Raw Tomato Soup

If you have fond childhood memories of that canned, condensed tomato soup, I have a fresh, tasty alternative for you.  Since this is a raw version of the classic, you will want to be careful if you heat it on the stove. To keep it raw, that is to keep all the enzymes in your food alive, the temperature should not exceed 118 degrees F (some say even lower).

I use the ‘soup’ button on my Blendtec blender to blend this recipe, which warms it bit, so I don’t bother heating it on the stove. Enjoy it with a salad or a raw wrap and you have a delicious lunch.

For one hearty serving – this recipe makes much more than the picture, but I ate most of it before I took the photo:


¼ cup almond milk (homemade to keep it raw)

3 plum tomatoes (or any type of tomato you wish – just use about the same volume)

1 stalk of celery (I don’t use the leafy green parts for this – save those for the juicer)

about ¼ of red bell pepper (I had 2 of those mini bell peppers (red and yellow) so I used those)

1/8 cup of nutritional yeast

½ tsp good quality salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)

Blend thoroughly until you have a smooth consistency.  Top with sprouts or sunflower/pumpkin seeds (optional).

Notes: The almond milk makes it creamy, but you can use plain water

The celery adds to the liquid of the soup.

The red pepper adds a nice zesty flavor – don’t leave it out.

The nutritional yeast adds a salty, mildly cheesy flavor.

This soup is really delicious, complete with fully intact nutrients and enzymes. If you’re wondering about the information out there that says tomatoes need to be cooked to get the benefits of the lycopene, my understanding is that if the cell walls of the plant are broken down, through cooking or blending, your body will be able to assimilate all the benefits the plant has to offer.


Raw Chocolate Truffles

Here’s a great little chocolatey treat with no processed sugars or dairy fat added. These delectable tidbits contain antioxidants from the raw cacao, omega-3 fats from the walnuts, natural sugars and fiber from the dates. Try to use all organic ingredients for a truly decadent raw dessert.  This recipe will probably yield a couple dozen truffles – more or less depending on the size.


1 cup of walnuts, soaked

1 cup of dates

2 TBL raw cacao (more or less to taste)

½-1 tsp vanilla (you may taste the alcohol, so you might want to use non-alcoholic vanilla)


Soak the walnuts for 4-6 hours or overnight, rinse and drain. In a food processor, add all the ingredients and process until a sticky “dough” forms. This may require stopping the machine a couple of times to scrape down the sides.

Roll into balls and dip into raw cacao, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut.

Chill. Serve with sweet, raw cashew cream (optional, but ohhh so good!).

These seem to get better after a day or two as they sit the fridge – if they last that long.

Some options and tips:

For the nuts – I would recommend walnuts, pecans or pine nuts

I like to process until the consistency is very smooth for truffles, but you could leave it a bit chunkier and press it into a pan to form it into raw brownies if you like.

You can use other flavored extracts instead of vanilla if you like to change it up.

You can add some other superfood powders like maca or goji to pump up the nutritional value. Start with small amounts until you can determine how they change the flavor.

Get creative and have fun. Raw desserts are a great and easy way to edge into eating more raw foods. Enjoy!

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

I used to love orange creamsicles when I was a kid. Today, I was craving something creamy, sweet, light and yes orangey.  This recipe is fabulous and so easy. Be sure to blend well if you don’t have a high power blender like a Vita-mix or Blendtec.

Recipe is adapted from The Rawtarian.  I added vanilla and used almond milk instead of orange juice. Here is the link if you want to view the original recipe for Raw Orange Smoothie, which makes 2 servings (by the way this is a great site for simple raw recipes)


For one serving:

1 orange peeled – try to get off as much white pith as you can.

1 banana – fresh or frozen (I used frozen)

¼ cup plus 1 TBL almond milk (use homemade to keep it raw)

½ tsp vanilla

½ TBL coconut oil or butter (I used coconut butter)

zest of the orange you are using.

Make sure to zest the orange before you peel it.  Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend well.  Enjoy!

Raw Chia Pudding

Okay – let’s get this over with. All together now, “Ch… ch… ch… Chia!”

Now that we got that out of our systems, let’s look at the amazing little chia seed. A superfood, these beauties are believed to have been a staple in the Aztec and Mayan diets. Just 2 tablespoons provide 6g of fiber and are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids – an important detail for vegetarians. They have advantages over the flaxseed (another omega-3 choice of vegetarians) since chia seeds do not have to be ground up for the body to absorb their benefits. They also provide protein, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. They help the body balance blood sugar levels making them beneficial to diabetics. They are also great if you’re on a diet (and who isn’t) since they absorb moisture and expand in size giving the body a nice full feeling. That said, you should make sure you stay properly hydrated when using chia.

They have a light, nutty taste – very neutral in flavor – so they can be added to just about anything: cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, salads…whatever you like. They can also be ground up and used in baking.

For many raw recipes, like a pudding, they are usually made into a gel first before being added to the other ingredients. Some use the gel in place of eggs when baking.

Here’s my recipe for a sweet treat that tastes amazingly like rice pudding – without the starch, the dairy, and the processed sugar. This is a delicious alternative and so nutritious it can be a meal (sometimes it’s my breakfast).

