Love You Live

When the leaves rustle
and the sky turns to orange,
crisp air caressing your face

it’s only natural to crave heat.

Warm foods,
hot brews,
fevered bodies.

Furry throws,
steam rising from moon baths, 
stealing sunshine kisses
wherever possible...

As many of you know, I'm a rabid fan of raw foods.
I feast all day on bright, shiny, radiant offerings from the Earth herself: luscious fruits, crisp greens, juicy veggies, crunchy seeds and nuts...it's an incredibly sensual diet. But, even I must admit the importance of adding cooked foods to your diet as your body needs them. And we do need them, as the wind grows cold, to balance us, to ground us, to nourish in an altogether different way than raw foods do.

Live plant foods, you see, have all their sexy little enzymes intact. Enzymes fight disease. Eating raw ensures that you're getting all the nutrients the plant has to offer (abundant as they are!), and supports your digestive tract. And, as strange as it sounds, that's exactly where good health and radiant beauty begin. 

That said, there are certain instances where the cooked version of a vegetable presents a higher nutritional value. The tomato, for example. This juicy, voluptuous, bright-red sexpot plucked right from the vine is surging with high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene, but her signature lycopene (which fights cancer and heart disease) shines only when cooked. Odd, but true.

The trick, my Darlings, is to satiate your needs in the chilly seasons, both physical and emotional, while still enjoying as much raw food as possible. Easy? Not so much.  It’s one thing to exist on a mostly or all raw diet when you live in a temperate clime. But so many of us don’t. 

The easiest way to get lots of gorgeous raw food into your life?

1. Green Shakes

Madly simple. Dangerously delish. It's like drinking pure energy.
Start this way: Blend 2 cups of spinach with 1/2 banana, 1 cup of pure water (or coconut water), a generous splash of unsweetened almond milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon, and a few small bits of fresh ginger. Blend it all wildly until it's totally smooth. 
Congratulations, you just concocted a purrfect breakfast elixir!
From here you can add more greens, maybe 1/2 an apple...whatever fruits and veggies you like, but keep the greens ratio much higher than the fruit. You can use a little stevia if you like. And always add that little bit of good fat to the blend, either with a splash of almond milk, a teeny bit of coconut oil, or 1/4 avocado. This allows the body to actually absorb all those important vitamins and minerals in the produce.
Later in the day, feel free to add some soaked chia, hemp seeds, chlorella or spirulina, as the body can fully utilize them toward the afternoon and evening.

2. Green Salads

Yes! The old standby. Let's give them the respect they deserve by keeping greens dark, leafy, and plentiful. Avoid commercial dressing in favor of fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar and cold-pressed olive oil, or try a few of my go-to's here.
Add in plenty of organic cuke (skins on), red cabbage, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fresh sprouts, and any other bright and beautiful raw veggie you like.
Try to eat two of these each day.
Please, Beasties.
For me?

3. Raw Nibbles

And...easier than even a salad...raw sliced and chopped tidbits to peck on when you need a little bite.
Apples, carrots and bloat-banishing celery are my everyday faves, though I've been known to gnaw away at radishes and cauliflower in public. Maybe it does look a little weird, but who cares? The glow from your mega-watt skin will outshine any sideways glances you might receive, so go for it. 

So it is easy, after all, see?

Now, I’ve compiled some of my Autumn dishes held most dear on my Fall Magic page, but in the coming weeks I want to share some supremely sexy raw numbers that will excite and inspire you.

Like this one:

The other day, as I sometimes do when I'm feeling overloaded, I turned on my Mad Scientist in the kitchen.

(Or maybe I should say a Mad Physicist, random chaos theory being my specialty.)

I wanted something in the ubiquitous pumpkin spice flavor that did NOT come from a donut shop. 
And, while I threw together things that I knew would be at least passibly tasty, I had NO idea what I would experience when I lapped up a finger full of batter...

Pumpkin spice cheesecake?
Whaaaat?!
Oh...yesss...

