Conscious Food Choices

For the love of delicious healthy food…

Ginger-Goji Super Granola and Friends…

I am not crazy about the flavor of goji berries, but am a strong believer in their superpowers, so this is a way to spice them up by dry blending them with a bit of crystallized ginger. (Yes, the sugary one…but a little goes a long way).

Ginger-Goji Super Granola (Raw-ish)

  • 1/2 recipe of Vanilla Almond Granola Base 
  • 3 c flaked or shredded dried coconut (combo is nice)
  • 2 c walnuts and/or pecans (soaked and dried)
  • 1 c organic goji berries,  dry blended until roughly powdered
  • 2 T finely chopped crystallized ginger pieces
  • 1 T freshly grated ginger
  • 1 c dried mulberries, (or ¼ c dates, raisins or other dried fruit) coarsely chopped or lightly dry blended
  • 2 T liquid coconut oil
  • 1/4 t coarsely ground sea salt
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 t cinnamon (optional)
  • Vanilla maple glaze made with: 1 T vanilla plus 1/4 c maple syrup

Dry blend crystallized ginger, fresh ginger and goji berries in Vitamix until most of the goji berries have powdered and are reclumping into gingery bits. The odd whole berry is fine here too.

Combine coconut, chopped nuts, gingered goji berries and other fruit in very large bowl. Add liquid coconut oil and toss to coat.

Add 2 T. maple syrup, salt and cinnamon or other spices and flavorings, toss lightly to coat.

Finally, add Vanilla Hemp Granola Base over nut mixture. Toss lightly, drizzling with remaining maple-vanilla mixture so everything is lightly coated. Make sure not to overmix at this point – there should be distinctive lumps of the oat-y base, alongside the coconut-nut mixture, all lightly glazed with the maple vanilla mix… (Mmmmm)

Spread onto 3 or 4 Perflexx sheets. Dehydrate 8 -12 hours or overnight, turning once to crisp up the undersides.

 

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Flavor Variations (are endless… these are just ideas)

Maple Pecan Granola

  • Use all pecans instead of walnuts
  • Use gingered gogi berries, or not…
  • Use only the finely shredded coconut, not flakes
  • Increase cinnamon to 2 T
  • Add 1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg

Blueberry Almond Granola

  • Use 2 cups chopped raw almonds (soaked, dried and truly raw)
  • Use only flaked coconut
  • Leave ginger out but dry blend the gogi berries to a fine powder to dissapear them
  • Use 1 c sundried blueberries as the dried fruit,  and do not chop or blend.
  • Replace cinnamon with 1/2 t fresh lemon juice and zest
  • Add 1/2 t almond extract to and 1 t lemon juice to vanilla maple glaze

Rainforest Crunch:

Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a necessary trace mineral not easily found in many foods. This is a good way to eat a little bit each day.

  • Use 1 c walnuts, plus 1/2 c brazil nuts, soaked overnight, thinly sliced and dried
  • Add 1/2 cup finely chopped raw cashews, (unsoaked is fine).
  • Use chopped dried figs, pineapple and/or mango for the fruit.

Pumpkin Spice:
Pumpkin seeds are another great nutritional powerhouse. Extremely high in minerals, especially magnesium, plus a wide range of B Vitamins, and Zinc, they also contain L-Tryptophan which among other things, makes you feel good. Along with walnuts, they are also listed as one of the better sources for omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Add 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/4 t dried ginger and a pinch of cloves, or 3/4 t pumpkin spice mix to gogi berries and dry blend.
  • Add 1 cup soaked and dried pumpkin seeds to the blender just at the end, to coat them in flavor
  • Add 2 t cinnamon and a dash more nutmeg or spice blend to the vanilla maple glaze at the end
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June 18, 2011 Posted by | Breakfast, Food Consciousness, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Sugar Free/Unrefined Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pura Vida Tortilla Soup (Raw)

“Pura Vida” literally means “Pure” and “Life”, and it is a term used loosely in Costa Rica as a greeting or farewell  – meaning things are cool, and that life is good, in balance…

This recipe was based on Ani Phyo’s Tortilla Soup Recipe in her book, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, but I think Tracy Morrisette, the chef at the Goddess Garden, brilliantly improved it with the addition of a little nutritional yeast and chili powder. Not to mention some utterly addictive deep fried fresh tortilla strips covered in her nacho cheese-flavored spice mix! Tracy made this soup for us on the first retreat here in Costa Rica and it blew my mind: an utterly virtuous and creamy raw soup with a handful of wickedly delicious crunchiness on top. Pura Vida!

