Almond, Oat, and Goji Berry Protein Bars: Vitamix Snack Bar Success! Plus, Reader Feedback Requested.

by Gena on September 23, 2012

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Have you ever made snack bars in your Vitamix? I’ve always known you could, since people make plenty of raw “ball” recipes in high speed blenders. But it always seemed to me that making them in the Vitamix would be too hard, that they’d either turn out too crumbly or too mushy, and that cleaning the darn thing would be such a pain that I’d end up wishing I’d just picked up a snack bar at the student center instead.

While there’s no real reason to use a Vitamix instead of a food processor for snack bars—either one will work for this recipe—I was curious to see how it would work, and whether it would be faster. The results are in: it was faster, and it was not the major headache to clean that I thought it would be! In fact, it was ridiculously easy, and the resulting snack bars—a superfood mix of hemp, goji berries, oats, almonds, coconut oil, and a touch of sweetener—are absolutely delicious.

It really couldn’t be easier to throw these bars together. Allow me to walk you through it.

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Almond, Oat and Goji Berry Protein Bars (vegan, high raw, gluten free with suitable oats, soy free)

Makes 8 Bars

1 cup almonds, raw (not soaked)
1 1/4 cup rolled oats (purchase GF certified if you have a gluten allergy)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 tsps cinnamon
1 cup goji berries
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

*Superfood ingredients courtesy of Navitas Naturals!

1. Place almonds, oats, chia, protein powder, sea salt, and cinnamon in the Vitamix. Grind (with the power on medium high) till the mixture is ground up, but still has texture (you don’t want a powder!).

2. Whisk together the coconut oil and agave or maple syrup. Add the goji berries to the Vitamix, along with the oil and sweetener. Turn the motor on again, starting on low power and raising to high. Use the tamping attachment to help the machine out as it grinds it all up. It’ll make noise and get angry, but it’ll do the job!

3. When the mixture is well mixed–that is, the gojis are basically broken up and it’s taking on the texture of a Larabar or other raw snack bar when you squeeze a bit of it in your fist–turn the "dough" out onto a piece of aluminum foil or parchment and cover with another sheet. With a rolling pin, flatten it out between the sheets and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into bar shapes when it’s firmed up, and wrap up with cellophane or parchment to store! They should keep in the fridge for a week, at least.

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A couple of things about this recipe:

1. Goji berries are expensive. I happen to have a ton of them because I got some samples from my friends at Navitas Naturals, who provided all of the superfood ingredients in this recipe! And then a friend of mine purchased a bag, decided she hates goji berries, and gave it to me. So it’s a goji berry explosion at CR headquarters, and I need a way to eat them that doesn’t involve sprinkling them on chia pudding. If you don’t have goji berries, or can’t afford them, you can use raisins, dates, or dried cherries.

2. You can follow all of these instructions using a food processor instead, no problem. As I said, the recipe works either way!

3. Rice protein, or any other vegan protein you have, is a fine substitute for hemp protein! Hemp seeds, chocolate chips, and cacao nibs would all be great additions. Be playful, and enjoy.

4. To clean your Vitamix, just let some soapy water sit in it for about an hour after you mix. Then clean as directed.

So before I go, I wanted to get some feedback on upcoming blog content. I’m heading into a very, very hectic semester that includes the usual course load, MCAT prep, new and exciting work with a local health practitioner (which I’ll hopefully share more about in the coming months), volunteer work, and CR. So far this month, I’ve made very little headway in the realm of “recipe development”; I’m not home a lot, and when I am, it’s late and I’m tired and I usually have genetics problems to work on.

So this leaves me at a bit of a creative standstill with food. As it just so happens, I will have a new recipe for you tomorrow, but lately, the stuff I’m living off of is really, really simple. In the past, I’ve been adverse to blogging about my meals in a “WIAW” style—I don’t like meticulously documenting my food with photos (I find that level of attention/diligence a little uncomfortable), and I also know from some experience that it invites a tremendous amount of criticism, ranging from “that portion size looks tiny to me” to “I can’t believe you use agave in your food!”

