I thought in this Eating Healthy 101 series that it would be good to start simple. Instead of loading you up with lots of complicated recipes we can start with a basic staple recipe and build as we go. Sound good?
First up is replacing dairy milk with a nut/seed based milk. You can use pretty much any nuts or seeds and many times they can be specific to the recipe. Some are sweeter, smoother, nuttier..etc. Here I’ll share one of my favorites – Cashew Nut Milk. Cashews blend up nice and smooth so no straining with a nut milk bag is required. That comes in handy when you’re just getting started with homemade milk or you’re in a rush.
RAW Cashews (cheapest I’ve found near me is at Trader Joe’s. I personally don’t currently use organic because of the price, accessibility and the quantity of nuts I use, but that’s up to you.)
Medjool Dates – Costco has The Best deal on them (and now they are even organic), Trader Joe’s is my second choice. Dates are one of the top natural, good for you, sweeteners out there, used in sooooo many ways so there are no worries the Costco container is too big, you’ll use them. 😉 They can also be stored in the fridge to stay fresh longer.
Soak 1 Cup of Cashews in water for 4 hours in a bowl on the counter, or overnight. Drain and rinse a couple times. That dirty water contains the digestive enzyme inhibitor nuts have on them to deter predators and to keep the nuts in a holding pattern until they are ready to sprout and grow. It’s also what makes nuts difficult for people to digest and why many people think they are allergic. The nuts will have soaked up some water and expanded to more than 1 cup, that’s perfect.
Put 4 cups clean Water in your blender and all of the soaked Cashews. (adjust to 3 cups water if you want a thicker/creamier milk)
Add 2 1/2 Dates (you won’t taste them!)
Add a capful of the Vanilla Extract.
Blend until it’s super smooth, no pieces. Drink away! Or add as cream to your coffee.
I LOVE the foam on fresh milk when I add it to my coffee.
If you want your coffee sweeter you can add Pure Maple Syrup (a bit goes a long way, be sure to stir well before adding more, it likes to sit at the bottom)
Store the milk is a glass container with a lid in the coldest part of your fridge. It’ll keep for 3 days. The nuts will go rancid after that, you’ll know when that’s happened. Always shake before using as it’ll separate a bit.
This milk is also the base of the smoothie recipe I’ll share with you next. Plus, it works for Hot Chocolate, milk for granola cereal or chia seed pudding, just to name a few!
If you have any questions please ask. 😃 I’d how your milk turns out!
Not a huge fan of mushrooms (it’s really the texture more than the flavor I have challenges with) but as the health benefits are amazing, they are a great savory substitute for meat and my husband loves them, I try to include them periodically.
Flipping through a book for recipes he’ll like I came across Raw Sushi Rolls…it looked super simple. Cauliflower “rice”, raw unroasted Nori sheets, which I had in the pantry, sliced veggies and marinated mushrooms.
This marinade is the bomb! I like soy sauce but soaking anything in straight soy sauce?…not a good idea. The intense flavor and SALT would be overpowering.
Diluting it with oil and lemon juice is perfect, garlic is always good and ginger adds a surprise to your tastebuds.
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce / liquid aminos or tamari
1 Tbl fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, or more if you like!
1 1/2 Tbl fresh squeezed lemon juice
Blend until smooth. You don’t want any chunks of ginger remaining.
Marinate the mushrooms for at least an hour. I put them in a ziploc bag as it’s easy to moosh around the mushrooms to make sure they are get covered in the marinade.
The mushrooms will keep for several days. Leftover marinade I keep in a mason jar, it pretty much lasts “forever”.
After making the sushi, I threw a few of the left over mushrooms into the dehydrator for a few hours. These now “cooked” mushrooms went onto a bowl of cauliflower rice with chickpea hummus and alfalfa sprouts. YUM! ?
2 cups grated carrots, squeezed tightly through a nut milk bag to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp pink salt (or more to taste)
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup cashews, soaked 1+ hours
1/3 cup maple syrup (you could use agave instead or probably honey too)
Few shakes of pink salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Blend the dates and walnuts in a food processor till they are crumbly, but holding together.
Add carrots and spices. (I pulsed the carrorts innmy food processor to save manually grating baby carrots. Lol) Process till the mix has taken the form of a smooth “dough.” It will take a minute or two.
Add raisins and pulse or stir in to combine.
