Recipe for Super Energy Seed Crackers…& without a Dehydrator!

This is one of the easiest recipes you could ever make and the results are super-amazing-delicious! And, you can share these seed crackers with your vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, anti-candida AND paleo friends. Now, that IS amazing!

Check out this fast and easy recipe - you'll be amazed!

Check out this fast and easy recipe – you’ll be amazed!

Super Energy Seed Crackers Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 cup organic sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1/2 cup organic ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup organic whole flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic sesame seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp. organic poppy seeds
  • 1 organic medium size white onion
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sheets of baking parchment paper
  • Optional added spices: cayenne pepper, cumin or turmeric powder

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry seeds.

2. Peel the outer skin from the onion. Then, using a grater, grate the onion on the medium-size holes. Add to the mix.

3. Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together, adding the salt and any additional spices (I make these without any dried spices because they are delish enough on their own!) You can also grate a few raw garlic gloves and add them is desired. Once stirred, the mix should be sticking together. If not, slowly add a few more tablespoons of water until the mixture stays together.

4. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the paper, keeping the thickness uniform across the baking sheet. This is also the time to score the crackers if you want them to come out in even squares. (I never remember to do that, and they get eaten so fast that no one seems to care if they’re in uneven sizes!)

5. Place in the oven at 200C or 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until they look golden brown. (Keep scrolling down to FAQs to find out why I don’t use a dehydrator.)

6. Remove from oven to flip the crackers. To flip them easily, place the other piece of parchment paper on top of the cooked mix. Then, carefully flip onto a new baking tray. If you’re really agile, you can do a flawless flip onto the same tray. Remove the original parchment paper from the top of the now flipped crackers. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and break off into pieces. You can serve with some yummy pumpkin seed cheese or delicious garlic and lemon tahini.

Use organic seeds, raw and unsalted for these Paleo - Vegan - Gluten-Free crackers.

Use organic seeds, raw and unsalted for these Paleo – Vegan – Gluten-Free crackers.

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry seeds.

Grate 1 medium onion, add to seeds plus 1 cup water then stir into mix.

Grate 1 medium onion, add to seeds plus 1 cup water then stir into mix.

2. Peel the outer skin from the onion. Then, using a grater, grate the onion on the medium-size holes. Add to the mix.

3. Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together, adding the salt and any additional spices (I make these without any dried spices because they are delish enough on their own!) You can also grate a few raw garlic gloves and add them is desired. Once stirred, the mix should be sticking together. If not, slowly add a few more tablespoons of water until the mixture stays together.

Spread cracker mix evenly on pan and be sure to use parchment paper so they don't stick!

Spread cracker mix evenly on pan and be sure to use parchment paper so they don’t stick!

4. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the paper, keeping the thickness uniform across the baking sheet. This is also the time to score the crackers if you want them to come out in even squares. (I never remember to do that, and they get eaten so fast that no one seems to care if they’re in uneven sizes!)

Ready to go into the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

Ready to go into the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

5. Place in the oven at 200C or 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until they look golden brown.

Flip crackers onto clean paper, then peel off the old one and discard. Back into oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Flip crackers onto clean paper, then peel off the old one and discard. Back into oven for another 15-20 minutes.

6. Remove from oven to flip the crackers. To flip them easily, place the other piece of parchment paper on top of the cooked mix. Then, carefully flip onto a new baking tray. If you’re really agile, you can do a flawless flip onto the same tray. Remove the original parchment paper from the top of the now flipped crackers. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and break off into pieces. You can serve with some yummy pumpkin seed cheese or delicious garlic and lemon tahini.

These vegan crackers are GREAT to share with family and friends or at a pot luck.

These vegan crackers are GREAT to share with family and friends or at a pot luck.

How to Make Seed Crackers FAQs

1. Why don’t you use a dehydrator?

Years ago I bought a dehydrator and I got really into it for an entire summer. I was dehydrating mangos and bananas round the clock, literally. After 1 month, I noticed my electric bill had jumped more than 40% higher than normal. Jeez! They don’t tell you that in the marketing. Energetically, I also felt that something was wrong. Blowing hot air on perfectly natural bananas for 2 days just to eat them in 1 minute seemed like a huge waste. Then I learned about positive ions and I realized I was blowing them into my house continuously when running a dehydrator. After that, I sold in on ebay and never looked back.

2. What are positive ions?

The air we breathe is full of oxygen molecules. Any molecule with an electron deficiency is called a positive ion and one with an extra electron is called a negative ion. Positive ions come from damaged molecules of air, in heating/air conditioning systems and from hair dryers…and food dehydrators. They are bad for our health because they can cause irritability, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Negative ions come from ocean waves, trees, plants and running streams. They have the opposite effect, leaving us feeling energized, healthy, happy and balanced.

Ever wonder why you feel more tired and depressed in the winter months? It could have to do with the build-up of positive ions in your house, right under your very nose!

3. Are you okay with these not being a RAW FOOD?

Yes, totally. I’ve been living a high raw food diet (80%-90%) for almost 10 years now and I am comfortable with where I’m at in my journey. I also love raw seeds and I often sprinkle them on salads but these crackers fulfill my occasional desire for something crunchy. It’s so awesome to eat a huge salad with 2 of these yum crackers on the side!

4. Can I use almond pulp or other ground nuts too?

Certainly you can try whatever combo or variation you want! But, I can tell you that almond pulp will probably not stick together very well. Same goes for ground cashews and other nuts. Seeds are unique because they have a special coating called mucilage which makes them naturally sticky or gelatinous when exposed to liquids. The stickiness helps the crackers stay together and not fall apart. Grated onion and water form the perfect “glue” to keep everything together even when cooked.

5. Why don’t you soak the seeds in advance?

Soaking the seeds in advance is an option if you are shooting for a live food, but since one of the things I like most about this recipe is that the crackers get crunchy, I don’t soak the seeds in advance.


This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and contains NO food additives. It’s full of fiber, contains natural medicinal foods and is loaded with vegan and plant-based proteins. And best of all, everyone seems to love them! I personally bring these to dinners with friends and also during Passover for traditional chametz meals and I can honestly say that everyone LOVES them!

More on Detox and pH Health:

More Healthy Recipes:

Healthy Frozen Treat: Raw Banana Chocolate Almond Popsicles Recipe

These yummy frozen treats are great after a hot day! If you’re looking for a healthy dessert for your kids, or are a former ice cream lover wanting a healthy upgrade, or even if you want a new raw food dessert recipe to try, then these popsicles are for you!

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it's healthy!

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it’s healthy!

The best part about this recipe is that it’s fast and easy and doesn’t have a lot of ingredients. Raw food for busy people? Totally possible! Affordable vegan and vegetarian food? Yes! Something healthy that actually tastes good? You bet! Scroll down to see how.

Blend just a few simple organic ingredients to make yummy frozen raw treats!

Blend just a few simple organic ingredients to make yummy frozen raw treats!

How to Make Raw Cacao, Banana & Almond Popsicles

One Day Before

1. Soak 2 cups of organic almonds overnight. Rinse and drain.

2. Peel 4 ripe organic bananas and cut bananas into pieces. Place in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer overnight.

