Thursday, August 30, 2012

Plum Pie ~ a Raw and Vegan Pie Recipe

serves 3 ~ $2.47 per serving

  • 1/2 cup walnuts ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup raisins ($.85)
  • 3 plums, sliced thinly ($3.00)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter ($1.65) 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar ($.40)

  • banana ice cream ($.50)
  • blackberry puree

In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until the mixture begins sticking together. Press into a plate, pie plate, or tart pans and chill for several minutes.

In the food processor, again with the "S" blade, process one plum, the coconut butter, and the coconut nectar. When pureed, spread over the pie crust. Place the plum slices on top. 

This goes really well with a bit of banana ice cream and a bit of blackberry puree.
nutritional information:       calories: 396      fat: 19 gr      carbs: 60 gr      protein: 6 gr

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pecan Pie ~ a Raw and Vegan Dessert Recipe

serves 2 ~ $1.45 per serving

  • 1/4 cup walnuts ($.50)
  • 1/2 cup raisins ($.50)
  • 6 dates, soaked ($1.20)
  • 1/4 cup pecans ($.70)
  • pinch salt

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until they are crumbly and stick together. Press into a small tart plate (the one I used is 5 inches diameter) and chill. Then in the food processor again, puree the dates with a tiny bit of the soak water until they form a gooey paste. Spread into the crust and top with pecans.

The amounts can be easily increased to make a larger pie for a more conventional sized dessert. 
nutritional information:      calories: 349      fat: 22 gr      carbs: 39      protein: 5

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 26, 2012

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Watermelon Cake! ~ a Raw and Vegan Recipe for Kids!

serves about 6-8 people
 about $1.40 per serving

This is a super easy and super fun cake for any party or birthday or any day!

Just cut the watermelon into rounds. We peeled the outside with a knife and then cut the peeled melon into cake layer shaped sections. 

Then, decorate with strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, and kiwi. We used toothpicks to make the fruit pieces stick to the sides of the cake.

This went really well with some mango ice cream, which we made by blending frozen mango and banana chunks in the food processor.

This is our recipe video!

Happy Birthday, Alexandria!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Banana Split with Chocolate Fudge ~ a Raw and Vegan Dessert Recipe

2 servings ~ $1.13 per serving

ice cream
  • 2 bananas, frozen in chunks ($.30)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder ($.40)
  • pinch salt
  • water for blending

fudge sauce

  • 3 tbsp agave (or date paste) ($.30)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil ($.30)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder ($.20)
  • pinch salt

  • 1 banana, sliced in half both ways ($.15)
  • 4 chopped strawberries ($.20)
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts ($.20)

This chocolate sauce is like the really thick fudge found in jars. Very yummy with banana ice cream over sliced bananas.

Mix up the sauce first. It only takes a minute. Stir together the agave or date paste, olive oil, cocoa/cacao powder, and salt. Stir well until creamy and gooey and set aside. I suppose a bigger batch would last quite a while in the refrigerator, since there's really nothing in it to go bad. But I can't imagine it lasting even a day around here.

Put the frozen banana chunks in a food processor with a pinch of salt and the 3 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder (omit the cocoa and add a couple tsp of vanilla instead, if desired). Add just enough water to help process. It takes a bit of scraping down the sides, but this will churn up into smooth, creamy, soft serve ice cream.

Slice the bananas into bowls, using a half banana for each serving. Put on a few scoops of the chocolate ice cream. Top with the chocolate fudge sauce, strawberries, and walnuts.

nutritional information:      calories: 480      fat: 26 gr      carbs: 67 gr      protein: 8 gr

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 19, 2012

Protein Flakes
serves 2 ~ $1.22 per serving

3 ripe bananas ($.45)
2 cups strawberries ($1.29)
4 tablespoons nutiva hemp protein powder ($.60)
1/2 cup buckwheat, soaked for 2 hours and rinsed well ($.10)

I have three product reviews that I'm going to cover in this post. Because my calorie intake is generally at the lower end, I can also come up slightly low in protein. The RDA for protein is about 50 gr per day; I was regularly getting about 20 - 25 gr per day. So, I was really pleased when I had the chance to try three different products ... all of which I'm going use in the recipes today.

