Category Archives: Raw food

Vegan: Raw banana cookies

Earlier this morning, I made a batch of raw banana cookies. I’m making three trays.

Raw banana cookies.10.27.15

Raw banana cookies

I mainly make plain banana chips; however, today I decided to do something a little special for my daughter. What’s in them? Of course there’s bananas. However, I’ve also ground up cashews, ground pepita seeds, ground cinnamon and have added raw maple syrup. Of course, it has the place smelling amazing.

They’re naturally sweet and with nothing the body does not need. Simple, delicious and nutritious!

Dehydrating adventures: Raw Onion Flat Bread

A few days ago, I made this raw onion bread for ‘Totally Raw Thursday’ which happens to be a day late since this is being posted on Friday.

Raw Onion flatbread w mashed avocado 04.01.14

Raw Onion flat bread with a tablespoon of mashed avocado

While I’d seen posts about raw breads, most weren’t too appealing to me because of the high fat content that was used in them. Nuts, seeds, avocados, olives are loaded with nutrients but they also carry a high amount of fat.  Too much fat in my diet makes me sleepy, so I only consume it in small amounts.

I guess I should start at the beginning, right?

This raw onion flat bread is simple to make; it had five or six ingredients. The patience comes in waiting for your food to dehydrate.

Red Onion 4.2.14

Red onions

I chose red onions for my flat bread, the flavor isn’t as strong as the onions I normally use.

Onion & Carrot Pulp  4.2.14

Carrots and onions prepped in my 12 cup Kitchen Aid Food Processor

Because I love color I also added carrots. Those colors are great together, aren’t they?

Pureed red pepper 4.2.14

Pureed red bell pepper and tomatoes

To add a bit more sweetness, I added a red pepper and roma tomatoes were tossed in for natural sodium.

Flax seeds 4.2.14

Freshly ground flax seeds that have expanded in water.

To bind the ingredients I ground 1/4 cup of flax seeds. I wasn’t sure if this would be enough to bind the ingredients, but I was willing to experiment. You might be surprised at how much fat is in flax seeds or you might not care!  I let the ground flax seeds soak in about 1/2 cup of water for thirty minutes.  As you can see, it expanded!

Carrot & Onion Pulp 4.2.14

Adding flax mixture to carrots and onions

I slowly added the flax seed mixture to the onions and garlic. Even though onions and carrots made a lot of dough. It looked like a 1/4 cup of my expanded flax seed mixture is enough to coat everything. Phew!

Onion Flat bread 1  4.2.14

Onion flatbread – dough

The next step was to slowly spread the ‘dough’ onto my Excalibur trays. This made enough to cover three trays.

Onion Flat bread 2 4.2.14

See! Everything has been spread, no holes in the dough, either! Now the only thing left to do was wait. Waiting on something that smells this good? It wasn’t long before the house was filled with the aroma. It smelled so good! I will admit I was concerned with how it would taste, that’s a whole lot of onions!

Onion Bread 1_4.2.14

Raw onion flat bread – cut into squares

Once they were finished, I cut them into squares with my Kitchen Aid Shears and now the main question, how do they taste?

Raw Onion flatbread w mashed avocado 04.01.14

Raw Onion flatbread

 

I must say I’m pleased with the results. The raw onion bread dough made a fair amount, but unfortunately the raw onion flat bread is all gone. My daughter loved them (as much as myself) and I shared them with others.

I enjoyed making this onion flat bread. I like mild flavors to so I’m tasting the produce, so I went easy on the seasoning and enjoyed tasting the flavor of the onion, carrots, peppers and tomatoes. They worked well together. These were a pleasure to make and I loved how the bread was bursting with flavor. It was so good, that I ate a few without adding anything to them.

Eaten plain (as a chip) or made into a sandwich this was a healthy, low calorie, gluten free meal that is bursting with flavor.
Check out Jennifer’s Raw Food Challenge!

 

Raw food Giveaway

Rawvolution

I’ll be posting a raw food giveaway tomorrow. It’s for the above book.  So stop by this weekend to enter and find out what my next challenge is for the next two weeks.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dehydrating adventures: Raw Onion Flat Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: Raw Food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Raw onion flat bread that's bursting with flavor
Ingredients
  • 3 medium red onions (or vidalia)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup whole flax seeds
  • Season to taste I added freshly ground sea salt and cumin
Instructions
  1. Chop onions finely. I used my food processor
  2. Grate carrots - I did this in my food processor
  3. Dice roma tomatoes
  4. Finely chop red bell pepper
  5. Grind ¼ cup flax seeds - set aside to soak (I let mine soak for 30 minutes)
  6. Combine vegetables into large bowl and mix thoroughly
  7. Slowly add the soaked flax seeds making sure that everything is coated
  8. Place on 'dough' lined dehydrator sheet
  9. Spread, making sure there are no holes in the dough
  10. Dry 1t 130 for an hour then turn temperature down to 110
  11. Check after 8-10 hours. If bottom is firm, flip (removing dehydrator sheet)
  12. Check about 4 hours later. If slightly firm you can cut into squares at this time.

