Raw food on a budget – by Sarah Lea, Raw Foodie
The general assumption that I live with abundance at my door is a correct one. However, I do go about creating this abundance in different ways. I don’t go out to work. Inspired by my mama, I stay at home and look after my three young children. My husband finds the rent and extras that keep the home fires burning and I’ve learned to put delicious meals together that feed our soul and body’s needs for a fraction of the cost of my working days.
Fridays here in the bay are abundance days and I open and close my store cupboard doors in delight, captivated by a vast array of greens jostling on the shelves, lovingly gathered from friends luscious veggie gardens. ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ scream out overflowing fruit bowls, seasonal fruits bought from the local market stall.
Add to that, as much seasonal veg that will get my evergrowing family through the week. I supplement this morning trip with a peek in the local supermarket. As much as I’d love to leave alone, their reduced organic bananas fill our freezer for a weeks full of ice creamy delights. My supply of frozen, seasonally collected berries adds sunshine from summer days. In our household, an over abundance of fresh foods like this also gets dehydrated, fermented and juiced.
Snagging deals from the local organic shop and driving by favourite road stalls is another fun way to get us through the week. With a dietry foundation like this, there’s always money leftover to splurge on superfood ingredients to make raw chocolate and we savour the Charlie Bucket feeling by limiting ourselves to one chocolate a day. Buying too many avocados from the market stall, ensures a glut at the end of the week where the girls delight in raw chocolate mousse for breakfast, whilst brownies and biscuits get iced and chocolate icecream joins the party in the freezer. My family know what it’s like to find their golden ticket!
Sprouts are a great lesson for the girls who delight in watching the quick growth of seed to plant. Lightly oiled,spiced and dehydrated, my three year old devours these powerhouses of nutrition while the fresh sprouts that line my windowsill fill salads and smoothies during the week. This powerful yet simple and affordable way of filling ourselves with living foods is the most sustainable way I’ve found of feeling on top of the world.
And when the purse strings get pulled tighter, I bring my princesses into the kitchen and make dehydrated sprouted breads, crackers, biscuits, cakes, nut butters and chocolates. Using soaked nuts and seeds bought by bulk buying, either by a co-op, local organic store or like me, finding a lone walnut tree with a winters supply of freshly gathered nuts ready to store, enables us to share royal feasts with our loved ones, without breaking into the childrens stuffed piggy banks!
Our daily walks take us to free food. It’s everywhere! Whether walking in the fields, woods, the beach or our garden, we fill our pockets full of yummy foraged, wild foods. I’m looking forward to learning more, but for now, mushrooms I can identify, leaves, herbs and flowers make us feel alive and joyeous that we can find food for ourselves. Another important lesson for our unschooling week.
Eating raw, fresh foods for optimum health is my household priority and it’s where I channel any extra income into. Knowing that investing in raw foods invests in me, I ask for specialist raw food kitchen equipment and ingredients like blue green algae, spirulina or cacao for birthday and christmas presents. I’m looking forward to shaving off more money from our food bill. I’m planning my edible garden. Over two thirds of our diet is fresh, so if I can grow most of our favourite plants and swap the abundance with friends overspilling produce, this will enable me to put my rescued-from-the-tip blender with only three blades, into well deserved retirement and purchase that whopping price labelled commercial blender…at a bargain price off trade-me!
5 cups of carrot pulp (leftover from your morning juice)
1/2-1 cup of nut pulp (leftover from making morning milk)
1 tbsp ginger pulp (I juice this with the carrots first and set pulp aside before using other juice ingredients)
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds, ground (if fanatic, can grab sunflower heads at the end of summer!)
2 1/2 cups desicated coconut
2 cups pitted dates
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cardamon
1/ Pop all pulp into a bowl.
2/ Grind seeds into powder and slowly add dates until mixed mush.
3/ Add to the pulp with the spices and coconut and mix well.
4/ Put dough into a cake mould, or hand mould into desired shape. (If I can’t ice, I make into wee bliss balls instead.)
Cashew Cheese Icing…(if feeling flush!)
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp sweetener…I use local honey, but agave good too.
1/2 cup water, add slowly to desired thickness.
1/ Pop all ingredients into your blender.
2/ Blend until smooth.
3/ Spread over cake and gobble up with friends.
ps/ Remember that when you buy more raw food, you are also buying less processed and packaged goods. You will spend more on raw fruits, veggies and superfoods but you will then see that you have a decreasing need for expensive “vices”. Alcohol, cigarettes, pizzas, late night junk food binges, retail therapy — this is where the real expense is. Not to mention the prescription drugs you need when you get ill from eating too much of the wrong foods. Invest in your health. It will last you a lifetime, and you are so worth it.
pps/ see my facebook page loveliferaw for more on this subject.
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