Prep Day

3. Place the following into a high-speed blender:

– Soaked organic almonds (water drained)
– Frozen bananas (already peeled and frozen)
– 1/2 cup filtered water
– 2 Tablespoons organic raw cacao powder
– 2 Tablespoons organic raw cacao nibs
– 2 Tablespoons raw honey (optional) Note: For vegans, use 2 teaspoons of organic stevia powder instead.

Want to know where to buy the organic cacao powder, cacao nibs, raw honey or stevia powder? Check this link!

Blend all ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Blend all ingredients until creamy and smooth.

4. Blend until creamy and smooth.

(Note: I use a Vitamix blender but you can use any high power blender. If your blender is a bit old or not feeling its best, then use 1 cup of water instead of 1/2 cup and add the frozen bananas slowly.)

Place the blended mixture into molds then freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Place the blended mixture into molds then freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

5. Pour blended mixture into cups or molds. Add a wooden stick or holder to make the popsicle easy to hold once it’s set.

(Note: I bought these molds at a Dollar store. I also use cups and non-chemically treated wooden spoons sometimes too.)

6. Once the molds are filled, place them into the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.

7. Now they’re ready to eat! Simply pop the frozen treat out of the mold and you’ve got your own homemade healthy popsicle!

(Note: If the popsicle doesn’t “pop” out easily, let it stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes and try again.)

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it's healthy!

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it’s healthy!

This is a fast and easy way to make the chocolate lover in your house happy with a healthy raw cacao frozen treat! Kids love them and believe me, adults love them too! This recipe is also gluten-free so it’s perfect for anyone looking for good wheat-free desserts. And, it’s a fun way to share the idea of raw food with family and friends. When they see for themselves how good it tastes, they might actually want to know more!

Using 100% certified organic ingredients gives you the best quality, flavor and nutrients!

Using 100% certified organic ingredients gives you the best quality, flavor and nutrients!

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

Raw Zucchini Rolls with Walnut Pesto and Cashew Cheese: Recipe

Are you looking for something different than another salad? Or looking to bring an eye-catching and mouth-watering dish to your next raw food potluck or healthy picnic? Try this recipe for Raw Zucchini Rolls and your friends and family will simply be amazed at how delicious healthy food can be. And of course, it’s gluten-free!

Raw Zucchini Rolls with Tomato Sauce, Cashew Cheese and Walnut Pesto – it’s easy to make!

I actually threw this dish together with what I had at home one day not using any recipe at all. That’s the beauty of learning how to cook – once you know the basics, you can use your creativity to make just about anything you want! My goal was to have a nice finger-food raw food platter. I saw that I had a lot of organic zucchini, so I said, hmmmm…I can make zucchini rolls, now what to put inside? First I made the tomato sauce and it was yummy, but I felt like it needed more texture. So, I made the walnut pesto. Then, I decided to top it off with some smooth and creamy raw cashew nut cheese and this gorgeous gourmet-looking raw pasta dish was born!

You can make this yourself at home. You will need either a blender or a mini-food processor, about 3-4 large organic zucchinis and the following ingredients:

Walnut Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup raw organic walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup organic fresh basil leaves (or cilantro)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

Raw Tomato Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 raw garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. organic dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. organic dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. organic cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. raw organic honey (optional)
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

Raw Cashew Cheese Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of organic cumin powder
  • Dash of organic cayenne pepper
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

How To Make a Raw Zucchini Rolls

1. Make the Walnut Pesto: Add the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and pulse several times until the mixture is course but uniform in texture. Set aside in a glass container, covered and refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.

2. Make the Tomato Sauce: Add the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and pulse several times until the mixture is course but uniform in texture. Set aside in a glass container, covered and refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.

3. Make the Cashew Cheese: Add the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth in texture. Set aside in a glass container, covered and refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.

4. When you are ready to serve, prepare the zucchini strips: Peel the outer skin of each zucchini (the skin can have a bitter taste but also looks more like real “pasta” without the skin). Then use a peeler, mandolin or knife to cut the zucchini into flat strips.

5. Using one zucchini strip at a time, place 1 spoonful of tomato sauce and 1 spoonful of walnut pesto on the strip, then roll the strip, securing it with a toothpick. Top each zucchini roll with a dollop of cashew cheese and a small sliver of fresh basil leaf for decoration.

6. Serve on a plate of lettuce, with loving intention to share the gift of good health!

Note: If you are vegan, you can replace the raw organic honey with agave nectar or a dash of organic stevia powder.

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Raw Food:

Get Affordable Organic Food with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Vegetable Home Delivery

Want to save time and money and get more affordable organic fruits and vegetables? Then check into finding a local CSA for organic home delivery in your area. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is a way to connect consumers directly to organic farmers. With no store or “middle man” in between, you get more affordable produce that’s fresh and in season.

Get local organic produce delivered to your door & save money too!

How does a CSA work?

Basically, you invest in a “share” of the harvest, meaning you pay in advance for regular deliveries of organic, fresh, seasonal produce from local farmers. Every program varies in what it offers, when and where it is delivered and how much a share costs. Typically, you choose between a “small box” or a “large box” which is delivered weekly on a certain day (say every Tuesday or Thursday). The contents of the box will vary depending on what’s being harvested that week. For example, this week (in summer) in Israel I received: organic tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, dill, parsley, beets, green chives, mint, pumpkin, spinach, Swiss chard, daikon, zucchini and watermelon. Other times I will get garlic, onion, lemons, papaya, apples, melon or kohlrabi with a mix of fresh greens that also vary depending on the time of year. On average, 1 large box will last me about 4-5 days. I usually need to supplement with my own store-bought organic fresh fruit because admittedly, you usually get more veggies than fruit in a CSA box. With the CSA that I belong to, there is also the option to order additional items, including local organic eggs, tahini, honey and olive oil (I don’t order any additional items but I know a lot of people who do). The box is delivered directly from the farm to your door.

The benefits of eating organic food

Organic food is higher in minerals because the soil in which its grown is a much better quality than the over-farmed, depleted and toxic soil you find in industrial farming. Without any hazardous pesticides either, organic food can decrease your risk of allergies, rashes, inflammation and asthma and keep your immune system strong. This is especially important for growing children. Organic food is also not irradiated or genetically modified (GMO), two more processes and man-handling added to the food supply today which can be harmful to your health.

And, my favorite thing about organic food? It tastes way better!!! My fresh organic produce is never bitter or bland. And a better natural taste has to be better for you. Once you try it, you will see for yourself!

The saddest thing I find about organic food is people seem to only invest their money in it at certain times in their life: mainly, when they’re pregnant, sick or have cancer. Outside of that, it can be really hard to convince anyone to spend money on organic veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and/or grains. Even vegan, raw food, vegetarian and gluten-free folks will often turn their head at the added cost of organic. But why wait until you are sick or pregnant to start eating the best food for your body? If you eat organic food for years before your pregnancy, don’t you think you will be higher in minerals, less toxic and therefore increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby? And perhaps if you invest in some high quality food now, you won’t ever get sick and if you do, you will recover much more quickly. If you put better fuel in your car, it will run better and last longer. Well, let’s add some extra miles to your life and keep your internal engine working great with high-quality organic food! You deserve the very best.

