Sunday, November 22, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Pie?! Oh my, YES!

I had the idea to create this dessert when Joe's best friend, Chad came over for a visit. He is clueless when it comes to veganism and assumes it is just eating tons of salads. He is coming over tomorrow to help Joe out in the shop, Willow Toys, and I am surprising Chad with this pie. He loves chocolate and has never had a vegan dessert. This will blow his mind. It is sinfully decadent! 

I made the crust out of raw cashews, dates and shredded coconut, combined in the food processor and pressed into a pie plate. You will love this recipe! It is the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut buttery goodness. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Vegan?

Since my daughters and I are vegan, we are often asked to share why we decided to not eat animal products. I believe that starting out, we knew it just felt better to not eat animals that were killed in order for us to survive. It felt wrong to eat the flesh of another living being. I read the book, "Skinny Bitch," and I learned more about why many people are choosing veganism. I loved that book and it solidified my decision.  There are many blogs that highlight the reasons for being vegan, so I found some of my favorites, to highlight the blogs and the authors and to share with you the many answers to the question:


The first explanation is from
"Why we eat a plant-based diet:
1. Humans really don’t need meat or dairy:
Plants provide a source of protein, fats, calcium, vitamins…EVERYTHING we need.
2. The huge global impact on the environment really hits hard when you get a few facts under your belt:
  • Cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the total methane generated by human activity and more than 1/3 of the world’s grain harvest is to feed livestock (Vegetarian Society))
  • Livestock generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined (United Nations, 2006)
  • A typical pig factory generates the same amount of raw waste as a city of 12,000 people. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, raising animals for food is the number-one source of water pollution (Peta)
  • One study estimated that the farming of animals caused more emissions (18%) than the world’s entire transport system (13.5%). (Vegetarian society)
  • If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock (Huffington Post)
  • If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week by substituting with vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. (Environmental Defence)
3. We have bundles more energy and a body that runs way more efficiently.
4. Consuming meat & dairy is just flat out cruel. I gotta say “Earthlings’ ( was a real personal turning point for us. Meat & Fish are killed cruelly in the most awful conditions and their innocent lives are taken with such ease and cruelness To me, killing animals so that I can eat just seems such an extreme thing to do. We have the same feelings with regards to dairy farming which is not only abusive and cruel but with a resulting product which is packed full of hormones and infections.
5. Better Health! Hello, don’t I know it. I can whole heartedly say that since being vegan I haven’t gotten ill once, not even a sniffle – not bad when you consider I work in a packed office full of the season’s coughs and wheezes! However it has been proven that a plant based lifestyle can have greater health benefits than warding off cold and flu:
  • Numerous studies highlight again and again the lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and overall mortality of those on plant based diets. Can’t argue with science 
  • It’s a fact that factory farmed animals are fed a myriad of artificial hormones and antibiotics that have a detrimental impact on human hormone balances which cause endless health issues including developmental problems, reproductive problems, and cancer. 
  • Scientific research has shown that plant based diets not only prevent heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer but can in fact reverse these, thus highlighting the powerful effects of plants.
6. It’s political:
The dairy industries of the world are largely funded by governments and the brainwashing of educational institutions & manipulative advertising are just two ways dairy reigns supreme.
7. Never need to diet, ever:
Numerous studies highlight the link between the consumption of meat and obesity. Eating a real plant based diet means there is never any need to ‘diet’ because you wont get fat, this is a lifestyle.
8. It just feels good and so do we:
Plant based makes you much happier, really. It’s more than a diet but a lifestyle of peace and mindful living. It makes me a better, happier and calmer person.
9. You actually end up eating more REAL food thus gaining greater control and insight into what goes into that precious body."

**I left out their number ten, because I don't agree that we save money with the vegan diet. It is actually more expensive for us to eat this way, but it is worth it!"

