Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chocolate Nut Butter Smoothie: Easy Affordable Raw Recipe

Chocolate Nut Butter Smoothie 

Chocolate and nut butter? That's win win, in my book :)

No, really. I mean it. In my book. This recipe is a favorite from my book, Easy Affordable Raw: How to Go Raw on $10 a Day.

This smoothie reminds me of a frosty peanut butter cup. It’s rich and decadent and made to be poured in two or more layers.

For the Chocolate Layer
  • 2 bananas, sliced and frozen 
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder 
  • 1 cup (235 ml) almond milk or flax milk

For the Nut Butter Layer
  • 2 bananas 
  • 1/4 cup (65 g) almond butter 
  • 1 cup (235 ml) almond milk or flax milk

  • Chopped almonds, for garnish (optional) 
  • Cacao nibs, for garnish (optional)

To make the chocolate layer: In a blender, process all the chocolate layer ingredients until very smooth. Pour half into another container and set aside. Divide the remaining smoothie mixture between two glasses.

To make the nut butter layer: Blend the nut butter layer ingredients until very smooth, and divide between the glasses. Spoon this on top of the chocolate layer, being careful not to blend the two layers too much. Then, gently add the remaining chocolate layer mixture.

This is beautiful when made in three layers, but is just as delicious if made in two.

Top with chopped almonds and/or cacao nibs, if using.

Yield: about 4 cups

Easy Affordable Raw: How to Go Raw on $10 a Day has over 100 raw recipes made with ingredients found at most local groceries. No exotic or hard to find things! Get your own copy at the link above.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: September 14, 2014

Banana Watermelon Ice Cream
with Watermelon Chips
serves 4 ~ $1.60 per serving

 1 medium watermelon ($5.00)
7 bananas ($1.40)
1 dropper stevia, optional

We have an abundance of watermelon right now, so have been using it every way possible. I really liked the watermelon chips, they were even better than I expected ... very sweet. And who doesn't like ice cream for breakfast?

Use about 1/2 of the watermelon to make the chips. Cut and slice the watermelon into approximately two inch by two inch pieces that are about a quarter inch thick. There's no need to be overly precise and the rustic pieces usually turn out looking wonderful. Dehydrate for about 12-24 hours, or overnight, until the watermelon pieces are leathery but not too hard and dry.

The ice cream is just as simple to make. The night before, slice the bananas and chunk up the watermelon and then freeze overnight. In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the watermelon and bananas until soft and fluffy, like soft serve ice cream. This will probably need to be done in batches, since this recipe is for quite a bit. For a slightly sweeter ice cream, add a dropper of liquid stevia.

Serve with watermelon chips. The chips are especially good warm right from the dehydrator, but can be stored in a cool, dry place for as long as a week.


calories: 393
fat: 1 gr
carbs: 100 gr
protein: 6 gr

Blueberry Salad
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

1 cup blueberries, dried ($1.00)
1 head romaine ($1.29)
handful kale ($.50)
1 medium onion, divided
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh ($.50) 
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener ($.40)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ($.10)
salt and pepper to taste

Blueberries dry to a wonderful raisin like texture, becoming sweeter and even more flavorful. Care must be taken to not over dry them as they get too hard. Just put a cup of blueberries in the dehydrator for several hours until dry but still chewy.

The salad is just a simple one of romaine, a bit of kale, chopped onions, and dried blueberries. Reserve a tablespoon of chopped onion to go into the dressing.

The dressing is made with the onion, a half cup of fresh blueberries, the olive oil, coconut nectar, and vinegar. Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. This works best with a bullet type blender. Most blenders have a blade assembly that's compatible with canning jars. Just unscrew the blade assembly from the carafe and attach to a small mouth canning jar. The pint jars are perfect for small jobs like this.

 Also, a larger batch of dressing can be made, just double or triple the recipe. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


calories: 289
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 42 gr
protein: 4 gr

Corn Chips and Green Tomato Salsa
serves 2 ~ $2.15 per serving

2 cups corn kernels ($1.30)
1 red bell pepper ($.50)
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno ($.05)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil for tray

To make, just put all ingredients in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade and process until almost smooth. Spread out about 1/8 inch thick on lined dehydrator trays that have been liberally coated with olive oil. Dry for about two hours, then flip and peel the liner off. Dry for another several hours or overnight until dry and crispy. Break into chip sized pieces.

2 ripe red tomatoes, diced ($1.00)
2 green tomatoes, diced ($1.00)
1 medium onion, minced
1 jalapeno, minced ($.05)
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional ($.10)
juice of one lime ($.50)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ($.10)
 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Assemble all ingredients and stir to combine. Really, it's that easy. Serve with corn chips.


calories: 377
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 45 gr
protein: 9 gr

Watermelon Punch Slushie
serves 2 ~ $1.50 per serving

1/2 watermelon, chunked and frozen ($2.50)
juice of one lime ($.50)
1 dropper stevia
water for blending, about a cup

We had a return of wonderfully hot weather (I'm so not looking forward to winter!) and this slushie was really refreshing in the evening when it seems to get even hotter.

