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Weekend (Raw) Pizza Party

Raw, Vegan, Grain & Gluten Free Since we are back on the 21 Days Raw Foods Challenge I’ve been experimenting with making wraps, crusts and breads that are grain-free.  As much as I crave my gluten-free bread, I suspect that grains are not helping my digestion, even when they are gluten-free.  I’m still not sure […]

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Pepita Caesar Salad with Coconut Croutons

                                                                       Vegan Raw or Raw Fusion Recipe
Gluten-Free

Caesar salad hit the mainstream back about 15 years ago as something you can find on just about any menu.  The original salad was created by Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant and debuted in his restaurants in Tijuana, San  Diego and Los Angeles.  My parents were foodies from way back and this one was of the dishes my mother taught me to make as a child, even to the extend of rubbing the (only!) wooden salad bowl with garlic cloves and coddling the egg.

These days I don’t eat much dairy or eggs so it’s nice to have an alternative.  A Mexican restaurant chain from my years of living in Southern California served a caesar salad with ground toasted pepitas, so that was part of my inspiration for this Raw Fusion creation.

Leave off the croutons and it’s completely raw – but the Raw Fusion philosophy is to find delicious nutritious alternatives for your favorite comfort foods, thereby not feeling any sense of deprivation.  Adding just this light and lovely touch of the croutons makes it easy to sustain eating food that’s good for you the majority of the time.  For daily tips of this kind and recipes for mind, body and spirit, make sure to like our Facebook Fan Page.  

For the croutons I used a fabulous millet bread from a local bakery.  It’s very light and lends itself very well to the task as this bread doesn’t absorb as much of the coconut oil.  You can substitute with any bread, but I highly recommend buying a gluten-free or sprouted variety.  You can saute garlic first to impart that flavor but I prefer to sprinkle on a little sea salt and organic garlic powder as they are draining on a paper towel.

Pepita Caesar Salad

Serves 4-6 

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Sweet Dreams Scones – Food to Promote Restful Sleep!

 Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free
 with Raw Fusion Baked option

I was watching the Dr. Oz show the other day, discussing foods that help promote restful sleep and I was struck by a combination of pumpkin seeds and applesauce, not a food combination that I would normally consider.  Evidently, foods that are high in the amino acid, tryptophan (like pumpkin seeds) need to be combined with a carbohydrate in order to activate the niacin and seratonin that relax the nervous system and makes us drowsy.

According to this article on Livestrong.com, the amount of tryptophan found in a serving of food that contains this essential amino acid does not produce enough serotonin to cause sleepiness. The sleepy feeling you feel after eating a large meal — such as Thanksgiving dinner — typically comes from the high number of carbohydrates and calories you consumed.

That interesting fact as well as the pumpkin seed/applesauce combination started my Raw Fusion creative juices flowing so I decided to create a scone or muffin (see below) that can help people sleep since insomnia or some kind of sleep disorder affects as many as 100 million Americans (Sleep Wellness Institute).  Wouldn’t it be great to just enjoy a delicious and healthy treat in the evening instead of taking medication?  Let me know how these work for you (so far been getting thumb’s up from friends and family but that is not exactly hard science…)

For sweetening your dreams (and this recipe) you can use agave, maple syrup, honey, succanat, coconut nectar or palm sugar, which is derived from palm tree flowers.

Sweet Dreams Scones

Makes about 16 Scones  (depending on size)

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