The benefits of using CSA delivery

1. You increase the amount of organic food in your diet.
2. It’s more affordable and fresher than buying organic produce in stores.
3. The fruit and vegetables are locally grown and in season.
4. You’re supporting small local businesses and farmers in your area.
5. You save time and hassle by enjoying home delivery.
6. You naturally get more variety in your diet.
7. You can experiment and try new veggies that you might not otherwise buy (like daikon or kohlrabi).

In fact, I can’t think of any reason not to join a local CSA! To get started, research your local community by googling “CSA organic delivery + your county, city or state” and see what you find. You can also inquire at your local health food store or Wholefoods market.

A good list of Organic Home Delivery farms in USA: Organic Consumers Directory List for USA

In Israel, there are 2 popular CSA services for Tel Aviv: Chubeza and Maggie’s Garden (I personally have tried both and now am happy with Chubeza). Find a complete list of Organic Home Delivery farms in Israel, including Jerusalem, the north to Herzilya and south to Ashkelon here: Times of Israel article on Eating Organic in Israel using local CSA

If you’re using a local CSA in your community, please list the link in the comments below with your city, state and country below and let’s share the good times of eating more natural, whole and pure food! I’m thoroughly enjoying a healthy week with yummy green smoothies, juices, raw food salads and desserts all with beautiful vibrant organic food!

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Organic Food:

What’s the Best Juicer? How to Choose a Juicer

Buying a juicer is a commitment to actually start juicing. Believe me, I wish there was a self-cleaning juicer out there too, but there isn’t! I consider this a more advanced stage of healthy food prep because of the added time and effort it takes to make juice. For that reason, I encourage you to really think about what you’re most likely to use on a daily basis. Do you have extra time to prepare ingredients for juice and to clean the juicer? Or, are you more likely to blend a green smoothie that takes less than 5 minutes to make and can be stored in advance?

I recommend that you make green smoothies for at least 6 months before you even think about advancing to the world of green juices. When you’re comfortable with the green smoothie recipes and ingredients, it will be much easier for you to make the leap into juice.

When you’re ready, the next step is to decide what juicer is right for you. And if that wasn’t enough, there are actually 2 different types of juicers. If you’re not ready then take this information in as a side note, to be used at a later date, but don’t worry about the details too much now. Below, I explain the different types of juicers.

What to look for in a juicer

Features to look for in a juicer

With juicers, there are two main types: masticating and centrifugal. Those terms describe how the ingredients are mashed, spun and/or pressed and actually separated between a fiber and liquid form.

The other main feature to look for in a juicer is the size of the shaft where you place the ingredients for juicing. You will see some juicers listed as big mouth or wide mouth; that means you can take an entire apple or pear and easily fit the whole fruit in the juicer shaft as opposed to cutting it into quarter-size pieces and placing it in a smaller shaft. While it may seem that this feature makes it faster or easier to juice, it doesn’t change the cleaning time which is the most time-consuming part of the process.

Masticating

Masticating juicers are the best juicers for making green juice because the slow-press motor can easily squeeze the juice out of high-fiber leafy greens. Sometimes referred to as cold-press juicers, masticating juicers operate at a slow speed and produce a higher amount of juice. Masticating juicers can juice fruits, veggies, leafy greens and wheatgrass. They are usually sold online or in more specialty stores and they come at a higher price tag.

Centrifugal

Centrifugal juicers are readily available at normal retail outlets and are the most inexpensive type of juicer to purchase. With a centrifugal juicer, the ingredients are pulverized through a fast-spinning blade that extracts the juice through a strainer. These machines can’t handle leafy greens, wheatgrass, sprouts or herbs and are better suited for fresh and veggies. Because of the faster spin, they make less juice per volume of ingredients.

Top picks for juicers

Omega

The Omega 8004 is my personal top pick of juicers for making green juice. It’s a masticating juicer, and in my opinion, is easier to clean than other masticating brands or models. The 8004 has a great motor and can also juice wheatgrass (see below). Price starts at $199.95.

The Omega Juicer is a GREAT value for your money and an excellent juicer

Cuisinart

The Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor is a centrifugal juicer that comes in at an affordable price with a nice design and a reliable brand name. Priced at $89.00.

Cuisinart Compact Juicer is a great value and a good starter juicer

Hamilton Beach

The Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor is also a centrifugal juicer with a nice clean, simple design. The fantastic price makes this juicer a great option if you’re on a budget. Priced at $59.85.

Good value for your money with this Hamilton Beach Juicer

Keeping your Juicer Clean

My advice for how to clean your juicer is this: Do not drink your juice until after you clean the juicer! If you drink your juice immediately, you’re much more likely to move onto something else and forget about the juicer until later. By then, all the pulp will be stuck to the juicer parts making a bigger job to scrub everything clean.

Your best bet: As soon as you finish juicing, unplug the juicer to make sure that the power is off. Take the juicer apart and rinse all the pieces with a sponge, warm water and dish detergent. Add the juice pulp to your compost pile if you have one. Once your juicer is on the drying rack, you can enjoy your freshly made juice! This is a house rule in my kitchen and it really works.

Choosing a wheatgrass juicer

If you’re interested in juicing your own wheatgrass at home, you’ll need a masticating juicer. The Omega 8004 is a great model for making fresh wheatgrass. Other options include the Champion juicer, and the Hurom vertical slow-press juicer.

Do you need to juice, and should you be juicing?

That’s a great question! Find out more about whether or not you even need to juice here.

If you're ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

If you’re ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

Looking for a new blender too? Check out my guide on Battle of the Blenders: Which one is best?

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

Do you need to juice, and should you be juicing?

With all the hype about green smoothies for fitness, health and detox, you might be wondering: do I need to be drinking green juice or fresh juice too? And, if I only have time for one, which is better: blending or juicing?

I personally make a green juice for breakfast and a green smoothie for lunch every day and I love them both! But there are some real differences between blending a smoothie in a blender and making a juice in a juicer. Find out how and why below.

What are the health benefits of drinking fresh juice?

Juicing FAQs

Why is juicing important?

Juicing is important because it gives you the opportunity to high-boost on vitamins and minerals. In one meal, you wouldn’t normally have the capacity to eat ½ bunch celery, 10 carrots, 8 large kale leaves, an entire handful of parsley, 2 apples, a lemon, and a cucumber. Take all of those ingredients, put them in the juicer, and you’ve just ingested all the same nutrients in a few easy sips.

What are the pros/ benefits of juicing? Any cons (to one’s health and otherwise)?

