Am I A ‘Health Food Junkie’?

 

“It turns out you are a junkie”.

 

These were the words posted on my facebook page this morning from my good friend, Jack. He sent me a link to a new Channel 4 series called ‘Health Food Junkies’ and as the first episode was about those strange people labeled ‘Raw Foodists’, I thought I should check it out.

 

It was very clear within the first five minutes which way this documentary was going to go. One of the first shots was of Suki Zoe (a well respected colonic hydrotherpist in the UK) coming out of the bathroom drinking a glass of her own wee. Great! So anyone who is new to raw foods now falsely believes you have to drink your own wee. Well done C4! The programme then followed Suki to work where she proceeded to give a woman a colonic. And yes, they showed her faeces coming through the tubes. So, before we even get on to anything to do with food, we have seen a persons bodily waste and someone drinking wee. Mmm, this raw food stuff sounds delicious, tell me more!

 

Then, from over the creepy music (which is underscoring the whole programme) the narrator say’s –

“A RADICAL DIETRY CONVERSION CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AT ANYTIME“.

Agghhh! Help! They’ve got me! I’m being attacked by the evil raw chocolate smoothie! I mean, come on…

We then see a very well spoken couple do their weekly raw food shop. The total? £169.40. The message? Eating raw foods is for rich people. The truth? This is rubbish! My weekly raw food shop comes to around a fifth of that. Eating healthily does not have to be expensive.

These kind of negative subtle messages continued to play through out the entire programme. After hearing Suki explain that it isn’t physically possible for her to fancy a bloke who eats meat, we see her sat by herself drinking a solitary glass of vegetable juice. After seeing the rich posh couple host a raw dinner party for friends, we see one of the friends get into an argument with them and leave the table. Now this may be their reality, but it’s not mine.

The underlying message in the programme (thanks to clever editing and selective content from Channel 4) seems to be that people who eat raw foods are:

  1. A bit weird
  2. Rich
  3. Slightly creepy
  4. Lonely

Ok, I know I can be weird at times, but I’m not lonely and I wish I was bloody rich! And I’d really like to think I’m not creepy. However, no matter what message C4 were trying to convey, no one watching this show could deny how good these people look, or how big Kate Magic’s smile is. It’s like my Dad says, ‘what can’t speak can’t lie’. Every single person interviewed in that programme looked radiant and full of life, and for me that speaks louder than any sneaky editing ever could.

The truth is, since eating more raw foods, I have become the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. I know I am lucky to have such amazing friends, but I haven’t lost a single one them because of the way I eat. Eating raw foods has rid me of anxiety, bad skin, unprovoked mood swings, fat, period pains, and insecurities but my friends have stayed put. Raw foods have given me a super strong immune system, glowing skin, tons of energy, a clear mind, confidence, supple joints and muscles, a positive outlook on life, and respect for myself and my body. I don’t feel like I am depriving myself of anything. I love creating delicious meals that are full of goodness, that make you feel great when you eat them. I love not feeling tired after eating, or shaky from drinking too much coffee or eating sugary foods. I just feel better; full stop! And if that’s what being labelled a ‘Raw Foodist’ or ‘Health Food Junkie’ means, then personally, I’ll take it.

 

Walnut Milk with Muesli.

Cereal and milk are good friends. I love cereal and I used to love cow’s milk. Then when I realised that drinking the milk of another animal is a bit…weird (and not necessarily good for you) I decided to give it up. I also stayed away from soy too (read into it and you’ll see why). I missed milk though, especially in the mornings. Then I discovered nut milks! They taste amazing, are easy to make, and are so unbelievably good for you. I do not miss cow’s milk at all now. In fact, the thought of drinking it makes me slightly nauseous. So if you are wanting to eat more raw foods but think you would miss your morning bowl of cereal, then panic not! Follow this nutritious* recipe below and I promise you, you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

 

WALNUT MILK

  • 1 cup walnuts (soaked over night and rinsed)
  • 4 cups water (or less if you want it more thick and creamy)
  • 1 tbsp agave or honey
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Place all the ingredients in blender and whizz it up. Get a jug or a large bowl and strain the luscious, creamy liquid through a nut milk bag** or a sieve. Chop up any fruit of your choice, and add whatever you like to it. In mine I put banana, apple, pomegranate, blueberries and some buckwheaties. Pour in the freshly made milk, sprinkle on some cinnamon and enjoy.

