28 Mar 2011

Kristen's Raw - A Favourite Website

Since it was launched in 2007, Kristen's Raw has been one of my favorite raw food websites. At that stage I hadn't even thought of going raw but was looking for ideas for fresh, tasty, nutritious smoothies and salads to add to my Vegan meals. What a great surprise when I discovered I could could get far more than that and I could serve all my meals raw. At this stage I have reached around 70% raw, my goal being at least 90% by the end of 2011.

Kristen Suzanne is a recognized raw food chef and has written several successful books, available as both e-books and print, on the raw food lifestyle. She gives classes and has been interviewed on radio and TV, and has appeared in magazines.

The Kristen's Raw website covers many subjects: Raw food recipes, how to get started, benefits of a high raw diet*, weight loss and maintenance, raw food FAQ and testimonials. She has an affiliate program which I am sure will interest those with health, eco-friendly, Vegan and/or raw food type blogs. Kristen Suzanne also has a terrific free newsletter and a blog where you will find tons of info and recipes.
*high raw diet refers to an all vegan diet that is 75-80% raw or more.
Kristen Suzanne's latest book is The Easy Way to Get Started and Succeed with Raw Food. This book is designed to help people experiment or migrate gradually toward the healthy raw food diet, using techniques such as combining raw and cooked elements in the same dish, or "sneaking" raw food into family meals. By introducing more Raw foods gradually, people's palates become accustomed to the delicious and unique textures and flavour profiles that are common in raw cuisine. There are 107 recipes, including: Pastas, burgers, pizza, tacos, sandwiches, desserts, cookies, breakfasts, salads, soups, sides, smoothies, juices, and shakes. The book (in both ebook and print format) also contains 3 bonus sections: Raw food tips for beginners, raw resources and instructions for soaking and dehydrating. Note: The e-book has photos included but the print book does not to keep the costs down.

Click here to order

For the eco-friendly and Mummies out there Kristen Suzanne also has her Green Mummy Blog.

So why not pop in and visit Kristen's Raw website today, add it to your favorites, sign up for the newsletter, get some great info and/or purchase one of her terrific books.


From Kristen Suzanne's newsletters:

Heavenly Cookies
Yield approximately 10 cookie balls
These cookies will be all the rage with your family and friends. They're easy to make (no equipment needed!) so you'll want to make extras.Trust me!~Kristen

1/4 cup + 2 tbsps raw nut butter (almond, pecan, or walnut)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsps unsweetened, dried coconut
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsps light raw agave nectar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
dash cinnamon

Stir everything together in a bowl with a spoon (large bowl and spoon if you're making a double or triple batch). Then, take a moment and mash it together with your hands. Yes, it's sticky and gooey, but it's fun and you still have to roll them so you'll be getting sticky and gooeyanyway. Using a 1-tablespoon measured amount of cookie batter, roll them into balls. Store these in the refrigerator or freezer.

Fun Variations:
~Stir in 1 tablespoon of raw chocolate powder or raw carob powder
~Roll them in dried, unsweetened coconut or ground nuts

Cherry Vanilla Hemp Shake
Yield 2 cups
Here is my delicious Cherry Vanilla Hemp Shake. It's the perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day by loving yourself with nutrition and health,and if you have a partner in your life, then make extra and share the love for health~Kristen

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup organic shelled hemp seeds
1 (10oz) bag frozen organic cherries (or 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted)
1 tsp raw agave nectar (or 1 pitted date)
1/2 vanilla bean, chopped
pinch Himalayan crystal salt

Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy!

18 Feb 2011


Tomatoes are now the the World’s most popular fruit. They are a wonderful addition to a rawfood diet as they enhance the flavour of many savoury dishes. Tomatoes are the fruit of the Solanum lycopersicum plant and were first cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas. Explorers brought them to Europe around the mid 1500's. Tomatoes are the same nightshade family as potatoes, eggplants, chili peppers, tobacco and the poisonous herb belladonna. Only the fruit can be eaten as the leaves are toxic.