The reality of living a busy lifestyle and not having time to prepare food at home today means that most people are not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables and are therefore nutritionally deficient. Juicing is a way to combat this, and so that’s definitely a pro. The con is that it takes time to prepare and it’s takes even more time to clean the juicer. Most people don’t own a juicer, so it’s also an added expense to have to buy another appliance. For those reasons, I usually recommend blending smoothies in a blender. In a blender, the fiber remains intact and so you just drink everything. Blending is definitely more practical and easier to continue doing long-term. Any new habit has to be a healthy habit for life.

Who should juice? Why? Who, if anyone, should not?

Just to be clear on terms, juice is made in a juicer. The juicer separates the fiber from the liquid and leaves only a liquid to drink (the juice). If you take those same ingredients and put them in a blender, the fiber will remain intact and you will have a smoothie, which is thicker and more filling than a juice. Traditionally people think of a smoothie having milk or yogurt, but you can easily make a healthy smoothie with fruits, greens and 1 cup of water. You may have heard of ‘Green Smoothies’…well, that’s what it is: fruits and greens blended in a blender. I think everyone should have 1 Green Smoothie per day.

So, who should juice? Anyone who is sick is already nutritionally out of balance and most likely deficient. Ideally they should be high-boosting with nutrient dense foods to try to get the body back into balance, so a daily juice would be great for them. For diabetics, fresh fruit juices are usually too high in sugar and in that case, make only green juices instead, like cucumber, kale, lemon, ginger and parsley.

Take the time to make a green juice – it’s an investment in your health!

Is there a limit to how much juicing one should do? Is there such thing as excessive juicing?

I usually recommend adding fresh leafy greens (like celery greens or boy choy) to any fruit juice just to balance the natural sugars with the greens. People can do 100% juice fasts, ie drinking only freshly made juice, for up to 60 days at a time with no ill effects. For the average person, having 1 fresh juice or smoothie per day is a great addition to their daily diet. Think of getting your vitamins fresh from Mother Earth and not a pill!

Should juicing replace entire meals or be a supplement?

It really depends on the individual, their energy levels and their goals. The average person can have a green smoothie for breakfast as a meal replacement because the fiber in the smoothie keeps them from being hungry and it’s a great way to start the day with fiber, alkalinity and minerals and chlorophyll from the greens. I work one-on-one with my clients to determine the best meal plan for them.

Is juicing the same as detoxing? If so, are the terms interchangeable?

Juicing is not the same as detoxing. One glass of fresh apple, ginger, lemon juice is not going to put you into detox mode (although it will high-boost your mineral and vitamin reserve). The process of detoxification starts when the body has been eating light raw fresh fruits or drinking only fresh juice for at least 36 hours. If you continue drinking only juice at the 36-hour mark, then you are going into ‘detox,’ and that means your body starts using the enzymes it would normally use to digest food and directs the energy inward to internal housekeeping. Think of your organs having extra paperwork and a backlog of work on their desks. Suddenly, no more papers are coming in so everyone has a chance to catch up on their jobs. That’s detox. If you are eating refined sugar, bread, fried foods or drinking coffee and alcohol, you are still adding more work for those organs and no detox will occur.

When and How to Juice

Initially you may enjoy having fresh juice on the weekends when you have more time to prep the ingredients and clean the juicer. You may also find yourself making juice when you’re ill as a natural recovery remedy. On a daily basis, making a green smoothie is faster and easier, and because of that, you’re much more likely to keep doing it every day. This article covers the key points in making juice and what equipment you need. For more information on making fruit smoothies or green smoothies in a blender, go to this link.

Experiment with different fresh & organic ingredients in your juice

Making juice is more labor intensive and a bigger commitment in terms of time and money for a few reasons:

  • You need a juicer. A juicer is a different appliance than a blender. It’s an added expense if you don’t have one already.
  • You need more ingredients to make one 16-ounce juice than you do for a 16-ounce smoothie.
  • You need to spend more money on the extra ingredients required. It takes time to cut up the extra ingredients too.
  • Cleaning a juicer takes more time than cleaning a blender because a juicer has several parts (unlike a blender that just has a pitcher and a lid).

On average, it may take 6-8 minutes to clean your juicer in addition to 5-6 minutes of prep plus 2-3 minutes of juicing, for a total of at least 17 minutes to make a juice. Compare that to a 5-minute green smoothie and the difference really adds up!

How long does a juice stay fresh?
Without any fiber, juice oxidizes very quickly and that means you need to drink it immediately after making it. If not, the juice will start to go off and in just a few hours, it can go bad. This is a major difference between green smoothies and green juices.

Making a green juice

Besides cutting up some extra ingredients and cleaning a few additional parts of the juicer, it’s really not difficult at all to make a green juice. One thing that is important for green juices is the type of juicer you have. (Note: If you’re interested in juicing your own wheatgrass at home, you need a masticating juicer. The Omega 8004 juicer is a great model for making fresh green juice and wheatgrass juice. Other options include the Champion juicer and the Hurom vertical slow-press juicer.) I explain more on that in my article about Choosing a Juicer.

A green juice is a high-boost of minerals, vitamins and chlorophyll

Green juice recipes are very similar to smoothie recipes with just a few exceptions. The following are ingredients not to use in a juice:

  • Banana, dates, nuts, seeds and avocado – Due to their high density, they don’t really have any liquid to juice.
  • Superfood powders – You can add your favorite superfood powder, ground flaxseed or chia seeds to your glass of juice and stir just before drinking, but you don’t want to add it to the juicer. With powders, there’s nothing to juice!

Fruits and greens with high water content, like cucumber, orange, lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, watermelon and celery are great options for juice ingredients. You can also add carrot, beet, daikon, ginger, fennel or leek. My favorite greens to add to juice are parsley, cilantro, basil, kale, Swiss chard or collard greens. Organic fruits and greens are best, but do the best you can with what you have when starting out. A non-organic juice is still better for you than a frozen dinner or fast-food lunch!

Tip
Save the stems from your large green leaves like kale, spinach, Swiss chard or collard greens after making a green smoothie. Store them wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge. When you’re ready to make a juice, add the stems to the juicer. That way, the stems don’t go to waste and you’re getting the added nutritional benefit of the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants from them in your juice.

If you're ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

If you’re ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Colon Cleansing:

Cilantro Hot Sauce Recipe! For a Spicy Dip or Salad Dressing

Check out this amazing raw hot sauce! If you’re a former tabasco and hot sauce lover but are looking for an upgrade in your ingredients and a 100% raw food version of your hot sauce, then you’ve come to the right place. In this recipe, there is NO added sugar, no monosodium glutamate (MSG), no added colors or preservatives – just an all-natural good-for-you safe food recipe. It takes only a few minutes to make, and this hot sauce will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. We usually make it once a week as a treat to add to a salad or a a topping to a yummy vegan seed cheese or nut cheese.

Delicious recipe for homemade hot sauce using hot peppers, coriander (cilantro) olive oil, salt and fresh garlic.

This is a very popular style of hot sauce in Middle Eastern food. Traditional Middle Eastern food has a lot of raw food dishes, and since I’m living in Tel Aviv, Israel, I get to play around with local, fresh ingredients and share some healthy recipes with you. In Hebrew, this sauce is called “skhug yarok” (green skhug). The Yemen people claim that this dish brings you health and longevity. The ingredients are: 1 whole bulb of garlic, 2 large hot peppers, 1 bunch fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil + salt.

