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Raw Orange-Pear Puddin' Tart

 With ripe D'Anjou Pears abundance on the counter, they were calling me to use them. Pears are so great by themselves that I rarely mix them with anything, but my kids and I wanted to make something new! One great thing about having 5 kids is that they are so willing to help make new yummy and healthy foods! Plus, they get to lick out the blender~motivating! :)
 This recipe can actually be made top to bottom or bottom to top. Here is what I mean, we made it into a tart, but liked it in pudding form better than more solid pie form, so you can make the Pudding first and top it with the crumbles of the crust, stick a pear slice and orange zest on top and voi-la, a great pudding cup. OR you can do it like this:

For the crust:

3/4 C Pecans
1 C unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1 C Pitted, Sun Dates
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Blend on low until the nuts and dates are well chopped. You may  have to push the sides down a few times in the blender until it is mixed to your liking. I personally like small date pieces.
Press into a tart dish, pushing the sides up all the way around.

For the Pudding Filling:

1 Pear
2 C Cashews, soaked at least 10 minutes (warm water makes them soften faster)
1/2 C Raw Honey
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
2 Oranges, juiced (about 1/2 C fresh juice) *Scrape off some zest and set aside in a bowl before you juice them)

Blend on high until smooth, at least one cycle.
Pour into crust.
Top with fresh cut Pears and Orange Zest. 
Enjoy soft right away or refrigerate or freeze for a delicious dessert later.

Raw Cheesy Spinach Soup

When the cooler days call for more do the kids! We made this with a tomato base and a bit of chilli power to warm it up.

In the blender:
3 Large vine-ripe Tomatoes
1 1/2 C Water
1 T Sea Salt
1 C Cashews, soaked are best
1/4 C Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Braggs Organic Sprinkle-24 Herbs and Spice Seasoning
Twist of fresh ground black pepper

Blend until smooth. Transfer to a pot and heat on low adding:
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Avocado, cubed
1-2 Big handfuls of torn baby Spinach

Heat until warm to the touch,  the spinach should barely start to wilt, if you boil it you start to loose the living enzymes in the food.
Perfect lunch for a cool fall day!
Serves 4.

Raw Raspberry Cheesecake

A mixture of tart raspberries and sweet raw honey are added together in this recipe for a flavor not to be forgotten. It is rich and creamy and one small slice will satisfy your sweet tooth. I used frozen, thawed raspberries for this recipe and the outcome was awesome. I hope you enjoy it too.

Start by getting out 1 C Frozen Raspberries and setting aside in a bowl to start thawing.

For the crust:
1 C Almonds
1 C Pecans
12 Medjool Dates, pitted
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Blend or process together until it starts to clump together. You may have to push the mixture down a few times to get it well mixed, but it should resemble a sticky/crumbly mixture.
Transfer to a pie pan.
Press the crust down in the bottom and up around the sides.

For the filling:
3 C Raw Cashews, soaked 10 minutes
1/2 C Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 4 small ones)
1/3 C Raw Honey
1/4 C Pure Maple Syrup
3/4 C Coconut Oil
1 tsp Pure Vanilla

Blend the "filling" ingredients together on high, 1 minute or so until mixture is completely smooth.
Stir in the 1 C Raspberries.
Pour the filling into the pie crust.
Freeze until ready to eat, at least 1 hour.
*You can also drizzle with Raspberry Sauce if so desired.
(1 C Frozen, thawed Raspberries1/4 C Agave. Blend.)

Raw Banana Splits

Who's up for some deliciously fresh banana splits? We are! My kids and I had a blast making three different flavors of raw ice-cream, sauces, and toppings for these. We also had 3 out of 5 kids request it for their next birthday, so I am taking that as a "Love it!"

You need:
Yo-nanas maker (It may also work in a food processor)
6 Fresh Ripe Bananas (or one for each person)

For the Ice-Cream:
3 Frozen bananas
2-3 C Frozen Strawberries
2-3 C Frozen Raspberries

Thaw these in separate bowls for about 10 minutes, then press through the Yo-nanas maker one flavor at a time to get fresh fruit raw ice-cream! Store in an airtight containers in the freezer until ready to serve.

Orange Kreme Sauce:
1 C Cashews, soaked about 10 minutes (I soak them in warm water for a quick soak)
1 Orange, juiced (about 1/3 C juice)
1/3 C Water
1/3 C Agave
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla, alcohol free
 Put all ingredients in the blender. Blend on "sauces" or "high" until it is smooth and there are no cashew pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Chocolate Sauce:
1/4 C Agave
1/4 C Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 C Organic Cocoa Powder
2 T Coconut Oil
dash of Sea Salt
Blend together until creamy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Raspberry Sauce
1 C Frozen, thawed Raspberries
1/4 C Agave
Blend. You can choose to leave small raspberry pieces or blend until there are just the little seeds.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

1. Take a banana a slice it length-wise all the way down the middle.
2. Top with a scoop of strawberry, a scoop of banana, and a scoop of raspberry ice-cream.
3. Drizzle with your choice of sauce.
4. Top with fresh raspberries, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, dried gogi berries, or other nuts.
5. Repeat for each person.
 It was a GREAT activity to do with the family because we all love choices! Some chose one sauce, while others chose to pour it ALL on! I hope you find this as enjoyable as we did.
*They even made one for Dad and stored it in the freezer completely "done" for a couple of hours and it was still delicious when he came home to it.:)

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 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.
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.

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.

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.