Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fig and Almond Tart

Our friend Joyce posted the recipe from Foodnetwork for a fig almond tart.

She had made it using a pie crust and cream cheese. We thought we could make it a little more raw. We went to Living Kitchen in Raleigh and tried the Tomatico Tart. It has a cashew based mascarpone cheese. We found a recipe for the cashew mascarpone cheese from We only made half the recipe below.
We made the entire almond paste recipe from Foodnetwork. We did peel the raw almonds and soak them prior to grinding them. Once made, we divided the almond paste into 8th, wrapping each 8th in parchment paper, then plastic wrap to freeze. The frozen pieces did not have the margarine added. We will add it once we need it.

Ingredients for Crust:

1 1/2 cups crispie almonds (soaked and dehydrated almonds)
1 cup dates (~12 medjool dates, pitted), soaked 2 hours
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp almond extract
4 TBS date soaking water

Directions: Place the dates and the almonds in the food processor and process until crumbly. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well mixed. Press into a tart pan lined with parchment paper.

Ingredients for filling:
3.5 oz almond paste (see recipe below)
1/3 cup cashew mascarpone cheese (the recipe is below)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS honey (we omitted too sweet)
Directions: add the above ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth
Spread over crust

6-12 figs (enough to layer sliced over the entire tart)
1/4 cup apricot jam
Directions: Layer sliced figs and top with apricot jam. Fold over edges of crust.

Almond paste from

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons water
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons blanched, whole, almonds
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Kirsch or simple syrup, optional
Scant 1/4 cup butter (due to food allergies we used earth balance soy free margarine)

Place the sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and bring to a strong boil. 
Place the almonds in the food processor and grind until coarse. 
Remove the boiling sugar from the heat and pour over the coarse almonds. 
Blend until smooth. 
This may take 10 minutes or more, depending on the strength of the food processor. 
Remember, food processors are not usually strong enough to yield the same consistency as the almond paste that you can buy. 
If your mixture is too thick and the food processor is straining, you can add a little Kirsch or simple syrup to the processor. 
Add the liquid slowly and stop when the processor is moving more freely. 
The quality of almond paste is determined by how smooth the consistency is.
Wrap the almond paste in plastic wrap and allow it to cool. When you are ready to use it, knead in the butter. The butter makes it smooth and not so sticky.
Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres Chocolate, MrChocolate

Cashew Mascarpone Cheese

yields 3 cups
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsp raw light agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp light chickpea miso
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp raw mesquite powder (we used maca because it is what we have)
  • 1 tsp probiotics (7 capsules emptied)


  1. In a high-speed blender combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, agave, nutritional yeast, miso, salt, mesquite powder and probotics. Blend until completely smooth.
    • This may take 3-5 minutes.  It depends on the blender you use.
    • You want to make sure that you don’t feel any grit from the cashews.  We are aiming for a smooth and wonderful mouth feel!
  2. Pour the mixture in a glass bowl and allow it to sit with a towel covering it,  in a warm place for 14 – 16 hours to culture.
  3. When finished culturing transfer to an airtight glass container  and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  4. This should keep for at least 5 days.
  5. This cheese is great on breads, crackers, as a veggie dip, as a spread on sandwiches, or it can be used as the cream base in cheesecakes and ice creams!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cindy's Oil Free Salad Dressing

As we are using, we have noticed the tremendous amount of fat, close to 40%, in our diet, much of that is from oil. Even too much olive oil isn't that good for someone.

We combined some recipes, made changes to fit our needs in making this oil-free salad dressing. We love that is has B12. We have salads daily giving us an easy way to receive our daily B12. We love that it has the miso in it, a fermented product. We will now be receiving 2 fermented probiotic products daily through our salads, sauerkraut and miso. We try to have at least 1 probiotic product with each meal.

