1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
1 cup almonds (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
1 cup Brazil nuts (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked overnight)
1/4 cup ground flax
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
2 – 4 tsp. nutritional yeast (to taste)
I initially set out to make a raw version of “Cheez-Its” this weekend.
I used to love Cheez-Its. LOVE them. Especially the “white cheddar” variety.
Though, these days, eating all that processed flour, oil, and sugar does not sit so well with my body.
I soaked everything overnight, and immediately after returning from the farmer’s market Sunday morning, I got to work. The end result was extremely delicious, but actually tasted more like pizza.
So, voila! Raw Pizza Crackers!
Soak sunflower seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes overnight.
In the morning, drain everything, and rinse the seeds and nuts thoroughly under filtered water.
First, grind the flax into a fine powder. Then, add in the seeds and nuts. Process thoroughly, until you have a ball of “dough.” Add all the remaining spices, and the nutritional yeast, to taste. Start with 2 teaspoons, and add more if desired. This is what will give the crackers a “cheesy” taste, so add more until the mixture is as cheesy as you want.
Spread and flatten dough very thin onto a non-stick sheet.
Dehydrate until the top is dry and slightly crispy, then flip the dough, and use a pizza cutter or knife to score it, make individual crackers. Continue to dehydrate until nice and crispy.
As usual, if you don’t have a dehydrator, just use your oven on the lowest possible setting, with the door cracked open.
There you are—Raw Pizza Crackers! Dip them, top them, or enjoy them as is.
Raw? Vegan? Vegetarian? Lacto-Ovo? Pescatarian? Mediterranean? There have been so many diets promoted in natural health circles in America over the last decades. It seems they all have various benefits. And the one thing most have in common is the avoidance of consuming of cows and pigs.
Red meat and pork have no known health benefits. The animals are treated brutally and killed in a gruesome bloodbath that is easy to ignore because so few have witnessed our fellow mammals’ slaughter. Those who are employed to do the dirty work get very low wages and often incur injuries because of the size and weight of the animals and the speed of the work. It is very difficult to watch. Even when Cargill, one of the largest meat processing companies in the nation, allowed Oprah Winfrey into a couple of sanitized areas of a processing plant, they did not allow her cameras to film a cow being killed. Out of sight means out of mind.
We are very fortunate that there are so many other things to eat! This meat can feel energizing because of all the adrenaline in the animal when it is killed, and there is iron in blood and flesh, but there is also iron in spinach, dried fruit, and lentils. There is a tradition of the hunt and the roast, and this holds a special allure and place in our hearts. However, when you realize that is far from how the animals get to our plates nowadays, the romanticized vision vanishes.
One hamburger can contain up to 100 different cows. The US kills 35 million cows a year, and 13,200 pigs an hour. That is a lot of bloodshed, death, and killing. What would our country be like if that stopped? Our cardiovascular health would improve, as would our regularity. Less suffering for the animals coincides with less suffering for humanity.
If you would like to see what really goes on behind the closed doors of the slaughterhouse, it is a great motivator for change, although very sad to watch:
These videos have a louder volume, so you may wish to mute (this also makes them more bearable to watch):
This was filmed at Agriprocessors which was the largest (Glatt) Kosher meat producer in the United States, and the only one authorized by Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate to export beef to Israel, before it was shut down in 2008 by inspectors (best to mute):
Thank you for being willing to read this, and watching some of the videos. I know it is very difficult to consider this topic because for so long we have been removed from the reality of it and since we were children we were taught to eat a certain way. Make sure to be gentle with yourself and go slowly when making changes in eating habits. Perhaps begin with a “meatless Monday.”
This film describes the positive environmental impacts that forgoing meat just one day a week can make:
For a well done documentary about one man’s journey with this issue, watch this clip:
Another inspiring story with regards to getting back to a plant-based diet is that of Dave the trucker. He was dying when he decided he had to tackle this problem head on:
Even the Mayo Clinic recommends “meatless meals”:
Recent articles in the LA Times and the Huffington Post lend weight to this conclusion:
Because of all the droughts we have been having in the US, the cattle are starving, and the herds are shrinking:
Cows are very gentle creatures. There is no skill or chase in hunting them. They are docile pacifists who give their milk and eat grass. They hurt no one, and do not deserve this torture. Pigs frolic and forage, are as sociable and intelligent as dogs, and genetically are surprisingly similar to humans (more so than any other domesticated animal):
The slaughter house is like hell on earth. It is time for the madness to end. It does not have to be this way. Humans have freedom of choice, and when we know better, we do better. And when we learn, we care.
These items can function in place of meats in traditional American recipes when needed, they’re pretty tasty, and the most popular ones are available at supermarkets:
I had a great experience when I asked my supermarket to carry a natural product they did not already have, and they now stock it in the store – thank you Vons!
If you are taking medications or have had surgery, please consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet and only undertake such changes under her/his supervision and monitoring. This is because dietary changes can lessen the need for certain medications. Also, listen to your body – if you need red meat, eat it. If you can avoid it when possible, and still feel good, please do. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice.
(Image borrowed from mynewroots.blogspot.com)
4-6 large Medjool dates (depending on desired portion size)
4 Tbsp coconut butter
2-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
½ an extremely ripe banana
1 Tbsp coconut nectar or raw agave nectar
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
Optional: ¼ tsp cinnamon
Optional: raw cacao nibs, sesame seeds, shredded coconut
This little treat was thoroughly inspired by “Chocolate Covered Katie.”
I bought some beautiful Medjool dates from the farmer’s market this weekend (shout out to Oasis Date Gardens). Their dates are super soft and caramel-sweet—I think I’m going to order more from them online. I bought them with the intention of using them for any number of different raw desserts on my to-do list… but this idea came to me this morning, and I just couldn’t resist.
Blend together filling ingredients, either with a food processor, blender, or mashing very well with a fork. You may have to slightly melt the coconut butter. If so, place it in a bowl, and put that bowl in another bowl filled with hot water. Only allow it to melt slightly. You can also add the optional cinnamon for a bit of spice, and the cacao nibs, sesame seeds, or shredded coconut as mix-ins.
Pit dates: Rather than splitting in half, take a sharp knife and poke a hole in the top of each date. Use a pair of tweezers (or something similar) to gently pull out the pits, and fill dates with fudge. Place them in the fridge to set.
Take a bite, and indulge in the fudgy goodness.
(image borrowed from ohsheglows.com)
Makes 1 serving
1 large, very ripe banana
2 dates (soaked for 30 minutes to soften, if necessary)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 – 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 – 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or plain almond milk + 1 tsp vanilla)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
Optional (highly recommended) mix-ins: raw cacao nibs, shredded coconut, raisins
Optional: 1- 2 Tbsp Irish moss paste to thicken
Here’s something that I whipped up (boo, bad pun) last night to fuel my morning run today. It incorporates my love for raw chocolate, banana, and sweet spices. The chia seeds are a great way to help hydrate pre-workout, and the natural sugars/carbs in the banana/dates are perfect for a quick boost of energy.
Mix all ingredients (except mix-ins) very well in blender. You want the chia seeds to be thoroughly pulverized, and the consistency of the pudding to be sort of whipped. Pour into airtight container, and place in the fridge overnight to thicken (or several hours, if you can’t wait). Serve with cacao nibs, shredded coconut, and raisins mixed in. Don’t add the mix-ins until you’re about to eat the pudding, though—otherwise they’ll get soggy. Enjoy.
if you are at Trader Joes….
1) 100% blueberry juice- (not mixed with any other juices) great for eyes and memory
2) Larabars- made only of nuts, fruits, and spices like ginger and cinnamon- incredibly delicious treat
3) bag of ‘Southern Greens’- prewashed, prechopped collard, turnip, and mustard greens- easy to make and packed with nourishment
if you are at Costco….
4) large ‘Pomwonderful’ pomegranate juice- an almost 4 pound jug for 10 bucks! may be good for the heart, brain, prostate, and immune system- plus studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone
5) dried sour montmorency cherries- a study was conducted at Michigan State University to find out whether traditional claims about these cherries relieving chronic aches and pains, arthritis and gout were true, and researchers discovered that indeed the anthocyanins, natural anti-inflammatory compounds in the pigment of the montmorency cherry, are 10 times more potent than aspirin
6) quinoa- (which is also in the bulk bin at the health food store with red and darker colored varieties) high in protein and minerals- serve with beans, avocado, cheese, veggies, or chicken- don’t overcook as it cooks really quickly (very convenient) and is best still a bit firm
if one is at the health food store….