Drain and rinse cashews, put in a food processor with maple syrup, salt and lemon. Process until the mixture is well combined. With the motor running, add just enough water as the motor is running to get the consistency you want. Keep checking. Tasting helps too. ?
Push the carrot cake dough into six muffin tins or ramekins, gently drop a heaping Tablespoon of icing to each and put in freezer for about two hours so they’ll set enough to be removed from the muffin tin while holding their shape.
Serve and enjoy!
These can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
Tip – if you stretch the base to make 7 muffins you can set one aside to be sure of having a “leftover” while still having an even number to put out for guests. ?
This is me doing that very thing and having a muffin for breakfast the next day. Lol. It filled me up for hours!
This salad is so simple to make, tastes light, refreshing and oh so tasty! The sweet potato noodles hold up well to being marinated in the dressing, actually tastes better after a bit, no wilting mush here.
2 Sweet Potatoes – Medium, spiralized
1/3 cup Organic Olive Oil
1/3 cup Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Sweet Onion, Medium, rough chopped
1 heaping tsp Cumin
3 large garlic cloves (I used pickled cloves. Garlic Powder can also be used if you prefer)
A few dashes of Cayenne Pepper
A few dashes of Turmeric
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 cups Spinach, chopped (optional)
3 cups Cilantro, chopped (optional)
Nutritional Yeast- sprinkled on top of each bowl as you serve. Yummy cheesy flavor.
Mix together greens and noodles in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix up the dressing ingredients Olive Oil – Salt & Pepper. Then pour over the noodles, stir and let marinate for 10 minutes before serving. An hour or two or three makes it even tastier. ☺️
If not adding the greens, the Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar can be reduced to 1/4 cup each.
This is a great base so get creative! Add other spiralized other root veggies like beets or daikon to add some contrast with the sweet potato ?. Chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds would be great toppers too!
I’d love to hear how you enjoy this salad and what changes you make! ?
This, my 2nd, episode In The Kitchen was so much fun! And all the recipes turned out amazingly delicious! I hope you enjoy watching! 🙂
Here are the “tweaked” ? directions for each recipe:
1 cup Cashews
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1 large carrot
3 Tbl Olive Oil
2 1/2 Tbl Liquid Aminos (soy sauce or tamari work too)
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Blend Cashews and Sunflower Seeds in food processor until fine. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until the texture you prefer. I saved half of the scallions to add at the end to leave add a little more chunky texture.
Sesame Ginger Sauce:
1 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup + 2 Tbl Apple Cieer Vinegar
1/3 cup Fresh Ginger (or even a little more wouldn’t hurt, surprisingly)
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup Liquid Aminos
1/2 Tbl Sesame Oil (toasted is fine too)
1 cup Water
Add all ingredients to blender and process until creamy. Make take a bit to break down the ginger.
Can be used as a salad dressing, a dip for apples / veggies or with rehydrated seaweed like Arame and Hijiki.
2 cups whole Flax Seeds (soaked in 2 cups water for a 2 hours or more, if you leave overnight that’s fine)
5 cloves Garlic (I love garlic!)
1/2 Lemon, juiced
2 – 3 Tbl Liquid Aminos
1 Tbl Fresh Ginger
Blend ingredients EXCEPT the Flax Seeds in a food processor until broken down. Then add the Flax Seeds and blend until well combined. The Flax Seeds will not grind up but you want the flavors to be well mixed.
Remove from food processor and place on a Teflex sheet on top of a mesh dehydrator screen. Spread batter thinly 1/8 – 1/4 thick. It will take 2-3 trays to use all the batter. The goopy texture will hold the crackers together even if there are holes.
Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10-16 hours, until crispy. Halfway thru test them for firmness and flip them over onto another mesh tray and remove the Teflex sheet so they dry on both sides.
1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked in water for 30 min – 4 hours)
1 cup Bell Pepper (red, orange or yellow)
2 1/2 Tbl Lime Juice (or lemon)
4 cloves Garlic
3/4 tsp Salt
Place all ingredients into a food processor and puree into a smooth pate. This will take a bit, the texture will become smoother and thicken a bit after blending for longer than you think you need to. 🙂
Please share your favorite paté or cracker recipe! If you have questions or requests for recipes you’d like to see made Raw, I’d love to hear them! 🙂
Dining is such a fun, creative experience nowadays, bringing so much Joie.
