Monday, September 29, 2008

Caramel Apple

It all started when I saw the first caramel apples appear in the grocery store and I couldn't resist telling Adi how those were my FAVORITE fall-time treat when I was a kid growing up. Hearing this, she naturally insisted that I buy one for her. I did. And I salivated as I cut it up for her to eat (too hard for a 3 year old to figure out the art of eating a caramel apple).

That's when I started scheming to create a raw caramel apple recipe. So without further ado - here it is:

Caramel Apple

1 beautiful apple

5-10 dates (depending on size of dates and size of apple, Medjool dates are bigger so use fewer but ultimately use your own judgement)

1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice (I used almonds)

sprinkle of sea salt

Wash your apple really well and dry. I'm sure you can find the sticks at a craft store but I just stole the one out of Adi's caramel apple! Put apple on the stick. Next use the blank plate on an agar style juicer (Champion, Sampson, etc.) to create date paste. You could also just use a mortar and pestle to grind the dates into a paste if you don't have one of these types of juicers. A rolling pin might work as well, use your imagination. Spread the date paste over the apple and roll in chopped nuts. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired (totally made all the difference for me) and enjoy!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chocolate "Cheese" Cake

I made this recipe for a women's retreat our church had and I was really surprised by how well it turned out) and how well it was received! I made this recipe up all by myself :)

Chocolate "Cheese" Cake

1 cup nuts or seeds of choice (I use Brazil nuts)
1 cup dates
dash or two of sea salt

5 avocados
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp lecithin
1/2 cup agave or honey
2/3 cup cacao powder
1/8 tsp sea salt

Process nuts/seeds and dates in food processor until chopped and chunky - careful not to over-process. Press in the bottom of a spring form pan (or pie pan) and place in freezer while you prepare the filling.
Place all filling ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more agave/honey if desired. Remember, it will taste different after it sets! Place in fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

For a really wonderful fall treat I added some pommegranites to the cake. I just love them, they look like little jewels and as Adi would describe them they are, "crunchy and delicious sweet!"

Eggplant "Bacon"

Another original coming from with some modifications.

1 large eggplant
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or raw honey)
4 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt to taste (optional)

Thinly slice your eggplant, lengthwise (think about how bacon strips look). I use a mandolin slicer. You could probably accomplish this with a vegetable peeler too. Alternately, you could make ‘round’ bacon by slicing the other way.

Remaining ingredients make up the marinade. Mix up these to make the marinade. Marinate eggplant strips for 2 hours.

Place on dehydrator sheets. Salt bacon (optional) and dehydrate for 9 hours. Turn bacon over and dehydrate another 9 hours. Around 110 degrees or to desired crispness.

Broccoli Salad

The original recipe came from but I modified it a little bit.

Broccoli Salad

5 cups broccoli, chopped
1 cup walnuts (or nuts/seeds of choice)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins

1 cup cashews
3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1/3 cup water

Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth. Then pour over the broccoli, onion, nuts/seeds and raisins. Mix well.

I top mine with Eggplant "Bacon".

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zucchini Hummus

I fully credit Deborah on RawFu as she posted the original recipe on her blog Rawvelations

The original recipe was posted to Raw Fu and accredited to Jennifer Cornbleet’s raw food made easy.

I (Stacey) made a few changes and this is what I ended up with:

2 zucchini, peeled and grated. Roll the grated zucchini in paper towels or clean towel and press hard to remove excess moisture or just squish it in your hands in snowball-sized batches)
4 tbs raw tahini
4 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp of olive oil

Take all ingredients except the zucchini and toss them into the food processor with the ’s’ blade and blend together. Add zucchini and process until desired consistency.

This was so so so good! Better than regular hummus, in my opinion. I took this to a pot luck and everyone who tried it loved it (as far as I know!) This will definitely be a staple in my house.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Take Out Salad

Cam has been suffering from a nasty cold for the last few days - he seems to get this every single year in the fall without fail - he's really wishing he had stuck to the raw food challenge longer but he needed a break and I fully supported that. Any way, he always feels like Thai food helps out quite a bit whenever he gets sick - particularly lemongrass, so he decided to order from our favorite Thai restaurant, Thai Flavors. When I say this is our favorite Thai restaurant, what I really mean is that this is our favorite restaurant in Iowa City. It's so amazing! I felt like I couldn't let him order without getting a little something for myself as well. So this is what I chose: Mixed Vegetables Salad with Special Peanut Dressing. This was not 100% raw (I'd say more like 90%), as you can see there are some little fried onions on there and the peanut dressing certainly wasn't raw either but I ate it with glee. It was wonderful. I wish I had the recipe for the dressing so I could make a raw version. Maybe if I'm really nice...

I'm finding myself being much more lenient over the past week since Cam started getting sick. I realize that from the beginning of this challenge I never intended to be 100% raw so I'm giving myself a bit more space when it comes to things like hot tea and decaf coffee. Probably not the healthiest thing in the world to drink but I'm pretty sure it won't kill me either. As the weather cools off I long for a warm belly.

Another indulgence has been a 1/4 cup serving of some strawberry popcorn that we grew in our garden. I was so excited to have successfully grown popcorn in the first place that I just had to give it a try. And honestly, 1/4 cup was enough for me. I savored every tiny morsel and it was enough. I realized after listening to Cam eat some potatoes and onions that he cooked up on the first morning of his "break" with all of his "mmmmm's" and "ohhh's" with a few "oh that's soooo goooooood's" that one thing that eating mostly raw does is make eating some cooked food so much more pleasurable. I got mad at Cam at first because I thought he was just rubbing in my face that he was eating cooked food, but in reality he was simply delighting in the food! Sure, it helps that we grew those potatoes and onions in our own garden, but it's nice to have developed a whole new appreciation for God's creation and provision.

I feel like I'm definitely growing closer to God through this experience. My spiritual journey has already seen many ups and downs and I'm grateful to come out of each twist and turn stronger than I was before. It's amazing how exposed I feel when eating raw. I just can't shove my stuff down any more. I feel like God kind of likes that. I thank God for blessing this raw food challenge!
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

40 Days Raw

The last time I challenged myself to raw food eating was a 21 day faith experiment in which I actually fasted from cooked food (same difference from an eating perspective but from a mental, emotional and spiritual perspective it was something completely different). I went through a tumultuous 3 weeks of eating only raw food, even on Thanksgiving Day! It was hard, even maddening at times, but I grew so much spiritually during those 21 days and I felt physically amazing. It was a huge challenge, though and by the end I was so ready to eat cooked food again. I didn't have that complete synchronization between mind, body and spirit in which all three agreed on raw food.

I couldn't deny the benefits, however, and when the Boston Vineyard (which has observed the Lent season with 40 days of faith over sevearl years) chose to celebrate lent with a more traditional Lenten season I was horribly disappointed, to the point of not celebrating lent at all! I was so hoping to take the next step onward to a 40 day faith experiment in which I would again fast from cooked food. The lack of a commitment like that sent me on a path of, "I just want to eat whatever is NOT raw". So for several months I neglected - even abused my body with much unhealthy cooked food.

Now I don't want to imply that all cooked food is unhealthy, because I don't believe that to be true at all! In fact I believe there are many cooked foods that are alkalizing to the body and ultimately I feel like having an alkaline PH is more important than eating all raw food or whatever. A raw diet is a healing diet but I feel like there are many whole cooked foods that can be incorporated once the healing and synchronization have occurred. The unhealthy cooked food I'm referring to is vegetarian junk food. Organic chips, cookies, crackers, processed foods. Organic or not, still largely unhealthy.

So now, here I am on this 100 day raw food challenge and after 40 days, I really truly know that something has changed in me.

Physically, I don't crave cooked foods. I feel perfectly content eating uncooked food in it's natural state. A big salad is completely satisfying, and more recently I've noticed the simpler the meal, the better (I don't want to spend my whole life in the kitchen!)

Mentally, I don't think about food all the time. I do enjoy food, I just don't obsess about it. I find myself occassionally wondering what foods I will add after 100 days (I believe that for me about 80% raw is my long term goal - I'm currently between 95-99%).

Emotionally, oh crap did I ever have a huge fit last week. I realized just how severe my emotional eating was. But it was good. I hashed it out with God and came through it a stronger woman, and even more faithful believer. Praise Jesus for that!!!

Spiritually, I can't help but feel like 40 days really is a huge milestone. It's a very biblical number. Jesus was tempted for 40 days (and now many Christians honor that time during lent) as he prepared for his ministry. And after Jesus died on the cross and rose again he ministered for 40 days before ascending to heaven at the right hand of God and sending the Holy Spirit to earth to help the diciples. I'm sure there's more, but I haven't studied the bible enough to know. So 40 days for me is significant. It doesn't mark the end of my challenge, but I recognize it as a special time to note marked changes in my life - especially the change in my relationship with food.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I've read rave reviews for these raw Cheez-it crackers and finally got around to trying them. Trust me, they are well worth the effort. I couldn't believe how tasty these are. I was too lazy to score mine as they were dehydrating so I just broke them into pieces which suits me just fine. I do have to warn that they are completely addicting!!

So here's the recipe that I got from

spicey cheezits


  • 1 cup soaked and dehydrated, sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup as above, brazil nuts
  • 1 cup as above, almonds
  • 1 big tomato
  • 1 cup red pepper, diced
  • ¼ ground flax
  • 1 pinch cumin or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt or a bit less to taste


blend all ingredients and spread on teflex or parchment paper as thin as you like, after a few hours score with a pizza cutter and leave until dry on top( overnight for me) then flip and leave until crispy(all day!) then eat eat eat!!!

I ended up omitting the flax as I saw others who commented that they made the recipe without the flax to avoid the flavor of it. I sometimes have issues with digesting flax (usually just when whole seeds are used in breads or crackers) so I went ahead and left them out as well. The result was crispy, lovely, can't get enough crackers!

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