Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got Granola?

A couple of summers ago I was the proprietor of a very small raw food business called, Real Food. I created, packaged, labeled, schlepped and sold my dehydrated goods at our local Wednesday afternoon Farmer's Market. As much as I love being in the kitchen and creating raw food recipes, being a vendor at the Market was very labor intensive and a rainy afternoon would leave me with a left over abundance of perishable raw food. One afternoon per week just wasn't enough time to reach a big enough audience of healthy consumers.

There was also the challenge of the whole commercial kitchen issue. When I grow up, I want to live in a home with a licensed commercial kitchen. But for now, I just make my food for myself, my family and a few happy and beloved friends. Especially on weeks like these when I've been home bound and iced in, I often find myself happily creating in the kitchen. Some women knit, read romance novels or do scrapbooks.....but as for me, I do food.

I've shared the recipe for my favorite Jalapeno Corn Chips (from Raw Food Real World) a couple of times on this blog. But here is a photograph of them fresh out of the dehydrator.The secret to my chips and crackers is the use of an off-set spatula. In my opinion, there is no better tool to insure the flattest, smoothest and most perfectly spread batter on a Teflex sheet.Then there's spicy glazed nuts:
Lemon Macaroons:The number one seller of all of my food has always been the grawnola. Uncle Larry & Aunt Debbie in Salt Lake City swear by it's mild laxative effect. Must be that ground flax seed!Two kinds of crackers....Italian and Pesto:Ginger Snap and Coconut Carmel Cookies (thanks for the tip SS), both from Living Cuisine by Renee Loux Underkoffler:I also made cashew cheese and a fresh batch of almond milk. Now I can rest. As the ice is beginning to melt, it feels so good to know that my kitchen is fully stocked in Real Food! And because I like you and because so many people have is my granola recipe. Yeh, I everything away free....well, one of these day's, God and me willing, I'm going to have a recipe book or two published and I hope you'll remember me then *wink*

Ruby's Raw Granola

2 apples, any variety
1 generous cup of soaked dates
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 Tbsp vanilla extract 2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked a couple of hours
2 cups buckwheat, rinsed well & soaked a few hours
2 cups almonds, soaked
3 cups pecans, soaked
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup goji berries
1 cup golden flax seeds, ground or whole
3 cups thick rolled oats (optional since not technically raw)

In a food processor, place one apple, the soaked dates along with about 1/4 cup of the soak water, maple syrup, orange juice, zest, cinnamon, salt & walnuts....grind until completely smooth. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining apple, chopped. Then place the almonds & pecans into the food processor, Coarsely chop nuts in a few quick pulses. Add them to the bowl along with the apple mixture, add all other ingredients.....combine well.

Spread the granola on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 6 - 8 hours. Peel off the Teflex sheeting and continue to dehydrate until the granola is crunchy. Break into pieces and once completely cooled, store in airtight containers. This granola will last for many weeks.

2008 - A Year In Pictures

Since Tulsa is practically shut down due to ice, being home-bound has given me the time to do a few projects that I've been wanting to do. This slide show is a pictorial look back at many of my amazing raw adventures of 2008. I had the good fortune to be able to travel and connect with so many people from all over the world and I can only hope that 2009 will bring more of the same.

For the full size slide show with captions, please click here.

There are so many others within this natural health & raw food community who have touched my life who I've yet to get a photo with, so be camera and I will be looking for you soon!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I've Got Sunshine

Sunshine at home in her office
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'll be featuring people who I think you should know from time to time here on the blog. Today's featured guest is Sunshine Boatright, and yes, her real name IS Sunshine! I had the pleasure of meeting Sunshine this past year during a trip to Atlanta, her home base, and I've been singing her praises ever since.

Sunshine before going raw

Sunshine Boatright began her journey with raw foods in December of 2006. Her decision to begin a raw diet was based on the desire to lose weight and hopefully to heal the afflictions that plagued her such as chest pains, inability to breathe while sleeping, shortness of breath, IBS, migraines, constant knee pain, chronic fatigue, water retention, and morbid obesity. As with many people who have a long list of plaguing ailments, Sunshine was basically at the end of her rope. Although she was hopeful that changing her diet to one of fresh, organic and raw foods would have a positive impact on her health, she didn't expect what was to come. Making this shift ended up completely turning everything she thought she knew upside down. Her decision and success with this way of life has effectively and dramatically changed her life, the life of her family, and also the lives of many with whom she comes into contact on a daily basis.

