Raw Broccoli Soup

It’s a sad, sad day. The end has come. Vegan MoFo 2012 is officially over. Today is the last day of festivities. But…it’s not the end! Just because MoFo is over doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating all things vegan. In fact, there were so many participants in this year’s MoFo that you could visit a new blog almost every day of the year. Take the weekends off, and you could visit a new vegan blog every day! Check out the blog roll if you haven’t already. It’s really amazing how many awesome bloggers showcased their creativity this month. Rock on, vegan bloggers. Rock on!

My last MoFo submission is a raw broccoli soup. The inspiration for this recipe came from a trip to the grocery store. Organic broccoli was on sale, and I couldn’t help myself. I bought two giant bunches. One got cut up for dip and the other became soup. Yummy, yummy soup.

Raw Broccoli Soup

2 c broccoli florets

2 c water or non-dairy milk

1/4 c raw pine nuts or cashews (soak cashews first)

1/4 c hemp seeds (soaked sunflower seeds will also work)

1 small, 3/4 medium or 1/2 large avocado

1 TBSP lemon juice (juice of one, large lemon)

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.

Blend everything in a high-speed blender until creamy. Continue blending on high until warm. Serve in your favorite mug and eat right away.

For added crunch, top with raw pumpkin seeds and/or a sprinkling of hemp seeds.

 

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Pumpkin Chia Oatmeal

I couldn’t take it any long; I broke down and opened a can of pumpkin. And then I opened another. And all the while, the tiny pie pumpkin I bought a couple of weeks ago sat atop the shelf, staring at me. Don’t worry little pumpkin; your days are numbered!

Pumpkin Chia Oatmeal

2 TBSP chia seeds

1/4 c oat groats, coarsely ground (or rolled or steel cut oats)

1/2 c pumpkin puree (canned or raw)

2 TBSP maple syrup (or your favorite liquid sweetener or stevia)

1/2 c (or more) almond milk (I make my own)

1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use alcohol free)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Combine everything and let it sit for a few minutes so the chia seeds can gel and thicken the oatmeal. Eat cold, room temperature, or warm. (I eat mine cold like cereal.)

To keep the recipe completely raw, use soaked then dehydrated oat groats (like I did), date paste for sweetener (or raw agave or honey if that works for your diet) or chunks of other dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dried cherries, etc), raw pumpkin puree, and homemade almond milk (to ensure it’s raw).

If you’re OK with a higher fat dish, try swirling in some almond butter, coconut butter, or coconut oil. All three would make your oats even creamier!

Sharing the love…Raw Food Thursdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Wellness Weekends

 

Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

I tried something the other day. I soaked and dehydrated some oat groats and then ground them into flour. Woohoo! Raw oat flour!

I have quite a few ideas for my new found discovery, and to begin my adventure, I started with oatmeal raisin cookies. Or balls. Or oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal Cookies/Balls/Oatmeal

1 c ground oat groats

3 T maple syrup

1 T water (if needed)

1 T chia seeds + 2 T water (to make a chia egg)

1 T vanilla

1 T raisins

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash salt

Combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chia egg, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Add raisins. Then, either shape into balls and freeze, flatten into cookies and dehydrate (1 hour at 145F and then 3-4 hours at 115-105F or until dry enough to make you happy), or just eat like oatmeal. I did all three!

No oat groats? No problem. Coarsely grind rolled oats or even steel cut oats into flour.

Don’t like raisins? No problem. Leave them out or use your favorite dried fruit (date bits, craisins, cherries, etc)

No maple syrup? No problem. Use your favorite liquid sweetener. Adjust for stevia.

Dough not sticking together? No problem. Try adding more chai seeds, more oats, or don’t add water to your next batch.

Don’t care for the flavors of pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon? No problem. Use whatever spices you like. Or don’t use any.

 

Kelp Noodles with Peanut Sauce

I finally tried kelp noodles!

I bought two bags at the beginning of the summer, but it took me a few months to get try them. I was a little afraid. I had a couple bad experiences with those tofu noodles, and I couldn’t get that out of my head. But, there are completely different! There is no odor out of the package. None! And, although they’re a little crunchy, soaking them in cold water before using helps a lot.

