Meet the Nut Free, Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free, Grain Free It’s It of Ice Cream Sandwiches. And it’s even AIP and SCD friendly! Whoot Whoot! …
Meet the Nut Free, Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free, Grain Free It’s It of Ice Cream Sandwiches. And it’s even AIP and SCD friendly! Whoot Whoot! …
Here is a sneak peak into my lunchbox. …
I am so excited! I FINALLY cracked the code on creating the perfect grain free, vegan, paleo, strach free, egg free CHOCOLATE CAKE!
One of my new favorite breakfast dishes. Roasted Radishes. Seriously. …
For an excellent homemade coconut recipe and tutorial video, you can visit Tropical Traditions recipe page to see how they recommend making your homemade coconut milk from dried coconut. Also, see their video on making coconut milk below!
Below is my simple version of the recipe.
Homemade Coconut Milk:
*To make a thinner coconut milk, just add another cup or 2 of water.
Blend coconut and hot tap water together on high. Pour through a nut milk bag. You now have close to 2 cups of coconut milk to use in smoothie, soups, or baking! You can also save remaining coconut pulp to use in other recipes. Here is a great recipe for a grain free “oatmeal” cookie from Against All Grain where you can use the coconut pulp in place of the dried coconut called for in her recipe. (Just use flax “eggs” to keep it vegan if you’d like! I find flax goes really well in cookies too!)
Please note, this homemade coconut milk when used right away is a pretty good replacement for what you might find in a can, but once you refrigerate this homemade milk it will separate quite a bit, and you will end up with a thick and pretty hard layer of coconut fat at the top. I just blend it back together and use it just fine. Just don’t expect it to create a super soft layer of fat as found in most cans of full fat coconut milk. I often use the canned coconut milk fat for whipped cream, but it is not possible to do the same with the homemade version.
Winner will be announced on October 30th, 2013. Limited to residents of the USA and Canada.
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
What is Virgin Coconut Oil? Find out here
Trick or Treat!!
Just say “NO!” to corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, soy, artificial flavoring, refined sugar, and candida!!! And say “YES!” to a relatively easy to make gooey satisfying treat made with real food ingredients!! These “candies” freeze really well, so if you make a big batch you won’t regret it!
Don’t get scared away by this list of ingredients. This is a pretty simple treat to make! 4 layers of goodness with ingredients you most likely already have on hand!!
Step 1: Line a muffin pan with 12 paper baking cups. Gently melt cacao butter over a double boiler or in a food dehydrator. Stir in cacao powder and maple syrup. Once melted use a Tablespoon to pour 3/4 to 1 Tablespoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each paper muffin cup. Put in the freezer to firm up while you make the other layers. Save the remaining chocolate for coating the candies at the end!
*I like my chocolates best when made with cacao butter, but this can be an expensive and hard to find ingredient, so you can just sub in coconut oil instead! The cacao butter gives these a more authentic flavor, but the coconut oil will totally work in a pinch and still be divine!
Coconut “Marshmallow” Layer:
Note: This will easily make twice the amount of the coconut layer than you need, but I find it hard to blend only 1/2 a cup coconut properly. Just form coconut macaroon cookies with the remaining batter. OR, you can attempt to make a half batch of this with your food processor.
Step 2: Blend 1 cup dried coconut in your food processor for a one to two minutes until it is finely broken down. Add in maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt, and blend for another minute or two. Form little balls of the coconut mixture with your hands and mash down onto the chocolate layer in the muffin cups.
Caramel Gooey Layer
Step 3: Blend all ingredients for up to 2 minutes until you have a sticky caramel. Spoon on a little bit of the caramel over the coconut layer, then add the nuts below.
Note: This layer is totally optional. If you would like to make a nut free treat, just omit the nuts. Or you can experiment with using sunflower or pepitas instead!
Push your chopped nuts or seeds into the caramel layer, then spoon over the remaining melted chocolate from above! If you don’t want the candy “cup” look, with the ridges on the sides, then you can remove the candies from the muffin cups just before covering with chocolate and set on a flat piece of parchment paper to firm up. Put into the freezer for 20 minutes or so. Enjoy!!
These candies should be stored chilled in the freezer or fridge. I personally keep a stash of homemade raw chocolates in our freezer at all times, you know just in case of an emergency. ♥
Pictured: Totally Raw Fruits & Veggies “Grilled” in my Food Dehydrator with my Cherry BBQ Sauce Coating, Phto by Mercedes Geyer Photography
~ This Skewer will be part of the appetizer for my upcoming Sold Out Taste of Summer Raw Food & Wine Dinner at J Wrigley Vineyards on July 27th!
