I get asked all the time about the contents of my refrigerator and freezer. Today I’m showing you!
As you know, I wrote here about why I love the raw vegan diet so much and how I make it work for our family. Another way I stay on top of the raw lifestyle is making sure my home and kitchen support it. To do this, I actually have 2 refrigerator units (you know the normal kind… fridge on bottom, freezer on top), and I also have a large stand alone freezer. All of these are inside the house (I don’t want to make a bunch of trips to the garage all the time which is what I’d have to do if I had any of these units out there). Our home is not conventional – lol – as you can imagine. But, then again, neither are we. :) So, it works and I love entertaining people here because it’s always a talking point.
You want to stay inspired with raw? Here’s a tip: Surround yourself with it. Throw out the crap that doesn’t support it! Ditch it! Trash it! Play a theme song while you do it (the first time I did this, I listened to Eye Of The Tiger) – Seriously. Doesn’t this just make you want to take charge?! Take control of your health? Your eating? Your destiny?! It’s not rocket science… think about it. If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it!
My latest addition to storing raw foods and snacks is a shelf unit I bought that is parked behind one of my refrigerators. I don’t have this completely stocked yet (it’s a work in progress and some stuff I ordered hasn’t arrived) but you can get a good idea of it with the picture below. I keep a few jars of nuts and seeds so they’re room temperature when I need them. The remaining stock of them them I keep in the freezer. I keep bars and dehydrated snacks as well as granola and cereals here, too. Plus, I buy protein powder by the case, so that is stored here. Oh, and can you see my stash of Rawtella? Yum!!! I used to keep nut butters here (unopened), but I don’t buy those much anymore. I make my own. I’ll be blogging about that in the coming week so stay tuned.
Below is the first refrigerator (our main one that is always full)… For the most part, I keep citrus, greens, cucumbers, root veggies, apples, most fruits, kelp noodles, herbs, etc in the fridge. See my raw almond milk in the jars on the bottom right? Love that stuff! Can’t get enough. When this refrigerator gets full, I store the overflow in the 2nd refrigerator.
Here is the second refrigerator (below) where you’ll see more produce along with Kevita and a lot of dried fruits (dried papaya, dates, dried apricots, etc).
And, I’ve shown you our freezer before… Here are pics of the door and body of it. (Oh, and the freezer sections on top of the refrigerators used above, well, I use those for frozen fruit and other raw items that I’m using daily, while the big stocked portions I keep in the big freezer unit. For example, when I open a bag of hemp protein powder, I pour it into a glass mason jar. This jar I keep in the kitchen refrigerator’s freezer unit since I use it almost daily. The rest of the bagged hemp stays in the big freezer next to my office.)
Finally, here is my counter top (below). I keep onion, tomatoes, mango (until somewhat soft to the touch and then I eat it or put in the refrigerator), bananas, avocado (same rule as mango… counter then fridge when ripe), sweet potatoes/yams (don’t eat these much and when I do, they’re cooked), garlic, ginger, and sometimes I put the fruit that I might want for the day there so it’s not real cold on my teeth when I bite into it, which is what happens if I take it straight from the refrigerator.
Oh, and that’s bamboo in the background. We have a lot of bamboo in our house to help clean the air.
Now, I want to say that “NO” you do not need a big separate freezer and a 2nd refrigerator to enjoy a raw diet. These are things I do because it really helps me stay on track. When I’m loaded to the gills with raw goodness, it’s damn near impossible for me to stray from my diet. That’s not the only reason though. I love to buy in bulk (saves money which can pay for the second fridge). Buying in bulk means having a place for proper storage.
PS. For those of you wondering if those green produce bags really work… I’m not sure. According to Dr. Oz they do not extend the life of produce. What I have found is that my produce is extended if it’s in some kind of container or bag, whether I use a big ziploc (open so some air can circulate) or the green bags. I’m going to buy some shelve/drawer things in the future and see if I can avoid using bags. An experiment I have yet to try.
For the past few years, I’ve basically lived a “high raw” life and I’ve enjoyed it. Some days were all raw and some were mostly raw with a sprinkling of days that were only moderately raw (they’re always vegan though). I’m a big believer in listening to your body, taking it easy, and not stressing about food choices so long as you’re feeling good and more often than not doing the right thing.
At the end of December, though, my tune changed a bit. My diet had been quite clean, but my body told me to eat more raw and kick it up a notch. I felt drawn to it and excited about it.
So, it’s been a month now and I’ve been pretty much 100% Raw with exception to 4 meals (which were still partly raw) in addition to the oats I’m going to eat a few days a week that I mentioned in my last post to help with my breastmilk supply if I feel it’s necessary.
What do I think? Well. I feel amazing, as you might expect. I feel euphoric, on top of the world, extra lean, and I’m running on all cylinders with ease. It’s a great feeling. My cells are dancing. I’ve got my groove on and it feeeeeeeels awesome.
