Raw Vegan Blueberry Maca Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls?

Seriously… I want to know!

Because they clearly haven’t tried these ones.

This recipe was born during a frantic night of rummaging around the kitchen in search of something sweet.

It was one of those “it’s 10 PM and my second stomach is officially open for business” kinds of situations.

Luckily, something in the cupboard caught my eye: a package of raw coconut wraps!

Knowing I also had a ton of frozen wild blueberries in the freezer and a tub of fresh almond butter, I got right to work.

One important thing to note about this recipe is they’re best eaten immediately – unless you enjoy soggy treats!

They require zero baking time (since they’re raw) and won’t weigh you down like a regular cinnamon roll.

I’ve been known to eat an entire plate in a matter of minutes….

Feel free to omit the maca powder – it was a last minute superfood boost, but I don’t regret it!

My final recommendation is to use a thin, smooth almond butter. This helps the filling to be a bit more spreadable. It isn’t a necessity, but if the almond butter is super thick it will end up a little gooey… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Ingredients:

4 raw coconut wraps such as these
5 tbsp raw almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract 
11-15 drops liquid vanilla stevia
1 tsp maca powder
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
1 tbsp almond meal or almond flour
1/2 cup wild blueberries

Cream Cheeze Icing

2 tbsp cashew butter
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
7 drops liquid vanilla stevia 
1 tsp MCT oil
2/3 tsp lime or lemon juice
1 pinch of nutritional yeast
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Mix the cinnamon roll filling together and smear evenly onto a coconut wrap.
  2. Sprinkle a small handful of berries inside and roll ’em up!
  3. Using a very sharp knife, cut the cinnamon rolls evenly – I like making them about 1.5 to 2 inches thick.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients.
  5. Thoroughly mix until a thick, yet drizzle-able consistency is reached. You can add 1 tsp of non-dairy milk at a time until it’s smooth and creamy.
  6. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls.

Enjoy ❤

Raw Vegan Tummy-Loving Lemon Custard

I’ve always been a huge fan of lemon… mainly in desserts.

Lemon bars, lemon cake, lemon ice cream… the list goes on!

I think I got this from my mother, a serious lemon fanatic.

I’ve been craving lemon ever since the weather started getting warmer, but I didn’t want to make a huge, heavy dessert.

Part of me wanted to just suck it up and make lemon bars, but that would require a lot of work… and I just wasn’t feeling that. Ya know?

So, I grabbed a few lemons at the grocery store and headed for home.

And thus, this recipe was born.

This lemon custard is bright and flavorful, and has all the sunny spring vibes.

Plus, it takes literally 5 minutes to whip up (besides opening the coconuts).

It doesn’t need any thickeners, gums or food colorings, and somehow has an unbelievably creamy, pudding-like texture.

You can make it as lemon-y as you want. I added one lemon, but I could see myself adding another half if I was seriously craving that tart citrus flavor.

This recipe also contains prebiotic fiber AND probiotics, making it a wonderful breakfast or dessert for sensitive tummies (such as myself)!

These are totally optional, and can be left out. (They don’t affect the flavor at all if you choose to opt out of adding them.)

This custard would also be delicious topped with fresh berries or granola, but I love it by itself, topped with a little extra turmeric.

This recipe is also keto-friendly by default, but if you prefer to use a different sweetener, go for it. If you’re using a regular sweetener like honey or maple syrup, I would start with 2 tsp and work your way up from there.

If you’re making this keto like I did, keep in mind that every sugar-free sweetener is a bit different, so start off slow and continue to taste until your desired sweetness is reached.

This recipe makes 2-3 substantial servings.

Ingredients:

2 cups young Thai coconut meat
1 tbsp coconut water, plus more to blend if needed
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-10 drops organic stevia
1 tbsp organic erythritol (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 scoop probiotic powder (optional)
1 tbsp acacia fiber powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend well, adding 1 teaspoon of coconut water at a time until a super thick, but smooth consistency is reached.
  2. Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 days, but best enjoyed immediately.

Enjoy! ❤

How to Successfully Follow a Raw Vegan Diet

So, this is a topic that I am very passionate about.

I hear it time and time again:

“I tried the raw vegan diet, but it just wasn’t for me.”

While the raw diet may seem wildly restrictive, to me it actually makes eating healthy a whole lot easier.