I’ve been debating on what sauce to use with my noodles, and I finally decided upon a peanut sauce.

While traveling in Philadelphia, Mr. M and I ate at a Japanese restaurant near our hotel. This, in itself, is very unusual; Mr. M HATES the smell of anything from the sea: fish, shell fish, and sea weed of any kind; I can barely use nori sheets at home without loud complaints and him leaving the room. So, I took full advantage of this opportunity and ordered whatever looked good off the menu. (We ended up with enough food for at least four people, but, to be fair, I was starving – ha!) The tastiest dish I ordered ended up being a sesame noodle dish made with soba noodles and some kind of peanut sauce. I’d never had peanut sauce before, but it was delicious! I’ve been thinking about it for nearly two weeks, and today I finally recreated it. Kind of.

Peanut Sauce

1/2 c peanut butter (or almond butter, but then you’ll be making almond butter sauce)

2 tsp sesame oil (I like toasted)

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 TBSP lemon juice (juice of about half a lemon)

1 TBSP rice vinegar (or other vinegar of choice – or more lemon juice)

1 TBSP tamari (low sodium)

1/4 c water

Add everything to a small blender and blend until well combined and smooth. (I used a Magic Bullet.) Add sauce to kelp noodles or other noodle of your choice and toss to combine. Let sauce sit on noodles for a while to absorb the flavor.

This sauce makes enough for two packages of kelp noodles. Since it was an experiment, I wasn’t sure how much to make.

Feel free to make this recipe your own. I just kind of threw things together after reading a bunch of recipes online.

Tahini Dressing

I’ve eating huge salads almost every night for dinner for months. I can’t get enough! Typically, I dress my salads simply with olive oil (organic, first cold pressed) that I massage into the greens (usually kale) and a few squeezes of lemon juice. But, on a recent road trip to Philadelphia (shout out to Phili!), I ate the most delicious kale salad from a Whole Foods cold bar. So good! I was sure to make a note of the ingredients so I could recreate the dish at home – and that I have, my friends; that I have.

Tahini Salad Dressing

2 TBSP tahini

1 TBSP tamari (low sodium)

1 TBSP lemon juice (juice of about half a lemon)

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)

Add everything to a small blender cup (I use a Magic Bullet) and blend until well combined and smooth. If mixture is a bit too thick, thin it with some water. Start with a very small amount and work your way up. (My tahini is very runny, so I haven’t needed to add any water.)

Optional add: Nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.

Assemble your favorite salad greens, add dressing to the greens, and massage dressing into greens until they are wilted. This works great with a sturdy green like kale. Add in your favorite salad mix-ins and toss together.

This amount of dressing makes enough to coat about 4 cups of salad greens, which, for me, is one serving 😉

*Sorry for the lack of photos. Apparently the photos I had saved on my phone looked so good the phone ate them. Ha! Enjoy!!

 

Better than Newtons

I have a serious thing for figs. Always have. Always will. Ok, maybe not always will, but I can’t imagine what would happen to make me not love figs. Case in point: I used to give tours to temporary workers at a local manufacturing facility that makes Fig Newtons. Seriously. After a day at the factory (jewelry-less and covered in hair nets), everyone left smelling like figs. Most people found this sickening. Not me. I relished in it. I looked forward to my Thursday tour group days. That was the only thing that got me through those long three months of employment with that company. (“Why only three months?,” you may be wondering. I got fired. Thank God for small favors!)

My obsession with Fig Newtons (small, squarish fig cookies for those of you not familiar) started in childhood; they were one of my dad’s favorite treats. And, being a fairly obese child, a cookie was cookie; bring it on! Luckily (unluckily?!), I loved the flavor and Fig Newton’s quickly became one of my favorite cookies, too.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and I still love figs, and I still love Fig Newton’s (Newman’s makes an awesome version too!), but I don’t love the preservatives, HFC, gluten, and whatever other nasties are floating around in a bag of Newtons. What to do, what to do…I know, make a healthier, vegan version of my childhood figgy treat! Enter, Skinny Figgy Bars ala  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (which can also be found in the awesome cookbook  Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas), which I made a few (dozen) times last year. But that was last year. This is this year, and this year I’m eating a bit higher on the raw spectrum, so I went back to the drawing board food processor, and this is what I came up with.

