by Carissa Leventis-Cox
Thinking about really nutritious, fresh, un-processed, raw pop tarts or raw cereal bars or raw fig Newtons? Either for breakfast, a snack or a dessert, this is it! This truly healthy recipe is very easy, simple and the family will love it. Blueberries are now in season and taste fantastic with vanilla, coconut, lemon and maple syrup!
Grind into a fine flour with a Vitamix or Coffee grinder:
1 cup sprouted and dehyrated soft wheat berries*
* Alternatives: sprouted and dehydrated oat groats (or simply grind rolled oats if this is easier), soaked, rinsed and drained nuts (make sure they are dry thoroughly – I usually store them in the fridge for a few hours in a sieve after rinsing them)
Place in a bowl and add:
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (without alcohol)
1 T extra virgin coconut oil
2 – 3 T maple syrup, according to taste
Mix together. Flatten with the palm of your hands or a roller on a flat surface. Refrigerate or freeze until hard. Carefully separate pastry from surface. Cut into long strips and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Mix together in a food processor:
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional but brings out the taste of sweet blueberries)
1/4 cup dates, soak if required
1 cup fresh blueberries*
*Alternatives: You can use your choice of seasonal fruits here, like strawberries, figs, etc.
To Serve A La Minute
Place pastry strips on a flat surface. Top half of each strip with blueberry jam and fold the other half on top to form a type of sandwich. Serve immediately.
by Melissa McKinnon
1. Start with a Leafy Green Base: the darker the green, the more nutritious. Be creative and try a new lettuce variety, especially if you’re stuck on Iceberg; Bibb, Red Leaf, and Romaine are always good options, or you can branch out and add spinach, kale, or other greens likes collards, mustard greens, or Swiss chard. My favorite is the Organic Girl brand (when I can’t get it from my own garden).
2. Add Some Color: I suggest at least one from each color group below…
- Something Red: grape tomatoes, red pepper, strawberries, pomegranate arils, sliced beets, dried cranberries, radishes, apples
- Something Orange or Yellow: bell peppers, carrots, banana peppers, mandarin oranges, mango salsa, corn
- Something Green: peppers, cucumbers, sprouts, green beans, granny smith apples, pears, zucchini, artichoke hearts, celery, broccoli, peas
- Something Blue or Purple: blueberries or other berries, purple cabbage, grapes, purple carrots, raisins
- Something White: mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, garlic or shallots
3. Add a Protein: this can be grilled chicken or salmon on top of the salad, or something simple like a half cup of rinsed and drained beans (kidney beans, black beans, whatever your favorite is), a hardboiled egg or an ounce of low-fat cheese.
4. Add a Healthy Fat Source: 1 Tbsp. of olive oil or chopped olives, ¼ avocado, or a small handful of nuts and/or seeds. You need healthy fat in your meal if you want to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins available in the rest of your salad!
5. Add Some Flavor: balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs, freshly cracked black pepper, etc. Stay away from high-sodium and saturated fat laden options. Something crunchy is always fun too (depending on what you’ve already added): whole wheat croutons, asian noodles, or these salad toppers from Oh She Glows are all fun ideas.
Bon Appetit! And Enjoy the Journey!
Melissa, My Journey to Lean Blog
- 2 c. shredded organic potatoes (about 2 small to medium potatoes)
- 1 all-natural egg
- sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 c. all-natural all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 c. organic red onion, finely chopped
- 2 large organic garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch (about 4 c.) Swiss Chard, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. Baby Swiss Cheese, shredded
- 4 all-natural eggs
- 1 c. milk
- 1 Tbsp. dried marjoram
- 1/2 c. breadcrumbs (I used homemade breadcrumbs from feta spinach bread)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 400F. Shred potatoes and pat dry with a towel. Add flour, salt, pepper, and egg, combining well. Spread into 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Brush with oil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and lower oven temp to 350F.
While the potato crust is baking, heat butter and olive oil in saute pan over medium low heat. Chop the onion and add to the skillet, sauteing for 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Chop chard (Note: Spinach could be a good substitute; for the chard, discard excess stems, if desired. I used about 2 inches past the end of each leaf for the added color and discarded the rest.) Add to saute pan, cooking for 5-10 minutes, until sweated down.
Meanwhile, combine eggs, milk, shredded cheese, and seasonings in mixing bowl. Add chard mixture and pour into baked potato crust. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and put tabs of butter on top of breadcrumbs, evenly spaced. This will help the top brown up beautifully.
Bake at 350F for 35 minutes, or until knife inserted 1 inch from the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting. This allows the egg to finish cooking and solidify so your pieces come out perfect on the first slice.
Serves 8. Serve for brunch or a light dinner with a side salad and/or sliced tomatoes. Feel free to add chopped, cooked bacon to the pie ingredients for extra flavor (if you do this, you may want to eliminate the oil and butter and cook the onions, etc., in the bacon grease once you’ve cooked and drained the bacon). This is a great recipe if you have spinach or chard that has begun to wilt and you don’t want to throw it away. Also, you can prepare it the night before, if desired.
by Carissa Leventis-Cox
It’s easier to add more raw foods into our daily diets than a lot of people think.
How? Substitute unprocessed ingredients for the processed ones and voilá! You’ve got something RAW.
Here’s a quick and simple example of how I re-created a favorite Japanese Sesame Dressing.
2 tbspns Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce instead of regular)
2 tbspns raw apple cider vinegar (instead of rice vinegar)
2 tbspons raw local honey (instead of white granulated sugar)
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (instead of toasted)
1/4 cup raw tahini (instead of peanut butter or roasted tahini)
1/4 cup water (instead of stock)
Enjoy your truly raw and unprocessed spring salad greens and/or microgreens (the latter from City Roots)!
That’s easy, isn’t it?
by Julia Mangan
Tomato season is approaching fast! Here’s a sneak peak of what we all have to look forward to!
Last summer we joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which means we enjoyed some wonderful local, organic seasonal produce all summer long. I had fingerling potatoes as well as blue potatoes for the first time and found myself getting creative with ways to use turnips.
When we acquired a ton of delicious tomatoes in different varieties, I excitedly started brainstorming ways to use them up. I had always wanted to make homemade fresh tomato sauce, so I perused the internet and found there are 3 basic types of sauce (although leave me a comment if I am wrong!). The first is the long simmering variety, the second is the barely-cooked and the third is uncooked. I decided to go with the barely-cooked.
I used another blogger’s delicious sauce recipe, and I was not disappointed. The recipe says it can be done in 15 minutes but, well, I’m extremely slow and in no way was I done in 15 minutes. I would definitely make this recipe again. It had a very fresh, summery taste and was perfectly easy for a first time homemade sauce maker like myself. I plan on trying a long simmering sauce next.
I still had plenty of tomatoes left so I tackled homemade salsa next. My mom came over and we started adding ingredients to the food processor, not really knowing what we were doing. We made a peach and mango salsa along with a regular salsa. We threw in some other CSA veggies like jalapeños and onions (yellow and white) along with a bunch of other stuff. Lemon and lime juice, peaches, honey mango, green and red onions, green bell pepper, garlic, honey, olive oil, white vinegar and sherry cooking wine were all thrown in to one or both of the salsas. We were pleased with the results!
We also enjoyed our tomatoes in tomato basil quiche, tomato pie and bruschetta.
What are your favorite tomato recipes?
by Lynn Byrd aka The Byrdfeeder
Brussels sprouts were first cultivated in Belgium (hence the name “Brussels” sprouts) in the 1500s, and introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s. Odd, though; this delectable alien isn’t mentioned as a classic Belgium food in the culinary portion of the Brussels Travel Guide. Perhaps our dear sprouts grew tired of playing second fiddle to a stupid waffle, and upon voluntary exile from its native land, lost all rights and privileges of birth. Tant pis Belgium, I say.
