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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dragon Herbs Giveaway!

 Happy New Year! If you're wondering where I've been lately, I'm in the middle of writing my 3rd raw recipe book coming out Christmas 2014 by Quarry Books. It's tentatively titled Raw & Simple Detox: A Delicious Body Reboot For Health, Energy And Weight Loss. If you want to get little sneak peeks of what I'm making in the kitchen then you better start following me on Instagram because I'm going to be very, very busy the next 4 months! I'm also working on expanding my City & Sea Trading shop with new items and collections. Have you checked out my gourmet foods collection, yet?! OMG, is it good. Several different raw cacao dessert spreads, raw chocolate chips, exotic honeys, artisanal salts and more.
Diviana Alchemy superfood spreads
This week I'm giving away a couple of things from the gourmet collection: a bag of Heaven Mountain goji berries and Spring Dragon longevity tea from Dragon Herbs. My husband and I practically live off this stuff. The goji berries are the best we've ever had. Soft, chewy and delicious and grown in the pristine foothills of Heaven Mountain, a remote mountain range in Central Asia. You won't need to soak them like other hard-as-pebbles goji berries. They're also on sale so you can stock up and keep a bag in your car, one at work and one at home.

Dragon Herbs Heaven Mountain goji berries
Seriously, best goji berries ever.
 The Spring Dragon tea has become a part of our daily ritual. It's a base of gynostemma leaves, also known as "Magical Grass" in China. It has been prized for centuries for being an adaptability-enhancing anti-aging herb. The leaves are infused with extracts of luo han guo, schizandra, goji, astragalus and Siberian ginseng, all treasured adaptogens as well. We often start and end the day with a cup of this extraordinary tea. It makes 3 cups so you can enjoy the same bag 2-3 times throughout the day. Enter the contest below and one lucky winner will receive this delicious longevity pack. Open to U.S. residents only, aged 18 and older. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Win a $50 Gift Certificate To My Holistic Health Shop!

Fifty bucks to pick up some fun stuff from my shop. There are many ways to enter and you can come back every day for more chances to win. Contest ends next Sunday at midnight PST. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 18, 2013

Raw Apple Cobbler with Maple Cream

This is an easy and scrumptious dessert to whip up for the autumn months and upcoming holidays. I love that no one can tell that it's raw, vegan, gluten free and healthy! This recipe is from my first book Going Raw. For more healthy, raw desserts check out the books in my online shop.

Raw Apple Cobbler with Maple Cream

Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 40 minutes


1 cup pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup palm sugar or evaporated cane sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup medjool dates
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats


2 tablespoons agave or coconut nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 cups (2-3 large) apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly

Maple Cream

1 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

For topping, in a food processor, using the “s” blade, combine nuts with palm sugar and process until you get a coarse meal. Add raisins, dates and salt and process until it sticks together. Be careful not to overprocess or it will become too oily. In a medium bowl combine the topping mixture with the rolled oats.

For filling, in a small bowl combine agave nectar, lemon juice and pumpkin pie spice. In a large mixing bowl, toss apples with lemon juice mixture. 

For maple cream, blend cashews, maple syrup, water and vanilla bean until very smooth. About 2 minutes in a high speed blender. Store in a large squeeze bottle for easy use or in an airtight container.

Sprinkle half of the nut mixture on the bottom of a 9-inch round pie dish or 1 quart baking dish. 

Layer with apple filling and then sprinkle with remaining topping.

Warm in dehydrator at 145 degrees for one hour or place in the oven on warm setting (200 degrees) for 20 minutes and top each serving with maple cream.

Copyright Quarry Books 2011

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Autumn Smoothies

I know I'm not the only one who loves this time of year. Apples, pumpkins, cinnamon and clove, I love all things Autumn and these smoothies are no exception. Both are from my latest book Raw & Simple. Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Makes 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cups fresh grated pumpkin
1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
5-6 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ice cubes
dash of sea salt

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust flavorings as needed and add more almond milk if too thick. 

Apple Pie Smoothie

Apples vary from very sweet to very tart so adjust the amount of lemon juice you use and add a little sweetener if needed.

Makes 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

1/2 cups unsweetened almond or cashew milk
3 large Red Delicious or your favorite apples, chopped
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
Sweeten to taste
Cinnamon for garnish

Blend all ingredients until smooth and top with a dash of cinnamon. Allow to sit for five minutes to thicken.

Health Tip: Make it green! Throw in a small handful of spinach or other leafy green to give it an extra nutrient boost. 

Copyright 2013 Quarry Books

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stevia For The (low sugar) Raw Food Kitchen

If you've tried stevia in the past and didn't care for it, you may change your tune when you try Omica Organics Liquid Stevia. It's bitter free and unreconstituted. That means, like other liquid stevias that are first extracted from the stevia plant, processed into a powder and then formulated into liquid, this one is extracted using a proprietary TruExtract process that comes straight from the plant to bring you a fresher, truer flavor. For those who are new to stevia, this is a zero calorie sweetener that won't raise your blood sugar or contribute to tooth decay and is completely safe unlike aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. It's 15 times sweeter than sugar so a little goes a long way.

