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Raw Christmas Fudge Babies

 With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would post one of my favorite simple little treats. These are great for little dessert bites at your next Christmas party!

1 C Almonds
1 C Walnuts
1/4 C raw Cocoa powder
1 C Medjool dates,pitted (about 11~make sure they are not too soft, or use less)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
4 T Agave
1 tsp Pure Vanilla (opt.)

Place all in a food processor until smooth. If using a blender I suggest blending the almonds into almond flour first or when the mixture clumps together you will have little almond pieces.
Take small pieces and roll into balls and set on a plate.
For variety try rolling them in shredded coconut or cocoa powder, maybe even a dash of cinnamon.
Best chilled in the freezer 15 minutes.
Enjoy your party!

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 It's October and with it comes the crispness in the air,  my birthday, and excitement of the Holidays right around the corner. I love the fresh smells of the leaves and in my house the smell of cinnamon!

3 C Oats
Set aside in a mixing bowl

In the blender
1 Gala Apple, chopped
1 C Almonds
10 Medjool Dates
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Blend together and slowly add in 3/4 C Agave

Add blender mixture to the dry oats.
Stir in 1/2 C Raisins

I used my 1 in. cookie scoop to get a good size and put the scooped mixture into my hands and flattened them down.
Set in dehydrator about 1-2 hours at 115 degrees. Eat warm!
 Makes about 32 cookies.

Italian Salad with Raw Italian Dressing

For almost 4 years I have wanted to make an Italian dressing that I liked, and for some reason this season my brain is just flowing with healthy food ideas. Today was my lucky day for the dressing, made one up, topped my salad and....delicious!

Italian Salad
2-3 heads of Romaine,chopped
1/2 Head Purple cabbage, chopped
3-4 Celery, cut lengthwise then chopped
1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 C baby Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 Red Bell Pepper, cored and chopped
1 T Purple Onion, minced
1 T Hemp Seeds

Layer the salad in this order. Top with the Onion and Hemp seeds.

Raw Italian Dressing

1/2 C Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 T ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 T Fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp Agave
1 tsp dried Oregano
1/8 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Rosemary
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Whisk together and put in a glass container to store. Shake well before using.

Cabbage and Kale Salad

Cabbage and Kale are a great combination in this light and tasty salad. I made it as an after thought for dinner and the whole big bowl was scraped clean. I just love when that happens! The lettuces take on a mild flavor that keeps you coming back for more of that tasty crunch.

For the Salad:
1/2 Head of Purple Cabbage, chopped
4 C lightly packed chopped Kale, massage the kale a little and it shrinks down some to about 2 packed C.
1 Gala Apple, chopped into small pieces
1/2 C Dried Cherries (dried cranberries would work too)
1/2 Chopped pecans
Mix together with your hands, then add

Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
In a small bowl add:
1/4 C Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Sea Salt
3 T Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix well and pour over salad. Toss together with your hands until all is lightly coated.
Serve well.

Raw Mini Hazelnut Tartlets

Hazelnuts definitely make up a big part of this recipe. Their unique flavor adds just the right touch to the base and sauce and they are just the right size for little parties.

Hazelnut Crust
1 C Shredded Coconut
1 C Hazelnuts
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 C Agave
Blend together until sticky dough is formed.

Scoop out and press about 1 inch balls into a mini cupcake holders so they are about 1/2 way full, makes about 18.

Hazelnut Cream
1 C Hazelnuts
1 C Cashews, soaked
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
1/4 C Coc. Oil
1/2 C Pure Honey

1/2 C Agave
1/2 C Water
Pour Cream into 9 crusts, then add 1/4 C Raw Cocoa to the cream and blend for a thick
Chocolate Hazelnut Cream and pour into the rest of the crusts. You will have about 1 cup of this delicious cream left for your own delights, a Raw Nutella.
 *Top with fresh or frozen raspberries and chill in the freezer until ready to eat.

Raw Creamy Spicy Mexican Soup

This soup is a great base for any type of a "taco" soup. The spicy and creaminess is delicious, as my 5 year old put it after eating lunch "we are a spicy family!"

