The Power of Raw

Summertime – don’t you love it? And summertime is the perfect time to spoil your body, recharge the old batteries and rejuvenate yourself!

I find nothing quite as powerful as a couple of days on raw food,  plant-based, entirely raw dishes, full of all the goodness you need to tune yourself back into vibrant.

Here is how it goes – for breakfast how about some  Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal

Raw food musli

Raw food musli

Or delicious Raw Food “yoghurt” with mango and raspberry coulis

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Or Raw Food Granola made from fresh sprouts and almond creme…

Raw food Breakfast

Raw food Breakfast

For lunch how about Raw Food Sushi served with ginger, garlic sauce.

Ready to enjoy

Ready to enjoy

or Raw Food Pasta with fresh tomato sauce and capers….

Raw Food Fettuccine

Raw Food Fettuccine

or a delicious salad with pomegranate, apples and pineapple 

Salad with pomegranate and apple

Salad with pomegranate and apple

or Raw Food  Veggie Chili with Cashew “Cheese” DSC_0135

And lots of green juice

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And green smoothies during the day

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For dinner Raw Food Curry served with Parsnip “Rice” 

1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

1 zucchini

5 big brown mushrooms

4 spring onions

Wash and finely chop everything – make the curry sauce

Curry Sauce 

2 big  scoops tablespoons of cashew butter

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

4 dried lime leaves or 2 fresh

1 cup of water

2 tablespoon of soya sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chill sauce

juice and rind of 1 lime fruit

1 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste

Put it all in the blender and blend into a delicious creamy curry sauce.

Raw Food Curry Sauce

Raw Food Curry Sauce

Parsnip “rice” 

Peel 2 parsnips and cut them into smaller pieces – put them in the blender and blend them till they look rice- alike – squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on and a little sea salt.

Serve on a plate with the chopped vegetables – pour over the curry sauce and enjoy!

Raw Food Curry with Parsnip "Rice"

Raw Food Curry with Parsnip “Rice”

 

” What you find at the end of your fork is more powerful than anything you’ll find at the bottom of a pill bottle” – Dr. Mark Hyman

Fresh Homemade Tomato Soup served with Garlic and Goat Cheese Focaccia

Today I went out to my local market,  a fantastic place just outside the city where I live. Right now the market is  booming with local strawberries, new potatoes, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach and so much more.

…and chickens wandered around in the shop while I was filling my basket – that’s my kind of place.

A basket full of goodness

A basket full of goodness

I  simply love this time of year when the markets are booming with the delicious fresh produce of the season- particularly the deep red sweet tomatoes! They are like candy in themselves and create a little party in your mouth – so intense with flavours!

When I saw them I immediately decided that I wanted to make fresh tomato soup. Continue reading

Delicious Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini Sauce

As many of you know, every week we like to change some of our meals with vegan meals, and in particular, we love those vegan meals that are fresh delicious Raw Food meals.

The other night we had Raw Food Tacos and they were wildly good – and tonight we had Raw Food Falafel.

I love middle eastern food and falafel is one of my all time favourites – so I decided I wanted to create a Raw Food version of this wonderful dish  – it turned out to be equally delicious. I love how I feel after eating Raw – I feel  energized and light, full of energy.

Every bite nourishes the body.

Raw Food Falafel

Raw Food Falafel

Here’s the recipe

Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini 

This recipe makes 14 – 16 falafel

2 cups of walnuts

2 big brown mushrooms

1 celery stalk

1 glove of garlic

A little piece of red onion

1/4 red pepper

1 bunch of fresh cilantro

1  teaspoon ground cumin

3 tbs Braggs

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

You also need – sesame seeds to roll the falafel in

Diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onions as an accompaniment and

radicchio lettuce – as your “pita”.

Put the ingredients for the falafel into the blender and blend until smooth – leave in the fridge for 1/2 – 1 hrs, to make them  easier to work with – then form them into little round balls and roll them in the raw sesame seeds.

Falafel in process

Falafel in process

 

Falafel

Falafel

Walnuts

Walnuts

Creamy Tahini 

Creamy tahini

Creamy tahini

 

For the dressing:

3 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

4 heaped tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

4 teaspoons  tamari

8 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup water

a good squeeze of lemon

sea salt

Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.

Serve the falafel on a crisp red radicchio leaf, put some mixed leafy greens on top and add a good scoop of creamy tahini sauce. Top this with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and fresh cilantro…. and Enjoy!

Served perhaps with a glass of wine

Served perhaps with a glass of wine?

 

On another note -

Many many weeks have gone by without my writing a single blog post…. so what happened?

I had surgery while I was in DK – hysterectomy – all went well, no cancer, a huge relief, and goodbye to the pain that has been with me for many, many months.

