The menu included a lot of nut and seed soaking, prep time, and a very messy kitchen, but it was well worth it.
Breakfast was a Vega Smoothie. The very lovely people at Vega sent me a nice sized bag of Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion last week. While the hemp in Vega is raw, the other proteins aren't (like the pea protein). I figured with so much good stuff in it, was still okay with me to start a raw day.
But, I was skeptical. Oh SO skeptical. I have regular Vega and I'm not a fan of it. I bought it because it has so much great healthy stuff in it, but I just can't have it every day, for various reasons. I decided I'd make their Blueberry Smoothie suggestion on the back of the package, since I had fresh blueberries from the farmer's market yesterday. My first impression? Ew. The powder is a gross green color...but that's because its filled with greens (spirulina, spinach, broccoli, etc)! So I sucked it up and made the smoothie. And...it was really good!! It was still a gross greenish brown color (hence the lack of picture...you didn't want to see it), but that's just what happens when you add greens to a smoothie. The Vega Smoothie Infusion is about 120 calories a serving and has 14 grams of protein. So the verdict is, if you're looking for a very healthy, very easy way to start (or end, or continue) you day, there is no denying that this stuff is really good for you, and pretty tasty to boot!
I can't possibly say enough about how delicious my lunch was, so I will just give you a picture which does not do it justice.
This is the Baked Macaroni and Cheese from Everyday Raw, with Buckwheat Cheezies (recipe follows). This was SO good. What really made it just the best was that it was dehydrated for awhile, so the squash softened a little bit. Really, this is fantastic, if you have the book, you must try it.
The Buckwheat Cheezies are based on a recipe that was in Vegetarian Times a few months ago, but I made it raw-ish, so I will share.
1/2 cup Raw Buckwheat Groats
1/4 cup plus 1-2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (not raw)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves
5-ish Basil Leavs (depends on how much you like basil)
2 tsp salt
1. Soak buckwheat groats overnight. Give them some space because they just about double in size.
2. Dehydrate the groats for about 3 hours at 104 degrees.
3. Blend together the oil, garlic, salt, and basil until it makes a thick paste.
4. When the groats are dehydrated, add them to a bowl with the paste and mush everything together until all the groats are more or less coated with something (it may not be even).
5. Dehydrate for another 30-60 minutes.
These are so yummy! I wouldn't eat them by themselves, the raw garlic is fairly strong, but they were absolutely perfect over the baked mac and cheese. Also, for those of you without a dehydrator, you can do this in a 300 degree oven too, which is what the original recipe calls for. If you want to roll that way, you don't need to pre-dehydrate them, and you should only keep them in for 30 minutes. Also, if you're not keeping it raw, you could cook the garlic with the oil.
Makes 8 2-Tbsp Servings
Nutritional Information: 90.5 Calories; 4.1g Total Fat; 0.6g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 10.7g Carbohydrates; 2.6g Fiber; 4.6g Protein. And 181% of the RDA for Vitamin B12!
One of the things I was really itching to make with the dehydrator was Ani's Black Sesame Sunflower Bread.
I had it as a raw sandwich for dinner along with her Sun-Dried Tomato Cheeze, topped with some avocado and tomato, along with some fresh farmer's market green beans. This Cheeze was okay. The Black Pepper Cheeze was way better.
The bread was somewhat of a disaster, although it worked out in the end! Because my kitchen is still in pieces all over the country, I don't have things like sieves, so it was hard to get all the water out of the teeny flaxseeds and sesame seeds. I think that made it too watery, and it made a bit of a mess. Again though, it worked out. Next time I make it I think I'll take her advice to make a few batches of it. I calculated the nutritional information for it and was really surprised. I'm not a big "real" bread person, so I'd choose this any day.
Makes 9 Slices
Nutrition Information: 167.6 Calories; 13.0g Total Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 9.6g Carbohydrates; 7.0g Fiber; 6.6g Protein
Dessert, of course, was the impetus for having a raw day at all. I've had my eye on the Key Lime Kream Bars in Ani's Raw Food Desserts since the moment I opened the book.
I really didn't need a "raw day" as an excuse to make them, since they came together in all of 5 minutes (plus freezing time). They are yummy! I made a dessert or two in Ani's first book and I thought that they were incredibly salty, but it seems like she's toned it down for this book, and everything I've tried so far (like the Strawberry Macaroons) has been fantastic!
I really love having an (almost) entirely raw day. Because I have far too much time on my hands now, I calculated the nutritional information for everything (email me if you want any of it), and it came to just about 2000 calories (including an orange I had for a snack), which is perfect for me. What is really more important to me though, is that it all came from good, whole food. Nothing is better than that, right?