Raw Food 3-Day Starts Tomorrow!

Image by: Manitoba Harvest

Image by: Manitoba Harvest

A totally raw diet has been on my to-do list for a super long time. While I eat lots and lots of raw foods every day — sometimes 75% of what I eat is raw — I’ve never gone completely 100%. Actually, after looking at this raw meal plan, I know why I’ve waited so long! But, you can do anything for 3 days, right? This time around, I’m not going to do anything fancy or extreme. No sprouting or specialized products beyond hemp hearts for making raw hemp milk, and no specialized equipment beyond my juicer, Vitamix blender, and oven to act as a dehydrator running at 115 degrees. I *am* going to try and replicate those pricey kale chips that are coated with “cheesy” raw cashews. Keep an eye out for that final product. So, here goes: Starting tomorrow! With me?

Breakfast: I plan to start the day with herbal tea and a hearty Green Smoothie containing fruits (banana, berries), veggies (greens), raw almond butter (newly found at Trader Joe’s), and raw hemp milk (see recipe below). I’ll continue my philosophy that a healthy high-calorie breakfast will bring you nothing but glory throughout the day. Many raw foodists eat an entire watermelon and 15 bananas for breakfast. That sounds dreadful. Other ideas that sound way better (to me at least…):

Snacks: I plan to chow on raw nuts, fruit, veggies, and my Pulp Crax dipped in raw hummus or spread with mashed avocado. Perhaps some dried fruit or a Larabar.

Lunch: Large fresh veggie salad topped with raw seeds, cold-pressed olive oil (raw foodists like this brand, although I’ll probably stick with the cold-pressed one in my pantry for this 3-day experiment), a teeny tiny bit of apple cider vinegar (can’t find any other easy-to-find vinegars that are raw), and sea salt.

Dinner: Raw soup, warmed up with the spin of the Vitamix. Check out all these raw soup recipes. The Carrot Ginger and Cream of Mushroom look especially tasty. Or, I may go for Skinny Dish’s very own Gazpacho a la Shepherd Street using apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, omitting the croutons, and doubling up on the avocado. Plus, some raw almonds on the side or crumbled on top.

Dessert: 1 or 2 dates stuffed with raw almond butter. Divine! I tried this recipe for Raw Cookie Dough SHAPE Magazine a while back using raw agave instead of honey & maple syrup. It totally rocked!

Night-time Snack: I have one of these every night, and I can’t imagine that that urge is going to go away with the powers of a raw diet, although I’m totally open to being surprised. I will *plan* on having some fruit and a mini “trail mix” of dried fruit and raw nuts along with my herbal tea.

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Raw diets claim to give you more energy, better clarity, greater euphoria, better sleep, and even better sex.

For today, happy green foods and St. Patrick’s Day! I’ll see you tomorrow for more green and more raw 🙂

hemp milkRaw Hemp Milk

1 cup raw hemp hearts
4 cups chilled water

Blend for 30-60 second until milky white and smooth. Store in fridge for up to 7 days. Makes 4 cups.

Detox Day 4: Treat Yourself with a Raw Dessert

No doubt you’re feeling pretty excited that it’s Day 4. You’re now officially a detoxing professional!

To celebrate, treat yourself with this yummy chocolate pudding. You may not have appreciated or tasted all it’s wonderfulness on Monday, but today you definitely will! Add a splash of agave nectar on a non-detox day for more sweetness. Mmm mmm mmm!!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding
Serves 1

1/2 of a banana, mashed
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)*
1/2 teaspoon raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to let the pudding thicken. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info: 196 calories, 9.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 23.5 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 6.5 g protein, 9% vitamin C, 7.5% vitamin D, 22% calcium, 11% iron, 8% zinc.

*Non-dairy milk is really truly only raw if you make it yourself from raw nuts or seeds. Cocoa powder isn’t raw, but it works well here and is more readily available.

Many of you have asked about calories. Check last year’s Day 4 post all about calories. Each Detox day has about 1500 calories at a minimum, 60-80 grams of protein, and around 50 grams of fiber. Adding extra servings of nuts, seeds, avocado, fruit, etc. increases all those numbers.

