RAW Food Challenge Day 2

Hello all!

Today is Day 2 on my raw food journey, I’m jazzed!

I woke up at 7 this morning feeling great, just a little tired since it was 7 and I went to bed late (pretty much the story of my life).

I made a tasty batch of Almond Milk with the almonds I’ve been soaking and was so captivated by the taste I decided to build my breakfast around that!

This is what my almond milk looked like before I strained it

Since I’m not a breakfast person, I wanted something that wouldn’t feel too breakfast like, something that I like eating any time of the day. Then it hit me, a smoothie!

Breakfast: Banana and Two Nut Smoothie

This recipe is great cause it takes literally 5 minutes and is so simple!

This smoothie consists of

2 Frozen Bananas (or fresh bananas, and then include ice. I used frozen to kill 2 birds with 1 stone)

1/2 cup Raw Peanut Butter

2 cups Raw Almond Milk

1/4 cup of Raw Almond Meal, optional (I did this to get a little more texture and protein)

I love the color banana skins turn when they’ve been frozen, its the perfect mustard yellow!

The one thing I hate about frozen bananas with the skin still on is what a pain in the butt it is to take frozen skin off!

Toss those 3 (or 4, if you include the Almond Meal) ingredients into the blender and let it run for a minute or so

Then pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Lunch: Kale and Good Stuff Salad with Sweet and Seedy Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Tuesdays are my long day at school, so I decided to buy lunch on campus. We have a salad bar that I frequent about 2 times a week, so I know they have a nice selection of produce to eat. The one thing I was worried about was the dressing situation.

Def haven’t seen anything raw in that department. So I made my own and packed it in a tiny 1 oz glass jar this morning.

My recipe is not exact but roughly it goes like this:

2 parts raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

2 parts Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1 part Agave Nectar

1 part Chia Seeds

Mix together in a bowl, adjust quantities if needed, and put in glass jar for transportation

As I was packing up my dressing, I started thinking about all the things I could have on my salad today; corn, green beans, carrots, peas, edamame, chickpeas, raisins, sunflower seeds…and then I realized NONE OF THAT IS RAW! The place on campus blanches all the veggies, the raisins are probably not sun dried, and the sunflower seeds are toasted.


So I hurried my butt up and threw together a salad. Here’s how it went:

Started with some Kale then added:

Diced Cucumber I had leftover from yesterday’s lunch

Clover Sprouts


Halved Grape Tomatoes

Broccoli Florets


Avocado, lots and lots of avocado

And a big handful of Raw Hulled Hemp Seeds

I inhaled this, that’s how good it was. I eat every single one of these things raw all the time so it just made sense to make them into an awesome salad!

Snack: Sliced Watermelon and Kombucha

Breakfast this morning seriously filled me up, so I didn’t even need to eat my snack until the interim between lunch and dinner, and even then I wouldn’t have classified myself as starving. Protein early in the morning is the way to go.

Sidenote: I will be drinking a Kombucha everyday with my snack, because I like them, they are raw, they are good for you, but mostly ’cause they were on sale at the market, $5 for 2, when normally they are $4 each.

Today I went with GT’s Trilogy, which has a nice pungent gingery taste

I had half of that baby watermelon left over from yesterday as well, so I sliced it up to go along with my drink.

Dinner: Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers

Growing up, my mom used to make these amazing stuffed peppers that I crave to this day. She would take a bell pepper; red, orange, yellow, or green and fill them with a mixture of beans, rice, onions, corn, and ground beef or turkey, all of which was cooked in a slightly spicy sauce. She would top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and then put them in a deep skillet with a couple inches of water and let the steam slightly cook the bell pepper which simultaneously melted the cheese.

That was my inspiration for dinner tonight.

I found these adorable tiny orange bell peppers at my corner market for only 59 cents!

I cut the tops off of them and cleaned out their guts

Then I stuffed it in layers, starting with some raw garlic hummus I made

After the hummus went:

Green Onions


then some homemade Pico de Gallo

I made my Pico de Gallo with:

Grape Tomatoes


Red Onion

Lime Juice

The best part about the stuffed peppers my mom makes is the melted cheese on top. One of the hardest parts about going raw is not eating cheese, since I love it so much.