Good morning!

* This walnut milk is packed full of goodness! Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 and vitamin E, which means healthy skin, hair, joints and brain! If you suffer from dry skin this is will do wonders for you. Replace the walnuts with almonds, brazil nuts or pecans for an equally delicious, nutritious way to start your day.

** Nut milk bags are cheap to buy and available on-line. They make gorgeous nut milks, and you can also use them for juicing. Just whizz fruit and veg up in a blender and strain through the nut milk bag. I would say put a nut milk bag on the top of your ‘To Buy’ list. You won’r regret it!

Shh! Chia Porridge.

It’s 6 am. After tip-toing down the stairs, the last thing you want to do is put a blender on and wake the whole house/next door neighbours  up, right? If you’re an early riser, and don’t want to make a noisy breakfast, try this – It is quick to make and you can prepare it with your eye’s half closed in silence. 

 

SHH! CHIA PORRIDGE

 

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chia seeds.
  • Juice of 3 oranges (juiced ever so quietly in a manuel citrus juicer)
  • 1 banana, sliced.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coconut butter (optional)
  • Agave, honey or male syrup to drizzle.

Pour the orange juice in a bowl. Pour the chia seeds on top of that, and stir to coat all the seeds in juice. Leave it for 10 minutes. (You can use this time to make a cup of herbal tea, wash your face, or just generally faff about). When the 10 minutes is up,  place your sliced banana on top of the orangey chia, drizzle over some agave and sprinkle on some cinnamon. If, like me, you enjoy the taste and goodness of coconut butter so much that you just want to put it on everything, place a few little scrapings of the creamy butter on top of the banana’s. And there you go! Sit like Goldilocks and enjoy your porridge whilst the three bear’s lay sleeping in bed. Shhh….

 

Vanilla Cashew Custard.

 

Vanilla Cashew Custard.

  • 1/2 cup cashews.
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped.
  • 1 tbsp irish moss (optional)
  • 2 tbsp agave, honey or maple syrup.
  • pinch salt.
  • water to blend to desired consistency.
Starting with 1/4 cup water, blend everything together until smooth. Gradually keep adding more water until you are happy with the consistency. I like it quite thin so that it pours easily. Enjoy this over simple sliced banana’s for a nostalgic childhood treat. It’s also great over Mixed Berry Crumble 🙂
If you are making this to go with the Raw Chocolate Truffle Pie,  pour the custard on a plate so that it just covers the surface area. Then place a generous slice of pie smack bang in the middle. If you’ve made the Chocolate Orange Hearts, loving place one on top of the pie for the definitive decadent desert!

Chocolate Orange Hearts.

Chocolate Orange Hearts

  • 1 cup cacao butter.
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt.
  • Several drops of orange oil
Who needs that bloke called Terry when you’ve got these little beauties?..
Grate the cacao butter either in a food processor or by hand. Melt in a bowl placed in another bowl filled with boiling water (this will gently melt the cacao butter, and it shouldn’t go over 115 degrees F). Melt the coconut oil and agave the same way in a separate bowl. Once melted mix the cacao butter with the coconut oil and the agave. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, salt and orange oil. Gently mix everything together (this is very enjoyable and yes, you can lick the spoon). If you are making the Raw Chocolate Truffle Pie, retain 1/2 cup of the melted chocolate and pour the rest into heart shaped silicone ice cube trays (if you are not making the pie, just pour it all in!) Leave for a couple of hours to set in the fridge. When set, you will easily be able to pop them out of the moulds. Pour the remaining chocolate over the already made Raw Chocolate Truffle Pie and leave to set. Then go to the post title Vanilla Cashew Custard, for the third and final instalment of the Raw Chocolate Pie Trilogy!

Raw Chocolate Truffle Pie.