This is the purest and best tasting stevia I've ever tried and the only one I use and recommend.
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Zero calorie, zero carbohydrates, zero glycemic index
  • Certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, vegan, non-irradiated
  • Only certified organic glycerin and certified organic alcohol are used to help preserve and extend shelf life.
  • Omica Organic's propietary stevia is cultivated from an extensive network of family-owned stevia farms. Self-sustaining farming methods help preserve the naturally-beneficial phytochemicals of the stevia leaf. The leaves are picked by hand at the peak time of the growing season and then dried naturally with sunlight and fresh air.
     **600 servings in every 2 oz bottle**
 I find it works best in creamy and liquid recipes like:
-Chia Pudding
-Ice Cream
-Ice Pops
-Homemade Chocolate
-Plain Soda Water

If I want to use stevia in a raw dessert, I often will use it with another sweetener like xylitol, palm sugar, coconut nectar, honey, maple syrup, or agave. There's a synergy to blending sweeteners together so it doesn't become overpowered by the stevia. I write many of my recipes this way and use stevia regularly in my book Raw & Simple.

If I'm working out of a recipe book and it calls for 1/2 cup of maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, or agave. I can cut down the glycemic load by substituting about a fourth of the recipe with stevia. It does depend on the recipe, though. If a certain amount of liquid is needed for a recipe to work, I have to base my substitution on whether this will affect the texture and outcome of the recipe. Oftentimes, switching out 1-2 tablespoons won't make a difference (but enough of a difference for someone who is following a low glycemic diet).

For substituting sugar in recipes the conversion is roughly:
1 teaspoon sugar = 2-4 drops stevia
1 tablespoons sugar = 6-9 drops
1 cup sugar = 1 teaspoon

Natural sweeteners that all equal 1 cup sugar*
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 1/4 cup agave
6-7 dates
2/3 cup palm sugar
Coconut Nectar

*Conversion info from My Real Food Life

I'll let you figure out the math, but rule of thumb is go slow. Start with 1-2 drops of stevia at a time when adding it to your recipes and gradually build up.

I have 3 tasty flavors in the shop that you can mix and match in your recipes. I especially love to mix the vanilla with the butterscotch when I'm making chocolate desserts. You'll also find one bottle will last you several weeks so it's a great value. Stock up here before they're gone!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My New Project

For the past several months I've been working quietly on a new website. I wanted to combine my love of nutrition, food, and healthy living in a way that was less niche than just all things raw. I'm more than just a raw food lover. I love all healthful cuisine and I want to discuss topics other than food. I want to share products I love, talk about cool companies and personalities that have inspired me, share travel tips, stories, recipes, fun videos, as well as health tips. Not everything on this website is raw, nor vegan, but everything is unique and special and every product we promote is a product my husband and I use and love.

The name City & Sea Trading came to me while walking around Yosemite two winters ago. The idea was brewing, but since I was starting to write my new book, I wanted to wait until I had more time. I had been receiving emails daily asking where to purchase products from Going Raw as well as asking for recommendations for different health products. Because of my readers, I launched this mindfully curated shop of health and home products and apparel. I don't want to try to be a raw food superstore. That already exists. My aim is to only share products that are:
1. lovingly made
2. of the highest quality
3. life enhancing

My new blog is called City & Sea Living and will be co-written with my husband, Matt. I'm so excited to have his input, especially from a guy's perspective. He is high raw, but eats a little different than me, has his own set of recipes, lifestyle tips, etc. He's also multi-talented. He works as a freelance photographer, filmmaker, and music producer/engineer/mixer, and graphic designer. When I moved to LA 18 years ago to attend film school, we dreamed of writing and making movies together. Back then, video cameras were poor quality and film was expensive. We shot a short film during our European honeymoon on 16mm and never got it developed because we just couldn't afford it. It's still sitting in the back of our fridge among kombucha SCOBYs and jars of cultured vegetables. I kid you not. Today, we have great video gear and more time to have fun together so we decided that every product on our website will have its own commercial. Here's our first two.

I'll still be posting raw related things here, but check out the new website and have a look around. If you would like to see a particular product on the store, let me know. Subscribe to the newsletter and get updates on new products, videos and recipes as well. Thank you all for being faithful readers and supporters. You are my inspiration!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wild Blueberry-Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Eat it and weep.

I'm cruel. I've been torturing my Facebook followers with this photo since January, while withholding the recipe (in hopes that they would buy my book Raw & Simple). Well, squeaky wheel gets the grease. They insisted I finally give it up, so here it is. A raw, vegan cheesecake so good, you'll weep. Well, maybe not. Maybe your family will weep when you eat it all before they get home. One of my recipe testers emailed me three times in a row to tell me over and over how much she loved it. I thought she was exaggerating until other people started messaging me how outrageously good it is. 

