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)
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)
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!
Hello my friends in search of awesome edibles! I’ve got a quick lil’ post here for you on one of my fave raw edibles, coconut butter. Pronounce it how ya like, this stuff is awesome! Coconuts in general are loaded with antimicrobial and antifungal properties in their saturated fatty acids, they have a good amount of lauric acids that help to raise our HDL (good cholesterol levels) and when combined with other raw goodies they can increase the absorbability and usefulness of their fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids! The medium chain fatty acids in coconut are also believed to be beneficial to the thyroid and encourage proper metabolism. On top of all this healthy goodness, coconut tastes awesome! My coconutty weapon of choice is coconut buttah! Er. Coconut Butter. Coconut butter is the ground flesh of the coconut with the oil intact. This creamy goodness is an incredible add in for smoothies, as a thickener in raw frosting, and makes a tasty dip for fruit when warmed to dip’able consistency.
Coconut butter is such awesome stuff that I thought I’d give making it at home a shot! Now this is one recipe I’m sharing that you absolutely need a high powder blender for. There are also juicers out there that may be able to create this as well with their homogenizing function. All you need is some good quality dehydrated shredded coconut or coconut flakes (preferably organic and unsweetened for optimum healthy goodness). I simply ground about 6 cups of coconut flakes in my Vita Mix, using the tamper to keep everything in contact with the blades and ground it for about 2 minutes. Voila! Coconut butter!
Now different sources of shredded coconut may have less oil content, so if your blend looks like it needs a lil’ moisture, you can solve that by adding a lil’ coconut oil. If you don’t have a high power blender, there are many good sources of coconut butter out there. My current fave is Artisana’s, great stuff! Well worth the cost as a lil’ goes a long way in smoothies! A 16oz jar usually lasts a month in our house with multiple daily uses!
Happy experimenting! ~ Rory :0)
What up players and haters? Rawdawg Rory back up in this piece again. I’m a hardcore food geek, so even though I rock the raw thing, I still like to check out all the awesome food shows out there. I don’t discriminate, I love ‘em all. Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizzare Eats”, Adam Richman’s “Man Vs Food” and Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares”… I’m in! Then in my online rambling I stumbled on Epic Meal Time. For those who haven’t seen Epic Meal Time, you’re in for something. These dudes have basically done for cooking shows, what the Jackass crew has done for sports television. The show itself can be a bit offensive (especially for the vegan community), but none the less funny! Creating gigantore meals of foods questionable enough to make Paula Dean herself cringe with terror, the Epic Meal Time crew push the boundaries of just how much greasy, fatty, junkish food one can eat and live to talk about. The narration’s are ridiculous and watching the dude’s chow down on the finished masterpieces will either leave you nauseous or hungry, depending on your sensibilities. After enjoying a marathon of their videos, I thought I’d rock out my own version with a raw twist.
They say nobody doesn’t like Sarah Lee, but I know something else nobody doesn’t like more, a big a$$ banana ice cream cake, loaded with raw chocolate goodies! Get ready for Epic Raw Meal Time…
Peace out my friends! Hope you’ve enjoyed! :0)
Hey Peeps! This past week I’ve been rocking out a smoothie feast with Amanda. I am a smoothie fiend so a “fast” like this is right up my alley! Why a smoothie feast? Well besides being delicious, full of amazing nutrients (from the amazing ingredients you choose to use!) and filling, smoothies are super easy to digest! So while you’re enjoying a tasty blended meal, your body get’s to take a break from breaking down food! This allows it more energy to do all sorts of stuff, like fine tuning itself and leaves you with more energy to do the stuff you’re into! I’ve been exercising more this week, rockin’ out some writing work and feeling even more geeked up than usual (scary thought, I know!). Rocking smoothies for a fast can be very cleansing as well! All the lovely fiber in your blends keeps you feeling satisfied, buffers the absorption of the sugars(fruit sugars, raw honey etc) in your blends and it does an awesome job of house cleaning! Each of the fibers in your blended concoctions(from the fruits, greens, nuts and seeds) act as lil’ magnetically charged brooms. They travel through you snatching up toxins as they go and dragging them out the backdoor, for lack of a gentler way of putting it. This is perfect as your body will be using some of it’s energy surplus to cleanse and, by rocking fiber’iffic smoothies, you’ll have given it a surplus of cleaning supplies to finish the job with!
We’ve been indulging in breakfast blends of berries, bananas, almond mylk, coconut butter and hemp seeds. These are awesome for those looking for a creamy morning shake and the good fats in the almond mylk and coconut oil increase the availability of the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals in the fruits! Also the coconut oils works synergistically with the omega 3 fatty acids in the hemp seeds to make them more usable for our body as well! For lunch we either crank out another fruit blend or a savory raw soup deal! One of our faves was a creamy red pepper tomato soup with an almond mylk base! So good! Dinner’s have been over a quart of green smoothie each, consisting of mixed greens and various fresh and frozen fruits with an h2o base. Dessert (Oh yes. Dessert!) has either been a cacao smoothie with an almond mylk base, frozen bananas, hemp seeds, coconut butter and raw honey or a chocolate frozen banana ice cream! This is amazing and super simple using the same ingredients to flavor straight up frozen banana chunks, creates a soft serve experience that’s tasty and healthy! Check out my Banana Ice Cream video (below) for the basics!
If you’re thinking of rockin’ a fast/feast for the first time I’d highly recommend looking into going the smoothie route first. My strategy to approaching raw living was to take the steady and comfortable route and it worked very well for me. I went the route I did to allow myself learning time, time to develop new habits, create recipes I loved, ease into the detoxification process and most of all to keep it fun! It’s easy to enjoy taking on the raw lifestyle when you do it at your pace! For some, going “all-or-nothing” works best, but for myself I knew how I like to roll and I wanted to avoid rapid detoxification issues (and high-speed sprints to the restroom!). So if my approach to raw sounds like your kind of route, then smoothie feasting may be your first choice when considering a feast! Easy, satisfying, nutritious, fiber’iffic and gentle in the detoxing department, smoothies are a pretty sweet way to go!
Happy Blendin’ my friends ~ Rory :0)
Hey Party People in the place to be! I’ve been gettin’ my brew on lately and thanks to some inspiration via the holy grail of internet enlightenment (aka youtube!). Inspiration that guided me to create Kefir Ginsinger Beer (sweet name provided by my homey Nellie!). This tasty concoction combines the probiotic goodness of kefir with the circulation enhancing and detoxification assisting properties of ginger and finally the blood oxygenating (and therefore energy boosting) quality of ginseng!
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb, which means it helps our bodies to restore their natural balance and deal with stress, it’s also known to increase mental functioning and reduce fatigue! So we’re pretty much talking super soda here. I used to be a full-on soda addict so sharing this recipe (and the low down on water kefir brewing in my last post) is very cool for me to provide other peeps lookin’ to replace that stuff with a really amazing alternative! Let’s hook it up!
To brew your own Kefir Ginsinger Beer you’re going to need ~
~ Some water kefir that has been brewing for approx 48 hours.
~ Glass bottles with a seal-able lids. I love GT’s kombucha bottles for this purpose!
~ Organic turbinado (aka raw sugar, organic un-bleached sugar)
~ A big ‘ol hunk of ginger.
~ Some ginseng tea. You can use ginseng root pieces, ginseng tea bags, or ginseng tea powder. I had the powdered instant ginseng tea version on hand so that’s what I used. When playing around with ginseng be sure to read up on it, especially if you have high blood pressure.
~ Some of your water kefir grains. They reproduce so snagging some of the extras for this brew is okay!
~ A strainer or nut mylk bag.
The following recipe is for a 12 cup batch of water kefir. I get eight finished bottles of Kefir Ginsinger Beer from this amount. If using more or less kefir, then adjust the amounts accordingly. You needn’t be exact and if you have extra, you can always drink it!
Put aside about a cup of the kefir and bottle up the rest, leaving about 3 inches of emptiness in each bottle. Brew your ginseng tea with about 1+1/2 cups of water to make a nice concentrated concoction and allow it to cool. Peel your nugget of ginger, I find the edge of a spoon works great. Now cut it into blendable chunks!
Pop the cup of kefir, 1+1/2 cups of ginseng tea (or 1+1/2 cups of water with 3 packets of ginseng tea, thats what I’m doing now), the ginger knob, about 2 teaspoons of kefir grains, and 2 tablespoons of turbinado into your blender. Blend!!
Now strain this glorious stuff to remove all the fibrous bits and use it to fill the bottles to within an inch of the top, to leave room for the co2 to build up.
Place the bottles aside to brew for about 3-7 days to carbonate! You can easily test the levels by occasionally removing a bottle and un-capping it, if it’s not fizzy enough just re-seal and set back for continued fizzification. When it’s finished pop the bottles in the fridge to halt the fermentation and chill. Serve cold and enjoy some gingery soda with a ginseng boost!
Rock on my friends ~ Rory :0)
Hello my friends! Taking a breather from home improvement projects to whip up a tasty shake! This shake is a tasty chocolate monstrosity that features the omega 3 laden, intestine cleansing and protein rich goodness that is chia. When these wonderful seeds aren’t adorning terracotta craniums they are bringing an amazing texture to many a raw dessert and a really awesome thickness to this chocolatey shake!
Chocolate Chia Shake
~2 cups almond mylk
~2 frozen bananas (broken into blend-able chunks)
~1/8th cup of chia seeds (optionally you can soak the chia seeds in the almond mylk for about a 1/2 hour to make them easy on standard blenders)
~1+1/2 Tablesepoons of cacao powder
~Raw Honey, soaked dates or proffered sweetener to taste
~1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
~pinch of sea salt
Blend everything to smooth, smoothie consistency and prepare yourself for chocolatey goodness!
Been doing all sorts of home improvement projects this past week! Our bathrooms’ got a new sub-floor and linoleum covering, I customized our tv stand a bit, did some insulating and put a new fence and gate in our backyard, much to the chagrin of Shadow as it limits her bunny interactions. Also put together some furni from Ikea, Including a wardrobe cabinet in the kitchen that’s going to house our kombucha and water kefir brewery! Lovin’ the water kefir and lookin’ forward to gettin’ the ‘bucha going again! Our dehydrators are going to be neatly nestled in it as well, as soon as we get them mailed here!
Hope you are all having a sweet weekend! Much love ~ Rory :0)
Hey Peeps! Today Mom’s rockin’ the vita mix and cranking out one of our all time favorite blended beverages, Mango Lassi! This Indian cuisine inspired beverage is creamy, tangy and goes great with curry.