Nutritionally tomatoes contain an excellent amount of vitamins A, C and K, with very good amounts of vitamin B1 (thiamin), dietary fibre, molybdenum, potassium, manganese and chromium. They also contain good amounts of vitamins B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and E, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and tryptopan. A cup of chopped tomato has approximately 1 1/2 grams of protein and is less than 40 calories. Note that the highest concentration of vitamin C is in the jelly like coating around the seeds.  
Due to their high vitamin and mineral content, tomatoes are therefore excellent for our health. They reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cataracts. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which is what gives tomatoes their red colour and is a very powerful antioxidant. Lycopene neutralizes free radicals, therefore protecting cells and other structures in the body from damage, and also helps prevent heart disease andstudies show it helps protect against prostate, breast and other cancers. Lycopene is fat soluble so is it is best to eat tomatoes with oil rich foods like nut butters, avos, or vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil. The vitamin K content in tomatoes aids bone heath.

When purchasing tomatoes be sure to purchase the organic, vine ripened variety. Normal commercial tomatoes are picked green and ripened with ethylene gas and are far less nutritious. Cold temperatures lessen the flavor in tomatoes so storing at room temperature is best. Excess tomatoes can always be dehydrated.

Raw V8 Juice
From the Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas blog  

1 sm beet, washed well
3 lg tomatoes
1 bunch spinach (or 1 bag baby spinach)
1/4 head cabbage
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 stalks celery
1/4 onion
1/2 clove garlic, or to taste
1 – 3 kale leaves (a little goes a long way)
chili pepper to taste

Process all ingredients through a juicer or in a high speed blender. Tabasco sauce to taste can be substituted for the chili pepper.

Rich Red Raw Tomato Sauce
Posted by Brigitte Mars at Care2  
You can use this sauce on pasta or pizza.

2 large tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2 hours
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)
1 tsp anise or fennel seed
1 tblsp of agave or other sweetner
1 tsps Celtic salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Makes 3 cups. Try on Summer Squash Pasta

Raw Ketchup
Health Freedom Resources  From Raw: The Uncook Book by Juliano  

1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsps ginger
1/4 cup onion, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves
6 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp Nama Shoyu or 1 tsp Celtic sea salt

Throw all ingredients into a blender (use a blending jar if you have one) and puree. Lasts 2 weeks when refrigerated.

Traditional Spanish Gazpacho
By Cecilia Kinzie of Rawglow 

10 medium ripe tomatoes
1/2cucumber (about 3 inch piece)
1/2 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)

Add all soup ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Let soup sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before garnishing and serving. Gazpacho is also better the next day.

Suggested Garnishes
flaked Dulse or pieces of torn Dulse
2 tbsps chopped green onion or chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
diced avocado
1-2 tbsps ground flax or sesame seeds to be used as bread crumbs (optional)
A drizzle of olive oil.

Spaghetti al Marinara
BY Esme Stevens of The Best of Raw Food

3 yellow summer squash or zucchini

Marinara Sauce
6 large tomatoes
5 sun dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch fresh basil
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 dates, pitted
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

For The Pasta
There are several ways to make pasta from a squash. A julienne peeler, an ordinary potato peeler (peel thin slices of the squash, then with a fork or knife, create thin strands of "pasta") or use a spiralizer. Cut the zucchini in about four pieces and by putting them in the mandolin, you can create beautiful thin angel hair pasta. Put the pasta strands in a bowl and sprinkle with a mixture of olive oil and some salt. Set aside.

For The Marinara Sauce
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy. Add purified water if you feel the consistency is too thick.

For serving
Take off the excess oil of the pasta. Put the pasta on a plate and top with the sauce. You may add additional toppings such as slice olives, chopped tomatoes, onions or basil leafs. Serves 4

See website for other ways to serve this dish, plus lots of other great rawfood recipes.

Salsa Cruda (Raw Tomato Salsa)
This salsa is exceptionally versatile and can be served with tortilla chips, seared tofu, and alongside rice and beans.

6 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped very fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped very fine
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix well. Season to taste. (Alternatively, chop onion and jalapeno in a food processor. Add quartered tomatoes, olive oil and lime juice and pulse until the salsa reaches desired consistency. Stir in cilantro and seasoning.)

01 Dec 2010

Cacao the Raw Chocolate

The cacao bean is basically raw chocolate. It is one of the 5 top superfoods. The beans grow in pods on the Theobroma Cacao "Food of the Gods" tree which is found in the tropical regions of the World. When first removed from the pods the beans are white and only turn to brown later after they has been exposed to the air. The beans contain an oil which is commonly know as cocoa butter.

