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!).
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.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Aahhh! Here it is. I found the recipe – thank goodness. I was so elated that I found it that I had to make another batch on Saturday afternoon. Yum!!!
We went to a birthday party that night and I used a little round cookie cutter to cut mini Cherry Chocolate Brownie Bites. Then, I put them in a little plastic bag from a craft store (I use bags like that for Raw goodie-gift-giving), tied a little ribbon around the top and gave them to the birthday guy. He was so excited that he immediately started sharing them around the table.
Confession: Later that night after we arrived home, I ate half of the 8X8 glass-baking dish worth of them. Goodness, they’re so freakin’ good.
Cherry Chocolate Brownies
Yield 8X8 glass baking dish
1 1/2 cups dehydrated almond pulp, ground
1 1/2 tablespoons Navitas Naturals lucuma powder
3 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
dash Himalayan crystal salt
1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cherry extract
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup dried cherries, packed
Using your food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, pulse to briefly mix the ground almond pulp with the lucuma, chocolate, salt, and hemp seeds. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture sticks together when gently pressed between two of your fingers. Press the delicious mixture firmly into a glass 8X8 dish. Cut into squares (or whatever shapes you’d like) and serve plain or topped with Raw vegan ice cream for extra indulgence.
Vitamineral Green Loading Update
All is well with my experimental loading of Vitamineral Green. I’ll admit… it’s pretty icky the way I take it, but when you’re loading it like I am, I just want to plug-n-chug it, get it over with, basically don’t breathe while drinking it (you get the point) haha. I take a glass mason jar, add a couple heaping tablespoons of Vitamineral Green Powder, add 1 cup of water, and often times I add a tablespoon of Fruits of the Earth Powder, too. Shake it up and drink it down. (Ick!) Then, I chase it with a cup of plain water. On some days, I toss down another heaping tablespoon later in the afternoon.
Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
It’s that time again… my second awesome giveaway is here. Yay! The prize? Well, I had so much fun last month that this time I’m drawing TWO names out of the hat. The prize if your name is chosen? I’m sending you a 16-ounce bag of Organic Raw Chocolate Powder from my favorite source, Navitas Naturals!
Here is what Navitas Naturals has to say about their raw chocolate… ‘Food of the Gods,’is the literal translation of the name aptly given to everyone’s favorite food chocolate! A treasure of vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, zinc, chromium and magnesium, raw chocolate is a delight for the senses and food for the mind. New research has shown cacao contains more antioxidant flavonoids than blueberries, red wine and green tea.
Excited? Want the chance to win? Simply answer the following question in the comment section for today’s post. At the end of three days (Friday night, 11:59pm) I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winners on my blog Saturday.
What is the main reason you started adding Raw Vegan food to your life?
Monday, September 29th, 2008
Calling all Raw Vegan Chocolate lovers! Are you ready for a super fun trio of recipes? Get out your dehydrator because my Chocolate Chia Crackers are BIG fun. Need a snack for your kid’s lunch box? Want something super healthy to munch on while watching this week’s VP debates? Then, look no further because this is it! I wrote in a past post that Chia is a dieter’s dream food. And, raw chocolate mixed in… HELLO! YUM!
What? Don’t have a dehydrator yet? Why not??? Having a dehydrator is such a fun addition to your Raw Vegan kitchen because it adds tremendous variety to your diet as well as shelf life to some of your food. Now you can have crunchy foods, warm foods, marinated foods with a texture reminiscent of cooked food, and foods that can last a long time in your refrigerator or freezer. Need I say more? Or, maybe you have a dehydrator but want some delicious dehydrated recipes, then check out my ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Dehydrating.
Okay, back to this wonderful trio of Raw Vegan recipes. Here you go! Enjoy!!!
Chocolate Chia Crackers
Yield 1 tray (quantity depends on size you cut)
1 cup chia seeds (get them here)
2 cups water
Juice of 1 orange
1 apple, cored & chopped
1/4 cup raw chocolate powder (Navitas is my all-time favorite brand)
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
6 dates, pitted
dash Himalayan crystal salt
Soak your chia seeds for 30 minutes in a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the water. Blend the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 cup of water) together. Add the blended mixture to the bowl with soaked chia seeds and stir to mix. Break up any chia seed clumps with your rubber spatula or spoon. Let the mixture sit (as is) for 15-30 minutes.
Spread the mixture on a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick paraflex sheet and score to desired size. (For a thinner cracker, divide between two trays.) Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 60 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate another 6-8 hours. Flip crackers onto another tray without a paraflex sheet and peel off the paraflex sheet being used. Dehydrate another 6-10 hours, or until you reach your desired dryness.
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Spread
Yield 1 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
3 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
Process all of the ingredients in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until creamy. That’s it! Easy!
Sweet Southern Peach Jam
Yield 1 cup
1 cup frozen peaches, thawed
3 dates, pitted, soaked 20 minutes, drained
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
Blend all of the ingredients together. Voila, Sweet Southern Peach Jam!
I’ve been doing extra running on the treadmill lately. In the past, a typical cardio session would include me switching back and forth between running on the zero incline and walking fast on a very high incline (not usually running for longer than a few minutes at a time). Basically, because I find it pretty damn hard to run. I always have.
Lately, however, I’m finding myself running for minutes and minutes on end. And, it was during one of these recent episodes of “continued” running, that I found myself totally blissed out, unaware of the time passing or the music flowing into my ears from the headphones connected to my nano. Interestingly, the trick was that I started looking at things as if I were seeing them for the first time. I pretended I was a child looking around the gym and experiencing simple objects and activities anew.
Can you imagine what it’s like looking at something as if you’d never seen it before…like the ceiling fan, the weights, someone working out, the mirrors on the wall, the cables coming down from the ceiling holding a platform suspended in the air that the TVs set on…it’s kind of weird and and cool at the same time. The first time I did this, I realized that about 15 minutes had gone by with me still running. My body was working hard, my breathing was labored, and I was starting to drip sweat, but I had this amazing level of sustained energy coursing through me, pushing me another step. I loved it!
You see, normally, I need to have some really great music on to keep me pumped up in the gym, or at the very least, I need be reading an intriguing magazine while doing some cardio (unless I’m on my rebounder!). But, it seems this isn’t the case anymore because I’m finding neat ways to engage my mind while getting my heart rate up in the gym.
Clearly, after such a superb workout (as described above), my body screams for fuel, and I’m happy to deliver (so easy to do when you live a High Raw, All Vegan Lifestyle such as mine). Here is my newest smoothie, Blissed Out Chocolate Runner’s Smoothie. I’ve been enjoying these post-workout…fantastic and delicious.
Blissed Out Chocolate Runner’s Smoothie
Yield approximately 4 cups
1-2 cups water
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups spinach
3 tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons Hemp Protein Powder
2 tablespoons Raw Chocolate Powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (of course!)
1-2 cups ice, optional, but especially refreshing after getting hot and sweaty!
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and enjoy (preferably after a great workout)!
I have been craving spumoni ice cream lately, so I had to come up with an alternative – Raw Vegan style. Here it is! Super delicious and yummy – enjoy!
*Side note: I hope it goes without saying that I only use organic ingredients whenever possible, which basically means that 99% of everything I create is organic. There are instances where I simply can’t procure it – so I either try to find an organic substitute of some sort or I begrudgingly use conventional.
Spumoni Dessert Smoothie
Yield 4 cups
1 cup raw shelled pistachios, soaked 1-hour, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 (10oz) bag frozen cherries
1/4 cup Raw agave nectar
3 tablespoons Navitas Raw chocolate powder (my favorite!)
1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
Blend until smooth and creamy – enjoy!
Update: My class over the weekend was a huge success! We rocked the house at Whole Foods with a sold-out class and had a blast. Get ready for another incredible class May 17 when I teach some of my favorite Raw Vegan dessert recipes.
I love my Fridays…new movies typically start, everyone is in a good mood, life seems more relaxed and I’m more than happy to participate in all of that goodness! I’m hoping to see the movie 21 tonight and sneak in a tasty smoothie to enjoy at the same time. I made an especially delicious one for it:
Super Star Chocolate Vanilla Power
Yield 2 1/2 cups
1 cup water
1 cup Super Star Vanilla Sauce
2 tablespoons Navitas Raw chocolate powder
2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder
Blend it all up, transfer to a glass mason jar and sneak into the movie with this amazing treat! (Oops, I just drank it all while writing this – it was so I delicious that I couldn’t help myself – haha – so I guess I won’t be taking it to the movies.)
Update! Great news – my neck is getting better, thanks to the fantastic treatment I’m receiving at Iron Care. I’ve been given the green light to get back into the gym – hooray!
Daily Conversation Question:
If you owned a boat, what name would you choose for it and why?
Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
Update on acupuncture: Yay! I’m feeling better. I hope it lasts. I don’t see my amazing chiropractor until next week – fingers crossed it keeps feeling better and better. I’m not in the gym yet because I’m trying to take as much time to heal as possible, but my spirits are VERY high.
I made a scrumptious smoothie that was so yummy I was smiling from ear to ear with every swig (yes, it’s a swigger, I tell ya!). Did you know that bananas are known to help fight bloating as a result of the potassium content in them? Ladies, if any of you are experiencing excess bloat from PMS, then bring on the bananas (and this smoothie does just that).
Yield 4 cups
1 cup water
3 frozen bananas, peeled
2 oranges, peeled
1/2 cup coconut, unsweetened, shredded and dried
2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder (I love Nutiva)
2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest hemp protein powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend all of the ingredients thoroughly and smile with every swig :)
Vegan Diet Study – Keep ‘em coming! I love seeing vegan studies promoted in the news. If you know anyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, then send them here because the vegan diet comes to the rescue yet again.
Daily Conversation Question:
How would you like to spend your elder years?
*For those of you celebrating Easter this weekend…Happy Easter!
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
I’m receiving so many emails for the recipe of my Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. Here it is (already!). It’s so impressive (sure to please everyone) and easy to make. Enjoy as you enter chocolate ecstasy heaven…ohh-la-la!
Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Yield one 9-inch cake
1 ¾ cups nuts (I used raw almonds)
½ cup raw cacao nibs
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
¾ teaspoon cherry extract
1 tablespoon raw chocolate powder
¾ cup raisins
3 cups cashews, soaked 1-2 hours, drained
1/3 cup raw agave
6 dates, pitted
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons cherry extract
1 cup coconut oil
¾ cup raw chocolate powder
1 bag frozen berries (cherries would be optimal but any will do!)
¼ cup raw agave
dash fresh lemon juice
Crust directions: Grind the nuts, cacao nibs and salt in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the cherry extract and chocolate powder and pulse to thoroughly combine. Add the raisins and process until the mixture sticks together when gently pressed between your fingers. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch round spring form pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
Filling directions: Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, process the cashews, agave, dates, lemon juice, and water until it’s creamy. This could take 3-5 minutes. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add the cherry extract, coconut oil, and chocolate powder and process until creamy. Pour the filling into the spring form pan and freeze the cheesecake so it sets. Let thaw for up to an hour or more before eating.
Coulis directions: Blend all of the ingredients together.