Juli Makes Yogurt :: Alexis' Recipe

Today was so fun, I spent the morning making a really delicious, easy raw vegan yogurt. I have been trying all sort of different recipes lately and none of which were good enough to write about {seriously}. 

But today, I am unveiling a super delish one from the one-and-only Alexis {remember her, I did her raw juice/soup cleanse for a few days?}, who by the way, has a blog coming out soon. I will keep you posted on that. 

I didn't use the lemon juice because I think for the first time in my life, I had no lemons in my fridge {wink}. So, instead of making a trip to the store, I just left it out. And also note, I used strong acidophilus instead of the kefir mix.

I didn't culture it for very long before trying it and wow, it tasted good even without being cultured. 

I also used Alexis' yogurt to make a vegan squash parfait {recipe and pics to come} so, stay tuned.

Alexis' Cultured Coconut Yogurt Recipe

The meat from 3-4 young thai coconuts
1/2 cup of young thai coconut water
3 TBSP honey (Sage is my favorite)
1/2 TSP Probiotic Bio-culture master blend  (or Kefir starter)
Squeeze of Lemon juice
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in high speed blender.  Then let sit out in a slightly cracked sealed container (so some air can flow through) for at least 12-24 hours.  The longer you leave it out the more sour and fermented it will become!

Then stick in the fridge and enjoy with fresh seasonal fruit and your favorite herbs, spices and superfoods.  I love it with Goji berries :) AHHHHmazing

About the Bio-culture master blend

It is a mix of highly stabilized species of Lactobacilli Bacterium: L. salivarius and L. plantarum. Two of the most important bacteria for maintaining a healthy colon, normalizing intestinal pH, relieving intestinal toxemia, and inhibiting growth of unhealthy bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, staph, and strep. 

Aids in balancing and restoring normal healthy intestinal flora, which research indicates could greatly reduce conditions that cause disease.

I love this brand in Particular because of the cost (I get it for pretty much wholesale) but ALSO because I can make all my cultured dishes with it: Kefirs, yogurts, kim-chi, etc!  

Chocolate Peppermint Tea

My kids are obsessed with this tea. It's caffeine free and only has a touch of chocolate. It also contains peppermint leaves. Add honey or leave it plain. We add almond milk.

It's better for them than a hot chocolate and it's super easy to travel with. Keep them in your purse for a quick Starbucks treat - just order hot water and add some honey! 

It's perfect for the cold Fall-like days that we've been having. Also great idea for pregnant women and maybe a Winter holiday party beverage. 


Slurpee galore.

Slurpees were a favorite pass time when I was a little girl. Summertime, movies and slurpees. Then in college they were the perfect beverage to add vodka to. ;) Yeah, I know, terrible. 

Anyways, they really are just sugar, ice and unhealthy dyes. There is not ONE vitamin, mineral, enzyme, or ounce of hydration. Talk about negative calories. 

So, at home, we came up with the best natural version for your whole family to enjoy. Everyone from the picky kid to the parent with gourmet taste buds will approve. 

Please note that the amount of agave nectar is up to your family and your taste buds. It totally depends. If you like the fruit flavors, use less. If you like the traditional SLURPEE flavors {sugary} use MORE. So, I left the agave amounts up to you. 

Also, please note, you can also use XYLITOL or RAW HONEY in place of agave nectar. 

Go ahead, try it at home. And give me some feedback. 


2 frozen bananas
10 ice cubes
1/4 c water
3 Tbls - 1/4c agave nectar - depends on your sweetness needs and ripeness of fruit

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth like a slurpee. 

Top with cacao powder, nutmeg powder & cacao nibs or NOTHING. My kids like it with nothing, of course. 


2 c fresh pineapple
10 ice cubes
4 Tbls agave nectar - might want to add moredepends on your sweetness needs and ripeness of fruit

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth like a slurpee. 

note: add some fresh coconut for a pina colada taste. And even some rum, if you are feeling spicy. 


