Sunday, March 24, 2013

Raw Cranberry-Raisin Scones

Raw Cranberry-Raisin Scones

I offered one to my son at lunch today. "This doesn't look like any scone that I've ever seen before," he commented. And even though he's not a raisin fan, he liked it!

I think these look, and are, delicious, and I like the wholesome nutty-fruity flavor. But, if you are used to baking with white flour and sugar, (or eating regular scones), and you are not used to eating such whole-food goodness, then your taste buds may not be satisfied. My sons used to hear me say something like, "They have a health-food flavor," concerning some of the goodies I'd make.

I've found that when I'm not eating sugary sweets and only eating natural fruits and less-sweet hearty foods, I lose my cravings for those high-carb delights and actually love the simple healthier delights such as these raw Cranberry-Raisin Scones!

These are sweetened with a little brown rice syrup so they don't taste gooey sweet. Eating a wholesome dessert makes me feel good, and I think about all the awesome nutrients I'm getting and their healing effects.  

If you look closely you'll spot some orange specks . . . you know what those are, right? Carrots! They are also made with apples, walnuts, raisins, and of course cranberries. Next time I'm adding even more cranberries and I'd like to try some with blueberries or perhaps a mixture of the two!

This recipe is very similar to one in The Raw Family Newsletter  by Victoria Boutenko.

Mixing it Up

2 large carrots (cut in pieces)
2 apples (cut up)
2 cups walnuts
1 cup flaxseed (ground)
1.5 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen and thawed)
2 cups organic raisins
5 Tbs. brown rice syrup (or honey)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)   

In a food processor, process the walnuts until broken into small pieces, then place them in a large mixing bowl. Do the same with the apples, and then the carrots, individually, placing all in the bowl. 

Next, into the bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well. (I ground my whole flaxseed using a Vita-Mix.) 

Ready for the Dehydrator
Arrange big fat spoonfuls of dough in rows on a Teflex dehydrator sheet. Dry at 110 degrees for about 6-8 hours, then remove the Teflex sheet and turn them onto a regular mesh tray and dry for another 6-8 hours or until they meet the desired dryness and consistency. I always do a taste test! This recipe made about 40 scones.
Snackin' on Scones 'n' Tea

Raw Cranberry-Raisin Scones—Ready to Eat!

For best results, I keep my cookies and scones refrigerated, or bagged in the freezer. BTW, those are sesame sprinkles on top!

 Linking up with Wellness Wednesdays! 

And linking up with Raw Foods Thursdays!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Raw Cashew Apple Salad

Raw Cashew Apple Salad

Salads are one of my favorite dishes, and since I love cashews and apples, I found a winner here. It's also pretty easy to whip up in a short amount of time.

This was one of the new recipes I made during my "eating all raw for one week," recently. It was delicious, and very filling! My husband remarked that he'd like to see it served once a week from now on. He liked it that much!

Cashews (sometimes called the “nature’s vitamin pill”), are a good source of phytochemicals and antioxidants. They are rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, selenium, copper and manganese, and they contain 5 grams of protein per ounce. This "good fat" nut is considered to be one of the "low-fat" nuts in comparison with other nuts, and eaten in moderation, it is an excellent choice for dieters, and those with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.


3/4 cup raw cashews*
1 carrot sliced
1 Granny Smith apple chopped
1 stalk celery sliced
1 large clove garlic sliced
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp pure onion powder
1 Tbs onion chopped
2 Tbs. of parsley chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary powder
1/8 tsp sea salt                                                                                                                   1 Tbs fresh lemon juice 

*Soaking cashews prior to using them for eating and cooking purposes may aid in proper nutrient absorption. For this particular recipe I did not soak them.

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse several times. Continue to pulse minimally until you get a nice texture (similar to the photo above).

Scoop onto a plate, or if you want to be a bit fancy, pack the salad into a mold or small bowl, then invert onto your plate. 

For more information check out these links:

7 Health Benefits of Cashews

What are the Health Benefits of Soaked Cashews?

