Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Well, it’s been some crazy days for me. My BlackBerry basically blew up (not really, but you get the picture). I rely on this device to keep my business running in real time, no matter where I am, so it’s a big deal when it’s not working. Then, my web-based email followed suit (still trying to restore my account – yikes! Wish me luck!). Plus, some other things going on that I won’t get into the details with you (yet), but let’s just say…. it’s been a trying week. However! I’m staying strong! I’m deep breathing, exercising, and eating extra-extra well to keep my immune system in top shape. I’m listening to happy music to keep my spirits soaring. I’m dancing with my dog to calm my soul. And…. it’s all working! (smile).
It’s trying times like these that I’m ever so grateful for my healthy HRAV (high raw, all vegan) diet and lifestyle. I know I can count on it to keep my cells properly functioning, happy, and protecting me.
This week I’m adding the final touches to my lastest book and ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes, as well as getting out my March email newsletter (sign up here) – I’m going to have some super yummy recipes in it, so don’t miss out!
This is the perfect comfort beverage for those times you want something sweet and satiating, and to prevent you from gorging on something not-so-good for you. It’s easy to make, Raw, vegan, nutritious, and delicious. I use the word “pillowy” in the title because every sip is soft, smooth, and comfy… just like the perfect pillow.
Pillowy Vanilla Cashew Milk
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 2 cups
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour, drained, and rinsed
1 – 1 1/4 cups water
2 soft medjool dates, pitted
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon lucuma powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend everything together until wonderfully smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
PS… I’ve been trying some new hair products and OMG – Love them!!! My hair is so super duper soft and shiny! I’ll report the details to you soon…
Saturday, March 14th, 2009
It’s that time again – my 9th Awesome Giveaway (check out the 8th Awesome Giveaway). This month, I’m giving away a 16oz bottle of Vitamineral Green. Most of you already know that I’m a huge fan of this green goodness. I love it’s powerful alkalizing properties that keep my cells dancing on and on. This stuff rocks the house. If you’re not experiencing this awesomeness yet, now is your chance to win a bottle of it!
The flavor of Vitamineral Green packs quite the green punch. So, sometimes I mix some up in a cup of water or fresh orange juice, and just chug it down, shot style. And, sometimes I mix it into smoothies or my green juice (the sweeter mixtures cover it up so I don’t even know it’s there). Either way, I don’t care, so long as I get in my body because I know it’s working hard to help me attain optimal health. Most people start small when first introducing this into their diets… for example: a teaspoon a day, and gradually increase to 1 tablespoon a day (or more).
Want the chance to win? It’s simple to participate! All you have to do is answer the following question in this post’s comment section. The contest will end Tuesday night, March 17th @ 11:59pm. I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Wednesday, March 18th.
Question: Who do you think is the most impressive person alive today AND why?
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
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.
~ Total sweet heaven. I don’t see how anyone could ever miss cooked desserts when you have something this extraordinary and decadent to enjoy.
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.
~ 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.
~ We’ll either have some more Chia Pudding or the new dessert recipe I’m working on. Either way… we’re having dessert!
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
Wow! My last ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Hemp Recipes, is now available in print. YEAH! YIPPEE! WOWEE! HURRAY!
Hemp foods, now widely available in health food stores across the country, are taking the natural foods world by storm! A true “superfood,” hemp is high in protein, has excellent ratios of all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, tastes absolutely delicious, and is amazingly helpful to the environment due to its fast growth and lack of need for herbicides or pesticides.
Hemp is not your typical granola fare — it’s a subtle and delicious dream come true for foodies and connoisseurs of everything exotic and unique! These recipes range from quick snacks for the kids, to boldly sexy n’ sassy, and just like all of my recipes, they’re amazingly EASY.
In this totally unique, one-of-a-kind book, you’ll find some of the most amazing recipes I’ve ever developed, all using hemp seeds, hemp oil, or hemp protein powder. Check out the photos in our photo gallery (I’d love to know which photos you like best in the comment section of today’s post).
It’s been a LOT of work and I’m so proud and happy to finally have all of my ebooks available in print. It is officially DANCE TIME!!!
