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excerpted from the book

Following are some of the terms and ingredients used in the recipes in this collection. I kept the recipes simple and with ingredients that can usually be found at your local health or natural foods store. I include a couple of my favorite special ingredients; certainly, substitutions can be made as you begin to understand more about the five flavors and what they represent.

  • Agave nectar – A natural sweetener made from the agave plant. Lower on the glycemic index than honey or maple syrup, it is not a raw product.
  • Blender – high speed blenders such as the Vitamix and Blendtec offer blending capabilities of 2½ to 3 horsepower and blend soups, smoothies, sauces and nut milks in seconds.
  • Cacao – natural 100% raw chocolate from a cacao pod is available in powder, nibs or paste. It contains a caffeine analog, theobromine, that some find over-stimulating. The health benefits of cacao are controversial so I invite you to discover for yourself how your body reacts to cacao.
  • Carob – this dark brown powder, made from carob seeds and pods, is often used as a chocolate substitute. It is free of caffeine. Available raw or toasted; I prefer raw.
  • Dehydrator – warms and dries food at low temperatures. Use for “cooking” foods without compromising the nutrient content. The most well known and effective is made by Excalibur and I recommend the 9 tray with Paraflexx sheets.
  • Enzyme inhibitors – naturally occurring chemicals, often found on the husks or skins of seeds, that discourage insects and bacteria from eating the seeds. These compounds are often bitter and even mildly poisonous.
  • Green tea – There is no such thing as fine green tea in tea bags. As with good knives, with good tea you get what you pay for, and the cheap stuff is usually a bitter, oxidized powder – sweepings from the tea factory floor. If you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake, treat yourself to the priciest loose green tea you can find. Use good green tea sparingly, and more than once. The best leaves are said to make their best tea on the second and third brewings.
  • Himalayan salt – considered the purest salt on the planet, it is uncontaminated by any toxins or pollutants as it’s mined high in the Himalayan mountains, an area of the earth not touched by civilization’s pollutants. Highly beneficial to overall health.
  • julienne cut – long skinny bits, like shoestring potatoes.
  • Miso – a white, yellow, or red paste usually made from fermented soybeans. There are non-soy versions available.
  • packed measure – pack ingredient into measure tightly.
  • Nut Milk Bag – a nylon mesh bag used for many things including straining nut milks, juices, and sauces to separate the pulp from the liquid. We are especially proud of our own More than a Nut Milk Bags. Buy them online at
  • Rough chop – uniform sized pieces not necessarily the same shape. This method is usually used when ingredients are to be blended so there is no need for exact sizes or shapes.
  • Young Thai coconuts – the meat and water from these coconuts are a wonderful source of electrolytes, calcium, purified water and saturated fat. Coconut water is very similar to human blood plasma and extremely beneficial.
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