Strawberry Almond Milk

Strawberry Almond Milk

This is so so SO easy and super healthy for you! Just blend fresh strawberries (about 6-8, tops removed) with your favorite nut milk, I used vanilla almond milk here. If you like, you can add about a tablespoon of raw agave nectar to sweeten. I used store bought vanilla almond milk but of course you can use homemade raw almond milk or any variety of nut milks. Homemade nut milks are even more nutritious than the store bought kind. The taste of this drink rivals any store bought strawberry milk and the benefits are without a doubt superior! Kids will absolutely love this.

Strawberries are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They benefit our bodies in many ways. For example, strawberries provide cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. They also improve regulation of blood sugar, with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and they have also shown to prevent certain types of cancer including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer.

Just one cup of fresh strawberries contain the following (source WHFoods.org)
vitamin C 141.1%
manganese 28%
fiber 11.5%
folate 8.6%
iodine 8.6%
potassium 6.2%
magnesium 4.6%
vitamin K 3.9%
omega-3 fats 3.7%
Calories (46)

Sweet & Spicy Veggie Wraps

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After a great workout this evening I needed a good meal that packed some protein. So I made an adaptation of Sarma MelngailisSpicy Thai Vegetable Wraps. The adaptation was primarily due to what I had in the kitchen. The original recipe from Raw Food Real World is a bit more involved and definitely worth the effort!

The fresh organic collard greens in this dish are of course one of the most magnificent of the cruciferous vegetables, up there with kale and even surpassing all others in some areas. Collards are best at lowering cholesterol by binding bile acids (made from cholesterol) in the digestive track and thus allowing them to be easily removed from the body. However, according to the World Health Organization the bile binding action of collards in the body is actually better when they are steamed as opposed to eaten raw. This came as quite a surprise and was rather disappointing for me, as I would like to believe raw is always better (however, I learned the hard way that raw sweet potato is no fun!).

We also get uncomparable cancer protection benefits from collard greens. This protection comes from 4 specific glucosinolates can be converted into an isothiocyanate (ITC) that helps lower our cancer risk by supporting our detox and anti-inflammatory systems.

Another star on the cancer fighting front are the clover sprouts in this dish. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) contains genistein, an anticancer compound that prevents new blood vessels from forming with in a tumor. (Genistein can also be found in soy, black beans and peanuts.) Since tumors rely on new blood vessels to grow, genistein effectively starves the cancer. Turns out at least 33 cultures use clover sprouts to fight cancer!

On to the mango, a low calorie non fat food that provides 100% of your daily vitamin C and 35% of your vitamin A (in one serving) both important antioxidant nutrients. Vitamin C promotes healthy immune function and collagen formation (anti aging ladies!) Vitamin A is important for vision and bone growth.

There is a host of other wonderful foods in this recipe, I chose just a few to highlight but I encourage you to do a little research and find out more about the healthy benefits of this dish. It’s not only amazingly good for you but it is also a refreshing, delicious change to the standard salad. It also presents very nicely!

RECIPE
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 tablespoon dried red chile with seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
1 cup raw almond butter
6 very large collard-green leaves
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small ripe mango, cut lengthwise into batons
1/4 jicima, julienned
2 cups clover sprouts
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
Instructions
Purée the maple syrup, lemon juice, ginger, red chile, and soy sauce in a blender. Add the almond butter, and blend at low speed to combine. Add water to thin if necessary.

Cut out the center rib of each collard-green leaf, dividing the leaf in half. Place 1 half-leaf on a cutting board with underside face up. Spread some almond butter mixture evenly across the bottom third of the leaf, leaving about 1 inch clear at the bottom. Lay a few sticks of carrot, jicima, a baton of mango, and some clover sprouts on top. Add a few leaves each of cilantro, basil, and mint. Fold the bottom of the leaf up and over the filling, keeping it tight, and tuck the leaf under the ingredients and roll forward. Place the roll seam-side down on a serving dish. Repeat with remaining collard leaves and ingredients.

The original recipe calls for a tamarind dipping sauce to accompany this dish.

Know Your Roots

Root vegetables are commonly found in winter dishes and desserts, the carrot is one such root with a prime growing season in the summer and fall.  Carrots are readily available throughout the year and now you have all the more reason to run out and grab a bag!

