What makes an energy bar and energy bar? Watch the video and find out, and listen to by short plea about how you can help launch my new energy bar company – Adventure Naturals.
The $5 Plea
Now, through Christmas, if you donate just $5 to our Kickstarter campaign you will receive an extra energy bar. These bars will retail for around $3 each, so you are essentially saving $1, AND you are helping start an AWESOME company, dedicated to bringing nutritious energy foods to the masses.
Think about it, $5 doesn’t go very far these days. Five dollars barely will cover a large latte, you can’t even buy a move ticket with five dollars, it will barely even get you food off a value menu, and five dollars won’t even get you two gallons of gas. So, when you think about it, your five dollars is going a LONG way by helping start our company.
So, check out our project and make a donation today!
Well, my wedding day is almost here and I managed to complete our Kickstarter project for Adventure Naturals. I knew I could get it done, but a small part of me freaked out when my business parter had to cancel our shoot last week due to flooding in his house. But we were able to shoot Tuesday morning, and I managed to edit the video in a short amount of time. It’s not perfect, but it will do until I get back from the Honeymoon and redo the entire thing!
I hope you will take a moment to check out our project and consider donating. Donating as little as $5 gets you an energy bar. We are trying to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter, but we really need $10,000 to get started, so please, keep on giving after the $5,000 goal is met. You still get gifts for the donation and we get closer to what we actually need to start.
Anyway, I will be out of pocket for the next week and a half (going on a cruise with my lovely new wife), but my business partner will be answering any emails and messages through Kickstarter. It’s always been my dream to run my own business, and what better business to start than a raw food company? It truly combines all my passions. So, please, help my dream become a reality
First of all, it’s important to understand why nuts are healthy and good for you. Next to hemp seed protein, nuts are one of the best plant sources of protein available. They are also rich in fiber and antioxidants. Additionally, nuts are high in fat – the good kind! They contain mostly omega 3 fats (most nuts), which are great for reduction of inflammation and helping metabolize fat, this is very important for athletes.
Almonds are one of the post popular nuts and are especially high in vitamin B2, fiber and antioxidants. Almonds are the most nutritious nut of all. Walnuts are also a very healthy nut, and highly beneficial to athletes. They are rich in B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. They also help retain electrolyte levels, which is important to help athletes stay hydrated.
Now that you know some of the health benefits of nuts it’s time to learn how to include more of them into your daily diet. It should be noted though that since nuts are high in calories they should serve as a replacement food, and not an addition to our daily caloric intake.
Snacks: Everybody loves snacks, but often times we tend to choose unhealthy options. Making healthy choices can be difficult when vending machines are readily available and clients bring good into the office. Nuts are great to keep around your desk to curb those hunger cravings. Seasoned nuts make for an very tasty snack, there are many store bought options, but most are not raw. You can make your own raw, seasoned nuts, at home; just check out my recipes here.
Nut Butters: Almond butter is pretty much a staple food in my diet, I often put it in my smoothies or spread it over a piece of Ezekiel bread, topped with banana and occasionally agave nectar. Cashew butter is considered a delicacy in my book, but can be easily made at home if you have a high-speed blender such as the Vita-Mix.
Raw Deserts: You would be surprised at how many delicious raw deserts are out there that involve nuts. Susan over at Rawmazing has a new book out full of delicious raw deserts; it’s well worth checking out. There are also plenty of great raw food (and a few cooked) recipes on the site.
Energy Bars: Nuts are a great source of complex carbs and protein, and are easily consumed in the form of an energy bar. Check out the recipes I have here on my blog. There are also plenty of store bought raw energy bars, but it’s much more cost effective to make your own if you can find the time.
Almond Milk: Easy to make, and highly nutritious! Simply blend up 1 cup of almonds to 3 cups of water and strain through a milk bag or fine cheesecloth and you have your self a highly nutritious non-dairy beverage that is great in smoothies, with granola, or as a simple morning drink. You can also sweeten your nut milk by using dates, stevia, or agave nectar. Almond milk is also a great substitute for dairy and soy products to use in your tea or coffee. Store bought almond milk is also a good alternative.
