Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Raw Cinnamon Cacao Raisin Pumpkin Seed Cookies

I know, I know. It is Wednesday morning and you don't have time to cook. You need to get to work or drop the kids at daycare. You are already late. Well, if you can squeeze in an extra ten minutes you can give yourself a treat. I did, and pairing with my hibiscus tea makes for a great morning!

1 1/2 cups soaked Austrian pumpkin seeds (at least 8 hours)
1 cup of raisins (I use oil free raisins, which I recommend if you can find them near you)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
dash of salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs
sprinkling of cinnamon

Drain and dry the pumpkin seeds. In a food processor, add pumpkin seeds, raisins, arrowroot powder, honey, vanilla, and salt. Blend until a dough-like consistency. Add cacao nibs and blend one quick cycle (not to long or you will lose the chunkiness). Roll into balls and flatten into cookie shapes. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon. Leave on paper towel to absorb the excess moisture for a few hours. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What's Wrong With GMOs?

I have heard people argue, "So what is the big deal with GMOs? We have been modifying plants for centuries to adapt our needs." They don't realize that what they are talking about is more hybridization or cultivation, NOT genetic modification. Below is a link to an article that explains briefly just why GMOs are so dangerous.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sesame Asian Slaw with Avocado

This is a recipe for everyone! Raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, you name it! It is a delicious dose of veggies with just the right amount of healthy fats!

1/4 a head of cabbage
2 carrots
2 cups mung bean sprouts (roughly 2 days to sprout)
1 avocado
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Chop cabbage into rough strips. Cut the ends of the carrots and run through the shredder setting on your food processor. Chop avocado into cubes. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well to cover evenly with the dressing. Enjoy!

Vintage Advertisements- Analyzing Our Helth

I have been looking over some vintage advertisements which seem ridiculous in contrast to present day knowledge. Fifty years ago, however, many people didn't think to question this marketing. So fifty years from now, what will we think about the commercials which are bombarding us today? You can't trust anyone who is trying to sell you something, especially with your health. Read your labels. Study the ingredients. Do research on the hazards and benefits. And trust yourself to make the best decisions for your own well-being. No one else is going to do it for you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pulled Jackfruit in Raw BBQ Sauce with "Cheesy" Kale Salad

It is cook out season, which means watching other people eat charred meat while you eat watermelon. While watermelon is delicious, hydrating, and full of nutritional benefits, if you are like me, you want more. With this recipe the meat eaters will want to switch to what you are having!

Pulled Jackfruit in BBQ Sauce

1 can of young green jackfruit packed in water
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 cup spring or filtered water
dash of white pepper
dash of salt

Drain jackfruit in a colander and rinse. In a medium sized bowl separate the jackfruit into strings resembling pulled pork. Some pieces around the seeds may be salvageable, but most of the seeds will need to be tossed since they are too hard. Set aside. In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, coconut aminos, honey, maple syrup, paprika, chili powder, water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add extra water if necessary. Mix sauce together with jackfruit until evenly covered.

"Cheesy" Kale Salad

1 lage bowl of kale
2 tablespoons of hemp oil
1/2 cup of hemp milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon paprika
dash cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Rinse kale and remove leafy bits from stalks. Tear into small pieces and put in a large bowl. Add hemp oil and massage kale until the texture is closer to that of cooked kale. Add hemp milk, nutritional yeast, paprika, cayenne and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pickled Cucumber and Radish Salad with Orange-Ginger Dressing

When I finished this salad, I topped it with 2 cucumber spears. While I was making it I ate about 4 cucumber spears... they were that good! The pickled vegetables have such a bite to them, that the salad can easily work as a main dish.The pinkish color comes from the red of the radish during the pickling process, so if you don't find that aspect pleasing simply buy white radishes instead! Pairing the fermented element with with ginger makes this salad just about the best meal there is for your digestion!

For pickled vegetables (takes 3 days to prepare):

4-5 red radishes, sliced thinly
2 small cucumbers, sliced in spears
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
spring or filtered water to cover

In a large mason jar add the radishes, cucumbers, apple cider vinegar, salt and caraway seeds. Cover with water. Close jar with plastic lid and shake. Make sure all vegetables are submerged. Loosen lid so that a small amount of air can get through and leave in the counter out of sunlight for 3 days.

