Archive | snack RSS feed for this section

Air Fried BBQ Chicken Skin

18 Jul

Don’t like Pork Rinds? Try chicken skins instead! These are crispy and oh-so-juicy at the same time.

Air Fried Chicken Skins

A Ketoevangelist Coach mentioned eating chicken skins from a whole chicken. I decided to try it ASAP with my air fryer. This is so simple and delicious!

IMG_5298004

  1. Skin a whole chicken. (I then make chicken broth using the whole chicken but that’s for another post.)
  2. Rub the spices of your choice onto the raw chicken skin. (I used this BBQ rub.)
  3. Place in an air-fryer for 6 to 10 minutes, watching closely so that these don’t burn.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Enjoy these crispy treats.

IMG_5300006

Advertisements

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

8 Oct

This post is for days when an exact recipe won’t do, when you don’t feel like being predictable, and when you want to play in the kitchen.

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan-3

I haven’t eaten Praline Pecans in years. I have cooked them before but with egg whites and butter. I’ve also wanted to buy them many times since turning Vegan (8 years now!) but the ingredients invariably list butter, egg, cream, and/or corn syrup, and I’d put the package back on the shelf.  I decided it was time to make my own Vegan version using better ingredients.

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan-4

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

I brought out:

  • 16 oz pecans

I lay them flat on a prepared cookie sheet (with a Silpat mat) and toasted them slightly for 5 – 7 minutes at 350F. Then, I poured them in a big bowl and added:

  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

I stirred well to coat evenly, then added:

  • enough maple syrup to slightly coat the pecans (I added around 4 Tbsp, but start with 2 Tbsp and keep adding by Tbsp until you think you have added enough)

I stirred again to coat the pecans evenly, then added:

  • Sucanat, to taste (I added around 1/2 c, but start with 1/4 c and keep adding by tablespoonful until it is just sweet enough)
  • sea salt, to taste (I added around 2 tsp, but keep tasting as you add by the 1/4 tsp)

I stirred to incorporate well. You want to make sure the sugar is sticking to the pecans. If not, you need more maple syrup. Now for the chocolate.*  I added to the bowl:

  • half a bag of Vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (around 5 oz, but add whatever amount you want)

I stirred one last time to incorporate everything. Taste. Is it sweet enough? Is it just salty enough? Then, I poured it out on the prepared baking sheet, making sure it was in one layer, and baked at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant, toasted, and the chocolate chips slightly melted. I took it out of the oven and allowed it to cool. Place in the refrigerator if you can’t wait.

*NOTE: at this stage, you can bake the pecans without the added chocolate chips. After baking, you can then drizzle melted chocolate in fancy patterns over the cooled pecans. The result will be even prettier Pralines but the thought of more washing up put me off this step. It probably would have been worth it though.

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan-5

When cooled, dig in. WOW. This was delicious!

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan

I’ve been nibbling on these Chocolate Pecan Pralines since yesterday. I left a plate out for my husband to try and he finished them off too. I love it when he enjoys my food!

Got Vegan Chocolate Oat Bars, Will Travel!

1 Oct

When we travel long distances, I usually carry fruits and some food with me. This past year, we have started our journeys in the early morning, so I have prepared many different types of breakfast bars. Some were crunchy and some were sweet. Some had dry cereal in it and most had some type of chocolate. I also made a very plain bread-type oat bar and topped it with jam. Here are some of the bars I’ve made and packaged in the last few months:

My family prefers the lighter, crunchier, and drier oat bars, while I tend to prefer the denser, chewier, and more moist ones. So here are two recipes for Chocolate Oat Bars: one crunchy with double chocolate and coconut, and one chewy with bananas and peanut butter. Both are addicting.

