Healing Raw Food Experiments and Cashew Recipes May 15, 2015 • 2 Comments A couple of summer’s ago, one of my boys had terrible stomach problems. Considering everything that had happened during the past year, it wasn’t surprising and I attributed it to stress. I took him to my doctor, who is a super sleuth, and although she could find no physical reasons for the pain, she ran some allergy tests and referred us to a nutritionist so we could clean up the diet. I had yet to discover the idea of the gut as our second brain, or the teachings of Dr. Gabor Maté, who speaks of the brain+gut connection in his book, When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection: “The gut, or intestinal tract, is much more than an organ of digestion. It is a sensory apparatus with a nervous system of its own, intimately connected to the brains emotional centres.” “When there are too many ‘gut wrenching’ experiences, the neurological apparatus can become over-sensitized.” “Stress can definitely induce contractions of the intestines.” Once I read his book, the mysterious stomach aches made a lot more sense. The nutritionist was very helpful and recommended a dairy and gluten-free diet, much to my son’s horror. This is a teenager who loves all things ice cream, pastry and bread. I give him credit though — he threw himself into the whole experience. We decided to go raw for a while as a way to optimize healing and to boost his system. I explored the Internet, purchased cookbooks and immersed myself in the lifestyle. One does not just eat raw food, it is a way of life, or that’s how it seemed to me. I invested in the accouterments of raw cuisine: things like a dehydrator and a spiral vegetable device. Then there are unusual ingredients like lacuma and mesquite powder, necessary for creating raw dishes. It is akin to learning a foreign language. I would classify myself a raw food failure, but I gave it my all. While I admire the artistry and creativity — who would guess that sunflower seeds can be made to taste like tuna salad? — the planning proved to be a bit overwhelming for me. Plus, the heat and hum of the dehydrator made our house feel like a twenty-four hour oven – that contraption almost needs its own building. It is entirely possible that when I have settled into one place, and can set up a devoted raw food kitchen without thinking that I will have to pack it up again in a few months, I might delve back into this cuisine. For now, I leave raw food to the pros and purchase it ready-made if the mood strikes me. In the meantime, there were a few happy accidents and amazing takeaways that I have incorporated into my kitchen. Cashews are incredibly versatile, an epicurean chameleon. They are a nutritious snack on their own, but in the world of raw food they can be transformed into mayonnaise, alfredo sauce, ranch dressing and cream. Here are two nutritious and delicious recipes that you might want to add to your healing foods recipe repertoire. Raw Alfredo Sauce (From RAWvolution) ¾ C Coconut Water 2 Cloves Garlic 1/3 C Lemon Juice 1 Teaspoon Salt 1 C Raw Cashews ½ Teaspoon Nutmeg Combine ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth. I have used this on zucchini noodles, as well as with regular pasta, and my kids love it. Raw Cashew Cream (Serving suggestion pictured above. Adapted from Eating the Alkaline Way) 2/3 Cup Raw Cashews, soaked for one hour & drained 1/ -1/2 Cup Coconut Water 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Place cashews in blender with ¼ cup coconut water and blend, adding more water to desired consistency. Add vanilla. You can add honey if you prefer it sweetened. Serve with granola, fresh fruit or oatmeal. Or, eat straight from the bowl like my son. As always, I’d love to hear if you find this to be an enjoyable addition to your culinary world. -db Who is Dianna Bonny? Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.