Today’s Plan including a 2-cup serving of Purple Nurple, a 2-cup serving of Curried Lentil Stew, and all the other recommended serving sizes has 1459 calories, 61 grams of protein, and 49 grams of fiber. The average American gets about 12 grams of fiber a day. You may or may not have been the average American prior to this Detox. Regardless, you are moving some serious crud out of your system. Cheers to crud movement!!

So, March On!, and clean, cleanse, and recharge your core some more. Just a few days left!

Detox Day 2: Groovin’ Along, My Day 1, and Juice Pulp Crackers

Ladies of the Lettuce and Gentlemen of the Greens! Ah, it’s Day 2.

How did you sleep last night with less caffeine and more delicious water during the day? Better, I hope. And your willpower and “groovin’ it” mentality are improving, right? Hurrah.

For a fun read, check out last year’s Day 2 post on Why Detox, and Why SO MUCH Raw.

So here was my Day 1. I veer from the exact plan and make meals based on the guidelines. You can too!:

Water with cayenne
Peppermint tea
Green juice (kale, celery, green apple)
Cucumber white tea (mild caffeine)

LUNCH (STARVING!!! Didn’t have time for morning fruit)
Dried green beans
Organic mixed green salad
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 block tempeh
rice vinegar, salt, olive oil dressing
Lots of water

Bell peppers
Juice pulp crackers (recipe below)
Peppermint tea
More green juice (in hopes of arresting the mild headache)

Lots and lots of sauteed Brussels sprouts
(olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt)
1/2 cup cooked lentils
Raw celery
Rice cake with raw almond butter
2 large glasses water

Apple slices
Chamomile tea

Crashed out at 10pm.

Juice Pulp Crackers

Juice Pulp Crackers

Now, if you juiced yesterday, chances are you had a whole lot of weird vegetable waste. Nothing pains me more than throwing out anything even remotely resembling vegetables. In the past, I’ve tossed that into the garden, saved it in the freezer (and later tossed it in the garden), and one time I had a tremendously horrible experience turning it into crackers.

Yesterday, however, because one of the Detox benefits is that you develop a superhuman chef sense, I SUCCESSFULLY made juice pulp crackers. The recipe:

Pulp Crax
1 cup juice pulp, stems & other large chunks discarded
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients and then smoosh out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 200 degrees for 4-6 hours with oven door opened a crack. (Or put in your food dehydrator for 4-6 hours).

Surprisingly good! Surprisingly UNBELIEVABLY good dipped in hummus.

Keep up the fun and enthusiasm, and let me know how you’re doing! xoxo

Farinata: Italian Chickpea Flatbread That’ll Knock Your Glutens Off


Farinata Batch #2: Less Salt, More Crisp

A close friend and closet gourmet chef—we’ll call him “Joe”—served this bread at his last food fest. He had eaten it in Italy, and then miraculously saw a recipe for it in the New York Times (the next best thing to Italian cuisine itself).

I wanted to recreate Joe’s recreation, and thought I found that very recipe in a 2005 NYTimes post. My first attempt was nothing like Joe’s. Super salty, floppy not crispy, and looked like cracked, dehydrated dessert groundcover. Disgustoso!

Thankfully, Joe then disclosed his gourmet chef fine-tunings: 1. let the batter sit for a few hours rather than a few minutes, 2. bake it longer (like, double the time), 3. sprinkle salt and pepper over the top instead of mixing it into the batter. Uffa.

Version due was tested on some friends who went to Italy one time a few years ago (so obviously had the credentials). Here is the result, a Bitchin’-Joe-Times collaboration.

Farinata (Gluten-Free)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Batter Sitting Time: 2 hours (or overnight)
Baking Time: 25 minutes

Makes 6 appetizer-size portions

1 cup chickpea flour (or garbanzo bean flour; same thing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, or in my variety: 1 tsp dried basil + 1 tsp. dried oregano

1. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper (or reserve to sprinkle on final product); then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps.

2. Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours. Go organize your workshop or take a nap. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

3. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet. Place it in the heated oven for 15 min. 

3. Stir herb(s) into batter. Take pan out of the oven and pour batter into it. Bake 25 minutes, or until “pancake” is firm and edges set. 

4. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.

Nutrition Info Per Wedge (1/6th of recipe): 159 calories, 12.3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8.8 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g fiber, 3.5 g protein, 206 mg sodium, 4.4% iron. 

While this bread doesn’t get you out of eating beans for the day, it does give you a gold star with your dietitian and gluten-free enthusiasts. Enjoy it as is, or as a bean dip vehicle. Figo. Fantastico. Delicioso! 

Easy-as-Pie Low Sugar Monkey Cake

Light, Fluffy, Rich, Lower Sugar!

Looking for a sweet dessert without the chemicals, weird artificial flavor taste, and without added sugar? Impossible! Forget it! Oh wait. Enter: Monkey Cake.

Sugar–with it’s highly inflammatory, blood sugar-spiking, acne-growing, and teeth-rotting attributes, combined with the fact that it doesn’t even do your laundry–has sent me on a dessert mission. A mission to create a lower sugar baked good that’s not only highly tolerable, but bordering on cravable. This one does it, especially if you’re part monkey. The sweetness comes from bananas and a touch of Truvia, a natural calorie-free sweetener from the stevia plant. The coconut oil–gaining new health praise–adds a subtle tropical kick. Give it a whirl–it’s easy as pie!

Money Cake (Low Sugar)
Makes 12 hunks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup filtered water
3 Tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend (or other stevia leaf extract for baking)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, or vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (like Bob’s), or 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (like Bob’s)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mash banana, water, and stevia together, and stir in oil and vanilla until well-mixed.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Combine flour mixture and cinnamon with wet mixture by stirring in gradually.

Pour mixture into a greased 9″ x 9″ square or 9″ round baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, until top is golden brown. Let the cake cool before cutting.

Nutrition Info Per Hunk: 150 calories, 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 202 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3 g protein, 7% Iron.

The trick with using stevia baking blend in recipes is to substitute it at a 1:2 ratio for sugar. The stevia is sweeter and has a nasty aftertaste if overdone. The original version of this recipe called for 1/2 cup sugar (8 Tablespoons), and 3 Tablespoons of stevia baking blend does the trick without any nasty.

Detox Day 5: Alkaline and Feelin’ Fine

Tahini Dressing for Veggies, in SKINNY DISH!

Woohoo to Day 5! You are just a few days away from multigrain tortillas! That is going to be one fantastic burrito 🙂

You may or may not have caught the acid/alkaline breeze in the Detox wind convo. Well, here’s the deal: Our blood and tissues love to be at a pH (measure of acidity/alkalinity) of about 7.35-7.45, which is slightly basic/alkaline. This is where your immune system is an immediate bad-guy destroyer and your overall health is sky high. As you loved learning in high school chemistry, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 0 to 6.9 being acidic, 7 being neutral, and 7.1 to 14 being basic (alkaline).

Contrary to what you may think, foods that are more acidic do not make your blood and tissues more acidic. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Oranges, tomatoes = acidic. But shocker, they make your blood and tissues more alkaline. As you could have guessed, pretty much all veggies, fruits, dark leafies, unprocessed grains, and other healthy foods help to make your blood and tissues more alkaline, while meats, dairy, eggs, sugary goods, highly processed foods, coffee and alcohol make your blood and tissues more acidic. One reason loading up on healthy fluids, fruits, and veggies, and avoiding all the other foods is so good at helping you detox, is because you’re working the alkalinity. For more on pH, check here and here and here.

Now for some extra credit: Want to check your very own pH? Using your SECOND urine of the day, pee on one of these test strips (or ones similar). Is the Detox working? Hurrrahh!

You never thought this would be so much fun! Keep truckin’ and Happy Weekend! XOXO

Detox Day 4: Calories

Broccoli Leek Soup, SKINNY DISH!