 

Have you made any raw food lately? Let us know what you’ve made below.


Totally Raw Thursday – Postponed by one day

It’s the first week of my Totally Raw Thursday –  dehydrator challenge and I’m not even meeting my challenge date, tomorrow.

I will say that I’ve already prepared the yumalicious dehydrated food that I’ll be featuring. I challenged myself to make something with onions.  I will say the raw dehydrated food I made turned out amazingly well. In fact, I had some of it this morning. I’m still not finished writing the post. How hard can it be to write a post? Well… due to my tendency to write about the benefits of the various foods I prepare and then link to sources, that backs up what I’ve written sometimes it can take a little while.

However, I will be posting my challenge for ‘dehydrate something with onions’ for this Friday, so stop by and see what I’ve made and join in if you like. I look forward to see what Jennifer posts.

Raw food adventures: Raw Zucchini Chips

My daughter has a high metabolism. In that way, she takes after myself. I stay active so I burn through calories very quickly. Over the years, my metabolism has slowed down (slightly) but it’s still fairly high since my activity level is still active.

Being that she can burn through food, I make sure that the snacks available in our home are delicious and nutritious. One way to do this is to make raw food snacks in my dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can also receive similar results in an oven, just turn it on the lowest setting.

The most recent raw food snack I made for her are these raw zucchini chips. In fact, they are still in the Excalibur dehydrator.

Excalibur raw snacks. 04.01.14

Excalibur: Raw food snacks

Last evening, I made a few flat breads (one will be featured later this week) and I also made zucchini chips. As you can see the Excalibur dehydrator is almost full. Only three empty trays left. Naturally the kitchen was filled with the aroma of the flatbreads and the chips.  Throughout the evening, I caught my daughter peering into the Excalibur dehydrator willing them to be finished. Yes, she knows that it takes hours for the food to be dehydrated. Food dehydrators dries the food on low heat. For  ‘raw food’ I don’t turn the heat past 110 F.

Check out the  zucchini chips! They were very easy to prepare. Zucchini makes the perfect base for chips. It has a mild flavor and readily absorbs whatever it’s marinated with.

While some people are adamant that you need a mandolin slicer to cut your zucchini chips finely, I disagree.  You don’t really need to use one if you have a sharp knife. Just pay attention and cut thin slices.

Zucchini Chip 1_4.1.14

Zucchini slices

You see! I did a fairly decent job cutting the zucchini into thin slices. I used s sharp knife. I do have a stainless steel mandolin slicer; sometimes I use it but usually reach for my knife.

Zucchini Chip 2_4.1.14

I took out my mortar and pestle and ground up herbs and spices; sea salt, turmeric, black seeds, parsley, rosemary, etc., The smell that they gave off while they were being ground made me want to eat the herbs and spices. Yes, they smelled that good. However, I showed restraint and let them just kept pounding everything into fine dust.

Zucchini Chip 3_4.1.14

Raw food snacks: Zucchini chips

Afterwards, I coated the zucchini chips with this marinade, and covered it, and placed them in the refrigerator overnight.

Zucchini Chip 4_4.1.14

Raw food snacks: Zucchini chips ready to be dehydrated

Early this morning, I pulled them out of the refrigerator and placed them on my Excalibur trays. I filled three trays and then placed them into the dehydrator.

I’m sorry, but I guessed at the measurement for the recipe I’ve included below. I rarely measure ingredients nor do I follow recipes. I just toss in what sounds good.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Raw Zucchini Chips
Author: 
Recipe type: Raw food snack
Cuisine: Raw food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Delicious and healthy raw food snack.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini finely sliced
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp raw organic coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black seeds
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (turmeric has a slightly bitter taste, if you don't like that try curry or another spice)
Instructions
  1. Place the sliced zucchini chips into a large bowl with the coconut oil. Stir thoroughly making sure all the zucchini is coated.
  2. In another bowl combine all the spices (my spices were ground in my mortar and pestle)
  3. Add the spices/herbs to your zucchini bowl. Make sure you coat all the zucchini slices.
  4. Marinate overnight
  5. Drain the water from the bowl
  6. Place marinated zucchini chips into your Food dehydrator.
  7. Dehydrate at 140 for one hour, then reduce the temperature to 115. Dehydrate until they are dry.

