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?“
My next Awesome Giveaway is in June, so check back for details!
- Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten-Free Dessert – Summer Strawberry Cobbler!
- Recipe Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-Free. Grain-Free. Almost-Paleo.)
- Recipe: How to Make Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk (paleo. vegan.)
- Recipe Ginger Spice Carrot Cake Gluten Free Paleo Raw
- Recipe Gluten Free Paleo: Sticky Chocolate Coconut Squares
I love fresh green juice (y’all know I love calling it Plant Blood because it’s extra spirited)! Plant Blood is a staple in my husband’s and my diet. And… it’s been too long since we’ve had it! GASP!!! What? I’ve slacked in my Plant Blood consumption. It’s true. Where did the week go? It slipped by that’s for sure and now I’m going crazy for my fresh Plant Blood fix. I just don’t feel the same without it. The benefits are so many… alkalizing, energizing, nutrient packed (big time), delicious, and so much more. I’m confident that I have super powers when I drink Plant Blood… I’m tempted to wear a cape when drinking it.
On to other things to distract me from my craving… I have another awesome giveaway coming up this month (Check out last month’s here). Hint about the prize… something to do with chocolate.
And… my iMac arrives Friday. My new baby is coming home. Yeehaw!!!
I did it! I went to the other side. I bought a Mac. I’ve been wanting to be in the group with the seemingly “cool” kids for some time now, but I kept putting it off. However, I couldn’t put it off anymore. My productivity is suffering and it’s time to upgrade. My reason for going to the Mac was because I’m a Raw foodie and the symbol for Mac is an apple. Hehehe… JUST KIDDING!
For the past many years, I’ve relied on my trusty Sony Vaio laptop. It’s had some issues but because I bought the extended warranty, I was covered when it acted up. I originally bought a slim laptop (vs. a desktop) because I was working in a corporate setting and I needed this for portability reasons, using in bed when working late, etc. But, it’s small. The screen is small. And, since I’m no longer working in that environment and I’m usually at home, it made sense to get a desktop. Even though my laptop is falling apart, I will still use it for travel so it’s not going into permanent retirement… only semi-retirement.
I’m on cloud nine for a while (a long while I suspect). I can wait until it arrives later this week. I know, I know… it’s only a computer. But, I expect GREAT things from this new addition to our family.
I suspect there will be a learning curve, but I’m not sure how intense. As most of you know, I have a BlackBerry (I frequently use this for email – talk about a life changing device for me!). From what I understand, I need to buy some software in order to back up my BlackBerry on my new iMac. Still need to figure all that stuff out. I’m also curious as to how people like Safari? How are the other programs?
Anyone have any advice or feedback?
This week I made my first batch of sauerkraut using my new fancy shmancy pot designed for fermenting veggies. I’m super excited but also a little whiny because I have to wait 4 weeks to see if it even worked out! It’s sitting on my counter now and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Fermented (raw, organic, and unpasteurized) veggies including things like sauerkraut and kim-chi are amazing for your health. These foods are extremely popular and have been staples in people’s diets all over the world. I can’t help but wonder why it’s not a staple in ours? Well, I’m changing that! On an almost daily basis, I’ve been chowing down on 1/4-1/2 cup fermented veggies. I love it!
Since I don’t have my own homemade sauerkraut (yet!), I’ve been buying it (expensively) at Whole Foods. My favorite company is Gold Mine Natural Foods (but not all Whole Foods carry this brand) so I also buy Rejuvenative’s sauerkraut and kim-chi. Hopefully in no time at all, I’ll have saved enough money from making my own sauerkraut to pay for the pot.
The benefits are numerous. It’s reputed for helping fight disease! YAY! It’s awesome for your digestion. WHOO-HOO! It helps load you up with friendly bacteria, and it’s filled with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes! SCORE FOR FERMENTATION!
But, don’t take it from me. Fermented veggies have been used for natural healing for years (and I mean LOTS of years). More specifically, the Chinese have been fermenting cabbage for thousands of years! In fact, according to the book, Making Sauerkraut, the earliest recording of fermented cabbage occurred in 200 BC. Isn’t that cool?
I want to mention here that it’s important to eat only Raw, Organic, Unpasteurized sauerkraut. If it’s been pasteurized, then the nutritious and beneficial friendly bacteria are wiped out (sadly).
In the past, I’ve made kraut with only a glass mason jar, but the trouble is that it didn’t always come out right. That’s why I decided to get the Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot. I’m all into making things as easy on me as possible! Apparently, this thing is fool-proof (sign me up!). It received great reviews on Amazon (all the sizes). I bought the 7.5L size a couple of weeks ago and made my first batch of organic sauerkraut the other day. Now, I wish I had bought another one so that I can start a batch of something else… maybe some Kim-Chi. But, I’ll wait and see how I do with the first batch. I’m eager to make something with fun flavors, spices, and herbs. Oh! I’m so excited.
To begin, I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and bought 10 pounds of organic, locally grown cabbage from my favorite farmer, Doug (if you’re in the Phoenix area… have you signed up for the CSA yet? I think it starts this week!). I read that it is very important to use organic cabbage for fermenting (I always buy organic everything anyway). The sauerkraut ferments better with organic cabbage.