To create this drink you’ll need ~
2 cups of almond mylk
1+1/2 cups of mango (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of ice
2 tablespoons of honey (or agave, or a couple of pitted dates!)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Blend everything until smooth and creamy and enjoy thoroughly!
I wanna thank Mom for coming up with the idea to do a plug for my Best of Raw 2010 nominations! Here’s the link to check out their site and vote for me and your other fave raw personalities! http://www.bestofraw.net/
Hey Everyone! Amanda, Isabel, Shadow and I spent last weekend In Medford, Oregon hangin’ with our new friend Josephine and her family. Josephine has been rockin’ the raw scene here in Medford for years now! With an ever growing group of individuals she has put together regular potlucks, recipe classes, and lectures with awesome info and amazing turnouts! Bringing the community together and sharing the raw love… awesome work is all I can say… very awesome work!
Speaking of work.. Josephine asked if I could make the cheesecake that I had made at Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe the day that Shazzie dropped by! You know me and goofin’ off in the kitchen… I’m in! So I got started right away!
Josephine and her husband Wayne have been rockin’ the rawness for a while now and grow loads of their own organic eats! Wayne took me for a tour of their intensively planted garden beds and we harvested swiss chard, collards, squash leaves and some lambs quarters and stinging nettles (to get that edible weed goodness going!). After gathering this awesome assortment of greenage we headed inside where Wayne blended up a tasty and powerful green smoothie! “That’s your superfood!” Wayne said as we enjoyed it. I couldn’t agree more!
The weekend with them was awesome! Saturday I went hiking with Wayne and his friend Larry through some of Oregon’s gold mining historical sites! That evening we all sat at the table sharing stories and shooting the breeze about going raw, as Larry is gettin’ into it. He sampled the cheesecake and thought it could use a lil’ salt. So I tried a sprinkle of sea salt on my slice and it was a nice addition. Then Larry tried the cake with a drizzle of Indonesian Style Soy Sauce. I put a lil’ on a bite…it was interesting and tasty! Josephine tried it as well and we pondered a raw version of this sauce and cheesecake combo.
Sunday morning we got to playing in the kitchen! I whipped us a cacao/maca/mesquite/lucuma smoothie to to get us going. Josephine had looked through my book and wanted to try my Turkish Style Cauliflower Patties (recipe in Gettin’ Raw) with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce, so we whipped up a batch together!
We were thinking of what to do for dessert and remembered last night’s experiment. Jose suggested we make a version of the Indonesian Soy Sauce with a lil’ cacao thrown in… for good measure! So we put together this awesome dessert topper ”Cacao Fig Vingarette Syrup”. The taste was freakin’ incredible! I’m always up for experimenting with wacky combos and this one took the cake… the cheesecake to be exact!
Cacao Fig Vinegarette Syrup ~ An unlikely yet ridiculously tasty combo. I even used it as a salad dressing. It was so good we had to share the recipe!
4 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 Tablespoons cacao powder
3 Tablespoons agave (could substitute honey)
2 Tablespoons of Fig Vinegar (if this is hard to find I would try blending a couple of dried figs with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar as a substitute. It can be blended right into the mix in your blender!)
Splash of balsamic vinegar for a lil’ tang!
1/3 teaspoon of sea salt
Wisk thoroughly together in a bowl or blend in your blender! Serve slightly warm as it will harden when cold. This effect makes for an awesome topping for a chilled dessert such as that cheesecake…
Give this syrup a shot and lemme know what you think! Speaking of chocolate we’re going to be back at Josephine’s September 8th as she’s giving me use of her home and kitchen to hold my Raw Chocolate Workshop!
She has previously hosted Elaina Love and Carmella, so I’m psyched to be rocking it out at her place! As we head off to visit more friends in Oregon we look forward to hanging with Josephine and Wayne again, an awesome dynamic duo!
Heya Peeps!! I’m always playing around with ways to get more minerals into my raw treats and after an experiment with Lydia’s Green Power (one of the awesome goodies donated to our trek by Natural Zing!) I created a Mint Cacao Ice Cream that is out of this world! I know some might be thinking “Green powder…in ice cream?” , but take it from a foodie, it’s delicious!
You can make this in a high power blender such as a vita mix or with a standard issue blender and an ice cream maker. I’ll give you the procedures for both!
Here’s the ingredients ~
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of raw almond butter
1/4 cup of coconut oil (or coconut butter!)
1/4 cup of honey, date syrup or agave (whatever floats your boat!)
3 Tablespoons of Lydia’s Green Power (or any mild tasting green powder of your choice, wheatgrass or barely grass blends, you can even do spirulina or chlorella containing mixes, but you may want to up the mintiness a lil’ to cover it up!)
2-3 Tablespoons of cacao nibs or powder
4-9 mint leaves (depending on size or 1-2 drops of food grade essential oil of peppermint)
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 teaspoon extract)
Pinch of sea salt
Place all these ingredients in a vita mix (or other high power blender with ice cream making capabilites) and blend until smooth and creamy. Now add about 3 cups of ice and, according to the blenders recomendations, blend again into a thick frozen goodness!
For a standard blender add all the ingredients plus 3 cups of ice water and blend until thoroughly smooth and creamy. Pour this chilly mix into your ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s direction.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, this blend would make awesome creamy popsicles!!
