I had a very busy (work) and fun (family in town) weekend. I’m just now getting back to normal, cleaning up around the house, going through emails, and getting ready for my week, which will be very busy as I prepare for my huge and exciting class this weekend. I was putting dishes away a short while ago, while thinking about my upcoming class and the mix of friendly familiar and new faces I’ll be seeing. It dawned on me that it’s been quite a few weeks since my last class and I miss my students! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you “regulars” (you know who you are), and I’m looking forward to meeting and teaching many new people.
And, as many of you already know, I’ll be at Whole Foods for Earth Day (N Scottsdale – 101/Raintree location). I’ve changed the time a bit, so you can expect to see me there from about 11am-2pm. I look forward to having some of you stop by for a Raw Vegan treat and saying hello.
Today I made some Quick Strawberry Ice Cream, which was delicious, refreshing, and oh-so-yummy! Here is the recipe.
Quick Strawberry Ice Cream
Yield 3 cups
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
3 frozen bananas, chopped
2 tablespoons Raw carob powder
2 tablespoons water
Blend everything together (quickly). Don’t go too long with the blender, because you want it like soft-serve ice cream…not a smoothie.
Exciting News – At Whole Foods in Scottsdale, AZ (101/Raintree location) we will have a section called Kristen’s Raw Korner. This area will feature my favorite brands and products that I personally use and recommend. In addition to this, we’ll have little signs by various products throughout the store illustrating that these are my favorites. This is especially useful for foods that need to be refrigerated (so they can’t be on display in Kristen’s Raw Korner). It’s a great way to make shopping for Raw easier when you visit the store. How cool is that???
Daily Conversation Question:
What event in the past, present, or future would you like to witness in person?
This year, I’m celebrating Earth Day (April 22) at Whole Foods (Scottsdale location – 101 & Raintree) by showing off one of my favorite hemp recipes from my latest ebook, Ultimate Raw Vegan Hemp Recipes. Of course, I’ll be featuring my favorite brand of hemp, Manitoba Harvest - YUMMY!
I chose hemp to celebrate Earth Day because hemp is one of the most earth friendly crops that can be grown. The popularity of hemp products and foods is growing by leaps and bounds which excites me big time! How many of you are adding hemp to your life?
Come join us! If you’re in the area on Earth Day, stop by, say hello and enjoy one of the delicious organic Raw vegan treats I’ll be giving out. We’ll be there from about 12-2:30pm.
Yesterday I covered why sprouts are bad-ass. Today, I’m covering how to grow them yourself.
There are two methods from which to choose for your sprouting. I use them both. You can use the old, tested, tried-and-true method of sprouting in glass mason jars, tipped upside down on an angle using a dish drying rack. I love this method (I started with this method) because of the aforementioned reasons (yesterday’s post) about seeing these in your kitchen growing while you tend to them only briefly each day. The other method is to use a machine, such as the Tribest FreshLife Sprouter. I definitely like the FreshLife Sprouter and I do recommend using it. It’s easy (so is the jar method though) but the plastic container they grow in is dark, so you can’t really see the little guys growing, which is really important to me. So, I do them both. I do the jar method and have 1-3 jars going at once. Then, so that I can grow even more sprouts to eat (or to grow wheatgrass), I use the FreshLife Sprouter.
Directions for the “Jar Method”
You will need several 1/2-gallon and quart size glass mason jars, plus plastic screen lids (available online or at places like Whole Foods’ produce section – or just use cheesecloth with a rubber band, but this can get a little messy), a dish drying rack (the folding kind that looks like an X from the side), seeds, and water. You can use a variety of seeds, start with alfalfa and practice with that. Then, you can start adding other combinations such as clover, onion, broccoli, etc.
2 Tablespoons seeds
Purified, filtered or spring water
Soak the seeds in the water overnight in a half-gallon jar filled with water. The following morning, drain them.
You will then be sprouting the seeds for approximately 5-6 days (tip them upside down and set them on an angle on the dish drying rack), rinsing them and draining them 1-2 times a day (usually only once/day is necessary, but there are times when they might seem dry and a second rinsing and draining might be helpful. Caution here though, if they’re too wet, they can get moldy.) I know that sometimes it’s hard to imagine what I’m saying. If you’re taking my class next week, I’ll show this process step-by-step.
You can sprout these on your counter top (out of direct sunlight). They don’t need to be covered or placed in a closet. On the last day or two of sprouting, you can give them a little extra sunlight to develop the chlorophyll. I still avoid direct sunlight for the most part so they don’t get dried out…maybe for a few minutes is fine, but then I put them back to their area on my countertop.
