100% Raw Thanksgiving
What’s up my friends!? Hope you’re doing awesome! As you may know, Amanda and I are expecting a lil’ mini-me (mini-us I should say) Ramona, (coming this May!). We’re psyched up and a bit nervous, particularly me. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of births to get prepared… haven’t seen stuff that scary since “Freddy Vs. Jason”. So hopefully if all goes according to plan, I’ll be upright throughout Ramona’s arrival! As we prepare for her appearance, we are also preparing for an upcoming move to a new place here in Portland. A lot goin’ on! So if you’ve been wondering where the fudge I was, I’m around… just busy as heck. I have a treat for you today… Raw energy bars with a chocolate drizzle-dizzle!
Chocolate Drizzled Energy Bars
These tasty travel companions have a peanutty bar base and a chocolate topping, if that wasn’t enough, they are loaded with protein, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids! Great for toting to work, bringing on road trips or sneaking into the movies (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about).
For the bars ~
2 Cups of almonds
2 Cups of flaked or shredded coconut
1+1/2 Cups of hemp seeds
1/2 a cup of almond butter
1/4 cup of raw honey (can substitute with agave, maple syrup or pitted dates whatever rocks your sweet tooth’s socks)
1 Tablespoon of Spirulina Crunchies (totally optional, but tasty and full of green goodness!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/4 Teaspoon of sea salt
Grind the coconut, almonds, hemp seeds, spirulina crunchies, sea salt and vanilla into a flour in your food processor. Toss in the almond butter and sweetener and give it a good grinding. Take this mixture and spread about 1/4″ thick on a cookie sheet, press firmly and, using your hand as a guide, square off the edges as you press the mix into a square or rectangular shape. Now wrap with plastic wrap and pop in the freezer while you rock out the chocolate drizzle!
The Drizzle ~
1/2 Cup of cacao butter (broken into small chunks)
1/4 cup of coconut sugar or xylitol crystals (this will give you a more solid finished chocolate, you could sub raw honey or agave)
2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon of non-gmo soy lecithin (this is a natural emulsifier that helps bring the chocolates ingredients together harmoniously)
pinch of sea salt
Melt all the ingredients down in a double boiler on low heat until everything is dissolved and mix thoroughly until well combined, I sometimes pour the melted mix in my VitaMix and give it a quick blend to achieve an even more homogenized drizzle.
Grab your tray from the freezer and cut into the bar size of your choice. Spread the bars apart and drizzle them with a generous coating of your chocolate saaaaaaawce. The chocolate sauce should harden quickly on the cold bars. Once it has, cover them and pop them in the fridge to store. One cool way to store them is to individually wrap them with parchment or wax paper and use a small piece of tape to secure it… Presto, you got yourself a homemade chocolate drizzled energy bar, wrapped and ready to go!
Just for fun and some inspiration, I’m bringing this older video back to life!
In 2010 we kidnapped my mom for 6 weeks, here are the results!
Hey peeps! I want to share the low-down on an awesome site I was turned on to by my buddy Glen Colello of Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe. It’s called Top Documentary Films. At Top Documentary Films you can watch amazing documentaries for free!! This amazing resource uses video content that has been shared through other media sharing websites such as Vimeo, YouTube and MegaVideo to bring you an incredible assortment of brilliant documentaries and also provides a place to discuss the documentaries you’re enjoying!! Browsing through their Health category I’ve found ‘Food Matters’, Micheal Moore’s ‘Sicko’, ‘Super Size Me’, ‘McLibel’, and many more! One that caught my eye recently is ‘Simply Raw : Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days’. This film is amazing! Incredibly inspirational and very entertaining to watch! Be sure to check it out and the many other awesome titles this resource has available! So cool to see this great information being spread to an even wider audience!
Much love and happy movie-goin’! ~ Rory :0)
Hey My friends! We just recently discovered a massive tangle of grapevines stretching hundreds of feet nearby our new place in Portland! These beautiful vines are loaded with lil’ clusters of tiny green grapes, no-where near ready to pick, but still an awesome find because grape vines have something else to offer… Leaves! Grape leaves aren’t just for rollin’ up dolmas, they also make a mean green smoothie! The leaves of the cultivar near us actually taste of tart concord grapes and made for an amazing drink!
The coolest thing about wild grape leaves, is that they’re free! Wild foods are also more nutrient dense than typical plants, as they have to work hide to find their nutrition and only the ones most adept at this, make it! When harvesting your own, be sure to do your homework. You want to be sure that what you’re harvesting is in fact grape leaves as there is a poisonous plant that resembles them. The best ways to validate your find is through using reference guides, resources online and even better talking to someone who has experience with wild foraging and/or grape growing! You may luck out and find someone who’s growing grapes and could offer you their pruning remnants!