Have a minty fresh day! ~ Rory :0)
Hey my friends! If you dig raw and healthy foods, fun active lifestyles and havin’ a good time you gotta check out We Like It Raw. Organized by Dhrumil Purohit and Philip McCluskey, We Like It Raw is a community hub and blog that highlights peeps in our extended online community of health and life loving peeps and is also a blog featuring recipes, articles, inspiration and some awesome information!
Dhrumil Purohit is an amazing guy! He’s constantly working guiding people through the wholistic healthy living world and bringing people together in the community. He put together WLIR back in 2005 as a place to achieve these community building goals!
Philip McCluskey is pretty darn incredible himself! He’s a healthy living motivator and raw food expert. Back in 06′ Philip was 400lbs and decided to take to raw foods, well he lost 215lbs and has become a shining example of what is possible when we take our lives in our own hands and enjoy the bounty of awesome raw eats that are available! Philip can be found online sharing the raw love all over the place and on his site Loving Raw! Be sure to check out his story and tell him Rory says Hi!
These two cool mamajamas and other contributors have created a great place to check out some peeps from all over the world who share common goals and interests, drool over some tasty recipes, and learn something new…so go check it out! While you’re there be sure to check out some of the fun articles I put together for the WLIR crew! Like ~
Gettin’ Ripped on P90X and Raw Foods (lot’s of info on how I got pumped up with raw eats and Tony Horton’s fun workout tutorial!)
Banana Ice Cream Split (fun, easy and tasty raw dessert recipe!)
My ‘My Way’ article which gives you a lil’ in depth look at some of my past adventures on our Live My Life NOW Trek ..including my bungee jumping experience!
Keep exploring and reaching out to the awesome community that surrounds us! Much love ~ Rory :0)
All of us getting into healthier eating have probably heard the phrase “You are what you eat.” about a million times by now and it is an important thing to consider, but beyond all the nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and macronutrients there is something that we should never leave out of our eats… love!
Think about it. Why are you going through the extra work of preparing your own food? Why are you looking for healthier options? Whether it’s for you or your family it all comes back to love! We make our health a priority because we care about ourselves anough to make sure we’re eating the good stuff and we do the same for our family… we can say it’s because a health guru said we should, but the real underlying reason is because we care! We want to enjoy life, feel good and realize our true potential! So we should contemplate that while we rock out our tasty healthy goodies!
When we focus on the loving reasons we prepare our eats we infuse that energy right into our food and I’m not just talking in some intangible new agey kinda way… I’m talking literally! I mean just check into emotions effects on water crystal formation! And we’ve all heard how plants respond to loving intentions! There’s some awesome info out there and it makes sense on so many levels to put that emotion and gratitude into the meals we create for ourselves and our family.
We all know that a sweater woven by us for someone who cares for us always feels warmer, produce grown by farmers who are passionate about their work always tastes best, and Mom and Grandma’s food always makes us feel good because it was made with love! We can create that same effect by pausing, taking a deep breath and remembering all the loving reasons we’re concocting our own foods. When we do that we enjoy the whole process so much more and we end up with a creation that contains that special ingredient!
Here’s a Vid I did for the Geeked Fu Challenge about adding that special ingredient!
Hello everyone, I’m back with some time saving tips for your healthy lifestyle havin’ self!
In my earlier post about Playin’ in the kitchen we covered ways to make your kitchen time more fun, now let’s check out some ways we can save time in the kitchen and have more time to enjoy our culinary creations… and our lives! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the amazing raw gourmet recipes that are out there that we may find ourselves spending a wee bit more in the kitchen than we had expected! This is a common problem for not only raw foodies, but anyone looking to make their own awesome healthy treats from scratch. So how do we streamline our kitchen time a bit while rockin’ out some healthy yummy goodness?
First get organized! This always sounds trickier than it is, basically organizing is figuring out a theme for things like “smoothie ingredients” or “eating utensils” and just make sure things are hanging out where they fit in best so that you know where everything is at! I can tell you from growing up with a rather disorganized kitchen that even simple recipes seem to take forever when you don’t know where some of your tools and ingredients have gotten off to. So get it together and you’ll be flying through food prep!
Pick up some foods you love to eat as is or with little modification. Yeah there’s a culinary term ya don’t hear too often! What we can shoot for is our favorite fruits and veggies that we love to just wash and eat, such as grapes, bananas, oranges, apples, pears, plums, tomatoes and avocadoes. Along with veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower which just need a lil’ washing and breaking up. This is a great way to deal with hunger as soon as you walk in the door rather then trying to make dinner while you’re starving! You can chop up a couple tomatoes, dice and avo and mix them up with some salt, pepper and cumin and you got a quick meal going! Speaking of quick meals…
Find as many simple yet satisfying recipes as you can and make them the backbone of your day to day menus! When you have a culinary arsenal full of quick and tasty dishes you can whip stuff anytime! Start making up your own as well! I overcame my biggest hurdles when gettin’ raw by creating meals that worked with what I could find locally and didn’t take ten years to concoct! Using mainly easy recipes also gives you some serious flexibility with your kitchen time, which everyone needs no matter how much they love goofing off in there… I mean come on… I’m not the only raw foodie nerd out there that absolutely loves being in the kitchen…am I?
When you make dehydrated and or freezable recipes, go ahead and double the batch when appropriate. This way you stock up on things that have a longer prep time such as kale chips, veggie crackers, raw flat breads and granola as well as freezable goodies such as raw ice creams, cinnamon rolls and raw frozen pies and cakes. Now you’ll have some ready to go stuff when you’re craving something sweet or crunchy…two of the biggest food cravings out there!