{this is Wes' recipe, he does a great job at doing these}

1/4 large watermelon 
8 cubes of ice
3 Tbls agave nectar
5 sprigs mint {this in not optional - it's amazing}

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth like a slurpee. 

note: top with mint sprigs. 


1/4 almonds and/or brazil nuts
8 cubes of ice
5 Tbls agave nectar
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp almond extract

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT ICE in a blender until smooth. Strain with a nut milk bag or a fine mesh strainer. Then use the milk and combine again in blender with ice. Add more agave if need be. 


2 oranges, peeled
1 lime, juiced & then skin zested
8 ice cubes or more
4 Tbls agave nectar or more

Combine all ingredients, excpet lime zest, in a blender until smooth like a slurpee. Add most of zest and blend again, on low until combined. 

note: use the rest of the lime zest to spinkle on top. The zest is optional but adds a little biterness for the adults. Kids probably won't like it.  

Kids Watermelon Slushy

Watermelon Tomato Basil Sorbet

1/2 small watermelon
1/4-1/3 c agave nectar
10-12 baby heirloom tomatoes
1 small squirt lemon
Tbls basil, thinly sliced/chopped {optional - leave out if making it for kids}

In a vitamix blend up everything but the basil until smooth and not chunky.

Pour into ice cream maker. Follow ice cream maker directions. Should only take about 30 minutes to fully freeze.

Your kids will love it on a hot day.


raw vegan red sauce :: you'll never know it's healthy

This tomato sauce was amazing. I created it tonight, on whim, hoping to find something my kids {who are currently transitioning into a high raw diet} a great quinoa pasta sauce. I had just purchased organic heirloom tomatoes and also dehydrated some of them to make sun dried tomatoes. 

It was so good I had two bowls. And my son ate an entire bowl of this combined with an entire bowl of avocado mixed with sea salt and lemon. 

It is also GREAT to pour over shredded zucchini noodles {if you only eat mainly raw foods, you should try these type of noodles} as well. 


2 heirloom tomatoes {juice removed - sqeeze and chop them first}
handful homemade dehydrated tomatoes {or store bought dried tomatoes}
4-5 Tbls olive oil
2 Tsp agave nectar
1/8 of an onion 
2 cloves garlic
sea salt, lots, to taste

Blend the above in ingredients in a Vitamix or blender until pretty smooth. 

Pour over quinoa pasta or zucchini noodles of your choice. 


Macaroni & Cheese Alternative For The Healthy Parent

Ok, so it's been a long couple of weeks for me. I have tons and tons of work to do and NO SITTERS! Our last sitter {that I talked about before} had to start her teaching career and has officially left us! We have been sitter searching and have found some lovely ladies but nobody has yet to start! 

So that means next week will be well over a month without any help around here and I'm starting to go CRAZY. It's been really fun at times, but mostly it's been 1 hour naps {just enough time to clean the house, or take a shower, MAYBE}, me falling to sleep in bed at night with my oldest, waking up at 5:30 and sometimes 6:30a every day to "mom, I want juice...can I watch a show? Where are my toys? Mom, I'm hungry. Can we have a treat?" and LITERALLY having NO time to myself.

We've had a biting episode {oldest biting youngest}; Older pushing younger child in the bathtub, clothes and all; House paint being dumped all over our nice patio floor and super exciting stuff like that. 

The TV, that I normally despise, has become my best friend. 

Having my house cleaned yesterday was the HIGHLIGHT of my week. 

And driving in the car has become a nice relaxing time for me too: "ok boys, we're getting in the car and driving to my office for kale chips and kookies!!!!!" 

I'm blogging now during nap time which means I'm in yet ANOTHER hurry!

I'd like to share with you a few snack and dinner ideas we have come up with over the past few days. 

First, I have blogged about our kale chips once before, this time, I'm going to just rave about the cheese. I have been using the kale chips cheese as a dipping sauce {my son dips his finger in it and thinks it's the best treat in the world} and also as a substitute for macaroni and cheese. 

Make up a big batch of this stuff and store in the fridge. Use it on rice pasta and then the rest on kale {then dehydrate the kale for some YUMMY crunchy chips!