For dressing:

1/2 an orange, including rind
1/4 cup of brine from pickled vegetables
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 1/2 to 2 inch long piece of ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon hemp oil

Make sure any seeds are removed from the orange. Place all ingredients in a food processor or small blender until dressing-like consistency.

For salad:

1/2 a head of green leaf lettuce
2 cups sprouted mung beans (roughly 2 days to sprout)

In a large salad bowl combine lettuce, mung beans, pickled vegetables, and salad dressing. Mix and serve!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sneaking the Good Stuff into a Picky Child's Diet

My son has a very limited diet. If a plate comes out with parsley on it, he won't eat it. If it has a sauce, he won't eat it. If he hasn't tried it before, he won't eat it. Some people will tell you to "make" your kid eat things. These people are most likely not parents, because parents know that kicking and screaming ensues when you try to "make" your child do something. We don't have to resort to starving our children, however. We are intellectually advanced (even if we forget it at times) and can rise above these struggles! Here are a few changes I have made with my son:

-Get rid of food coloring and chemicals. Your child will fight this less than you think. I read that for children who struggle with ADHD it is especially important to remove food coloring. My son loved Cheetos and M&Ms and was worried he would despise me for the change. We replaced these with Crunchitos and organic Sundrops. He hasn't complained once.

-Replace butter with coconut oil. This is another one he hasn't even noticed because coconut oil is delicious! Coconut oil boosts brain functioning, kills bacteria, and increases energy. Put a little bit on gluten-free pasta with some Himalayan salt and you are good to go!

-Replace sugary cereal and cow milk with  quinoa cereal and hemp milk. High in protein and Omega 3 and  6. An easy start every morning!

-Figure out the healthy things already in your child's diet and focus on those. There must be some! For my son it it peas, carrots, cucumbers, and raisins. So we always make sure we have tons of those in the fridge!

-Make an herbal juice drink. My son has his herb juice every night (varying, but usually containing cordyceps and trace minerals), and if we forget, he reminds us. Mixed in a juice drink, he doesn't even taste anything!

-Explain to your child why they need to focus on a healthy diet. You would be surprised how often adults leave out the why. If you explain to a child you are making these changes so they are less likely to get sick or seriously obese, they will listen. Children don't want these things anymore than adults do.

The No Cereal Bowl

Most mornings I have a smoothie for breakfast, but sometimes you want a bit more. A fast option is cereal, but if you are avoiding the gluten and over-processed factor a quick answer is the "no-cereal bowl". It is incredibly satisfying for how simple it is!

1 banana
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup of cacao nibs
2 cups almond-coconut milk

Pour almond-coconut milk in a bowl. Add chia seeds and allow to soak (seeds should grow in size and come gelatinous in about 10 - 15 minutes). Slice banana and add to bowl. Add raisins and cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Be Honest About What You Are Eating

To see a bull running through the streets of Baltimore may seem bizarre and out of place, but the sad thing is, it is not. This poor guy escaped a slaughterhouse warehouse in the city, only to be shot hours later by police. Pay attention to where your food comes from.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Papaya and Sprouted Wheat Berry Curry

On the road to better health, some things pop up that make you question what is good for you and what isn't. Sprouted wheat berries are one of those that has me questioning. On the one hand, they are a living food, as they are sprouted. On the other hand, they are, well, wheat. So even if they are a living food, they are not really gluten-free. Then does this mean sprouted wheat berries are the only raw food which is not gluten-free? I have read articles on the internet arguing both sides, and honestly, my head is spinning at this point. So, I don't know if I will be buying wheat berries again. But this recipe could work well with a number of sprouts. I suggest lentils, so yes, go make this recipe with sprouted lentils. Or wheat berries. No lentils. Or maybe mung beans... ahhhh!!!! Feel free to leave comments below defending or denouncing the wheat berry. I will listen.

