I’ve been a high energy, video making freak today. Count them… 5 videos I made and uploaded to YouTube. Here is one of them. I’m chatting about how High Raw can be a slippery slope and how it feels at day 57 of my Raw Reboot.
Oh! And don’t forget to enter my awesome giveaway here… The company sponsoring it said if we get a good response, we can do it again. :)
Here’s a quick, easy, and “tasty” beauty tip! The next time you’re prepping some fruit or veggies for your salad, smoothie, or juice… take the parts you’re cutting off to throw away and rub on your skin for a quick nutrient packed mask. For example, when I cut off the peel from an orange or grapefruit, I take the inside of the peel (which has some flesh on it) and I rub it all over my face. If I’m cutting off the greens from strawberries, I rub the fleshy part on my face before tossing the greens into my bunny bowl (that’s the bowl of scraps I toss off our patio to the bunnies – they love organic produce!). Cucumbers, pineapple(!), papaya, and apples (I rub the apple’s core on my face) are awesome, too. These are natural and effective ways to enhance your beauty. Think about it… nutrients straight from the source, right? You’ll feel awesome while you’re doing it, too. Just remember to wash it off after about 5-10 minutes.
I recently shared with you a list I keep for ideas of easy raw foods to keep me inspired and to show me that I have tons of options. On that list is raw brownies because they always satisfy and they’re mega easy to make. With that… I share my latest recipe with you for Cinnamon Brownies (update… I just added a video below showing how I make them!).
I like cinnamon in them because cinnamon helps with blood sugar. I like using sprouted and dehydrated sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds because they have tons of great nutrition. The walnuts I’ve been using lately? Well, I was supremely blessed by my friend in Europe who sent me freshly cracked walnuts from her grandmom’s garden! She also soaked and dehydrated them for me. Can you imagine how fresh and delicious they are? I’m in love with them.
Confession: I ate 7 of these in one day.
Yield one 8×8 glass baking dish (12 to 16 brownies)
Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, grind the seeds, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate powder to a coarse grind. Add the dates. Process until it starts to stick together. Press into an 8×8 glass baking dish. Enjoy!
I love raw vegan nut butters. There are so many delicious options: cashew butter, almond butter, pecan butter, walnut butter, hazelnut butter, pine nut butter, macadamia nut butter, hemp seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, sesame seed butter (tahini), and more. Raw, vegan, heavenly, nutritious, and delicious. I use raw nut butters in many different ways… from using them in dressings (ehem the 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing I posted last week), to spreading them on fruit and veggies, using them in dips, nut milks, smoothies, and more. Raw vegan nut butters are a nutritious whole food fat that are also extremely satiating.
But. When you buy them in the grocery store (or even online) they can be friggin’ expensive. Not when you make your own though. I can make my own raw, vegan, and organic nut butters for a fraction of the price. Seriously, a fraction. And, when I realized I was going to save so much money by making my own… well, I treated myself to a brand new, kick ass food processor to make those creamy dreamy butters. (Check this bad boy out- Cuisinart Elite 14-cup! I named him Toruk – also known as “Last Shadow” the orange and red Great leonopteryx from Avatar.). It kind of made it a “free” food processor, if you ask me, in that it pays for itself quickly. Don’t forget, I also make my own crackers most of the time and I use my food processor for that, too. Money saver. Ch-Ching.
Do you want to make your own fresh raw vegan organic nut butters? It’s easy! First you need to stock up on organic nuts and seeds. The best way to do this is buying in bulk so you can save more money. For example, when you go to Blue Mountain Organics and buy in bulk, you’ll see that the price goes down per pound. I buy the 5lb bags, and sometimes I split them with my mom. They have a great shelf life and I store mine in the freezer to protect them more. So, even if you don’t have someone to split them with, they’ll last you many months if you want.
Take 3-4 cups of (dry, not soaked unless you soak and dehydrate them) raw organic nuts or seeds, and place them in your food processor, fitted with the “S” blade. (If you’re using a nut or seed with enzyme inhibitors like almonds or walnuts, for example, you might opt to soak them and then dehydrate them before making them into butter. This makes them extra healthy and easier to digest. It’s believed that for cashews, Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, and pine nuts you don’t need to soak and dehydrate for that purpose.) You can add a pinch or two of Himalayan crystal salt, but I don’t. Also, if your nuts (or seeds) just don’t seem to be getting creamy for some reason, and they need a little help, you can add a tablespoon or two of raw olive oil. Personally, I have never done this because I have never needed to, but if you’re food processor isn’t cutting it for ya, then this could help. Alternatively, some people use their high powered blender to make nut butters. I find it easier to do so using a food processor.
Process them until they turn into butter. This can take anywhere from 3-7 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. That’s it! It’s that easy.
Put in an air tight, glass container and store in your refrigerator for up to one month.
I update this post as I get new juicers, learn new things, or add videos… so be sure to read through it all.