Rock out the gourmet meals on days that you don’t have much else to do! Think about it… those hardcore fancy dinners our parents would make we’re usually on weekends or other free days! So let’s do the same and create those complicated treats when we have plenty of free time to hang out in the kitchen, goof off, listen to some tunes and really enjoy the whole process! When we do this we’re gonna put a lot more positivity into the finished product and be relaxed and ready to truly enjoy our finished masterpiece when it’s done!
Keep rockin’ out yummy rawsomeness and spend the amount of time you want to spend in the kitchen! ~ Rory :0)
Helloooooo there! Do you love kale? Well even if you don’t this salad may just change your mind…it sure impressed Isabel, who is not a fan of salad, let alone kale!
When we began our trek I did a shout out to my friends at Raw Fu who are participating in my Geeked Fu Challenge. I asked them “How do you travel raw” (I swear I wasn’t eliciting stories of indecent exposure on the motorway!) and they had some awesome tips and tricks for rockin’ raw eats while on the go! Angie’s kale salad recipe sounded really good and easy so we gave it a shot while hanging out at Mount Hood in Oregon.
No-Mess Massaged Kale Salad ~ Super easy, tasty and mess free…perfect raw road food! Let’s get started!
Large zip close bag (gallon size)
1-2 Heads of kale
1 Large avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of onion granules (or powder)
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Pinch of cayenne (or more if you like it hot, hot hot!)
Tear kale leaves from the stems and rip into bite size pieces tossing them in the bag as you go. Cut the avo in half, pop out the pit, and squish out of the skin directly into the bag. Juice the lemon into the bag, using your hand or other straining device to catch the seeds. Sprinkle in salt and spices. Now Squish!! Once the salad appears evenly coated and massaged to your liking it’s ready!
The salad was so tasty that Isabel rated it up there with my vitamix made ice creams! So if likening a salad to a dessert is any indicator of awesomeness…this salad is BOMB! Enjoy my friends and eat more kale!! :0)
Hello everyone! It’s another lovely day on our Trek and I’ve whipped up one of Amanda’s favorite post Trekking eats…Chia seed pudding! It’s amazing how simple and delicious this stuff is! Not only is it tasty, but chia has some pretty substantial health benefits!
*Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids! Chia contains both of these important brain building fatty acids in a wonderfully balanced proportion. Great vegan source for this good stuff!
*High amount of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is soft and soothing on the digestive tract. It coats the intestinal walls and helps them to heal from inflammatory conditions. These wonderful lil’ fibers also absorb bile as they pass through the digestive tract dragging out toxins along with it, our body utilizes cholesterol to create new bile thereby lowering the amount of cholestrol elsewhere in the body. Useful for people struggling with high cholesterol!
*Buffering sugar absorption. Adding chia to sweet recipes such as smoothies and desserts can help prevent blood sugar spikes due to it’s high fiber content. This is great for people with sugar issues and also gives your smoothies energy content a more long-lasting effect!
*Chia seeds are also loaded with protein and are rapidly digestible. They’re easier to chew up then flax seed and don’t have that same rapid flush effect you sometimes get from consuming a bunch of flax!
* Chia’s gelatinous properties make it a wonderful thickening agent, giving body to your smoothies, firmness to your pies and a crispy binder to your dehydrated breads and crackers!
When used soaked as in this pudding recipe, the seeds will have begun to undergo some of their germination process, making them more enzymatically active…always a good thing! Ya can never get too many of these lil’ “sparks of life”in your diet. :0)
I love using it for making pudding because it’s super quick and easy and the finished product has a nice tapioca like texture….one of my fave pudding’s from back in the day! One tip that I’d like to add for creating your chia pudding base is to make it a lil’ more strongly flavored than you’d like in your finished product as the gelling process will dilute the flavor a bit.
Oooo I wanted to do the chia jingle at the begining of this vid, but didn’t wanna risk a lawsuit! *lol*
Have a tasty day my friends…much love! ~ Rory :0)
Hey my friends! We’re in Seattle and the Live My Life NOW Trek has begun! The awesome peeps at Chaco Canyon Cafe hosted an awesome send off party for us and we got to hang out with many of our West Coast friends~ Aimee, Heidi, Dianne, Xine, Priss Pristofferson, and met some cool new peeps as well! Shadow even had a ball at the event, startling the occasional guest with the surprise cold dog nose on the elbow trick. After refueling on some rawesome eats (including a kick ass choco-maca hemp milk based shake) we felt quite refreshed from our speedy drive across the country!
We hung out with Aimee at her place for a couple nights, whipping up tasty raw eats and getting geared up for Amanda’s first day of walking. Xine stopped by with an awesome contribution to the Trek, a clamshell style roof storage unit (which has made life in the van a LOT less crowded!) we’re working out the bugs of doing this without our original travel trailer and it’s gettin’ better all the time!
While hangin’ with Aimee I whipped up my all time fave green soup combo, swiss chard and cilantro. This is my fave use for swiss chard as it’s natural saltiness works great in soups!
Many well wishes all~ Rory :0)
Hello again my friends. Do you ever stumble upon a recipe that just get’s ya hooked and not only tastes freakin’ good , but is fairly simple to whip up? Well I’ve got just such a recipe that I’ve been enjoying on a nightly basis for the last two weeks. I’ve been craving something a lil’ spicy that incorporates root veggies to warm up these cold Connecticut evenings. After blending some almond butter into one of my smoothies…it hit me… Thai style wraps with “peanut” sauce….Oh yes!