This slice of heaven was made on christmas day, but can be devoured at any time of the year. There are three parts to this desert; the Raw Chocolate Truffle Pie, the Chocolate Orange Heart, and the Vanilla Cashew Custard, all of which can be enjoyed separately (and you can find the recipes for each of them here, on this blog).  If you’re having guests over or are just feeling a bit posh, make all three parts and serve them together to create this beautiful gourmet delight! (Oh and, don’t worry if you don’t have any of the bizarre but wonderful ingredient, irish moss, it’s not essential for this dish..)

RAW CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE PIE

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/3 cup agave, honey or maple syrup.
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder.
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract.
  • 1/4 tsp salt.
  • 2 tbsp irish moss (rinsed throughly, soaked over night and blended to make gel).
For Crust.
  • 2 cup almonds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (or ordinary dates soaked for a few hours to soften)
  • 1/4 tsp salt.
Blend all the pie ingredients until smooth. To make crust, whizz everything up until it all comes together to create a manageable doughy mix.  Press into the bottom of a cake tin, preferably silicone for easy removal! Spoon truffle mix in, flatten down and place in the fridge to set. Although this will keep for 2 days in the fridge, it is best enjoyed straight away.
N.B This recipe is delicious just as it is, but does not include the thin chocolate orange layer on top. If you would like to make it as in the picture, please go to the post titled ‘Chocolate Orange Hearts’ and follow the instructions for part two of this decadent dessert!

5 Minute Raw Courgette Pasta

 

 

Do you think all raw food takes a lot of time and preparation?…

Well, allow me to change your mind with this super tasty, super speedy culinary delight! I was running around like a headless chicken (for want of a better phrase on a raw vegan food blog) and still managed to whip up this creation.

On your marks…get set…….GO!

5 MINUTE RAW COURGETTE PASTA.

 

  • 1 Courgette, either spiralized, sliced or made into thin strips using a peeler. (You can do this quickly, honestly! And keep the nutritious skin on, we haven’t got time to faff about!)
  • Hand full of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. (or chucked in whole)
  • Olives.
  • Handful of fresh parsley, torn.
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • Few sun-dried tomatoes, sliced.
  • Half a lemon.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Smoked paprika.
  • Salt & pepper (preferably sea salt or pink crystal salt)

Chuck everything in a bowl, squeeze the lemon on, drizzle over some olive oil, sprinkle on some smoked paprika, salt and pepper and et voila! Super healthy, super quick! Yum.

N.B This serves one, just double or quadruple the ingredients if you are rushing to serve other people! Oh and, you don’t have to be in a rush to make this, it’s just that if you are, you can : )

Buckwheat Raw Hummus recipe, served with Beetroot Salad

I wanted to kick start the year off with a delectable raw dish. Then I looked in my cupboards and saw… not a lot. And it was bank holiday so all the shops were closed. Grrr.  It was one of those moment’s where you just go “Oh sod it!” and maybe reach for the roasted cashew nuts that don’t belong to you. But no, I thought. Let necessity be the mother of all invention and do not give in!In my cupboard I had the following:

 

 

2 Beetroot.
Some dehydrated buckwheat.
Black sesame seeds.
Something that was unrecognisable.
Garlic.
2 Apples.
Tahini.
Various herbs and spices.
Sunflower seeds.
Spring onions.
Olive oil.
Cider vinegar.
Tamari
Sesame oil.

So! I grated the beetroot, chopped the apple, put it in a bowl, sprinkled on some black sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, tossed it about, splashed a bit of sesame oil and tamari on, and THEN… the magic happened. The Buckwheat Hummus was born.

BUCKWHEAT RAW HUMMUS

  • 1 cup buckwheat (either sprouted or soaked and dehydrated)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp’s tahini.
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp’s olive oil.
  • Salt and black pepper.
  • Water to blend to desired consistency.

(please note- this is the version that I made using only the ingredients I had. You can add anything you like! Replace cider vinegar with lemon juice for a more authentic hummus taste, and add cumin to make it extra special)

Blend everything together and serve. I put mine on the top of the beetroot concoction with some finely sliced spring onions. And it tasted all the better for knowing that you can create something beautiful from very little if you just stay positive and look at what you have got. There is a lesson in there somewhere, i’m sure…

Success!

Elaine Glover's Raw Food Blog