How To Make Homemade Hot Sauce

Place the following ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth:

– 1 bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro)
– 1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled (yes, the entire bulb, not just 1 clove)
– 2 large hot peppers (you can use 3 small raw jalapeño peppers)
– dash of Himalayan salt to taste (check your sea salt for no additional additives)

The key to making this hot sauce right is to add the olive oil at the very end, after you blend the other ingredients!

After everything is blended, add:

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

and blend again. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

This sauce is hot! You only need to add 1 teaspoon to a salad to give it a real kick! Garlic is a powerful anti-inflammatory food and a known anti-cancer food. Cilantro is a fantastic natural chelator of heavy metals and is recommended to eat during a heavy metal detox. Hot peppers help to detox the liver, strengthen blood and boost your immune system. This recipe is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.

Can you see how much healing power you can get from your food?

Delicious recipe for homemade hot sauce using hot peppers, coriander (cilantro) olive oil, salt and fresh garlic.

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet!

More Healthy Recipes:

Raw Detox Salad Recipe

Eating raw organic food can be so much fun! Check out this gorgeous salad that took only a few minutes to prepare…and it’s full of detox foods to make it a mini-cleansing meal!

Use the healing power of raw foods to create a fantastic detox salad

For the salad add: Chopped rocket leaves, grated carrot, chopped cucumber, fresh mint, parsley, sunflower seeds and top with homemade raw sauerkraut. If you can’t find rocket leaves, then just use fresh chopped spinach or romaine lettuce.

Make the dressing with: Chopped garlic, crushed papaya seeds, extra virgin olive oil, raw organic honey (optional), fresh lemon, a dash of cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt to taste. The papaya seeds should be fresh, from a ripe papaya. I usually set aside some papaya seeds after eating the papaya. Store the seeds in a small jar in the fridge for up to one week. Use a few seeds each time you make this recipe.

What makes this a DETOX salad?

  • Fresh parsley: Kidney cleanse
  • Cayenne, olive oil & lemon: Liver cleanse
  • Garlic & papaya seeds: Anti-parasitic foods (kills germs)
  • Sauerkraut: Natural probiotic (good bacteria)
  • Rocket & cucumber: Skin cleanse
  • Sunflower seeds: Good for glandular system
  • Raw honey: Immune booster
  • Fiber: Colon cleanse

Let Your Food be Your Medicine…..Wow, it’s really true!

Click here to learn how to make fermented cabbage and raw sauerkraut. In a temperate climate, it takes as little as 4 days!

What is DETOX?

The highly refined foods that you eat every day, including sugar and white flour, make you susceptible to intestinal problems, and possible diseases. The average diet today is heavily loaded with chemical additives, flavorings, coloring agents, toxic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other toxic chemicals which overburden our bodies. Add to that work and family-related stress, indigestion, illnesses, constipation and sedentary lifestyles, and you have a recipe for an unhealthy colon and an overweight and tired body. Many health conditions are caused by the combination of processed foods, low fiber diets and poor evacuation of waste.

Periods of abstinence from solid food – a ritual performed since ancient times – can allow the body to “cleanse and purify” or “detox”, that is, to remove toxins, excess fat and even parasites caused by years of ingesting processed food, excess food, refined sugar and wheat and even fast food that eventually impairs the normal functioning and our body’s elimination.

During fasting, large amounts of these accumulated metabolic wastes and poisons are eliminated through the cleansing ability of all the organs of elimination – the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin.

Eating more detox foods in your regular diet is a way to have a “mini-cleanse” on a regular basis and that helps the elimination organs keep us with their daily housework. Eat a detox salad for lunch instead of pizza or Chinese food and you will have better digestion, less headaches or insomnia, improve your skin and increase energy levels, simply by choosing better fuel for your body. A raw food diet is a detox on its own. You can continue for 1, 3 or 7 days on a 100% low fat raw food diet as a way to really give the body a good natural cleanse from the inside-out.

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet!

More on Raw Food:

Beginner’s Guide to Green Smoothies

When was the last time you ate a whole bunch of parsley or spinach in one day? Chances are you never have, yet leafy greens like these pack a powerful punch of nutrition. A great way to utilize the amazing power of green leafy vegetables is with a daily green smoothie.

Beginner’s Guide to Green Smoothies by Jennifer Thompson

I first started Green Smoothie after several months on the raw food diet, and right away, I felt a difference! My energy levels improved even more, and thanks to the added ground flax seed in the Green Smoothie, my bowel movements became even more, well…epic! I knew that this was something that everyone could do at home, even if they didn’t want to go into a strict raw food diet. So, I started telling my Iridology and Health Coaching Clients about Green Smoothies.

Just some of the amazing stories of success I heard: Symptoms of menopause – gone; Acid Reflux – gone; Sugar Cravings – gone; Colitis – gone; PMS – improved; Digestive disorders and constipation: gone; Skin conditions – cleared; Sleep function – improved; Arthritis – gone; and the list just goes on and on!

One of my clients from Switzerland got her 86-year mother hooked on Green Smoothies and saw her digestion function and energy levels improve. Another client canceled his knee replacement surgery after he realized that the chronic pain and inflammation in his knee had disappeared after starting to drink Green Smoothies. I heard from clients who lost weight finally, after years of yo-yo dieting. I even helped a client get pregnant after 8 years on IVF just from having a daily Green Smoothie…she calls her baby a “Green Smoothie miracle!”

What is a Green Smoothie?

A Green Smoothie is a mixture of water, leafy greens and fruits. The ingredients are thoroughly blended with water in a blender. It is important to note that a Green Smoothie is a blended drink and not a juice. A blender is used to break down the cellulose structure in the greens thereby unlocking their valuable nutrients.

Green Smoothies 101: Your FAQs Answered

Green Smoothies 101

Some of the questions people commonly ask when they first enter the world of green smoothies…
When greens are liquidised in a blender, do they lose nutrients?
To break down all the fiber and cellulose in green leaves, you would have to spend several hours a day chewing and have extremely healthy teeth. In a Green Smoothie, the blender does the chewing for you, blending all the greens into very small pieces. So, a Green Smoothie can actually provide more nutrition because it’s blended, not less.

Can I use powdered greens instead of fresh?
The real benefits and healing potential in Green Smoothies lie in the fresh leafy greens, due to their fiber, nutrients and live enzymes. Powdered greens (spirulina, wheatgrass powder, kelp, green powder blends, etc.) are great to add to your Green Smoothie for even more nutritional power, but don’t forget to use fresh greens too. During travel, powdered greens are a practical and easy way to enjoy Green Smoothies on the road.

Can I use ice or frozen fruit?
Energy is required to ‘warm up’ a frozen drink, and that energy takes away from the process of digestion and absorption. Using cold water is ok, because it’s not nearly as cold as ice.

