Okay, so let me preface by saying that I am not Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, or any of those other “frees.” I’ll try just about anything (shout-out to Thailand, you almost had me at my breaking point), and I process anything and everything just fine. I’m a big believer in moderation and so are the other girls at The Toasty Avocados. So when Ari told me she was going to try a minor cleanse by going raw for a bit, I was no doubt a little skeptical. This is coming from the girl who I would regularly grub on greasy tacos during Fiesta or head downtown to Pace for our favorite burgers and beer.
Why go raw, you might ask? When we cook our food, the heat changes plants' molecular structure. In doing so, we lose many of the beneficial enzymes and nutrients found in raw foods. Keeping fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds raw allows our bodies to absorb the maximum nutritional benefit of the foods we eat. Which is all fine and dandy, but really...no fish, no chicken, no beans, no delicious greasy burgers...?
Nevertheless, in spite of my skepticism, she has nevertheless continued to welcome me into her apartment to embark on Tuesday night post-farmer’s-market cooking adventures. Only this time, we’re going raw.
One of the first nights we made an all-raw zucchini noodle dish with marinara sauce and nut cheese (Dafuq, you ask? It’s just like it sounds…“cheese” that’s actually made from nuts, and it’s healthy and delicious), a caesar salad (that was actually packed with nutrients and once again, contained zero cheese and tasted delicious), and then to top it all off, mint chocolate chip ice cream which was just about the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted and even had kale in it (find this recipe on the blog here).
By using fresh herbs and whole foods, everything (and I’m not just saying this) tasted infinitely more flavorful. Usually after dinner I’ll have cravings or want to snack on something sweet. We kept saying how we felt so satisfied after and (dare I say it for fear of sounding like a cliché hippy), but so nourished. Our bodies just felt good after eating, like it got what it needed—unlike after you’ve eaten five pieces of Domino’s pizza and could still eat another five… (Can I get an Amen.)
Which, speaking of…Last night we decided to embark on another culinary journey, only this time we made an almost-raw pizza with a cauliflower crust. We decided we needed to bake the crust, so it wasn’t entirely raw (but hey, we all have a little rebel in us). We couldn’t decide which sauce to make so we made two—a marinara and a pesto, and then topped the pizzas to our heart’s delight. We even happened to find raw mozzarella cheese at the farmer’s market. However, the recipe definitely needs a bit of tweaking, so stay tuned for when we get this one locked down.
But you can’t have dinner without dessert, so we decided to make an all-raw key lime "pie" which was tart and flavorful and oh-so-delicious without all the refined sugars and bad fats you’d find in one you picked up at your local bakery.
So while you’ll still find us grubbing on some awesome bacon-filled breakfast burritos in the near future, it doesn’t hurt to try a more wholesome recipe every once in a while.
Happy bake-free baking!
Raw Key Lime Pie
FOR THE CRUST
1.5 cups macadamia nuts
1 cup pecans
½ c walnuts
5 medjol dates
¼ ts vanilla
Dash of himalayan sea salt
FOR THE FILLING
¼ cup coconut milk
1 heaping tbs of honey
3 medjol dates
½ ts vanilla
¼ cup key lime juice (if you can’t find key limes, regular limes will do)
Dash of himalayan sea salt
1 tsp of any greens powder (we used Chlorella)
1. Combine macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, vanilla, and sea salt and pulse in a food processor or Vitamix until small and crumbly. Add dates until the crust begins to stick together. Oil a 9-inch pie pan (we used coconut oil) and press the “dough” into the pan to form a crust.
2. Combine all ingredients for the filling in the food processor or Vitamix and pulse until smooth. Pour over crust, and top with coconut flakes. Place in fridge/freezer until it’s firm, and BOOM, you’ve got yourself an easy, healthy, all-raw dessert. Enjoy!