Sunshine after a year on raw

Within a relatively short period of time, Sunshine watched as her afflictions disappeared and as the weight melted off. Because of the jaw dropping results she was enjoying, Sunshine turned the affects of a raw food lifestyle toward her family. Rather than just following a basic gluten-free/dairy-free diet that they had tried in the past for her son with autism, she took her children to a new level with raw foods and discovered an amazing thing: Raw + autism doesn't only change a child and their chances for reaching their highest potential, but it can ultimately change the way the world and the medical community will begin to look to diet in the treatment of autism.

Sunshine is well trained in the preparation of raw cuisine and has received multiple certifications as both a raw food chef and instructor. She is the founder of, a company dedicated to helping families affected by autism and ADHD help their children reach their highest potentials. She is authoring several books and e-books that will be available in the first half of 2009 such as Autism & Spirituality, Transitioning Children with Autism & ADHD to a Raw Lifestyle and more. Sunshine also teaches raw certification classes throughout the year, and will be holding the first ever retreat in 2009. To get an update on her projects, you can send an email to

Check out her blog

If learning more about Sunshine and all she is involved with has been of interest to you, please mark your calendars for Monday, March 23, 5 p.m Pacific Time. You can ask Sunshine your questions on Let's Talk Raw. Call in and web-simulcast information will be sent out to all Let's Talk Raw members. Sign up here today to listen to all new interviews for a one-time, low-cost membership fee: $19.97

Listen to Revvell and Sunshine in the early days of Rawkin' Radio.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Combating Cholesterol

The recent lecture at Whole Foods ended up as a really positive experience and there's been such encouraging feedback from many who were in attendance. As I'd previously shared, I chose to highlight the importance of hydration and alkalinization and how they play a vital role in real and lasting detox. In my opinion, two of the most powerful super foods to help with both hydration and alkalinization are the Young Thai Coconut and Chia Seeds. Surprisingly, many in attendance at the lecture, weren't familiar with either. I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the facts about each here on the blog.

Young Thai Coconut water is the most incredible pure water containing one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man. Forget the Gatorade! This amazing water, or milk as referred to by some, is nearly identical to blood plasma. When we drink this coconut water it's as if we give ourselves an instant blood transfusion. Consuming young coconuts is preferable to the more mature brown coconuts because in their young stage of growth is when they are most health enhancing. The meat of the young coconut contains lauric acid known for its beneficial anti-microbial effects. As with the meat, coconut oil doesn't contain trans fatty acids, and most of its saturated fat consists of medium-chain fatty acids, which is great news because this good fat gets digested and assimilated more easily, is less likely to be stored as fat and can actually help you burn more fat. In addition to antiviral and antibacterial properties, natural coconut fat helps normalize body lipids, protects against liver damage, and most importantly, improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. Good saturated fats such as these also contain micronutrients and vitamins that are vital to metabolism. Young coconuts can be found in most health food stores and Asian Markets or you can find them online.

Moving on to one of today's most under-rated superfoods, the Chia Seed. Nothing compares to the chia seed when talking about hydration and endurance. Once soaked, these tiny seeds open up and absorb 9 times their volume in water. The seeds, once fully hydrated, form a gel that is phenomenal at helping to keep your body hydrated. This gel is also 90% soluble fiber, which is beneficial for your digestive track and helps to lower cholesterol even more effectively than oatmeal. And talk about an impressive nutritional profile....the seeds have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, five times the calcium of milk, copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 which are essential oils for the body. There are boast a long list of valuable nutrients. Because of the soluble fiber in the gel, incorporating chia into one's diet is very helpful for people with diabetes, as the gel forms a wall around ingested carbohydrates in the body, causing their release to be more slow and steady into one's system. Savvy dieters love the seeds because the addition of the gel incorporated into food or drink has no taste and helps to provide the feeling of being full and satisfied. Using the hydrated seeds is an excellent way to control one's appetite. Although these seeds have super star status, they are very affordable and are carried at most health food stores or you can find them here.

