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Apr
19
2011

Ten Raw Foods for Digestive And Brain Health

10 Raw Foods For Digestive Health

….oh, and the easiest recipe ever for  Raw Mini Banana-Berry Pudding Pies that include four of those ten top foods for Digestive and Brain Health…

Have you heard of the raw series going on right now, inspired by Brittany, over at Real Sustenance? If not, the low-down is that April in the Raw is the event that is bringing you the most wonderful Raw-Inspired Recipes from some of the healthiest bloggers I know. We are just entering the third week of this event, but so far Weeks 1 and Weeks 2 have proved to be nothing short of amazing and have totally inspired me.

April In the Raw

When I was working on my schooling in Nutrition, there were many things that changed the way I will forever look at food.  But one thing that stuck with me the most, and incidentally what I base our family’s own health on, is the importance of a healthy functioning digestive tract in relationship to the health and functioning wellness of the rest of the entire body.

Extraordinary digestive health supports the health of the brain, the immune system, detoxification of our bodies, and elimination.

Living foods, full of beneficial enzymes and probiotics, are completely essential in this process.  The following list, in my opinion, can be considered to be some of the best foods to include into your diet on a daily basis to optimize your digestive health and also give your brain a little boost as well.

Ten wonderfully essential Living – Raw – Foods(there are so many more, but these are my top favorites and I did not want to overwhelm anyone with an over-abundance of nutritional information, so I am keeping each short and sweet):

1.  Berries – an important source of fiber, phytonutrients, and are powerful antioxidants that can support normal bowel function. Blueberries are among the best source of Antioxidants.  They are also packed with Vitamin C and Cancer fighting compounds.

2.  Fresh green juices – such as Kale, Chard, Mustard Greens, Celery, Parsley, Cucumber, Broccoli, and Cilantro.  These make for wonderful digestive daily tonics.  They are rich in Vitamin A,  Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C manganese, chromium, and fiber.

3.  Avocados – an excellent source of Vitamin E and potassium (almost twice as much potassium as a banana), as well as healthy fats and fibers.  Also rich in protein and enzymes, avocados also contain calcium, Vitamin C and K, folic acid, and sodium.

Ripe avocados are naturally pure and furnish all of the elements we need to build the highest quality protein in our bodies.  Because avocado is a ripe, watery, enzymatically-alive fruit, it ranks as the most easily digested rich source of fats and proteins in whole food form. The ripening action of the sun “predigests” complex proteins into simple, easily digested amino acids, making it a wonderful aid to the digestive process.

4.  Chia Seeds – freshly ground, as oil, or as seeds – these can help support healthy digestive function and overall health and wellness.  Chia seeds are nutrional power-houses. They are high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids and are packed with protein. They have a wonderful balance/ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Omega 6 Fatty Acids. They are easily digested, more-so than flax seeds, and therefore it is not essential to grind them.

5.  Raw Kefir – either from raw milk from grass-fed cows, from goats, or from raw Coconut Milk – Loaded with Probiotics and Minerals and supports digestive health and maintains normal immune system functioning. Loaded with live Probiotic Cultures, Enzymes, and Minerals.  You can read more about the Benefits of Kefir in this post.

6.  Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Seeds – eaten raw, both are excellent sources of Vitamin E, Vitamin B, Manganese, Folate, Vitamin B5, Selenium, Phosphorus, and Copper.  And Pumpkin Seeds, of course, contain an abundance of Zinc, which aids in functioning of immune system, digestion, control of diabetes, improves stress level, energy metabolism, acne, and wound healing.

7.  Papaya -  loaded with living enzymes, they contain Papain and Chymopapain, two enzymes that aid in digestion by breaking down proteins and soothing the stomach and digestive tract.  These enzymes also help to reduce inflammation in diseases like asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and can even aid in healing of burn wounds.  Papayas also provide protection against developing colon cancer with a complex nutritional source of antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, and fiber.

8.  Almonds -  eaten raw, they are higher in fiber than any other nuts. They contain healthy Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Zinc.  Soaking raw almonds removes harmful tannic acid and enzyme inhibitors making the nuts easy to digest and releasing their full nutritional value.

9.  Coconut  Oil (when raw, organic, un-refined) and Coconut Cream – Highly nutritious and rich in fiber, Coconut is Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, and Anti-Fungal. The anti-microbial properties of the coconut helps in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites that cause indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It supports your immune system, metabolism, and heart health as well.