I wrote in my last email newsletter (sign up here) about a couple of different ways that you can successfully stick to the raw diet with ease. I’m doing the method now where I constantly load up on fresh produce and raw foods so that my kitchen is always stocked with just about anything I could want to make a recipe. I am loving this method. Every night I think about what I might make the next day and I write down all of the possibilities, whether I stick to the plan or not. It’s a guide. Not set in stone and it gives me ideas to help me stick to the goal of raw while still allowing flexibility for changing tastes or if Kamea decides that making a raw lasagna is not in the cards that day.
I’m staying stocked with food. I have bags of granola, jars of all different nuts and seeds, kale chips galore, nut butters up the wazoo, stashes of different snack bars (some bought, some homemade), protein powders by the case, my dehydrator has been humming non-stop for the past month, I’m loaded with different kinds of crackers and trail mix, my counters and refrigerators are bursting with fresh produce, and my freezers have frozen fruit, chocolate truffles, and other stocked foods (sprouting seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds - oh my!). And. I just ordered a bunch of jars of Rawtella because I don’t ever want to be caught without it. It’s the PERFECT fix when I need my chocolate. How do I stay stocked like this? Well, I go to the store 1-2 times a week plus get a weekly food delivery for my produce. For most of the other stuff (nuts, seeds, packaged foods) I usually go online for good deals.
It’s really cool. I wake up and think…. “Wow, I can’t wait to start my day!” As my friend, Lauren, might say, “Nerd alert.” lol
Maybe I feel like raw pizza? No problem… I have cracker crusts in my pantry. I have nuts I can quickly soak to make cheese. I have fresh tomatoes and basil to chop and spread on top. Voila! Pizza. Oh.. I want soup? Easy…. Load my blender up with fresh produce along with some homemade nut milk and I’m good to go. Perhaps I want to take it easy and sip on some green juice – awesome… grab some kale, celery, and cukes. Done. Can’t decide what to have? Ok… get started with a salad and go from there…. sprouts, bell pepper, carrots, olives, avocado… yum! Or maybe I want a hearty collard green bad-ass wrap – cool – I have all the fixin’s for that, too… sprouts, chopped lettuce, shredded beet, lime juice, olives, whip up some cashew cheese or spread some miso on it, add more veggies and a sprinkling of Himalayan crystal salt. Mmmmm mmmmm. Or how about some of that fancy, certified organic coconut water that is $10 bucks a bottle? Give me a case so I’m stocked (and you get a discount when buying by the case) and I’ll take that treat all day long! I get slap happy just thinking about it stocked up in my freezer.
This is my big freezer.
I know some people ask me how I keep a kitchen stocked with the cost of some raw foods. Well, here is the thing. I’ve said this before. I gladly put my money into my health with raw foods. All organic. I really don’t think twice about it. Ok, maybe sometimes I think twice, but then I slap myself (not really) and say, “Snap out of it, Kristen, you are worth it. This is your health!” I don’t really do a lot of shopping for things that maybe others shop for… instead I use my money for my kitchen and raw lifestyle. I buy appliances that keep my excitement running high for food prep. I get happy shivers down my spine when I snag lots of orange bell peppers at Whole Foods. I don’t drink fancy coffee drinks that many people spend hundreds of dollars on a month… instead I spend that money on goji berries, pine nuts, fancy raw sprouted almond and cashew butters, raw cacao, and other dazzling raw goodies.
This is the door to the freezer.
Also… I buy in bulk. This cuts down on the cost. You can also split the foods with friends if getting in bulk is too much. I look for things on sale. We rarely eat out, too. In Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, she calculates the cost of eating fast food for the day and it amounts to about $20 a person. That’s not cheap – and that’s fast food! By making my meals at home, even when I use more expensive products because they’re organic, it’s not unreasonable. Oh, and by the way, I rarely get sick. I don’t take prescriptions. That saves money in the long run!
Plus. When it comes to the holidays and my birthday, I am not shy about telling people exactly what I want whether it’s a shiny new juicer, a gift card to Amazon to help me save for an appliance or get this… I ask for gift cards to Whole Foods. I know… some people want to scream LAME! Heck no – I love it! I’ve also redeemed credit card rewards for Amazon.com gift cards and then used those on raw food appliances and supplies.
Bottom line – I want to live until I’m at least 100 years of age. I want to be healthy for Kamea all my years. I want my husband to be there with me every step of the way. How do we reach that goal? EATING HEALTHY! It’s our priority and we live it.
In my recent post where I showed you how to make your own homemade raw vegan almond milk, I mentioned that I’d also share with you a recipe that uses the leftover almond nut pulp. There are a number of things you can do with nut pulp from dehydrating it and grinding it into flour to using it in homemade raw vegan bars to cakes to cookies, etc. Today, I’m showing you how to make Cinnamon Banana Bread Squares.
You’ll need the pulp from the almond milk recipe as well as: 4 bananas 1 teaspoon cinnamon water to process
Put bananas and almond pulp in your food processor.