These flakes started out as crepes that I left in the dehydrator too long. They were pretty crispy and made great "cereal" type flakes.

I'm a long time fan of Nutiva, and have used their coconut oil for many years. The Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder has its own light and nutty taste which adds additional flavor dimension to these flakes, and any other recipe. The Nutiva Hemp Protein is just slightly grainy, but that actually worked well here and in some other recipes. The nutritional information for this product comes out to 120 calories per serving, with 11 grams of protein for a cost of about $.60 per serving.

I personally like this product so much I now get it in their 3 lb bulk packages ... This works out really well, with very little packaging (excess packaging is one of my pet peeves) and the product is exceptionally fresh. I open the package right away, transfer the powder to quart canning jars and store in the freezer until needed.

To make the flakes, in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, puree all ingredients until smooth. Spread out on dehydrator trays (teflex works best for these) and dehydrate at about 115 degrees for about an hour. Peel from the teflex sheet and flip onto regular dehydrator tray and continue drying for several hours or overnight. Break apart and serve with your favorite nut milk.


calories: 337
fat: 12 gr
carbs: 67 gr
protein: 12 gr

Best Chocolate Shake
serves 1 ~ $1.70 per serving

 1 banana, sliced and frozen ($.15)
1 cup almond milk ($.30)
1 scoop Raw Protein Powder ($1.05)
1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder ($.20)
pinch salt

is made from organic, sprouted brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, garbano bean and other sprouts, including sunflower seed sprouts.

So, the bad news is, I'm allergic to sunflower seeds and couldn't try out the organic raw vegan Raw Protein Powder from Garden of Life.  

The good news is, my taste testers have informed me this was the "best chocolate shake ever." The Raw Protein is very fine and has almost no flavor or grittiness. It mixes into recipes like this one without changing the taste or texture much.

The Raw Protein Powder is about  $1.05 per serving which contains 18 gram protein and has 80 calories per serving.

In a blender, puree all ingredients until very smooth and creamy.


calories: 315
fat: 5 gr
carbs: 42 gr
protein: 22 gr

Tomato Raw Protein Soup
serves 2 ~  $1.35 per serving

4 ripe tomatoes ($2.00)
4 leaves kale or chard ($.20)
2 tablespoon olive oil ($.20)
2 carrots ($.10)
2 stalks celery ($.20)
 medium onion
3 tablespoons nutiva hemp seeds ($1.05)

2 teaspoons flavored oil for drizzling ($.10)

I initially made some tomato soup with the Nutiva Hemp Protein powder. It was pretty good but maybe just slightly gritty and the flavors didn't mesh well, so I made another soup with some hemp seeds on top. The nutty flavor of the seeds goes really well with the creamy tomato soup. 

Nutiva's Hemp Seeds are about $1.05 per serving with 11 grams of protein and 110 calories.

Set aside one tomato, half the onion, and the hemp seeds. In a blender, puree all the rest of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Top with chopped tomatoes, onion, hemp seeds, and a drizzle of flavored oil (see how-to below).


To make a flavored oil, simply add the spices of your choice to some olive oil and let sit to absorb the flavors for a few days. I like it pretty intense, so I use about three tablespoons spices per every cup of olive oil, but adjust this to your liking. And experiment ... like most raw food projects, it's almost impossible to really mess this up.

Once the flavor has developed to your liking, strain the oil and put in a container and use within two weeks.


calories: 443
fat: 37 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 9 gr

Melon with Cream
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

1 ripe cantaloupe ($2.00)
2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen ($.30) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
3 tablespoons nutiva hemp seeds ($1.05)
1 cup strawberries, sliced ($.65)

Open the cantaloupe and gently scrape out the seed cavity. In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the frozen bananas and vanilla until smooth. If you like the hemp seeds more processed, add them now. I waited and added them once the bananas were almost smooth.