As long as it falls under the “raw vegan” category, I can probably eat it without worrying about feeling sick!

Even with cooked vegan food, there is a wide array of foods that I intentionally avoid due to sensitivities or preferences, whether it’s wheat, soy, canola oil or legumes.

With raw food, seldom do I pick up a drink, snack or even pre-made meal, read the ingredients and find somethin’ sketchy.

As someone with a very sensitive digestive system and body in general, the raw food diet makes enjoying and not worrying about food a dream.

While I’ve never believed that there is one diet for everyone, I do think that many people follow the raw food diet incorrectly, resulting in a negative experience.

The first thing I notice about those who follow raw food diets and end up switching back to eating meat and dairy is their limited, obsessive food restriction.

To be a bit more specific, I’m talking about those who hop on the “fruitarian”, “bazillion bananas a day”, “mango mono-meal” bandwagon.

The only exception to my observations on this are those who live in warm, tropical climates where fresh fruit grows in abundance.

I’ve always believed that we should try to eat according to our location, climate and time of year (for the most part).

So if you’re living in, say, Colorado or Northern California, maybe the high-fruit diet isn’t exactly the best plan of action.

But, if you’re living in Hawaii or Costa Rica, plucking fresh mangoes off a tree makes perfect sense.

Not only does this have a lot to do with the quality and freshness of the produce you’re consuming, but also with how our minds and bodies react to different climates, temperatures and weather patterns.

For example, when it’s sunny and warm out, I automatically eat less, crave fresher foods like salads and juices, and enjoy fruit more often.

But, when it’s cold and rainy, I crave warm soups, hot drinks and heavier comfort foods.

When eating a raw diet that consists primarily (or strictly) of fruit, there is an alarming nutrient deficit that occurs over time, particularly those found in healthy fats.

An article published in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences states that:

“Triglycerides, cholesterol and other essential fatty acids—the scientific term for fats the body can’t make on its own—store energy, insulate us and protect our vital organs. They act as messengers, helping proteins do their jobs. They also start chemical reactions that help control growth, immune function, reproduction and other aspects of basic metabolism. The cycle of making, breaking, storing and mobilizing fats is at the core of how humans and all animals regulate their energy.”

While fruits do contain a wide variety of nutrients and fiber, they simply do not contain everything we need to thrive on a raw vegan diet – and fat is one of those things!

This brings me to my number one recommendation to those wanting to try the raw vegan diet:

Consume plenty of healthy fats!

There are tons of amazing raw sources of healthy fats including coconut oil and coconut meat, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

The human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat. It needs fat to function properly!

Enjoy healthy fats with every meal, and make sure to keep them varied.

An article published in the Harvard School of Public Health States that:

“The human body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials. That isn’t the case for omega-3 fatty acids (also called omega-3 fats and n-3 fats). These are essential fats—the body can’t make them from scratch but must get them from food. Foods high in Omega-3 include fish, vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.”

So add the second half of that avocado to your meal!

Add an extra dollop of cashew cheese to your raw vegan pizza!

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on that salad!

In my opinion, healthy fats play an essential role in maintaining any diet.

While healthy fats are a great addition to the raw vegan lifestyle, there are some foods that will hinder your success.

This brings me to my next tip:

Beware of sugars!

It’s so easy to consume large quantities of sugar when following a raw diet.

When it comes to raw food, some of the easiest things to find are these amazing, beautiful raw desserts… some of which are far more tasty than their cooked, non-vegan counterparts I may add!

When I first committed to a fully raw diet, I binged on desserts.

Whether I was making them myself or found them at health food stores and restaurants, I was consuming way too much sugar.

“It’s raw, so it’s fine!” I thought to myself.

While this is partially true, and raw desserts are generally way healthier than traditional desserts, they’re best eaten in moderation.

Sugar, no matter where it’s coming from, is still sugar.

It feeds candida, perpetuates sugar addiction, and can cause all sorts of health issues from brain fog to obesity when over-consumed.

When following a raw diet, try to stick to whole fruits when sugar cravings creep up…. And even then, it’s best to ask yourself if you really need it, or if it’s possible you’re craving something else.

Start off slow.

When I made the switch to raw foods, I had already been vegan for years.

In my opinion, drastic, cold-turkey changes can often be stressful and/or traumatic to the mind and body.

If I’ve been eating hamburgers and ice cream my whole life, changing them out for salads and green juices could mean more than just a new diet.

