Raw Voilà Create: Cozy Comfort

The sky still bright and the sun vibrant, though now less warm as the air becomes crisp with the familiar chill of Fall. The leaves turn beautiful shades of gold and red, gently released from branches and piling underfoot. A shift from cooling comforts to all things snuggly, and appreciating the change of seasons. Homemade bread continues to be a cozy staple that I enjoy even when it’s balmy out, although I feel it pairs best with the dropping temperature.

Pictured here is another rustic favorite, inspired by earthiness and nurturing—hearty and rich-tasting without the weightiness of its traditional counterpart, which this bread is always delightfully compared to. Warm smiles across lips, eyes twinkling, happy sounds upon first bites, all aid in sustaining passion for what I do. To positively impact even one person’s life by way of creating something healthful and delicious makes all the difference, and keeps me forging ahead.

Much is transpiring behind the scenes at Raw Voilà, and excitement increases for when details can be shared.

Raw Voilà Lifestyle: Superfoods

What many of us deem to be superfoods are simply foods that are exceptionally rich in particular nutrients, often times at a much higher rate than what is regarded as the norm. These days, superfoods tend to be characterized as specialty items. Although, wild blueberries, broccoli sprouts, kale, and many other commonly found foods are also quite nutrient dense and high in antioxidants, and can easily be considered a ‘superfood’. That said, following are a few of my favorite intensely nutrient items that I incorporate on most days, depending on what I feel my body is needing, including helpful information for each.

Pictured below are hemp seeds, maca powder, goji berries, and chia seeds.

Hemp seeds have a pleasant nutty flavor and supply Omega 3 as well as Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids, all ten essential amino acids, and a healthy dose of protein. They can be added to smoothies, soups, salads, whole food meal bars, breakfast porridge and desserts. I often enjoy chopped mixed fruit sprinkled with hemp seeds. They are also really delicious as an added topping for pasta.

Maca powder is produced from a root vegetable native to Peru and is a member of the radish family. It has a slightly sweet, malty flavor that pairs exceptionally well with chocolate—among other things! Maca is an adaptogen, a hormone balancer, and an excellent source of minerals, B vitamins and protein. I love adding maca to various blended concoctions and savory dishes. I even include it as an ingredient for creating various types of condiments.

Goji berries have more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, important trace minerals including selenium, iron, copper and zinc, and contain eighteen different amino acids. Their flavor is a cross between dried cranberries and raisins, and they are not overly sweet. While goji berries are wonderful to snack on straight, they are great for adding to smoothies, fashioned into a medicinal tea, and sprinkled into salads, fruit mixes, trail mixes, soups, cereals, etc. I often use goji berries in place of raisins with much success.

Chia seeds are rich in protein, calcium, iron and fiber as well as Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids. They are ever-so-slightly reminiscent of flax seeds though taste creamier and sweeter and also a tad nutty. They absorb at least nine times their volume in liquid and are wonderfully hydrating, and are especially great for helping to increase athletic endurance. Plus, they keep you sated and energized. I love using chia seeds to enrich and thicken smoothies. In addition, they are excellent for making various types of dressings, puddings, cereals, sprinkled on top of salads, as an ingredient in crackers or breads and more. I often chose heirloom white chia seeds for their milder flavor. However, if you are unable to obtain that variety of chia, you can opt for more readily available heirloom black chia seeds without worry.

Over the many years that I have incorporated superfoods into my eating regimen, I can comfortably say they have positively enhanced my overall well-being and will remain an integral part of my daily habits. The four superfoods mentioned above can easily be included and help boost immunity by providing extra amounts of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids.

Raw Voilà Spotlight: The Power Of Greens

Green leafy vegetables are important in any diet, especially a raw food diet. They supply the body with the building blocks of protein via an abundance of amino acids, are a rich source of chlorophyll, essential vitamins and minerals as well as much needed fiber, and also boost detoxification and alkalinity. There are as many types of leafy greens as there are ways to incorporate them. Your palate will be a major determining factor of what sorts of greens you will prefer. It is imperative to remember that over time your palate will shift as you eat more natural foods and less processed items. So if at first you do not find much enjoyment in a particular vegetable, you may relish it later on as your sense of taste changes and adapts.

A helpful tip: Increasing the amount of green leafy vegetables in your diet can greatly help stave off cravings as the body works to become cleaner.

Various nutrients provided by leafy greens are very beneficial during detoxification and also to one’s overall well-being.

Typically, green leafy vegetables literally are green, though some can be found in varying shades of purple or red and are considered to be a leafy green. In general, the darker the hue the more intense the vitamin and mineral content, so indulge more often in whatever deeply-hued vegetables you prefer. As earlier mentioned, there are many types of leafy items to choose from, availability dependent upon the growing season. The following is a list of just some of them. Kale (Lacinato, Red Russian, purple, curly green), spinach, chard (red, green and rainbow), red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce (red and green), Boston lettuce (also known as Butter lettuce, red and green), celery greens, beet greens, radicchio, endive, frisée, escarole, dandelion greens, Mizuna greens, arugula, watercress, collard greens, bok choy (adult and baby bok choy, green and purple) and cabbage (red and green).

Green leafy vegetables can be easily incorporated into any diet simply by way of salads, soups, smoothies, juices, wraps, and even transformed into chips. In addition, green leafy herbs such as parsley, cilantro, mint and others are also wonderful to include as they have many healing properties and essential vitamins and minerals. Cilantro helps to remove heavy metals from the body while parsley is a powerful anti-carcinogen and great for cardiovascular health. And mint is excellent for the digestion.

Isn’t nature amazing?!