Posts from — May 2012
Using a dehydrator to make raw food dehydrator recipes can be intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it it can be a fun way to add variety and texture into your routine. Luckily, today I have two easy and nut free raw food dehydrator recipes from the very beautiful and talented April Ross. And please be sure to check out her lovely blog (and one of my favorites) Raw Food Passion for more raw food recipes.
Veggie Burger Recipe
by April Ross
“I was so happy to come across this unique nut free raw veggie patty recipe that uses avocado as the binder instead of nuts, it really hit the spot!” ~ C
1 bell pepper
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp sea salt
1/8 cup of sesame seeds (you can leave these out if you prefer)
Directions: Combine all of these ingredients into a food processor (with the s blade) and mix until thoroughly combined. Form them into (thin) patties and place on the dehydrator trays. Set the temperature to (at least) 115 degrees and leave them in for seven hours. Serve them on collard leaves and garnish with anything you like.
by April Ross
“Dehydrated onion is one of my favorite flavors. For an extra kick I like to add some curry powder to this recipe, but it is delicious just as is.” ~ C
2 cups of flax seeds
2 cups of water
Directions: Use a Vitamix to grind up the flax seeds into a flour (very fine). In the Vitamix add the water and 1/2 of the onion. Mix until well combined. Chop the other half of the onion fine and stir it in. This should form a dough like consistency. Spread thinly on dehydrator trays for 10 – 15 hours at 115 degrees (at least). When done, break apart into pieces and get creative with those sandwiches!
* Cecilia’s note: I personally recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator but any dehydrator you have on hand is fine!
I hope you enjoyed these raw dehydrator recipes and I hope they have encouraged you to get creative with your dehydrator. As always, feel free to share your favorite easy dehydrator recipes in the comments section below.
May 29, 2012 5 Comments
(Please consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.)
You might’ve heard of Spirulina before but perhaps you have been intimidated to try it, or perhaps you have a jar at home you don’t know what to do with. I hope these simple 5 Spirulina recipes will give you the confidence to experiment with it at home.
Spirulina is a bluegreen algae that is available as a powder or tablet. Although Spirulina looks like food from the future, it was actually used as a food source for the Aztecs and Mesoamericans until the 16th century.
Today it is used as a supplement and considered a superfood because of its nutritional content. Spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein and Spirulina’s lipid content is about 7% by weight and is rich in GLA , ALA, EPA, and DHA among other fatty acids. It contains B vitamins (not a reliable source of vitamin B12), vitamins C, K, A, E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc, plus, bioavailable pigments such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Go here for the nutritional analysis.
Where you get your Spirulina is very important because you want it to be fresh, mild tasting, and free of contaminants. My favorite source is from Mountain Rose Herbs.*affiliate link
Just to warn you, Spirulina is an acquired taste. It has a slight fishy flavor, but not as strong as seaweed. The easiest way to use Spirulina is to add it to juice or a smoothie. It tastes good with apple juice or in a smoothie with bananas or mangos. Start with a teaspoon or less at first and add more only when you are sure you can tolerate the taste.
And for the adventurous, here are some simple Spirulina recipes:
Spirulina Green Juice
1 English cucumber
2 medium sized apples (I like Fuji apples best, but any variety will do)
1 small lemon or lime
1 teaspoon Spirulina powder
Juice the produce in a juicer (such as the Omega 4000) and then add 1 teaspoon of Spirulina powder to your juicer. I prefer to blend the Spirulina with the juice in a blender, but you can mix it well if you don’t have one. Makes 16 ounces of juice, double the recipe for 32 ounces.
Spirulina Mango Pudding
3 cups ripe mango, chopped
zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Spirulina powder
Blend all ingredients in a powerful blender (such as the Vitamix Blender) until smooth. If not sweet enough, you can add your sweetener of choice such as dates, honey, or stevia powder to taste.
3 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Spirulina powder
Mix all ingredients together and use as you would regular honey by drizzling it on fruit, putting it in your tea, cereal . . .(etc.).
Spirulina Seasoning Salt
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Spirulina powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
Sprinkle this seasoning salt over air popped popcorn, kale chips, steamed veggies, baked potato . . .(etc.)
Simple Spirulina Salad Dressing
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Spirulina powder
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
Sprinkle of garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and pour over your favorite salad. Some people make the dressing without the lemon juice and zest, so you can experiment with what you like best.
I like to buy my spirulina powder in bulk here*
Although Spirulina is an acquired taste, I hope these Spirulina recipes will give you the courage to try it! And please do share your favorite Spirulina recipes below.
May 21, 2012 12 Comments
If the number one question Vegans get asked is: “Where do you get your protein?”, then the number 2 question is: “Where do you get your calcium?”
So I decided to make a list of some Vegan sources of calcium and then came up with three simple calcium rich raw recipes.
Deciding to supplement or not is definitely something you will need to discuss with a qualified medical professional according to your needs and this article is not meant to substitute professional medical advice.
That being said, here is a list of some Vegan sources of calcium, according to http://whfoods.org:
Excellent sources: spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens
Very good sources: blackstrapp molasses, Swiss chard, kale, basil
Good sources: romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, sesame seeds, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, Brussel sprouts, oranges, asparagus, leeks, crimini mushrooms, kelp
Go here for a full list of vegan and non-vegan calcium rich foods.
I would also like to add moringa powder to the list of excellent sources. If you haven’t heard of it yet you can look it up on wikipedia here.
