Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Review: Various Raw Vegan Protein Powders

I get asked a lot about the different raw and vegan protein powders on the market, so I thought I’d write a post reviewing them. As I wrote here about protein and pregnancy, I’m not a subscriber to the idea that we need a lot of protein in general. However, I do like the idea of pregnant women and kids getting more protein, as needed. Also, I am fine if athletes, or people working out intensely, like to consume extra protein. I wrote a post here about how my husband prefers higher protein in his raw vegan diet to help him maintain / gain muscle mass. As a pregnant woman, I don’t make a big deal of it daily, but I do keep a mental tally every few days and then reassess how I’m going to get a little extra in, if warranted. Eating a raw vegan diet naturally lends itself to a diet that is on the lower side of protein, which is fine and healthy in my opinion, in general. When you consume plant-strong protein, it’s high quality, not acidic, and furthermore, if it’s Raw, you don’t even need as much because it’s not denatured by heat.


Raw vegan protein powders are not typically as perfect as whole food sources of protein such as fresh organic greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, but they serve a purpose in getting you a sizable punch of protein quickly and efficiently. They can really come in handy because of that. There are also whole-food, cooked protein sources such as lentils, beans, grains which can be helpful in increasing the amount of protein one gets, again though… keep in mind that it’s believed cooked protein isn’t as easily assimilated as Raw protein. 


Let’s begin: the purpose of this post is to briefly review some different raw vegan protein powders we’ve tried, liked, and not liked so much. 



Hemp Protein Powder

I would have to say that one of my favorite protein powders for taste is plain ol’ Hemp Protein Powder. I like it because it doesn’t actually have much taste to it. Some say it has a likable “nutty” flavor. It’s a wonderful source of complete protein and fiber. If there was a downside of hemp protein powder, I’d say it’s the texture. It’s gritty, like sand. For this reason, I’m not a huge fan of just having it plain with water (which I do prefer with some other protein powders mentioned below). In general, the way I overcome the grit-factor is to blend it into fruit-filled smoothies or shakes. My favorite hemp protein smoothies combine bananas, water, hemp protein powder, hemp seeds, and then maybe cinnamon, or some greens, or whatever (links to more recipes below). I also like mango in place of the banana, or in addition to it. The banana and mango offer a real creaminess to the shake which helps carry the grittiness rather nicely, thereby making it pretty unnoticeable.


For the reasons of its superfood quality, complete protein, neutral taste, and the fact that certain other ingredients can get me past the sandy texture of it, this is the raw vegan protein powder that I actually look forward to consuming on a regular basis. One quarter cup of Manitoba Harvest’s hemp protein powder has about 11-15 grams of protein depending on whether you get the version with higher fiber or not. Here are some recipes using hemp protein powder that are big hits with my family, friends, and blog readers.
Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake
Frozen Organic Banana Protein Shake


Brown Rice Protein Powder (Raw Vegan, Non GMO)

Another protein powder regularly consumed in our household is sprouted, raw vegan, brown rice protein powder. For this we buy Sun Warrior’s brand. This has a high protein content, and according to Sun Warrior, their brown rice protein is actually complete (they told me: Most rice proteins in the past used white polished rice. We’ve taken organic whole grain brown rice with the bran and the endosperm layers which raise the amino acid profile to make a complete protein. It’s bio-fermented with natural enzymes (no heat), stripping down the carbohydrate and sugar content, leaving 85% bio-available protein.


That’s great because, traditionally, rice protein powders are not a complete protein in terms of amino acid profile. The nice texture blends easily with water by simply shaking it up in a glass mason jar or BPA-Free shaker cup, but it does have a little bit of a chalky after taste – I’m OK with that. I think the chocolate flavor is a tad too sweet for blending into smoothies and shakes, so I actually prefer to just shake it up in water and drink it (yum). When I want to add Sun Warrior to smoothies, I use the Natural flavorThe texture is on the thin side for doing this, making it almost like just drinking water, so it’s easy to get down. A lot of people reach for this protein because it’s easy to digest. One scoop has about 15 grams of protein.

UPDATE: Here is some more information according to Sun Warrior’s staff and website: Sun Warrior has a 98% Correlation rate to Mothers Milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency making it one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein sources (compared to whey and soy).

Highest Net Protein Utilization score of any vegetable based protein and the highest ratio of amino acids converted to proteins. Sun Warrior is created with a Low Temperature natural Enzyme process that does not use any chemicals or acid hydrolysis (like most proteins do). Sun Warrior Protein is naturally rich in Vitamins and Minerals and contains high amounts of Antioxidants, Tocopherols, Tocotrienols and other essential nutrients — such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron and potassium. Using Sun Warrior Increases the efficacy and absorption of vitamins and minerals. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sun Warrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins.  Weight Loss – Clinical studies in Japan have shown that by providing Rice Protein as a staple in a diet it can act as a weight control vehicle. This is especially because of superior absorption rates. Cholesterol – Clinical studies have shown promise that Sun Warrior has cholesterol lowering potential and the USDA is currently using Sun Warrior in trials to see if it may help control high blood pressure. Unlike the extraction processes of other proteins, our method of extraction uses neither chemicals nor acid hydrolysis. We only use Organic Enzymes during the process and our process is 100% Organic Compliant.

We also offer “Natural” which is not sweetened with Stevia. The Vanilla and Chocolate was designed for ease of use (mix with water and go)! Natural also goes good in soups and other non-sweet recipes.

RAW Protein Powder

Garden of Life has a raw vegan protein powder that is likable as well. The flavor is on the bland side, which is nice in my opinion, and the texture is pretty smooth. As such, I prefer to consume this powder shaken up with plain water and chugged down. I like rotating this into our raw vegan protein shake cycles because it contains a notable blend of proteins that I don’t get in the two protein powders mentioned above, or in my diet in general for that matter (at least not on a regular basis). For instance, it has: (all organic) sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth sprout, quinoa sprout, millet sprout, buckwheat sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, kidney bean sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, chia seed sprout, and sesame seed sprout. Uniquely groovy, huh?  One scoop has about 18 grams of protein.


Pea Protein

This frequently gets mixed into my husband’sRaw Vegan Protein Grenades. It’s a complete source of protein that many people find easy to digest. I’m not sure how “raw” it is based on manufacturing, but it’s vegan. There aren’t any sources on the market that I know of touting the production of a sprouted or raw pea protein, like you find with the sprouted brown rice protein. The benefit of pea protein is the higher ratio of certain amino acids like lysine.


Vega Complete Meal Replacement
Vega is a great company with a number of worthy products. Their Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer smartly combines pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein, plus other goodies like chlorella, fruit powder, maca, etc. However, I don’t care for the taste of it. I’ve tried all of their flavors and they are too sweet for me. They offer a natural flavor and to be honest, I can’t remember if I ever tried it. Also, as a pregnant woman, I’m unsure as to the safety of maca so I would avoid this even if I could get past the taste. Update: my friend, Gena (of ChoosingRaw), loves the Chai flavor and is always blogging about it. She actually has me interested in trying it again one of these days – We’ll see. ;)

Vega also offers a product, Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.This includes the following ingredients – Yellow pea protein, organic hemp protein, organic sprouted flax seeds, organic brown rice protein, organic green food blend (spirulina, organic wheat grass, organic alfalfa grass, organic barley grass, organic spinach, organic sprouted broccoli, organic kale, organic kelp, organic dulse), inulin (from chicory root), natural flavors, xanthan gum (from Vega’s website). This is good and each packet has 14 grams of protein. I made the smoothie pictured with 1 cup water, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen cherries, 1 packet Smoothie Infusion, and 1 tablespoon hemp seeds. Yield was 2 cups. 


I also enjoy their Vega Antioxidant EFA oil which has nothing to do with protein, I just thought I’d mention it because essential fatty acids are so important. It has some amazing ingredients in it including Organic hemp seed oil, organic flax seed oil, antioxidant oil blend (organic green tea seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, black cumin seed oil, black raspberry seed oil, blueberry seed oil and cranberry seed oil), organic pumpkin seed oil and organic coconut oil. I enjoy making salad dressings with this kick-butt antioxidant powered oil.


