Chapter 2-5 of Healing Foods by Walter Last

Here are some ideas for transforming healthy foods into enjoyable meals

 

RECIPES

 

I am not fond of using recipes that tickle our palate by harming the nutrients in the food. However nowadays there are hundreds of wonderful raw and cooked recipes available, which not only taste marvellous, but are healthy as well. The healthiest recipe for carrots, for instance, is to pull one out of the ground, clean it, and chew it well. Any additional processing renders it less nutritious. Also, I favour experimenting, mixing this and that within the framework of the food-combining rules, and seeing how it turns out. In this spirit I offer the following recipes and cooking tips as starting points for finding ways to make healthy food tasty.

If you are willing, you can gradually change your taste preferences and come to like this new diet of healthier meals. If your life is in no immediate danger from an advanced disease, change slowly, making a gradual transition over a period of years from your present diet to the high-quality diet, and possibly to the raw food diet after that.

Baking Breads: The best method for baking is one in which enzymes in the food remain alive. This means heating bread dough to less than 50C. It is preferable to start with whole, soaked, or sprouted seeds that are rich in enzymes rather than with commercial flours that may have had their enzymes destroyed during the milling process and may be contaminated with mycotoxins. The only practical solution I have found so far is baking with rice. After blending soaked or sprouted rice, the dough continues to absorb water and so becomes firm almost without any heat. I have not found this property in any other grain. You may have to experiment with different varieties of rice to find a good sprouting one.

Soak brown rice overnight, then rinse for two or three days until sprouts appear; otherwise use after soaking. If you are sensitive to fungi, keep for several minutes in water with added hydrogen peroxide, then wash well and blend with a minimum of water. If the blended rice does not have the consistency of a paste, add rice flour or strain off excess water. Lightly cover a tray with some rice flour or baking paper and spread the paste out flat. Preferably leave in the sun or a warm place, such as a warm oven with the heat turned off, until the dough has solidified, usually after a few hours.

You can experiment with additions, such as kelp powder, occasionally carob powder and dried fruit for children, and acidophilus culture or a sourdough starter if you want to try baking a more conventionally shaped loaf. The addition of any other kind of soaked or sprouted seed will make it more difficult for the dough to harden. You can bake flat bread in an oven at low temperatures from a mixture of various flours or meals, such as from peas, lentils, chickpeas, rice, and rye. You may add buckwheat flour to any baking mix to improve its binding qualities.

If you use sprouted seeds, it is not necessary to add acidophilus or sourdough starter to improve the nutritional quality, but only to lighten the bake. However, if you only soak the seeds and, more important still, if your main ingredient is flour, then lactic-acid fermentation will greatly improve the nutritional value as well as lighten the texture.

Any other soaked, sprouted, and blended seeds can be used for making flat bread by baking at 70 to 80C with or without a starter. Again, it is advisable to spread the dough over a layer of flour to absorb excess moisture. You can also add other flavouring ingredients, such as banana or carrot pulp. It may take five hours or more of baking for the bread to solidify. At this temperature, the enzymes are destroyed and, unlike sun-baked rice, it is not a raw food any more. However, the protein structures generally are not damaged and there is no digestive leukocytosis (increased white blood cells in the intestinal wall) when eating this bread. You can refrigerate part of the sourdough as starter for the next bake, but if you are highly yeast-sensitive, it is preferable to use fresh acidophilus culture each time.

For more conventional bread, I recommend rye or spelt sourdough; the more acidophilus you add and the slower the dough solidifies, the more acid it becomes, and vice versa. Mix a cup of acidophilus starter with rye flour, water, flavourings (for example, caraway seeds), and a spoonful of honey, molasses or brown/raw sugar as food for the bacteria. Leave covered overnight in a warm place. Before adding salt, reserve and refrigerate 1 cup of this as a starter for the next baking. Add more flour, knead, shape, and cover the loaves and let them rise in a lightly warmed oven for several more hours. Then bake at a moderate heat for 90 minutes; place a pan with hot water on the bottom rack to develop steam.

