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Mint Chutney

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Indian food has always been on my “favorites” list and that includes the main dishes, the naan, the condiments…..you name it. Chutneys are so easy and quick to prepare and they can be raw so, unless I decide to go back to consuming cooked legumes or grains, an occasional side dish is what’s left for me.
Like all the dishes in India, I’m sure this has dozens of variations to it as well. Every family has their own recipes for preparing dhal and condiments, and whether something is made in the northern half of the country or down south, will further enhance the uniqueness of the plate. My dear friend from India says just to make sure to include something sour and something spicy! This recipe is a simple one with more common ingredients but you could use tamarind paste instead of lemon juice, you could add ginger for an extra kick, and if you must leave out the garlic, I suppose you could use onions.

Mint Chutney
(Makes ~¾ cup)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large bunch of cilantro (aka coriander)
few leaves/handful of fresh mint
1 sliced serrano pepper
2 cloves peeled garlic
sea salt to taste
ground cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy)
splash of water (to help the blender get going)

Cut up the cilantro into smaller pieces and place everything in a blender. Process the ingredients until the mixture becomes smooth and no chunks of veggies are left.

Serve it as a dip with chips or crackers, or as a side dish to go with dinner. If you eat fish, this would be a good condiment to have on the table because cilantro has very powerful chelating properties. Seafood can contain high levels of mercury and other heavy metals, which coriander can help excrete from your body.
What do I do? I'm sure you know by now that I keep it simple…I just grab a pile of my favorite crackers and scoop it all up in a minute! It is such a yummy, spicy, and green snack!

Featured in Funky Raw, UK's raw food magazine

Cure for Cancer!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Burzynski, The Movie - Cancer Is Serious Business
Have you ever donated money, participated in a pink-ribbon walkathon, or purchased a Cancer Awareness Bracelet, because you were told “Your gift will help fund groundbreaking cancer research”???
Have you ever known anyone who was diagnosed with cancer?
Have you ever known anyone who chose to undergo radiation treatment or chemotherapy in hopes of becoming cancer-free?
Do you know anyone who’s receiving chemotherapy right now and is suffering from its side-effects?
Do you have a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is looking into options?
Or, do you have cancer?

Sadly enough, all of us will answer at least one of the above questions with “Yes”.
Finally, the truth is told! You are 1 hour and 48 minutes away from finding out where your donated dollars went, why radiation and chemotherapy are the only approved methods for cancer treatment in the United States, and how things might be different in the future. This film is an absolute MUST-SEE!
Watch the entire film here (double click to full screen):


 “Burzynski, the Movie is the story of a medical doctor and Ph.D biochemist named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski who won the largest, and possibly the most convoluted and intriguing legal battle against the Food & Drug Administration in American history.”*

"Current approaches to combat cancer rely primarily on the use of chemicals and radiation, which are themselves carcinogenic and may promote recurrences and the development of metastatic disease."* 

Until further notice, you’re able to watch the entire movie for free! Find the time and watch it, leave your comments below, and share this article with as many people as you can! It will save lives!

Updates to follow…

*For more info, visit: http://www.burzynskimovie.com/

Real Raw Marzipan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I can’t recall my first love affair with marzipan. All I know, is that whenever my dearest grandma took my sister and I to the confectionary store across the street from her house, and let us pick and choose whatever our hearts desired, I went for the “marzipan log” or the “marzipan potato”. If you’re curious, a “marzipan potato” is a ball of marzipan coated with chocolate cream, then a layer of some kind of soft dough, and the whole thing rolled into a generous amount of cacao powder, in other words: heaven! Needless to say, I was beyond upset if, on any of these occasions, the man behind the counter informed me that they were out of my favorites! This is not an issue anymore. There are no specialty cake shops on every corner here, and I can make my own marzipan any time I want! And so can you!

Traditionally, marzipan consisted of just a couple of ingredients, as it should. I was even lucky enough to visit the famous marzipan factory in Hungary, and saw it for myself. The only question they ask when you place an order is, what grade you’d like. The base, from which all marzipan is made, is about 2/3 almond paste and 1/3 sugar. Depending on how much extra sugar is added to the base, they’re graded 5:50, 70:30, or even 90:10, the highest quality (and most expensive) marzipan, with merely 10% extra sugar added. But, of course, even if you are lucky enough to find some of this wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth delight in stores, chances are, it will have some fillers and other ingredients that don’t belong!

Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are among the most nutritious nuts. They have loads of fiber and they’re especially high in manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Their high mineral content helps build and maintain strong bones, while the fiber helps in the prevention of colon cancer. B vitamins and vitamin E (an antioxidant), along with calcium, magnesium, and zinc are very important brain foods. A lot of us are deficient in magnesium (do tight muscles or muscle spasms/quivers sound familiar?), which is not so hard to acquire, but it’s a water-soluble mineral so it’s important to replenish your body with adequate amounts on a daily basis! What foods are good sources of magnesium? Good news: nuts and dark chocolate are among the richest sources of this essential mineral! Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which will help you keep your heart healthy. They’re a really good snack choice for diabetics too, because they’re high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Do you need any other excuse to make dessert today? Ok, here’s a couple more….almonds are very nourishing for your skin and, when eaten in moderation, will even help you lose weight! So, go ahead…

Raw Marzipan
(Makes 1 marzipan log - 5 in long, 2 in ∅)
1 ½ cup almonds*
4 to 5 tbsp agave syrup/maple syrup (not raw)/honey (not vegan)/your favorite sugar, melted
~1 tsp almond extract
cacao powder/cinnamon for rolling (optional)

1. Soak the almonds for a couple of hours or until you’re able to remove their skin (raw method) or, as an alternative, blanch them (not a raw method) and then remove their skin.
2. Dry the almonds and, using a food processor, process them into crumbs, then add the sweetener and the almond extract and process the mix until clumps form. 
3. Place the paste into a bowl and make sure it’s well combined; form into a ball or the shape of a log by hand. It really is up to your imagination…you can just roll it into cacao powder or make figures out of it (it behaves like edible playdough) or roll it out and cut cookies out of it or slice it…anything your heart desires.
4. Serve as it is or use your healthy marzipan to decorate a birthday cake.
5. Go back to step 1. and start over, because you know you didn’t make enough!…

*Note: You can purchase almonds in bulk instead of packages. You'll save the planet from lots of trash and it will probably save you some $$$! If you're in a hurry then you can use 1 cup of almond meal (also comes in bulk or packages) instead of almonds and skip the soaking/peeling/grinding part.  

Your marzipan would keep in the refrigerator for quite a while, but it just never lasts more than a day or two in my home. : )

Featured in Funky Raw, UK's raw food magazine

Green Super Smoothie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It is smoothie time!
When I first decided to go raw I pretty much freaked out at the idea of drinking smoothies for breakfast. My first meal of the day used to consist of piles of rice, or a huge bowl of beans, or some toast with almond butter (yumm!), following a bowl of miso soup. I loved my breakfasts!…. But I changed my diet because of food sensitivities and I didn’t want allergies to be part of my life anymore. So I jumped right in and went with whatever I found out I’m supposed to do. This is where I’m at…


Are the food allergies gone? For the most part, yes! But my biggest issue is that I discovered that I’m fructose intolerant or, at least, very sensitive to certain sweet foods, even fruits! : ( Anyway, I still eat a lot of sweets and a morning smoothie is nothing in comparison to the piles of chocolate or ice cream, or maple walnuts, etc. that I shove done my throat in the afternoons… All in all, it’s grown on me. I must admit I’m looking forward to my smoothie of the day!
This recipe might strike you as complicated with a never-ending list of ingredients but the point is to get some greens down. Any amount will help; what’s important is that you’re making an effort! Start with a single leaf or even just a quarter of a leaf…it doesn’t matter, just have some! Fruit is added to make it palatable and the rest is up to you. Everything is optional when it comes to smoothies. Throw in whatever you like + a tiny piece of something green!
If you’re curious to learn about the ingredients I use then read on. If you’re already salivating than just skip it (for now), and get the blender going. Scroll to the recipe.

