Friday, August 30, 2013

Gazpacho Andaluz

Gazpacho Andaluz saved my life! Literally. Years ago I spent three weeks in Madrid, Spain. It was August and meteorologists reported record temperatures. I love summer and I do not really mind the heat, but when you are in a large city, heat can really get to you.

Vegetable market in Madrid

It was so hot that after a week I did not even feel like to eat anything at all except fruit. But I had to accept some dinner invitations and believe me, Spaniards eat late. Very late! This was the time that I discovered a very nutritious Spanish raw soup - the famous Gazpacho Andaluz that originated in the southern region of Andalusia. The origins of gazpacho are disputed. It is believed that the dish was introduced by the ancient Romans, but some theories claim that it was the Arabs who brought it over to Andalusia.

Gazpacho Andaluz

I decided to post Gazpacho Andaluz as my last August recipe. It is very much a summer soup and September seems to be a beginning of a new season, even if it is still very warm out there and summer doesn't officially end until September 21st.

To evoke summer you can make gazpacho throughout the year, provided you use very ripe tomatoes. If you are making gazpacho on a very cold day, you may want to add some hot pepper. This will keep your blood circulation running.

Ingredients:
  • 6 large, very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 4 Tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 slices of raw, sprouted Essene bread, crust removed
  • kosher salt and freshly grind black pepper to taste 
  • about one tsp chopped cucumbers and tomatoes per person for garnish

 Gazpacho Andaluz

Method: 
  • Break the bread slices into chunks and soak it for about 30 minutes in a small bowl of purified water. Use only the amount of water that will cover the bread chunks. When the bread softened, squeeze the water out with your hands. 
  • Put all the ingredients into a food processor or a blender and blend until very smooth.
  • Pass the liquid through a food mill or a sieve to remove seeds. Your gazpacho should be flowing and rather thin. I prefer to have it rather thick, but if you feel your soup is too thick, add some freshly purified water to dilute it a bit.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours and serve chilled. 
  • Pour gazpacho into small bowls or glasses. 
  • Garnish with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes and enjoy in good company!
Tips: 
  • To shorten the chilling time for your gazpacho you can use frozen tomatoes. I usually take half of the seeded and chopped tomatoes and place them in the freezer for half an hour or so. By the time the bread is ready for blending I also take my chilled tomatoes out of the freezer.
  • This chilled raw soup has amazing detoxifying properties. Garlic, onions and cucumbers are fantastic foods that help the body remove the toxins. Use them generously in your raw recipes.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013


      

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Easy to Make Herbed Raw Cashew Nut Cheese

More and more people decide to remove the cheese from their diet. The motivation behind the decision varies from person to person. Some people chose to be vegan, others cannot digest milk. Recently even Harvard scientists warned about the hazards of conventional milk consumption. 

While raw milk and cheese made of raw milk are full of health benefits, but conventional, homogenized, milk is detrimental to health and should be avoided at all costs.

But what if you like cheese? For many years now the vegans are making delicious nut cheeses that can really compete with artisanal raw milk cheeses. Some recipes are quite sophisticated and take a while for a cheese to ripen.

Below you will one a basic, ricotta type, cashew nut cheese recipe. You can also use macadamia or Brazil nuts if you prefer.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cashew nuts
  • 1 cup purified water
  • 1 tsp probiotic powder
  • 1 tsp raw, unprocessed natural salt or special cheese salt
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp mixed freshly grind dry herbs - rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram

Processed cashews in a cheesecloth

Utensils:
  • blender or a food processor
  • large glass or china bowl
  • cheesecloth 
  • wooden spoon or stick
  • deep dish or pot
  • cheese mold 

Ready to start the culturing process

Method:
  • Soak the cashews over night in a bowl of purified water. When you are ready to make the cheese, drain and rinse them.
  • Process cashews and water on a high speed until you receive a smooth and creamy mass. Add probiotic powder and blend again for a few seconds. 
  • Line out the bowl with cheesecloth. Depending on the quality you may need three to four layers.
  • Transfer the nut cream into the center of the bowl and gather the sides of the cheesecloth and tie them together, but not too tight, so that the whole thing resembles a giant fig.
  • Attach the cheesecloth to a wooden spoon and suspend it over a deep dish to drain out the moisture.
  • Place the dish in a warm place and leave the cheese culture suspended for at least 24 hours to ripen.
  • Once the culturing process is completed, add salt, nutritional yeast, and herbs. Gently mix everything together.
  • Fill a cheese form with your nut cheese and refrigerate for at least 24 hours allowing cheese to harden.
  • When your cheese is hard enough, remove it from the mold and enjoy in good company. 