That said, such comments are not a norm from this very supportive, special community, and so I’m wondering if you guys would be OK with me showcasing more of my everyday meals? Not all the time, of course: cooking is my #1 creative outlet, and I make recipes out of joy, not solely to post on this blog, so you can count on recipes, too. But I was thinking that, starting next week or the week after, I could post some of my “packed lunches,” a la Valerie, along with more of the simple food I make for dinner and snacks, and tips on planning ahead. I seem to have a ton of student readers, so I’m guessing this might actually be welcome. And aside from all that, it’ll give you a sense of how I create whole, balanced plates.

What’d you guys think? OK with some repetition and simple stuff? Like packed lunches? Or would you rather I post less, but show up with more creative food when I do? I’m all ears…

xo

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{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

daphna September 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

That would be a great idea!! It would help us figure out what to pack for our lunches. :)

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Ricki September 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

You know I love to hear from you any time, whatever you’re eating! Post! :)

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robyn September 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Great post and recipe,,,love goji! I’m all about the simple for months and months now…

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bitt September 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

As much as love your posts, if you are looking for someone to say post less, it’s fine by me because I know you are busy. Please take care of yourself first and foremost!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Thanks so much, dear B!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks September 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Gena you are totally busy with your life, school, and trying to keep it all together – the last thing you should worry about is your blog, if that’s going to suck precious energy from you. If it’s an outlet and you love it, great. If it’s ‘one more thing’, scale it back. We’ll all be here one way or the other.

And til recently I always made bars in my Vita b/c that’s what I had. I think both food proc or Vita’s can work – the cleanup on a food proc is easier in one hand but there’s many more pieces to actually wash with the lids, feed chutes, etc and although the Vita has the tricky blade, there’s less pieces overall. Pros & cons to both I say!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Thanks so much, Averie. I’ll have to check your bars out.

I appreciate the sentiment. Blogging is my creative outlet and the only thing I do anymore that really comes naturally to me, so I don’t want to give it up, but I appreciate knowing that my readers will give me freedom to put my life first, when I need to.

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Ashley September 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

It would be quite wonderful, actually. Working 60 to 72 hour weeks every week and trying to take care of a household= no time for extravagant meals. I would love more simple, quick recipes!

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Ana September 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

As a 33year old student (just finished my masters in nutrition in May and now doing my dpd classes to become an RD), mom of a very active 10 year old boy (soccer, basketball, science clib, chorus…), a husband and a house to take care of, I would absoluttely love to see your packed lunches and all the simple goodness you have been eating. Your blog is a great inspiration so anything you post I know I will enjoy!!
And, these bars look awesome! I love almonds and I love goji berries, and most of all, I love my vitamix, so I will definitely be trying these soon!
Ana

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Amy September 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm

If you need to post less, so be it, but I would love a peek into your “lunchbox” to get ideas of how to make some changes in my own diet in ways that are nutritious, filling, and school-schedule friendly!

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Sara September 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Let us in to your daily life! I happen to love WIAW posts, and I love seeing how other vegans plan their weekly meals and snacks and grocery trips. A post doesn’t have to be fancy or ultra creative to be enjoyable or helpful. I think that showing us the simplicity of your day-to-day life makes you easier to relate to as well. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one not whipping up gourmet vegan feasts day in and day out. Looking forward to more “behind the scenes” posts from you! I’m a busy single Mom student and am lucky if I get to post twice a week on my own blog. I definitely understand not having enough time in the day to do everything you’d like to do!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Aw, Sara, I hope it’ll be helpful. And there is nothing “gourmet” about my food! Just the basics, always, unless I really have time for play.

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Lou September 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I think show casing a bit of “Daily Gena Fare” would be great :) These bars look fantastic too!

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lovely.psycho September 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Post, post, post! :) If it fits in with your life and study schedules, of course :) I’m about to return to life as a full-time student so inspiration on simplifying, planning and surviving the limitations of schedules will be welcome in my little corner of the Intertron :)

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Lia September 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I love your thoughts, ideas, and words that go along with the food love, so I’m quite open, and, to be frank, am busy too, so new simple easy foods, would be awesome. I get into my own meal repetitions and need some simple, different, ideas that don’t have to be crazy creative to make me happy.

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Grace September 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I’m all about the simple, everyday meals! I’m a student, so I would much appreciate it. I think learning simple meals is great for people who aren’t 100% comfortable cooking vegan daily on their own.

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Elizabeth September 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Yes, I’d love posts from you even if they’re brief. I’m a student too and always appreciate new ideas. I would really love too if you could talk more about how you transport food with you to school (i.e. keeping salad ingredients in good condition without a million containers, keeping smoothies cold until you drink them) and your routine for prepping food on the weekend. I’m always happy for more tricks to streamline a busy week.

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Shay September 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Simple quick and delicious lunch ideas would be great for those always on the go. I especially prefer recipes for the budget conscious as well.

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Cat September 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I can’t believe you even have time to post SIMPLE! However, I am also busy – and reading blogs takes up a lot of my time (truly, I think I read and collect recipes more than I actually take time to cook! silly, isn’t it?) because I’m trying to learn what I can eat having been vegan for almost a year, but now suddenly also gluten free. SIMPLE would be awesome, and I appreciate all the info you provide. The hardest thing for me is rounding up all the new ingredients I need. If someone just had a list of basic supplies one needs for gluten free vegan, I could try to make sure I have everything. I live in a small town, so finding ingredients can also be challenging. SIMPLE with easy to find ingredients. That would be the ticket! Love hearing about your progress, as well…

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Karen G September 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Try shopping at I herb.com. Someone recommended (Gena, perhaps?) Them. They ship free for orders of $20 or more, and their prices are competitive. Amazon.com is good too. If you plan what you need with delivery times, it can save a lot of time and is easy to shop from your computer.

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Kait @ yogabeautylife September 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Yes yes yes! I am one of your student readers and I still struggle with finding balance. I am definitely interested in seeing more of your day-to-day eats. And a little repetition is fine…we all have it in our lives. :)

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Deb September 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Maybe these posts could be their own series called “Everyday Gena: Down-to-earth recipes for real-life.” :)

And, you could even collect some guest post submissions to fill in for you as-needed.

Just some ideas….

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Thank you!

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Stephanie September 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm

More posts please! Daily eats sounds great. :)

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Karen G September 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Bring on the repeats.
Bring on packed lunches.
Bring on short and sweet.
We will happily read and follow you! :-)

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N September 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Student reader! ditto ditto ditto, and thanks.

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Emilia @ Namaste Gurl September 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Ah Gena, this post couldn’t be more timely– seriously. First it was the bar recipe that popped up…. when I was struggling to find a bar recipe that suited both my tastes/ preferences and what my pantry held…. and wah- lah, yours appears suddenly. That’s what’s so beautiful about being part of the foodie blog community: the prophecy that we each hold :). Really though, your posts are so appropriate to my dietary needs and wants a good majority of the time– almost prophetic like. And I would LOVE nothing more than to see your everyday eats on- the- go, student- style. Even if they are repetitive and uber simple (you really can get creative with chard wrap and hugh jass salads!) xoxo

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thank you, Emilia! It always makes me happy to see your insightful comments.

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hippierunner September 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I’d love to see more of what you have on a regular basis- it’d be inspiring!

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Genevieve September 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Hi Gena,

The suggestions you mentioned are great. Also, I’ve come to love reading your thoughts on different aspects of veganism and eating disorders just as much as I love your recipes. Though, on second thought, those posts are probably not quick to write! So maybe never mind on that one.

But most importantly, I’ll echo Averie’s sentiments above: If CR ever becomes a bit too much, take a break for a while! I’ll certainly miss it, but I think all of us regular readers are so excited for your career change and we can tell that you have a million things going on in your life lately.

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thanks, Genevieve. I actually write the ED/veganism posts fast, because I’m so fascinated. So there will be more of that for sure.

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Emily September 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

PLEASE do this!! I have been meaning to ask you about posting more about what you eat on a daily basis but was afraid that you would be opposed because of the reasons you mentioned. I’m struggling with all of the issues you brought up-making decent packed lunches (I’m a student as well), planning ahead, making things simple, being balanced (for me it’s getting enough protein and not relying so much on carbs like whole grains)-and I would find it really helpful for you to show us more of how you eat every day so that I can get an idea of how to do this myself. Thanks Gena and good luck with your semester!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 11:58 am

Thanks Emily!

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Rebecca September 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I think that posting the simple stuff would be really useful for those of us who are too busy to cook much!