10.  Raw Cultured/Fermented Vegetables, such as Sauerkraut and Kimchi -  a first rate source of live probiotics, and organic acids, which help to create a healthy intestinal environmental balance. Fermented food uses microorganisms to convert sugars into lactic acid, creating a signature sour taste. This fermentation process is almost like the beginning of digestion (much of the work has already been done for you).

Okay, now for these raw Mini Banana-Berry Pudding Pie Cups that are so healthy, I have been known to even serve them to my kids for breakfast:

Raw Berry Pudding Pie

Raw Mini Banana-Berry Pudding Pie Cups

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free (NOT Nut-Free)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups Raw Whole Pecans, or Walnuts (not soaked)
  • 6 large Medjool Dates (Soaked for 20 minutes and drained on paper towel)
  • 1/4 cup Finely Grated Coconut (preferably organic)
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Filling:

  • 1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour, up to overnight, then drained)
  • 6 large Medjool Dates (Soaked for 20 minutes and drained on Paper Towel)
  • 1/3 cup Raw Coconut Cream (skim the thick cream from the  top of your canned coconut milk)
  • 1 banana
  • 8 – 10 medium Strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Raw Coconut Milk Kefir (Or Coconut Milk, if Kefir is not available)

Directions:

1.  For crust: Grease 9 openings of a muffin pan. Cut plastic wrap into 9 – 6 inch by 6 inch squares and place one piece in each opening.

2.  In food processor, add pecans and process until finely chopped. Add dates, grated coconut, chia, and sea salt.  Process again until mixture starts to really come together into almost a paste.

3.  Scoop out about 1/4 cup of crust from processor and form a ball in hands. Place ball in an opening in prepared pan and gently press on bottom and up sides, making sure not to let crust get too thin. This will be your support of the pudding mixture, so you want a thick bottom and sides. Repeat with the rest of the crust in each prepared opening. Place muffin pan in freezer for 1 hour.

4.  For Filling: In high speed blender, or in food processor, blend together drained cashews, dates, coconut cream, banana, strawberries, chia, and Kefir (or milk). Mix until fully blended and totally smooth (about 2 minutes, at least).

5.  Remove pan from freezer and spoon or pipe (if you want a fancier look) your filling into each prepared crust (you will have more filling than you do crust – I fill ramekins with the additional filling). Just know that the crust will get slightly soft after a day or so of filling in them. So fill them the day you will be eating them.

6.  Return to refrigerator and let set for at least 3 hours.  Once chilled and set, use plastic wrap to lift cups out of tins. Serve with fresh berries, grated coconut, and even coconut whipped cream, if desired.

And make sure to check out the Raw Sweet Potato Chips yesterday from Heidi, at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, and then tomorrow go visit Tia, at Glugle Gluten Free for her entry (I think I know what it is, but I am not going to spoil the surprise).

Raw Berry Pudding Pie Gluten Free

Food Allergy Coaching with the Allergy Free Food Coach



Kim Maes - Allergy Free Food CoachKim Maes, CNC, AADP, known as the Allergy Free Food Coach, is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and Certified in the Practical Application of Food Allergy Guidelines.. She is also the creator of the Cook It Allergy Free iPhone and iPad Apps and the Cook It Allergy Free website, where she shares her passion for teaching others how easy and delicious it can be to eat whole, pure allergy-friendly meals that the entire family will enjoy.

33 Comments
  1. On April 19, 2011 Deanna said

    Kim – these look so delicious! I could definitely eat these for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dessert. YUM!

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Deanna! Thanks so much! Who says dessert only has to be after dinner? ;0)

  2. Kim, these look phenomenal! I think I know what we’re adding to our breakfast menu for tomorrow!

    Can’t wait to see you in 9 days!!!

    xo,
    Heidi

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Now that I am finally getting to my comments, I can now say that I cannot wait to see you in 3 days! Yippee! And thanks for the kind words about my raw pudding cups! ;)
      xo
      k

  3. On April 19, 2011 Iris said

    Absolutely lovely!

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Aww! Thanks, Iris! These are a hit with the kids and my hubby alike. Love when that happens.

