Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Raw Apple Peach Crumble

Apple Peach Crumble - raw, vegan and gluten-free

I love dessert though never ate it near as often as I do now.  We don't have it every night, but a few nights a week we do.  It ranges from simple fruit to OH MY GOSH! 

My simple Raw Apple Peach Crumble is sort of close to OH MY GOSH (because there is no chocolate ;)  It's a cross between apple pie and strudel.  Well, sort of.  While this dessert is quite simple, the overall taste is amazing! 

Fresh Peaches and Medjool Dates

For the filling, I start with fresh peaches and medjool dates. I LOVE the aroma of a fresh peach!

Creamy Filling

The blended peaches and medjool dates turned into a smooth, creamy and flavorful filling.

Pecans, Medjool Dates and Saigon Cinnamon

Saigon Cinnamon smells out of this world and adds wonderful flavor.  I couldn't resist using it in the crumble.  Combined with pecans and medjool dates, oh my...delicious!

Crumble Topping

We have crumble. Lots of crumbles.  Easy as apple pie.  Wait, is that how it goes?


I used the ribbon blade on my spiralizer for the apples because I wanted thin, light layers.  You don't have to use apples, last week I used my peach filling and crumble topping on fresh blueberries.  It's pretty much endless on what type of fruit to create with.

This recipe serves 4 nicely or if you're really into desserts, 2 hearty servings.

Raw Apple Peach Crumble 

1 large or 2 small green delicious apples, sliced thin or to your liking
lemon juice - toss apples to prevent browning, plus it gives them a nice flavor

Creamy Filling
4 peaches - cut and seeds removed
3 large medjool dates - seeds removed

Put peaches and dates into your vitamix/blender and blend until creamy.

Crumble Topping
1 cup pecans
3 medjool dates - seeds removed
1/2 tsp full Saigon Cinnamon (or regular is fine too)

Put all ingredients into a food processor, pulse a couple times then process until crumbly.  Don't over process or it will become too sticky.

You can eat this immediately or put everything in the fridge to chill.  I chilled mine this go around.

To serve: sprinkle a little crumble onto a plate with a dollop of filling, then layer with the apples, filling and crumble, ending with the crumble topping. 

This can also be served in a bowl with the ingredients added to your liking and mixed all together.  It's quite delicious either way. Plus healthy and quilt-free.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Smash Cancer!

Rocki Smash Cancer!

This is me a couple weeks ago at Target and below is my awesome hubby Mark.   We play with toys whenever we go there or other stores that have a fun toy isle.

Mark Smash Cancer

Yep, we're "Abby Normal" as they say, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

We'll never grow old


Friday, June 21, 2013

Father's Day Boat Trip

Captain Rocki :)
Thought I would share just a few pictures of our fun Father's Day boat trip to Lake Pleasant.  Yep that's me playing First Mate to Captain Chris, my brother.

Beautiful day at Lake Pleasant
We live about 20 minutes away from the lake but since we have a pool we rarely go, unless it is with Chris and his family on the boat.  When they lived in Florida we used to visit them - going on boat trips there was a whole other experience.  I just loved the open water, watching the dolphins and breathing the ocean air. 

Peace dude!
Captain Chris is grilling up some grub for his crew (We brought our huge bag of salad greens and other raw goodies to share).  My dad and his gal Yolanda enjoyed the relaxing trip. 

Mark chillaxin'
Mark jumped ship for a bit and hit the water.  It was only in the low 100's that day, so wasn't too hot.

Chris and Ian
 It was time for the Captain to enjoy the water along with Ian, my awesome nephew. 
Soulmates * Best Friends * Love of my Life
That hat cracks me up!  I only wear it for sun protection, I just don't look good in hats or particularly like wearing them.  Anyway, this is a simple little picture of us but I just love it! 

Cool Sailboat
Came across this beautiful sailboat and had to take a picture of it.

Captain Chris and First Mate Rocki
A lot of hard work goes into maintaining a boat, getting it ready for a trip and then when it's over as well.  So we always thank my brother and sister-in-law for all they do to make it happen.  We so appreciate and love them to pieces!