I’ll be posting what I did with my raw food challenge on Thursday. Yes, it’s already been made and I’m still working on the post. Check out this post on my Dehydrator challenge and join in if you like. For the first challenge, I will be giving away a raw food book.

 

Too much fat on a raw food diet?

One thing that became glaringly obvious, when observing some ‘raw food gurus’ raw food snacks was the high fat/calorie content in some of their preparations. Many of them were made using their food dehydrator.

Nuts and seeds

Avocados, oils, nuts and seeds were used (seemingly) without a thought about the high percentage of fat or calories that was being introduced into the diet. My daily fat intake is about 10% or less. It seems how my body responds best and there have been great research information from a variety of sources that shows the benefits of adhering to this plan.

The high fats I see promoted in some raw food recipes always left me wondering if the creator has any idea of the fat or calorie content that are contained in these healthy foods? Perhaps some do and are simply not bothered by the high fat content? And while I’m not one to count calories, the amount of fats that I’d see (from a variety of nuts and seeds that were going into one recipe) made me pause. Healthy fats are great for us; Fats help with absorbing nutrients, nerve transmission and maintaining cell membrane integrity etc. But we can overdo it also.

Have you ever checked the nutritional info on the natural but high fat foods you consume? You might be in for a surprise.

Let’s take a look at 1 cup of raw almonds…

Raw Almonds – Ground, 1 Cup

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup of ground

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 433
Calories 549

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 48.11g 74%

One cup has 549 calories and 433 of that is from fat.

Let’s take a look at raw cashews…

Raw Cashews – 1 Cup
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 170g or 6oz

Amount Per Serving

Calories
940 Calories from Fat 624

% Daily Value*

Total Fat
75g 115%

How about flax seeds? I frequently see this used as a binding ingredient within raw snacks. I do use it, but I reduce the amount I use by a lot.

Flax Seeds – 1 Cup

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 550
Calories 774

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 61.13g 94%

While, it’s true that there are health benefits in the good fats, using them excessively might cause issues also.

Possible issues with too much fat in a raw food diet…

    • Fat remains in the blood stream a long time – Raw food diets high in fat remains in the blood stream for an extremely long time. If our raw food diet (or any other diet for that matter) is high in fat it successfully interferes with insulin production. Why is this important? Under ideal circumstances, our bodies insulin would latch on to sugar molecules within the blood so that it could transport them to our cells. However, consuming a high amount of fat, makes it very difficult for the insulin to reach the insulin receptor.  Because of this, our pancreas becomes tired from producing the additional insulin. This means that our blood sugar levels remain high since the sugar can’t be carried out of the blood by the insulin. Did you know that conditions like type 2 diabetes aren’t caused by the lack of insulin, they are directly related to too much fat.
    • Slows Digestion – consuming too much fat can slow down the digestive process of other foods that are consumed. Some folks might also experience bloating or gas. I’ve experienced this in the past, it’s not pleasant at all!
    • Interference with red blood cells – A diet high in fat will hinder the transport of oxygen by our red blood cells. When our body is low in oxygen, it makes the perfect environment for cancer to survive.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some raw food snacks, and I’ll even make sure to measure so I can actually have a recipe, but you won’t see an excessive amount of fats in any of my recipes. Raw food snacks can be just as delicious without the excessive use of healthy fats. For me, it’s all about balance. Over the years I’ve learned to really pay attention to my bodies cues. Everything within moderation, you know?

References:

  1. Fat Secret: Flax Seeds
  2. Fat Secret – Almonds
  3. Skip the Pie.org – Nutritional Data for Nuts, cashew nuts, raw
  4. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – Analysis of Health Problems Associated with High-Protein, High-Fat, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets Reported via an Online Registry
  5. Heart Information Network: A Diet That Restricts Daily Fat Intake to 10% Can Help in the Fight Against Heart Disease: A Discussion of Fat, Myths, and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Diets
  6. Body Enlightenment: Hold the Almonds and Pass the Arugula: What You Need to Know About Omega Fatty Acids in Oils, Seeds, and Greens!

Excalibur dehydrator: three snacks; banana, mixed fruit and veggie chips

Yesterday, when my daughter arrived home, she was greeted with scent of banana and vegetable chips permeating the air.

dehydrator Banana chips 03.22.14

Banana chips ready for the dehydrator

“What are you making, mommy?” She peeked into the top tray of the 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator and spotted the banana chips. “Oh… I remember those!” She said excitedly. She loved banana chips as a toddler. My daughter hates store bought fruit chips but has always loved dehydrated chips. Homemade raw banana chips don’t have the added preservatives (and in some cases additional sweeteners) that our bodies don’t need.