Grape leaves are also loaded with nutrition! One cup (14g) of raw grape leaves contains 77% of your Daily Value of vitamin A, 19% of your vitamin K, 20% of your DV of Manganese and an awesome balance of fatty acids! 120mg’s of omega 3 fatty acids to 20.7mg’s of omega 6!! Check it out at Nutrition Data! Now for that smoothie recipe!
Grape Leaf Smoothie ~
7 large grape leaves, cut into salad mix sized pieces, for your blender’s sake!
2 medium sized red apples, rough chopped
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup of water
Blend everything until smooth and enjoy!
Happy foraging!! ~ Rory :0)
Hey My friends! These past few weeks, I’ve been playing with an experiment in the kitchen… growing my own scoby from a bottle of store-bought kombucha! If you’re wondering what the heck a scoby is and why anyone would wanna grow one, check out my previous post on kombucha. For those who are already lovin’ the ‘bucha, you’re gonna wanna check this out!
If you want to brew your own kombucha at home you’re gonna need a scoby (aka kombucha mother, aka kombucha “mushroom”). This symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, comes together to create a rubbery disc known as a zoogleal mat. This mother is the main ingredient to get brewin’. Traditionally you’d need to either purchase a scoby from one of the many kombucha farms online or get a hold of a spare one from a friend who brews. But, with this simple technique, you can grow your own using a bottle of kombucha from the store!! You can just hear that bottle of Synergy in Whole Foods’ fridge case singin’ … “I’m a scoby in a bottle baby, gotta rub me the right way honey..” or maybe that’s just what I hear? Oh well, Allons-y!
To get scoby growin’ you’ll need ~
A non-reactive pot to brew your kombucha’s tea (I say kombucha’s tea, because this is the tea your kombucha is goin’ to eat) like a stainless steel or glass enamel coated canning pot.
1 large gallon(or 2 gal) glass jar to use as a brewing vessel (no porcelain or stainless steel. Kombucha produces digestive acids to consume the sugars in the tea solution and if you use porcelain or any metal as a brewing vessel, these acids will leach harmful elements from them. No good.)
12 cups of filtered or fresh spring water. Avoid distilled or water packaged in plastic containers as they most likely have leached plastic elements that you and your kombucha culture don’t want.
Organic cane or turbinado sugar. You can use plain white sugar from the store and it will work, but organic is best and the cost of using the best sugar is so worth it! The kombucha get’s synthetic chemical free sugar and you get more nutrients in your finished brew. Win, win and win for the environment!
Bagged or loose leaf green or black tea. You can do mix of the two and or you can use white tea or rooibos tea. There are other potential teas that can be used, but you may want to avoid herbal teas that have antibacterial properties such as Pau D Arco, Una De Gato, or peppermint as they may negatively affect the good bacteria in your brew.
A wooden or bamboo spoon to stir the sugar in your brewing tea. Plastic or metal may leach elements into the hot tea that could harm your culture.
A piece of cloth, wash cloth or t-shirt remnant and a rubber band. This will be used to create a breathable cover for your brewing vessel. Covering your culture is essential to preventing airborne mold spores and fruit flies (which adore kombucha) from getting in and contaminating your brew.
Clean hands and a freshly cleaned work surface. Reduces the likeliness of any unwanted critters in your brew.
1 bottle of unpasteurized kombucha from the store. GT’s Synergy and High Country’s ‘bucha works great! Go for the original or unflavored. The High Country is all flavored, so I went for one without fruit and used their ‘Wild Root’ brew. Awesome stuff!
Now to start the culture, boil 12 cups of filtered water in your pot. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 cup of organic sugar until dissolved. Turn on heat and bring the solution back to a boil. Switch off the heat and toss in 1 tablespoon of loose tea leaves (or three tea bags) and allow to steep and cool overnight. This is important because adding your kombucha culture to hot tea will doom it, so be patient grasshopper. Now pour that sugar tea base into the brewing vessel, gently pour in your bottle of kombucha, cover over with cloth and rubber band, and store in a dark place where it won’t be shaken or moved for 3-5 weeks. And you should end up with this adorable thing! :0)
Happy brewin‘ my friends! ~ Rory :0)
Hello my peeps! I was hittin’ up a local grocery store with a built-in Starbucks and saw they got a new Coconut Mocha frappuccino and thought, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”. Haha! Seriously though, next time you tackle your own healthy-fied version of a tasty (but crappy) food or drink, go for it with that enthusiasm and confidence! I headed home, whipped this up and have done so several times since!
Coconut Mocha Shake ~
1 Cup of ice
1/2 of a frozen banana, in pieces (optional, but makes a great emulsifier, bringing everything together smoothly!)