1) Green Star – Quality juicer that is popular. Extremely durable (I’ve had mine for about 7-8 years now). It’s a pretty awesome piece of equipment. I can make juice and store it without it degrading too much in quality (for about 1-2 days maybe, and the way it’s stored is important. I fill a glass mason jar to to the top and make sure to use a lid that is BPA-Free). But, here are the drawbacks… it takes a while to juice and clean. It’s also a bit of a workout in that you have to really push down on certain veg as it’s going through. Good ab workout though!
Many times, things like apples and cucumbers just end up all mushy in the shoot as they struggle to get through the screen and juiced. That sucks! As a result, a trick to help this is alternating something hard like carrot, beet, or cabbage between pieces of cucumber or apple. And, make sure your cucumbers and apples are chopped in small pieces.
It produces foam (like many juicers) which means the juice is oxidizing apparently. I always have to strain the juice either once through a nut milk bag (or if I forgo the nut milk bag, I strain twice through a metal mesh strainer which doesn’t squeeze out all of the juice and can be wasteful but easier than a nut milk bag). As a busy new mama, this juicer is not ideal.
2) Breville – small model (I’m calling it “small” that’s not really it’s name). Not as high quality of juice as Green Star, but it’s lighting fast (also has a container to collect the juice that has a great lid for holding back foam when pouring into my glass – I find myself actually using this container to catch juice from my Hurom, which I then use to pour juice into a big bowl through a mesh strainer – I know, so much to do with juicing, but it helps.).
It collects the pulp in the bin as opposed to shooting it out into an external cup. Its chute at the top is large enough to fit a whole (small) apple or a whole cucumber so it saves on time since you don’t have to chop produce before using it.
Great for people making small batches of fast juice. Not super for juicing leafy greens, but I can usually do a decent job by the way I stuff them down the shoot. Also, again, this is for small batches of juice, for a single person perhaps. All of the pulp is collected inside the machine and would require emptying between batches if you want to make more. Speaking of pulp, Breville Juicers are notorious (as are most centrifuge style juicers) for leaving you with wet, mushy pulp (that’s a waste because there is juice to be had! However, you can use the pulp in raw crackers or on top of your salad for extra nutrition). Keep that in mind when you think you’re attracted to the cheaper price of a Breville, because you’ll be buying more produce to juice the same amount that you’d get with a Green Star or Hurom. It’s a great starter juicer though (read on to read another review about my second Breville juicer the Ikon).
3) Hurom – This juicer is like a hybrid of Green Star and Breville mentioned above. It’s a high quality juicer, easy to clean, and quite fast for that type of “slow” juicer (not as fast as the Breville, but, remember, you sacrifice quality of juice for speed when using the Breville). I’ve had my Hurom for awhile now and it’s great, although not without its own flaws. I had one of my screens crack but no biggie, the company quickly replaced it for free. And, there have been a couple of occasions where my cucumber or romaine got backed up in it and didn’t juice properly (this only happened twice from the many times I’ve used it). Plus, there is a lot of foam (and pulp which you typically don’t want with juice – as the point is to have it easy to digest and sans pulp!!) with this juicer (ugh), but I strain it with a nut milk bag for extra smoothness (or I strain twice using a metal mesh strainer, or dare I confuse you with how I actually do it these days… I use my large Breville pitcher from the Breville Ikon described below… to hold back most of the foam while I pour it through mesh strainer number one into a bowl. Then, I pour it through another strainer into another bowl – a process I tell ya, but it’s for a good cause. However, with my NEWEST juicer purchase, you’ll see this noted in the latest update below, I shouldn’t have any pulp, because I bought a Norwalk Juicer! Anway… back to Hurom…). Until I bought my Norwalk, I would use this juicer the most. While the Hurom requires straining and chopping food before juicing, it’s still a pretty fast juicer while making a higher quality juice that gives a decent yield (the pulp is dryer than what you get with the Breville juicers). If you’re not in the market for a Norwalk Juicer, I’d most likely recommend the Hurom over other juicers for most situations, but read on because different lifestyles can call for different juicers.
UPDATE (8/19/11): Since getting my Hurom, the screen with white plastic has broken twice. The first time, I didn’t think much of it because I thought it was a fluke. I contacted the company and they quickly sent me a replacement free of charge. However, I’ve since been using my Hurom the past month (although below this paragraph you’ll read why I love the Breville Ikon… However, I’m now in a position where I can take more time juicing, so I’m using my Hurom juicer)… the darn screen (the plastic part) broke again! I contacted Hurom and here is what they wrote back (after getting some info from me such as the serial number and when/where I purchased it):
Your request has been processed and you have been issued an upgrade from thestrainer you currently have. It will ship to you via UPS in 5-7 businessdays. The upgrade includes 1 clear yellow GE Ultem screen. This material is8 times stronger than the former 2 strainers and performs the functions of both of the screens offered before. In addition you will receive a new mainbowl which includes a wider pulp outtake chute. All of your other assembly components are compatible. These upgraded parts should significantly improve your juicer’s performance. Enjoy your Hurom in good health!