Recovery has been fast – incredibly fast, just 2 weeks after surgery I was biking through the forest, and now only 6 weeks later I am out running!

I am grateful!

I was privileged and happy to be in Denmark while having my surgery – surrounded by family and wonderful friends who spoiled me rotten! Taking turns to look after me!

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails asking about my health and well-being – I feel very lucky to have so many amazing people in my life – my virtual friends as well as personal ones!

Thank you!

Smoothie with Grapefruit, Stinging Nettles and Sweet Green Grapes

This morning was spectacular in my Danish garden – the sun, the birds, the flowers, the butterflies and an intoxicating smell of spring filled the air. I was out, bare feet in the grass breathing in spring and enjoying the early morning.

Spring

Spring

However, with spring and an abundance of spring flowers, come weeds – dandelion, stinging nettles and ground elder – they invade us and keep us busy all summer, trying to keep them under control….

But actually – weeds, such as stinging nettles are packed with goodness.  They have lots of nutrients, protein, calcium and iron among many other things, and they are so good for us  – read more here.

So I thought -if you can’t beat them, why not eat them!!!? :-)

I covered my hands with plastic bags and picked some stinging nettles – the aroma of them were somewhat spicy, in a gentle kind of way. Which made me think that they would be amazing combined with grapefruits, in a smoothie.

Stinging nettles

Stinging nettles

Green Smoothie with Grapefruit and Stinging Nettles

A good handful of fresh stinging nettles

A bunch of sweet green grapes

One big grapefruit

One orange

A chunk of pineapple

water

Wear gloves or plastic bags on your hands while picking and cleaning the nettles, they will sting you! Wash them carefully before use.

Add all the ingredients to the blender with some ice cold water and blend into a smooth delicious powerful green drink.

 

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Sweet Green Grapes

Sweet Green Grapes

Green smoothie with stinging nettles

Green smoothie with stinging nettles

It’s quite easy to become addicted to this drink – the combination is really good. The stinging nettles have this very special beautiful flavour – I loved it and I hope you will too!

Enjoy!

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them” –  A.A. Milne

Read more about weeds:

Edible wild weed salad – by Organic Authority

10 weeds worth growing – by Care 2 

8 weeds you can eat –  by Organic Gardening.

Fresh Green Juice from Baby Spinach, Grapes and Pears

With one leg out the door, packing and getting ready for my trip to Europe  – on the first flight tomorrow morning. And, …. I am also making green juice,why?  Because, I love it and it’s easy, so why not?  But also, to stay hydrated, nourished and survive jet-lag before it even arrives.

Lots of freshly squeezed green juice helps my body prepare for the trip across time zones. But you don’t have to be travelling to benefit …from freshly squeezed green juice.

Freshly squeezed green juice is so packed with vitamins , minerals and nutrients that you can almost feel every cell in your body wriggle with joy and gratitude, as you drink it!

It’s easy to prepare and it tastes so good. Children love it and it’s a great way for us to sneak in some of the greens that we know are so good for us!

Sweet Green Grapes

Sweet Green Grapes

Fresh Baby Spinach

Fresh Baby Spinach

This is what went into the green juice:

2 bunches of baby spinach

Big cluster of sweet green grapes

4 pears

3 lemons

Ice

Lemons

Lemons

Pear

Pears

Rinse and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze everything into an irresistible green juice
— and Enjoy!

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“If life gives you lemons make some kind of fruity juice”  - Conan O’Brien

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Almond Orange Chocolate Cake

This is one of the easiest cake recipes ever! It’s delicious and super healthy – how often do you find that in a cake?

It’s gluten-free and fat- free – but you would never know.

The recipe is from a friend of mine who is allergic to gluten and she is a master in creating the very best of recipes. This one is originally an orange cake, and it’s so good that I have made it a million times, but one day I thought, hmm chocolate…….in this? I mean, dark bitter chocolate, oranges and almonds……it could only be good and it was.

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Almond Orange Chocolate  Cake

4 organic oranges

6 organic free range eggs

150g raw sugar

250g raw almonds

150g good dark chocolate

1 large teaspoon baking powder

1 vanilla pod

sea salt

Boiled Oranges

Boiled Oranges

You boil the oranges in water for 2 hours, allow them to cool. Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly.  In the blender, blend the almonds into flour, then add the sugar, roughly chop the oranges and take out the pips, then put it, including the peel (no pips) into the blender along with the rest of the ingredients – blend into a dough.

Good Chocolate

Good Chocolate

Raw Almonds

Raw Almonds

Vanilla pod

Vanilla pod

Put the dough into a very well greased cake tin and cook in the oven for about 35 min at 360F

Still too hot to cut

Still too hot to cut

Serve the cake with some stewed berries or some orange sauce.

