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Kristen of Kristen’s Raw :: An Interview + Recipe + Ebook Giveaway

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:22am

heavenly_cookie_lores.jpg

Kristen pictured here making one of her signature recipes

Heavenly Cookies ~ see recipe at end of interview.

When fellow raw vegan lifestyle advocate Kristen agreed to answer some of my questions about food and a raw vegan lifestyle, I was thrilled!

Kristen is a delightful, energetic lady who takes her health seriously. She is based in Scottsdale, Arizona and has an impressive list of accomplishments and contributions to the raw community. She is a raw vegan chef and consultant, food writer, author of raw vegan recipe and lifestyle ebooks, runs a popular blog, and has a website where you can find out about upcoming classes and more.

I extend a warm welcome to Kristen, as first guest for “People”. She shares with us some fun information about herself, her thoughts on embracing a raw vegan lifestyle and one of her fantastic recipes.

Enjoy the Interview…

Q: What lead you into the world of raw food or when did you first discover raw food?
A: Over six years ago, I started eating a vegan diet after reading the books Diet For A New America and The Food Revolution by John Robbins. Those books are life changing! Then, while searching for nutritious, high-energy vegan recipes in the cookbook section of Whole Foods Market (3-4 years ago), I stumbled upon a raw book of recipes. I bought it and went home where I read it cover to cover in one sitting, practically salivating at all of the pictures. Afterwards, I hopped online to research more about raw. After reading about the many benefits of eating fresh whole foods, I was hooked on making it a fundamental part of my lifestyle.

Q: What do you find is the biggest benefit of embracing a raw vegan lifestyle?
A: The pure, high energy and light feeling that is experienced mentally, physically and even spiritually. Having my diet mainly consist of fresh, whole, unprocessed plants is life changing on so many levels. To be blunt, I feel pretty damn cool!

Q: What do you love most about it?
A: I’ve been living a vegan lifestyle for over six years. I love it most because of the ethical perspective. My passion and mission is to save as many animals as I can from harm, slaughter and unfair treatment. And, when you understand the health and environmental impact a vegan lifestyle has on people and the earth, it’s a no-brainer.

Q: What are you most proud of as a raw vegan foodist?
A: Well, I’m most proud of the impact my overall vegan diet has on animals, health and the environment. As an organic raw vegan foodist, it’s taking the health aspect to a higher level. That experience, dedication, and discipline is something of which to be proud. Knowing that I’m filling my body with tons and tons of phytonutrients on a daily basis, as well as enzymes, and easily digested food is, well, to be blunt again (LOL), pretty bad-ass!

When someone turns to raw, it usually means they’ve done a lot of research about the lifestyle because it’s not immediately recognized in the media or medical circles much, or even well known for that matter. That means that I’m very informed, and that is something of which to be extremely proud.

Q: Funniest/Worst Un-cooking Disaster(s)?
A: There was a time when I was making a batch of my Chew Bolder Boulder Granola for a special gathering. I made it ahead of time because it needed to be dehydrated for many hours. Well, I was all out of anything glass to store it in after it was made, so I resorted to storing it in a plastic container, which I pretty much never use due to environmental and health concerns. As some of your readers might know, plastic storage containers can take on the smell of the last dish soap you used to clean it. After letting the granola sit in the plastic container for over a day, it absorbed the soapy smell from the container. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until I was at the special gathering! So, I improvised and made up a quick batch of the same recipe without dehydrating it since I was clearly out of time and served it like that. The good news is that it was DELICIOUS!!! So, I now have two great
recipes… one as a granola recipe and the other as a porridge recipe!

Q: What fruits or vegetables are your favorites?
A: This is a fun question. My favorite fruits and vegetables list is huge because there is truly not much that I don’t enjoy or find great value in, but I’ll list a few of my very top picks! Like… if I were on a deserted island and could only have a few items of fresh produce, what would they be?

So, based on pure enjoyment and bliss only, and not necessarily from nutritional value (or you’d see lots of greens in this list like kale, broccoli, etc) although these picks are filled with nutrition, the fruits and veggies that I really love and could eat day after day without tiring of them would be: watermelon, papaya, cucumbers, bananas, avocado, carrots, coconut, green beans, peaches, sugar snap peas, and sprouts.

Q: Are there any fruits or vegetables you’d be happy to do without?
A: It’s pretty safe to say that I rarely (like never) eat kohlrabi or cauliflower.

Q: Are there things you eat that you know you shouldn’t?
A: I believe in balance and not stressing. In my opinion, to stress about enjoying something once in a while, that might not be the healthiest option, is worse for your body than the food itself.

Q: If you could be or do anything else - what?
A: I hope to be a mom someday soon :)

Q: What one word would you use to describe yourself?
A: Spirited.

Q: What’s the one thing about you few people know?
A: I have a habit of leaving cupboard doors and drawers open. Oops.

Q: What have you accomplished that makes you most proud?
A: First and foremost, saving as many animals from slaughter and harmful treatment by eating vegan and helping others to live the same lifestyle. Additionally, I’m proud of how environmentally friendly my lifestyle is and the decisions I make to help preserve the earth.

Q: What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A: As far as gadgets go, (even though I don’t use it that often) I love my Benriner Turning Slicer for making vegetable pasta. As far as overall kitchen equipment, I’d have to say my Blendtec blender and my juicer are my favorites. I use both of those on a daily basis and I can’t imagine my life without them. They’re instrumental in helping me achieve optimal health.

Q: Your favorite Raw Restaurant?
A: You really want me to name one? If I must, then it’s probably the raw café at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, CA! It is so good! And, I also love Matt Amsden’s Rawvolution (great food) and Juliano’s Raw (great food and atmosphere) in Santa Monica, CA and Café Gratitude (great food and atmosphere) in San Francisco, CA.

Q: Do you have a signature recipe?
A: I have quite a few - haha - from cookies to soup to veg pasta dishes… maybe most notably is my Heavenly Cookie Recipe.

Heavenly Cookies

Yield approximately 10 cookie balls

These cookies will be all the rage with your family and friends. They’re easy to make (no equipment needed!) so you’ll want to make extras. Trust me!

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons raw nut butter (almond, pecan, or walnut)
½ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened, dried coconut
½ cup raisins
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar (I prefer the light agave)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
dash cinnamon

Stir everything together in a bowl with a spoon (large bowl and spoon if you’re making a double or triple batch). Then, take a moment and mash it together with your hands. Yes, it’s sticky and gooey, but it’s fun and you still have to roll them so you’ll be getting sticky and gooey anyway. Using a 1-tablespoon measured amount of cookie batter, roll them into balls. Store these in the refrigerator or freezer.

Fun Variations:
~Stir in 1 tablespoon of raw chocolate powder or raw carob powder
~Roll them in dried, unsweetened coconut or ground nuts

* * *

Many thanks to Kristen for sharing time here with us. You can visit Kristen online at her blog Kristen’s Raw Blogspot or visit her website kristensraw.com for information and news about upcoming events.

This interview launches a new feature on this blog “People” and to celebrate, I’m offering a copy of one of Kristen’s ebooks to one lucky winner. To enter to win, simply leave a comment with an answer to the following question:
If you were a vegetable, what one would you be, and why?.

On Monday, September 22nd, I will use a random number generator to pick the lucky winner. The winner’s name will be announced in the right sidebar, under a special heading (which isn’t up yet) called “Lucky Winner”.

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