On about Day 6, rinse the sprouts in a large bowl of water to loosen their “hulls” (the outer shell of the seeds). Drain off the hulls and water. You’ll see that they easily come off as you gently agitate the water with your hands. Put the sprouts back into the jar and on the counter for this last day.
Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container or a glass sprouting jar covered with a mesh screen. Continue to rinse and drain every few days until you’ve gobbled them all up!
Remember, you’re starting one jar, but when that jar is done, you’ll have to wait another 6-7 days to enjoy sprouts again. For this reason, I recommend always having about three jars going. Start one; then start another, two days later; and then another, two days later; and so on.
If you get mold or your sprouts don’t turn out for any other reason, don’t worry, just try again. You’ll quickly get the hang of it and develop a sense for when to rinse and drain them. My first attempt years ago was not a success. But, my second attempt and on have been pure sprouting bliss!
Mung sprouts take less time to sprout (Yay!). Follow the same instructions as above, using 1/4 cup seeds. And, they’re ready to eat within 2-3 days. No hulling is needed for these; you can eat them once they have their little sprouted tails. These are an excellent source of protein!
I know that when most people hear that I love sprouts, they automatically presume that I don’t shave my legs and that I hug trees in my spare time. And, when people learn that I grow my own…look out, because I might as well be from another planet – haha. But, when people learn how easy, fun, nutritious and inexpensive it is, they’re all too eager to ask me how to do it. Right now, I have alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and mung sprouts growing in mason jars on my counter. They’re adorable. (Oh yeah, and I “do” shave my legs!)
“Sprouting” is when you cultivate seeds in a non-soil environment just long enough for them to “wake up” from their dormant stage, burst into life, and sprout little, tiny stems and tiny leaves… and then you gobble ‘em up! Sprouting is one of the best tools you can use to helping you stay on the Raw lifestyle path. I’m going to let you in on a little secret (the gardeners among you might know this already)… aside from the physical/health benefits of eating sprouts (which many people speak about) few people recognize sprouting for what it does to your mental outlook. The process of growing your own sprouts is simply amazing! When I walk into my kitchen every day and see these little babies growing from seed to fresh sprout, it makes me smile and I’m reminded about the pure, “living” lifestyle I lead… it’s impossible to miss it, because these little foods are growing and sprouting before my eyes. It inspires me and I reflect on the clean, pure, fresh, and green lifestyle I’ve chosen for myself. It imbues a kind of energy, like warm sunlight shining on me, that is hard to describe, but every bit as real as their food/nutritional benefits. And, if you have kids…this is one of the best activities that you can do together. It’s an awesome way to get kids excited about eating sprouts.
My week has been filled with enjoying many salads comprised mostly of sprouts. They’re delicate, hearty by the handful, and bursting with delicious and nutritious juicy flavor in every bite. There is no doubt that sprouts are one of the healthiest foods you can consume because they’re considered a “pre-digested” food, making them more easily assimilated by your body. It’s during the sprouting process that the seeds’ protein transforms into amino acids, and the starch converts to simple sugars, making these optimal for digestion. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, E and B-vitamins; hence, they are a source of anti-oxidants. Plus, they contain chlorophyll. See? Gone are the days of pushing sprouts to the side. They are a staple in my lifestyle.
Get this! Researchers at John Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts can have as much as 30-50 times the concentration of protective chemicals found in the mature broccoli plants. Even though they can be a little stinky, they taste delicious so don’t let a little stench put you off. And, alfalfa sprouts have saponins in them, which have been found to bind to cholesterol to help prevent it from being absorbed into the body. The University of Toronto shows that dietary sources of saponins may lower the risk of human cancers, too. Pretty bad-ass, huh?
I enjoy sprouts in many different ways. I eat them in salads, juice them, add them to my smoothies and simply snack on them by the handful all by themselves (before I leave the house, I throw a few handfuls of them into a baggie, squeeze a little fresh lemon, lime or orange juice on them, and toss it into my cooler for the day, along with my mason jars full of fresh green juice and green smoothie). They’re such a light and refreshing snack. If you’re signed up for my next class on April 26 (Weight Loss & High Energy), get excited because I’ll be teaching you how to easily grow your own! If you’re not signed up, you better do it today because I only have a few seats left.
Cheers! I’m off to munch on some more sprouts.
I’m not a fan of the taste of maca. It reminds me of feet. Can’t help it, it just does. I’ve tried it many times in Raw food and was never able to enjoy it (or more honestly, I’ve never been able to ignore it in recipes) until I used it here. (Here you go Bonnie :) Hope you like it.) Now, I don’t know if the sun was in the right position in the sky or if my hormones were in line when I tried this, but I ended up loving it. Go figure. If you’re like me and you usually pass on the maca…you can cut this recipe in half just in case you want to try a small amount first.
