Friday, April 4, 2014

Detoxifying Lemonade + Ideas to Find Your Passion and Achieve Your Dreams


A few days ago my dad gave me a brilliant idea to start posting cost effective recipes.  It was a light bulb, genius idea that I knew would be beneficial for me and all of you out there.  It wouldn't be just budget friendly, but also delicious and healthy at the same time.  I might move out of my house a few years from now, so having special recipes just for that would be extremely helpful!  This lemonade is sweetly satisfying and it isn't that much money either.  It's wonderful to squeeze fresh lemon juice in your water for a detoxifying drink, but it's even tastier when you can make lemonade with them!  This lemonade would be a fantastic drink for people struggling with candida because the sugar is replaced with stevia.  I mentioned this in my other post and thought I should tell you again in case you didn't know; stevia isn't an actual sugar, but rather an herb.  If you purchase stevia, make sure it's organic and if you can also find it raw, that would be the ultimate. 

Ok, so what I am going to tell you has nothing to do with food, but this information is valuable and has opened the flood gates to endless possibilities in finding passions/achieving your dreams.  Honestly, it was difficult to dig out those ideas and thoughts trapped in my head, but I managed to free them on this post.


Ways to Find Your Passions and Achieve Your Dreams

I recently discovered some new information on this Entrepreneur website.  I found that if you write down what you've done as a child, you can find out what your true loves are.  So grab a pencil and a paper and list all of the things that you've done as a child.  Now that you jotted down a list, scroll through it and search for those activities you enjoyed as a kid.  Usually the activities/things you participated in from the dawn of your early years can be big clues on what you should make your goals and lifetime passions (if you love them).  There's times where you have small and large slopes with everything you love, so don't lose that commitment and find some inspiration and climb back up again. I have recently found one of my biggest passions EVER--this blog, because I love helping you guys! :) I hope something I do on this blog can help you in some way or another.  

On the same link for the website above, I found another writing exercise.  All you do is write the names of people you want to become like, or have traits and qualities that you desire.  Study those people, stock them, find out where they live, (ha, ha, that's a little too far, right?) you get my point.  I listed four main people and figured out that I am already adapting to what I have learned from them.  After concentrating my focus on what truly matters, I came to realize I have so much to discover.  It's like walking through a dark, misty tunnel and gradually seeing streaks of light getting brighter and brighter.  We all have to make our own reminders by repeating words like "progress, not perfection".  I also love the quote, "Practice makes perfect", or as someone once told me, "perfect practice makes perfect".

Consistency is another one that rings a bell when it comes down to true desires.  Don't stop doing something you thrive off of no matter what.  Your true love (I am not talking about your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, etc.) is something that you are born with, a deepening, personal niche that YOU are here to do; the possibilities are endless--an incredible singer, professional baseball player, a skilled business financier, etc.  Find that special "thing" and pursue it, even if it means quitting your job that you dislike to pursue your passion and make it your lifelong career, or cutting out those time-waisting- migigars.  


Here is a thought that roams around in my mind that I want to share with you: pinpointing and narrowing down why you choose and stick with your addicting hobbies.  There is a reason for everything you do, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychically.  If you are lacking a desire to pursue your passions, find out why.  I am still working on this topic and strengthening the areas that are weak and striving to have my own personal drive every day I live.

Each day counts, and eventually all of those studious, challenging efforts you put into your passions will pay off and those days, weeks, and years will be countless.  So remember, today is the day that counts, so start today and press forward and persevere!  

If you have any thoughts or ideas on his topic, please feel welcome to share in the comment box below. 

Have refreshingly, sweet days ahead, 
                                                           Melanie


Food Letter of the Day: C

Coconut products are staples that I consume on a daily basis.  Coconut oil is filled with almost 90% fatty acids being saturated, and because of that, people used to avoid it at all costs thinking it would cause heart troubles and things of that sort.  This oil contains Medium-Chain-Triglycerides and can be used as a quick energy source.  Coconuts can strengthen the immune system, it is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasite.  It improves digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.  Also, it promotes weight loss and it can retain youthfulness in your skin and hair.  If you are interested in learning more facts, visit this website.  The coconut kernel contains a fantastic source of copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc.  Coconut water contains simple sugar, electrolytes, minerals, and bioactive compounds called cytokinins, and enzymes.  This tropical drink is known to hydrate and restore lost fluids, and is especially useful during or after exercises.     




