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Category Archive: Raw

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Raw. XML

  1. I eat a lot of takeout and junk, then periodically I try to clean up by going on a cleanse. I spoke with Denise Mari, the founder and executive director of Organic Avenue, and asked her to tell me more about her juicing empire, why it’s important to say your affirmations, and raw vs. cooked food.

    Denise, you founded Organic Avenue in 2000 because you believe in whole foods and healing. Why did you focus primarily on juice instead of raw foods?

    Actually, I focused on the whole lifestyle from the very beginning, even more extensively at first with food, fashion and education. I believe in a holistic view of life and an organic LOVE* (Live. Organic. Vegan. Experience)-based lifestyle that includes juicing, cleansing, raw and vegan foods, beauty and skin care, fashion, education, inspiration and meditation. I feel that a commitment to the LOVE* lifestyle requires focus and dedication and a well-rounded approach. Juicing is key and a jumpstart to cleansing and detoxification, which assists in focus and motivation, as health benefits and results are noticed quickly.

    What is the origin of the name L.O.V.E.: Live, Organic, Vegan, Experience?

    A lifelong journey of learning and discovering led to relationships that inspired me. A dear friend, Dr. Shawn Miller from California, encouraged the use of LOVE* as a tagline to what Organic Avenue was about. I tweaked it a bit to come up with Live. Organic. Vegan. Experience, yet he was largely the inspiration for the use of this acronym. I give him credit and am eternally grateful to him. Therefore, LOVE* is the central theme of my life and business. Continue Reading…

  2. Chef AJ wants you to stop eating junk! The chef and cooking instructor battled her own body, and the food she was putting in it, until illness finally forced her to take her health into her own hands. In addition to teaching Los Angelenos how to prepare healthy food, she puts out weekly recipe videos with Julieanna Hever, called The Chef and the Dietitian. Chef AJ took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to give me the skinny on her cookbook, Unprocessed.

    Chef AJ, health-wise, you’ve had more than your fair share of challenges: You were overweight, then anorexic, then obese; you developed adult onset asthma; your spine was crushed in an accident and you were paralyzed and in a body cast for a year; you contracted a life-threatening lung and liver infection on your honeymoon; you suffered from panic disorder and agoraphobia and didn’t leave the house for over a year; you had several miscarriages, and the first pregnancy resulted in complications that required surgery; and you had several large, bleeding colon polyps. You were a hot mess! But you turned it all around by changing your diet. How difficult was it to go from having 32 oz. Coke Slurpees with eight pumps of vanilla for breakfast and 48 oz. Big Gulp Dr. Peppers for lunch to eating unprocessed, whole, plant-based foods?

    While it was difficult initially, I’m quite sure that if I’d let the polyps progress into full-blown cancer, it would have been far more difficult. Also, I had help. I went to the Optimum Health Institute [in San Diego], where I was able to detox without having the pressure of being at work at the same time. So while I did go through some withdrawal, I was in an environment where I was actively learning about what foods caused disease and being nourished with the foods that could reverse the disease.

    How did you find the Optimum Health Institute?

    I had a magazine of discount vacations, and it was the cheapest place I could find to go ($875 for a whole week). I had no idea it was a healing center and that I would have to put wheatgrass up my butt!!

    Sounds like fun!

    You say you’d rather see people eat 90% vegan and 90% unprocessed than 100% vegan and 10% unprocessed. Living in New York, it’s easy to be a junk food vegan; there are so many restaurants, bakeries and other goodies at our fingertips. What do you think poses the biggest challenge for people, eating plant-based or eating unprocessed? Continue Reading…

  3. Despite what a lot of people think, being vegan doesn’t mean you’re healthy—it’s very easy to be a vegan junk food junkie. So every once in a while, after doing some fairly consistent damage, I go on a cleanse. Recently I tried Kaeng Raeng, detox drinks in powder form that first saw the light of day in founder and CEO Lindsay Reinsmith’s kitchen, when she was trying to lose weight. I caught up with Reinsmith and asked her to give me the skinny on her stuff.

    Your site says Kaeng Raeng is “committed to veganism,” and a portion of your sales benefit The Humane Society of the United States. How important is veganism to your company?

