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:

Ingredients

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.

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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.

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!