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JL September 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I love this idea, Gena. (I bet you put more pressure on yourself than we do on you!)

I feel like I continue to learn how to live a healthy vegan lifestyle reading your blog and my lifestyle requires lots of quick meals on the fly so I look forward to reading about how you do it!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 11:58 am

Aww. What a compliment to hear that from you, honey. Sending a hug!

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Sarah September 23, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I would love to know what your packed lunches consist of. I think that is something that a lot of people could benefit from!

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Danielle September 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Please share your eats and snacks! Haha I am new grad student and am looking for inspiration for simple snacks to power me through long lectures. I love your posts on simple meals .

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Brian September 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

As a pre-PA student (applying to programs now) that is also finishing a Biology degree while working in a hospital and volunteering, I struggle constantly with the desire to stand firm in my dietary/ethical/health choices and the frequent inconvenience of their maintenance. Your posts that focus on fast, easy recipes and your insights into the logistics of food prep are the ones that are most inspirational and have enriched me most. I’m sure other people with busy schedules (read: most people) feel the same.

The fact that you’re asking for input regarding your upcoming content so exemplifies why you are one of (if not the) most affecting bloggers in your field. I hope we never lose the level of intimacy and genuineness that you infuse into CR.

Have a good semester, looking forward to your future posts! :)

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 6:45 am

Thank you so much, Brian. I wish you much luck with PA school!

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Kath September 24, 2012 at 1:09 am

I agree with everyone else! I work full time plus am a part time student! I’d love some quick lunch and dinner ideas not only for taking to work or class but for nights when I have little inspiration (or care-factor) to serve up a healthy meal.

I also wanted to add that since you introduced me to chia pudding, I take it everywhere! Best breakfast discovery for me – ever! So thank you!

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Janae @ Bring-Joy September 24, 2012 at 1:52 am

“I don’t like meticulously documenting my food with photos (I find that level of attention/diligence a little uncomfortable), and I also know from some experience that it invites a tremendous amount of criticism, ranging from “that portion size looks tiny to me” to “I can’t believe you use agave in your food!””

All I have to say is DITTO to what you just said. I’m totally with you on that front!

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Janae @ Bring-Joy September 24, 2012 at 1:55 am

Also, (sorry for the double comment), I think you should post about whatever you can/want to, even if it’s not recipes. Who cares? We all love your recipes, but there are plenty of those. We just want you, your perspective, whatever you want to share with us, is great. We love YOU, Gena!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 6:38 am

Love you BACK!

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Rebecca September 24, 2012 at 2:51 am

I agree with everyone that you should 1) put yourself first, worry about us later, but 2) one of the (many) reasons I adore your blog is that you’re a real person, making real meals, many of which are of course beautifully photographed and creative, but are easy to make, not filled with esoteric/fancy ingredients and are great for the lifestyle of a traveling student/journalist/mom/anyone ! Dare I say that I’d actually PREFER quick, this-is-what-I-ate-today meals than the more elaborate ones? Packed lunches/travel-friendly or make-ahead fare especially welcome! “Choosing…Quick”? :) Good luck with everything you have coming up, thanks for taking us along on the adventure!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 6:38 am

Merci bien, mon amie!

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jenny @ Scrap Cars May 10, 2013 at 12:42 am

Hi Gena, will give this a go this weekend, they look really nice! and far better of my children to snack on after school thanks for recipe.

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janet @ the taste space September 24, 2012 at 5:14 am

Hey Gena, I love how you experimented with your vitamix… and totally surprised everything came out. I don’t make hummus in my vitamix because I don’t want to waste the hummus that i can’t remove at the end. :-)

I am totally happy seeing WIAW posts from you. You can show us what you really eat every day.

And a tip for goji berries: you can buy them from Asian grocers for cheap but they are called red medlar and they are not organic. But a fraction of the price may get people to try them without wasting much money. :-)

Good luck with the rest of your semester -i do not envy you but it sounds exciting. Except the MCAT part. I am studying for my specialty boards right now (exams in May) and the only thing worse than this was the MCAT. I feel really bad for those who write it more than once. Plain torture. Anyways, good luck!

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 6:37 am

Janet,

I was recently commenting on Janae’s blog, and I listed you as an example of a blogger who I literally think is a marvel.I cannot believe you make such beautiful and creative food while also finishing residency; you are nothing short of a role model to me!

