Raw Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Today I made little cupcakes...luscious lemony goodness:)

I almost forgot how delicious, quick, and easy this recipe is!

Just thought you might want to know...haha!

ETA!!! Links to the original recipe are no longer working. Due to so many requests for this lovely cake recipe, I am posting the recipe exactly as it appeared on Raw Freedom Community.
1 1/2 c grated Jicama *** if it's too 'juicy' squeeze the liquid out by hands*
1 Granny Smith Apple pealed & ground
2 c. Almonds soaked/dehydrated ground fine
4 T golden flax ground fine
1/4 c agave
1 tsp vanilla
lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c poppy seeds.

Mix all Ingredients and form in any shape you want; I made a 5 1/2 inch round dish lined with saran wrap.

Then top the first layer with Frosting

Then top the 2nd layer/round. Flip out and place on a plate and frost the whole cake (top & sides)

Frosting: ****THIS IS SO LIKE 'Costco' white frosting!

1 c OMEGA NUTRITION coconut oil (it does not smell/taste coconuty) The one I used is just like Crisco !

Beat/Whip this with beaters! from my SAD baking days!

Add 1/4 c agave

Juice of 1/2 lemon IF YOU LIKE MORE LEMON DO juice of 1 and or zest. whip again.

Spread quickly as it starts to melt a little.

Sprinkle Poppy Seeds on sides or designs if you make a different shape.

Top with Lemon zest curls or slices.

Place in Ref for an hour or so. Serve at room temperature!


The 12 Rules of Eating

The 12 Rules of Eating


Haha…there are no rules! But wouldn’t it be easier to choose what to eat if there were?

I know some of you may be struggling with eating raw (or not!) You may be wondering exactly what or what not to eat, or if it is OK to eat some cooked food, or something not vegan.

I usually don’t voice my opinion on this subject, well, because it is just that…my opinion, and the only person directly affected by what I eat is me.

I must admit, I am fascinated to learn why others eat a diet that includes lots of raw food. It is also very helpful for me to see what works for others. And, of course, I love to see what you are eating!!!

Some of you may remember that I am the only person in my household that eats mostly raw food. I chose to start eating raw food for my health several years ago. Although I did not have any health problems, I felt that eating raw was the best way to prevent future health problems. If possible, I would like to avoid some of the illnesses that run in my family. We all have a survival instinct, and mine really kicked in! That, in a nutshell, is why I eat mostly raw.

When I started to eat raw, I did not have any support. As a matter of fact, almost everyone around me did not understand why I wasn’t eating the way I used to. I could not even get my hubby to try my new raw creations. I was, and still am, all alone in my raw food world…haha!

I know there may be someone reading this, who might not have any support from those around them. I hope if you made the choice to eat raw for any reason you will find the strength to stick with it. {{{HUGS}}}

In order to keep eating this way, I needed to have a very strong belief that eating raw was best for my health. I know that by staying healthy, it will also benefit my family since I am a mother, wife, and daughter. All my research on staying healthy told me to eat lots and lots of raw, organic food.

It all boils (or dehydrates) down to one simple thought…

Nothing that anyone else eats affects MY health.

Now, I don’t mean to say that in a nasty way, it is just the truth. It is what helps me to stay raw.

In my perfekt:) world, everyone would be eating mostly raw, vegan food. We would all probably be healthier for it, and maybe insurance and taxes would go down, and the world would be a better place to live. So in a way, what everyone eats actually does affect me.

But I only have control over what I put in my mouth.

Naturally some of the food choices my family members make affect me directly, but they are old enough now to make their own decisions.

We are all different, with different needs and tastes, and different reasons to eat what we choose to eat.

Even if we are all eating raw food, you may choose to eat different things than I do.

Eating is very personal.

I alone am responsible for what I eat.

Now, my compassion for animals and the environment factors into eating raw vegan food. It makes me think twice about how I eat, but I never forget the main reason for me to eat the way I do, my health.

I like to think of us all at big huge buffet, picking and choosing different things to put on our plate…but sitting down at the same table to eat:)

Since you have been kind enough to read this little semi-rant, here is a quick little recipe for you! And remember, I luv ya no matter what you eat!

Trail Mix Truffles

1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4- 1/2 cup of happy trail mix, chopped in f.p.

Happy Trail Mix:
equal parts of cashews, pistachios, goji berries, mulberries, hunza raisins, and cacao nibs. I measure 1/2 a cup of each ingredient and keep in a mason jar.

1. In a food processor fitted with the "S" blade process dates until fine.

2. Add cacao powder and process until sticky. You can add a splash of water or a dash of vanilla if needed.

3. Pulse in walnuts until well chopped and mixture holds together.

3. Shape into 12 one inch balls, and roll in chopped trail mix.


Sprouting Chia Seeds

Chia sprouts...These little beauties bring new meaning to the word "micro-greens"! They are tiny.

Although I have been eating chia seeds for many years, I had never sprouted them until recently.

My favorite resource for sprouting, sproutpeople.com has the proper instructions for sprouting this little powerhouse of nutrition, so please check them out. I did not have any of the recommended mediums for sprouting, so I came up with a plan of my own.

In the commercial, it looks like the famous chia pets are made of clay, and spread with the moistened gelatinous seeds. The seeds sprout, and look like green fur. Hmmm...are you still a vegan if you eat your chia pet :)???

I have an un-glazed stoneware pie plate, so I use that. Perhaps a terra cotta saucer sold for large pots would work.

Here is my method:

I wet the pie plate, and sprinkle on some chia seeds, leaving plenty of room for them to grow. It is probably about a teaspoon of seeds.

Next, I add some water,(about 1/16 of an inch) and soak the seeds.

The next day there are already some seeds bursting open!

They soon absorb all the water, so I add a sprinkle as needed to keep them moist.

Soon they start turning green:)

For a few hours a day, I cover them with a clear glass pie plate of the same size.

They love the sunny window.

About a week later they are ready to harvest. I cut them from the roots like a shoot, and rinse them gently in a mesh strainer. They taste a little like broccoli sprouts to me and have a slight spiciness.

They are so cute:)

They were delicious on little cucumber cups today.

The cups were filled with a mixture of tomato and the cucumber scooped from the cups, chives, a drizzle of oil, and coconut vinegar.

The mixture was topped with a generous dollop of Spring Herb Dressing, posted today on the wonderful blog, Raw Candy. I just love trying recipes from other bloggers. This dressing is a keeper...so creamy and good! Thank you, Camille, for sharing this recipe:)

Garnished with a few snipped chia sprouts, lunch was served:)

For storage of mature sprouts, snip and wrap in a clean damp cloth and refrigerate for a day or two. Rinse before using. They are very tender so I only store them for a day or two.

I would love to know if you have ever tried growing chia seeds. If you haven't, what is your favorite sprout to grow?

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post, My Mostly Raw Pantry. I still can't leave a comment myself, but I want you to know how much I love and appreciate your comments, feedback, and support.

In the comments, D2Quilter said...

"So here's a post idea. . . Could you give us a list of what you think is essential for a RAW beginner to have in their Pantry? I've been working on my raw pantry, but it's overwhelming to decide what to get started with. Also, how should nuts etc. . . be stored? Thanks!"

This is a wonderful suggestion for a blog post! I will be happy to post my thoughts on these questions. Thank you D2Quilter, please check back soon.

~ETA~ My raw pantry essential post!


My Mostly Raw Pantry:)

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments on my Staying Raw post earlier in the week. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to visit my blog and leave me such kind words:)

Having a well stocked pantry is one of the things that help me stay raw. Julie you cracked me up about having pantry envy:)

Since there are still problems for me posting a comment to my own blog:), I wanted to answer a couple of questions from lovely fellow blogger, Colleen.

Colleen wanted to know "Is that all raw food?" and "Where did you get your jars?"

To answer the first question, here is a closer look at my "mostly raw" pantry.

As you can see, my pantry is actually just an old bookcase:) I have my "happy raw kitchen" set up in a small spare room. All my special equipment, like the dehydrator, and even my own little refrigerator is in this room. It is only a few steps from my "real" kitchen where the stove is..lol!

Almost everything is raw. Many of the jars have grains, sprouted and unsprouted, nuts, seeds, and spices. Most items are purchased from the bulk bins at the co-op.

Some have my own raw, dehydrated foods.

Here is a peek at some of my non-raw items.

The vegan marshmallow creme is an ingredient needed for my absolutely not raw baked vegan mallo-mars:)

Onto the second question about the jars:

The jars are all glass. Most are just the usual mason jar with 2 piece rings and seals. These are available by the case of 12 for under $10, and come in many different sizes. They can be found at supermarkets, hardware, and department stores.

The larger square jars with solid 1 piece lids are from the housewares department of stores like Target or the "W" store. I acquired them one at a time over the last few years. They run between 2 and 6 dollars each.

To label some of the square jars, I used pre-made stickers. I purchased them at the health food store I go to, and they look like they are made especially for jars.

Since the pantry has open shelves, I wanted the mason jars to look nice, so I cut a little circle of pretty paper to cover the lids. Trust me, I am not like this about the rest of the house...lol!

The papers I used are sold in the craft stores as scrap-booking paper. Since I love crafting, I happen to have a circle cutter:), so this makes it really easy to make the circles.

Some jars have part of the package the contents came in, like the cacao butter. I pre-grate the butter, and also tape on the nutrition label.

There is just a little hint of actual organization to my pantry.