A word about salt - Make sure that you are not using iodized salt. Iodine will kill the probiotic organisms that are necessary for the cheese to age well.

Why add nutritional yeast? - Nutritional yeast has a pleasant nutty-cheesy flavor. It will enhance the taste of your nut cheese. Moreover, nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12 which most vegans are deficient in.

Ricotta type raw herbed cashew nut cheese

If you want to make a rind, you will have to dehydrate the cheese in a dehydrator for another 24 hours or so.  Remove cheese from the mold, set the temperature to F°105 and leave it to dry. The raw chef Russell James suggests freezing the cheese before dehydrating. I haven't tried that yet, but this might be my next cheese project.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

         


Monday, August 26, 2013

Recipe Books for Raw Cooks

And a Quick Oh! Mega Healthy Green Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

When I started eating mostly raw food in mid-1980s there were hardly any raw food recipe books on the market. People who embraced raw food lifestyle back then made juices and salads, ate fruits and carrot sticks. Those who were not vegetarian or vegan, dared to eat raw fish without fear of mercury poisoning. In Europe you could still buy French raw milk cheese and unpasteurized yogurt. I even dared to eat raw meat and raw eggs. This, however, was nothing new to me. I ate raw eggs since my childhood. I was raised by parents who made the best beef tartar in the world. I also loved their special raw egg dessert called "kogel mogel." But this was back in times when raw eggs were safe to eat.

http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Food-Everyone-Simple-Sophisticated/dp/1583334378/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=passionatelyraw-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=3GRETFQXI3V2GJ75&creativeASIN=1583334378

This was back then, but when you enter a bookstore today shelves are full of raw recipe books. The change occurred when celebrities embraced raw food. Many professional cooks began experimenting with raw foods and changed the way raw foodies eat today.

I have hundreds of my own raw food ideas, but still love to see what others are doing in their kitchens. Thankfully, many talented people are sharing their recipes online and some even published recipe books. My personal raw recipe book collection is growing and I can honestly suggest some of them to the readers of my blog. Whether you are an experienced raw foodie or a beginner, you will love these books. They were written by three amazing ladies. They are full of raw recipes and real fun to read.

         

Today is Monday and many people I know have a slow start into a new week or are late and in a terrible hurry to get to work on time. Whether this is true for you or not you will definitely enjoy my new Oh! Mega Healthy Green Smoothie.


I started making raw cashew nut cheese today and saved a little cashew nut milk for my morning smoothie. You can use whatever nut milk you've got in your fridge. 

This is a really quick recipe. Both, argan oil and chia seeds are rich in omega fatty acids. Together with all the other ingredients they will keep you going until noon. Grab an apple on your way out to work. It will help you balance the blood sugar.

~ Quick Oh! Mega Healthy Green Breakfast Smoothie Recipe ~

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups raw cashew nut milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup organic spinach
  • 1 Tbsp raw argan oil (you can use flax oil if you do not have argan oil in your pantry)
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/3 cup chia sprouted powder
  • 1/2 cup supergreens
  • 1/3 raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp probiotic powder
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Method:
  • Throw all the ingredients into a blender and process on high speed until smooth. 
  • Pour smoothie into your favorite smoothie glasses and enjoy in good company!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013


      

Friday, August 23, 2013

Shaved Fennel Salad with Pink Peppercorns and Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This is the simplest fennel salad I know. It makes a perfect side dish, but if you really like fennel, it can be eaten as a main course. 


Popular in Mediterranean countries where it is known since the Antiquity, fennel is still somehow underestimated in the United States. But this should not be so since fennel is one of the healthiest vegetables known to us.

Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. Fennel can be eaten cooked and raw. It can be juiced, marinated, or made into a jam. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Seeds can be used to make a soothing infusion.

