I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Little Update and Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze Recipe

Hi guys! *waving*

Spring has arrived at last to our corner of the world! Yippee! I was surprised to see the snow (including the 7 some feet bank right by the deck!) completely disappear in a matter of just a few days. We have a long rain spell as well as some much welcomed sunshine to thank for that. Several streams have formed by the side of the road we live on, carrying the melted snow into the Slocan river. I love the sound of gushing water... so peaceful!


For the first time yesterday I noticed buds coming out, unmistakable signs of Nature's awakening. Woo hoo!

A few ducks happened to bob along the river at the exact moment I took this shot. See them?

Here's a closer look at those little guys. I'm amazed by how lovely and clear the river is; you can literally see the rocks at the bottom. We are so very blessed!

Views of the snowy mountains as we make our way back to the cabin.

Furry Tale
As I mentioned briefly in my previous post, we sure miss our dear furry friend Kylo. I get super excited whenever I encounter a dog on our walks, especially large ones, which I guess is another tell-tale sign of the grieving process. It's so hard to shake off the feeling that our little family is incomplete. Ah well, nothing to do but feel the pain of his absence and ride it out.

Needless to say that all of our attention is now turned on our other furry companion, Miss Da Puss. She's loving those extra cuddles (can you ever get enough?), although it took her several weeks to adjust from the shift brought about by Kyky's departure and my coming home. She's now back to her sweet self, sleeping close to us at night and jumping on our laps as soon as we settle down somewhere.

We've learned that animals seem to go through different behavioral phases. For a while, when the temps were cooler, she got into the habit of scratching at the covers so that she could crawl underneath. First she would completely disappear under the duvet, then we'd wake up later to see her head sticking out and resting on the pillow. Sooooooo cute!

Two very sleepy (and cozy!) girls


Don and I always joke about the fact that she's a "heat seeking missile." lol  She loves to hang out (sometime seeming dangerously!) close to the wood stove and is notorious for jumping on our seats the moment we get up to take advantage of their precious warmth.

Darn, she just stole my knitting spot again!


She, of course, has a great fondness for warm laps too. She often joins me while I'm knitting, as not only does she get a sublimely comfy bed but there's the added treat of having a wool project - in this case a cabled sweater I'm making for Don - sit on top of her as well. Sheer bliss!

We always shake our heads in wonder at how relaxed she can be and sleep in just about any position. hehe

It's all very well to be 'paralyzed' when you're busy doing something, but what happens when you're done? I have to admit that, after all these years, I still have a hard time disrupting Pu' from the comforts of my lap. At least there's always meditation... ;-)

In my Knitting Corner
As I've mentioned before, I have recently picked up my knitting needles again after several years. I'm so enjoying this quiet and meditative craft! I don't intend to blog per se about my knitted creations but I thought I'd at least share the finished results in case you're interested. Detailed info about my projects can be found on my Ravelry account.

A lovely lacy and bell sleeve sweater called Niobe

Mythos: a cardigan made with a super clever construction. I just love love the fabric created by the variegated yarn!

I was finally able to replace my go-to acrylic hat with a handmade merino wool one! Yay! This is the Milanese Lace Topper which was such a fun knit!


Pu' giving me a paw with the hat's blocking. She does have a soft spot for lying on wet clothes for some reason.

In my Sunny Kitchen
And up last is a quick look at what's been happening in our (sunny - yeah!) kitchen. Actually, for the most part we've been keeping our meals rather simple; crackers and cheeze, Tostadas, Miso Soup, lightly steamed veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts that we otherwise don't really raw... Sometimes we just have a couple of raw soups for dinner.

We did have a 'D Day' (that's 'Dehydrator Day' in case you're new to the Sunny Raw Kitchen) during which Don and I filled up our 9 tray Excalibur in record time. (I'm soooooo grateful to have a kitchen assistant; it makes such a world of difference!) We made Sprouted Corn Chips, a double batch of Onion Bread which has remained a staple for us over the years, and Garlic Bread - Russell James' beyond generous recent offering to the raw community which became instantly a house favorite.

Since we doubled the recipe for the Garlic Bread I was careful to divide the ingredients so as to do two separate batches in the food processor. In that way I was hoping not to have to finish mixing the batter by hand, which I suspected increased the contact of the mixture with air and contributed to giving the dehydrated bread a dark color in some places.

I altered Russell's recipe slightly by replacing 1/4 cup of young coconut flesh with zucchini and 1/4 cup of the psyllium husks with ground flax. I think it prevents the slight slimy texture his had.

Don is so thrilled to have finally found a good raw alternative to bread that he insisted on forming some of the loaves himself! lol


The two loaves that I shaped turned darker brown while the color of Don's remained intact. They were made in the exact same way, so go figure! I guess the mystery is not meant to be solved... *shrugs* If you look closely you can see the difference in shade between the two sets of bread. Thankfully the discoloration (seen in the furthest loaves) doesn't affect the flavor at all, but it certainly doesn't look as appealing.