I was sorely craving some cheese on top when I remembered…Nutritional Yeast! It’s known for its cheesy flavor! A few of my friends reminded me that it’s raw so I bought some a few days ago. A healthy sprinkling of that on top, and my fiesta peppers were finished!

Today’s meals were great and minus the prep work of the almond milk and hummus, the construction of my each one took less than 20 minutes. Having the extra protein this morning certainly made me feel more alert, however, my lack of sleep caused my body to ache all over. I’m gonna head to bed soon and get a proper nights rest to circumvent feeling like this tomorrow!

My goodnight questions to you are, what are some of your favorite hummus flavors? And how do you use nutritional yeast?

Raw Almond Milk

On this Raw Food Challenge I’m on I’m allowed to drink milk. Only milk that has been unpasteurized aka still raw. I considered doing this until my friend, John, sent me the link to an article on USA Today regarding the risks of raw milk.

According to the article, “Unpasteurized milk, touted as the ultimate health food by some, is 150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness outbreaks than pasteurized milk, and such outbreaks had a hospitalization rate 13 times higher than those involving pasteurized dairy products, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.”

After that, I changed my mind. No raw milk for me. Thank you very much.

What are my other options?

Rice Milk

Soy Milk

Nut Milk

I went to a few different health food stores in search of some non-dairy raw milks and my search proved fruitless.

I quickly moved on to Plan B. I decided to make my own milk, then further narrowed it down by choosing to make Almond Milk. Which is actually a lot easier than people may think.

I started with 2 cups of raw almonds that I soaked overnight in water. I’m coming to find that a lot of raw recipes start with some variation of that formula. Good thing I have tons of mixing bowls!

I left the almonds in the water for an extra 8 hours because I wasn’t home, it may have made the nuts a tad softer or allowed them to soak up more water, but I don’t think it made a significant difference.

This recipe calls for 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of almonds.

So I blended my 2 cups of almonds with 8 cups of water.

I have a 30 dollar blender, that isn’t high tech at all, so I had to do my milk in batches because there was so much of it

and I let my milk blend for about 4 minutes each time.

The recipes that I’ve seen say you can make your milk taste like vanilla almond milk by adding some sun dried dates. And wouldn’t you know it, I had some sun dried dates! So I popped those in too.

Essentially the recipe looks like this:

2 cups almonds, soaked overnight

8 cups water (not the water you soaked the almonds in)

12 sun dried dates

I love dates! One of my favorite recipes is dates stuffed with goat cheese or brie, topped with a walnut, wrapped in bacon and then warmed in the oven. OMG

However, that’s not on the menu today for so many reasons.

If you bought dates that haven’t been pitted, like I did, make sure to take the pits out before you put them in the blender

Date pits may look similar to almonds. But they are not the same, so take ’em out!

This is what your milk will look like if you decide not to strain out the almond meal. You could do this, I tried it, it’s not bad, just very thick!

I opted to strain mine, which is extremely easy.

All you need is a pitcher, bowl, or large deep jar, some cheesecloth, and a heavy duty rubber band.

The milk will strain on itself pretty quickly, you might just want to prod it will a wooden spoon when you get to the last bit since the almond meal will be plentiful at that point.

I think its a great idea to save all that wonderful almond meal, I did. My batch of milk yielded roughly 2 cups of it, and that stuff is great for making raw desserts (recipes on how to use it coming in the next few days)!

Straining the almond milk reminds me of when I made goat cheese because like the cheese, its important to use to your hands to squeeze the last bits of moisture out of the cheesecloth.

When all is said and done, you’re gonna have about 8 cups of delicious milk to use. Because it’s raw though, it will only stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge. But since its so tasty, I doubt it will even last that long!

The dates that I added were a great way to impart just a touch of sweetness to this overwhelmingly refreshing milk, without being too cloyingly sugary.

Just this morning, I’ve already used about a third of my milk making a Banana Nut Smoothie! This is definitely a recipe I will continue to make, even after this raw food challenge is over.