The chronicles of adding raw food to my diet

On this blog, I'll post about the transition to a more raw food based diet. Check back often for posts on raw foods that I'm eating!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Raw Carrot Cake Cookies

These raw cookies are delish! I developed the recipe so that I could use the carrot pulp from making carrot juice, as well as the almond meal from making almond milk. I always feel a bit guilty if I don't use up both, so this solves that problem.

The recipe is pretty basic and includes raw oats, dates, almond milk, carrot pulp, vanilla, a bit of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
First off, the raw oats need to be soaked overnight. When ready to use, place in food processor with dates and process. The mix should be pretty moist. If it isn't, then try adding a few drops of water.

After the oats and dates are combined, add in the almond meal and carrot pulp. Process to combine, then add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then process once more.

After processing everything together, you should have a nice soft, moist but not sticky dough to make into cookies.
I use a small scooper to scoop out the cookies for dehydrating. They are pretty small and around 50 fit on 1 Excalibur dehydrator sheet.
Dehydrate at 105 for approximately 8-10 hrs. The final cookie should be firm on the outside and soft on the inside.
Here is the recipe (with some crude measurements)
1 cup raw oats, soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed
1.5 cups dates, pits removed
1.5 cups almond meal (I used meal that was dehydrated and processed to a powder in the food processor)
1 cup carrot pulp from making carrot juice
1 TBS pure vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch sea salt

See instructions above :)

Enjoy! Try something raw today!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Raw Blueberry Tart with Cashew Cream and Apricot Kernel Crust

It's the heart of blueberry season so I decided to make a blueberry tart. I used apricot kernels for the crust and a sweet cashew cream for the filling....

Have you tried apricot kernels? Basically, they are the inside of the pit of the apricot. Historically, they have not been consumed because they are known to have cyanide in them. However, you'd have to eat a whole bag of them to get cyanide poisoning. Apricot kernels are high in Vitamin B17, or Laetrile and are said to have a direct correlation to low incidence of cancer. Nutrition wise, they are packed with heart healthy fats.
For the entire tart, I used 1 cup and soaked them overnight. I then processed them with ~1 cup Medjool dates, cinnamon, juice of 1/2 a lemon and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and pressed the dough into a tart pan (one with a removable bottom). I put it into the freezer to set up overnight.

For the filling, I used a basic cashew cream. The recipe is something like this:
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
2-4 TBS coconut water
1/4-1/2 cup coconut meat
2 TBS agave syrup
1 TBS yacon syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla
pinch Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
Take all ingredients and blend together in a high speed blender....that's it.

After blending, I spread the cashew cream in the tart and let it set up for a bit in the freezer.

To finish the tart off you could really use any fruit. I used blueberries today because I happen to have a whole bunch from the farm. It's nice to take some time and arrange the fruit to look pretty...I just kind of dumped them on and spread them out...I was too hungry to take time and since the tart was just for me and my family (as opposed to being for family and friends), I didn't take too much care.

The tart is truly delicious. The creaminess of the filling and the sweetness of the crust rounded out by the earthy berries, mmmm, so delicious...and the best thing...this is raw! and dairy free! Amazing!

Enjoy! Try something raw today!
NOTE: This tart is best kept in the freezer...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Arame Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

What is arame? Arame is a sea vegetable, a species of kelp that has a mild, sweet flavor and a nice firm texture. This sea veggie is a great one to start out with because it is so mild tasting. It is also quite easy to work with. All you need to do is soak it prior to use for about 20 minutes in cool water, then drain it and give it a good rinse. That's all the prep it needs.

I use Emerald Cove arame. They harvest their arame from the Ise peninsula in Japan. It grows about 20 ft below the low tide level and it is harvested and then sun dried. Here is the pkg so you know what to look for.

Dried arame:
Soaking the arame:
This is what the arame looks likt after it has soaked and been rinsed:
For the salad, I mixed the arame with grated carrots and sliced snap peas, though you could use any other green veggie, asparagus, green beans, get the idea.