Serve this gently warmed up for a cold winter day, or at room temperature on a hot one.

Pura Vida Tortilla Soup (Raw) – Serves 6

  • 4 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 ½ t garlic
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno (or to taste)
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t ancho chili powder
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 sundried tomato halves, soaked
  • 3 cups water (use soak water from tomatoes)

Fried Tortilla Strips

  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into half inch strips
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1 T ancho chili powder

Blend the Soup: Combine all soup ingredients in a Vitamix and blend until completely smooth and creamy, taste and adjust for salt and spiciness.

Fry the Strips: Combine yeast and spices in small bowl and set aside. Deep fry tortilla strips in two or three batches until crisp and lightly brown.  Drain each batch well on newspaper covered with paper towels to catch the oil, and sprinkle generously with the seasoning mix, tossing to coat. Serve in bowls alongside soup.

Serve soup cool at room temperature, or warm slightly in a saucepan: stirring constantly and testing with a finger often to make sure it does not get too hot. Pour immediately into warmed bowls and pass the strips!

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Fresh, Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Soups, Vegan Recipes | , , , , | 7 Comments

Raw Pad Thai with Young Coconut “Noodles”

The Farmer's Market in Limon

Like the Raw Lasagna, my Raw Pad Thai recipe is also an adaptation from Russell James’ original recipe. (If you haven’t already – sign up for his email list to get the original emailed to you). This recipe is extremely flexible so use what you have on hand. I made this one with tahini because for some reason that is available here but also have made it with almonds, almond butter, and peanuts and it’s great. I used raw bok choy which I was lucky to find in the farmer’s market in Limon and love the combination of that with the arugula, but napa cabbage is great too, and of course if you can get mung bean sprouts (I can’t) then that would add a more Pad Thai touch to the recipe.

Young coconuts and tamarind are easily available in this part of Costa Rica, but you may have to do a bit of sleuthing to find them in your home town. Look for Tamarind Paste in your local Hispanic market (ask for Tamarindo) and both tamarind paste and young coconuts, or “white coconuts” can often be found in the produce section of Chinese or Southeast Asian markets, and in some high-end markets like Whole Foods.  You can also ask your local health food store to order you a case of young coconuts – they come 9 to a box – and then cut them all open and freeze the meat and juice to have on hand all the time. I love young coconuts! This is just one of the many ways you can use them.

Raw Pad Thai “Noodles” and Vegetables – Serves 4

Young Coconuts

  • 2 – 3 young coconuts
  • 1 ½ cups arugula, torn into 3′ pieces
  • 2 carrots, ribboned with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 4 cups young bok choy, sliced thin on diagonal
  • 1 spring onions, sliced thin on diagonal
  • 8 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped

Pad Thai Sauce

  • 1 oz tamarind paste (or 2 dried apricots, one date, plus 1 T lemon juice)
  • 3 T palm sugar, or coconut crystals, or sucanat
  • 1 T red miso
  • 1 t sesame oil (leave out if using nuts instead of tahini)
  • 4 sundried tomato halves, soaked
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 t dulse flakes or kelp powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoons garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lime
  • 1/2 jalepeno, seeded and minced
  • 6 T tahini

Make Sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a Vitamix or other high speed blender and blend until smooth.

Prepare Noodles: Cut open the top of the coconuts with a large sturdy cleaver over a large bowl, being careful to capture the juice. (Use juice for another purpose… like drinking!) With the back of a spoon, gently work out large pieces of the white flesh from the inner shell. (If you are new to this, Dr Ralph gives a thorough video intro to coconut whacking here). Slice the meat of the coconut in to long, fettuccine-like pieces.