As for the MCAT, the sad truth is that I probably will need to take them twice. I’m not being self deprecating, but if past experience predicts future, well…it’s never easy for me. But. I’m gonna study like a crazy woman, and cross my fingers. Good luck on your boards! What specialty are you selecting?

xo

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janet @ the taste space September 24, 2012 at 7:27 am

Gena, you are too kind. You are my role model, how funny is that?! I am wrapping up my anatomical pathology residency (5 years in Canada) but moving to Houston for a fellowship in July (yes, it never seems to end). Definitely try super hard to just write the darned MCAT once.. for me, the challenge was to sit through the 8 hour exam and keep focused the entire time. Definitely do tons of mock exams, timed and all.

As well, it may seem obvious, but I am struggling with it as well since Vegan MoFo is coming up…. No need to post every day either. ;) I try for MWF posts but realistically may need to let that slip as studying for into full throttle. At least my freezer is well-stocked and will keep me fuelled. The blog may suffer, but since it is my creative (and stress) outlet, it will keep going even if just once a week. ;)

Anyways, I try not to make blogging too stressful and enjoy it as I share tasty eats. :)

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

Guess what? I have a dear friend moving to Houston this winter, and I’ve promised to visit him this spring. Get ready to share a meal with me in Texas!

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janet @ the taste space September 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Nice! Totally excited already! *yippee!!*

Kaylee September 24, 2012 at 6:45 am

Posts on packed lunches would be so helpful! Yes please.

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AParra September 24, 2012 at 6:53 am

That’s a great idea! You should do it :) I’m a student as well, and it would give me many ideas on how to deal with my quick menu issues ;) Thanx!

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Miriam September 24, 2012 at 7:20 am

I’m a grad student and would love to see packed lunch ideas! I am always getting into a rut.

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sarah September 24, 2012 at 7:23 am

I’m a student again, so I’m happy with the packed lunches! And I promise not to make snarky comments…who am I to judge when I’ve eaten a variation on almost the same salad for 4 years? Clearly I need some new options from someone else who likes raw and semi-raw lunches :-)

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Emily September 24, 2012 at 7:33 am

I personally loving hearing from you everyday, no matter what the day’s focus! :)

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elizabeth September 24, 2012 at 7:43 am

One advantage to easing up on the recipes would be to show how possible it is eat beautiful, delicious, and healthy food day in day out without recipes. It’s might be a way to encourage your readers to develop a kind of inner guidance when it comes to combining the plethora of vegan ingredients out there into healthy, tasty “meals.” For example: fruit or smoothie for breakfast, tartine or veggie wrap for lunch, meal-sized salad for dinner, raw chocolate or fruit and nut butter for dessert. Salads don’t need “dressings,” delicious as your dressings are, just a combination of fat and acid, etc. One thing I might steer away from, given your readership, is saying how much of this or that you ate. You want to encourage people to eat to appetite. If one is needing some guidance around portions, I would hope they are getting it from a nutritionist, not by copying someone else’s meals.

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

I couldn’t agree more on all counts.

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Shannon September 24, 2012 at 8:09 am

I’m still transitioning into veganism and eating largely raw, so I’d love to see more of what you eat on a non-fancy, daily basis. It would help inspire me to create more balanced vegan meals for myself regularly without running the risk of getting frustrated.

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Melissa September 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

An enthusiastic YES to seeing your simple, quick eats! As someone finishing up her thesis, this would be immensely helpful as I try to eat healthy vegan food with very little time to cook.

BTW yummy bars – look like perfect on-the-go munchies for that busy student lifestyle :)

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Beth September 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

I love the simple stuff. Keep it coming.

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Aubrey September 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

That’d be so helpful. Ignore the haters!!

That’d be more helpful than anything ;)

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Ashley September 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

Simple, quick recipes can be the most beneficial to post about! But if you find you just need to post less, please do! You sound…. slightly busy.

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Mikelle September 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

Simple lunch and dinners would be great!

How about more snack bars, salad dressings, and maybe even winter soups (not raw but tasty?).

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

You got it!