Linking up with Wellness Wednesdays 

and Raw Foods Thursdays

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Basic Raw Veggie Snack Cracker (Dehydrated)

Raw Veggie Snack Cracker
(Pictured with Guacamole)

Looking for more alternatives to wheat, I wanted to try and find a new dehydrated raw snack cracker. I did some experimenting, and this recipe is just what I was hoping for! Similar to the Red Hot Snackers recipe but a bit different, and savory, but not hot.


 2 cups raw sunflower seeds (soaked in water for at least 4 hours)
1 cup almond meal (flour)
3 Tbs. whole flax seed
2 tsp. sea salt
1 large garlic clove, sliced
1 small purple onion, sliced
1/2  large sweet red bell pepper, sliced
1 med. tomato cut up
3 Tbs. fresh parsley cut  

Drain the sunflower seeds. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. Place the contents in your food processor and pulse. Continue to process, stopping periodically to push down the sides. When the consistency holds together well, and looks similar to the photo on the left you are ready to fill your dehydrator trays.

Place a few large spoonfuls of the mixture onto a teflex or parchment lined dehydrator tray. Roll thin—about 1/4 inch thick. (Score with a knife to make square shapes either now or when you flip them.) Dehydrate @ 140 degrees for 1 hour (or skip this step and use a lower temperature), then lower temperature to 105 degrees, and dry for approx. 6 hours. Flip onto an unlined tray and remove the teflex sheet. Dry for an additional 4 hours, or until done.

Keeping them refrigerated or frozen will help keep them fresh and crispy.

 Break Them Apart and  
Get Ready to Munch!

Linking up with Wellness Wednesdays and  Raw Foods Thursdays.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cool It ! Raw Foods vs Inflammation

A Healthy Lunch—
Tossed Greens with Blueberries

The first week of March I attempted to eat a 100% raw foods diet. My plan is to make a habit of doing this the first week of each month.

At this stage of my health goals, I've been aiming for a daily 50% raw food intake, but I have consistently missed the mark and I wanted to boost myself into a higher percentage somehow. A gradual habit change is the best way I know how to do it.

My 100% RAW week was a success whereby I maintained close to 90% raw! So now I know what it looks like and what I need for next time! Additional planning and building a raw recipe base of excellent choices and tasty dishes will go a long way. (Just so you know, I've been at this healthy change thing for years!)

Though I'm an advocate for adding in high quality, nutrient-dense, living raw foods to my daily intake, I'm not a RAW Foodist at this time (anyone who eats more than 75% uncooked food). And though my meat consumption is very low, and there are a number of things I simply avoid (wheat and most dairy) I still believe that high quality natural meats and animal products can be part of a healthy diet. Going all raw may be ideal for some, but not everyone, and though it has a simplicity, it is not easy to adopt to at first. We are all different and need to research and follow what is best for each of us personally.

You may have heard of the Hallelujah Diet which advocates an 85% raw / 15% cooked food ratio. At the end of this post you'll find a link where you can read testimonies of people who have gotten off of medications and have greatly improved their health and even reversed disease processes. I've known a few personally.

For me, eating more raw foods is a means of decreasing inflammation. I want to cool, or severely slow down, the inflammatory processes that have inhabited my body and caused disease. 

with Guacamole

So, let me ask a simple question . . .

What are some benefits of eating more RAW foods?

