Tag Archives: raw food

Oat Milk, raw & vegan

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Simple as can be:

1. Soak 1.5 cups gluten free rolled oats in a nut milk bag overnight (8-12 hrs) with 4 cups of filtered water.
2. Squeeze all the liquid from bag, refrigerate and enjoy!

(Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.)

*Heads up, the consistency is very gooey. If you have kids, this is a wonderful sensory activity for them to help out with. The gooey oats that remain afterwards can also be a lot of fun to play with. Hint: try adding natural food coloring and toys to the mix as well.

 

 

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Juice Feasting and how it saved my life.

I’d like to use this outlet (SpiritualFoodie.org) to speak not as an expert, but to share some information I’ve gathered from my experiences as someone who frequently Juice Feasts and offer some insight into why I or anyone for that matter might want to participate in a fast. I’ll also share some of the things I struggle with when aiming to live a healthy lifestyle and what I do to overcome those hurdles. I’m doing this with the realization that there are so many people who are actively trying to live a healthy lifestyle but who, like myself, tend to fall off course and return to a path less desired, you are not alone. There are also those of you who have heard of juice fasting, but wouldn’t actually know what to expect from one or where to begin and I am also speaking to you. When referring to the practice of juice fasting I use the word Feast intentionally because I find it’s not a fast, a word that has the intonations of being rather depriving but instead I feel as though it is a feast indeed, feasting on compacted nutrition rather than for gluttonous satisfaction.

How my Journey Began:

Several years ago my mother discovered juice fasting as a way to possibly help me alleviate pain I experience on occasion from Crohn’s disease, which includes acute arthritis and serious digestive issues. She tried it out first for herself and then sent me on my way. My life took a turn for the best and has never been the same since.

That being said, the Journey for health is a continuous Journey, one in which offers endless opportunities to make decisions that will affect us either positively or negatively. i.e. to eat the piece of cake or to choose a healthy alternative.  (but more on that at towards the end)

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What to expect:

I highly recommend attending a retreat and immersing yourself in a relaxing and supportive environment especially if you are preparing to fast for the first time. And although there are an abundance of places that offer such an experience the only one I will recommend is Gentle Earth Retreats because it is Heaven on Earth and the best place worth visiting.

My mom and I each attended our first retreat here at Gentle Earth Retreats in the Finger Lakes region of New York and have returned yearly either to the beautiful upstate NY location or to the blissful grounds in Cabuya, Costa Rica (a personal favorite of mine). I cannot recommend it highly enough, because the experience is so much more enjoyable then trying to prepare all juices, soups etc for myself while also trying to do my daily activities. Best to get away for awhile!

We return year after year in order to relax, rejuvenate and restart our digestive systems so to speak while in the most supportive of environments. The juices are prepared fresh daily for us with some of the tastiest recipes available with only the freshest ingredients and the highest quality of produce.

Here is a sample meal schedule (day):

9:00  Melon Juice

11:00 Vegetable Broth

noon: Gentle Yoga

1:15 Fruit Blend

3:15 Red Drink

5:45 Dinner as a group, Soup with Rejeuvelac and shot of Wheat Grass

7:00 Sorbet

9:00 Green Drink

(With plenty of water and tea throughout the day!)

*Retreat organizers are happy to pack cold lunch bags with juices in order to accommodate any excursions either alone or with the group.

The retreat itself and the evening gatherings are led by Katherine Croll, who is both a biologist and a nutritionist. She and her husband provide invaluable information regarding health and nutrition and do so in a casual and comfortable evening space which creates room to chat openly and to ask any questions that may and will inevitably arise. Katherine is a dear friend, a wonderful inspiration and truly an encyclopedia of information. She has opened my eyes to a world of information I didn’t have access to previously and she continues to inspire me daily by living life as a positive example and a wonderful role model.

Following retreats, I always return home energized and encouraged to continue making healthy lifestyle choices. I do feast on my own periodically throughout the year, although usually only for 2-5 day periods as opposed to 10-14 days while on a retreat.

My saving grace is being able to return year after year to Gentle Earth Retreats, to the loving arms of Katherine, her wonderful husband Jeff and their mighty dog Pedro. The community of health conscious individuals that attend these workshops and retreats also draw support from one another in their efforts to regain and maintain health themselves. Close friendships have been formed and huge strides towards health have been made!

Some of the benefits of juicing for long periods of time are:

  • encourages deeper detox
  • increases energy levels
  • reduces painful symptoms
  • regulates digestive system
  • changes tastebuds to appreciate healthy food.
  • more positive outlook on life
  • sheds excess pounds of unnecessary weight
  • deeply nourishes with nutrients and minerals
  • deepens appreciation for food, healthy food in particular
  • inspires creative ideas and interest in cooking/raw food prep
  • deeper, more sound sleep
  • vivid dreams
  • brighter skin, stronger nails & hair
  • detox, detox, detox

Last summer I had the pleasure of traveling with my mom to NY for our first retreat together.