Oh, and don’t fret if you can’t find wild blueberries or Meyer lemons. I just wanted to give this a fancy name. Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than regular lemons but either one works just as well here. As for blueberries, I actually prefer using the frozen ones because of the juice that results from thawing them out. Wild blueberries are smaller in size but taste very much like cultivated blueberries so use whatever you can find or afford at your local market.

Wild Blueberry-Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares
Makes 16 servings

Plan Ahead: soak ½ cup cashews in water for 2 hours

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 1 to 2 hours

2 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries, thawed

2 cups walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor for 20-25 seconds. Press mixture between your fingers and see if it sticks together. If not, process a few seconds longer. Be careful not to go too long, otherwise it will release too much oil.
2. Press firmly and evenly into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

1 cup walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup Medjool dates
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup rolled oats (optional)

1.     In same food processor that you just made the crust, add nuts, raisins, dates and sea salt and process until mixture begins to clump and stick together. Process longer than you did the crust but be careful not to overdo it.
2.     Transfer to a bowl and stir in oats. Set aside while you make the cheesecake layer.

1 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup xylitol or agave
¼ cup water
½ tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lecithin powder (use 2 tablespoons if using agave)

1. Blend all ingredients except lecithin until very smooth.
2. Add lecithin and blend again.
3. Pour over crust.
4. Top cheesecake mixture evenly with blueberries.
5. Press berries gently into the cheesecake and evenly spread the topping mixture over the berries.
6. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer for 1-2 hours or until firm.

Will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.

Chef Tip. You can use other berries or fruits in place of blueberries such as cherries, peaches or mango as well as tone down the lemon flavor to your liking.  

Copyright 2013 Quarry Books

Here is a modified version of it I made for a wedding. I used a 9"springform pan, doubled the filling and added an extra 50% to the crust.  It was a hot day and I was scared it would melt before guests could enjoy it so I added extra lecithin. That's what is giving it the rough texture. I kinda like the brittleness of it, but in the future I'll just stick with less lecithin. Nevertheless, everyone loved it!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Raw & Simple Chocolate Haystacks

These chewy, chocolate treats are super simple to make, yet, tastes like a gourmet treat. I use longer coconut threads to give it that haystack look (Sprout's grocery stores carry them) but you can use the finely shredded coconut with the same great results. Jazz it up with some chopped nuts or hemp seeds for a little nutrition boost.

Chocolate Haystacks
Makes 12 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

2/3 cup cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
½ vanilla bean, scraped or small pinch of vanilla powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
2 cups shredded coconut

Blend cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

In a bowl, hand mix shredded coconut with chocolate mixture.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Use a spoon or melon scoop to form 12-14 individual haystacks on the parchment paper.

Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Upcoming Raw Food 101 Class!

Saturday, May 18th, 2013 Raw Food 101 - Learn the raw food ropes from a pro! 1-4pm Long Beach, CA - $65

In this 3 hour demo class you will learn raw food basics like opening coconuts, making your own nut milks, green smoothies, chia pudding, marinated kale salad, pasta marinara, not-chicken salad wraps, and chocolate ganache brownies.

You'll also learn:
*Why raw foods are important for healing and vitality
*How to get enough protein
*What to eat for detoxification and weight loss.

This intimate class allows you to ask your most pressing raw health questions. Make sure you come hungry!

***Seating is limited! No refunds after May 14th***

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Strawberry Season is Coming!

It's just about that time when plump and luscious strawberries come into season in southern California. I love them every which way: in a smoothie, mashed and stirred into chia pudding, pureed and frozen into ice pops, or just on their own as a snack. It's the one fruit I can go crazy with on my low sugar regimen so I make the most of it. Here's a recipe from Raw & Simple that is a classic and so quick and easy to make. I like to add equal parts mesclun to jazz it up but feel free to use just spinach. This salad is versatile enough to serve at an elegant dinner, a summer picnic, brunch or as a breakfast salad.

A note on making the dressing. Please seek out a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My favorite balsamic vinegar is from Bariani, but stores like We Olive, who specialize in oils and vinegars, will have some great ones on tap. I recently ran out of my Bariani balsamic vinegar and my special stash of home pressed olive oil from Mallorca so I used some cheap Trader Joe's Balsamic of Modena and their organic Spanish olive oil. It was awful. I could hardly eat my salad because it was so offensive. Never again! I ran down to We Olive yesterday and got stocked up and poured my cheap stuff down the drain. Nuff said.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

4 cups baby spinach
4 cups mesclun or spring mix
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced with a mandoline or knife
1/4 cup chopped onion 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over individual salad servings as desired. 


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