Tag Archives: superfoods

…And the Rest is Pudding!

That’s a saying, right?  Well I’m back on the Raw!  But this time, instead of as an experiment, I am feeling really confident and committed to maintaining a high-raw diet.  For me, life is just tastier that way!  And, if I play my cards right, I might find life is easier this way too.  Even having been about 75% raw since completing my raw diet experiment nearly 3 months ago (WOW), I have continued to notice a quiet, very subtle escalation in benefits.  I don’t need as much sleep each night as I used to.  My skin feels lovely, and my jeans fit great!  I have bounds of energy, and I rarely get sleepy during the day.  My mood is good and steady as she goes!

Most my meals are really all raw, except fish here and there, Ezekial bread and grains.  I’ll keep doing those things.  So where does the extra 10% come in to qualify me as a “high-raw” participant in the raw foodie club?  DESSERT.  I’m super psyched about raw desserts, and I know I’ve talked about them here and there, but I’m more convinced than ever of the power of them, and the delicious-ness of them!  Not to mention that moonpie I had at One Lucky Duck that has made me a believer for life.  Not a whole lot of raw fruits in these desserts–its luscious raw cacao, coconuts, cashews, avocados (yup!), oh there are bananas, but then also raw honey, and agave nectar here and there.  The beauty for me, beyond the taste even, if that’s even possible, is that these are Superfoods we’re talking about here!  These are life sustaining, healthy foods to eat.  No guilt.  No food remorse.  All the taste, and then some.

So I am getting started with some experimenting.  Of course I can never leave well enough alone, so I anticipate some slips here and there.  Food wars from time to time.  But I also look forward to some sweeeeet victories!  Oh, by the way, about that avocado.  I’ve heard a commercial on the radio now enough times to really get on my nerves.  Avocado’s are delicious.  They are really healthy, and a fantastic way to get essential fats in the diet.  Huge fan!  And probably personally eat enough of them in a week for 2 people! 

BUT!  Excuse me, Subway.  So sorry to be the one to burst your marketing campaign (really am!  especially since I love avocado’s so much!), but avocados are not a bonafide Superfood.  Cacao, Honey, Coconut, hempseeds, gogi berries, spirulina…these are all super foods for their unique set of diverse and life sustaining properties and array of high levels in minerals and vitamins.  I’m glad you have avocado’s, Subway, really I am.  It makes me feel like on my next road trip if I run out of pre-packed snacks, I can turn to you for a thing of avocados and a packet of salt (do you have sea salt?).  Let’s just be sure not to confuse the masses!  Afterall, haven’t you already tricked us enough into thinking your menu is healthy?  I digress.  To convince you that I truly do appreciate the avocado availability (even if they aren’t Hass), I made pudding last night…and guess who was the star?

Delicious Subway Pudding

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. raw almond milk
  • 1/2 c. raw cacao powder
  • Raw honey…add by the T until you like it
  • 2 T unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sea salt

Give it a good whir!  And enjoy!

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Amazing Food Finds: Chocolate, Anyone?

So that’s chocolate as in cacao, raw cacao; that which all other chocolate and “chocolate” is born.  If you would ask anyone what thei impression of chocolate is, they would likely say some of the following…it’s sweet…my dessert of choice…it’s fattening, so I stay away from it…it’s a good caffeine boost…or to my die hard chocaholic sisters and brothers: it’s the death of me!

Well, you don’t have to thank me now–but Christmas has come early this year, my friends.  Chocolate does not actually have to be any of those things, and as I’ll describe, in its raw state, it is NOT any of those things.  Cacao is bitter.  Not sweet, in fact it’s not sweet at all until we add things to it.  So not sweet, that if you look at the nutrition panel on cacao nibs, you will see “Sugars….0 grams”.  So already I was interested, the clean foodie I am!  Fattening and unhealthy?  Negative.  Negative.  It’s a superfood in fact, and though that term gets tossed around quite a bit, there’s only a few of them out there–about 7, and raw cacao is one of them.  That means it possesses such a unique combination of nutrients that it measureably can promote life.  Take a look at these:

  • Raw cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea and red wine combined–more than 4 times over; so it  helps repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
  • It helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lowers LDL cholesterol, and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks more than any other food.
  • It makes us happy (not just in mind, but actually scientifically):  Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being
  • The minerals that Cacao is rich in are endless, but Magnesium is at the top of the list: Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
  • And no, it will not make you fat.  Just ask any of your overweight rawist friends (haha): That fats found in cacao are healthy fats…think avocado.  So it actually helps digest food, burns very easily as fuel, and keeps you feeling full longer.

The trouble is when producers, even the environmentally astute, even the 85% base bars that have handcrafted, recycled paper for wrappers, and had women in Ghana craft it…once chocolate is heated, even a little bit–it loses the benefits I mention above.  And heat typicallly comes along with added sugar.  Literal sugar, corn syrup–and a myriad of other unnatural sweeteners.  Sorry, organic cane sugar counts too.  And that’s when you start to get into weight gain, cravings, blood sugar spikes, etc.

So you’ve decided to believe me, and now you don’t knwo what to do with your decidedly bitter chunks of raw cacao.  I was surprised myself at how that bitterness can actually work FOR the cacao–you get a real richness, and decadence when you:

  • Sprinkle in your overnight oats, other cereals or kefir
  • And, shakes!  Forget about it.  Half a frozen banana, raw cacao powder, and unsweetened cocnut flakes…HEAVEN
  • Blend into coffee and teas
  • Make a chocolate bar/fudge…raw cocao powder, coconut oil, agave nectar, pinch of salt, scrape of vanilla, some nuts–you’re in business!! 

It’s really limitless!  But for now, I leave you with my favorite amazing food find yet.  At 70 calories for TWO TABLESPOONS…Emmie’s Raw chocolate sauce is heaven in a jar.  A delicacy to end all other delicacies.  100% raw, and 200% delicious.  Perfect in…everything.  And most perfect alone.  Still, you’ve got to get some raw cocoa nibs and powder too.  Totally versatile, and so super healthy.  Afterall, it is on that same coconut shortlist of super foods!  ENJOY!

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