Saturday, July 28, 2012

Something Pink - A Delicious Guava Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

To make a pink smoothie you can use strawberries, raspberries, cherries, pink papaya or water melon - fresh or frozen. My fruit of choice today is a nicely ripe pink guava. Guava is very rich in vitamin C, potassium, manganese, copper, and fiber. The pink flesh also contains lycopene.

Guava is a tropical fruit that can have white, pink, yellow or red flesh. When ripe, it is soft with a creamy texture. It has many small seeds and a rather though skin that you would want to remove before blending. I order to do so, you can pass it through a food mill or a coarse sieve using a wooden spoon or a pestle. Discard the peel and the seeds and use the fruit pulp for your smoothie. You may, of course, use the whole fruit. Simply remove the peel and throw the whole fruit into a blender. But be warned. Guava seeds do not blend well.

  • pulp of 5-6 ripe pink guavas
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 cups nut milk of your choice
  • 2-3 ice cubes (optional)

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  • I do not add any sweeteners into this smoothie because ripe fruits are sweet already. You may, however, add a dash of stevia or a spoon of raw honey.
  • Pour the smoothie into tall glasses and enjoy it in good company!
Tip: If you are lucky enough to find pink guava on the market, you may want to preserve some for a later use. Make a guava pulp and freeze it in small portions that can be used later in your smoothies.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Something pink... Pink sheep in New Zealand

Image source: world wide web


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Sattvic Diet

Although not necessarily raw, the sattvic diet is a radical diet or, rather, a life style propagated by people who renounced aggression of any kind.

"Sattva is defined as the quality of purity and goodness. Sattvic food is that which is pure, clean and wholesome. A sattvic diet is food that gives life, strength, energy, courage and self-determination. In other words, sattvic food gives us more than the gross physical requirements of the proper mix of proteins, carbs and fats etc. It also gives us the subtle nourishment necessary for vitality and consciousness. Food is seen as a carrier of the life force called prana and is judged by the quality of its prana and by the effect it has on our consciousness." -  Gary Gran

Many spiritual and religious people consider the preoccupation with the body and diet a pure waste of time and concentrate on the well being of their souls. I believe that caring for the body is absolutely vital and just as important.

"It is believed that a person's thoughts and activities are somewhere related to the kind of food he consumes. Thus if a person opts for non vegetarian diet, it is believed that his acts would somewhere support himsa (violence). While the basis of yoga is related to ahimsa that is non violence, it is said that yoga cannot be fruitful if it is not accompanied by sattvic diet. Yogic diet makes us feel fresh and is believed to help in enhancing the mind and body in a right way. But sometimes we intake a diet which makes us feel lazy and avoid our body from being accurate. Such diet is also termed as tamasic diet that leaves our body sluggish many times. Thus such food must be avoided from our daily intake.

Sattvic (pure) diet is light, refreshing, and easy to digest and does not leave a disturbing effect on our mindset. But it should be noticed that our emotions and thoughts also play a vital role in our diet. Even if we are having a perfect diet but while consuming it we are filled with negative emotions such as anger and terror, then they might have a negative effect on our life. Moreover while having sattvic diet one must consume it in a decent manner that is the food should be chewed properly and the intake should be in modest quantity. It is a point to observe that our selection of food gives a glimpse of the type of activities we might be involved in and also states our mind set." 

From time to time people from different religious traditions choose to fast or change their nutrition to detoxify their bodies. This procedure not only helps the body to rid itself from toxins, it helps the mind to find new clarity. Choosing sattvic nutrition every day brings a new dimension to physical, mental, and spiritual well being.

Most of us understand the connection between food and disease. Cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease. Some are aware of the mind and food connection and know that even severe depression, for instance, can be alleviated with a change of diet. We know that sugar makes kids aggressive and is the main  culprit in the Attention Disorder, but instead of cutting dawn the sugar in their diet, the kids are given Ritalin.