Being a children's rights advocate, the rights for all living beings weighs heavy on my shoulders. Human rights violations are an aspect of this choice to not eat animals for me. On, they explain it perfectly: 
"Food Justice: Classism & RacismThe poor and people of color are being exploited by a system built on supplying and even pushing tax-subsidized, inexpensive animal products while ignoring the need for and right to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables.

In the U.S., the prevalence of diet-related disease especially disease correlated with consuming animal products, is highest among people of color. Government policies ignore this fact. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Although unintentional, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines as they exist [promoting the consumption of animal products] are really a fundamental form of institutionalized racism...” (2)

Some telling facts: (3)

People eating vegan diets have far lower rates of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity and diabetes than do those who eat “meat”/dairy. The USDA continues to push “meat”/dairy via industry-biased “Food Pyramid” and “Food Plate” and dietary recommendations meant more for industry profits than human requirements or human health.
  • Food policy and availability has led women of color are 50% more likely to be obese than white women.
  • African-Americans’ rate of cancer is 26% higher than whites’.
  • In the U.S., Hispanic women’s rate of heart disease is double that of white women.
  • Among Hispanic men, the diabetes rate is 54% higher than among white men.
  • Native American women have three times the rate of diabetes than white women.

  • While cows’ milk continues to be subsidized and pushed on U.S. school children, 25% of the white population, 70% of African Americans, 90% of Asian Americans, 53% of Hispanic Americans, and 74% of Native Americans are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is also prevalent in those whose ancestry is Arab, Jewish, Italian, or Greek.
  • Environmentally hazardous factory farms and processing plants are more often located in communities of color.
  • More poor children and a disproportionate number of children of color depend on the National School Lunch Program, but the program is built using biased guidelines that benefit wealthy animal agribusiness over children’s health. 90% of the $3-4 billion program is used to buy cholesterol and fat-laden pork, beef, milk, cheese, and eggs.
  • Neighborhoods of color are targets of flesh/dairy industry billboard advertising. Affordable fruits and vegetables are difficult to find; instead fast food chains push unhealthy 'bargain'"

    I don't think that people have any idea of how cruelly animals are treated in order to provide meat for consumers. It is almost too much to bear to see the abuse and trauma that animals are put through. This movie, Peaceable Kingdom is such a great view into the industry:

  • So, there you have it! Just a few reasons why we decided to live a vegan lifestyle. I hope it inspired you to do your own research and learn how compassion towards every living thing can change the world! Peace & Love to you,

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Raw Vegan Pineapple-Berry Cheesecake Bites!

    Raw Vegan Pineapple-Berry Cheesecake! It is so delicious and so good for you. It is all organic, uncooked, raw plant-based ingredients - but you'd never know it!

    1 cup raw pecans
    5 pitted dates
    1 tsp coconut oil 
    Grind in food processor and press into a circle on a pizza plate.

    1 1/2 cups raw, soaked cashews
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1/2 cup raw honey
    1 tsp real vanilla
    1/2 cup raw almond milk 
    1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple
    juice from one lemon
    Mix in Vitamix

    Pour out HALF of the filling onto the pie crust
    Spread over crust. 
    Put in freezer for one - two hours.
    With the remaining filling in the Vitamix, add, 6 large fresh strawberries and 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. Mix until berries are well-combined.
    Spread onto frozen cheesecake. Put back in freezer until frozen.

    When ready to serve remove from freezer and let sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes-one hour. Add fresh fruit, shredded coconut and raw nuts on the top. Serve and EnJOY!

    Peace & Love, Dayna

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    Nutritionally Dense Chocolate Pudding!

    The chocolate pudding recipe is my own creation, formulated to be the healthiest dessert ever!
    To make this yummy pudding you need:

    Chocolate Pudding
    3 Avocados
    2 Bananas
    1/4 Cup coconut oil
    1/4 raw almond butter
    1/4 raw honey
    1 tbl. real vanilla
    1/2 cup raw cacao powder
    1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

    Add all ingredients to food processor until smooth and creamy

    Coconut Creme
    2 cans coconut milk (Thai Kitchen brand)
    take solid coconut milk from top of both cans.
    Beat with 1 tbl maple syrup
    1tsp. vanilla

    Beat until fluffy.Put pudding in a glass bowl
    Top with coconut whipped creme
    Add fresh fruit and cacao nibs, coconut

    Chill for 1-2 hours


    Enjoy! ALL of my kids loved this pudding!! Even my son's teenage friends ate every bit and said it was delicious! You would honestly never guess that this has so many healthy ingredients.