My mom is a natural explorer, so here are just a few places we visited together:

 

The struggle is real:

Now with all these wonderfully positive things I’ve had to say, here’s where I’d also like to be forward and forthright in sharing my experience of what it’s like trying to stay on a healthy path. To begin, there is no such thing as ‘Perfect Health’. Someone recently explained health to me in a way that really resonated: Health can be viewed on a spectrum, and since there is no such thing as perfect health you are either dead or somewhere in between. I know I sound frank and possibly morbid, but death is inevitable so we may as well live as best we can while we are here. With this new information my goals have dramatically shifted and rather than aiming for a state of perfect health I can now aim my efforts to place me swinging on the spectrum of good health and leave the state of perfection out of the equation. With the realization that perfect health is no longer my goal, but rather a pain free and enjoyable active lifestyle is, the reins that held me in a negative and judgmental state towards myself anytime I slipped off course have been released. The expectation of perfection is too heavy a burden. It’s a tremendous amount of pressure to place on one’s self that we ‘must’ be raw, vegan, gluten-free, whatever the case me be ALL the time. I’ve given all these things a try, and they all hold a very important role on my quality of life. That being said I would much rather identify with ‘mostly vegan’ rather than to rigidly attempt to box myself into a mere category that feels limiting.

I feel called to share this aspect of my journey ‘the struggle’ because I know I am not alone in feeling that a healthy lifestyle can resemble at times a box, or one of lack. Wether it’s a sense of limited options being available or that taste must be lacking in order to be healthy, these are misconceptions. A healthy diet can feel both limitless and can be delightful to the tastebuds! I do fall victim to food cravings and sugar addiction but rather than beat myself up over any poor choices I may have made, I remind myself that every moment of every day we are always faced with more decisions and the opportunity to make positive choices is always available. There are infinite resources available and it’s really a matter of finding out what’s most important to you and what your goals are in order to find the information and answers that best suit your needs. I have turned to juicing pure fruits and vegetables in order to overcome some pretty trying health complications, as many people have. However the benefits are endless and extend to those in good health as well as in poor. The benefits or juicing and a healthy lifestyle are extraordinary and worth checking out for yourself. Do you have any experiences with juicing you’d be willing to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

If you’ve gotten this far, THANK YOU for taking the time to read this blog post. I began my blogging journey by sharing a number of dishes that I’ve created and enjoyed and now I’ve really had to step into the space of  sharing some deeper content, writing from my heart and sharing more in depth about myself and my Journey.

I hope you are feeling inspired to try juice feasting for yourself or at least to prepare something healthy to eat today. Let’s take our health into our own hands and see the world and it’s inhabitants as our allies, here to support  us and be supported by each other.

Much LOVE & Cheers to Good Health!

-Spiritual Foodie :0)

 

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Lemon and Blueberry Almond Cookies- RAW

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*Inspired by the book ‘Raw Food Made Easy‘ by Jennifer Cornbleet, pg 164

I used approximately:

  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds & 1/4 cup of raw pecans, rinsed and soaked briefly
  • add a dash of salt, blend in a food processor briefly, maintain a chunky consistency
  • add 4 chopped dates, some cinnamon and a small amount of maple sugar (optional)
  • add a drop or two of lemon essential oil (doTerra) and continue to blend in food processor (keep chunky consistency for texture)
  • transfer to a bowl and mix in dried blueberries before forming into small balls

Cheers to good health!

Strawberry Shortcake Pie (mostly Raw)

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This layered ‘pie’ just came together today while playing around in the kitchen. Turns out it just happens to taste a lot like Strawberry Shortcake. It’s absolutely delicious!

Prep ahead of time:

  1. chill a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight
  2. Ideally, prepare strawberry jelly layer the night before and chill in fridge overnight as well

Crust:

  • 2 cups of soaked nuts, any (I used a mix of raw macadamia, raw cashew, raw brazil and raw pecan nuts)
  • add 3-4 soaked dates
  • 1/4 cup raw shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • add 1/4 tsp vanilla & dash of sea salt
  • add lemon juice to taste & zest of one lemon
  • opt: maple syrup or natural sweetener of your choice

Process ingredients in a food processor until smooth (or a bit less for more texture)

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Strawberry Chia Jelly:

  • 2 small strawberry containers (set aside a few of the most attractive looking strawberries, to be sliced and added before serving)
  • 1-2 tbsp of chia powder (chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder)
  • opt: small amount of sugar or natural sweetener of your choice / also, pairs well with fresh mint

Process ingredients in a food processor until smooth, cover and let sit in the fridge overnight if possible. Opt: Add whole chia seeds in addition to chia powder.

* Jelly Inspired by pureella.com

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Vegan Whipped Cream:

  • 1-2 refrigerated cans of coconut milk
  • Sweetener of your choice, I used maple syrup
  • Flavor, I used vanilla extract and rose water

Do not shake the cans of coconut milk, open and carefully scoop out the thick portion on top. (The liquid on the bottom of the can be saved and used as a wonderful addition to just about any dish at another time.) Blend the ingredients together in a high speed mixer for a couple of minutes, until desired consistency is reached. *If you choose to add some of the liquid portion of the can, be sure to do so sparingly & add only a little bit at a time.

