Posts Tagged ‘raw’

A few of my closest childhood friends are admirably, remarkably, brilliantly, several years sober. I am so proud of them, and though I do not abstain from all things alcoholic all the time, I wish to support them in their healing journey.

This year, for them, and for those of us who are avoiding alcohol tonight either out of necessity or personal reasons, or wish to include something healthy before getting soused, I hope my top five healthy beverage ideas will provide you with some delicious alternatives to enjoy when the ball drops!

Top Five Healthy Beverage Ideas For New Year’s Eve:

1. Coconut Water

Hydrating, sweet, and it goes down smooth! Available at health food stores, Trader Joe’s, and even some supermarkets!

2. “B Healthy” Lemonade

This is a year-round favorite drink of mine. My recipe: add liquid  b-12 (MaxB by Premier Research Labs is the kind I use), lemon juice, and liquid stevia to pure water. You could also use limes or omit the B if you haven’t got it on hand. It’s a delicious way to get your essential b-12 supplementation!

3. Green Juice

Drinking green juice on New Year’s Eve is a wonderful excuse to get in your yearly dose of greens, and a superbly healthy way to usher in 2012. It’s pretty much a goddess-send, as far as your body is concerned!

4. Kombucha

Kombucha is fizzy, expensive, and culturally important–what more could you ask for when it comes to champagne alternatives? Note: I’m not totally sure kombucha is non-alcoholic, so if this is a concern for you, please check! It’s best to brew your own, but you can stop by your local health food store to grab a bottle or four in a pinch.

5. Water

Go for it, champ! 😉

Happy New Year’s Eve 2012, Queer Vegan Foodists! Remember: If you are going to drink alcohol, please do so responsibly! xo

I’d love to know: What are you favorite non-alcoholic healthy beverages?

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Raw vegan hot chocolate is an incredible treat for the holidays. It’s cozy, warming and wonderfully delicious. This morning, in the festive light of our home’s cute miniature (real!) Christmas tree,  I whipped up a batch of delicious raw hot chocolate spiked with just about every “superfood” I had on hand. (P.S. If you haven’t already, definitely check out Gena Hamshaw’s take on superfoods. I really appreciate her perspectives on the topic!).

I have grown fond of tossing a bunch of “super” ingredients into my recipes when I can. I hope you’ll enjoy this fun nutrient-dense hot chocolate recipe, featuring reishi mushrooms, raw cacao, chia  seeds, maca, mesquite, and Vitamineral green.

Raw Vegan Superfood Hot Chocolate (Serves 3-4)


1/4 cup soaked Chia Seeds

1 Tbs Cacao powder

1 tsp reishi mushroom powder

1 Tbs Cacao Paste (optional)

1 tsp Mesquite powder

1 tsp Maca powder

Pinch high-quality salt

8 drops stevia (or, to taste)

1/2 cup almond milk

1 tsp Vitamineral Green or other green powder (optional)

pinch of cayenne (optional)


Toss all ingredients in a Vitamix or other blender. Mix until smooth. Meanwhile, heat up a pot of hot water. Add 2 cups hot water to the mixture and enjoy!


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Most brands of Hanukkah gelt, the traditional foil-covered chocolate coins that are used to play games of Dreidel, are either non-vegan or are made with non-fair trade chocolate and yucky fillers. This Hanukkah, don’t settle for sub-par store-bought Hanukkah gelt! Make your own! This recipe, which is an adaptation of the raw chocolate I usually make, is solid at room temperature, and can be wrapped in foil, if you’d like!

Raw Vegan Hanukkah Gelt


1 cup raw cacao paste (or 1/2 cup raw cacao powder and 3 Tbs coconut oil)

1/4 cup xylitol (optional)

2 droppers ful of liquid stevia

1 Tbs maca

2 Tbs mesquite powder

1 pinch vanilla powder

drop mint extract (optional)


Melt chocolate using a double boiler on low heat or in the dehydrator. Once melted, stir in other ingredients and mix until a smooth consistency. Remove from heat, place in chocolate molds and put in freezer or fridge. When hardened, enjoy immediately or during a game of cover in foil (optional) and use for a game of Dreidel.

Happy (early) Hanukkah! What other festive recipes would you like to see veganized for the holidays?

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Raw nori strips make delicious croutons!

On this sunny winter afternoon in Patagonia, Courtney and I were craving soup for lunch. We had a lot of freshly harvested garden greens that Courtney picked in the veganic garden this morning, including the sweetest-tasting kale, cilantro and spinach, and had some fresh cucumbers that we’d already chopped. This was the base for an amazing cucumber soup that pleased our palates and even wowed two of our other raw vegan housemates!

Raw Green Gaia Cucumber Soup (Serves 4)


3 medium-large Cucumbers

1/3 Sweet Onion (optional)

1 Cup Greens (Kale, Spinach, etc. will work)

2 Tbs Olive Oil

1-2 cloves raw garlic (optional; you may substitute Hing or Cayenne if you’d like)

1/2 Lemon’s juice

1/2 cup raw chickpea miso

2 Tbs Chia Seeds (optional; can also substitute 1/2 Avocado if on hand)

1-2 Pitted Dates (optional)

1 medium apple, cored


Place all ingredients in Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Blend until desired consistency. Top with Nori strips, avocado slices, apple slices or even chopped cucumber!