Article source here
Image source: world wide web. Please, help with the image credit if you can.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blueberry Protein Shake

Blueberries are one of the favorite berries in America. They repeatedly ranked in the U.S. as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. We recommend enjoying raw blueberries - rather than relying upon blueberries incorporated into baked desserts - because, like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.

As one of the few fruits native to North America, blueberries have been enjoyed by Native Americans for hundreds of years. They have also enjoyed great popularity around the world in cuisines from Asia to the Mediterranean.

After many years of research on blueberry antioxidants and their potential benefits for the nervous system and for brain health, there is exciting new evidence that blueberries can improve memory. In a study involving older adults (with an average age of 76 years), 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function including memory. While participants in the study consumed blueberries in the form of juice, three-quarters of a pound of blueberries were used to make each cup of juice. As participants consumed between 2 to 2-1/2 cups each day, the participants actually received a very plentiful amount of berries. The authors of this study were encouraged by the results and suggested that blueberries might turn out to be beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.

In the popular press, blueberries have reached superstar status in terms of their unique health benefits. While we prefer to think of all 130 World's Healthiest Foods as rightful superstars, we can understand many of the special accolades being given to this wonderful berry. Most health research on blueberries involves their phytonutrient content. Anthocyanins - the colorful antioxidant pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red - are usually the first phytonutrients to be mentioned in descriptions of blueberries and their amazing health-supportive properties. While it is true anthocyanins are pretty spectacular when it comes to blueberries and their support of our body systems, there are actually a wide variety of health support phytonutrients found in blueberries. Here is list that spotlights some of the better studied of these blueberry phytonutrients:
  • Anthocyanins
    • malvidins
    • delphinidins
    • pelargonidins
    • cyanidins
    • peonidins
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acids
    • ferulic acids
    • coumaric acids
  • Hydroxybenzoic acids
    • coumaric acids
  • Hydroxybenzoic acids
    • gallic acids
    • procatchuic acids
  • Flavonols
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
    • myricetin
  • Other phenol-related phytonutrients
    • pterostilbene
    • resveratrol 
Virtually all of the above-named phytonutrients function both as antioxidants and as anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, and they are responsible for many of the well-documented health benefits we get from regular consumption of blueberries. 

For more information about blueberries please click here

Blueberry protein shake recipe

You can make this shake any time during the entire year. Use fresh or frozen berries. You can add other fruit to obtain different flavor nuances. Add spices or raw honey. Throw in organic raw egg if you are not a vegan. Experiment!

  • 2 cups blueberries - fresh or frozen
  • 2 scoops raw protein powder
  • 1 cup organic nut milk of your choice
  • 2-3 ice cubes - optional

  • Put all ingredients into blender  and process on high speed until smooth. You may want to adjust the amount of nut milk according to your personal preference. 
  • Pour the liquid into tall glasses. Decorate with blueberries on a skewer.
Enjoy in good company!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

The valuable information about blueberries comes from the Whole Foods website


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Watermelon Granita

Watermelon is probably the ultimate summer fruit! Show me a single person who would not enjoy a thick slice on a hot day.

There are few variations of watermelon granita. This particular recipe comes from Rigoni di Asiago who shared it on Facebook.

  • 8 cups watermelon chunks, seeds removed
  • 2 Tbsp raw organic honey
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint 
  • Place half of the watermelon in a food processor and process until smooth. 
  • Pour into a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. 
  • Add remaining watermelon to the processor along with honey and lime juice and process until smooth. 
  • Pour into the baking dish, stir until combined, and place uncovered in the freezer. Freeze until ice begins to form around edges of pan, about 30 minutes. 
  • Rake with a fork to break up large ice clumps; return to freezer. Continue stirring about every 30 minutes until all liquid is crystallized. It takes about 3 hours total.
    Using a large fork, flake granita into chilled bowls. 
  • Serve garnished with mint.
Enjoy in a good company on a hot day!

Recipe and image source here


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Powerhouse of Perfection: Superfoods and Smoothies

Smoothies are a highly nutritious way to get the most out of your fruits and vegetables. Superfoods enhance these healthy beverages even further, adding powerful living protein, age-fighting antioxidants, and mighty micronutrients in their perfect, raw, natural state.

