Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ben's Strawberry-Banana Birthday Pie

Okay, well this may look/sound strange to some of you, but I've been making pies like this for years. They are quick, simple, VERY delicious, and, best of all, made with whole raw food ingredients (no additives), so it's safe for the whole family to enjoy.

This recipe comes from Alissa Cohen, and is in her book "Living on Live Food." Alissa is a raw food chef and consultant. With Brad's allergies, I am so grateful for raw, vegan cookbooks! I can make him wonderful desserts, snacks, and meals using just a few ingredients. It takes little time and has HUGE health benefits, even for those of us without allergy issues.

Forgive me as I digress, but I think nutrition and how the body works is fascinating. Matt Amsden, another raw food chef, has this posted on his website. It's a VERY basic explanation of why everyone should incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies in their diet. I could go on and on (And I might at a later date. Hey, it's my blog. I can say what I want!), but this should suffice for now. :)

The top 3 things that are sapping your energy & compromising your health:
  1. DEHYDRATION: Our body is over seventy percent water, shouldn't your food choices mirror this? A great way to get a head start on becoming hydrated is to consume food that has not had the natural water removed from it through cooking. Cooked food does nothing to provide your body with much-needed water and dehydrates you further in your bodies attempt to digest it. Everything you put in your stomach needs to be turned into liquid to be digested. How easily is your current diet liquefied?
  2. MALNUTRITION: Recent data shows that nutritional deficiencies are most often caused by what we eat rather than by what we do not eat. Your current diet may be robbing you of precious vitamins and minerals. A well balanced diet of consciously prepared raw plant foods contains the full compliment of essential vitamins and minerals, while food prepared using conventional methods destroys over 80% of that foods nutrition. Can you afford 80% less nutrition than is naturally found in your food?
  3. LACK OF ENZYMES: Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic process that takes place in your body from digestion to healing. Most prepared food is served with up to 100% of the natural enzymes destroyed. One hundred percent! When the lipase and amylase enzymes are destroyed, the body cannot digest fats or carbohydrates and they are stored in the body, causing you to gain weight. When you consume living, enzyme rich food, it practically digests itself. This leaves you with a surplus of energy to play harder, work more efficiently and do more of what you love! To learn more from Matt visit

Okay, onto the recipe!

Strawberry Pie


2 cups of almonds (I used pecans and walnuts work great too)

1 1/2 cups of dates, pitted and soaked until soft

1 cup of strawberries, diced


2 1/2 cups of strawberries

3 very ripe bananas


  1. In a food processor, blend nuts until fine
  2. Add dates and blend until smooth
  3. Place in a bowl and mix in the diced strawberries
  4. Mold into a pie plate


  1. Dice 1/2 cup of the strawberries and set aside
  2. In a food processor blend the remaining 2 cups of strawberries
  3. Place in a bowl and stir in the diced strawberries
  4. Pour into crust
  5. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight and serve!

(I made his name out of blueberries.)

This is seriously so good. It tastes like Yoplait yogurt with a nut crust underneath- total hit and guilt-free!

**For more info or recipes from Alissa Cohen, go to!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Artichoke Hummus

Okay, well after the last post I felt like I had to redeem myself. This recipe was posted on our family blog, but I thought I'd put it here too!

Here is another one of our favorite homemade hummus recipes. Hummus is a staple in our home. We have tried all kinds, but usually they are garbanzo bean (chick pea) based. Well, Brad is allergic to these now, so I have found several great no-bean hummus recipes. I tried this one out and it was a huge hit. After his salad, Brad sat with a spoon and just at this hummus out of a bowl like it was pudding or something! Here it is:

Artichoke Hummus

  • 1 artichoke heart

  • 1 zucchini, peeled but keep the skins

  • 1 cup tahini

  • ½ of a lemon, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • ½ tablespoon paprika

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

I used a fresh artichoke and took out the heart so there isn’t a lot of artichoke in here. You can use more if you want (and ones from a can or jar would work too).

  1. Peel zucchini and chop up and put in blender with HALF of the skins you peeled off. (the peels seemed to add a different flavor but they are strong so if you have a big zucchini don’t add them all unless you want it very green). If your zucchinis are very small, then you can use two.

  2. Add rest of ingredients in blender and blend until thick and creamy. Add water as needed to help with blending.

  3. TIP: the olive oil lends to the richness so add more if you need too.

*I added some dill and parsley flakes which Brad loves.


3 Minute Micro Cake

I have to preface this post by saying that I am not really a fan of the microwave and rarely use it (and have even suggested several times that we get rid of it altogether), and this is not the healthiest of recipes....BUT, when I got this email, I had to try it! I am a big fan of quick, easy, affordable, and delicious food, AND I love chocolate cake! This recipe took me all of about 15 minutes, including clean-up, and I had a very nice piece of chocolate cake perfect for one person!

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute- I mixed 2 1/2 Tbs of ground flax seeds with 3 Tbs of water)
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used soy)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
  • A small splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool. You can put it on a plate or just eat right out of the mug!

My only complaint is that I didn't have any chocolate chips, and it definitely could have used them- but overall, a worthwhile experiment for those nights when you just want to have a piece of chocolate cake!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No-Bake Brownie Balls

Here is one of the three dozen brownie balls we made today. This is another simple, fun recipe. The kids can help with this too. Bradley loves to roll them into balls, and then roll them in the coconut flakes. He does a really good job too!