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Shelley @ Mile High Healthy September 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

Yes! As a vegan who is always interested in getting in more raw and fresh foods, I would love to see the every day meals and snacks that you eat. Detailed recipes are always a great way to be inspired, but more often than not it is the simple salads, soups, and snack recipes that make me really excited to incorporate raw foods. I am a full time employee and student so I am short on time as well and value speedy but nutritious meals. I agree with Mikelle…salad dressings and minimal ingredient soups are my favorite types of recipes.

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Marissa September 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

As a fellow student, I love the idea of seeing more packed lunches and simple meals–and I know that it’s not just students who love these ideas!

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Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) September 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

I’d love to see more of the everyday adventures of Gena. What is ordinary to you is fun for me. :)

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sophie September 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Honestly, one of the main things that I liked about this blog was that it was NOT “WIAW”. For me, those types of blogs pull me back in ED-land…

Oh well…

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Gena September 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Hey Sophie!

Please don’t misunderstand; this won’t become a daily food journal (I find that kind of meticulous chronicling to be triggering myself!). I just mean that I’ll be showing more of the simple, packable stuff I carry around with me and eat day to day. And it certainly won’t be 3 meals daily, or even all the time: I still intend to post recipes when I can. I just need to find some balance, because the pressure to create new recipes for a blog is really tough when you don’t blog full time.

G

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Rosemary September 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I think regular, everyday ideas are great!!

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Amy September 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I’d love more simple posts on packed lunches and planning ahead- I bring my lunch every day and I always struggle to be creative (toasted avocado sandwiches and fruit are so easy….) would love to see more of your everyday fare!

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Amy September 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Also, how the heck do you get all this out of your vitamix? the main reason I use my food processor for recipes like this is because it’s easy to scrape out- I feel like getting everything out of the vitamix is such a hassle! I also feel like when I mix thick, gummy stuff like this in my vitamix, the bottom “layer” (under the spinny blades) get’s gunked up and not mixed in with the rest- any tips to avoid this and get everything out of it? I use the tamp as best I can

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Amy September 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

i was hoping to get an answer to this :(

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Gena September 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Sorry Amy — part of being almost-too-busy-to-post is being sometimes unable to get back to comments immediately.

I use a spatula, or the end of a spoon. It’s thinner than the tamp and gets a fair bit out. In this recipe, the dough sticks together enough that most of it came out in one piece, and then I used the spoon handle end to get the rest. I lost some, but not a lot.

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CrystalB September 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

If you have time I would love to see more of what you pack for lunches. I am lucky because my workplace has a little market in it, but I hate paying a huge amount for food I could bring from home. My problem is I can’t figure out what “fast food” to make as opposed to eating “fast food”. Good luck on the semester!

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Anonymous September 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Please, please, please post your everyday food! Those are the posts I like the most because they’re the ones I actually end up trying! I’m busy too and am all about super quick and easy. I don’t care if the pictures aren’t the best either. I’m so excited to see more of your everyday food!

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Fiona September 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Oops that was me that said please post your everyday food, it’s not anonymous! :)

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Janna September 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Simple is wonderful. Anything that you feel inspired to share is appreciated. Good luck with your transition into fall!

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Lori September 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I agree with Fiona. I would LOVE to see your everyday meals. The simpler, the better!

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wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) September 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Gena, Okay, I’ve got a lot of thoughts, and since you asked . . .

Goji berries can be found for about 1/4 of the price at Asian food markets. Once I found that out, well, I’ve never paid the fancy price for them again! They were actually in a special section of my local Asian megastore that seemed like it was for medicinal products . . . but I can’t be sure because everything is in a foreign language.

Now on to not-so-pleasant thoughts, but since you asked:

I can’t stand WIAW. I’ve never said it publicly, and it seems kind of evil to put it out into the universe now, but–it screams of eating disorders and massive food dysfunction. As if blogging about food isn’t already disordered on some level (and yes, I am a food blogger and I fully embrace that what I am doing is a bit over the top). WIAW just moves it into a whole nother category of messed-up-ed-ness, if you ask me.

But you never said you were going to do that, right? Thank the lord. I love your idea of showing us simple food. The more I eat this way,and the longer I blog, the more I realize that I don’t have time to create new and interesting recipes very often and that the food that we eat daily is either very simple and not worth blogging about, or is just a repeat of something fantastic that I have written about in the past. When I have the time to cook these days, i just really want to go back to my own recipes that worked for me in the past, and not to try to create something new just for the sake of blogging something new. But the blogging world demands new, relentlessly, through no fault of anyone’s. I have made many recipes from blogs on the internet that just aren’t good and they leave me feeling like a lot of people are blogging about food that isn’t that good just to get a new blog posting out there (whether it be for the advertising income or just to feel like “at least I got a new blog posting up.”).

Gena, give us what you can when you can. If what you are eating is simple, and people need to see that simple is good and easy and REAL, then blog about it. A few times. Not weekly, and certainly not daily.

But if it gets to the point of blogging about what you ate just to get a new blog posting up there, than I say, forget it! Not worth your time or your readers’ time.

Less really can be more.

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Shauna September 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Packed lunch posts and simple meals would be fantastic. Healthy, delicious and quick meals for school can be a hassle and personally I would love some new ideas!

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wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) September 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Sorry that this is getting really long, but I just had another thought. I would rather read about recipes that you are making over and over again (and have already blogged about long ago) in your everyday life. Then I know they are worth the time and money for me to make, because I will probably love them too! You wouldn’t even need to take new pictures or type up a new recipe. Just a quick, short post revealing an all-time favorite of yours with a link back to the original post. That would be very valuable for me.

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hannah September 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I totally agree on this one, I’ve followed your blog for maybe two years but I’m sure there are recipes in your archives/back of your mind that I haven’t discovered yet or have forgotten that I’d love to be reminded of or discover!

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Gena September 27, 2012 at 6:16 am

Good tip, Hannah!

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hannah September 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Glad you like the idea, I recently rediscovered roasted veg (parsnips, beets, tomatoes, carrots and aubergine) with this YUMMY sauce http://www.choosingraw.com/carrot-falafel-with-tangy-tahini-sauce/
thanks for that! xxx

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity September 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm

This sounds more realistic to about 90% of your readers. I personally would love your tips on how you seem to manage everything in!
I love your work and when bloggers be themselves I think that’s what really makes them stand out ( like yourself)

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Prathiba September 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I think short and sweet and daily eats is a good combo. I actually would REALLY enjoy looking at/reading about your daily eats. I find it really inspirational.

I admire your commitment to your blog/your readers! Thanks for everything!

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Skye September 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I would love to see stuff like packed lunches and daily meals! I’m in grad school and 2 days a week I leave the house at 8:00am and return at 10:30pm. On those days, I eat all of my meals at work, plus a snack at school. I’d love some fresh ideas. I admire your commitment to the blog while you are going through such a rigorous school program and, as others have said, I of course understand if you post less often!

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Aaron September 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Gena, thanks again. These are great. Made some this afternoon, once again, my 19 month old daughter loves one of your recipes! She just devoured one and keeps saying “mooooorrrreeee, moooooooorrrrreeee…”

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Vanessa September 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

i’m all for it. i love your “hurry up vegan” posts and portable meals! keep up the good work!!

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Marta September 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I welcome it wholeheartedly! I fall into your student reader category and you blow my mind with the amount of cooking you accomplish while carrying on with school and what seems to be a fun life to boot. That said, I think I’d find your everyday school lunches a bit more relatable and inspiring in an every day kind of sense. Good luck this semester! I’m in my last 8 months!! woot woot :):):):)

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Lauren September 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Keep posting and just post what you can! I’m ALL for packed lunches. I’m a grad student and love that stuff!

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Ruth September 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Simple everyday meals would be very welcome from this busy student, too. And I agree with your reader who posted that vegan meals don’t have to be elaborate to be healthy as well as yummy. Packed lunches, simple suppers — bring ‘em on!

And above all else, be the model of balance and self care: you can’t/don’t need to “do it all” — it’s good to slow down and enjoy some quiet time, whenever you can.