History shows that cacao was revered as far back as the Aztecs for it's aphrodisiac, health and mood enhancing properties. They often prepared a drink which contained cacao, chili, cinnamon, and vanilla. It is said that Montezuma drank 50 cups of a cacao drink each day.

The main difference between cacao, cocoa and chocolate is that cocoa and chocolate have been heated for hours at temperatures as high as 150C/300F and with chocolate many extras like butter fat, dairy and sugar added, turning it from an superfood to a tasty but very ordinary health food with most it's good properties reduced. Ordinary chocolate is not suitable for diabetics and those on low cholesterol diets.

Cacao contains higher antioxidant properties than red wine, green tea and berries. Antioxidants remove the free radicals from our cells and therefore prevent and repair the damage done by them, plus they are shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the blood vessels ability to dilate. Making cacao excellent in making blood vessels more flexible, lowering the risk of hardening of the arteries, and therefore protecting the heart and circulatory system. Cacao is also said to be a good in the prevention of migraines and cataracts.

The chemicals theobromine and anandamide are also found in cacao and it is these non-addictive stimulants that is said to lift the spirits, increase excitement and alertness and in alleviate mild depression. Cacao also contains protein, dietary fibre, calcium, sulphur, magnesium, zinc copper and iron. Those on a diet plan must note that cacao, like chocolate, is high in calories so although it should be eaten daily, do not eat in excess. 1 oz / 28gms is 120 calories.

The cocoa butter contained in the beans is a solid fat, which melts at body temperature. It has become very popular in rawfood recipes as like coconut butter is and excellent "fat" for your health. It is used commercially as a cosmetic and ointment base.

WARNING : Dogs and cats should never eat cacao or chocolate as they are unable to metabolize theobromine and this could lead to cardiac arrest.

Always buy organic raw cacao beans, nibs and powder. Irradiation and spraying are standard practice with non-organic cacao beans. Enjoy!

Simple Chocolate Bar
From Mark Ament's article at Buzzle
To make this recipe you need a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
1/2 cup whole peeled organic cacao beans, ground
1/8 cup cold-pressed organic coconut oil
1/8 cup melted cacao butter (use coconut oil if not available)
1/4 cup raw organic honey or raw agave syrup

Optional ingredients:
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp almonds, finely chopped
1 drop orange, lemon, clove, lavender or other essential oil
cinnamon to taste
Celtic sea salt to taste

Grind cacao until it is very fine. The cacao will have a consistency like raw almond butter and will stick to the sides of the grinder. Mix ground cacao with coconut oil or cacao butter in grinder. Remove mixture and add honey and other ingredients. Stir well with a fork. The mixture should be able to be poured. If not, add more coconut oil. Pour into ice cube trays or other forms and freeze for 45 minutes. Serve immediately after removing from the freezer.

Fly High Goji Berry Superfood Smoothie
From David Wolfe's new book Superfoods - The Food and Medicine of the Future
4 cups of your favorite liquid (water, hot or cold tea, coconut water, or any nut milk)
3 tbsp goji berries
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp maca, red maca, or maca extreme
1 tsp goji berry extract powder (optional, but super energizing!)
1–2 tbsp sweetener (such as yacon syrup, light or dark agave, or any raw honey)
1–3 cups frozen, organic berries
1 tbsp hempseed
1 small pinch Celtic sea salt
1/4 leaf fresh aloe vera gel (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.

White Corn Tamales with Raw Cacao Mole, Marinated Portobellos and Green Tomato Salsa
From Navitas Naturals     Submitted Sarma Melngailis of One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine

For the portobellos:
3 med or 2 large Portobello mushroom caps, sliced into sticks about 2" long and 1/4" thick
1/2 cup pumpkin seed oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh oregano
30 oz almond flour
1 tsp sea salt

In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with the pumpkin seed oil, garlic, oregano and salt. Add a bit more oil if necessary to coat all the mushrooms. Transfer the mushrooms to a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115F/46C for 12 to 24 hours (tossing them around from time to time) or until the mushrooms taste as if they have been sautéed.