    There is nothing better than food that tastes like it is bad for you.... but it is really GOOD for you!

    Peace & Love, Dayna

    Sunday, March 8, 2015

    COCONUT CREME..... Where Have You Been All My VEGAN LIFE!?

    This week, I discovered the JOY of making a delicious, whipped creme out of coconut milk! I have been making new vegan deserts JUST to use the coconut creme! So, ya.... I guess you could say I am obsessed! Coconut Creme is even tastier than traditional, cow whipped creme and I will never not have a few cans of coconut milk in my fridge!

    Chewy Vegan Brownies
    • 1 Flax Egg (1 TB ground flax seeds mixed with 3 TB warm water)
    • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
    • 1/4 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
    • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
    • 1/2 Cup Raw Agave
    • 1 Cup Almond Butter 
    • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk 
    • 1 Tablespoon Pure Organic Vanilla Extract
    • 1 Cup Raw, Chopped Pecans
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the flax egg and set aside. In another bowl, combine coconut flour, raw cacao, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the raw agave and almond butter. Whisk the flax eggs until they are an even consistency and add the vanilla extract and whisk again until combined. Add the vanilla flax mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Add the almond milk and mix until everything is combined. Pour batter in a greased 6 inch pan and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when removed. Top with COCONUT CREME and Berries, or whatever else you like! ENJOY!

    Berry, Coconut Creme Parfaits! 

    These delicious parfaits are easy, beautiful and so delicious on all of their simplicity! Make Coconut Creme. Set aside. Mix one cup of berries with 2 Tbl of maple syrup or agave. Start layering the berries with the coconut creme in a glass or jar, or anything else you can see the layers through. There is something so appealing about desserts that you can see layered in a glass! 
    Serve and EnJOY!!

    Peace & Love, Dayna

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Raw-Vegan Raspberry- Chia Bars!

    I made a delicious batch of Raw-Vegan Raspberry, Chia Bars! 

    I have only recently discovered the ease and joy of using chia seeds with mashed, raw fruit to make jam! It is easy and just perfect for the consistancy you are looking for in recipes that call for jam or jelly. This recipe was a creation based on the pecan and date crust that I use for my raw cheesecakes. I added some chia raspberry jam and BAM! healthy, raw-vegan bars that are to die for when warmed in the dehydrator! 


    • Crust:
    • 1½ C raw pecans
      3 dates, pitted
    • ¾ C unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
    • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup or raw agave
    • ¾ tsp vanilla
    • pinch sea salt
      For the Raspberry Topping:
    • 1 C fresh raspberries
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp chia seeds(any color will work)
    • extra coconut, almonds and cacao nibs for topping, if desired
    1. Prepare a standard sized loaf pan by lining with wax or parchment paper or even plastic wrap. Set aside.
    2. For the crust, place the pecans, coconut, maple syrup vanilla and salt and dates in a food processor. Process just until no large pieces remain and the nuts and coconut are evenly ground and mixed. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly and press down firmly.
    3. Prepare the raspberry filling by lightly mashing the berries with a fork. If using frozen berries, thaw before using and drain out any extra liquid sitting on top of the berries before lightly mashing. Stir in the maple syrup or agave and chia seeds and pour over the crust.
    4. Cover the bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To remove, lift out the bars with the paper or plastic used to line the pan. Cut into equal sized bars .

    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Valentine's Day Bliss: Cacao Crepes with Cashew Creme and Fresh Berries!

