The Plantbased & Un-cooked Experience


Why Raw Rocks!

Vegan, Raw, Gluten-free, Technically not Nut-Free* (see below)

It’s hard for most people to understand why raw foods are so great. The first thing I always say, is to try the desserts. Just start exploring every new items that present itself to you, and you will discover a new world of indulgence.

 

Start with raw desserts, get seduced by raw desserts, indulge in raw desserts and just go crazy in raw desserts for a little while, while you live your best life ever…. 🙂

Raw desserts or should I say treats are just at another level and to be honest, when you have had them, no other desserts or treats can match or even come close…. when you have had the real thing, you just want more….

Today I have made one of my favorite treats – Raw Cacao Truffles…. I hand-crafted each truffle. I put a lot of work and love into my truffles, and always add a special secret touch, (which I can’t reveal :)). I only use top organic and raw ingredients, nothing else will do. Yes, these truffles are divine, and here’s how you can make raw cacao truffles yourself.

Raw Cacao Butter

Cacao paste ready for making Truffles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • Raw cacao Powder from Peru or Bali
  • Cacao butter
  • Raw Agave Nectar (blonde version 🙂
  • Raw Vanilla beans
  • Organic Vanilla Extract
  • Coconut, shredded (un-sweetened)
  • Himalayan Salt

 

To Make

Shred the cacao butter and mix with cacao powder, vanilla powder, vanilla extract salt and agave. Taste for a unique flavor. Roll the truffles in shredded coconut, hemp seeds, raw cacao powder or licorice powder…. the choices are many! 🙂

 

* A pineapple is not an apple and cauliflower is not a flower…. but somehow the FDA has decided that coconut is a nut, even though it has nothing to do with either cocoa or nuts. Coconuts are not nuts but a drupe. Genetically speaking coconuts are not a tree-nuta, but a drupe, like other so-called nuts, but it has now been categorized as such, which makes it impossible to call any foods nut-free when they contain coconut.

From wikipedia: In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part (exocarp, or skin; and mesocarp, or flesh) surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries. The definitive characteristic of a drupe is that the hard, lignified stone (or pit) is derived from the ovary wall of the flower.

Some flowering plants that produce drupes are coffee, jujube, mango, olive, most palms (including date, coconut and oil palms), pistachio and all members of the genus Prunus, including the almond (in which the mesocarp is somewhat leathery), apricot, cherry, damson, nectarine, peach, and plum.


2 Comments

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free

Red velvet cupcakes came to America during the Great Depression and at that time, chemically food colorings were not used, as they are today, so natural colors was something people had to use, and the beautiful red came from nothing less than beets.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes are one of the most popular cupcakes in my house – I usually only make them for birthdays, which is also the case now. Prior to coming to America, I have never heard or even had a Red Velvet Cupcake.

I tried to make the vegan version of Sprinkles cupcakes and my kids really loved them for their birthdays, but that was about it. I also checked out the vegan Baby Cakes, but didn’t really like all the ingredients they used in theirs (especially the canola oil) and some of the flavors were really not that good. So I have had to come up with something I like and that I know is healthy to eat – and why not sneak in some healthy ingredients when you can. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup coconut mylk (So Delicious or make your own)
  • 1 tblsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or other healthy sweetener)
  • 3 tblsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted in a water bath)
  • 2 tblsp organic beet juice (the red color)
  • 2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tblsp vanilla powder
  • 2 tblsp flax seed meal (egg substitute)

 

To Make

  • Mix the coconut mylk with the ACV in a bowl. Whisk it together and let it sit for 5 min.
  • Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl (flour, flax seed meal, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla powder, raw cacao powder) and mix well
  • Add the beet juice and vanilla extract to the coconut milk/ACP mixture and blend it gently together
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir in the coconut oil. Mix well. Add a little purified water if needed (mine didn’t need any extra liquids)
  • Add the cupcake wraps to a cupcake baking tray
  • Fill the cupcake wraps with the doug (about 80%)
  • Bake at 350F for about 20-22 min. – all depending on the size of your cupcakes. Test at 17 min. with a thin wooden bamboo stick
  • Let the cupcakes cool off on a cooling tray
  • Add your favorite topping as needed or eat as is…. Truly delicious.