Two posts ago I listed a number of fantastic young coconut recipes to try and then over a year ago I shared my recipe for Chia Seed Ice Cream. Today I'd like to pass along our new favored recipe not only because it's so delicious but because I'm using it as a means to try to lower cholesterol in both my husband and father. I've got my guys eagerly awaiting a big tall glass of this every morning now. I hope you'll give it a try!

Chia Coconut Custard Shake

2 young coconuts, meat & water
2 Tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in 1 cup water
1/2 cup crushed ice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw honey
a generous pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

If you happen to be in the Tulsa area this coming Wednesday - January 21st, I'd be delighted to have you attend the next in my series of lectures: Juicing For Fun & Health. This lecture will be in the evening at 7 pm at Whole Foods - 41st & Peoria. This lecture will be educational, personal and full of creative ideas for making nutritious and gourmet tasting juices, shakes and infusions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out of the Juice Wing

Today is simply an update for any who may be wondering how I'm doing on the liquid diet that I embarked on the day after Christmas. I was doing really well, feeling great and very energized....then I somehow managed to get a stomach virus last week (as I mentioned in the previous post). After 3 days of fever, and everything going through me like water, I opted to switch it up a bit and add back in some more solids. For the past several days I have been having blended soups and salads along with smoothies and lots of green juices. I guess the timing for a full on 40 day juice feast wasn't shaping up this time around. Even though I don't have any known major health challenges at this point, I would still be so happy to lose the weight that I gained in the last quarter of 2008. I felt that a raw, liquid diet would be the healthiest and quickest of ways, yet for now, I'm just not feeling the inspiration to continue to do so.

So I have busted out of the juice wing at the raw rehab clinic and am now just enjoying the freedoms of a bit of assisted living. I have my favorite jalapeno corn chips fresh out of the dehydrator and am planning to make some lemon macaroons for the family in a bit. Fortunately for me, a couple of weeks on liquids does rekindle a fresh creativity for spending time on recipes in the kitchen. I'm eager to see what I might be able to come up with this week while we have a forecast for very cold temperatures and possibly even a bit of snow. Perhaps it's a good time to revisit raw chili night, continuing to tweak and fine tune the existing recipe. Or maybe a warmed raw lasagna would be another hit....I've been wanting to try Matt Amsden's recipe out of Rawvolution for some time.

Do any of you have a favorite recipe that you like to prepare when the weather outside get's really cold? I'm certain that I'm not the only one who'd love some thought starters, so will you consider posting in the comments what you love to eat on a cold winter's night? Pretty please ;- )

Also....a very big thank you to Dhrumil for taking time out of his very busy schedule to help solve my Disqus confusion. Thanks for your expertise,'re the best!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

For the Love of Coconut

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at our local Whole Foods on the topic of detox. The three key points I addressed were: HYDRATION - ALKALINIZATION - ELIMINATION
One of my favorite hydrating & alkaline foods is the young thai coconut, so I spoke about it's nutritional benefits during my lecture. I also demonstrated how to crack into it's intimidating shell. What many in attendance didn't realize was that I went into the lecture with a bit of detoxing of my own going on. Apparently I had caught some sort of intestinal virus that's been going around, so besides feeling pretty punky, I was quit apprehensive about being too far away from the restroom. The interesting fact of all of this was that once I began drinking the milk from the young coconut, my stomach immediately settled down and I have felt miraculously better ever since. Three Cheers for the YOUNG COCONUT!!

As promised here are some fabulous recipes using this truly super food. First is a video from Green Chefs, featuring raw food chef Vanessa Sherwood, with an ideas of how to create a delicious treat with this amazing food find:
GREENCHEFS | Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie Video

Again from Green Chefs, go here to see the lovely Leslie Bega create Organic Mint Chocolate Pudding.

A few other recipes I have enjoyed making that include the meat and/or milk of young coconuts are here: Sarma's Cauliflower Samosas, Coconut Persimmon Flan, and the Dreamsicle Shake.

And then finally, although this next recipe is a bit lengthy, it is incredibly delicious.