Well, that's all folks.  Just a quickie blog sharing our fun boating day at the lake with all the dad's on board.  Hope everyone enjoyed their Father's Day as well.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tropical Green Julius - Raw Vegan Smoothie

Tropical Green Julius - Raw Vegan Smoothie

Our breakfast each day is a green smoothie.  Once I discovered that practically anything goes, I started creating my own recipes...and I'm on a roll.  I should have taken a picture of all my scratch paper and notes of all my raw vegan recipes so far... they are growing fast and I really need to type them up.

Anyway, I made this one the other day and it took me back to when my dad would occasionally treat us to an Orange Julius.  Except this one is much healthier.

Ingredients to make this yummy smoothie

All of this yumminess is what you need to make my Tropical Green Julius with. 

Fills up the blender to the top

My Vitamix blender is my best friend.  Well, actually Mark is my BFF, but the Vitamix is second.  It holds all the fresh raw ingredients and turns them into a freakishly delicious smoothie.

my healthy morning green breakfast

As you can see, this recipe makes a healthy amount.  I drink all of this myself and it fuels me until lunch.  Mark makes his green smoothies each morning at work as he has blender there (a Ninja) and I pack his ingredients each day for him, along with his raw lunch.

Hope you enjoy this recipe or alter it to fit your likes. For instance you can use fresh or frozen fruit, but I indicated what I used below.

Tropical Green Julius - Raw Vegan Smoothie
Makes about 3 1/2 cups

1/2 cup water
3 oz fresh spinach (around 4 cups semi-loosely packed)
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1 tangelo or orange (I was out of oranges that day)
1 large frozen banana cut into chunks
3/4 tsp organic vanilla
1 rounded Tbs hemp seeds
1 rounded Tbs flax meal
optional: 1/2 cup ice
extra water if needed

Put all ingredients in order, except the extra water, into the blender and blend until you have a smoothie.  The extra water is used if it is too thick and you want to thin it down.

Note: if you want, you could omit the 1/2 cup water and replace the fresh orange with 1 cup orange juice.

Now it's time for me to make my morning smoothie.  Not sure what I'll make today, but I'm sure it will be green...and delicious!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Raw Figgy Hemp Brownies

raw vegan brownies

I love my treats, especially when it comes to chocolate.  One thing that I discovered ever since going raw is how much more I enjoy my chocolaty treats.  Maybe because I know they are not processed and loaded with sugar.  Maybe it's the enjoyment I get from creating a recipe from scratch or inspired by one.  Or perhaps it's because they are healthy and some beneficial.

gluten-free and dairy-free!
Like my Raw Figgy Hemp Brownies.  These delicious chewy brownies will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt.  While they do contain nuts, which are actually good for you and when eaten in moderation you can still maintain your weight, these yummilicous treats have some healthy ingredients.
Hemp is one of the powerhouse ingredients I include in this brownie version.  Now don't call the police, this hemp does not come from the same plant used to make the magical brownies.  Hemp hearts are the seeds from the fibrous plant used to make a wide variety of products.  And no, you can't smoke it or get high off of it.  Sorry.
Hemp seeds are a raw vegan's best friend.  Such as they are loaded with digestible protein, fiber, all of the essential amino acids and have a balance ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats, just to name a few.  They are tasty little seeds that make a yummy milk in a flash, perfect sprinkled on salads and, well I'm getting off track here.  Onto the brownies.
these did not last long after the photo shoot
So I'll end this post with my recipe, which was inspired by The Rawtarian's Raw Brownie that I absolutely love, but wanted to expand on. 

Just to note that I use raw ingredients as much as possible, but if they are not available or convenient to you, then by all means be creative and substitute as you wish.

Raw Figgy Hemp Brownies

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans

1 cup medjool dates (seeds removed)
1/2 cup honey dates (seeds removed)
(or use all medjool)
4 dried figs trimmed of stem, cut in half and soaked for at least 30 minutes

5 Tbs raw cacao
4 Tbs raw hemp seed
4 Tbs raw shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp organic vanilla
2 1/2 Tbs raw agave
optional raw cacao nibs - about 2 Tbs

In a food processor:
- add the nuts and process until they are small crumbles
- add the dates and figs (not the fig water) to the crumbles and process until small bits
- add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined

Your choice on container, but here's what I do...
fully over wrap a small glass brownie dish with plastic wrap, scoop brownie mixture into the dish, fold over plastic wrap and press down firmly with your hand.  I also use a spatula to flatten with.

