Raw Hot Chocolate

On the search for a perfect cup of “not coffee” I found this yummy 😋 concoction that is a delicious Hot Chocolate. It’s healthy, it’s raw, it’s creamy, frothy and super rich. Everything a real cup of hot chocolate should be without all the processed sugar and inflation/mucus generating dairy milk.

Recipe:

  • 1 cup cashew/almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp Reishi powder
  • 1 T Cacao powder
  • 1 tsp coconut butter or oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (adjust to taste. I use date sweetened milk so didn’t need much)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt

Blend it all together in the Vitamix on high for 5 minutes or so till it gets to 105° (used a Kitchen liquid thermometer 🌡 to test). I also heated the cup in the microwave for a minute. Serve immediately. Makes 1 extra large cup. And if you want a more bitter/strong taste just up the amount of Reishi.

Lots of options to customize this drink. I’d love to hear what you come up with!

And if you have the go-to substitute for a cup of coffee, I’m all ears! I don’t even like the taste or acidity of coffee anymore, but its the habit I’m looking to replace. I do like tea, a fall harvest spicy or camomile are my favorites with a splash of honey (though honey doesn’t really splash does it LOL), but I want something with more kick and I don’t mean caffeine, a more intense, light, flavor. The habit of holding the warm cup in your hands, drinking while chatting with friends, while traveling in airports between connections, sipping while walking the streets playing tourist…that’s what I want.

Hot Chocolate is for cozy nights at home watching a movie, sitting in front of a backyard fire, a lazy morning….aaahhhhh yes. 😍 What’s your favorite time/place to drink hot cocoa?

Simple Sweet Potato Salad

This salad is so simple to make, tastes light, refreshing and oh so tasty! The sweet potato noodles hold up well to being marinated in the dressing, actually tastes better after a bit, no wilting mush here.


Written Recipe👇🏻👇🏻

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes – Medium, spiralized
  • 1/3 cup Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, Medium, rough chopped
  • 1 heaping tsp Cumin
  • 3 large garlic cloves (I used pickled cloves. Garlic Powder can also be used if you prefer)
  • A few dashes of Cayenne Pepper
  • A few dashes of Turmeric
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3 cups Spinach, chopped (optional)
  • 3 cups Cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Nutritional Yeast- sprinkled on top of each bowl as you serve. Yummy cheesy flavor.

Mix together greens and noodles in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix up the dressing ingredients Olive Oil – Salt & Pepper. Then pour over the noodles, stir and let marinate for 10 minutes before serving. An hour or two or three makes it even tastier. ☺️

If not adding the greens, the Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar can be reduced to 1/4 cup each.

This is a great base so get creative! Add other spiralized other root veggies like beets or daikon to add some contrast with the sweet potato 🍠. Chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds would be great toppers too!

I’d love to hear how you enjoy this salad and what changes you make! 😃

Raw Oatmeal

Want more than the standard Oatmeal?


This yummy breakfast had:

•Oat groats, Raw – soaked overnight in dehydrator to keep the water warm.

•Almonds, Raw – soaked overnight on the counter, skins mostly come off the wet nuts on their own while being chopped for a nice smooth texture.

•Hemp seeds

•Cinnamon

•Cashew milk, Raw

•Bowl of fruit

Wild Maine blueberries

Half a banana

Raisins

*i put the fruit bowl in the dehydrator for a few minutes while making the cashew milk and it thawed the blueberries just perfectly.

•Pecan Streusel (optional) – pecans, coconut sugar, coconut oil – blended together. Streusel was leftover from my Apple pie.

This dense bowl of nutrients was easily enough for 2!

If you don’t have a dehydrator, putting the the oat groats in warm water to soak overnight works too.

If Raw Oats are too much for you right now, no worries, you’ll still get loads of benefits from cooking your oats, plus all the added “extras”. Oat Groats are less processed but need a longer cooking time; Rolled Oats are another option.

While you can get cashew milk at the store, fresh is sooo much tastier and doesn’t have preservatives, carrageenan, fillers and sugar. Plus, the % of nuts you’re getting isn’t listed on the label but I assure you it’s WAY less than homemade, closer to 6% according to an article I read. Homemade is 25% and so easy to make!

Its Time to Get Serious

What are you holding on to that is holding you back?? 

Here’s what I discovered…

My story starts by sharing that my husband and I are on a life changing journey this year and regards my eating habits I decided to be All In. What does that mean? 

I’ve taken challenges off the table and said goodbye to meat, to added sugar, to processed white & wheat flours (breads, pastries and pastas) and most recently decided that a LIFEstyle, not a diet, of Raw & Living Foods was where I wanted to be. 

Why, you ask? Great question! 

Stay with me as I back up and detour for a second to explain. 

I listened to a podcast (I love road trips!) by The Raw Chef, who I’ve followed for several years and he shared an interview he did where the conversation was on “raw” vs “living” and what those terms meant. The comment was made that being all “raw” is a calling and to be committed to it you have to know why you’re doing it. What do you want out of it? Does eating that cooked meal every two weeks ruin it? Are you looking for a title? You can still be unbalanced and unhealthy eating raw so knowing WHY you are doing whatever you are doing/eating is key. 