XO

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Alli September 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi there…well been following Choosing Raw for 2 years now and as far as blogs go, yours is one of the ‘first ever’ I started to follow (after having my second child, going ‘more raw’, reading “Crazy. Sexy. Diet ” and seeing your awesome recipes in the back) CR hasbeen one of only 2 blogs that I have kept up with for all this time! (the other being OH SHE GLOWS – lovely recipes as well, less raw, but no less lovely). Soooo in answer to your question…..Yes, there has been a teensy bit of a shift towards repetition/revision of old favourites, and yes it has been simpler recipes, but, the food is only half of what has kept me reading – it is your narrative voice and your constant (and infectious) enthusiasm for a plant based diet that has kept me reading. Would I LOVE for you to keep pumping out new recipes? YES! BUT.,simple does not mean less interesting! Keep up the awesome posts – looking forward to the next, and the next, and the next,,,, sending you my gratitude for years of great reading – alli

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Celina September 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

As a busy student myself seeing your packed lunches would help me immensely! So far I have been whipping up dense green juices in my vita to take to class and snacking on dried fruit and nuts.

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raechel September 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Simple is good! I’d love to see more of those posts!

Also: Hectic-semester solidarity, sister. I’m in the same boat!

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patty September 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Love your blog! Whatever works best for you is great. I do like the idea of the packed lunches, though. I am the only one in my family that eats raw/vegan so simple and easy lunches are great. When I’m running around doing errands I like to pack food with me so I don’t stop to get fast food when I’m hungry. I usually bring an apple and nuts, but sometimes having something more substantial would be nice, especially cuz I’m not a sandwich person either.
Best wishes.

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Kim September 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Love your blog! Would love to read about your daily eats! I bring my lunch every day and tend to make the exact same salad for weeks on end. My daughter just started following a vegan diet, she is a sophomore in college but she is finding it challenging to find time to cook and is worried about getting a balanced diet. Would love to read posts on simple meals. Thanks so much!

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Rebecca Gallo September 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I echo the reader above who wants to know more about packing without a ton of containers, best ways to keep things cool/hot, and PREPPING on the weekends – esp. veg. without it getting kinda’ funny around the edges (I’m thinking peppers here)! I have 5 kids, one with a lot of digestive issues and one a picky toddler. The packed lunches and the snacks while we’re out are probably my most-hated part of the out-the-door process! Probably because I really like hot leftovers but my kids… not so much.
Cheers – Rebecca

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Gena September 27, 2012 at 6:16 am

5 kids! Good gracious, you must be superwoman. I’ll keep that request in mind :)

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KellyB September 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

HI
Posting simple meal ideas and packed lunch ideas is always welcome. Sometimes we forget about how good the simple can be.
thanks

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Amanda September 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I would actually really love to see simple thrown-together lunches and recipes on your site. I’m a grad student so I feel your pain on being busy. I’m also trying to transition to a more plant-based diet. So far, so good- but one of my stumbling blocks is definitely figuring out how to throw together a quick and healthy meal when I’m on the run, or pack it all up for the office when I don’t have hours to prepare. Even though I’m sure we eat differently, I think I could get some inspiration from seeing how other people do it.

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Nicole Stafford September 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Ok I made these the other day. I added one tablespoon of raw cacoa powder and OMG! These are so delightfully delish! Love <3

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Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset September 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I’m good with whatever works best for you :) I am also in the midst of prepping for the MCAT while in school, so I can completely sympathize! I write 2 blogs (one on ED recovery and a medical-based one) and I am finding it really difficult to blog which is sad because I love it so much :( Just do whatever works for you! I always love your posts, no matter what :)

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Alex @ Raw Recovery October 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I would actually really like to see more posts like that. I find it helpful and comforting to know what/how other vegans are eating, especially those with a history of eating disorders/body image problems. I’m eager to see what you eat for lunches and such!

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kathy October 6, 2012 at 1:01 am

I would love some inspiration for everyday food. Please post.

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Phoo-d October 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

The flavors in this bar are fantastic! I had a lot of trouble with the recipe. I went with 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup goji berries, and started off with 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil, otherwise followed it exactly. My Vitamix kept shutting off and even with scraping the blade loose I couldn’t get it to blend beyond a rough crumble. I tried making bars anyways, but they fell apart after resting overnight in the fridge. The next day I threw it all back in a food processor, added another Tablespoon of coconut oil, and then had to add about another 1/4 cup of maple syrup with the blade running to get a consistency similar to your photos. Happily, once it had enough moisture and was broken down further the bars came together as they should. They ended up a bit on the sweet side with the extra maple syrup but I like the concept!

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