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Fall recipes may have arrived to the Blogosphere, but it’s still quite hot here in Patagonia. I’m not sure why October has brought us such high temperatures (last week we were 17 degrees F above average recorded temps for the day!), but we’ve been taking advantage of the cooler mornings by enjoying warm, delicious raw soups. This morning’s iteration featured soy-free chickpea miso, red bell peppers with kelp flakes and a bit of tomato concentrate. Feel free to substitute Aduki miso or soy miso if you’d like, and if you have kelp noodles, chunks of avocado or wakame on hand, they work great, too. Crushed nori sheets can also be fabulous, and their bold sea flavor definitely complements the mildness of the miso. Enjoy warm, hot, or at room temperature!

Chickpea Miso Soup With Red Bell Peppers And Kelp (Serves 1-2)


Chickpea miso

Red bell peppers (ours were local from our garden today, lucky us!)

Raw kelp flakes

Tomato Concentrate (We use PR Labs brand)

Avocado chunks (optional)

Wakame strips (optional)

Kelp noodles (optional)

Crushed nori sheets (optional)

Heat hot water until nearly boiling. Add 1-1 1/2 Tbs chickpea miso to a bowl. Pour hot water into miso, then add raw vegetables and seaweed. Stir, and allow to cool to desired temperature.



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Traditional Oreos are pretty gross, although the U.S. version are vegan (Note: International Oreos are reportedly non-vegan). My version of the chocolate sandwich treats is low-glycemic and pretty easy to make! Feel free to substitute your sweetener of choice for stevia.

Brown’s Raw Vegan NOreos (serves 6-8)


Chocolate NOreo shell:

1/2 cup Raw cacao paste or cacao butter and cacao powder
Pinch salt
Liquid stevia (or other sweetener)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
Chocolate molds (or ice cube tray)

“Cream Filling” Insides:

1/4 cup raw tahini
6-8 drops liquid stevia or other vegan sweetener
1 Tbs maca


Melt cacao paste or cacao butter and cacao powder on very low heat until liquid. Add in stevia, salt and nibs. Place into molds or ice cube tray. Allow to cool in fridge or freezer.

Meanwhile, mix insides ingredients. Once chocolate part has hardened, make sandwiches out of insides and outsides. Place in fridge to harden, and then enjoy!

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Hello Queer Vegan Food readers! It is a joy to write to you from Berkeley, Calif., where it is currently foggy and mild temps. This August is super special for me, because it marks my six-year vegan anniversary! Six years isn’t very long in the scheme of things, but as a twenty-four year old, that’s 1/4th of my life spent eschewing animal products in food, products, clothing, and trying my best to support animal welfare whenever possible. It’s been an incredible journey, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a bit about my journey to veganism, and say a bit about what being vegan has meant to me in my life.

I became vegetarian at age 12 after my older brother Asher convinced me it was just plain silly to eat meat. I am grateful for my amazing big bro for many, many reasons, but his cajoling me to drop the dead flesh in my life was a huge gift. Thanks, Asher!

My vegan brother Asher's LA film studio, Pollution Studios.

My vegan journey officially began at 18. I was working as a sailing instructor at a camp which served absolutely the nastiest processed food ever. It was deep fried everything, vegetables drenched in butter, sugar cereals and lots of meat, eggs, and other processed foods. It was a nutrition disaster for everyone, and as a vegetarian I started to get really jealous of this vegan girl who was working as an assistant counselor. She had absolutely no choice but to buy her own food, and what she was eating looked so much better! While I was picking at the iceberg lettuce at the salad bar, this chick was noshing on fresh fruits and veggies, organic cereals and nut milk, vegan cookies, even. She seemed happy, healthy, and very energetic. Before I could ask her why she was vegan, her session ended and she was gone.

I suddenly had to know why this girl was vegan and not vegetarian. Was there something I was missing? I went online and researched vegan primers. The first one I saw was what I ordered: Vegan Freak by Bob and Jenna Torres. After reading it, I realized that for all of the reasons I’d decided to be vegetarian (animal welfare, environmental concerns, social justice) it was just plain hypocritical of me not to go completely vegan. Some people have a hard time transitioning away from animal products and do it gradually; I totally respect that, but that wasn’t how it was for me. As soon as I put the book down, I knew what I had to do and didn’t look back.

As most vegans can attest, veganism can feel liberating on all levels, not only in the sense that there’s an abundance of foods, products and opportunities that are available to us vegans, but also in that it provides the feeling of doing everything in our power to reduce harm we cause to animals and non-human animals through consumption habits.

As a vegan, I have met tons of incredible people such as my idol and author of The Sexual Politics of Meat Carol J. Adams, and have gotten the chance to do activism through writing, hosting events, and being that visible presence that can be a catalyst for change for others. My brother, once vegetarian, is now vegan (way to go, bro!). I’ve helped some of my professors at Vassar come out of the vegan closet, and have nudged more than a handful of friends, many of whom are still vegan!

