I wrote in the July, 2010 edition of the TKC on the many benefits of eating a raw diet; eating fruits, vegetables and other natural “live” foods uncooked. The theory being when we cook foods, we destroy their nutrients along with their essential enzymes. I have been asked several times since this article was written for some recipes to get started with. So rather than saying “search the Internet”, I have listed a few ideas below.

2010-11-couplandI can’t stress enough the benefits of juicing, and this is my #1 method of getting raw foods into the body. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily, along with juicing, to get the full benefits from them. However, when we eat these healthy foods, many of the nutrients are not absorbed; rather they are flushed right out of our system. This is mainly due to our weakened digestive systems from all of the chemically-treated foods we’ve been subjected to over the years. Juicing separates the nutrients from the fiber (in the pulp), allowing our bodies to immediately absorb them. I start most days with a juice consisting of 4 or 5 carrots, 1 apple, 1 beet, 5 or 6 stalks of celery, 1 tomato, 2 cloves of garlic and usually two greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, cilantro, dandelion, etc. (variety is good). This makes about 2 glasses, which is more than enough for a good start to the day.

“I don’t have time to eat healthy.” How many times have we heard that one, or even used it ourselves. Well perhaps here’s the quickest way to get your daily dose of veggies. Literally throw your favourite fruits and veggies together (the more greens – the better) in the blender and make a “green smoothie”. Use sweet fruits to flavour. Experiment – try cherries, blueberries, pineapple, melons, watermelon in your smoothies. Younger kids will enjoy making and drinking these ones.

In the June, 2010 edition of the TKC, I wrote an article questioning “Is milk really good for us?” Some claim as long as you drink the milk raw, not pasteurized, it does the body good. Well, I’ll leave that decision up to you. But if you do want a healthy alternative, (and you don’t happen to have a goat in your backyard), try making your own almond milk. It tastes great, and almonds are one of the best nuts for you. Begin by pouring 1 or 2 cups of water into a blender (depending how much milk you want to make). Add a handful of almonds. The more almonds, the thicker the drink. Some people soak the almonds for a day first, before blending, to remove toxins from the nuts. Add 1 or 2 heaping spoonfuls of raw honey. Blend and enjoy! The drink will be a little “nutty”, which is fine over cereal, but you may want to strain it first before drinking. Add a spoonful of raw cocoa powder for a chocolate drink. Bananas and a spoonful of cinnamon are a couple of additional options. If you like this drink, make enough for a large pitcher, and seal it. It will keep for 3 or 4 days in the fridge.

And here are a few recipes for you to try. Many raw recipes take a lot of preparation, I’ve only included some of the “quicker” ones. Use either a blender or food processor for each one.

Oat Meal Breakfast

2 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 banana, peeled
1 tablespoon flax seed (any nuts will do)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup water

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Healthy Salad Dressing

2 cloves of garlic
Juice from ½ of lemon
1 teaspoon of honey mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Blend all ingredients with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.

Green Onion Dressing

3 green onions
1 cup olive oil
? cup apple cider vinegar
? cup raw honey
1½ teaspoon sea salt

Blend all ingredients until creamy.

Tomato Soup

3 medium tomatoes
1 carrot
½ red pepper
1 clove of garlic
¼ red onion
6 basil leaves (optional)
2 cups of raw nuts (cashews)

Blend all ingredients with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Warm, if necessary, to finger-hot.

South of the Border Soup
6 – 8 tomatoes
¼ onion
2 carrots
Handful of cilantro
1 teaspoon Taco seasoning
1 cup water (optional)
¼ jalapeno pepper
3 stalks celery

Blend all items.  This should warm you up!

Mock Meat Loaf
1 beet, grated
2 – 3 white potatoes, grated
1 turnip, grated
1 onion, cut-up
3 celery stalks, with leaves
1 pound raw peanuts

Blend each item individually, then add to a large bowl.  Mix together and refrigerate overnight.

Veggie Loaf
1 sweet potato
1 white potato
1 onion
1 carrot
1 turnip
1 beet
3 – 4 stalks celery
1 lb of raw nuts (your choice)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic

Blend the veggies and garlic until shredded into fine pieces.  Blend the nuts separately, then add to veggies and garlic.  Press into a loaf pan and refrigerate for an hour.

Crunchy Taco
3 ripe avocados
1 large onion
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1½ teaspoon cumin spice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 – 3 jalapenos, chopped
1½ teaspoon sea salt
Romaine or leaf lettuce

Cut the avocados into chunks, and pour lemon juice over it.  Blend all other ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Spoon mixture into a lettuce leaf and wrap around mixture.

And don’t forget desserts.

Apple Sauce

4 cups apples (peel and chunk)
1 cup of raisins (or dates or figs)
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ lemon (including peel)

Blend all ingredients together.  Add more water to thin out, if necessary.  Top with a spoonful of honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten.

Macadamia Date Pie

4 cups macadamia nuts
2 cups of dates
Juice of one orange
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Blend macadamia nuts until finely chopped, and transfer to a bowl.  Blend dates and orange juice and add to the macadamia nuts.  Mix thoroughly with salt and vanilla extract.  Spread the crust out thinly on a normal size plate.  Finely slice bananas or your favourite fruit on top of the crust.  Cover the fruit with another layer of the macadamia date mixture.