With the weather starting to chill and the produce department changing to seasonal produce for fall (pumpkins, cranberries, apples, etc), the holiday mood is upon us – hooray! In fact, I’ve already made my holiday gift list and I’m ready to shop. I love this time of year; I can’t help but do things to get a jump start.
Here is the perfect holiday cookie to help get you in the mood. With every delicious bite you’ll think… Holidays! If you’re looking for a heart healthy, can’t eat just one, EASY, and super satiating cookie recipe that will literally take you only minutes to make, then look no more. This is a terrific dessert recipe to take as a dish to pass at holiday dinners and parties. And, it’s one of those great raw food recipes that you can make well in advance of the holidays and store in your freezer. Oh, and one more thing… everyone who makes these (and eats these) LOVES these. Enjoy :)
Pecan Spice Delight Cookies
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 3 cups cookie batter
1 1/2 cups pecans (soaked and dehydrated if possible)
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded dried coconut
1 tablespoon (or more!) lucuma powder *
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
10 dates, pitted
Process all of the ingredients, except for the raisins and dates, in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the raisins and dates and continue processing until the mixture begins to stick together when pressed between your fingers. Roll and form into desired shapes and sizes.
For those of us eating a Raw diet, did you know there is a term used to describe our eating behavior that goes beyond the typical “Raw” which is so commonly used? There is! We’re called crudivores (pronounced like crude, as in unrefined, unprocessed). Throw that term around at the next party you attend. Check out more here (it’s really cool!). More specifically, for my purposes and most others living the Raw lifestyle (who omit animal products and by-products), we should call ourselves vegan crudivores.
If you google crudivore, you’ll see that there are about 6,000 results which is very low. Even lower are the results you get when googling vegan crudivore (about 800). To put that into perspective, herbivore yields about 1.4 million results.
Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
I used to be a big food worshipper with an over-the-top appetite. Seriously. I used to proudly boast to my male friends that I could “out-eat” them…not the most feminine challenge. At restaurant buffets, I would bring 2-3 plates full of food back from my first trip to the buffet bar (one in each hand plus one plate balancing on my forearm). But, I didn’t stop there. After the main meal, I would use a dinner size plate for the dessert table. I mean, come on, you can’t fit three desserts on that tiny plate they try to give you, right? And, how can you possibly choose only one dessert from all that are available? I had to at least try them all.
Basically, I loved food. I come from a family that is in the restaurant business and I grew up following my mom around the kitchen. My “high” in life came from the weekly trips to the grocery store with my mom, where she let me help her pick out ingredients. It wasn’t long before I became a little obsessed with food. In fact, it was not uncommon for me to think about what I was going to eat for lunch when it was only breakfast, as well as eagerly anticipating dinner before my lunch even started. And, I was always hungry.
The challenge was that being in shape and maintaining a healthy, slim waistline was, and still is, important to me. I feel the healthiest, sexiest, most playful, and have the most energy when I’m not carrying around extra weight (even if it’s only five pounds). Therefore, always being focused on food, eating a lot, AND trying to stay slim made my life quite a challenge. But, when I went Raw things changed. Whereas before I found myself with a crazy hunger, after starting to live the Raw lifestyle, I began experiencing a healthy appetite that was appropriately hungry before eating and adequately suppressed after eating. Now, I’m not obsessed with food and eating like I used to be. As a chef, I still get excited about food preparation, but now I’m content to eat the same delicious Raw vegan food for 2-3 days straight. I tend to drink the same smoothies for breakfast days in a row and it’s not unusual for me to eat the same Raw desserts over and over. Nowadays, my focus falls on getting fresh organic ingredients for my meals, but that’s about it. Life is healthier, simpler and much more enjoyable.
I think one of the reasons I was always starving in the past is because I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition I needed. My body was crying out for nutrients that were not to be found in all of the cooked food I consumed. Finally, I listened to my body’s cries for nutrient dense, uncooked food. When this happened, my hunger (and obsession) decreased, almost magically, and I was able to focus on other things…like my life.
When you say good-bye to something in your life, especially something like food that you’ve lived with for so long, it can be a tough transition for your mind (and your body). My advice is to take your time and enjoy the journey. Raw can seem like such a huge change, and indeed it is if you go 100% overnight. But, you don’t have to go 100% in the beginning (or maybe ever for that matter) to have some amazing results. Just start eating “more” Raw and listen to body as you go. You’ll probably find yourself in the same boat as many others….it becomes so delicious and healthy that you get excited about adding more and more Raw to your life. I find that the only people who question living a Raw (or high Raw) vegan lifestyle are the people who haven’t tried it. So, if you’re one of those people…to you I say…go ahead and just try it. See for yourself how easy it is and how great you could feel.
I am constantly discovering new ways to improve my health.
I look forward to a healthy old age because I take loving care of my body now.
~ I Can Do It Cards by Louise L. Hay
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
Here is a cool idea that I’m so excited to do this holiday season – I’m asking family and friends to go vegan for 5-7 days, as their gift to me. (Asking them to go Raw is probably too much of a stretch, so I’m starting with vegan. Next year I’ll hit them up with Raw! Remember, baby steps are important.) It’s a chance for them to feel great, learn about the health benefits, reduce their carbon footprint, see how simple it is, and hopefully start making better choices about their food in the future. This is a great gift for any occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc).
With the money they won’t be spending on me, I told them to buy a few staples to last the week (soy or hemp milk, fresh/frozen vegan foods, fresh Raw produce, etc). I’m providing them with a shopping list and I offered to go with them to show them how easy it is. I’ll also give them simple and delicious vegan recipes (as well as easy and great Raw recipes), a list of restaurants in their areas for great vegan food (I’ll use the Internet for areas that I’m not familiar with), as well as giving them ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The goal is to give them everything they could possibly need for making the week easy and fun. I’m also giving them a free vegetarian starter kit from “GoVeg” www.goveg.com that I pre-ordered early to arrive in time.
Let life scoop you up and change you somehow
~Juicy Living Cards by SARK