder along with a teaspoon of Greener Grasses and 1-2 teaspoons ground Wakame flakes. I would use more Greener Grasses but it increases my milk supply too much.
Hi everyone! Here is the food I had on Sunday.
3 cups Bleh Blackberry Protein Shake
This was not particularly yummy – it was bleh. The result? I plugged-n-chugged! Lol. It had blackberries, sunflower lecithin, Sun Warrior Natural Protein Powder, avocado, agave nectar, vanilla, lucuma, and green powder.
1 Goji Wonder Treat
I had to have something to cover up for the bleh shake so I had one of my Goji Wonder Treats. The recipe is from my soon to be released Raw Vegan Transition book. It worked… the bleh shake was quickly forgotten. ;)
Kelp noodles with _____ Sauce
I’m not a real fan of kelp noodles, but I’ve figured the trick to liking them… giving them a good rinse, then soaking them in water with a little lemon or lime juice, then rinsing again. And, finally, topping them with a rich, creamy sauce.
Hence, ____ Sauce. I made a new recipe and haven’t committed to a name yet, so I’m calling it _____ Sauce for now. And, this sauce? THE BOMB!! It was love at first taste. I was hoping to add it to my Raw Vegan Transitions book, only 6 simple ingredients, but I think I’m too late in the editing and book designing process. Therefore, I guess I’ll just have to publish it HERE on my blog. :) It’s sooooooooooooooo good! It reminds me of a cheese fondue sauce my mom used to make when I was little. Anyway… I served it over the kelp noodles with a diced organic apple.
On facebook, I was told about a different kind of noodle that is supposed to blow kelp noodles out of the water – no pun intended – lol – is that even a pun? They’re Raw Sea Spaghetti from Sirova.com. Have you had them? Do you like? I’m eager to try them.
Toast with _____ Sauce
What can I say? I loved the sauce so much that I had it slathered all over some rye toast.
Romaine Lettuce with chickpeas and Olive Tahini Dressing
Delicious, refreshing, and both my husband and I were licking our plates because the dressing is fantastic. Who wants that recipe?
2 teaspoons green powder with water
I finally found a green powder that I feel comfortable taking while breastfeeding. I’ll blog about it this week.
Kelp noodles with _____ Sauce
Another serving. Yum!
rice milk, bananas, ice, carob and almond extract blended up
Hhmmm YUMMMY! I made another neat, unique, and awesome smoothie. It’s filled with mostly Caribbean flavors (how fun is that!). It was easy. It was delicious. And, I’m on fire with energy because of the nutrition it’s fueling into my cells. Uumm… I loved the color of it, too. It was pretty with lovely speckles of the colors red, green, and brown (I’m such a girl!). BUT! Before I dive into sharing this scrumptious recipe with you… let me share a few words on why smoothies and shakes friggin’ rock the house of diet and healthy eating goodness!
As you can see from the many smoothie and shake recipes I share on my blog, I’m obviously a raving fan of them. That’s mainly because…
Lack of time in your life? No problem!
A fabulous, high energy, and mega nutritious and delicious smoothie (or shake) can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes. (That can include clean up time!) And, you can make enough to enjoy it as a whole meal or make extra to save for a later meal or snack. Smoothies offer a 5-minute meal. Awesome!
Lack of nutrition in your life? No problem!
Fresh smoothies and shakes can be filled with the healthiest nutrition on the planet (all plant-powered, of course!)… from nutrient dense organic ingredients to alkalizing greens to high energy fruits to superhero superfoods to body building proteins. Plus – smoothies are blended which means your giving your body something that is easy to digest. That’s a great thing! Smoothies offer phenomenal nutrition and energy. Whoo hoo!
Bored with dieting or healthy eating? Lacking diversity? No problem!
The variations you can make with smoothies and shakes are literally endless. The flavor combos based on your cravings while you’re shopping, or simply what you have on hand in your kitchen, can vary with every single smoothie – making it an entirely different flavor explosion in your mouth with each creation. That’s exciting! Take the recipe I’m going to share with you below, for example. I thought up the flavors while falling asleep based on what I had in my cupboard and refrigerator. I knew I wanted to use my pineapple and bananas before they went bad… I had a bottle of raw coconut water thawing… I wanted alkalizing greens in it and I had romaine lettuce on hand… I’ve been on a ginger kick lately… goji berries are reputed for supporting healthy eyes… I love the pure raw vanilla powder I’ve been playing with (I bought it Whole Foods Market)… etc… and voila – I enjoyed an awesome smoothie full of unique and fun flavors! Smoothies offer massive variety so it’s impossible to get bored. Booyah!
Jeweled Caribbean-ish Smoothie
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 1 quart
1 cup young Thai coconut water
2 bananas, peeled
2 cups pineapple, diced (I include the core)
2 handfuls romaine lettuce
2 heaping tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons goji berries
knob of ginger
1/4 teaspoon pure raw vanilla powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Blend all of the ingredients and enjoy!
Took this picture for fun today to show one of the ways I use glass mason jars – for storage of the bulk items I buy (hemp foods, cacao foods, goji berries, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, sprouting seeds, etc).