  • A raw food diet contains a higher concentration of nutrients, and it is high in fiber and  lower in calories. You can fill up on delicious food and it'll keep you regular!
  • Eating raw alkaline-based foods is a key feature of an anti-cancer diet regimen and a long life. Cooked food = acidity. Raw foods don't disrupt your body's delicate acid/base balance.
  • The more whole raw foods you eat, the less processed ones you'll eat—they fill you up. If eating high energy organic foods, you'll naturally be less hungry due to the more nutrient-dense content, and you'll have more energy to do the things that matter most.
  • A raw plant-based diet may help prevent and treat chronic illnesses. Uncooked foods retain vitamins and all of the enzymes that aid in proper digestion, and leaves the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates intact.
  • Living raw foods are an alternative and sometimes better way to achieve optimal health, when compared to prescription drugs, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
  • Eating raw foods can boost your immune system. Chronic inflammation in the body is a sign that the immune system isn't working properly. 
  • Eating raw foods  and a plant-based diet will treat the cause of inflammation, whereas taking medication does not.
  • Eating a mostly plant-based diet aids mental clarity.
  • Eating raw (non-GMO) foods is the natural way God provided for us to eat. 
Foods that cause inflammation are those high in toxins, artificial ingredients, unhealthy chemicals, poor fats, and undesirable sugars. When cooked foods are eaten, leucocytosis occurs. The white blood count rises (natural immune response). The  standard American diet or a junk food diet leaves our immune system working in overdrive. Trans fatty acids, caramelized carbohydrates, and coagluated amino acids from cooked and poor food choices causes the immune system to treat those substances as foreign invaders. (Heard of leaky gut syndrome or autoimmune disease?)

Tips to adding more raw foods:

Start gradually. Eat something raw with each meal. Or try replacing one meal a day with only raw foods, and work your way up to where you are only eating one cooked meal a day.  Snack on raw foods. Have fun making an awesome raw dessert for your family!

Peruse the Internet. Discover raw food delights you may like and start a recipe collection. There are hundreds of simple recipes you could start with. Green smoothies are a great way to start! Consider purchasing a raw foods recipe book (or two). 

Experiment in the kitchen. Buy a high-powered blender like a Vita-Mix. Ask for a dehydrator for Christmas. Give juicing a try (in a few years from now, I bet a juicer will be a standard kitchen appliance). Treat yourself to the tools that will make a difference for your health.

Keep a check on yourself, and record your body's response. Many arthritis and Fibromyalgia  sufferers see a remarkable improvement pretty quickly. Eating this way will take time getting used to.

Educate yourself. Find out if there is someone in your community giving a raw foods class or if there is a raw foods potluck you can attend. Many health food stores have information on these kind of meetings. I already mentioned the Internet, but it could be helpful to join an on-line raw food, juicing, or green smoothie community like Rawfood Rehab.

The photos featured are of a few simple, thumb's up, 
delicious raw food recipes I made. Click on the links for the recipes.

Raw Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal 
(Soak in your blender overnight, and enjoy in the morning)

1 cup raw steel cut oats
1 apple chopped
1 1/2 cup pure water
1 Tbsp. organic raisins
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Add all of the above ingredients into your blender to sit overnight. (Add the water first.) In the morning, blend briefly, just until you get an oatmeal-like consistency. Enjoy as is, or warmed slightly.

Sources and Informational Links:
Raw vs Cooked (Dr. Joel Fuhrman)
Hallelujah Diet Testimonies (85% Raw Plant-based Diet)


Linking up with Wellness Wednesdays


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Popeye's Peachy Green Raw Pudding + MORE Ginger-ly Recipes!

Popeye's Peachy Green Raw Pudding
—with Ginger

I made this a few days ago and it tastes awesome—
What a healthy treat too!

And you thought I was depriving myself, doing this ALL RAW one-week-of-each-month uncooking!  Well, let me tell you . . . I'm not!

Yes, I am drinking juices and eating salads and raw veggie this 'n' that. But eating ALL (or mostly) RAW does take a little extra planning, and I'm not used to thinking too far ahead.

There are recipes to find (the fun part) and making sure I have ingredients on hand, and any prep that needs to be done. Then if you're doing 10 other things during the day like the normal lady in charge of the home and kitchen does, on top of those, you still have to plan the what, when, how and why.

In actuality, the first two days I spent with a dull headache but I managed to stay 100% raw. Days 3 and 4 were a bit harder—I felt good and wanted to eat more, and I didn't plan as well, so I managed about 90-95% raw up through today (day # 6). And at least the cooked foods I ate were healthy foods (sweet potato, rye crackers, sauteed veggies, taco shell) except for the small bag of potato chips I ate when I went to hear Sheriff Richard Mack speak last evening (I was hungry and cold it was a long meeting and I ran out of my healthy snacks and it was either that or a hot dog or hamburger). Not too shabby! 

