I love the outdoors. Sunlight, fresh air, plants, trees, animals...just thinking about it and I start to yearn for it! I live in the city with far too many cars, people and not enough nature. So every now and then I strip myself of this "civilized" life and go camping. All out camping - tents, fires, digging a hole when you need one - just nature and silence.
Camping brings memories and visions of s'mores and hotdogs. When I changed my diet and became a raw vegan nearly five years ago, I had to shift the way that I thought about camping. The food that I eat now, that brings health and healing, goes where I go.
The great thing about camping is that you don't necessarily sit down for three square meals a day. Usually it's quite a lot of snacking - which is precisely how I eat as a raw vegan. Frequent little nuggets of energy to refuel all day long. I do camp with others (who are not raw vegan) so I'll need to have a few options that would feel meal-like.
The fun thing about being me? I'm not ridiculously strict about it all. I've learn to loosen the reins and allow myself room to breathe. I don't dry my own spices, I use small amounts of processed food (like soy sauce or toasted sesame oil) for flavorings. And sometimes I enjoy some portobellos mushrooms while camping....grilled. GASP!
On my list to snack on: apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, blueberries, dried figs, raisins, raw nuts, dehydrated cheezy crackers, almond butter, and some strawberry fruit leather I made.
On my list to enjoy as a sit down meal (a.k.a. social time): Salad fixings - lettuce, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, avocados, vinegar, seasonings, olive oil. Portobello Mushrooms and Yams (to grill! woah!), and my Lemon Ginger Lettuce Rolls.
For my kids (who are about 80% raw): all the fruit I have...they could easily become fruitarian, I think, dry healthy-ish cheerios, packaged applesauce, and tortillas with ham and cheeze.
I'll eat when I'm hungry (which is pretty much all the time - some things never change), and I have a few things up my sleeve for when we gather as a group around the fire.
Oh, and did I mention water and smoothies? I will make 128 ounces of Green Smoothies to take with us to enjoy in the morning as breakfast. Sometimes I take my Vitamix if we will be gone a long time. If it's only for a few days - I premake and take them along.
So there you have it. Easy, peasy, raw pumpkin pie. A little forethought with dehydrating, but most of my food is fresh fruits and vegetables. Delicious, fun, energy-producing, and easy.
My new motto was given to me by a Marine that I'm coaching to eat healthier: "Adapt, Improvise, Conquer." That's how I help people get healthier and how I live my life. :)
My home smells like pizza. One of the beautifully unexpected aspects about dehydrators is that they fill your home with wonderfully delicious scents while your food dries. I’m making Mini Pizzas, which if you have my UnCookbook you know are made of sliced eggplant, marinara sauce, and some spices. When dehydrated, they taste wonderfully chewy and conquer that I-need-to-have-pizza craving I get now and that. They kinda remind me of those pizza bites I used to love as a kid.
Dehydrators. Before I went raw, I had no idea why they were necessary and had never even seen one. The idea of drying your fruit sounded silly to me…why not just eat it normally? I liked jerky, sure, but would rather buy it than make it. Yuck. So when looking for a dehydrator, I wasn’t sure what to keep an eye out for. I quickly learned that the dehydrator needs a temperature gauge, as most dry at temperatures hot enough to cook (and thereby destroy the nutrients and enzymes of) your food. I also learned that if I wanted to make crackers, breads, and fruit leather, I would need a square dehydrator, not a round one. Most round dehydrators have the fan in the middle – with a cutout…so you would get bunt-shaped foods. I quickly learned that there was one name on everyone’s lips: Excalibur. They have phenomenal dehydrators, lots to choose from and a great reputation. They are expensive, though…and I wasn’t sure I wanted to splurge if I wasn’t going to use it very often. Smart, cautious move…but I wish I had splurged. I bought the four tray and later on bought another four tray. Like the rest of my appliances, I am looking to possibly upgrade and sell the dehydrators I have now. If interested in purchasing mine from me, contact me.
As much as I recommend an Excalibur dehydrator…I know that not everyone needs to dry all their food, so I tell everyone to find what they can in their budget. I bought one of my friends an inexpensive round dehydrator for $40 for her birthday and she makes wonderful foods in it. I’ve enjoyed her crackers and she tells me wonderful stories of her pancakes and other treats.
Now I can’t imagine what I’d do without my dehydrator! My Mini Pizzas are UnBaking right now and I need to make another batch of crackers. Breads, cookies, tortillas, granola, cereal, spicy seeds, “candied” nuts, chips and fruit leather are all a lovely part of my diet. Not an essential one, but a wonderful option when salads get monotonous. In fact, fruit leather may be the easiest food in the world to make. It’s so easy and simple to me, that I can’t imagine putting it into my next UnCookBook, so I’ll share it with you.
Now, if you don’t have a dehydrator…never fear! Take a look at your oven. Does it have a “warm” setting? Any idea what temperature your “low” setting is? If you have a meat thermometer (and if you don’t, they are only a dollar or two), put your oven on “low” or “warm” and prop the door open a little. Now, place your thermometer inside and wait ten minutes. If the temperature is under 120°, you are in business! If it’s even lower…yaaay! Ideally, you want to get it below 118°, but I like around 105°.
For those of you without a dehydrator or a warm oven…feel free to bake these little babies…they are still delicious and better than the store bought fruit rollups. They have no added sugar and are remarkably healthy.
Strawberry Fruit Leather:
*Pears are 98% carbohydrates, which are helpful in weight reduction and also provide a natural quick source of energy. A pear is a nutrient dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie, than calories per nutrient. Pears also provide 30% more potassium than an apple, which is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and metabolism. High in Vitamin C, copper and Vitamin K.
**Strawberries are PACKED with Vitamin C, and eating a handful will fulfill your RDA. They also have wonderful anti-cancer properties and have been linked to fight against macular degenerations, rheumatoid arthritis, and helps heart health. Strawberries are also excellent sources of manganese, iodine, potassium, folate, vitamins B2, B5, B6, K, cooper, magnesium and even omega-3 fatty acids)
***In the ancient world, cinnamon was more precious than gold and was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs. It is used both as a culinary spice and for medicinal purposes. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic and even has anti-clotting properties, making it a natural treatment against arthritis, yeast infections, stomach ulcers, and has even showed to inhibit the growth of cultured tumor cells. Cinnamon has also been used in Korea and China as a traditional herb for treating diabetes. It is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinch, copper, and selenium. It also is rich in Vitamins A, C, and E.
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.