Monday, January 20, 2014

Brad's 7 Day Raw Challenge: January 2014 - "I'm bringing summer back"...with this refreshingly bright blueberry corn salad!



Welcome to Day 1 of Brad’s 7 Day Raw Challenge for the NEW YEAR!! Exciting! If you’re looking to change your eating habits and develop a healthier lifestyle filled with raw foods, juices and smoothies, then this challenge is for you! Seven (7) days, 100% raw, no excuses! So who’s ready? 

For the next couple challenges I am going to be using recipes from Brad’s NEW book, Raw Made Easy. This book is GREAT for those new to raw foods and looking to incorporate more raw foods into their diet. It’s not about restrictions, but about making small changes that will lead to better choices and even better eating habits. Want to know more? Read my pre-review here. It’s a great book that I highly recommend for those who are a bit rawcurious ;)

FOLLOW: If you're interested in participating or just want to follow along, you can find updates, recipes and more on Brad's Challenge page here: https://www.facebook.com/Brads7DayRawChallenge

Also, follow hashtag #Brads7DayRawChallenge on instagram, FB and Twitter!

What I ate: Day 1
Early Morning:

Mmmm hello to a mug of warm green tea with lemon and raw honey. I needed a serious wake up boost this morning. Sleep and I are currently trying to find our balance again. We’ve been quite off and it’s making me tired and a bit grumpy....

16 ounces of H2O

Juice:


I started my morning off with a yummy green juice. I’ve fallen head over heels for juices lately. I find them to be energizing and easy on my digestion.  Green ones, all fruit ones, citrusy ones…I love’ em all!

One of my favorites is Brad’s Green Lemonade straight from his new book, Raw Made Easy. Kale, apples, celery, cukes, lemon and ginger all juiced into a frothy green thirst quencher. It’s tart, sweet, spicy and a bit salty. It’s also refreshing and cooling…although not exactly what I needed on this brisk cold morning. Brr. Still delicious!

16 ounces of H2O

Breakfast:

Simple Green Smoothies is at it again with their 30 day challenges!! This week is all about guilt free dessert smoothies and mmm is my sweet tooth singing!!

Today’s smoothie is the Coconut Dream. I ditched the greens for multiple reasons. A) because finding greens (even grass!) right now is a bit difficult B) spinach is a nutrient inhibitor so I use it sparingly and c) I really wanted it to be a different color :)

This smoothie was AMAZING! I literally did not breath the entire minute that it took me to drink it! Next time I’ll add the greens so I feel a bit less guilty :)

Coconut Dream Smoothie
Makes 16 ounces


  • 1 cup fresh kale or preferred greens
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used homemade almond milk)
  • ½ cup mango
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ banana
  •  1 Tbsp of coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp of flax seeds (I added at the end for a boost!)
16 ounces of H2O


Lunch:

For me, winter has been here LONG enough! The last few days...and now tomorrow...has literally had me on the floor a few times screaming and kicking wishing for the freezing temps, multiple inches of snow and worse, the lack of produce variety to just go away!! I just want my summer back :(

Well, while I can't make mother nature change her ways, what I can do is make summer happen in my kicthen. Finding the fruits and veggies has been, of course, very difficult but thankfully, the last few weeks I have been blessed with one of my summer faves: blueberries!! 

My local store recently started selling bulk organic blueberries for a pretty good price so my daughter and I have been buying them every week and using them in every way possible. Actually, I barely can get a chance to make a recipe with them before they disappear. So today I decided I better make one of my favorite summer salads before they disappear. 

One of the greatest combos I have ever discovered is the combination of blueberries and corn – blueberry corn muffins, blueberry corn pancakes, blueberry corn salsa, and this blueberry corn salad. The light refreshing flavors will brighten your day and bring summer back into your kitchen..at least for a moment. But what makes this salad really burst are the spicy jalapenos and the sweet tangy cumin lime dressing. It’s absolutely amazing.

Blueberry Corn Salad
Adapted from BHG
Makes 1 large salad


  • 3-4 cups of mixed greens, leaf lettuce, or favorite leafy green
  • 2-4 Tbsp of sliced or diced red onions
  • ½ small cucumber, peeled if not organic, quartered and sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh corn (or frozen from the summer crops)
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ - ½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp of sprouted pepitas
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of raw honey or preferred liquid sweetener
  • ½ large lime, juiced (1-1 ½ tbsp)
  • ¼ tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp of raw hemp oil (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, cumin, oil, if using, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or on a plate, layer the leafy greens, red onions, corn, cucumber, blueberries, and jalapeno. Top with avocado slices, a sprinkle of pepitas and a sprinkle of cilantro.
  4. Serve with dressing.
Enjoy!

