Hi my beautiful friends!
With winter upon us (here in Edmonton, Alberta anyways) I thought I’d write a quick blog on what has been helping me thrive during this change in season. As most of you know, I follow a mostly raw diet (90% or more these days) and these foods have been my staples the past few weeks. I’m happy to say I haven’t been sick- even with the craziness of birthdays, thanksgiving, and multiple dinner parties happening at my house! Ready for a sweet list of healthy foods? Here goes!
- Bananas. Bananas supply the body with energy you need to thrive! I recently bought a 40 pound box and have been enjoying bowls of banana with cinnamon, banana ice cream, smoothies and lightly baked bananas to stay properly fuelled. This magical (and cheap!) fruit is best eaten extremely spotted- not green or yellow like most people think. The sugars found in bananas are natural sugars, and spotted bananas both taste better and digest better in your body. Along with being a great staple food, they are full of potassium, B vitamins, and carbohydrates which will help you’ll stay full for longer than a simple convenience snack (granola bar etc). Whenever you’re hungry, reach for a few bananas!
- Dates. I was recently in Palm Springs and was so excited to go to Shield’s Date Garden where I picked up fresh dates. They had bulk medjools and also ones rolled in coconut which we took home. On average I eat around 20 + medjool dates a day. As a mostly raw vegan, they are a perfect calorie source. These fat free, sugary, fibre-filled fruits are always a staple in my diet but even more so this time of year when they are in season. Try some stuffed with your favourite nut (I’m loving walnuts), dipped in tahini or peanut butter, blended into a raw dressing for a veggie salad or in a smoothie for a natural sweetener. Click here for an easy vegan recipe for holiday parties (not raw but delicious)!
- Apples. One of my girlfriends mentioned how thankful she was for apples this time of year because they can be stored in the fridge for a long time (and that saves time from having to frequently buy fresh produce) and I agree! Apples are always on hand at my house. Fall is their season, and we will be enjoying the fresh harvested apples throughout the winter. I love apples plain, spread with date paste and coconut flakes, blended with dates and cinnamon for a raw apple sauce, and baked in the oven stuffed with lightly sweetened oats and cinnamon. I’ll be asking my raw friends to make me a dehydrated version of the later since I have yet to purchase a dehydrator yet. Maybe Black Friday?! Hmmm I’ve been looking at one by Excalibur for a while…
- Cashew Cheese. Cashew cheese is my crack. I love the stuff. I’m not talking about the vegan cheese you buy from the big box grocery stores where cashews are an ingredient far down the list. I’m talking about the good stuff- the expensive stuff. The raw, fermented, amazingly spiced cashew cheese that tastes like HEAVEN. I’ve been making charcuterie boards with vegan cheese and crackers (buy raw if you like), pickles, stuffed dates with tahini, and fruit for a couple dinners we have had at the home lately. Some of my favourite brands I can find locally are by Basic Roots, Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze, Truffula, Glow Food Creamery, and the amazing cheeses Michelle whips up at Good Stock Restaurant in Edmonton. If you aren’t local, I really loved that Earth’s General Store in Edmonton has Miyoko’s cheese- I loveher mozzarella and cream cheeses (select cities will have) and Kite Hill chive and jalepeno cream cheese which Vegan Supply sells. Blend these cream cheeses into pasta sauce for a “rose” flavour, or just enjoy as is. Too die for.
- Greens. Dark leafy Greens. I find having huge portions of dark leafy greens helps me stay balanced both physically and mentally. I know we all know we should eat more vegetables, and most people rarely do, but there is a reason why you will start to crave them when your body gets used to them over time. Veggies (and especially dark green ones) feed your gut with fibre, helping to regulate your bowels, improve digestion, mood, immune balance and so on! These are also a great food for anyone looking to lose weight. You couldn’t eat enough greens to get enough calories at a meal- so load up like crazy and top with some of the suggestions above (cashew cheese, a dressing made from dates and nuts etc) for a nice side to a plant-based meal!!
I hope you are loving some of my staple foods like I am right now. Other favourites this time of year are persimmons (wait until absolutely squishy and will burst at any moment before you devour), walnuts (amazing for both cooked and raw chili), and guacamole! My girlfriend brought over guacamole made with cilantro, which was quite unexpected and extremely delicious! I encourage you all to try it. 🙂