I’m a coffee flavor freak… black coffee, frou-frou type coffee, whatever. And, although I don’t indulge in icee frothy sugary type coffee beverages anymore, there was a time that I did. That was back in the day, before I knew any better.
Sure, I have organic fair trade coffee from time to time now, usually decaf, but that’s just plain coffee (my favorite brand is Green Star Coffee). When I feel extra sassy, I sometimes enjoy it as a fun beverage over ice with coconut milk or raw nut milk. That’s typically the extent of my coffee-ness though… until now… kind of.
Today, I share with you a recipe for a simple protein shake that you might start craving like mad once you try it. Coffee flavor lovers unite!
Organic, Fair-trade coffee at mom’s.
I think my addiction to the flavor of coffee started when I was seven years old… Nana gave me a sip of her coffee (well, we’re Italian after all, start em’ young), and I felt like such a big girl. It wasn’t long thereafter and I was shaving my legs (again, I’m Italian, what can I say? Or, maybe the coffee made the hair on my legs grow faster? ;)). Just kidding.
Well, the love of coffee and all things coffee flavored stuck with me. I remember growing up and taking sips of my mom’s International Coffee in the evening. You remember the ones, right? They came in those little tins and there were different flavors… kind of like a coffee hot cocoa. Oh the memories (sigh).
Well, tis no wonder that I can’t help but love coffee flavors with all of the nostalgia surrounding it. Imagine my immense delight when I made a delicious protein shake, with a coffee flavor. With each sip I was transported back to my childhood family room and remembering those good ol’ times. I know you might be thinking, “A protein shake that’s super yum? And, a coffee flavored one to boot?” YES.
~ Quart green juice (my favorite recipe right now: 1 bunch celery, 2 heads broccoli with stems, 3/4 bunch parsley, small pkg cilantro, 1 head romaine, 1 bunch kale, 8 med cucumbers). This yields about a gallon with our Norwalk. This is refreshing and light yet packs a vibrant punch.
~ Raw Chocolate Milk Rasperry Protein Shake (raw chocolate milk from hemp seeds, pili nuts, raw chocolate powder, salt, vanilla, chai spices, and stevia – then added… raspberries, frzn blueberries, spinach, Sun Warrior protein powders, and ice). Plus supplements.
~ Core Bar and cold brewed green tea
~ Large Nourishing Salad Wraps
–> salad: avocado, rosemary, dill, arugula, black pepper, lemon juice, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, shredded cucumber, raw olives.) ALL WRAPPED IN MINERAL-RICH COLLARD GREENS… Plus Raw Onion Bread in it. –> Here’s what I did: I mixed up the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Using a large bowl really helps you toss all the ingredients of everything to ensure it all gets mixed properly and every bite is perfect. I took a collard green and cut off the excess stem. I laid some soft raw homemade onion bread on top of the collard green (if your bread isn’t flexible, then you could crumble it). Then, I topped the onion bread with the bright-n-nourishing salad. Finally, I folded it like a simple taco and ate it.
Two large wraps… those are for me :)
ProTip: I love shredding my cucumber for salads. It makes it juicy, easy to eat, easier on the mouth, and fun.
ProTip: Super nutrient dense collard greens are bitter so a great way to eat them is as a wrap like I detailed above. I have also made a simple wrap with collard green, spread Jem raw sweet almond butter on it and topped with shredded (or minced) apple and/or cucumber. Banana would be great, too.
A family of wraps. Raw vegan organic nutrition.
~ Herbal Beauty Feminine Ginger Tea
~ Quart green juice (same as above)
******* By the way… Have questions or comments? Use twitter or my Facebook fan page to chat. Links are on the right-hand side of my blog. —>
How did I make that delicious looking, creamy, raw vegan nut milk? I’ll tell ya! It’s Pili Hemp Nut Milk and my new go-to for nut milk. It’s fantastic for many reasons:
Pili nuts, hemp seeds, and salt
Creamy! The pili nuts… They damn near melt in your mouth when you eat them on their own. Heck, blend them and wowza.
Easy! This is because no soaking (or straining) required! Hemp seeds and pili nuts are naturally soft and blend easily. What a time saver. And when it comes to hemp seeds, stock up. I operate under the philosophy of “go big or go home” and I buy in bulk. They are versatile and soooo healthy.