While we often don’t like to admit it, we have deep-rooted emotional attachments to the foods we eat – and generally, they’re the same foods we loved growing up.

Food is comforting… certain foods even trigger chemicals in our brain that make us feel happy, sleepy or calm.

While raw food can be totally delicious and satisfy these cravings, it’s still a huge leap from traditional, cooked comfort food.

If you’re considering the raw vegan diet and are not yet vegan or vegetarian, I would strongly recommend making a transition to veganism first.

If you’re already plant-based and/or eating clean foods, maybe start by preparing one raw meal a day.

Then, increase it to two.

This will help to keep stress levels under control, and give you plenty of freedom to experiment with recipes and plan meals.

Switching to the raw diet overnight can be a little intimidating, especially when you haven’t found your go-to meal recipes yet, but you have to feed your body enough nutrients for an entire day.

Letting yourself not have to worry about preparing at least one meal a day can give you plenty of time to research, test and find which recipes you truly love.

Then, when you do make the switch to 100% raw foods, you’ll be well prepared with tons of recipes to get you through the week.

Making and eating raw food can be super fun, especially if you like to experiment in the kitchen. Trying to make raw vegan recipes that look and taste identical to traditional cooked favorites is a blast!

Get your nutrients down!

There is an intimidating list of nutrients that we need to function properly as human beings.

When you first start your raw vegan diet, it’s imperative to make sure you’re reaching your nutrient goals.

It’s generally pretty easy to reach macronutrient goals on a raw diet (these are the “umbrella” nutrients such as fat and protein), but micronutrients require a bit more attention.

The good news is, raw plant foods are loaded with bio-available nutrients, as well as the enzymes and fiber necessary for our body to properly absorb them.

When food is cooked, many of those enzymes and nutrients are killed or lost in the heating process.

The not-so-good news is that it can be a little bit of a pain in the butt to track your intake of these nutrients.

My favorite way to do this is with an app called Cronometer.

While I’m not affiliated with or sponsored by this app at all, it’s extremely useful – especially when first starting any new diet.

It’s easy to use (you just log the foods you eat into the app) and they have a vast database of foods already available.

You will learn very quickly whether or not you’re getting the nutrients you need, and things get pretty simple from there.

For example, by using Cronometer for just four days I learned that I rarely hit my daily recommended intake of selenium.

Luckily, this was such an easy fix!

I added brazil nuts into my diet, and… bam! the problem was solved.

Even just one missing nutrient can cause a diet to be unsuccessful… even if there’s an easy way to get it!

My top nutrient deficiencies to look out for on a raw diet are:

Vitamin B-12: Vegan B-12 spray such as this one

Iron: Leafy greens, beets, tomatoes, blackstrap molasses

Selenium: Brazil nuts

Choline: Collard greens, cauliflower, cabbage, sunflower seeds

Protein (complete amino acid profile): Spirulina, leafy greens, hemp seeds, flax seeds

Warm is good… especially during the winter!

I have a lot more difficulties with following a raw diet when it’s cold outside.

Generally, it’s easy for me to eat 100% raw during the spring and summer, but come fall I start to want to incorporate some cooked foods.

Root vegetables, veggie broths, cooked carbs like quinoa and plentiful hot almond milk matcha lattes are hard for me to stay away from.

While I do sometimes enjoy adding cooked veggies to the mix when the rain rolls around, there are periods of time when I still want to eat fully raw, whether it’s for a winter detox or just because.

This is when the dehydrator becomes my best friend.

When the rain is pouring down and all I want to do is curl up with a big bowl of pasta, warm zucchini noodles and raw “neatballs” straight out of the dehydrator works wonders!

Hot teas, miso broth and warm blended raw soups are all winter favorites of mine as well.

Another great winter addition to any raw diet is spice!

Spicy foods can help increase fire in the body, keeping you warm and helping to maintain digestive efficiency.

Adding lots of healthy fats to your diet is also a great way to stay satisfied all winter long!

Overall, it is possible to eat… and stay…. raw vegan!

By following the rules above, I have had zero problems maintaining a raw vegan diet.

I have more energy, my digestion works better and my skin clears up within weeks of transitioning to only raw foods!

I’ll write a separate post soon on the science of raw food soon, and why it can be a great tool for those who are trying to heal themselves.

Are you raw vegan?