I came home and cleaned my crock, let it air dry, and then went to work on preparing the sauerkraut for fermenting.
I peeled off the outer leaves of the cabbage and set them aside (I used a few of them at the end for covering the top of the shredded cabbage). Then, I started shredding away. Each cabbage was about 2 pounds which was perfect, because it’s recommended that you use about 1 tablespoon sea salt (I always use Himalayan crystal salt) for each 2 pounds of cabbage. Going forward, I’ll decide whether to use the same amount of salt (or less) but for my first batch, I went along with the directions.
I used my food processor, fitted with the shredding plate/blade, and shredded 1 (2 pound) head of cabbage. I put it in a big bowl and added a tablespoon of my salt. I used a potato masher and starting pushing on the cabbage in order to break it down some and release water (my arms had a little workout from this). Once it got a little juicy, I transferred it to the crock. I then did the same thing for the remaining 4 heads of cabbage. This whole process took me about an hour. Once it was all put in my Harsch fermenting crock, I placed the outer leaves I previously saved, on top of the shredded cabbage.
Then, I placed the “weights” that came with the Harsch crock on top of the cabbage. I put on the lid and poured a little water in the moat (this gives it a water seal). Now… it’s sitting on my counter. The only concern I have is that I hope the temperature of my home is okay. It’s hot and dry in Arizona, so I’m keeping my eye on it, which is kind of useless since I’m instructed not to open it until I’m ready to harvest it. I don’t want to crank the air conditioning up in order to make sauerkraut since that would use a lot of energy. So, I have a little fan on it to help keep it cool. Ideally, I’d have a thermometer next to it to read the temperature, but I can’t find it :(
I have to wait a minimum of 3 weeks to harvest my sauerkraut. I think I’ll wait at least 4 weeks since it gives it extra fermentation time. At the time of harvesting my precious, (hopefully) delicious sauerkraut, I’ll transfer it to glass mason jars, use my FoodSaver (with mason jar attachment) to suck out all of the air for even better storage, and keep it in my refrigerator.
Announcement time! My latest book is now available, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. (The ebook is not available yet; it should be this week.) If you’d like to view some pictures of featured recipes in the book, go here. As with all of my books, the pictures are not in the book. To keep the cost of the books as low as possible, I have pictures posted on my website.
This book is the ultimate introduction to chocolate in its most pure, natural form by using raw, dark chocolate (also called “raw cacao nibs”), raw chocolate powder, raw cacao butter, and raw cacao liquor. These are my favorite chocolate-based recipes — both sweet and savory.
This Raw food vegan recipe book is filled with delicious recipes, including:
30 Chocolate Desserts
11 Chocolate Beverages
11 Chocolate Snacks, Soup, Salad Dressing, Crackers & Breakfast
A “Raw Basics” introduction to Raw food (with 6 basic “must have” recipes) for people who are new to the subject.
Want to try a recipe from the book? Here you go!
Chocolate Chia Crackers
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 1 tray (quantity depends on size you cut)
Soak your chia seeds for 30 minutes in a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the water. Blend the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 cup of water) together. Add the blended mixture to the bowl with soaked chia seeds and stir to mix. Break up any chia seed clumps with your rubber spatula or spoon. Let the mixture sit (as is) for 15-30 minutes.
Spread the mixture on a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick Paraflexx sheet and score to desired size. (For a thinner cracker, divide between two trays.) Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 60 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate another 6-8 hours. Flip crackers onto another tray without a Paraflexx sheet and peel off the Paraflexx sheet being used. Dehydrate another 6-10 hours, or until you reach your desired dryness.
Today was a HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) day and here is what I had… (all organic)
I love how easy bananas are for a light and quick morning breakfast. I know it’s not going to “stick” with me all morning, but it gets me going and is light on my digestion.
2 mugs ginger tea
I met mom at Starbucks to play cards and brought my own organic ginger tea (and my own mug from home, it’s a Starbucks mug).
1/2 cup Holiday Chia Pudding
This stuff is so dang good!!! I LOVE the texture with the coconut in it. And the flavor – dynamite!
Veggie Bowl with Buckwheat Noodles
This is my High Raw dish. It consisted of buckwheat noodles that I lightly sauteed with a tablespoon of sesame oil for only a few minutes to warm them up. Then, I put them in a bowl and added a bunch of fresh raw produce – red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrot, handful of chopped cabbage (all the produce was from Doug, my favorite local organic farmer… I’m so excited because his CSA starts next week!!!)
1/4 cup sauerkraut (raw, unpasteurized)
3 cups Fresh Plant Blood
Pineapple, strawberries, and 1 tablespoon wheat grass powder
This is not Raw, but it is “living” and it’s wonderful for my digestion. I love miso soup. The only brand I’ll use is South River Miso. It’s top of the line!
1/2 avocado with a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt
I love avocado and they contain lots of fiber as well as B-vitamins
More Holiday Chia Pudding
If I get hungry later, I’ll probably have a Vega bar or some more veggies.