Crunchy Double Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars (Makes 8 bars)

crunchy-vegan-double-chocolate-coconut-oat-bars

Heat in a small pot over a low flame:

  • 2 oz cacao butter

When melted, add in:

  • 1/4 c maple syrup or your choice of liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Set aside. In a bowl, mix together about 2 1/2 c your choice of dry ingredients. My family loves this mix:

  • 1 3/4 c quick oats
  • 1/3 c semi-sweet Vegan chocolate chips (if your family prefers a sweeter bar, increase the chocolate chips and decrease the amount of oats OR add tablespoons of Sucanat, to taste)
  • 1/4 c flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Place a parchment paper on an 8 x 8″ pan (very important because otherwise the bar will stick to the pan even if it is greased). Place the mixed ingredients into the pan and pat down well so that it is evenly leveled and packed in. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Turn over carefully onto another sheet of parchment paper and bake for another 20 minutes. You want to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked and dry. When cooled, place in the refrigerator till it hardens. Slice into 8 pieces. Package or place in a container. It will last longer in the refrigerator, but will do well stored in the pantry for a week as well.

Chewy Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars (Makes 8 bars)

Vegan Granola Bars

Mash in a bowl with a fork:

  • 2 large bananas, about 11 oz

Add in and mix to incorporate well:

  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Now add in about 3 c your choice of dry ingredients and mix well. I love this mix:

  • 2 T flax seed meal
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c your choice of chocolate: cacao nibs, dark chocolate or semi-sweet Vegan chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c chopped dates
  • 2 c rolled oats

Place in a greased (use coconut oil or other oil) 8 x 8″ pan. Pat down well so that it is evenly leveled and packed in. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool and place in refrigerator until it is easier to handle. Slice into 8 portions. Store in the refrigerator for a week.

Now that you have two kinds of bars, you’re ready to travel anywhere!

Sweet Rice Cakes: Quick, Healthy and Gluten-Free

26 Jan

When I asked my son what he wanted for breakfast, he smiled at me and hugged me tightly, “Cupcakes!”

Really?  Hmmmmpf!  Let’s just say I made an extra effort to be sure he enjoyed his healthy meals today.

green-sundae2001

For breakfast, we had our favorite Green Sundae.  It is always a big hit!  Instead of oranges, bananas and avocado, today I substituted pears for oranges.  Delicious. My hubby actually prefers it with pears.

Sweet Rice Cakes

For a snack, I made Palitaw, which I grew up eating for ‘merienda’ (snack time).  It’s quick and easy to make.

1. Boil water.

2. Make a thick batter of Sweet Rice Flour and water. Make sure the batter is thick enough so you are able to form small balls and then flatten them in your hands to resemble pancakes. The batter is not as sticky when your hands are a little damp with cold water.

3. Carefully drop the cakes in boiling water.

4. When the cakes resurface and float, they are done.

5. Carefully lift the cakes out of the water and place on a plate.  Sprinkle with equal parts Sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar) and coconut (I used raw dehydrated coconut, but freshly grated mature coconut is traditionally used). You can also add a little mixture of sesame seeds and salt.

6. Serve.

My son ate two pieces and exclaimed, “Mama! This is the best!”

I guess he didn’t miss his cupcake.

Kid-Friendly Cayenne Spiced Kale Chips

17 Jan

Cayenne Spiced Kale

These are hands down my son’s favorite Kale Chips!

Simply stem a bunch of clean kale.  Toss and massage the leaves with a little extra virgin olive oil and some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Mix (depending on how big your bunch is 1 – 3 tsp of the mix – I use 1/4 tsp of cayenne in the mix for this recipe).  Dehydrate at 105F till dry.  Enjoy as is or cracked into pieces as a topping on any meal, like soups or quinoa.

The Sweeter Side of Cayenne

17 Jan

A perfect way to spice up your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Treat!

Dip Mama’s Easy Raw Chocolate in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Dip (I prefer using 3/4 tsp cayenne in the dip mix for this one) for a kick!

Add some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Sprinkles on banana slices and enjoy with homemade Raw Almond Butter on the side!  Delish!

I love eating apples (especially sour ones) with a side of sea salt. Dipping apple slices in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Rub brings apple slices up to a whole different level! Try it also with freshly sliced jicama ‘fries’!

Easy Blueberry Peach Crisp or Crumble

10 Jul
Blueberry Peach Crisp

For breakfast, snack or dessert, this is delicious, fresh and easy!

The Crust

Pulse together in a food processor:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
3 tbspns raw local honey or your choice of sweetener, or 6 tbspns pitted dates
2 cups raw almonds, unsoaked, grind to crumb-like consistency (not into a fine powder)

Filling

blueberries and sliced peaches

To Serve

Quick and Not That Involved: Like an easy granola and fruit dish, simply place fruit in a bowl and top with crust. Enjoy!