 


Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-free, Soy-free 

My daughters birthday is coming up and I am now in the kitchen experimenting with various cupcakes – my kids are ecstatic, as they get to eat cupcakes every day, until I come up with their favorites 🙂

I usually prefer to make raw cupcakes, but this time, I have to make something, that appeals to most kids, that are not familiar with raw cupcakes.

Some of my daughters friends have allergies/intolerances, so beside us being vegan (no animal products, eggs and dairy), we also avoid soy, stay gluten-free and in many cases leave out the nuts (when they have to be shared). Not a problem!…. so the first recipe I will post here is pumpkin cupcakes. A really great and healthier option for Halloween too :). My first version was ok (well, the kids and their friends ate them all), but the second version, which I made today was incredibly good. They are really easy to make and taste delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 tblsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, ground (optional)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sweetener (coconut sugar, maple sugar or date sugar or organic vegan sugar*)
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin pulp
  • 1/4 cup coconut mylk
  • 2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tblsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tblsp flax seed meal (this is your vegan egg**)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce (from organic apple)
  • 3 tblsp coconut oil (Artisana) (melted in a water bath)

* Be aware that if you use sugar and want to get the animal-free version, you need to get organic, vegan sugar, as all the U.S. companies (except the Yonkers in NYC, use cow bone char as the preferred whitening filter for cane sugar).

** Make your own flax meal by adding whole flax seeds to a high speed blender (Vitamix) and grind them up in a few seconds. Don’t buy pre-made flax meal, as flax contain oils, that go rancid fast. Keep your flax seeds in a cold place and grind them up before using (it’s also cheaper) 🙂

To Make

  1. Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and sweetener, flax meal) to a large bowl
  2. Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin pulp, coconut mylk, vanilla extract, ACV, agave, apple sauce, coconut oil to another bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon
  4. Add the cup cake wraps to a cupcake tray (I used the mini and regular versions and checked the time after 17 min. with a thin bamboo spear to check if they were baked)
  5. Fill the cupcake wraps about 80%
  6. Bake at 350F for 20-22 min
  7. Let the cupcakes cool off on a tray on the kitchen counter

To serve

Make your favorite vegan or even vegan raw topping. I always make sure my kids don’t eat the sprinkles and toppings that are pre-made. They are stuffed with chemicals, soy and E-numbers, so not something I endorse at all…. plus there are creative alternative 🙂


2 Comments

Irish Moss Gel

Irish Moss is a natural seaweed that thrives near Ireland, but it can also be grown around the Atlantic Ocean. Irish moss is a small red algae that is about 20 cm long. It’s texture is firm to the touch and it’s natural dark red color will bleach golden brown when it’s exposed to sunlight.

The moss I use in my recipes is called irish moss, and is slightly different than the red irish moss, from which carrageenan is apparently derived from. (read my note further down on this subject).

Irish moss possesses many healing properties and an impressive nutritional content. It contain 15 elements essential to the human body. It’s packed with calcium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, D, E and K. It’s just as a remedy for constipation, sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, and used to soften the skin and heal chapped skin. Irish moss should not be taken if you are taking blood thinning medication.

How to use and make Irish Moss

Irish moss is a vegan, raw ingredient. It can be used as a gelling agent without cooking, in a variety of recipes, like Ice cream, breads, mousse, smoothies, salad dressings, pies, nut cheeses, nut yoghurt etc. Believe it or not, if you can’t eat it, wear it! Use with your essential oils, as a facial mask, with a lotion and even for cracked and dry feet and hands and sunburns.

The irish moss has an oceanic smell, but this disappears after rinsing and soaking.

Irish Moss after being pureed in the Vitamix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup irish moss, soaked
  • 2 cups purified water (or more to cover)

To make

  • Rinse the irish moss in cold water, until it’s cleansed well. The raw product is filled with sand, so you need to rinse it several times before soaking
  • Let the irish moss soak in cold water for 6-12 hours or overnight (it can soak for longer if needed)
  • Place the soaked irish moss in a high-speed blender with the purified water.
  • Process until it has formed into a paste – make sure it’s blended well or it will not set properly. The paste should be smooth, when rubbing it between the fingers.
  • Use the gel immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it in ice cube trays.