Freeze watermelon chunks ahead of time, then puree in a blender with the lime juice and stevia. Add water as needed for blending. Add a watermelon wedge or lime slice as garnish.


calories: 368
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 92 gr
protein: 8 gr

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Total cost for the day: $7.25
total calories: 1,427
total fat: 39 gr
total carb: 279 gr
total protein: 27 gr

Monday, September 8, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: September 7, 2014

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream with Strawberry Sauce
serves 2 ~ $1.10 per serving

  • 4 bananas, sliced and frozen ($.60)
  • juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds ($.30)
  • 1 cup strawberries ($.45)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts ($.15)
  • pinch salt

Banana ice cream is wonderful.  And it's amazingly simple to make with just a food processor.

The strawberry sauce should be made first and set aside. In a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the frozen bananas and lemon juice and zest until creamy like soft serve ice cream. It can take a bit of prodding and scraping to get the bananas going in the food processor, but it's worth it. Once creamy, add the poppy seeds and give a whir or two to incorporate.

Serve with the strawberry sauce and chopped walnuts. 
nutritional information:       calories: 345      fat: 6 gr      carbs: 77 gr      protein: 5 gr
Carrot Avocado Soup
2 servings ~ $1.69 per serving
  • 1 avocado, chopped ($.78)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped ($.40)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped ($.30)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped ($.10)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed ($.05)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
  • 1 1/2 cups water for blending
  • 1/2 medium tomato, finely chopped($1.25)
  • 1 green onion, sliced ($.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

This soup is more hearty than I expected ... quite robust and satisfying, and super simple to make. Coarsely chop all the ingredients to make blending easier. In a blender, add everything but the tomato and scallion and teaspoon olive oil. Puree for a few to several minutes until very smooth. In some blenders, the soup will start to warm up a bit as it processes.

Garnish with chopped tomatoes and scallions, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
nutritional information:       calories: 481      fat: 42 gr      carbs: 28 gr      protein: 5 gr
Mango Salad
serves 2 ~ $2.32 per serving
  • 1 mango, diced ($.98)
  • 1 avocado, diced ($.88)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 1 tablespoon agave or other sweetener ($.10)
  • juice of one lime ($.69)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch leaf lettuce ($1.69)
  • microgreens

I also love sweet and spicy together, like the mango and cayenne that tops this salad. For this salad, I chopped the avocado, mango, and onion, and added the olive oil, agave, lime juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. I mixed this well and let stand and somewhat marinate for a few minutes. Then I spooned it over a bed of leaf lettuce and dandelion greens. I planted the microgreens in a flat with an inch or so of potting soil and snipped them off about 8 days later and added a mound on top.
  nutritional information:      calories: 362      fat: 22 gr      carbs: 45 gr      protein: 6 gr  
Mango Pudding
serves 2 ~ $1.75 per serving
  • 1 mango, cubed ($1.49)
  • 1 ripe avocado ($1.49)
  • 2 ripe bananas ($.30)
  • 1 tablespoon agave, if needed ($.10)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cashews ($.10)

Creamy, sweet, sour, crunchy, smooth ... this is an absolutely perfect breakfast. And it takes all of a few minutes to put together.

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process the avocado, one banana, half the mango, and agave until very smooth and creamy. Top with sliced banana, the remaining cubed mango, and chopped cashews. Drizzle with just a tiny bit of agave, if desired.
nutritional information:       calories: 407      fat: 19 gr      carbs: 67 gr      protein: 5 gr
Total cost for the day: $6.86
total calories: 1,595
total fat: 89 gr
total carb: 217 gr
total protein: 21 gr

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: August 31, 2014

Cantaloupe with Cucumbers
serves 2 ~ $1.20 per person

1 cantaloupe ($1.50)
1 cucumber, chopped ($.40)
1 small onion, sliced ($.10)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar ($.10)

This is just a very quick and easy, light breakfast. 

Slice a cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill the hollows with chopped cucumber and sliced onion. Whisk together the agave, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar with a pinch or so of salt, and spoon over the top.  It didn't turn out quite as pretty or tasty as I'd expected, but it was still good and lunch made up for it.

calories: 236
fat: 8 gr
carbs: 42 gr
protein: 4 gr


Summer Salad with Cucumber Dressing
serves 2 ~ $2.63 per serving

5 ounces arugula ($2.50)
1 cucumber, sliced ($.50)
about 12 cherry tomatoes ($1.00)
1 medium onion ($.10)

1 cucumber peeled and chopped ($.50)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.10)
2 tablespoons lemon juice ($.40)
 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1 teaspoon tarragon ($.05)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

edible flowers for garnish

Raw food is usually effortlessly pretty and photogenic, but this salad was unusually so. I love these viola's. They've kept going all summer long and are still at it. I'll bring them inside when it starts to get cold and see if I can nurse them along for a while.

Assemble the salad. I used a white cherry tomato I grew this year, called Italian Ice, but any cherry tomato will do. 

In a bullet type blender, puree all the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy.