Bone Broth: Use the soft bones of fowl or the bones and heads of fish. Add 1 or several tablespoons of vinegar, depending on the amount of bones you have. Simmer with sufficient water in a covered, non-metal container for at least 3 hours, or until the bones become brittle and the liquid is nearly neutral. With larger quantities and longer cooking time, you can repeatedly add more water and vinegar.

Alternatively, use a pressure cooker for 30 minutes, but without adding vinegar. When the bones have become soft, blend it all, strain (optional), and freeze in ice cube trays. Use some of the broth frequently with meals; add it to vegetable salads, as it is an excellent source of gelatine, calcium, and other minerals.

Beef Juice, Liver Broth, Liver Juice: To make liver broth, simmer pieces of (organic) liver for 2 hours; strain and mix with sweet vegetables, cooked or raw. To make beef juice, dice a pound of lean beef. Put in a jar without water, cover well, and set the jar on a piece of cloth in a pot filled with water. Simmer for 3 hours. Press juice accumulated in the jar through a strainer and refrigerate or freeze it. Sip a teaspoonful 5 to 10 times daily and keep it in the mouth for some time. Make this juice fresh weekly. Occasionally, the juice can be made of liver instead of beef. Beef juice is indicated in cases of serious muscle weakness.

Chocolate: Mix 1 to 3 parts by volume of cocoa powder and a small amount of your favourite sweetener with 1 part of melted coconut oil. Fill into forms or spread out flat. Refrigerate or freeze until shortly before eating. As a sweetener you may also mix cocoa with carob powder. You may add other ingredients to this basic recipe, such as chopped almonds, nuts or dates, raisins, coconut flakes, and a pinch of salt and cayenne; with such additions use equal volumes of cocoa and coconut oil.

Fish, marinated: Cover fish filets with lemon juice or any type of vinegar. Keep refrigerated for one or several days until soft. The reaction with the fish greatly reduces the acidity. Some varieties of fish and especially their skins can remain too tough. It may help to add bromelain or papain, but if that does not help, then blend or cook it and buy a softer variety next time. However, you may intentionally buy something tough, such as squid, marinate it for a day, then add more water and blend it to make squid soup. Use the marinade as it is or flavour with herbs and spices. Eat on its own or as part of a meal. You can also marinate liver, minced meat, or soft cuts of raw meat. The vinegar is a strong disinfectant.

Fruit Balls: These are for festive occasions. Mince any of the following: nuts, sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds, fresh coconut, dried fruits such as apricots, dates, mixed peel, papaya, and pineapple. Mix well, add lemon juice to taste and also lecithin; bind with coconut oil. Make into small balls and roll in desiccated coconut. For different flavours, add carob powder or spices to the mixture.

Hommus: This can be used as bread spread or as an addition to meals. Soak chickpeas (garbanzo beans) overnight. If seeds are viable, sprout them; otherwise, use them soaked raw or soaked and cooked for a few minutes only. Discard the soaking water to reduce intestinal gas. Puree the prepared chickpeas in a blender and mix with any combination of the following: olive or coconut oil, tahini, lecithin, cayenne, kelp, herbs, and spices. Keep refrigerated.

Hot Vegetable Juice: Normally, you drink fresh vegetable juice cold. However, in cold weather you may enjoy drinking it hot, flavoured like a broth. Use a handful of fresh green leaves; add cabbage, celery, tomato, cucumber or whatever is available, and some sliced carrot, pumpkin, or beetroot. Mix this in an electric blender, together with a suitable hot liquid, for instance, herb tea, jelly, bone broth, or water. Strain and press the residue. Try to keep the temperature of the broth below 50C.

A juice extractor can be used instead of the blender or you can mix the hot liquid with some freshly pressed juice. Flavour the drink to taste; you can use herbs, spices, miso, kelp, oil, lecithin, egg yolk, or molasses in any combination you like. Drink the juice immediately, taking sips. Another possibility is to simmer the residue left over from juicing in water for ten minutes, strain, add some flavouring, and drink hot.

