Monday, July 22, 2013

Brad's Raw 7 Day Challenge - The July Edition!



Wohoo! It’s Day 1 of Brad’s Raw 7 Day Challenge and I am so excited because I have officially moved into my new home which means ALL my favorite, fun kitchen gadgets are once again available to use! The dehydrator is being prepped, the ice cream maker is already in use and the Vitamix is out and ready. Yeah!

So if you’re new to the challenge, just a few deets. Every month Brad’s of Brad’s Raw Chips hosts a 7 day challenge in which challengers eat 100% raw. No processed foods, nothing cooked,  just delicious, fresh, nutrient dense foods. It may sound difficult. It may sound challenging, but with a little bit of help and tons of support, 7 days goes by with a breeze and you are left feeling accomplished, detoxed and clean on the inside and out. If you are ever interested in joining, just like Brad’s 7 Day Raw Challenge FB page for the next date and join in on the fun! You will not only have support from us but support from the challengers on Brad’s page as well! I hope some of you join us next month. 

Today’s food is a bit less than thrilling in regards to creativity but my weekend was very busy with the new home. Let’s hope I can catch up by Wednesday :)

Early Morning:

As I always say, drink a glass of lemon water as soon as you wake up. It re-hydrates the body, get’s the system pumping and really makes you feel awake and alive. So get chugging.

Breakfast:

I cannot express enough how much I absolutely love and adore summer! The farmer’s markets are blooming and busting at the seams with the freshest and juiciest fruit.  It’s the only time I get melon, berries, stone fruit and figs so I stock up and stuff myself with as much as I can. No surprise then that my choice of breakfast was a bowl of fresh berries with a banana on the side. Plus, with a berry hogger in the house, aka my daughter, I had to make sure I at least got a few! Sweet, tart, crisp and juicy. Love!

Snack: 

Finding fresh, super ripe, sweet figs in my neck of the woods is normally a rarity. I may find them once, maybe twice during a normal summer, but for some reason, this summer my Whole Food’s has been blessed with a flowing abundance of figs! Am I complaining? Absolutely not. Just enjoying every yummy bite.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy figs is with a smother of raw almond butter, a drizzle of raw honey and a sprinkle of cacao nibs. Every bite is a wonderful combination of aromatic sweetness and creamy saltiness with a crunchy, bitter cocoa finish. Absolutely satisfying. If you’re not 100% raw, you can replace the almond butter with coconut or almond greek yogurt. It’ll be just as tasty.


 Lunch:

Smoothie time! I’m once again following Simple Green Smoothie’s 30 Day Green Smoothie challenge and I have to say the smoothies have been quite interesting. We have had a week of tropical fruits, a week of stone fruit, a week of melons, and now we’re on a week of berries! Sounds perfect for summer doesn’t it? The smoothies have been a bit of a "hit or miss" due to my own personal taste preferences but this one is a definite winner! Use frozen fruit and a pinch of extra water to make a thick, frosty smoothie to cool you off in this summer heat!

Energy Berry Booster
By Simple Green Smoothies
Makes 16 ounces
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • ½ cup mango
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
Snack: 

So one thing you may not know is that when you complete the challenge according to the listed rules, you will receive 2 free products from Brad’s! Yes you can receive free kale chips or free raw chips! All are delish! I received my package just in time for this week’s challenge and just in time for me to steal it from other snappy fingers :)

 
Dinner:

When you move into a new home with a new deck what’s the first thing your purchase? A grill of course! My husband couldn’t be any happier but all this grilling has me desiring something grilled, smokey and BBQ-y.  Thankfully I have a pretty good alternative: BBQ Corn Salad. 

Adapted from Russell James, aka The Raw Chef, this salad is both refreshing and comforting. The salad is a simple, beautiful blend of fresh veggies while the BBQ sauce serves as the perfect alternative to “the regular stuff” with its tangy, sweet, smoky taste. Give it a try. It’s good.


Raw BBQ Corn Salad
Serves 1 or makes 2 large lettuce leaves
BBQ Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp of sundried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of soaking water
  • 3/4 tsp of oil (use olive or hemp)
  • 3/4 tsp of tamari
  • 3/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon of chipotle powder
  • 1 date, soft
  • 3-4 large cherry tomatoes
  • pinch of salt
  1. Place all in a small blender and blend til smooth. Your looking for the consistency of a thick sauce. 
  2. Set aside.
Corn Salad:
  • 1/2 large corn cob
  • 3 Tbsp cucumber, diced
  • 3 Tbsp tomatoes, halved or diced
  • 3 Tbsp of hemp seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp mint
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp red onion
    1. Toss together in a large bowl
To Assemble:
  • 2-3 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • sprouts
  1. Combine the corn salad with as much BBQ dressing as you need. I used a little over half.
  2.  Fill lettuce leaves with BBQ Corn Salad
  3. Serve with avocado and sprouts
Dessert:

If anyone knows me they know a) I always have to make and have dessert and b) I am addicted to nut butter! So it’s only fair I make something sweet, nutty and topped with chocolate for this week’s dessert. When I saw these beautiful gems by Oh She Glows I just knew I had to make them! And I did….
The base, which is made with almonds, oats, almond butter and maple syrup has a taste similar to an almond shortbread cookie. It’s perfectly sweet yet savory and oh so chewy! Paired with a crispy chocolate topping, this dessert will satisfy with only one. Although, I can't say I stopped at just one... :)

Easy to make and JUST as easy to eat.

Raw Almond Butter Cups
Makes 6


Almond Cookie Base:
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of raw almonds, grounded into a meal
  • 2 Tbsp rolled oats, grounded into a flour
  • 1 Tbsp of raw almond butter
  • 3/4 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 3/4 Tbsp maple syrup or other raw liquid sweetener
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
    1. In a food processor, grind raw almonds and oats into a fine powder. Pour into a small bowl. 
    2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well until a slightly sticky and moist dough is formed.
    3. Line a mini muffin pan with liners or wax paper (or use silicone pans) 
    4. Measure about 1 Tbsp of dough per muffin cup.
    5. Press down until even and smooth.
For Chocolate Topping:
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or other raw liquid sweetener 
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • pinch salt
    1. Add all the ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk together until fully combined and no clumps remain.
    2. Add about 1/2 Tbsp of chocolate sauce on top of each cup.
    3. Place in the freezer and chill until firm; about 35-40 minutes.
    4. Remove from pan. Remove liner and enjoy immediately.
    5. These are best straight from the freezer!
So does eating raw look as hard or as complicated as you thought?

*Beth*