Can I add yogurt or milk instead of water?
Dairy is mucous-forming to the body and can slow down the cleansing and absorption process. You can still enjoy dairy products in your normal daily diet if you choose, but try to keep the Green Smoothie dairy-free so it is easy for your body to digest.

Isn’t that too much fruit sugar?
If you are diabetic, and you find yourself already sensitive to fruit, then use low-glycemic index fruits, such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and green apples. If you are unsure in any way, it’s best to consult a medical doctor.

What is the best blender to use for Green Smoothies?
The best blender for Green Smoothies is one that you actually use! Many people think they need an expensive Vitamix or Blendtec blender in order to make Green Smoothies, and that’s simply not true.

A standard household blender is fine, as long as you add water and fruits first, blend, and then add the greens and blend again. That way, you won’t destroy the motor and you will get many delicious Green Smoothies from your blender!

Am I supposed to eat only Green Smoothies?
No! You can eat whatever you normally eat. All you need to do is simply add 1 Green Smoothie a day to your diet.

I eat meat. Will a Green Smoothie still work?
Yes! Green Smoothies will compliment any diet or lifestyle, whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian, vegan or raw food vegan. You do not have to give anything up.

Can children drink Green Smoothies?
Yes! In fact, children seem to really love Green Smoothies! It’s a fantastic breakfast for the entire family and a great start to a healthy day!

How to Make a Green Smoothie with Easy Recipes

Why Green Smoothies?

Primarily because of the health results.

Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

When the body starts to get the nutrition it needs, it will naturally start to crave healthier foods, and that’s a great weight to jump-start eating the right foods for weight loss. Eating fiber in the diet is essential for proper elimination and good colon health.

Aim to drink about 500ml (about 17 ounces or 2 cups) of Green Smoothie per day.

How to Make a Green Smoothie

1. Blend 60% fruit to 40% greens in a blender.
2. Add water and/or high-water content fruits first.
3. Then add greens, blend again.
4. Blend different fruits and greens every day.
5. Try different combinations and find what tastes best to you!

What to Use for Greens

You can try kale, spinach, Romaine lettuce, bok choy, arugula, celery leaves, alfalfa, clover, parsley, mint, coriander (cilantro), dandelion, Collard greens, watercress, beet greens, or Swiss chard.

Avoid using more than 2 different greens at a time – this will ensure smooth, easy digestion and assimilation. It is important to use variety with your greens over a period of time, so try to buy something different each time you shop.

What to Use for Fruits

Enjoy apples, pears, bananas, oranges, papaya, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, grapes, strawberries blueberries or raspberries, depending on what you can find fresh and preferably in season. Watermelon tastes great in a smoothie. You can also use a few medjool dates just to add some sweet flavor.

Use 2-3 different fruits in your smoothie for a pleasant blend of flavors. Banana is delicious in smoothies because it adds a nice sweetness and thickness to the drink.

4 Green Smoothie Recipes

Digestive Power

– 1 Handful Fresh Watercress
– 1/2 bunch Parsley
– 2 cups Grapes
– 2 Red Apples
– Dash of Cinnamon
– 1/4 inch Fresh Ginger
– 1 T Raw Cacao Powder
– 1 T Coconut Oil
– 1 cup Water

Immune Booster

– 1 Handful Baby Spinach
– 1/2 bunch Fresh Mint
– 1 Apple
– 1 Banana
– 1 Lemon
– 1/2 inch Fresh Ginger
– 2 cups Water

Mega Omegas

– 6-7 Large Kale Leaves
– 1 Handful Celery Greens
– 3 Bananas
– 2 T Ground Flax Seed
– 1 T Whole Flax Seed
– 2 T Flax Oil
– 1 tsp. Agave Nectar, Raw Honey or Date Sugar
– 1/2 cup Water

Antioxidant Blend

– 2 Handfuls Romaine Lettuce
– 1 cup Red Grapes
– 1/2 cup Blueberries
– 2 T Goji Berries (soaked)
– 1 Pitted Date (Medjool if available)
– 1 tsp. Acai Powder
– 1/2 tsp. Spirulina Powder
– 1 cup Water

Directions

1. Carefully wash all greens and fruit.
2. In a blender, add the water, fruit and powders and blend until smooth.
3. Add the greens and blend again.
4. Drink and toast to your vibrant health!

Now on DVD: GREEN SMOOTHIE POWER!

Finally, Jennifer’s famous Green Smoothie Class is now available in DVD. Watch and learn…you will soon become a Green Smoothie Expert, ready to bless the world with your green love!

Find out for yourself why thousands of people are turning to Green Smoothies for more energy, better health, detox & weight loss! Are you not experiencing the level of energy and good health you desire? Green Smoothies could be your answer to start getting results. Jennifer’s NEW Green Smoothie Power DVD teaches you how!

here

With the DVD, you also receive 3 eBooks. Use the Quick Reference Guide eBook to get started immediately. Read the How to Make Green Smoothies eBook for inspiration and motivation. Experiment with 200 amazing recipes in the Green Smoothie Recipe eBook. You can be making your first Green Smoothie within minutes!

See how easy it is to add Superfoods to your Green Smoothies, and learn the real secret to Green Smoothie Success: How to Love Your Blender! Plus FREE EXTRAS included: 2 high-quality 100% Cotton Sprout Bags just for you!

BUY the Green Smoothie DVD and 3 eBook Kit:

Green Smoothie Power Kit

 

 

or buy the eBooks separately!

eBook: Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide eBook

This is the condensed version of Jennifer’s famous Green Smoothie Class, complete with the most popular FAQs, benefits of Green Smoothies and how to make your Green Smoothie taste great!

Read what others had to say:

“My energy levels are much better and I don’t have cravings for sweets like before.” – Bill

“People started to comment on how well I look and my skin is so much better!” – Helen

“I feel focused!!” – Cathy

New and improved Edition!

BUY Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide eBook:

eBook: Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide (.pdf)

 

 

eBook: 200 Green Smoothie Recipes

200 Green Smoothie Recipes eBook

200 Green Smoothie Recipes are available in this great eBook. That’s 4 different Green Smoothies every week for an entire year!

Some of Jennifer’s Amazing Recipes:

Happy Morning, Daily Detox, Quick Cleanse, Fresh Start, Power Blaster, Digestive Balance, Liver Tonic, Instant Health, Basic Instinct, Champion Blend, Enzyme Energy, Pick Me Up, Mega Omegas, Full of Gratitude, Tweet-worthy, Natural Glow, De-Stresser, Simple Pleasure, Soul Food, Fast Tune-Up, Green Gaspacho, Protein Power, Green Kingdom, Antioxidant Blend, Divine Creation, Ab Fab, Super Dude and many more!

New and improved Edition!

BUY 200 Green Smoothie Recipes eBook:

eBook: 200 Green Smoothie Recipes (.pdf)

 

 

eBook: How to Make Green Smoothies

How to Make Green Smoothies eBook

Learn what the necessary tools are for healing and understand why you can’t get long-term results without adding more greens to the diet.

See why having greens in a raw and blended form is the superior way to get all the Power of the Greens.