Pie:

  1. Conform raw nut crust to a pie pan
  2. Add layer of strawberry jelly (or any fruit)
  3. Spread plenty of vegan whipped cream to cover jelly and fill pie, or just drop whipped cream onto the pie with an ice cream scoop
  4. Top with sliced strawberries

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*Keep Refrigerated

Raw Jicama ‘Fries’

raw jicama fries

Here is a link to the original recipe I found online:

http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=99E0150097D09FF9A412BD0C0BEB9956

The sweet couple in the video came up with this recipe as a means to fulfill a craving of BBQ style foods and to bring while attending get together with friends over the summer . I had some left over jicama and decided to give it a try and I’m very pleased with how tasty they actually are! I enjoyed them cut in this thicker way, but next time I think I’d like to cut them a little thinner and give them a try.

Spices:

Mix together in a bowl with olive oil and they’re ready to eat. Best if marinated and set in the fridge first. They tasted the best on the 2nd and 3rd day of leftovers.

Raw ‘Cheesy’ Roasted Red Pepper Kale Chips

Raw Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Kale Chips

While juicing recently I spent a lot of time online looking at online videos of recipes and bookmarked several that I knew I wanted to try. This was one of the first things I made and has also turned out to be the most repeated thing I’ve made over the past few weeks. I am eating kale chips almost daily thanks to this recipe, and they never taste the same. I have been able to use an assortment of nuts, a variety of peppers, and both straight and curly kale to mix things up.

Here is a link to the original recipe I found online:

For the nut cheese, she uses walnuts in her video where as I chose to use a combination of soaked cashews and macadamia nuts instead because they were what I had on hand at the time. I’ve tried walnuts once and liked the kale chips just fine, but the cashew and macadamia nuts really seem to set this recipe apart from anything I’ve had before.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale (curly or straight)
  • 1 red bell pepper (or more)
  • 1 cup of soaked raw nuts (macadamia nut & cashew..  or any variety)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or less)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (or less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

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Raw Almond Thai Noodles

Raw Almond Thai Noodles

I am often creating dishes from whatever I have and here is an example of something I threw together in a hurry before work recently. I am really pleased with how it turned out and have since recreated this dish several times.

I recently started eating a lot of zucchini noodles, and this is by far my favorite version I’ve made yet. If you’ve never used or even heard of a spiralizer be sure to check out this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Spiralizer-Tri-Blade-Spiral-Vegetable/dp/B006THC75E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1406215399&sr=8-4&keywords=spiralizer

Without a Prime membership to Amazon.com there may be a cheaper option available (I didn’t check shipping prices) however, with Prime I found this to be the cheapest option. If you are not used to unusual kitchen appliances, do not be intimidated! Here’s a link to a video I like that shows just how simple and straightforward using it really is:

Ingredients:

  • Raw zucchini noodles, spiralized
  • Pine Nuts
  • Cilantro
  • Shelled Hemp Seeds
  • Pairs well with Avocado

Sauce:

  • Almond Butter
  • Water
  • Hoison Sauce
  • Gluten Free Soy Sauce (or Braggs Amino)
  • Lime juice
  • Coconut Milk (optional)
  • Udo’s oil (add last, also optional)

To make the sauce I whisked together a fair amount of Almond Butter (main ingredient, be sure to use enough) with just a bit of water until the consistency was smooth and creamy.  And then I added about a tablespoon of Hoison Sauce, a dash of GF Soy Sauce, squeezed the juice from about half of a lime, a tablespoon or so of coconut milk and at the end I also added a bit of Udo’s oil for added nutrients.

I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I have!

Cheers to good Health!

Don’t forget to soak your nuts

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It’s widely known that nuts in general are very healthy for us and full of protein, vitamins and nutrients. They are especially essential in vegetarian and vegan diets, working as an amazing source of protein. However I have found that it is not as prominently known that soaking our nuts before eating them is important in order to digest more easily and to fully absorb the nutrients with-in.

Look for example at how the skin of almonds separates when soaked. The skin of almonds can cause a great deal of bloating and discomfort when trying to digest, and gets in the way of the best part of the almond.

The same thing goes for walnuts for example, again the skin separates some when soaked, but a bit more work is required to get it all off. Give it a try! And notice how different they taste. So much sweeter, because the bitterness comes from the outside layer.

I recommend soaking nuts for a day or two at most, usually a couple of hours is sufficient, cashews requiring the least amount of soaking time I find. An hour or two for cashew nuts should suffice, they will become a bit softer.

If you plan to leave nuts in the fridge, over night works great but if you plan to leave them in the fridge longer, just be sure to change the water at least 2-3 times throughout the day to keep it fresh.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Is this something you’ve done before? Is this something you’d be open to trying, or have tried with success and enjoyed? I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great day and enjoy!

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