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 medium large fennel bulbs
  • 1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup freshly pressed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp mild raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp unprocessed sea salt to taste


Method:
  • Wash the fennel bulbs and remove the hard outer layers. Save the feathery green leaves.
  • Using a mandolin or a food processor cut fennel into very thin slices. Place in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl whisk a light vinaigrette using all the grapefruit juice, olive oil and honey. Add salt to enhance the taste.
  • Gently mix fennel with the vinaigrette. Add crushed pink peppercorns and mix again.
  • Chop the feathery greens and mix with the salad.
  • Cover the salad bowl with a tea towel and place it in the fridge for about ten minutes. This will allow the flavors to mix.
  • Portion out on dinner plates and enjoy nicely chilled in good company! 
If you do not have pink peppercorns at hand, use freshly grind black pepper. This will change the taste a bit, but you will love it nevertheless. For more aroma you can also use chopped feathery green fennel leaves.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Health Benefits of Probiotics

One of the most unfortunate side effects of any lifestyle that restricts certain foods is malabsorption of nutrients that may, on the long run, lead to malnutrition. 

Anyone who made the transition to raw food and follows the raw lifestyle consequently will tell you how his or her health improved with raw nutrition. Raw food is full of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. It helps you detoxify, lose weight, calm inflammation and prevent damage caused by free radicals. So what could be better for you? 

Many people on raw food do not know or simply dismiss the fact that certain nutrients -  lycopene in tomatoes, for example - are not only made available, but are better absorbed  when tomatoes are cooked. It is also not a widely known fact that many people on raw food diet cannot digest raw vegetable or absorb the beneficial essential fatty acids. People who eat a lot of fruit that is high in mineral phosphorous (apricots, bananas, grapes, dates, avocados) develop dental cavities and may even lose their teeth because their phosphorous levels get way above their calcium levels. 

All this can be alleviated and prevented with probiotics that can be found in naturally fermented foods.


In the past when antibiotics were first introduced into our world, most people had a very vague idea about bacteria in general. Most didn't recognize the extreme importance of the friendly bacteria living in our own bodies. The term "bacteria" was more often than not used to describe something harmful, something that could cause a disease.

Now people are becoming more and more aware of the fact that there are also beneficial bacteria without which life would not be possible. It is actually the friendly, life-sustaining bacteria which live inside our bodies and on our skin that keep our bodies functioning and thriving. Without them we would not be able to exist. They not only keep the bad bacteria in check, but have many other health-sustaining functions.

Our bodies are designed to function best with millions of friendly probiotic bacteria living in our intestinal tract and on our skins. There are more than four hundred different bacteria living in the human gastrointestinal tract. The most common forms of intestinal probiotics are L. acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum.

In the past, we constantly replaced the probiotics in our system by eating organic vegetables grown in soil that was rich in soil-based organisms or by consuming raw milk products. Today we need to supplement as almost all milk products on the market are made of homogenized, pasteurized milk and most vegetable grow in depleted soil.

Our digestive systems especially rely heavily on friendly probiotic bacteria to aid in digestion and assimilation of our food. Hydrocarbons are broken down by probiotic bacteria which means that the food is being split into its most basic elements. This allows almost total absorption through the digestive system. In this way probiotics dramatically increase overall nutrition and enhance rapid cellular growth and development.

Probiotics not only aid digestion, but also help clean the digestive tract and reduce inflammation in the colon. Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and constipation are safely relieved by probiotics. The bowel movements become normalized.

Studies have shown that probiotics, especially acidophilus, promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon and reduce the conversion of bile into carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.

Probiotics also stimulate the production of many important enzymes such as the lactose digesting enzyme lactase, and increase the availability of vitamins especially Vitamin B, Vitamin K, and nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and fatty acids. 

The friendly bacteria also stimulate B-Lymphocyte and related anti-body production. They produce huge pools of extra anti-bodies, ready to protect and defend against infection. They not only stimulates the immune system thus helping the organism fight off acute infections but also help alleviate allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome and systemic candida.

Probiotics may also be useful in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant lactobacilli strains normally make the vagina too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive there. But this finely tuned system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including extreme stress, antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment may help restore the equilibrium and alleviate such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infections.