Things continue to be uneventful in the sweet department. I'm still in a mostly nut-less phase so that eliminates a lot of the raw dessert possibilities. There's always chocolate candy, though, and we've been slowly munching our way through the beyond delicious Chocolate Coconut Haystacks I made for Easter.  Once I also whipped up the Lemon Meringue Pie from Sweet Gratitude which I made in my mini-cheesecake pans. The recipe only calls for a bit of cashews in the Meringue Topping and otherwise uses Irish moss, young coconut meat and coconut oil to provide firmness. In keeping the amount of nuts to a minimum I made the macadamia-coconut crust super thin.

My nut consumption has been pretty much limited to the occasional almond milk and Cultured Cheeze. Our vegan cheeze of choice, however, has been the ingenious formula created by Jo Stepaniak, author of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. These cheezes rely predominantly on agar agar to give solidity to the mixture and use as little as 1/2 cup of cashews per batch (as opposed to 2 cups for the same amount of Cultured Cheeze.) A definite go-to recipe for the low fat conscious.

We've been making the Onion, Dill & Horseradish Cheeze and the Gouda Cheeze variations in the past and they are both phenomenal. I decided however to get a little creative while still using the same basic recipe. The result was the following Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze which I must say I am particularly happy with. Not only is it super flavor-full but it's also very pretty. You can enjoy it on your favorite cracker or bread, grated on top of salad or as a component to a stunning pizza like we had last night.

Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tbs agar powder
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs tahini (or sesame seeds)
1 tbs onion powder
2 tsps Dijon or prepared mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsps Penzey's Spices Bonnes Herbes (chive, dill, basil, tarragon, chervil and white pepper) or your favorite herb blend
3 kalamata olives, finely chopped
10 thin slices of sun-dried tomato, finely chopped (not re-hydrated)

Set aside a 2 cup plastic storage container.

In a blender add the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tahini, Dijon and dry mustards, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Combine water and agar in a small pan and  bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often until completely dissolved, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add mixture to the other ingredients in the blender and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary. 

Transfer to a bowl and fold in the Bonne Herbes or herb blend of your choice, diced kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes and mix by hand.

Pour into container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.

When completely cool, cover and chill several hours.  (I usually serve it after 1 hour or so).

To serve, turn out of the container and slice.

Store covered in refrigerator.  Will keep 5 to 7 days.


Last night's feast: Herb Pizza Crusts topped with grated Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze and marinated mushrooms, spinach, red pepper and green onion.

Omni Blender April Giveaway Promo
Oh and a quick reminder that you have just about one week left to take advantage of Thomas Fox's Omni Blender April 2012 Give-Away Promo. You can find out all the juicy details here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Attack of the Blogger Monster and Surprise New Sunny Raw Kitchen Anniversary Giveaway Winners

Have you heard about the Naughty Blogger Monster? He strolls stealthily in the shadows of the blog platform and feeds hungrily on your precious comments. Eeeeek!

No, but seriously, last night I found out that there were close to 200 comments that my readers have left over the last 4 years that were awaiting moderation!!! *shaking her head in wonder* See, one of the reasons I prefer to moderate comments rather than have them automatically show up on my blog is that I get to read every single one of them and promptly answer any questions that you may have. Well, that was the theory anyway... While Blogger is supposed to notify me in my inbox of any new comment needing moderation it apparently failed miserably to do so, informing me of only a select few.

Guys, I'm soooooooo sorry! I can imagine how horrible it must have felt not to see your comments show up or to think that I was ignoring your honest inquiries! ;- ( I will do my best to address these in the coming days, so if you had asked me a question that was left unanswered please check the relevant post for my reply. (If you can even remember which one it was, lol!)

Kyky in the Sky
My heart just about burst as I read through all the warm comments you had left about our dear Kylo's passing. I miss him so very much, but I try not to think about him and make the most of little Miss Da Puss' presence among us. Your lovely words felt like such a balm on my healing heart! THANK YOU!!!

Sunny Raw Kitchen Anniversary Giveaway
To my dismay I also discovered 24 entries to my Sunny Raw Kitchen Anniversary Giveaway that had consequently not been considered. Again, I'm so sorry about that! I figure it's not too late, though, to acknowledge your thoughtful submissions. I've decided to randomly select 2 new winners from among those whose comments had fallen through the cracks.

To mark the fifth anniversary of this blog I'd asked that you tell us why you enjoy The Sunny Raw Kitchen and/or the favorite recipe you have discovered here.

Without further ado, the two new winners are...

Rawesome Goddess and Rebecca

Congratulations girls!!! You will each receive a copy of one of my recipe ebooks of your choice. Please make sure to drop me an email at sunnyrawkitchen(at)gmail(dot)com so that I can forward you the book file.

