WIAW: Going Raw-ish

One of my goals for the summer is to eat more raw. Now, I’m not saying I’m following the 80-10-10 lifestyle, or anything like that, but I’ve been genuinely curious about the raw food diet for quite awhile, and now that I have many of the ‘tools of the trade’ (a good food processor, a dehydrator) and it’s summer, I’ve been trying to eat at least one raw or high raw (80-99% raw) meal per day and on Monday, I ate pretty much entirely raw, aside from one square of Alter Eco chocolate, a peanut butter Larabar (peanuts aren’t raw) and some peanut flour in my kelp noodle salad, and I felt really energized throughout the day, despite the heat and being at my internship for the afternoon. I’m definitely not planning on eating raw all day every day, but it’s nice to get a break from cooking, especially when it’s hot out. It literally took me just a few minutes to put my meals together and plate them!

With that said, here’s some raw meals and snacks I’ve been enjoying lately. These weren’t all from one day, but I’ve been eating at least one raw meal a day for probably the past week and loving it!

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Breakfast: raw ‘French toast’ topped with raw coconut ‘bacon’ and raw honey. Side of chocolate Sunwarrior+coconut cream ‘mousse’ topped with fresh raspberries.

I’ve been wanting to make over a traditional breakfast food in a raw way for awhile. I attempted pancakes, but they got too hard in the dehydrator overnight. I wanted to make waffles, but the recipe seemed complicated. When I found a recipe for raw French toast, I was intrigued. It seemed simple enough, and I had everything on hand. It didn’t turn out perfect, but it held together quite well after a few hours in the dehydrator and tasted delish topped with raw coconut ‘bacon’ and a drizzle of raw honey. A side of raw protein mousse made the breakfast complete, and a definite repeat meal.

Raw French Toast with Coconut ‘Bacon’ (vegan, gluten free, grain free, raw)

1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats

5 pitted dates

1/4 cup flaked coconut 

coconut aminos and liquid smoke, to taste (for non-raw version, can use tamari)

In a food processor or blender, grind groats into fine meal. Add in dates and process until mixture is sticky. Add in more dates or a little water as needed. Shape mixture into 4 small rectangles and place on a nonstick dehydrator sheet (or parchment paper). Dehydrate at 115 for 3-6 hours, or until mixture holds together. 

In a bowl, mix coconut flakes, coconut aminos and liquid smoke until combined. Spread coconut on nonstick dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 1-2 hours, or until crisp.

Serve raw French toast soaked in raw coconut or almond milk and top with coconut bacon and coconut nectar (or raw honey, for non-vegan version). 

Raw desserts > regular desserts.

Raw desserts > regular desserts.

I love Hail Merry’s line of raw nuts and raw Miracle Tarts, but my Whole Foods only ever carries the chocolate and Meyer lemon and I’ve been dying to try the other flavors. When my mom took me to Natural Grocers to check out their prices and selection, I was blown away by their raw food selection. Not only did they have amazing raw ‘caramel’ chocolate cheaper than Whole Foods (Righteously Raw brand, BTW!) but they also had a few more Miracle Tart flavors. I had to get the chocolate almond butter, of course, and it reminded me of a more decadent PB cup! I loved the raw almond butter filling and the chocolate mousse-like outside. I will be making a trip back to Natural Grocers for sure…and not just for their raw desserts!

Enjoying the sun before the storm.

Enjoying the sun before the storm.

I’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible, whether to lay out for half an hour or just enjoy a meal outside in the sunshine. We’ve been having some random weather (it was 90 degrees on Monday, then yesterday it got cloudy and rained, today it’s supposed to be like 60…what’s up, Colorado?) so I’ve been going outside when it’s been nice and hoping for even warmer weather.

Nori 'burrito' filled with spinach, sprouted tofu, raw kimchi and homemade raw cilantro cashew cream.

Nori ‘burrito’ filled with spinach, sprouted tofu, raw kimchi and homemade raw cilantro cashew cream.

This is another ‘high raw’ meal, because apparently sprouted tofu is generally made from cooked and sprouted soybeans, but I ate it raw (aka right out of the package, seasoned with coconut aminos) so it counts, right? I’ve been liking tofu a lot more lately but I’m wanting to go back to tempeh, since it’s a healthier form of soy and it’s higher in protein than tofu. I used to love tempeh, but after getting sick early last summer, I haven’t wanted to touch it since for some reason.

Blue skies.

Blue skies.

We got some sun yesterday morning before the clouds and thunder rolled in and rain dumped on us for a solid 15 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, it was much-needed and appreciated, but I would have liked a little more sunshine and a little less thunder and lightning. Oh well, thunderstorms are pretty much a part of life in the summers here.

Muscle progress?

Muscle progress?

I’ve been continuing with my lifting routine, doing arm and shoulder focused routines a few times a week at least and I’ve been seeing some more progress. My biceps are more defined and my triceps are a lot stronger and firmer now (they’re pretty hard even when I barely flex now) and I’m even getting some definition in my shoulders and back. I’m not lifting heavy by any means, but I’m still loving the progress I’m making. Eating clean and working out almost daily (with more regular rest days now) are really making me fitter! I would love to work out my legs too, but since I don’t have gym access, I can’t really use any machines and just have to focus on yoga and cardio to tone my legs.

High raw powerbowl for dessert. Chocolate Sunwarrior+peanut flour base (mixed with coconut milk) and topped with strawberries, crumbled Hail Merry chocolate almond butter tart and raw coconut butter.

High raw powerbowl for dessert. Chocolate Sunwarrior+peanut flour base (mixed with coconut milk) and topped with strawberries, cacao nibs, crumbled Hail Merry chocolate almond butter tart and raw coconut butter.

When I first bought Sunwarrior and coconut butter, I thought they’d be a huge waste of money. I wasn’t in love with either of them and I used them just to get rid of them. But lately I’ve been loving them like crazy and using them daily. The coconut butter (Artisana brand) is even better now that it’s summer and the heat of my house makes it a little melty. And the Sunwarrior makes the perfect protein-packed base for raw powerbowl desserts. I’ve been eating these powerbowls at least once a day and they’re still not getting old. And they’re a lot easier to make than most raw desserts!

Has it been sunny where you live? If you had to pick one meal to eat raw, what would it be?

College Vegan on a Budget: “Nuttzo” for New Finds

A series of posts on my adventures in buying vegan health foods as a college student.

I know I said last time that I wasn’t going to be buying anything else before the end of the semester. Welllllll…that was before I ran out of nut butter and had to go without it for about a week. And I came back to no fruit other than some pomegranate seeds and frozen banana slices. Not acceptable. So I had to make a quick trip today which worked out perfectly because I had one final around noon and I headed to Whole Foods right after that. Let me just say that shopping at WF on a weekday afternoon is a lot better than going on a Saturday afternoon. Other than a shrieking baby, my trip was pretty pleasant and quick. But most importantly, I left with everything I needed…and more.

Just a few WF staples to tide me over for a couple days.

Just a few WF staples to tide me over for a couple days.

What I Got: Mother’s plain salted rice cakes, Nuttzo mixed nut/seed butter (new to me!), Hail Merry raw maple vanilla almonds (always a winner), brown figs (I can only get these at the WF near me at school, needed my fix before break!), small superfoods kale salad, Heavenly Organics dark chocolate ginger honey patties (can’t believe these only have three ingredients!), Theo dark chocolate orange bar

What I Spent: $28.32 (mostly because of that Nuttzo…)

Verdict: I don’t really want to talk about how much I spent on the Nuttzo but it really is hard to find cheap nut butter that doesn’t have added oil or sugar (but does have a little sea salt, because it brings out the nut flavor) but everything else was pretty cheap. And the chocolate bar, rice cakes and nut butter will last a while so I’m not too worried.

Do you like mixed nut/seed butters? Do you make special trips to the store if you’re running out of something you love?