Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 1 of Brad's 7 Day Raw Challenge plus a review on MTO Kombucha!




Today (or,well, yesterday since my computer crashed before bed time) is Day 1 of Brad’s 7 Day Raw Challenge! It’s also Day 4 of Young and Raw’s 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge! In addition, I will be providing a product review of some of my favorite raw food products and the amazing companies behind the making of them. So here we go!

Breakfast: The fabulous couple behind Young and Raw are currently hosting a 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. All you have to do is prepare and drink one smoothie a day! They provide the shopping list, daily recipes and an awesome community where you can share information, ask questions, and best of all, win prizes…and it’s free!  So if you are interested in incorporating a smoothie into your daily diet and healthy lifestyle, then I recommend giving this challenge a try! They do one every month!
Today’s smoothie was called the Warming Blueberry Ginger Smoothie. It included banana, blueberry, kale, ginger and raw almond milk. DELISH!

Young and Raw's Warming Blueberry Ginger Mylkshake!








Lunch: It was busy day for my daughter and I so I kept myself satisfied with a raw Lime-Basil kombucha by MTO and some Naked Kale Chips from Brad’s!


PRODUCT REVIEW:



Everyone know’s I LOVE kombucha! The moment I tasted GT’s Multi-Green flavor I became an addict; learning about the wonderful health benefits kombucha provides did help a bit too: detoxification, joint care, and digestion aid and gut health due to the probiotics just to name a few. 


 Soon enough I was buying them by the case, drinking them daily, brewing my own batch (which was growing scoby beautifully until somehow gnats got in and destroyed the entire batch! Arrr!) and taste testing every single brand out there. Nothing compared to GT’s until I began tasting some local brews. Little to no carbonation but the flavor was out of this world! The acidic flavor of the tea shined through in a whole different way. Not unbearable, but sippable (not gulpable, which was a good thing) and sweet in its own way. I was in love, but there was only one thing. It was in DC; too far away for me. And then I discovered MTO aka Made-to-Order kombucha. Local all throughout VA (I buy mine from Eden's Natural in Gainesville) and deliverable if needed! YES! Finally, a local kombucha brewer near me! 

MTO Kombucha makes a wide variety of different flavored kombuchas. From Original to Lemon-Rosemary to yes, Vanilla, each one is well balanced in acidity, sweetness and flavoring. The natural essence of kombucha is allowed to shine through each and every one…well except for maybe vanilla…I’ll admit that’s the only flavor I’m not a fan of. I find the vanilla too strong. If you are looking for a kombucha that has little carbonation and really presents the true flavor of true, home-brewed kombucha, then I recommend checking out MTO. They are located in several natural food markets throughout VA and they even deliver! I recommend trying the strawberry and blueberry first…unless you like ginger than grab a Double Ginger. I promise you will NOT be disappointed! 

As for those health benefits, I will say that I rarely ever have any digestive issues now – no gas, bloating, abnormal bowel movements, etc. I rarely get sick and I’m always full of energy, maybe a little too much. Here are a few sites that may provide you with more information.

 
P.S. I still grab a few GT’s to add to my weekly batch. It’s a great sub for those trying to kick the soda habit. Sweet, fizzy and still oh so good for you :)


Dinner: Yesterday I came across a recipe by a wonderful vegan chef/blogger, Kathy, from Healthy. Happy. Life. The recipe was a Veggie Loaded. avocado-white bean salad on toast topped with harissa. Now, for me, pictures speak more than words. One look and I was immediately drooling. It looked fresh, creamy and oh so fulfilling. I checked out the recipe and realized it could easily be rawified and went to work! Here are the tweaks I made.

by Healthy. Happy. Life.
(Modified to be raw and to serve one)

·       

  • 1 16 oz. can white beans (cannellini) - drained, rinsed   
    • Instead of beans, I used 2 teaspoons of raw tahini
  • 1/3 small avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp sweet  green onion, diced
  • 1/2 small carrot, chopped
  • 3 tbsp of spinach kale, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp shredded red cabbage (my added veggie)
  • 6+ grape tomatoes, sliced in quarters (my added veggie)
  • 1/3 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 lemon, juiced
  • 2/3 tsp unpasteurized, white miso paste
  • 1 fresh tangerine or 1-2 Tbsp of orange juice + pinch of zest
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds or sunflower seeds
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt + pepper to taste
Toppings:
  • harissa  red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeno
  • + fresh chives
  • sunflower seeds
  • sprouts
Toast:
  • toasted bread (I used sprouted grain English muffins)
  • Giant Portobello Cap, peeled and cleaned of gills
Note: Obviously your can greatly tweak the ingredients in this recipe by trying different veggies, seeds, beans and even seasonings. Here are some ideas she listed:

Tweak ingredient ideas:
  • chipotle powder
  • jalapeno, diced
  • radish, diced
  • kale, finely chopped
  • parsley or herbs, chopped
  • chopped nuts
  • omit the miso and just use salt to 'salt'
  • tsp of tahini

Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado and raw tahini together until well blended; yes, it will be quite thick, but that’s okay, trust me
  2. Add all the veggies (green onions to tomatoes) and toss in avocado dressing/paste until well coated
  3. Whisk together the cider, lemon juice, miso and tangerine juice and pour over the veggie mix. Toss until the creamy dressing begins to loosen up and the veggies are well coated and dressed.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add in the nooch and hemp seeds and give it one more quick toss.
To prepare:
  1. Layer a plate with some mixed greens. Turn the portobello mushroom upside down, place it on top of the greens, and fill the bottom of the cap with alfalfa (or similar) sprouts.
  2. Pile the avocado-veggie mix on top of the sprouts as full and as high as you can get it J
  3. Sprinkle the top with red pepper flakes and raw sunflower seeds before serving.
As Kathy stated, it’s best served immediately.


Dessert: I spent the rest of my evening processing, mixing and testing my raw coconut pineapple ice cream. It should be good to devour tomorrow :)

Workout: It was my day off! Day off = kitchen time! I know horrible excuse..

- Beth