These chocolaty chewy brownies can be served immediately or cover and store in the fridge until they are discovered.  I would hide them :)


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Raw Vegan Pizza Rafts

I'll be honest here.  One thing I've missed for years is pizza.  Real pizza.  But due to my food allergies and being vegan I haven't had real pizza in over 13 years.  Oh I've had my fair share of gluten-free vegan pizzas and recently have made some rather yummy raw vegan versions that would give the real deal a run for the money.  But, the raw crust takes some time to prepare and dehydrate before you can put it all together and sometimes I just don't have that much extra time. 

On the flip side, eating raw lets you be very creative when it comes to recipes.  For instance, after watching Megan Elizabeth's Raw Vegan Pizza Bites Bam! video, it inspired me to create my own version: Raw Vegan Pizza Rafts!  My complete recipe is at the end of the post and below are a few pictures with a little info and to tempt you to either create as is or perhaps inspire you to create your own version as well.

First I cut my zucchini rafts using my mandoline slicer then set them aside.  No worries if you don't have mandolin slicer, simply use a sharp knife to slice as you wish.

Next, I prepare my pizza sauce and let it drain from a fine mesh strainer so that it is not a soupy mess when preparing my rafts.

We need cheese for our pizza too.  No, it's not like regular cheese, so don't get over excited.  This version I made is more like cheese crumbles, but goes well with the pizza.

Did you say toppings?  Of course!  Let your imagination roll with this as just about anything goes.  For this pizza I used mushrooms that I marinated to take on a "cooked" texture and appearance.

While there are a few steps here, it pretty much flows quickly.  Plus it is not near as time consuming as when making raw crusts... especially when you are craving pizza in a hurry.

Raw Vegan Pizza Rafts 
makes about 6 or more large slices

1 very large zucchini or 2 medium - cut into thick slices with a mandoline or knife
(these could be made last to give the mushrooms time to marinate and sauce to drain)

Marinated Mushrooms
8-10 baby portobellos - on the large side, sliced
1/2 Tbs each: EVO, raw agave, amino acids (braggs, etc.) balsamic vinegar

Combine liquid ingredients in a small bowl then toss in mushrooms to coat.  Don't worry, it may look like there is not enough liquid but the mushrooms will create their own juice as well.  Set in fridge to marinate either for a couple hours or while you're preparing the rest of the ingredients.  The longer you marinate the more "cooked" texture they will have.

Pizza Sauce
1/2 cup full sundried tomatoes, soaked about 15 minutes and drained
1 cup full cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup vidalia onion (or onion of choice)
1 garlic clove
1 small date
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed
pinch sea salt

Put all ingredients into a food processor, pulse a couple times and then process until you have a nice thick sauce.  If it looks a little watery, pour the sauce into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside to drain.

1/2 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked and dried, but not necessary)
1 Tbs hemp seed
1 1/2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch sea salt

Process all ingredients until it is a crumbly texture.

Now to put together the pizza rafts.  Simply layer each zucchini with sauce, plenty of cheese and top with the marinated mushrooms.  I placed them in the fridge until Mark got home from work and then we ate them cold - along with a gorgeous green salad.  These delicious pizza rafts would also be yummilicious after dehydrated for an hour or two.  I'll do that next time.

Hope I got your creative juices flowing.  If you make your own version I would love to hear it!

Raw Rocki

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Raw Vegan Creamy Chocolate Shake

Creamy... Healthy... Yummy... Chocolate Shake!

In the mood for chocolate?   Try my Raw Vegan Creamy Chocolate Shake!  It will not only satisfy your chocolate craving, it will fill you up in a healthy way as well.  Plus it is quick and easy to make. 

3/4 to 1 cup fresh water (start with 3/4 cup)
1 large apple (sweet are best) cored and cut into chunks
1 medjool date (or date of choice) seed removed
1 heaping Tbsp raw almond butter
1 heaping Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 heaping Tbsp hemp seed
1 frozen banana (medium to large) cut into chunks
ice - about 1/2 cup or couple large cubes

Put all ingredients in order into your vitamix/blender.  I start with 3/4 cup water as sometimes the consistency changes due to the size of fruit, etc.  Blend and add a little water at a time, if needed, until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.  In the vitamix this takes about 30-45 seconds.  Pour into a very tall glass and enjoy.  Unless you want to share (ha!).


This delicious, quick and easy chocolate fix is healthy and oh so yummy!  In fact, it's hard to not gulp the whole thing down at once, but try hard to drink it slowly and enjoy!

Raw Rocki

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Sun - My Friend and Enemy

Make sure to wear sunblock during sun exposure - on all exposed skin
I love the sun. I love the feeling of it on my face, on my back, my skin.  I love swimming in my pool, the beach, the lake.  I love opening my blinds and having the sunshine come through my windows.  Simply put, the sun makes me happy, even though it is my enemy.

Hey...wait a minute here.  I do believe that I was photobomb by Little Diane's waving hand.  More on her in another post.

Years ago I used to layout in the sun to tan my white body.  I know shame on me.  I didn't want that overly tan look, I just wanted a little color.  Sometimes I wore sunblock and other times not.  I don't even know why I bothered trying to tan, it never lasted.  I take after my dad in many ways and one is his white on white skin.  I wish I knew then what I know now.

Melanoma scar
It was a little more than 5 1/2 years ago when I was diagnosed with Melanoma on my left arm and that is what started my skin cancer adventure, as I call it.

After having the suspicious mole removed by punch and stitch, I received a call from the doctors office a few days later with the news that I had melanoma and that there were no clean margins.  I had no idea what that meant, but I sure knew what melanoma was. In short, it meant that the area removed was entirely cancer (no clean margins).  So I had to go right back to the doctors office to have more removed.  I was like, wait a minute here.  I still have stitches and it's not even healed!  I had so many questions.  Anyway, they explained it all to me and that the doc had to actually cut more out of my arm.  Um...excuse me, "cut"?  No worries they said, my arm would be numb and I wouldn't feel a thing.

To sum that part up, they had to remove a lot more.  As you can sort of see in the photo above, I have a 1 1/2" x 1" scar, which is concave.  It was nasty looking, but not near as bad now. For years it looked like somebody took a big bite out of my arm.

Wear hats to cover your head, face, ears and neck while in the sun
When you're diagnosed with Melanoma you have to go in for head to toe skin checks every 6 months for the next 5 years, which they say is the survival rate.  After the 5 year mark and if all is good, you then go in once a year for the rest of your life.  I was so looking forward to that day.  But, for now that is not the case with me.

On every single one of my 6 month checks, I've had at least one to multiple suspicious moles removed...on each visit.  They were removed by punch and stitch.  I tell ya, some days I feel like Swiss cheese.  And, on each of those visits I've had at least 1 come back precancer melanoma.  That does not mean benign.  Benign is simply that - no detection of cancerous cells.  Precancerous melanoma is when the cells have the makings of cancer, but hasn't gone there yet.

My latest check was in May and I had 2 more moles punched and stitched (one was right next to a previous precancer, which came back precancer as well), plus a new skin cancer on my finger that I thought was just a sore that didn't want to heal for the past several months and 2 new spots on my nose that were Actinic Keratosis (can develop into Squamous Cell Carcinoma) - those were removed by freezing them with liquid nitrogen.  THAT stung! 

Because I continue to have precancerous melanoma moles past my 5 year mark, etc., I have to continue the 6 month checks until I get 2 separate clean visits.  This is fine because at least they are being found and removed.  My doc (I love her to pieces!) always tells me that I'm such trooper and is happy that I don't mind scars.  Let me tell you, I have plenty in various sizes and shapes. 

As with my breast cancer, I'm sharing this information with you all in hopes of providing some help or as an eye opener.  I hope that it makes you NOT want to lay out in the sun to tan (leather is ugly).  I hope it makes you wear good sunblock whenever you are out in the sun, even if you think you're only going to be out there for a little bit (trust me, I know this one).  I hope that you wear protective clothing and hats during sun exposure (I hate wearing hats, but...).  I hope that if you notice a suspicious mole or sore on your skin that doesn't heal, that you call a Dermatologist to get it checked and not wait because you think it's just nothing. 

Not sure what a suspicious mole is?  Learn the ABCDE's of Skin Cancer: Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Elevation/Evolving and use it as a guide.  Let me say here that not all suspicious moles are cancerous and on the flip side, moles that don't exactly meet the requirements can be early stages.  I've had a variety of all the above.  Need I say more?

Yes, I still love the sun, I love my pool and enjoy being outdoors.  I'm just a lot smarter about it than I was in the past.

Peace and love,