Detoxifying Lemonade

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 3-4 packets of stevia
  • 2 tbsps blueberries (optional, the color will change into a gorgeous pink)
  • ice cubes (optional)
  • 1-2 slices of lemon for decoration (optional, you would put this in last)
Directions:

Pour in the water, lemon juice, stevia, and blueberries (optional) in a cup and stir.  Now you can pop a few ice cubes inside with the lemon slices if you want, but it can bring out a bit more lemon-y flavor.  The lemons slices and ice cubes give the lemonade a little more flair and pizazz.  You can also sip this cool and refreshing drink with funky-looking straws.  
  • This Detoxifying Lemonade serves one



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs (Vegan) + Healthier Easter Candy Options


The Easter bunny is coming with a basket of goodies for your kids, but the question is, "are they harming your body?"  Most of the regular ones found on shelves at the grocery store have preservatives and unnatural ingredients. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs could be a healthier alternative to Reese's Eggs.  These don't taste exactly like the "real" thing, but they are scrumptious and tasty anyways.  The texture is unique in the way that the peanut butter inside sinks into your teeth.  I usually stick with other nut butters for many reasons, but on rare occasions I will make my own chocolate peanut butter cups or eggs.  

I know that most Easter candy is full of gross ingredients that we don't want in our bodies.  The candy I am listing below has quite a bit of sugar (at least it's organic and not bleached).  If your kids are desperate for candy and you want them to have have a fun Easter egg hunt, buying some of these candies would be a much, much better option.


If you don't want your kids to have too much candy, you could always stuff small, little dollar toys inside the eggs.  There is other good options for organic candy, but these are some the best ones I found that aren't too pricey.  Anything that is organic doesn't always mean healthy, so be aware of that.  Try to avoid these ingredients even if the are organic: soy, corn, canola oil, which is mostly an unreal plant that was invented, because it's made up of a rancid oil called "rapeseed oil".  Bugs won't even lay a finger on the rapeseed plant because it is highly toxic.  Also, peanuts for the most part (ha, ha, I know it's ironic that the recipe below is chocolate peanut butter eggs).  I will occasionally eat organic peanut butter, but I rarely do because it's  hard to digest and might contain GMO's.  Wheat is another popular food Americans consume and is one that should be avoided (there may be special kinds out there, but probably 95% isn't good, because most has been hybridized and contaminated with different proteins that can cause irritations in the gut).  I heard that this brand is a great gluten free alternative to bread, even though it does have some corn starch.  Ok, so I guess eating some of these foods like peanuts or the others once in a great while is alright if they are organic--choose top quality if you can.  Most of those commercial crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides and injected with GMO's. 

An uncontrollable hunger for these babies struck me in the kitchen as I was thinking about Easter candy.  I haven't had Peanut Butter for around a year and my stomach was begging me to make my own healthier version.  If you were wondering what I eat when I cheat, it would be these.  Eating these is the probably the most cheating I do once in a great while.  If any of you were we wondering what food preference I live by, I don't have one other than this, "a natural foods lover"--by heart.  I eat plant-based foods because I love them with a passion!  I don't label myself by anything other than that; labeling yourself could turn into your worst enemy, because if do fall loose, than you might beat yourself up.  I am mostly vegetarian, but not all the way, because I eat this krill oil supplement, and if I have the chance to eat a clean piece of Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon or some other kind of meat, I will.  I feel better when I don't eat meat, because my body usually rejects it.  I do believe you should what feels best for you: raw, vegetarian, paleo, or whatever your body is in harmony with.