In the Blender:
3 C Very warm water (yes, I used the tap on this one)
2 Big Roma Tomatoes, seeded and cored
2 Stalk of Celery
1 Long Carrot
1 Avocado
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2-3 tsp Mexican Seasoning (I used an all-natural Frontier Mexican Seasoning  and it is a great blend of spices, if you opt for 3tsp. it IS spicy. Mine was a no-salt version, which is why I add salt in this recipe- check picture)

Blend on "soup" or high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and warm.Top with fresh or dried cilantro.
*You can add any other veggies you want; corn, chopped tomatoes, chunks of avoc., red bells etc.
 I softened some spinach in warm water and added it to mine (not shown.)
Enjoy the spiciness of life! :)

Raw Linguini with Marinated Mushrooms

When I was throwing things together the other night I knew I wanted to use my squash and mushrooms, sort of an odd combo and I had never thought of mixing them in a raw pasta type of salad before. It turned out fresh and had a nice added texture and taste with the mushrooms. I know it could be prettier if I had red baby tomatoes, but it still tasted great.

In a  bowl add:
8oz. Sliced Mushrooms
2 T Nama Shoyu or Tamari
1 T Fresh Lemon Juice
1 T Olive Oil
Sprinkle of Sea Salt
Mix and spread out on a dehydrating tray. I let mine dehydrate about an hour, mixing them around about half way through and added them last.

In the mean time~
 In a medium bowl:
Cut 2 Med. Yellow Squash lengthwise (to get thinner noodles) and make into long strips with your potato peeler. Peel until you get to the seeds, then discard.
2 Long Carrots
peeled into long thing strips, do it until you are at the center, then either eat or chop up the rest and add to the bowl.  (My kids took mine to play swords with and eat :)
1/4 Cucumber, cut into small chunks
10 Suburst Tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
Toss together and add mushrooms. There will be leftover sauce from them, pour it over the whole dish and toss gently.

Raw Spicy Taquito Wraps

I love the Mexican flare in this great raw version of a spicy re-fried bean taquito. Simple and delicious.

1-2 Heads of Romaine lettuce leaves, washed. Lay out to dry and make the filling.

1 C Almonds, soaked
1/2 C Walnuts, soaked
1 Lime, juiced
1 Avocado
1 sm. Garlic, pressed
1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Blend together filling until slightly chunky. Scoop about 1-2 T onto Romaine leaves and spread out. Top with sliced tomatoes and cilantro, or eat plain.
Makes 12 medium wraps.

Raw Curried Cauliflower

I have been experimenting with raw cauliflower for a while and found it delicious because of it's natural sweetness, yet it will take on flavor well like zucchini. This is a simple yet great Indian tasting dish. We serve it as a main dish.

2 Heads of Cauliflower, broken into baby pieces then soak it in very warm water about 5 minutes to wash it off and soften it up a bit. Plus, cauliflower tastes better in this dish a little warm.

Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a mixing bowl and add:

1/8 C Olive oil, drizzled over cauliflower
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (or 1/2 of a garlic clove)
1/8 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Sea Salt (use less if needed)
3 tsp of Indian Curry. You can use less if you don't want it too spicy, but this seemed to be just the right amount of spice.

Sprinkle the spices and salt over the cauliflower and mix it together until the spices are evenly distributed.
Eat immediately. Unless you want it cold, then it stores 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
Makes about 6 Cups.

Raw "Bubblegum" Shake

I've been wanting to use my dried Gogi berries in a shake for a while and today we made a fresh and fruity shake with a crunchy-chewy spin and ended up with a Raw "Bubblegum-flavored" Shake. We all enjoyed the crunchy-chewiness of the Gogi berries, nuts, and dates. Made about 4-5 cups.

In the Blender:
1 C Water
1 Banana
1/2 C Raw Almonds
5 soft, pitted Medjool Dates
2 C Frozen Strawberries
1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
1/4 C agave (opt.)
2 C Ice

Blend on Milkshake button, or until there are tiny chunks.
Add 1/2 C Dried Gogi Berries and blend for about 5 seconds or pulse until they are in tiny chunks. Pour into cups, add extra berries on top if desired, and eat immediately. :)

Raw Pina Colada

Nothing beats the freshness of a Raw Pina Colada on a hot summer day! The whole family will enjoy it with a straw and a smile. :) We have enjoyed many at our home the last few weeks with the making of so much  Raw coconut milk with honey. We often double this recipe to serve the 6 of us.