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous veggies containing high amounts of vitamins A, C, K, and folate, plus 4 grams of dietary fiber. These luscious buds are also rich sources of phytochemicals (also know as plant food) which boosts cell repair and might just cause cancer cells to commit suicide. Plus, they promote supple skin, digestive health, and a myriad of other health benefits.
You! Stop being a Brussels sprouts hater and give this garden super star its props. As long as they’re cooked with respect, they’ll maintain their dignity, won’t stink up the house, and you will love them. You will!
In The World’s Healthiest Foods cookbook, George Mateljan suggests trimming and cutting a pound of fresh Brussels sprouts in quarters, then steaming them for 5 minutes. Afterwards, dress them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 2 medium cloves of garlic, and sea salt and pepper to taste. And they are really, really good like this.
However, my little garden sprouts are too tender to steam that long! I trim and cut them in half, then, in a sauté pan, I add a few tablespoons of water with salt and quickly heat to boiling. Next, I toss all the sprouts in the sauté pan, add a pat (not a stick) of organic butter on top, and cover for one minute on medium high heat. Remove the cover, stir around to scrape any delicious carmelized bits off the bottom of the pan, add a little tamari if desired and romp on those goodies.
For an extra good treat, sauté some shallots in butter or olive oil and add to the sprout pan at the end, or just cook at the same time in the same pan. I simply prefer my shallots to be carmelized more.
Of course you can roast them for 40 minutes or so in a 400 degree oven after trimming and dressing with salt and olive oil, but why torture them? Yes, sprouts are delicious roasted, but I urge you to experiment with a shorter cooking time to maintain the nutrient integrity of the sprout. Not only that, but high heat changes the chemical structure of oil, and not for the better.
Rebellious vegetable, or limp waffle? Whose side are you on?
Tant pis is French for too bad. 40% of Belgium residents speak French; 60% speak Flemish.
by Carissa Leventis-Cox
Two weeks ago, I went on a Holistic Moms Network nature walk with Matthew Kip, of the Community Gardens at University of South Carolina, to learn about wild edibles. It was fascinating watching Matt point out all the edible weeds around us. I couldn’t believe there was so much food along our local river walk. An abundance of food FREE for anyone to eat! Yet, we were the only ones enjoying them.
I have to admit that as I took my turn in trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that, I felt sort of like a wild animal, all at once one with nature. It was an amazing experience to watch the children especially foraging for their own wild edibles, pointing to various green weeds and asking, “Mama, can I have some? Can I eat that?” and picking some more for later.
I was very happy to be able to share this wild (yet most natural) experience with my son.
Here are our favorite tastes from the walk:
Chickweed: great as a salad green, tastes very mild. We made a green smoothie with a whole bunch when we got home. Yum.
Wood Sorrel (looks like a 3 leaf clover): sour, tastes a little like lemon peel. I found some in my garden and ate it off the ground!
Bullbrier: the best taste of the day! I never tasted anything like this. Absolutely delicious! Wish I grabbed a bunch before heading home. It would have made a great raw salad.
Eat The Weeds – a great web resource, he also posts youtube videos on various wild edibles: chickweed, wood sorrel and bullbrier 1 and 2.
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guide) – a field guide
NPR’s Foraging the Weeds for Wild, Healthy Greens – I love that the Holistic Moms Network is so up to date with what is going on in other places! Thanks Toni for the link!
The Forager’s Harvest – a guidebook
by Carissa Leventis-Cox
I said in one of my previous posts that I don’t like to eat asparagus raw… I have to take that back! My friend Victoria and her husband gave us fresh asparagus from their garden. It was tender, sweet and almost creamy – so unlike the woodsy, fibrous ones I buy.