1/2 Cup of water
2 Tablespoons coconut butter (check out this post for the low down on making your own homemade coconut butter!)
1 Tablespoon of raw honey, date syrup or your sweetener of choice
3/4 Tablespoon of cacao powder
Small pinch of sea salt
Blend everything, but the ice and banana, until thoroughly combined. Toss in the frozen goodies and blend again until smooth. Pour in your fave glass and sprinkle with shredded coconut for bonus points!
Happy Blending and recipe concocting my friends ~ Rory :0)
What’s up my friends? One of the most ubiquitous questions I receive about the raw diet is “Where do you get your protein?”. I know a lot of vegans and vegetarians get tired of that question, but it is a major concern for people who are switching over to a plant based diet. So let’s take a look at the top ranking plant based protein sources and how you can work them into your daily menu!
Greens! You’ve probably heard the analogy of rhinos, horses and bulls being big muscle-bound beasts and getting all their protein from plants, well those plants are the green ones. Having very few calories compared to grams of protein puts greens at the top of the list! Kale, romaine lettuce, collards and spinach to name a few pack a punch of protein with lil’ other calories. How much protein?
According to Nutrition Data, one cup of chopped raw kale contains 2 grams of protein and a mere 33 calories. In “Becoming Raw” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Malina, one cup of kale juice is listed as having 7 grams of protein! So by picking your food prep technique, you can get the most protein out of your eats! Bangin’ stuff! I love kale juiced with grapefruit, full of cleansing chlorophyll, alkalyzing minerals and protein, it makes an awesome post workout drink!
One cup of raw Spinach contains 7 cals and 1 gram of protein, Romaine lettuce sports 8 calories and 1 gram of protein and Collards contain 11 cals and 1 g of protein. Doesn’t sound like much protein compared to volume. But, when you consider how much of these greens easily work their way into your raw menu in the form of green smoothies, juices, salads and marinated massaged side dishes, you’d be surprised! When Amanda and I bang out an eight cup Vita Mix Carafe of green smoothie we’ll use 7 or more cups of loose packed greens! Salad always finds its way into either lunch or dinner and the occasional green juice is a quick and easy way to supplement this.
Seeds. These lil’ champion sources of proteins, pack a lot of protein and essential fatty acids! Sunflower, hemp, chia, pumpkin and sesame seeds are good sources that are tasty and easy additions to your diet! Let’s check their amounts (per cup again). Sunflower seeds have 816 calories and 33 grams of protein, Hemp has about 59 grams of protein and 928 cals, Chia 784 cals and 25 g’s of protein, Pumpkin Seeds are packin’ 747 cals and 34 grams of protein and Sesame Seeds are rockin’ with 888 cals and 30 grams of protein. NIce! Seeds can be used many ways in your daily raw menu. I like to add them to my nut mylk blends, to add more protein and enhance the amino acid profile, as a creamy base for salad dressings, as snacks, as a creamy parfait base, for dips and as seasoned and dehydrated snacks! Sooo many uses for these protein packed lil’ guys!
Nuts. Most people associate nuts as a high protein source, but they’re actually a richer source of good raw fats than they are of protein. This isn’t a bad thing, but for those that are looking to limit the fats they consume, you may wanna go easy on them and opt for seeds when possible. During my raw transformation I chowed on tons of almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews in various culinary creations and still lost a bunch of weight, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Some like my wife Amanda, feel bloated after consuming too many. This can be a result of the fats not meshing with your individual metabolism or irritation from their fiber, either way I hear this a lot from my friends in the raw community. So if you have similar issues, try going the seed, coconut and avocado route! Check out the most common nuts’es protein scores, per cup. Almonds tout 850 calories and 29 grams of protein, Brazils boast 965 cals and 21 g’s of protein, English walnuts 785 cals and 18 g’s of protein and Cashews have 736 calories and 24 grams of protein. Nuts are awesome in the form of nut butters to dip fruit in or spread on celery stalks, soaked and dehydrated for trail mixes, raw energy bars, pate’s and as snacks all on their own!
Veggies, root vegetables, herbs and fruits also contain a good amount of protein and can easily be worked into your daily diet. I chose the top three categories above, based on their amount of protein per calorie. If you wanna know even more about the amount of proteins are in the foods you eat, then hit up NutrtionData. There you can check out the nutritional values of all your favorite eats! Also stay tuned to rawdawgrory.com, because I’m going to be delving more into the topic of protein! In upcoming posts you’ll learn about complete sources of protein, the best raw vegan protein products and how to make a bangin’ protein shake that goes beyond just protein!