My Cheese Recipe {easy amounts to remember}

1.5 red bell pepper 
1.5 Tbls nutritional yeast
1.5 lemons, juiced
1.5 cups soaked cashews 1.5 Tbls miso
1 heaping tsp sea salt {or to taste}

Add all to a Vitamix. I would suggest you soak the cashews first, for an hour. If you don't do this, you might want to add like a tablespoon or more of water to mixture so it blends well. Blend in Vitmix until super duper smooth {no chunks or any funky texture, should look like yogurt}!

I have also been trying REALLY hard to not only make sure the boys are getting enough vit D but also protein and B vitamins as well. Since they don't eat meat. Nutritional Yeast is a GREAT source of B vitamins! 

We've been turning a normal treat into an even more superfood rich meal. For example, sometimes I add a little New Zealand honey and high quality cacao powder to their milk. I did one today with hemp oil, hemp protein, probiotics and vitamin D drops! They gulped it down in seconds. 

I used a mix of almond milk, fresh apple juice and goats milk! Random. I know. But they love it. 

ANYWAYS! Youngest is up from his nap! 

Gotta run. Hope this post gave somebody a few fun new things to try out for their kids. Happy Thursday!


Happy Cinco De Mayo :: Mexican Food Basics

When most people think of Cinco De Mayo they think of calories, fat, cheese, debochery {headaches}, and well, good times! Trust me. I hear this all of the time and I never quite understand why. At my house Mexican food is one of our healthiest cuisines. 

And let me tell you, you really don't have to have all the bad food to enjoy the taste of Mexico. Plus, who says more than one margarita {or two ;) } is essential to a good time?

For many reasons you'll be thankful that you chose to not over indulge on this holiday.

Mexican food is not about cheese and dairy but rather certain spices and ingredients that are traditionally used in this type of cuisine. One being SALT of course and HEAT {chili peppers and jalapeno}. We also can't forget cilantro, onions, limes and tomatoes. And my favorite is of course AVOCADOS!

None of the ingredients I just mentioned are bad for you. In fact, they are so rich in vitamins, nutrients and vital to optimal nutrition.

Using such simple ingredients above you can create some awesome dishes with tons of flavor. You can have a margarita too if you really want one, but be sure to use ONLY my recipe when doing so - click here for my recipe for amazing simple margaritas {nobody can tell they are healthy}. 


leafy green milk - now kids can DRINK their greens!

Even since having my son Roman, my 2 year old has been obsessed with drinking {pretty much anything} out of a bottle. He doesn't like smoothies as much anymore so I haven't been able to get him the greens he needs {except for when he takes his 'vitamins'}. 

My solution:

It's been the perfect solution for me. Now I can feel great that my boys not only got the 'bottle' that they wanted but they also got their daily green foods. 

Or, if your kids don't like bottles, put it on top of CEREAL in the morning - hot or cold cereals! They won't even notice the difference. Honestly. Try it and please send me an email if your child doesn't like it. 

This is especially awesome because then I don't have to worry so much all day about them eating their vegetables. 

Here's the instructions. Feel free to make a large batch and save it in the fridge for the next day. I wouldn't keep it around longer than a day or two though!

Good luck. 


1c almonds or cashews or a combo of them
4c purified H2O 
1 vanilla bean
1tsp cold-pressed coconut oil {optional} or flax oil with DHA 
2Tbls honey
2 handfuls greens, use the soft butter like romaine lettuce for optimal texture and taste

Blend all of the above in a Vitamix until milk in color and texture. About 1 minute. 

STRAIN with a good strainer or cheese cloth {cheese cloth is way too time-consuming and messy but if you like it, use it}. If you use a strainer, it has to be a really really tight mesh so that none of the almond or vanilla bean chunks get into the milk. 

Put milk back into the blender. add greens and more honey if you don't think it's sweet enough for your children. 

Blend until greens are totally mixed into the milk. You should see just a faint color of green, nothing too crazy and no chunks or signs of leaves. 

Enjoy. Drink it yourself - as your daily green drink!

{more} Travel Snack Ideas :: Meals In A Bar!