No doubt you’re feeling pretty jazzed that it’s Day 4. Afterall, you’re a Detoxing star! You’ve got your little ziplocks, you’re all smiles, and hopefully the days have gotten easier, the cravings for unhealthy foods are dissolving, and you’re feeling lighter and freer (but restraining from bra-burning…). Someone said the other day that this Detox is downright easy. Not just “not bad,” but simple! Well that’s exactly what I was hoping for. While challenging at times, it is completely doable and perhaps even enjoyable.

Alright, so what’s the deal with calories on this plan? Are you feeling lighter and freer because of the magic plant foods that raise your metabolism, the lower calories, or just because I keep saying that you’re feeling lighter and freer…. yoooou’rrree getttting skiiinnnnyyyy…? A little bit of all that!

Each Detox day has about 1500 calories at a minimum, 60-80 grams of protein, and around 50 grams of fiber. Adding extra servings of nuts, seeds, avocado, fruit, etc. increases all those numbers. This is not a starvation diet, juice fast, or air diet. It’s plentiful, nourishing, and reboots your body. It can be short-term or long-term. Either way, it should include supplemental vitamin B12 and vitamin D (the amounts in a common multivitamin are perfect). Both vitamins are needed because you’re not eating many–if any–foods that are fortified with these little dudes. Vitamin B12 is actually a bacteria found in animal-derived foods and dirt. I imagine you’re washing the dirt (and B12) off your produce (a wise move). Vitamin D is made in the body after sun exposure, and many latitudes aren’t getting adequate sun this time of the year. Foods that ARE typically fortified with B12 & D are non-dairy milks, cereals, and fake meats. So, not a bad idea to supplement when you’re relying heavily on raw foods.

As an example, Today’s Plan including a 2-cup serving of Purple Nurple, a 2-cup serving of Curried Lentil Stew, and all the other recommended serving sizes has 1459 calories, 61 grams of protein, and 49 grams of fiber. The average American gets about 12 grams of fiber a day. You may or may not have been the average American prior to this Detox. Regardless, you are moving some serious crud out of your system. Cheers to crud movement!!

So, March On!, and clean, cleanse, and recharge your core some more. Just a few days left!

7-Day Detox Complete Shopping List & Days 1-4 Menus Posted

Photo by: Christaface

Monday is right around the corner! Check out all the Detox info here, along with the full shopping list here. And check out menus for Days 1-4 in the menu bar above.

Is your tea kettle dusted off and has your blender been cleaned? Did you find all the parts to your juicer (if using)?

Are you phasing out coffee, bread, meat, and dairy?

You’re ready! The remaining menus for Days 5-7 (which also appear in SKINNY DISH!), will be posted on Sunday, and each day during the Detox I’ll be posting videos and fun detox info.

Enjoy your last day of prep! Questions or comments welcome now and anytime during the detox. Let’s get our veggie on!

SKINNY DISH! 7-Day Detox Starts Monday, January 9th!

Friends! Friends who ate too many Kwanzaa cookies! I’m leading a 7-Day Detox starting this coming MONDAY, January 9th based on the one in SKINNY DISH!. Check out my dedicated SKINNY DISH! 7-Day Detox Page and read all about it. Prep and shop over the next few days and then juice with us, blend with us, and chow down on some seriously healthy food for a mere 7 days. Your tush, your belt, and your general person will fall in love with you all over again.

1-Minute Gazpacho

Just walked in the door from a 95-degree hot frisbee game and needed some refreshing veggies FAST. Poof! Gazpacho to the rescue in less than a minute.

1-Minute Gazpacho
Makes 5 (1-cup) servings

4 ripe tomatoes
1 large cucumber, peeled if not organic
¼ red onion
1 green bell pepper (preferably organic)
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Blend all ingredients (except hot sauce) until smooth or desired consistency. Serve immediately (because you can’t wait), or chill in the fridge for an hour to let flavors marry.

Per cup: 89 calories, 5.5 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 243 mg sodium, 9.5 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber, 1.5 g sugar, 1.5 g protein, 26.5% vitamin A, 58.5% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 4% iron