The first time I made a batch of this goodness a few years ago, my hubby & I agreed I could easily bottle it up and sell it! But there is so much going on right now in my life & with Betty Rawker (some of my favorite raw goodies are now being sold in some stores in Oregon!) that I just don’t have enough time to bottle and sell a tomato-free, corn syrup-free BBQ sauce, but I am more than happy to share this wonderful recipe with you!
For anyone out there like myself who is highly intolerant of tomatoes, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!! This Cherry BBQ Sauce is seriously better than any tomato based product I have ever tried, I promise!
Also, please feel free to adjust the ingredients like the sugar & spice to your liking. This is only a guideline, setting the stage for you to perfect it in your own way!
The folks who make Hoskins Raw Living Blackberry Vinegar are friends of mine here in Oregon, and while I love using their living blackberry vinegar in this recipe, you are free to use any vinegar you please!!
Cherry BBQ Sauce Recipe:
Blend ingredients together in a high speed blender. Serve with fresh or dehydrated veggies, or use in place of regular BBQ sauce when grilling. This stuff is absolutely amazing when served cooked or raw!
Marinated “Grilled” Veggies
Cut each fruit and veggie into LARGE chunks. Hand toss in a bowl with marinade, then carefully stick the chunks of fruit and veggies onto the skewers. Lay on a dehydrator tray, and dehydrate at 115*F for 2 hours. Apply Cherry BBQ Sauce and dehydrate another 1 to 2 hours. The fruit and veggies will take on a “grilled” look yet still be full of rawsome flavor. Serve with a side or drizzle of fresh Cherry BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
Also featured on Raw Food Thursdays:
They are finally here! Betty’s Nut Sacks, or also called Nut Milk Bags! They are my 2nd favorite kitchen tool/gadget ever, 2nd only to the Vitamix which will always be in 1st place. And these bags are like a BFF to the Vitamix, or any blender really. Click here to purchase your own Nut Milk Bag!
I honestly can’t believe how much use I get out of this little nut sack! I use it a few times per week to make fresh almond & hazelnut milks. I also use it when on a juice fast, as I much prefer juicing with my Vitamix and this nut sack more than using my actual fancy juicer. True story! Read more here. I also use this bag for making fast & easy fresh cauliflower “rice”, and for straining my homemade soup stocks, especially my Raw Tom Kha.
I am now selling these handy dandy nut milk sacks direct! Just click here to get your own bag! Also included with each bag is a useful little guide with some of my favorite recipes! I have tried and tested many a nut sack, and I honestly truly believe these are the best sacks on the market! They are cut on the bias, so there is a natural give & gentle stretch to the fine nylon mesh when straining. They are industrial strength, machine washable (I have even run them through the dishwasher). For the most part I just rinse with water after use and hang dry, as they dry so quickly, and won’t harbor bacteria like a lot of other sacks on the market.
Basic Almond Milk Recipe:
Ideally you want to soak your almonds for 8 to 12 hours in water at room temperature to activate the sprouting process. But if you don’t have time to soak you nuts, don’t sweat it, you can still make fabulous nut milk.
Blend almonds with 4 cups water on high in a blender. Hold the nut milk bag open with one hand over a bowl, and pour the almond milk into the bag. Twist the top of the bag shut, and gently squeeze out the fresh almond milk. Use the left over nut milk pulp in a variety of different raw recipes. Pour the fresh decadent almond milk into a quart jar and store in the fridge. Sweeten to your liking.
Blog post also featured on:
If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I used to blog as “Betty Rawker” you know, like a “Raw Betty Crocker”. My diet has always gravitated towards fresh fruits, veggies, and plant based foods, and for a substantial portion of my life I ate a vegan diet, starting at age 13. To make a long story short, in my late 20’s I was hit with a very aggressive and nasty autoimmune disease and I could no longer eat and properly digest the rice, beans, grains, and starches that were always a staple in my diet. For the first few years on my healing journey, I focused on a raw food diet, as I felt amazing going fully raw! But then a couple years into it, I didn’t feel as amazing, and I started craving fish and meats like nobody’s business. So I put the bettyrawker.com website on hold and started blogging at pureandsimplerecipes.com which evolved to forestandfauna.com this year. I chose Forest and Fauna because I am a little obsessed with foraging wild foods and I dream of writing a wild foods inspired cookbook someday. If you dig back into the archives, you will see I brought over a lot of the reader favorite raw food recipes from bettyrawker.com and now have them on this website. The most popular Betty Rawker recipe has been my take on the Snickers Bar. Below you will find my updated recipe. ♥
This bar freaking tastes just like a jelly filled donut, in a grain free, raw vegan sorta way!