In the blender add:

1 C Fresh Coconut Milk
1 C Fresh or Frozen Pineapple
1 Ripe Banana
1-2 C Ice

Blend on milkshake button, or high for one minute. It should be milkshake-like.
Pour into a glass and enjoy. Yum!
*Another option we really like is to add 1/2 Mango to the mixture.

Raw Coconut Milk with Honey

Fresh homemade coconut milk is a sweet creamy alternative to almond milk, and it is so good with a little honey and in fresh Pina Colada's!
To make homemade coconut take:
One brown coconut, take a clean screw driver and poke a hole in the softest eye.
Set it upside down on a cup and let all the coconut water drain out. You can drink it, but I find it rather bitter.
Then take a cleaver (or a clean hammer works), placing the coconut on a clean hard surface, hit the coconut a few times until it cracks and you can break it open. Here is a great site for pictures and instructions:

After you have the coconut meat, cut into chunks.
In the blender put:
1 C fresh coconut meat (or more if your coconut has more, I usually do 1C coconut to 3 C water)
3 C Water (less if you want it creamier)
Blend on high. Strain through a nut bag (or clean knee high nylon)
Add 2 T Raw Honey
Mix well and enjoy!

*The Coconut pulp can be dehydrated and blended and used anywhere for coconut flour, raw cakes, cookies, pie crusts etc. I've also added a tiny bit of Stevia to it for a sweeter white garnish. (It looks like powdered sugar.)

Raw Homemade Oreos

Who loves Oreo's? From the chocolate cake mix cookies and frosting to the crunchy store bought ones, people love oreo's. How about a healthy choice? This combination of chewy, chocolatey, and creamy are perfect together. The longer you chew the better they get.You could also dehydrate the cookie for a crunchy Oreo.

Creamy Vanilla Coconut Frosting
 1/2 C Young Thai Coconut Meat
1 C Cashews
1/2 C Agave
1/8 C Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla
1/4 C Coconut Oil
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon, about 2 Tbsp.

Blend together on high until creamy. Transfer to a thick Tupperware container and set in the freezer an hour or two until it gets mostly firm. Stir with a spoon and continue to freeze. It doesn't get solid, but the consistency of a great thick frosting! This could be used on any raw cake or cookie as a great topping or fresh drizzled over strawberries.

The Chocolate Cookie
1/8 C flax seed meal, set aside in a bowl
In the blender:
2 1/4 C Almonds, blended to almond flour consistency
add in the blender:
7 pitted Medjool Dates
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 C agave
1 C Raw Cocoa Powder
Pulse together until a ball of thick dough forms, if it's still crumbly add a little more agave.
Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of flax-seed meal on the counter. Transfer cookie dough onto it and roll out until 1/4-1/8 in. thick. If it sticks to the rolling pin, sprinkle with more flax seed meal.
Use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes or circles. Set on a cookie sheet in the freezer until firm, about an hour.
Makes about 15 2in. Oreos.
~Fill cookies with Creamy Vanilla Coconut Frosting and eat immediately or set in the freezer until ready to eat.

Raw Mushroom Taco's with Chunky Mango Salsa

A lot of people love mushrooms when transitioning to raw foods because of their thick meatier texture. This is similar to the basic raw nut tacos, just adding in a meatier texture and a sweet salsa. The combination is great!
~This recipe is for at least 6+ people.

Taco Shells:
2 Heads of Romaine leaves, washed and cut in half

Fill the Romaine with the following
Marinated Taco Mushrooms
Quick Guacamole
Chunky Mango Salsa
Top with or dip in Veggie Dip or Raw Sour Cream
*Also great with corn chips or flax crackers.

Marinated Taco Mushrooms
One 8oz. package of white mushrooms, sliced
Pour mushrooms into a bowl and add
1/3 C Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Stir until mushrooms are coated. Transfer to a dehydrating sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 3-4 hours, until soft. Sprinkle lightly with taco spices, or more if you want it really spicy. I did cumin, chilli powder, garlic, and onion.
Return to dehydrator for another hour to soak in the spices.

Chunky Mango Salsa
8 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, no seeds, diced
1/2 Medium White Onion
2 Small Garlic, pressed
1 TBSP Fresh Cilantro, (I used the leaves, minced)
2 Mangoes, peeled and diced (if you are cutting on a cutting board try to pour as much of the mango juice into the salsa to help with the sweetness.
2 TBSP Agave
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Chop all and put into a bowl and mix together. Add salt (if needed) before serving as it makes it watery.

 Guacamole (I triple it for this recipe)
1 Avocado
1/2 T Lime juice from a Lime
1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1-2 tsp. Onion Powder
1-2 tsp. Garlic Power
1/4-1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp. Chili Power
1/8 tsp. Oregano
Mix well, and adjust to taste. We like ours spicy!
Sorry for the fuzzy pic, had to resort to phone on this one.

Lucky Leprechaun Shake (raw)

For our green and healthy treat for St. Patrick's Day I made everyone "Lucky Leprechaun Shakes," pretending that a Leprechaun came and turned them green when everyone was outside...of course my kids already knew that the Spinach was the culprit, and of course told the other kids who were over, but it was fun to play while it lasted. Plus it's a great way to enjoy the green as a dessert.

2 C Water
1/4 C Agave
3 frozen bananas, sliced
1 C raw almonds
1 T Pure Vanilla
1 C Spinach
1-2 C Ice (add one and blend, then if needed add the other)
Place all ingredients in the blender. Push the Ice Cream or Shake button, or on high until smooth and creamy.

Raw Cheese Spread

At Christmas time I was searching for a raw cheese ball and never found one I wanted to try. Finally last week I was making some Honey Almond Crackers and found this great recipe for raw cheese.
 I followed the directions to first make

1/2 C sprouted wheat berries (sprouted just until tails start)
4 C filtered water

Place the wheat berries and the water in a jar. Leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours. You will see a little fizz. The liquid should be a little tart but not smell off.

Then for my cheese I used:
1/2 C Cashews
1/2 C Walnuts
1/2 C Rejuvalac (the water that formed from sprouting wheat)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Process until smooth and thick. Transfer to a bowl and coat the outside with Raw Parmesan Cheese.
Set it in the pantry with a cloth over it for 1/2 a day, you can form it and the outside will start to harden a little. Then store it in the fridge. 
It was a great find and next Christmas I will definitely be making it.
The rejuvelac is in the green cup.

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies

These raw cookies were a fun and healthy alternative to baked ones, plus you can eat the dough, as with all raw food cookie doughs! They were great as cookie dough balls straight, frozen, or dehydrated into cookies. The whole family loved them and they went way too fast!

1 1/2 C Cashews
3/4 C Oats (you can grind oat grouts into flour, or I actually used rolled oats for this one)
1/8 C Agave
1/8 C Pure Maple Syrup, grade B
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
3 T Cacao Nibs

Blend or Process Cashews and Oats into a flour consistency, but not into a nut butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse or process until well mixed.Scrape dough out and put it into a bowl.
Roll into 12 cookie dough balls or take the balls and flatten them with your hand and transfer to dehydrator and dehydrate for 6-8 hours until a little crunchy. Serve with a tall glass of Basic Almond Milk.

Stacked Fruit Dessert with Coconut Date Drizzle

Dates have become a favorite treat around here. Today we decided to put our Young Thai Coconut to use with them and came out with a delicious coconutty drizzle sauce.

1/2 C YT Coconut Meat
1 C YT Coconut Water
6 Medjool Dates, pitted

Open YT coconut and pour water into a jar. Measure out one cup and pour into a bowl.
 Pit dates and soak in coconut water while you scrape out the coconut meat.
Measure 1/2 C Coconut meat. Transfer all 3 ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides when needed. Drizzle over any fruit!
Here it is with sliced apple, banana, and blueberries.

Honeydew, blueberry, apple Spinach Salad

One of the many new foods our family tried this week was a honeydew melon, it tasted a lot like a cantaloupe. Luckily we got a really ripe one and it was full of sweetness. Here we put it with blueberries and apples on a bed of spinach. No dressing needed because of all the sweet goodness.
Bed of baby spinach
Fresh Blueberries
Chopped Gala Apples
Chopped Honeydew

Grapefruit with Dates

I love grapefruit, but growing up I always poured sugar all over it. So now I usually eat it with a little swirl of agave, but last week I found this great alternative. Sweet, sour, AND chewy.

1 Grapefruit
2-3 Chopped Medjool Dates
Cut the grapefruit in half and top with dates.

My raw food goal 2012

 Happy New Year! With the new year underway I have been working on all kinds of new goals and one of them is to learn more about the low-fat raw vegan lifestyle, or 80/10/10, and find and create new recipes that fit in this category, and of course I will be blogging about it here.
 Ever since I started the raw vegan lifestyle almost 3 years ago (in April) I have loved learning about raw foods and trying new things. Raw food is so exciting to me! I have seen incredible changes in my life and in the lives of my family. I have also felt great about how we are choosing to take care of our bodies and spirits. I feel like I am finally to the point where I am not even tempted by meat, dairy, and sugar. Partly, because I know how I feel if I do eat those (almost instantly sick) and partly because I have learned a lot about what they do to a body, inside and out. I am grateful I have a new found, and still developing, talent and hobby of making up recipes and especially raw desserts! SO, what is my goal again? Oh yeah, while I love all the raw food, I have wanted to try going with out added salt, even sea salt, and oils.
  I have been learning about Dr. Douglas Graham, who has become an expert in the raw food world, teaching people about staying on a raw food diet, a low-fat raw food diet. His research shows that a main reason that people get on and off the raw food wagon is because they are not consuming enough carbohydrates, aka FRUIT, (not bread and pasta), but fruit carbs, who knew that fruit was considered carbs? I didn't, but now I do. :) So he wrote an incredibly motivating book called The 80/10/10 Diet, which I have come to mostly agree with. Dr. Graham shows that a low-fat raw vegan lifestyle is best maintained while eating 80% Carbohydrates (mostly fruit-and getting enough of it!), 10% Protein (veggies and nuts/seeds), and 10% Fats (nuts, avacodo, coconut etc.). Also, not adding any oils and salt. This is where my goal for the week comes in.
 If you knew me as a kid, I was the one at the lunch table who liked to shake the table salt into my hand and lick it, yep, you could call me a salt addict. I have come a long way in that regard, however, I do still use salt frequently in raw dessert and especially in raw dips, and salad dressings, which has worked for us in the past, and we've been fine with it. However,  I am ready for a new challenge!
 *So, for one week I am going to prove to myself that I am completely satisfied and happy eating all fruits (including dates), veggies, and greens without added salt and oils in my life, this is big step for me, but that's what is great about trying new things. With this goal I have a few things in mind to keep it exciting for me, here they are:
1. The first reason I want to do this is to FEEL my optimal best. I know in the past when I eat mostly fruits and veggies I feel my best.
2. I plan to try at least 10 new fruits or vegetables that I have never tried! My 4 kids are excited about this part, because we are planning a special shopping trip on Monday where they all get to pick their favorite fruit plus one none of us has ever tried!
3. I will try new recipes, and create my own. Who knows, maybe I will find a new family fave.
4. I want to taste things in their purest form, tasting their true flavors, without my tongue "salted over." I know when I eat a lot of fruit I do what I call "the celery test" and if celery tastes naturally salty, then my tongue is clean.
5. Last of all, I hope to motivate others to make healthy choices and goals this year. Whether it be to eat one more fruit a day than you are use to eating or trying a new healthy recipe, any healthy change will do! Good luck to everyone and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you!

Just Bananas Ice Cream

This is the simplest healthy ice cream you could possibly make, and so yummy!

3 Frozen, chopped bananas

Put in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy, it comes out like soft serve ice cream. Then you can eat it, or add toppings of your choice. We liked cacao nibs and crushed pecans.