Jellies: Dissolve 4 teaspoons of white, unflavoured gelatine in half a litre of hot water. Pour it over diced fruits or over sprouted seeds and diced or grated vegetables (for example, cucumber, tomato, carrot, or chopped onion). You can add herbs, spices, kelp, and salt. Alternatively, the gelatine can be dissolved in a smaller amount of hot water and mixed with an appropriate amount of fruit juice or fresh vegetable juice. Refrigerate for setting. Instead of commercial gelatine, a gelatinous bone or fish broth is preferable. Gelatine aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Linseed Mix: The following combination can be used as a snack before or between meals or instead of any meal. It is especially good as a breakfast. Mix half a cup of ground linseed with 1 or 2 tablespoons of linseed oil or olive oil or melted coconut oil. Add some protein powders such as bee pollen (best cell-broken), spirulina, wheat or barley grass powder, possibly meshed or fermented bananas, lecithin granules, and enough yogurt, liquid ferment, or seed milk for a smooth consistency. You can also add some chopped fruit or berries, fresh vegetable juice, grape juice, apple juice, or any other liquid.

Papaya (Pawpaw) Smoothie: This can be used as a special health food to aid the digestion, as well as in dissolving tumours or other unwanted growths. In a blender, mix mature green papaya (when it just starts turning yellow and the seeds are already black) with skin, seeds, and flesh, banana and any other fruit in season, and a sufficient amount of a suitable liquid such as a juice or yogurt. Eat on its own or as part of a meal.

Potatoes, grated: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, keep the heat on high, add coarsely grated potato, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. This leaves the potato semi-raw with a quite distinct flavour; add kelp, oil, and so on, and eat with vegetables or sprouts.

Protein Drink: This is good as a general energy booster, especially if you have blood sugar problems or lack of energy, and it is also excellent to reduce appetite for losing weight when consumed 30 minutes before a meal. Blend one or more spoonful each of bee pollen, wheat or barley grass powder, ground linseed, spirulina, and cell-broken chlorella, or any combination of these in a suitable liquid. This can be liquid ferment, coconut milk, or any other kind of milk or juice such as grape or apple juice.

Rice Dishes: Cook the rice until almost soft and most of the water has evaporated. Add a small quantity of apples, cover, cook until the apples are soft, and then mash them. Add cinnamon, oil, lecithin, and kelp. Eat cold as a dessert. As an alternative, add apple puree to the cooked rice. You can also try rice with a sauce based on blended raw carrots and other sweet vegetables or bananas.

Healthier than cooked rice is sprouted and blended rice. Wash and soak overnight a sprouting variety of brown rice. After sprouting, blend the rice and add other flavouring ingredients, such as banana, olive oil, kelp, carob, lecithin, or pitted dates, for a sweet meal. Blend again and eat this instead of a breakfast cereal. If too gritty, strain the rice puree after the first blending or cook it.

Seed Milk: Soak almonds, rice, or sunflower kernels overnight or for about 12 hours. The simplest way to make this milk is to change the water, blend the soaked seeds in an electric blender, and press them through a strainer. You can either drink the liquid immediately or refrigerate. You can cook the residue of the rice and add the residue of the oily seeds to any breakfast mix (possibly remove almond skins before blending). However, a much better way is to wait until the seeds start sprouting. This removes any enzyme inhibitors and provides natural sweetness and enzymes to the milk.

Sprout Salad: Mix a variety of freshly rinsed sprouted seeds with a combination of fresh, raw vegetables, basically using whatever is available. Most suitable are sprouts of mung beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, and fenugreek, together with finely grated beet root, carrot, and turnip or radish. Tomato and cucumber (try it grated) are good for flavouring. If you have difficulty chewing, you can put all of it through a mincer, or if very weak and debilitated, you could liquefy and drink it.

The key to enjoying a sprout salad is to find a delicious dressing. Experiment; I recommend extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, whole blended lemon, cider vinegar, or rose-hip powder, any fresh or dried herbs or spices, and a dash of cayenne. These may be added individually or mixed beforehand and refrigerated in a jar. Flavour olive oil by mixing in a jar 1 part tahini with 3 to 10 parts oil, lemon juice, and lecithin.

