I'm super excited to share today's Plant-Powered Peeps with you. This chick is rad, she makes you feel young and boisterous just listening to her. She's also the voice behind one of the world's most popular plant-based blogs, This Rawsome Vegan Life, and the author of two cookbooks (by age 21!). When I read through her interview I literally grinned at my screen the whole time (and grimaced a couple of times too). I hope you'll feel the same spontaneous joy when you read it!
Emily Von Euw is one of the first people I found in the blog-o-sphere when I was transitioning to a plant-based diet. Let's just say my avid sweet tooth somehow found her incredible raw vegan desserts and it was love at first site. Em combines drool-worthy sweet treats with raw (no pun intended) and uninhibited commentary about plant-based life. It's a refreshing read for sure, and knocks my corporate socks off every time.
What I love most however, is Emily's love for animals, and her passion for inspiring others about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. When I see someone talking so fervently about the wellbeing of animals and that being a key reason why they've moved to a plant-based lifestyle, I honestly get goose bumps. It can be a really tough thing to stand up for openly, when we're otherwise bombarded with marketing left right and centre telling us we need to eat meat and dairy in order to live a healthy and happy life. So I'm inspired by Emily's bravery to continually stand up and speak her voice. And make others have a chuckle while she does it.
So without further adieu, here's Miss Emily to brighten up your weekend. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did, and of course don't forget to try out her incredible raw plant-based Peppermint Oreos dipped in Dark Chocolate - um yes please!
Hi there! Tell us a bit about yourself…
My parents named me Emily, I have been around earth for 21 years, and I live in the beautiful pacific northwest of Canada. I have always been “the weird one” and can’t even remember what it’s like to participate in mainstream culture; that’s how I like it. I adore looking at the details in leaves, hugging myself, listening to records, waking up naked beside someone I love, eating peaceful foods, and watching Cosmos (Carl Sagan SWOON).
Why did you decide to move towards a more plant-based whole foods lifestyle?
It just makes sense. If you care about the planet, yourself or animals, you should eat a plant-based diet. It’s the best choice for environmental health, personal health, and morality. I realised this after reading Fit for Life, and went vegan. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When I was about 16 I decided to go vegan for 30 days and see what I wanted after that. I immediately knew it was the right path for me.
How has your health changed since then?
It’s been a bumpy road. At first everything improved but then I let my passion for raw veganism develop into something like orthorexia. After much personal growth and strife I have finally found my happy place in a low fat, whole foods vegan diet, rich in veggies and grains. I was eating loads of fruit (like 1,000 calories worth of fruit everyday) for the past year but it developed into a bacterial overgrowth as a rash on my face, and so I eat less fruit now, but I just load up on veggies instead. Now I am definitely the healthiest, happiest, strongest and most aware that I have ever been. My skin glows, my body loves me, I sleep great, and I eat all I want.
If you had to give someone three reasons why they should try moving to more plant-based lifestyle, what would they be?
First I wanna say check out @vegansidekick on Instagram. He pretty much takes down any argument against going vegan. It’s hilarious.
“It’s not realistic.” But at the end of the day, some of the fittest people on earth are vegan (just look at www.veganbodybuilding.com); vegans live longer and healthier lives; and there are millions of us doing it right now. I cannot think of one valid argument against this lifestyle (and I have really tried).
Let’s have a peak at a typical day on your plate…
When you treat yourself though, you whip out…
It’s this place called Vegan Pizza House. Ugh. Yum.
Dinner on the table in 15 minutes – what do you make?
Whole grain pasta with steamed spinach and organic tomato sauce from the can. I like to put tahini and chopped basil on everything.
Your pantry would be empty without:
Rice and yams.
Favorite flavour combo?
Yams and tahini. I’m gonna cry, they’re so perfect together. *Actually tearing up right now*.
You’ve got a rampant meat and dairy eater coming for a meal – what do you make to help them feel the plant-based vibe?
A big green salad with a creamy, rich dressing and lots of crunchy seeds and stuff. Portobello burgers with all the fixings. Stir-fried vegetables with curry and jasmine rice. Dessert would be raw vegan caramel chocolate bars with banana ice cream.
What top tips can you share for staying healthy and happy?
Meditate and realise how f**king cool you are, and how awesome the world is. Once you learn to love yourself (no easy feat), you discover that you only deserve to consume the best quality foods. I recommend reading books and watching documentaries about the nature of the universe; they always help me remember that everything is relative and our place in this world is SUCH A GIFT! Spend time outdoors, among the plants and birds, and practice deep breathing. Go for a bike ride. Dance like mad to your favourite album, hold yourself, masturbate, write a journal, paint, cry, laugh, spend time with people who inspire you, and drink water.
You've been given permission to raid the Be Good Organics stock room - what's one foodie product and one skin care product you'd nab?
Um… SWEET. Your natural body care brush aaaaand it’s a tie between any raw chocolate bar and tahini.
Any last words you’d like to say to everyone who’s reading this?
Spend some time on your own today doing something that makes you love yourself more. X
Would you like to share your favourite plant-powered recipe with us?
Hell yeah. Here it is...
Makes 10-12 sandwiches
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
To make the cookies: grind the nuts into flour in a high speed blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the water) to the nut flour in a food processor and process until it all sticks together in a ball. If it's still too crumbly after a few minutes, add a little water. I did this and suddenly my very dry mixture became the perfect cookie dough consistency! Roll this dough out between two pieces of parchment paper then cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Put them in the freezer until they are solid and can be handled without falling apart. If you have any extra dough, make a giant 'ugly' cookie and sprinkle it with some sea salt. No dough left behind.
To make the vanilla creme: blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender, adding the peppermint oil to taste (it's very potent!) If your blender isn't powerful enough to blend everything into a thick, coconut butter-like mixture, then add some more coconut oil, and perhaps a liquid sweetener or some dates and water.
Sandwich the coconut creme with cookies, making little dollops on each cookie then gently pressing down another cookie on top. Throw in the freezer for another 30 minutes or until they are solid and very cold.
Make the chocolate by mixing all the ingredients together until smooth, then pour it into a tall, narrow bowl and dip in your frozen cookies. You will have to have 2-3 rounds of dipping, letting the chocolate on the cookies harden after each time. Enjoy!
NOTES: if you want the cookies to be darker, add more carob powder; if you want the creme to be whiter, try omitting the nut butter and adding more coconut oil or maple syrup.
SUBSTITUTIONS: use oat flour, buckwheat flour, or any nuts instead of almonds or brazil nuts; use cacao or cocoa powder instead of carob; use vanilla extract instead of powder; salt is always optional; use more coconut shreds instead of coconut chips; use any nut butter instead of almond; use date paste instead of coconut oil; use peppermint leaves instead of essential oil.
These deliciously dark and mysterious tarts are just a little bit special, with a secret ingredient. Modestly sweet, with an earthy, nutty flavour- a lovely change from the usual fruity/chocolate affairs - give them a go, and fall in love!
These light and fruity muffins use one of my favourite fruits – feijoas! If you’re a feijoa fan you’ll love these (and if not, come to NZ to try them). Best of all, they have no added sugar – just the natural sweetness of feijoas, coconut, dates, and vanilla.