Summer of Raw: Summation and Thoughts

IMG_4901.JPG

Above: Apple chips!

So, my summer of raw is just about at an end. Forgive my lack of communication the last couple of weeks, I was on vacation and when I vacation I basically just shut down all modern day technologies and go hide in the woods with no cell service. I will be sure to post a few more raw recipes, but I think I’ve been with this long enough to talk about the experience.

Firstly I would say: this is really hard to stick to. Unless you have some reason that you absolutely need to have nothing but raw foods, I would try something with a bit more flexibility. I’m someone who spends a good deal of time prepping my foods each week, and probably commit more time to that task than most in an effort to eat healthfully and deliciously at the same time, and it was a lot, even for me. You basically need to be continually prepping things.

That said, there were a LOT of things I loved about trying to eat primarily raw. (I say this because I never ended up eating exclusively raw). Once I figured out to stop trying to replicate “real” things, it was pretty glorious. And I’ll definitely continue to eat this way as often as possible. Summer makes it easier; the abundance of fruits and vegetables make it easy to just throw some things into a bowl together and call it a meal, or a salad. If I lived in California or someplace like that I might consider making this a primary lifestyle choice…but maybe not, too. Because regardless of heat or good veggies, I feel my body changing each season, and craving different things in different seasons. And for me, the most surefire way to fail at something is to ignore what my body is asking for. My body always knows more than me.

If you want to eat raw, my suggestions are:

  • make sure you have all the proper equipment
  • Prep a bunch of granola and other snacky things to have whenever you need
  • Always have lots of ripe fruit, veggies and nuts around to grab as needed
  • DON’T try to make things like raw bread, crackers, pretzels, etc. This will be expensive, time consuming, and ultimately (just an opinion) taste revolting.
  • Don’t try to prep too much almond milk or other nut milk, they go bad fairly quickly so you’re better off making just a couple of cups at a time and then just making more. You will spend a lot of time making nut milks and other nut products, unless you plan on not having a very flavorful palette.
  • Good produce makes everything easier

These are probably pretty good tips just in general, anyway. (I say this for me to remember, not you!) So fear not! I will still be posting many raw things.

And I have a new project, starting soon, probably within the week. This one has a medical reason behind it, but there is definitely a project in there and it’s probably a good idea for anyone to eat this way, not just for medical problems. More on that, on the way.

Really I can’t imagine a project that involves food, that I wouldn’t be excited about.

Bitter Greens, Watermelon and Ginger Smoothie

This is my go to smoothie; it’s way quick and easy, really healthy and also incredibly yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large leaves of collards, kale, dandelion greens, or other bitter leafy green
  • Large chunk of watermelon (play around with the amount you like for consistency and sweetness)
  • 2 inch chunk of peeled ginger

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix or other high speed blender and blend until nice and smooth. You will need to tamper the ingredients until the watermelon breaks up — but once it does you will not need to add any water or milk or anything, the watermelon, she is magic.
  2. Drink.

Peaches and “Cream” Smoothie

IMG_4559

This is super decadent. I actually almost felt like I was eating a peach milkshake. But no! It is healthy and also delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 small peaches, extra ripe
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (1 cup almonds, 3 cups water, 2 pitted dates, blend till smooth and drain in a nut milk bag)

Preparation:

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth in a vitamix or other high speed blender
  2. Enjoy!

Jicama, Watermelon, Tomato Salad

IMG_4562.JPG

This is really good. Though I’m starting to think that any creation you can think of with jicama would be good. This is literally what I walked home from my CSA pick up with. (Aside from the jicama which I just had at home). I totally made it up as I went. Here’s the gist:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cubed jicama
  • 1 cup of cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup of halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds (added after this photo was taken)
  • loosely torn fresh mint
  • loosely torn purple basil
  • about 1 tbls. balsamic vinegar
  • about 2 tbls. cold pressed olive oil
  • salt

Preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients except for oil and vinegar together in a bowl
  2. Toss with oil and balsamic and enjoy.

Raw Vegan Spring Roll Bowl with “Peanut” Dressing

IMG_4511

So. I knew I would like this when I saw the recipe on Rawmazing. But I kept waiting to have all the ingredients in house, and putting it off…finally I just decided to make it with whatever I had, seeing as you really can’t go wrong, if you like it and it’s crunchy, you’re good. So remember that as you look through this recipe and feel free to add whatever you’ve got and eliminate whatever you don’t!  Anyway, this is fantastic. I’m eating it right now as I type for extra inspiration. 🙂 The recipe below is what I ended up with, rather than the recipe as written, so again, I’d say to more look at this as a rough guide and then find your own way.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 5 carrots, shredded
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons basil, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 dates, soaked until soft (save soaking water)
  • 1/2 cup date soaking water
  • 1 habanero chili
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
    (or tamari or shoyu)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 lime, sliced

Preparation:

  1. Mix cabbage,  celery, carrots, avocado, scallion and basil in a bowl.
  2. Place almond butter, dates, date water, habanero, Bragg’s, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, and mix well.
  4. Squeeze lime over salad just before eating, and garnish with extra lime slices.

Bam! Healthy, hearty, and delicious.

Cucumber Noodles with Dijon Thyme Vegan Cream Sauce

FullSizeRender (1).jpg

Now that I understand about cashew cream sauce, the possibilities are limitless. It is so delicious!! It feels like you’re eating something bad for you. But, it’s totally not bad for you at all!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in water until soft, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon plum vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Himalayan salt and pepper
  • 3 – 4 cucumbers
  1. Place all ingredients except thyme in high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a large bowl and stir in thyme, salt and pepper
  3. Scrub the cucumbers and spiralize.
  4. Add noodles to the sauce and toss to incorporate.

The Antioxidizer

IMG_4378

YUM!! A mix of many different ingredients all packed with antioxidants make this smoothie a delicious way to start the day. From Eat Raw, Eat Well, by Douglas McNish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hemp milk (I like to make it with 3 cups of water to 2 tsp. of hemp seeds, plus 2 dates for some sweetness.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped kale or chard or other dark leafy green
  • 8 blueberries (I may have used 10 – 15)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 tbls. raw cacau powder
  • 2 tsp. raw hemp seeds

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into a cup and drink.