    Today, was Valentine's Day! It just so happens that it is my favorite holiday all year! Why? Because it is all about LOVE!!
    Making memories for my children is one of my priorities, so holidays are a time to create fun, and delicious, special food that everyone will love. Being high-raw vegan means that keeping food in it's most natural state possible, with all the living enzymes in tact is important to us! Just because we live this way, doesn't mean that we sacrifice flavor. 

    These raw cacao wraps are delicious and oh, so chocolaty!

    Raw Cacao Crepes
    4 bananas-mashed
    1/4 cup flax seed flour
    4 Tbs raw cacao powder
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 real maple syrup
    1Tbs. real vanilla

    Mix by hand and spread on Teflex sheets. Dehydrate for 8 hours, flip and dehydrate for 2 more hours.

    Cashew Creme
    2 cups raw cashews
    beans from one whole vanilla pod, scrapes
    1/2 real maple syrup or raw honey
    1/4 cup water (Start with ¼ cup of water, and then gradually thin it out in order to achieve the desired thickness.)

    Blend ingredients with a Vitamix. Use tamper to push ingredients to the blade. Scrap sides of blender if needed and continue blending.

    Mixed Berry Topping

    Use whatever fresh berries you like and add 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw agave. Let berries sit for 30 minutes.
    To assemble: Add cashew creme to the center of the crepes. Add mixed berries and wrap! Enjoy this delicious brunch for Valentine's Day, or any day you want to celebrate something special!

    I hope you had a day filled with LOVE!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Raw-Vegan, Chocolate, Mint Smoothie!

    This is a recipe that I created after seeing massive amounts of fresh mint growing in my herb garden! It is delicious and so refreshing! You won't believe this is good for you when you taste it!

    Cha-Cha, CHIA!

    Hey guys! I wanted to share this easy, and healthy breakfast with you all!! Chia seeds are so versatile. They are easy to work with and can be used in so many recipes. My favorite way to use them is in Chia Pudding! It is easy to make and is the BEST detoxifier around! Whenever I return from a trip, I eat a big bowl of chia-goodness and I know I am cleaning out my system in the best way possible.

    Chia Pudding

    1 cup raw chia seeds
    1 tsp. real vanilla
    2 cups almond milk
    (Mix ingredients and let sit for 20 minutes, until thickened)

    Once done setting, add cinnamon and raw fruits, berries, or my favorite.. raw cacao nibs!
    This is a beautifully, easy and healthy way to start your day! My kids love it!
    Pure Deliciousness!

    Sunday, May 25, 2014

    Violet Madness!

    Blueberry and Violet Smoothie!

    I am so excited about my new creation! After taking a wild edibles workshop, I learned about the many benefits of violets. We have them all over our yard and I thought I would incorporate them with a few of my raw food recipes. You HAVE to try this!! The flavor of the blueberries with the violets is like nothing I have ever tasted before, and it is delicious and ligh
    t! So beautiful too!

    10 violet flowers, freshly picked
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    1 banana
    ice and enough water to blend.
    Blend and enJOY!!
    *Save a few violets for garnish

    Raw Blueberry, Violet Cheesecake

    recipe coming soon!! 

     Medicinal Benefits of Violets

    "•The flavonoids act as diuretics to help treat individuals who suffer from elevated blood pressure.

    •The alkaloids have vasolidating effects, causing blood vessels to relax, allowing the blood to flow easier; thus, it helps decrease blood pressure.

    •The mucilage and saponins are soothing expectorants that help relieve coughs and other bronchial ailments.

    •The salicylic acid in violets acts as painkillers and as an anti-inflammatory compound similar to the active ingredient in aspirin which helps people reduce arthritis discomforts or other discomfort felt in the joints.

    •James A. Duke, an herbalist and a plant expert, states that the significant amounts of rutin, a compound that strengthens capillaries, are found in violet flowers. This compound prevents “leakage” from the blood vessels resulting in less swelling in pain, which benefits people who suffer from inflammation.

    •Violets contain rich anti-oxidant compounds in the form of beta carotene and ascorbic acid. A 140 ml serving of violet leaves provides as much vitamin C equivalent to 4 oranges."