Ingredients: yields ~40 oz
8 garlic cloves
12 dates soaked in 2 cups water
½ cup Nutritional Yeast
¼ cup chickpea miso
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp salt of choice
2 cup date soaking water
½ cup pinenuts

¾ cup lemon juice

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Raw Vegan Fig Pear Tart

This recipe is from Rawamzing.
We altered it to to our taste and needs.
We used mullberries ground in the food processor instead of cashews in the crust and used cacao butter instead of coconut butter. We also made half of the recipe, because that is all we needed. I also used my favorite ganache, using the same portions of the cacao butter, cacao powder and maple syrup plus vanilla. For a half recipe it is 2 TBS of each.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti

We created a new recipe using almond pulp. I was wanting a crunchy cookie, so we made biscotti.

almond pulp leftover from making almond milk (1 cup almonds soaked and processed for a quart of milk)
1/2 cup flax meal
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 cup almond butter
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Directions: Mix all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and press dough into the pan. Even the dough, slice about 1/2 inch width-wise and place slices on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate to the desired crunchiness at 105. Our desire was hard on the outside and soft in the middle. This was about 15 hours.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What if...

Our son has been on a Wild Kratts kick this week as I was researching an idea that is unfolding from my friend, Donna, suggesting I look through our blog posts. I went back to the beginning and found these posts.


We had been over at a friend's for dinner and our son was having a very "blue" day (lots of cyanosis). She had asked several questions and I couldn't remember which "c" word our son had such high levels.
After reading these posts, i began to wonder "what if..." our son's issue has to do with cystine, since it was so high for so long. "What if", like being diabetic when one's sugar is high, so one eats less sugar, our son should eat less food with cystine and it would reduce his cystine level. We already know that eating a raw vegan diet helps with his apnea and cyanosis and drastically reduced his cystine level, but why? We knew, through trial and error, that the higher the protein the food the worse his symptoms were, which in my mind would explain why some beans, sesame, buckwheat and quinoa weren't his friend, but why not oats? Why were eggs OK sometimes but not others? Is it food combining on a cystine level? How correlated is it to his ability to metabolize cystine or production of methionine? Is it glutathione related, a typical autistic issue which our had addressed at a young age? Is it connected to methionine production, my original thought? Do I continue to keep his protein level to `10% of his caloric intake or do I pay attention to his cystine amounts????

So i googled foods high in cystine...

"Food sources of methionine are: all meats and poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, quinoa, buckwheat, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, and to a lesser degree dry spirulina. While methionine can be found in other foods as well, such as beans and legumes, the amount of methionine is too low to be of any benefit for significant cysteine production and ultimately glutathione production for your immune health." from 

I was able to find a way to search for the amount of cystine in food at 

The next day Dr Mercola sent out an email suggesting using . It has been years since I have looked at it, but went to the site. I had no idea that it broke the food down by amino acid. Without animal products, our son was eating over 400% of his daily needed cystine. Our goal is to reduce his cystine intake to below 200% while keeping his protein up to 10% and his calories over 2800kcal.

Over the week I have trying to find the daily recommended amount for cystine and found this instead
 "Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for cystine

Diabetic patients should be careful when taking cystine supplementation, as it could inactivate their insulin medication" from
What if the reason removing animal products from a diabetic's diet improves diabetes is due to reducing one's cystine level? If so, why haven't those promoting a vegan diet for diabetes mentioned this? Don't you love rabbit trails? I do love how things are so connected.
I submitted this to
I haven't been able to find any research on this, but could this be why a vegan diet works so well for diabetes? If so, I would love to see a video or blog post on it."
I received this email
"Hi Cindy-
Interesting question. Dr. Greger doesn't mention cystine in any of his work that I've read, but it sounds like a topic he would be interested in. He's very responsive to suggestions.
I was curious so did a quick search and found another research article showing that those with high levels of cystine in their urine did better eating more plant protein than animal protein. Clearly you are on to something.
Cathleen, Moderator"
I did find out what a person our son's size should receive each day in cystine, 0.1 g per day, thanks . 

When we started recording his levels, he was over 400%, his protein level ~10%, and his fat level over 30%, he needs the calories. Once we were able to reduce his cystine to below 300% and his fat to 25%, his cyanosis stopped. His protein has remained the same. As Cathleen stated I may be "on to something".