Have you tried the raw vegan diet?

Let me know!!

Peace & Healing,

xoxo – Mackenna

Raw Vegan Green Protein Bliss Bites

Green protein bliss bites

I’m all about quick, easy snacks.

These are both of those things, plus they’re totally delicious.

These little gems are gluten-free, paleo, keto-friendly, vegan, loaded with healthy fats and protein, and packed full of superfoods.

They’re the perfect snack for any time of day – I love eating a couple before my workouts to give me a quick energy boost!

Any kind of protein ball or sweet treat is a great way to hide greens… so that’s what I did! I added a heaping scoop of Amazing Grass greens powder, and if anything, it makes them even more yummy! (This recipe isn’t sponsored by them in any way, but I do love their products. I used their protein powder in this recipe as well.)

Keep in mind that these are totally customizable….

Only have chocolate protein powder in your cupboard? Great! They’ll still be just as delicious (if not more, especially if you’re a chocolate lover!).

You can add other spices like ginger or cardamom to make things more interesting, or even some dried nuts and seeds to add texture.

The “bliss bite” world is your oyster!

Anyway, this recipe takes less than 10 minutes and one bowl to make, and yields about 10-12 bliss bites.

Ingredients:

1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp flax seed meal
1/4 cup tocotrienols
1 scoop greens powder (I used Amazing Grass “Holiday Cookie” flavored greens powder, but any mild greens powder should work just fine)
1/4 cup raw pecan butter (or any other creamy nut/seed butter)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp stevia or monk fruit (optional – they’re pretty sweet as is, especially if you used a flavored greens powder)
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Using your hands or a large spoon, mix the ingredients thoroughly until well-combined. The “dough” should be very thick, but should stick together easily so you can form it into little balls. If it’s still crumbly, add more nut butter 1 tbsp at a time until it sticks together.
  2. Roll the “dough” into 1.5 x 1.5 inch balls – you can really make these any size you want – I like them to be about 4 bites worth.
  3. Line the bliss bites on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. For a faster option (I do this a lot) place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, then place in the fridge to store.
  4. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Enjoy! ❤

Raw Vegan Mediterranean Wrap

Raw vegan Mediterranean wraps

I love fast food.

No, no, no! Not, that kind of fast food!

I’m talking about nourishing, plant-based meals that take under 10 minutes to make.

We can call it… Speedy Supper.

Or… Fleet Feast.

Perhaps Swift Snack is most fitting.

Either way, the best meals are the ones that not only taste amazing and are loaded with enzymes, minerals, life-force and nutrients, but also come together in just a few minutes.

Because when I’m hungry, I’m hungry.

There’s a common misconception that raw food is a lot of work, takes too much time and requires a lot of pre-planning.

While this can sometimes be the case, especially for the more complicated dehydrated recipes, it most certainly doesn’t have to be!

In fact, some of my favorite things to eat on a day-to-day basis come together very quickly and require zero dehydration.

While I do enjoy the occasional dehydrated raw vegan comfort food, I usually don’t have the time or patience to make something overly complicated.

I’m a huge fan of raw wraps in particular, because they’re more interesting and generally more satisfying to eat as a meal than a salad, are extremely versatile, and take about 5 minutes to throw together.

They can be as filling or as light as you want, can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or just as a simple snack any time of day!

This wrap is bursting with bright, savory flavors and is packed with healthy fats and cleansing greens.

You can use any raw wrapper you like to make this recipe… my favorite wraps to use are any brand of raw coconut wraps, or the “WrawP” brand of veggie wraps. I used their original flavor for this recipe, because it’s pretty mild and doesn’t distract from the delicious ingredients inside!

I’m not sponsored by WrawP in any way, but I’ll link them here if you want to give them a try.

One other thing to note about this recipe is that the main flavor components inside the wrap are pretty salty and pack a punch, so I highly recommend packing it full of fresh greens to balance everything out. I used mixed organic micro greens for mine, but you can use whatever you like.

This recipe is either a large meal for one, or a hearty lunch for two when cut in half.

