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!
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Yay! It’s that time again! I want to have another awesome giveaway. This time I’m giving away a copy of my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY RAW VEGAN Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs, & Drinks (includes wine drinks!). Everyone around the world is welcome to participate. If I draw the name of someone who lives outside the continental United States, I’ll email you the ebook version.
This book is so fun! Getting all of the nutrition and anti-oxidants your body needs for maximum health is SUPER EASY once you start eating Raw plant-based foods every day, and one of the easiest ways to do this consistently is to DRINK THEM! These recipes are among the easiest Raw recipes you will find… just blend ‘em up (or juice ‘em) and chug ‘em down. You’ll start feeling the powerful effects immediately, and this book gives you so many recipes that you’ll never run out of variety.
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 Saturday night, February 21st @ 11:59pm. I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Sunday, Feb 22nd.
Question: If you could master one musical instrument, which one would you choose and WHY?
Thursday, February 5th, 2009
Kristen in apple
, fluffy green smoothie
, Kristen Suzanne
, Kristen's Raw
, Plant Blood
, raw chocolate
, raw vegan recipes
“Superfoods” is a buzz word in the Raw vegan world, but it’s usually referring to some exotic ingredient such as maca or goji berries. But, what earns the right to be classified as a “superfood?” Does it have to be hard to get? Not at the common store? Full of mystical powers – or at least it makes you feel as such? Or, does it just mean that it’s chock full of awesome compounds including precious antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals?
I came across an article, Top 10 Superfoods for Winter and I wanted to share some of it here. The following list includes some foods you might not have considered “superfoods” in the past if you got caught up in the typical sexy superfood whirlwind we frequently hear about in Raw circles. However, these foods deserve some cheers and should be included.
I was excited upon reading the article that eight of the ten foods listed can easily be consumed Raw. Sa-weet! Here are some bits from the article, along with my own spin on things, including links to recipes of mine featuring some of the superfoods. Enjoy!
Cinnamon has always been one of my mom’s favorite spices so she has been adding it to her recipes for most of my life. So much so that my brother and I started teasing her about it when we were growing up. Well, well, well… what do ya know? It turns out that mom knows best (sorry, Mom, it took me twenty-some years to come to this realization!). It’s been said that the compounds in cinnamon can help moderate blood sugar, improve capillary function, fight candida and inflammation, improve digestion, and may help reduce blood pressure. Cinnamon rocks the house!
Here is a recipe to get you started adding more cinnamon to your life: Blissed Out Chocolate Runner’s Smoothie.
According to the article, “Pecans have shown to significantly lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL. Frequent consumption of nuts is associated with a lowered risk of sudden cardiac death and other coronary heart disease, as well as a lower risk of Type II diabetes in women.”
Here is an easy and delicious cookie recipe that people love love love! Pecan Spice Delight Cookies.
The article also stated that “a Penn State-led review of the available evidence from 66 published studies, supports the view that consuming flavonoid-rich chocolate, in moderation, can be associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Chocolate that is minimally processed and has the highest cocoa content (which means the darkest chocolate) has the highest level of flavonoids. With dark chocolate, even eating as little as 30 calories per day can have a moderate effect. (But more can make you really happy.)”
I totally agree with the author there! For a truly decadent experience with plenty of Raw vegan chocolate, you gotta make this recipe: Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake.
The article mentions consuming pomegranates in the form of juice, but in my opinion, the pomegranate is best experienced in the whole form, i.e. the seeds. I want to feel spoonful after spoonful of juicy seeds burst in my mouth. My ritual of many years is donning a t-shirt that I’m happy to stain with pomegranate juice, as I seed 2-3 pomegranates at a time. I carry my bowl of precious seeds upstairs and I take pleasure in them as I enjoy a long, warm bath. That being said, I do realize the juice is much easier to come by year round.
In the Greek myth of Persephone, the pomegranate is called the fruit of the underworld. This legend tells the story that Persephone was bound to hell because she ate a pomegranate seed(s) from Hades. I don’t know about you, but a pomegranate might just be worth it… to me they’re glamorous and sensuous. Cutting into a pomegranate is like opening a treasure chest…inside you find brilliantly sparkling, sweet-tart flavored ruby-like seeds.
The joy doesn’t stop there though. The pomegranate has anti-inflammatory effects and high levels of anti-oxidants. It offers you potassium, vitamin C and niacin, making this labor intensive fruit worth the effort.