Find out what kind of blender you need, the best combinations of greens, fruits and superfoods for your health and hear amazing success stories, including the reversal of grey hair from Green Smoothies!

New and improved edition!

Why wait any longer to start feeling better, looking great and losing weight?

BUY How to Make Green Smoothies eBook:

eBook: How to Make Green Smoothies (.pdf)

 

 

Article written be Jennifer Thompson for Awakenings ME Magazine.

Find out how to book an Iridology Session.

Buy Jennifer’s Green Smoothie DVD here.

Book a Personalized Detox with Jennifer today!

More on Green Smoothies:

Recipe: Fast & Easy Raw Food Salad…a delicious meal in minutes!

What does a raw foodie eat as a salad for lunch? Check out this easy-to-make option using all fresh, natural, healing foods. It’s a simple salad made from parsley, carrot, zucchini, cucumber and sprouts but it’s the texture, the dressing and combination of flavors that make it taste great.

How to Make a Delicious Raw Food Lunch in Just Minutes

Raw Food Recipe: Modern Israeli Salad

This salad is a modified version of the classic “Israel Salad” or “Arabic Salad” which is traditionally made using finely chopped tomato, cucumber and parsley with a tahini and lemon dressing. In this version, I’ve added more fiber with ground flax seed, a nice texture with shredded zucchini and carrots, additional enzymes from the sunflowers sprouts and some liver cleansing power with the cayenne pepper. You could also add a bit more protein with 2-3 Tbsp. raw organic sunflower seeds.

In total, this salad should take less than 10 minutes to prepare. It’s well worth it to take extra minute or two to shred your carrots and zucchini with a grater because it changes the texture completely and makes the salad much more enjoyable to eat.

Modern Israeli Salad Ingredients & Recipe (2 servings)

In a bowl, combine:

    – 1 Carrot, peeled and grated
    – 1 Medium to large zucchini, peeled and grated
    – 2 Medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped
    – 1 Handful of sunflower sprouts, chopped
    – 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
    – 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
    – Dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
    – Dash of Himalayan Salt, to taste

Mix ingredients well. For the dressing, add:

    – Juice of 1 lemon
    – 2-4 Tbsp. organic tahini (sesame seed paste)

You can grind the flax seed in advance and have it stored in the fridge, ready to add to any salad for added fiber and omega proteins. A high-fiber diet helps to reduce constipation and promotes better digestive health and even helps to balance blood sugar levels. Raw tahini can be made at home if you can’t find it at your local health food store. The sesame seeds in tahini are a great vegan source of calcium. With all of these natural, whole and pure healing foods as ingredients, you are creating a real detox meal!

This is a salad that I usually have for lunch, due to the fat content in the tahini. I like to eat my “heaviest” meal in the middle of the day and save a lighter, lower-in-fat meal option for dinner.

As you can see, there is no need for a blender, juicer, food processor or dehydrator in this recipe. All you need is a cutting board, vegetable peeler, knife, and grater.

Yes, raw food recipes can be simple and not require a lot of expensive appliances!

Add chopped tomato to this recipe to make it a more classic Middle Eastern salad, but this version is just to show you other possibilities. There are many variations! Try adding some fresh pomegranate or a small amount (8-10 leaves) of finely chopped fresh mint.

This recipe is all raw, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free!

More on Raw Food:

Recipe: How to Make Raw Tahini Dressing or Dip

Tahini is a staple food in the Mediterranean diet; it’s used in dressings and dips and even to make popular desserts like halva. Tahini is a raw sesame ‘butter’ or paste; it’s the Middle Eastern version of peanut butter but with no nasty food additives! The sesame paste version has a wonderful flavor and adds so much to raw food salads that it’s a must-have in a good raw food kitchen. Plus, sesame seeds are a great vegan source of calcium! Usually you can find it in a healthy supermarket or at a Greek, Arab or Jewish Market. If you can’t find Tahini where you live, don’t worry…it’s easy to make at home and I’m going to show you how!

If you don’t have access to buy Raw Tahini, it’s easy to Make at Home!

The texture: In this version, I had a normal household blender and you can see that there is still some texture to the tahini. Usually it will be creamy smooth, and you can achieve a smoother version with a better blender. Believe me, it’s still delicious either way! What’s important is to not let having a cheaper blender stop you from making amazing raw food! Always do the best you can and remember, that is always better than nothing! Obviously this tahini was delicious because it was gone less than 24 hours after I made it…all relocated to happy raw food bellies full of bliss!

The plastic container: Yes, I know….you are looking at that and saying why did she use plastic? Here is my simple answer: I’m human and I don’t always have access to all the raw food prep tools I need whilst traveling (this recipe was made in Ecuador). Does that mean I throw in the towel and eat at McDonalds? NO! When you are on a raw food diet and a healthy path for life, you will find yourself in situations where you can’t be 100% perfect, but you can be 100% human. My first choice is always glass containers and that’s all I have at home. I don’t beat myself up if I have to occasionally use plastic and you shouldn’t beat yourself up either! Remember: Do the best you can with what you have, that is always better than doing nothing at all!

The recipe fast version: Grind raw sesame seeds. Add a few cloves of garlic, juice of 2 lemons or 3-4 limes, Himalayan Salt to taste, dash of cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika. Add the olive oil if desired. Add a bit of water to blend to desired consistency. Let sit for a few hours before eating. It’s so yummy, and easy to make!

Raw Tahini (Sesame Seed ‘Butter’) Recipe

  • 2 cups Raw Organic Sesame Seeds
  • 1-2 cloves Raw Organic Garlic (to taste)
  • Juice of 1-2 Organic Lemons
  • 1 tsp. Organic Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Organic Paprika Powder
  • dash Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)
  • dash Organic Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Filtered Water (add to desired constancy)

Instructions: First, grind the sesame seeds in a blender or mini-food processor. A clean coffee grinder will also work. The blender has to be dry; it’s it wet, the seeds will stick to the sides and they won’t grind.

Add all other ingredients except the water and blend. Then, slowly add water to desired consistency. You may have to add more water or less; it will depend on how much juice you get from your lemons and what type of texture you prefer in the tahini. It may be that every time you make this recipe it’s slightly different in taste, but that’s ok! The beauty of making things fresh is that you are blending together natural flavors. Sometimes the garlic is more strong; other times the lemons have less juice. Always taste your final creation and don’t be afraid to add something more if you think it needs it!

Tip: If you buy garlic from China, you will find that it has a very harsh taste, leaves a smell on your hands on gives you terrible garlic breath throughout the day. Organic garlic does not do any of that! If there is one item to buy organic in your kitchen, it should be garlic. Stinky garlic can ruin an entire dish (and separate your friends from your too!). You can find organic garlic in some supermarkets or at any health food store selling fresh produce.

Storage: Preferably store in a glass container. This recipe should keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. This is a gluten-free, vegan, raw food recipe made with love!

Now that you have Raw Tahini, here are some yummy recipes to make with it:

>>> Recipe: Raw Tahini, Garlic and Lemon Salad Dressing or Veggie Dip…and it’s Amazing!