Served with stewed berries

Served with stewed berries

Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; It does for me. Audrey Hepburn 

I agree :-)

Hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are!

Honey Roasted Carrots with Fresh and Spicy Zhoug

These multi -coloured carrots seduced me at the market today. They were so beautiful I just had to find a way to turn them into a delicious meal.

Rainbow Carrots

Rainbow Carrots

I love middle eastern cuisine  – the spices, the flavours, the fragrances, the colours and the intensities. It’s the passion in middle eastern cooking,  it’s authentic and real honest food – that’s what I love!

This is what inspired me – I thought  Zhoug would make the perfect match to the beautiful carrots.  I decided roasting them slowly in the oven with honey, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

So, in the oven at 350F for about 40 min.

Zhoug is a fresh herb, garlic and chile sauce,  slightly spiced with cardamon, cumin and cloves, which I imagined would go really well with the roasted carrots.

Zhoug is not only wonderfully tasty, but also super healthy! Packed full of nutrients, antioxidants and flavours!

One of my all time favourite middle eastern cook books is Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini’s book, Jerusalem, – it’s a visually stunning book with lots of great recipes. My Zhoug is strongly inspired by the recipe in the book, but with some tasty changes that I like.

Sauces like Zhoug, Harrissa, Chimicurri, and Muhamarra are amazing condiments. They make eating vegetables a total joy !

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Parsley

Zhoug

One bunch of big leaved parsley

One bunch cilantro

one green chilli

juice of one small lemon

1 teaspoon maple sirup

2 clove of garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

sea salt

Wash the herbs thoroughly and put them in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a pesto-like sauce.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Cilantro

Serve the roasted carrots warm or cold with the sauce and some pomegranate seeds

pomegranate

pomegranate

… and enjoy – an easy to make, but extremely tasty dish!

Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey Roasted Carrots

Perhaps, add a slice of good bread?

good bread

good bread

 I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Raw Aubergine Lasagne with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Creamy Béchamel

One of the things that continuously surprises people, is how good healthy food tastes!

I hear it again and again – wow, this is so good!

I mean, healthy food really tastes so good that I actually prefer it to more traditional recipes! In fact, so good, I often choose it over anything else.

And by healthy food, I’m not referring to low-fat, low sugar, low taste, low life….. no life……Dietary restrictions are not for me –  I believe that it’s really more about balance!.

There are easy ways to get going: For example, try shifting the balance on your plate to mostly plants, or eating plant-based one meal a week or even an all day plants diet. Even just exchanging some meals every now and then with plant-based foods. Plant-based food nourishes the body, feeds it what is really needed, rather than just filling it up. This will make a huge difference to your body balance and add tremendous benefits to your health and overall well-being.

By eating plant-based you:

  • keep yourself nourished
  • keep your cholesterol levels down
  • lose weight and maintain your ideal weight
  • feel content
  • stop unhealthy cravings

Raw Aubergine lasagne with fresh tomato sauce and creamy béchamel 

Eggplant Lasagne

Eggplant Lasagne

The “lasagne” sheets/pasta is aubergine in this case, but it could as well be thin slices of zucchini,  sliced the long way, left to marinade for about 15min, with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon….

Aubergine

Aubergine

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Fresh Tomato Sauce

200g fresh organic tomatoes

4 whole sundried tomatoes

Fresh Basil

Fresh Oregano

A little red chili pepper

Sea salt

A clove of garlic

A small piece of shallot onion, maybe 1/4 of a whole

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put everything in the blender and blend into a sauce. Put it in a bowl and set aside while you make the creamy béchamel…

Creamy Bechamel

Creamy Bechamel

 Creamy Bechamel

1 cup of raw Cashew nuts

1/2 cup of avocado oil

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup of water

Soak the cashews – I soak them overnight to make them really soft and easy to blend. Put the cashews, water, avocado oil, lemon juice, nutmeg and sea salt in the blender and blend into a creamy sauce.

Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

Now layer the lasagne – it’s best to do this right before it’s served, minutes before eating.

Start with slices of marinated aubergine – then add micro greens, slices of avocado, some fresh tomato sauce, then another slice of aubergine, top generously with the creamy béchamel and a sprig of fresh basil.

Micro greens

Micro greens

Avocado

Avocado

Enjoy

Enjoy

This is the perfect lunch – or dinner served with a slice of freshly baked rosemary foccasccia - also perfect with a piece of fish, chicken or meat – and a glass of wine.