I decided to whip up some really simple calcium rich raw recipes with the foods listed above. Then I looked up the calcium content in the USDA nutritional database to give you the total calcium content of each recipe. (With the exception of moringa powder where I used the formula of 601 mg of calcium per 30 grams using this chart http://www.moringaleafpowder.co.za/analysis.html and used the conversion of 8 grams = 1 rounded tablespoon moringa powder.)
Calcium Rich Recipes
Calcium Rich Smoothie
Blend the following until smooth:
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice 55 mg
2 ripe medium bananas 12 mg
1 rounded tablespoon moringa powder 160 mg
Total Calcium Content: 227 mg
Calcium Rich Green Juice
5 large stalks celery 130 mg
4 cups chopped collard greens 104 mg
1 bunch spinach 337 mg
5 medium apples 55 mg
1 lemon 22 mg
Total Calcium Content: 667 mg (estimate because the calcium values were for the foods before they were juiced)
Calcium Rich Fruit Salad
Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
2 cups oranges peeled and chopped 144 mg
2 cups mangos peeled and chopped 36 mg
2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds 88 mg
1 tablespoon blackstrapp molasses 41 mg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 13 mg
Total Calcium Content: 322 mg
To put things into perspective here is a recommended daily allowance chart for calcium uptake:
1 – 3 years old 700 mg
4 – 8 years old 1,000 mg
9 – 13 years old 1,300 mg
14 – 18 years old 1,300 mg
19 – 30 years old 1,000 mg
31 – 50 years old 1,000 mg
51 – 70 years old 1,000 mg
51 – 70 year old females 1,200 mg
71+ years old 1,200 800
14 – 18 years old, pregnant/lactating 1,300 mg
19 – 50 years old, pregnant/lactating 1,000 mg
I personally put moringa powder in my smoothies, always have ground sesame seeds available to sprinkle on fruits, salads, soups . . . (etc.) or available to add to nut milks, drizzle blackstrapp molasses on porridges, fruit, or put it in my tea, and I drink at least 32-64 ounces of green juice everyday. You can also incorporate calcium rich greens into your green smoothies, salads, soups, or simply steam them.
Some other important things to know about calcium uptake, according to http://whfoods.org:
- High intakes of sodium, caffeine, or protein cause an increase in the urinary excretion of calcium.
- Vitamin D accelerates the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract.
- While research studies confirm the ability of phytic acid and oxalic acid in foods to lower availability of calcium, the decrease in available calcium is relatively small.
For even more information about calcium intake on a Vegan diet I recommend you listen to this interview by Dr. Klaper MD. The topic is: “Secrets to Preventing Osteoporosis”. He will discuss:
- Which foods put your bones at risk?
- When are x-rays and bone density tests deceptive?
- Which exercises keep your bones strong and which don’t?
- Besides calcium, which other nutrients are critical to strong bones?
- Does fluoridated water strengthen your bones or deteriorate them?
- The shocking “reverse correlation” between milk consumption and osteoporosis
- Why bone density test results are NOT a true indicator of osteoporosis
Normally, only students of The Vegetarian Health Institute have access to this interview. But I’ve arranged complimentary access for you too. To listen to the recording (or download it), click here now:
May 17, 2012 8 Comments
We all get unhealthy food cravings from time to time that are hard to control. There can be many reasons why we crave certain foods: it could be that we’re just plain hungry, stressed/emotionally upset, or physically addicted to the foods we are craving. Certain foods are more addictive than others such as high fat and high sugar foods, chemically processed foods, and sometimes we can be addicted to the foods we are allergic to.
However, no matter what the reason for our food cravings we are trying to satisfy a need in us, whether emotional or physical. To put it simply, we are trying to make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, most of the time, if we give into unhealthy food cravings we end up feeling worse! Fortunately, there are other ways to comfort ourselves without food that won’t make us sick or leave us feeling guilty!
Here are ten ways how to control food cravings and comfort yourself without food. Try them next time the craving monster hits!
Next time you get a craving . . .
Tip #1 Try chewing on something instead of eating such as a piece of sugar free gum, a straw, seaweed, licorice root sticks . . .(etc.)
Tip #2 Try stimulating your mind by playing a crossword puzzle or suduko.
Tip #3 When wanting to zone out and eat mindlessly try flipping through a magazine instead, it doesn’t take much mental effort and can have a calming effect.
Tip #4 Try bringing yourself back to present moment by paying attention to you breath and any bodily sensations you are experiencing in the moment. Repeat the statement, “I am here now”.
Tip #5 Try making yourself more comfortable by changing into sweat pants, letting your hair down, finding a comfortable place to sit or lay down, and or snuggling up with your favorite blanket.
Tip #6 When looking for comfort without using food, try using the soothing effect of heat to calm your body such as drinking your favorite cup of herbal tea, or applying warm washcloth over your eyes or forehead.
Tip #7 Try giving yourself a quick self massage on your hands, feet, shoulders, ears, face, and scalp.
Tip #8 Try changing your mood with different scents. Essential oils are great way to experiment; some scents have a calming effect and others have an invigorating effect. You can use an aromatherapy humidifier, lamp or diffuser or simply pour the oil on a cotton ball and sniff anytime you need it!
Tip #9 Try listening to a piece of beautiful relaxing music such as classical or new age type music that has a calming or uplifting effect on your mood. If you need a quick pick me up try dancing for a few minutes to your favorite energizing music.
Tip #10 Try looking at pictures of loved ones that make you smile, and make sure to have these pictures handy next time a craving hits.
This blog post was inspired by the book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers, PSY.D, so if you liked these tips, check out the book! (Available on Amazon.)
If you have any other ways you like to comfort yourself without food, please do share!
P.S. If you would like some personal guidance on how to conquer cravings I am also available for a raw food coaching session.
May 3, 2012 6 Comments