I used a base similar to the raw donut hole recipe, spread on a layer of raw raspberry jam, and topped with crumbled walnuts, dried coconut & cacao nibs. There is also an optional icing you can drizzle over the top, but totally not necessary ♥
Blend coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, & sea salt together in food processor for 30 to 60 seconds. Add in walnuts, blend. Then add in 9 pitted medjool dates. Press mixture into a wax/parchment lined pan. Set in fridge to firm up.
Blend only raspberries and dates until dates are well combined. Pour into a bowl, and stir in chia seeds. Let set for 15 minutes, stirring on occasion. It will thicken into a nice raspberry “jam”. If not thick enough after 15 minutes, stir in a little more chia until you have the right consistency. Spread over base layer.
Pulse topping ingredients together until a nice crumble is formed. Sprinkle over raspberry layer. Garnish with cacao nibs, set in fridge to firm up.
You have just created the perfect blissful breakfast bar. Makes 8 medium sized bars! Or 6 large ones.
Mix together, drizzle over breakfast bars
Raw Chocolate Icing:
Mix together, drizzle over breakfast bars
Shared at: Savoring Saturdays
Three Words: Yum. Yum. Yum.
These raw grain free paleo donut holes are better than the real thing! I promise. For a “nut-free” AIP Paleo version made with “tigernuts” (a tuber, not an actual nut) see my recipe for AIP Paleo Donut Holes.
Add dried coconut to food processor, and process alone for 30 sec to 1 min to release oils. Add in almonds, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, process until all mixed & fine. Add in dates process, and then add in honey.
Form into balls with your hands. Roll in coconut sugar & cinnamon coating.
You can eat the as is, freeze, or dehydrate at 115*F overnight.
And thank you to “And Love it Too” for featuring this recipe in this gluten free recipe round-up here and shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop and Meatless Mondays and Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays
You will likely find that your intake of raw vegan hazelnut milk goes up as you fall in love with these light little truffle balls, and you will be looking for any excuse to make more!
These truffles would also make great “raw cake pops” as they could easily be stuck onto sticks & served.
**can also use 1 cup hazelnuts in place of hazelnut pulp
In food processor, blend hazelnut pulp and cacao powder. Add in dates, pinch sea salt, blend. Add in a little maple syrup to help “stick” together. Roll into balls, and then roll into chopped hazelnuts. Drizzle with raw chocolate. Chill. Serve!
Raw Chocolate Drizzle:
Mix ingredients together, melt in food dehydrator, or double boiler. Drizzle over chilled truffles, place in fridge to “set”. Coconut oil chocolate drizzle firms up nicely when chilled.
Raw Hazelnut Milk Recipe:
Blend nuts & water in a blender. For best results use a Vitamix. Once nuts & water are blended well into a milky liquid, strain through a Nut Milk Bag. Pour “milk” into a mason jar to drink later, or blend with 1 date or 1 TBS sweetner, and a vanilla bean, and enjoy! Use leftover “pulp” in truffle recipe above.
Shared at: Happy Healthy Green Natural Party Blog Hop
My kitchen counter is turning into a little indoor green garden area and I LOVE it!
Today is Day 4 of my 14 day juice fast. I, like so many people, have been inspired by the movie, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, to give my body a “reboot” and do a 14 day fresh squeezed “juice feast”. If you haven’t yet seen this awesome life changing documentary, you totally need to download it on Netflix or Amazon.
I have been battling this yucky disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis with Colitis, which really just boils down to lots of inflammation in my body. The AS causes fusing of the spine, and like many with this disease, you end up going years before you are properly diagnosed, so I already had fusions of my sacroiliac joints (pelvis) and in a few vertebrae before I had a name to call this disease. And I have been dealing with an inflamed and very unhappy gut & colon for years also, known as Colitis. These two diseases generally go hand in hand.
There is a lot of great research out there that supports eating a starch free diet full of fruits & veggies (and for some this also includes meats, eggs, and dairy), but no baked goods, rice, or potatoes in order to fight AS. There is a mean little booger of a bacteria known as klebsiella that love to dine on undigested starches in the gut/colon and then in turn they create more inflammation and fusing for those with AS.