Dinner: 

No dinner. I’m super tired and well exhaustion leads to mindless nibbling and that’s what I did. Kale chips, dates and almond butter, leftover veggies...thank goodness it was all raw goods but still, I seriously need to get some rest!

Desserts:

Last night I whipped up a batch of desserts for the week so I wouldn’t have to make them throughout the week. Only problem is, I have to learn to have this thing called self-control or willpower. So far, I’m doing ok. Sort of.  I made two favorites: raw fudge and raw macaroons. Chocolate and vanilla :)

The CHOCOLATE.
I’ve been on a raw fudge kick the last couple of weeks. I’ve made this recipe multiple times, adding something new each time, and of course, every single time I ate the entire batch within a few days. They’re that good! Sweet, creamy  chocolate – it’s every chocolate lovers dream! 

Raw (Maca) Fudge
Adapted from Practical Paleo
Makes 9 mini cups


  • ¼ cup of creamy, raw almond butter
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil (see NOTE below)
  • ¼ cup cacao powder or replace 1 tbsp with maca powder for a maca chocolate!
  • 2-3 Tbsp of raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt…or more for a salted chocolate (yumm!)
  • Superfood toppers (optional): goji berries, cacao nibs, etc

NOTE: Measuring the amount of coconut oil in solid form will yield a bit more oil melted and result in a firmer, candy like chocolate. Measuring the amount melted will result in a softer fudge like chocolate. You want a 1:1 ration between the coconut oil and almond butter, but you’ll always get more of one than the other, so remember more coconut oil means harder chocolate, more almond butter means fudgier chocolate. I love em both :)
  1. In  a double boiler, melt the coconut oil.
  2. Remove from the double boiler and add the almond butter, honey and vanilla. Whisk well to combine.
  3. Add the cacao powder (and/or maca) and whisk til well incorporated. You should have a smooth, slightly thick chocolate sauce.
  4. Line a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.
  5. Pour in enough sauce to fill each liner.
  6. Top with superfoods if desired before freezing for 2-3 hours or until the chocolate has set and hardened.
  7. Remove from pan and store in a freezer friendly container.
  8. Keep in the freezer until ready to devour.

These are dangerous so eat with caution!

My “vanilla” treat are these flippin’ amazing raw coconut macaroons by Gena Hemshaw from Choosing Raw. She developed this recipe specifically for 22 Days, 22 Day Vegan Challenge back in December and I have no doubts every challenger made sure to keep this recipe to make over and over and over again. They are super simple to make! Blend, form, freeze, eat. That’s it! 

By Gena Hemshaw from Choosing Raw
Makes 9

  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ½ heaping cup of shredded or flaked coconut, unsweetened and raw
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil, soft but solid
  • 1 ½ Tbsp of raw honey or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

  1. Add almonds to the food processor and process till they’re finely groun
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process again till everything is well combined.
  3. Working quickly roll the coconut mixture into small 1” balls (I love using a Tbsp measure for this!) Place on parchment lined platter.
  4. Transfer platter to the fridge and refrigerate for a few hours until the macaroons are solid.
  5. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat!
TWIST: Add cacao nibs for a fun, cookie dough twist!

Whew! There we have it! Day 1 done!

Oh! As a new feature, I’m also going to be adding the recipes from other challengers on my page! This is so I can keep a list of all the amazing recipes to refer back to and so you can have a list as well! 

Cocoa Goji Energy Bars
By Ang Roberts


  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup raw goji berries, ground
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp of raw honey or agave
  • 2 Tbsp spirulina
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

  1. Mix all ingredients together in food processor.
  2. Roll into balls or press into small banking dish and cut into squares after freezing.
  3. Freeze for 15-20 minutes.

Tomato Snacks
By Lucia Morrison


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ tbps EVOO
  • Sea salt
  • 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves to garnish

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Place a scoop on top of a slice of tomato, garnish with basil and serve
What's the one reason you WANT to include raw foods into your diet? What's the one reason STOPPING you?

*Beth*