Prettier and More Involved: More like a Crumb Cake, pat down crust on a pie plate, top with peach slices and place some blueberries around the edge, top with more crust and pat down firmly, add one more layer of peaches and blueberries around the edge and top with the last layer of crust. Pat down firmly. The peaches and crust compliment each other very well – so you want more peaches than blueberries. Freeze slightly before serving to make slicing easier (use a sharp knife). Enjoy! Top with orange cream or banana ice cream, if desired.

Raw Blueberry Bars

26 Jun

A Raw Blueberry Bar

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 tastes fantastic with vanilla, coconut, lemon and maple syrup!

Raw Pastry

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 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil
2 – 3 tbspns 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.

Blueberry Jam

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.

Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour: Kale Chips

23 Jun

Mama in the Kitchen is proud to be part of Ann Gentry‘s Blog Tour for her new book Vegan Family Meals.  Ann Gentry is the creator of Real Food Daily, organic gourmet Vegan restaurants in Santa Monica and West Hollywood that serve 100 percent Vegan foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods.  She has successfully promoted and raised the standard of Vegan Cuisine through her work as chef, author and mother.  This week, the Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour is on Kale Chips.  Although Ann Gentry’s Kale Chips are baked, her recipe can easily be adapted to a delicious raw dehydrated family snack.

Ann Gentry's Kale Chips

Anne Gentry’s Kale Chips

Serves 2 to 4

1 (8-ounce) bunch large curly kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line 2 large, heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spin the kale pieces in a salad spinner, or pat them with paper towels, until they’re dry. It is important that the leaves are very dry, as oil doesn’t mix with water.

Cut away the center spine from each kale leaf and discard the spine. When removing the spine, go ahead and cut through to the top of the leaf so you have 2 pieces. Keep the leaves as halves, or cut each piece in half again. (I cut or tear these pieces so I get 4 pieces from each leaf, or I just leave them as whole as possible, since the kale shrinks to less than half its size while baking.)

Place the kale, oil, and salt in a large bowl and, using your hands, rub the oil to coat the kale pieces thoroughly. (Be prepared to get your hands oily and salty.)

Arrange the kale pieces in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and then bake until they are crisp, about 25 minutes. Check the kale every 10 minutes or so and turn some pieces over if they look too toasty. The kale chips will stay crisp and fresh for up to 1 week, stored in a sealed container or bag.

Variations: Wash, cut, coat, and bake the kale according to the directions above. Instead of seasoning the kale with just olive oil and salt, try any of these variations. Because some of these variations include maple syrup, which makes the kale brown faster, cooking times will range from 15 to 25 minutes, so check the kale often to determine doneness.

Vinegar and Sea Salt: Combine 1 tablespoon vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, or brown rice), 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Maple-Coconut: Combine 2 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or a neutral cooking oil, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Garlic-Sesame: Combine 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, 1 tablespoon tamari, and 1 clove garlic, minced.

Hot and Spicy: Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, ¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¹⁄8 teaspoon chili powder, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Kale Dust for Popcorn: Crush the baked kale chips with your fingers or with a mortar and pestle into a fine powder. Sprinkle the crushed kale over popcorn. It’s colorful and nutritious; my kids love this one.

Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips

Raw Kale Chips Version

Follow the recipe above and dehydrate instead of bake, but read my notes first. I use Lacinato Kale here instead of Curly Kale.  I tried the Vinegar and Sea Salt and the Garlic-Sesame recipes today.  We wished the Vinegar and Sea Salt was stronger in flavor, but we were happy with the Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips.

Notes:

1. For an easier and quicker method to remove the spine of kale leaves, I don’t use a knife – I just use my fingers.  I hold the end of the spine and slowly tear the leaves off as I move my fingers up the spine.

I use my fingers to separate leaves from spine

Easy does it! No need for knives!

2. I soak my Kale leaves in water and vinegar, then rinse in water to clean them and dry them in my salad spinner.  Click here for my Top 5 Ways To Clean Produce.

3. I prefer to keep my kale leaves whole.  I figure I can simply cut them into smaller pieces after they are dehydrated, if needed.

Massage Dressing into Kale

4. I massage my leaves by hand in my preferred dressing.

5. I place my dressed leaves on my dehydrator mesh screens – haphazardly.  I don’t even bother to lay them in one layer properly… it would take too much time.  Plus, they dehydrate well without the added effort.

6. Some people prefer to dehydrate their kale chips at 105F until dry.  I set my dehydrator at the maximum heat of 150F for 1 hour (the kale will not have an internal temperature of 150F, the internal temperature will be below 105F and this step quickens the dehydration proces), then decrease it to 105F thereafter.  My chips were ready in 4 hours.

Sweet Oat Scones

1 May

Sweet Oat Scones

One thing many people miss when transitioning into a more raw foods diet is bread. While there are lot of raw crackers, flat breads and veggie chips, ‘white’ breads are more difficult to replicate raw. Without the use of yeast or baking soda, raw foods simply don’t have this light and airy quality. Instead, raw breads are dense, filling and nutritious: satisfying us instead of leading us to crave more and more.

This raw sweet nut-free bread recipe is simply delicious. It reminds me of thick sweet Portugese bread or a sweet bagel. It will satisfy if you crave those heavy breads. Very versatile, you can use this batter to make Blonde Brownies, Vanilla Cupcakes, Oat Muffins, or as above, Sweet Scones. You don’t need to dehydrate these, which makes it ready in 5-10 minutes if you have all the ingredients ready!

The Sweet Bread

Like my Mama Won’t Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake, this batter consists mainly of dates and oats.

The day before you make the cake, prepare the oat flour: 1. Soak oat groats overnight. 2. Drain and rinse. 3. Dehydrate until thoroughly dry by placing on 2 mesh screens on trays so the groats don’t easily fall out. I place the dehydrator on full for 1 hour then decrease the temperature to 105F. This takes about half a day. 4. Process 2 cups of dehydrated oat groats in a high speed blender, such as aVitamix, to make a fine flour. EASY ALTERNATIVE: grind rolled oat flakes into flour.

The Batter

Place in a food processor and mix together:

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted

Add in and process together:

2 cups oat groats that have been processed into fine oat flour as above (ALTERNATIVE: you can use rolled oat flakes that have been ground into a fine powder)

Add slowly to the powdery mixture until you have a batter that sticks together:

2 tbspns raw local honey

Mix in:

your choice of additions, like raisins or currants or cacao nibs

Form into your choice of shapes. For the scones, I used silicone mini-cupcake molds. You can place in a square pan and cut them into squares too. Just remember to grease your molds with oil first to ease removal.

A Raw Afternoon Tea

Accompaniments

(I was inspired to make these after reading Ani Phyo’s Ani’s Raw Food Essentials!)

Salted Butter

I love this alone with the Sweet Oat Scones because of the play of tastes between salty and sweet.

Mix together in food processor or by hand:

1 – 1 1/2 tsp unpasteurized white miso

1/4 cup coconut butter

Strawberry Jam

My boys prefer this alone with the scones.

Mix together in food processor or blender:

1/4 – 1/3 cup dates, pitted, to taste

1 cup strawberries

Enjoy your Afternoon Tea with some Sun Tea too!

Raw Almond Butter and Banana Open Sandwiches

7 Apr

Raw Almond Butter Honey Spread and Banana over Raw Buckwheat Bread

Peanut Butter Sandwiches are still very popular with kids, despite peanut allergies for many.   I was craving a raw version, so here is a raw Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich that is just as delicious.  Almonds are one of the best tonic foods to increase immunity and rejuvenate the body after illness.

Assemble the open sandwich, start with:

raw flat buckwheat bread (recipe below)

top with the Almond Butter Spread, mix together equal amounts of:

raw almond butter

raw local honey

and top with:

slices of bananas

Enjoy!

Flat Buckwheat Bread

Buckwheat is gluten-free and contains all 8 essential amino acids.  It is light and yet makes a great alternative to wheat, oats, rye or barley.  Although this started as a granola recipe, I discovered it is better as a good basic sweet bread best with a topping.