The Benefits of Soaking Nuts
Soaking nuts before you consume them is very important. Nuts have a natural enzyme inhibitor that makes them more difficult to digest. Soaking nuts (and seeds) neutralizes the enzyme inhibitor and makes them easier to digest. Additionally the amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids your body can absorb increases. Soaked nuts are simply put, more nutritious.
Almonds 8-12 hours (the only nuts that sprout*)
Cashews 2.5 hours
Walnuts 4 hours
All others 6 hours
Although these nuts sprout, you will not see tails. They only swell.
Feel free to share your favorite nutty recipes here. Also, be sure to check back on future Fridays for great nutty recipes.
Lately, one of my favorite snacks has been seasoned cashews. I have been creating a lot of batches in the dehydrator lately, and occasionally buying some store bought versions. I’m a huge fan of seasoning up cashews because of their light taste, which really allows for the flavoring to come alive!
I recently picked up a batch of raw cashews from HEB to make my first batch of seasoned nuts since moving to Austin. As I was exiting the isle, I noticed they had a lot of bulk seasoning mixes on the end-cap. After browsing through them, the lemon pepper seasoning stuck out to me the most, so I thought I would try seasoning up some of the cashews with this flavor.
The result was a huge success. I ate almost half the batch before they even finished drying. My fiancé also commented on how awesome they were. So, I am really excited about sharing this simple recipe that is easy to make, even without a dehydrator.
2 cups of raw cashews
2.5 TBSP of lemon pepper seasoning
enough water to cover the cashews
Place the raw cashews into a large mixing bowl and fill with water just until they are completely covered and let soak for two or more hours (filtered water is best)
Drain the water from the bowl
Sprinkle half the lemon pepper seasoning into the bowl and mix thoroughly
Sprinkle in the remaining seasoning and mix thoroughly
If you have a food dehydrator, place the seasoned nuts onto a drying rack and dehydrate for 24-36 hours at 115 degrees
In an oven, place the nuts on a non-stick sheet and bake at 115 degrees for 24 hours; you may need to turn the nuts periodically to ensure consistent drying
Once the nuts are thoroughly dry and crunchy, they are ready to consume. I will warn you ahead of time. These guys are super tasty and addicting. Make sure you have some self-control before making these. Otherwise, you may end up eating 2 cups of nuts on your own, in one sitting.
Ever since discovering the RAW Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie, I have been somewhat addicted to this wonderful substance known as cacao. But, I will say this. As with any food, moderation is key. I have recently cut back my cacao intake after hearing of some negative side effects of the tasty powder. However, I’m not totally convinced that the positive benefits don’t outweigh the negative.
This recipe is really simple and only requires three ingredients. It takes almost no time to make, other than the time to dehydrate.
1 Cup of Cashews
1/2 TBSP of Agave*
1 TBSP of Cacao Power
*In the batch I made I actually used 1 TBSP of agave, but felt like it was too much.
So, start by placing one cup of nuts in a mixing bowl, then pour in the agave and mix thoroughly. Once the nuts are well coated with agave (add more agave if needed) pour in the cacao powder and mix until well coated. Next, place them on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 24 hours. After 12 hours remove the nuts from the sheet and place on the mesh tray.
Alternatively you could use your oven set at a low temperature as well. Since the nuts are not roasting it is okay if you use a lower temperature, just make sure you keep it under 116 degrees in order for it to remain raw. This tasty little snack will provide you with healthy fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and protein. This is also a good “energy” snack because of the carbs from the agave and stimulant like properties in the cacao (called theobromine). But I would avoid consuming too many of them before physical activity because nuts are generally harder to digest than raw fruits and veggies.
Black pepper medley, chipotle, and cayenne pepper seasoned cashews.
The other day while picking up some fruit at Kroger I ran across some seasoned cashews under the name brand Yumnuts. They were seasoned in black pepper and other spicy spices, so I decided to attempt my own raw version. They are very simple to make, all you need is your choice of raw nuts, olive oil, and spices.
I chose cashews, and for the spices I went with a black pepper medley, chipotle, and cayenne pepper. To season the nuts, place about 2.5 cups into a mixing bowl and pour about 1/2 TBSP of olive oil over them and mix well. Once they are coated with olive oil season generously. You can consume immediately, but I opted to throw mine in the dehydrator overnight to let the olive oil dry. I imagine they would air dry just as well.