Sunday, June 28, 2009

A New (Raw) Day

The first time I ever did a "raw day" I was nervous about exercising.  Worried that I wouldn't be eating enough, not getting enough calories, would be tired, sluggish, etc.  Yesterday, after having some dates, I went out and ran (and walked) a total of 5 miles, and I'm still feeling pretty peachy.  

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?  
  

14 comments:

  1. The Key Lime Kreme Bar looks delicious. I think I'm going to have to buy Ani's dessert book!

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  2. Everything looks so darn good! Come and "cook" for me!

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  3. The buckwheat cheese sauce sounds so interesting! I must try it one day... when I can find buckwheat groats, that is!

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  4. You've inspired me. Perhaps after my move I'll bust ye ole dehydrator out and give her a go. I so need to buy Ani's book, though. Way to be a raw goddess!

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  5. I want to go back to my once a week raw days! I got off track and totally forgot about it!

    I saved that buckwheat recipe from veg times, and i def want to make it! I wish I had a dehydrator so I could be rawesome like you!!

    also, does ani's desssert book use as much oil as her reg cookbook? ani's RF kitchen uses such ridiculously large amounts of olive and coconut oil, that i foten find myself unattracted to using it bc i'd have to change it so drastically to be comfortable eating it, you know?

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  6. everything looks great. And Ani Phyo is awesome. I'd love to try all of this!

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  7. Wow!! What an exciting post and an exciting day!!!! I'm so impressed with all your good RAW eats!! I have a question.... what kind of dehydrator do you have?? What kind do you suggest? What's your DREAM dehydrator?? Also, great job on the FIVE mile run! AWESOME! Have a wonderful day! :)
    -A

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  8. i love high raw days. i've been really trying to keep my diet at least 60% raw this summer. it's been mostly smoothies and big ol' salads, but i'd love to make some of these cheese and breads! must-break-out-the-dehydrator!

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  9. Anyone who is thinking about buying Ani's dessert book definitely should!! And you really don't need a dehydrator for it either, there is only one small chapter of dehydrated goodies. Also, since its nice out, you can always dehydrate outside! She suggests it in her book, although I know I personally don't have access to that right now.

    ASHLEY, congrats on going vegetarian!! That is fantastic, I'm glad its going well!

    Shelby, you're too sweet, if I were closer, I would "cook" for you any day!

    Katrina, Joanna told me to try the Buckwheat Crispies awhile ago and I just finally got around to it, and they're just so cool! The sauce is made with cashews though, its just the sprinkles on top that are buckwheat.

    Ooh, Joanie, you have a dehydrator and don't use it?!? I think it helps that I keep it on the counter, haha, easy access. Definitely try Ani's stuff. I've tried other raw stuff and looked at other raw books and hers are just the best.

    Nora, I agree that her recipes also have a ton of oil (as well as salt). I'll get back to you when I'm back home (I'm at my parents right now) and I can look at the book. I've only made two things so far, the macaroons, which had coconut oil in them but I can't remember how much, and these lime bars had coconut oil in them also, but I didn't feel it was a lot, maybe just a tbsp? But I only made a quarter of the recipe!

    Thanks LeAnne! Raw days are always fun :)

    Allison, I just left you a lengthy comment on your blog, haha. But if anyone else is wondering, I did post about my dehydrator http://veganstrong.blogspot.com/2009/06/warming-sensation-post-100.html
    Its an Excalibur, and the only thing it really doesn't have it a timer. But, I find that I usually end up dehydrating stuff for longer than the recipe or directions call for anyway, so its just as well. I'd end up getting home all excited for stuff and have to turn it back on. Its a 9-tray model, which seems kind of big, but I was happy I had all the room when I was doing all that dehydrating on Sunday!

    Miss V, I love the dehydrator, its really cool. But by dinner time I actually realized that I hadn't had as many veggies as usual! That's why I added the green beans, I felt like I needed some more greenery for the day.

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  10. Yummaay Gina. I love Everyday Raw, but my baked Mac & Cheese came out so oily. It was pretty good though. Have you tried the eggplant bacon? That's my fav!

    Lovely day of eats - you really go all out for your raw days. I'm always impressed.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening, and I'm glad you enjoyed the smoothie infusion. The other vega products are nasty!

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  11. I've heard goods things about Vega but have yet to try it... Maybe I'll give it a shot for my upcoming vacation. Seems like good "emergency" / travel-type food.

    And wow, those raw bars do look really good.. Like pure fudge!

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  12. Must get this book! Gluten-free, simple and vegan? That has my name written all over it.

    THANK YOU!
    VEGirl
    vegirlblog.blogspot.com

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  13. Hi! I am so going to make those crispies, and try to find the mac - n - cheeze recipe! Thank you.

    My raw vegan fiance and I are raising two non-vegan felines! It CAN be challenging! The smell of mushy cat food makes me nauseous anymore, though I don't think they should have to be vegan just because we are. Glad to know there are others out there fighting the good fight! Take care!

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