7) chia seeds- chia is the Mayan word for ‘strength’- better known for their appearance as chia pets! tiny seeds which are powerhouses of energy and endurance
‘barleans’ flax oil- flax is purported to be good for hormonal balance, hair, skin, and nails- just a squirt a day chased with water!
9) dulse- contains high levels of natural iodine which can nourish the thyroid gland- chewy, salty snack
if one is online….
10) www.wholesalepinenuts.com American grown pinenuts in the shell! excellent source of fiber and nutrition
Last night, I finally got around to trying a recipe that I’ve been excited about—The Blissful Chef’s (a.k.a. Christy Morgan) Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse recipe. I happened to have all the right ingredients from the Farmer’s Market anyway. I made it, and it wasn’t chocolaty enough for me, so made some tweaks. This recipe is quick and easy, and the only equipment necessary is a food processor.
12-15 large, sweet dates – pitted and soaked (preferably Medjool, or Halawy)
1 tbsp. raw almond butter
1/3 – 1 tbsp. raw agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla flavor
A pinch of sea salt
- Soak the dates for at least 2 hours.
- Blend dates into a paste in food processor. You might need to pour in a little of the soaking water if they aren’t blending properly.
- Cut open avocados, remove pits, and spoon the meat into the processor.
- Add in remaining ingredients.
- Blend until smooth, stopping and scraping the sides with a spoon to include all ingredients.
- Enjoy in moderation as is, or with berries on top.
This Raw Hot Cocoa is something I started drinking as I began to try losing weight. I have a hopeless sweet tooth, and wanted to make something I could treat myself to often. This will satisfy your craving without the sugar crash or the heavy feeling from the dairy.
2-3 tbsp. Raw Cacao Powder (such as Navitas Naturals)
1-2 tbsp. Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp. Raw Almond Butter
(optional) ¼ – ½ tsp. vanilla extract
(optional) a pinch of sea salt
*use more milk alternative and less water for a richer consistency/flavor.
Makes about 12oz
- Heat water in pot to just below boiling
- Whisk in cacao, immediately turn heat to low
- Add remaining ingredients and whisk
- Heat on low, whisking occasionally until fully blended
- Pour into mug and savor slowly.
From ruby red raspberries to earthy dumplings with a difference, raw vegan chef Ani Phyo shows small treats can have a big impact. Ani shares two of her favourite recipes with Diary of a Vegan from her new bestseller: Anis Raw Food Essentials (see book for full recipe details).
You just have to browse the web or your nearest book store to see the world is obsessed with dieting. Yet if statistics are accurate, were not just tipping the scales, were on our way to breaking them. It has taken many of us years of restrictions and meal replacements to figure it out: diets dont work.
From calorie counting to cutting out carbs, a Pandoras Box awaits those who still dare to follow the latest diet craze. Yet achieving and maintaining your ideal figure is actually more simple than what weve been lead to believe-and it comes with a bonus: vibrant health.
We were going to highlight some great blogs that are dedicated to raw chocolate in all its healthful glory. Perhaps there arent too many around or we just got too hungry during our search and gave up too soon. The latter is undeniably true.
We also wanted to write something about chocolate, but, to tell you the truth, all we can do think about is eating it. So, the best option is to share a recipe from one of our fave and oft-visited raw food blogs, The Raw Chef. Oh, and a great book from David Wolfe thats dedicated to this widely adored, yet sometimes misused, food: Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About the Worlds Greatest Food.
Chocolate Torte with Whipped Cashew Cream
For the base
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup pecans
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon melted cacao butter
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until they bind.
- Press into a 9″ springform cake pan and place in the fridge to set.
For the filling
1 cup Irish Moss paste*
1 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups cacao powder
3 cups grated or chopped cacao butter which has then been melted
1 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon tamari
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and pour on top of the base.
- Leave in the fridge to set.
*Irish Moss paste can be made by soaking 1 cup Irish Moss in water for 3 – 5 hours and rinsing THOROUGHLY until rinse water turns clear (therell be a lot of sand in the moss). Then blend the rinsed moss with 2 cups pure water in a Vita-Mix until completely smooth. Leave to set in the fridge if not using straight away.
Chefs tip: Add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil to the filling mixture for a mint chocolate variation.
For the cream topping
1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons Irish Moss paste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon macadamia oil (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Serve with chocolate torte and fresh berries.