Ingredients:

1 Sheet Original WrawP Veggie Wrap or other

1 tbsp kalamata olive tapenade or spread
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked overnight in water or pre-packed in olive oil
1 ripe avocado
1/2 a medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small ripe fresh tomato, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cups tender leafy greens (such as spinach) or sprouts of choice
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions:

  1. If using a Wrawp brand veggie wrap, soften it first by rubbing about 1/2 tsp warm water onto the surface, and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  2. Smash the avocado onto the wrap, evenly coating the surface of the wrap, leaving about 1/2 inch uncoated on all sides.
  3. Spread the olive tapenade evenly over the avocado.
  4. Line the sun-dried tomatoes over top, keeping in mind to wrap the sheet on the long side. This creates a much bigger wrap with more room for ingredients.
  5. Add fresh tomato and sliced cucumber evenly over the wrap.
  6. Sprinkle on a healthy dose of Italian seasoning.
  7. Pack as many fresh greens/sprouts on top as you can, and roll the wrap closed.

Enjoy! ❤

Raw Vegan Sushi Roll

Before I became vegetarian, I loved sushi.

Not vegetarian sushi, either. My absolute favorites were salmon and tuna nigiri, unagi (eel) rolls, and anything with tobiko on top (those little orange fish eggs).

Sushi was definitely one of my favorite foods growing up.

Ever since I announced to my mom that I was going vegetarian nine years ago, I have relied on cucumber and avocado rolls to get me through my sushi cravings.

While regular cucumber and avocado rolls are absolutely delicious, I recently got a craving for an even healthier option.

Seeing as I’m currently following a raw vegan diet, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make yet another replacement for an old favorite.

So, I went to the grocery store and bought myself a pack of nori sheets.

And thus, this recipe was born!

It took me about fifteen minutes to make, and the hardest part was chopping the veggies.

Feel free to switch it up and add whatever you like in the middle!

Fresh marinated coconut meat, carrot, bell pepper, jicama, sprouts, even mushrooms. Whatever floats your sushi boat!

In place of rice, I made a sunflower seed pâté seasoned with a little miso paste and rice vinegar.

In my opinion, the main flavor components in a veggie sushi roll are usually the soy sauce, seaweed and wasabi, so I just needed a mild base to compliment the primary flavors. It works perfectly and it’s so easy to make!

There’s one thing I just need to throw out there before we get started:

I’m terrible at rolling sushi.

And you know what? It’s OK if you’re terrible at it too! All we can do is try our best. We can be terrible at it together, united as one uncultured sushi-craving health-nut. (I’m kidding)

But seriously, it’ll still taste delicious no matter how perfect or imperfect it is. I promise.

(If you do have sushi-rolling skills, hit me up. I would love to learn how to not suck at it!)

Here we go.

Ingredients:

Sunflower Seed “Rice”:

2 cups sunflower seeds
1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/8 tsp organic monk fruit or stevia 
1 tbsp sesame seeds 
5-6 tbsp filtered or spring water, to blend

For Everything Else:

1 ripe avocado
1 medium organic cucumber
1 package raw or toasted nori sheets
3 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tsp sesame seeds or gomasio for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a high speed blender (or food processor) blend the sunflower seeds with the rest of the rice ingredients, adding two tbsp of water at a time until emulsified, but still very thick. I used a Vitamix plunger to really work the mixture into a paste.
  2. Once blended, smear 3 tbsp pâté onto a nori sheet, about an inch off-center to one end of the sheet.
  3. Add thinly sliced matchsticks of avocado and cucumber into the middle of the roll.
  4. Using both hands, begin rolling the sushi tightly beginning at the end closest to where you smeared the pâté.
  5. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the roll into individual pieces of sushi. I like dipping the knife into a bit of water after each slice to keep it from sticking. (You can also take this opportunity to clean up the less desirable sushi roll ends by eating them. hehe.)
  6. Serve with a side of tamari and wasabi, or mix the two together to make a sauce like I did to drizzle over top. You can even add some pickled ginger to the party if you like.
  7. Top with gomasio or sesame seeds.

Enjoy! ❤

Raw Almond Mylk

I’m a huge almond milk fan.

When it comes to non-dairy milks, my body is happiest when I drink almond milk.

Almonds are an amazing beauty food, and are abundant in antioxidants including skin-loving Vitamin E.

They’re high in the anti-stress mineral magnesium, as well as bone-building manganese.

Almond milk is my favorite choice for making my morning matcha latte, especially considering almonds sit so well in my stomach.

When I became plant-based, I was shocked at all the strange ingredients store-bought almond milks had.

Gums, stabilizers, oils, fillers and….

So. Much. Added. Sugar!!