Apples are awesome. I mean, hello, an apple graces the cover of Twilight! But seriously, apples are filled with antioxidants for helping fight cancer and improve cardiovascular health. But, that’s not all. Apples also contain pectin (a great source of soluble fiber), bone-building boron, and Vitamin C. If you want the most bang for your buck when it comes to selecting which variety of apple you enjoy, consider this – Red Delicious apples are reputed for having the highest levels of anti-oxidants.
Here is a great green smoothie recipe that includes both apples and cinnamon!
Fluffy Green Smoothie
Yield 1 serving
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
2 apples, cored and chopped
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend it up and enjoy!
Blueberries are crazy awesome for you. They’re rich in phytonutrients and shown to be some major brain food from an anti-aging perspective. In fact, they may help keep your memory sharp. The next time you forget where you park your car, eat some extra blueberries. However, there’s more to blueberries than just some brain power… Wild blueberries, in particular, are shown to help improve eyesight by reducing eye strain and improving night vision. Total score – Night Vision! Next time you want your kids (or husband – haha) to eat healthier, give them a bowl of blueberries and tell them it’ll help their night vision. :) I’ll bet they gobble them up without a second thought.
All in all, blueberries rock. They are so good for you. And, I’ve read that you can get these benefits by eating fresh or frozen blueberries (get the “wild” ones if you can). This makes eating blueberries year round much easier.
No recipe here… I just eat them straight up by the bowl!
Prunes (dried plums) are not just for shuffle board players. They’re a force to be reckoned with and should be enjoyed by people of all ages. Prunes are loaded with antioxidants (LOTS!), fiber, vitamins A & C, potassium, iron and more.
Updated 2/8: And, check this out… Plums Poised To Give Blueberries Run For The Money.
Although, I typically eat prunes by themselves, here is a delicious dressing recipe with prunes: Creamy Kickin’ Dressing.
According to the article, “A New York Times article in December suggests that cabbage is the most important [vegetable] in the world from the point of view of nutritional benefits and cancer-fighting ability. Cabbage possesses phytochemicals including sulforaphane, which studies suggest protects the body against cancer-causing free radicals, and indoles, which help metabolize estrogens. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins K and C, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and Omega 3 fatty acids.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself! Now, most people associate cabbage recipes with cole slaw. And, it’s definitely a good source for it. However, to concentrate lots of those valuable nutrients in one serving, I also get my cabbage in the form of fresh organic Plant Blood. When I juice it, I include lots of purple cabbage, an apple or two, a carrot or two, and fresh ginger.
So, there you have it. 8 great superfoods for winter (and year round if you ask me!).
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
Kristen in bodybuilding
, Kristen Suzanne
, Kristen's Raw
, personal growth
, raw food
, Rawkin Radio
I had a fun interview with Revvell of Rawkin Radio, which is now available here.
Just a few of the things we chatted about…
~my bodybuilding experience and how I found vegan and then Raw
~tips for eating Raw in the winter
~getting kids and family into Raw
~supplements… are they important? who should take them?
~exercise and my latest endeavor
~changing one’s mindset
~digestion (poop is important!)
Oh! And if you haven’t entered for your chance to win the Lexen Healthy Juicer, you can do so here.
Friday, January 30th, 2009
I’m featuring this salad recipe in my email newsletter this month (sign up here), and I wanted to share it here… because it’s SO good! This highly nutritious salad is refreshing, delicious, and full of flavors that combine effortlessly to deliver one awesome salad.
Kale freakin’ rocks the nutrient house! And, no, it’s not something that is just meant to decorate salad bars (as my husband used to think – ha ha!). It’s loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients shown to help fight cancer, aid in detoxification, and fill you up with super star nutrition including iron, calcium, protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, K and much more!
Fennel Orange Kale Salad
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 2 servings
1 medium bunch curly kale
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons hemp oil
3/4 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
1 cup fennel bulb, thinly sliced*
1 cup orange, peeled, seeded & chopped
8 kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1 tablespoon fennel leaves, chopped
Destem the kale. You can leave the more tender parts of the stem (toward the top of each leaf) in the salad, but the harder stems toward the bottom of each leaf should be torn out. Tear apart the kale leaves (or use a knife and chop them) into bite-size pieces.
Place the torn kale into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, hemp oil, orange zest, salt, and nutmeg. Take a minute and massage all of these ingredients together with your hands. Add the fennel, orange, olives and fennel leaves, and gently toss to mix. Enjoy!