Assemble Pad Thai: In a large bowl, toss together all vegetables, reserving a pinch of basil and cilantro for garnish. Pour 1/2 sauce over vegetables and massage gently with your hands to coat well and soften vegetables. Add coconut noodles and toss gently, adding some or all of the remaining sauce to taste. Allow to sit for 1/2 – 1 hour to allow flavors to combine and serve with a sprinkle of herbs and a slice of lime.

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Fresh, Low Carb Recipes, Pasta, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Salads, Sugar Free/Unrefined Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Warm Winter Carrot Soup (raw)

Raw soups in winter never sound great to me, so I wanted to do something really rich and satisfying. If you have leftover parsnip pasta from the Creamy Parsnip Fettucine recipe, just use this in place of the wine-soaked parsnips below. Yum!

Serves 4

  • Macerate 2 c shredded parsnips with 1/4 c white wine and 1/2 t salt.  Let stand overnight.
  • 1 c raw cashews or macadamia nuts, soaked 2-4 hours and drained
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cups carrot juice
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend parsnips, soaked nuts, ginger and one cup of the carrot juice in a high-speed blender until its a super-smooth creamy base. Slow machine and add in remaining carrot juice until you get a rich creamy soup consistency. Whiz in coconut oil and adjust for salt and seasonings.

Warm this soup very carefully on a pot on the stove just before serving. Make sure it does not get too hot (hover over it and keep sticking your finger in the pot). Soup should not go over 115°F which is just slightly over lukewarm.

Serve in pre-warmed bowls with a few cilantro leaves as garnish.

Play with the flavors!

  • Make a Curried Carrot Soup by adding a pinch of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric!
  • Add meat and juice of one fresh young coconut, and lime for a more tropical taste

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Soups, Vegan Recipes | , , | Leave a comment

Rosemary “Cream” Sauce (Raw)

This recipe is a slight modification from the one in Sarma Melngalis’ new cookbook Living Raw Food. Get this book – its awesome.

Blend everything up in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and creamy. Use to make Parsnip Pasta with Marinated Mushrooms.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan Recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

Creamy Parsnip “Fettucine” with Marinated Mushrooms (Raw)

This is blow your mind delicious alternative-to-pasta dish. Its easy to make but you have to get into the “Zen of Parsnip Peeling”…or have a couple of kitchen helpers around – it’s fun to do with friends!

Parsnip Pasta (Serves 4)

I love parsnips! They seem to be a very under-rated vegetable since no one seems to know much about them. They are wonderfully sweet and have a mellow wintery satisfying flavor and if you peel them into Fettuccine-like noodles with a simple vegetable peeler, they develop a delicious silky mouthfeel that is completely satisfying with a rich creamy nut sauce.

Texture Trick: the trick to the vegetable pastas is in how you cut it. You much slice or peel with the grain of the parsnip (or zucchini, or goldbar squash). DO NOT use one of those cool spiral slicer gizmos to make a vegetable pasta. Cool as it may look,  those slicers will cut through your vegetables against the grain, resulting in a rough and mealy mouthfeel which is not good for a pasta dish.

  • 8 medium sized parsnips,  thoroughly peeled to take off all the tough skin.
  • 1 zuchinni or goldbar squash, very lightly peeled, just to take off the smooth outer skin
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 T olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Peel the parsnips into fettucine shaped “pasta” the same way you would peel a carrot, rotating the parsnip by small turns until you run into the core. Keep peeling away as long as the parsnip is sweet and tender. Depending on the parsnip this might be the whole thing, or you might have to stop at the core which is sometime woody. (yes – you will have to keep munching on the raw parsnip as you prep… watch out, it’s habit forming).

Peel the zucchini into fettucine the same way, stopping short of the seedy core. We are just going for texture here.

Add salt and gently massage into the tangled mass of shredded veggies until they begin to soften and get slippery. This helps to break down the viberous nature of the vegetables and to give it that nice, smooth “cooked” feel in your mouth.