Pumpkin Pleasure Bites

For the Crust:

  • 1/2 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 large pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of Celtic salt

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 C organic pumpkin pureé, (NOT pie filling)
  • 1/3 C raw coconut nectar
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

First, line a brownie pan with parchment paper. Now combine all your crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until everything is crumbly, but sticky. Not sure? Pinch it. If it holds together, purrfect. If not, add a few more dates until it does. Then scoop the whole mixture into your lined pan. Press it into place with your fingers. You want a smooth, even layer.

Pop it in the freezer, and make your filling. Just combine all the ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk it until it's smooth. Taste it. Add more spice or sweetener if you like.

Pour the filling on top of the crust, smooth it, and back in to the freezer it goes!

Let it chill for about 5 hours, or overnight. When you take it out, score it with a knife to make many little cakes, and let it defrost. Slice the pieces all the way through when it's thawed. Place it back the fridge, and keep it there until you want to devour them, as they need to stay chilled in order to hold their shape.

So there you have it: decadent little raw pumpkin cheesecake morsels that are loaded with nutrition, and so scrumptious that even a lover of traditional pumpkin pie will be coming back for more...and more! You can easily omit the cashews in the crust if nuts are an issue, and replace them with steel cut oats, or even additional seeds. Coconut nectar can be cast aside in favor of liquid stevia if you like. Oh, and sometimes in your health food store a bulk, organic pumpkin spice blend can be procured. If so, grab some! You can use it in everything.

And, really, why couldn't you do the whole thing as a pie?
I'm getting visions of holiday dinners...

But for now,
I'll leave you to your own devices,
for I have leaves in my hair
twigs everywhere
and a heart full of joy,
that sends it back to you.

xxx Alise

 

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Unexpected Treasures

Lovers, 

did you enjoy those decadent muffins I made for you last week?

Did you inhale them,

lustily?

And now you find,

that there is much nectar left over...

Such abundance,

and yet, much of it will get tussled to the back of the fridge,

only to be discovered long after it's moment in the Sun.

But no worries!

I've whipped up two gorgeous reasons to use up every last drop of your cider,

in the most delightful ways...

Harvest Cider Pilaf

  • 1/2 C black or red quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 C golden quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 C pure apple cider
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 9 leaves of fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 Tsp curry 
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 C raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 C dried unsweetened cranberries
  • Organic olive oil
  • Celtic salt
  • Ground pepper

Bring the cider and both quinoas to a boil. When they're rolling, reduce the flame to super-low, cover, and cook until all the cider has absorbed into the grain, about 20 minutes. Mmmmm! Delicious already! Are you getting that fabulous aroma?

While it's simmering, spiral the oil into a sauté pan. Let the heat rise until you can feel the warmth above the pan with your hand. It's ready...

Toss the garlic in, and allow it to sizzle ever so gently on a low flame, releasing it's amazing perfume. When it turns translucent, sprinkle the curry and turmeric on top of the garlic, and let the spices mingle for a few minutes. Then add in the cashews and cranberries, and stir to coat them with the oil and spices.

When it looks irresistable, and smells divine, turn off the heat.

The quinoa should be done by now, so add it to the pan, and bring everything together like a symphony...

Add in a dash of Celtic salt, fresh ground pepper (a "pinch-n-grind"), and the fresh sage. Mix it well.

You have now, my Edible Ones, a savory and cidery dish that not only tastes incredible and is full of protein and nutrients, but actually has the consistency of a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing! Yes! It can totally pass for stuffing, on any table! So enjoy it yourself, but bookmark this for the holiday season also. Everyone will dig this.

And, to reward yourself for all your Kitchen Witch genius, and to wow guests with...

Champagne Cider Cocktails

  • 1 pt-1 qt organic apple cider
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 star anise
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into three pieces
  • 9 whole cloves
  • Apple slices
  • Dry champagne, prosecco, or cava

First...we're going to mull the cider...yesss....

Pour the cider into a pot with the cinnamon, star anise, ginger, and cloves. Bring it all to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely.

When you are ready to serve, pour into glasses halfway, and top with bubbly.

Add apple slices for garnish, and toast to all the zesty, beautiful things in life!

Santé!

xxx Alise