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Raw Cheezy "Kale-It'z" or Kale Chips

Think of your favorite crunchy, cheesy, salty snack...are you thinking of cheese it's? Think no further! Now imagine it healthy and even better... Okay, now you are thinking of these wonderful kale chips. I have experimented with all kinds of flavors in kale chips, but today we hit the gold..or should I say Cheese mine! I was looking at the ingredients on a package of kale chips and wondering how they get the cheesy part to stick on it. Then it occurred to me to make a sauce, almost like a dressing, okay it can be used as one... then mix it into the kale and dehydrate. I tried it. Came up with what I thought was a "pretty good" sauce. However, through the afternoon the house started to smell warm, cheesy, and slightly spicy, which was a great aroma for a rainy day. About 6 hours later I tried one and...delicious! My daughter assured me they reminded her of cheese-it's...even though it's been like 5 years since she's had one... but everyone in the family loved them! With every bite we were amazed over and over how good they were. I also like this version because sunflower seeds are much cheaper to use.

You need:

Fresh Kale.
run your fingers along the spine to get the most leaves off and wash and dry. I used about 6-8 stalks worth for a BIG batch. Transfer to a big bowl.

For the Cheezy Sauce

1 C raw soaked and sprouted Sunflower Seeds
3/4 C Water
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/4-1/2 Red Bell Pepper
3 T Nutritional Yeast
1 T Olive Oil
1 tsp Chili Powder
1-2 dashes of Cayenne Pepper, more if you like it hot!

Blend sauce in the blender until smooth, about a minute.  Pour over the kale and mix it in with your hands to evenly coat the leaves.

Transfer to a dehydrator and dehydrate for 6-8 hours or until crispy. Check on them once in a while to lift any that are sticking to the dehydrator and flip them.

Go make a batch, pick out a good movie, and enjoy with the fam!
Fresh Kale
Ingredients for the cheezy sauce in the blender

Pour it on...you could eat that as a salad like this too!
Mixed in
Finished delicious "Kale It'z!"

Kale and Vegetable Salad

Usually when I have a kale salad I use vinaigrette dressings, sweet berries, and fruit. This weekend I switched it up and came out with a delicious Kale and Vegetable Salad. Even my husband couldn't believe it was an all-kale based salad that he really liked! Simple, delicious, and super healthy. What more could you want?

For the Salad
2 Bunches of Kale, wash and cut out the spines, then chop and slightly massage. *about 6 C.
Add:
1/4 C Red Bell Pepper, chopped small
1/4 C Carrots, chopped small
1/2 C Baby tomatoes, halved
1/4 C Diced, celery

1/2 Cucumber, Chopped. FIRST sliced in half, and seeded. (Slice length wise  then run your spoon down the middle to get the seeds out)
1/4 C Raisins
1/4 C Chopped Walnuts
1 T Hemp Seeds
1 Avocado, cubed

Add all the above and mix with 1/2 C thinned Veggie Dressing.
Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast and add extra Sea Salt as needed.

Mix together well.
As you stir in the dressings, the avocado and the dressing start to mix a create a creamier texture for the dressing.

You can eat it right away, or let it marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Even stays great through the night.
Enjoy!

Chocolate Filled Strawberries

 It's almost Mother's Day and this is an awesome healthy gift for Mom. Since I am the Mom in this house, I will keep everything stocked and ready to go so the kids can throw this together :)
 This simple and delicious treat can be a great hit for any occasion. Breakfast in bed? Yes please!
Or impress guests with this as an appetizer or dessert.  The sweet tartness of a juicy red ripe strawberry, swirling in your mouth with the rich smooth coco-nutty chocolate..okay I am already salivating!

You need:
Strawberries (At least 1-2lbs)

Chocolate Filling 
1/2 C Agave
1/2 C Pure Maple Syrup or Honey
1 C Organic, non-refined Coconut Oil
1/2 C Org. Cocoa
Dash of Sea Salt (opt.)

Blend until smooth. Pour into a plastic container and store in the fridge until ready to use.
*I would make the filling a few hours or the day before to get it to set in the fridge so it doesn't fall out when you pick them up.

1. Wash and dry the strawberries.
2. Core the Strawberries. I use a paring knife and poke it into the strawberry near the stem/leaves. Then carefully make your way around the top making a hole with the knife about half way down into the strawberry, after making a circle, finally pull out the core. *Or I have seen these cool "strawberry corers" at Walmart for a few dollars...Mothers day? :)
3. Scoop  chocolate filling into a piping bag with a flower shaped coupler on the end.
4. Stick the end of the coupler down into the strawberry as far as it can go, then while squeezing in the chocolate swirl it around until you get to the top.

When you have filled as many strawberries as you desire, arrange on a plate and set in the fridge until ready to serve...OR eat right away!