We are heading out to see Avatar for the 7th (and final) time. We really love this movie… the beauty, the story, and how it takes us to fun-land every time we see it. As you can probably guess, we don’t go near the concession stand with a 10-foot pole. Gross! And, sorry, I’m not paying $4 for a bottle of water that is contained in icky plastic. So, because I’m on a “special diet” *wink wink* I bring my own snacks and filtered water in a glass bottle. Past snacks have included: protein bar, green smoothie, fruit, kale salad (yes, I brought it in my tiffin with a travel size bamboo fork), chocolate, raw cookies… the list goes on.
But, I’ve created a special snack for this movie trip and I’m calling it Pandora Superfood. It’s made of unique and delicious treats by Navitas Naturals. Hmmm… Na’vi? Navitas? Coincidence?
It’s the perfect snack for this movie because the ingredients actually look and taste like something I’d imagine you’d find on Pandora! When I eat this I feel like I am flying on a dragon or swimming in pools of bioluminescent life force. :)
Here is what is in each portion for the movies:
2 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs
I love raw chocolate and I’m no stranger to it. According to Navitas Naturals’ website, Cacao has long been enjoyed for its healthful and invigorating properties in Mexican, Central, and South American cultures. In fact, Mayan civilizations associated cacao with the food that their gods chose to consume and thrive upon. So impressed were the Mayans with cacao’s taste (and its ability to promote energy), that cacao paste was frequently used in sacred rituals, with an annual festival held devoted entirely to honoring the “cacao god.”
Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants, and is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. In addition, cacao is known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, contains an impressively high iron content, and also possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities.
2 Tablespoons Goji Berries
These pretty little gems are powerhouses of nutrition. I keep plenty of these stocked at my house. According to Navitas Naturals’ website, Goji berries have been appreciated in Asian herbal medicine for several millenniums, but only recently have western cultures “discovered” the power of this remarkable food. A small and red berry, goji’s grow on a thorny perennial bush, and are indigenous to the difficult terrains of the Himalayan mountain range. Often coined as “red diamonds” on the Asian market, the goji berry has long been regarded as one of the most nutrient-rich superfoods on the planet, with ancient Chinese monks crediting this berry to greater health, vitality, longevity, energy, and stamina. Western science agrees that indeed this special berry has a remarkable nutritional profile, and it is now among the most highly sought-after superfoods around.
Arguably among the most potent superfoods known, the goji berry offers an exceptional balance of daily macronutrients: containing carbohydrates, high-quality protein, healthy fat, and soluble fiber. The goji’s solid plant-based protein is packed with 18 amino acids — including all 8 essential amino acids – which is 10% of the fruits composition. Also full of free-radical-devouring antioxidants, goji berries have been historically used to support the immune system and longevity. Rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, these berries additionally possess over 20 trace minerals and vitamins including zinc, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin (B2), vitamin E, and carotenoids which include beta-carotene. And to put things in perspective on just how powerful the little goji berry is, ounce per ounce it contains more vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots, and more iron than soybeans or spinach.
2 Tablespoons Mulberries
Lightly sweet with a wonderful texture. I want to eat these by the handful. And, heck, why not? These are amazing! According to Navitas Naturals’ website, Mulberry trees originally came over on the Silk Road from China to Turkey thousands of years ago. As one of the precious goods for trade, their leaves served as food for silk worms, and their delicious berries enjoyed as an exotic and divine treat. Today, the fruit is still an important part of the Turkish cultural tapestry, and the berry’s unique flavor is enjoyed by people around the world.
More than just a sweet treat, Navitas Naturals Mulberries are a true superfood. They are one of the few fruits to be considered a protein source — boasting a respectable 3 grams of protein per ounce – and are an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and fiber. Mulberries also contain a high concentration of Resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that combats free-radical damage. Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of this special antioxidant helps promote a healthy heart and longevity.
2 Tablespoons Goldenberries
The first time I tried these, I immediately thought, “Move over crappy sour patch kids, it’s time for something way more delish and oh-so-healthy at the same time!” These will throw a party in your mouth. According to Navitas Naturals’ website, Originally cultivated thousands of years ago in the Incan Empire, these dried berries have enjoyed a huge resurgence of popularity in markets around the world, due to their unique taste and remarkable health benefits. Also known as “Incan Berries” or “Cape Gooseberries,” Goldenberries grow in warm climates on a type of small but resilient bush, where natural paper hulks resembling Chinese lanterns delicately cradle the small golden fruit on the inside. Once harvested, the berries are sun-dried, developing a robust and complex citrus-like flavor that is appreciated by everyone from gourmet chefs to children.
Not your average dried fruit, flavor-packed Goldenberries also boast an excellent nutritional profile. The fruit is best noted for its high amounts of carotene and bioflavonoids (vitamin P) — nutrients which studies have shown to produce anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity (among many other benefits). Goldenberries are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and contain a good amount of dietary fiber and pectin. Unlike most fruits, Goldenberries also contain protein and phosphorous.