Healthy Fat Recipes like Nut Milk & Seed Cheese, and In-depth Info on Essential Fatty Acids
May 19, 2022
Our bodies are half-protein and half-fat — both are needed 50-50 to build cell structures, and communication molecules like hormones and neuropeptides.
The best fats are avocado, seeds and nuts, in that order. Symptoms of fatty acid deficiency are dry skin, brittle nails and hair, and stressed-out nerves (over-reacting to small things).
In New York in 1994, I needed seed + nut milks every evening when I arrived back in my Brooklyn apartment, after a day's work in Manhattan. My nerves were totally on edge if I did not get my fats. I know 'cause I chased my cat round with a slipper when I was stressed. He'd miaow for his dinner. Lord knows I'd never do anything like that today! But that was then, I was emerging from a lifetime of sugar addiction.
When I had my seed milks, then all I wanted was to hug Buddy. What drove me crazy, now made me happy!
How Much Fat Do You Need?
Today, living a stress-free life writing at home on the beachfront, I prefer the low-fat raw vegan diet taught by Dr Doug Graham in his book The 80-10-10 Diet (2006). His recipes allow for roughly one ounce of fat a day, that's a small handful of nuts, a tablespoon of seeds, or a small avocado.
Basically Doug teaches to eat max 10% of your calories as fat. Get your calories from raw fruit rather than raw fat.
I love the high-fruit diet! I get so much energy from fruit. In the summer I'm pounding through the ocean waves like an olympic athlete.
Registered Dieticians (RD's) Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina in Becoming Raw - The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets (2010) write:
"Highly respected vegetarian and vegan proponents in the medical community advocate diets providing no more than 10 percent of calories from fat [cites research of teams led by Drs Dean Ornish, John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Neal Barnard].
Researchers have clearly demonstrated that by reducing fat calories to no more than 10 percent and dramatically reducing harmful fats, heart disease can not only be prevented, but it can be very successfully treated and reversed in the majority of patients.
No drug therapy or surgery can claim as much."
So Doug has the research on his side. But 80/10/10 is hugely controversial among raw fooders, that's 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 10% fat — read details in What to Eat In A Raw Food Diet.
Doug is a natural hygienist yet others on the natural hygiene branch of the rawfood tree, such as Dr. Vivian Vetrano, say we should eat 2 to 4 ounces of nuts or seeds a day — both for their protein and their fat (Dr Vivian is quoted by Susan Schenck in The Live Food Factor, 2009).
If you're not eating 600g (just over one pound) of leafy greens a day, then you need to eat extra seeds to meet your daily protein needs. Or a cup of cooked beans a day, as Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends.
Beans will give you zinc. Fruit & veg are high in copper but low in zinc, a mineral that's critical for your immune system.
Listen to your own body. I find that the more stimuli hitting my nervous system, like crossing a midtown Manhattan street at rush hour, and the colder the weather, the more fat I need.
If you're eating chips or cheese, it could be a craving for fat. Or it could be you are addicted to:
- Excito-toxins in chips — flavorants that damage your brain,
- Casomorphin Opioids in cheese — the casein in cheese breaks down into opium-like peptides (small protein chains) that fit the endorphin (feel-good) receptors in your brain. Casein is a protein in the milk of all mammals.
Please don't eat cooked fats like roasted nuts. Focus on fresh seeds, and leave the salted nuts for parties.
Swallowing flax oil is not the answer. Read why in Eat Whole Nuts and Seeds, Not Oils.
Why Eat Only Plant Fat?
If you love birds and animals — and all the fishes in the deep blue sea — don't eat them :) You certainly don't need their saturated fat, it's a one-way ticket to cancer and heart disease.
A vegan is a non-dairy vegetarian, one who enjoys eating plant-strong — fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, nuts, seaweeds.
Animals are not machines. In the 1800's we realized human slavery is wrong. Today we are waking up to the horrors of animal slavery. It's morally wrong to cage, enslave and torture to death the birds and animals with whom we share this planet.
I absolutely love TV Ellen for being such a beautiful role model. She walks her talk. The couple (Ellen and Portia) went vegan in late 2008. Ellen said cheese was the hardest for her to give up.