There are many probiotic products on the market now and they vary in quality and efficacy. In order to be effective, the bacteria in these supplements must be "alive" and active and able to reach the intestines unaffected by the stomach acid. The supplements must be sugar or glucose free as both, sugar and glucose, actually slow down the growth of lactobacilli. Very few supplements are actually viable.

The best way to deliver the healthy bacteria to the system is to acquire them through cultured foods where they are still actively involved in the fermentation process. Because the probiotics are in a food-based medium, the body can easily recognize and absorb them. Also, the food itself very easy to digest because it has been "predigested" by the friendly bacteria and is therefore an instant source of nutrients and life sustaining energy.

Cultured foods include kefir and yogurt made from organic raw milk, homemade sauerkraut and kimchi, unpasteurized miso paste, traditionally brewed unpasteurized kombucha, unpasteurized vinegars such as apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar. People on a vegan diet may enjoy coconut or nut and seed based yogurts and cheeses made with controlled ferments.

Many common organically grown leafy green vegetable are also excellent sources of probiotics. The best green supplements for increasing probiotics include spirulina, chlorella, barley and wheat grass. The advantage of getting these disease-fighting bacteria from green sources is that these foods are also very high in other nutrients such a s the immune system-stimulating vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. They also help to alkalize and detoxify the body.

Because stress, unhealthy lifestyles, unhealthy acidic diets, and most importantly, over-medication with antibiotics, deplete probiotics naturally occurring in our bodies, it is vital to add probiotics to our diet. Probiotics must be used to re-populate intestines with the healthy bacteria after intensive treatment with antibiotics, radiation or chemotherapy.

Although it is easier to take a capsule or two, enriching your diet with naturally fermented foods is probably more effective and fun.

By Dominique Allmon

*This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.


Creative Commons License
Benefits of Probiotics by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Happy Meal - Raw Sweet Potato and Beet Noodles with Mint Pistachio Pesto

I am not exaggerating. This really is a happy meal. All the ingredients contribute to increased serotonin production, stress reduction and balanced brain chemistry.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences our mood, sleep, memory and learning, appetite, sexual desire  and certain forms of social behavior. Our daily diet has direct impact on our serotonin levels. Some foods decrease serotonin production and make us feel miserable. Others are beneficial and make us happy inside and out.


If you feel that your mood begins to swing you probably should consider increasing consumption of foods that are high in tryptophan, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

Beets are rich in calming magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B6 that is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine liver controls emotions. Congested liver is associated with anger. Beets are a perfect liver detoxifying food which allows for any emotional "congestion" to be released.

Just like beets, sweet potatoes are rich in tryptophan and help the brain to produce serotonin. They also help balance blood sugar and prevent sugar spikes. People with balanced blood sugar are less jittery and definitely less grumpy.

Pistachios are rich in vitamin B6 that is used by the body to boost levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. GABA acts as stress reliever and mood elevator.  Pistachios also contain high levels of magnesium that is an anti-stress nutrient, par excellence.

Mint is a well known herb for its ability to boost mood and increase concentration. Add enough fresh mint so you can smell it while enjoying your raw pasta.

Olive oil is another ingredient that is known to increase serotonin levels and give you the sense of satiety.

Ingredients:
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 medium large beet
  • 1 Tbsp virgin olive oil

For pesto:
  • 1 cup raw pistachios, soaked over night
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • unprocessed salt and freshly grind black pepper to taste


Method:
  • Spiralize beet and sweet potato with a spiral vegetable cutter. Toss together in a bowl. Add olive oil and toss again to prevent beets and sweet potatoes from drying up.
  • To make pesto process pistachios in a food processor or a blender until coarsely ground. Add olive oil, lime juice, mint and garlic. Pulse to combine. You should receive a pesto that is not too thick and not to flowing. If necessary, adjust the amounts of ingredients to get it right. Season pesto with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer pesto to a bowl with your "noodles" and gently mix together. Serve right away and enjoy in good company.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


P.S. Few days ago I made a large batch of mint pistachio pesto you can do the same to save time as it stores perfectly well in the fridge. This raw pasta sauce is perfect with beets, sweet potatoes and carrots. If you do not own a spiralizer, simply shred your root vegetable and use this pesto as a dressing. Add a bit more olive oil to make it more liquid.

Dominique Allmon©2013

*All the information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

         


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lavender Peach Smoothie

If you are reading this blog on regular bases you must have noticed that I like exotic things. I am always in search for something new and never get tired of experimentation. Interestingly enough, we do not necessarily need "exotic" ingredients to come up with something exotic.

I was eying a jar of edible lavender from the Los Poblanos ranch in my collection of herbs and came up with an idea for a maybe a bit unusual smoothie. But why not?

Lavender & Peach - a match made in heaven's orchard! Some combination seem just right and this one is simply divine.

I added two teaspoons of lavender blossoms, but if you have never used edible lavender before, you may want to start with a smaller amount. Blend the ingredients together, taste your smoothie and then decide whether you want to add some more. Make sure you are using the culinary grade of lavender. To release flavor from lavender you may want to crash the blossoms using pestle and mortar.


This smoothie would be nothing without honey. At first I considered using mild Provencal lavender honey, but changed my mind and used a bit more intense thyme honey, instead.

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 ripe peaches
  • 2 tsp edible lavender flowers
  • 3 Tbsp thyme honey
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • tiny pinch pink Himalaya salt 
  • 2-3 ice cubes


Method:
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  • Taste the smoothie and add more honey or more lavender, or another peach. Just make sure you are tasting both, peaches and the lavender.
  • Pour into tall glasses and enjoy in good company!

Lavender is a very useful herb. You can use it externally and internally to cure various ailments, and in aroma therapy to calm your nerves and induce sleep.

Polyphenols in lavender can help reduce the bad bacteria in your gut and thus, help with bloating and improve digestion. Lavender has overall antiviral and antimicrobial properties and may help you maintain a strong immune system. 

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013

P.S. Keep in mind that adding too much lavender would make your smoothie bitter. Also, oral use of lavender is not recommended for children. Caution is advised.

         

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Raw Beet Carpaccio with Mint Pistachio Pesto

This is another wonderful summer dish. The freshness of pesto combines very well with the earthy taste of beets and the vibrant colors carry a promise of unforgettable gustatory sensation.


Beet carpaccio is a summer dish, but you can make it all year round for as long as you have fresh raw beets and mint.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large beet per person 
  • 1 tsp virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

For pesto:
  • 1 cup raw pistachios, soaked over night
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • unprocessed salt and freshly grind black pepper to taste


Method:
  • Wash and peel the beets. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin cut beets into very thin slices.
  • In a bowl mix olive oil and vinegar. Use the mixture to moisten beet slices. This will keep them from drying and make them look nice and shiny.
  • Arrange beet slices on individual plates.
  • Process pistachios in a food processor or a blender until coarsely ground. 
  • Add olive oil, lime juice, mint and garlic. Pulse to combine. You should receive a pesto that is not too thick and not to flowing. If necessary, adjust the amounts of ingredients to get it right.
  • Season pesto with salt and pepper and portion out on beet slices. Decorate with fresh mint leaves and serve right away. Enjoy in good company!


You can use the same ingredients to make a wonderful beet spaghetti. To make spaghetti you will need a spiral vegetable cutter. To serve simply arrange spiralized beets on pasta plates and add pesto. Voilà!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon ©2013


         

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Iskiate or Chia Fresca

Iskiate also known as the chia fresca is a health drink of the Tarahumara people in northern Maxico. These people are well know for their physical stamina and endurance which they attribute to the consumption of chia seeds.


The recipe for this nourishing drink is quite simple, but it takes some 15-20 minutes to make. This is namely the time the chia seeds need to jellify.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups purified water
  • 1 Tbsp organic chia seeds
  • juice of 1/2 organic lime
  • 1 tsp raw honey

Method:
  • Mix chia seeds with water and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes or so, then stir with a spoon and allow to rest for another 5 minutes.
  • Repeat the procedure twice more time. By now the seeds must have produced a jelly like substance.
  • Add lime juice into the liquid and stir again.
  • Add raw honey and stir again. Ready!

Some people prefer to drink chia fresca ice cold. Simply serve your iskiate on the rocks. Add fresh mint leaves for a more invigorating taste. 