I dressed the salad with a Miso Sesame dressing that is worth preparing, even if you're not interested in the arame salad. It is a great dressing for any salad really. For the dressing, to keep it raw, use an unpasturized miso such as Miso Master brand. The dressing also has sesame tahini in it so look for a raw brand such as Artisana. The dressing has some sesame oil in it, so again, to keep it raw, get an unrefined brand.
Miso Sesame Dressing (adapted from Raw Foods For Busy People 2, Green Magic, by Jordan Maerin)
1/4 cup water
2 TBS miso (@room temp)
2 TBS sesame tahini (@room temp)
1 TBS sesame oil
Juice of 1 lemon (original recipe called for using 2 tsp vinegar, but I like to use lemon instead)
Pinch fresh ground black pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a's that easy...
On to the salad.
Mix some of the Miso Sesame Dressing into the arame, carrot, snap pea mixture. I put down a bed of mixed greens and piled the arame salad in the middle, then added in sliced tomatoes and avocados. I topped with a drizzle of Miso Sesame dressing. Delicious...

Go ahead and give arame a try. It is sweet and yummy, not fishy tasting at all.
Try something raw today! Enjoy :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Raw Chia Oat Energy Bars

Here is a recipe for a true energy bar that is packed with nutrition, and rivals any cooked and processed commercial energy bar out in the markets.
The bar is made with raw, sprouted oats, prunes, chia seeds, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, pure vanilla and a pinch of Celtic sea salt.

Let's talk Chia first. The Chia seed or Salvia Hispanica is a mega energy food, packed with protein (it is a complete source of protein containing all essential amino acids), calcium, potassium, iron, antioxidants, fiber, and essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6).
It is an ancient superfood, once a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures.

The Chia seed is extremely hydrophilic, meaning water loving, and can absorb 9-12x their weight in liquid; chia becomes gelatinous when mixed with liquid making it a good seed to use as a binder in raw bars, cookies and breads, to make puddings from, to add to smoothies and other drinks. It can also be ground up to make a chia "flour" to use in raw recipes as well.

There are a number of health benefits that can be reaped from eating chia seeds. These include weight loss, balancing of blood sugar, and intestinal regularity to name a few.

I use the chia seeds in this bar as a binder along with the let's get to the recipe.

I soaked a cup of raw, sproutable oats overnight, and then to them added approximately 1 - 1.5 cups of pitted prunes to soak for about 30 minutes. I drained and rinsed the oats/prunes and processed them with the S-blade of my food processor. To that I added about 1/4 cup of chia seeds.
I also added in about 1/2 cup raw cacao powder, a pinch of Celtic sea salt and ~ 1 TBS vanilla. I chose not to add any other sweetener to this bar, though if you wanted it to be sweeter, you could add in 1/4 cup of a raw sweetener such as agave syrup or maple syrup. After processing all the ingredients together, I transferred them to a bowl.
To this, I hand mixed in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of raw cacao nibs. That's it. Next you need to form the mix into bar format. The best way to do that is to spread it out in between wax paper with a rolling pin to a uniform thickness.

After you get it to a uniform thickness, place it in the fridge, wax paper and all, overnight, to allow the chia to absorb some of the liquid in the mix, and to firm the bar up. The next day, pull it, and cut into bars.
These bars will give you instant energy, I guarantee it. They are slightly sweet from the prune, chewy from the chia, and crunchy from the cacao nibs. I like to store them wrapped in wax paper, in the freezer.
Enjoy! Try something raw today!

Monday, July 5, 2010

My new Health Educator Certification

As some of you know, I've been taking a 10 week course called Life Force Energy (The Hippocrates Approach to Optimum Health)...
Well, I finished! So I am now a Certified Health Educator in the Hippocrates approach to health.
It's pretty exciting and now I'm going to incorporate that knowledge into my business, Thyme To Cook Personal Chef Service.
Please check out my Thyme To Cook FB page, found here: Thyme To Cook on FB and please check out my business website, found here: Thyme To Cook.
I'm always up for a chat, so please don't hesitate to contact me @
Thanks everyone!
Try something raw today!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Recreating "goraw's" Ginger Snap

Now here's a raw food I am totally excited about being able to's the ginger snap, recreated from the brand "goraw"....when I first tried this little cookie I said to myself, I need to figure out how to make it. I was thinking it would not be too hard, since there are only 4 ingredients: ginger, coconut, dates and sesame seeds.

