Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brad's 7 Day Raw Challenge - Day 2: It's all about the Raw Chocolate!

It’s Day 2 of our challenge and I’ll be honest, I’m having a heck of a time with figuring out what is raw and what is not this go around. I’ve been raw for about a year now and yet I still struggle every now and then, especially when I’m attempting to complete a 100% raw challenge. Unfortunately, not all products are labeled raw, even though they may be, and so it’s up to the consumer to make that decision. Yes, I could buy products labeled “raw” but it’s either hard to find, extremely expensive because of the raw label, or I only need a small amount for a specific recipe, so I have no need to buy a bunch.  Why now? Well, because for some reason this week I’m surrounded and in need of some potentially raw products. 

For example, I just received some freeze dried fruit products in the mail and would LOVE to eat them only I’ve learned not all freeze dried foods are raw. My smoothies are calling for dried fruit which again, may not be raw depending on the temps used and I bought organic cacao butter, which I’m 99% positive is raw, but it’s not labeled! Aaah! 

So as you can see, even me, the raw foodie, can struggle sometimes with a 100% raw challenge but rest assure, this is only for this challenge. Normally I follow an 80/20 diet – 80% raw, 20% cooked. I leave room for some lenience. I just don’t believe in being too strict with any lifestyle change I make. It becomes exhausting and it leaves very little room for exploring and discovering new things. However, don’t get me wrong, I learn a lot on these weekly challenges! Look at what I’ve learned already about the process of freeze dried foods and the benefits and uses of cacao butter. These challenges are meant to be just that; a challenge. They bring me out of my comfort zone and push me to new limits. If this was easy what would be the purpose? That’s why I do this each month and even more, why I share it with you. Love it!

So here is Tuesday’s recap.


Another wild concoction by Kobi Kenzo! This one left me full for hours…as in way past 12:00pm hours even though I drank it at 6:00am. Way too long for my liking! I think I need to switch up my eating routine and start small and work my way up. I think drinking such a nutrient and calorie dense smoothie is a bit too rough for my system so early in the morning. I think it’s time to adjust my eating routine with my schedule….this also may be the cause of my lack of weight loss….hmmm. Have to listen to my body!

This smoothie was delicious in taste but the texture was quite gritty. For some reason apples just purely SUCK at being blended! Darn apples. I have yet to find a good apple and fruit blend that produces a smoothie that is strong in apple flavor yet smooth and creamy. I’m thinking next time I’ll add a banana and some avocado or yogurt to it and see if that helps. Again, it tastes great so don’t hack it til you try it! If you love fruit and chocolate you’ll love the flavor of this one!

The Mixer

Adapted from  Kobi Kenzo

  • 1 handful of spinach
  • ½ cup of romaine lettuce (2-3 leaves)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • ½ cup raw almond milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 apple, cored, chopped and frozen
  • 3 dried figs, soaked
  • 3 dried prunes, soaked
  • 1 scoop of raw hemp protein or 3-4 Tbsp of raw hemp hearts
  • 2 Tbsp of raw cacao powder


Along with my addiction with collard wraps is my addiction for kale salads. I can eat either one on a daily basis and never get bored. Odd considering I’m one to never eat the same thing twice. The secret? The sauce. My source? Nouveau Raw. I am in absolute love with her recipes and await the day we move so I can once again, whip out my dehydrator and make some of her amazing recipes for fruit leather and kale chips. I’m in awe of her skills. I mean seriously, who would think of making raw, choco covered pretzels!?

She has a huge variety of kale chip recipes which I use the sauces from to create yummy kale salads with. Today’s pick was a Middle Eastern Tahini Sauce which I paired with some classic middle eastern salad ingredients. The results? A unique and flavor bursting twist on a typical dish. Yummness. 

 Middle Eastern Salad with Tahini Sauce

 Sauce adapted from Nouveau Raw
Salad from Beth Mickens
Serves one good size bowl or two sides

Middle Eastern Tahini Sauce
  • ½ medium red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, about ½ lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp tamari or nama shoyu
  • 2 Tbsp raw sesame tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast
  • ½ garlic clove, mashed
  • Dash of cayenne
  1. In a small blender (I used my handy, dandy bullet), blend together the bell pepper, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and tamari 'til well blended and the bell pepper is liquefied.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, add the tahini and 3 Tbsp of the red pepper mix from above. Gently whisk together.
  4. Add the nutritional yeast, mashed garlic and cayenne and gently whisk 'til thoroughly mixed. You may add a bit more liquid if needed to reach desired consistency.
  5. Set aside

For the Salad:
  • 1/3 bunch of kale, washed and chopped (about 4 loose cups)
  • ¼ cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp of red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped curly parsley
  • ½ Tbsp of chopped mint leaves
  • 1 green onion, sliced or 1-2 Tbsp of red onion
  • Lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame Seeds or Chopped Almonds
  • Raw olives or sundried tomatoes, chopped (if available)
  1. In a medium bowl, add the chopped kale. Spritz with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and begin to massage the kale until it starts breaking down and looks wilted.
  2. Add the remaining veggies along with the tahini sauce and toss to combine til everything is completely dressed.
  3. Top with sesame seeds or almonds and raw olives or sundried tomatoes, if using,
This is great the next day!


Raw Banana Brownie Bites with Lucuma White Chocolate

I always have to make a fancy dessert for each challenge that USUALLY, not always, lasts me throughout the week.  This week’s dessert was a semi-failed attempt at Raw Lucuma Chocolate Covered Chocolate Banana Brownies. It was an obviously over ambitious task but I went with it anyways. It was not only my first time using cacao butter, but I was also using a recipe that lacked detailed instructions AND it was in metric units which made it a tad difficult for my impatient self to convert. Needless to say, it needs serious work before perfection can be met with these babies. I can’t lie, it was a good try though and they’re still tasty! Just a bit off… Maybe I’ll try just the brownie recipe first and maybe a basic raw chocolate recipe too before I go and try to make them both and the same time on a busy night! LOL

If you’re interest in the recipe, here it is: Raw Banana Breakfast Bites by Zakka Sweet Design. She has some other delicious recipes as well…ooh like an almost raw Marble Fudge or…OMG raw fudgsicles!!! I need to find popsicle molds…and fast! I think I’m in love... time to go and browse...


I finished my day with a meditating 30 minute run plus some toning before I sipped on a kombucha and called it a night. My body needs some repairing so a few nighttime fasts I think will do it some good. Listening to my body is so important. I just wish it wasn’t so hormonal.

Seem like a lot of chocolate? Don;t worry. Raw Cacao is loaded with antioxidants and minerals that are GREAT for your body! Just check out the list below. It'll having you running for raw cacao treats in no time! As if you need an excuse :)

* Beth *

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