A lip-smacking, delicious Easter to all,
                                                           Melanie



I almost forgot the food letter of the day: B.

Bananas are a food that monkeys and gorillas like, and people like us too!  A banana is one the most popular fruits in the market.  When you need to rescue your digestive tract with some fresh enzyme power, eat a speckled, ripe banana.  Bananas do have a fair amount of sugar, and it used to be too much for me because I felt like it raised my insulin levels a million miles an hour!  So if you have the same problem, spreading an alkaline nut/seed butter on top (like almond or pumpkin seed butter) with a dash of sea salt and a few sprinkles of cacao nibs can be even more satisfying.  Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese.  This tropical fruit is known as a good energy booster and a elimination food.  Bananas can help improve stomach ulcers, eyesight, and build better bones.  If you are looking for a superior food for good digestion, a banana, papayas, or pineapples would be a excellent food to eat since they naturally carry enzymes.






Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs (Vegan)


The Peanut Butter (Inside)

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup organic unsalted peanut butter
  • 3 tbsps coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 2 tbsps almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
Directions:

In a food processor, blend the peanut butter if it's not super smooth and creamy.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Shape the peanut butter mixture into eggs.

Chocolate Coat

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsps coconut nectar
  • 2 tbsps cacao powder
Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.  

2. With gloves on, take each peanut butter egg and dip the tops in the chocolate and place them unto the baking sheet and plop them into the freezer for 15 minutes.

3. Take the chocolate eggs out of the freezer and do the same thing to the other side and place them back into the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.  (There will probably be extra chocolate sauce).  Eat these peanut butter eggs right out of the freezer, or you can leave them out for 10 minutes and eat them immediately and then place them in the fridge.  I personally think that leaving them out for 10 minutes makes a soft, irresistible texture.  Enjoy these as a fun, healthier treat for Easter.

  • This recipe makes 12 large Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs



Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Quinoa Stir Fry


I am so happy that spring has arrived!  The fresh air and cool breeze is what Iv'e been missing during the long, chilly winter.  This stir fry is filled with a variety of vegetables, making this dish pleasantly splendid.  When I fix up a storm in my kitchen, I am always reminded that I need to first choose what foods I will combine together.  It might sound cheesy, but I smell and taste a spice and vegetable and whatever I feel goes together like salt and pepper.  Sometimes three or more flavors are in my mouth at once as I let my tongue be the judge.  I usually ask my mom if she likes the combination I chose and I will give her a little sample.  If you are ever creating your own recipes in the kitchen, this technique I use is so beneficial that it can tremendously help make your recipes taste better too.  If you are thinking about putting an ingredient in your recipe and it clashes with a seasoning or food, you can save your recipes life by testing the combinations before you add it into a dish. 

Most of you reading this probably know I am a beginner blogger, so if you try out my recipes and you have any suggestions, I would love to here from you.  I have been blogging consistently for around 6 months now and it's a great passion of mine; any advice or feedback for anything would be great. Basically my mom and I are taste testers for my food, and sometimes my brothers try my desserts and tell me what they think.  Most of my family members are scarred of my food because some are green and look alive because it's raw.  I was probably the same way a long time ago, but wholesome and green foods aren't that bad, because you first start feeling wonderful inside your body and your taste buds are enhanced like never before.  It would be like I walked in shadows and dim light for so long and then was suddenly introduced by the rays of sun soaring out to me.  It was different, but exciting at the same time.  I was then discovering that foods truly heal everyone, anyone; they can heal YOU!  


Since every food has its own super power, today I am going to start something new beginning with this post.  I am going to pick out a food that starts with the letter "A" and work my way down the alphabet and talk about what the food does for you.  I began to wonder if there was any foods that started with the letter w, y, and z, and there is!  Walnuts could be for W, yams for Y, and Zucchinis for Z.  Fun, right?  I don't know how long I will name a food for each letter of the alphabet, but maybe forever!  As long as I don't run out of ideas I will be good.  Someday if I stumble across a word that I can't find a name for it maybe you guys can help me out.  

