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Posts Tagged ‘raw’

You knew this was going to happen! I warned any green juice/smoothie-phobics in the previous post. 

With the change of seasons, I have found myself really craving green smoothies. I don’t have a juicer just yet, but it will be one of the first things I buy once I move! Weirdly, I crave them more now, that the temperatures are actually falling (ever so slightly), than I did all summer. I guess that my body understands that this is a bit of a challenging time for our immunities. Cough, Sniff, Cough.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 1.12.12 PMIf any of you have been/ are interested in juicing and smoothies, I am sure you know (or should know!) Kris Carr (http://kriscarr.com), author of the Crazy Sexy Diet. That girl is a powerhouse of health and happiness! She looks 20years younger and she just glows. I want that glow!

At first the cookbook title seems a little silly; another diet book… This is if you don’t know the story. You look closely and this is a girl that has been living with stage 4 cancer for 10years! And not only living, but thriving! A real inspiration to us all. How does she do it? Well, she completely revisited and revolutionised her diet. She now promotes a high raw vegan diet, both gluten free and sugar free. An alkalizing diet, to lower our body’s inflammation. It might sound drastic to some, but really, if you have stage 4 cancer and you decide to eat more kale instead of getting a multiple organ transplant, it doesn’t sound crazy to me! I can suck it up too then! Why not do some prevention.

Turns out, there isn’t too much sucking it up involved. I can’t say I live this lifestyle 100% of the time, but I feel like it’s important to be aware of it so you can make the best decisions for yourself. I think the most important thing is to listen to your body. 

A few days ago I downloaded Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies, an online guide to juicing which has a bunch of awesome recipes. Right away I was interested in Chad Sarno’s AJ’s Power Smoothie. Since he is an amazing raw chef, I trusted him completely for my first smoothie of the season. He claimed it was his daughter’s favorite smoothie, so if a little girl liked it, I can like it too! And yes, it turned out totally amazing! Beautiful bright green, just the right amount of sweetness, and very satisfying. So don’t be shy, bring out those Vitamixes.

IMG_1779Ingredients (for 2 cups)

– 2 cups almond milk
– 1 cup berries
– 1/2 cup frozen mango
– 2 tablespoons almond butter (peanut works well too)
– 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or 1 date (I didn’t sweeten mine, just taste it and decide)
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean
– sprinkle of cinnamon
– 4-5 kale leaves
– handfull of spinach (I just added a bunch of spinach as we don’t have kale here)

Get your glow on!

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I am by no means a master in raw desserts! For some reason, they intimidate me. However, to celebrate the ending of summer, I thought I would try to make a raw cake. I had done a pressed nut crust in school, so I had the basic idea of what I wanted to make. I remembered seeing a recipe in a magazine that had this cake made upside down, so you could press it all together. I decided that was what I was going to try.

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This cake is AMAZING! I call it the ‘Tropical Surprise’ cake. It is gluten-free, sugar-free, mostly raw and you would never guess it! Plus, besides the fresh pineapple, it is mostly composed of items I always have in my pantry, and it’s FAST.

I told my hubby when he got home that I had made a raw cake for him; his excitement was about a 2 on a scale of 100! I told him to just taste it so I could have some feedback. He sceptically watched me cut him a slice and SLOWLY took a bite. His expression then was priceless! He was like ‘This is raw? It’s amazing! Delicious!’ and he finished 3/4 of the cake just like that! So, if hubby likes this ‘healthy’ cake; everyone probably will!

What makes this cake (almost) raw is that I toasted my nuts and my coconut, plus I use some rolled oats. You can easily make it all raw by not toasting the nuts and coconut and substituting the oats.

Ingredients (for a 5inch cake for 2)

For the crust:IMG_2031

1/2 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons agave
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil + more to brush the cake pan

 

For the sauce:

1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
pinch salt

1/2 cup pineapple, sliced or cubed

 

First, you need to brush your cake pan with coconut oil. I used a cake pan with a removable bottom, just to make sure everything came out easily. But it didn’t seem necessary. Then place your pineapple pieces along the bottom of the pan, as tightly as possible. Using a blender, blend together all the ingredients for the sauce until it is nice and creamy. You will need to gently spread this sauce evenly over the pineapple. Since it is a little thicker than pourable consistency, I just spread it with a spatula. Put the pan in the fridge for 15minutes while you work on the crust.

The crust can be made either in a blender or a food processor. I just use my Vitamix for everything because I am totally obsessed with it! So, just blend together all the ingredients for the crust, making sure it all gets equally ‘moistened’ by the agave, dates and oil. Once done you can quickly knead it to make sure it sticks easily into a ball. 

Remove the pan from the fridge and press the crust over the sauce. You will want to press gently, but firmly, in order to make sure the cake will be compact enough for you to slice through it. Refrigerate it another 15minutes and then you can un-mold and enjoy it! It’s a perfect summer treat!

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ENJOY!

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With spring knocking on the door, I have been craving some fresh and light meals. I remembered some crunchy spring rolls my mom used to order during our tropical vacations. They looked so pretty and always had very interesting dipping sauces. I have to say, she was pretty addicted to those things! At that time, my early teens, I really wasn’t interested into these healthy looking lunches. But I find myself highly attracted to them now. Imagine yourself sitting out in the sun, enjoying these elegant rolls with an exotic fresh fruit punch. No need to go anywhere to dream.

Step one was going on a treasure hunt at the grocery store, looking for those thin rice wrappers. Having never used them myself, I had NO idea what they were suppose to look like. Eventually I found them hidden in the ‘Asian Food’ section of my store. Score. Thankfully I was much more familiar with the other ingredients. 

Once the groceries done, I was pretty lost. I had a vision of what I wanted to make, but no clue how to get there! Since I had never tasted my mom’s rolls I had nothing to think back on. I decided to look into my current favorite cookbook, The Vegan Table and thankfully I found a wonderful and simple recipe, Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce (p.176). These rolls were incredibly divine! Adding fresh herbs like mint leaves and basil leaves brings an amazingly fresh fragrance to the julienned crudities. I think that next time I will add a little more sautéed tofu just because it added both a great taste as well as a different texture. I probably also added a little too many rice noodles. I also  think that trying the recipe with some sweet and sour roll sauce would be tasty.

All things considered, the only oil used is the one for sautéing the tofu, so this is not only an incredibly delicious recipe, but it is also very healthy. The only extra ‘fat’ would be the peanut butter in the dipping sauce, but nobody will be eating it by the spoonful. 

So if you are in a pre-bikini season preparation, this recipe is perfect for you too!

ENJOY!

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