IMPORTANT NOTE

It has been brought to my attention, through Dr. Andrew Weil’s website, that irish moss is supposedly dangerous to consume, due to the carrageenan derived from the product, which is known to cause gastrointestinal disorders, incl. IBS and ulcers.

Carrageenan is widely used as a fat substitute in many food products, incl. soy milk, almond milk, ice creams and more, so people have been consuming carrageenan for years. Carrageenan is also used in cosmetic products, toothpastes, ulcer medications and many more products.

The processed form is apparently causing inflammation and colon cancers in the worst case. The raw and unprocessed version is according to a study less dangerous, due to all the other good things in the seaweed. So now there is this hysterical hype about avoiding irish moss in the health industry, and the question is now, what should you do?

First of all I urge you to do your own research and then decide for yourself. I haven’t been consuming a lot of irish moss myself, but my opinion is, that a perfect natural healthy food can be processed into a dangerous food, and that’s what I believe has happened with irish moss or should I say the product carrageenan.

Olive oil is a great example of what can happen with a perfect food. Olive oil has been used for thousands of years and is a very healthy oil, when it’s extra virgin, cold-pressed and never heated. The moment the food industry started to mess with it, and turned it into a hydrogenated product and even a butter substitute, that’s when it got unhealthy. On top of this people started to use olive oil for frying and cooking, and we all know that you can’t heat olive oil, as it turns into a carcinogen (causing cancer).

So, do your research on all the strange products out there, that you most likely consume and may even use in alternative baking and cooking. Carrageenan, xanathan, guar gum, locust bean gum and you name them…. they are all processed and added to your foods. If you have allergies or intestinal problems, I would take a look at what you consume, and not just treat it with medication. Not even your doctor knows what’s in your food, so be careful.

I personally advocate everything in moderation. If you consume a natural product like irish moss (literally take the seaweed, clean it, soak it and use it as is), then you should be ok. If you use irish moss in an already processed form, I would think twice. If you feel bad/ill after consuming irish moss or products containing irish moss or even the carrageenan in one of the products below, I would stop using it.

Today, when I am about to post this, I actually found the link to the study performed on irish moss. It shows it has a lot of flaws and that Andrew Weil may have had a fast trigger here, and not investigated his claims in depth. I think being critical to studies coming from special funded sources always need an extra in-depth and critical investigation – but judge for yourself. when you read the study you will see, that:

  1. Irish moss/carrageenan was not tested on humans
  2. The quantity of carrageenan was far more than normal consumption in a recipe
  3. Irish moss and carrageenan are biochemically to different things
  4. The tissue used for this research was exposed to carrageenan for 12 hours, which is much longer than your colon would be, if you pass food through your system in a normal way

If get more information on this subject, I will definitely update it here. As it is with everything in life… read the labels on your food!

Products Known to Contain Carrageenan 

  • Coconut milk (some brands)
  • Cottage cheese/yogurt
  • Frosting mixes
  • Hershey’s Real Chocolate – (just a name, not so real!)
  • Ice cream and sherbets
  • Jams & Jellies
  • Liquid coffee creamers
  • Nesquik
  • Non-dairy puddings
  • Prepared pie fillings
  • Processed cheeses
  • Processed meat or fish
  • SILK™ and some other brands of soy milks


1 Comment

Bread

It’s not that easy to find really great bread that is gluten-free and especially not vegan. Most gluten-free breads are not vegan, as they contain eggs, and that’s a  big NO GO, at least for me and anyone who is avoiding animal products.

I love creating new foods and my kids are truly my inspiration to make foods, that are healthier than mainstream, and yet I still try to keep an element of my Danish traditions intact, but I just upgrade them to be healthier and vegan and as raw as possible. I am not afraid to experiment, and most of the times it goes really well, but once in a while (especially when baking), I hit a miss, but that’s part of the creative process 🙂

Bread is such a big stable in many cultures, and I happened to grow up in a very traditional culture where especially rye bread was the stable. Danish Rye bread is traditionally made from a sourdough base, and then made from rye flour, and sometimes wheat and then loaded with sunflower seeds and other seeds and even veggies (carrots). The Danish rye bread is very low in fat and it has no oils, no flavorings, and contain little or no sugar and just a little salt. It really is non comparable to most white breads, and I when I go to Denmark, I do enjoy having freshly baked (still warm) organic rye bread loaded with seeds (it’s often how I survive in this heavy meat eating country :).

