Beet Kvass

I recently taught you how to make Rejuvelac. If, like me, you’re looking to increase lacto-fermented, probiotic foods in your diet, today I’ve got another idea for you. (Try to get at least two cultured foods in your diet every day! This is Step 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.)

Have you ever heard of Beet Kvass? I recently had some when a vendor wanting me to sell his stuff mailed me samples. Too expensive to buy on the internet and ship—but I loved it. I am going to plant even MORE beets next spring. I have lots of jars of cultured beets in my food storage, which are 3 years old, but now I’m making them into a probiotic drink. I remember how shocked I was to learn that you could “put up” raw vegetables that “keep” for long periods of time, using lacto-fermentation. Now it seems common and easy, a “lost art” that people have done in virtually every culture of the world for thousands of years.

One of my employees, Melinda, said to me the other day about a pile of beets from my garden, “I love how beets look!” Kristin just saw this photo on my computer and made the same comment. ME TOO! They’re so ruby-red!

That juice staining your hands is potent pigmentation with high levels of carotenoid and other antioxidants that protect your eyes, normalize blood pressure, and cleanse your blood and your liver.

If beets make your urine pink, please read more detail about that in Chapter 5 of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods manual.

Cultured Beets / Beet Kvass

2-3 large beets

1/4 cup whey (the clear yellow liquid, separated from the milk solids in yogurt or kefir) or 1 pkg. Vegetable Culture from Body Ecology. Or, double the salt and refrigerate for longer to cut the saltiness.

2 tsp Original Crystal Himalayan salt

2 quart jars


Peel and chop beet in 2″ pieces. Place beet chunks in your jars. Add salt and ¼ cup whey (or 1 pkg. Body Ecology Vegetable Culture).

Add enough filtered water to fill the rest of the container, leaving 1″ headroom.

Stir well, cover, and let it sit at room temperature for 3-5 days. Put jars in fridge or cold storage. They will keep there indefinitely (I have kept my cultured beets for 2 years in cold storage, which is not nearly as cool as refrigeration).

Remove from fridge and blend in high-speed blender (with extra water if you prefer it to be thinner).

Enjoy chilled as a drink, mixed with a little bit of fresh lime juice,  or freshly ground pepper. You can use kvass in recipes to replace vinegar.

Drink in small quantities with a meal, to facilitate digestion and build up healthy colonies of good bacteria in your gut. You can drink 8 oz. if you are used to probiotic foods and have a healthy diet. If not, start with just a few ounces and work your way up.

Thanks to reader Christy White for suggesting I write about beet kvass. Christy is a fan of Kristen Bowen’s site Kristen recently wrote about beet kvass, and I have incorporated some of her ideas.

Dill Pickle Kale Chips

Kale chips are the best thing that dehydrators do, in my opinion. (Well, making crunchy snacks out of sprouted raw almonds is a close second, and flax crackers are a close third.) I’m sitting here eating some kale chips at my desk, right now.

Not only are they delicious and easy to make, but you get a GIANT leaf of kale, with its nutrition nearly intact, in just a few crispy, yummy bites. I have some good kale-chip recipes in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, where I teach you all about sprouting and dehydrating.

My kids sometimes eat an entire dehydrator full of kale chips in one day.

Here’s a recipe I developed this week, to deal with the huge crop of kale in my garden right now. (I love this time of year, and I dread that first frost when all the garden abundance ends! It’s okay, though, because my freezer is crammed full of greens, fruit, seeds, nuts, and grains.)


¼ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Original Crystal Himalayan Salt

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. dried dill

1 C cashews

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

16 kale leaves

Blend first 8 ingredients in high-speed blender, adding a minimum of water to make it blend.  Pour into a shallow bowl and dip one side of kale leaves into mixture. Dehydrate kale chips, dipped side up, until dry and crispy, below 115 degrees in dehydrator. Do not seal in Ziploc bags or Tupperware, or they lose their crispiness. I leave them in the dehydrator racks or put them on a plate until they’re gone.

Kristin’s Tomato Confit

Do you have access to cherry tomatoes, in someone’s garden? There’s a huge field of them at the top of my street, abandoned by the grower because it’s too labor-intensive to pick them. So sad! My friend who owns the field and leased it out, just brought me a bucketful. If you’ve got access to some, this recipe of my site director’s will blow your mind.

My favorite thing to do with this stuff is dip brown-rice crackers in it (I get the Unsalted Plain or Sesame, no added oils or preservatives, brand Edward & Sons in the gluten-free section of my health food store). At the end of the recipe you can see the more traditional things Kristin does with it.