Add cinnamon and any other flavors you want. Then, process (add a little water if needed)
Put mixture on a dehydrator tray fitted with a non-stick ParaFlexx sheet.
Using an offset spatula (my best friend in the kitchen) spread the mixture. Put in your dehydrator at 130-140 degrees F and dehydrate for about an hour.
Reduce the temperature to 105 degrees F and dehydrate for 6-8 hours. Flip onto a dehydrator tray without the non-stick sheet (shown above). Your house will smell like fresh baked banana bread.
Score into squares. Continue dehydrating until you reach desired dryness. The longer you dehydrate, the harder they’ll become so if you want them like soft banana bread, don’t be afraid to cut the drying time short.
This picture shows the two sides of the bread. One side is shiny and the other is flat. These are sooooo good!
Large bowl granola mixed with chia pudding plus almond milk
Green juice: cucumber, celery, baby peppers, collard greens, bok choy, lime
Big Mama Collard Green Wrap: garlic shallot cheese spread, home grown sprouts (directions for growing sprouts here), fresh basil, diced tomatoes, shredded carrots, chopped romaine, minced olives, and julienned orange bell pepper
Exercise: 25 minutes on elliptical and 10 minutes going up and down the stairs wearing Kamea ;)
Mostly Raw – All Vegan – All Organic
All Delicious – All Nutritious
Green juice: cucumber, zucchini, celery, lime, collard greens, tomato, basil
Apple Carrots with Tahini Almond Butter Sauce
Purple Passion Smoothie
Small Salad and steamed vegetables at Calistro Bistro. We went to a local restaurant where they have some vegan options and everything is organic. We sat outside… here is Kamea playing with a packet of sugar and her book.
Cinnamon Yam Soup (this is a part raw / part cooked recipe – super easy and super delish. Who wants the recipe?) Large romaine salad with carrots, tomato, basil, and Tahini Almond Butter Sauce as the dressing
Blue Mountain Organics Carob Crunch Bar. Pretty good… If you like carob. ;)
I also made my own raw protein bars today. They’re in the dehydrator now. I tell ya… I’ve been using my dehydrator non-stop for weeks! Love it!
Green Juice: cucumber, kale, lime, broccoli, dandelion greens (dandelion greens are great for cleansing and nourishing your liver)
Green Smoothie: 1 large handful spinach, 2 bananas, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon homemade curry, 1 1/2 cups coconut water (I LOVE this truly raw and ORGANIC coconut water. Pricey? Not to me when I compare it to my former addiction of enjoying daily coffee “drinks”… plus the fact that it’s good for you and an awesome treat!)
I frequently get asked to review products on my blog and I’m happy to do so. It gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts on new products – good or bad.
Well, the makers of Rawtella contacted me about reviewing their product, Rawtella. It arrived Wednesday and I thought, “Oh ok, I’ll have some tonight and add it to my food journal I’m planning on posting later in the week.” (By the way, did you see that on the top of my blog I now have a tab for “food journal” – I get asked many times for samples of what I eat so now you have one place to access many of my food journals. I haven’t updated it to include everything, but I’m working on it.)
Anyway. I sampled the Rawtella and OMG – yum! I knew I had to do more than talk about it in my food journal. This delicious treat deserved its own post. Rawtella is a jar of a chocolate spread made from 3 ingredients: Organic raw, soaked, and dehydrated hazelnuts, organic raw cacao nibs, and raw coconut sugar. It’s mostly organic and will be all organic soon. They’re waiting for the coconut sugar to go through the final steps of becoming certified organic.
Rawtella is 100% Raw – yeehaw! Friends, when raw is this good, it’s impossible not to be happy and satisfied eating raw vegan. Rawtella can be enjoyed by itself on a spoon, used on ice cream, in smoothies and nut milks, spread on fruit or crepes, and more.
I had a gigantic spoonful of it – it was creamy, dreamy, decadent, sweet, rich, satisfying, luscious, and I wanted to eat the whole damn jar. Now, you might be wondering if this chocolate stuff is like the popular Nutella that is on the market. Honestly, I don’t know because I’ve never tried that.
I enthusiastically give this product two thumbs up. I will be stocking up on it. Try it and come back to let me know if you agree! Available at Rawtella.com.
Let me add…. this is a GREAT gift. It’s perfect for your postal carrier, your hair dresser, your BFF, your mom, your skeptical-steak-chomping-pill-popping-dad (oh wait, that’s my dad). You know anyone who could use a little chocolate love in his or her life? Give them a jar of Rawtella. It’s perfect!
UPDATE! Ooh – Yippee! The generous folks at Rawtella are offering a 25% off coupon code “if you like the rawtella fan page!” They said, once you “like it” it will reveal the coupon code. Score!!!
I'm Kristen, and welcome to my blog. I'm a wife, mom, author, and I love to eat so food is usually the topic of my blog posts. I'm a former (almost decade long) vegan turned back omnivore who enjoys reading, rebounding, coffee, and dark chocolate. More...