Very exciting! It seems they’ve improved the juicer since I bought mine and their customer service continues to be excellent.
Update 2/22/12 Video showing the Hurom
So… why ANOTHER juicer? Well, as much as I love my Hurom (and other juicers), I’m finding that being a new mama is a very busy time for me. As a result, I’m turing to my small Breville more often than the Hurom right now. The problem with my small Breville is that I can’t juice a lot in one juice session because it’s the smaller model (perfect for single people, not so perfect for a High-Raw family who drinks a lot of juice). Therefore, I decided to buy this beauty from Breville and so far I am LOVING IT!
It’s MEGA fast. As a new mama making juice for my family daily, I need speed right now or I’m just not going to end up juicing as much.
It’s super EASY to clean.
It juices large quantities because it shoots the pulp out into an exterior container and has a large carafe for the juice (with a top that holds back foam so I don’t need to strain it). This way, I can make large servings for both Greg and myself.
And, here is another cool feature. It has a knob for changing the speed of the juicer so I can turn it down for leafy greens and turn it up for harder fruits and veggies. It’s helpful because it juices greens better than the small Breville model as a result. I don’t know if it’s helping to reduce oxidation as well, but it might. Still, when I use any fast centrifuge model of juicer, which typically gives juice that isn’t as high quality like the slow juicers, I drink the juice within 15-20 minutes of making it to get optimal nutrition before too much oxidation takes place. This is a great juicer, just know that the pulp is mushy and the juice quality is not as high as with a slow juicer, but it’s fast as hell.
Even though this juicer doesn’t give the best yield and even though it oxidizes quickly, I can’t help but sing my love for this juicer. She’s such a lovely bird… fast and easy. I really love it. But, I know better in that I need a juicer that doesn’t oxidize as fast and that gives a better yield.
Overall – I love all of my juicers for different reasons and I will use them all but at different stages of my life – so they’re definitely not going to waste. They all have pros and cons, but you have to decide what’s important to you at the time, and then go from there when selecting a model. The goal is to juice! So, which juicer is going to help you accomplish that goal the best? Now that I’m not using the small Breville, I’ll save it for traveling perhaps. I’ve heard of some people using it for that. Of course, it’s not super small, so I’ll have to sacrifice taking some other things, like shoes – but hey, juice is a priority for my family. We do what we gotta do!
I had a comment on my last blog post where I shared the details about the Raw food I had for the day and she wrote, “You look like such vibrant, happy mother! And you totally smash that argument of ‘I’m too busy to eat healthy!’ I have a little sister, so I can say for a fact that nothing’s busier than mom duty!”
Mimi, your comment was awesome and really struck me. And, you’re right. I am busy as a new mom, but I make it work so that my family is eating as healthy as possible. One of the ways I accomplish this is using a juicer that juices fast and is easy to clean.
As many of you know, I have a big dog and we’ve recently taken in a stray puppy who had a broken arm (details here). Thought I’d share some fun video of Miso the puppy playing with our big dog, as well as my mom’s little dog. Uh oh it appears that YouTube isn’t allowing my video because of the music I added(?) so I’ll try to fix later. It’s such a fun video. OK, update, I tried posting it using Vimeo, but not sure if everyone can watch?
I love this dressing so much. During the month of December, I made it so many times that it probably graced about 22+ salads in that time. It’s so simple, delicious, and creamy. Don’t let the “cayenne” in the title discourage you from making it, as you can adjust that amount to suit your taste. This recipe is great on fresh, crisp romaine salads and as a dip for veggies. I crave its deliciousness and can’t seem to get enough! It’s a recipe from my book and ebook, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Salads & Dressings.
1/4 – 1/2 cup water or raw olive oil (I usually use 1/2 cup water) 1/2 cup raw tahini 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or lime juice 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I usually use 1/2 tsp) 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt (I usually use 1/2 tsp)
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth, adding more water as needed (or you can use a mixture of water and oil if you’re aiming for an extra creamy, rich dressing).
Serving suggestions: ~ I love how organic romaine lettuce beautifully holds up to this dressing. ~ Perfect for jazzing up any raw organic veggies like carrots, celery, red bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini… the list goes on and on. ~ For cooked foodies out there… dip sprouted bread or toast into it!
Variations: ~ Have fun and make it different each time. Add a handful of organic basil, and then the next time try a handful of organic cilantro, or try a handful of organic parsley. They’re all delicious!
After I made the video showing you how I open a young Thai coconut, I wanted to make a smoothie I’d been tossing around in my head that included young Thai coconut. I grabbed my camera and recorded the following video, even though I hadn’t made the recipe until now. How will it turn out? You’ll have to watch to find out. As you’ll see, I didn’t have a name for the recipe at the time of recording, but here is what I came up with: Butterfly Blossom Smoothie. It seemed just right. :)
OK! I am cracking up at the shot YouTube automatically chose to show in the beginning of this video. hahahaha – I think I’ll keep it like that.
Butterfly Blossom Smoothie Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com Yield 3 cups