Food Letter of the Day: A

The first letter in the alphabet is "A", and of coarse the most common food beginning with this letter would be an apple.  

The saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" has some truth to it.  Did you now that this fruit can prevent diseases ranging from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  Apples are a great source of antioxidants, and notably the highest amount is contained in its skin.  That's no surprise, because most red fruits are known to be high in antioxidants.  Fascinatingly, apples can even naturally whiten your teeth, because when you eat them it produces saliva in your mouth and reduces the levels of bacteria.  In one of my books (Foods That Heal,) it states that apples contain 50% more vitamin C than oranges.   Also, one apple is packed with 5 grams of soluble fiber, making an apple a good eliminative food.






Spring Quinoa Stir Fry

Ingredients:
  • 14 green beans
  • 6-7 thick asparagus (or 11-12 small ones) + 1/2 tbsp macadamia oil
  • 2 cup of yellow squash (sliced and cut in half)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 + 3/4 cup cauliflower florets
  • 3-4 tbsps fresh dill
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup onions (diced) + a small amount of macadamia oil for drizzling
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 1/2 tbsps macadamia oil
Directions:

1. Cook the quinoa first if you haven't already so you can instantly eat it with the vegetables.

2. Preheat the oven at 300F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  With a knife, split the thick asparagus in half from the center, or if you have small asparagus you don't have to bother.  Chop each of the asparagus into around two inch pieces.  (It doesn't have to be perfect).  In a bowl, combine the 1/2 tbsp of oil with the asparagus.  When the oven is done preheating, place the asparagus pieces onto the baking sheet and cook them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

3. Heat a small pan on a stove top unit at temperature 7.  If you haven't diced the onion, go ahead and do that till you get a half of a cup.  When the pan is hot, pour the 1/2 cup of onions inside and drizzle a small amount of macadamia oil on top and frequently stir for 1 minute.  Turn down the heat to 6 and continue to frequently stir the onions for 4 minutes and remove the pan from the unit and place them on a plate.  

4. Cut the green beans in half and chop the red bell pepper into cubes.  With all of the other veggies, cut them to get the desired amount if you haven't already.  Heat up two large pans on temperature 7.  When each unit is heated up enough, place the bell pepper and cauliflower in one pan and the squash and green beans in the other.  For each pan, pour in 3/4 tbsp macadamia oil.  Stir each pan of vegetables frequently on temperature 7 for 2 minutes and turn down the heat to 4 and cook them for 2-4 minutes.

5. Break the fresh dill into small pieces.  Pour the vegetables into the 2 cup of cooked quinoa and add the onion, asparagus, and all the rest of the ingredients.  Adjust the flavor according to what you like.

  • This stir fry makes 3 large servings


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chocolate Fruit & Cream Breakfast Tacos (With Candida Friendly Options)


I know that tacos are originally for lunch and dinner, but these are soft breakfast tacos-not spicy, no vegetables, just a sweet, unique delight of its own.  These are best eaten warm, because they are more sturdy and bendable.  At the bottom you'll notice I have a candida friendly option for the sweetener for any of you that might be avoiding any foods containing sugar. Also, since this recipe calls for buckwheat, you can indulge in this food without feeling crumby, because buckwheat is a fruit seed, not a starch, and it's easier to digest too!  If you seriously have any questions on what to eat with a certain temporary diet, ask me about the delicious options you have.  They are out there, I know it may seem like there isn't, but after fixing so many special foods, there's more options than you probably realize.  

I remember long ago my mom and I felt strongly about eating the easiest to digest and sugar free foods to heal ourselves, and an other way to put it would be purify ourselves (it's just a more positive term that I am recently attached to.)   I want to tell you about the importance of purifying your heart, mind, body, and spirit.  So basically, to purify means to become clean, to clear or purge, and to free yourself from something that may be holding you back (like guilt).  Maybe a big part of becoming healthier is to forgive someone, and forget about that grudge your'e holding on to so tightly, deeply accepting yourself and your circumstance, and taking action and doing everything you can to change it.  Honestly, taking sometime to do some soul searching to improve any of these aspects, and even in small amounts at a time can make a big difference.  Try it out, it can change your life as it did for me. 


