Saturday, 26 November 2011

pumpkin chocolate chip cookie dough

I got this recipe idea from ChocolateCoveredKatie. I liked how it turned out, and it's almost totally raw as well. Maybe I'm just not having a pumpkin day but next time I think I won't use pumpkin. I just want that pure chocolate chip cookie dough taste. I probably had too much pumpkin in October.

The main reason I made this today was for the protein. This actually has A LOT of it. I used navy beans (all beans and legumes are full of protein and fibre); oats and pumpkin also have a fair bit. And I put in a few peanuts too.

I think if I make this again, I'll add some protein powder as well.
So it served as a pretty good post-workout snack, awhile after my green smoothie of course =)
It is very filling.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: makes a lot! about 6-8 servings
1 can (2 cups) pureed pumpkin
1 can (2 cups) navy beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup dates
1/4 cup raisins
3 T maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup water, if/as needed
2 T cacoa/cocoa 
Peanuts and protein powder if desired

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 oats
1/2 cup raisins

Process all ingredients from first list until smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips, oats and raisins by hand.

Friday, 25 November 2011

chocolate protein truffles & green smoothie recipe

Not that I'm back to my crazy workouts (it was just a matter of time... I'm an addict), I have to make sure I get enough protein. If I weren't raw, it wouldn't be something I'd have to think about.

Most people actually get 5 times more protein than they need everyday (USDA, 2005).

But the fact that I am raw PLUS my workouts are really intense, my protein intake is something I need to watch. Mostly because I love muscle, and always want more =)

One way I do this is by adding protein powder to my already protein-packed green smoothies, with hempseed and flax. I DO prefer getting protein from unrefined sources; even though my protein powder is high quality, it's still processed.

When I'm done with this container of powder, I'm not buying anymore. From now on I'll just be getting protein from nuts, seeds and greens (which I partly do already).

Yay! In nature, there aren't protein powder trees. Wouldn't that be nice though?

After my workout today - which involved plyo-metrics, kickboxing, yoga and weight training - I made a DELICIOUS green smoothie and gulped it down. Then I stretched and watched the end of a Doris Day movie.

I could feel my muscles calling for some more building materials, so I decided to make a chocolate-y treat with mostly oats, nuts and rice protein powder. They're turned out like truffles because I rolled them into balls and coated them with cocoa =)

Protein Truffle Bombs: makes about 50 small balls
1 cup oats
1 cup mix of brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts or whatever nuts you like
1/4 cup cocoa/cacoa
2-3 scoops of fave protein powder
3 Tb agave
1/2 cup soaked dates
1/4 cup water (or more/less as needed)
1 t vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/8-1/4 cup coconut oil
Cocoa/cacoa for rolling

Process all dry ingredients until they're like a super hefty flour. Add all other ingredients and process/mix by hand until they're like cookie dough. Roll into balls and roll in the cocoa until coated. 
Chill for an hour or so. Or just eat them right away. I probably devoured half the batter while I was making them... 

Berry Green Smoothie: makes around 3 1/2 cups
3 loose cups of spinach
4-5 leaves of kale
Grapefruit, peeled
Lime, peeled
Banana, frozen
1/4 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
Stevia if desired
2 T peeled ginger 
Handful cilantro 

Blend all ingredients until smooth! Sip and enjoy good health! Dang IT'S SO GOOD.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

spontaneous chocolate cake (baked)

When a few of my friends came over on the weekend, I suddenly had the intense urge to make a layered chocolate cake, with yummy chocolate ganache icing. I know, I know. Not raw or even particularly healthy at all. But I'm fine with that.

I used to be totally infatuated with baking, and actually got quite good at it! I was making puff pastry, eclairs, fondant-laden cakes, and other fancy things. I could whip up the perfect apple pie in a couple hours. Those days were lovely and fun, but of course those foods weren't vegan (sooo much butter), and not doing anything good for my body or anyone else's.

That being said, I still love to bake! I can't explain why... something about it is just so comforting, it's like a form of meditation for me. So I decided to make a cake for me and my friends to enjoy together.

I whipped the batter, laughing and dancing with my friends, to Eminem, N'Sync and LMFAO songs... yes, I am lame; and yes, it was fun. =)
It turned out deliciously. The cake was SO moist and the icing was off da hook. (I added peanut butter for good measure... was the right choice).

It's rustic, okay?

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Chocolate Ganache: serves 8-12, depending on how much you like cake 

2 cups cashew milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup cane sugar/brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cocoa/cacao 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet ingredients together, and let sit for 5 minutes. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Taste it... yes. Orgasmic, probably because of the straight-up sugar. 
Pour evenly into two circular cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, but check it yourself every few minutes after 20 minutes or so. 
When they look done, do the tooth-pick test to see if it comes out clean. Let them sit out in the pans for 10 minutes or so and then "naked" on a cooling rack for 5 minutes or so. 

While they're baking, make the ganache:
1 cup cashew milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Earth Balance 
3/4 cup cocoa/cacoa 
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of cayenne, or however much you want
1 teaspoon salt

Melt earth balance and blend it into all the other ingredients until smooth... like icing. Refrigerate until the cakes are ready to be iced.
When the cakes are ready, spread 1/3 of the icing on to the top of the first layer. Put on the second layer and do the same. Then spread the rest all around the top and sides. Enjoy!

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Have you ever heard of Kombucha tea? Neither had I. Until my friend told me about this crazy mushroom tea her dad always makes. Apparently he's been doin' it forever, and it's totally weird and healthy. So of course, I'd be interested.

Basically, you take a baby Kombucha mushroom, and let it ferment in prepared tea for 10-15 days, or longer. It grows in the tea and actually has a baby mushroom. With this, you can start a new pot of Kombucha, or give the baby to a friend! The beverage you end up with does look a little off-putting if you don't know what it is. My parents thought it was science project. BUT the tea tastes delicious! Think of a cocktail of apple cider, champagne, and a little bit of vinegar. Since it's fermented, it's has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It is also very easy for your body to absorb, as well as detoxifying and enzyme/nutrient-rich. Some other choices for fermented foods are kimchi, miso, wine, sauerkraut, and aged nut cheeses.

Check out just SOME benefits of fermentation here. 

When I went to my first raw potluck a few weeks ago, they were serving Kombucha! My friend also lent me a book about it, which calls it "The Health Drink Sweeping America" (Pryor & Holst, 1995). America, here, means mostly California =) I guess it was a huge thing in the 60's onward.
SO, yesterday my friend's mushroom finally had a baby that was ready to be given away! Since she's the best person in the world, she gave me this baby mushroom! In fact, it's a pretty big baby... it's actually already starting to grow it's own offspring. She gave it to me in a giant jug of tea that's been fermenting for 16 days, that I now have sitting in my kitchen. Personally, I think it's quite a pretty tea, especially with the funky-looking growth on top =)

I am sipping away at my Kombucha now, in a wine glass, enjoying life. Yay for fermentation and mushrooms! Here's a site that gives the recipe.

nature's fertility (in our own backyard)

This season we had an in interesting collection of harvests.
Our kiwis have finally started to grow! We've had the plant for about 7 years and it's never produced fruit before... or even flowered. But this summer we were getting itsy bitsy, baby kiwis! Perhaps next year they'll be edible! It's one of my favourite fruits so I am quite anxious.
We were able to pick all our grapes... getting the last of them today. They make the most refreshing juice you've ever tasted. Unfortunately it wasn't a very hot summer so they didn't get as much sun as they should. But they're still tasty, just not as dark. I think they're so lovely-looking.

Much to my despair; our figs did not ripen before the winter came =( I was really looking forward to eating fresh figs from our yard. But again, there just wasn't enough sun to get them past their green stage. And figs are one of those fruits that don't ripen after being picked. So... maybe next year I'll get to taste that fresh fig =/
I also picked the last of the kale and swiss chard, and that's about it. Last of the season's abundance! See you in spring, garden.

Had to add this last picture =) I WISH it were from our yard... but we cut down our apple tree a few years ago because it was infected. These are from the CSA that we get bi-weekly - fresh, local, organic apples!!! You really can tell the difference. 
In addition to grapes, kiwis, figs, and greens; in the according seasons we also grow/have grown blueberries (the reason I live!), strawberries (oh yeah... I live for these too), carrots, onions, garlic, pumpkins, pears, cherries, apples, potatoes, beets, beans, and many more plants I can't remember at the moment. Who says you can't grow your own food in the city!?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Sexy and I Know It

Last weekend, my friends and I made stencils to spray-paint t-shirts, bags, and hoodies with. One of my friends is going to the LMFAO concert soon... thus the title of this post, and her stencil (it's one of their songs). We also tried nail marbling! Check it out here. I've made bags before that say "I think, Therefore I Am Vegan" and "Veganism Is For Lovers!" which turned out quite nicely. This time I made my stencil read "Eat Raw - Live Long - Be Sexy".
P.S. Don't judge me for liking LMFAO if you think they're ridiculous. I generally don't like main stream music but sometimes you have to love top hits (although most of the time they are awful). But if it makes you happy, I don't CARE if it's lame top 40! Yes, LMFAO's music is terrible but I love it anyways. It makes you get up, dance and have a good time - there ain't nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

sometimes ya just need a fresh baked cookie

Today was long, tiring, wet and cold. I'm exhausted, and looking forward to collapsing into my bed in a few hours.
When I finally got home from class and the library, finished all my other house work and homework, sent some emails and made weekend plans; all I wanted was a cookie. Not a wonderfully healthy, sprouted nut and raw honey based cookie - a terrible, ewwy-gooey, flour and sugar cookie from the killer oven!

I had found a cookie recipe that I wanted to bake for X-mas for the fam a little while ago, and it's all I could think about when I got home. I follow what my mind and body tell me - which 99% of the time is "YAY ORGANIC FRUIT AND GREENS!", but I won't lie: I love some cooked foods.

Maybe for emotional reasons, "addictive" reasons, or just 'cause IT'S OKAY TO EAT COOKED FOOD (for all you hard-core raw fooders out there who kick yourself every time you eat something cooked), I enjoy cooked meals every now and again. Usually with friends and family, for special occasions, or simply when the dish is too amazing to resist. An example is eggplant. Oh. My. God. Just slice it and bake it until it's soft. Same goes for garlic and onions.

@#$*%&$%#! Food is such a beautiful thing. Cooked OR raw.

I'm also not gonna sit here and say I don't feel guilty after eating cooked food sometimes. I'm really trying to work on getting over this. My mind knows it's okay and that we've been cooking our food for thousands of years; yet another part of me thinks it makes me weak, or selfish for not putting my body's needs first. For now, I've just gotta get over it and figure out what works best for me.

It scares me a little when I become so fixated on my diet, it's not healthy, even if being healthy is my goal. I have this link at the bottom of my blog for this reason; sometimes I DO become too idealistic and almost dogmatic about my diet, something I don't like at all. So in a way eating cooked food helps me stay realistic, if that makes sense.

*For those cooked foodists out there, this is probably sounding very strange, for raw foodists, you probably know what I'm talking about =)

Right now the bottom line is that I listen to my body and occasionally my body wants cooked food - so I will eat it. Simple as that.

So as I was saying... I decided to make these cookies. They turned out perfectly divine and delicious. I got the recipe online, and it said it was from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. My dad and mom LOVE them (especially my dad, I get the von Euw sweet tooth from him).

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles: makes 20 or so

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons almond milk (Or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (or more vanilla extract if you have no chocolate)
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the topping ingredients together on a flat plate. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil,  sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in extracts.

Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added mix until you’ve got a pliable dough.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2 inch discs. 
Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they do spread). This should be easy as the the bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be a bit spread and crackly on top. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Monday, 14 November 2011

like balls?

I must come up with a new name for these... but I can't think of anything catchy. Hemp spheres? Globes? If they were covered in coconut, I could just call them snowballs. Ah well, I'll think of something. For now, it's fun to see peoples' reactions when I offer them big ole chocolate hemp balls. They're really good though! And not too sweet.

My friend was going to Nanaimo for the weekend to visit her mysterious, grammar-obsessed lover; and she asked me if I could help her make something gluten free to give their family.
Since I couldn't use my sprouted flours or any of my more expensive ingredients since I was giving it away (yes... I am cheap), I took advantage of the sprouted buckwheat I had.

We used that for the base and added cocoa, hemp seeds, agave, cashews, peanuts, flax seeds, coconut oil and vanilla. Processed it all together and rolled 'em into balls. Then covered them in hemp seeds to make them pretty. The jury's out on whether or not the Nanaimo-ians liked them... but I think they're tasty. Perfect for a pre-workout snack, or just sustained raw energy in your busy day =)

raw energy hemp balls: makes 18 or so, I like big balls (sorry, couldn't resist)

1 1/2 cups sprouted buckwheat
1/2 cup cashews/peanuts
3 Tb maple syrup
1/3 cup raisins/dates
1 t vanilla extract
1 Tb coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup ground flax seeds & hemp seeds
3-4 Tb cocoa/cacoa 

Process buckwheat into rough flour, add all other ingredients and blend until you've a got a chocolatey dough. Add what else you want. Roll the dough into balls and roll those in hemp seeds until they're covered. Chill for 1 hour if they're not hard enough, or have them at room temperature. Enjoy!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

raw nanaimo bars

Today was rainy, windy and hailing all day. But I secretly love it this year... I dunno what's come over me. I can't get enough "gross" stormy weather, even when I have to go out in it. Call me crazy.

Today I was able to stay inside and pretty much relax the whole day. Lucky me =)
Good thing too, because last night I was up until 5:30 am. My friends and I know how to party...

So much dancing.

Since I had the day to just recuperate and rest, I decided to make something a little special - RAW Nanaimo Bars! They're especially fun 'cause they originated in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island - right across the water from us.

Me and my sweet tooth used to looooove Nanaimo Bars, but even I would feel kind of heavy and tired after eating one.

So today I decided I would make them raw! I lined up my ingredients: coconut oil, nuts, cocoa, vanilla, dates, a banana and an avocado... that's right, an avocado. I have several that are very ripe at the moment and need to use them up! (Probably one of the best problems you could have.)

They turned out realllllly good!  My family was a little concerned about the colour, but even my little brother liked them. They don't taste exactly like the "real thing" of course, but I love 'em! They're so yummy. Will definitely be making these again. P.S. I think they got better on the second day.

Raw Vegan Nanaimo Bars: serves 16-24, depending on big your sweet tooth is

Bottom Layer:
3 Tb cocoa/cacoa
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup dates/raisins (I use a mix of both)
1 Tb agave/maple syrup/honey
1/6 cup sprouted flour (or you can use ground flax seed, or ground nuts, buckwheat, etc.) 
1 t vanilla extract
3 Tb coconut oil melted
1/4 shredded coconut (optional)
Handful of walnuts

Middle Layer:
1/4 cup cashew butter
2 Tb agave/maple syrup/honey
1 Tb coconut oil melted with 2 Tb coconut butter
1 avocado 
1 banana
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t turmeric 

Top Layer: you could just use melted dark chocolate if you want
3 Tb agave/maple syrup/honey
3 Tb cocoa/cacoa 
4 Tb melted coconut oil
1 t vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For bottom layer, process all ingredients except walnuts until smooth. Add walnuts and process until the walnuts are in smaller pieces, but not totally ground up. It should taste and look like semi-crumbly chocolate coconut cookie. Press into baking pan lined with plastic wrap (or oil, or nothing) and refrigerate.

For middle layer, process all ingredients until smooth. Yes... it should be green. But taste it! Mhhhmmm. Carefully spread over bottom layer, making sure not to mix the layers. Put back in the fridge. 

For top layer, blend all ingredients until smooth, adding water if needed. It should be like chocolate sauce. Mmm it tastes so dang good. I could eat a bowl of this.
Carefully pour top layer over other two layers, making sure not to mix them. Put back in the fridge one more time and let chill for 1-2 hours until hard, like real Nanaimo Bars.
Pull out of pan if you lined it with plastic wrap, and cut it into bars.

avocado bliss

This is a super simple, nutritious, quick snack I make whenever we have ripe avocados (is there anything BETTER than a ripe avocado?). 
I used to only add avocados to other things, like nori rolls or in salads; but now I love eating them just as they are. They are a wonderful food. One of my favourites for sure. There is nothing like the creaminess, flavour and colour of an avocado.  

Also, don't be afraid of their fat content! Their fats are SOOOOO good for you. They keep your cells (our cell membranes are made of mostly fats, which are responsible for protecting our cells and moving around cellular materials) moving smoothly and fast, which ultimately allows your metabolism to burn calories more efficiently. Plus our hair, nails and skin are made of fats, so we should keep replenishing those with fresh new ones from whole plant foods like coconut, avocado, durian, olives, sprouted raw nut and seeds, and even bananas. These are the foods to eat for BEAUTY!

There's plenty of books about this subject. I Googled it really quick for ya and this link looked reliable. I encourage you to research this topic for yourself though. You're the best judge =)

Avocado Snack: Serves 1

1 Avocado
1 t Tamari
Walnut Parma or Nutritional Yeast

Cut the avocado in half, and take out the pit. (Try sprouting it so you can have your own avocado tree!) Score both halves, and put on Tamari then Parma/Nutritional Yeast. Eat with a spoon!
Another way to do this - don't add anything! Or add some spicy sauce, or agave/honey... "whatevs"!

The best things in life are the simplest.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

raw edible cosmetics & body care recipes

If you wouldn't put it on your skin... why are you putting in your body? If you wouldn't eat it, why are you putting it on your skin?

Yet another thing on the endless list of things I love about being raw; your body care is the same as what you eat. When you think about it for one moment, it shouldn't be any other way.When you're raw, you don't have to use many skin, hair or makeup products because your body is glowing and gorgeous without globs of chemicals on it already!

Plus, what you DO use for your hair, skin, nails and face can be the same stuff you eat everyday! I'm talking about bananas, papayas, avocados, oats, coconut, almonds, and others. We all know these are common extracts used to scent chemical shampoos, lotions, cleansers, etc. So instead of buying "Luscious Cocoa and Oatmeal Body Creme", or "Hydrating Mango Shampoo"... Let's just buy some raw organic COCOA, OATS and MANGOES! 