For the mole sauce:
3 tbsp Navitas Naturals cacao nibs
1 tbsp Navitas Naturals cacao powder
3 dried chili peppers
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup raw almond butter
2 tbsp Walnut or other nut oil
sea Salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a bowl, add the chiles, Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, raisins and cumin and mix to combine. Add enough water to the bowl to cover and let stand at room temperature for one to two hours. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender, add the almond butter and Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder and blend until completely smooth, adding as much filtered water as necessary to get it to a thick-sauce consistency. Add the walnut oil, sea salt and black pepper to taste, and blend to combine.

For the corn filling and tamales:
1 cup Navitas Naturals cashews
12 corn husks
6 cup fresh white corn kernels, cut from 4-5 ears
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sea salt
1 Small handful cilantro, finely chopped

Soak the corn husks in warm water for one to two hours to make them pliable. Place five cups of the corn in the food processor with the pine nuts, cashews, cayenne and salt, and process just until smooth, but do not over process. Fold in the remaining 1 cup corn and the cilantro and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dehydrated mushrooms. Dry the corn husks with a towel. Tear a thin strip off the side of each husk – this will be used as string to tie the tamale together. Lay the corn husks flat and place about ½ cup of the corn mixture onto the center of each. Fold the bottoms up over the filling and then fold the sides over. Using the husk strips, tie the tops of each tamale. Place the tamales in the dehydrator at 115F/46C to warm them through, ideally for about two hours before serving.

For the salsa verde:
2-3 medium green tomatoes
2-3 medium tomatillos
sea salt to taste
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeds to taste, chopped
1 very large handful cilantro
1 green onion, white and 1” green, chopped     
2 tbsp lime juice

Quarter and salt the tomatoes and tomatillos. Let sit for one hour, then drain the liquid and place them in the food processor. Add the jalapeno, cilantro, and green onion and pulse until chunky. Drain any additional excess liquid and discard, and season the mixture with lime juice and salt to taste.

Raw Chocolate Cake
From the Best of Rawfood    Serves 10.

1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup carob
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup coconut or cacao butter
pinch of sea salt

For the chocolate filling
2 cups cacao powder
1.5 cups agave sirup
1 cup coconut or cacao butter
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon Lucuma Powder (optional)
1 teaspoon Maca Powder (optional)
For garnishing: Strawberries, raspberries, or oranges for garnishing.

Combine and mix all ingredients. You can best do this by hand or standing mixer). It should have a dough-like consistency. Press the dough evenly into a 7 inch tart pan. (A removable bottom, a plastic cling wrap lining or one of these new flexible silicon pans are easiest.) Chill in the fridge for at least an hour if you have time.

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Poor into the cake crust. Put the cake back in the fridge and chill for at least another hour. Before serving, decorate the cake with the berries, orange or other nice looking fruit. Enjoy, this is the best raw food desert ever!

Raw German Chocolate Brownies
From that wonderful site Kristens Raw 
Oh-My-Goodness, These Are Amazing! Yield 12 brownies

3 cups raw walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
1 3/4 cups dried, unsweetened & shredded coconut
3/4 cup dark (or amber) raw agave nectar
1 tbsp raw (virgin) coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut extract
pinch Himalayan crystal salt

Take 1 cup of the walnuts and chop them. Set them in a large bowl. Add the coconut to the chopped nuts and toss briefly to mix. Take the remaining 2 cups of walnuts and grind them in a food processor, fitted with the "S" blade, until coarsely ground. Add the agave, coconut oil, vanilla and coconut extracts, and salt to the food processor and process until creamy. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to the large bowl with chopped nuts and coconut. Stir together by hand. Set aside while you make the brownies.

1/4 cup raw oats
2 1/4 cups raw pecans, soaked and dehydrated
2/3 cup raw chocolate powder
3 tbsps raw (virgin) coconut oil
dash Himalayan crystal salt
3/4 tspn vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut extract
13 dates, pitted
1/4 cup raisins

Grind the oats to a powder with a coffee grinder or blender. Transfer them to your food processor, fitted with the "S" blade. Add the pecans and process until coarsely ground. Add the chocolate powder, coconut oil, salt, vanilla and coconut extracts. Process until well incorporated. Add the dates and raisins and process until the mixture begins to stick together when pressed between your fingers. Press into an 8x8 glass-baking dish. Top the brownies with the frosting.