Me, I want to FEEL life running through my veins. I want passion, vibrancy, clarity and increased consciousness. I want an unstoppable zest for life- Joie de Vivre! 

Having said that…maybe you’re wondering if I will ever eat meat again? 

Well, I’ll answer that in two parts. 

For the first- as part of that whole increased awareness thing you get with healthy eating, I don’t see how I could forget again where meat comes from. My whole life prior to this point it was so easy to disassociate an Arby’s roast beef sandwich from the animal who gave its life for me. It was how I grew up. It was what I knew. It was normal. Maybe that roast beef is not even real meat anymore, who knows. 🙄 I do still remember how YUMMY they taste. 

But somewhere along this journey I lost that learned disassociation and now when I see a cow or pig in a livestock hauler it makes me cry, knowing they will never get to live out their life and die a natural death after raising a family living free in nature. 

Am I humanizing them? 🤔🤷‍♀️ All I can say is have you ever looked into their eyes? There’s sentience to be found. A soul. An awareness.  

Secondly, I feel amazing. My body keeps telling me what works and what doesn’t and I’m learning to listen. Quinoa pasta used to be an awesome replacement for semolina pasta, now it weighs me down and makes my brain dull. Meat is on that list too. 😯

So to simply answer the question: I’m CHOOSING to feel amazing and respect sentient life. 

Back to my original point 😜, I have identified a couple things holding me back from being All In that I am taking steps to correct. 

One is Cookbooks. I have several with meat, dairy, sugar and flour based recipes. When I’m hungry and looking for a new flavor having those on the shelf is NOT helpful. It’s like a safety net that I can go back to if my new eating lifestyle doesn’t work out. Well, I’ve gone through and cleaned everything out. 

I only kept a few of what I call “Memory Recipes”, handwritten ones from my mom, the dessert I made for my husband when were were dating, the Hawaiian cookbook that belonged to my husbands parents…

To put something together to store them all will be Phase 2.

It feels a little like I’ve renewed my vows. Lol. I feel lighter and more sure of my path. Still need to go through a few magazines and newer cookbooks I bought this year to lighten even more. That’ll be phase 3. ☺️

The second thing holding me back is The Pantry. Inside my much loved walk in pantry I have contriband items, like canned organic black beans, a jar of organic, no added sugar, marinara sauce, a box of edamame pasta. I’ve pulled them all out and lined them up on the counter. They will be eaten this week or else. 


I’ll use this coming week to search for new raw recipes, planning out raw meals, dehydrating/making some staple raw items and getting more organized. My Tuesday “In The Kitchen” cooking show will be fun! I think Smoky Kimchi is on the menu. 😃 Maybe I’ll even tackle dog treats. 😋

Anyone up for helping me organize and decorate my pantry? 😉😃 

Having The Pantry all done up right will be a commemoration and celebration of my, our, new lifestyle. I’m excited to get started!! 

So there’s my story. 😁 

I encourage you to step back for a minute and take stock of your life. What things could be acting as a crutch and slowing you down from achieving your dreams? They could be tiny and seemingly innocent, like my cookbooks. I’d love to hear what you discover and how you feel after removing the crutch! 

Cheers to the journey! 

Joie to Your Health and Mine! 👊🏼❤️😃

In The Kitchen…Barefooted

This, my 2nd, episode In The Kitchen was so much fun! And all the recipes turned out amazingly delicious! I hope you enjoy watching! 🙂

Here are the “tweaked” 😜 directions for each recipe:

Paul’s Pâté

  • 1 cup Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbl Liquid Aminos (soy sauce or tamari work too)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend Cashews and Sunflower Seeds in food processor until fine. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until the texture you prefer. I saved half of the scallions to add at the end to leave add a little more chunky texture.

Sesame Ginger Sauce:

  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbl Apple Cieer Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Ginger (or even a little more wouldn’t hurt, surprisingly)
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Aminos
  • 1/2 Tbl Sesame Oil (toasted is fine too)
  • 1 cup Water

Add all ingredients to blender and process until creamy. Make take a bit to break down the ginger.

Can be used as a salad dressing, a dip for apples / veggies or with rehydrated seaweed like Arame and Hijiki.

Flax Crackers:

  • 2 cups whole Flax Seeds (soaked in 2 cups water for a 2 hours or more, if you leave overnight that’s fine)
  • 5 cloves Garlic (I love garlic!)
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 – 3 Tbl Liquid Aminos
  • 1 Tbl Fresh Ginger

Blend ingredients EXCEPT the Flax Seeds in a food processor until broken down. Then add the Flax Seeds and blend until well combined. The Flax Seeds will not grind up but you want the flavors to be well mixed.

Remove from food processor and place on a Teflex sheet on top of a mesh dehydrator screen. Spread batter thinly 1/8 – 1/4 thick. It will take 2-3 trays to use all the batter. The goopy texture will hold the crackers together even if there are holes.

Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10-16 hours, until crispy. Halfway thru test them for firmness and flip them over onto another mesh tray and remove the Teflex sheet so they dry on both sides.