Delightful Flavor!Pili nuts have a fairly neutral flavor which is great for plant strong milks, raw vegan cheeses, dips, and even raw vegan cheesecakes! (They are amazing in cheesecakes for both flavor and texture because they firm up when cold – I digress though. This is a nut milk post after all.) Hemp seeds, on the other hand, can be a little strong in flavor, but they’re huge on nutrition (essential fatty acids and a complete protein), so I try to continuously have them in my life. By blending the softly flavored pili nuts with the extra nutritious hemp seeds, you get a mild raw vegan nut milk that is perfect for use in any situation needing milk. I will say, though, that pili nuts rightly boast some excellent nutrition. They’re extremely high in their oil content (great as a beautifying food, as well as high amounts vitamin E and magnesium).
Pili Nuts. Not usually inexpensive, so I stock up when they’re on sale.
I was sent the following information about this wonderful event. I wish I could go. Someday!
DC VegFest 2012: A Free Vegetarian Celebration in the Nation’s Capital
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept 22 thousands of people will gather at Yards Park to explore – and celebrate – the best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation’s capital at the fourth annual DC VegFest. This FREE outdoor (and dog-friendly) festival features engaging speakers, cooking demonstrations, free food samples, a beer and wine garden, more than 100 exhibitors, a kids’ area, a cupcake eating contest and much more!
Note: The following is an article I wrote for the fabulous One Green Planet site. Also, the image above was compiled by them from images I submitted.
Flexibility and The Power of the Raw Food Spectrum
Amazing benefits await when you start eating a raw vegan diet. Common experiences include effortless weight loss, increased energy, softer skin, clear and bright eyes, silky hair, better sleep, mental clarity, major health improvements, and peaceful frame of mind. Sounds great, huh!? However, one common question I’m asked is, “I see a lot of different raw food diets out there, which one is right?” As with many things in life, there are different schools of thought regarding which is the best plan when following a diet of raw vegan food.
The raw food diet has a nice wide spectrum as to the different styles of raw food options that are available. After years of fielding questions on my blog, it’s clear that the wide range of options can seem confusing or overwhelming at first. But fear not! Once you realize that the options are nothing more than a continuum ranging from “a little bit” to “all” raw, most of the various ways to “do” raw fall neatly into place. The spectrum of options actually becomes a powerful tool that allows you to precisely tune your degree of raw based on where you are in your life, health situation, and day-to-day circumstances.
At the least-raw end of the spectrum are people who merely try to incorporate more salads and smoothies into their vegan diet (for our purposes, we’ll assume the beginner is already vegan). By simply eating 1-2 salads or smoothies a day, this will automatically start replacing non-raw foods, most notably, cooked and processed foods made from refined wheat/flour, corn, and sugar. Score an immediate win for increased nutrition as you replace nutrient-starved crap with healthy raw veggies!
A couple of weeks ago I received an email that moved me. A husband emailed me to see if I would mind sharing his wife’s story and blog on my blog. His wife is a cancer survivor and on a mission to live as long as she can and sharing her story with people along with way (it involves lots of veggies and healing!). He wanted to do everything he could to help her and realized that one way was to support her new endeavor. That’s where I come in. As some of you know, starting a blog can be overwhelming and the one thing we all love is having our blog get visitors, right? Well, her husband emailed me to see if I could share her work with my visitors; thereby, getting her visitors.
I was more than happy to help this fellow veggie out. I’m so happy to share the following with you. So, without further ado…. Kristen’s Raw readers, please meet Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick.
I asked Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick to share her story of cancer and healing with you. It’s inspirational. And, it reminds me of the part in my Raw Awakening book where I write about how people can think they’re eating healthy, when they really aren’t. I actually have a potty-mouth label for it – hehe. Those of you who have read it, you know the one. ;)
I recently bought this DVD (Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death) on Amazon by Dr. Michael Greger, and I’m so glad my family saw it. We’ve actually watched it a couple of times. It filled us with pride and excitement over our dietary choices – as if we didn’t have enough already.
We’re also sharing it with our omnivore family and friends because it really hits home to the importance of eating plant based foods. Plus, it’s funny, in parts. Dr. Greger has a great sense of humor.
