Our guests from Seattle said, “All of our friends eat this way.” They were talking about the absence of meat, dairy, egg- and a breakfast about half raw food. “That’s why we chose Adytum. Because we knew we could eat our regular healthy diet here.” But they admitted that the food and presentation was anything but regular….and I admitted that I love spoiling people!
When Johanna came to the kitchen at 9a.m., I shared my excitement. “You were a challenge to me! I haven’t done a raw, vegan breakfast for anyone yet. Vegan, yes. Raw vegan…no. AND gluten free on top of it all!” Since her partner wasn’t 100% raw, thankfully I could revert to my vegan breakfasts which gives me some time to revisit all the “un-cookbooks” on my shelves before my 100% raw guests come. Since it was Johanna’s birthday, I wanted to amaze her, delight her…completely “wow” her at her first breakfast at Adytum and we did!
For inspiration, I turned to Renee Loux Underdoffler’s book, “Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods” and found exactly what ended up doing the trick. Donn chopped chunks of three different melons and sliced strawberries and kiwi, leaving raspberries whole for a beautiful tray of summer fruits while I made Renee’s “Caramel Sauce”. It is vegan and it is raw and it is AMAZING! The recipe follows to serve a breakfast fondue. The rest of the vegan/raw breakfast?
For a larger protein fraction, I served a shake that Donn and I have been drinking most every morning for 16 years. The only difference is that ours isn’t tasty like theirs was. For theirs, I used Metagenics Ultra Meal Rice (brown rice) and added frozen blueberries and a banana and ground flax seed. They loved it. It has the protein equivalent of two eggs- 14 grams- and half the vitamins and minerals for the day.
For our shake, I used Metagenics Ultra Clear Renew (liver support/cleansing) and Ultra InflamX 360 (anti cancer/inflammation) and added brewer’s yeast, green powder equal to ten servings organic greens, and several other powders that make it outrageously healthy and not so tasty but after all these years, we don’t even notice it.
Their raw, vegan breakfast included some cooked items. Homemade gluten free granola with Montmorency Cherries and made with pure maple syrup. (Recipe to follow) Laced with coconut yogurt and a lovely blueberry/strawberry compote with the East Indian Spices I love, it disappeared immediately along with the oven baked Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with smoky maple.
Sweet Potatoes are only a distant relative of potatoes. They regulate insulin production, stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin resistance and are full of beta carotene, precursor to vitamin A and B6. Baked in the oven, they are a healthy treat before the hike they will take today. I’ve already posted the recipe for the Quinoa Banana muffins, which also appeared on the table and will be carried on the hike later. They are such a great low sugar, high protein treat and are really a meal in themselves, like a protein bar.
As I walk back from putting Zephyr in the dog park, our Borzoi who recently met her first skunk…I stop to pick handfuls of fresh fennel fronds, lavender buds, pansies and Johnny Jump Ups with their smiling “good morning” faces, lemon verbena and several varieties of mints that will become edible garnish for the birthday breakfast feast.
Eating healthy is visually stimulating and we feel fantastic- ready to tackle a big day- after eating this way. Taking digestive enzymes is always wise, but especially when starting a raw food program; so many of us lack “digestive fire”. It takes zinc to make hydrochloric acid, for instance. Upon testing for zinc sufficiency, I had only one client in 4 years who was sufficient in zinc. The aqueous solution that tastes so bad, most would spit it out instantly was reported as tasting like water by 99% of my clients. So replenishing digestive enzymes while the body rebuilds itself is a good plan as well as supplementing zinc.
The benefits of a completely raw food diet are undeniable. With all of the living enzymes intact and cellular mutations from browned or burned proteins/foods no longer a factor to contend with is healing. If you want to get well or stay well, eat raw food and organic as much as possible. However, most of the benefits from a raw food diet can be obtained at about the 80% level- eat breakfast and lunch raw and add something warm at dinner perhaps.
Our guests and I discussed the necessity of getting the right kind of fat in a vegan or raw food diet. Since only a very small amount of the ALA in flax seed, for instance, converts to EPA and DHA, 15% and 5% respectively, it is best to supplement with pure, micro-distilled fish oil. It’s also advisable to supplement Omega 6 in the form of GLA from borage or evening primrose oil as vegetarians, vegans and raw food diets are not getting exposure to the Omega 6 in animal foods or certain oils. A 1:1 ratio is recommended, Omega 3 to Omega 6.
These guests loved all the raw “un-cookbooks” on my shelves and will leave with recipes. In turn, we are reinvigorated in our efforts to create great health for ourselves by eating a plant based, largely raw diet….but “gourmet” and of course, beautiful as are all things we aim for at Adytum, the Sanctuary.
The sanctuary/temple of our soul is honored by the commitment to extreme self-care, and we’re grateful to these guests’ commitment to this walk in their own lives. Iron sharpens iron and we all inspire and encourage each other in a world that does not honor this way of being, for the most part. That is, after all, what brought these great guests to Adytum in the first place. They knew their choices would be honored and they would be well fed. It was indeed an honor and a privilege to spoil them rotten!
Makes About 1 Cup
Serve this luscious caramel confection on absolutely everything for a sweet treat.
5 Tablespoons raw almod butter or raw cashew butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons cold-pressed coconut butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 pitted soft dates
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sun-dried sea salt
In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until creamy. Add a touch of pure
water in blending if necessary.
Cinnamon Spiced Granola
This easy to make granola is perfect to have on hand for busy mornings. It can top fresh fruit, be served with a dollop of organic yogurt or served as a breakfast cereal with hemp milk or another non-dairy milk. You can add any dried fruit after it has been cooked. If you have a nut allergy, then substitute sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for the nuts.
Makes about 5 cups
3 cups rolled oats (We use only gluten free oats from Bob’s Red Mill at Adytum)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup melted coconut oil or ¼ cup apple juice and ¼ cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chopped dried apple
(We use Montmorency Cherries at Adytum and Dried Apricots)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place rolled oats, chopped nuts, and spices into a medium sized bowl and mix well. Add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla to the oat mixture. Toss together using two spoons. Add shredded coconut and any seeds if desired, toss and bake on a large cookie sheet for 35-40 minutes turning occasionally with a spatula. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Let cool completely and transfer to a large glass jar.
From the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN