My experience eating raw

If you’ve read my previous post on juicing, you know I’ve been dealing with some energy and digestive issues. As cooked carbs made me extra sleepy after eating them, I turned to raw foods to see if it would change anything. Well, it did!

rainbow-salad

Now, let me tell you my backstory with raw foods. I have a friend who is completely hooked on raw foods. I mean, she does juice cleanses, grows her own sprouts and eats mainly raw all year round. She has been an inspiration, and I’ve learned a lot by talking and cooking with her. As much as I admire her, I always thought that her eating raw was a bit extreme, that it couldn’t be possible for her to get all the nutrients she needed, and that she would sooner or later hit a health problem because of it. I thought all of that despite the fact that I’ve known her for years, and that she is the banner girl of health. All that to say, I was a bit skeptic as to raw foods. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try as cooked vegan food seemed to have betrayed me.

I started by switching my morning oatmeal to green smoothies. I was so sad to say goodbye to my beloved oats, but I had to admit that only after a few days, my energy levels in the morning were great. No more morning naps! That was a huge improvement.

After this success, I went on a search for more raw recipes and stumbled upon Kate Fruit Flowers’ Freedom Foods ebook. I bought the ebook, and was glad to see that all her recipes were simple enough and didn’t require funky, impossible to find ingredients.

Now, if you are doubtful that raw foods can be good, you must try out some of her recipes! I’ve never had a cookbook where every recipe is delicious! I’m completely hooked!

Now, the recipes are delicious, but how does eating raw make me feel?

G-R-E-A-T!

My energy levels are consistently high throughout the day: no more naps! My digestion is easy: no more bloating! But, most of all, I don’t feel like I’m starving! With Kate’s ebook I’ve discovered great recipes that keep me full and energized enough to work, train and do everything else I have to do. Another great advantage of going raw is that I feel like everything I eat tastes better: I’m enjoying my fresh fruits and vegetables so much more.

I’m enjoying raw foods so much, especially now that it is summer. As everything is in season and delicious, it’s been fairly easy to find great produce for cheap. I’m looking for any tips you might have for eating raw in the winter, so don’t hesitate to comment below!

I’ve been away juicing!

For the last couple of months, I’ve had a lot of trouble finding foods that made me feel good and energized. Either the food I craved was too heavy and would make me fall asleep (I took a lot of naps!) feeling like a giant slug, or it was not nourishing enough and would leave me hangry. It came to a point where all my thoughts and decisions were around food, and, trust me, that’s not healthy! I spent a lot of time reading and watching documentaries (resources coming up in my next post!), and I decided to try out incorporating lots and lots and lots and lots of greens to every meal.

green juice

I started with super green smoothies incorporating spinach, baby kale, arugula and spirulina. It was a revolution! I finally didn’t feel like I needed to go back to bed as soon as I had breakfast, and that was amazing! When making my smoothies, I always aimed for 3/4 greens to 1/4 fruits. I also added some protein powder or pumpkin seeds to make it a complete meal. The finishing touch: 1 or 2 nuts or some chia seeds for some healthy fats. These smoothies not only taste good, they are packed with nutrients! After starting my days with these for a few days, I could see a real difference in my energy levels. I am completely hooked on them!

Because greens had such an amazing effect, I decided to take it one step further and invest in a juicer. I watched so many videos comparing different juicers, but I finally set my heart (and money) on an Omega juicer. I’ve never been so happy to spend almost 400$ on a machine! The juicer is super easy to use, easy to clean and takes little space on my counter. This machine feels strong and sturdy. I’m also very pleased with the 10 years guarantee.  The best part of it all though is that this is an amazing juicer!

I’ve been using it to juice lots and lots of leafy greens like kale, parsley, spinach, coriander, lettuce and cabbage without any issue. Harder vegetables are just as easy: beets (and their greens) and carrots just zoom through. And, of course, everything in between is super simple as well: cucumber, apples, lemons, limes, ginger, turmeric and celery. There’s just nothing this machine can’t juice!

In my opinion, the omega is worth every penny. The first time I made juice with this machine, I was really surprised to see how delicious it was! I was expecting something that tasted very green, in a I’m-only-drinking-this-because-it’s-healthy kind of way. I was surprised to see how good it tasted to me and even more surprised to find myself craving green juice! That’s right, I now have my daily dose of green juice, and I just can’t skip it! After a month of juicing, I feel so much more energized and clean, from the inside out. Additionally to this, my skin has improved, my hair and nails grow stronger and faster and I crave less junk food. Completely hooked on that too!

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The only downsize to juicing is the quatity of vegetables that is needed. I’ve been astonishing cashiers in my neighbourhood when I check out with 12 heads of lettuce, 4 heads of celery and all the greens they had. After a few weeks, it seemed like an unsustainable habbit for my budget. I decided to give the farm next door a try: there, I am able to find some fresh, local and organic vegetables for a very fair price. My trick: to go at the end of the day and sweep up everything that’s left. Much more sustainable than the grocery store, it also means I get organic veggies everyday!

Anyways, all this to say that if you are on the fense about buying a juicer or have trouble with your energy levels, adding more greens might be a great area to explore. I really hope you’ll give it a try and tell me how it makes you feel!

Blueberry Cheesecake – A raw vegan treat

It’s blueberry season over here, and they have been so good. I love that blueberries are so tasty and so beneficial for the digestive system. This cake is slightly tart, creamy and purely delicious! The hardest part is really just waiting for it to set overnight. It’s perfect for a family dinner or an end-of-summer picnic.

blueberry-cheesecake

Here is what you need:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Process the almonds in your food processor until they form a loose flour.
  2. Add the dates and the vanilla and process until the mix is smooth and starts to stick together. If you take a small handful of the mixture, it should stay together after it has been pressed.
  3. Spread the mixture at the bottom of a springform pan. Use a glass to even it out. Let sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cake.

For the cheese layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a little almond milk, as needed
  1. Place all of the ingredients in your food processor and processor until you get a smooth cream. You might need to add a little bit of milk to help smooth everything.
  2. Pour over the crust and put the cake back in the fridge. Let sit for 15 minutes.

For the blueberry layer:

  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries
  1. Process 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries in your food processor until completely smooth.
  2. Pour over the cheese layer and sprinkle the rest of the blueberries all of the cake.
  3. Place the cake back in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

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I really hope you try this recipe because it’s so delicious! I’m always amazed to see how thick the blueberry layer sets to be all naturally.

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The cake is very refreshing and perfect to end a meal. Let me know if you try it out!

Cucumber and Prune Carpaccio

It’s so hot! All I want to do is sit around and eat fresh fruits and veggies… or both at the same time with a delicious miso-ginger dressing. Yum! This is completely improvised, but so ridiculously simple and flavourful. It takes 5 minutes to prepare, so you don’t miss any of that amazing sun and nature going on outside.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 prunes (peaches and nectarines would work too)
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated

Here is what you do:

  1. Clean the cucumber and prunes and cut them in thin slices. Place in a dish.
  2. Mix the miso, sesame oil, vinegar, syrup, water, and ginger. Make sure the miso is fully dissolved. Pour over your salad and enjoy!

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This is the perfect flavour combination: sweet, salty, sour and full of umami. The textures are also wonderful: crunchy cucumber contrasts with the smoothness of the prunes. Let me know if you try it out!

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Pour ce délicieux carpaccio de prune et de concombre, il vous faudra:

  • 1 concombre
  • 3 prunes
  • 1 c.à café de miso
  • 2 c. à café d’huile de sésame
  • 1/2 c. à café de vinaigre balsamique
  • 1/2 c. à café de sirop d’érable
  • 2 c. à table d’eau
  • 2 cm de gingembre frais, râpé
  1. Laver et couper en tranches fines le concombre et les prunes. Disposer en alternance dans une assiette creuse. Réserver.
  2. Mélanger le miso, l’huile de sésame, le vinaigre, le sirop d’érable, l’eau et le gingembre jusqu’à ce que le miso soit complètement dissout. Verser sur la salade et déguster!

 

Protein-Packed Chocolate Fudge & Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I contacted Manitoba Harvest to know if they would be interested in organizing a giveaway with me, and they were! I have to say I have been a fan of their hemp hearts for a while. These little seeds are packed with protein and have a very mild flavour. This means you can pretty much add them to everything! Mix them up with some nuts and you have a wonderful pie crust, add them to your smoothies for an extra kick, or sprinkle them on salads and soups. I also add them to my overnight oats to add protein. Yum!

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I really love this particular brand of hemps seeds because they are Canadian, always super fresh and particularly tender. This makes the seeds very easy to add to any dish that I might be making.

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Today, I wanted to create something that was really hemp seed central. If you like fudge, this is the recipe for you! It’s super creamy, rich and chocolaty, without the guilt. It also takes 5 minutes to prepare. What else is there to ask for? Receiving a free bag of hemp hearts perhaps? I got you covered. Read on to find out how you can win one!

Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (I used coconut sugar that I processed)
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

Here is what you do:

  1. In your food processor, process the hemp seeds with the sugar and coconut oil until you have a thick butter consistency. Scrape down the sides often to make sure everything is smooth. This should take about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder and process until completely incorporated. The consistency should be thick.
  3. With clean hands, roll 1 tsp of the dough at a time to form fudge balls. You can also spread the dough in a pan and make fudge squares if you prefer. Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container, and try not to eat them all at once! Enjoy!

hemp-fudge

This is seriously easy while being seriously delicious! And nutritious too! Hemp hearts are packed with protein, healthy omegas and a good source of many essential minerals. Seriously, these little things are incredible! You should check them out and add them your pantry essentials.