I know. crazy thinking, huh?

I made myself a banana/oat mask the other day actually... it made my skin glow and tasted SO GOOD. I had a bunch left over so I ate it while the mask hardened on my face. He he.

Do you eat your body lotion/skin cleanser? Probably not... So then why do you put in all over skin if you don't want it IN your skin/body? Logic, dear friends. 

Moisturizer: I use raw virgin coconut oil, with some essential oils added. It is full of wonderful fats to keep my face and skin healthy, moisturized and glowing. I also use it on my hair sometimes for the same reason.

Shampoo: I make my own shampoo using Castile soap, essential oils and herbs that are good for blondes. I recommend Dr. Bronner's for soap. I don't wash my hair much anymore though, but I try to shower every 1 or 2 days... dirty hippie, I am.
Deodorant: I tend not to need deodorant anymore... I haven't used it in a while, yet I'm always being complimented on how good I smell... When you're filling your body with nutrient-rich, vibrant foods, you smell clean, beautiful and vibrant! If you do use deodorant, use one without aluminum, I recommend a crystal salt rock. It sounds weird, but is as natural as you can get! Or if you like scents, I like Kiss My Face products.

Makeup: I don't really wear makeup anymore... Very rarely I put on mascara, but I don't feel great about it. You're beautiful as you are! I do like to use beets to colour my lips/cheeks sometimes, if I'm eating them. If you like wearing make up, there's tons on natural companies out there. Just look in your health food stores' cosmetics aisle.

Banana Oat Mask: makes enough for 1-2 faces plus a snack =)
1 banana
1 Tb almond milk
1/3 cup oats 

Blend all ingredients until it reaches a good consistency to spread on your skin. Wash face with warm water, then spread mask on. Sit or lie down for 10-15 minutes or until you want to take it off. Then gently rinse your face in warm water and pat dry with a towel. I like to put some cold rose water on right after to close my pores and seal in the goodness! 

Tonight I made an avocado mask with half an avocado, and some lemon juice. It tasted sweet, tangy and creamy and was super smooth. I could feel the enzymes working! My face was pink, shiny and glowing when I rinsed it off.

Green Monster Avocado Mask: makes enough for 2 faces, plus a snack
1/2 avocado
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Wash face with warm water, then spread mask on. Sit or lie down for 10-15 minutes or until you want to take it off. Then gently rinse your face in warm water and pat dry with a towel. I like to put some cold rose water on right after to close my pores and seal in the goodness! 

Almond Exfoliator: makes enough for one
Handful almonds
1 t water or almond milk

Chop/process almonds into small pieces, but not flour-like, you want them to be able to exfoliate, remember. Add them to almond milk/water and rub vigorously on your face/skin.  Rinse off and put on some coconut oil to moisturize, or whatever you like. 

Watch out! This one is super enzyme-rich, so it burns a little. 

Papaya Seed Mask: makes enough for 3 faces
Seeds from one papaya

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Rub on face and lie down for 10 minutes You will feel the enzymes... it can burn a little but that's good. If it's too much, however, wash it off! When you are done, wash off with warm water and pat dry. Put on some coconut oil to moisturize and seal in the cleanliness.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

raw ice cream sandwiches

Yesterday I got the impulse to make a raw version of something I'd always loved as a kid, but stopped eating because they were processed (not good for me), and definitely not vegan: Ice Cream Sandwiches!  So what'd I do? Made them healthy for you.

The thought of making something so cute, yummy and familiar was enough to get me in the kitchen with the food processor, some jazz music, and determination. I had just enough ice cream left in the freezer to make about 3 of these, plus a mini one (but that's with me eating it as I'm making it... so you could probably make a few more if you can resist munching).

The "cookie" part was the perfect consistency, easy to mold but softened really fast when I took them out of the freezer to eat, so they weren't crunchy. Use any cookie cutter shape you want! Or make 'em rustic by hand. Either way, they were lovely and just what I needed. Nothing to feel guilty about here!

Raw Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches: makes about 4 good-sized sandwiches 
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 brazil nuts
1-2 Tb Honey/Agave/Maple Syrup 
3 Tb cacao/cocoa
1 Tb coconut oil
1/8 cup shredded coconut
1/3-1/2 cup raisins
Pinch of salt
2 t vanilla extract
Raw ice cream (or your favourite kind), softened 

Process nuts into rough flour, add the rest of ingredients except ice cream. You should end up with a doughy mixture, pretty thick and not too sticky. Taste it and add other stuff until you like what you have.
Get some cookie cutter molds and put them on wax paper or a plate. Depending on the size of your mold and how thick you want your cookie layer, press in the right amount of dough. Then scoop in a layer of ice cream. Put in the freezer until the ice cream has refrozen.