>>> Super Energy Raw Cabbage Salad Recipe – A mini-detox meal

>>> Raw Food Snack: Recipe for Sesame Balls or ‘Raw Halva’ Dessert

More on Raw Food:

Panama as a health destination? Warning about pesticides in fruits and vegetables

After 2 amazing weeks in Costa Rica, we decided to head south to Panama to see what it had to offer. With the same Caribbean beaches, mountains and tropical landscape, I expected a cheaper and less touristy version of Costa Rica. I wanted to explore what raw food and/or detox options were available and thought I would get some nice time in nature and sun to boot. It seemed like a good idea…or so I thought.

Ajonjoli, Raw Food in Panama City

Everything started out great when we arrived to Panama City and stayed in an awesome funky little hotel, the Lemon Inn, run by 2 young Panamanian brothers. What a treat to get a modern clean hotel room after paying so much for accommodation in Costa Rica. Thanks to one of my twitter followers, I managed to find Ajonjoli on my first day in the city – a health food store and raw food meal service offering home delivery with a different daily raw food meal. I was very impressed to see such a service in Panama, and the food was great!

More time in the city allowed us to explore the old part of the city, Casco Viejo, which I loved…and as we walked through the streets I could almost feel I was in Paris or Belgium. Well, except for the armed policemen on every corner. At least you feel much safer in Panama than in other Central American countries. In the afternoon, we took a taxi out to see the Panama Canal and were lucky to arrive just as one of the container ships was moving through the docks. It’s definitely an example of some fine engineering.

Organic Raw Food Lunch from Ajonjoli in Panama City, a safe and yummy choice!

Casco Viejo in Panama City

Panama City at night, view from Casco Viejo

Panama Canal, Panama City

After 2 days in the city, we headed out to the mountain town Boquete, famed as one of the top retirement destinations for Americans. We thought it would be an organized town with some nice restaurants and cafes, but were surprised to find what looked like an abandoned town from the Wild West with local Panamanian women in traditional dress and lots of SUVs with grey-haired gringo elders. Lots of SUVs. There seemed to be no interaction between the expat retiree gringo and the locals; in fact we met many Americans who lived there for 5 years or more and spoke no Spanish. We found that to be very strange and I realized that this was not a cohesive community. But our worst discovery by far was in the fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and veggie market in Boquete, Panama

I don’t think I want to know what’s in this truck!

Reaction to Pesticides in Fruit and Vegetables

After buying fresh cabbage, cucumbers, tomato, onion, papaya and banana at the local market we were excited to go back to the hostel to make some yummy raw food creations. That night, I developed a horrible headache (something I never get)…and for days I had headaches, felt tired and even had a burning sensation in my throat, like a chemical burn. It finally occurred to me that it might be a pesticide reaction from the food. It didn’t take me long to make some Google discoveries about pesticide use in Panama and how the local farmers are using carbofuran, a very strong pesticide which is currently banned in Canada and the EU (in addition to many other banned pesticides as well). This was my first ever reaction to a pesticide as such, but it really scared me, especially the burning in my throat. We did not use any olive oil, salt or spice of any kind and still, I had horrible headaches daily. This discovery wound up crossing off Panama from my list of tourist destinations, well at least for anyone who is health-oriented or chemically sensitive. We did our best to make the most of the time we had, but our overall morale and feeling about Panama remained low for the remainder of our stay.

How to clean pesticides out of fruits and vegetables

For anyone who is traveling to Panama, I highly recommend bring Activated Charcoal Powder to pull the chemical pesticides out of your produce. This is how it’s done: Fill a bucket with water and add 2 tsp. of loose “activated charcoal powder” (in Thailand this is sold in health food stores specially as a vegetable cleaner). Soak all fruits and veggies for 10 minutes in the charcoal/water mixture, then rinse. Be sure to peel all vegetables before eating, even tomatoes. This will significantly reduce your exposure to these harmful pesticides and should minimize any reaction.

Please note: I have seen some websites that wrongfully promote Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) as a way to pull pesticides from produce. While GSE is great for killing bugs and harmful bacteria, it does NOT pull pesticides out of fruit and vegetables. Charcoal is an absorbing agent, like a sponge; while GSE is a cleaner of bacteria. Ideally, if you have the time and patience, you should first soak your produce in a Charcoal/Water mixture for 10 minutes, rinse, and then soak in 12-15 drops of GSE/water mixture for 10 minutes to clean any bacteria and eggs.

Boquete and Bocas del Toro

We decided to stay a few days in Boquete and take advantage of the one good thing we found: a 1-week membership to The Haven Spa; for $50 USD per person we had access to the gym, swimming pool and far infrared sauna for the week…so our daily ritual was to leave the backpacker hostel at about 11am each day and spend the whole afternoon relaxing in the quiet nature of the Spa. It was a bit strange that all the other members seemed to be 60 years old or greater and on most days I felt like we were in a re-make of the Ron Howard movie ‘Cocoon,’ but as tired weary travelers, we were most grateful for the tranquility of the place and I really enjoyed my daily far-infrared treatment, know to be a great detoxifier of heavy metals and chemicals (needed even moreso due to the circumstances!).

The Haven Spa, Boquete Panama

Exercise pool at The Haven Spa, Boquete Panama

From Boquete, we ventured north to the Caribbean islands at Bocas del Toro, a famous destination in Panama for beach, sun and nature. A highlight for me was searching for red frogs on the island of Bastimentos and finding them ourselves, without a guide, and in nature…it was a small discovery but it felt so cool to find such a beautiful creature! Overall. I found the availability of raw food to be very bad on the islands. The grocery stores are owned by a Chinese mafia and the vegetables are black with mold and the lettuce and cabbage are wilted (and with heavy pesticides to boot). We initially thought to spend a few weeks in the islands but after a few days, we felt starved for real food and fresh produce so we headed back to Panama City and flew north to Guatemala.

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Taking the boat from Bocas to Bastimentos Island

Finding the elusive red frogs on the island of Bastimentos

Bastimentos Island…beautiful, but no decent raw food!

Poor vegetable choice in Bocas del Toro

My suggestion for Panama is this:

Definitely check out Panama City as it is an interesting place and there is plenty of fruit and vegetables in the supermarket. From what I read, the villages are using more potent mixtures of pesticides, and most likely, no one is regulating how much or what mixtures should be used. More mass-produced supplies in Panama City should be better (and I did NOT react to any produce in Panama City; only in Boquete and Bocas). That said, I did find a local expat, Kirk Floeck, owner of Organic Harvest, who is currently working on an at-home delivery service of organic fruit and vegetables for Panama City, so if you do live there, contact him for details: kfloeck [at] hotmail [dot] com. Also, sign up for the at-home delivery of vegan, raw food, gluten-free meals with Ajonjoli, another great healthy option for people in Panama City:

Ajonjoli
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/ajonjolinatural
Calle 65, San Francisco, Panama City, Panama.
telephone +507 394-8024

There are better choices for organic raw food, vegan and gluten-free health holidays in Central America in Costa Rica or even Guatemala.

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