Better Than Newtons

1/2 lb figs, de-stemmed (I use Turkish figs)

1/2 lb dates, pitted (I use Medjools)

1/4 c raw almond slivers (or raw almonds, crushed)

1 lemon, juiced (about 2 TBSP)

Optional: 1/4 tsp almond extract and/or pinch of sea salt

Place everything in a heavy-duty food processor and process until mixture begins to form a ball. Scoop giant tablespoons of mixture out of the food processor and roll into a ball. (Note: Mixture will be VERY sticky!) Then, you have a couple of options: either (a) place cookie balls on a dehydrator teflexx/paraflexx sheet, flatten, place on dehydrator tray, and dehydrate for one hour at 145F; then, reduce heat to around 110F and dehydrate another 2-4 hours or until desired firmness/tackiness; store cookies in the freezer or refrigerator, or (b) place cookie balls in a container and store in the freezer or refrigerator. Either option is delicious!

I shared one of these cookies with a co-worker who can’t eat chocolate, so I make a special point to share chocolate-free goodies with her, and she said the cookies were the best treat I’ve never shared with her — and she’s even paid for some of my treats before!

Sharing is caring…Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Raw Food Thursdays, Vegan Friendly Fridays, and Wellness Weekends.

gRAWnola

I finally did it; I made gRAWnola!

After reading a lot of recipes for raw granola, I finally settled on a combination I thought would suit me. And it did 🙂

gRAWnola

1 c buckwheat groats, soaked

1 c almonds, soaked

1/2 c pumpkin seeds, soaked

1/2 c sunflower seeds, soaked

1 TBSP hemp seeds, heaping (not soaked)

1 c dates, soaked

1 TBSP (or more) date soaking water

1/4 c raisins, organic

1/4 c currants, organic

Optional add-ins: cinnamon, dash salt, cacao nibs, vanilla, other seasonings

First, make the date paste by blending the soaked dates and about 1TBSP of the date soaking water. (Use more if necessary.) You want the paste to be thick, but not too thick. It’s going to be used to make everything stick together. (NOTE: If you want to add a touch of vanilla flavor to your gRAWnola, add it to the date paste.)

Rinse and drain the buckwheat groats very well. Add them to a bowl. Add the rinsed and drained almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds to the same bowl. Add the raisins, currents, and hemp seeds to the bowl. Add any additional seasonings at this time. Finally, add the date paste, and stir to combine. Spread mixture onto dehydrator mesh sheets in a thin enough layer so nuts and seeds aren’t on top of each other, but not so thin that mixture isn’t sticking together. (If your gRAWnola contents are too small and fall through the mesh sheets, start your gRAWnola on a teflexx/paraflexx sheet, and transfer it to a mesh sheet after a few hours. To transfer, lay a mesh sheet on top of the teflexx/paraflexx sheet and flip.) Dehydrate for about an hour at 145F and at 110-115 for about 12 more hours.

Taste test your gRAWnola along the way. You might want it a bit chewier or a little more crisp. Dehydrate accordingly.

Oven directions: If you don’t have dehydrator or don’t want to use one, place your mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet (or use a Silpat) and bake at the lowest temperature your oven will accommodate until the mixture has reached the appropriate consistency. Check the mixture after two hours and then at least hourly after that. I haven’t tried this method, but I assume it will take at least 2-3 hours. (Kale chips done this way take 4-7 hours in my oven, which goes down to 170F.) Your gRAWnola won’t be raw anymore, but it will still be delicious!

Store your gRAWnola in an air-tight container. I have the best luck with a zip-top plastic bag (even better than a glass jar or glass bowl). Try eating it alone or with your favorite non-dairy milk.

Nut/Seed Free Options: Change up your add-ins! Don’t want to use nuts? Don’t! Don’t want to use seeds? Don’t! No hemp seeds? No problem! Try chia seeds, flax seeds or meal, sesame seeds, or don’t include any tiny seeds. The extra omega 3’s are nice, but not necessary.

Date Paste

Sharing is good manners…Wellness Weekends, Raw Food Thursdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Raw Oatmeal

It’s definitely fall in my area, and that means cooler temps. A lot cooler temps. And cooler temperatures means I want heartier food. Notice I didn’t say warmer. That doesn’t seems to affect me much, but when I’m chilled, I want hearty, super filling foods. Instead of reaching for breads and pastas, this year, I’m reaching for raw grains. And the first little treasure on my list is oat groats.