I jumped fully into a Raw food diet at the same time I went starch free last October, and instantly noticed a huge improvement of my symptoms. Over the past 5 months I have been eating about 80% raw foods, and the other 20% consisted of cooked veggies, some seafood and a little big of grass fed beef, wine, and just a little bit of coffee. Well, while I was seeing improvement and having some really good days, the inflammation kept creeping back in and creating more bad days, and I found myself reaching for NSAIDS and pain pills again, which in turn destroy my poor stomach even more.
I am doing this juice fast in an attempt to get my body out of inflamed “auto-immune” mode, and back into a healthy happy pain free living mode. It all boils down to having healthy gut bacteria, an alkaline body vs. an acidic body, and the right fresh & nutrient dense foods to continue to support the body. I am fully committed to make this happen!
I am only 4 days into this fresh juice feast, but so far I can feel my joint/back pain and sore guts finally really easing up. I feel more relaxed than I have in a long time, it’s almost like Juicing is Nature’s own “pain medicine”. I just feel a new calmness, completely stress free, very open minded, and a true sense of love for myself. Oh, and I now have this incredible sense of smell, that must be on the same level as a wild animal, I can smell EVERYTHING – good and bad. I would honestly say that being on a juice fast creates a more heightened sense of awareness for the universe.
The juice fasting is WAY easier than I thought it would be. I think my determination to heal my body certainly helps me keep going forward with it, and the juice is so satisfying, that I have yet to feel any hunger pains. I also love that I get to continue shopping for organic produce and I really enjoy picking out all sorts of fun juice combinations like:
Cucumber + Mint + Basil + Lime + Green Apple + Parsley
Carrot + Ginger + Lemon
Dandelion Greens + Kale + Grapefruit + Spinach
Green Apple + Lemon + Ginger + Parsley + Wheatgrass
Also, read more here on how to do make fresh juices without a juicer!!
Pictured above you will see my Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner that I drank on 3 of my Fast.
I love waking up to fresh squeezed apple + lemon + ginger juice, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, especially not over the next 10 days!
Everything you need to know about juicing can be found on their Reboot Website.
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Breakfast is Ready!!
Apples, lemon, ginger, wheatgrass & parsley. My most favorite juice so far!
I am happy to report amazing progress so far on my 9 days of juice! Only 5 days to go. Other than some vivid dreams last night of fresh salmon fillets served with crisp slices of cucumber lightly seasoned with a vinaigrette, fresh dill and slices of bright green avocado, I haven’t had a hard time not eating anything yet. Not eating has actually been the easy part.
To sum up my juice fast so far:
Day 1: Sleepy. Very sleepy.
Day 2: Sleepy. Some light headaches.
Day 3: Noiceabley less inflammation in joints & tummy. Feeling relaxed. Normal work day.
Day 4: Feeling super relaxed, a bit dazed, no real pains, my nose is working overtime, I can smell EVERYTHING. Pretty normal work day.
Day 5: Massage & Chiropractic appointment after work. Overall, pretty good day. Small bouts of pain in joints, almost felt like healing pains.
Day 6: Got in some exercise at the gym after work. Feeling pretty good. Still a bit tired.
Day 7: This was going to be my home “Spa Day” but turned into a really crappy “Sick Day”. Icky, lots of snot, sore throat, headaches. Some back pain.
Day 8: I basically made 2 noises for half the day, “Aaaoooo” and “Uugghhh”. Still really sick, some fevers. Just let my body go through the process of detoxing. I was able to crawl out of bed and make it to the Mac Saturday Farmers Market for some more amazing produce, made some great juice, and then crawled back into bed.
Day 9: HELLO World! My tummy hasn’t been happier in years and it’s flattened right out. I can barely feel any inflammation in my body. I am definitely on the right track, it would be easy to stop cuz I feel pretty great, but I am determined to experience a full body healing, so I will push on!
Last night I also incorporated the help of this little product called Oxy Powder. I had read good things about it cleaning out your insides, and people report great results while fasting. While I don’t usually endorse pills or supplements, I will say that I believe this gut cleaning powder is helping my body work through the detox. Since I felt amazingly better the day after taking it, I will continue to use this in the week to come. I should also add that 3 weeks ago I tried colonics for the first time, and I did 2 back to back appointments as recommended, but I personally did not feel any better after the experience. Again, I had read good thing about colonics, but they weren’t true in my case. I will say though that the juice fast & oxy powder is working without a doubt and I am feeling tons better!
Be sure to check out this amazing post by Farmer K on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly symptoms that come along with a successful body cleaning detox, which is definitely worth every sacrifice! Farmer K is helping her husband fight AS, and she has done an excellent job of summing of what to expect in the beginning of a juice fast!