Here's a good youtube video with Ellen DeGeneres on being vegan.
Ellen mentions how she went vegan after forcing herself to watch the movie Earthlings.
She reports that the movie Food, Inc is "disney" compared to Earthlings.
Here's a World Vegan News interview with Portia on January 28, 2009:
Question: "Why did you decide to become vegans?"
Portia: "We just made that shift in our lives. The benefit of it is weight loss. For Ellen more than me. Her body responded to it very well. It is amazing. We are just both very happy. It feels like such a compassionate choice. We are such animal lovers, why stop short of cows and chickens? It didn't make any sense.
When Ellen and I first got together I was wearing fur and Ellen was wearing very expensive Italian calfskin leather. She was giving me a hard time about wearing the fur and I said, 'Why is a fox any more important than a cow?' We took that idea and went all the way with it."
Why Are Seeds the Best Fat?
Seeds have two poly-unsaturated fats called Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) — "essential" because our body can not make these fats, they must be in our diet.
These two fats are:
- Omega-6 or LA (linoleic acid) — in sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and
- Omega-3 or ALA (alpha-linolenic acid, also abbr. LNA) — in flax, hemp and chia seeds.
Latest research indicates we should get LA:ALA in the ratio 1:1, and not more than 3:1. Your brain needs 1:1.
Chia seeds are the best ratio at 2 to 1.5. Their fat content is 30%, of which 40% is LA and 30% ALA.
Next come hemp seeds at 3:1 — 35% fat, of which 60% is LA and 20% ALA.
You recall seeds are poly-unsaturated? Well nuts have mono-unsaturated fats that help to build your cell walls. The poly's and the mono's link arm-in-arm to form a strong membrane round every cell, a few poly's to every one mono. That's why we need more seeds than nuts.
The monounsaturated fats are — avocado, olive, and most nuts like almond, brazil, cashew (not a raw fat), filbert or hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio.
Walnut is more poly-unsaturated (has Omega 3) but is often infected with liver-fluke says Hulda Clark in The Cure For All Diseases (1995) — the craziest title I ever read for a book that leaves out living foods!
Another long-chain fat you need is DHA/EPA, especially for your brain and eyesight. Your body can convert ALA (chia, flax, hemp) into both EPA and DHA.
In my mid-60's I began taking a vegan microalgae oil DHA/EPA supplement because I felt deficient in DHA. I never tested my blood. My nerves were on edge. That's a sign of DHA deficiency! With regular use of the supplement, I now feel calm. I love the way it focuses my brain.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman reports that he sees an abnormally high rate of Parkinson's in elderly vegan men. Their blood levels were low in DHA.
Children need extra DHA for their growing brains. In a 2002 Oxford University study, they gave elementary school children capsules of DHA oil each day for six months — they used fish oil, but algae oil is healthier for both you and mother earth. The fish get their DHA from eating algae.
The children's reading, memory and concentration improved by as much as 2 years! Omega-3 fats make it easier for signals to jump the gap between brain cells.
Make seed and nut milks a regular part of your child's diet. And reduce the cheese! The saturated fat in cheese blocks conversion of ALA into DHA.
Why Soak the Seeds?
Soak your seeds for a few hours, then blend them into a delicious milk.
Occasionally you can use a coffee grinder to grind unsoaked seeds, then blend. But soaking is best.
I don't believe in long soaking times. Precious minerals leach out into the soak water. I soak just long enough for the seed or nut to soften.
Soaking transforms the beta-starch in seeds (hard-to-digest) into alpha-starch (easily digested). Read how we digest starch in Eating Raw Carbohydrates.
Soaking also eliminates the anti-digestive enzyme normally found in nuts. Many rawfood books claim that soaking for eight hours "activates the enzymes" but I don't buy into this.
Out of all the nuts and seeds, only sunflower and unhulled sesame will grow little roots if you sprout them (after soaking). So only they have living enzymes to activate.
To increase enzymes, simply make a yogurt or cream out of your seed or nut.