Plus, the ones that were organic, had the cleanest ingredients and tasted the best were often up to $11 a bottle.

I don’t have a problem with spending extra money for higher quality, healthier products, but when the ingredients are just almonds and water I would rather make my own.

Plus, home-made is so much better!

The only investment you need to make is a good quality nut milk bag.

I say good quality because some nut milk bags, particularly the super cheap ones, are not fine enough to filter out all the nut pulp from the milk.

I’ve ended up with way too many gritty almond milks because of a crummy nut milk bag.

When you buy one, hold it up to the light. It should be very finely woven, and you should not be able to see through it.

I’m talking almost like trying to look through a piece of fabric.

Even if you don’t have the best blender in the world, a good nut milk bag will give you smooth and creamy almond milk.

Save the almond pulp!

You can use it in baking, skincare, raw recipes, oatmeal and more.

It’s great stuff, and it freezes wonderfully.

As far as soaking goes, if you have a standard blender I would highly recommend soaking your almonds for 8-12 hours before making the milk.

If you have a Vitamix or similar, you don’t have to soak them, but it helps soften the almonds, increases bioavailability and makes them easier to digest.

This recipe is best within the first 3 days of making it.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw almonds
5 to 6 cups filtered or spring water (use less water for a thicker milk)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend everything together in a blender on high speed for about 60 seconds.
  2. Pour the milk through your nut milk bag into a large bowl.
  3. Squeeze until all the milk has left the almond pulp inside the bag, and the pulp is dry.
  4. Pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
  5. You can store the almond pulp in a ziplock bag in the freezer for later use if you wish.

Enjoy! ❤

Creamy No-Fried Beans

From the time I was five to the moment I decided to be a vegetarian at age twelve I was addicted to Taco Bell.

My mom and I (also an ex-Taco Bell junky) would often stop there for dinner after she picked me up from staying with my dad in Sacramento.

While I wasn’t picky about which gooey, cheese-smothered, red sauce-drenched delicacy I was going to chow down on, I did have a few favorites:

Their Seasoned Red Rice, nacho cheese dip, the legendary “Enchirito”, and the joy de vivre of Taco Bell:

Their re-fried beans.

Anything that was on the menu that contained those beans, I was all in.

As I became more health-conscious, my love for re-fried beans evolved.

I was soon a huge fan of Amy’s organic re-fried beans.

I digress.

To this day I still love re-fried beans, but I would much rather have a just-as-satisfying raw vegan version.

I think there’s a misnomer that raw food can’t be heavy, comforting or full of hearty flavors and robust spices.

One of my main goals in starting this blog was to show the world that raw vegan junk food is real.

And I eat it.

A lot.

These no-fried beans are extremely satisfying, filling and versatile.

You can put them in raw tacos or burritos, pair them with raw Mexican “rice”, use them as a dip for chips or veggies, or eat them like I do:

Topped with fresh avocado and chunky salsa fresca.

Plus, they have a hearty amount of secret raw veggies, making this a great recipe to feed picky kids.

The best part?

They only take about 10 minutes to make!

This recipe makes about 4 servings, and can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup yellow or green zucchini
4 to 5 sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated in warm water or packed in olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tbsp chickpea miso paste 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp tamari 
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
1/4 smoked sea salt (optional) sub with regular sea salt if unavailable
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
1-2 tbsp filtered or spring water to blend

Directions:

  1. Add sunflower seeds to a food processor and grind until a gritty paste is achieved.
  2. Add zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper and miso paste and continue to process into a paste, scraping down the sides.
  3. Add in all the remaining ingredients and continue to process into a creamy “re-fried beans” consistency, adding water a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  4. Taste with a spoon and adjust seasonings if you’d like.
  5. Dish up and top with avocado, salsa fresca and chopped cilantro!

Enjoy! ❤


Sugar-Free Mango Cardamom Chia Pudding

Chia puddings have always been my favorite go-to breakfast (or dessert) recipe.

I remember when I was about seven, I thought chia seed gel tasted (and looked) just like what I imagined frog eggs to taste like… but I still ate them.

Kids are weird.

Chia puddings are so easy to make and taste amazing – plus they’re loaded with nutritional benefits.

Chia seeds are one of my favorite “superfoods” of all time!

They’re chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, functional protein, soothing fiber and antioxidants.

