raw

Vegan Taco Boats

Here’s a filling and yummy meal with variety that you can tweak to your own needs and likes. 

This week with my Abundant Harvest Organics delivery we received a type of Japanese lettuce called Komatsuna. This is the first time I had heard of this vegetable and tried it. It turns out that Komatsuna contains calcium, Vitamins and Minerals. I decided it should be eaten raw, as a taco boat. 

Here is what you need:

1 Bunch Komatsuna (or another similar leafy lettuce of your choice)
2 Cans Black beans (or about 3 cups if you are cooking them yourself)
2 Avocados
3 Raw Chopped Jalepenos
2 Chopped Shallots
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Bunch Chopped Cilantro
2 Limes
1 cup Chopped Red Cabbage
1 Cup Chopped Green Cabbage
1 Cup Spinach Leaves
1 Cup Chopped Kale
1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Cup Farro
Salt & Pepper to taste
Crackers or your choice

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So these taco boats include a homemade bean dip and guacamole:

For the bean dip:

Add black beans, cumin, chilli powder, salt, pepper, 1 garlic, half of the chopped Cilantro, 1 Jalepeno, 1 Shallot and juice of one lime to a food processor and blend until smooth. 

For Guacamole:

First cut avocados and place into a medium bowl. Mash the two avocados with a fork just a little bit. Then add the 1 chopped shallot, 2 minced garlic, other half of chopped cilantro, 2 chopped jalapenos to the avocados and mix a little bit with a fork. Finally, add the juice of one lime (or lemon, it honestly tastes the same) salt and pepper to taste and mix one final time to get a tasty and chunky guacamole. 

Farro:

Farro is an ancient grain that has fiber, Protein, Vitamin E, B3,  Zinc, Magnesium and tastes great! In order to get the most benefit from Farro, you should soak it before cooking for optimal absorption of things like Zinc. To cook, you simply add the 1/2 cup Farro to a pan with 1 Cup water and cook on Medium for about 10 minutes.

For the taco boats, just take a Koratsuna leaf and fill it up with the bean dip, guac, kale, spinach, cabbages, farro and enjoy! The cucumbers in the picture were just a side item and the crackers can be used to make sandwiches with all the ingredients as well. 

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Get your Beet on! 3 ways to enjoy beets.

You don’t have to be Dwight Schrute to enjoy beets. I don’t own a beet farm but I am just as enthusiastic about them as Dwight! Beets are awesome! I love them but I know they can be difficult to work with at times. There are many health benefits of beets, and eating them raw is the best way to get all that goodness!

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Here are a few ways to prepare beets and enjoy them:

1. Juicing – Try these two juices:

Juice 1 – Beets, carrots, and apple – one of the easiest juices with very few ingredients

Juice 2 – 1 Beet, 1 batch of carrots (usually about 4-5), 1 stalk celery, 1 apple, 1 lemon, 1 lime, about half an inch ginger – This juice is tasty and a great way to also enjoy celery which I find very hard to eat. You can’t taste the celery at all 🙂

TIP:  Swish the juice around in your mouth a little to mix your saliva to get more out of your juice. Saliva has enzymes that will help break down the ingredients to better absorb them in your body, it gives your heart a break from doing all the work of moving everything through your bloodstream.  It helps expand your veins, this is called Vasodilation.

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2. Salad and Salad Dressing

– Juice one beet, add the juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup olive oil, some salt and pepper and mix them all together for a delicious salad dressing. I created the following salad to pair perfectly with the beet salad dressing.

Here’s what you need for the salad:

– 1 Avocado, chopped (not too small)
-1 cup chopped Kale
– 1 cup chopped Lettuce ( I used the lola rosa kind)
– 1/2 cup chopped Green Onions
– 1 cup chopped Green Cabbage
– 1 cup chopped Red Cabbage
– 1/4 cup Walnuts
-1/4 cup Kalamata Olives

Just mix everything together in a bowl and top with beet salad dressing. You can add more walnuts or less if you like.

Here’s a better picture of the salad once everything was mixed in:

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3: Slice them thinly and eat with pretty much anything!

What I did was take one beet, slice it with my veggie pasta cutter (this was about a $35 investment that has come in handy) then combine it with some sweet potato chips (homemade, just preheat oven to 350, slice thinly and roast for 30 mins), 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1/4 cup lentils.

Drizzle some olive oil on top and just eat together, with a spoon, sandwich style or however you like.

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Almond Milk: How to make it yourself, and why.

I’ve been making almond milk for a while and after some trial and error I have finally perfected it. Here are the exact steps I take to get the most out of my money and the almonds.