Nature created fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds, and spices as springs of nutrition, powerhouses that create vital living food from captured solar energy. Plants then envelope these nutrients within fibrous cellular walls, barricading everything inside. Chewing helps break down these walls when we eat raw plant food, releasing the sustaining nutrition for our bodies to use.

However, chewing isn't always the most efficient way of unlocking the nutrition. Our bodies cannot digest the fiber in cell walls and expend a lot of time and energy trying to shake and squeeze nutrition from our food during the digestion process. Anything not unlocked is lost to us and discarded as waste.

Smoothies don’t squander nutrition but set free these nutrients before even entering our mouths, as breaking down cellular walls in a blender is much more efficient than chewing. The fruits and vegetables are also still raw so the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are not damaged by heat. Our bodies are then open to absorb these liberated nutrients immediately, without expending as much energy to do so.

The indigestible fiber that goes into those cellular walls and locks in the nutrition is not without value itself. Dietary fiber helps clean and regulate digestion. It carries toxins, cholesterol, heavy metals, and waste from our systems. It also creates a feeling of satiety or fullness so we don’t overeat. Smoothies don’t discard valuable fiber.

Fiber makes these nutritional smoothies worthwhile substitutes for complete meals, supplying a prolonged feeling of satisfaction and a steady release of energy. Fiber controls and sustains the release of nutrients over time, eliminating fluctuations in blood sugar that can cause damage to the brain and blood vessels and also acting as an effective defense against sugar cravings. This slow release keeps the liver from being overburdened and overtaxed which can result in the formation of fats the body doesn’t need and you don’t want.

Superfoods are the most nutrient-rich plant foods on the planet. Superfoods immediately nourish, protect, and refresh every organ and system of the body. They boost the immune system, supply both macro and micro nutrients, and combat aging and illness. Some superfoods to consider adding to your smoothies include maca root, chia seeds, goji berries, hemp seeds, acai berries, dandelion leaves, coconut water, and camu camu berries. These are exotic superfoods, but there are superfoods that are more familiar, like broccoli, spinach, avocado, kiwi, walnuts, and pineapple.

Combined, these make perfect vegan protein smoothies fit for any lifestyle and any activity level to nourish your body beyond what you thought possible.

*Article courtesy of Sunwarrior website


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sugared Rose or Raw Rose Petal Preserve

The rose petal jam is one of my favorite childhood memories - an unforgettable taste that I have spent years hunting for. I tried rose jams from Egypt and Turkey. I tried rose jelly from Normandy. None of them tasted like the one my grandmother used to make.

The rose petals were gathered in summer and turned magically into a rose petal preserve that was later used to fill doughnuts.

We would spend the whole afternoon picking the most fragrant rose petals we were able to find. They usually came from the abundant Rosa rugosa and Rosa centifolia.

The rose preserve had a nice creamy texture and would smell and taste just like the roses on a bush. The whole summer vacation was captured in small jars. Kind of...

  • 1 cup organic rose petals
  • 1 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • Clean the rose petals from all impurities. Cut off the white ends as they are rather bitter. 
  • Gently wash and dry the rose petals.
  • Place rose petals in a mixing bowl and add small amount of sugar. Using a wooden pestle stir the sugar mixing it into the rose petals. Add a little lemon juice. Stir again.
  • Repeat this action until you have used up all the sugar. You should have produced a creamy mass.
  • Place the rose preserve into small, clean jars and store in a dark place. Refrigerate after opening, but do not freeze.  

Enjoy in good company on a slice of raw Essene bread or in smoothies. Add a spoonful to a cup of raw yoghurt or a bowl of sprouted cereal. Use generously during the autumn and winter months to invoke memories of a sun soaked rose garden.

Meanwhile, slow down, enjoy the Summer and take time to smell the roses! 