For a health enhancer, add ground linseed and kelp to the salad. Start by adding very small amounts of kelp until you come to like it. Raw egg yolk is a good addition to the dressing, as is seed cheese or sour milk; you can also flavour this salad with tofu or yogurt.

Sweet Vegetables: Use any combination of the following: sliced pumpkin or squash, sweet potato, onion, turnip, beet, carrot, and tomato. Add only a minimum of water so that finally most of it has evaporated. Vegetables with short cooking times (tomato, pumpkin) can be added later to preserve their flavour. Salt, kelp, oil, curry, cayenne, herbs, and spices are best stirred in at the end of cooking.

Turmeric Paste may be used for flavouring food, to sanitise the intestinal tract, and to treat or prevent infections and chronic diseases. It may be prepared from turmeric powder or from blended fresh turmeric. The active ingredients are oil soluble. Coconut oil is best to use but it solidifies when refrigerated. If you prefer the paste to remain soft then refrigerate only the paste made with water and add some coconut oil shortly before eating. A commonly used recipe is as follows:

         Stir half a cup of turmeric powder into 1 to 1.5 cups of warm water

         Add 1.5 teaspoons or 7.5 ml of freshly ground or frozen black pepper

         Add about 70 ml of Coconut oil or extra virgin Olive oil and stir

         May be refrigerated for a week or two, or frozen for much longer

         For intensive treatment use several tablespoons per day with meals

         For maintenance use according to taste preference

         Start with a low dose and increase gradually

 

Veggie Burgers: Soak overnight 1 cup of chickpeas or lentils; next morning replace the water and put them in a blender. Soak 2 cups of rice overnight and cook. Combine the blended legumes with the cooked rice and add some buckwheat flour or an egg to bind the mixture. Flavour with any combination of the following: miso, soy sauce, fresh parsley, coriander, cumin, fresh ginger, onion, and any other herbs or spices. Form flat burgers and bake crisp in a grill or a non-stick pan.

FERMENTED FOODS

Fermented foods are highly recommended for maintaining or regaining health. Most ferments require a probiotic starter culture which should contain a wide variety of strains of lactobacilli in addition to other beneficial microbes. Most of these require sugars as food which may be provided from raw or brown sugar, molasses, honey, lactose, sweet fruits and their juices. Our dominant lactobacillus tends to be Acidophilus. Some microbes that reside in the colon can also digest long chains of fructose, glucose or galactose in inulin, fructooligosaccharides, pectin or resistant starch. Suitable raw food, such as fresh leaves, vegetables and seeds also contribute their own beneficial microbes.

Kombucha and kefir ferment at room temperature. They can be very effective, but can also cause problems for individuals sensitive to yeast. I prefer high-temperature fermentation at 35 to 40C in a yoghurt maker. This enhances the activity of lactobacilli and reduces development of unwanted yeasts. Initially buy a probiotic culture based mainly on acidophilus and other lacto-bacteria with a variety of strains. These may also include some beneficial yeast. Later you add half a cup of the previous ferment as starter to the next batch.

Preferably buy a yoghurt maker with good temperature control, also look for one with a 24 hour digital timer and the ability to select the incubation temperature setting. If you do not have a yoghurt maker you can keep the ferment warm by putting it in a box or some other small, enclosed space, together with an electric light bulb or other source of heat. You may also use an oven for this purpose.

The preferred fermentation time is from 8 to 24 hours. Add sufficient water, liquid from the previous ferment, and 2 rounded teaspoons of brown or raw sugar for each 500 ml of water. The more sugar has been added and the longer the fermentation lasts, the more acidic and healthy it becomes. High acidity and low sweetness are preferable for health, although not so desirable for the tastebuds.

As with all fermentation, keep plenty of head space in the container as the ferment may bubble up. After 24 hours it tends to be free of sugars. This may be important with microbial overgrowth and inflammation in the intestinal tract. The finished ferment should have a pleasant acidic flavour and odour. The main benefit comes from the microbes in the liquid rather than from eating the fermented food. If the ferment tastes or smells bad then discard it.

