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’m often asked how I make my Raw Vegan lifestyle seem so easy. Here are some tips for doing just that:
1) Keep is simple!
Don’t make a bunch of different recipes with different sides and different desserts, etc. Simply pick out 3-5 recipes you’ll make for the week. For example, this week I’m making zucchini pasta with my famous marinara. This will be our dinner for 2-3 nights. When I went food shopping today, I also bought ingredients for my Harvest Soup so we’ll have this for 2-3 days (lunch) served alongside a fresh salad. I’ll make a quick and easy salad dressing (like this, Fat Free Strawberry Ginger or Olive Vinaigrette or Deviled Mango), which will last for about 3 days worth of lunch salads. Making and eating Raw Vegan food in this fashion saves you so much time!
Salads are easy…get the prewashed lettuce (give it a quick rinse anyway), dice up cucumbers and carrots (use different veggies next week to get balanced variety), toss some raisins or dried cranberries in and top with delicious dressing.
Go shopping twice a week to make life easy and have the freshest food on hand.
Don’t worry about eating the same thing for a few days in a row, it’s so delicious, you’ll look forward to the third meal of zucchini pasta marinara, for example, as much as you did for the first meal. By having a few different recipes for the second half of the week, you’ll get plenty of variety.
2) Keep things on hand!
I always have raw crackers, desserts (cookies, ice cream, mousse, cheesecake), milks, cheese dip and pate in the freezer. So, all I have to do the night before we’re going to eat it is take it out and thaw. Pick one or two days a month to make these recipes and freeze them. Think you don’t have room in your freezer? Think again…use a Food Saver and maximize your use of the space.
Keep some bags of frozen fruit on hand for those times you run out of fresh produce.
3) Liquids are high energy and easy!
I can’t say enough about how healthy, easy and high energy liquids can be in your diet. I start every single day with either Plant Blood or a smoothie (it’s usually green). Often (and very often) I stick with liquids for most of the day. This ensures I have extra energy and it’s so healthy because it gives your digestive system a break. So, one of the best tips for making the Raw Vegan lifestyle easy and extra healthy, drink many of your meals. Smoothies only take minutes to make. Depending on your juicer, Plant Blood can take a little longer, but still, it’s quite fast. Want a meal to keep you filled up for hours that is still smoothie style? You should try this great stuff, The Ultimate Meal.
4) Eat good ol’ deliciously ripe fruit (sweet and non-sweet)!
Another smart and extra easy plan is to have plain fruit for a whole meal or even just a snack, sweet and/or non sweet. You all know I love my summer time watermelon, and could eat it all day long. Other examples: I often nosh on just cucumbers for a light lunch (sometimes I sprinkle a little Himalayan crystal salt and/or dried herbs – so refreshing) and to make it more substantial, I’ll add 1/2 a diced avocado. Or, for more richness, I’ll dive into a phytonutrient, tropical bounty of mango, bananas, and pineapple. It truly doesn’t get easier than that.
For other great tips on living the Raw Vegan lifestyle with ease, check out my ebook, Kristen’s Raw: The EASY Way to Get Started & Succeed With Raw Food.
I am a fool for Raw Vegan cobblers because they’re satiating, nutritious, and extra easy to make. They remind me of traditional cooked cobblers, but when I’m done eating the Raw vegan version, I’m filled with energy, excitement and happiness :)
My recipe for Summer Strawberry Cobbler hits the spot and delivers everything I promised a cobbler would above. The delicious recipe is available in both my print book and ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Desserts (but I’m also sharing it with you here!). It’s a refreshing recipe with flavors that keep playing in your mouth, well after you’ve swallowed a bite.
I chose strawberries for this cobbler because it’s summertime and they’re in season. And, buying organic food in season is just one of many ways to buy organic on a budget.
Strawberries are loaded with tremendous health benefits:
~ Help protect against a variety of cancers
~ Rich in folate, fiber, vitamin C and potassium
~ Heart-disease fighting phytonutrients
~ Compounds may help strengthen short term memory (nice!)