Coconut Pad Thai
courtesy of raw chef, Roxanne Klein


Almond-chile Sauce
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced serrano chile with seeds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Tamarind vinaigrette
  • 1/2 7-ounce block tamarind with seeds*
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

Pad thai
  • 1 cup (packed) very thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 large young Thai coconuts (also called white coconuts), outside husk cut away, cracked open with hammer, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled carrots (from 2 large)
  • 1 cup matchstick-size strips red bell pepper
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-size strips seeded English hothouse cucumber
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs

For almond-chile sauce:
Combine all ingredients except water in blender or processor. Puree until smooth. Thin with water by tablespoonfuls, as desired. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

For tamarind vinaigrette:
Combine tamarind and enough hot water to cover in medium bowl. Let stand until pulp softens, breaking apart occasionally with fork, about 1 hour. Using slotted spoon, transfer tamarind pulp to sieve set over bowl. Press pulp through sieve, leaving seeds behind. Measure 6 tablespoons pulp into medium bowl (discard remaining pulp). Whisk in remaining 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

For pad thai:
Combine cabbage, cilantro, and lime juice in small bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 30 minutes.

Using small heavy knife, pry large pieces of soft coconut meat out of shells. Slice coconut very thinly into 2- to 3-inch-long strips.

Combine carrots, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, cucumber, and basil in large bowl. Toss with just enough almond-chile sauce to coat lightly.

Arrange 1/4 of cabbage mixture on each of 4 plates. Top with coconut and mixed vegetables. Drizzle tamarind vinaigrette and more almond-chile sauce over, if desired. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

*Tamarind is a legume with large brown seedpods. The pulp is used in Indian, Thai, Caribbean, and Latin American cooking. The pulp is sold in block form and is available at Indian markets or can be ordered online.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Raw Bombshell

Within the next few weeks I'll be doing a series of articles on some of the people who have captivated my attention within the natural health, raw & living foods community....all of whom I'd love for you to be exposed to as well.

Allow me to introduce you to Dr. Claire Maguire, aka The Raw Bombshell, whose background is as varied and as colorful as her personality!!

Claire spent many years working in academia studying Biochemistry and Botany; her first degree from Glasgow University and her PhD from Imperial College in London where her research was in the field of the extracellular matrix (the area outside the cell) and the triggers of disease. Claire then went onto do further and more in depth cell research at Durham University and York University in Toronto. Her background has served her well, for it cultivated her inquisitive mind, sense of discipline and the ability to research data and information, of which there is much of in the genre of healthy eating, raw food and self-development.

Claire developed a passion for food and nutrition in her early 20's, which created the desire within her to inspire people towards eating great food. Through these inspirations, she created her first business, A Taste of the World Caterers, which delivered vegetarian food to an unsuspecting public in the North East of England, an amazing learning experience.

Beyond that, Claire continued to follow her passions, bringing about a totally different shift in career, right into the midst of the world of rock n' roll. Claire owned and ran Dislocate Records, an underground music label and online record shop. This one single tidbit of Claire's past catapults her into super star status in my book. For her, this business was not only tons of fun and filled with loads of hard work but it also gave her a fascinating insight into deeply creative minds.

After years of learning and battling her own demons, Claire is settled and living her dream. She has a business and lifestyle that she's passionate about – teaching raw food knowledge and helping others achieve their own RAW BODY CONFIDENCE, more energy and a great outlook to life. I value Claire's passionate belief in giving back to society in whatever means she can. She is trained as a Samaritan, so her listening skills have been finely tuned and with her past history, she's now fairly unshakable.

Claire's background is varied and it has given her a rich base of knowledge and wisdom of life, a vital requirement in helping others to uncover their true potential. Claire is also a mother of 2 amazing children, an avid student of Kundalini yoga, a lover of all things retro, passionate for dance, self-expression & live music (yes, she still loves jumping around to noisy 3 chord bands), a shoe aficionado, and passionate about meeting with and talking to people.

If you're new to the raw food diet, you might be unaware of the potential eating this way can bring into your life. Claire is just getting ready to kick off a new 40 day program (starting on January 11th) that is all about equiping and helping you release your own inner bombshell! I particularly like her 12 - step approach to issues like:

  • which foods prime your body for action
  • help with planning and management of your time
  • how to create delicious, taste bud tantalizing raw foods
  • an exercise program that will fast-track you to health
  • tips for staying youthful and sparkly
  • ways to help you keep your focus
  • journaling for inspiration and clarity
  • using food to affect your mood for more happiness
  • and how to perfect your practice until you're transformed into the bombshell you were created to be!

For more detailed information on Dr. Claire Maguire you can visit her uber cool website, The Raw Bombshell, or to enroll in her upcoming 40 day program visit her here.