Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mango-Avocado Raw Vegan Sushi Heaven

Mango Avocado Macadamia "Sushi"

One of my favorite foods before going raw was rice, and this recipe provides an amazingly flavorful substitute for it.  Plus, it includes seaweeds, incredible mineral-rich nutritional powerhouses that contain a unique immune-enhancing sugar called polysaccharides.  The mango and avocado give the dish an exotic flavor and the macadamias- an extra crunch!  Pictured above with a Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce and organic Wasabi powder from Eden Foods. 

Sushi "Rice" from Ani's Raw Food Essentials by Ani Phyo

1 1/2 c. peeled and diced turnips
1/2 c. pine nuts
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

In a food processor, combine the turnips, pine nuts, and salt.  Process into rice-size pieces.  Add the vinegar and pulse gently to mix.  Will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.  If you don't have turnips, use jicama instead.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Healthy Raw Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon Morning Latte for the MassAppeal Show!

What could be more fun or more healthy that starting your day with chocolate?  Practically nothing!.. which is why I'm sharing this recipe with your for a Healthy Raw Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon Morning Latte.

This beautiful concoction does four main things for you:

1- Gives your both instant and long-lasting energy.
2- Fuels your body with an abundance of nutrition to start your day.
3- Boosts your immune system.
4- Helps you start your day off on the right food by boosting the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which gently and naturally nudges your mood in a positive direction!

Another bonus of this breakfast is that it tastes amazing and can be a savored addition to your morning ritual.  There is no sacrifice in healthy eating if you know what you're doing!

All of the ingredients for this morning latte can be ordered from:

The Ingredients (for 2 servings):

2 c. warm/hot water- soothingly warm, but not so hot that it burns your finger
4 T. raw chocolate powder
1 T. extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 c. truly raw cashews
3 T. unheated, unprocessed honey (preferably wildflower and from your local area)
1/2 tsp. raw vanilla bean powder
1 tsp. organic cinnamon powder
a pinch Sea Salt

Blend well and savor.  Share it with a friend! 

Each and every ingredient in this healthy raw chocolate , vanilla, and cinnamon morning latte has a long list of health benefits.  Here is a brief summary of why I chose each of these specific ingredients when formulating this recipe:

Soothingly warm/hot water:  Drinking a warm beverage is an excellent way to help your body wake up in the morning, especially when it's turning chillier outside.  The temperature I'm recommend here is just a bit less than boiling hot because adding boiling water to the other ingredients in this drink would actually destroy some of their nutrients. 

Pure Raw Chocolate Powder:  Raw chocolate is unprocessed and additive-free.  And, perhaps more importantly, it has not been heated or roasted.  Chocolate is an amazing superfood, but it takes on some undesirable qualities when it is roasted and mixed with dairy, sugar, and other ingredients.  By using raw chocolate, you gain the benefit of 700% more antioxidants than even the best organic non-raw chocolate.  You also gain additional brain and mood-boosting chemicals that are present in raw chocolate but not in any other types of chocolate since they are destroyed by heat.  Chocolate is the number one source of magnesium in nature.  We know that 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in magnesium and this mineral is crucial for brain health, bone health, heart health, and the ability to cope and perform well in stressful situations.  Eating raw chocolate is a healthful and delicious way to begin to add more magnesium to your diet and start reaping these benefits!  If you want to learn more about raw chocolate, I suggest reading Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie.  There is some interesting biochemical information in the book as well as historical information.  (Did you know chocolate was considered so valuable in some cultures that it was used as currency?!)

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil got a 'bad rap' several years ago as some studies came out regarding the negative effects of hydrogenated coconut oil.  Coconut oil in its natural, unprocessed state, is probably the healthiest oil on the planet, assisting with health problems ranging form skin disorders to diabetes.  Several books have been written about extra virgin coconut oil because it truly is a panacea.  It nourishes the thyroid gland, assisting with under or overactive thyroid.  It boosts metabolism, assisting with weight loss.  And, it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, helping to prevent common ailments like the cold and flu.

Truly Raw Cashews:  Cashews labeled raw that you find at the health food store or supermarket are by and large heat extracted and not really raw.  Cashews are rich in zinc, which helps your body to digest damaged collagen and rebuild new collagen in your skin.  Raw cashews are also rich in oleic fatty acids that are highly beneficial for your skin when eaten in their unheated state.  Truly raw cashews can be purchased on-line at specialty stores.

Raw Honey:  Honey is made from the nectar that bees sip from flower blossoms.  It is a universal medicine, sweetener, and nutrient resource.  There is a tremendous amount of research on raw honey from Russia, where it was noted that the most people living past one hundred were in fact beekeepers.  Raw, unprocessed honey is the richest food source of live, rejuvenating enzymes.  Research has indicated that it increases mental alertness, reflexes, and even IQ.

Raw Vanilla Bean:  Unmistakably, vanilla in its purest state is the most delicious type of vanilla.  Its flavor beautifully enhances the flavor of chocolate, which is why we use it here.   As a side note, vanilla, like chocolate, has aphrodisiac properties.  So, keep it in mind for Valentine's day recipes (wink, wink).

Cinnamon:  Cinnamon balances blood sugar, improves digestion, and improves circulation- warming you up on those brisk fall mornings!

Sea Salt:  Adding sea salt to a sweet recipe is a culinary secret.  The salty flavor helps to bring out the sweetness of the drink.  For health purposes, it also adds valuable trace minerals necessary for human health yet only found in the ocean, and it adds some electrolytes to our drink.