You’ll also see that I’ve included prunes in the recipe when you buy the book. I love using prunes because they have a wonderful, soft texture and they’re not as sweet as most other dried fruits. And, they’re seriously LOADED with antioxidants.
Summer Strawberry Cobbler
Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw
Yield one 8×8 glass-baking dish
I am a fool for Raw vegan cobblers because they’re satiating, super easy to prepare, and nutritious. Here’s a fun, delicious recipe for exactly that, Summer Strawberry Cobbler. It’s refreshing with flavors that keep playing in your mouth, well after you’ve swallowed a bite.
2 cups raw pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup dried coconut, shredded & unsweetened
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup currants
1/3 cup prunes, chopped
The Strawberry Filling
25 oz fresh strawberries, destemmed (or use frozen and thaw them)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
8 soft dates, pitted
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
Place the nuts, coconut, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor, fitted with the S-blade, and process until coarsely ground. Add the currants and prunes, and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and holds together when gently pressed between two fingers. Set aside.
Take about 15-16 ounces (approximately two-thirds) of the strawberries, chop them and set aside in a large bowl. Then, place the rest of the strawberries along with the orange juice, dates, and agave in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into the bowl with the chopped strawberries and stir.
Pour half of the crumble in the bottom of the glass-baking dish and give it a firm but gentle press. Spread the strawberry filling on top. Sprinkle the remaining cobbler crumble on top of the strawberry filling, allowing some of the beautiful strawberry filling to show through. Serve at room temperature, or warm in a dehydrator for up to an hour at 130 degrees for extra deliciousness. Covered, Summer Strawberry Cobbler will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Today’s Fun Work: I’m listening to the audio soundtrack to What The Bleep Do We Know and working away on my laptop. If you haven’t seen this documentary, I highly recommend it. I liked it much better than The Secret. And, the soundtrack is very cool.
Today’s Fun Exercise: I’m hitting the gym later for cardio and chest strength training. Tonight, I’ll take my dog for a nice long walk when it cools down.
Today’s Raw Vegan Food (in this order):
3 cups Watermelon
1/4 cup Summer Strawberry Cobbler
2 cups Green Smoothie (strawberries, spinach)
2 1/2 cups Truly Chopped Salad plus an avocado
3 cups Green Smoothie (banana, kale)
1/2 cup Summer Strawberry Cobbler
Today, I’m sharing with you another great recipe – this time it’s a delicious cheese spread perfect for crunchy crackers, fresh veggies, or adding a tablespoon (or two) to your next salad dressing to sass it up with a delightful gourmet flavor. In my last email newsletter (sign up here), I gave you a fabulously popular soup recipe of mine featuring Garlic Red Pepper Miso (soy-free). Well, if you bought a jar to make the soup, I wanted to give you another recipe in which to use it. This is quick, delicious, and versatile. Enjoy!
Creamy Zinger Garlic Spread
Yield 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup raw cashews, macadamia or pine nuts (or a mix)
- filtered water for soaking the nuts
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Red Pepper Miso
- 1 tablespoon light miso
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- a little water, if needed to help blend
Place the nuts in a bowl with enough filtered water to cover by an inch. Let them soak like this for up to an hour. Strain off the water and rinse the nuts. Blend all of the ingredients until creamy in your blender (or food processor) and enjoy this gourmet-flavored deliciousness. Creamy Zinger Garlic Spread will stay fresh for up to five days in your refrigerator (stored in an airtight container). It also freezes well.
*TIP – For those watching your nut intake, here is a tip for reducing the fat in spreads such as this, without compromising the exquisite experience. Replace half of the nuts a peeled zucchini. Keep in mind that fat helps mellow flavors, so by reducing the fat, you might need to reduce a few of the more “flavorful” ingredients. For example, I’d start with 1/2 tablespoon of each of the miso(s) and look for a clove of garlic that isn’t too big. Start small because you can always add more, if desired.
