Product review: Navitas Naturals blueberry hemp bars! »
Back in December, when I posted about making your own nog, I recommended you use Navitas Naturals brand for the lucuma! Well, Navitas saw it, and sent me a very generous box of samples as a thank you—Christmas came early for me! Included was a bag of their blueberry hemp bars, which hadn’t hit the market yet. That makes me feel very special, like a VIV (very important vegan)!
I haven’t been feeling all that great lately. Being everywhere at once and the life of the party is tiresome. To compensate, I’ve been eating much more raw food. It helps keep my energy up, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy! The downside of raw foods is that they can be expensive, especially the prepackaged stuff, and time-consuming to prep at home. So if you have to pick and choose, I definitely recommend these blueberry hemp bars. They are similar to Lara Bars, but a little drier. That’s not a bad thing! The dates in Lara Bars keep them very moist.
These would be great as a snack while traveling, for a healthy breakfast on the go, or a snack to keep you going until dinner. This bag has lasted me since December, because they are so good, I want to make them last! They are dense and filling, so I don’t crave very many at once. That’s what I like about raw foods—they are so flavorful, I eat less, because my tastebuds are satisfied quickly.
Now let’s talk nutrition! This power snacks contain hemp, blueberries, date paste, chia seeds, cashews, plus the superfood powders lucuma, maqui, camu and maca. They are gluten-free, soy-free and contain NO refined sugar. All of these ingredients are very good for you.
These tasty little snacks are now available in stores all over the U.S., including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and HEB, or you can buy them online at NativasNaturals and Amazon!
One morning my roommate Dan made us spinach, almond milk, and banana smoothies. I suggested we add a little Maqui powder for added nutrients, and it was delicious! I honestly believe raw food is the best food!
Guest interview: Krisanga Cowen of Vivapura! »
I have a history of awesome vegan roommates (see: Vegan Myths Debunked creators Jonathan and Ivory). My new roommate here in Patagonia, Ariz. is the awesome Krisanga Cowen. Krisanga (far right) took a break from grinding sprouted raw nut butters and making coconuts delicious to tell Vegansaurus readers about how much he loves promoting a health-conscious, plant-based lifestyle through Vivapura, the vegan superfoods company he co-owns here in Patagonia. Here’s the skinny on this fit and loving veg guy and his approach to incorporating superfoods in a plant-source diet! Hope you enjoy!
Vegansaurus: How did you get into veganism?
Krisanga Cowen: My best friend since kindergarten Todd got me into the Smiths. At 16, we dyed our hair blonde to look like Morrissey and kind of idolized him. In 1985 Smiths came out with “Meat is Murder.” That song opened our eyes to what actually goes on in this country and factory farming and how animals are mutilated. We went vegan overnight. Later, I read John Robbins’ Diet For a New America, and I actually went to vegan restaurants, which I’d never done before. I studied with yogini Kali Ray for seven years on and off, taking classes [and] workshops, [being] among other teachers, and really admired her way of eating plant-source-only, mostly live, all-organic foods for health and yoga.
How did your previous business, Cocopura, which sold only coconut products, become Vivapura, which sells an extensive line of superfoods?
I had one product in four different sizes: coconut oil. My quest for developing more products was moving to Patagonia in 2007, renting a 6,000-square-foot warehouse. I met Chris Whitcoe, and he and I were both master’s students. I had connections for superfoods. I had just built a commercial kitchen for coconut products and I started selling gogi berries and Incan berries and nori sheets and Monukka raisins, basically out the back door. I mainly sold to guests and people working at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. That’s how Vivapura was born.
When did Vivapura officially take off?
We formed Vivapura in September 2008, and got into Whole Foods and other stores in 2010, in addition to our online and in-store sales. The idea behind Vivapura was to create raw vegan products that haven’t been seen or available on the marketplace—unique, hand-crafted products like coconut crème that’s stone-ground, our chaparrel coconut oil, our soaked and dehydrated nut butters…. Sourcing products that are heirloom varieties that are unique to different regions of the world. Styrian pumpkin seeds are only grown in Austria in that region, and heirloom variety of pumpkin seeds that are robust and GMO-free and high in zinc and protein and chlorophyll. Our products were designed to be eco-friendly, vegan, non-GMO, and delicious. We hope Vegansaurus readers will enjoy them!
Is most of the Vivapura team vegan or vegetarian?
We support local people and give them a voice inside our company…we open a space for people to transform. A lot of people become vegetarian or vegan after working with us; we accept the mainstreamers and teach them about gogi berries and how to eat vegan and feel great on superfoods. We expose people to ways not to need processed foods, in a healthy, supportive environment where your voice matters and is taken into account for decisions the company makes. That really impacts an individual. They shift, grow, expand and become more open and expressive. Naturally, that often leads to vegetarianism or veganism.
Raw ice cream sandwich challenge! »
Look what I happened upon: A Dash of Compassion is hosting a raw ice cream sandwich recipe challenge! So fun. It’s just for June but you still have a few days to get down with some ice cream and cookies and bust out some genius! And guess what, there’s totally prizes! And what do we live for if not for prizes. From the blog:
- First Place winner will receive a Cacao Kapow Kit, which includes: a make-your-own chocolate superfoods kits, a 4 oz. bag of sweet cacao nibs, a cacao lip balm, and an 8 oz. bag of raw, organic cacao powder from Navitas Naturals.
- Second Place winner will receive a copy of Sweetly Raw's brand new ice cream e-book that will be released this month.
- Third Place winner will receive a special goodie bag of raw treats.
