Luscious Lime Pudding and a Book Review: The Raw Food Solution by Mizpah Matus

by Gena on June 10, 2012

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Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend.

Ages ago—seriously, ages, the lovely Mizpah Matus sent me her book, The Raw Food Solution, to review. I love getting books for review, but the problem is that it usually takes me ages to make enough of the recipes necessary in order to review them! So Mizpah, forgive me for the delay. Now that I’ve tried some of the stellar (and simple!) recipes in this book, I’m delighted to share it with the rest of you.

The Raw Food Solution is actually much more of a lifestyle guide than it is a recipe book. Mizpah has a wonderful, inclusive, and intelligent approach to raw foodism and its potential excesses; she encourages a gradual approach and a lenient attitude toward eating cooked food. Earlier this year, I interviewed Mizpah for an article about the evolution of raw foodism that I was writing for VegNews. I loved her quote, and I’m sharing it with you now:

I see so many people new to this lifestyle giving up or feeling like they are a failure because they can’t be so extreme. So then they go back to SAD instead of adopting a more balanced way or doing a gradual transition, which is so unfortunate….I find that being more relaxed, especially when traveling, makes life so much easier and enjoyable. I’m also a former eating disorder sufferer so I definitely have come to appreciate the value of reducing the stress associated with eating and food choices.

I couldn’t possibly say it better!

Mizpah and I do have different perspectives on a number of health questions. All of the recipes in the book look delicious, but they’re not quite as calorie dense as the meals I need to stay fueled; yes, there are plenty of nut pates and nut-based entrees that would keep me nice and full, but on the whole, the salads and soups are a bit lower in protein, and sometimes in fat, than is my personal norm. I often paired some of the salads or soups with half a cup of legumes or quinoa for a protein punch. Entrees like the pad thai noodles or Indian Korma were perfectly filling on their own!

Mizpah also takes a cautionary approach to grains, and suggests that gluten is, ipso facto, harmful, whereas I’m a big fan of whole grains, and don’t believe that gluten from high quality, non-GMO sources need be eliminated unless an intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity is present (or if you find that gluten doesn’t work for your constitution). Finally, Mizpah advocates food combining, a practice which I don’t recommend unless you swear by it (as per my FAQ’s, I used to believe in food combining, until I deepened my health education).

But no matter! The raw world abounds with differences of perspective on many health questions. As consumers of information, we form opinions as best we can based on what we learn. I think it’s healthy to expose oneself to much of the data out there, which is why I like reading books or resources that aren’t totally in keeping with my own point of view. And I appreciate that Mizpah is utterly unbiased in the way she presents facts: even when she talks about gluten, she simply invites the reader to try avoiding it, rather than wielding the kind of anti-wheat scare tactics and fear mongering that I’ve seen some health practitioners use. And no raw fanatic is she: Mizpah addresses fairly the objections made against raw food in TCM and Ayurveda, while also making clear that she ultimately feels that raw diets are healthful. She positions herself as a gentle guide, rather than a guru.

But on to the exciting stuff: the food! I’ve made a ton of recipes from the book now, including Mizpah’s pad thai, her Indian Korma, her BLT salad (dulse, tomato, romaine, macadamia mayo), and her buddha bowl. But I think Mizpah’s recipes really shine when they includes fresh fruit (which she lauds as nature’s perfect food). Her smoothies and fruit puddings are some of the best I’ve ever tried, and I’ve been hooked on them! Just this morning, I was sipping on her green monkey smoothie, which is a combination of Brazil nuts, cacao, protein powder, banana, flax, and greens. Very similar to the kinds of smoothies I often make at home!

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Delicious!

But my truly favorite recipe from the book is Mizpah’s incredible Luscious Lime Pudding. It is one of the best raw puddings I’ve ever made, and it actually got me to love mango (not my favorite fruit most of the time). The pudding is rich in healthy fats from coconut, chia, and avocado; I serve it with lots of fresh berries and a sprinkle dried buckwheat! I’m so in love with it that I asked Mizpah if I could reprint the recipe here. She said yes!

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Luscious Lime Pudding, recipe © Mizpah Matus

Serves 2-3

2 mangoes or 2-3 bananas
1 small avocado
1/3 cup chia seed gel
1 tsp lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp raw agave (or stevia)
Small handful mint leaves (optional)
1-2 tbsp coconut butter
1/2 tsp spirulina or chlorella
2 scoops vegan vanilla protein powder
Water as needed

Combine everything except avocado and protein and blend until smooth. Add avocado and protein and keep blending till very smooth, adding water if desired. If you want the pudding to be thicker, add more coconut butter and keep cold!

As you can see, I enjoyed it with some avocado garnish and dulse flakes!

Thank you, Mizpah, for the recipe and the wonderful book!!! Readers, if you’re interested in an informative raw foods primer that features blissfully simple recipes, check out The Raw Food Solution!!

I’m just wrapping up a weekend that was a nice combination of work and play. Highlights include SweetGreen lunch with the wonderful local herbalist and healer Melanie, who has been a blog friend for some time now, running into Valerie at said lunch, seeing Prometheus, which has a predictable denouement, but is stunning nonetheless, and my first class at Down Dog Yoga since before my spring break. Plus, a whole lot of physics. ΣF=MA. Etc.