Take it out again and press on the second cookie layer. At this point you can get the sandwich out of the mold, carefully, if you want. Or wait until the whole thing is frozen. Put back in the freezer until you want to eat it! Do this for each until you run out of ingredients. I had a little extra dough so I shaped it into tiny heart cookies, without ice cream... just as cute! 

Monday, 7 November 2011

soup for the soul

*Sorry this post is kinda long... I ramble.

This weekend, I got a cold: headache, sore throat, stuffy nose - the whole deal.

This has not happened since I've been vegan; in fact I was quite enjoying the over-all elimination of sickness since becoming vegan and mainly raw. The only cause I can possibly think of, since my diet hasn't changed, is the hard-core workout I had the day before I fell ill.

I used to be a workout junkie, I was addicted to exercise... I LOVE IT! But since university, I haven't been working out as much. I was okay with this, and knew when the time came I'd get back into it. Well, after a couple months, the time came. This was last week.

I jumped right back into the workout intensity I was doing before I mellowed out... bad idea. Not necessarily because I've gotten weak, in fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I got through the workout.

Exercise gets everything moving (your blood cells, etc.) so I think perhaps it was just a manifestation of that. Also, lately I have not been eating much at all. Simply because I'm not hungry. My #1 rule: always listen to you body, and my body hasn't wanted as much to eat in the past few weeks.

In short: the combination of jumping back into my intense aerobic routine after not working out as much for awhile, PLUS the fact that I haven't been eating much lately (and hadn't eaten that day), PLUS the change of seasons, probably was the reason I got sick. You might say "or maaaybe you just got a cold because people GET COLDS", buuuut...


I was just being silly and didn't act appropriately. I paid for it. The whole weekend, and still today, I've been totally congested and... well, you don't need the details. All weekend I was gulping down as much water and tea as possible, and eating lots of fruits and smoothies for nutrients.

My mood was manifested in the weather: rainy and cold all weekend. In a strange way, I actually love that kind of weather - I guess live in the right place.

It was just me and mom at home when I got the idea to make a big pot of soup. Soup seems to have magical properties. People have been making it for centuries because it's inexpensive, delicious, warming, and you can make it out of ANYTHING. It is the classic food made to ward off the cold and flu.

I am not 100% raw. I enjoy cooked vegetable-based dishes every now and then, partly because sometimes they are just so good (I cannot resist Thai food), and mostly because my family is not raw; we all want to be enjoying the same meal, especially when my mom makes incredible vegan dishes (they still eat meat but have become mostly vegetarian because of my diet change)!

I made Cauliflower and Sprouted Lentil Soup with peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, and a bunch of other veggies. It made the whole house smell like warm comfort. It's a perfect winter dish to warm you up and ward off colds.

Cauliflower and Sprouted Lentil Soup: makes a big ole pot

2 onions, coarsely chopped 
2 Tb olive oil/coconut oil
Chuck of ginger, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tb (of each) cumin, turmeric, coriander, and perhaps curry powder
1 t red pepper flakes 
5 or so cups vegetable stock (this is super handy if you don't have homemade)
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 bell peppers (or tomatoes), chopped
2 cups dried sprouted lentils/beans (we had this in the pantry)
Salt and pepper 

In a big pot at medium heat, saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, saute for another couple minutes. Add the spices, then the vegetable stock. 
Drop in all the chopped veggies and lentils/beans and simmer at medium-low heat for 20-40 minutes, (until the cauliflower is tender). Pour into bowls and serve with chopped cilantro and salt and pepper, to taste. 
Hurray for soup on cold winter days!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

a dream come true! coconut chocolate date cups

Last night I dreamt I was at a party with all my friends, on a boat. We were all dancing and havin' a great time when someone was like - "there's raw vegan prizes!"
 I won a raw vegan peanut butter cup! In my dream, this translated into this thing in the shape of a peanut butter cup, but the chocolate part was coconut butter, and the filling was dates, nut butter and cacao. Yum!
So I woke up and I thought - "I need to make this". Thus today I made my dreams come true... deliciously, healthily true.

I'm tired of hearing people say coconuts are fattening because they have a lot of fat. This is simply not true. In fact, unless you're eating buckets of coconut butter everyday, it will probably help you lose weight; as the animal fats or processed oils in your body are replaced with mean and lean medium chain fatty acids (of saturated fat). THESE fats found in coconut have no cholesterol, and they have anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. They also have a crazy amount of anti-oxidants which fight cancer; cholesterol-lowering properties; and skin-moisturizing abilities (Wolfe, 2009). I use coconut oil on my skin and hair almost every day.