In fact, chia seeds are one of the foods that I credit to helping my gut health improve in leaps and bounds.

Because of their high fiber content, they help to keep you full for a longer time without weighing you down, and are the perfect pre or post-workout snack.

Since chia seeds don’t have much taste to them, it’s easy to get creative with flavors for your puddings.

I’m a huge fan of cardamom, so I wanted to make a spin-off on a mango lassi – in pudding form!

Chia puddings tend to be similar in texture to tapioca pudding, but if you want a smoother texture you can actually blend the chia seeds into the mango cashew cream as well.

They’ll still “bloom” and form a sort of gel, so just let it sit in the fridge as normal before enjoying.

Another thing to note about this recipe is the type of mango you’re using.

Since we’ll be blending the mangoes, it doesn’t much matter if it’s a “good mango” – as long as it’s ripe, it’s totally fine.

There are two main types of mango available in most areas of the United States:

The Tommy Atkins Mango (or very similar)

And the Ataulfo Mango (or very similar)

Both will work wonderfully in this recipe, but keep in mind that the Ataulfo and similar mangoes are much smaller than the Tommy mango.

If you’re opting for Ataulfo, I would use two.

Let’s jump in!

Ingredients:

2 small Ataulfo mangoes OR 1 large Tommy Atkins mango (or similar)
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in filtered water overnight
1/2 cup chia seeds 
2 cups filtered or spring water
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/8 tsp monk fruit OR 1 tbsp maple syrup OR 4 pitted medjool dates
1/4 tsp cardamom 
1 tbsp coconut MCT oil (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt 

Directions:

  1. Blend cashews with water, sea salt, vanilla, cardamom and sweetener.
  2. Cut mangos into small chunks and add to the cashew cream.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into a large bowl, and add chia seeds.
  5. Mix until well-combined.
  6. Cover chia pudding and put it into the fridge for about 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to make sure the seeds don’t gel at the bottom.

Enjoy! ❤

Chia Later (-;

Creamy Cashew Mylk

As far as flavor, creaminess and versatility, cashew milk is probably my favorite non-dairy milk alternative.

While cashews are a little heavier and more difficult for your digestive system to process, I notice that when I blend them into milks or sauces, I have a much easier time with them.

Cashews are actually not nuts, but a seed harvested from a variety of fruit called a “Cashew Apple”, which is native to Brazil.

While we will be using “raw” cashews for this recipe, take note that all cashews sold in stores have been steamed to remove harmful compounds found in truly raw cashews.

Cashews aren’t my top choice of nut in terms of overall digestibility, but they actually contain a ton of nutrients, healthy fats and protein.

They’re extremely high in copper, which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood and bones.

They also have high amounts of magnesium, the “anti-stress” mineral; vitamin E, a skin-loving antioxidant; manganese, a metabolism booster; and oleic acid, a healthy omega fatty acid.

So to sum it up, cashews are kind of a major superfood – just stick to the ones sold at the grocery store.

Because this milk recipe is rich with glorious, creamy cashew nuts, it’s perfect for making lattes, adding to coffee or tea, making chia puddings, baking, and adding creaminess to smoothies and “mylkshakes”.

If you have a friend, co-worker or family member who thinks they don’t like non-dairy milks, give them this one.

Probably my favorite thing about this milk recipe is you don’t actually need to use a nut milk bag.

The raw cashews break down to a smooth consistency in any high-speed blender. This also helps make it a heartier, more filling and protein-rich nut milk option.

Which for me, is a godsend, as I tend to be lazy when it comes to making nut milks. But there is such a difference between homemade and store bought nut milks, it’s so worth it in the end.

You also don’t have to soak your cashews, but it will help with consistency – especially if you don’t have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.

This recipe will make you about 6 cups of cashew milk, which turns out to be quite a lot. I like to share mine with friends and family, because it’s such a crowd-pleaser!

With refrigeration it should last up to about 4 days in the fridge.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
6 cups filtered or spring water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 pitted medjool dates (optional)
1/8 tsp sea salt 

Directions:

  1. If you’re soaking your cashews, let them soak in three cups of filtered water, in an airtight container (in the fridge) for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews before adding to the blender.
  3. Add everything to a high speed blender.
  4. Blend on high for about 3 minutes, or until the outside of the blender becomes a tiny bit warm.
  5. Pour into a mason jar or reusable container.

Enjoy! ❤