Carol J. Adams' The Sexual Politics of Meat

For me, veganism has always been primarily about animal welfare and environmental and social justice concerns. Luckily, it is also a path to healthful nourishment. When I learned about raw foods, it made my vegan experience even more fun and enjoyable, and now I incorporate a high-raw diet into my vegan activist diet. It’s pretty cool to make the connection between what’s on our plate and how it got there, and whether you’re eating mostly cooked vegan foods, raw vegan foods or a combination of raw and cooked vegan foods, I feel the key is to feel great about the choices you’re making for yourself and for the planet.

Fresh, local vegan bounty from the Berkeley Farmers' Market

One of the things I’ve realized as a vegan is how much of a privilege it is to have access to raw, organic vegan produce. Sadly, the way our twisted food economy is set up, many low-income communities just do not have access to their basic human right to healthful, nutritious produce. Food Empowerment Project leader Lauren Ornelas makes great efforts to make vegan food accessible, and my new favorite champion of raw foods for everyone, Brandi Rollins, has a sweet new book out with ingenious strategies to live an exclusively raw organic vegan diet or incorporate more raw foods into your diet without breaking the bank.

My vegan inspirations include AJ from Queer Vegan Runner, a fellow Vassar grad who shows how living a vegan lifestyle can help reduce cruelty towards animals and can also make you fit to run many miles and enjoy life! My friend Allen, whose epicurean blog Le Seitan Au Vin never fails to crack me up (wish he’d update it more..it’s SO good!) and I used to throw juice parties for our creative writing group at Vassar with our friends Nate, Joshua, and Ladee I am also inspired by JL Goes Vegan, whose entertaining and information-filled blog highlights the good life as a smart, sassy warrior woman who went vegan post-forty.

Raw vegan salad at The Tree of Life Cafe in Patagonia, Ariz.

Our Hen House is a fellow queer vegan blog that blends activism with sass. I couldn’t neglect to include nutritionist/doctor-to-be and editor wiz Gena Hamshaw’s super amazing raw vegan and vegan blog Choosing Raw, which has helped thousands of people make the connection between deliciousness and veganism. Gena’s blog is also very special because of its section Green Recovery, which highlights stories and insights that show how veganism can help people heal from eating disorders. Groundbreaking work, indeed. Whenever I need a good dose of vegan laughter or inspiration, I turn to SF-based vegan blog Vegansaurus (I’m also a semi-regular contributor as their ‘raw correspondent’). Laura Beck and the team prove veganism can be hip and hilarious.

My good friends Ivory King and Jonathan Mann have created an amazing song called “Vegan Myths Debunked,” which highlights the common myths around veganism with a tune that you’ll be humming in your sleep.

I have to give a shout out to my amazing partner and best friend Courtney Pool. Courtney is coincidentally also celebrating her six-year veganniversary this month! Her beautiful blog Radical Radiance inspires people with her insights, anecdotes and mouth-watering pictures. She also coaches and teaches about the benefits of juice feasting and fasting and cleansing on a vegan diet, which can be helpful for longtime vegans and gateways to the vegan path for those interested in health. Courtney’s new blog, Spirulina Junkie, is really exciting for vegans, as it explains how to incorporate protein and nutrient-rich spirulina into our diets, and teaches how spirulina can be grown sustainably and cost-effectively to improve global human health and the health of our planet.

Raw vegan goddess and nutrition coach Courtney Pool.

I am also grateful to raw vegan holistic medical doctor Gabriel Cousens, M.D. for leading the way with the links between veganism, spirituality and health, Co-Founder of Vivapura Chris Whitcoe, raw vegan chef/author and holistic health champion Elaina Love of Pure Joy Planet, Aviva and Yosef Funke for their work in bringing holistic health and vegan nutrition to under-represented populations of youth in Nogales, Arizona. I also am super inspired by my dear friend Mariano Caino, who proves you can be a very happy and healthy vegan in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

My friend Boaz Love-Bliss with homemade raw vegan chocolate!

In addition to everyone I’ve mentioned here, there are many other bloggers and writers whose work has inspired me and is really helping the vegan movement. I wish I could fit them all into this post! Thanks to them (and to you, reader!) for promoting compassion.

Hitting up farmers’ markets and learning how to grow our own produce are goals that I think would be great for more vegans to incorporate (many already do), but however we get our plants, it’s an enormous help just to avoid participating in animal exploitation.

Like that girl I met the summer when I was 18 (whose name I wish I had learned!), just being willing to be a visible vegan person can be enough to challenge someone to consider making the choice themselves. I never preach, but I know my friends and loved ones feel like they can come to me and ask for resources if they want them. And they do, often! It’s a great feeling to help spread compassion on a basis that people are ready for and interested in. For me, my veganism has been a path to activism, fun, community, sustainable living and joy. I’m excited to see what will happen in my own life and in the vegan movement over the next six years. 😉

In the comments, I’d love to hear how long you’ve been vegan or vegetarian! Thanks for reading.

Love, Sarah

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