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Now for the serious stuff! If you want to win your own bag of hemp hearts and make these delicious fudge balls, here is what you need to do:

  1. Make sure you live in Canada or in the US.
  2. Make sure your address is not a P.O. box.
  3. Like my Facebook page and follow my blog.
  4. Comment below what you would do with these hemp hearts or what is your go-to recipe if you already love hemp hearts.

I will pick the winner next Thursday and announce it on Facebook, so make sure you check that out! I will also send an email to the winner, so make sure I can reach you. I’m really excited by this as it is the first giveaway I’m organizing, and the prize is so fun! So participate, and eat your hemp seeds!

 

Coconut and Passion Fruit Cheesecake

At the moment, my boyfriend and I are completely obsessed with Friends. We are rewatching this show and are loving it like if it was the first time. We love that it’s funny without being stupid and that it’s not violent or graphic for no reason. Before that, we were enjoying Vikings a lot… well the first two seasons anyway. I have been fascinated by Viking mythology ever since I was a kid, and when I got the chance to learn runes in one of my uni classes (how cool is that by the way?) I was just the happiest camper. So of course, when a show on Vikings came out, I just had to watch it. Now, it’s not the most peaceful show, but the characters were interesting, the story compelling and the intrigue was really captivating… until season 3. I feel like season 3 is where the makers of the show have decided to jump on the  Game of Thrones bandwagon and throw in random sex, violence, and torture just because they could. And we hated that! So much in fact, that we stopped mid-season, abandoning Ragnar and his idea to raid Paris (I mean seriously!). Because we were so spooked about one particularly disgusting scene, we jumped on Friends as a safe and funny show.

coconut-cheese-cake

All this brings me to me point, I promise. A few days ago, we watched the episode where Chandler and Rachel find a wonderfully delicious cheesecake in their hallway and just can’t get enough. Well, I have been craving cheesecake ever since! This is what I came up with: a tropical, frozen, coconutty version of this rich and decadent dessert.

passion-fruit2

Here is what you need:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil

For the filling:

  • 450g silky tofu
  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 can (400mL) of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbs maple syrup
  • zest of one lime or lemon
  • 8 tbs lime or lemon juice

For garnish: the pulp a 2 to 4 passion fruits

Here is what you do:

  1. Process the almonds in your food processor until you have a fine meal. Add the coconut flakes, pitted dates and coconut oil. Process until everything is well combined. When pressed, this should stick together.
  2. Place the crust powder in a springform pan and press at the bottom in an even layer. You can use the bottom of a flat glass to make sure everything is flat. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest.
  3. Rince and dry your food processor, and add all the filling ingredients. Process until smooth. Pour in over the crust and place in your freezer. Let sit until the top of the cake is solid. This is perfect when the center is still creamy, and also delicious when completely frozen.
  4. Wash and cut open your passion fruits. Scoop out the pulp and spread on the cake. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

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This is so good! I love the fact that you don’t need to bake anything and that it’s so refreshing. The coconut flavour is great paired up with the passion fruit. It’s not yet the perfect cheesecake, but it’s really great if you want something easy to whip up. I love how rich and smooth this cake is, while not being too sweet. It’s really perfect for a hot summer day!

I mean, even our cat was intrigued! Let me know if you try this out!

 

Purple Cabbage Salad, Jenny Mustard inspired

For the last few days, I have been binge-watching Jenny Mustard’s incredible videos. If you haven’t stumble upon her, you need to do this right after you’re done with my recipe! Her recipes are amazing, she has great minimalism tips, and I just love her pictures and esthetics!

salad-jenny-mustard2

This morning, I stumbled upon an amazing picture for a purple cabbage and noodles dish that I thought looked incredible. It was even more incredible because I had a head of cabbage sitting and waiting in my fridge. I based myself on her picture, and came up with my own version. Not only did this taste incredible, it was also delicious!

salad-jenny-mustard

Here is what you need:

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts, raw
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp ground Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 tbsp water

Salad:

  • 1/2 head of purple cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jicama, peeled and shredded
  • 2 purple sweet potatoes, cooked and chopped into small bites

Noodles:

  • 1 zucchini per person, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained

salad-jenny-mustard3

Here is what you do:

  1. In your blender, mix all the sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl, place the cabbage and the jicama. Pour half the sauce and mix well until everything is well coated. Set aside. The lemon juice will help the cabbage get tender and even more delicious!
  3. Place the spiralized zucchini, and add the sesame oil and salt. Give a good mix and set aside.
  4. Cut the tofu in small pieces. In a large pan, place a little bit of oil and set on medium heat. Cook the tofu until it gets slightly golden and crispy.
  5. To serve, place the cabbage salad in a large plate. Add some purple potato. With a fork, make small bundles of spiralized zucchini, and place a piece of tofu on top of each ‘nest’. Add some sauce on everything and enjoy!

salad-jemmy-mustard4

This is so good! The cabbage is tender, the jicama adds freshness, and the sauce is slightly spicy and so creamy. The sesame oil adds a great flavour that goes great with everything. Finally, the tofu, crispy on the outside and tender in the inside, is just amazing. I’ll stop raving about it, but it’s really great!

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Let me know if you give this a try, and go check Jenny Mustard out!

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

When I received my ice-cream maker for my birthday a few weeks ago, I just wanted to put everything aside and make chocolate ice cream. Well, tonight I did. Never mind that I’m completely swamped in grading (you can only see a tiny clear square of my desk at school, and that’s usually where my forehead rests when my brain can’t process any more corrections), chocolate ice cream is happening tonight!

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Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Here is what you do:

  1. Soak the walnuts overnight.
  2. Drain the nuts and place them in your food processor. Add the dates, 1 cup almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Process and add the remaining cup of milk little by little until you reach the right consistency.
  3. Process until you get a smooth paste. Remove from the processor and place your mix in an air-tight container in the fridge for one hour. This will help your ice-cream maker.
  4. Transfer your mix into the bowl of your ice-cream maker and churn for 30 minutes or according to your machine’s instructions. Place in an air-tight container in the freezer and enjoy!

chocolate-ice-cream

This recipe is very simple and yields the most unctuous of chocolate ice creams. The texture is smooth, the flavours are rich and the consistency is thick and satisfying. Not too sweet, it is sure to satisfy all of your chocolate cravings. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to control yourself not to eat the whole batch at once!

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Let me know if you try it out, and what ice cream flavours I should try out!

 

Simple Sprouted Crackers

A few days ago, I posted a few tips on how to make sprouted seeds. Now, however, my fridge is packed with a ton of sprouts, and I need to take care of them before they go bad. One of my favourite things to do with sprouts is to turn them into crackers. They are easy, simple, really crispy and delicious!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups sprouted seeds of your choice (I used buckwheat)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • Spices and herbs of your choice: I used rosemary, chili flakes, thyme and black pepper. Indian spices are also great.
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. You are looking for a thick, pancake-bather-like mix. You might need to adjust the amount of water you add. Let the mix sit for 15 minutes and check the consistency. Add water if you feel it’s too thick.
  2. If you are using a dehydrator, spread a silicone mat on your grids. Spread your mix in a 5mm thick layer. If you are using your oven, do the same thing, but use a cookie sheet lined with either a silicone mat or  parchment paper.
  3. Set you dehydrator to 145F or 65C, and let it run overnight. In the morning, flip the giant cracker over. Let sit in the dehydrator for another 2-4 hours, or until completely dried. If you are using your oven, set it to the lowest setting and leave the door slightly open. Be careful, and let your crackers dry overnight. In the morning, flip over and let sit until completely dried through.
  4. Once the giant cracker is dried, you will easily break it up in smaller pieces. Keep in an airtight container. If you want even crackers, you can run a butter knife through the giant cracker after 6 hours. This way, when you are breaking it up, you will have dents that will make your crackers even.

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These are really versatile and can replace any store-bought crackers. The sprouted seeds give a nice crunch and flavour, while also providing some nutrients. And if you are looking for a dehydrator, I bought an Excalibur a few years ago, and it’s perfect! If you are in Canada, you can check out Upaya Naturals: that’s where I got mine, and the shipping was super quick. Let me know if you try it out!

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake with Frosting

This is the dessert you need to try out if you are looking for the ultimate chocolate cake. It is full of flavour, rich and satisfying. It is also very quick and easy to make, so it would be a perfect last minute treat for busy days.

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Here is what you need for the cake:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Here is what you do for the cake:

  1. Add the nuts into your food processor or blender and mix until finely ground.
  2. Add the pitted dates, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Process until evenly combined and sticky.
  3. Press a few tablespoon of the cake mixture in a small jar and pat down. Place in the fridge.

Here is what you need for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • dash of salt

Mix all the ingredients until smooth. Spread on the cake and let sit in the fridge until the frosting thickens up.

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This is a really intense chocolate cake! The flavour is rich, and the texture is smooth and creamy. The frosting makes this extra special and adds some sweetness. I really like how easy this dessert is, while still being impressively delicious! Be prepared for a great chocolate overload! Let me know if you try this out!