The sound of flax cracker crunch…

 

If you like these recipes you can pick up Alissa Cohen’s book here

Raw Pepper Cashew Cheese Pate Recipe:

  • 1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked in water for 30 min – 4 hours)
  • 1 cup Bell Pepper (red, orange or yellow)
  • 2 1/2 Tbl Lime Juice (or lemon)
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 3/4 tsp Salt

Place all ingredients into a food processor and puree into a smooth pate. This will take a bit, the texture will become smoother and thicken a bit after blending for longer than you think you need to. 🙂

Enjoy! 😜

Please share your favorite paté or cracker recipe! If you have questions or requests for recipes you’d like to see made Raw, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Raw Dinner for Two

Dining is such a fun, creative experience nowadays, bringing so much Joie.

Used to opening the fridge and seeing “things” ready made to eat, now when I open the door I see what seems like “nothing”. Jars filled with random dressings and dips and an assortment of whole fresh veggies and leafy greens. Lots of food but umm…what exactly to eat?

I have fresh tomatoes 🍅, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley and salt but no recognizable jar of spaghetti sauce, ready to pop open and pour into a saucepan for warming up.

It now takes imagination to put an unprocessed, fresh meal together, if I want something that is more than a plain salad. And yes, I definitely want more. There is real Joie in unique and different flavors, textures, a variety of colors and overall vibrancy.
It starts in my head before I ever open that door. What do I feel like? Sweet, salty, leafy, crunchy, rich, dense, crispy, soft, spicy…etc. Then I go from there and think what ingredients I have in that category, what is ripe in the garden and how you could build a meal from it. It’s quite a visual experience. A world away from how I used to prepare meals. I do still do meal planning, try out new recipes and shop for the needed ingredients but I also now shop for Raw & Living food staples: veggies, leafy greens, nuts and seeds to have a foundation upon which to create.

Just yesterday Kerwin is scrounging for a snack, opens the fridge door and sees “nothing”. I suggest a bowl of cereal. But the catch is we don’t have any sugar laden, fake food cereal boxes or a carton of 🐮 milk🥛. Instead I say to grab one of those random, unlabeled jars that has fresh cashew milk, take out some home-made & dehydrated granola from the jar on the counter and add one of the ripe bananas that didn’t get frozen for smoothies yet, to make a bowl of cereal. But it took running through an inventory in my head of ingredients to come up with “cereal”. Getting into the spirit, he added goji berries – bonus! 😃

Dinner tonight was an especially beautiful thing! Highlights were:

  • The most amazing leftover Basil Vinaigrette, I didn’t think anything could beat my Basil Pesto recipe but this absolutely does.
  • Crackers I’d dehydrated earlier in the week.
  • Micro Arugula harvested from the garden
  • Raw, Vegan, Sulfate Free Wine 🍷

Thanks to some prep work (gardening, dehydrating, leftovers) I had a couple of things on hand and was able to whip together a simple dinner that was simply delicious and eye-catching too.

A take away from my trip to Japan 🇯🇵 is that eating starts with your eyes and as such, attention to presentation details is very important. It makes such a difference in your overall enjoyment of the meal. It’s like you eat less too when the meal is so pretty. 😉😃

For example, storing the flax crackers standing up in a cute basket makes me smile. It’s a lovely display and it’s so fun to choose your next perfect cracker.

Drinking a glass of wine in pretty, well made wine glasses instead of the cheap stemless ones we have takes it up a notch. (Found the glasses at a garage sale! 👍🏼)

Pausing to snap a picture actually helps you take a step back and appreciate what you have in front of you. Odd as it sounds!

I am grateful for this journey we are on together. Sitting down to a lovingly prepared meal, that tastes AMAZING and is absolutely nutritious and healing for our bodies makes me pinch myself – is this real???

How far we’ve come!

I hope my sharing our story inspires you! I NEVER saw this coming and if it looks impossible from where you are, that’s okay. I was there too, scared to commit to anything past this immense challenge of 87 days without meat, added sugar or processed flours. It seemed almost insane! Definitely crazy. That is if you call deciding to listen to yourself this time, for the first time, crazy. To do it my way, win or lose, and just see what happened.

All you need to do is start. Start something. Start anything. 💖😌

Here’s a look back at my Day 1 of 2017’s Year of Transformation, if you’re looking for a place to start.

You are also warmly invited to join my Joie to Your Health group on Facebook for more inspiration, recipes, tips, support, challenges, fun and of course JOIE! 🤗

Raw Marinara Sauce

Enjoy this most delicious and simple raw dish!

Yum!!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Tomatoes
18 Sun-dried Tomatoes – soaked (less if they are big)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic (I double or triple this!)
3 Medjual Dates (pitted & soaked)
2 Tbl Parsley
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

Throw all ingredients in a food processor or blender till it’s the consistency you prefer and you’re set! Serve with spiralized zucchini noodles. Or freeze for later for to go meals for work or school.

Optional toppers: capers, yellow tomatoes, chopped walnuts or raw Parmesan cheese.

(oops, need to watch my camera angle a little better. If you were wondering it’s the end of the water spout that is showing at the top of the screen. LOL 😂 Sorry!)