* I use a handheld V-slicer
Friday, January 23rd, 2009
Another giveaway is already here! I was so excited and couldn’t wait any longer. The prize? A Lexen Healthy Juicer! This Juicer is an amazing, easy, and effective wheatgrass and leafy green juicer, making it one of the most popular on the market. It’s great for travel, too! (More details on the juicer are available here.)
I’m excited to announce that 1-877-MyJuicer.com is generously supplying this great prize for one of my lucky readers!
Excited? Want the chance to win? Simply answer the following question in the comment section for today’s post. This contest will last until Saturday, February 7, 2009 @ 10pm MST). At that time, I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Sunday, February 8, 2009. (Please note: While I would love to hear from everyone around the world in answering this question, I have to limit the winner to someone living in the United States.)
Question: What is your favorite FICTION and NON-FICTION book… and why?
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
Today I made Warming Plant Blood (recipe at the end of this post), which includes one of my all-time favorite ingredients – Ginger. I always have fresh organic ginger in my house. I love adding it to juices, smoothies, salads, and other Raw vegan dishes (it’s so nourishing). I’ve often referred to garlic as the king of spices. The queen spot goes to ginger. It rocks.
Ginger offers multiple health benefits. It has warming qualities, as noted in the recipe title Warming Plant Blood. When I feel cold in the winter, I start adding more ginger to my diet. Even though most of my food is Raw (and sometimes a little chilly by nature), adding ginger helps make my digestion and body feel like it’s warming up. Speaking of digestion, ginger is a major helper in that department. Next time you have an upset tummy, try drinking some warm water with a little fresh grated ginger, lemon juice and maybe a dash of raw agave nectar or a drop of stevia. Or, simply drink some ginger tea from a box. I just picked some up at Whole Foods last night from the company Traditional Medicinals. They have a nice tea called Organic Ginger. If I think I’ll have a meal that might challenge my digestive system, I often drink a cup of this about a half hour before the meal.
Ginger is a rich source of powerful antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties, and there is evidence that ginger’s antioxidants might help fight/inhibit the growth of certain types of cancers. Not only that, but studies show ginger can also help boost the immune system.
Storing ginger is easy. Fresh ginger can be stored for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator (or up to 6 months in the freezer) when tightly wrapped.
Warming Plant Blood
Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw
Yield 1-2 servings
1-inch piece of fresh ginger*
1 medium/large-ish beet
1 bunch of baby red Swiss chard**
I used my Breville juicer to juice the ingredients.
* This is a lot of ginger and it definitely gives the juice a kick and immediate warming sensation. You might try half this amount and taste the juice. Then, decide if you want to add more.
** The baby red Swiss chard I used today was from the farmer’s market (locally grown, organic – YAY!). The leaves were little, which is why I referred to it as “baby” Swiss chard. If I was using a regular, full grown bunch, I probably would have juiced 1/2 – 3/4 of the bunch.
For more information on great juicers, check out my blog post, My Favorite Juicers – GreenStar and Breville.
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
I’m having an affair with a Vita-Mix 5200. Am I ashamed? Well, it’s hard to be when you experience this awesome piece of machinery. For many years, I’ve had both a Blendtec and a Professional Series Vita-Mix blender, and I’ve always told people that both are great, but if I had to pick one, I would have gone for the Blendtec. The primary reasons for me being that it fits neatly on my counter (under the cupboard – due to its overall height being shorter than the Vita-Mix) and because it’s easier to scrape food out from the bottom due to its two-pronged blade vs. the 4-pronged Vita-Mix blade. I’ve had both side by side all these years and I always just went to use the Blendtec. I figured that meant it was my blender of choice, not realizing that I was probably partial to the machine since I had it first and was very comfortable with it.
Well, all that has changed now. I recently got my hot little hands on the new Vita-Mix 5200 and immediately fell in love. First of all, the container is BPA-free (Hello! BPA-FREE!) with improved sound dampening so it’s not crazy loud. Secondly, obviously the blender is powerful, reliable, and awesome. Thirdly, the warranty kicks butt! Vita-Mix offers a 7-year warranty on both the container and base (under normal household use), while Blendtec offers a measly 3-year warranty on the base and only 1 year on the container (this is important for me which I’ll detail in a moment). There are other improvements in the Vita-Mix which make it easier to use such as the new lid (now it’s super easy to take on and off). Finally, the Vita-Mix has excellent customer service, which is important to me and always weighs heavily in the equation of whether I buy a product. I still feel like the food (most notably Raw cheeses and dips) are a little easier to get out of the Blendtec container, but not so much that I would now choose the Blendtec over Vitamix.