RAW Meal 
This is made by Garden of Life and let me tell you… it’s a doozy (i.e., not good – Hey, I keep it real on my blog). I was very excited to try it out when they sent me a sample because the list of ingredients was pretty impressive. However. It was horrifyingly disgusting for me to drink. I blended it with a banana and frozen blueberries. The weird thing is that the initial flavor seemed fine, but it had a soapy-vomit-like aftertaste. I was scared to drink beyond the first few sips. I can’t help but think there was maybe something wrong with the batch to cause this, but I don’t know. I’ve heard that Garden of Life is considering a reformulation, so they must be aware of it. There is coconut flour in it, and I wonder if that contributes to the “off” taste. I have thrown away entire raw vegan cheesecakes because of a bad coconut oil soapy aftertaste that just can’t really be detected until it’s mixed with other ingredients. Perhaps this is the culprit? Update: They changed the formula and sent me another jug to try. Although the horrifying taste of the past is no longer an issue, I still do not care for this product very much. I like what it has to offer as far as nutrition, but the taste is like drinking ground cardboard to me. I want to like it, really I do, Garden of Life, but I don’t. :(       (But, I love many of your other products!) :) 

ORGANIC Brown Rice Protein Powder (Raw, Vegan)

I was sent samples of Sprout Living’s EPIC Protein Powder (sprouted brown rice protein) that is CERTIFIED ORGANIC! It’s plain and I easily mix it with water and drink it down. I really like this stuff! They also sent me Sproutein but I haven’t tried it since it contains maca and I’m staying away from that while pregnant. UPDATE: They have new flavors too which are very good. Vanilla Lucuma (tasty!) and Chocolate Maca. 


Here is information taken straight from their website about Epic Protein:


Epic Protein starts with premium, organic whole grain brown rice which goes through a unique patent pending process.  Our steps involve sprouting and fermenting in interest of naturally increasing digestibility and protein content. At NO point do we EVER use chemicals, instead; a low temperature enzyme process is used, leaving a completely raw and organic product. The end result is a mostly neutral, semi-sweet, and silky smooth powder – fine enough to dissolve completely in liquid. 

 


Epic Protein is also: 
+ 100% hypoallergenic (decreased chance for allergic reaction)
+ 100% vegan (no animal products used at any time)
+ 100% raw (processed at low temperatures)
+ 100% certified organic (no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemicals)
+ 100% gluten-free
+ 98% correlated to mother’s milk (more than whey and soy)
+ 98.2% bio-available (more than whey and soy)
+ Over 80% protein content
+ Comprised of a complete, high-quality amino acid chain




Just one serving (28 grams) of our powder contains 23 grams of very high-quality protein, zero grams of fat, no sodium, and no sugar. Ideal for quick muscle recovery, muscle regeneration, and the development of lean body tissue.


How is it different than other rice protein powders?
+ 100% Sprouted/Fermented Brown Rice
+ NO carrageenan
+ NO xanathan gum
+ Silky Smooth
+ Less expensive ounce for ounce.

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Raw Vegan "Protein Grenades" Help Keep My Husband Strong!

by Kristen Suzanne in hemp protein, sun warrior rice protein
How many of you have heard it before (especially from men)… “BUT, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN WITH THAT DIET?”

Or… perhaps the #1 thing that deters men from trying a vegan diet: I’M AFRAID I’LL LOSE MY MUSCLE.”

Or… “MY TRAINER DOESN’T BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN OR GROW MY MUSCLE ON A VEGAN DIET – LET ALONE A DIET THAT IS HIGH IN RAW FOODS!”


Well, let me tell you… YES, it can be done. My husband is living proof. Muscle isn’t reserved for only the meat-heads. Just look around in nature and see the massive strength in herbivorous animals such as horses, gorillas, buffalo, elephants, hippopotamus, and more. News Flash to the Doubting Omnivores…. yes, you can build muscle with the proper plant based foods and some work in the gym. Let me take a step further. I’m not just referring to a vegan diet with cooked proteins; this can be done with a High Raw (or All Raw), All Vegan diet. You don’t see elephants and horses grilling up their leaves or sauteeing their twigs, right?

So… how can it be done?
Well, let me share with you some details about my husband and his experience. My husband follows along with my raw vegan diet (we go back and forth between all raw and high raw). However, he wasn’t always a vegan (read about our beginnings here in my post To Date or Not to Date a Carnivore). But, he is now. His answer when people ask about the way he eats and whether he misses meat, “Are you kidding? My wife is a Raw Vegan chef. I live like a movie star… I look up from my computer when I’m working, and there is a plate full of amazing food! We want to live long healthy lives together, and this is the way to do it.”