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What you need:

– 2 cups raw (preferably organic) Almonds
– 6 cups filtered water
– Cheese Cloth
– Blender

Step 1:
I always soak my almonds over night. Soaking nuts is very beneficial, and helps absorb its nutrients better. All nuts contain anti-nutrients. These anti-nutrients are removed during soaking and leave you with a better version of nuts, nutritionally and taste wise.

This picture shows the almonds before being soakedImage

This picture shows the almonds after being soaked. As you can see the water is murky, so make sure you rinse well and get rid of the bad stuff.

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Step 2:
After you have soaked your almonds, drain and rinse them well

Step 3:
Take 1 cup of almonds and transfer to blender, add 2 cups filtered water and blend on high speed

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Step 4:
Pour almond milk through cheese cloth into a bowl, strain the almond pulp through the cheese cloth to get all the milk out

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Step 5:
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining 1cup of Almonds and another 2 cups of the filtered water

Step 6:
Pour the almond milk into the container you will use to store it. Add the remaining 2 cups of filtered water to the almond milk and you should have a creamy, flavorful almond milk that will last 3 to 4 days.

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You will have some leftover almond pulp from making milk, I usually use the leftovers to make a face scrub or almond crackers, and many other things. I will update my blog in the next few days with what you can do with almond pulp.

 

Why you should make it at home:

I used to buy organic almond milk all the time and thought it was providing me with an alternative to cow milk that was as healthy as can be. It’s still better than cow milk, but the truth is that pretty much anything on a store shelf is processed and has additives. If you read the ingredients for almond milk, it doesn’t look like there is anything bad in there right? Well, if you do some research into it you will find that is not the case and the big manufacturers managed to trick us yet again!

Some of the additives in store bought almond milk are Calcium Carbonate, Tocopherol Acetate, and Vitamin A Palmitate. All of these additives are synthetic and do no good for you but I want to focus on just one of them for this post: Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is not Vitamin D, it’s again, synthetic and toxic! There is an entire study done here: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/4/694.full 

 The most shocking thing I’ve read is that experts are finding that Vitamin D2 may actually be a cause of Vitamin D deficiency by desensitizing the D3 receptors in our body! And to think Doctors even prescribe this to patients! Vitamin D3 is vitamin D created by our bodies through exposure to the wonderful sun.

So, if you’re buying almond milk from the store, try making it at home instead and get your vitamin D from other places like mushrooms, eggs and the best vitamin D comes from our power and life source, the sun! Get outside, get some sun and let your body do the rest. 🙂

Goodies – The Easiest Jam you will Ever Make

The jam I used for my uncles gift box was strawberry, but today I made Raspberry jam with Chia seeds.

It’s all RAW and only 3 easy steps

Here is what you need:

–          1 cup raspberries 

–          1 tablespoon Chia Seeds (you can add more if you want)

–          Stevia to taste (optional)

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3 EASY STEPS:

  1. Blend raspberries in blender until liquefied
  2. Add contents of blender to a jar and then add the chia seeds and optional sweetener
  3. Mix everything together well, and let sit in refrigerator overnight

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This is what it should look like after you have blended the raspberries and added the Chia seeds and optional sweetener. 

 

That’s it! The next morning you should have a healthy, raw, all natural jelly/jam ready to be spread on your morning toast or eaten on its own! You can make this same jam with strawberries, blueberries and more!

You should have this thicker consistency the next day:

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Why make this at home, and why raw?

Store bought jelly or jam is usually, well a sham! When you think of something made of pretty much just fruit. It’s supposed to be good for you right? Well not when the fruit has been cooked, second ingredient is sugar (or even worse, cornstarch!), has other additives/preservatives and has been sitting on a shelf for God knows how long. Here are some benefits of having berries on a regular basis:

–          Great for your skin

–          High in antioxidants

–          Contain vitamin C

–          Aids in weight loss

–          They taste great!

 

Making this jam at home is also a great way to eat raw chia seeds which are an excellent source of OMEGA-3. So instead of spending your money on fish oil that are likely not even doing their job unless you take like 6-10 of those huge pills a day (read the instructions people)… just add more chia seed to your diet.  

 

Here are some other ways of incorporating raw chia seeds to your diet:

 

–          Add them to ANY soup, they are practically undetectable

–          Make drinks (you can add them to any juice or smoothie or even an iced coffee and they only enhance the texture)

–          Make a chia seed dessert:

  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Chia Seed
  • Cinnamon and Stevia to taste

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Add the Chia seeds, cinnamon and stevia to the almond milk in a glass cup. Stir well, and leave the cup in the fridge for 15-20 mins for a sweet and healthy, jell-o like desert!

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