We have all heard how eating carrots is great for our vision and about the benefits of beta-carotene which is plentiful in carrots. But did you know that consuming carrots or carrot juice (1.5 cups) daily can actually inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the colon?  Or how about the fact that consuming carrots (a 1/4 cup daily)  can significantly reduce your risk of cardio vascular disease! Both of these findings come from years of scientific research which points to carrots as a vital food we ALL should be eating on a regular basis.

Aside from the large amounts of Vitamin A, K and C in carrots, we now know that carrots also contain a host of antioxidant benefits, not just from the cartenoids in them but also from another category of phytonutrients in carrots called polyacetylenes.  According to the WHO“In carrots, the most important polyacetylenes include falcarinol and falcarindiol. Several recent studies have identified these carrot polyacetylenes as phytonutrients that can help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells, especially when these polyacetylenes are found in their reduced (versus oxidized) form. These new findings are exciting because they suggest a key interaction between the carotenoids and polyacetylenes in carrots. Apparently, the rich carotenoid content of carrots not only helps prevent oxidative damage inside our body, but it may also help prevent oxidative damage to the carrot polyacetylenes. In other words, these two amazing groups of phytonutrients in carrots may work together in a synergistic way to maximize our health benefits! “

Carrots also come in different sizes and colors, such as white, yellow and purple. Keep an eye out for them at your local farmers market or health food store. Always buy organic carrots, and when possible buy local.

Carrot cake was a childhood favorite of mine, I was delighted to find a raw recipe that gave me the taste I missed. Plus the frosting for this is great, it can go on a host of other desserts and also makes a great dip for fruit! Macadamia nuts are known for their rich, fatty flavor, the majority of the fat comes from healthy unsaturated fats, and a fair dose, 57mg of omega-3 and 363 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. Macadamia nuts are a good source of thiamin, with 0.3 mg per serving, or 22 percent of the daily recommended value. They also provide between 2 to 4 percent DV of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid.

Raw Macademia Frosting

Raw Carrot Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • For the Crust:

  • 2 Cups finely ground raw almond meal (I make mine from the remnants of making almond milk)

  • ½ Tsp Himalayan Salt

  • ½ Cup Date Paste (I used Medjool)

  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup or raw honey or coconut nectar

  • ½ Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds

  • ¼  Dried Coconut (optional)

  • ¼  Flax Meal (optional, but a great boost of omega 3′s)

  • For the Filling:

  • 1 lb. Carrots (Note: two ways to do this, use carrot pulp from juicing carrots OR shred carrots in food processor.  The former yields a drier finer cake, which I prefer).

  • 1/2 Cup Soacked Dried Unsulphered Apricots

  • ¼  Cup Dried Coconut

  • 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon (I am a cinnamon fiend so I used about 2 1/2 Tsp)

  • Pinch Nutmeg

  • Pinch All Spice

  • 1/4 Raisins

  • For the Frosting: 

  • 1 Cup Raw Macadamia Nuts

  • About 1/2 Cup Dates

  • ¼ Cup Maple Syrup or Raw Honey

  • 3 Tbsp Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

  • Little Water for desired consistency

Preparation:

1. Make the crust. In a food processor, combine the almonds, salt, dates, and maple syrup until creamy. Mix in the sunflower seeds and press into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before adding the filling.

3. Make the filling. In a food processor, blend the carrots, apricots , coconut and other ingredients until just combined. Spread the mixture on top of the crust layer and place in the refrigerator.

4. Make the frosting. In a blender, blend the macadamia nuts, dates, lemon juice and maple syrup until creamy.  You may need to add a little water. Spread over the filling and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

♫Sandwiches are Beautiful, Sandwiches are Fine…♫

♫ I like sandwiches I eat them all the time! ♫ Some of you 70′s babies might be familiar with this childhood sandwich song, it stuck out in my mind today as I assembled this  sandwich creation of raw herb bread, mock tuna and raw avocado vegan mayo! Add fresh romaine and diced red onion… and you have this lovely, tasty meal! In my effort to sustain a healthy diet after cleansing recently, I have been battling a craving for a big sandwich, well hoagie actually. This was definitely the answer.