But it took some convincing initially. When my husband first started looking into the plant-based diet with me, he did his own research (he’s very sciency). He did his own reading, not only into the health aspects of raw and vegan food, but he also seriously questioned whether he’d be able to maintain his muscle mass and strength on this diet. And not just maintain it, but actually he wanted to get bigger and stronger, despite being 38 at the time. It had always been hard for him to put on muscle. Prior to meeting me, through trial and error, he had figured out that, for his ectomorphic body type, he needed a lot of protein to add mass which he derived almost exclusively from whey protein shakes. So, I promised him we’d make it happen, one way or another with plenty or raw and vegan foods. If he needed protein, I’d give him protein. Only now he would be consuming clean, efficient, non-cancer-promoting protein. None of that nasty, acidic animal based protein that burns dirty and can make you tired… not to mention, ehem… unhealthy! Suffice it to say, he was excited… but with so few role models, understandably skeptical.

The verdict? Plants work!! His strength has increased, and he can maintain (or gain mass) based on his diet and workout routine. In fact, after an involuntary hiatus brought on by a shoulder injury, he is now bench-pressing his lifetime personal best, using only plants as food!

So, how does he do it specifically? It’s a pretty simple formula that works for him. Dedication. Working out. Extra protein (much of which is from protein shakes). He strength trains about 5 days a week. And… he’s in awesome shape.

When researching vegan proteins, I came across some excellent information in Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive. In it, he describes how to get an optimal ratio of essential amino acids from plant sources. Specifically, a mixture of hemp protein, brown rice protein, and pea protein. Through the Vega product line, Brendan sells a protein powder blend that consisted of those proteins. (Update 8/17/11: I don’t care for the taste of the Whole Food Health Optimizer line from Vega, but we do like the Sport Performance and Shake & Go lines.) I decided to make my own blends and researched ways to make my own custom mixture of proteins using Brendan’s ideas to get me started.

Enter: Raw Vegan “Protein Grenades.” What are Raw Vegan Protein Grenades? They are mini glass mason filled jars filled with one pre-mixed shake’s worth of Raw Vegan protein powders. Just dump into a shaker cup, add water, and shake! Each Grenade is pre-mixed to contain an optimal amino acid profile — all from plant-based proteins. The recipe varies slightly from week to week, because I like to change it up for fun. Some of the different elements are included in the photo below (but I’m always trying new products so that photo doesn’t show it all), but you can get an idea of some of the goodies involved. Because there are some days when my husband drinks anywhere from 2 to 5 of these shakes (depending on what we’re doing, eating, or his workout routine and goals), I vary the ingredients accordingly. For example, if he is loading up and drinks 4-5 shakes in a day, then the amount of green powder and fruit powder will be about 1 teaspoon per Grenade. But if he only drinks 1-2 per day, then I increase the green powder and fruit powder in each one, so he ends up getting roughly the same amount of super mega phytonutrients. (I always make sure he gets a hellalotta nutrients in addition to protein.) 

Different Amounts For Different Goals: During periods when my husband is doing intense training and really getting lean, it can be common for him to drink up to 4-5 Raw Vegan Protein Grenades daily plus he’ll eat one meal, usually a huge organic salad loaded with veggies alongside a cooked vegan protein (beans, lentils, soy, or Gardein), or sometimes it’s an all-raw vegan dinner like lasagna, tacos, or zucchini pasta marinara. When gaining strength or mass isn’t his goal… meaning that he is in a maintenance phase without the intense training schedule, then he usually drinks 1-2 Protein Grenades a day, and eats about 2 meals which are moderate to high raw, plus snacks as he desires (some examples of snacks he likes: fresh green juice, green smoothies, sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, sprouts, raisins, hemp seeds, prunes, fruit, etc). And, of course, there are some days where he skips the Grenades altogether, and his diet is filled with delicious raw and vegan whole foods. It varies based on his goals at the time, but the bottom line is that because of this super easy Grenade innovation, he can be very flexible yet consistently get plenty of protein.

The Assembly Line: To make life easy on myself, I make up a bunch of Raw Vegan Protein Grenades every few days. I do it in an assembly line fashion. It’s actually fun. If my husband has meetings outside of the home for the day, then he takes a bag of Grenades along with a shaker bottle and water, and he’s all set. Each Protein Grenade has roughly 40-45 grams of pure, raw, vegan, potent protein. If it’s true that raw vegan protein is assimilated better than cooked protein, then you can imagine how powerful these Grenades really are.


Here is a list of items that might be included (not all at once, although many make an appearance):

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Raw Vegan Recipe: Gently Spiced Omega Protein Shake

by Kristen Suzanne in chia seeds, Hemp, hemp protein, hemp seeds

I just love a good shake and this is definitely one to put on the “household staples” list. It’s filled with protein, omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s filling. It’s lightly sweet. It’s AWESOME! It’s perfect for the growing baby inside me.


Gently Spiced Omega Protein Shake
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 3 cups

1 cup water
1 cup ice
2 bananas, peeled
2 heaping tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Blend it all up and enjoy the omega – protein power combo!

For more great Raw Vegan beverage recipes, check out my book (ebook also available), Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs & Drinks

And, for more healthy Raw Vegan hemp recipes, check out my book (ebook also available), Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Hemp Recipes.

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

All Raw Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Wednesday


Today is an ALL RAW DAY for this pregnant, eco-friendly mama! I started the day by taking the dog for a nice long walk. My midwife says that walking is the best exercise in prepping for birth. Therefore, I make it a point to walk 1-2 (usually it’s 2) miles 5-6 days a week. It’s also instrumental in helping keep my weight in check for a healthy pregnancy weight gain. So far so good! My weight is right on track.






All food is organic.

Green Juice (1 quart)
2 tomatoes, 1/3 bunch celery, 2 large cucumbers, small bunch swiss chard
It was really great. Look at all that GREEEEN!

I took the leftover pulp and made a small batch of Raw vegan crackers by adding ground flax meal, tamari, coconut vinegar, and orange zest. They are dehydrating in my Excalibur dehydrator now and they smell fantastic. I can’t wait to enjoy them tomorrow.


Gently Spiced Omega Protein Shake (3 cups)
I’ll post this recipe on January 28, so be sure to check back for it. It’s one of my new faves!




10 Raisins - Yummy little snack

Zippy Energy Soup (3 cups)
This is sooooo fresh and good. Love this recipe – I’ll be sharing it with you January 26, so come on back to get it. It’s nourishing and makes a perfect light lunch or snack. Mmmmm!

2 Small Raw Chocolates
Same as the other day. I dove into my freezer for 2 pieces of the Mint Chocolate Jazz. I’ve been asked many times now about my feelings regarding chocolate while trying to conceive and while pregnant. I am featuring this as a post on my blog on January 24th, so you can check it out then.

Large Fresh Salad w/ A Creamy Tangy Dressing
This salad had romaine, cabbage, red bell pepper, and it was topped with leftover dressing from the other day, a revised Light-n-Livey Tahini Parsley Dressing. Only this time, I took the left over dressing and blended 1/2 of an avocado into it. The result is a decadent creamy and tangy dressing. Avocado is especially great for pregnant mamas because it’s loaded with fiber, B-vitamins, folate, and healthy fats. Yum! Oh yeah, I had a pickle on the side… of course.

That’s it so far. I’ll probably get hungry later because I’m going to need more calories. If I do here is the plan…

Plain Protein Shake
1 cup water with 2 scoops Raw Vegan Sun Warrior Protein Powder. Shake it up. Drink it down.

Raisins and Walnuts
I’m really enjoying raisins the past 3 days which is unusual for me. I’ve always liked them but was never drawn to them like now. The walnuts give me an extra boost of protein and omegas.

Carrots
I love snacking on carrots because they have a little sweetness coupled with a lot of crunch. It’d be smart if I ate these with something that had some fat because the beta-carotene is better assimilated when in the presence of fat. Hhmmm… I know. I have leftover dressing from above, so I’ll dip them in that!

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Protein During Pregnancy

Although I don’t normally subscribe to people getting lots of protein in their diets, there are two groups that I believe should get a little more – pregnant moms and growing children. How much is “a little more?” Well, that is a good question and I don’t really have an answer. But, here is how I’m handling it with my pregnancy (I’ll address growing children and protein when I have one). I’m not a midwife or a doctor or a nutritionist, so I’m taking in information from various experts I know and sources (including lots of books and online research with my MacBook), and I’m adding my own mama intuition to weave my own blanket of a plan.