The fruits and the greens
Adding an apple or a mango is optional because your smoothie will be just wonderful without them. I usually put an apple in because, you know the saying: “An apple a day…” and, for some reason, I never eat apples so I might as well drink some. Apples are very nutritious and they’re a good source of fiber! They’re a great weight-loss food, good for bone maintenance, due to their boron content, and have antioxidants to protect you. They’re also among the cheaper fruits. So eat your apples! What makes a smoothie really creamy though is a mango. If you like mangoes, and feel like spending the extra money, then add that instead of an apple. Your eyes will thank you because mangos are very rich in vitamins, especially in vitamin A. They’re also high in potassium and copper and, believe it or not, they have a 3 to 1 ratio of Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 fatty acids, which is rare! What does this all mean? This means that they will strengthen your immune system, and even protect you from inflammatory diseases and cancer. All this is topped off with their high fiber content and their ability to help with digestion. Bananas are commonly known to be high in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. It’s a good idea to eat bananas if you have high blood pressure.  But let’s not forget that they’re also very rich in vitamin C, and B6, and they’re a really good source of folate, so if you’re pregnant, you should definitely include them in your diet!  Folate is very important during periods of cell growth, for building red blood cells, and to prevent anemia! And the greens…I've mentioned that you’re supposed to eat your greens! Right? They will provide your body with an endless list of vitamins and minerals. Since many of us are lacking vitamin K, I must point out that greens are abundant in this blood-clotting regulator. On the other hand, since a very small amount of green leafy vegetables will provide you with a high dosage of vitamin K, if you have a condition and you’re taking blood thinners, you’ll be told to avoid greens and cauliflower and all foods of high vitamin K content. Greens can be difficult to digest (much easier though when blended with fruit) and some of them are especially high in oxolates, which can interfere with calcium absorption. Start small, with a leaf or two, experiment with them, and see which ones work for you.

All the extras…
Why the heck would I tell you to add flax seeds or coconut oil? Adding seeds and/or some kind of oil will slow down the absorption of sugar. If you have a reaction to foods that are high in fructose, or any sugar, then I recommend you try it. Both, flax seeds and coconut oil, are very good for you.
The rest of the ingredients are superfoods* (article coming soon) that all have exceptional health benefits. Spirulina, an algae, that comes in a powder form, has a very strong flavor so start with a small amount! It boosts the immune system, it’s a very effective detoxifier, it helps your body get rid of heavy metals that might have built up, it can help you recover faster when you’re injured, and it’s even used as a treatment for radiation sickness! Vegans will be delighted to hear that it contains all of the essential amino acids and it’s 60% protein! Next up is maca root powder. I happened to purchase some of this for a cake I was going to make (never made it) a while back. I’s rather on the expensive side but maybe worth trying. Why? Maca is an adaptogen, meaning, as the word suggests, it can help you “adapt” to different external conditions and provides stress relief. It can also increase endurance and fertility (a good supplement to take if you’re trying to get pregnant), and help regulate hormonal imbalances. Bee pollen is packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It’s full of enzymes, high in protein (contains all amino acids), and it is so nutritious that, supposedly, you could survive eating only bee pollen! I love cinnamon, but the reason I include it is not just the flavor. Cinnamon is rich in minerals, it can regulate blood sugar (it’s an especially good spice to sprinkle on everything if you have type 2 diabetes), lower cholesterol, and help inhibiting bacterial growth! Don’t you just love it when something that’s naturally sweet is actually good for you!?

*Whenever you first introduce your body to a superfood or any new ingredient, start with just a small amount. See how it affects you, how you feel during the day, and if you like it increase the amount slowly. Your body needs to adjust to it.

Where do I buy such things?

Like all ingredients I will ever mention on this site, they’re available at most health food stores. I recommend that you do a search for the nearest one in your neighborhood and start there. Be aware, that while some of these products are sold at regular grocery stores, chances are that they will be more expensive than they are at a health food store. The reason is that they qualify as “specialty items” at common grocery stores.
Green Super Smoothie
(Makes 4 cups ~ about 1 liter)
1. Put the following ingredients in a blender, in this order:

1 small apple/mango (optional)
a handful of chopped collard greens/spinach/dandelion/or your favorite greens
1 – 1.5 cup water
1/2 cup blueberries*
2 medium size peeled bananas
1 tsp ground flax seeds* or ½ tsp coconut oil (optional)
1/8 tsp spirulina
1/4 tsp maca root powder
1/4 tsp bee pollen (not vegan)
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional, but it’s a good idea if you’re sensitive to fructose)
pinch of sea salt (for balance, extra minerals, and to bring out flavors)

*excellent brain foods

2. Blend on “low” for a few seconds and then on “high” until it's smooth(er)
3. Pour into your favorite glass
Sip joyfully! : )


The Story...in a Nutshell

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Welcome to RAW Food for Truth!