Daily Conversation Question:
Which temptation do you try the hardest to resist?
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)!
Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
We’ve been staying at my mom’s for a few days and I’m up to my armpits in fresh produce. Not hard to imagine when you think about 3 people juice feasting! My boyfriend and I have been sticking to juice all day long and then having something very small for dinner (and then more juice for the remainder of the evening). My weight loss / maintenance has been perfect as a result (very manageable) and I feel wonderful.
Tomorrow, when we return home, we’re going to have smoothies for the day, instead of juice, so I can take a break from juicing. Mom has stayed with just juice the whole time and has lost 7 pounds in a week. She’s had tired days, headache days, and some days where she feels okay. She’s committed to sticking with it longer so she can drop some more pounds.
We went hiking yesterday and our dog had on booties. Love those (especially when we first put them on him! hilarious and adorable). He was definitely the coolest dog on the trail as everyone who passed by complimented him on them. The hike was beautiful and lasted about 1 hour…just enough to get a little workout in before we headed to the gym to lift weights.
Kristen’s Raw Update: I’ve been working on my next two ebooks. They are truly amazing, and I mean truly amazing! You’re going to love them :)
Here is the recipe for tomorrow’s delicious breakfast smoothie I’ll be enjoying…want to join me? I promise it’s fabulous! (There are no greens in it….God knows I’ve had enough of those lately – haha!)
Blueberry Cardamom Breakfast Smoothie
Yield 1 large or 2 small servings
2 cups water
2 cups frozen organic blueberries
2 frozen organic bananas
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Give everything a whirl in your blender and enjoy this fabulous breakfast of real champions.
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 honey, coconut nectar, or maple syrup
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.
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
I’m working on a fabulous Raw vegan dinner that I’ll be serving family and out-of-town guests tomorrow. For the main course, I’m serving Gourmet Italian Quiche Tarts that will be served alongside a fresh, crisp romaine salad sprinkled with Raw Parmesan Cheese and topped with my brilliant new Hemp Omega Caesar Dressing. For dessert, I made a divine Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (will post recipe later).
Nutrition never tasted so good!
In the meantime, I’ve been gobbling up this scrumptiously saucy dish. I’m sure you all know by now that I love eating salads loaded with chopped veggies. Well, here is a delicious creamy sauce that will sass up any combination of chopped veggies (or salad). I’ve been enjoying this all day. Fresh avocados, orange, garlic, curry….hhhmmm. Yum!
Creamy Curry Sauce
Yield approximately 2 cups
3/4 cup water
2 avocados, pitted and peeled
1 orange, peeled, seeded
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
2 teaspoons curry
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all of the ingredients until creamy. Serve over your favorite chopped veggies or salad.
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
I’m getting ready to send my email newsletter detailing The Perfect Salad… you don’t want to miss this. If you’re not subscribed, you can do so by visiting Kristen’s Raw.
Sunday, November 18th, 2007
We had a terrifically successful Raw Thanksgiving holiday celebration dinner at the Mandala Tearoom this week. My 4-course Raw vegan dinner was sold out (way in advance) and we had tons of fun. In fact, we expanded service out onto the patio to accomodate over 70 guests! This is a picture of my Raw Pumpkin Pie…it’s all the rage! I’m still getting wonderful emails from customers raving about the food and asking for the recipes. Well, guess what? They’re available (plus many more) in my ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Holidays (available at www.KristensRaw.com) where there are plenty of recipes, as well as the best tips and tricks for getting through the holidays…Raw vegan style!
Here is what one customer wrote me today:
I had the pleasure of meeting you at Mandala Tea Room at the most recent raw foods event. I don’t generally eat exclusively raw but I am now more intrigued to explore this lifestyle change. I thought your pumpkin pie was the best pumpkin pie I ever had. ~Suzan P. of Phoenix, AZ