November 7, 2010

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

I’d like to start experimenting with other recipes, and even more so with different lifestyles, needs, food prices and availability in other parts of the country and world. Do you have some favorite original raw or high raw recipes? Or a favorite store? Are you a stickler for organic? Or do you have a high calorie need? If you’d like me to make some of your recipes here, just get in touch with me at lisaviger (at) 
I do all the making, photographing and nutritional figuring … and you’ll be fully credited.

Question of the Week

Do you use young coconuts often? If so, where do you buy them and how much do they usually cost?

11 Responses

  1. Pam says:

    Young coconuts: Meijer's (in Ohio) had them this week for $2.49, which was a good price. We used to use them more often when I would make this coconut shake….which will be this week again…lol! Always such a lovely menu! Hugs!

  2. Penni says:

    Thanks for the shout out!! I still love that tomato soup & make it every couple of weeks around here!

    I am totally into young coconuts. They are available at my local Whole Foods & also at my local Asian markets. They are around $2 at Whole Foods and a buck & a half at Nam Hai (which is about 30 min. from home). I generally opt to pick some up at WF's because it's more convenient.

    I'll send you a copy of Raw Food Rehab's Raw For The Holidays (over 100 recipes)…..maybe something in there will be fun to make between now and the end of the year 🙂


  3. Rachel says:

    I buy young coconuts every now and then. Are here I can only find them at WinCo and they're not always in the best condition and they are pretty costly… like $3 a piece.

  4. bitt says:

    Do you find raw cacao is more stimulating than regular cocoa? I do.

    I don't get young coconuts too often even though I can find them fairly cheaply here (less than $1.50). I just don't feel comfortable getting them from so far away and there is some debate if they are collected using animals.

  5. That soup looks awesome! I'll shoot some recipe to you in the next couple of days.. that would be cool

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love young coconuts and I buy them at Lion's Market. The price ranges from 49 cents for older ones or $1.29 for pretty looking ones. I blend the water and meat with frozen corn and add sauerkraut.

  7. Penni is wonderful! Her soup looks deliciously spicy.

    I'm at 105degrees right now earning my chef certification, so by the time I'm done, I should have some really excellent recipes to share with you. 😀

  8. Angelique says:

    Hi! I live in the Sacramento, CA area and the best price I've found for fresh young coconuts is at Asian markets (aka oriental markets) where I get them between $1.19 and $1.69 each. At Winco and Whole Foods they are usually around $2.50 – $3 so I get them from the Asian market who also often sells the "Best" brand which I read a while back actually was best in terms of how they process them. They encourage me to order by the case at my closes Asian market but I rarely need 9 in a week, but it is cheaper, I think $11.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I have yet to buy a young coconut!! Being in SW FL I tend to raid the neighbor's trees for regular Florida coconuts when I need them.
    I am going to make the cucumber boats for my lunch. I went to the store yesterday and ironically enough I purchased one cucumber and one avocado!! Too funny!
    I make carob pudding soooo much as you can see on my blog. I do not consume chocolate so I don't know how it would effect me now.
    I love carob powder. My pudding would be almost like yours minus the cocoa and nibs. I take 2 bananas, carob powder, 1 avocado and add in some lucuma powder, lecithin and vanilla w/ a pinch of sea salt. Yummo!!! My go to breakfast at least 4x/week.
    Love your blog so much. Keep sharing the RAW LOVE!!! Can't wait to make your lunch recipe today!
    Peace & Raw Health,

  10. Everything looks so delicious! Great prices too! Thanks for your blog. I'm making your cucumber boats for sure. Anything with avocado and I'll eat it!

  11. I love so much about this post I can't begin to figure out where to start…and I was wondering the same thing about coconuts. I'm so glad you shared! Dang about the chocolate, but great that you figured it out. I try to keep cucumber and avos on hand, so I love that boat idea!

    Lately, I've been trying to perfect my Tangy Dill Dressing Dip, which started out as an attempt at ranch, but turned into quenching my thirst for dill pickles, ranch dressing and sour cream all at once, which I dip carrots and cucumber into, endlessly. It goes like this, and you're welcome to do something with it…

    2 cups soaked cashews
    2 green onions, diced
    Juice of 1.5-2 lemons
    1-2 tsp agave
    1-2 tsp garlic powder (fresh garlic usually does not agree with my tummy, but the powder works great)
    Sea salt, to taste
    Filtered water, to allow desired consistency

    Blend all well, two or three times if necessary, to remove any hint of cashew and to mix ingredients well, into tangy delight. Adjust ingredients to suit desired taste and consistency.

    Then, fold in (do not blend)…

    1 large handful of fresh dill (or desired quantity, per personal taste)

    (The more dill you add, the more it takes on the consistency of those spinach dips containing lots of spinach in it. I don't know why this makes me happy, but it does!)

    I can't get enough of this. I am planning a post in the near future (as soon as the sun returns and I can get photos). :o)

    Again, LOVE all that you do, my dear!