I love to eat my smoothies with a spoon. I make them thick enough to pour into bowl so that I can top them with granola. To me this is heaven, the best way to have a bowl of granola and a smoothie all in one.
You may think that there is no real trick to making a smoothie that tastes like pudding. Well I beg to differ. To make a REALLY smooth and consistent smoothie, it takes some practice or just knowing what to pair together. You have to use the right ingredients in perfect amounts – to get that creamy consistency, texture and flavour. You can use more or less frozen fruit to make it thicker or less thick. Oh and of course you need a good blender, that can make or break the deal alone!
I have definitely made and had bad smoothies in the past. There is nothing worse than a watered down smoothie or one that just doesn’t have that mouth feel that you crave even when you’ve finished your smoothie. That’s what happens to me, I always want more even when it’s all gone. I truly can’t get enough of smoothies! They give me energy, fill me up and make me so happy! I get excited every time I make a new one, honest! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
So I’m thinking.., “I deserve a treat…a cake….and a big one too.” Food is my biggest reward. My admiration and desire for colors and tastes is too great and impossible to neglect. I have no doubt that if I were to give up gourmet foods, the resulting hunger would spiral me into an irreversible depression. This is why I take culinary moments, especially involving cake, and turn them into physical and emotional celebrations.
Browsing through my memory on what used to be my priorities in life and comparing them to my current lifestyle, I quickly find even more reasons for celebration. My life used to be all about getting the right job, surrounding myself with successful people and being at every important event there was. Despite being successful in all of the above endeavors I found myself driving with my car back home thinking, “Why do I still feel so empty?”. My curious and somewhat stubborn personality wouldn’t rest until I fully explored the questions of what would truly make me happy. It took some time but I found the answers, all of those being in healthy lifestyle with vegan and raw foods. Despite being where I am right now, I still believe my youth was necessary for me to grow and looking back I would have not changed a thing. However, searching for happiness in nightlife, clubbing and attaching importance to ego-based matters did not fulfill my needs for internal happiness. It certainly gave me a focus on myself which prompted me to explore my needs in great depth. This doesn’t mean I became isolated, it just means I now know how to take time for myself and truly spend it in peace and tranquility. I learned how to appreciate nature, observe and enjoy the scents of cherries, mangoes, peaches, apricots, passion fruit and all other wonderful fruits of nature. They empower me to feel youthful, confident, wholly and most importantly they keep me healthy. I now take time when driving with my car to observe nature, fields of greens, valleys of grasses which calms me and leaves me with feeling of content and allows me to see the true essence of nature’s beauty. With my passion for healthy vegan and raw food I have touched and changed some people’s lives, as well as my own. I spend a good portion of time in day thinking about new gourmet – stylish looking recipes that would bring intrigue and interest in people’s lives so they would too join me on the journey of the eco and animal friendly lifestyle of healthy foods.
Sweet beets combine with creamy avocados for this alluring, satisfying, and not to mention stunningly-colored soup.
For the Soup
4 Medium beets
1 Avocado, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
2 Cups water
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp ground coriander
¼ tsp sea salt
Fresh cilantro leaves & black pepper for garnish (optional)
1. Roast: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim the beets and remove stems and end. Individually wrap each beet in tin foil. Roast for 1 hour and allow to cool completely. Using a paper towel, rub off the beet skins. Chop coarsely.
2. Blend: Place the beets, avocado, lime juice, water, hemp seeds, coriander and sea salt in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
3. Chill: Place soup into refrigerator, and allow to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Serve: Pour into serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro and black pepper if desired.
I have never been one for sushi. I mean the l kind with white rice and raw fish. I won’t go into all the reasons why. To me, a real nori roll is one that is filled with veggies, kept raw and full of colour. It is one of my favourite things to eat. It is so simple to prepare and makes an amazing snack, lunch or dinner. I don’t know about you, but I like things full – by that I mean complete. I love my food bursting with flavour, colour and texture and there has to be more than one ingredient in my rolls – no matter what. How boring is “kappa maki” – just cucumber all alone in that roll. So sad. There are an abundance of other amazing veggies that would give anything to be inside a luscious roll of nori goodness.
So the key to raw nori making is to use raw nori sheets. It doesn’t work if you buy the toasted kind. So make sure to buy it raw. Then for the filling, you can go crazy with anything from sprouted quinoa, to chopped jicama (an incredible root veggie from Mexico), to shredded cauliflower. But I went on a totally new tangent. I soaked and sprouted some sunflower seeds and almonds– which are loaded with healthy fats and nutty texture. Then I blended them into my version of a mock tuna salad. I threw in some fresh herbs from my garden like dill, oregano and sage, added some dulse (a sea veggie – to give it that true vegan “sea” taste) and other condiments to just make it burst with unique flavour.
Once you spread that on your raw nori sheet, you are good to go and add loads of veggies. I would start with carrots, beets, cucumber, spinach, mango sprouts, avocado. This is a pretty good start and will fill your rolls rather nicely. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised how delicious and filling these are. Take them to your next party or just enjoy them on your own – they don’t even need to be dipped! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The antioxidant powerhouses of blueberries and acai combine forces to produce a colorful, healthy, and refreshing frozen berry dessert. Serve in a wine glass with a sprig of mint for full aesthetic effect. (recipe after the jump) Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Fresh mint makes the best desserts! I admit, I’m not much of a gardener, but I do have an outdoor summer herb garden which includes peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint. It not only tastes delicious, it’s a cooling digestive aid! I love to make full use of my mint during the warm weather, and and what goes better with mint than chocolate, come on, really. Everyone is with me on this one right?