I got the idea for this recipe from Rawfully Tempting’s Fabulous Living Oatmeal.

Raw Oatmeal

1 c soaked oat groats

1 lg or 2 sm apples, chopped

1/2 c goji berries, soaked

1/2 c raisins (red or golden – soaked if necessary)

2 TBSP hemp seeds, heaping

Additional sweetener as needed (try stevia, maple syrup, dates or date paste, coconut or maple sugar, etc)

Soak the oat groats over night. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Add groats to mini-chopper. Pulse to breakup the groats so they’re easier to chew, or blend until they’re mushy like regular oatmeal. Remove groats and place in a bowl. Sprinkle groats with hemp seeds. Top with goji berries and raisins. Place bowl in dehydrator for a few hours to warm or eat at room temperature.

Add-ons: Try adding seasonal fruit such as apples, dates, or pumpkin puree. Use your favorite nuts and/or seeds instead of pumpkin seeds. Give your breakfast a tropical flair by adding banana (sliced or mashed/blended), coconut shreds, coconut milk, pineapple, etc. If you like your oats a little more like cereal, add your favorite non-dairy milk. Try blending it with the groats. (I find the water from the soaked groats and the soaked pumpkin seeds adds enough moisture.)

Ugly V8 Knock Off

It’s ain’t pretty, but it sure is tasty!

I was greeted by a box of left-over produce from our now defunct garden when I can come from participating in a 5K last weekend. (Side note: I am now sick with sinus issues. Maybe mom was right; you CAN catch a cold from the cold! Ha!) The majority of the box was tiny little Roma tomatoes, which Mr. M informed me were to be used to make tomato juice.  Ok. But let’s take it up a notch.

Knock-Off V8 Juice

tomatoes

parsley (stalks are fine)

carrot

celery

lemon (I used one small, peeled)

greens (I used kale)

Juice everything. Strain to assure no pulp. Add seasonings to taste. I added a splash of Bragg’s Aminos.

Sorry for the lack of a recipe. So far, I’ve found juicing is really a personal taste thing. I read a bunch of recipes on the internet before I made this juice, and most also called for watercress and/or spinach, onion, and garlic. I didn’t have any spinach or watercress, and I wasn’t sure how strong the onion and/or garlic flavor would be, so I skipped all of that, and the flavor was really good. I do suggest you go ahead and strain the juice before consuming because the tomato juice can be pretty thick.

Does anyone else make a mess when they juice?!

Coconut Goji Balls

If you’re new to this blog, you aren’t aware of my love for all things balls. I have a seemingly endless supply of both sweet and savory balls in my freezer. For some reason, I’ve found people outside the blogosphere don’t appreciate eating food with the word ball in the title. So, when I make balls for non-bloggers (which is everyone I know in real life), I call them bites. Or truffles. Or I just flatten the dough into a pan and cut it into squares. Those crazy ‘regular’ people. What’s wrong with a few good balls?!

Coconut Goji Balls

12 jumbo madjool dates (or 24 regular sized madjools), pitted

1/2 c raw almonds, soaked

1/2 c shredded coconut, organic

1/4 c goji berries

Rinse and drain the almonds thoroughly. Add them and the goji berries to a food processor (or a mini-chopper). Pulse until coarsely chopped. Remove and place in a bowl. Then, add dates and coconut to the food processor and pulse until combined. Now you have two choices: either add the almond/goji mix back to the food processor and pulse to combine OR add the date/coconut mix to the almond/goji berry mix and combine with a spoon. (Squishing by hand works best with this method.) Finally, spoon out a big glob and roll it into a ball. Continue until all of the mixture is rolled into balls. Store in the refrigerator or the freezer.

If you choose the freezer, you may have to let them warm for a few minutes before consuming; the goji berries freeze pretty solid and can be a little tough on the teeth.

These travel great. I’ve been carrying them around with me during crazy busy work days, and they don’t melt or squish or get weird at all. And, they’re cheaper than those popular date and nut bars from the store. Plus, you know exactly what’s in them. Bonus!