Variety is the Key
For your milk or yogurt, alternate between pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds — each with flax seed (linseed in South Africa) — so you get both LA and ALA.
Or use just hemp or chia, which contain both LA & ALA.
In New York in the 1990's before hemp + chia became popular, I used to alternate like this — flax and sesame on Monday, flax and sunflower on Wednesday, flax and pumpkin on Friday.
In-between days I'd add avocado to my Energy Soup or salad. Or make a nut milk, for their mono-unsaturated fats.
Of course it's not so rigid, it's more of a flow. I know what fat I ate last time, so I'll eat a different one today.
Almond cream was a favorite of the late Dr. Ann Wigmore, mine too. Almonds are the healthiest nut, they're not as acidic as other nuts.
- Soak almonds for 3-4 hours, pour off soak water
- Blend with a little fresh water into a smooth cream
- Don't use the soak water, it has low-level toxins from the almond skins
- Pour the cream into a bowl and place in a warm place for a few hours to ferment
Almond soak water is the only one I throw out. For all the other nuts and seeds, I blend them in their soak water.
It ferments quicker when you use Rejuvelac as the blending base. Here's my Rejuvelac Recipe from the late Dr Ann Wigmore. She saved my life! How do you thank someone who gives you a life? I'm so excited I may meet her in the life-after-life.
Nut Yogurt + Seed Yogurt Recipes
Yogurt is made the same as cream, but you ferment it for longer. Cashews ferment the best, and make yogurt taste creamier.
- 1/4 cup cashews (optional)
- 1/4 cup dates, fresh or dried
- 3/4 cup of seeds or nuts — mix different ones like almond + walnut, or use just one kind like pumpkin seeds
Soak together for 2-3 hours, blend using their soak water, then ferment it as follows:
- Pour into jar, cover with nylon mosquito netting, held in place with elastic band,
- Leave overnight about 16-24 hrs depending on weather — goes quicker when it's warmer,
- It ferments into lovely fluffy yogurt, all bubbly and sweety-tart.
Amazingly, blended cashews will ferment in the refrigerator in a closed jar! I like to keep cashew cream in my refrigerator — blend 1 C cashews, 1/3 C dates (raw unpitted), 1 C pure water (use soak water from dates) and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence (optional).
Cashew cream is good with blended or whole fresh fruit. If it sits in my refrigerator for a while, that's fine, because it ferments into a delicious yogurt.
This is the healthiest way to eat nuts and seeds. Yogurt is rich in living enzymes, busy breaking the fat chains down into simple fatty acids. It gives you more energy, because the food is pre-digested.
Vegan Soya Yogurt Recipe
I made this a lot in New York. I especially loved it with raw chocolate sauce here in my Chocolate Recipes. This has the true yogurt texture that's lacking in nut yogurts!
I can't make it in South Africa because there's no Edensoy here. And I no longer drink soya milk.
It's a transition. At one time in your life in one environment in one climate you need one thing. And at another time, it's totally different! Life is about change, those who are most open to changing and adapting, are the ones who prosper!
- Buy a yogurt maker with glass jars.
- Use EdenSoy Organic Original Soymilk. All other soya milks I tested don't work. Note that soya milk is homogenized and pasteurized — homogenization causes heart disease because of its denatured fats. But turning it into yogurt is healthier. Yogurt is a living food, alive in the moment you eat it.
- For your starter, use Solgar's Multi-billion Dophilus with FOS. It works great — mix two capsules into each glass jar of warmed milk. Follow yogurt maker's instructions re. warming the soya milk and leaving yogurt to ferment.
Refrigerate your jars of yogurt — then for instant dessert, mix concentrated fruit juice into a jar of yogurt, e.g. apple for sweet, cranberry for tart, grape for mellow velvety flavor. The sweet of apple concentrate and the tart of yogurt taste particularly divine!
Same goes for chocolate sauce on yogurt. The marriage of tart and sweet twists your tongue in delight!
Nut Butter Recipe
Nut butters are so easy. My favorites are sesame tahini butter and almond butter.