Kristin’s Tomato Confit (pronounced “cone-fee”)

Fill the bottom of a 8 x 13 pan with whole garden-fresh cherry tomatoes.   I also add yellow tomatoes for color if I have them.   You can also use chopped tomatoes fresh from your garden. Crush the cloves of an entire bulb of garlic and add it to the pan.   Add the leaves of two sprigs of rosemary.   Drizzle with olive oil and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Bake at 300 degrees for an hour.   Smash coarsely with a potato masher once they come out of the oven.   Spread on bruschetta by itself, or with goat cheese or add to couscous, quinoa, or pasta as a sauce.

Great people and great stories from last week!

In my Utah classes last week, we had 200 in Layton, 300 in Sandy, and 400 in my hometown of Orem. A few people stood up to tell us the radical health changes they’re experiencing, as they begin eating whole foods.

(Lauralee in Layton came for the 5th time with new friends, and Elisa in Sandy came for the 6th time! I feel like I should make up new stories, just for them.)

Knight Hunt who had a heart attack at age 30, now my age, had to fly to NYC at the last minute, so he wasn’t there. But he emailed me the day of class that he’s now drinking 3 QUARTS of green smoothie a day, and his tastes have changed so much that he puts almost no fruit in them, and looks good and feels amazing!

Jen Baldwin won the blender in Layton and was ecstatic (here’s a photo she took). She blogged about her journey to health using my 12 Steps program and green smoothies—check out how her weight finally started to really drop when she added the green smoothie habit! Read about her reaction to winning the blender, and more, here:

Steve Terry has been to my class 3x and he looked so great this time, having lost 45 lbs., that I gasped when I saw him. He was a cardiac patient in a desperate health crisis, blood pressure and triglycerides off the charts, when his daughter got him to read my book. He’s now a green smoothie devotee and 12 Stepper and he is RUNNING MARATHONS in his 50’s!

Mechel in Sandy read my book six months ago and lost 9 lbs. the first WEEK, as she put it, “sitting on the couch eating ice cream.” I was stumped when she told me this, thinking, “Uhhhhh, that is NOT part of my program.” (And I was also thinking, “You must have been retaining a lot of water!” How does anyone lose 9 lbs. in one week? Wow.)

She then explained that she learned about GSG from the blender demo guy at Costco, who showed her how to make my “Green Ice Cream.”

I have a chocolate pudding with greens in it, but unless they’re freezing it, I’m not sure where the Green Ice Cream came from in my books? When I started doing green smoothies 17 years ago, I did call it “Green Cream” for my 1-year old. If I’ve forgotten a recipe, somebody help me. Mechel is not the first person to tell me that a Costco Demo Guy is showing a green “ice cream” and attributing it to me. I think it might be in one of our recipe collections with reader contributions!

But here’s it is:

Costco Guy’s Green Ice Cream He Thinks Is My Recipe

3 Cups Spinach

7 oz. Almond Milk

4 oz. raw, organic agave

1 Scoop vegan protein powder

3 Cups Ice

Blend on your ice cream setting in your BlendTec, and enjoy!

Mechel went on to lose a total of 31 lbs. in the past several months and DISAPPEAR all her symptoms of multiple sclerosis!

CHI Recipes, part 2 of 2

Sweetened Almond Milk

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained

4 cups filtered water

4 dates (pitted) or ¼ cup chopped dates

½ tsp vanilla

Blend until very smooth (about 2 minutes) in BlendTec. Optionally, if you want smooth milk without sediment, strain with nut milk bag, or cheesecloth. Use pulp in green smoothies or stir it into almond or peanut butter. Or, make Patty’s Peach Cobbler, here.

Patty’s Raw Peach Cobbler

Patty is 45 and was living at CHI and volunteering there, after arriving 10 months before with multiple sclerosis that had her barely able to get out of bed. Her symptoms responded beautifully, she lost tons of weight, and she is now highly active, leading our rebounding classes every day. She’ll be at CHI teaching through May 1, 2012, so go soon and you’ll get to meet her!

Maybe it was because of 5 days straight of eating energy soup and cabbage, but this peach cobbler tasted like heaven to me. You may want something crunchy on it–I recommend chopped soaked/dehydrated raw almonds sprinkled on top.

Patty’s Peach Explosion

(Note: I think this recipe tastes like the peach cobbler my mother baked in our childhood home. My brothers, who gobbled it up, always referred to it as “Peach Explosion,” hence the name.)

Tools: High Speed Blender, Dehydrator, Spatula,   Mixing Bowl,   Rectangular Glass Cake Pan, Knives, Cutting Board.

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour (we use ground up dehydrated almond pulp left over from almond milk)

2 cups rolled oats (we rinse it multiple times to get the gluten and allergens off)

1 cup melted coconut oil (melt it at 110 degrees in the dehydrator)

Teaspoon nutmeg

Teaspoon cinnamon

8 soaked and pitted organic dates

1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

About 1/2 cup water

Crust Directions: Mix ingredients in your high speed blender until smooth and creamy, spoon onto peach filling. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 10 hours. I found the handles of my glass rectangular baking pan fit snugly into the side grooves of an Excalibur dehydrator. (If you have another dehydrator, you might need another dish.)

Peach Filling Ingredients:

12 Organic Peaches washed and sliced

8 soaked and pitted organic dates

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

2 – 2 1/2 cups of water from soaked dates

Peach Filling Directions: Liquefy dates, water, salt and cinnamon in high-speed blender. Pour into mixing bowl with sliced peaches and mix well. Pour peach filling into ungreased glass baking pan.   Your peach mixture should be watery. Most of the water will evaporate during dehydration and you’ll want to make sure your cobbler is nice and juicy.

Recipes from CHI! Part 1 of 2

“Going off sugar” has always been hard for me, because the way I eat really healthy even in the face of temptation, is to tell myself, “I could have that if I wanted to. I choose not to.” (I list reasons in my head, if I’m tempted.) Or, occasionally, I say yes rather than no, and I eat chocolate! I “went off” junk food years ago, but I have never stayed completely away from sugar for more than a few months at a time.

So to tell myself, “You can’t have that” does a weird number on me psychologically, brings out my demonic inner rebel. However, I’m up for the challenge. And having things to eat, that you love, that contain no sugar or chemical sweeteners, is key! Here are some ideas I came back from CHI with.

Joyce Oliveto’s Favorite Dessert

Joyce puts a 1 quart fresh blueberries in the blender, with 3 Tbsp. date paste (you can make this with dates and a little water), and a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla powder. Layer it with soaked, chopped raw almonds. (I made this for Matthew, on my YouTube video posted yesterday!)

Chef Madeline

As I told you, Madeline is 67. Here she is in a photo with director Bobby Morgan and raw-food book author Hiawatha Cromer. When I found out how old Madeline was, I shrieked, “SHUT! UP!” (It’s a really dumb thing to say, but I live with three teenagers and stuff like that comes out of my mouth.) I finally have the picture of what I want to be when I am a full generation ahead of where I am now! She golfs competitively. She’s organized and ego-free and constantly learning and an articulate teacher. She’s just a positive-energy dynamo, and she’s sexy as heck, too. Her husband is almost 80 and is the same way!

For her recipes, there are some superfoods you might not recognize. Research them if you want—but they’re cool foods with a David Wolfe-like twist: that in the modern age, the privileged and the educated can leverage all the powerful nutrition secrets from all over the globe. (I stick to the basics because I consider my audience the Average “Jo” who needs to get more simple and cheap spinach, apples, and flax in the diet FIRST.

But maca is the best libido-enhancer I know, lucuma is a low-glycemic sweetener from a Peruvian fruit that makes caramelly-tasting raw desserts, and mesquite is from a pod in North American trees, high in protein and minerals, that regulates blood sugar and sweetens with a molasses-like caramel note.)

Madeline loves to buy stuff on—so much so that she had a laminated page she’d hold up at CHI every time there was an ingredient…in response to the question “Where do I buy that?” I just ordered some lucuma and toffee-flavored stevia there, myself, and am making this shake today. I’ve added my own twist of freezing some of it so it’s a frozen shake rather than a thinner drink like Madeline makes it.

Choca-Laca-Maca Shake

2 cups sweetened almond milk (see tomorrow’s blog)

1 frozen banana

1 Tbsp lacuma

1 Tbsp raw cacao nibs (optional)

8-10 drops toffee-flavored stevia (

2 tsp maca

1 Tbsp. mesquite

½ tsp vanilla

Freeze half the almond milk in ice cube trays. Blend frozen cubes with all remaining ingredients till smooth in BlendTec and drink immediately!

This is a delicious way to use your RAW almonds from our annual group buy, which we will kick off on approx. Oct. 1. (Almonds you buy in the store have been pasteurized, killing enzymes and making soaking them overnight mostly pointless because life, or germination, cannot occur.)