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

To learn more about the health benefits of chia seeds please click here

         

Monday, August 12, 2013

One Papaya, Two Amazing Salad Dressings

I eat papaya as often as I can and you should too. The fruit is such a blessing to our digestive system. Research shows that the nutrients in papaya not only help us digest our food, they help prevent cancer of the colon. The fiber in papaya has the ability to bind to cancerogenic toxins in the colon and keep them away form the healthy cells. Moreover, vitamins C and E, folate, and beta-carotene act in synergy to protect the DNA and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

The seeds of papaya contain high amounts of proteolytic enzymes that help us digest complex proteins. In many cultures they are used to rid the digestive tract from parasites and to improve liver function. They also have antibacterial properties and are believed to help people who suffer from liver cirrhosis. 

Papaya has many other health benefits and I will writ about it at a later time.


I created this two wonderfully tasting salad dressings that will not only dress your salad, but also help you digest it.

~ Papaya Seed Vinaigrette ~

This is a money-saving recipe. Like many other people I used to throw the black papaya seeds away, but once I heard about the Hawaiian papaya seed salad dressing I decided to create my own. 

Papaya seeds have a nice, peppery "green" taste that reminds me of nasturtium. My papayas had many seeds and I used them all.

Depending on how many seeds your papaya has you might need more than one fruit or you can simply use less seeds if you are making this dressing for the first time and are not ready for surprises. 

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup papaya seeds
  • 1/2 virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg's apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalaya salt

Method:
  • Place all the ingredients in your blender and process on a high speed until you receive a nicely grainy vinaigrette. Depending on how "peppery" your papaya seeds are, you may want to add a bit more salt or vinegar.
This peppery-green tasting vinaigrette is wonderful with mild lettuces such as iceberg, Boston, endive, red oak leaf lettuce, or baby spinach.


~ Creamy Papaya Salad Dressing ~

Papaya has a very particular taste and poses a slight challenge here. I wanted a dressing that had  great texture and tasted like a salad dressing and not like a papaya smoothie. It had to have a fruity taste, but should not be too overwhelming. I first blended ripe papaya with grape seed oil and salt and tasted it to find out what else needed to end up in the blender. Here is the final list of ingredients. You may want to experiment some more and come up with entirely different dressing. The kitchen belongs to you!

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup ripe papaya flesh
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed grape seed oil
  • juice of 1/2 half orange
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp mild honey
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot chili pepper
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalaya salt

Method:
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until you receive a nice and creamy dressing. 
This dressing is best on spicy greens such as arugula, watercress, Belgian endive and radicchio; wild herbs such as dandelion, pimpernel, sorrel, or violet leaves; as well as crunchy cabbages and kale.

As always, my recipes are here to open a door to your own creativity and experimentation. Use your intuition to add other ingredients or to change the proportions I suggested. And whatever you do, enjoy it!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon ©2013



For more inspiration check out these books

         

Friday, August 9, 2013

Aronia Açai Blueberry Anti-Aging Smoothie Recipe

This is an ultimate anti-aging smoothie! Each and every ingredient is loaded with antioxidants and other phyto-nutrients that are well researched for their DNA protecting and disease preventing qualities. Purple antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, have been shown to protect the heart and vision, promote mental acuity, and prevent oxidative stress.

Make this smoothie as often as you can or at least once a week to nourish and rejuvenate your body.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp raw açai powder
  • 2 Tbsp raw aronia (chokeberry) powder
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tbsp Pure Synergy superfood powder
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp argan oil
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalaya salt 
  • 2-3 ice cubes if you are using fresh berries


Method: 
  • Wash avocados and cut them into halves. Immerse in a bowl of ice-cold water to prevent them from turning brown. Remove the seeds and spoon out the flesh. 
  • Pour coconut water into a blender. Add avocado and blend for a few seconds. 
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour your purple smoothie into tall glasses and enjoy in good company!

In radiant health - passionately raw! - Dominique

Dominique Allmon ©2013


         

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical perennial plant native to Southeast Asia that is also cultivated in West Africa and the Caribbean. The Latin name is derived from the Sanskrit word shringavera which means "horn shaped" and pertains to the horn-like protrusions on the rhizome.