- Grind any quantity of nuts or seeds — e.g. one cup of raw almonds — in coffee-grinder,
- Pour ground nuts/seeds into a bowl and add raw almond oil while mixing with fork,
- Stop the oil when you have smooth buttery texture, you want to use as little oil as possible to make the butter spreadable with a knife,
- Refrigerate in glass jar and eat within a week.
One way I like to eat this is to slice a banana down the middle, like a banana split, then spread almond butter thick between the two slices, it quickly and effortlessly satisfies my hunger — without any effort because it's straight from the refrigerator! A touch of raw honey is cool.
I use almond oil because it's monounsaturated so does not oxidize easily. Its taste is mild — it doesn't overwhelm the taste of the nut or seed you're using.
Store-bought nut butters and tahini are oxidized from exposure to light. Plus tahini is made with roasted sesame seeds.
For the best tasting raw tahini with no added oil, use a stone ground flour mill. It can't be a regular grain mill. It must use two stones that grind together.
Nut butters are a heavy concentrated fat. Ann Wigmore advised that cancer patients should not eat them on raw sprouted-grain crackers, which are a concentrated starch. In fact I'd advise anyone with cancer to stick to seed yogurt and seed milk. Leave out the butter for now, and go easy on nuts.
Nut Milk + Seed Milk Recipes
Nut milk is a quick way to enjoy a good fat. You blend 4 parts water to one part nuts or seeds, with your sweetener of choice like banana, dates or raw honey.
Raw sesame milk gives you high quality calories, protein, and fat — about 100 calories per Tbsp of ground sesame seeds. It's said to be a good source of calcium but I doubt it. Sesame's calcium is tightly bound up in oxalate complexes. Even soaking doesn't release it for us to absorb.
It's like spinach which also has lots of calcium. We absorb only 5% of the calcium in spinach because it's bonded into calcium oxalate. Nothing — not soaking, fermenting, blending, or even cooking — will save a mineral that's trapped in oxalate.
I am NOT saying, don't eat spinach or sesame! They give you a gazillion bone-building nutrients and phytochemicals, untouched by oxalate. Please don't avoid a nutritious food just because it has oxalates!
Only some minerals are affected, poor souls. I guess oxalate-dense plants have a secret reason for binding their minerals into oxalates...
To make your nut milk or seed milk:
- Soak one type of seed or nut in a cup (not clear glass because that allows light in, and not plastic), e.g. 1/4 cup of pumpkin or sunflower for one hour, sesame or almond for three hours. The water should cover the seeds or nuts with a couple of inches to spare.
- I prefer shorter soaking times, but it's okay to soak overnight or while you're at work all day.
- Some people throw out the soak water, they claim it has enzyme inhibitors. I prefer to use my soak water for its extra minerals. If you throw it out, water your plants with it and see how much *they* love the minerals!
- Also soak with it, 1 to 2 Tbsp of Flax seed.
- Blend the seeds or nuts, and flax, with one Tbsp soya lecithin granules.
- Be sure to use only a little water at first, then add more. If you start with too much water in the blend, then the smaller seeds like flax will stay whole. You want them ground into a smooth mush.
The lecithin helps to emulsify the fats. Later when you're clean inside and digest fat easily, you can drop the lecithin, it's a processed food. I did.
If your blender is not powerful enough to break down flax and sesame, then don't soak them. Rather grind the dry seeds in a coffee grinder just before blending them with water and sweetener. See my comparison of high-speed blenders here. Vita-Mix is my favorite.
- Once you have a smooth blend, add more water and a banana or any other fresh fruit for sweetener. Or dates, fresh or dried.
- For Chocolate Mint milk, blend in peppermint essence, organic cocoa powder and brown rice syrup to taste; leave out the fresh fruit. Or use dates instead of syrup. Dates and chocolate are delicious together!
- For Pina Colada, add to blender dried pineapple and coconut flakes with maple syrup.
For heavenly sweet seed milk recipes, see Candia Lea Cole's book, Not Milk... Nutmilks! 40 of the Most Original Dairy-free Recipes Ever! I lived on her recipes for about a year, then their mixture of dried fruit and nuts began to give me a tummy ache.