The sauce is deceptively simple…..I mean that it just seems too simple to taste as good as it does! As is the way with the many Thai dishes that I recall from cooked food concocting years. I simply plopped some Raw Almond butter in the blender with a lil’ water, a squeeze of lemon juice, some honey (you could use agave and it works just as well….I’m just a honey freak due to its’ high enzyme content), a lil’ sea salt and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper! The proportions I usually use are as follows~
1/2 cup of water
2-4 tbsp’s of raw almond butter (more or less depending on how thick ya like it!)
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp’s of honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (more for some that like it hot)
The cool thing about using almond butter is that it blends right on down in even the wimpiest of blenders! If you’re using a high power mama-jama, like the vita-mix, you could go ahead and sub the almond butter for soaked almonds.
After a quick blend the sauce is ready to go. You can store it in the fridge for later use (I’d say with the lemon juice it should keep in the fridge for 2-3 days), but know that the cayenne will mature the longer it sets, so what might’ve been mild will become medium and what was medium will become nuclear! Food is so freakin’ fun….ya never know what it’s gonna do when left unattended…around here it usually get’s eaten….especially if it’s a raw dessert. My advice is to save the empty frozen veggie bags and hide those goodies in there….and hope that no one who raids the fridge is readin’ this post! :0)
Now on to the wrap ~ My all time fave raw wrappers are romaine lettuce leaves, they’re mild, crunchy and tend to compliment whatever ya got goin’ into them…even cooked foods for those who’re doing high-raw or transitioning. You could sub romaine leaves for taco shells as my Mom describes in the video. You could also use collard leaves which make a fun flexible wrapper that you could form into lil’ egg-roll style rolls.
The next part is fun, simple, and darn tasty. Take a carrot and using your julienne peeler shred that bad-boy into thin noodle like strands.
You wouldn’t believe how just changing a veggie’s texture can make it so much more palatable until you start playing around with different cutting methods. Personally I’m not a straight up carrot munching guy, but you shred them down or thin slice ‘em and I’m in! So if a veggie doesn’t appeal to you, try it in different forms…you might be surprised!
Take your tasty mass of carrot strands and sprinkle with a lil’ sea-salt, cumin and garlic powder, toss and they’re ready. You can let them marinate a lil’ bit and they’ll actually get softer, but I love this dish so much that they usually don’t have that option!
The “icing” on the wrap is some seasoned tomato chunks (you can sub ripe red bell pepper as well and it’s equally as tasty!) Just dice some tomato and sprinkle with garam masala, this spice mix can be found in most grocery stores or your local Indian Grocer, but if not, you can whip up your own at home with equal parts ground coriander, black pepper, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon.
Assemble your wraps however ya like, I personally like to go light on the fillings and do more of them, to get as much greenage as possible! Set these up on a plate with a lil’ bowl of the dip and you’re in business!
The sauce recipe was so good that when I concocted it I called Mom and shared it with her, and she’s been playing with it as a veggie dip and salad dressing. So many people have been asking for an update with mom, and thankfully the snow today wasn’t bad enough to put a stop to us doing just that! So we headed on over to chat with her and share this awesome recipe. Mom has been doing really well with her raw diet and has been making great choices for her cooked food options as well! She’s ditched artificial sweeteners, immensely reduced her gluten intake and has turned down numerous offers from her neighbours of homemade, but not so healthy goodies! I’m so happy to see her rockin’ such a healthy lifestyle and proud of her for sticking with it! :0)
Hey everyone! I am sure by now you get a sense of how fun it is for me to be sharing the benefits of adding more raw and living foods to one’s diet, well then you can imagine how geeked up I am to tell you that my family is embarking on a raw food challenge!
My Mom, Sister, Bro-in-Law Aaron and my lovely wife Amanda are currently two weeks into a transitional raw food diet (80% raw and 20% cooked) and after another couple of weeks of that their going to be going 100% raw for six weeks!! To help them along I’m not only giving them guidance and showing them how to make awesome raw eats, but I’m also chefin’ it up for them! You name it and I’ve been un-cookin’ it!
It’s a lot of fun for me and the changes that my Bro Aaron is experiencing already are awesome! In his first week of transition (well he decided to skip the transition and go 100% right off the bat! I discussed potential harsh detox symptoms with him, but we determined that this method of going hardcore into challenges works best for him!) he lost overe 20lbs! This has slowed a bit in his second week, but his energy is waaaaay up!
All my family members doing this have various health issues they’re hoping to improve from pre-diabetic conditions, to high blood pressure to chronic fatigue and being over weight. I’m so psyched up to be sharing this way of eating that has done so much for me with my family! And of course they’re loving having a live-in raw chef! :0)
Check out this video of me and Mom talking about the challenge and showing her how to whip up some of the yummy onion dip I’ve been delivering to her during her transitional diet!
Hey everyone! Summer may be winding down here in CT ,but anytimes a good time for ice cream as far as I’m concerned especially when it’s raw, dairy free, sugar free and easy as heck to make! So I wanna share with you this simple technique for whipping up banana ice cream using your food processor!