History

For centuries rhizome of the ginger plant has been used as a spice in Asian cooking. Its healing properties did not go unnoticed in China and in India where ginger is used to this day to cure various ailments and health disorders. Ginger was described in the Classic of Herbs, a compilation by the Chinese around 3000 BC. Confucius (551 - 479 BC) praised its many benefits. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides (circa 40 - 90 AD) wrote about ginger's ability to soothe the stomach. Ginger was also valued by the Arabs and in the Ancient Roman Empire which imported it from Asia. The Romans introduced ginger to various parts of continental Europe and to Britain. The Vikings used it to prevent sea sickness.

Health benefits

Traditionally, ginger has been used to alleviate such health problems as nausea, infections of the upper respiratory tract, digestive disorders, and migraines and was even considered to be an effective aphrodisiac. Applied topically, ginger was used to cure rheumatism, arthritis, minor sprains, and burns.

Ginger contains powerful compounds such as shogaols, zingerone, and gingerols, that are potent antioxidants responsible for the remarkable healing properties of this spice. The rhizome is rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. The ginger rhizome has a firm, but striated texture and a characteristic pungent and hot taste. Its flesh is either white or yellow in color and is quite aromatic.

Modern scientific research confirmed the ancient knowledge making ginger one of the most versatile medicinal plants. Healing benefits include the ability to alleviate or cure following health issues:
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach ache, indigestion, diarrhea, and dyspepsia - active compounds in ginger increase the production of bile, reduce inflammation, and help detoxify the digestive tract.
  • Motion sickness and vertigo - various studies demonstrated that ginger is as effective as many over-the-counter drugs. The exact mechanism in not yet well understood, but it is believed that ginger increases stomach acidity balancing at the same time the pressure in the inner ear canal.
  • Morning sickness during pregnancy - for thousands of years ginger has been safely used for morning sickness that accompanies pregnancy. Ginger has no side effects and does not cause any birth defects. Practitioners of the Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, advise to use ginger rather sparingly during pregnancy and only to treat the morning sickness.
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea - studies conducted on cancer patients demonstrated that those who drank high protein shakes infused with ginger reported fewer episodes of nausea after their chemotherapy treatments.
  • Inflammation - the active compound in ginger called gingerol is characterized by a very strong anti-inflammatory activity. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies demonstrated that patients suffering from arthritis who took ginger over a longer period of time experienced less pain than those who did not. These patients also reported improved mobility.
  • Cancer of the colon - in a study conducted at the University of Minnesota, gingerol exhibited a strong anti-tumor activity. It inhibits the action of a protein involved in the genesis of the cancer cells in the colon, thus preventing the growth of tumors.
  • Ovarian cancer - gingerol has the remarkable ability to kill ovarian cancer cells. It induces apoptosis or a programmed cell death of these cells, as well as their self-digestion or autophagocythosis. The studies conducted at the University of Michigan also demonstrated that the ovarian cancer cells do not become resistant to ginger.
  • Weak immune system - ginger stimulates thymus gland and increases body's own ability to fight infections. It also has anti-microbial, anti-candida, and anti-parasitic properties.
  • Common cold and flu - ginger reduces inflammation, eases congestion, and induces sweating, which helps speed up recovery from infections.
  • Pathological blood clotting - studies conducted in Denmark and at the Cornell University demonstrated that ginger is a very potent anticoagulant and is, therefore, valuable in preventing cardiovascular disease. The active compound gingerol has a chemical structure that resembles that of aspirin. 
  • Elevated cholesterol - taken therapeutically over a longer periods of time, ginger has the capacity to lower the "bad" cholesterol and reverse the damage caused by diet high in fat, thus reducing the chance of stroke.

Dosage

There is no established daily dose of ginger. The suggested dose is 150 mg of full spectrum ginger extract taken three times a day.

Ginger can also be taken in the form of tea or added to freshly made fruit and vegetable juices and, of course, added to many Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes.

A powdered, dried ginger can be used to make a detoxifying, hot bath. Essential oil of ginger may be used topically as analgesic.

When buying ginger, fresh rhizome should be chosen over the dried one. Fresh ginger not only has a better aroma and taste, but it also contains higher levels of the active compound gingerol.

