It's coming up to the end of the month. The end of August.... and therefore the end of #Rawgust
I didn't announce it directly on my blog (kept that to social media) but I made the decision on the last day of their life to give Raugust a go - that's raw vegan for the month of August. My boyfriend was also up for playing along which helped!
I felt very unprepared and aware that it may not run perfectly or smoothly but that's ok. It was the spontaneity that spoke to me in the moment when I saw a post by the Ethcs crew that I really resonated with.
Having spent time at Raw Fest on the last weekend of July, and more recently exploring the connection between a plant-based diet and our innate sense of creativity for my forthcoming book, I am learning that a raw vegan diet has the potential to bring you even closer to that connection with self, with source, with nature.
My good friend Rhiannon Van Der Griffin recently shared her raw journey with me a part of my book research and I was inspired more than ever to try it for myself.
In moments like this I come back to this quote by Matt Cutts. It's simply about getting curious to explore what becoming the very best version of you could look like. For 30 days.
So how did the month play out for me?
NOTE: more in depth update in this post!
Well, I admit I wasn't perfect. I wasn't 100% raw. Probably about 85% in reality.
One of the biggest reasons for wanting to do it, was to increase my repertoire of raw meal ideas for the future, and that I did for sure. In particular, raw sauces, dips and dressings for salads can REALLY make a salad.... it doesn't often matter what veggies you have in the bowl if you have an incredible sauce to smoother them in, right? ;-) Make enough for the week and you have easy meals lunches you can make in moments.
I am going to put together a separate post sharing a big roundup of raw recipes from a vegan community I am part of, but for now I'd like to share a few of my favourite discoveries and tips.
I'd also love to hear about your own 'raw' adventures...
Whether that might simply be incorporating a green smoothie each day, or a raw lunch Monday to Friday, or more raw snacks. It's not about hitting 100% perfect, what works for you?
Have you felt any benefits going more 'raw'? Or what are you currently struggling with?
My favourite things to make...
- Raw sauces etc (as noted above) - make a weeks worth.
- Deyhdrated flax crackers which are great as a snack in the go, as cracker as a 'bread substitute' and also as croutons in a salad when sliced into tiny squares- recipe here
- Bliss Balls are also an obvious go-to, BUT I did have a tendency to eat a lot of them and then be too full for a massive salad- ooops!
- Courgetti- spiralised courrgette and carrot for a fun pretty bowl. Also great with the chunky bolognaise- see pic above - recipe to come.
- Smoothies of all kinds - green, berry or banana and raw cacao for a chocolate hit!
- Overnight oats - this one is a little contentious as to whether it's actually raw, since rolled porridge oats are technically heated in the rolling process. But this was often nice to wake up to instead of smoothie or fruit bowl in the morning, or as lunch on the go.
- Mushroom curry - so easy and so good (see pic above) based on this recipe using cashews.
- Lettuce wraps with a peanut satay dipping sauce (technical the peanut butter component wasn't raw) note: gem lettuce leaves work best- those in the picture were from my veggie patch.
Still a few more days of #Rawgust to go, so I will see what creations catch my eye- I will be back with more raw recipes here soon!
For now, I'll leave you with this recipe for a raw banana bread... I totally made this up as I went along, but it worked so well as a spin-off on a bliss ball style creation.
Recipe: Raw Banana Bread Slice
- 2 bananas
- 2 tbs flax seed
- 1 cup dates
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup nuts- chopped (I used macadamias*)
- 1/2 cup nuts- ground (I used pecans*)
- pinch salt
* I loved the flavour and texture of the chunky macadamia pieces, but I imagine cashews or almond would also work well. Any ground nut could be used.
If you want a more intense 'double banana' flavour, try using dried banana pieces (not banana chips) instead of dates - or half and half.
Blend the banana with the flax, cinnamon and dates until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well to form a stiff slightly sticky 'dough'. (I pulsed the mix together in a food processor but you could do it by hand).
Form into a log on a liner and chill for at least an hour to firm up. Once firm slice into pieces and serve. Store in the fridge for up to a week. This freezes well too.
NOTE: It makes about three times the amount shown, but I gifted most of it to my boyfriend before I had a chance to shoot it ;-)