“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae” - Paul Walker

Sugar is the new tobacco

I’m working on my book about how to lower cholesterol – naturally. Thus I’m trying to focus on anything and everything that can play a role in actively helping us to prevent high cholesterol, but also in effectively reducing it – if/when we are diagnosed with it. The main issues in the book are exercise and food, but also includes topics on emotional health, stress, and sleep, all of which affect cholesterol levels. Foods can harm us or nourish us. Food can help us to stay strong, happy, healthy, and naturally lower our cholesterol. But, there are certain foods that can create havoc on our health – especially if we have them in excess. Processed foods, which contain a lot of hidden additives, including sugar and salt, are the worst. 

One of these really bad additives is white sugar. This stuff is a real killer. The bad and sad truth is a lot of our food is designed by the industry to get us hooked. By adding too much sugar, too much salt, MSG etc., the industry literally “pushes” food types to us and we become addicted to these things (their intention being, of course, that we buy and consume more of the same!).

I remember that when I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol I would very conscientiously examine the food value stickers and to assure myself that there was little or no cholesterol. If it said zero, I thought I was safe! However, I didn’t consider sugar, and especially the white, refined kind, is not only a contributing factor to obesity, diabetes, but a big trouble maker, when it comes to heart disease and the unhealthy cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

According to WebMD & the American Medical Association, a study showed that people who consumed the highest levels of sugar had the lowest HDL (the good cholesterol) and the highest triglyceride levels. People who ate the least amount of sugar had the highest HDL (good cholesterol) and the lowest levels of triglyceride! As well, it showed that eating large amounts of sugar more than tripled the risk of heart disease.

As a consequence of these findings, a global campaign has been started: www.actiononsugar.org aimed at trying to reduce sugar intake by calling it the new tobacco …. this is to try, just like was done with fat, to lobby to reduce the amount of hidden sugar in processed foods.

I can only applaud that, but at the same time I think that it would be easier to simply move away from eating sugar and toward eating more clean food. By clean food, I mean food that has not been processed, food such as vegetable, fruits, grains, legumes, leafy greens, etc.

By eating clean, we feed and nourish the body with real food. And when the body gets what it needs, it stops craving the wrong kind of food like: cookies, cream cakes and smarties.

Clean food

Clean food

As my diet changed and I was eating more green food I experienced so many benefits, such as loosing weight and feeling energized. I found that things like cookies, cakes and candy; things that I had been raised to enjoy, all of a sudden tasted way too sweet and I no longer enjoyed eating them. It was the same with salty foods, like certain cheeses and even some kinds of olives, they simply tasted almost unbearably salty. So, as my tastes changed, I naturally stopped eating these thing or eating less of them.

More green

More green

Today we can get bacon with less salt, soups and stocks with less salt – and hopefully soon we will see food products with less sugar.

But – why wait? Do it yourself!

All of this is really great, but how about eating fewer processed foods all together! Then, instead, add more plant-based foods, you will reduce your sugar intake in a heart beat.

Good sugar / bad sugar?

But how about the sugar in fruit? I found an answer to that in an interesting article in The Globe and Mail: “Sugar is the new tobacco“, wherein Dr. Robert Lustig, an neuroendocrinologist and obesity expert explained how the body processes sugar calories in a way that is much more damaging than, say, a protein calorie. However, the sugar calories contained in fruits, with its vitamins, minerals, fibre and micronutrients intact, is broken down more slowly and causes much less impact on blood sugar, as well as liver processes. He states:

Sugar in excess is a toxin, unrelated to it’s calories. The dose determines the poison. Like alcohol, a little sugar is fine, but a lot is not. And the food industry has put us way over our limit” – Dr Robert Lustig

Fresh fruits and veggies

Fresh fruits and veggies

To consume less refined sugar, try to:

  • Eat less processed foods
  • Prepare home cooked meals, make you own cakes and cookies – then you know exactly how much sugar goes in. As well, you can choose the healthier kinds of sugar.
  • Say good-bye! to white sugar.
  • Eat more plant-based foods.
  • Try to replace (most of your) cakes and cookies with delicious raw food options – like this or these.….
  • Drink greens smoothies like these.
  • Enjoy dates and figs, if you crave something sweet
Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies

It’s possible to do so much yourself and remember, even little changes can make a big difference! 

Do you want to know how I lowered my hereditary cholesterol naturally? – Read here.

Fried celery root with Chimichurri sauce

Chimichuri sauce – is a favourite of mine. It’s originally an Argentinian sauce, but the very first time I had it, was on a trip to Venezuela – and it was love at first sight  taste.

It has an intense and incredible flavour, given by the fresh herbs, the chilli, the lemon juice, and the garlic. It’s so good with so many things: fish, chicken, lamb, fabulous in sandwiches, drizzled on pizza, as dip for a slice of freshly baked bread, with omelet , or just served with vegetables.

I speculated on how it would taste with different things and came up with the idea of pairing it with root celery and …  it’s pretty magical!

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