I'm going to start this post saying that I think I am now getting to be the expert pre-packaged foods buyer because I have been on-the-go so much lately!! You'll see that I haven't posted too many new recipes lately!! It's because I've been so on-the-go planning parties and doing family stuff that I haven't even find them time or excitement to cook! {and if I do, I'm scrambling to work on that eRecipe book I promised everybody}!

Anyways, as I always talk about on this site - the Trader Joes granola bars and fruit bars and those nutrigrain things are NO GOOD when it comes to nutrition. They might keep the kids quite {which is worth it} at times, but let's face it, there is no real fruit, lots of refined grains {not gluten free}, lots of sugar and nothing is all that fresh or raw. So...here are a few substitutes. Of course they cost more than that box of 6 granola bars, but honestly, it's wroth it. These particular bars not only provide at least 1 serving of fruit and lost of protein and fiber, they are a meal in themselves. One of these bars is more nutritious than the average American's {SAD} meal. 

Keep the fridge and pantry stocked with these just in case you have to leave the house or in case of unplanned meltdowns. 

Attention PREGNANT women - these bars make GREAT purse snacks. Keep them all over the house and in the car! Honestly, you're way better off snacking on these then waiting until hunger strikes so strongly that you're ready to hit the drive through! Also, some contain honey and nuts, so make sure you child is 1 before you give them to him. I gave my sons nuts and honey much earlier, but don't do as I do. 

1. The Perfect Food Bar {sweetened with raw honey, not vegan, no organic, high protein, contains peanuts, must be refrigerated} :: 2. larabar {vegan, not organic, raw} :: 3. fruitition {PROBAR offshoot, raw ingredients, not organic, contains oats, lots of fruit, new product} :: 4. jocalat {great as a chocolate treat, raw, organic} :: 5. the GoodOnYa bar {made in San Diego, good taste, contains raw foods, vegan, organic, small company, contains peanuts} :: 6. kookie karma {personal fav ;) high in protein, raw, organic, small company} :: 7. The Probar {lots of calories, fun flavors, gourmet, vegan, contains raw ingredients, high in protein, contains peanuts} :: 8. Macrobar {contains raw ingredients, organic, yummy, good texture}

Miso Mayo, Tofu & Parsley


1. miso mayo 2. sprouted tofu 3. parsley

I have been busier than ever this month and haven't been much raw foods. I HATE THAT! Because it also means less green drinks. Bleh.

On a more positive note, I have a few more fun non-raw meal ideas for everybody! Of course, these meals usually include fresh greens or lightly cooked veggies. Nothing fried or full of butter or cheese.

An easy quick lunch or light dinner includes a Pantry Basic MUST-HAVE: Miso Mayo! I am in LOVE with this product and have been using it for like 6 years now. 


  • Expeller-pressed Canola Oil
  • Miso (rice, soybeans, water, salt, koji starter)
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Organic Gluten-Free Tamari
  • Onion

    I am NOT a big tofu fan. But every so often, I see the WildWood stuff in the store and can't resist. Tofu isn't exactly a Pantry Basics Must-Have per se, but it sure is yummy and a great dose of protein. Too much soy products can be a problem. Moderation is key!


    Recipe I created last night:

    1/2 - 1 entire package Tofu {try the WildWood SPROUTED tofu}
    1c Green Peas, fresh or frozen
    1/2c Asparagus tips {optional}
    1/4c Parsley, chopped super fine {esp if kids are going to eat it}
    1 Lemon, juice
    3Tbls Miso Mayo {or to taste}
    2Tbls Olive Oil
    2 Garlic cloves, minced or pressed
    Sesame Seeds, toasted {optional}
    Sea Salt


    In a frying pan, add a few Tbls of water. Then lightly steam the peas and asparagus until still green but softer yet still crunchy. Remove from heat. Add garlic, olive oil, sea salt and lemon. Mix. Set aside. 

    Then using same pan, add tofu and warm it {you don't even have to brown it or add any oil}. Toss in with veggies. Add parsley, miso mayo, sesame seeds and mix again. 