Raw Chia Pudding

Mix Chia Gel and Vanilla Cream Sauce together (recipes below) for an amazing treat. You can also just soak the chia seeds in almond milk (preferably raw) and vanilla with whatever sweetener you prefer. But if you have the time, make it with the Vanilla Cream Sauce – you won’t be sorry.

Chia Gel

2 Tbl chia seed

About ¼ cup of water, maybe a little more – you want the chia seeds to have enough water room to expand properly

Mix together and let sit until the mixture expands and becomes gelatinous – this will only take about 10-20 minutes.  Chia seed gel keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, so make more and you will always have some on hand.

Vanilla Cream Sauce– recipe taken from Jennifer Cornbleet’s book, Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people – by the way, I’ve substituted raw honey/maple syrup/stevia for the agave nectar that the original recipe calls for. )

1 cup soaked raw cashews (soaked for about 2 hours, rinsed)

¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons (or less – adjust to taste) – pure maple syrup/raw honey (or small amount of other sweetener like stevia -adjust quantity according to the sweetener you use)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract – the pure kind, not artificial – or seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Place all ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes (if you can keep from eating the whole thing right then and there).  Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Will keep for 5 days (trust me, it will be all gone before that).

By the way, cashew cream (vanilla cream sauce) is delicious with berries, especially strawberries. A great alternative to the various dairy creams out there.

The chia seed is making quite a comeback.  Everything I’ve read about chia is all good – no downside whatsoever. It’s been talked about on Dr. Oz, the Today Show, Dr. Andrew Weil’s website among other places. There are many other recipes out there as well on other blogs.  I recommend that you explore ways to include this little food that packs a powerful nutritious punch to your daily diet.

Raw Oatmeal with Superfoods

Raw Oat Groats

As I continue to add a variety of more raw foods to my diet, I continue to search for breakfast options that go beyond eating only fruit or green smoothies. During the winter months, I always loved making cooked steel cut oats. To shorten the cooking time in the morning, I would put the oats in a pot with water and let it sit overnight. The oats soften and voila! – they cook up in no time.  That led me to search for ways to have raw oatmeal using soaked oats. As I searched the internet, the recipe I liked the best was one by Angela Stokes Monarch.

I use her basic recipe, which includes the soaked oat groats (not rolled oats- these are the oats used for the steel cut variety), raw honey, lucuma powder (a low glycemic sweetener made from a fruit that grows in Peru), maca, cinnamon, and water. I add other superfoods like hempseeds, bee pollen, and chia seed gel, which is simply chia seeds in water. The Chia seeds soak up the water like a sponge in a matter of minutes. This gel can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. I’ll blog more about Chia in upcoming posts.

Here’s what I do:

I place about a ½ cup of organic oat groats in water to soak overnight. The next morning, in a blender I add:

the oat groats, rinsed after soaking

about 2 TBL of Chia seed gel

1 tsp lucuma powder

1 tsp raw honey

1 tsp maca powder

1 TBL hempseeds

½ tsp bee pollen

a bit of cinnamon

enough water to blend to desired consistency. This will be about ¼ – ½ cup of water. Add water slowly so you don’t add too much or the oatmeal will become watery.

You can top the oatmeal with extra cinnamon, sliced banana or apple, berries – whatever you like. You can buy oat groats in bulk at a ridiculously low cost. They are high in both fiber and protein. This is a really filling breakfast that will power you up till lunch. I love it!

Super Raw Hot Chocolate

This is a drink I make several times a week – usually for dinner. Yes, chocolate for dinner. And it’s fabulous!

The ‘Super’ in the title is not just an adjective. It refers to the superfoods that are included in this raw version of hot chocolate. Most of the ingredients are on David Wolfe’s list of superfoods – cacao, maca, goji, honey, all raw and organic of course. This version is one I’ve tweaked from his various smoothie recipes using raw cacao.

Raw cacao, how do I love thee – let me count the ways. I won’t go into the many benefits of this ‘wonder food,’ just know that when you combine cacao with maca something magical happens. In fact, I now see these two superfood giants packaged together.

This is how I make it – (and by the way, it does look like the picture):

In a blender:

8 oz water – you can add more if you like a thinner drink

2 TBL Raw Cacao

1 TBL Maca

1 TBL Goji powder

1 tsp raw honey

2 Medjool dates (pits removed)

about ¼ cup of cashews – makes it thick and creamy

dash or two cayenne pepper

Now, I have a Blendtec blender, which is super powerful. You could blend a 2×4 in this thing. You don’t need to have a blendtec, but I use the ‘soup’ setting, which runs for about 90 seconds on a high speed. This warms the drink slightly. Remember, to keep it raw, it needs to stay below 118 degrees (some say even lower than that). I try to keep the temperature around 110. If you don’t have a blender with this capability, you can warm the mug you’ll be using by filling it with water and popping it into the microwave for about a minute.

Other notes: I like the taste of the dates, but you can add more honey in place of the dates, or use raw agave if you prefer. I tried using stevia, but I didn’t like it as much.

In place of the cashews, you can use 2 TBL of coconut butter. However, I prefer the more neutral taste of the cashews. You could also use raw almond milk if you have that on hand. I’m basically making a nut milk by tossing in the cashews.

I suppose you could blend in soaked goji berries instead of using the powder. I’ve never tried it so I can’t tell you how it would taste.

The cayenne adds a bit of a kick, a little heat in the background (a little trick in the raw food genre), which I really like here and I don’t generally like hot foods.

You don’t need to feel guilty about this drink. This is real nourishment for your body.  Here’s to your health!

Going Green

The book that started it all...

My first introduction to the concept of an all-raw diet came about 11 years ago when I was working for Barnes & Noble Distribution. The office was abuzz about a new book that had just arrived. That book was Juliano’s “RAW – The UNcook Book.” It was filled with beautiful images of foods that I couldn’t imagine weren’t cooked.  I was intrigued and bought a copy.

I was always interested in healthy eating, but this took things to a whole new level.  I had been a vegetarian for most of the previous decade.  I tried going vegan, but that lasted about a week.  To be honest, these recipes intimidated me. The lists of ingredients  (some I had never even heard of) were lengthy, with recipes of some of the ingredients on other pages of the book.  I had good results with a few of the simpler dishes, which required either juicing or simple assembly.  I ordered a dehydrator, but it mostly sat unused.  I had no clue how to approach this new way of eating.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, and I was willing to give it another try.  By then, there was so much more information available.  I knew this wasn’t going to be something I would accomplish overnight – if ever.  But I figured that adding more raw foods, which are truly 100% natural and unprocessed, had to be a good thing.  I don’t remember how I learned about green smoothies, which are just blended leafy greens and fruit, but the thought of not having to clean that annoying mesh screen of a juicer every day really appealed to me.  Also, you keep the insoluble fiber that gets lost when you juice.  So I blended my very first green smoothie consisting of spinach, an apple, a banana and enough water to get the consistency I wanted.  I couldn’t believe how good it tasted. You can easily get 3-5 servings of fruits and greens in one smoothie, which comes out to anywhere between 20–32 ounces depending on the amounts of ingredients you use.

Got Green?

The basics of a green smoothie are listed below. Try to use as much organic produce as you can afford. If greens make you cringe a bit, I would recommend that you begin with more fruit to start so you can get used to tasting greens this way. By the way, there is tons of info out there on the green smoothie. Explore and have fun!

Base – about a cup of water (you can use fruit juice if you like, but I prefer water)

Leafy Greens – I love using romaine, spinach, green/red leaf lettuce, and tender spring greens. They are a bit lighter in flavor.  As you progress, you can add the stronger greens like kale and collards.

Something for creaminess – Banana, fresh or frozen, or ½ an avocado

Other sweet fruits –cored but unpeeled apples and pears, peaches, berries (you can use frozen), mango, pineapple, oranges – whatever you like.

Sometimes I add a little Stevia for extra sweetness.  You can also blend in ice if you like. The simplest green smoothie consists of romaine, bananas and water.  So simple and so good.

Green smoothies opened a door for me.  My odyssey continues and I’m happy to report that I’m no longer intimidated by Juliano’s book.

Superfood Protein Drink

Hemp Protein Powder

Not exactly a title you would expect to find on this site, but as you know I like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding a variety of topics such as yoga and astrology.  Now I’d like to shift gears once again and talk a little about raw foods and superfoods.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with a raw vegan diet. It started with drinking green smoothies and now I have a collection of raw food recipe books, which have been extremely helpful to me. And I might add, David Wolfe has become my hero, although there are several others whose websites, you-tube videos, and books have given me tremendous amounts of information. I’ve never gone totally 100% raw, but there have been periods that I have been I’d say roughly 90% raw. The difference in the way I feel during those times is, quite frankly, amazing. I’ll blog more about my experiences in the future, but today I wanted to share a recipe I concocted.

On reading David Wolfe’s book on Superfoods, I went out and bought several that he wrote about including Hemp protein powder, Maca Root powder, Gogi powder, raw honey and coconut butter. I was already familiar with and using Raw Cacao on a regular basis. I tweaked his recipe for “Oh Wow Cacao” by leaving out a few things like the green powders making it a bit more of a raw ‘hot’ chocolate. I really didn’t care so much for the taste of the greens in this one, so my bag of lovely green hemp protein powder just sat until this morning when I whipped up this drink (recipe is below).  I liked it so much I found myself scraping the sides of the blender in order to get it all out.  Feel free to make whatever substitutions you wish to suit your tastes and/or tweak the amounts of any ingredient…. All ingredients are raw and organic…

Superfood Protein Drink

In a blender I added:

8 ounces of water

2 TBL Hemp powder

1 TBL Maca

1 TBL Hempseed

2 Medjool dates (don’t forget to take out the pits)

1- 2 TBL Raw Tahini

Blend on high until creamy and the dates are fully blended. You can soften the dates by soaking them beforehand if you like – I didn’t bother. Drink up and enjoy!

Some variations to try:

Blend in a frozen banana for extra creaminess (you can subtract some of the tahini if you’re concerned about the fat)

Blend in some raw cacao for a chocolate treat