Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coconuts Roasting...on an Open Fire.

I had my first fire tonight. Not in a Drew Barrymore/Stephen King/Firestarter kind of way. The home where I'm now living has a fireplace. And all of my apartments and homes since moving out of my parents' house have been sans fireplace. It got really chilly tonight, so I set up a little fire and hung out in front of it. There's nothing cozier than a wood fire, and the smell is so gorgeous. What's this got to do with raw? Well, I'm gonna tell you.

At my last home, I was fortunate enough to be on a farm, with a landlady who had a huge compost that I could use. We found out quickly that my young coconuts took a bit too long to break down, so I resorted to throwing them out. Not any longer, superfriends! Scrape those coconuts out, let them dry, and they make rawesome fire catchers. Or kindling. Or whatever. Anyway, it burned well and I had a groovy, warm, incredible fire to toast my toes and chilly nose.

If you've got a fireplace and a love of young coconuts, get on the coconut boat and do your part to reduce, reuse, and recycle!

I'm your firestarter,


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today's Smoothie: Trippy Tropical

  • Meat and water of 1 young coconut
  • 1 large, luscious mango
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 Tbsp maca
  • ice (optional)

Blend. Sip. Sigh.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hot Bread Man, Spinning Greens, and Wholesome Addictions.

Good evening, peeps. Or should I say morning? It's after midnight, and this night owl is still going strong.

I started my day with a trip to the Carrboro Farmers Market. For those of you who live in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, if you've not gone, I highly recommend it. Most of the vendors were organic, even if not certified yet. Very friendly folks, gorgeous produce and flowers. I had my camera with me, but I didn't snap any pics because the bread man was incredibly sexy and distracting. :)

Two Things You Should Have in Your Raw Kitchen
So I decided to jockey stuff around a bit in my uncooking space today. Went out to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a few things. I normally don't like supporting huge stores like BBB, but I get those 20% off coupons in the mail every five minutes. They don't expire, and you can use as many as you like at once. So for kitchen stuff, the coin saved is awesome. Here's what I got:

The coolest cutting board ever. I was scanning the boards and saw this genius offering. Lots of space to cut veggies, plus two removable metal tins at the bottom. They both measure 1 cup, which is handy, and also act as a reserve bin for getting scraps out of the way. At only $24.99, plus the 20% discount, this was a steal of a deal, my friends.

A Slammin' Salad Spinner. I can't believe I've not had one of these before now. Woe is the raw foodist who washes their greens and doesn't get them dry enough. Even though I use Evert Fresh bags, I still have the problem of my greens getting all slimy. In steps the Cuisinart salad spinner. It's not the fanciest on the market, but it does the trick and it does it well. I washed all my greens tonight and put them away all dry and perky. $14.99 for the spinner, plus 20% off with my ubiquitous BBB coupon.

My fridge runneth over.
I had to take a picture of my fridge, fully stocked, and my newly cookless stove. For all my carnivorous, flame-loving fans, I'll take you out to eat. I love opening my fridge and seeing a bounty of amazing food.

My name is Victoria, and I'm an addict.
No, I don't indulge in heroin, nor do I smokah the cigarettes. Folks, I love radishes. I like to get a handful and pop them in my mouth like popcorn. Except that I think popcorn tastes like Styrofoam. So today I bought three bunches of organic radishes. I don't know what it is about that root, but I am on a tear lately. And I've picked a healthy one; radishes are a good source of vitamin C and contain lots of healthy minerals like sulphur, iron, and iodine.

Well, that's it for this evening. It's been a rawkin' day, and tomorrow I think I'm going to do some uncookin' in the kitchen. Who knows what'll turn up?

Keep it rawl,


Friday, October 24, 2008

Rawsources, or How to Get the Raw Booty.

I'm so happy.
Why, you may ask (all three people who are aware this blog exists)? Because today, I found a source for raw cacao beans.

If you go online to buy whole beans, or even the nibs, you'll pay a decent amount for them. About $12-15 for a pound. So today I went into a little artisanal chocolate shop near my job and asked if they had raw beans. The owner, a very cool guy, sold me 2 pounds for $6. He also cracked them for me. So I have 2 whole pounds of raw cacao nibs, that he actually bought in Costa Rica and brought back. Glorious. I will be making a chocolate/almond butter pie next. Don't be hatin' -- I'll save some for you.

