April 3, 2011

If You Like Pina Coladas Smoothie
serves 2 ~ $2.87 per serving

2 bananas ($.30)
1/2 cup pineapple ($.95)
1 young coconut, meat and water ($3.99)
1/2 cup coconut flakes ($.50)
10 ice cubes

I’m doing a couple recipes today from Bette Shaw. I’ve known Bette for a while online from Raw Fu and Raw Food Rehab. She recently released a superfoods app for iPhone, which has become one of the top five (sometimes the top one) health and fitness apps at iTunes. Her app features all sorts of different superfoods with related information and recipes. Good job, Bette!

I’ve cheated here and not used young coconut in what I made and photographed (it was still awesome). I have yet to find a reliable and reasonably priced source for young coconuts and so rarely use them. But I wanted to show you all this recipe anyway. So, I’ve used the price Bette pays for coconuts in CT.

Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

calories: 297
fat: 11 gr
carbs: 50 gr
protein: 4 gr

Cucumber Club
serves 1 ~ $2.08 per serving
1 cucumber ($.59)
1 small onion
1 avocado ($1.49)
This is another recipe idea from Bette. It’s so simple and made a great lunch that was both light and filling.
Peel the cucumber and cut in half. Using a spoon or scoop, scrape out the seed cavity and some of the flesh so that it’s a hollowed boat. Keep what has been scraped out and chop finely. To that, add one chopped avocado and one finely minced onion. Mix together and use this to fill the cucumber.

calories: 299
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 5 gr
Tomato Soup
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

4 ripe tomatoes ($3.50)
2 cloves garlic, pressed ($.10)
1 medium onion ($.15)
1/4 cup olive oil ($.25)
1 teaspoon basil ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Penni Shelton is a wonderful raw food inspiration. She started and continues to run Raw Food Rehab, an online raw community. The original group, of which I was a part, served as research for her brand new book, Raw Food Cleanse. As part of her “Foodie Friday” video series, Penni makes delicious raw recipes, and this is one of them.

In a blender, puree the tomatoes, garlic, half the onion, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until very smooth. I used 1/4 cup oil, but 1/2 cup does make a creamier soup. Divide between bowls and garnish with chopped onion, a sprinkle of basil, and a bit more red pepper flakes.

calories: 327
fat: 54 gr
carbs: 21 gr
protein: 5 gr

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pudding
serves 2 ~ $1.75 per serving

2 ripe bananas ($.30)
1 ripe avocado ($1.49)
4 tablespoons agave ($.80)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder or carob powder ($.60)
1 tablespoon crushed cacao nibs (optional) ($.30)
pinch salt

Oh, what to do about the chocolate? Like a lot of folks lately, I’ve had a bit of trouble with chocolate. I was feeling really awful at times this past spring and summer. I had some pretty disturbing symptoms, including stomach upset, anxiety, insomnia, appetite loss, moodiness, etc. It wasn’t pretty and was downright scary at times. After some experimenting, I finally connected it to the cacao for certain and have been off it entirely, with the symptoms disappearing entirely … (until today).

What I learned about chocolate is interesting. Theobromine and phenethylalanine are the two main chemicals in cacao that make us feel good. Both chemicals are metabolized by liver enzymes (called Cytochrome450, or CYP450 enzymes). These enzymes metabolize many exotoxins and endotoxins, including many drugs. This doesn’t necessarily make chocolate bad for everyone. The problem for some is that the effectiveness of the enzymes varies somewhat widely between individuals based on genetics. This explains many drug interactions and side effects … and genetic testing for CYP450 enzymes is becoming more widely available to better predict both.

Some of us (like me) are slow metabolizers of theobromine and phenethylalanine, so repeated use of cacao can cause those chemicals to accumulate to much higher amounts than normal. The theobromine can cause anxiety and insomnia in the short term, and the phyethylalanine can cause changes in dopamine levels which  negatively effect mood in the longer term. Others are normal metabolizers, and some are fast. That’s why most people are ok with cacao in reasonable amounts, some will never have a problem with it, and some will have immediate problems … because we all vary in how we break down those chemicals. If you feel that cacao does or doesn’t work well for you, you’re probably right.

I decided to have just a little cacao today, though. Theobromine can be a pretty powerful cough suppressant, and I have a horrible cold and am coughing my brains out … seriously, it was giving me a headache. So I decided to try a little and made this recipe. It did relieve my cough dramatically, but I got some of the stomach symptoms right away. So, chocolate’s still mostly off limits for me, even medicinally. But it sure is good …

In a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, puree all ingredients until very smooth. The nibs will still be a bit chunky, so omit those if you like an even smoother pudding. 

calories: 315
fat: 9 gr
carbs: 60 gr
protein: 4 gr

Total cost for the day: $8.70
total calories: 1,238
total fat: 96 gr
total carb: 158 gr
total protein: 18 gr

10 Responses

  1. foodfeud says:

    I'm pretty sure I experience some of the same symptoms as you with the chocolate. It's one of my worst indulgences, so I should probably cut back anyway. The pudding sounds delicious, though. Hope it was worth it 😉
    Love the cucumber boats too! I will definitely be trying that soon.

  2. another way to eat avocado? yum!

  3. Debra says:

    Mmmm all looks beyond tasty!!

    Now I'm craving a pina colada smoothie! 😉 Thanks for sharing!!

    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

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  5. Melissa says:

    This smoothie sounds divine:) I just found your blog today. I am in the process of a complete health overhaul and my HHP is encouraging more raw. It is not an easy transition for me but great recipes like these certainly make it easier and tasty to boot:) Thanks!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nice site, some neat recipes & fotos. Just an observation: sodium contents in milligrams for all of your dishes would be equally helpful info (as the calorics, etc). Many people who check out vegan approaches are coming there from a high blood pressure vantage point, and identifying needless salt intake is critical. Like proteins and amino acids, sufficient sodium can come into our diets from vegetable sources alone, and just as minimum daily protein reqs were severely inflated in the past for American dietary standards, so it is now regarding sodium. Easy to learn how to cook with herbs and spices to avoid extra sodium, which simultaneously tastes better and avoids corrupting our taste buds.

  7. Your blog is so great! Everyone I know that's Raw has heard of it at this point. Making WAVES!
    Daniel Berisford
    Raw Food T-Shirts

  8. ((Exactly)) what I needed to see…YUM!

  9. Ashley says:

    Wow, that club looks really good! I can imagine how good it would be we the addition of some raw eggplant bacon 😉 Your blog has really inspired me to make an attempt at eating more raw foods. I've been vegan for about 7 1/2 years now, but never really looked into eating raw more. As someone who has always been on the low end of the weight spectrum, I thought it would be impossible for me to maintain, let alone gain, weight eating raw. But since you've provided the nutrition content on all of your posts, I see it can certainly be done! Sorry if this is such a long comment… I just love this blog!

  10. Yum! I am going to have to print this out and try some. Thank you so much for sharing!