Rock on my friends ~ Rory :0)
Hey peeps! We’re all about cleaning up our diet and cleansing ourselves, but what about our abodes? Many of the cleaning products you can pick up at the store, are full of the things that you’re probably working to get out of your system! Now there are a LOT of awesome natural cleaning products and they are becoming ever more available in many retail outlets, which is awesome, because I remember (as a teen, yeah I been into this stuff for a while!) having to seek out health food stores or ordering online to pick up eco and health friendly cleaners. But, not having easy access to store-bought natural cleaners, lead me to creating my own and this was not only fun and allowed for some creativity, but also saved me a butt-ton of money!
The two main cleaning dynamos I work with are baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda tackles the dirty work with its mildly abrasive action and fat dissolving ability and then vinegar comes in and does the job of a solvent and boasts some anti-mold, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties! Use baking soda to tackle any household jobs you’d need a powdered scrubber for. From Grungy pots and pans, grimy sink basins, water stained showers and toilets and ovens… baking soda will get medieval on ‘em! For jobs that require a streak free solvent, like cleaning down counter tops, glass shower doors, stove tops, cabinet fronts, appliance doors etc., vinegar has you covered. Check out my post on detoxifying your home for even more in-depth info! But, for now check out this video from the Geeked-Fu challenge below for a demo of homemade natural cleaner’s power!
Happy Cleansing! ~ Rory :0)
Hey there beloved reader of my raw goodness! When I first got into raw foods the most appealing potential benefit wasn’t weight loss, it wasn’t just the abstract idea of health, nah the biggest motivator for me was having more energy! We all wish we could add a few more hours to each day, but barring access to a TARDIS, we’re gonna have to find another way to get the most out of the 24 we got. For me that used to be running on lil’ sleep and a butt ton of caffeine. Then I discovered raw foods and how I felt after I ate them, feeling satisfied, but not groggy. This alone was worth the price of admission!
Before gettin’ raw, I had been drinking soda, the occasional coffee, black tea and rarely, the dreaded energy drinks. It’s a problem many out there face. We eat a lame diet and feel beat. We can’t go to work beat, so we power up with caffeinated beverages and now more than ever, energy drinks and pills. Than we come home from work and feel a crash comin’, so we grab another caffeinated drink when we get home. But like blasting N2O through a car engine, we’re doing ourselves some long-term damage(and I don’t mean the stuff that hit’s you only in those last years) and then we usually crash BIG time.
When I began to consume more raw eats, I immediately noticed a difference! It wasn’t quite enough in the very beginning to make me drop caffeine cold turkey, but I didn’t crave it nearly as much! I still had a bit of a struggle in the morning, so rather than struggling with grogginess while transitioning, I decided to cut myself some slack. How? I used chilled coffee as the base of my morning cacao shake. I ended up with a drink that blew the franchise coffee blends right out the window and it allowed to easily turn down soda when I was at work. Gradually I noticed myself adding less and less of the chilled coffee to my morning shake blend and within a month or so I didn’t need to add any! So all those caffeinated, high fructose corn syrup concoctions were easily replaced by my blended chocolaty goodness! Pretty sweet deal, so I thought I’d share that lil’ chocolaty coffee beast that helped me do it!
Breakfast Blast ~
This makes about a quart. I like to tote my smoothies in quart mason jars to store in my chilled lunch bag when I head out, so it works perfectly!
~ 1 cup of brewed and chilled coffee (we didn’t own a coffee maker(and still don’t) so I used one of those lil’ plastic funnel deals that ya pop a filter in and it sits on your mug, only I mounted it atop a quart mason jar and brewed through until it was filled. Note, I highly recommend using un-bleached coffee filters, no need for white coffee filters (or the chemicals involved in producing them) when we’re going to turn them brown again immediately! Haha! I’d allow this to chill on the counter for over an hour, before sealing and popping in the fridge. That step is important! Ya don’t wanna have to clean the remnants of an imploded jar and a quart of coffee out of your fridge in the morning. This jar would last me four days, at a cup per day.)
~ 1 cup of almond (or your fave nut) mylk
~ 2 frozen bananas * I loved the combo of frozen bananas with coffee and still love it with Dandy Blend, but Amanda likes to replace the bananas with ice when she makes it. Give both a shot and lemme know who has better taste! haha :0) *
~ 1+1/2 tablespoons of cacao powder
~ 1 tablespoon of raw honey
~ 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 teaspoon of extract)
~ pinch of sea salt
Occasionally I’d toss in some hemp seeds for protein and omega 3′s and/or a teaspoon of maca or other powdered super goodies, but those are totally optional. You can add to this breakfast blend any raw protein you’re working with as well, creating a multi-purpose shake! Blows those Instant Breakfast packets, powders and shakes away!
Blend until smooth and frosty and prepare for blast off! Great to tote to work and you can cruise on by those franchise coffee joints. Added bonus, by dodging those joints, you’ll avoid the temptations in their glass cases at the counter!