Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Introduction

Since becoming a raw vegan I've encountered many people under the misconception that all you can eat is carrot sticks. While I do really really enjoy carrot sticks, this blog is my attempt to prove to the world that you can eat whole, healthy, living foods, and they can be amazing. Right now I'm lucky enough in my life to be able to have lots of time at home where I can spend the day making food in between photography work. This has led me to being able to try things I didn't have time to before, or was too intimidated to. So now I'm on a one woman mission to prove to everyone that raw vegan food is delicious.

To place this all in context here's a brief history of how I got into raw foods:

For those not in the know, the premise of Raw Food is that nothing can be heated over 118f. Therefore food is dehydrated, sprouted, blended, and sometimes frozen instead of being cooked. The reason being to preserve enzymes(which contribute to the breakdown of fats and protein) in your food. Our bodies produce both metabolic and digestive enyzmes on their own, but most raw foodists believe that not cooking food means that the foods we eat contribute their own enzymes to the digestive process, therefore making it easier for your body to digest. Some raw foodist include dairy/fish/meat in their diets, but I don't, for ethical and health reasons. If you want a more in depth explanation about raw food, check out this link: http://www.choosingraw.com/raw-foods-101/.

I don't feel like I know enough about the topic of nutrition to comment on the ins and outs of how your body works, all I have is my own experience. And my experience says that eating a mostly raw diet makes me feel awesome, so I listen to that. Being a vegan and a raw foodist came into my life at a time when I think I needed it the most. I had been mistreating my body for awhile, through eating disorders, substance abuse, ect. and I felt pretty terrible. I went to see the movie Food Inc. with a friend one day and left the movie theater deciding I was going to be a vegan. I pretty much made the switch overnight, and to be honest I felt far better despite the fact that I've heard you're not suppose to do that. I kept reading about raw foods and they sounded pretty good, so I started eating mostly raw. And it was wonderful for awhile, but after a bit I found it really hard. The recipes were confusing to me, the ingredients foreign, and so all I really ate were salads which got a bit boring.

In January I made the decision that I was no longer going to make myself feel guilty about what I eat, and I was going to eat what I wanted when I wanted. All I've really wanted to eat since making that decision was raw food, so this blog is about that!

Things I ate today:

Kale and Corn Chips with Chunky Guacamole

Ginger Noodle Salad

Chia Pudding

Kale Corn Chips with Chunky Guacamole:
I only made half the recipe to test it out, and ended up eating the entire batch for lunch. Oops. I've been trying to eat less nut based dishes cause I find they can be kind of heavy, so this was one of the recipes I found on my quest for lighter chips/crackers.
Originally from Rawmazing.com

Corn Kale Chips:

4 cups fresh or frozen corn, separated
2 packed cups kale, chopped
1 clove garlic1
1/2 lime, juice from
1/2 cup ground flax
pinch Himalayan Salt
Place 2 cups of corn, garlic, and lime juice in food processor. Puree. Remove to large bowl.
Place remaining 2 cups of corn in food processor and process until pureed. Add kale. Pulse until chopped fine and well combined. You may have to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times.
Add corn kale mix to corn mix in large bowl. Stir to combine.
Add ground flax and salt. Mix well.
Spread 1/4 inch thick on non-stick dehydrator sheets and score. Dehydrate at 145 for 45 minutes. Turn down temperature to 115 and dehydrate until dry and crisp, approx 12 hours. You will want to flip them half way through the dehydration and move to a screen.

Chunky Guacamole:

2-3 avocados, cubed
2 tomatoes, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lime, juice from
Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Toss everything together in a bowl, stir to mix and serve!

NOTE: If you don't have a dehydrator you can make the chips in an over set at the lowest setting with the door ajar. I've never tried this so I don't know how long it takes though.

Chia Pudding:

Chia Seeds are a 'superfood' that were used by the Aztecs and originated from Mexico. When soaked in water/liquid they expand and can be eaten on their own, or used to thicken sauces/smoothies/ect. They have more Omega-3 fatty acids than flax, and they can absorb over 10x their weight in water. They're high in fiber, and antioxidants. They take on the taste of whatever liquid you put them in and are slightly reminiscent of tapioca pudding. Making Chia pudding is so simple I kind of hesitate to call it a recipe, you mix 1 part chia seeds to 3 parts liquid, stir it and leave it for about 20 minutes. The longer you leave it the thicker it gets, and it'll keep for about a week in the fridge (sometimes depending what liquid you use, some nut milks start to taste weird after that long). You can use coconut water, nut milks, whatever for the liquid, adding some stevia, cacao, vanilla, or agave is good too. For the photo above I used some coconut water and blended it with a handful of macadamia nuts and a packet of stevia, then strained it and poured it over the seeds.

3/4 Cup Chia Seeds
2 Cups Nut milk
Stevia/Vanilla to taste

Mix everything together, then let it rest for a bit, mix every 10 minutes or so til it reaches the consistency you want. It'll appear too liquidy initially but the seeds will plump up in time!

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