I’ve been advised by some people (as well as what I’ve read in some natural childbirth books) that a pregnant mom will do well with a daily protein consumption of 75-90 grams a day (the higher range being extra recommended during the third trimester according to some experts – for baby brain development). Some of these books and experts support a vegetarian diet for pregnant moms, so I know that they “get it” at least to some degree. 75-90 grams a day is a bit high for me when I’m consuming mostly raw… unless I want to drink protein shakes with Raw sprouted brown rice powder. I do this on those days that I want to tip the scale higher for protein (it’s easy and quick). But, I don’t always want to rely on it for protein because whole food sources are healthier. On the days that I have cooked organic vegan protein such as beans, lentils, quinoa, organic tofu, etc… it’s easier to get a higher quantity. However, having one meal like that doesn’t always get my day’s total to 75 grams when the rest of my day is Raw. That being said, I also believe that Raw protein is better assimilated and better digested. Therefore, I probably don’t need as many grams as 75-90 most days since that recommended 75-90 grams is likely based on cooked protein recommendations (not much is written about pregnant moms and Raw vegan protein), and it probably takes more cooked protein to assimilate what I might get with a Raw diet. Hhmmm… but I don’t have the magic answer.

So… what makes me feel most comfortable is to have a mix. Some days I get higher protein with both Raw and cooked vegan protein sources. Some days I get whatever protein comes naturally with my Raw food intake. Plus! I consume various superfoods (I just love that word… makes me feel like a superhero, Wonder Woman – lol – I’m a kid at heart). Pretty much on a daily basis I have hemp foods. Did you know that a mere 2 tablespoons of Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds contain a whopping 11 grams of complete vegetarian protein? And, I also add Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder to some of my smoothies (2 heaping tablespoons give about 15 grams of complete vegetarian protein). Then, probably 3-5 days a week, I take spirulina tablets, wheat grass tablets, and chlorella tablets. Those pack a nice punch of protein.

So… what do you think about the protein debate with respect to children and pregnancy?

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Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Raw Vegan Recipe: Soft n’ Savory Hemp Onion Bread

Yay! It’s recipe time! In today’s video, I’m showing you how to make an EASY yummy bread recipe, Soft n’ Savory Hemp Onion Bread. If you’re a fan of savory onions, then you’ll be one happy camper with a slice of this! Soft n’ Savory Hemp Onion Bread is delicious, pretty, and filled with nutrition… essential fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Essential fatty acids are necessary fats that we basically cannot synthesize on our own, so we have to get them from our diet. Enter: hemp and chia! Not only that, but hemp foods are an excellent source of complete vegetarian protein. Personally, I consider hemp foods as superfoods because they are loaded with important nutrients and they make me feel great. As a pregnant gal, I’ve been upping my intake of them – great for my growing baby. So… back to the bread… It’s perfect for snacking on by itself, dipping in Raw hummus, and spreading with Raw hemp seed butter or guacamole. Depending on the size you cut, you can also use it as a nutrient rich bread for hearty Raw sandwiches. As I’m typing this post, it’s dehydrating in the kitchen and it smells soooooooo awesome!


In this video, I feature a few different kitchen tools, ingredients, and appliances. You can get your hot little hands on them buy purchasing from these links…

Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Hemp Recipes
MAC Knife
Onion Goggles
Offset Spatula
Excalibur Dehydrator
Chia Seeds
Hemp Seeds
Hemp Protein Powder

Soft n’ Savory Hemp Onion Bread
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield approximately 20 – 32 pieces (depending on size you cut)

3/4 cup hemp seeds (lightly ground)
3/4 cup chia seeds
3 pounds red onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup spinach, packed
1/3 cup raw agave nectar
1/3 cup tamari, wheat-free
1/4 cup hemp protein powder

Place the ground hemp seeds and whole chia seeds in a large bowl and set aside. Process the onions, tomatoes and spinach in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, into small pieces – don’t let it get too mushy though. One thing that might help is to do this processing in two halves (half each of the onions, tomatoes, spinach in one processing, then do it with the other half) so that you can keep it a little on the chunkier side. If you process it too long, it can get too wet (as you’ll see in the video, I should’ve done mine in two processing batches, but I shoved it all in one – lol).

Add the onion mixture and the remaining ingredients to the bowl of seeds and stir well to mix. Let the batter sit for up to 5 minutes. If you find that the batter is too “wet” then add more chia seeds to soak it up (1 – 2 tablespoons at a time and wait a few minutes).

