Raw Vagabonding: Eat Life, San Luis Obispo

Mile 293. San Luis Obispo. I officially no longer live in San Francisco, which saddened me for an hour or two as I mentally said goodbye to all the things I love about it (there are way too many to ever list!), but as soon as I smelled the campfires mixed with the coastal breeze down on the Peninsula, I remembered that I am always home. Memories of camping trips to Big Sur and drives down the PCH made me smile. So I'm living like a turtle, with my house on my back, creating home wherever I go on an almost daily basis. I have 2 giant bins stuffed in my car: one full of mason jars containing nuts, seeds, and other goodies; another one full of kitchen appliances so I can blend & mix on the go in parking lots or wherever the opportunity presents itself.

I'm staying with Brandie, who is pure love. Everything in her house exudes love, growth, and nourishment.

This morning I woke up to the sounds of Anthony & Jonathan O'Donnell, 2 of the most amazing kitchen angels I've ever met. They have such a passion for experimentation and testing out new things, which for me is vital to the experience of raw food, and life in general. Recipes are great for getting you started, teaching you, and providing you with inspiration, but if you really want to get into the flow and be present, working with whatever ingredients you've got to playfully whip up something from your imagination is where the real pleasure and freedom come in.

While I was making Coconut-Lime Cheesecake to add to today's dessert menu at Smiling Dog Café, Jonathan was busy stirring up today's lentil soup (one of the few cooked items offered, with the veggies thrown in at the end to maintain most of their nutrients) and Anthony was concocting the most delicious Lucuma-Hemp Bars, which he was kind enough to share his recipe for below. I'm so grateful to be around people creating such beautiful, nourishing recipes. Anthony & Jonathan are two super talented brothers and watching them play off each other and combine their unique perspectives to work together has been a blessing. I've urged them to set up a blog to share their culinary delights with the world, so if you like the following recipe, please sent them a message through Jonathan's flickr page (he's an aspiring photographer) and let them know you'd love them to share more of their magic with the world.

Lucuma-Hemp Bars
(courtesy of Anthony O'Donnell)

This makes a BIG batch spread out on a half-sheet pan, so you can always half everything to make less.

9 cups Coconut flakes
4 cups Hemp seeds
4 cups Cashew pieces
2 cups Lucuma powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup Coconut oil
zest of 4-5 Lemons
2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 Tbsp Vanilla bean powder
1 cup Raw local honey
Cashew Cream (2 cups of soaked cashews blended with 1/4 cup of water, juice or rejuvelac until super creamy)

Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Get nice and dirty. Form unto half-sheet bar pan, chill and serve.

In the afternoon, Luke, whom I also met last month at the Abounding River workshop, came back with the boys and we all made a very special order of Chocolate & Vanilla Strawberry-filled Valentine's Day Cupcakes for a client:

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