The mix will be like soft serve ice cream and can be divided between the cantaloupe halves and topped with sliced strawberries.


calories: 221
fat: 10 gr
carbs:  50 gr
protein: 7 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.27
total calories: 1,316
total fat: 64 gr
total carb: 188 gr
total protein: 50 gr

Products used:

Nutiva Hemp Protein Poweder
Nutiva Hemp Seeds
Raw Protein from Garden of Life

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Let's Make Juice! ~ a Raw and Vegan Recipe for Kids!

My nephew, Noah, was my recipe helper this week. He's almost two and he loves juice! Fresh, raw juices are a great way for kids to stay well hydrated!

  • cucumbers
  • beets
  • lemon, peeled
  • oranges, peeled
  • kale or other greens
  • stevia, added to taste once juice is poured (optional)
Noah loved this juice, and it ended up tasting like green lemonade. This is what we used because most of it was growing in the garden, but use what you have. Apples, grapes, watermelon, zucchini, and so many others are also great for making juice. 

Here's the recipe video ...

Always provide age and ability appropriate supervision when children are in the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Triple Chocolate ~ a Raw and Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

serves 4 ~ $1.20 per serving

brownie bits

  • 1/2 cup walnuts ($.50)
  • 1/2 cup raisins ($.50)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder ($.20)
  • pinch salt

chocolate chunks

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted ($.40)
  • 4 tablespoons date palm sugar or agave ($.40)
  • 4 tablespoon cocoa or cacao powder ($.40)

ice cream

  • 6 bananas, sliced and frozen ($1.20)
  • 1 cup almond milk ($.40)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla ($.20)
  • 6 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.60)
  • pinch salt

This isn't quite as complicated as it seems, and boy does it hit the chocolate spot. 

Make the ice cream first. In a blender, puree all the ice cream ingredients until smooth and creamy. This will be like soft serve ice cream and is wonderful as is, but for this recipe pour into a container and freeze, stirring every 20 minutes or so until stiff. This can also be processed in an ice cream maker.

Make the brownie bits in the food processor, using the "S" blade. Process all the brownie bit ingredients until the mix starts sticking and clumping and can be pressed into a ball. Spread out on wax paper, about 1/4 inch thick, and refrigerate for at least a half hour to harden.

For the chocolate chunks, stir together all the chocolate chunk ingredients until smooth and creamy and well incorporated. Spread out on wax paper and refrigerate until hard.

To assemble, just break the brownie into bits and the chocolate into chunks and stir into the chocolate ice cream.

Store any leftovers in a covered container in the freezer and allow to soften slightly before serving.
nutritional information:      calories: 454      fat: 19 gr      carbs: 79 gr      protein: 6 gr 

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 12, 2012


serves 2 ~ $1.84 per serving

1 cantaloupe ($1.50)
2 cups watermelon ($1.00)
1/4 cup walnuts ($1.00)
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener ($.18)

This is an easy and fresh way to start the day. Just cut the cantaloupe and watermelon into chunks. Top with chopped walnuts and a small drizzle of coconut nectar.

Coconut nectar is delicious. It has a pretty distinct flavor, almost like caramel. I keep it in the fridge so it stays thick and gooey and use it like a syrup, although it can be used in the place of any liquid sweetener.


calories: 304
fat: 10 gr
carbs: 53 gr
protein: 7 gr


Mango Watermelon Soup
serves 4 ~ $1.95 per serving

8 cups watermelon, chopped ($2.50)
2 mangoes, chopped ($3.00)
1 large cucumber, chopped ($.50)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced ($.10)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped ($1.00)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
juice of 1 lime ($.60)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

crushed pepper flakes (see below for how-to)

It's just not summer without some kind of fruit soup, and watermelon soup is one of my favorites. I make it several time or more in a summer. I wanted to change it up just a bit but still keep the watermelon in there and this is what happened.

