Thursday, June 27, 2013

FRawpachicareeno Take II

Superfood For The Ladies Version (And Good For The Guys Too)

1 cup raw hulless oats, sprouted and rinsed (It's okay to use toasted oat groats if you aren't 100% raw, but they won't sprout)
3 tbsp organic black strap molasses  (Omit if you are 100% raw)
3 tbsp Cafix or other chicory coffee substitute (For 100% raw, try using raw chicory)
4 tbs raw mequite powder
3 tsps raw maca powder
3 tbsp raw lucuma powder
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
3 tbsp ground flax seed
3 cups fresh raw spinach
3 frozen ripe bananas, (make sure there are brown spots on the peel) chopped

water and ice

Start with the oats.  Add just enough filtered water to cover the oats, (about one cup,) and blend in a high-speed blender until creamy.  This step is important.  If you add too much water at first, it may be more difficult to get the oats to a creamy consistency, especially if they are dried or if haven't been soaked or sprouted.  Gradually add about another cup of filtered water and the molasses.  I like to slowly add the additional water and molasses while the machine is on.

Turn off the machine and add the rest of the dry ingredients to the blender.  (I prefer to combine and mix them in a small bowl first, but it's not critical.)  Place the bananas and spinach on top of the dry ingredients.  This helps keep them from flying up and sticking to the inside of the blender when you turn the motor on.  Add another cup of water.  Fill the blender to the top with ice.  Blend until creamy.

Alternative method:  If your oats are dry and have the Vitamix blender container with the dry blade, you can also try grinding the oats first until they are a fine flour.  Mix them with the rest of your dry ingredients, then place the mixture in your wet container with an equal amount of water.  Gradually increase the blender speed and blend until the mixture is smooth.  Then proceed with the remaining ingredients.

Note:  If you don't have a high speed blender, you may be able to do this with a kitchen blender if you start with oat flour or instant oats rather than whole oats.  You may also need to start with a higher ratio of water to dry ingredients.

Makes three generous servings.

The good news:  This drink is packed with nutrition!  According to my calculations one serving contains at least 11 grams of protein.  It will keep you full all morning.  The oats are a great source of soluble fiber and protein, a source of B vitamins and minerals and is a great blood sugar stabilizer.  The blackstrap molasses is a source of potassium, iron and calcium.  Mesquite powder contains protein, potassium, iron, calcium and dietary fiber.  Maca root has been traditionally used used by Andean societies and is believed to be good for the endocrine system.  It is used to combat stress, fatigue and to improve the libido.  It contains some protein, calcium and iron.  Lucuma is an alternative sweetener that contains some fiber and protein, some B3 and antioxidants.  Raw cacao powder contains calcium, iron, and protein.  Ground flax seed is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and is high in phytochemicals, particularly lignans, which are believed to help balance female hormones and may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.   Raw spinach is packed with vitamins, minerals and protein.  Bananas are a rich source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.  According to a Japanese study, bananas with brown spots on the peel help fight cancer. 

The bad news:  This version made 3 tall servings - at over 550 calories each!  However, it made a terrific breakfast with some good staying power.   And no, you can't taste the spinach at all.

Yes, I know, I promised a lower calorie version of the original.  It's tough because all of the ingredients contain nutrients.  I might try eliminating the mesquite and lucuma, reduce the banana to half, reduce the black strap molasses by 2/3 and then substitute with some stevia.  Or not.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bless Me Father, for I Have Sinned. . .

Dear Reader:

Sorry if the following is in poor taste.  But aren't you glad raw food isn't a religion?

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been 3 weeks since my last confession.

I found some fish oil capsules in my kitchen that I bought before I saw the light, and they don't expire until next year, and I didn't want them to go to waste.  So I took them for the omega 3s..

And then we went to a social gathering, and the host said the vegetarian food was on platter "A" and the food with meat was on platter "B," but the platters got switched and I didn't know it until it was too late so I ate something with meat in it."

"My child, for your penance you must watch "Earthlings" again, and this time do not look away or cover your eyes.  And then for consuming the fish oil, you must watch "End of the Line."  Then go on a three day juice fast."

"Please forgive me for my transgressions."

"Now go and sin no more."

Thursday, June 6, 2013


FRawpachicoreeno.  Okay, so the name is kind of corny, but this thick, rich beverage reminds me of the drinks that people will wait in line to order - except in my opinion this is much better for your health. It's made with raw almond milk, roasted chicory, raw cacao, frozen bananas, dates, ground flax and black strap molasses.  It's every bit as decadent and delicious as the Standard American Diet (SAD) version.