I just may do an extension into week 2 since it's going so well, and ideally, THIS IS HOW I REALLY THINK I SHOULD BE EATING to get the most health benefits for me.

Eating Ginger-ly

My focus today is on GINGER and I'll be sharing some super recipes I've made, and give you some neat links to check out at the end, but right now take a peek at how easy Popeye's Peachy Green Pudding is and enjoy it with your family.

Add the following in order, to your high-speed blender (Vita-Mix) and blend well:

1/2 to 3/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk)
Stevia to taste (I use about 1/3 of a packet) or other sweetener
1 Tbsp fresh ginger sliced
2 cups cut up, partially-frozen peaches
Big handful of spinach leaves 

 Pour into dessert cups and enjoy!

 Why Do I Want to Eat Ginger?

Adding ginger into my diet makes a lot of sense when I see all the following benefits of ginger and how they apply to me:
  • Prevents migraines
  • Stimulates and improves digestion
  • Relieves nausea
  • Neutralizes acid
  • Decreases joint inflammation and pain of arthritis and also pain after a work-out
  • Potent antioxidant (antibiotic, anti-fungal)
  • Decreases flatulence
  • Lowers cholesterol and improves cardiac health
  • Thins the blood and prevents blood clotting
  • Boosts immunity
  • May prevent ovarian, prostate cancer, and other cancers
  • Helps absorption of nutrients in digestion
  • Aphrodisiac effect
  • And more!
Did you know?
Ginger  is among the most important plants used in herbal medicine. It has been around a LONG time; the cultivation of ginger goes way back in history and is mentioned in the oldest medical texts from India and China.

Here's another healthy treat I made. Since the recipe only made two dozen cookies, my hubby said to make more!

 Raw Ginger Snap Cookies 

Inspired from this recipe.

2 cups of raw almond meal (or flour)
1.5 cups of organic raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp fresh peeled ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbs. maple syrup
2 Tbs. melted coconut oil
Raw coconut sugar to garnish

Place all ingredients into a food processor and mix well until you get a sticky dough to work with. (There were chuncky pieces of raisins still present.)

Form into small balls and press flat onto a dehydrator sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Dehydrate at 110 degrees for approximately 12 hours until the outside is slightly crisp. Keep refrigerated or frozen.

You may also eat the cookies without dehydrating. Like cooky dough?  
This is YUMMY stuff!

Lined up ready to go!

 Immune Boosting—
Apple-Beet Blend Juice

Put the following ingredients through your juicer:
1 large beet cut and peeled 
2 large carrots
2 apples sliced
2 large celery
Tbs size of raw ginger
2 garlic cloves
Few Tbs. of fresh lemon juice
This is a very good tasting and refreshing drink!

Tropical Fruity-Kale Smoothie

Add these Ingredients to a high-powered blender, adding in 4 large kale leaves separate and last, using the tamper to mix:
1 orange cut and peeled
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
 1 Tbs. fresh ginger
1.5 cups frozen cut strawberries
1 Tbs. coconut butter (optional)

Carrot Ginger Soup 

I had a cream of carrot soup last month at a restaurant and it was so delicious. I think that's why I thought of making this soup. Do a search for "raw carrot ginger soup" and you'll find many similar soups to choose from if you want to try this. 

I liked it OK, but I added in some sauteed onion, garlic and celery, plus I warmed it! (It's been freezing here in Arkansas this week.) It has a base of avocado and is very healthy for you—maybe if I'm sick I'll think of this again.

Stay tuned in and next week I'll fill you in on the rest of my raw diet experience.

How do you like to use ginger? I'd love to hear about it!

More Recipes Using Ginger . . . 

Speaking of being sick, check out this Homemade Ginger Tea!

Here is a great recipe for Red Cabbage and Apple Salad With Ginger Vinaigrette 

Make Raw Vegan Orange Ginger Pad Thai Recipe (Salt Free - Oil Free)

Make Your Own Happy Juice and Tonic