The very top has some packaged things like agave, lucuma, and cocoa.

The 1st two shelves have spices and ingredients like orange and rosewater, grains, some oils, and salt.

The bottom shelves have beans and seeds and nuts, my pre-made raw foods, fruits, and odds and ends:)

Thanks for joining me today, and I hope you liked this little peek at my pantry:)

As mentioned above, I have not been able to post comments on my blog lately, so feel free to mail me if you have any questions.


King Oyster Mushroom "Calamari"

I have been intrigued by Sarma's recipe for King Oyster Mushroom "Calamari" since I first saw it on page 155 of Living Raw Food.

Have I mentioned that this book is one of my favorite raw recipe books...ever?

Since I may never get to experience dining at Sarma's famous restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, this is the next best thing! Thank you Sarma, for putting your recipes in this lovely book for us:)

The hardest part about this recipe may be finding the king oyster mushroom. If you have an Asian market in your neighborhood, this might be the place to go. Around here, it is the only place I have seen them. If you don't know what they look like, here is a picture of mine.

I almost forgot they were in the fridge, and the cap of one got a bit frozen, but you don't use the cap for this recipe. And yes, they do sorta remind me of...

a peeled eggplant ;) As a matter of fact, Heathy used eggplant when she made this:)

This is what I consider a fun recipe. I get to play with things like cookie cutters. It is easy to make, and is really pretty quick. It is unique, and it tastes awesome! As usual, I scaled the recipe way down since it is just for moi:)

The first thing to do is slice the mushroom stems, and cut them into rings. I have a set of circle cutters of all different sizes that made the job very easy. If you don't have a circle cutter, the tops of small and large spice jars might work, and they are exactly the size of the two cutters I used. My blogging friend, Bitt, used an apple corer:)

I was able to get two or three rings from each slice.

There was a smaller cutter, but I thought it would be nice to make some "scallops" with the solid middle of each slice.

Sarma mentioned in the book that they make scallops at the restaurant. I just marinated mine in lemon, oil, dulse flakes, and some spices. They were delish!

The calamari is marinated for about a half hour, then coated with seasoned flax seed crumbs. After several hours in the dehydrator, they were perfect!

To accompany the calamari, there are two yummy condiments. A tartar sauce, and a cocktail sauce. I made both in a smaller batch (to my own tastes) and they are incredible! I could not decide which one I liked better, so I enjoyed a little of both and a squeeze of lemon on each tender calamari ring:)

A BIG HUGE THANKS to Sarma for sharing this delicious recipe!

Again, a word to my blogging friends...

Google reader is still cranky :(

I am having some issues commenting on almost everyone's blog this week! I can not even leave a comment on my own blog...lol! If you have blog comments powered by "disqus", it will not load for me at all. The problems are most likely on my end, and I hope to resolve them soon.

In the meantime, I am loving all your posts, and really wish I could comment...maybe someone is trying to keep me quiet??..LOL!


Staying Raw

Before I get to today's post, I want to thank everyone that has been so sweet and let me know through blog comments, e-mail, and even Twitter DM's how much I was missed while I was in Florida. I am so lucky to have such wonderful, caring friends. Your concern has helped me through a rough spot in my life, and is so much appreciated! Thank you.

Also, to my blogger buddies, I am still catching up with you, and Google Reader has been a little...ummm...temperamental lately...lol! I love all your blogs so much and hate to miss out on what you have been doing.

OK!...on with today's post:)

I have been eating what I refer to as "mostly raw" food since early 2007. After feeling the benefits from this wonderful way of eating, it was clear to me that for the rest of my life, I would consume as much natural, organic raw food as possible.

Here are a few of the things that helped me stay raw.

1.) The very first thing that helped me stay raw was finding the website Gone Raw. Most of you are already familiar this awesome resource. I am pretty sure there are over 4000 recipes published there, with new recipes added weekly!

It was so incredible to know almost any recipe on that site would fit into my new way of eating:)

I observed the forums there for quite a while, and learned so much about the raw food lifestyle. The information there, to me, is priceless. Many thanks to Kandace and Ray for keeping this site up and running.

2.) Having a well stocked pantry and refrigerator allows me to experiment with lots of recipes. Check out the recipe index on this blog to see some of the raw food I have been making! Also, I don't buy food I should not eat!!!

There is food in the house for other family members, and I cook it for them. I just act like I am preparing food in a restaurant. It is not my food, I don't even taste it. I make sure I have had a healthy raw snackie before preparing their food.

I also eat every few hours to keep hunger at bay. I usually have 3 meals and 2 small snacks.

3.) Making beautiful meals from raw food:)

I try to make the food look attractive and appealing, even when I don't take a picture of it for the blog:) like My S&M Salad with butterfly crackers.