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Our Two Favorite Fermented Foods

We have enjoyed all of our fermented recipes but these are our two favorites. We eat at least one of these every day.


Fermented Garlicky Dill Pickles

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Raw Figgy Pudding

We are harvesting at least 20 figs a day and haven't hit the peak yet. Our third fig recipe is Raw Figgy Pudding.

Ingredients: serves 4

16 Figs
1 avocado
6 dates, soaked in 1/2 water
2 TBS cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash salt

Garnish with cacao nibs and sliced figs

Directions: Place all the ingredients including the date water, in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Divide into quarters. Chill or serve immediately

Our Favorite Raw Entrees

In addition to the two weeks menu I sent while my Hubby was at Hippocrates, week 1 and week 2, here are a few more of our favorites

Raw Fajitas

Taco Salad

Raw Zucchini Feta Tart


Jerk Mushrooms with a mango salsa

Raw Chili

Enchiladas From Cherie's Raw Food for Dummies

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Luna moth

Sitting at our kitchen workstation, i looked out the window to see this Luna moth. I found it interesting as we begin the week that will change my husband's life, he will have his esophagectomy on the 12th. Since it is such a rare event in my life i looked for the meaning or symbolism of this sighting. It symbolizes change, protection, love, awareness.... Something this week holds for us.

Here are a couple of links
Moth Symbolism

Favorite Soups - cooked and raw

Here are our favorite soups, some raw, some cooked, all vegan
Potato Leek Soup

Raw Tomato Soup

Black Forest Mushroom Soup

Raw Cream of Broccoli Soup

No Cream of Mushroom Soup


Strawberry Gazpacho

CaringBridge page for my husband

We have started a caringbridge page for my husband's esophagectomy and recovery.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Raw Figgy Pie

Our fig tree is abundance. Our second one's figs are not ready yet, perhaps next week. We need recipes that use A LOT of figs. We created a raw figgy pie recipe. The next time we might add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the filling, as well as, the crust. For us next time we would use 1/3 cup maple syrup instead of 1/2.

2 cups mulberries
1 cup dates
3 TBS cacao butter
1 tsp cinnamon
use a food processor to make crumb like crust. Press into pie pan lined with parchment paper.

10 medium figs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cacao butter
3 TBS cacao powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 avocado
Place in high speed blender until smooth. Pour over crust.

5-6 figs sliced laying over pie

Cacao ganache: (we only used half of it, but half this recipe may be to difficult to make)
2 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS raw caco powder
2 TBS melted cacao butter
pinch of salt
Whisk together and drizzle over the top. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.

Our 5 Favorite Raw Snacks

Our favorite 5 raw snacks are

Grab and Go Balls

Buffalo Zucchini Chips

Kale Chips (really any kale chip, this is the only recipe on the blog) Some of the best kale chip recipes are from Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley

Crispie Nuts

Raw Soft Pretzels

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Our 5 Favorite Raw Breads

Bread was another difficult dish to replace. Our favorite five bread replacements are below.

Raw Onion Bread we have altered this recipe slightly. We replaced 1/2 cup crispie sunflower seeds with 1/2 cup crispie pumpkin seeds.

Raw Naan Bread

Raw Cinnamon Raison Bagels

Summer Squash Wrap

Raw Buckwheat Pizza Crust

Monday, August 1, 2016

Our 10 Favorite Raw Dairy replacements

Dairy has been the most difficult thing for me to no longer include in my diet. These 10 recipes have made my life more pleasurable.

Almond Feta

Pinenut Parmesan

Cashew Brie Wheel

Pinenut Ricotti

Almond Yogurt

Sour Cream

Cheddar Cheese

Almond Ice Cream

Hot Cacao

Almond Milk
soak 1 cup of almonds for 8 hours
4 dates for sweetened, none for unsweetened
4 cups of water

Blend in a high speed blender. Drain through a nut milk bag. This stores for 4-5 days.