Coconut is a superfood I think everyone should eat!  See for yourself. 

Did you know?  Coconut water is almost identical to blood plasma.  And greens are basically chlorophyll (which is just like hemoglobin). Blood is made up of 55% plasma, and 45% hemoglobin - so when you blend a drink of 55% coconut water and 45% green smoothie - you get a blood transfusion!

Coconut Date Dreams: makes around 4
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 Tb cashew butter
1 Tb almond butter
3 soaked dates
1 Tb honey/agave/maple syrup 
3 t cocoa 
Some vanilla and salt, to taste 

Melt the about 1/3 of the coconut butter and pour a very small amount into the bottom of 3 cupcake papers/molds... perhaps 1/2 cm? (However much coconut butter you want to be on the bottom)
Put these in the fridge.
Next, blend all the other ingredients until smooth. Taste it... yum! 
When the coconut butter has re-hardened in the molds, drop a scoop of the date mixture into each, make sure they're not too tall, and don't touch the sides. Refrigerate again.
When they've hardened a bit more, pour the rest of the coconut butter over each (you may have to melt it again). The melted coconut butter should just cover the date mixture.
Put 'em back in the fridge and let them harden up, until they're white. Then take them out of their molds and voila! Delicious for your mouth, skin, hair and cells! 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Chocolate Cashew Parfaits

Today my lovely friend Amber came over to watch a scary movie and eat delicious food. Usually we don't even like scary movies but for some reason this season has spurred an obsession. 
As for delicious food: my mother made some veggie burgers with whole grain buns and baked potatoes, onions and sauteed mushrooms - mostly organic. 
I made a avocado dish thing for myself, but couldn't resist the mushrooms, onions and potatoes... Mmm. Then it was time for dessert! My favourite thing =} 

I've posted this recipe before, but this time I improved it with some cashew cream layers and pictures! 

Chocolate Pudding: Makes 2 servings, though I could eat it all myself =) 
2 bananas
2 T almond or other nut butter
1 t vanilla extract
2 T agave (or to taste)
1/4 cup raisins (try to find no sugar added, ex. Sun Maid)
3 T chia seeds, gelled with water (explained in recipe)
Cinnamon (to taste, I added maybe 1 t)
Cocoa (to taste, I added maybe 1/6 cup or so)

Cashew Cream:
3/4 cup cashews
3 dates
1 T liquid honey
1 t vanilla
Water, as needed

Cover the chia seeds with water (maybe 1/4 cup or more) and as they're gelling, process the other ingredients until smooth. When chia is gelled - it only take a couple minutes - add them. Taste it and add what ya want. Set aside. 
For cashew cream, blend all ingredients until smooth, adding as little water as possible to get a pudding consistency.
Serve in parfait glasses, layering the pudding and cream. Topped with coconut flakes and goji berries and/or other fruit - Enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

nature's fudge

Eat this as soon as possible. It will improve your life.

Not to be too blunt, but this is a mouthgasm for sure. Better than any candy bar I've ever had, AND it packs a nutritional punch. I eat way too many of these.

There's not much else to say except that you will not be able to have just one.

A Moment of Happiness: serves one
1 dried medjool date, pitted
1 teaspoon almond butter (or other nut butter, you could even use chocolate)  

Cut the date in the middle and fill it with the nut butter or chocolate. (Pretty simple, folks.) EAT.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

green ocean of life

Thought of those words after I poured this smoothie. They're always this beautiful but I HAD to show this one. How can you not want to become this?! It's an ocean of nutrients and vitality!

Check out my post on the power of green smoothies here

Green Smoothie: makes about 4 cups

1 peeled lemon
1 peeled orange
3 cups dino kale/rainbow chard
1 frozen banana
2 cups water
pinch of stevia
half cucumber
handful of cilantro
chunk of peeled ginger

Blend it up and absorb the energy!

eat your sprouts

This post is quite short, but important!

On top of greens and fruit, I enjoy home-grown sprouts as a component of my diet. Usually I do alfalfa, but that's 'cause I'm boring and lazy. There are so many things you can sprout, from pumpkin and sesame seeds to chickpeas! They are SO EASY to grow, fun to watch, super cheap, and crazy-healthy.

