Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Tuesday was the big day! I opened up my fancy shmancy sauerkraut pot to see if I actually had edible sauerkraut after waiting (somewhat patiently) for 4 weeks. The recommended time to allow veggies to ferment is at least 3 weeks, with 4-5 being better.) Check out my post about making the sauerkraut here.
Let me tell you, I was actually scared to take the lid off. I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to mold, dark unknown things, cold, damp, etc. I had visions of finding a human head in there or a bunch of creepy crawly things coming out. My mind got a little carried away. I was also a little fearful that the sauerkraut wasn’t a success.
So, while my husband was at a meeting today, I marched into the kitchen, determined and brave as all get out, and I lifted the lid off. Hhhmmm… nothing jumped out to bite me. Nothing exploded in my face. I put my nose closer and took a whiff. It was pleasant and mildly sweet and not at all gross. OK… I’m off to a good start. However, I stopped there. When I looked down in the pot at the stone weights on top of my sauerkraut, which were submerged with brine, I got weak in the knees again. I was afraid to stick my hand in there. Better wait until my husband comes home and ask him to do it!
Fast forward to my husband coming home… I was able to talk him into putting his hand in there and taking out the stones and leaves of cabbage that were placed on top of the sauerkraut. I sniffed again and took a closer look. I didn’t see any mold. My spirits were lifting by the second. It was time to taste it. Uummmm…. “Honey, you go first.” Nope, he wouldn’t do it – LOL. So, I took a tiny nibble of a piece that was accidentally flung on the counter. OMG! It was so good!!!! I took an actual bite. Wowee!!!! Success!!! I gave a fork full to my husband and he was majorly impressed. What a relief!
I transfered it all to my quart size glass mason jars (I filled 6 of them!) and sealed them with my Food Saver (using my glass mason jar attachment). I’m so happy! It worked! It’s homemade! It’s extra healthy! It’s locally grown and organic! It’s made with massive love.
The picture above features my beautiful organic, raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut in the front bowl – I love the gorgeous golden-yellow color. The bowl in the back is holding some fermented raw veggies from Rejuvenative that I bought at Whole Foods. Sorry, that stuff doesn’t hold a candle to my homemade goodness.
I made a new chia pudding recipe with the Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk I made the other day. I decided I needed to share it with y’all, especially since there was a request for recipes made with Raw Vegan Milk. So, here is my latest chia pudding recipe, Hempin’ Around Chia Pudding. It’s yummy! I love how the hemp seed flavor shines through. When I asked my husband what he thought of it, he exclaimed, “AWESOME!” (He’s a huge hemp seed fan.) If you’d like it sweeter, then by all means, add some more sweetness to it. The way the recipe is, it’s not super sweet, making this a good snack or breakfast.
Hempin’ Around Chia Pudding
Yield 3 cups
4 Medjool dates, pitted (or more)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut, dried and unsweetened
Blend the Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk along with the dates, lucuma, cinnamon, and almond extract until creamy. Place the chia seeds and coconut into a bowl and add the blended hemp milk mixture. Stir thoroughly and wait a couple of minutes. Stir again and wait another couple of minutes. Stir again. At this point you can eat it or place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. Hempin’ Around Chia Pudding will stay fresh in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days.
* I made my Creamy Dreamy Hemp Milk with dates. The dates listed in this recipe are in addition to the dates already included in the hemp milk.
Raw vegan milk, made with raw nuts or seeds, is easy, healthy, and wonderful. It’s cholesterol free, full of nutrients, and it’s much easier on the planet. Raw vegan milk is perfect for drinking by itself, adding to smoothies, or eating with Raw granola (or any cereal!). Yum!
When I make a nut or seed milk I usually make it with hemp seeds, because they’re packed with nutrition, I love their flavor, and no presoaking is required. Hemp seeds’ amino acid profile dominates with the 8 essential amino acids (10 if you’re elderly or a child), making it an excellent vegetarian source of “complete” protein. Go hemp!
However, you can make Raw vegan milk out of a variety of nuts/seeds. Here are some things to keep in mind. Always try to get raw, organic nuts and seeds if you can. When using cashews, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts, you basically don’t have to soak them before hand. Just put them in the blender with the following ingredients in the recipe below, and blend. Based on the consistency that you (and your family) like, you can simply increase or decrease the amount of water and sweetness. If you don’t have a high powered blender you might want to briefly chop the cashews, macadamia nuts, and/or Brazil nuts before blending to make it easier.
If you’re using pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc… then the general rule is to soak them before blending them for 6-8 hours (or overnight). This is done to release the enzyme inhibitors and make them easier to digest. Simply put them in a bowl on your counter, with enough water to cover by about an inch. After 6-8 hours, drain and rinse. Then, you’re ready to use them in your Raw vegan milk recipe.
Raw vegan milk will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to five days. It’ll separate when it’s been sitting in your refrigerator so simply shake it up before serving. It also freezes pretty well (you might want to make a couple of batches at once and freeze them in glass mason jars).