  4. On April 19, 2011 Shirley @ gfe said

    Stunning! And I love when you give us all the nutritional info to support such amazing, healthy treats! You and Melissa keep me straight. ;-) I bet you could make some of these and put them in your carry-on with a few ice packs for the Expo … what do you think? I’ll hang around the airport that extra two hours for one of these! Kidding … sort of.

    xoxo,
    Shirley

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      You are too sweet, Shirley! I just wish I had half of Melissa’s info that she has stored in her brain, stored in mine! ;) And I would pack some up and take them with me to Chicago, but if I did they would never make them there because Kurt would eat them all before we got there! LOL See you in 3 days!!! Cannot wait!
      xo
      k

  5. On April 19, 2011 Curtis Maybin said

    Very delicate. Nice to be able to serve something healthy and still look so enticing.

    thanks

  6. On April 19, 2011 Chris Pedersen said

    Must pick up some fresh strawberries to make this lovely dessert. Also love your 10 wonderfully essential living raw foods list. Very informative.

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks Chris! This is a really simple dessert to make, packed full of healthy ingredients!

  7. On April 19, 2011 Megan said

    Kim, these look BEAUTIFUL!!!! Your kids are lucky!

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Megan! Not sure if my kids always think they are lucky, but at least when they get these they do not complain! LOL
      ;)

  8. On April 19, 2011 Erin Elberson Lyon-G said

    Kim, these look delish! And potentially easy enough for the impaired-with-following-a-recipe to make (like me :)
    I am so jealous that you and Heidi are getting together. No fair! I want to live in Arizona ;)
    Another note-I bought a couple pounds (yes!) of chia seeds, and so am very happy to see them used in recipes. They are cool little nutrition bombs.

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Erin, I have 100% confidence in you that you could TOTALLY pull these off! These are really forgiving! And holy moly! You have a couple of pounds of chia seeds?? I can think of a gazillion ways to use them and still have some left over. LOL

  9. On April 19, 2011 Christine said

    I love how these are individual sized servings – they look so tasty and cute! :)

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Christine! These cups are perfect serving sizes. The funny thing is that I have made this before as one big pie and the kids just did not like it as much as when they are in these individual sizes. Appearance is everything to kids, apparently! ;)

  10. On April 19, 2011 Maggie said

    These tarts are just beautiful Kim! I think I’m going to try some this weekend for an Easter lunch. Will the crust really miss the coconut? I’m just not a fan of the shredded variety. Maybe I will add some almond flour? Thank you for the GREAT info about super raw foods. I love that we get to benefit from your nutritional studies :)

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Maggie, you may have already made these, but the crust does not miss the coconut at all. It is just for a small hint of coconut. I have made these before without it and they are just as good. Cannot wait to see you this weekend! ;)

  11. On April 19, 2011 Candace said

    These look so good! Thank you for sharing all of this wonderful information with us. I knew that the foods you mentioned were healthy; but, I never understood the extent of it. I’m going to share your website with my Mom. She will be very interested to read this. Have a great evening and thanks again! Candace

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Candace!! I am glad that you found the nutrition info helpful! ;)

  12. On April 19, 2011 Elizabeth @ Saffron said

    It is so apparent by your post that you are a raw food expert. Thank you for your top essential living foods. So bright, full of life and hearty, these pudding pies are definitely going on my must-make list!

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I do not know if I would exactly call myself a raw food expert, but I do totally know the importance of the benefits of eating that way! I hope you like the pudding pies!

  13. On April 20, 2011 Swathi said

    These are decadent, delicious healthy pie. thanks for the info regarding each food. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

    • On April 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Swathi! Glad to be able to share my recipe on the Hearth and Soul hop!! ;)

  14. On April 30, 2011 Sophie said

    Divine & stunning tasty treats! Waw!! They look oh so appetizing too! :)

    Lovely food best enjoyed with family & friends!

  15. On May 10, 2011 Jeanette said

    Kim,
    What a nice informative post. I completely believe the gut and the brain are connected. I’ve tried a few raw recipes (cashew cream is one of my favorites!), but nothing too complicated. Your Banana Berry Pudding Pie Cups look amazing! What a tasty treat for breakfast ;)

  16. On May 13, 2013 Suzie said

    Yummy! I love raw food creations! Where do you get your chai seeds from?

  1. [...] Raw Mini Banana-Berry Pudding Pie Cups by Kim of Cook It Allergy Free [...]

  2. [...] 10 raw foods to add into your diet for digestive & brain health [...]

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