Banana Ferment: For a daily ferment use several ripe bananas. You may puree them with water in a blender, mesh with a fork, cut into thin slices or chop into small pieces. The smaller the pieces the faster they ferment. Even blended organic banana skins can be fermented. You may also experiment with adding pollen powder (best cell-broken), carob or cocoa powder, and pulped fruit or fruit juices. You may strain the ferment to separate the solids from the liquid and refrigerate. One can eat or drink these on their own or mixed with other food, and they taste pleasantly refreshing.

Lentil Ferment: Fermented lentils and possibly peas can provide good microbes for sanitising the bowels or large intestines. The microbes in this ferment are able to break down the starches of legumes and do not need any sugar. Do not ferment mung beans or any other beans. Any anti-nutrients are removed with soaking and fermenting.

Use equal parts of brown and red lentils but also other types of lentils may be used. Soak for 8 to 12 hours. Change the water and blend it all up. Fill in a large glass jar or crock and keep for 8 to 12 hours in a warm place around 30 degrees C and then refrigerate. No starter is needed but a small amount from the previous batch may help. Slowly increase to several tablespoons before meals best mixed with other ferments to improve the taste. In addition, you may also mix it with other food as part of a meal. If any problems arise, then reduce or stop intake or temporarily use only the strained liquid.

Rejuvelac (fermented seed drink): Wash 1 cup of organic whole grain and cover with 2 cups of warm water. Suitable are rice, millet, rye, and other grains. Keep in a glass or porcelain container in a warm place. Pour off the liquid the next day or when it tastes slightly sour. Use as a refreshing drink on its own, but not with or after meals. The grains can then be cooked or sprouted. Rejuvelac may not be suitable for sensitive and yeast-allergic individuals.

Sauerkraut: Use a crock of any size. Place a layer of shredded cabbage 10 to 15 cm deep in the container. Sprinkle over it a small amount of salt and some herb seeds, such as caraway, fennel, or cumin; other shredded vegetables can be added for flavouring. Press the first layer down and add another layer of cabbage and herbs, and so on. Adding acidophilus ferment to the different layers speeds up the process. The cabbage must be completely saturated with its juice and no air pockets left. Cover the contents with cheesecloth, place a wooden cover over it, and weigh it down with a heavy stone. Leave at room temperature.

From time to time lift the cover and remove foam and mildew from the top of the mash; wash the cheesecloth, board, and stone with warm water and then put them back in place. After about 2 weeks it should be ready for eating. Put the sauerkraut in jars and refrigerate. Eat it raw and drink the juice. This may not be suitable for yeast-sensitive individuals.

Seed Cheese: Soak oily seeds (almonds, nuts, sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower) for 8 to 12 hours in warm water with the addition of one tablespoon of salt for about 2 cups of nuts or oily seeds. This removes the enzyme inhibitors that cause digestive problems. Change the water and puree in an electric blender. Add sugars and probiotic culture. Keep in a yoghurt maker until the desired acidity develops. Strain, refrigerate and use the solids as part of a salad dressing, for flavouring meals, or as bread spread, drink the liquid. By straining the soaked and blended seeds you can use the solids and the seed milk separately.

Yoghurts can be made from fresh (preferably unpasteurized) cows milk, goats milk, rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk or any other seed milk. You may use a typical yoghurt stater, kefir, or an acidophilus-based probiotic starter. To make non-dairy yoghurt creamy, a thickening or gelling agent may be mixed with the solid curd on top. Agar-agar, gelatine, guar gum, tapioca or arrowroot starch can be used for this purpose.

To make rice yoghurt cook soaked (organic) brown rice in plenty of water. After cooling, blend and strain, and then add starter culture and sweetener to the strained rice water. Rice yoghurt does not set, so drink it when it turns slightly sour or smells slightly fermented. You can make rice milk by blending and straining sprouted brown rice. This is sweet enough by itself, so that no added sweetener is required.

To make sour milk (clabber milk), leave raw, unheated milk in a flat bowl in a warm place for 1 to 2 days until the milk sours and coagulates.

 

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