This blog was created to inspire you to take control of your own health. I would like to share with you the knowledge I gained through 19 years of studying nutrition, practicing a vegan macrobiotic diet for over a decade, and a few months of experience living on raw, vegan foods. I believe that with a natural diet, consuming unprocessed foods, the way intended by nature, we can ensure life-long, radiant health. By making more conscious choices, we can prevent illness, or help the body heal existing conditions, such as a common cold, or a disease labeled “terminal”.
Many of you have asked me for advice and healed when sick, or lost weight when wanted to, or learned how to make simple dishes that made you feel better. Now, this blog will be a place where you can learn, be inspired, get advice, share information, and look up recipes. I encourage you to take the first step, or the millionth step, towards a healthier you and help create a healthier universe! : )

Miso Soup Got Spiced Up

Monday, June 13, 2011


Maitake mushroom

We’ve had a few evenings on the chilly side lately and nothing feels better after a long day at school (or work) than sitting down with a huge bowl of miso soup and enjoying every spoonful of it. For the last 6 or 7 years I started every single day with a cup of miso but since I don’t do that anymore it is a special treat to have once in a while.
Miso soup is very well known in Asian communities and is consumed on a daily bases. While, in Japan, its history goes back centuries, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that this nurturing soybean paste was introduced in Europe, and later in the United States, as a main component of a new, cancer-prevention diet. With the macrobiotic movement spreading so rapidly, so did the availability of miso in health food stores. In macrobiotics, we refer to it as the “poor people’s health insurance”!!!

What is miso?
Miso is a fermented paste, traditionally made of soybeans, rice, sea salt, and koji, or some kind of a starter. Nowadays you can easily find soy-free versions as well. The fermentation time will affect the color, the texture and the flavor. In general, the longer it was fermented, the darker the color and the stronger the flavor. If you’ve never tried it, you will probably want to start with a “light” miso, which will be a lighter color and will taste very sweet. The stronger versions will be much more on the salty side. They are the ones that were aged for 1 to 3 years and appear darker brown in color.

One-year, light, brown rice miso paste

What’s in it for me?
Besides its flavor and versatility (it can also be used in salad dressings, spreads, marinades, as a flavoring, etc.), miso offers many health benefits, which is what gets me excited the most!
To mention just a few, it
•    restores beneficial microflora in the intestines
•    helps reduce the risk of many types of cancer
•    contains alkaloids that chelate heavy metals
•    is high in vitamin K, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6
•    is rich in minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron
•    helps digestion
•    is a very good source of complete protein….good news for vegans! : )
…and there are many more!

Ready to test it?

Miso Soup
(Serves 1-2)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp or 1 in piece wakame
2-3 shiitake or maitake mushrooms*
red chili pepper flakes (optional)
2 tbsp miso paste
green onions to garnish

*Shitakes are sold fresh or dried (in whole or sliced). If you’re using the dried version, you can rehydrate them by soaking them in water for a few minutes. If they’re sliced, you can use a handful in the soup right away, soaking is unnecessary. I prefer using fresh Maitake. They're sold as fresh, whole heads in health food stores.

Dried shiitake mushrooms and miso

Put the water, the wakame, the mushrooms, and the chili flakes (if you are using any) into a small pot and warm it (if you eat raw) or get it hot but do not boil it. Let the vegetables simmer for a few minutes. While you’re waiting, take a little bit of the warm water out and mix it with the miso until you get a very smooth paste.  You can do this in one of the serving bowls. Pour this paste back into the pot and let it simmer for a minute on very low heat and make sure you do not boil it! (You can even turn off the flame at this point and just leave the soup sit on the stove top for a minute.) It is very important to watch it because if you boil miso you will kill the enzymes and will miss out on the health benefits. Give it a stir and pour into serving bowls. Garnish with green onions. Enjoy!


More options:
You can start with just making a broth and skipping all the vegetables or try it with just the wakame.
If you eat tofu, you can add a couple of half inch slices cubed up.
Some people add soy sauce or shoyu.
Also, you can add any of your favorite vegetables cut into small pieces. I like to add daikon radish and, because of the color, thinly sliced carrots are a nice addition too.

Seaweed Salad

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I know, I know…. Some of my readers will leave this page right now. Hopefully not you though! But weeds? And from the sea? Yes, you read it right! Now, don’t freak out….obviously, there’s a reason I’m bringing them to your attention. And the reason is: seaweeds are ancient superfoods that are loaded with nutrition! In fact, the phytonutrients present in them are so concentrated that you only need to eat a small amount to get their health benefits.

If you’re lucky enough to have grown up right by the beach where you could smell the ocean all the time, then you probably won’t even notice anything, but I didn’t, and I don’t think I tried any seaweed until I was about twenty years old. Their taste and texture are definitely something to get used to…..a very distinct and somewhat fishy flavor that, I’m sure, seems stronger than it is if you’re a vegan : ). The good news is that there are ways to prepare them to end up with quite palatable meals or snacks in no time.

Why seaweeds rock?
Nori, wakame, kombu, dulse, arame, Irish moss…all plants of the sea are multicellular algae.  Some are green, others are brown, or red, or even translucent. What they all have in common, besides growing in seawater, is that they’re all very nutritious, that is, very high in iodine (excellent for thyroid health), minerals, protein, and lignans, the plant compounds with cancer-protective properties. Let’s start with nori, the one you have probably tried if you’ve ever gone out for sushi. It’s available as raw or toasted thin sheets that you can wrap things in….how fun! Raw, they appear nearly black, or a very dark green, but once they’re toasted, they are a brighter green in color. Nori is rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, B2, and of course, iodine. It’s also a good source of protein. Wakame is another one you might have encountered since it’s most commonly used in miso soup that is also served in Japanese restaurants. Ever wondered what those green, sweet tasting slimy things were floating in the soup? They are them. Wakame is high in B vitamins and essential fatty acids, which means it’s very good for your skin. Kombu, a brownish-green sea vegetable, is used to treat thyroid conditions and is very rich in minerals and folate. I used to add a small piece to beans. (If you cook beans, put a 1-2 inch piece on the bottom of the pot then layer onions, vegetables (if using any) and the beans on top. Leave the kombu in there. This will help with the digestion of any kind of beans.) Dulse has a beautiful deep rosy-purple color and is also commonly added to soups or, in a powder form, used as a thickening agent. It’s exceptionally high in iron, magnesium, beta carotene, and protein! Arame is a mild tasting sea vegetable that can be added to salads and almost anything else you wish to try it with. The dark brownish strands are rich in calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, and K. Irish moss is most commonly used to thicken foods, especially desserts. It’s yellowish brown and is rich in vitamin A, minerals and protein but especially rich in sulfur, which means it’s good for decalcification!

Where to get some?
Unless you live on the coastline somewhere where it’s very clean and you can harvest it yourself , you’ll have to look for them in a health food store or an Asian market. Most health food stores will either carry a variety of dried seaweeds in bulk or ready-to-use seaweed salad mixes that are kept hydrated and in salt in a plastic : ( bag, the kind I used for this recipe.  All Asian stores/markets have an incredible selection of dried seaweeds available and some of them even sell them fresh, by the pound!

Seaweed Salad
(Serves 2)
1 (6 oz.) package seaweed mix
1 green onion
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp of your favorite sweetener (optional)
½ tsp red chili flakes
soy sauce or shoyu*

*If you buy the moist version that is sitting in salt then you’ll find that it’s not necessary. Even after rinsing or soaking the seaweed it will be salty enough.

Rinse the seaweed and if you have time, let it soak for a while. Soaking is obviously a must if you’re using dried seaweed. They need to be rehydrated before you can make a salad. Put the draind seaweed in a mixing bowl. In a separate dish, mix the oil and the vinegar and the soy sauce and sweetener (if you choose to use them). Pour the dressing over the seaweed and mix well. Add some sesame seeds and chili flakes and top with sliced green onion. Eat!
This salad keeps really well and is an easy way to take something nutritious with you to work the next day, if you have any leftovers.

Featured in Funky Raw, UK's raw food magazine