Raw Stuffed Veggie Burrito with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

This was a very filling, fresh, crunchy, and spicy lunch I had the other day and had to share.

First I made the sauce...which I liked a little grainy for more of a pate than a smooth sauce. It went:

In the blender:
1 1/2 C Cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 Red Bell Pepper
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 T Olive Oil
1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
Blend to your liking.

In a Collard Leaf, (with the thick middle part cut out)
Spread the Sauce generously and add:
Chunks of Cucumber
Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Pepper slices
Diced Zuchinni
Shredded Carrot
Baby tomatoes
1/2 Avocado
Sunflower Sprouts

You can really add any of your favorite veggies in here. I liked this combo for the texture and fresh taste. If you can't stand the collard then I would recommend using butter leaf lettuce.

Roll up and Eat...with plenty of napkins.

Spring Clean Your Body with Raw Foods!

 This time of the year we are spring cleaning everything from our home to our bodies. The last few weeks weeks have been 100% Raw for our family of 7. We have kids ages 10 mo, 3, 6, 9, and 10. They have all pretty much grown up on a vegan diet with high raw. Sometimes we go weeks all raw, and sometimes we add in steamed veggies and quinoa. Most often we eat with the seasons with more warm foods in the winter. However, since we are Raw right now I thought I would write down some of the foods including some breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas. It's great to have a list to plan for.

Breakfasts
Grapefruit with Dates
Green Smoothies
Fruit Smoothies
Bananas
Apples
Oranges
Pears
The kids also like organic oatmeal soaked in warm water, then drained when soft. They add frozen mixed berries, fresh blueberries, chopped apples, strawberries, raisins, cinnamon, agave, or honey.
As for the baby, after her morning feeding she likes chopped bananas and strawberries, one of my personal faves :)

Lunches
Shakes
Smoothies
Salads
Veggies and Dip
Whole Fruits
Leftovers from the previous night's dinner

Dinners
*A note about our dinners, remember that we are feeding 6 people here, plus extra bits of food for the baby. So we make big portions and have lots of extra things to choose from for the picky eaters. Yes, sometimes they just want the carrots and dip, and sometimes they want 3 big plates of salad, that said here is a list from the last week or so.

1.  Raw Thai Salad Wraps
2. Raw Chilli, side of cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, dip, sliced apples and oranges
3. Big Italian Salad and dressing with a side of Italian Tomatoes topped with Raw Cheese
4. Kale Avocado Pesto with Strawberry Bananas Smoothies
5. Spinach Salad with Raw Poppy Seed Dressing topped with blueberries, pecans, apples, oranges and sides of carrots, cauliflower and cheese sauce.
6.  Broccoli and Cabbage Salad with sides of walnuts, carrots, pear, apple, and orange slices.
7.  Chocolate Strawberry Sundae Shakes ~Talk about 3 meals in one and SO delish!
8. Raw Tomato Basil Soup with tomatoes and avocados, with side Spinach Salad (some kids just had a plate full of the fruit and spinach separate)
9. Raw Taco Salad with Flax crackers
10. Cabbage and Kale Salad with side of celery, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dip.

So if you are wanting to try raw with your family, these are great choices. We always fall back on apples and oranges, carrots, and smoothies to add more to our meals. People love choices in their foods and just because I feel like making one thing, it doesn't mean everyone's in the mood for it. No one ever goes hungry and if they hungry an hour later they most often will hear, "Go grab an apple or some nuts."

*Oh yeah, don't forget to top off a couple evenings with delicious raw pie, brownies, or ice cream!
Happy Spring Eating to you!

Chocolate Strawberry Sundae Shakes

 This delicious creation came about when we added frozen strawberries to the amazing chocolate shake. We changed up a few more ingredients and voi-la. A new family fave. It's like having a salad, smoothie, shake, and sundae all in one, hence the name.
We actually did this in 2 batches since we made it for dinner and these were our total ingredients. So if you only want it for 2-3 people, halve the recipe and make it once.

In the Blender:
2 C Water
3 Frozen, chopped bananas
2 C Frozen Strawberries
10 Medjool Dates, pitted
1/4 C Cocoa
1/4 C Honey
1 C Raw Almonds
1 Tray of ice (about 10+ cubes)

Blend on smoothie or shake until smooth, but it's great if there are still small date and almond chunks. If it's too thick add some more water and blend.

Pour into big cups 3/4 of the way full and fill the rest of the cup with chopped almonds and pecans, chopped fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, then drizzle lightly with chocolate sauce.

Raw Avocado and Kale Pesto

Not sure what to have for dinner? If you have ripe avocadoes and zuchinni on hand I can help you out. This dish is delightfully creamy with just the right amount of garlic for pesto and noodles. It is really simple and tasty, plus I love adding kale for extra nutrients and texture.

Raw Avocado and Kale Pesto

What you need:

For the Noodles
4 medium banana squash or zucchini, spiralized or peeled into long strips for noodles. Set aside in a big bowl.

For the Pesto
3 Small Garlic, pressed
2-3 Avocadoes
2 Roma Tomatoes, cored and seeded
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Nutritional Yeast
1 C Raw Cashews
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Big Bunch of Kale, de-stremmed and torn into small pieces
1 tsp of Sea Salt

1. In the food processor add the garlic, avocados, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon, and salt. Blend together until creamy.
2. Add in cashews, tomatoes, and kale.
3. Pulse together until last 3 ingredients are well-incorporated.
4. Add to the pasta, top with extra cashews if desired, mix and serve.



Raw Baby Foods

 While  mothers milk is the preferred baby's source of nutrition for a baby, eventually your baby starts to grow and becomes interested in what you are eating. So what are the best foods to transition to?  Well, I will tell you that when the weaning time, after a year,  came for my now 3 year old we didn't give him cows milk, goats milk, soy milk, rice milk or even almond milk. We gave him whole foods. Delicious whole foods with an abundance of their own nutrients. Whole foods and green smoothies. What happened to him? He has grew just the same as his older 3 siblings and is now a happy healthy kid. He has no idea what the yellow arches are, what sugared fruit snacks taste like, or even cheesy gold fish...and he doesn't even desire them, BUT he can tell you almost every fruit and vegetable in the grocery store and he will almost convince strangers at the park to only eat fruits and vegetables as he plays his "healthy store." :) Well, now his little sister is 10 months and has no teeth and and while she is still benefitting from her Mamma she is OH SO interested in everything that goes into our mouths!
 So, I thought I would post some of our favorite Raw Baby Foods.  They are just right for those little pincher fingers and soft enough to be mashed with gums.

1. Ripe Pears, skinned and diced
2. Blended Apples, (without the core and seeds)
3. Small chunks of grapefruit and soft dates
4. Chopped Staweberries
5. Blueberries, cut in half  (but watch for the skins, sometimes they get stuck on the roof of their mouth)
6. Chopped up Bananas
7. Frozen and slightly thawed or fresh Raspberries
8. Softened oatmeal (in warm water, then drained) with tiny chopped raisins
9. Ripe Peaches, skinned and diced
10. Ripe Avocadoes - this has to be our favorite. I consider it one of the most perfect baby foods because it is soft, easy to cut open and spoon right out of the shell, or to put chunks of on baby's tray and it is full of good fats!

*If you need something for your baby to suck on try dried papaya sticks, an instant fave!

 These are our top ten. I hope they help you and your baby. It's nice to know exactly what your baby is eating and that they are not fake foods from a jar or box. You're baby deserves the best, fresh is best!

Raw Chocolate Mint Pie

We are taking our creamy chocolate pie to new heights with this fresh minty addition.

For the crust:
* 1 C Almonds
* 1 C Shredded Coconut
* 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
* 10 Medjool date, pitted
* 1 T Cocoa
 Blend together until it starts to stick together. Transfer mixture to a spring-form pan and press into the bottom.

For the Pie
Rinse out the blender and add:
* 4 Avocados
* 1 C Agave
*1/3 C Coconut Oil
* 1/4 C Pure Maple Syrup
* 1/2 T Pure Vanilla
* dash of sea salt
Blend together until completely creamy. You may need to stop a few times to scrape down the sides.
Take out one cup of the mixture and set it aside in a bowl.
Add 1/3 C Cocoa to the blended mixture and blend until it is all creamy chocolate.
Pour that on top of your crust.

Take the 1 C in a bowl and add 1 drop of DoTerra Peppermint Essential Oil, and mix together.
Add the cup to the top of your chocolate pie and swirl it together. Freeze until ready to eat. At least an hour or more.
Enjoy.

Kale Guacamole Dip

 It may sound weird to add kale to the already wonderful guacamole, but it was SO delicious, with absolutely no bitter taste of kale. I have had a new found love for kale lately and this recipe is a great way to incorporate the highly nutritious kale. Actually I could eat it by itself, it's that good!
This can be served as a veggie dip or with raw taco salad. Both are great.

You need:
* Food Processor
* 3 Avocados
* 1 Roma tomato, sliced in half
* 1/4 Red bell pepper, cut in half
* 1 large piece of garlic, pressed
* 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 1/2 lime, juiced
* 1-2 big stalks of kale, wash and keep just the leaves

Put everything except the kale in the food processor and pulse until slightly chunky.
Tear kale into small pieces and add to food processor. Pulse until well incorporated and there are only small pieces of kale. The mixture should still be slightly chunky. Scoop out into a bowl.

Serve with carrots, cucumbers, celery, and peppers. (The picture shown is 1/2 the batch.)