 Here's what they had to say about The Sunny Raw Kitchen...
Rebecca said...
Bonjour! I live in Paris where it is so hard to enjoy raw foods and your blog is so inspiring and has given me so many great ideas! Where do I begin? Your raw soups? Or your amazing cheesecake. I love everything and would love your book! Anyone you choose, they all look fantastic ! Merci beaucoup and keep up the amazing recipes! Bisous !
rawesome goddess said...
my favorite thing about this blog is getting to live through your exciting experiences with detailed stories and photos:) and i would sure enjoy ANY of your books!

Thanks so much to everyone who has participated in this Sunny Raw Giveaway, and for all of the kind comments and avid questions you've been leaving over the years. I feel so very blessed to have been presented with such a wonderful medium to share some of my journey with you all! Please keep your comments coming, I promise to keep a close eye on the Blogger Monster in the future! ;-)

Blessings on your own healing journey!

In light,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter in the Raw: Chocolate Coconut Haystacks

I can hardly believe that Easter is only a few days away... It feels like Spring has barely arrived yet! I suppose it doesn't help that it's been raining nearly all week, confining us to stay cooped up in the cabin more than usual. (Although the sun is finally peeking out as I'm typing this.Yay!)

Don's been complaining about the fact that we hardly have dessert anymore. Poor thing! See, for the last couple of months I've been in a phase where I don't really feel like eating anything heavy. Since most raw desserts are nut based I therefore have been staying away from those too. I've managed to find a compromise, however, in raw chocolate. Just the thing to satisfy a sweet tooth, yet not as dense as cake or other raw goodies. And so I've been slowly working my way through Matthew Kenney's new Raw Chocolate book. I tried a couple of fudge recipes that sadly didn't really turn out. While they tasted fabulous for some reason the consistency was closer to that of icing or spread. Duh! Ah well, can't win them all I suppose.

I also made a batch of his Coconut Haystacks. When I was growing up it was a bit of a tradition in my family - and a rather strange one come to think of it - to crack open a mature coconut at Easter. It was the only time of year that we'd eat them. Anyhoo, no wonder that the choccie - coconut combo made me think how perfect a treat this would be with Easter just around the corner!

At first texture wasn't quite right either and the balls didn't hold their shape. The recipe calls for cacao oil which I assumed was the same as butter, but I guess it isn't after all. Thankfully, I was able to salvage it with some minimal tweaking. To my delight, the result is totally decadent and even slightly addictive. ;-)

Chocolate Coconut Haystacks
Adapted from a recipe in Matthew Kenney's Raw Chocolate

3 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 c. raw cacao powder (you can sub partly with raw carob powder)
1/4 c. + 2 tbs melted coconut oil
1/4 - 1/3 c. coconut sugar, finely ground in coffee grinder
1/4 c. raw honey or other healthy liquid sweetener
1/4 c. cacao nibs
2 tbs melted cacao butter
1 tbs pure vanilla extract or liquid vanilla

Mix shredded coconut, cacao powder, coconut sugar and cacao nibs in a large bowl.

Add liquid sweetener and melted cacao butter and coconut oil. Incorporate well.

Form into balls with your hands or with a cookie scoop.

Chill before serving.

Carmella's Note: Whenever using cacao butter or coconut oil in a recipe, pay close attention to whether the amounts are measured before or after these have been melted.

Oh, and for more yummy chocolatey ideas for Easter be sure to check out these previous posts:

Super Caramel Chocolate Tarts

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Omni Blender April 2012 Give-Away Promo

In the mood for spring cleaning? How about a rawesome giveaway promotion to help you whiz up your favorite smoothies and blended yummies? 

Receive an Omni V 3 HP Blender for FREE!

At the beginning of the year Thomas of Omniblender.com had a Post-Holiday Omni Blender Detox Promo, offering you a chance to receive an Omni V 3HP blender for free when you placed your order. Well, it was such a blast that not only is he doing it again, but the odds of winning are even greater!

Here's how it's going to work...

For the entire month of April every 10th purchase of an Omni V Blender with 1 jar or with 2 jars in either 110 or 220 volt ordered via his affiliates (that includes us!) is going to be reimbursed for the full price to the customer within 2 weeks of the purchase. In other words, if you've been thinking about investing in an Omni Blender, this might be just the time to do it, as you have a chance of getting it for free! (Please note that other rebates, discounts, or offers cannot be applied.)

As you may remember, last winter we discovered the OMNI - a new high power blender that costs significantly less than comparable machines. At $250 it's clearly the 'value champ' and simply can't be beat at the 3 HP blender power level! (We've written a detailed post of our experience with the Omni V Blender here.) In fact I was so impressed with the OMNI that I accepted Thomas' offer to write a recipe book especially designed for it that is now included in each box. (You can find out more about Deliciously Raw here.)

You can place your order by email or phone (please make sure to mention that you've read about the promo on the Sunny Raw Kitchen blog so that it qualifies for the April 2012 Give-Away Promo!)

To learn more about the Omni V blender or to order online simply click on the banner below.