Denmark is known for its open-faced sandwiches (Smørrebrød), which are mostly enjoyed for lunch or the big holidays. Rye bread was originally was a piece of bread with butter (smør = butter and brød = bread) and it later evolved to have a topping called pålæg = on-lay or cold cuts, which are usually pieces of meat, fish, cheese or spreads. A very appealing way of eating if it wasn’t for the meat!

You will find the German factory made and heavily processed rye breads in the stores or even something called pumpernickel, but it’s a far cry from the real Danish home-made or freshly baked rye breads. In America, it’s hard to find great bread, that is healthy and isn’t made from wheat or other heavily processed and maybe even GMO flours, yeast, sugar, dairy and eggs. It’s great to see how the health food stores are offering yeast-free and sprouted breads, but they are not quite there yet and most of the great products are always frozen.

I have been playing around with various grains, that doesn’t have any gluten, soy, corn, rice, yeast, eggs, sugar, dairy, starches, baking soda or other processed ingredients. These breads can be made as vegan baked version or vegan raw versions, so have a go at whatever you desire.

 

Ingredients for the basic bread

  • 2 cups of mixed grains (amaranth, buckwheat, oats, millet, quinoa), soaked overnight (preferably sprouted and then dehydrated)
  • 1 cup flax seeds, ground
  • 2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked
  • 1 cup raw organic hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, soaked
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups psyllium husk
  • 3 cups purified water
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup irish moss gel
  • 2 tblsp raw local honey
  • 2 tsp Celtic Salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

To make

  1. Use a high-speed blender (Vitamix) to grind the grains into a flour (I do each grain separately and then pour them into different bowls).
  2. Grind the flax seeds into a flour
  3. Grind the sunflower seeds into a flour
  4. Add the sunflower flour, the grin flour, the hemp seeds, sesame seeds and psyllium husk to a food processor and make the DRY ingredients
  5. In the high-speed blender (Vitamix), mix the WET ingredients (Water, lemon juice, irish moss gel, honey, salt) and when the blender is running, add the olive oil to make a smooth liquid
  6. Add the WET mixture to the DRY ingredients, while the food processor is running. When the mixture has become a thick doug, it’s ready to make different breads and shapes.
  7. Add in the various ingredients from your choice of bread to create your favorite bread….. Make sure to incorporate the whole figs just before baking.
Variation I – Cacao-Chia Bread
I grew up on rye bread, so of course I love this type of bread (but only the Danish version) – but this vegan and raw or baked version is even better and healthier. So I added raw cacao powder, chia seeds, ripe banana, a dark raw honey (Noniland Dark Gold Honey), cinnamon and nutmeg.
Variation II – Walnuts-Cinnamon-Nutmeg
This is a real Fall bread. Just add walnuts, ripe banana, dark raw honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Variation III – Fig bread
Add fresh black figs (whole), raw local honey, chia seeds, raw cacao
Other variations
If you like onion & garlic bread, you just add onion powder and sliced garlic pieces. Another version is adding cranberries, clementines and orange zest with pecans and maple syrup….. there are so many exciting flavors you can create.
To bake or not to bake
That’s the big question! There are two ways to bake this bread. Baked in an oven or dehydrated. The choice is yours! I baked the breads you can see, at 350F for about 1 hour. You can also use a dehydrator for 1 hour at 145F and then at 118F for as long as needed (I haven’t done the raw version yet, so you have to experiment yourself until I have done this).
The baked bread will be crisp and brown on the outside and soft and fresh on the inside. I always let me breads cool down before I slice them…and then they are basically ready for any spread you desire…. raw honey is a true winner, but also try raw honey/cacao, freshly made jams (fresh fruit, lemon juice in a blender with some raw agave or raw honey as a sweetener) – coconut butter and coconut oil is yummy….and sunflower seed butter is so delicious!