Warning:  This is NOT a diet food!  It's not a weight loss food!  This is an example of the kind of high-raw food you can eat if you are NOT trying to lose weight!  But if you must indulge, compare this dairy and caffeine-free, whole-foods version to the fat and sugar load of the SAD version.  You'll find that in a side by side comparison with the SAD version, while it's higher in fat and calories per ounce, it's the "healthy" type fat, plus it has fiber, less sugar, and no cholesterol.  The bottled SAD version comes in a 9.5 oz. serving and contains 31 grams of sugar, fewer grams of protein, and no fiber.  This version is a much more generous serving size, and as an added bonus, it has some potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and additional vitamins and minerals.  In fact in my opinion, one 15 oz. glass of this beverage is a complete breakfast if it's part of an overall healthy diet.  If you wish to boost the nutrition even more, toss in a couple of handfuls of spinach.

If you choose to avoid roasted chicory, here is a source for raw chicory root.    I don't know how using raw chicory would change the taste, but according to my sources it's a better source of prebiotics than roasted chicory.

For chicory, I used Cafix Instant Beverage, which contains roasted barley, chicory, malt, figs, and red beet concentrate.  If you are gluten intolerant and would like to try the coffee-like flavor of roasted chicory without the barley, you can find it here.  Mountain Rose Herbs also carries dried beetroot powder, a pinch of which would be an excellent healthy addition to this beverage.  Or, simply add a small piece of fresh beet.

If you don't use cacao, you can probably substitute with carob.  In fact, you can probably omit cacao and carob altogether for a completely different flavor.   However some of the calcium, iron and antioxidants in this beverage are found in the cacao. For me personally, the cacao is the whole point of the drink!

For the almond milk, soak 1 cup of raw almonds overnight, rinse them and blend them with an equal amount of water in a high speed blender until creamy.  Add about 16 oz. of water and blend again.  Filter the mixture through a nut milk bag.  The milk is then used to make this beverage.  The pulp can be composted or reserved to make other recipes such as raw breads and crackers.  This might sound like a lot of work, but it only takes about five minutes tops to turn soaked almonds into almond milk, including cleanup.

The organic blackstrap molasses is not raw, and no raw version is available.  However, as a dietary supplement, it will enhance the coffee-like flavor of this beverage and add additional calcium, magnesium and iron, nutrients often needed in a vegan diet.

Note on the blackstrap molasses:   In my opinion, this should be organic.  The problem with non-organic black strap molasses is that most of the non-organic sugar found in the markets in the U.S. is likely to be GMO.  I'm willing to compromise and buy non-organic food when non-organic is not available or unaffordable, but this is not one of those times.  If it's not available in an organic form, I will not use it.

The ground flax seed adds creaminess and balances the omega 6 fatty acids in the almonds with additional omega 3 fatty acids.  Keep in mind that one serving of this beverage will not meet your requirement for omega 3 fatty acids for a day.  According to Dr. Michael Greger M.D., vegans need two tablespoons of ground flax seed each day in order to obtain enough Omega 3.

Currently I'm working on a more nutrient-dense version of this drink that is lower in calories and fat. I'll try to post it next week.  In the meantime, indulge a little!


Four generous, creamy, sweet servings, of 15 oz. each, (the bottled serving size of a comparative beverage is 9.5 oz.) enough to satisfy even the strongest craving for a decadent beverage - and it's a bit better for you.

3-4 cups of almond milk made from 1 cup of soaked and rinsed raw almonds
4 tablespoons instant coffee substitute beverage (I used Cafix, see comments above for alternatives)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder  (substitute with raw carob if you don't use cacao)
1 tsp raw ground vanilla powder
3-4  pitted deglet noor dates, depending on preference
3-4 frozen bananas (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Blend everything but the ice and bananas into the almond milk.  A high speed blender like a VitaMix is best.  Chop the frozen bananas into small pieces and add to the blended mixture, then blend just until creamy.   Add ice to fill the blender and blend just until cold and smooth.  A few minutes or so after blending, the ground flax will be begin to thicken the drink.  Serve immediately.  

Serving Size 15 oz

Nutrition per serving

Calories 315
Total Fat   14 g
Saturated Fat  2 g
Monounsaturated fat 8 g
Polyunsaturated fat 3 g  
Trans Fat 0g
Omega 3 fatty acids  416 mg
Omega 6 fatty acids  2995 mg
Cholesterol  0 mg
Sodium  1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 40 g
Dietary Fiber 10 g
Sugars 28 g
Protein 8 g