Awesome! Is anyone going to enter? Has anyone already entered? Put your link in the comments so we can see!
[photos from A Dash of Compassion]
Guest post: Raw adventures in kelp noodle desserts »
On Saturday, as I was chilling on my eco-friendly bed meditating for peace and waiting for my girlfriend to wake up so that I could tell her about my plans to become a six-figure woman, I had a radical insight about a sea vegetable—a divinely inspired culinary insight. I leaped out of bed, trying not to wake up the hotness still dozing beside me, and knew what I had to do. There was a seaweed that had been inappropriately neglected in the raw dessert world, and it just so happened to be sitting in my fridge! Ladies and bois and grrls and men and trannies, I now introduce you to: RAW KELP NOODLES IN DESSERTS!
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before: raw kelp noodles have practically no flavor after you soak them, have a super-awesome texture and there’s like three calories for a big bowl. They soak up sauces (check out the wonderful Heather Pace‘s delish-looking recipes for savory raw vegan kelp noodles) and keep their form in both hot and cold dishes. Imagine eating raw cacao-coated kelp noodles, oozing with flavor but still light and low on the glycemic index. Yes!
Here’s my first attempt at using raw kelp in desserts. Spirulina genius/partner extraordinaire Courtney Pool enjoyed them, too. I hope others start experimenting with the concept of kelp in dessert!
Raw Cacao Kelp Noodles
Soak kelp noodles for a while; 20 minutes is good, or you can do longer if you’d like them to be a bit plumper. Melt the cacao paste (with a dehydrator, or on the stove with low heat, or in the sun…), then add a bit of cold water and immediately stir frantically until it becomes a mousse. Check out Vegansaurus’ chocolate chantilly recipe for directions on achieving this texture. Add in stevia to taste and a dash of sea salt. Then, toss in the kelp noodles and coat evenly. Chill in the fridge. Add a sprinkle of coconut as garnish, or perhaps some other topping you’d like. Enjoy!
This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post, a slightly different version of which originally appeared here. Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Spiritual Hipsteria. Thanks, Sarah!
Product review: Zenergy Power Balls! »
First, let’s get it out of the way. Phew, I feel better already. Now, down to business.
Zenergy Power Balls are the tasty energetic brain child of Peggy Sue Honeyman-Scott. Basically, they’re a healthy snack alternative that are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and totally organic. Honestly, they are really incredibly good for you and if you ate only Zenergy Power Balls for the rest of your life, you’d probably live to be as old as Joan Rivers (NOBODY knows how old she is, not even her. Especially even her). They’re dates and nuts that have been rolled up sprinkled with goodness like maca, mesquite, and “Chinese herbs.” I thought they’d be disgusting but they weren’t! They were actually quite tasty. I wouldn’t crave them as one might crave a cookie, but also, cookies aren’t a superfood. Snacks like this sometimes confuse me because hey, if you want a cookie, eat a freaking cookie, there’s no need to punish yourself with a Frookie. On the flip side, if you want to eat something healthy, have an apple, you know? But actually, these things are somewhere between and I can imagine would be an excellent post- or pre-workout snack and good to keep in your office desk to get you through the rest of the hellish day. Seriously, quit your job, come live with me; I can’t stand the thought of any of you working at terrible office jobs, arriving at the buttcrack of dawn (9 a.m.) and working until long after midnight (6 p.m.)—it’s inhumane! I can save you! But first, you must earn enough money to fund both yourself and me for a few years. In other news, I think I just started a cult?
Anyhoo, buy and eat Zenergy Power Balls and Go Balls-Out on Your Future! Other possible slogans:
Zenergy Power Balls: The Ball’s the Limit
Zenergy Power Balls: When You’re Balls to the Wall, Eat Our Balls
Zenergy Power Balls: When Life Hands You Lemons, Eat Our Balls
Zenergy Power Balls: You Won’t Sweat Our Balls
Zenergy Power Balls: We’re Not Dickin’ Around, Our Balls Are the Best!
Happy Thanksgiving from Bitt of Bitt of Raw! She and her husband Chris made a part-raw, part-cooked dinner with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, “some sort of squash/veggie/quinoa thing…that was another vehicle to eat gravy”—my kind of people!—stuffing from Raw For the Holidays, and a lettuce-and-sauerkraut salad. That sauerkraut in particular looks so good, all rosy-salmony-orangey and so crisp. I love it. Happy Thanksgiving, Bitt!
Christine of The Raw Project sends us this photo of her lovely, messy, family-winning-over raw vegan pumpkin pie! She says all the work was well worth it, and so it looks. Happy Thanksgiving, Christine!
men people(!), by Julie Zielinski of d.i. wine and dine! They only have eight ingredients and are pretty adorable, right? I bet you could give them eyes and maybe some buttons with coconut shavings or bits of dried fruit really easily, if you were looking for maximum little-kid-appeal. Because little kids are the only ones who appreciate a gingerbread person with features. Ahem.
Here’s the recipe! You’ll most likely want to replace the honey with agave, or maybe a combination of agave and molasses to replicate honey’s binding powers.
You guys, I think D.I. Wine and Dine might be written by geniuses. Vegetarian geniuses, but these recipes seem easily veganizable. I mean, look at this recipe for pickle soup. PICKLE SOUP. Oh my god imagine it with those big juicy salty pickles that Sabra gives you. OK brilliant idea: Let’s have a Cuisine of the Communist Bloc party, and we’ll eat pickle soup and sauerkraut and Krautroulade and goulash and vodka and Slivovitz. Yes? Yes. Let’s DO THIS.
[photo by di.wineanddine]