Anyways, back to what I was saying, so my mom and I were scrambling for any tasty, sugar free, and the easiest to digest recipes we could find.  We didn't know what to look for, where to go, or anything that was really going to heal ourselves.  It was so long ago, but I can still remember that we fried up some zucchini and squash and poured tomato sauce all over it and for an other meal, we would eat brown rice and broccoli with very little seasonings for flavor.  When we were devastatingly hungry for a dessert type of food, we made coconut flour pancakes with zero sweetener, and would slather peanut butter on top, and the food didn't taste that good at all.  So if you are at that stage and you need ideas, PLEASE ask, Iv'e been though it and I know exactly what to do--which foods, sweeteners, and healing properties to use, and so you don't go berserk, what fruits to occasionally eat too.

These chocolate tacos worked magic for me as I seeped in a whole cup of buckwheat flour, and to make the colors dance, I added some cacao powder.  If any of you aren't big fans of chocolate, you could probably add in some carob power for an eye popping color instead.  You know, you don't have to add any chocolate at all, it just gives it a more eye griping color to gaze at.  I am kind-of a color fanatic with fashion and foods--it's weird, I know.  I have been a color coordinator since birth, well, maybe not, but after I took a fashion strategies class my sophomore year in high school, I realized that life is full of style.  Color combining is like the melodies of your spirit and creativity of your mind.  When it comes to fashion, two neutrals and regular color like pink or green can change an ordinary outfit into a completely wonderful statement of your inner self.  The same goes for food, because you can change the entire look of a dish with a garnish, drizzles, etc., so there is a feast for your eyes to explore.  

Chocolate stuffed tacos from me to you,
                                                             Melanie







Chocolate Fruit & Cream Breakfast Tacos 


Chocolate Taco (makes 6-7)

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsps cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 tbsps grounded flax seeds + 6 tbsps warm water
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or 4-5 packets of stevia for a candida friendly option)
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • coconut oil for greasing
Directions:

1. Mix the flax seeds in the six tbsps of water and soak them for fifteen minutes.

2. In the meantime, combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and blend well.

3. Now, if the flax eggs are done soaking, blend them inside the batter. 

4. Heat up a griddle or skillet and grease it with coconut oil.

5. Pour on some batter and smooth it out until it is as thin as it can be.  Cook the chocolate tacos until they are thoroughly done.

6. Enjoy these chocolate tacos stuffed with maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut whip cream, fruit, or jam.  If you want some candida friendly options, you could spread nut butters or even coconut whip cream on top.




Coconut Whip Cream

Ingredients:


  • the fat of one chilled can of coconut milk (this one is the best and least expensive brand) drain any water.
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice or 2 packets of stevia
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, smash the coconut fat chunks and then blend all of the ingredients with an electric blender until a whip is formed.  Keep the coconut whip in the fridge until it's ready to serve.



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blueberry Lime Cheesecake (Raw)


For St. Patricks Day I made this raw cheesecake and colored it a light green with an avocado.  You can eat this cheesecake any time of the year though, and you don't have to add in the avocado if you don't want to.  One of my favorite parts of this cheesecake was slicing it and finding blueberries inside--and of course, eating it!  Making this cheesecake was the most delightful part, because each time I whip up a raw cheesecake, I find each one different and exciting.  There is so many different things I want to create with pies and cheesecakes.  Honestly, they are my favorite desserts to make--ever!  I have seen so many beautiful ones created that it inspires me to go whatever direction my heart leads me. Some fun things I have learned about on how to make pies and cheesecakes shine with so much loveliness is theses three strategies.

First, you have to come up with an idea on what you want your pie/cheesecake to look like.  Sometimes a great idea doesn't just walk into my head until I start making the dessert.  Inspiration for a beautiful dish seems to grow the more you make and fix foods.