I wrote that the warranty was important earlier, as well as customer service. Regarding my Blendtec, I’ve recently not had the best experience. My Blendtec started blending at an unbelievably loud pitch. So loud you must plug your ears or it pieces them with pain. When I attempted contact with Blendtec about this – three times! – I received no response. After researching their website about the warranty, I read that my container was only under a 1 year warranty (testing the Blendtec’s sound with and without the container leads me to believe that it’s the container causing the new nasty noise). On top of that, my mom’s Blendtec (much newer than mine, but still over a year old) is doing the same thing!
My Blendtec (container noise problem) and new Vita-Mix 5200 experience both occurred within the last couple of months, and I wanted to share it with you, since for so long I’ve been saying, “They’re both great, but I’m a Blendtec gal.” Not so much anymore.
Move over Blendtec, it’s time for something greater! Vita-Mix 5200, you’ve won my heart.
UPDATE: I have updated my thoughts on the two blenders here.
Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Aaaaahhhhh LEMONS! Aaaaahhhhh MACADAMIA NUTS! These two ingredients are a couple of my favorites and I’m excited to feature a delicious Raw vegan recipe with them. Capri Lemon Chocolate Bars – major deliciousness if you like lemon and macadamia nuts. These bars are dense, full of flavor and a little goes a long way. Sometimes I have it for dessert and sometimes I eat a little one for breakfast with my cup of tea. Don’t you just love that you can have dessert for breakfast when it comes to Raw food?
I love lemons because they’re so refreshing and good for you. Lemons are alkalizing and an excellent source for vitamin C. But, that’s not all. These yellow darlings have folate, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and flavonoids (known for fighting cancer and heart disease!). I had dreams of the Italian island of Capri when making this recipe because they’re known for lemons. The island is filled with lemon trees and they put lemon in just about everything.
I love macadamia nuts because they’re buttery-rich in flavor and texture… and unbelievably satiating. This nut is good for you! They provide monounsaturated fat, which is shown time and again with helping to lower levels of heart disease and cancer. Macadamia nuts are loaded with nutrition such as… phosphorus, calcium, potassium, some fiber, magnesium, a little selenium, and phytosterols. (Keep in mind that they are high in calories, so you probably don’t want to eat the whole platter in one sitting. That’s why I said a little bit goes a long way with this recipe.)
Capri Lemon Chocolate Bars
Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw
Yield one 8-inch glass baking dish
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
3 tablespoons raw agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
10 dates, pitted, soaked 1 hour, drained
1/2 cup dried apple, soaked 1 hour, drained
8 dates, pitted, soaked 1 hour (reserve “soak water”)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons “soak water”
3 tablespoons raw chocolate or carob*
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
1/4 cup coconut oil
For the bars: Process the nuts in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the lemon extract, agave, lemon juice, and process to mix. Add the dates and dried apple and process until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated. Press (or spread) the mixture into the bottom of the glass baking dish. Place in the freezer while you make the frosting.
For the frosting: Blend all of the ingredients together (don’t worry about blending the macadamia nuts until entirely smooth if you don’t want; they can add a nice texture to the frosting). Spread on top of the bars. Place in the freezer for about an hour. After they “set” you can store them in the refrigerator (up to 5 days) or in the freezer (up to 6 months).
*Truly raw carob is available here.
Sunday, January 11th, 2009
Congratulations Mrs. Money and Anonymous (details below)… You won!!! Your prize: You each will receive a jar of Fruits of the Earth Powder™(360 grams; $48.95 value). I hope you’re ready to load up on antioxidants! Simply send me an email with your address so I can get your gift to you right away.
Here is what Mrs. Money and Anonymous had to say when asked, “What is one of your favorite movies and why?”
Mrs. Money: I love Coyote Ugly. While it is a total chick flick and so old, I still love it. Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)
Anonymous: I like Flight of the Navigator, because it is one big adventure. :)
I have to admit, I’ve always liked Coyote Ugly, too. I think it’s so fun. And, Flight of the Navigator? I have not seen, but I’m always up for an adventure, so I’ll be on the lookout for that one.
My next Awesome Giveaway is scheduled for January. Check back for details. Thanks to all of you who participated!