Brownie Balls

  • 1 cup of walnuts

  • 1 cup of dates (soaked in water for about 20 minutes, and pitted)

  • 1/4 cocoa powder or carob powder

  • 1/2 cup or so of shredded coconut

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well. You may need to add a bit of water to make sure they stick, just don't add too much or they get really sticky (I like to save the water the dates were soaking in and use that). Roll into bite-size balls, and then roll in the shredded coconut. These can be eaten fresh from the fridge or the freezer.

You can use any kind of nuts you like. I've made these with pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and almonds. You can do a mix too if you like!

Pistachio-Lime Hummus

Saturdays are my food prep days for the week. Savanna and I made several things today, and thought I share a couple of the highlights. Savanna actually made this hummus herself. Don't let the color deter you! In our quest to find no-bean hummus recipes for Brad, this one is REALLY yummy and very simple. The kind of recipe I like!

Pistachio-Lime Hummus

  • 1 cup of raw pistachios
  • 1/2 tahini
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. You might need to add extra water or oil if it's too thick. It will also thicken in the fridge, so keep that in mind. We omitted the garlic and cinnamon, and it had a very mild, smooth flavor (made it for a 5 year old after all!), but I bet the garlic would give it a nice kick. Not sure about the cinnamon...sounded a bit weird to me. Let me know if you try it and how you like it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Green Smoothie Recipes

I posted this on a friend's food blog, but thought I'd post it here too!

Our family has been making green smoothies pretty much daily for about a year and half. I have noticed TREMENDOUS benefits in our health from adding more servings of fruit and dark greens. We are a veggie-eating family, but some of those dense, leafy greens are hard to get down. If you want to learn more about the benefits of making and drinking green smoothies, I HIGHLY recommend the book "GREEN FOR LIFE" by Victoria Boutenko. It's a quick read and chalked full of great nutritional info.

In the meantime, I thought I'd post a few of our family-favorites! You may need to add less greens in the beginning and more fruit (especially for the kiddos), but as you do this more and more, you will be able to drink more greens and like them! I sometimes sweeten our smoothies with a little agave nectar or raw honey. However, that's not really necessary if you use very ripe fruits. I hit the sales on super ripe bananas or day-old strawberries and freeze them in large batches. Frozen grapes are really good for smoothies too.

Smoothie #1
3 bananas

1 cup of papaya

4 big handfuls of baby spinach

2 cups of water

Smoothie #2 (similar to #1, but still a hit)
3 bananas

3 huge handfuls of baby spinach

2 cups of water

Smoothie #3
2 bananas

6-7 strawberries

juice from 2 oranges

2 handfuls of romaine

1 cup of water

Smoothie #4
Half a head of green or red leaf lettuce

2 bananas

juice from 2 tangelos

1/2 a bag of frozen mangoes

1 pear

1 cup of water

Smoothie #5
6 ounces of orange juice

1 cup of pineapple

1/2 cup of coconut milk (this is the best if you get a Thai coconut and use the water and meat, but the canned stuff works too)

2 handfuls of romaine/spring mix/or red leaf lettuce

Smoothie #6
1 stalk of celery

2 cups of blueberries

1 banana

2 cups of water

Smoothie #7
6 to 7 romaine leaves

1 cup of red grapes

1 medium orange (peeled, but whole, not juiced)

1 banana

2 cups of water

Smoothie #8
2 large grapefruits- juiced

6-7 frozen strawberries

1 cup of peaches

2 handfuls of bok choy

Smoothie #9
4 ripe pears

4-5 kale leaves

1/2 bunch of mint

2 cups of water

(I would add sweetener on this one!)

Smoothie #10
2 bananas

2 large collard or chard leaves

1/2 pack of Trader Joes frozen "Mangolicious" blend (has frozen mango, raspberries, and blueberries)

1-2 cups of water or orange juice

**You can substitute water with any juice you like. The amount you put in depends upon the consistency you like. My kids like it thick like ice cream...I like it almost as thin as juice.

The possibilities are endless really. You can add greens to any of your usual smoothie favorites. It will change the color, but if you do it in a small amount, it shouldn't take away from the flavor much. You can substitute in these recipes for any greens you like. Our favorites are KALE, COLLARD GREENS, SWISS CHARD, SPINACH, ROMAINE, and BOK CHOY. I sometimes also add ground flax or nuts/nut butter for added protein. Most of these recipes will yield a quart of green smoothies (32 oz). Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Monday, April 6, 2009


We are happy to welcome you all to our dinner table (or breakfast table, or lunch table or snack...yeah, we're ALWAYS eating around here)!

I am excited to share some our recipes and menu ideas. Let me begin with a little disclaimer...we eat a little different than most folks. We have some health, allergy, and moral issues we are sorting out, which has led to great knowledge and creativity in the planning of our meals... you'll see what I mean when I start posting. :) We mostly eat a plant-based diet, and try to incorporate as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible. What does this mean, you ask? To answer simply, we tend to follow a whole foods diet, eating mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains as the majority of our diet (with some other "food groups" thrown in moderately- we are only human!). It's tastier than it sounds, I promise!

What is a whole food diet? It's basically eating food the way that God intended- in its natural, unprocessed, unrefined, state. Eat a potato, instead of a bag of fried potato chips. Eat fruit instead of bottled juices filled with syrups and sugars. Just eat REAL food...and the fresher the better!

Please, let me know what you think!!

Holli and Family