Super Simple Seed Milk
Today my seed milks are super simple — 2-3 seeds (e.g. 1 Tbsp each of sesame, pumpkin, flax) soaked together with 2 fresh dates, and one teaspoon apple cider vinegar added to the soak water. The vinegar:
- kills any microbes on the seeds and dates, like mold, and
- helps our body to digest and absorb the calcium in seeds.
Apple cider vinegar increases the flow of hydrochloric acid in our stomach. The acid ionizes the calcium, which makes it easier for our intestines to absorb it so long as Vitamin D is present. The malates from apples also combine with calcium into calcium malate which is very soluble.
Dr Benedict Lust in his book on Apple Cider Vinegar writes that it: "regulates calcium metabolism." Little vague, but you get the picture.
A few hours later I'll blend my soaking seeds and dates. I use the soak water of course. I may add celery and banana.
Once you experience the power of blended greens, you tend to add GREEN to everything, even to your seed milks!
By the way, I know natural hygiene preaches not to mix fat and fruit. The fat will clog your bloodstream and insulin receptors, stopping insulin from shuttling the fruit sugars into your cells for energy.
I say, how paranoid can you get? Nut milks and seed milks are delicious with a few dates or fresh banana. The benefits far outweigh the naughtiness.
If you have candida or any yeast infection, then steer clear of fat and fruit together in one meal.
Nut Cheese & Seed Cheese Recipes
Cherie Soria of Living Light Culinary Institute, the oldest raw vegan chef school on earth, gives away such a beautiful ebook — A Cheese Lover's Guide to Raw Vegan Cheese, Yogurt and Kefir.
Cherie's dairy-free recipes include cashew cream cheese, almond ricotta cheese, pine nut parmesan, herbed macadamia cheese balls, coconut kefir, cacao brazil nut kefir, vanilla almond yogurt, apricot and nut cheese stuffed figs with red wine glaze, spinach manicotti, blueberry cheesecake, and many more!
"Nut cheeses are delicious in raw food dishes, including pizza, enchiladas, burritos, burgers, sandwiches — even desserts!
It's easy to go dairy-free once you learn how to make nut and seed cheeses. Cultured nut cheeses, yogurt, and kefir are a terrific way to eat nuts, since culturing makes them far more digestible."
No ways I can compete with Cherie's exquisite cheeses! Download her ebook for Free here.
"You need to have a deep sense of self-worth to help you self-improve or heal destructive habits," write Susie Miller and Karen Knowler in Feel-Good Food Guide to Intuitive Eating.
Do you know how to grow in self-worth, how to love yourself? By eating RAW foods! It's amazing! Your brain focuses, your body fills up with energy, you discover you're realizing every dream, one by one over the years.
When you do what you love, you love yourself. It's natural. Your stress goes down. You feel fulfilled and happy. Talk about self-worth, you begin to feel on top of the world!
Raw foods help you to discover what God/dess already knows about you. You're here for a unique reason.
Your worth is not simply that you were born. It's far more than that. You are created for a destiny. Raw foods will carry you to your unique destiny, a role in creation that only you can play.
When we don't play it, there's a little hole there. A hole in our life, and a hole in the tapestry of creation. That's why there's so many wars on our peaceful earth. We're at war within ourselves.
Find The Peace
Find the peace within. Raw foods help us on the road to peace. But at the end of the day, the journey inside is not touched by anything in this world — where we see and feel the divinity within us. Cannibals can feel it.
Raw foods WILL take you to a LIFESTYLE where it's easy to sit still every day for an hour or so, and go within.
When your life grows free of stress and pain, you find the time to go inside, and discover YOU.
Why wait another day to try a raw food recipe? When Love is waiting for you?
It's a simple switch. Stop buying cow milk at the supermarket. Start buying nuts and seeds at the health food store. Cow milk is for calves, not for adult humans.
Seed milks taste divine!
They will transform your life.
Best pages to learn more:
- Recipes for Fresh Raw Nut Butters
- How To Clean Your Colon — after all that fat :)
- Blending Links — see all info on Blending.
- Site Map — see the whole feast :)
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Hello Val, I really love your site, it has to be one of the best raw food sites I have found on the net.