CREAMY DREAMY HEMP MILK
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 4 cups
2 1/2 cups water, more if desired
Blend all of the ingredients until creamy and smooth.
- Make it vanilla by adding the seeds of a vanilla bean or some vanilla extract
A while back I wrote about
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Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
For those of you following my food intake… here was Monday’s:
Water w/ lemon
Started my day with nice large glass of filtered water with a squeeze of fresh organic lemon juice. It has such a nice zing to it… perfect for starting my day.
10 Strawberries, Coconut Yogurt (non-raw)
Major yummy breakfast of locally grown, red gems. The yogurt I bought at Whole Foods. I love this stuff. Yes, I occasionally make my own Raw yogurt, but I also like keeping a little supply of these non-raw goodies in my refrigerator. They’re a great snack or sometimes I have it as a dessert, especially the vanilla flavor. :)
Hummus, Flax Crackers, Carrot Sticks
Creamy, savory (raw) hummus on top of crunchy flax crackers and carrot sticks. Perfect snack!
Big Protein Shake
I love this combination – it fills me up which makes it great for weight loss. It keeps me full for a few hours. And, I love the alkalizing wheat grass. You can add a banana to give it even more oomf! (Is that even a word? My automatic spell checker says.. no.)
Lovely large mug of Raspberry Leaf Tea (chilled with a few ice cubes) from Mountain Rose Herbs. Hhmmmmm…
I didn’t have zucchini on hand, so I just made a huge bowl of the marinated veggies for dinner. I sprinkled delicious and nutritious hemp seeds on top, as well as some black sesame seeds. WONDERFUL!
Just can’t get bored of this delicious recipe. I usually make it once a week.
For those of you who have followed my blog for a long time, you know about my insane love affair with organic watermelon (read more here and here). Basically, when it comes to organic watermelon… I have a problem. The addiction is intense. Quite honestly, I can’t make myself stop!
I just picked up my first EVER locally grown, organic watermelon. Holy heck of all get out – this thing was awesome (that was the PG rated version of my thoughts). The CSA I’m a member of (details here) is where I refueled my seasonal addiction for the first time this year. Let me tell you, friends, I’m in trouble. This watermelon was so delicious. And, the fact that it was picked no more than a few days before I had it in my greedy little hands… well, that just takes my excitement to a whole new level.
As usual, I have a nice little ritual when it comes to prepping my watermelon. I get out my beautiful knife and I start cutting the watermelon into big double-bite-size chunks. Then, I get out 3-4 bowls with lids (depending on the size) and I start putting the watermelon in it. Off to the fridge it goes… except that I keep eating a bite every other time I make a cut in the watermelon. It’s insane. I just keep eating it and eating it and eating it – to the point that I make myself a little sick – LOL.
When it comes time for eating it later (after I’ve put it away in the fridge all sectioned and chopped), I (attempt) to stop the madness of eating it non-stop by disciplining myself and taking out a small serving bowl. I then fill up the serving bowl to the tippy top and beyond (it ends up overflowing with watermelon as I try to balance one extra piece after another on top) with the goal that by using a small bowl I will take it to my desk and I won’t stand over the large bowl in the kitchen and…. eat it all.
Sometimes my plan works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Put it this way. I cut into the big watermelon for the first time on Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday (very late) night… most of it was gone.
For those of you following my Raw food intake, here was Saturday’s food. I did go to bed feeling a little hungry.
~ Filtered Water, 8 strawberries (locally grown through the CSA), 1 cup fresh orange juice (locally grown and just picked myself)
~ 3 cups Plant Blood juiced with my Breville (carrots, zucchini, ginger)
~ 3 cups watermelon
~ 2 cups watermelon
~ Herbal Tea (Raspberry leaf from Mountain Rose Herbs – my favorite source for organic teas, the freshness is unsurpassed)
~ 2 cups watermelon
New Kristen’s Raw Excitement!
I’ve decided to start doing some short podcasts and videos on my blog. What do you think?
For those of you in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, if you’re not a part of the CSA, you’re truly missing out on the most amazing, fresh, organic produce ever.
The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) I wrote about previously is better than I ever imagined. I’m absolutely thrilled (and so very proud!) to be a part of this within my community. When I was a regular shopper at the farmer’s market, I thought I “got” how cool it was to buy my weekly produce from a certified organic, local farmer. But, I had no idea my experience was going to be taken to new heights once I was a part of Doug’s CSA. My connection to my food is that much stronger and, frankly, it moves me. Every bite is special because I know it was grown close to my home, it’s carbon footprint is minimal, it’s loaded with nutrition because it’s locally grown and just picked, and I helped finance the farmer (way cool!). I’ve had an important part in helping this farmer grow.
On top of all that, the price is awesome (and remember… it’s ORGANIC!)! And, get this… he even offers a payment plan for those of you who are super excited about this opportunity but don’t have the upfront cash. Not only that, but Doug’s CSA is year round! Do you realize how lucky we are to have a year round CSA? This is not common in other parts of the country.