Maca is known for having some amazing properties, which is why I was determined to make a recipe I could look forward to. According to Navitas Naturals website: Athletes have found in Maca a natural endurance builder, due to its sterol and saponin content. A yang or fire tonic, Maca is widely prescribed in herbal medicine as a stress adaptogen. Recent studies have identified four alkaloids present in Maca known to nourish the endocrine system, benefiting reproduction in both women and men. In the West, Maca is rapidly gaining attention as a potential treatment for chronic fatigue, menopause and loss of libido.
See why I really want to get more maca into my life? It’s impressive. It’s also availalbe in capsules, which is something I might look into. I could always fill my own veg-capsules from the powder I have (there’s an idea for you, Bonnie!).
Love Nest Maca Smoothie
Yield 1 quart
2 cups water
2 cups frozen raspberries
3 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon Vitamineral Green Powder
1 tablespoon Raw carob powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2-3 teaspoons Navitas maca powder
3/4 teaspoon cherry extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend it up and enjoy!
I woke up today and came downstairs to see a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my boyfriend. He is so sweet. They’re sitting next to me right now and I can’t help but grin at how lucky I am to be loved so much by him. He’s romantic, wickedly brilliant, funny, supportive of all my crazy ways, eats what I put in front of him and loves every bite (he’s usually licking the plate at the end), tells me he loves me at least 15 times a day, adores my dog (now “our” dog), and buys me flowers (and so much more of course, but I have other things to cover in today’s post) – *grin*
In my attempt to have a very balanced diet with a wide array of produce, my attention is focused on kiwi today. It’s not something I eat often, and shame on me for that. It’s an AMAZING fruit with an impressive resume. I’ll point to a few shining aspects here:
~Stimulates cellular repair (Boohyah!)
~Filled with an army of disease fighting phytonutrients (Gotta love that!)
~Loads of vitamin C (Twice as much as oranges!)
~Magnesium, fiber & potassium (Nice!)
~The Journal of Medicinal Food reported that kiwi has an amazing ability to reduce oxidative stress in human plasma. (Enough already! Bring me kiwi!)
See? Pretty darn great!
Here is a fabulously fresh recipe that is perfect for spring. I loved it so much that I’m already drinking my second one!
Cinnamon Kiwi Green Smoothie
Yield 3 cups
1-2 cups water
1 LARGE! handful spinach
1 kiwi (peeled or not, it’s up to you – I peeled 1/2 of mine)
1 whole apple, chopped (yep, core and all)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend this sassy baby up and enjoy the powers of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients going to work for you. YUMMY!
A Great Day - Well, obviously my day started out wonderfully with flowers from my guy, then it continued with delicious Raw liquids (green juices and the smoothies mentioned above). The sun is shining and I feel awesome. I’m working away at my laptop, switching between Oprah and Ellen on TV, and getting ready to take a great big walk with my dog. Later tonight, I’m going to the bookstore to relax and read (one of my favorite ways to spend time). Hugs to everyone out there reading my blog :)
Daily Conversation Question:
Which long lost childhood object would you most like to find?
I recently featured chia seeds in my monthly email newsletter. (Not signed up for my newsletter yet? You can do so at www.KristensRaw.com). I received so many wonderful emails as a result that I decided to feature it here, too, along with a third Chia Fresca Breeze recipe. (It’s scrumptiously fun!)
I make a real effort to get a great balance of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, herbs, etc in my diet. I want to make sure I’m getting the whole spectrum of phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are for the taking. This is important for fighting diseases and helping me reach optimal health, energy, and vitality.
I thought I’d showcase some of them in my blog posts, so you can follow along with me. Some of these might not be new to you; nonetheless, it serves as a reminder that there is such amazing variety with the Raw lifestyle because of the vast array of produce.
Today, I’m making my green smoothie with arugula. Now, this isn’t one of my favorite leafy greens because of its flavor, but I’m taking it in anyway. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. After you read a little about it, I think you might want to add more arugula to your life as well.
Let me begin by telling you that it’s reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities, or at least that is what the ancient Egyptians and Romans thought about it. Okay, sign me up!
Oh, wait, there’s more. It’s extremely low in calories with only five per cup. And when you add in all the nutrients it contains, that five calories is impressive. Let’s see, you’ll be giving your body vitamin A, carotenoids, lutein & zeaxanthin (great for eyes), folate, vitamin K (this is a key for building stronger bones), calcium, and more. Here’s the cool thing about calcium in arugula as compared to spinach…arugula has the same amount of calcium as spinach, but it is lower in oxalates than spinach (a substance fighting calcium absorption).
Arugula Green Smoothie
2 cups water
1 bunch arugula
pinch (or more!) nutmeg
Blend and enjoy!
Daily Conversation Question:
What makes a house a home?