Here's a big one--color!  Without enough color, where is the presentation?  The colors are like the flame on a candle, or the saltiness in a savory dish.  I guess that's one of the reasons why fixing delicious meals are so drawing to me.  I am still developing how to make mouthwatering foods in my own kitchen, but these ideas stuck with me on my journey.

To top them all off, one of the simplest things to do to add enchantment to pies and cheesecakes is placing real fruit or some type of drizzle on top.  Emily (the creator of "This Rawsome Vegan Life") creates gorgeous pies and cheesecakes using simple fruits and drizzles, which makes her desserts come to life.  If you want any other ideas, I would defiantly stop by her site.

I know there's probably a lot more, but Iv'e just listed the basics.

     

Springform pans make pie making as easy as, you know, pie.  I got mine for around seven dollars on black friday, but I think you can get them as cheap as twelve dollars or less.

Once I made a delicious strawberry chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crust and strawberry filling.  The prettiest part about it was the sliced strawberries on top.  Oh man, and it tasted like the best strawberry cheesecake Iv'e ever made.  Nothing can go wrong with chocolate, right?  It can complete a dessert with just a few ingredients.  A slice of raw cheesecake in my fridge is not uncommon in my house.  I got to say it's the best when you're devastatingly craving something rich and fulfilling.

I hope your day is filled with sweet and flavorful food,
                                                                                        Melanie




Blueberry Lime Cheesecake (Raw)


Pecan Crust 

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps coconut butter
  • 2 1/2 tbsps coconut nectar
  • 3 tbsps cashew butter
Directions:

1. Cut out a circle of parchment paper a little bigger than your springform pan and line the bottom with it.

2. In a food processor, blend the pecans until they form small chunks.

3. In a separate bowl, add the pecan chunks and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Smash any coconut butter clumps that are big and visible.

4. Pour the crust in a medium sized springform pan and place it in the freezer and start making the filling.

Note: the crust is thick, so if you want a thinner crust, take out a little for an extra snack when huger strikes.


Blueberry Lime Filling 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1 tbps nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (chilled)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tbsps lime juice
  • 1 avocado for green color (optional)
  • 1/3 cup blueberries + extra for the top (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 lime
Directions:

1. In a food processor, blend the cashew butter and coconut butter until smooth.

2. Blend the rest of the ingredients except the blueberries and limes until well combined. 

3. Take the crust out of the freezer and pour the filling on top of the crust.  

4. Randomly insert the 1/3 cup of blueberries into the filling. (I used a toothpick to push each blueberry into the filling.) Smooth the top afterwards.  Slice the lime and then cut them into half moon shapes.  Place them on top and around the cheesecake.  Place one blueberry in the center and two in between each lime.  Look at my pictures above for any ideas.  

Note: if you were wondering how I made the limes look tie-dyed, all I did is rub my finders in some blueberries and gently painted parts of the tops.

5. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for 4-5 hours.  

6. Take out the cheesecake and drive a butter knife in and around the edges of the springform pan and pop it out. This cheesecake is best served cold.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Protein Power Granola (Vegan, Oat Free, and No Bake)


When I was younger, granola was always in my hand--watching television, at the dinner table, and in my vanilla yogurts.  It was the extra something that gave me a little crunch in my life.  I loved granola so much I would ask my mom to buy them by the boxes in the grocery store, and we would go through the boxes in a snap.  Granola has oats, so it can be hard to digest, so I created an oat free version that still has that crunchiness we crave.  It has protein from the seeds and everything is dehydrated so we can preserve what would be lost in a baked version.  Raw foods are usually the way to go for lots of jam-packed nutrition.  I don't eat all the way raw though, because cooked foods can be beneficial in giving your body a rest, especially in the fall in winter. When the seasons change, and spring and summer roll around the corner, I usually tend to eat more raw foods and I feel my best eating that way.  I also try to buy other foods I don't eat as much and purchase them so I can eat a variety of vitamins and nutrients to get can the health benefits of different foods.  