    Manna Bread :: Bread from Heaven!

    via flickr - Veganbaking.net

    Manna Bread. This is a great addition to your Child's Pantry Basics. I can't believe I haven't blogged about it yet. It's not too difficult to make but it also is available in the freezer section at most Whole Foods Markets and other health food stores. 

    You can make all KINDS of sandwiches using manna bread - breakfast or lunch. No more feeling guilty about giving your child too much bread! Manna bread is sugar free, yeast free, salt free and sprouted - the BEST way to eat your grains. Plus the texture is nice and there is a natural sweetness. There is a ton of fiber {don't say I didn't warn you on this one}. 

    Put avocado and sea salt on top or even raw almond butter and honey. YUM. I want some right now.

    If you would like to make your own - here is a GREAT blog post on how to do so. It's a very extensive post with photos showing each step. Why waste my time creating a post of my own, when this one is already out there? 


    Your Child's Pantry Basics :: Part 5


    borrowed image - agrana.com

    Fresh pressed apple juice! That's all I gotta say. It's part of my Kids Pantry Basics and you can feel good about giving this type of apple juice to your young ones. 

    If your child is anything like mine, or anything like millions of other kids out there, he/she is addicted to apple juice. Not orange juice, not water, not grape juice, not smoothies, just apple juice. My 18 month old will say "apple juice" at random times throughout the day just in hopes that in response to one of those times will be an "ok"! And yes, there is an ok here and there. If he didn't say it, his chances of getting it would be a lot slimmer. Smart kid!

    Today for example we made apple juice mixed with some carrots (juiced) and other times we'll throw in some ginger and lemon or a cucumber. My son drinks it like it's good old apple juice. 

    So feel good about his habit. No longer feel bad about juicing your kid up with some sugar filled sippy cups! {ok, you might still want to limit his/her intake to a few cups a day!}

    NOTE: pregnant woman - if you are okay with drinking unpasteurized juices, like I was, go for it. Make this at home and add ginger. I was obsessed with this as a preg lady! I made lots of lemon, apple and ginger juices at home. With lots of ice. Ginger is good for nausea. And anything cold feels so good. I don't see the difference in eating an apple that is raw - not pasteurized - and drinking the juice from it. In fact, doctors are saying that it is ok to drink it if you're drinking it immediately after juicing it

    {-----> but, you might want to consult with your doc before doing so}.

    Your Child's Pantry Basics :: Part 2


    Awhile ago, I wrote about how to stock your child's pantry. Now it's time to put some of those ingredients to use.

    Let's start with smoothies.

    In case you haven't yet realized the reasons why a daily smoothie is important for kids, I'm here again to inform you! 

    Call it my pantry basics 101 first rule of thumb if you will. 

    Everyday you should make your child a smoothie (esp when you don't have time to sit and feed your babes). It's a great nourishing, on-the-go meal that packs a lot of healthy ingredients into one little sweet meal.

    Here's a few things (see the past pantry post) you add to your daily smoothies:

    coconut oil and/or flax oil w/ DHA

    protein powder of your choice - and/or scoop of raw almond butter

    frozen organic fruit

    greens (fresh or powdered)

    milk (goats milk, organic cow milk or better yet almond, cashew milk or coconut water)

    banana, ripe (frozen or fresh)

    This is a great basic smoothie that your child will LOVE. If they do not love it at first attempt, keep trying. Eventually they will turn around. 

    note: I know that this isn't an exact recipe. But PLEASE I encourage you to play with the above items and find something that works for you and your family! You honestly can't go wrong. If it seems too watery, add more fruit or protein powder, if it seems to thick, add more liquid. Not sweet enough - add a touch of sweetener. Adding sweetener is GREAT if your child is super picky (all kids love sweet things, just don't over do it every time).

    I also like smoothies because my son HATES eating fruit. It's a texture thing. A smoothie allows him to consume some healthy fibrous fruit along with some protein and greens for the day. 

    Everybody likes their smoothies different. Explore. Have fun!

    NEXT UP: My Child's Day In The Life of eating