This led me to think about resources. Or rawsources, as I like to call them. Being raw means investing not only in your health, but in your food, too. Organics aren't always the cheapest game in town, and some of the superfoods we like to eat are downright pricey. But there are ways around it, as I found today. So here are a few ideas on how to save some coin.

Farmers Markets.
Duh, right? But a lot of people don't take advantage of their farmers market. Don't know where they are? Try http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/ and enter your location. FMs are great for fresh, local produce at a low cost. Now, not all of the farmers are organic, but you can talk to them and find out which ones are. Some farms have organic practices but haven't earned their certification yet. Develop relationships with your favorite farm vendors and you'll find they're happy to tell you what's fresh, what's coming up, etc.

CSA. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a great idea. Local farms sell families a season's pass of fresh produce. Each week, a box or bag of veggies, fruits, and other yummy goodness is delivered, usually to a drop-off point. I've been buying arugula from a local farm through a CSA, and it's ruined all other arugula for me.
To find a local CSA, go to: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/.

Ask and You Shall Receive. Next time you go to the Asian market with a jonesing for young coconut, ask for a case. They'll pull it from the back, it will be fresher coconuts, and you'll get a good price for buying the case. Think about other ways to save, too. Like my serendipitous cacao find today, using your imagination can yield some great deals. If you have a big family and need to buy in bulk, talk to your local produce person in a Whole Foods or other grocery store with organic stuff. They may be able to give you a deal on quantity.

Online. Yep, it's not always easy to find raw food products, especially if you live in a more remote area. Going online will allow you to compare prices at different sites. Check out some of my links for various raw stores. I sometimes buy certain things from one place, and others from another, just because of the price difference.

Swap Work for Booty. No, I'm not suggesting you resort to illegal and questionable activities. I mean booty like the pirates. Aaarrrrrr. A lot of small farms need help during the harvesting seasons. Some of them may be willing to trade your labor for some produce. And it may be the very produce you helped to reap that ends up on your plate.

I'm sure you crafty kids have all kinds of ideas for keeping raw resources at a reasonable cost. Let me know your tips and tricks. I'm going to go huff some raw cacao nibs.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grawnola, the dinner of lazy raw champions.

I've always loved breakfast for dinner. Cereal was a lazy standby when I just didn't feel like making an effort. So tonight I had my raw equivalent. Much healthier, much tastier, and much more satisfying.

I made the grawnola with sprouted buckwheat, soaked sunflower seeds, flax seeds, almonds, goji berries, honey and cinnamon.

The milk is brazil nut/almond.

The strawberries are amazingly sweet.


Let me know if you want the full recipe for the grawnola. It's pretty easy to do; sprouting, mixing, dehydrating.

Gonna go make a kale salad. Have a great night.


By popular request, here's the Grawnola recipe. Enjoy!


A really easy, really customizable granola that packs well for camping, the office, or is a yummy breakfast with almond milk!


  • 2 cups buckwheat, sprouted
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked (optional)
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons agave or honey (or both!)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded dried coconut
  • 1 cup nuts of your choice


Grind nuts of your choice (I used walnuts and almonds) in a FP with sunflower seeds. Add in fruit (I used goji berries), pulse the FP. Then add in cinnamon, agave, honey. Mix into bowl with buckwheat and coconut until thoroughly blended.

Spread onto Teflex sheets, and dehydrate for about 8-10 hours at 110/115.

The great thing about this granola is that you can add more nuts or less, more fruit, and spices of your choice. It’s really easy and makes the whole house smell AMAZING.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's for Dinner?

Eating raw does funny things to my appetite. One day I'll eat a field's worth of greens. The next I'll pick at stuff. This evening, the only thing I was craving was some raw hummus and flax crackers. The crackers I made last night by mixing gold and brown flax seeds, sea salt, and a pureed mix of orange pepper, scallions and some Nama Shoyu. The no bean/no nut hummus is props to Matt Amsden and his fantastic recipe book "RAWvolution."

Matt Amsden's No-Bean Hummus
  • 2 zucchini, peeled
  • 3/4 cup raw tahini
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled (I added more, but I'm of the mind that there's no such thing as too much garlic)
  • 2.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, blend at high speed until creamy and smooth. Serve with flax crackers, veggies, as a sandwich spread, salad dressing...the possibilities are endless. I crowned mine with some fresh watercress, a radish and some paprika.

This was a great treat, because sometimes I just need to get away from the heaviness of beans and nuts.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coconut and Banana Cream Pie (I Would Eat This for Breakfast Pie)

So I've been reading all my raw recipe books, getting ideas, and I decided to make a pie for the potluck I went to this evening.

Taking some cues from different recipes, I did my own thing and was really pleased with the results. The only thing I'd like to work with is getting the pie to set more firmly, but I think Irish Moss will do the trick. So, here's the 411. I tend to measure a lot by eye, but this time I wrote stuff down. Enjoy, and try not to eat all the batter before you pour it into the shell.

Equipment needed
  • food processor
  • mini prep food processor (if you have one, if not, just use the regular one)
  • 9-inch pie pan

For the crust:
  • 2 cups of hazelnuts
  • 4 Tbsp almond flour (optional--I found that it added a good dry balance)
  • 3/4 cups of dates, soaked and pitted
  • 2-inch section of vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 2 tsp of raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Grind up nuts in food processor until fine, put aside in bowl. Then grind up dates, vanilla seeds and coconut oil. Put nuts back into food processor, add almond flour, sea salt and cacao powder. Blend thoroughly. Will have a sticky consistency, but shouldn't ball up.

Press the mix into your pie pan, pressing up the sides and smoothing the bottom. I put my pie shell in the dehydrator at 115 degrees for an hour or so, just to dry it out a bit since I was going to be adding wet ingredients.

  • 1 cup of young coconut meat
  • 1 cup of young coconut water (reserve any additional water in case you need more liquid)
  • 3/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1.5 large bananas (you may want to add more, depending on your preference)
  • Couple pinches of sea salt
  • 3-inch section of vanilla pod, scraped
  • 3 Tbsp of lecithin (this emulsifies the ingredients and helps them to stay blended)
  • 3/4 cups to 1 cup of dates, soaked and pitted

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. I actually pre-blended the dates in a mini food processor, just so there wouldn't be big chunks, but that's totally up to your preference.
Put the mixture into a bowl in the fridge while the pie crust is in the dehydrator.

  • Unsulphured dried and shredded coconut (Reserve to the side)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Raw cacao powder
  • Squirt of Agave nectar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • About 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt

This is one of the cases where I eyeballed the ingredients. Go by your tastebuds. Warning: this stuff is seriously edible. I put all the ingredients in a mini food processor and whirled it around.

When pie crust comes out, allow to sit out for a bit. Pour the filling into it, smoothing it over. Put into the freezer to set the top. After about a 1/2 hour, sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top (how much you use is up to you). Make the chocolate sauce, drizzle on the pie. Put it back in the freezer or fridge to set up a bit.

Eat. And moan with happiness.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blurg. You can feel the cheating.

So I've been doing great on the raw. Last night was exhausted, which I know is just my bod dumping all that toxic junk. And I got 9 hours of sleep--unheard of on a weeknight.

Then, like an idjit, I ate some Cheetos today. And some Oreos. At work. Damn those snacks. And I felt immediately gross. And tired. And got a headache. So I'm going to even it out with a huge superfoods smoothie for dinner, and get over it. I won't beat myself up for it, but I sure will learn.

Cheetos are not raw.

Been uncooking up a storm--made sunburgers from Ani Phyo's book, grawnola, some cashew coconut lemon macaroon cookies, raw fudge, teriyaki kale chips, and a bunch of other stuff. Tonight I'm making a huge kale salad, and icing for the raw fudge. Yum.

Hope everyone is having a great night. Of course, no one reads this except me. :)


Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm back, baby!

Well, I decided to go raw again. And not lightly...I went in all the way. After only 2 days of eating 100% raw vegan, I already feel the difference. I had forgotten how profound the effects are, and how well my body takes to this way of eating. I'd really like to stay at 100%, or at least 95% with a very small margin of non-raw. But the vegan part, I need to stick with. And it's really easy to eat this way; dinner tonight is a green smoothie. Delish!

Fall into Raw Smoothie
1 avocado
Big bunch of spinach leaves
Big bunch of chard leaves
1/2 of a juicy fat mango
dash of lemon juice
dash of agave