1 papaya
2 cups of sprouted wheat berries (roughly 3 days for sprouting)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1 sprinkle of fresh parsley
1 sprinkle of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 a lemon (juiced)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut-almond milk
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
salt to taste (pink Himalayan or sea salt)

Cube the papaya, removing the skin and seeds. (Save the seeds to blend in a smoothie later, as they are a parasite cleanser). Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. finely chop the parsley and rosemary. In a large bowl make the sauce by combining the turmeric, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, coconut-almond milk, coconut aminos, and salt. Mix. Add the papaya, wheatberries, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and rosemary. Mix and serve.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Tale of Two Oils

You don't need me to tell you what is healthy here, just like you don't need the narrator telling you. Use your eyes and come to your own decision.

Raw Yellow Beet Hemp-Filled "Ravioli" with Marinara

Cheese-filled pasta were one of my favorite dishes in my many years as a vegetarian (which started for me at age 7). When you become so enamored with a food, it can be hard to replace it. In this recipe, however, there is a magical element involved where the acidity of the lemon and the fats in the olive oil breakdown the structure of the beet and make its texture pretty darn close to traditional pasta.This recipe should serve 2 people.

For "pasta":
2 large yellow beets
1 juiced lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

For marinara:
2 medium fresh tomatoes
1 cup of sundried tomatoes (hydrated)
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 small handful of fresh basil
1 small handful of fresh oregano
salt to taste

For "cheese":
1/2 cup of soaked sunflower seeds (4 hour minimum)
1/2 cup of hemp seeds
1/2 cup of white button mushrooms
1 dash of white truffle oil
sprinkle of fresh basil
sprinkle of fresh oregano
1/2 juiced lemon
1 teaspoon hemp milk
2 probiotic capsules
salt to taste

For the filling, blend together hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp milk, button mushrooms, white truffle oil, basil, oregano, lemon juice, probiotics, and salt in a food processor. Set aside while the rest of the recipe is prepared.

Slice yellow beets thinly with a mandolin, the thinner the better. Soak them in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

For the marinara sauce, mix  the fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil, oregano, olive oil, and salt in a food processor.

Put a layer of beets on the plate, top with the “cheese” filling, and put on top beet slices. Spoon on some sauce and add a little basil for garnish.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vegan Gluten-Free Krautfleckerl with Homemade Sauerkraut

I spent two lovely years living in Vienna. The art, music, and architecture were all wonderful to experience, as was the food. Being a vegetarian at the time, however, made it a bit difficult to experience a lot of traditional foods. Krautfleckerl was one that sometimes met the requirements, if speck (bacon) was not involved. With a few modifications I have made my own vegan, gluten-free adaptation with homemade sauerkraut!

Sauerkraft is high in vitamins A and C, is anti-inflammatory, and contains phytonutrient antioxidants. It acts as a probiotic, full of good bacteria which feeds on the harmful parasites and yeast inside your body. Studies have even shown sauerkraut and other fermented foods to prevent cancer. Plus, it is delicious! I know it sounds scary to try fermenting, but it is actually really easy!

Homemade Sauerkraut

1/2 head of green cabbage
2 tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Cut or shred the cabbage into fine pieces. Use a large mason jar, or similar glass container with a lid, and pack the cabbage in tightly. Cover with salt and smash down with a wooden breakdown the roughness of the cabbage a bit. Add caraway seeds and apple cider vinegar. Fill the remaining space with spring water or filtered water. Close jar loosely. Leave the jar out of sunlight at room temperature for about 3 days. The jar will need to be "burped"(opened to release any excess gas) about twice a day.


1 jar of homemade sauerkraut
1 box of gluten-free shell pasta (I use quinoa)
2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
6 to 8 sundried tomatoes (I prefer ones not packed in oil so I can hydrate them myself and they don't contain sulfites)
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Soak the sundried tomatoes in water with a few drops of oil to hydrate. Boil water and prepare the pasta. In a pan at a low temperature melt the coconut oil. Cut the sundried tomatoes into tiny bacon-like pieces and add to the pan. Add cooked pasta to the pan. Turn off the heat and mix in the sauerkraut (this is important to keep the benefits of the live culture). Salt to taste and enjoy!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Into the Woods...

We got married! It was lovely. And now we are trying to figure out how to make the rest of our lives just as lovely as that day. There is a lot of work to do and there are many paths and then there are non-paths where we still may tread, if we can manage to get through the brambles. I think this might be where our future lies. Not climbing the ladders, but soaring through the clouds. Wish us luck!

Photo credit: Mark Zimin