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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.

Grapefruit with Dates
Green Smoothies
Fruit Smoothies
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 :)

Veggies and Dip
Whole Fruits
Leftovers from the previous night's dinner

*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.

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.)

Raw Mac n' Cheese

 I grew up loving Macaroni and Cheese. I mean, it was the first food I learned to make on the stove at age 7. My four sisters and I pretty much split a box or two every Sunday for lunch. So when switching over to raw and vegan I had those memories of the creamy cheesy noodles. My hubby was more of Ramen noodle lover, but I liked the cheese. I imagine if we still ate it our own kids would probably follow suit.  However, today we decided to combine what I had previously made, but never posted, as a Raw "Nacho Cheese" (and of course you can use it as one), to warm spiralized zucchini, added a dash of salt and pepper and what came out? A delicious creamy cheesy dish that everyone loved and it will definitely be added to our regular lunch menu!

What you need:
- 1 or more Zuchinni, spiralized (or you could use a potato peeler and peel them into long strips) into a bowl and soaked in warm water.
- 1 batch of Raw "Nacho Cheese"

 Raw "Nacho Cheese"
In the blender add:
1 C Warm water
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, no seeds
1 1/4 C soaked raw cashews
1/2 Lemon, juiced
2 T Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt, adjust to your liking

Blend on high, or press the soup button if you have a Blendtec Blender or one with a similar setting. This will blend and warm the sauce.

Drain the Zuchinni and add in as much sauce as you like. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy! Store the remaining sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Lasts about a week.
*This would also be great with little pieces of broccoli!

Spinach Apple Salad with Raw Poppy Seed Dressing

 A festive red and green salad with the perfect blend of a sweet dressing with just the right zing to it. I have long missed the sweet white poppy seed dressing I use to enjoy until recently I was asked to make one. With the swap of only a few ingredients I ended up with a newly found love and stable for my fridge! Happy dance :)

For the Salad:
1 lb Fresh Baby Spinach
2 Gala Apples, cut or cubed
1/2 C Juice Sweetened Cranberries
1/4 C Chopped Pecans
~or use a Mock Feta Cheese
(1 C crushed macadamia nuts with a dash of sea salt and 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast)
Sliced Red Onion (opt.)

Raw Poppy Seed Dressing
In the blender
1 C Pure Olive Oil
3/4 C Agave
1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T fresh white Onion, minced
1 T Mustard seed powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Blend until smooth then stir in:
1 1/2 T Poppy Seeds
Shake together and store in the fridge. It thickens a bit more in the fridge then you can shake it up as needed.
Pour a little over your salad and toss together to your liking. Enjoy!

Raw Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream

   With Thanksgiving just a week away thoughts of pie are floating around. You can almost smell the cinnamon and you want to reach out and take a bite.....and what goes well with pie? Ice Cream! Well why not keep it healthy and delicious with this Raw Apple Pie and healthy Vanilla Ice Cream?  Two Thanksgiving favorites. We had this last weekend as a "trial run" to see if we should take it to our Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone here gave it 2 thumbs up and we can't wait to enjoy it again.

First I made the

Raw Apple Pie 
 (Original Recipe here) 

1 1/2 - 2 C. Pecans
7 Medjool Dates, pitted
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Vanilla

Food process and press into a dish
4  Granny Smith Apples, thinly sliced in a food processor OR use an apple peeler/slicer
2 Gala Apples, diced and added to blender
1 C Raisins, soaked for 30 minutes, then added to blender
Juice of 1 lemon (a little less than 1/4 C org. lemon juice)
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1 t. Vanilla
1 T. Cinnamon
1-2 T. Raw Agave

Blend the Gala Apples, Raisins, Salt, Vanilla, & Cinnamon. In a bowl, combine apples, blended mixture, lemon juice, and drizzle with Agave and mix well. Add to pie crust.

Crumble Topping:
2 C. Walnuts
7 Large Medjool Dates, pitted
1 t. Vanilla
Pinch of Sea Salt
Process until crumbly and top the pie.

Serve with
Raw Vanilla Ice Cream
 4 C Almond Milk
 4-5 Frozen, ripe Bananas
1 T Pure Vanilla
1/2 C Agave
1 Tray of ice (about 10 cubes)
1 1/2 C Almonds

Blend on Ice Cream button for one cycle.
This gives you a nice thick shake, but we want Ice Cream here! So, pour into a thick Tupperware dish and freeze. If you had an ice cream maker you could use that at this point. I don't, so I freeze it and mix it around every hour or so until it is evenly solid. About 3-4 hours. When you are ready to eat it let thaw about 15 minutes.
Scoop out and serve.

Cinnamon Fruit Salad

This simple fruit salad uses your basic fruits topped with a splash of orange, nuts,  and a little fall spice: Cinnamon.

For the Salad layer:
Chopped Apples
Chopped Bananas
Mix with 1/2 Orange, juiced
Top with:
Sprinkle of Cinnamon.