Use approximately 4 cups per tray and spread the batter onto 2 dehydrator trays, each lined with a Paraflexx sheet. Dehydrate at 130 – 140 degrees for one hour. You can score the bread into the desired size at this time, or you can wait to cut it after it’s done dehydrating.

Lower the temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate another 8 hours. Flip the bread over onto another dehydrator tray and peel off the Paraflexx sheet. Dehydrate another 6 – 10 hours (until you reach your desired dryness – I like mine a little moist). Cut into 16 squares per tray. These are best stored in the refrigerator.


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Thursday, December 31st, 2009

High Raw, All Vegan Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Wednesday

by Kristen Suzanne in hemp protein, hemp seeds, kindle 2

I keep getting emails and comments from people interested in my food intake, so here is today’s. It’s another day of delicious food.


Breakfast

Organic Hemp Protein Smoothie made from: 1.5 cups water, 1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder, 2 Tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds, 2 bananas (I recently bought a 25 pound bucket of seeds from Manitoba Harvest! I transferred them to glass mason jars and they’re all stored in my freezer now. I’m going to enjoy giving a couple of jars away to friends and family as gifts; I’ll even tie a little bow on it. That’s the gift of health!)


Mid-morning Snack

I was cold and still a little hungry after my protein shake so I had the following nourishing, warming foods. Let me tell you, they warmed my body right up, literally in minutes.

~1 cup organic miso soup from South River Miso (dandelion leek flavor – one of my faves!)

~1/2 cup organic kim-chi by Rejuvenative (they were so kind to send me samples – yum!).


Second Little Snack

While shopping at Whole Foods, I bought GoRaw’s little chocolate cookies and opened the bag in the store, eating 3 of them.


Lunch

~Large organic Delicious Apple (this was so delicious and juicy)

~Large organic salad with romaine, cucumber ($2.50 each now at Whole Foods – yikes!), tomato, and another batch of Cayenne Tahini Recipe I talked about in yesterday’s post. This batch I made last night around midnight and added a big handful of organic cilantro that I had in the fridge. When I gave my husband his salad he said, “Honey, thanks so much for making me so healthy with all the food you make.” I replied, “Of course! I want us to be centenarians together!”

~1 piece of Mother Earth Chocolate


We went to Starbucks to read (these are the books I’m reading on my Kindle2 right now: Playful Parenting and Unconditional Parenting). On a side note… I absolutely love my Kindle and it’s one of the best things we ever bought. While we were there I had some organic herbal tea (Mountain Rose Herbs) that I brought with me in a Starbucks thermos and glass mug.


Dinner

~Huge Salad (same as above)

~Rejuvenative’s Kim-Chi (same as above)

~Vegan Pizza! ZPizza makes the yummiest vegan pizza and they use Daiya cheese. If you haven’t had Daiya cheese, and if you have some cooked vegan food from time to time, then you’re truly missing out. This is reputed as the cheese to keep vegans as vegans (for those of you feeling like life isn’t the same without cheese). It’s life changing for many. It’s non-dairy, non-soy, non-gluten, non-rice, non-corn, non-nut, non-preservatives. For the most part, only a handful of restaurants around the country have access to it (ZPizza, Blossom, etc), but it’s supposed to be available for retail stores like Whole Foods in 2010. Furthermore, I did hear a rumor that it’s actually available in some Whole Foods now, but that they have been running out of it because it’s so popular. Anyway, back to ZPizza… they offer a whole wheat crust made with organic wheat and they also have organic vegan sauce. I top my cooked pizza with fresh veggie toppings to get some extra Raw into the meal.


After Dinner Snack

Large Organic Apple


Late Snack

Cucumber Wheat Grass Refresher (recipe in this post)

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Monday, December 14th, 2009

High Raw, All Vegan Food Intake – Monday

by Kristen Suzanne in green juice, hemp protein, sauerkraut
I planned this menu last night before I went to bed. Read here about why planning your daily food is a great idea and how it can help you stick to your healthy eating goals.

Organic Green Juice

I started the day by making 5 cups of green juice with my Hurom juicer. I drank 3 cups and stored the other 2 cups for later in the day. The juice had cucumber, celery, collard greens, lime, orange, and apple. It was fabulous! I tell ya… so many women say that they get constipated with pregnancy. I have to say… it’s not happening with me. I attribute it to my super healthy diet.