You’re gonna need~
Some beautifully ripened, peeled and frozen bananas. My recommendation is 3-4 frozen bananas per serving (for a generous portion…which is totally do-able when it’s something so guilt-free!). Chop these yummy mama-jamas into slices 1-2″ long.
And your standard run of the mill food processor. If you’re unsure of the durability of your food processor you could allow these chunks to thaw for about 5-10 minutes. I’m using a cheapy $30 food processor and haven’t had any problems with using bananas straight outta the freezer ,but you may wanna experiment. In my early days of raw food prep I killed a couple blenders with my zeal for thick, frozen fruit smoothies! Thats why you’ll notice in many of my recipe videos using my standard blender I’m blending the ingredients in stages. *lol*
Now just assemble your food processor and fire it up! I set mine to the highest setting. Then drop in your banana slices a chunk or two at a time until you got ‘em all going. The maximum amount I recommend per batch would probly be 4-6 bananas. You may occasionally have to stop the processor and scrape down the sides to get everything evenly ground. As soon as the mix looks blended (ie the bananas don’t resemble chunks anymore) it’s done!
Serve this banana ice creamy goodness immediately as it tends to melt quick! You can also experiment with blending in other frozen fruits with your banana chunks to concoct your own fun flavors! Try Banana-Mango, Banana-Blueberry or the classic combo Banana-Strawberry! For other awesome add-in’s try cacao powder for a chocolate ice cream, vanilla bean seeds or extract (preferably alcohol- free but, use what ya got!) or even shredded coconut!
Now to make this ice cream into my favorite sundae you’re gonna need to whip up some Fudge Sauce~
1/2 C of pitted dates
1/2-1 C of water (depending on how thick you like your fudge sauce)
1-3 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder depending on how chocolatey you like it! *for an awesome source of raw cacao powder keep reading after the recipe!*
seeds of a 1″ piece of vanilla bean pod (or 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract)
pinch of salt
Soak the dates in the water for about 15-20 minutes to soften. Toss the dates and soak water along with the other ingredients into your blender and blend thoroughly until smooth! Viola! This fudgey topping will keep in your fridge for up to 2 days …if you don’t drown your ice cream in it before than. It also makes a nice dip for fresh strawberries especially when you add in a lil extra cacao powder to make it dark chocolate style!
For the final topping simply use some soaked walnuts (you can use soaked and dehydrated for a bit more crunchiness ,but just soaked works fine!). I soak my walnuts for about 6-8 hours to get out all those tannic acids, this not only makes the walnuts easier to digest ,but leaves them sweeter and less bitter!
This Sundae is the bomb! Sure to win over you and many of your non-raw friends and family. It’s also great for anyone looking to avoid dairy and or refined sugars! Happy Sundaes! :0)
A lot of people ask me where they can get raw cacao powder and other raw goodies and now I got a good one! My buddy Justin of Raw Food Health Tips recently opened up an online raw food store called Shop Raw Foods (click on the link on my sidebar to check it out!). Justin not only shares a lot of awesome raw living tips on his website and blog but, also is striving to provide raw food staples at reasonable prices, so you don’t have to break the bank to get your raw goodies! He has raw food staples such as cacao powder, cacao butter and cacao chunks (at really awesome prices!) and he also carries books, dvds, raw food prep equipment and raw food supplements and superfoods for those looking to play around with some supercharged goodies! Check out his stuff and tell him Rory says hi! :0)
Are you hungry for a savory raw meal that you can whip up in minutes? Then give one of the recipes from my new e-book a try. The Simple BBQ Portabella Burger! This bad boy has a LOT of flavor, great texture and is super quick to make!
You’ll need ~
4-8 large portabella mushroom caps (depending on how many burgers ya like and or how many you’re serving) Don’t be afraid of having a couple of extras as they’ll keep in the fridge up to two days after making, great for popping in your lunch box for the next day or having dinner ready to go for tommorow evening!
Now for the BBQ marinade~
1/2 cup chopped tomatoe
3 sun dried tomatoes
2-3 dates (you could substitute with a tablespoon of honey or agave)
1/4 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon (or more!) of cayenne pepper
pinch of black pepper
Rinse and gently clean your portabella caps and allow to dry either in a colander or on paper towels. They don’t need to be super dry, but it helps them to absorb the marinade.
Blend your marinade ingredients in your blender until smooth or smoothish, because of it’s sticky nature you’re gonna want to occasionally stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
Slather your mushroom caps top and bottom with the marinade and allow to sit in a dish to marinade for about 30 mins at room temperature. You could also pop ‘em in your dehydrator for about 30 mins to warm them up. Either way they’re great!
These burgers are crazy yummy! Serve them up either on your favorite raw bread or between romaine lettuce leafs, with some sliced tomato and onion, a sprinkle of black pepper, and maybe some of my Sunflower Seed Ranch Dressing!