Fresh kale 03.22.14

Chopped kale, stem removed

A few trays down she saw the nutrient rich (high in fiber) veggie chips. What am I talking about, all the chips/crackers within the dehydrator are high in nutrients and they are so delicious! These chips are a mix of freshly chopped kale (stem removed and set aside for juicing) and juicer pulp. The pulp consisted of carrots, garlic, celery and ginger.

Excalibur Veggie Chip spread  2_03.22.14

Spreading out the vegetable chips. They will be scored in about eight hours.

Additionally I added a some freshly ground Himalayan sea salt, cumin and coriander. The binding ingredient, was about a 1/4 cup of freshly ground raw golden flax seeds. Those four trays were prepared while she was at Art class with her friend. I held off making any more since I knew she’d want to help making some raw food treats.

Once she arrived home we made raw fruit chips/rollups.

Excalibur Juier pulp roll up 1_03.22.14

Fresh from the juicer: apple/pineapple fiber pulp

And my daughter took control, deciding what juice she wanted to drink; apple & pineapple. After the juice was prepared, the fiber pulp was put into my Kitchen Aid food processor. Since the pulp was a bit dry, I poured some of the freshly prepared apple & pineapple juice into the Food processor. My daughter took over and processed until blended until smooth. I then added two ripe bananas and about 1/4 cup of raw golden flax seeds that I’d let soak for about thirty minutes. Again, she processed until everything was well blended. I see a lot of folks that make dehydrated snacks add a large amount of nuts & seeds to their blend. Sure they are healthy, but have you checked out how many calories and fat they have? I keep my fat intake below 10% daily. More on the reasoning behind that in another post…

Excalibur - Fruit fiber pulp 1_03.22.14

My daughter spreading out the fiber pulp. These will make great roll ups or fruit chips

Once everything was blended we moved onto the task of spreading everything onto the trays. I added teflex sheets to each dehydrator tray, and showed her how to spread the ‘dough.’ I told her to make sure she did not get too close to the edge. There was enough of this to cover three trays.

Throughout the evening, I caught my daughter sampling the banana chips. No, they weren’t finished but boy did they smell good. I guess she could not resist, eh? You know, she used to do something similar when she was a toddler.  As soon as I would put the banana chips in her bowl, there she was ready to pounce on them and eat them. Sighs, some things never change… I guess! 😉

Keeping it simple: Avocado salad

Earlier this week I ate a simple avocado salad.

Avocado Salad 3_03.19.14

Preparing my avocado salad

I call it simple because the salad only consisted of four main ingredients; avocado, spinach, tomato and onion. A few spices were freshly ground in my mortar and pestle and I scattered some raw sunflower seeds as a topping.  But even though there weren’t a lot of ingredients, this salad was delicious. With my salads or any other meals that I do prepare, I try to keep the ingredients that I prepare to a minimum, since I do think simplicity is key.

Avocado Salad 2_03.19.14

I find that I really don’t need a lot of seasonings to flavor a dish. If you’re looking for salad dressing, you won’t find it in this dish and you know what, it really doesn’t need anything and that’s just how I prefer my salads, without salad dressing. Adding salad dressing to my salads are rare, since I much prefer experiencing the full flavor of the produce that I add to a meal.

Simple Eating

As you can see, even though my meal was ‘simple’ it is chock full of numerous nutrients and health benefits that my body craves. Since I eat simply, I detect a lot of flavors that most people can’t seem to taste and I do believe that is largely due to the types of foods that they consume. Many people consume food processed foods and other food like items that are loaded with a toxic mix of unhealthy ingredients and chemicals that aren’t designed for human consumption. Is it any wonder that westernized cultures are plagued with many health related diseases. It’s important to educate yourself on nutrition. Over time, these ‘foods’ can  affect what tastes good for us. It’s troubling, that the foods that are nourishing for our bodies and are quite delicious on their own are usually rejected the more unhealthy a person eats.

Health benefits

While simple, this is a highly nutritious meal. Avocados are rich in vitamin K, C, E and a variety of B vitamins. They also contain healthy fats,  protein, and they are a great source of fiber. Avocados has numerous health benefits. A few of them are; may help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, aid in promoting healthy body weight and BMI. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, great for the skin, aids in constipation and can be effective in prostate cancer prevention. Besides being a great source of iron, spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C.  It also contains numerous anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s also great for our bone health, since it’s a great source of vitamin K. I use onion and garlic in a lot of my dishes. Numerous studies have shown that they both are great for cancer prevention. They both are anti-inflammatory and onions also may increase our bone density. Great information to know, especially for women as they near menopause.

References:

  1. Nutrition Facts:  Health Benefits of Avocados
  2. The World’s Healthiest Foods:  Spinach
  3. WebMD: Onions full of Nutrients
  4. The World’s Healthiest Foods: Tomatoes