Want to learn more?  Buy these books for your home library.  If you buy just one, buy the Superfoods book on the left.  It contains information about all of the superfoods mentioned in this post:

An Evening with Brian Clement

Last evening, I attended a raw vegan potluck, which was followed by a talk by Brian Clement.  His talk encompassed a lot of different topics, including how much he has learned about both instinctual, grounded living and following your heart from being present with people during births and deaths (or near deaths).

Brian Clement is the Director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, now located in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The Institute has the distinction as having helped more people than any other treatment center in the WORLD overcome catastrophic illnesses.  Dr. Clement gave some very personal accounts of people that he'd assisted to restore health at the institute despite very grim diagnoses by their traditional oncologists and having been given only a few months to live.  He talked about his experiences with assisting people with brain cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer specifically.  He also spoke about the new phenomenon of "active aging" that the institute helps people with, which involves healthy diet, exercise, and detoxification techniques that help people age with much more vitality and in good health.  

If I could sum up the important points Dr. Clement shared, they would be the following:
  • The most important ingredient for health is having passion, a reason for being
  • All life comes from the sun and the more sprouts and greens we eat, the more solar energy we avail ourselves to, and the healthier we will be.  Chlorophyll is a super-tonic for humans!
  • Oxygen is the most important nutrient.  We get oxygen through deep breathing, eating raw/living foods (rich in oxygen), and drinking water that has not been degraded by fluoride or being run through copper pipes
  • 98% of supplements on the market, including fish oils, are toxic to the human body (I know- controversial!  I believe him, though, as his research is impeccable;  see his book, supplements exposed.)
I didn't know exactly what to expect before seeing Dr. Clement speak.  What he delivered, however, was an incredible, heart-centered speech that inspired me to 1- live more from my heart and 2- eat more sprouts!  Thank you, Dr. Clement.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Raw Italian Nachos Inspired by Joey Buona's!

One of my favorite things to do is to recreate my old favorite cooked foods into equally satisfying raw versions.  Pictured above is my adaptation of an Italian Nachos appetizer I had long ago at Joey Buona's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In the restaurant version, the chips served alongside the Italian dip were fried and if I remember correctly, some dairy was involved.  

 I served these nachos at a Spa party for my friend, a bride-to-be, along with her bridesmaids the day before the wedding.

Slice Jicama, Yellow Summer Squash, and Zucchini thinly (with a mandoline if you have one available), place in a large bowl and drizzle with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.  Dehydrate the chips at 115 until crisp.  Add fresh, thinly sliced baby portabella mushrooms and chopped raw kalamata olives just before serving.

1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked to soften
1/4 c. purified water
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1T. cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 T. fresh thyme or oregano
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. fresh oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Blend the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth. 

Makes a great appetizer or poker night dish! ;) 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mediterranean Food, Raw-Style

Pictured above is a Mediterranean meal I made for my husband and myself. The base of it is a mixture of fresh greens from our local Farmer's Market, and it is topped with zucchini hummus (bean free!), Sevillano Olives marinated with heirloom garlic, fresh oregano, and olive oil (from Sunfood Nutrition), tomato slices, red pepper dices.... and wild leeks (also called ramps). The bread sitting on the side of the plate is cumin flat bread from Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw recipe book. I sprinkled some cayenne over everything to give it an extra 'kick.' It was a feast for the eyes as well as for the stomach!

Zucchini Hummus from The Raw Food Diet Revolution (linked above)-

"This amazing, bean-free hummus is a big bonus for all of us who experience flatulence when we eat beans.  It has all the flavor of traditional Middle Eastern hummus and is full of nutrients, including bone-strengthening calcium.  Enjoy it served with Crudites or in romaine lettuce boats with tomatoes and sprouts."

1 c. chopped zucchini, firmly packed
3 1/2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. flaxseed oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 c. raw tahini (or- use sesame seeds instead, but use more)
1/3 c. sesame seeds, soaked for 4 hours, rinsed, and drained
Note:  I use about a cup of whole sesame seeds instead of tahini and sesame seeds.  Since I put everything into a high speed blender, the seeds are, in effect, being transformed into tahini as I make the recipe.  Again, this will only work if you're using a high speed blender- if not, use the pre-ground tahini.

1.  Combine the zucchini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, paprika, salt, optional cumin, and cayenne in a blender and process until smooth.
2.  Add the tahini and sesame seeds and process until completely smooth and creamy.
3.  Stored in a sealed glass jar in the fridge, this will keep for up to 4 days.

Note #2:  This recipe is best made in a high-speed blender like a Vita-mix.  However, it can be made successfully in a standard blender if it is processed in two batches.  (If you use a food processor, you will end up with a mixture with whole sesame seeds in it rather than being smooth and creamy.)

My husband and I have different food preferences:  I prefer to eat all-raw and he prefers to eat some healthfully cooked meals in addition to raw stuff... So, do we eat separate meals? The answer is, "Sometimes." But, more often than not, I prepare one raw meal (which we both eat) along with a simple, healthy cooked item that requires virtually no preparation on our part. 

In this case, I made a Japanese Sweet Potato to go with his salad. The Japanese sweet potato is so flavorful, it does not need much preparation. It was baked at 425 for about 45 minutes. I typically serve it with a little sunfire salt and ghee (or grassfed butter if the mood strikes).  If you're vegan, use olive or flax oil.

Mineral-Rich Sun Fire Salt, High Speed Blenders, Gorgeous Raw Olives and More Tools for Making Delicious, Nutritious Raw Food are Available from: