Category Archives: RAW

Raw Pecan Brownies

This post is specifically for those of you who joined me at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 3, 2013 to see me demonstrate how to make these luscious lovelies.    I don’t make them in squares, I do round bite sized “balls.”  I have other brownie recipes buried on my site and in articles, but this is the BEST, easiest and quickest raw brownie recipe EVAH.  Have at it folks.

Brownie Bites

¾ cup raw pecans

½ cup raw cashews

2 ½ tablespoons raw cacao powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

8-10 organic medjool dates

Optional : cayenne pepper to taste

Place cashews & pecans in a food processor fitted with an “s” blade and grind until fine.  Add salt, cinnamon and cacao powder and combine well.  While the machine is running, drop medjool dates in half at a time (pit removed) until well combined.  Open occasionally to check to see if they are sticky.  Once the hold together well, stop adding dates and turn out into a pan and press evenly to make traditional brownie shaped treats, or scoop out into brownie ball “bites”.  They don’t need to be refrigerated.

 

5 Steps to the Perfect Green Smoothie

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If I had a dollar for every person that asked me for a green smoothie recipe, I’d never have to work again.  I am eventually going to start posting my daily green smoothie on my FaceBook page, but for now, here is a crash course in how to build a smoothie WITHOUT a recipe.

We are going to keep this simple.  There are a few rules of play so listen up:

Fruit that is RIPE will always be sweeter.  If you are trying to entice newbies (or yourself) ripe fruit wins them over every time and eliminates the need for  added sweetener.

ROTATE your foods.  Every item from the produce department has a different nutritional profile and the ability to offer you a WIDE variety of nutrients.  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  ROTATE.  I do this by buying what’s on sale weekly.  ROTATE.  Did I mention that you should ROTATE the foods you put in your smoothies?  This is important, lol.

If you are going to make ONE smoothie, why not make an entire blender full of smoothie, and take the rest with you for later in the day.  You could drink it or you could  SHARE with someone in your office.  If you can entice them to drink them along with you, then you have suddenly built some support into your new food lifestyle and what’s not to like about that?

If you don’t have a very strong blender, don’t put too much liquid in at the beginning.  You can always add more fluids later, but it’s easier to get the blades to engage and do their work if there isn’t excessive water.

Having trouble getting your kids on board?  Put it in a sippy cup with a straw that they can’t see through.  They won’t see the color but will taste the fruit.

Smoothies typically have five elements

  • Fruit
  • Greens
  • Liquid
  • Food Based Supplements
  • Plant-Based Fat

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Keep in mind this is a CRASH course to get you started.  Do NOT over think it.  Just start blending.

  • Fruits – The lower glycemic fruits are always the best from a sugar perspective.  Berries, cherries, and grapefruit have the least amount of sugar.  Apples and pears fall into this category as well, but I don’t particularly like the consistency they give a smoothie if you don’t have a really powerful blender.   Tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, banana, papaya) and melons have the highest amount of sugar.  BUT… keep in mind, melons are super alkalizing.  Pick two fruits daily, fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter.  A handful of each (approx. 1/2 – 3/4 cup).
  • Greens – The darker and more bitter the greens are, the better they are for you.  When you are new to making green smoothies, they don’t have to be super dark green right out of the gate.  You’ll build up to that. If you begin with only a single leaf of kale, that’s okay.  JUST START.   As you palate changes, increase the green up to as much as you can stand.  Newbies should begin with romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro and iceberg lettuce (yes, I just included that).  Work your way up to Swiss chard, kale and spinach.  The hardcore folks love mizuna, dandelion and escarole.  Go for it.  Ideally you want about 2 cups of packed greens to 1 cup total of fruit.
  • Liquids – Pick one — filtered water, green tea, coconut water.  I’m not a fan of nut milks in my GREEN smoothies, but hey, go for it if you are interested. Start with 1 cup, add more to achieve YOUR desired consistency as  needed.
  • Supplements – If you feel like you need to add protein, use a vegan pea protein (preferably organic/non-GMO).  I have a link for a good one on my SHOP page.  Other things you can include (but do NOT have to), spirulina, green powder blends (I like mine WITHOUT stevia — read the label), maca powder, hemp seeds, goji berries, chia seeds, flax meal, cacao powder, tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, probiotics and powdered vitamin C.  I can do a whole separate blog (and will soon) on the benefits of these food based supplements.
  • Plant-based fats – Avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.  These help with the uptake of the other nutrients.

Leave your comment below and tell us any tips and tricks that work for you.   Got a favorite combo?  We want to hear about it


 

 

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding w/ Double Chocolate Pecan Crumble

This is the dish I prepared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  I hope you enjoy it as much as the audience did.

For the pudding:

1 ½ Cups of raw cashew pieces soaked overnight

2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ vanilla bean – seeds scraped out and added

6 large ripe strawberries (more if desired)

¼ cup,  plus 2TBSP water (if you add more fruit, cut back on water)

2TBSP raw local honey

Zest of lemon – (organic only and only a about three quick scrapes off the fruit)

In a high speed blender add ingredients except 2TBSP of water and blend at high speed until smooth.  Add remaining water as needed to achieve desired consistency.

For the crumble:

In a smaller food processor fitted with an “s” blade combine:

1 cup of raw pecan pieces

1 TBSP cacao nibs

2 TBSP cacao powder

3 medjool dates – pits removed

Pinch of sea salt

Pulse all ingredients until evenly sized.  At the very end drizzle in 1 TBSP. raw local honey while the machine is spinning.   This will pull it together a bit and make it sticky.

Serve in a ramekin  and top with the crumble  OR pile it up parfait style with some sliced strawberries.  Either way it will knock your socks off.

Makes 4 ,  small servings as pudding, more if you prepare as parfait.

TIP – Take remaining crumble and roll it up into bite sized balls.  Freeze and enjoy as a snack.

TIP – The pudding can be used as a fruit crudite’ dip and can be flavored with any fruit you choose.

Juicing and Economics – Save Money, Get Healthy

Last November I bought my very first juicer and have been smitten since I jammed my first cucumber into the machine.  We enjoy a long and plentiful winter growing season here in Louisiana, and cruciferous vegetables are plentiful and cheap (think, kale, chard, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, etc) during the winter months.  Since I began juicing at the beginning of the season, my organic waste has plummeted and my carbon footprint is rapidly decreasing.

Food items that would have typically gone into the trash are now being stored in the fridge and juiced during the week.  In the photo above you see  Swiss chard ribs on the left and turnip green bottoms on the right.  After rendering the greens parts off of each for another food preparation, I washed them, let them dry and boxed them up for refrigeration.  When they are juiced, they are reduced down to nothing more than a handful of carbon dust.  I eat a TON of greens and now instead of filling the landfill with these items, I’m reaping the benefits of the juice and easily and readily composing the end product in my yard.  The amount of garbage I drag to the curb weekly has  easily been reduced by 40-50%.

Also, I find that every few days I make a sweep of the fridge.  Things that are frequently deemed borderline, maybe a little limp or lifeless but not rotten,  get juiced instead of being tossed into the garbage.

Going away for a week?  Juice the contents of your fridge before you go and have zero waste leading into your vacation.

Growing, shipping and refrigerating food consumes an enormous amount of energy.  Try and be sure to use all that you purchase to help keep our resources in check.

Here in New Orleans, AM radio guru, Garland Robinette, is winning folks over one at a time with his good news about juicing.  Check out this show he did back in February.