Before I joined the CSA, I actually didn’t think I’d ever be a part of a CSA because most are operated with the program giving you a box of produce that you don’t select yourself. For me, I thought that might be a waste in some instances because I wasn’t sure I’d end up using all of the produce. I’m quite particular about my weekly shopping list. However, Doug’s CSA is different! Each week he emails the members an excel spreadsheet that serves as our shopping list. I select what I want, it tallies the total, and I email it back to him. Voila! Easy Peasy!
Pick up is on Saturday, when the normal farmer’s market is going on. Because I’m a member of the CSA, I’m treated as a VIP. My food is already paid for and set aside (unless I want to get extra goodies not included in my list), so I don’t have to wait in line. I simply pick it up. It’s an efficient system.
I could go on and on about how happy I am to be a part of this very cool program… but, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a couple of testimonials from other super happy customers.
“I’ve been buying produce from Lewis’ Hen House for over a year now and was very excited when I heard they were starting a CSA, and that the pick-up location is very conveniently the market I was already going to every week! The produce is always the best quality – certified organic, fresh, and delicious. Very reasonably priced, too. The really great thing about this CSA is you get to pick exactly what you want each week! No getting strange veges you don’t really want or you don’t know what to do with! I’m really happy I decided to join.”
“Being a part of a local CSA is a great way to give back to the community, support local farming, and enjoy the freshest seasonal produce available. The produce I buy from Lewis’ Hen House is incredibly fresh and you can really taste and feel the difference. It is an honor to know the people who grow the food that nourishes your family!”
UPDATE! The CSA is no longer, sadly. They have a new program, called a Discount Club and you can view the details here.
Write these down on post-it notes and place them around the house, in your car, and in your purse or wallet so they can serve as reminders.
1. Alkalize-2-Energize: Even though I’ve followed this principle for a long time, I think I first heard that particular phrase for it from Tony Robbins (he’s one of my favorites!). With Raw Vegan food, alkalizing can be easy peasy, but to kick it up a notch, I add plenty of fresh Plant Blood (green juice) and smoothies to my life. It can make ALL the difference in the world. Trust me!
2. Fresh Air and Sunshine: These are wonderfully therapeutic for both the mind and body. I get my vitamin D from the sun, and I make it a point to get fresh air every day (usually accomplished by taking my darling pooch for a quick walk). One of my favorite times for fresh air is late in the evening, where I concentrate on breathing in fresh air from a star-filled sky.
3. Rest Is Best: I can’t tell you enough how important it is to get your rest. It can be in the form of getting a good night’s sleep or making sure you take a little nap in the middle of the day. Complement this with loving things you can do for yourself such as taking a warm bath and lighting a candle, listening to relaxation music, or quieting your mind through meditation. And, if you’re exercising (especially lifting weights or other vigorous training) then your body really needs the rest to recuperate and rebuild.
4. Exercise: Yes, this is essential and, no, it doesn’t have to be a four letter word :) In order to consider myself truly healthy, I need to be physically fit. If exercise isn’t already a part of your routine, then NOW is the time to start. It’s easier than ever to sneak in a few minutes of exercise here and there into your day. Do them mini-batch style: 5-minutes of exercise, 5-times a day or 10-minutes 3-times a day. Set your cell phone to remind you throughout the day to get off your tush for a fast 5 or 10-minutes). You’ll be amazed at the magical momentum that takes over your mind, body and spirit… pushing you to do more and more. Whether it’s walking, jogging, lifting weights, swimming, jumping rope, rebounding, or dancing, I’m sure you’ll find something you love. Just get started, and before you know it, you’ll be doing more and more (and loving it!). Ehem…. disclaimer… Check with your physician before embarking on an exercise routine.
5. Don’t Eat Before You Sleep: Stop eating at least three hours before you go to bed. It supports getting a restful sleep (#3 above) and can greatly aid in weight loss if you’re trying to lose some pounds. It’s easy. Just pick the time you’ll go to bed and set a reminder on your cell phone to stop eating at least three hours before that. If you do have to eat before going to bed, try to pick something that is light and easy to digest.
Congratulations Shanghai Monkey!!! You win!!! Whoo-hoo!!! Your name was chosen as the winner of my 11th Awesome Giveaway. The prize is a copy of my latest book (or ebook, if you live outside the continental United States), Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. YAY!!!!!! Simply email me the address you want your prize sent to.
Here is what Shanghai Monkey had to say when asked, “What topic(s) would you like to see covered on my blog here?“
Since I just discovered raw nut “milk”, I’d love to see some more recipes (for nut milks & dishes that incorporate nut milks).
My next Awesome Giveaway is in June, so check back for details!
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
I had a great time being interviewed by Dhrumil of We Like It Raw (and Give It To Me Raw). Fun! Fun! Fun! We covered so many topics:
~ Omnivore Bodybuilding to a Plant Based Diet
~ My Story of Vegan to Raw
~ My Raw Food Career Journey
~ High Raw & What I Like About It
~ The Importance of Plant Blood
~ How I Make Raw Easy For Me
~ Community Rocks
~ Upcoming Projects
~ And More
If you’re interested in hearing it, head over here.