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

More about the beauty of roses here


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Timeless Raw Beauty

Two days before my birthday I was asked by a colleague how old I am going to be on Friday. I told her that I am turning 53. She said that I looked amazingly young and quickly added "Who knows how much botox is in your face."... Botox?! I asked how old she was. 47 was the answer. I was in shock! Twice!

First, I look at least 10  years younger than I am. Second, she looked like someone who actually was much  older than me. We both realized that.

I am very proud of the way I look. Most people who see me see a person who took a very good care of herself, a person who has a great respect for her body and a great respect for nature. 

It is a well known fact that we are what we eat and yet, so many people do not understand this connection. Meanwhile, celebrities previously known for their decadence are embracing the raw food lifestyle. And it shows! The before and after pictures look nothing like the unnatural images we usually get to see when plastic surgeons advertise their services.

The beauty, and most importantly, health, do come from the raw, live foods that are rich in fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other life preserving compounds.

As I wrote before the transition to raw foods is not always easy and it has to be taken in small steps. But those who introduce raw food into their diets gradually notice improvement in health and stamina, not to mention the looks. This goes for both, men and women.

Author and raw foodie Mimi Kirk, age 73

Whether you are living a raw food lifestyle already or are looking for information and inspiration, you will always find good and useful advice from those who embraced raw foods. Some of them publish books share their experiences and recipes with others. Simply visit a bookstore or check online.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Raw Avocado Pudding

Avocado pudding or Vitamina de Abacate for breakfast makes me think of Rio de Janeiro and its exotic vitaminas.

I first tried the vitaminas in 1986 and got addicted right away. Cariocas make them out of seasonal fruits and milk. Sometimes a raw egg is also added to improve the nutritional value of the drink.

The vitaminas juice bars were almost on every street corner in Rio de Janeiro and a cool, thick shake was a perfect "meal replacement" on a hot summer day.

 Vitaminas bar in Rio de Janeiro

Most people associate avocado with savory dishes such as guacamole, but many raw foodies use avocado generously in their shakes and smoothies.

Ripe avocado has a nice smooth texture and is rather neutral in taste. It blends well with bananas,  blueberries or raw cocoa.

Here is recipe for a simple avocado pudding that can be made in an instant.  Feel free to adjust the amount of milk. The less you add the thicker your pudding will be. You may also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for and extra energy kick in the morning.

Cutting avocado


 Vitamina de abacate - Raw Avocado Pudding

  • Place the flesh of ripe avocados in a blender. Skip the egg if you are vegan.
  • Add almond milk and honey.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Place in glass bowls.
  • Spoon out with joy in good company!
This is the most basic avocado vitamina. Add a banana and a cup of blueberries or mix in some granola and you will have a nutritious meal that will keep you in a high gear for hours.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Image sources here, here and here


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Coral - Best Vegetable Juice Ever

This probably is the best vegetable juice you will ever make! I call it The Coral because of its coral red color.

I added a spoon of virgin olive oil for a better absorption of the fat soluble nutrients. Italian herbs add a really nice summer flavor to it. A small amount of pink Himalaya salt delivers vital minerals and enhances the taste of garden ripe vegetables. Hot pepper adds this little "something" that will make your blood run faster in your veins. The capsaicin in hot pepper has anti-inflammatory properties.

As always you are free to experiment with the ingredients. Try to adjust amounts according to your personal taste. Grow your own veggies or buy organic whenever you can.

  • 4-5 large carrots
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2-3 sweet pointed peppers
  • 3 celery stalks (add the root if you can get one)
  • 1 small hot pepper (you can remove the seeds to reduce the heat)
  • 1 spoon virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 spoon dried Italian herbs
  • pinch of pink Himalaya salt

  • Peel carrots and sweet potatoes. (You can leave the peel on if you are using organic veggies. Make sure that they are well washed, though.)
  • Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise.
  • Wash the peppers and remove the seeds.
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut in half if they are too large for the opening in your juicer.
  • Juice all the vegetables beginning with the sweet potatoes and carrots.
  • Add virgin olive oil, salt and herbs into your juice and mix gently. Finished!
Enjoy in good company - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2012


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