Chop five cups of the watermelon into small, bite sized pieces. Chop and mince the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red bell pepper, and onion and add to a large bowl.

Put the remaining three cups of watermelon in a blender with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend well for a few minutes. The oil will combined with the watermelon and make a nice, creamy base for the soup. Once blended, pour over the chopped ingredients and stir. 

Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and some crushed pepper flakes (use purchased crushed red pepper flakes or see below to make your own). A small drizzle of olive oil goes well, too.

This soup can also be served in the shell of the watermelon, as shown below. Just take care when getting the flesh out. Use a spoon to scrape the inside of the shell to get most of the watermelon out .. although it doesn't have to be perfect by any means. Cut a small flat part on the bottom so it will stand up right, and wrap with a dish towel at the base if you need more stability.


calories: 357
fat: 11 gr
carbs: 68 gr
protein: 5 gr

 Crushed Pepper Flakes

It's simple to make crushed pepper flakes of your own like I've done here with some extra Jalapenos from the garden.

Just select your favorite pepper or mix of peppers. Cut off the stem end. Dry in the dehydrator for about 24 hours. Once entirely dry and brittle, put the peppers in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or something similar. These can be used in the same way as crushed red pepper flakes, although they will look just a bit different and usually be hotter. I like using just a pinch sprinkled on ... well, on just about anything.

The flakes can be stored in a bag or jar and will remain fresh for several months or more if kept cool and very dry.

Make sure to protect your hands if they're sensitive. And never touch or rub your face or eyes after working with peppers.


Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce
serves 2 ~ $1.79 per serving

2 ripe tomatoes ($1.00)
6 pieces sun dried tomatoes (see below for how) ($1.50)
1 small onion
1/2 red bell pepper ($.50)
 1 tablespoon coconut nectar ($.18)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 teaspoon dried basil ($.10)
1 teaspoon dried oregano ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 medium zucchini, noodled and marinated ($1.00)

This marinara sauce tastes just like I remember Spaghetti-Os tasting. I haven't eaten them in many years, so excuse me if my memory isn't totally accurate. A little bit of sweetness is the trick, I think.

Puree the sauce ingredients in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Let process for a few minutes until very creamy (or don't process as long if you like it more chunky, but it won't be like Spaghetti-Os!).

Make noodles in your usual way from the zucchini. I marinated mine for about an hour in a tablespoon of the basil and oregano flavored olive oil from last week, with a bit of salt. Serve with the marinara sauce and a dash of basil and oregano.


calories: 286
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 7 gr

Sun Dried Tomatoes

It's so easy to make your own "sun dried" tomatoes, and they taste so much better than what you'll find in the store.
Just cut tomatoes in half and place on a dehydrator sheet with the skin side down. Dehydrate for about 24 hours until leathery and deep red ... they need to be dry but still slightly pliable.
Because they're not entirely dry, for maximum freshness these are best stored in zip lock type bags with as much air as possible removed, in the refrigerator. The tomatoes will keep for several weeks. Check for condensation and if there is any, pop them back into the dehydrator to dry them a bit more.


Fruit Punch Pops
serves 1 ~ $1.85

1/4 watermelon, cut into chunks ($1.25)
juice of 1 lime ($.60)
1 dropper stevia (optional)
This tastes just like fruit punch to me.

In a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon chunks. Add the lime juice and a bit of stevia and pulse a few times. Stevia's are different as far as how sweet they are, so you'll have to experiment to find the right flavor for you.
I like this just as it is ... for a drink. But it can be frozen into popsicles for some cold treats. Just use a popsicle mold and pour in and freeze. To unmold, run the sides of the mold under hot water for a few seconds and they'll pop right out.
Also, a quarter of a watermelon will make several popsicles. I count this as one serving because I can eat a big pile of them. It's really convenient to have them in the freezer to snack on through the day.


calories: 294
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 74 gr
protein: 6 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.43
total calories: 1,241
total fat: 39 gr
total carb: 257 gr
total protein: 25 gr


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