My mom was telling me this smells a little bit like coffee, even though none of that is inside this granola; I figured it was because of the cacao nibs and seeds.  This granola was so addicting, probably because I haven't had it for like a year.  So after the successful first batch, I was headed for the second.  I would of never thought that I could make successful, raw, and oat free granola two years ago.  That thought didn't even rush into my head until last week.  The very first batch of granola (a batch with oats in it) was soggy and gross.  Over a year and a half ago, I was soaking oats over-night, and the next day I made my mixture, popped it in the oven, and it turned out horrible.  I guess practice makes perfect.  

In the past, there has been many times where I failed to make the perfect batch a muffins, or the tastiest raw foods, and unfortunately it turned my world upside-down when it comes to baking and fixing foods.  I stopped whipping up foods in the kitchen since I was making a lot of foods that didn't taste that good, because they weren't as scrumptious as the store bought raw goodies, or the crackers stocked up on the health food store shelf.  I guess I had a love-hate relationship with cooking and fixing raw food in the past.  Thankfully, the tables turned and I discovered how to make foods that taste better than store bought goods, and make them whatever way I wanted them (sugar, grain, dairy free, etc.) but still divine.  Luckily, as time flew by, I found more food choices and started eating more foods I couldn't before.  


If you asked me how you can heal yourself so you can eat more raw foods, or more foods with sugar, and so on and so forth (there is a lot of solutions, but some of the most beneficial ways in healing the body is in these four points.) I would first tell you to eat some kind of probiotic like kefir, sauerkraut, any kind of fermented vegetables, a good probiotic supplements, miso, etc.  The second one would be eating green salads (with lots of leafy lettuce) and with a healthy dressing everyday.  This one is so beneficial, because eating a salad, especially with lots of vegetables, can help nutritionally, and help you digest your foods well.  Another super important one would be consistency.  I can't even tell you in a few words how important I think this is.  You don't have to eat 100% healthy, but eating a mostly whole foods diet is vital for great health.  When it comes to what foods you put into your mouth, you have to think about if it's going to harm you; if you think about all of the processed foods you ate over the past years, it adds up, even an unhealthy snack everyday.  

I personally LOVE to a 100% healthy.  I only do it to live the cleanest, healthiest, and disease free life I am capable of living.  If your wondering if one piece chocolate would do any harm--no, it wouldn't, but I personally don't eat anything that's not whole because I want to be in complete harmony with my body; that is just one of the reasons why I choose not to eat any unhealthy foods.  Everyone is different, and has different paradigms, so do whatever you want and feels right to you.  The last thing that can be the most important, is the way your feeding yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  If your life is not balanced out and your beating yourself up or feeling stressed or not working out enough, these things can dramatically affect your health.  Remember to always give yourself what you need when you need it, and make time for the important things in life. 


I am no health expert, but if you have any questions on what you should do to heal ______ or whatever it is, I would be happy to answer whatever I can with the knowledge I have and experiences Iv'e been through.  Also, if any of you were wondering how to make special diet friendly foods, I would gladly share some links to websites with recipes that are perfect for that special, temporary diet, or maybe I can show how to substitute different foods to have successful baked or fixed meals.  Whatever it is, I would love to help any of you out there.

Wishing everyone a crunchy day of goodness,
                                                                          Melanie






Protein Power Granola (Vegan, Oat Free, and No Bake)

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsps cacao nibs 
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds 
  • 1/2 cup crispy brown rice
  • 1/4 buckwheat groats
  • 2 tbsps chia seeds (soaked)
  • 3 tbsps coconut nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsps cashew butter
Directions:

1. In a bowl, mix in the cacao nibs, all the seeds, coconut shreds, crispy brown rice, buckwheat groats, and chia seeds together.

2. In a separate bowl, mix in the coconut nectar and vanilla extract.  Pour in the mixture into the other bowl and mix well.

3. Next, mix in the cashew butter until well combined.

4. Place the sticky granola in a dehydrator and dehydrate on 105F. for 12 hours.

Note: to make it easier--with a spoon, you can divide the granola into sections so you can break the pieces when they are fully dehydrated.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Raw Macaroni and cheese


Raw Macaroni and cheese has been on my to make lists in the back of my mind.  Most of the recipes on my blog are going to be raw or somewhat raw.  My goal is to make nutritious, tasty, and nourishing foods without any harmful ingredients, so expect common or original recipes to be made healthy.
The other day one of my brothers pointed to my mac'n cheese and said, "that's Marconi and Cheese?"  I simply responded by saying, "yes, and it's raw so it is going to look a little different."  Raw foods actually taste good, because the flavors aren't cooked, so the foods are in their pure form.  If you've never had raw foods in your life, then it might taste a little weird since you may not used to all the splendid, strong flavors.  


Something fascinating about raw foods is the way you feel after eating them.  Seriously, don't you feel heavenly inside after eating a salad?  Somedays I don't have a lot of time to make and eat a salad because I am busy with a lot of other things.  When I don't eat one, I usually regret it because my gut isn't in as much harmony with the rest of my body.  Now, since I am so used to having a salad, my arms reach out to the kale and romaine without me even thinking about it; it's second nature.  Being connected with your gut is a vital role for a healthy life; nothing can replace it.  The day I truly felt in tune with my body was like finally finding that long, lost T-shirt or once again connecting with that friend I love so much.  If you rarely have raw food, give it a try.  Do what feels right, maybe all you should eat is a small bag of carrots with a healthy, delicious dressing or maybe you are ready to jump ahead to the salad.  Sometimes transitioning gracefully is the way to go.  If your body is rejecting certain foods, STAY AWAY FROM THEM.


I remember before a martial art tournament, I visualized myself performing with rising energy because I had a few tsps of maca.  Iv'e had maca before, but not for awhile.  I decided to eat some and a few minutes later I felt sick to my stomach like I was going to throw up.  (Thankfully I didn't)  I was hungry, but I felt too sick to eat anything, so a brought a banana with pumpkin seed butter if uncontrollable hunger struck me.  After the tournament I stuffed every last bit in my mouth like Iv'e never tasted anything like it.  The pleasant snack was so satisfyingly scrumptious, because I thriving off my mental energy.  I was sparring in matches where I unfortunately sparred in each round from a matter of bad luck, or maybe not so much bad luck.  I learned that focusing your thoughts on having more energy and persevering really pays off.  I was honestly in a lot of pain because I was kicked in shins from kicks like roundhouses, and I pulled a muscle in the strangest spot in my inner thigh.  It was my first tournament and my heart was racing like horses, especially at the last round where it would determine the winner in sparring.  I remember thinking, "you've tried so hard" and "keep the energy up."  My head instructor was watching, which made it even more nerve racking, and thankfully everything ended well.  I was so happy because I barely won a shiny, golden medal from a matter of scraping in a few last points.  

Even though we can't see the energy around us, energy is everywhere and in everything.  We can feel the energy within, around, inside others, and in what we eat.  I know, I know, it might bizarre, but every word I am saying speaks to my heart and I hope it calls out to yours too.

Love and positive energy to all,
                                                   Melanie





Raw Macaroni and Cheese

Cheesy Sauce


Ingredients:
  • 11/2 cups cashews
  • 3/4 red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsps sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps macadamia oil (or you can try substituting with another 2 tbsps of oive oil.)
  • 2-4 tbsps water
  • pepper to taste
  • chives for garnish
Instructions:

In a blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.


Vegetable noodles


Ingredients:
  • 5-6 medium sized zucchinis or squash (peeled)
Instructions:

1. Cut each zucchini or squash in half.  With a watermelon scooper, scoop out the center of each half.  Chop each half into noodle sized pieces.

2. Pour some of the sauce over the noodles you will eat.  (One zucchini is approximately one serving.)  Mix the cheesy sauce and the noodles together and serve immediately.


  • Adapted from a raw macaroni and cheese recipe in Mimi Kirks "Live Raw" cookbook.