I’ll be back here tomorrow with my favorite new summertime slaw. See you then!

xo

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

janet @ the taste space June 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I share many of your views on food which is why I think I love your recipes so much, Gena. I don’t feel like veggies alone keep me going and I always look for a way to add beans or grains. Nuts work when eating raw, though, when I mixed it in. This looks like similar to a great key lime pie I made recently with coconut, avocado and cashews. Sometimes you just have to go all out! Yum!

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I think we have many levels of similitude, dear Janet! I was so delighted to realize you’re a resident; I can assure you that I’ll be peppering you with questions soon. But aside from that, yes, I do sense that we see eye to eye on issues of nutrition science :) And our food is proof!

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Sophie June 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

yum – this is really delicious! something about avocado, coconut, lime and mint is crazy good. i added fresh mint which i’ll do again, but the only thing i’ll do differently next time is reduce the 2 scoops of vanilla protein to 1. i used Sun Warrior “Warrior” protein powder and 2 scoops made it slightly grainy, even in my Vitamix, however, the flavor is fantastic and i’m really glad to have this recipe. i’m usually boring at breakfast and i can tell i’d love this in the mornings
.

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Good tip — one scoop, that is!

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

that pudding sounds so delicious! i love lime! yum yum yum! thanks for sharing!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

Mango, avocado, lime…sounds so refreshing & perfect for summer. Thanks for the book review and the recipe, Gena.

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity June 11, 2012 at 2:00 am

Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts on the book.
I also just want to point out that one (of the many) personal qualities I respect about you is that like Mizpah you have never used the scare tactic that many others do. I appreciate that you guide and also encourage us to believe what we feel is right for our own health.
This desert looks great and the book sounds like it covers a lot of variety!
Lisa

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Never! No fear mongering on this blog. Thanks, Lisa :)

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Food and Fashion June 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

Chia seed is one of my breakfast favourites, texture is just great, and this recipe is pretty appealing with the creamy avocado and tangy lime association!

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tina June 11, 2012 at 7:18 am

Hi Gena,
thanks for sharing your thoughts and recipes!
What are your thoughts on food combining? I usually don’t eat beans and grains together and eat fruit by its self, what do you think?
Thanks
Tina

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Tina,

There is no scientific basis to food combining as a practice — the theory is based on pieces of science, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. So I don’t separate food groups at all. If you find that eating very simply helps you, by all means, do it, but I don’t advocate it on the whole!

G

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Brian June 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

I too like the fact that you seem to remain neutral on individual food choices. I tend to stay away from writers who possess strong bias viewpoints towards diet & eating. What works for some may not work for others for we are not carbon copies of one another. For me, a balance between high raw, minimally cooked foods, utilizing lots of fresh fruit/veggies, EFA’s, & small amount of grains & legumes is ideal.

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Thank you so much, Brian. We eat similarly, it would seem! In my case, it’s a lot of legumes :)

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sophie June 11, 2012 at 9:23 am

when you say two scoops of protein powder, how many grams (total) is that?

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I used two heaping TBSP. That should do it!

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Kristy June 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

This pudding sounds so indulgent, but so good-for-you at the same time! Thank you for the heads up on Mizpah’s book!

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Nikki FYC June 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

So nice of Mizpah to let you share the recipe with your readers! I’ve been thinking about fruit puddings quite a bit lately as the weather warms up. Especially with lemon and lime, they sound so refreshing. Love that you paired it with avo and dulse. Delish :)

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Lia June 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

This sounds wonderful. The Chia gel…is that chia that has been allowed to gel, or is it somehow a separation of the chia from the gel?

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Gena June 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Soaked and plumped up seeds :) So chia that has been allowed to gel.

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Hannah June 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

So how many TBSP of chia seeds would make the 1/3 cup? thanks!

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles June 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Gena, I have to say that it is admirable how far-reaching your compassion is. I just love your inclusive, and it’s clear that your knowledge, opinions, and demeanor are gentler and more rational because of it. I truly aspire to have the conviction to remain firmly rooted in my opinions (though not so firmly rooted that they cannot evolve) while inviting opinons from others to exist in such harmony. All this to say, in short, thanks for the honest and glowing review. It seems that Mizpah’s view on extremism in the raw foods community is in keeping with mine and I can’t wait to check out the book :)

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Green puddings definitely beats out all other pudding colors. Hands down. :)

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Fiona June 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I just adapted this into a smoothie and it was great! I left out the agave and protein powder and used 1/2 of an avocado, 1 cup frozen greens, 1 fresh banana and 1/2 frozen. I also added 1 T of chia seeds instead of chia gel. (I would use the his gel next time.) My coconut butter didn’t really melt since it was a cold smoothie. It’s filling. I only ate half because it was very filling! I think I’ll let it sit in the fridge and save the rest for my husband after work!

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Mizpah @ The Raw Food Solution July 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Hi Gena,
I haven’t had a chance to stop by for a while and boy do I have a lot to catch up on!

I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Actually I think if we were to sit down and have a conversation we’d actually agree on pretty much everything.

I advocate food combining mainly for those with digestive problems or long-term chronic illness. Personally it has helped me tremendously. But on the whole if you don’t have these issues it isn’t necessary and balanced meals can actually enhance nutrient absorption so we’re in agreement there.

I sure do love my fruit and a high fruit diet has been – and continues to be – one of the most valuable healing tools in my recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. I’m happy to see you are learning to love mango :)

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