This morning I had a ball talking with Revvell of Rawkin’ Raw Radio! I got to share how I got started in raw living, we discussed issues such as gettin’ too skinny on a raw vegan diet and how to avoid it also a bit about being raw in a cold climate. It was a lot of fun and will be up on Let’s Talk Raw August 25th! Hope you’ll check it out! :0)
More fun news! Not only will I be doing a food demo at Raw Spirit Festival East but, also at the Raw Spirit Festival In Prescott AZ!! Really geeked up about both events and hope to meet you there! :0D
Hey Everyone! On Raw-Fu this week Bunny Berrys’ been focusing on the eyes and how raw foods can not only support your vision but, leave you with a set of shining peepers! Some people might wonder how much raw-foods have done for my vision considering that I’m still wearing glasses. Well, my vision hasn’t been totally restored *…yet! Hey I like to keep an open mind. :0) * but, about a year and a 1/2 into my raw foods adventure I went to pick up a new pair of glasses. After doing my exam the eye-doctor remarked that she was surprised that my lens prescription didn’t need an upgrade (!!). Awesome! So although I didn’t notice an improvement, the fact that I didn’t need stronger lenses after five years of using the same glasses was surprising, as the trend usually goes that your vision degrades over-time when your eyes are dependant on glasses!
Another benefit of eating raw I’ve noticed is that my eyes are a lot clearer than ever before. The red-lines that used to adorn them so frequently have faded to near-nill! The whites of my eyes are whiter and overall look and feel quite a bit better than they had prior to adding more raw-eats to my diet!
In my video contribution to the FU I’ve concocted a Raw vegan Burrito using some powerful foods that keep your eyes shinin’! Check it out below :0)
Heres a break-down of some other goodies that are good for your eyes~
Foods rich in sulfur such as garlic, radish, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, and cayenne to name a few. Our bodies use sulfur to produce Glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant that keeps your lenses strong and healthy. Sulfur is also said to have cleansing powers that can help clear out the junk in your fine capillaries!
Un-cooked raw-fats are a great stand in for cooked fats whenever possible in your diet (especially as a replacement for animal based ones) because cooked fats are missing the lipase enzymes necessary to break them down. These undigested fats float around our bloodstream and can settle in the capillaries of your eyes causing harmful blockages. Some ways you can reduce your cooked fats intake could be: using blended nuts and seeds in the bases of your dips and creamy salad dressings, making nut or seed based milks in place of pasteurized milk, and also making flax crackers and or raw chips to replace cooked tortillias and crackers. These stand-ins also have a butt-ton of additional benefits besides containing their own digestive enzymes!
Heres’ my Ranch Dressing Recipe Using sunflower seeds in place of dairy!
Silicon rich foods promote moist flexible joints and connective tissues, this also includes the ones in your eyes! Such helpful edibles include radish, hemp, romaine lettuce, marjoram, young salad greens, and the skins of cukes*, bell peppers* and tomatoes* ( *if using non-organic ones I give them a thorough scrubbing of the skins using either a pre-packaged veggie wash, all natural dish soap, or vinegar, and rinse thoroughly to remove that waxy coating because it’s not digestible :0P ).
Zinc laden eats are a must for eyesight (and many other internal happenings!). Zinc supports retinal function by allowing your body to release vitamin A from the liver and balance it’s optimal levels in the bloodstream! Zinc can be eaten in the tasty form of pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, and sesame seeds, pecans, coconuts and spinach. Sounds like a good salad recipe to me!
Eating lots of antioxidant rich fruits and veggies are another way to give your vision a boost. Blueberries and all other berries, grapes, dark leafy greens and cacao (oh yessss!) are all awesome sources.
Green smoothies!! Green smoothies are another awesome way to roll all this ocular nutrition into a delicious drinkable. Greens contain lutein which helps prevent cataracts. Also the nitrates in many leafy greens appears to be converted into nitric oxide in our bodies which it uses to regulate the vascular system and possibly lowering blood pressure! Well that sounds awesome right, but what does blood pressure have to do with eyesight? Well high-blood pressure puts excessive pressure on the tiny capillaries of our eyes, so the more you can do to maintain a healthy blood pressure , the better!
Here’s to healthy happy ocular orbs! Peace and love~ Rory :0)
Hey everyone! Long time no see! Things have been goin’ good and goin’ full steam since the big move here to CT! It’s been a transition for me and my family but, a very cool one. Lotsa fun stuff to catch you all up on, ain’t that the way it goes? When you have a whole buncha stuff to write about …you don’t seem to have the time to sit down (get in writing mode) and write about it! More of this jabbering to come but, first I wanna get it out there that this Friday April 24th I’m reaching the 3 decade mark! :0)
Check out more of my antics at www.RawFu.com !
Now if you asked me what I thought about turning 30 back when I was around 20 I’d probably have been like “blah” or worse, but after all the changes I’ve went through since gettin’ with the raw-foods and exercising I’m actually looking forward to it! Heck I feel waaaaay better now than I did back then! Besides the weight loss (which was a big change!) I have so much more energy, less aches, pains and stuffiness, and I rarely get sick! It’s been an interesting and sometimes challenging journey to where I’m at now, but it was always fun (as any raw-food journey should be. Keep it fun and you’ll keep with it!). If you want to check out why I went raw, here’s a link to an older post. I’m lookin’ forward to seeing where I’ll go from here and sharing some of my adventures, misadventures and things I learn along the way with everyone in hopes that it’ll inspire others to give this tao of munching a chance and seeing where it leads them!
Who says getting older has to be a bad thing?
I’ve got a lot of other stuff to report and catch everyone up on, but until then I’ll leave ya this fun lil’ video showing some of the cool synchronicities that have been popping up since I’ve landed in CT. What we’re the odds of running into Phil and Shazzie at the same time? I don’t know but, it was a lotta fun! They both have an awesome energy about them and it was kick-@$$ shootin’ the breeze and hangin’ at the cafe.
Peace everyone and keep it rawkin’! :0)