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I just completed two amazing weeks of 100% juice and water fasting.
They say your appetite will return with vengeance when it’s time to come off a juice fast, and I can say that was definitely true for me. Initially I thought I might go for 30 days, but after two weeks of drinking only fruit & veggie juice my body started screaming at me to start eating again. Around Day 11 I started intensely craving fish, and I was thinking about it day and night.
While there are definite ups and downs on a juice fast, it wasn’t nearly as hard “not to eat” as I thought it might be, and my body was ready to do some detoxing and it happily went to work. I rode the detox roller coaster through some painful healing moments, but was able to take it easy and rest assured my body new what it was doing. You can feel old aches and pains come to life briefly during the fast as they heal up properly, it’s pretty fascinating. On Day 6 I had some stabbing hip/pelvis pain which I hadn’t felt in years return for an afternoon, in the same place I now have fused SI joints, but something told me the pain was a good thing, as my body worked overtime to clean things up and heal old wounds. I also experienced a short lived piercing earache one night, as a child I used to get ear infections constantly (which I now blame for my damaged gut, as the doctors constantly had me on antibiotics, which destroyed the well balanced eco-system in my tummy). I had not had an ear infection in over 20 years, but was quickly reminded of how painful they can be, and then as quick as the pain came on, it vanished again less than an hour later.
To sum it all up though, I was completely painless upon completing the fast. This is what made the juice fast one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I can’t remember the last time I was not in any pain. I am now used to living day to day dealing with painful joints, a cramped up bloated tummy, and a back that often screams at me. And here I am after drinking juice for 14 days, 100% pain free, as it wiped out all of the inflammation in my body. I am still continuing to juice daily, and eat a cleansing diet, but I have also incorporated fruit smoothies, fresh veggies, some nuts & seeds, and a little fish back into my diet. I am a firm believer that a diet rich in alkaline foods helps to heal the body and prevent pain & disease. This juice fast was living proof of that.
During my fast I also did a fair bit of reading on the strategies around food combining, which is something I had not yet explored. Over the years, I have come across a lot of people with Anklyosing Spondylitis, Colitis, Candida, and other ailments who have given up fruit. To me it just never seemed right not to banish fruit to the dark side. Fruit!?! Seriously!?! Like the most simple and satisfying food I have ever tasted, which happens to come in its own biodegradable packing, ready to eat and hydrate me. I even saw a doctor last year, who told me very sternly to avoid all fructose and he was completely anti-fruit other than a few small handfuls of berries on occasion (since they are so low in sugar anyway). I replied that we had a small apple orchard at home along with a blueberry patch and grapes. His response was to sell the apples to someone else and not eat them! Needless to say, I tried his crazy diet for a month, but quickly knew it was not for me, as it just went against all ingrained common sense.
So, what I have recently learned about food combining I believe could help quite a few people handle fruit better. The 1st golden rule to food combining is: Eat fruit alone. Eat your fruits in the morning by the handful, in smoothies, or juices, just don’t combine them with any fats or proteins, and don’t eat any fats and proteins for a few hours after eating fruit. Fruit digests very easily and quickly in the body, but fats and proteins can linger for hours in the tummy until they are properly digested, and when combined with fruits, the fats and proteins cause the fruits to then get hung up for hours in the tummy and in turn the fruits start to ferment. This is when the painful bloating kicks in. There are certain veggies & greens that go great with fruits, like celery, cucumber, and lettuce, so you are encouraged to incorporate these veggies & greens into your smoothies & juices. There are a few other simple rules to food combining, including don’t combine fats & proteins. Here is a link to an easy to read food combining chart.
I am excited to give food combining a try. So far so good. Over the past few days I have made a point to eat fruit with fruit and my body is really happy about it. I know there will always be exceptions to the rule, and certain raw treats, which are fruit & nut based, where I will bend the rules, but on a day to day basis I plan to give my body the healing foods it needs to stay happy, healthy and pain free!
This juice fasting experience has restored so much energy back in my body! Fasting is detoxifying both physically and emotionally. I am thrilled that I naturally removed all the inflammation in my body without the aide of anti-inflammatory drugs or pain pills!! If people knew how amazing you can feel by giving your body the right foods and nutrients it needs, there sure as hell wouldn’t be a fast food junk food industry, and we’d turn the medical industry upside down. I look forward to continuing to do juice fasts, with a goal of juicing to welcome in each new season.
Here is a picture of the local elk herd recently enjoying the “Green Diet” in our front yard.