There are all sorts of edible flowers that can be grown in a home garden. I've used viola's and a pansy here, but other common edibles are rose, impatiens, nasturtium, carnation, cornflower, day lily, dandelion, fuchsia, gladiola, lilac, lavender, marigold, violet, and nearly all edible herb flowers. Just make sure you always know what you're eating.

calories: 258
fat: 16 gr
carbs: 34 gr
protein: 5 gr

Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

2 medium zucchini, peeled and diced ($1.00)
1 carrot, grated ($.25)
1 onion, minced ($.05)
1 small green pepper, diced ($.50)

3 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons lemon juice ($.40)
1 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

about 8 pumpkin or squash blossoms ($1.60)

Pumpkin blossoms are very much like squash blossoms and are used the same way and are pretty interchangeable. They may also be more difficult to find.

Toss together the prepared vegetables. Then whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir in with the vegetables. Pour onto a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about 2 hours ... enough to soften the harder vegetables. Alternatively, instead of dehydrating let marinate overnight. 

Tear one side of each blossom open and gently wash. I found bees and all sorts of critters inside the blossoms, and they tear fairly easily,  so clean them carefully. Use a spoon and place the filling inside. That's it. You can further dehydrate the blossoms if you'd like, but I didn't.

calories: 292
fat: 12 gr
carbs: 46 gr
protein: 6 gr


Hot Chocolate Concrete
serves 2 ~ $1.90 per serving

4 bananas, sliced and frozen ($.80)
2 cups almond milk ($.90)
4 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder ($.40)
1 ripe avocado ($1.50)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
cacao nibs

This is super thick and rich ... and a little bit hot.

In a blender, puree the bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder, and cayenne until smooth and creamy. It will be quite thick. Spoon into glasses and top with some cacao nibs.

calories: 435
fat: 12 gr
carbs: 84 gr
protein: 6 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.73
total calories: 1,221
total fat: 48 gr
total carb: 206 gr
total protein: 21 gr

Monday, August 25, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: August 24, 2014
Chocolate Chia Smoothie
serves 1 ~ $2.15 per serving

3 tablespoons ground chia seeds ($.30)
4 tablespoons hemp protein powder ($.30)
2 bananas, frozen ($.70)
1 cup cold almond milk ($.40)
2 tablespoons cacao powder ($.40)
a few drops stevia
a few chopped pistachios ($.05)
This is a simple, creamy ~ kind of decadent ~ way to start the day, that's also packed with healthy protein and omega-3s.
In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the pistachios. Puree until very smooth. Top with a few chopped pistachios, if desired.
calories: 555
fat: 21 gr
carbs: 81 gr
protein: 26 gr

Cucumber Club
serves 1 ~ $2.08 per serving

1 cucumber ($.59)
1 small onion
1 avocado ($1.49)

This is another recipe idea from Bette. It's so simple and made a great lunch that was both light and filling.

Peel the cucumber and cut in half. Using a spoon or scoop, scrape out the seed cavity and some of the flesh so that it's a hollowed boat. Keep what has been scraped out and chop finely. To that, add one chopped avocado and one finely minced onion. Mix together and use this to fill the cucumber.

calories: 299
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 5 gr 

 Tropical Mushrooms
serves 2 ~ $3.70
2 portabello mushrooms, sliced ($4.00)
1 green pepper, thinly sliced ($.50)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced ($.20)
1 cup pineapple, sliced or chopped ($1.50)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40)
4 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.40)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper
This is one of those dishes that no one would guess is raw. It's definitely hearty and filling.
Slice the portabellos, green pepper, and onions. Also slice the pineapple. I sliced mine into fairly large rectangles, bit smaller chunks would work, too.
Put these in a lidded container. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the sliced mushroom and veggie mix. This step can be done in the morning {or even the night before} and left to marinate. Just toss it into the dehydrator about an hour before you want to eat.
Pour out onto a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about an hour, until warm and slightly softened. Serve with red cabbage sauerkraut, if desired {recipe coming soon}.

calories: 425
fat: 27 gr
carbs: 36 gr
protein: 5 gr 
Pizza Pie
serves 4 ~ $1.51 per serving

3/4 cup walnuts ($1.50)
3/4 cup raisins ($1.00)

1/2 cup cashews ($1.00)
1/2 cup water
 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup strawberries ($1.50)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
2 bananas, grated ($.30)
1 kiwi, sliced and quartered ($.45)

This is such a fun dessert! To make the crust, in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until they're ground up fairly well and start clumping together. Press into a dinner plate or pie plate (or a small pizza pan!). 

In a bullet type blender, puree the cashews, water, agave, and salt until creamy, which takes a few minutes. Once blended, pop in the freezer to chill for a few minutes. 

Again using a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

Using a food processor fitted with a grating blade, grate the bananas (almost unripe bananas work the best).

To assemble, spoon a layer of cashew cream on the crust, spreading almost to the edge of the crust. Spoon a layer of strawberry puree on top of the cashew cream. Sprinkle the grated bananas over the strawberry puree (the bananas will be a bit gooey, so it takes a bit of finessing). Top with the cut kiwi. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting into pizza shaped wedges and serving.

calories: 445
fat: 24 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 9 gr

Total cost for the day: $9.44
total calories: 1,724
total fat: 94 gr
total carb: 202 gr
total protein: 45 gr


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