Serve with this Easy Cashew Mayo or Dip
Puree all together:
1 lemon, juiced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T water
1/2 cup raw cashew butter
1 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
choice of herbs and spices, according to taste
An easy and healthy appetizer in 5 minutes! Gotta love that!
by Carissa Leventis-Cox
My cousin Miguel e-mailed me out of the blue last week and after reading my posts, he immediately set out to make his own Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie. I was so impressed when he e-mailed me just 2 days later with a photo of his own pie. Although his was made with a Graham Cracker crust, the rest was all raw. He and his 2 year old little girl, Estelle, devoured it. His response brought a smile on my face, “I’m SOLD! I’m inspired to eat raw desserts! Any more desserts involving strawberries or peaches in the making? “
Needless to say, I’m always so excited when others are motivated to eat less processed and more raw foods. So today, I looked in my fridge: strawberries – check, almonds – check and macadamia nuts – check. Thought I’d create a Strawberry Cream Pie!
So, Miguel, this is for you and Estelle!
What’s so great about Strawberries?
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber and iodine, the latter nutrient helps protect our thyroids and gonads from radiation exposure of iodine-131. Strawberries also contain potassium, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, and vitamin K. And they are abundant in the spring. In fact, City Roots just announced that their strawberries are ready for picking.
The Soft Cookie Crust
Pulse together in a food processor:
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 T extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
1 1/2 T raw local honey
1 cup raw almonds, unsoaked, process to a powder
Create the crust in molds (first grease with coconut oil) or on two 5-inch pie pans or free form rounds. Freeze.
Puree in a high speed blender:
2 T raw local honey
1 organic orange, juiced, around 1/3 cup
1 cup raw organic macadamia nuts, unsoaked (or cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
Refrigerate until needed.
1 pint of organic strawberries
Mint from the garden
Make sure everything is cold when served and after putting it together, serve immediately.
To put together:
1. Place an almond cookie crust on a plate.
2. Top with strawberry slices.
3. Spread orange cream on top.
4. Top with more strawberries.
5. Garnish with a mint leaf.
By Carissa Leventis-Cox
I have been wanting to make Kimchi for a while because of its nutritional benefits: rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, iron and lactic acid bacteria. Kimchi is a Korean condiment that is basically fermented cabbage. So, a few weeks ago, I finally remembered to ask Song, a Korean lady at my favourite local health food store, how to make it. But she introduced me to another shopper instead.
“He knows how to make Kimchi. Chris, tell her how to make Kimchi,” Song says.
I smiled inside as this White Cooked Foodie (judging from his food at the cashier) explains in detail to me, an Asian Raw Foodie, how to make Kimchi. Chris is very detailed in his instructions, and I am inspired to finally make it.
I experiment a few times, until I get the hang of it. With Chris’ help and one of my mother’s Korean cookbooks (one recipe contained Asian fruits that I substitute here with green apple and raisins), I finally create a mild sweet Kimchi that my son and husband will eat (i.e. not spicy here).
Kid/Family-Friendly Kimchi Recipe
Chop into bite size pieces or slice:
1 big or 2 small Napa Cabbages, cored
Place in a non-metallic container. Chris and Song use big glass mason jars. I used the lining of my slow cooker. Massage cabbage pieces all over with:
1/4 cup sea salt
Cover with water, place a plate with a weight on top (I used 2 mason jars full of water) or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in water. Leave overnight. The next day, drain the water and rinse the cabbage.
Place the cabbage back in the container with:
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbspns sea salt
1 green apple, grated
2 green onions, sliced
3 large carrots, grated
1/2 cup raw local honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water
add chili peppers if you prefer spice
Mix together well. Make sure there are no air pockets by pushing the vegetables down. Again, place a plate with a weight on top or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in liquid. Cover with a towel and leave for 3 – 4 days. When done, place in mason jars and refrigerate.
How To Eat Kimchi with Raw Food
Eat it with other foods being served: salad, vegetable noodles (carrots, zucchini, squash), vegetable ‘rice’ (process in food processor cauliflower, sweet potatoes, parsley), and more!
We really enjoy a Great Big Kimchi Salad: spinach, lettuce, avocado and kimchi with juices. Mix all together with your hands. Yum!
With Sesame Veggie Noodles (photo above), recipe from We Like It Raw.