This tart incorporates a chocolate nut crust with a silky, green mint cream filling. I like the combination of fresh mint leaves and mint essential oil, but feel free to use more of only one or the other. Still want to enjoy the tart but don’t have access to fresh mint leaves? Use the essential oil and a dash of spirulina for a soft green color.
I love to enjoy this dessert with guests on a hot, sunny afternoon, along with cold mint tea.
This jam acts just like boysenberry preserves, yet is dense with nutrition, low in sugar, full of whole superfoods, and completely unprocessed. Featuring two all-star superfoods – acai and chia – it’s a fantastic way to sneak extra antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vital micronutrients into any diet. Acai’s soft berry flavor results in a mild-tasting jam, which is as versatile as it is delicious. For a stronger fruity taste, mix in ¼ cup muddled fresh berries (like strawberries or blackberries) before serving. Use on bread, with muffins, on top of desserts, or enjoy a spoonful solo with zero guilt!
Organic Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce (raw)
This is one of those staples, every espiring raw foody should learn to make. It just has that perfect balance of a rich deep chocolate taste and the creamy smoothness of the mousse. In this recipe, I make a raspberry sauce, but it’s not required. You could change up the recipe with differnent types of sauces.
You don’t need to be hard core wheatgrass chugging health nut to enjoy this zesty kale salad with a just a hint of spice. When it comes to dark green salads, I usually just watch other people eat them and look to see if I can find some more exciting and agreeable food to indulge in. When Rod Rotondi came into our studio and made us this kale salad, I was a little hesitant. I slowly sunk my fork into just a small corner leaf, expecting at best for it to be boring and flavorless. Fortunetly I was pleasantly surprised and it was both fresh and delicious, without being overpowering. It hasn’t turned me into a green leaf eater, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I think the last time I had a kale salad was that day. I would certainly eat it again though, it’s just not the first type of dish that comes to mind when I think of what to eat.
Rod Rotondi is an organic raw food chef who own’s Leaf Cuisine, a California based organic raw cafe that has expanded to 3 locations throughout Los Angeles. Just recently their food has made it’s way into Whole Foods and other health food stores in Los Angeles. Their cuisine is obviously a big hit with the health conscious crowd in LA. They feature very simple and fresh fast health food. Their food is not rich and indulgent and generally not bursting with flavorful seasonings or pungent condiments. It is however fresh and light and of course full of plenty of leafs, with just enough flavor to make it pleasantly edible, all while leaving you glowing and satiated and like you did something good for yourself to make up for all the debauchery. The salads are large and colorful and full of live nutrient packed sprouts and the price range is reasonable. Practical, healthy and functional spa type cuisine is how I would describe it.
If you’re like me and need some practical solutions for making nutritious dark bitter greens palatable enough to want to go for seconds, try this recipe! Right now!” – Indulge
As summer approaches, the thoughts of many of us turn to ice cream, one of the most refreshing sweet treats to be enjoyed in warm weather. There are definitely many store-bought non-dairy alternatives to traditional ice cream, which are mainly derived from rice, coconut milk and soy. The best option, however, is probably to make your own healthier batch, so unpack your ice cream maker and get ready to experiment with different textures and flavors. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I wasn’t really planning on making anything decadent and chocolatey last Easter; it just sorta happened! (Guess some things CAN’T be helped!) I was lingering in bed that morning, dreaming of a sweet treat combining caramel and chocolate. After toying with the idea for some time, it finally hit me that I had created a dessert along the same lines a couple of Easters ago. (So much for being original! lol)
The following is a richer version of my Divine Caramel Chocolate Tarts combined with a superfoods-based caramel inspired by GlimR’s Ca~Raw~Mella Bars. Superbly festive and yummy!
These tarts are so beautiful I didn’t want to eat them. Fresh whole fruit is just so lovely and amazing like vibrant flowers. Finally I broke down and ate it. It was very good but I have to say it looks richer then it tasted. It is very light and subtle tasting, refreshing. You can use any fruit you have or any fruit that is in season where you live. Berries are gorgeous and of course go so well with the creme filling. I had an idea to make the crust a chocolate one to contrast the color of the white creme and the vibrant colors of the fruit. I had no idea that it would come out so moist and soft. I kind of liked it that way, reminded me of a chewy brownie. But be warned that it starts to loose it’s shape after a while at room temp. You might want to keep it chilled until right before serving. You can also simply omit the coconut butter in the crust for a drier crust as well. Even though this makes cute little small tarts, you can also just make it into 1 large 9-11″ tart. Again, these ingredients are very good for you, so enjoy with prideful pleasure.
You might be wondering what kind of coconuts to get. Young coconuts work the best and are the healthiest for you. These typically will be shaved down and look like a white round tent with a pointed dome roof. As far as the shape. That’s how you will typically recognize them. If you are lucky enough to find local ones or wild ones depending on where you live, those will be the best option you can choose. As far as choosing coconuts, search the coconut for any purple color, esp. on the bottoms of the coconut. If there is purple color on it, don’t get it. This is a sign that the coconut is starting to mold and go bad. Choose ones that are completely white on the outside. And as far as the meat and water, here is a general rule of thumb. The lighter the coconut, generally the firmer and more mature the meat is and the more meat there is in the coconut and less water. And the heavier the coconut is, generally the younger and more water it has with softer more jelly like meat and less quantity of meat. How do I know this? Well the theory goes that the water is heavier then the meat, and so far my theory has seemed to be true from my experience with them. Which one you want will depend on your use for it. For blended recipes like this one, either kind of meat will do, although softer is a little better. But for recipes that use coco- nut noodles or other sliced or shaved coconut, you will want to find coconuts with a firmer and thicker meat, so look for the lighter ones for those recipes.