Now add the wine and the olive oil and massage in for a minute or two. Taste for salt, add pepper.  It should be completely delicious even at this stage.

Let sit at room temperature for at least an hour for vegetables to soften and marinate in the wine. You can do this up to  24 hours ahead.

Marinated Mushrooms

  • 1/2 lb brown crimini, king oyster, or mix of other fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned.
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 t finely crushed garlic
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh parsely
  • course salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut mushrooms into thick slices or bit sized chunks and toss with remaining ingredients- massage marninade into mushrooms gently with your hands for one minute. Adjust for taste (it should already be delicious at this stage).

Warm in dehydrator for 1 – 3 hours until mushrooms are soft and sauteed tasting. (Dehydrating is optional – you can simply leave out at room temperature and it will taste great).

In a large serving platter, top pasta with  Raw Rosemary Cream Sauce, and finish with a heap of mushrooms in the center. Enjoy!

Note: any leftover parsnip pasta can be made in the base for the Warm Winter Carrot Soup.

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Main Courses, Pasta, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cashew and Macadamia Nut “Boursin Cheese” (Raw)

This is a great vegan “cheese” which also becomes the base for some delicious creamy sauces. You can use pinenuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, or play with any combo of the three. This makes about 4 cups of cheese.

  • 4 cups soft nuts, soaked for 2 -4 hours (cashews, pine nuts, or macadamia nuts)
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 t. nutritional yeast
  • 2 t. salt

Blend together in a food processor or blender until smooth, let chill 2 hours for flavors to mellow.

Serve as a spread on raw crackers or thin as a dip for vegetables.

For flavored cheese spreads, add any of the following to a cup of the cheese recipe:

  • 1Tbs finely minced fresh herbs and garlic
  • 1/4 c Finely diced sweet red pepper and scallions
  • Zest of one lemon
  • …or come up with your own!

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Cheese 'n (Non) Dairy, Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Sauces, Snacks/Crackers, Vegan Recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Super-Macs

“Chocolate hides a multitude of evils!” I use a little regular cocoa to get the rich chocolate taste and look, add a little extra sweetener, and then pack these with raw chocolate, blue green algae and any other superfoods I have on hand (and can get away with) – ground goji berries, mangosteen powder, etc. Have fun watching people who would never eat this kind of stuff pop these cookies in their mouth, one after the other!

  • 1 recipe Marvelous Macs
  • 1/2 cup finely ground raw cacao
  • 3 – 4 T organic cocoa powder (not dutch/alkalized)
  • 6 – 8 capsules Crystal Manna blue-green algae*
  • 2 T agave or maple syrup

Add all ingredients together and adjust for taste (which means, if you can get away with adding more blue-green algae and not tasting it – do it!

Scoop and dehydrate as for Marvelous Macs.

* You can use any kind of greens or blue-green algae you like – I find that this brand has a very mild flavor which allows me to use a lot more without detection.

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Desserts, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , , | Leave a comment

Marvelous Macs

These are a staple in our house – I eat these for breakfast! This is a recipe adapted from Sarma Melngailis’ first cookbook, Raw Food Real World and the original version of these Blond Macaroons can be purchased at OneLuckyDuck.com.

  • 3 cups dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups raw almond flour, ground with 1/4 c hemp seeds
  • 2/3 c maple syrup/agave (dark or light)*
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/2 t. sea or Himalayan salt
  • 3 T maca powder (optional)
  • 1/3 c coconut butter
  • 1/2 c raw cacao nibs (optional, for “chocolate chip macs”)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (kneed the last bit in with your hands!)

Spoon or scoop 1 1/2 inch balls onto a dehydrator screen. (A 1 oz French ice cream scoop is perfect for this job!). Alternately, you can chill this in the refrigerator for a hour and roll into balls with your hands.

Dehydrate 115 F for 12 – 24 hours, or until they are a crunchy/chewy as you like!

* Use all agave for a low-glycemic version, or you can play with other sweeteners like Yacon syrup.

TIP: Double this recipe, split in half, and make Chocolate Super Macs too!

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Desserts, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment