This page provides information and explanations for using the recipes on this website.
All of my recipes on this website have been developed and presented to the best of my expertise and knowledge. The degree of making them varies from very easy to moderately difficult depending on your skill set and experience. Like all food preparation, variables such as size of a fruit or vegetable, type of sweetener used, kitchen appliance capabilities, omissions, additions, substitutions, accuracy of measured ingredients, etc. can all affect the outcome of a recipe. I’ve tried to be very specific to eliminate as much guesswork as possible. These recipes are meant to serve as a foundation on which you can build your own natural foods recipe box.
As a rule, any and all cup and measuring spoon measurements are level unless it’s indicated otherwise. For instance “1 cup” means one level measuring cup unless indicated otherwise. I provided substitutions to broaden the ingredient list and help you modify the recipes to suit your own needs and taste. I suggest sticking as close as possible to the amounts and textures of the ingredients for best results. It may take a bit of time to adjust to this style of eating before you are able to substitute with confidence and ease. Experience, as with all endeavors, is always the best teacher.
I recommend using a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix for blending recipes. It makes food preparation so much easier and provides the extra power needed to break down hard substances such as nuts and frozen foods to a smooth consistency. You can also get assorted blades and containers for grinding flour and other dry ingredients. However, you can often get by with a standard blender if you soak the ingredients beforehand or use a coffee/nut grinder for certain dry ingredients. Other kitchen appliance that come in handy are a food processor, nut/coffee grinder, juicer and citrus juicer.
The following are a few of the many ingredients I use regularly and in the recipes posted. There are always new products coming onto the market and I’ll be adding as I use them. I like to test items myself extensively before I personally recommend them. Feel free to experiment and find your own special list. It’s an exciting time for healthy products! For more information feel free to also check out the Definitions for Recipe Ingredients page on this website.
Blackstrap molasses: thick dark syrupy product of the third boiling from the sugar refining process, and consequently where most of the nutrients reside. Blackstrap molasses is particularly high in iron, B vitamins, and potassium. Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is best.
Brown Rice Syrup: a medium-glycemic glucose sweetener with mild caramel flavor made from brown rice. During the process, cooked brown rice is exposed to certain enzymes which convert the starches into sugar after which it’s reduced and then strained to remove impurities. If the label says “rice syrup” instead of “brown rice syrup” it may have been made with white rice rather than brown rice. Brown rice syrup contains the most nutrients and flavor.
Coconut/palm sugar or crystals: low-glycemic and nutrient-rich granulated sweetener that tastes similar to brown sugar. Usually made from the sap of coconut palm.
Coconut water: clear fluid inside young green coconuts that’s low-glycemic, low-calorie, and has a naturally sweet and nutty flavor. I often use it in place of water. Pure unheated coconut water contains the highest level of nutrients and enzymes.
Honey: popular high-glycemic sweetener produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. Honey contains numerous nutrients that are well documented but interestingly is the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning. Unheated unfiltered pure honey is best.
Date, raisins, and other dried fruits can be used if you don’t want to use any sweeteners at all. Some tougher dried fruits need to be soaked in water then drained before using. Adding powders such as lucuma and maca also add natural sweetness and flavor.
Dried Fruits should be preferably organic, unsulphured and sun-dried. Sun-dried is harder to find but worth the extra effort since it contains more nutrients that high-heat treated fruits.
Fresh Fruits and fruit juices come in handy for adding sweetness, nutrients, and flavor to recipes especially drinks. Some fresh fruits such as bananas, dates, mangos, kiwis, and oranges don’t have specific instructions for peeling and/or removing the pits in the recipe because it’s understood they will be removed unless indicated otherwise. I often suggest adding citrus zest to recipes for extra flavor so save your citrus peels. They include valuable nutrients such as healing rutin and bioflavinoids. Make sure that you thoroughly cleanse any peel before using and use a strong blender to break it down. If blending using whole citrus slices, I suggest cutting them in half to avoid them getting caught in your blender blade.
Frozen Bananas naturally thicken and flavor shakes. Bananas are loaded with nutrients, and are usually inexpensive and accessible. Make sure your bananas are fully ripe. There should be brown spots and no green areas on the peel. To freeze, simply peel and chop then store in freezer bags or containers. Can be stored frozen up to 2 months.
Maple syrup is a thick syrupy sweetener on the higher-glycemic side known of its distinct and desirable flavor. Maple syrup contains some nutrients specifically zinc and manganese and is always heat-treated. Pure maple syrup that hasn’t been diluted and doesn’t contain any added flavors/sweeteners is best.
Stevia is a very low-glycemic and virtually calorie-free plant sweetener that comes in many forms. Stevia is highly concentrated and 10 times sweeter than sugar which means a very small amount goes a very long way. Stevia has a slight aftertaste which can be masked when used with other sweeteners. Flavored stevias tend to have less aftertaste and can even replace extracts. I suggest researching to better understand the various ingredients.
Superfood (fruit) powders are highly concentrated powdered fruits (i.e. lucuma and goji) that add nutrients, subtle flavor, and mild sweetness. Make sure your powders contain only the fruit with no additives, fillers, or preservatives.
Oils should always be unrefined, unfiltered, and cold-pressed or better yet, stone-ground (if possible). Coconut oil is a great addition to any pantry for its wealth of nutrients and versatility. The same jar of coconut oil can be used as a skin softener, make-up remover, hair conditioner, massage oil, and in food preparation, etc. with numerous benefits all around. And it’s very economical since a little goes a long way. I often dab a bit around my eyes when I’m working with it. Virgin coconut oil tends to have a stronger flavor so if you are sensitive to that, try using the refined coconut oil. It’s not quite as healthy but still delivers much-needed nutrients. I also love to use other oils such as hemp seed, olive and flax seed. All natural unrefined oils have their own unique taste and health benefits, and make a great addition to any diet.
Organic produce and products are highly recommended whenever possible. Research has consistently shown that foods grown and processed in accordance with certified organic standards have higher nutritional values, are safer to consume, and are void of toxic mutant GMO’s and harmful irradiation. While research can be conflicting at times, there is no doubt that keeping as many chemicals out of your life as possible is certainly a good sound practice. If produce isn’t certified organic but the farmer uses organic practices I have no issue with buying from them. Some farmers can’t afford the certification fees or process yet their produce can be very clean. Some of this comes down to common sense and doing the best you can with what you have available.
Raw sprouted flours from grains and/or seeds (such as buckwheat and quinoa) have been soaked and sprouted for at least 2 days then dehydrated at low temperatures before being milled into flour. This process makes the grain or seed much easier to digest and enhances their already abundant nutrient levels beyond even organic whole grain flours. While sprouting doesn’t necessarily remove the gluten from certain grains, it does lower the gluten and starch levels making them friendlier for those who are gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant. As someone who is gluten-sensitive I find that I’ve been able to incorporate sprouted gluten flours without any of the adverse effects I used to experience from conventional milled flour. Obtaining raw sprouted flour can be a challenge since sources are very limited; however, sprouted flour itself is not hard to find. Many online and specialty stores now carry at least one kind of sprouted grain flour. For a list of companies I’ve used, feel free to reference the Recommended page on this website. As with all foods, monitor your reactions carefully and consult with a professional when needed.
Sea Salt should always be unrefined with all its properties and minerals intact. Pure sea salt is alkalizing and contains essential trace minerals, however I recommend keeping your salt intake to no more than 1000 mg total daily.
Water as well as the water you use in food preparation should be free of chemicals and impurities as much as possible. Pure filtered water or spring water is best. Avoid using bottled water unless it’s from a reputable source since some brands can contain up to 40% city tap water. I suggest carrying a water tester with you at all times so that you can test your water for impurities when purchasing and traveling. I use the one from Zero Water. It’s light, inexpensive, and easy to carry and use.
I have always held the philosophy that good healthy eating is the greatest gift to ourselves and to those around us. I developed these recipes with taste, health and variety in mind. Our bodies are very complex machines that require a diverse assortment of nutrients each and every day. Some days you may find that you want something more substantial or decadent while other days simpler is better. Whatever your mood or needs, I hope you will experience the magic from eating whole natural plant foods whenever you prepare these dishes. I created them with both pleasure and purpose. These recipes serve 2 or more persons, and in many instances can be doubled or tripled so that you and your loved ones can enjoy them any time.
Thank you for your invaluable support of this website and my efforts. It’s greatly appreciated.