I’m sure you have heard on more than one occasion about the importance of eating broccoli, right? And, does the thought excite you? Probably not… at least not if it’s raw. Am I right? You probably don’t find yourself getting all weak in the knees at the thought of chomping down on some raw organic broccoli. (Um… if you do… power to you!)
Now, there are some authorities that say it’s easier digested if it’s lightly cooked, but most others talk about the importance of having it raw to ensure you’re getting all of the cancer fighting properties. Not only that, but did you know that it should be thoroughly chopped, chewed, blended, or juiced, etc to release the cancer fighting properties to their fullest?
Blending broccoli? Meh. I’m not one to blend broccoli very often, so that’s not a good option for me.
Juicing broccoli? Oh yeah, baby. I add it to my green juices, but not in large quantities. I feel almost super human drinking green juice with broccoli. Silly? Nope. Throw on my Vibrams while I’m drinking it and I swear I could scale walls like Spider Man.
Eating it? That doesn’t happen much because like I said, I’m not a huge raving fan of the flavor. Well, guess what? That’s no longer a problem because I’ve figured out how to secretly add broccoli to foods and you won’t even notice it (your family won’t either!).
How??? You mince the broccoli with a knife! I know that might sound simple (and it is) but honestly, I never thought to do it. In all these years… it never dawned on my to chop my broccoli super duper small so as to hide it. And, it’s brilliant. By mincing it teeny tiny with my knifeI get little bits in bites that don’t overwhelm plus all the cancer fighting properties. It gets even easier though… I then started using my ceramic hand mandolin slicer (you could use a traditional mandolin or grater). Brilliant. It minces it super tiny.
Funny thing is that I started out small by just shredding a little. But, I quickly added more because, well, I couldn’t taste it. Like in the picture above, I grated a bunch of broccoli for Greg and I to eat in that salad (more specifically, it was 3 heads within one rubber banded bunch). I admit, though, there is another trick. Having good stuff to eat with the broccoli. So, here is what my staples are in my salads like this:
Tons of broccoli(!) and the sweet potato makes an appearance.
But, don’t stop there! Add more flair and deliciousness, by adding things like chopped basil (or dill), cooked (chopped) sweet potato, sun-dried tomatoes, and/or raw marinated/dehydrated mushrooms and onions. Basically, just toss into your bowl whatever you have on hand. Keep in mind that overcoming the broccoli-ness is not only greatly achieved by the tiny pieces you’ve minced but also by the texture and flavor contrasts you add like avocado, sweet potato, kraut (salty yum), and apple (lightly sweet). I’ve made this dish many ways and each time Greg is amazed at how much broccoli we’re consuming and how delicious it is.
Here’s another idea… Broccoli Guacamole! Mash up some avocado with miso and lime juice. Add cilantro and onion perhaps. Then…. grate in some broccoli. That’s on tonight’s menu!
I love a good warm comfy bowl of oatmeal. Sure, there are many times I’ve had my oats raw, but I also love them cooked. They are great as a transition to raw food because as you’ll see in the recipe below… the oats are the only cooked part. The rest of the dish is filled with nutrient dense raw foods.
The other day I decided to cook up a large batch so we could have some for eating (Kamea is a fan) and some for freezing to eat later. As a busy mom, I’m all about making food ahead of time and freezing it when possible (whether raw or cooked). For that, I use my FoodSaver. I’ve had it for years and can’t imagine my kitchen without it – a total kitchen BFF. (For more info on freezing raw food see my post here.)
Cinnamon Apricot Oatmeal
So! The other day Kamea was happily playing in her kinder perch. If you’re wondering what a kinder perch is, oh lovely, let me tell you! It’s another amazing investment if you have kids. I saw this nifty item before I was pregnant and knew I would have to have one after Kamea was born. It’s for use once your baby can stand and can be used for years(!). In fact, if we have two kids, they can both stand in it to help me in the kitchen at the same time (it has a pretty good weight limit). The main purpose is to make a safe area where your baby/toddler/small child can stand at counter height with you in the kitchen (um… it’s also great for forts.) We bought ours here.Does our kitchen have room for it? Not exactly. Do I care? No. :)
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...