 


BLK Black Water Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was at WholeFoods today and saw a new water product, which I had to check out (I didn’t buy it, but just looked at the product). The bottle caught my attention with its interesting name BLK. At first I thought it was a black bottle with some clear content inside of it. It’s actually the other way around – black water in a clear bottle :).

When I looked at the bottle it said: “Naturally black, blk. is a refreshing natural spring water infused with Fulvic Acid. Our organic proprietary formula, with a high pH of 9.0+, helps to balance the human body’s pH levels. blk. contains over 77 trace minerals and electrolytes, which are an essential part of health & wellness: FRESH WATER TASTE. MAXIMUM BENEFITS. ENJOY THE DARK SIDE OF WATER.”

I know how important and a great supplement fulvic acid is, but it’s the first time I see it as a commercially made water product, and after the Adaya Clarity scandal I am even more cautious with beverage enhanced drinks, than ever before.

I don’t think the average person knows what fulvic acid is and what it can do for you (do you know?), so why would they drink it? I personally take fulvic acid as part of my longevity program (that I learned from David Wolfe long time ago :), so of course this beverage has caught my attention.

What is Fulvic Acid?

Fulvic acid is a nutritious and detoxifying compound created in extremely small amounts by millions of beneficial microbes working on decaying plant matter. It has the ability to dissolve and bond minerals, and draw nutritional elements into its molecular structure. Fulvic acid is a natural electrolyte, and one of the most powerful antioxidants ever.  Fulvic acid detoxifies heavy metals and pollutants. Research has shown that fulvic acid improves enzymatic reactions in cells, so a lot of benefits and so much more to be said 🙂

But, the critic needs to get out of the closet

I always look at the ingredient list, when it comes to any food or beverage. For me there is a lot more to a claim, that says things like: organic, vegan or gluten-free – so let’s have a peek….

 

# 1 – Natural spring water

Where does the source of spring water come from? Is it purified? Has any tests shown contamination? We know, that not all bottled water and especially so-called spring waters are not purified and good quality drinking water, just check the water reports from the Environmental Working Group (this organization is really the best ever!).

 

# 2- PH of 9 – is that good for you?

I would like to know the brand of the fulvic acid the producer used. Not all fulvic acid is the same. Also a pH of 9 sounds pretty high to me.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A liquid that has a pH of 7 is considered to be neutral (pure water is generally considered to have a neutral pH). Fluids that have a pH below 7 – like lemon juice and coffee – are considered to be acidic. And fluids that have a pH above 7 – like human blood and milk of magnesia – are considered to be alkaline.

It’s also important to understand that on the pH scale, each number represents a tenfold difference from adjacent numbers – in other words, a liquid that has a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than a liquid that has a pH of 7, and a liquid with a pH of 5 is one hundred times more acidic than pure water. (Most carbonated soft drinks (pop) have a pH of about 3, making them about ten thousand times more acidic than pure water). Please remember this the next time you think about drinking a can of pop…so now you can do your own math the other way around…. to me it sounds like major detox, but I could be wrong 🙂

 

# 3 – The bottle is made of plastic

What type of plastic is used for this water? I sure don’t want to drink water out of a BPA plastic water bottle, and I certainly want to avoid drinking any beverage out of plastic if I can. Plastic is really not something you want to buy your food products in at all. Always go for glass products or a natural container. It’s better for you and the environment! 🙂 – Check EWG on plastic bottles!

 

The best solution and cheaper

I know most people are into convenience. But convenience comes at a price – on your food and beverage quality and your health. So I always say – go for the natural easy solution, which is often also the most affordable in the long run.

My recommendation for you is to reap the benefits from Fulvic acid by getting something called Ultra Liquid Zeolite Liquid (from Omica) and just put a few drops in purified/distilled water (this bottle will last you a long time). You can also make a super smoothie or elixir drink and add a little fulvic acid and you are good to go! Clean source, affordable and highly efficient and easy!

I don’t think BLK will appeal to the average consumer, although they are the ones most likely to need it…. that said, we all need it 🙂 – I have put an easy link to Amazon, so you can order one of the best zeolite products I know – easy breezy…..! 🙂