    As an animal rights activist and a vegan, it’s important for me to have a product and a company that match my personal interests and to support these organizations. But it’s also important to put a face and a person behind Kaeng Raeng; it’s not made in China by a giant corporation with offshore customer service. We’re a small business in Northern California, and we care greatly about the quality of our product and about helping people see the health and beauty that come from a plant-based diet.

    Where does the name come from? Continue Reading…

  4. When I lived in South Florida last year, I took a lot of shit for calling it a culinary wasteland. (Read: three vegan restaurants within a 75-mile radius.) That said, what the Sunshine State lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality, and it’s definitely not short on cool vegan peeps out to make the world a better place. I met one of those peeps, Katherine Botelho, at the Great American Meatout, and she’s since created a line of organic, vegan, gluten-free and (in SoFlo) local nut butters that range from simple to specialty. We caught up recently, and Katherine told me why she’s nutty for nut butter.

    Hi, Katherine. Long time no see! Thanks for taking the time to chat. What led you to start Ethical Bounty?

    I was inspired to create a business that would offer a product that’s familiar to most people, but kick it up a notch and put a unique spin on it. As someone who’s interested in natural and organic foods, I focused on nut butters. They’re so nutritious, and a great source of protein and good fats. I looked at what was available and thought, Something’s missing. Most nut butters contain added salt and oil and are produced using nuts that aren’t organic. Many also contain preservatives to lengthen their shelf life, yet in the end, they taint the purity of the product. I wanted to create a raw, organic option, and in more interesting varieties. I was also excited to offer the butters to a large scope of people via the web.

    You offer straight-up nut butters like Pecan and Brazil as well as specialty flavors like Cherry Pistachio and Vanilla Almond. How did you come up with the combinations?

    I had to put my imagination to work for the specialty butters, though some of the flavors seemed obvious. I wanted to do something tropical, so I thought, What fruits and nuts come to mind when I think about Hawaii? Pineapples and macadamia nuts. So Pineapple Macadamia Butter was born. Then I thought of pecan pie and came up with Maple Pecan Butter. A craving for banana bread (which I went through an obsessive baking phase with) was re-created as Banana Walnut Butter. And I actually had a dream in which I thought I could smell cinnamon and raisins cooking together—enter Cinnamon Raisin Cashew Butter! Continue Reading…

  5. Two tasters, Dave and Grace, consider the chocolate they just ate.

    Two tasters, Dave and Grace, consider the chocolate they just ate.

    I invited a handful of friends over to my apartment to sample chocolate offerings from some local vegan-friendly companies and settle, once and for all, which ones should be filling your pantry.

    It was nice to see so many different flavors and textures and styles represented–there’s definitely something for everyone. I also appreciate that a number of these companies are dedicated to producing candy that harms no one, including both animals and people–because no one is free when others are oppressed. And no one is happy without dessert.

    The rules:
    My five tasters were asked to rank each bite of chocolate they took on its appearance, taste, and texture using a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). No one knew the brand names or what ingredients were in each piece, save for those that are potential allergens. While opinions varied widely on which chocolates were “the best,” I’m hopeful that the comments below will guide you in your quest for the perfect vegan chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth.

    The companies:

    Sweet and Sara is based out of Queens and produces their 100% vegan candies out of a dedicated vegan facility. The cocoa Sara uses is rainforest-alliance certified from Ecuador, and the chocolate (i.e. the dipping chocolate used in her s’mores) is certified organic from the Dominican Republic.

    Rescue Chocolate is a Brooklyn-based, completely vegan chocolate company that donates 100% of its profits to animal rescue organizations. RC’s products are all certified Kosher. The chocolate is sourced from a number of different countries.

    Divvies is an allergy-friendly bakery in South Salem, NY that uses no eggs or dairy in any of its products but does not specifically seek out vegan sources for sugar.

    Fine and Raw is based out of Brooklyn and aims to turn chocolate into “a form of therapy,” Fine and Raw is a 100% vegan, 100% raw, 100% organic and certified fair-trade chocolatier.

    Cocoa V is a Manhattan-based chocolatier run by the team who also brings you Blossom and V-Note. They are the very first 100% vegan, 100% organic, 100% fair-trade certified chocolate shop. Their products are also certified Kosher.

    The results:
    Continue Reading…