As I promised earlier today on Facebook, I’m featuring one of the recipes from the book (both the book/ebook have been updated with new recipes added!). Let me tell you, this recipe is so good! I mean, like, really really awesomely delicious. I’ve made it every week for the past five weeks because we seriously cannot get enough of it. I’ve made it for lots of different people (non-Raw and Raw) and they all love it… I’m talking “lick-the-bowl-please-give-me-more” loving it. It’s perfect for showing off at the next party you attend or host. And, of course, it’s full of nutrition… hemp seeds (complete protein, essential fatty acids), red bell pepper and garlic (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals), and more. So, without further ado… here it is!
CHEEZY HEMP NACHO SAUCE
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield approximately 1 1/2 cups
1/3 cup water
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup hemp seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon chili powder*
2 teaspoons tamari, wheat-free
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. This can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
*My favorite is by Simply Organic
· Use this for dipping fresh veggies or corn chips (Raw or not – it’s up to you!)
· For those eating cooked vegan foods, this is an awesome sauce on top of veggie burgers
· This also makes a delicious Raw vegan dressing on a hearty salad with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and cucumbers. You could even sprinkle on some Raw vegan taco meat and Fun Corn Chips for a tortilla type salad.
And! Here’s a new video that I made 9/3/09.
I can appreciate that controversial articles can make us question our choices. We’re constantly bombarded with various advertisements, opinions, figures, information, etc., and I know it can make you wonder… “WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO?”
So, here is yet another opinion on the matter (mine). I’m emailed all the time about this issue and decided to blog about it.
Different Sweeteners For Different Reasons
The healthiest sweeteners are fresh, organic whole fruits, including dates. That said, dates sometimes compromise texture in recipes. As a chef, I look for beautiful texture, and as a health food advocate, I lean towards fresh dates. And, then, as a consultant helping people embrace a Raw vegan lifestyle, I’m supportive of helping them transition, which can mean using organic raw agave nectar (an easy-to-use sweetener that might not have the healthiest ranking in the Raw food world – especially to purists, which I am not), but is still much healthier than most sweeteners used in the Standard American Diet. I think it’s important to support people in the transition with eating a healthier lifestyle and, therefore, it’s important to be flexible. After all, a slice of Raw vegan cheesecake made with raw agave nectar is a heck of a lot better than a typical candy bar found in a convenience store or cookies made with white sugar and butter (and cooked!).
Agave isn’t something that you have to put in your recipes every day. If you’re unsure about it, then balance it out with dates. Many dessert recipes probably come out with the best texture if you use raw agave nectar (think mousse, pudding, etc). But, if it’s a soup or a smoothie or a dressing, then you can pretty easily just swap out the agave for 1-2 pitted dates. In my life… sometimes I use dates or date paste (recipe below), sometimes I use raw organic agave nectar, and sometimes I use a combination of both raw agave nectar and dates.
My main stance is that I’m comfortable with organic raw agave nectar and I use it in some of my recipes. I do not consume it every day.
Raw & Organic Agave Nectar – But Is It Really?
I agree that there are agave brands out there that claim to be raw and probably aren’t. The label says that it’s raw, but it doesn’t specify the temperature at which it was created. That’s why I stick with Madhava’s Raw Organic Agave for light agave (check out the FAQ of theirs for more details). I also use Wholesome Sweeteners Blue Agave when my recipe calls for a darker (or blue) agave nectar. Both companies claim on the label to not process their agave nectar over temps of 115F and 118F.
Update 3/6/09: I’ve recently been sent a sample of another Raw agave nectar. I’ll let you know my feedback, but from what I’ve read… it’s very promising.]
Update 12/9/09: I do like the raw agave from Ultimate Superfoods. Update 3/17/10: I came across this blog where an article is featured “Agave Nectar: Hold on now… Response to Rami Nagel’s article By Craig Gerbore, President of Madhave”
Listen To Your Body
People are different and at different stages of raw (or even just healthy eating, for that matter) – this is important to consider if you have doubts about the health of raw agave nectar. Ask yourself… How does it make you feel? If you have something made with raw agave nectar, do you feel OK? Do you feel icky? Do you feel good and healthy? Many people on the Raw vegan journey find that over time, they eat meals that are simpler (for the most part) and don’t eat as many gourmet foods, where you find raw agave nectar used more. So, over time, you might not consume a lot of raw agave nectar, but to have some occasionally is common.
Honey? Heck No!
As a happy and very proud vegan, honey is not an option, nor is it something that I advocate for other people. Dr. Michael Klapper, M.D., (a vegan doctor and best selling author) advises against using honey for health reasons, because it spikes natural sugar levels of the body. Honey is, basically, regurgitated bee vomit. Gross!
Bees make honey for the colony and pollen for the new queen. They don’t go to all the trouble to give it to me. When a colony is disturbed by someone taking their honey or pollen, it places a great amount of stress on the bees. This can disorient them and, in that sense, their whole order has been tampered with. I wouldn’t dream of stealing from bees. (There is a lot of information here about bees and their honey.)
In my opinion, there is no need to consume honey and harm bees, when you can use delicious and nutritious alternatives such as fresh organic dates to sweeten recipes. You can even make a date paste if you need something of a liquid nature (recipe below).
Stress About It? Double Heck No!
Stress is one of the worst things for us. So, don’t stress about your choice to use, or not use, raw agave nectar. When you do things in moderation, it helps ease your mind. And, if you use agave nectar, get the best on the market (organic and raw) and feel secure with your choice.
Date Paste – Yummy & Healthy! It’s great to keep this on hand in the refrigerator so you have it available and ready to use. It’s easy and should take you less than 10 minutes to prepare. Moreover, I love Medjool dates for my date needs because they’re plump and big (I usually buy them from SunOrganic
For those of you who want to stay away from both raw agave nectar and honey, here is a nutritious alternative that is smooth and delicious.
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 1 cup
15 Medjool dates, pitted, and soaked 15 minutes (reserve soak water)
1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved “soak water”
Using a blender, or a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, puree the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. You can add a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt, if desired. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator (glass mason jar is perfect), Date Paste will stay fresh for 10-14 days or longer.
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
I’ve received some blog comments (as well as emails) asking me to post my Raw food intake more often. Your wish is my command ;)
Monday’s Raw Food (all foods are organic)
Water with a squeeze of lemon
Freshly squeezed orange juice (large glass)
Water with Amazing Grass’ Wheat Grass Powder, New Chapter Organic’s Berry Greens, and Vega’s EFA oil
Hemp / Rice Protein Drink (hemp protein powder, rice protein, cinnamon, water)
Chocolate Candied Pumpkin Seeds (recipe in my upcoming chocolate book)
Raspberry Leaf Herbal Tea (giant mug – aaahhhh)
Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar
Guacamole, salsa, Fun Corn Chips
Green and Crunchy Blog
Here is a blog that I enjoy following. I loved this particular post about how she is feeding her family Raw vegan style. Check it out here.
Daily Conversation Question:
If you were offered a seat on the next space shuttle would you take it?
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
I’m excited to announce that my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY RAW Vegan Dehydrating is now available in print from Amazon. Yeehaw!
If you are trying to decide whether or not to buy one, then this book is for you! There are SO many fun and interesting things you can do with dehydrating Raw foods, such as making breads, crackers, wraps, pancakes, granolas, plant leathers (fruit roll-ups, etc.), seasonings, and much more. You can also intensify flavors, add cooked-like textures to your foods, and even serve warm dishes with the food’s nutritional integrity totally intact!
This book is a great, thorough, and comprehensive introduction to dehydrating for people who are curious about the subject. It’s also a must-have for Raw food enthusiasts who want to experience the full range of experiences in the Raw food cuisine.
This book also comes with a special offer: 10% off Excalibur dehydrators & products.
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
Congratulations Sweetie! Your name was chosen as the winner of my 8th Awesome Giveaway. Your prize is a a copy of my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs & Drinks. YAY!!!!!! Simply email me the address you want your prize sent to.
Here is what Sweetie had to say when asked, “If you could master one musical instrument, which one would you choose and why?“
Great question and thank you for your generosity=-)For me it would be the harp. It is so beautiful and also sounds beautiful. To me it is one of the strongest symbols that can represent feminine beauty. Grace…LOVE ALWAYS
My next Awesome Giveaway is in March, so check back for details!