Protein Bar
This bar wasn’t Raw, but it was vegan, macrobiotic, had non-gmo and organic ingredients, and was high protein. It was darn tasty, too, as it should be when one of the ingredients is organic brown rice syrup, huh? Lol

Organic Salad, Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuit, and Raw Sauerkraut
Oh… yum… this lunch was so awesome. I made a fresh salad with romaine lettuce and red bell peppers from our CSA, along with cucumbers. The dressing was refreshing – organic lemon juice, Raw olive oil, Himalayan crystal salt, black pepper, and dried Italian seasoning. Alongside the salad I had one of my Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits and topped it with my homemade organic Raw sauerkraut. The juice of the sauerkraut seeped into the biscuit, making it a little soft in spots. SO GOOD!!! I promise to get the recipe to you very soon (maybe this week!). These biscuits are full of flavor and nutrition!


Green Juice – 2 cups
Here is where I had the rest of the green juice I made from this morning. I drank it while doing a little dance to Nelly’s Tilt Ya Head Back (featuring Christina Aguilera). I can’t help but get up and BOOGY DOWN! Seriously! :) I can’t wait to have this baby and dance around the house holding him/her. :)


Savory Veggies, Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuit, and Raw Sauerkraut
I made a batch of this popular marinade recipe of mine, and I’m topping the following vegetables with it: organic portobello mushroom, carrots, red bell pepper, and broccoli. I’ll have another Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuit topped with my Raw sauerkraut with it, too.



Frozen Organic Banana Protein Smoothie See recipe here.
I’m adding extra carob for this so it’s more dessert like. I sure do love RAW FOOD!!!!

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Sunday, December 13th, 2009

My Delicious Raw Food Intake Today

Mmmm a day full of healthy, energizing, GREEN, nutrient dense, delicious, EASY, fun, texture filled, Raw, Vegan, Organic food!!!


Plant Blood (a.k.a. Green Juice) – 2 cups
celery, kale, cucumber, cabbage, and lemon









Green Smoothie – 3 cups
1 mango (are those a doozy to cut up, or what? with that pit and all you have to cut around!), fresh cut sunflower sprouts, fresh cut pea sprouts, and 1 frozen banana







Tropical Spicy Protein Smoothie – 3 cups
1.5 cups water, 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup mango (or more), 1/4 cup hemp seeds, 1/4 cup hemp protein powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, dash vanilla extract

LOTS of Salad!
I’m crazy for romaine salads lately… like I eat 3 bowls in a row! Must be the Monkey growing in me, eh? The usual easy, simple combo: romaine, cucumber, red bell pepper, and topped with a dressing of lemon juice, raw olive oil, Himalayan crystal salt, and black pepper.



Dinner is not here yet, but here is my plan! Kale Salad and Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits
Marinated kale salad topped with avocado, cucumber, red bell pepper. Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits have a wonderful cheesy flavor (I use nutritional yeast – not raw, but everything else is). I dehydrated thoroughly where they’re a thick, crunchy biscuit. Yum! I will post the recipe soon!

PRUNES!
Yum, I love prunes. Deliciously sweet and packed with antioxidants and nutrients.

Update: My kale salad at dinner was a bit different from what I posted above, and let me tell you… We LOVED it! My husband said three times, “Wow! This is soooo good!” I’ll post the exact recipe another day, but the ingredients were marinated kale, garlic, avocado, pineapple, and orange. I’m calling it Pineapple Orange Kale Salad.

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Raw Vegan Recipe: Frozen Organic Banana Protein Shake

by Kristen Suzanne in banana, hemp protein, hemp seeds

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.

Frozen Organic Banana Protein Shake
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 1 serving (approximately 3 cups)

3 small-medium frozen bananas, chopped
2 tablespoons gently heaping hemp seeds
1 tablespoon raw carob

Blend everything until smooth and enjoy your frosty treat.

Variations:
~ You could replace the raw carob with raw chocolate
~ Some of the times I made this, I added 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter to make it even richer ;)
~ Adding cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice for a little extra flare results in good times
~ If you don’t have frozen bananas, you can use ice and fresh bananas
~ Add chia seeds for even more omegas, although the hemp’s got you covered

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