Mock Tuna Sandwhich on Herbed Bread

Raw Herb Bread

3 C Almond Flour (I used a combo of almond/cashew flour)

1 C Flax Meal

1/2 C Grape Tomatoes

2 Small/Medium zucchini

2  Granny Smith Apples, cored skins on

3 T Lemon Juice

1/8 C EVOO (optional)

3 T Za’atar Seasoning

2 T Fresh Sage and a pinch of fresh Tarragon

1 Tsp Himalayan Salt

Chop zucchini and apples and toss into food processor (s-blade) with the rest of the ingredients. Blend well until a moist dough forms. Add a little water if you need to. Split dough in half, spread first part onto one Teflex sheet until about 1/4 inch thick, shape into a large square, it will almost cover the entire Teflex. Score into 9 pieces. Repeat with the second half of the dough on the other Teflex sheet.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees farenheit for two hours, then flip onto a new screen, peel off Teflex and dehydrate for about another 8 hours. You want the bread to be  somewhat supple and pliable, but not mushy in the center.

Note: I made the almond/cashew flour from the pulp left over after making nut milk. I then dehydrated the pulp until dry. It makes a nice flour. You can also purchase almond flour at the store, I know Trader Joe’s has it, not sure what temperature it is dried at though.

Once your bread is dry, you can assemble your sandwich! The possibilities are endless. For this meal I made a raw vegan mayo.

Raw Vegan Mayo

1/2 C Almonds

1/2 C Macadamia Nuts

1 Ripe Avocado

1 T Lemon Juice

3 T Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tsp Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt

6 Medium Pitted Dates (I used the smaller Deglet Dates)

1/2 Clove Garlic

Blend all ingredients very well in blender. You will most likely need to add a little water, you can also add a little EVOO if you prefer.

Note: You can also use Pignoli nuts in place of the almonds/macadamia nuts.

I spread a generous amount of the vegan mayo onto the bread, then added the Mock Tuna.

Raw Vegan Mock Tuna

3/4 C Sunflower Seeds

1/2 C Walnuts

1 Clove Garlic

1 T Lemon Juice

1/4 Tsp Spike Seasoning (or Herbamare)

1/2 Tsp Italian Seasoning

1-2 T EVOO

Dash Cayenne

Dash paprika

Chop one stalk celery. Chop a handful of green olives.

Blend everything BUT the celery and olives in food processor. Place blended mixture from food processor into a bowl, mix in celery, olives and some of the raw mayo. Mix until desired consistency.

Spread tuna atop the mayo and bread, top with chopped romaine and a little bit of diced red onion. There you have it! I served these with fresh Granny Smith apple wedges which was a nice compliment to the savory sandwich.  This meal has plenty of protein, fruit, veggies and most importantly, FLAVOR!

Enjoy and be well!

Hemp & Tomatoes

I am working on adding more raw foods to my diet. The benefits of a raw food diet are phenomenal.  However, it is something that takes some planning. I was up late the other night (like most nights) and was suddenly inspired to throw together the makings of some raw crackers.  Here is what I threw into the food processor…

Raw Hemp Seeds Onion & Dill Crackers

1/2 Cup Dark Flax Seeds (soaked)

1/4 C Hemp Seeds

1 Cup Walnuts (soaked)

1/2 Large White Onion

3 Mini Bell Peppers (yellow and red)

1 Handful Fresh Dill

1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

Blend until incorporated. Spread thin on Teflex sheets, place in dehydrator at  no more than 115 degrees. These took about 24 hours to dry at 115 degrees, flipping once half way through.

Dipping Sauce

1/2 Pint Grape Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Seasoned Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked)

3-4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Dates (pitted, soaked)

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

1 Clove Garlic

1 Tsp Za’atar

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Water

Add all ingredients to blender, liquefy. Sprinkle with a little Za’atar serve with crackers.

Here is the final product….

There is one ingredient, the hempseed, that I would like to to highlight for its nutritional properties and benefits.

The hemp plant has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years. Hempseeds amino acid profile is close to “complete” when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy.  Approximately 44% of the weight of hempseed is healthy edible oils, containing about 80% essential fatty acids (EFAs). Hempseed is an adequate source of dietary fiber, calcium and iron. They also contain antioxidants and chlorophyll. Whole hempseeds are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.  According to clinical studies, unlike flaxseed  oil, hemp oil can be used continuously without developing a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs. Many report hempseed to be a food that does not bother those with nut allergies. All in all this is an amazing superfood. I use hempseeds quite often in my smoothies and other raw recipes. They are tiny, easily incorporated into food and have a pleasant taste.

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