I also learned to slow down while eating, appreciate and be aware of each bite. I used to wolf down my food so fast when I was working, and didn't even sit down most times! No more eating out of the prep bowl for me either...I make a nice plate and sit down.

I purchased a small set of dishes I really loved, just for me.

4.) Finding my own favorite quick, easy, 'raw food essentials' such as smoothies, salads, juices, and snacks. It took me a while to find recipes I really love.

I always have a some food ready to 'grab and eat', like trail mix, granola, kale chips, marinated veggies, and date/nut balls or bars.

My happy raw trail mix is made from equal parts (1/2 cup each) of cashews, pistachios, hunza raisins, cacao nibs, mulberries, and goji berries. I measure, mix, and store it right in the jar. I topped some raw chocolate bars with this mix in the first picture above.

The staples of my diet take only a few minutes to prepare, and make up the bulk of my meals. One of my favorite everyday recipes is my caponata, pictured below in little tart shells. A big bowl of caponata lasts several days in the fridge, and tastes better as it marinates.

5.) Experimenting...a lot!

I occasionally like to make a fancy "gourmet" meal. Many favorites are in my raw food books.

I love to try almost any new recipe. I am never bored with raw food!!! Some of my favorites have been found on other blogs. I love you all, my creative blogging friends:)

I recently tried and loved Heathy's coconut chik'n curry,

and a sweet salad from Gena:)

6.) Eating at a restaurant that offers a salad bar. There aren't any places around here that are vegan, let alone raw! We eat out twice a week on average and try to pick a restaurant with a salad bar.

If we go someplace that does not have that option, I usually end up getting a big salad with some changes, like a chicken salad without the chicken...lol!

At Asian buffets, I can make a great salad using the raw vegan fixings they have set out for stir-fry. If no raw options are available, I just go with whatever looks like it will do the least damage!

Sometimes, I actually get a great raw food idea from restaurants. The salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays inspired this raw version of their Mediterranean pasta salad:)

7.) Most of all, what keeps me eating raw is the incredible way it makes me feel. Staying healthy is one of my top priorities in life, and I truly believe raw foods give me an "edge". I know it is not a guarantee of great health, but believe it is a major contributing factor.

8.) Although I did start eating raw foods for my health, the vegan aspect is now a HUGE reason for staying raw:) But that, my friends, could be another entire post!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today, and if you have any tips, I would love to know what helps you stay raw!


A Big Kiss for Mom!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to return to my happy raw kitchen just in time to share a special raw treat for Mother's Day.

This big giant "kiss" is so fast and easy. It is a raw variation of something I used to make with the little ones in my former daycare, and everyone always loved it! We used to make it with rice krispie treats or chocolate covered cheerios...shhhh!

You will need a few simple things:

1.) A funnel...this one has a lovely "kiss" shape:)

2.) A favorite recipe for raw chocolate, or raw brownies, or *anything else that can be shaped. Some yummy raw chocolate, either plain, or with fruit and nuts added is always delish!

3.) A square of foil or shiny silver fabric if you have it. You will need a bit of clear tape to secure the top if you are using fabric.

4.) A square of waxed paper.

5.) A strip of paper for a sweet message to tuck in. I printed out some messages on a word document and cut them into strips.

Step 1:
Prepare your treat recipe. I used some raw chocolate covered buckwheaties, the raw foodies answer to the chocolate "crunch" bar :)

Step 2:
Fill a funnel with the treat mixture to shape it. Be sure to plug the hole in the bottom of the funnel with something if your mixture might run out. Raw brownie mixes should be fine without filling the hole. Of course, you can hand shape brownie type treats into a "kiss" shape by hand. (I set the chocolate crisp filled funnel in a teacup to chill in the fridge until hard).

When it was chilled, I un-molded the "kiss".

Step 3:
Wrap the treat in waxed paper.

Step 4:
Wrap the treat in foil or shiny metallic fabric for a more eco-friendly version:)
Before securing the tip, tuck in your paper strip with a sweet message to Mom!

*** ETA*** For my sweet "fruity" friends :)!!!

*You can still enjoy making this treat with all fresh fruit.

Simply fill the corner of a "baggie"(I know, not so eco-friendly) with fruit. I used berries, but any small or cut up fruit could work. Secure the bag with a twist tie and snip off the excess bag.

I added a small circle of light cardboard (from a tea box) under the berries to prevent squishing and shape the bottom of the sweet fruity kiss. I used the seal from a mason jar as a template for the circle.

Wrap in foil or fabric, adding a special message as desired.

Smaller kisses can be made simply using strawberries.

I hope you like this fast and easy raw treat idea.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone.

Love and hugs (and raw chocolate, or fruity, kisses) to all!!!

P.S. to all my blogging buddies...By the looks of my Google reader, you have all been very busy since I was away, and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to.
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