Caution

Like any other plant, ginger may cause allergic reactions. A caution is also advised for those who suffer from gall bladder disease as ginger increases the production of bile. As mentioned before, ginger has blood thinning properties. A caution is advised for those who take blood thinning medication.

By Dominique Allmon

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Raw Vegan Macadamia Nut Mayonnaise

Do you know the feeling when you try to make something for the first time and it turns wonderful? This is how I felt when I first tasted my new creation - raw, vegan macadamia mayonnaise. 

My mother never bought mayonnaise in a store. She always made her own raw mayonnaise and I will share the recipe at a later point for those of you who do not mind eating eggs. This ancient recipe, however, does not work without egg yolks.

People with food allergies or those with different nutritional preferences - vegan, paleo, raw foodies - learned to replace their favorite foods with alternative creations or simply give up what they used to eat before they embarked on their new lifestyles.

Macadamia nut mayonnaise - raw and vegan

In this recipe I used raw macadamia nuts, but you can also take cashews. However, cashew nuts are not always really raw. Most of the time heat is used to extract the nut. The label "raw" in this case indicates that the nuts have not been roasted. 

Remember to soak the nuts over night to remove the enzyme inhibitors and other substances that make nuts difficult to digest ( phytates - phytic acid; polyphenols - tannins; and goitrogens.)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raw pre-soaked macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg's apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp unprocessed sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs (thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed powder (optional)

Method:
  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or a high speed blender and process until you receive creamy mayonnaise. 
  • Add a little bit more oil or spices if necessary. Blend again.
  • Transfer your mayonnaise into a clean jar, close the lid and store in the fridge.
The texture of your mayonnaise may be slightly coarse, but the taste depends on the amount of herbs you have added. If you want your mayonnaise to be a bit more intense, add some cayenne pepper. 

Make small batches to ensure freshness. Enjoy without guilt on sandwiches, with raw burgers, or as a dip. You can also sneak it into non-vegan sandwiches and bring it over to a grill party. If you made it right, no one will even notice the difference.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013

P.S. You can use this mayonnaise as a base to make horse radish sauce. Simply add 1 Tbsp grated, raw horse radish. Mix. Ready!

         

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cherry Vanilla Almond Milk Shake

From time to time I hear people objecting to raw food diet for one reason only: they simply do not believe that they will be properly nourished if they had to live on juices and smoothies.

This objection often comes from a simple misunderstanding of the raw food lifestyle and lack of specialized knowledge. 


Raw food is so much more than juices and smoothies, but even if someone decided to take nothing more, juices and smoothies provide more nutrition than many cooked or processed foods.

Smoothies, for example, can be enhanced and fortified with a wide range of raw superfoods and raw protein supplements. I use them frequently for added nutrition and antioxidant protection. 

Here is one of my "enriched " breakfast recipes. I used fresh, sweet, dark cherries that are a great superfood already. If you cannot get organic dark cherries you can use frozen cherries, strawberries or raspberries instead.

By adding some of my favorite, super-nutritious raw foods I created a nut milk shake that will keep you energized for quite a while. 

For a very rich vanilla taste I used whole vanilla been. I soaked it over night in my raw almond milk.

If you cannot find unprocessed argan oil, add some raw flax seed oil.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups ripe cherries, pits removed
  • 1 vanilla bean, soaked overnight in 2 cups of raw almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp raw, unprocessed argan oil
  • pinch pink Himalaya salt
  • 1 scoop raw protein powder
  • 1 scoop raw triple omega blend
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Method:
  • Blend cherries, vanilla bean and almond milk for 30 seconds or so.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into tall glasses and enjoy in good company!

Sweet black cherries are not only delicious, they are incredibly healthy and really good for you! They are rich in nutrients that help you prevent and repair damage caused by free radicals. They are a great source of the flavonoid queritrin that has been found to fight cancer cells in the body. 

Cherries also contain ellagic acid - another potent cancer-fighting agent; as well as the perillyl alcohol or POH that helps reduce occurrence of all types of cancer. Moreover, the anthocyanin and bioflavonoids in cherries help reduce inflammation in the body.

Many people do not know that cherries are a very good source of natural melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the body's circadian rhythm. This hormone not only improves the quality of sleep, but has also been found to prevent premature aging.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013


         


*Information in this article is for eucational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.
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