You probably know a little about enzymes - they are in raw foods and help with digestion. Sprouts are one of the most enzyme-rich foods out there because they are little babies! They have just converted themselves into a totally new being and are teeming with new life. I suggest you do a little research to see what I'm talking about. I quickly found this page. But I've read many a book that praise the health benefits of home-made sprouts. Ann Wigmore was one of the first sprout advocators, and so are many other leading authorities on raw food nutrition. Just look for yourself on the internet or buy/borrow any raw food book.

These are alfalfa sprouts, I've eaten most of them already =)

You can put sprouts in virtually everything (except maybe desserts), even if you're not raw, vegan or veggie. They're great is salads, sushi, with noodles or soups... everything! I need to finish my math homework and start writing a philosophy paper, so I'll just direct you to this site, where I found some basic sprouting instructions. If you want my own directions on sprouting, just ask =) 

Soaking is also an important step before eating other nuts or seeds, as it neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors present in them. I think of it this way: in nature, the seeds/nuts won't be able to start growing a new plant until they soak up some moisture in the soil from the rain. So until you soak and/or sprout, they aren't technically living foods yet.

last farmer's market of the season

As the title explains; last Saturday was the last farmer's market until the cold BC winter passes. My heart is weeping. I have no idea where I will get my greens at the moment... I may have to buy inorganic. Agh. Problem. Oh well, I'll figure it out.

So I stocked up on as many greens as I could, my diet this week will be mostly green smoothies --- YAY! Dream come true. Just finished one while I was doing my math homework. I kept saying "yuck"; describing my feelings towards the math, but then I had to apologize to my smoothie because it sounded like I was saying it was gross.

Yes, I talk to my smoothies.

Luckily, we use the CSA box system to get organic, local apples ALL winter. Thank goodness. I'm definitely in an apple-loving period right now. I wanna eat them all the time. They're so crunchy, juicy and delicious.

Apples are great for cleaning out your system and hydrating your luscious skin.
Apples are a food I will only eat organic, they are the most contaminated plant food there is, when it comes to pesticides. Check it out here. Yilk. No thanks, chemicals.

In the spirit of the season, we also bought some GORGEOUS GOURDS. They're all so different and funky lookin'. They're gonna be decorating the house for awhile. I have named them all =)

See you in a few months, farmer's market! You will be missed.
I guess I'll have to find a winter market downtown. It just won't be as convenient.

pumpkin pie & raw potluck

*See my newer pumpkin pie recipe here. I hope you all had a great Halloween weekend. I sure did! Didn't really party too much, just hung out with my friends and went to my first raw food potluck! It was amazing!

It was held at Eternal Abundance in downtown Vancouver, and I wasn't sure what to expect. But it exceeded ALL my expectations. The people were awesome, the conversation was really stimulating (finally!) and of course the food was mind-blowingly delicious. I made all sorts of appreciative sounds.

Next time I'll bring my camera so I can show you what it's like, but for now I'll just use words.
For my dish, I brought a pumpkin pie and everyone seemed to like it! There was also a bunch of salads, some "stuffing", a crumble, a masala, marinated winter veggies, and SO MANY amazing desserts including nanaimo bars, fudge, brownies and pudding. MMMM. It was all organic, local, raw and vegan.

As one might guess, the energy was so positive and vibrant. There were good vibes flying around the room =) You could practically SEE them!

My wonderful friend Amber who I brought, bought me an organic avocado!!! I will indulge in those medium-chain fatty acids this evening, in my nori wrap... omg I can't wait. Now my mouth is watering.

Raw Pumpkin Pie: Serves 8 or so 

4 cups or so cubed sugar pumpkin
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup maple syrup
Small handful of dates
Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger (to taste, 'cause I like lots)
Pinch of salt
1 cup or so water/orange/apple juice

1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds (these nuts can be substituted with almost any others like cashews, brazil nuts, etc.)
1 cup dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes if you can
2 T coconut butter
Pinch of salt

Process pumpkin into small chunks, add in other ingredients, process until as smooth as possible. Add liquid until it gets the consistency of pumpkin pie filling. I then put it in my Vita-Mix because it makes it really creamy just like cooked pumpkin pie. See if you like it! It should be delicious as is. If not, add more spices/sweeteners or whatever you think it needs. Set aside.

For the crust, process the nuts into powder, then add dates, melted coconut butter and salt. It should become one big chunk of nutty, sweet goodness. If it's to dry, add more dates, agave or maple syrup/coconut butter. If it's too sticky, add more nuts, ground flax or sprouted flour. 
Press into pie shell. Then pour in the filling. I like to decorate the top with nuts. Let it rest in the fridge for an hour or so if you want. I personally like it warm =) 

Serve with ice cream and coconut cream! (For the coconut cream, you can just use the non-frozen ice cream)

this also best choice to make beef bourguignon if you are have party