Soak overnight:

1/2 cup flax seed with 1/2 cup water in one bowl

1 cup buckwheat with a lot of water, drain and rinse the next day

In a food processor, chop together:

1 cup almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup dried fruit, your choice of dates, figs, raisins or other you have on hand

Add all ingredients above into the food processor with the addition of:

pinch sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tbspn cinnamon

1 tbspn raw local honey

additional water if needed

Pulse until well combined.  Spread batter onto 2 or 3 Teflex sheets around 1/2 inch thick on mesh screens and place in a dehydrator.  Dehydrate at 150F for the first 2 – 3 hours.  Take off Teflex sheets, turn the bread over onto mesh screens and continue to dehydrate for another few hours at 110F until bread is firm but still soft and very pliable.  Store in the refrigerator in airtight containers.

Can I Have More of those Raw Oatmeal Cookies Mama?

4 Apr

The Yummiest and Easiest Raw Oatmeal Cookies

“Mama!” my son’s eyes widened as he exclaimed, “Daddy put one whole raw oatmeal cookie in his mouth and ate it in one gulp!”

Pause.

“So, can I have more of those raw oatmeal cookies?” he smiled.

Yes, these raw oatmeal cookies are delicious and they will have the kids and daddies wanting more! They are so very simple to make and highly nutritious. Cookies made of sprouted oats, coconut oil and almond butter… hmmm… I have no qualms serving it to my family anytime of day. We hardly enjoy dehydrated food anymore preferring fresh instead but this recipe may change all that.

Soak overnight. Next day, drain and rinse. Sprout for a day, if you wish:

1 cup organic oat groats

Place in a food processor and process until you have a nice thick batter:

pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbspns raw almond butter
2 tbspns extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup raw local honey
2 cups sprouted oat groats

Place by a spoonful on a Texflex sheet on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 110F until desired hardness, turning cookies over once and placing them directly on trays to dry quicker.

Note: my friend Bonnie reminded me that if you set your machine to 150F for the first 2 to 3 hours, the food being dehydrated will not reach a temperature of more than 110F and it will speed up the process of dehydration by at least half the time. After 2 to 3 hours at 150F, you can decrease the temperature to 110F for the remainder of the process. In doing so, these cookies will be done in about 6 hours.

Cauliflower Popcorn

20 Mar

Cauliflower Popcorn

Thank you Anniespickns for reminding me about Cauliflower Popcorn! I had heard about this first from Nomi Shannon, but her version was dehydrated. And frankly, the longer one eats a highly raw diet, the less one favors dehydrated foods. Besides, I had tried the dehydrated cauliflower popcorn and found it too chewy… the boys wouldn’t eat it but fresh raw cauliflower popcorn? I had to try it!

“Not bad!” my husband said to cauliflower popcorn, a healthy snack packed full of B vitamins and amino acids from nutritional yeast and anti-carcinogens from cauliflower.

Here it is, so easy and simple!

Mix all together in a bowl:

sea salt (my general ‘rule’ is 1 tsp per 1 pound of food)

1/2 – 1 tbspn cumin or coriander (this makes a great match with nutritional yeast! use cumin for a spicier flavor, coriander for a milder one)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast or more, to taste (not a raw food, but many raw vegans eat it for B vitamins)

a head of cauliflower, florets cut into small bites like popcorn

Serve immediately. Tastes great even a day after.

Resources:

Broccoli and Cauliflower reduce risk of developing hereditary cancer

Nutrients in cruciferous vegetables found to induce death of cancer cells

Super-Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables: “A review of research published in the October 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that 70% or more of the studies found a link between cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer.”

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit

Easy Carrot Crackers

4 Jan

These are delicious.  Husbands and kids love them.


Blend in food processor until desired consistency and dehydrate at 112F till dry and brittle (turn over halfway trhough):

2 cups flax seeds, soaked overnight with 2 cups water

1 tablespoon salt

3 cloves garlic

3 carrots

more water if necessary

Raw Bombay Mix

14 Dec

Who can resist Bombay Mix?  I know I can’t.  It’s absolutely addictive.

The first time I ever tasted Bombay Mix or chevda was in India.  My friend Aashti sent me home packing with a huge 2 foot plastic container filled to the brim with this snack mix.  I looked puzzled at the size of the package upon receiving it, but realised soon after tasting my first handful that it was just the right size.  

My raw version does not contain fried lentils or chickpea flour noodles – but the texture and flavour are all here.  Enjoy!

Mix all together in a bowl:
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey or agave syrup
1 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons coriander
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup buckwheat groats (soaked overnight, rinsed, drained, dehydrated until dry)
2 cups raw coconut chips

Holiday Pecans

30 Nov
My cousin Ami served her father’s Christmas Butter Garlic Pecans a few years ago and it was delicious and addictive. I think I kept pestering her to make it since then because I never knew Pecans could taste so good. In the past few years, I have discovered other recipes for Pecans. Here is a Holiday Raw Pecan recipe with rosemary and cinnamon. People never guess this is raw. Enjoy!

Mix together:
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Bragg’s Amino
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 cups pecans

A 3 year old's take on RAW

2 Jun
 Our son digging into Zucchini Chips today.
Same recipe as my Spinach Chips without the oil.  I prefer the spinach version, but he seems to prefer this.

It was fun to hear a 10 year old talk about eating RAW foods.  I wondered what my 3 year old would say.  Click here to listen!

Mama: How old are you?
Son: 3 1/2.
Mama: And do you like eating raw food?
Son: I like salad.
Mama (I must be dreaming!): How about fruit smoothies?
Son: Yes!  Of course I do… lots of times.
Mama: How about green smoothies? Do you like green smoothies sometimes?
Son: Yes…sometimes, just in all places.
Mama: What’s your favourite breakfast?
Son: You know! You guess it!
Mama: You like fruit?
Son: Yes.
Mama: You liked the raw oatmeal you had this morning?
Son: No I don’t!
Mama:  You don’t?  How about when you have salads with sprouts?
Son: Yeah!  I like lots and lots of salads in different places we go.
Mama: How about when I make you raw chips?  Do you like those?
Son: Some of those are pretty.
Mama: What other raw do you like?
Son: Kind of…
Mama: Do you like raw cookies I make for you?
Son: No!  I just like salad and potatoes.  (We hardly have potatoes, so I think he means sweet potatoes.)
Mama: OK. Thank you so much for talking to me today.
Son: I’ll now talk on a different line.  Thank You!

Almond Butter for Kids

28 Apr

After tasting some raw almond butter on bread, I overheard a little 2 year old say, “Mama!  I don’t like this!”  My own son says in dismay (when I try to substitute raw almond butter for peanut butter): “I don’t think this is peanut butter!” No fooling them!  Kids who have tasted PBJs know their PBJs and know when peanut butter isn’t used. So, how about trying something else?
For a snack, I have been very successful at serving these Apple Sandwiches.  Nothing to it:
Simply slice apples thinly. Spread a thin layer of raw organic almond butter between two apple slices to make a sandwich. 

Raw Spinach Chips

24 Apr
A Spinach Chip

We went grocery shopping the other day and my husband bought 2 big bags of Sun Chips. UGH! Yes, the one in the really loud compostable bag. I couldn’t believe it and moreover, one whole bag was finished the day after we brought them home. Here I am a die-hard raw foodie and my husband’s choice of food was junk. But, I figured 2 things:
1. the bad – I wasn’t providing my husband’s taste buds with something he wanted
2. the good – I was motivated to find something healthy that he actually likes to eat.
I have made kale chips before – but it took forever just to clean them, dry them, dress them and then place them orderly in my dehydrator. I don’t have much time. I have a preschooler at home who just wants to play with me – and I really want to play with him. So, the easier, the faster, the less time I spend in the kitchen, the funner for my family life. I looked in my fridge yesterday and I saw a huge salad box of clean, washed spinach. Hmmm… I grew up eating an appetizer of fried spinach leaves that were delicious. Could I make a raw version?

Here it is. And I am happy to say, my husband ate them all! Thank goodness it wasn’t Sun Chips tonight!

Mix together:
8 oz organic spinach
3 tbspn ground golden flax seeds (use a coffee grinder to grind whole seeds)
3/4 tsp sea salt

extra virgin olive oil, just enough to coat the spinach leaves enough for the flax seeds and salt to stick

Place on mesh screens and dehydrate at 110F until crispy, about a day.

Peanut Butter Anyone?