So, I took a shot at it....
I figured that the ginger in the cookie came from ginger juice. The cookies have a real pronounced ginger flavor that tastes fresh and not from powdered ginger. I juiced some in my juicer.
Next, I processed some dates in the food processor....
I transferred the dates to a bowl, and added in the ginger juice, coconut and sesame seeds, then mixed until it was homogeneous.
Now, this was trial and error and I really didn't measure out anything...I just did it by feel, look and taste.
Next came time to recreate the cute little round shape that the goraw brand has for their cookies. I used the smallest biscuit cutter that I have.
They went into the dehydrator @ 105 for 12 hrs.
Here is the final cookie:
So, not sure if you've ever seen the goraw brand that I'm referring to, but this was a pretty good recreation of their ginger snap. Some changes I'd make when making them again are 1) add more ginger juice and 2) add less sesame seeds....they were very yummy, and I'm glad to be able to make them myself (they are quite expensive :) ).....

Enjoy and try something raw today!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Green Juice

With the start of my CSA, I have to say my consumption of green juice has skyrocketed! I am getting the most amazing greens, zukes, cukes, and summer squashes :)
Today I'm using gorgeous beet greens, Russian Red Kale, Spinach....

Summer squash, cuke, and from Stillman's. I also added green apple, pear, bok choy, Rainbow Chard and lemon balm from my window boxes, cilantro, and parsley.

The beet greens and kale make the "green" juice a bit brown, but it's delicious none the less :)

This little guy almost made it into the juice - let's say we're both probably glad he didn't make it in there....
Try something raw today!!

Stuffed Zucchini

I got some beautiful globe zucchini @ "my" farm, Stillman's the other day and decided to stuff 'em!

Over the weekend I stopped by the Marblehead Farmer's Market and got some of the first, local corn of the season (as well as local cherries and tomatoes). I used the corn for the stuffing, along with the tomatoes, avocado, grated beets, snap peas, sprouted quinoa, and lime juice.

Let's talk sprouting quinoa. Quinoa is an amazing seed that everyone should be eating. It can be sprouted and it can be steamed. It is contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs to ingest (as opposed to producing itself). It is also alkaline forming, meaning it will not cause your body to become acidic; acidic bodies are more prone to getting illnesses, while those more alkaline are known to have less illness.
If you are going to sprout quinoa, make sure you know the source from where you are getting it. I buy raw, sproutable quinoa. If you get the quinoa in the box or from the bins @ Whole Foods, be sure to watch it closely as it may mold over more quickly.
You can purchase the raw, sproutable quinoa from Raw Food Naturals.

To sprout the quinoa, soak it for a minimum of 3 hrs. Sometimes I just put it up to soak overnight because its easier to just set it and forget it.
After the soak, give it a healthy rinse with water and then it will start to sprout. The sprouting time is very quick and you can see the tail form as soon as 8 hrs in. I like to sprout it in a fine mesh strainer that I leave by the sink. After the first rinse, let it sit, then give it another rinse 8 hrs later. Let it go overnight and the next morning, rinse again. It should be ready to eat now, but you can let it go longer if you'd like. After the 2nd day I would suggest putting it in a glass container and put in the fridge. It will keep for about a day more and that's it. I have learned to sprout only what I can eat in a day or so because the shelf life is so short.
Here's the quinoa after about a day :

When I was ready to stuff the zucchinis, I first hollowed them out:
I brushed the inside of the zukes with a nice coating of cold pressed olive oil, and a gave them a sprinkle of salt as well.
I then took the mixture I described above and stuffed the zukes with it. Here's a pic before I mixed in the sprouted quinoa:

I dehydrated them at 105 degrees for about 12 hrs.
So, they were pretty good. I think that they could have gone a bit longer in order to soften up the zucchini a bit more. They were just very deep and stuffed pretty much all the way, so dehydration was not even throughout the entire zucchini. I will make this again using regular zucchini and I think they'll probably "cook" through a bit more evenly.

Get out and enjoy the local bounty!!!
Eat something raw today!