Two great recipes and an awesome new ingredient!

I  recently gave a lecture in St. George, Utah, and in three other Nevada and Cali cities. In St. George, we stayed with my longtime friends, vegan raw foodists Denley and Jan, whose kitchen and fridge contents always inspire me.

Denley was raised on sodas and Twinkies, and eventually he was so ill that he discovered that he could recover his health ONLY when he eats vegan and virtually 100% raw. They have raised their six children on a plant-based diet. They made that shift when their twin daughters were born with cystic fibrosis. Now both are mothers of 6 and 7 children and are healthy vegans even though most with CF don’t live past 25.

Next time I stay with Jan, I’ll make a video of all her great nutrition habits and gadgets.

She made us a fabulous dinner when we pulled into town, and Kristin and I couldn’t stop eating apples dipped in the fruit dip, recipe below, that tastes like marshmallow cream. But it’s all raw, with no sugar, guilt free! (I can eat it without having to pay Matthew $10,000—we’re both going strong, by the way, after 3.5 months. Easy!)

Here’s the recipe I’ve adapted from Jan’s—she keeps a jar of Irish Moss gel in her fridge, which is a whole-food thickener, gel, and emulsifier. It’s the raw, nutritious form of “carageenan” that you’ve seen in ice cream, etc., You can get it on Amazon and many other places online or possibly in your health food store. Buy unbleached “Carageen” raw Irish Moss so you’ll get the sun-dried rather than bleached product. The Irish eat it with potatoes and cabbage!

In addition to its function, it’s a nearly flavorless seaweed that, like other algaes, is an excellent source of iodine, minerals, A and B vitamins, and protein. It is soothing to mucous membranes and thus may help with indigestion, constipation, and skin conditions. Some use it in water to ease coughing associated with colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

You’ll have fun using it for ice cream, shakes, puddings, and more…give it a try! I personally am so excited to discover this ingredient. Having enough ingredients and habits that you love is KEY in making a transition to raw plant foods easy and “deprivation-free.”

Fruit Dip / Topping

1 cup macadamia nuts

2 Tbsp raw almonds, sesame seeds, or cashews, soaked overnight and drained

6 Tbsp. water

¼ cup Irish Moss gel (see below)

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ cup raw, organic agave, or raw honey

1/8 tsp. Original Crystal Himalayan Salt

Blend almonds, sesame seeds, or cashews in water, in turbo blender until creamy, about 90 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, will last 3-4 days. Use as a dip for fruit, or as a topping for a pie.

Strawberry Shake

1/2 cup Brazil nuts

1 ½ cups water

¼ to ½ cup Irish Moss gel (see below)

1 cup frozen strawberries

8 drops liquid stevia, or ½ packet dry stevia

1/2 tsp. vanilla or pinch of a vanilla bean

Soak Brazil nuts several hours, drain and rinse. Blend soaked nuts in 1 ½ cups water for 90 seconds or until very smooth, in a high-speed blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until creamy. This is a low-sugar treat your children will love and you won’t feel guilty about.

Irish Moss Gel

Keep the dry moss refrigerated in a sealed Ziploc bag or jar. Soak a handful in a quart jar full of water for 3-5 hours on the counter. Drain and rinse well (you may have to pick out bits of shell/sand). Blend ¼ cup soaked, packed Irish Moss, with 1 cup filtered water until smooth. Store in fridge in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks. Use in potatoes, gravy, ice creams, puddings, etc.