14 Apr

“Let’s go have lunch.   We’re having Peanut Butter Jelly sandwiches today!” I tell my son who is dilly dallying in the public toilet.  My son smiles and eagerly makes his way to the exit.  His friend overhears us and says exuberantly “We are having Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches too!!!!”  He also hurries to head out for his lunch.  Yes, kids love their all American PBJ!  All the children in our playgroup have PBJs for lunch when we meet twice a week.  But with allergies to peanuts increasing and schools banning anything with peanuts and other tree nuts, I want to know if peanut butter is healthy for those who can eat them.  Am I offering my son a healthy lunch twice a week?

Mainstream Perspective
The Good: 
– high in monounsaturated fat
– high in polyphenols and antioxidants
– high in Vitamins A, C, E
– helps prevent cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, lose weight

– more from World’s Healthiest Foods: Peanuts 

Ayurveda Perspective

In Ayurveda, organic peanuts in their shells are considered a nutritious food especially for Vata types (characteristics of Vata children: thin, dry skin, gassy, difficulty gaining weight).  It is particularly helpful to eat them when one is weak, when getting better from an illness, for cleaning out the red blood cells, for skin diseases, for diabetes and during lactation.  It must be avoided however if there is any allergy, congestion, autoimmune disorder, yeast infection and cancer.  Peanut butter is considered too heavy and oily for Kapha types (characteristics of Kapha children: thick lustrous hair, fair/pale complexion, oily skin, gains weight easily, slower in movement than other kids). Is my child Vata, Pitta or Kapha type?
Natural Health/Alternative Perspective

The Bad: from Mercola
– one of the most pesticide laden foods
– heavy in omega 6, which distorts the proper omega 3:6 ratio
– often contaminated with carcinogen aflatoxin

What to do? also from Mercola
– buy organic (pesticide free)
– throw top oil out and stir in olive oil or macadamia nut oil instead (so you don’t distort your child’s omega ratio)
– buy Arrowhead Mills Organic Peanut Butter.  (They are produced with Valencia peanuts in New Mexico, where there is apparently no mold due to their dry weather conditions.)

Raw Perspective
– buy raw, organic peanuts – these can be sprouted or blended to make butter, but I hear it does not taste so good
– eat raw nut and seed butters instead, there are so many like Raw Almond Butter, Tahini, Pecan, Coconut, Macadamia, Pumpkin and Cashew.  Raw Almond Butter tastes most like peanut butter.  Sometimes, for children who don’t particularly like the taste, they will eat it if there is some coconut and honey with it.

Raw Chocolate Fudge: one of our son’s favourite snacks

Mix together:
1 tbsp raw almond butter
1 tbsp raw coconut oil
1 tbsp local organic honey
1 tbsp of raw cacao powder or carob powder

Serve with banana or other fruit.

More Than An Apple A Day

28 Feb
Raw Applesauce
I hardly used to buy packaged applesauce unless I used it as a butter substitute in baking because nobody here would really eat it.  And, I have tried to limit any processed foods at home.  So when I read a recipe for raw applesauce, I just turned the page of the recipe book.   But last week, we had just too many apples leftover and I didn’t want them to go to waste.  I made RAW applesauce for myself, but served my son and husband some.  Well, they loved it!  Best of all, their bowls came back to me empty.  They have both asked to have some more since.  I am glad because I know I’m giving them more than a day’s worth of apples to keep the doctor away!
This recipe is adapted from Living On Live Food:
4 apples, seeded and chopped (no need to peel – love this part because I’m not wasting time or fruit)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
just enough water to enable you to puree well
Place all in a  food processor (I use our Vita-mix) and process till smooth.  YUM!!!

 

Healthy Snacks for Chips Loving Son

18 May

Before dabbling with raw and living foods, we would bake pita chips at least once a week – using whole wheat pita chips, of course. Last week, we discovered our son loves to munch on dried green beans. So, we dehydrated kale leaves and potato snacks at home this week.

For kale chips: brush kale leaves with oil from the pita chips recipe (above). Dehydrate till crispy around 5 hours.

For salt and vinegar chips: marinate potatoes (use slicer to slice thinly) in apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes, place on dehydrator trays and sprinkle with sea salt. Dehydrate till crispy, around 5 hours.

For sweet potato chips: peel, slice thinly and dehydrate!