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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 grown 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 Strawberries
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!