Used to opening the fridge and seeing “things” ready made to eat, now when I open the door I see what seems like “nothing”. Jars filled with random dressings and dips and an assortment of whole fresh veggies and leafy greens. Lots of food but umm…what exactly to eat?
I have fresh tomatoes ?, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley and salt but no recognizable jar of spaghetti sauce, ready to pop open and pour into a saucepan for warming up.
It now takes imagination to put an unprocessed, fresh meal together, if I want something that is more than a plain salad. And yes, I definitely want more. There is real Joie in unique and different flavors, textures, a variety of colors and overall vibrancy.
It starts in my head before I ever open that door. What do I feel like? Sweet, salty, leafy, crunchy, rich, dense, crispy, soft, spicy…etc. Then I go from there and think what ingredients I have in that category, what is ripe in the garden and how you could build a meal from it. It’s quite a visual experience. A world away from how I used to prepare meals. I do still do meal planning, try out new recipes and shop for the needed ingredients but I also now shop for Raw & Living food staples: veggies, leafy greens, nuts and seeds to have a foundation upon which to create.
Just yesterday Kerwin is scrounging for a snack, opens the fridge door and sees “nothing”. I suggest a bowl of cereal. But the catch is we don’t have any sugar laden, fake food cereal boxes or a carton of ? milk?. Instead I say to grab one of those random, unlabeled jars that has fresh cashew milk, take out some home-made & dehydrated granola from the jar on the counter and add one of the ripe bananas that didn’t get frozen for smoothies yet, to make a bowl of cereal. But it took running through an inventory in my head of ingredients to come up with “cereal”. Getting into the spirit, he added goji berries – bonus! ?
Dinner tonight was an especially beautiful thing! Highlights were:
The most amazing leftover Basil Vinaigrette, I didn’t think anything could beat my Basil Pesto recipe but this absolutely does.
Crackers I’d dehydrated earlier in the week.
Micro Arugula harvested from the garden
Raw, Vegan, Sulfate Free Wine ?
Thanks to some prep work (gardening, dehydrating, leftovers) I had a couple of things on hand and was able to whip together a simple dinner that was simply delicious and eye-catching too.
A take away from my trip to Japan ?? is that eating starts with your eyes and as such, attention to presentation details is very important. It makes such a difference in your overall enjoyment of the meal. It’s like you eat less too when the meal is so pretty. ??
For example, storing the flax crackers standing up in a cute basket makes me smile. It’s a lovely display and it’s so fun to choose your next perfect cracker.
Drinking a glass of wine in pretty, well made wine glasses instead of the cheap stemless ones we have takes it up a notch. (Found the glasses at a garage sale! ??)
Pausing to snap a picture actually helps you take a step back and appreciate what you have in front of you. Odd as it sounds!
I am grateful for this journey we are on together. Sitting down to a lovingly prepared meal, that tastes AMAZING and is absolutely nutritious and healing for our bodies makes me pinch myself – is this real???
How far we’ve come!
I hope my sharing our story inspires you! I NEVER saw this coming and if it looks impossible from where you are, that’s okay. I was there too, scared to commit to anything past this immense challenge of 87 days without meat, added sugar or processed flours. It seemed almost insane! Definitely crazy. That is if you call deciding to listen to yourself this time, for the first time, crazy. To do it my way, win or lose, and just see what happened.
All you need to do is start. Start something. Start anything. ??
Here’s a look back at my Day 1 of 2017’s Year of Transformation, if you’re looking for a place to start.
You are also warmly invited to join my Joie to Your Health group on Facebook for more inspiration, recipes, tips, support, challenges, fun and of course JOIE! ?
2 1/2 cups Tomatoes
18 Sun-dried Tomatoes – soaked (less if they are big)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic (I double or triple this!)
3 Medjual Dates (pitted & soaked)
2 Tbl Parsley
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
Throw all ingredients in a food processor or blender till it’s the consistency you prefer and you’re set! Serve with spiralized zucchini noodles. Or freeze for later for to go meals for work or school.
Optional toppers: capers, yellow tomatoes, chopped walnuts or raw Parmesan cheese.
(oops, need to watch my camera angle a little better. If you were wondering it’s the end of the water spout that is showing at the top of the screen. LOL ? Sorry!)