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Today was Day 3 of food prep at the Test Kitchen. My GastRAWnomique molecular gastronomy inspired dinner is just days away. Chris Ochs and Josh from SunFood personally delivered a ton of superfoods. Diane Paylor and I were elbow deep in cacao. And Top Chef Alex Reznik was cold smoking my cashews for me.

To cold smoke, Alex uses a smoking gun packed with chips to push smoke into a sealed container of raw cashews. The cashews absorb the aroma of the smoke, but stay raw. Pretty cool. No pun intended.

Restaurant Mo-Chica’s Ricardo Zarate and I making Cheddar Kale Chips.

Richi helping me set up 8 Excalibur Dehydrators. These are my favorite dehydrators, and they come with Paraflexx reusable non-stick sheets. Thanks for sending them over to me Excalibur! So much love from the community, sponsors have been super generous and include: Excalibur, Sambazon, Earth Circle Organics, Sunfood, Gold Mine Natural Food, Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Big Tree Farms.

Chef Seth Greenburg at the Huntley Hotel Penthouse Restaurant invited me into his kitchen where he shared with me some of his favorite molecular gastronomy techniques.

Chef Seth and I compressed melons and cucumbers, and put chemicals into water and fruit puree to create popular spheres or ‘caviar’. We even made ‘noodles’. See what could be done using chemicals got my creative juices flowing thinking about ways to create similar effects without chemicals, and instead 100% natural and raw.

Test Kitchen brings together the best Chefs in LA, and has become much like a think tank where Chefs share their creativity, ideas, and time. Great energy in this space! Chef Christian Page, a locavore sourcing his ingredients locally and seasonally, is to the left of the photo, and is about to open Daily Dose Restaurant in downtown LA in mid Dec.

A book trailer for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials for a naturally effervescent probiotic drink called Water Kefir from page 56.

This healthy drink is simple to make using water kefir grains that you can purchase online. I include resources in my book, and recommend going straight to the source for the living grains. Avoid the processed, dried, packaged grains because they are not as vital as the living grains. Plus, the dry grains only brew maybe three batches before you have to go and buy more dried grains again.

It takes just 48 hours to brew Water Kefir, and it’s full of friendly bacteria for building healthy intestinal flora. It helps me with digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and elimination. I enjoy Water Kefir with and after meals to help with digestion. I drink a cup on an empty stomach before bed to balance my intestinal flora.

In this video, I use a variation of the recipe in my book.

Water Kefir
Note: avoid metal. Metal damages probiotics and water kefir grains. Use only plastic spoons, measuring cups, and glass jars.

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/3 cup organic cane juice crystals (sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon turbinado (brown)
  • 2 pieces ginger
  • 3 slices dried pear (unsulphured)
  • 1/4 cup water kefir grains

Place water into a glass jar. Add sugars, ginger, pear, and stir. Add grains. Close lid, and store in cabinet for 48 hours to brew.

Pour brew through a plastic sieve to catch the grains. Remove ginger and pear. Store brew in glass bottles at room temperature to increase vitamin B levels. Or, store in fridge to chill.

Start your next batch immediately.

ani's raw food essentials kefir

In this video, I speak with The Blissful Chef Christy Morgan after my book signing and food demo at Erewhon May 8, 2010 about my philosophy  of raw food and about my new book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

ani phyo raw food essentials

Cauliflower Mash Raw Food Recipe

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, and it was abundant at the farmers’ market today. So, I picked up a big, beautiful head to whip up my mash for dinner. Cauliflower comes in white, green, and purple varieties, and works wonderfully processed into a mash. This is my version of mashed potatoes. Cauliflower has a kick to it, which I love. But if it’s too strong for you, try the following trick:

To soften the kick of raw cauliflower, process on it’s own first with 1 cup of filtered water. Strain through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Some of the pungent flavor will run off with the water. Or, you can also substitute with broccoli, which is much milder.

Serve with a gravy on it’s own, or alongside your favorite recipe(s).

cauliflower mash ani phyo raw food

Cauliflower Mash
Makes 4 servings, about 4 cups

To keep your mash lighter in color, you can use white miso paste. I used a red paste, and it was still light in color. I added a touch of olive oil, but for even more creaminess, I use avocado. Avocado creates spots of slight green, which I don’t mind, since I love the color green. Besides, the gravy will cover it up anyways.

I used to use Psyllium Seed Husk powder in this recipe, but this batch didn’t seem to need any stiffening up, so I skipped it. If your mash is too runny, add a teaspoon at at a time, up to a tablespoon, of Psyllium to thicken.

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces, about 6 c
  • 1/4 cup avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons miso, any unpasteurized color
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme or sage, dry

Place all ingredients into your food processor. Process until smooth.

Mushroom Gravy
(from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, page 190)

A rich and creamy gravy that’s easy-to-make in your blender.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms,
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients into your blender. Blend smooth.

ani phyo at erewhon natural foods raw food in los angeles kate magic

Watch video: 8 min, 15 sec

Kate Magic was visiting from the UK last fall. In this video, you can watch our visit to Erewhon Natural Foods in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. I believe Erewhon was SoCal’s first natural food market and co-op. It’s full of the healthiest foods, cookbooks, natural eco green cleaning products, and lots more. Rooted in macrobiotics, they have a great book selection too.

Erewhon offers a huge array of raw food products in their store, it’s probably the largest raw selection in the world. The raw food goodies take up 2 full isles, end caps, plus a refrigerated section. It’s always a treat to peruse the isles to see what new raw food products have hit the marketplace.

Kate and I enjoyed a lovely day playing around West Hollywood. We started out at lunch eating delicious collard roll wraps, then stopped into Trashy Lingerie next door. Since raw foods keep me at my ideal weight, makes my skin smooth and clear, and helps me build a lean, strong body, it makes shopping for and wearing lingerie easier.

Next, we visited a thrift store, which is my favorite way to shop. It’s recycled fashion, eco, green, good for our environment, and it’s true that one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure. Finally, we then made it over to Erewhon.

Kate will be back in LA in August this year. I look forward to continuing our SoCal adventures together!

kanga dog baja beach raw food

I made a batch of Kanga Dog Treats for my Rhodesian Ridgeback canine companion. She loves these, and asked me to share the recipe with you here on my blog so other dogs could also enjoy these treats.

It’s important to keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy, especially if they aren’t crunching on dry kibble. These easy to make, crunchy treats will help remove plaque and freshen dog breath.

Your dog may not be used to these at first. Just like other new foods, you may need to teach pooch how to eat them by taking a bite out of one first, then giving it to pooch to try. Dogs always love what they see us eating. Especially when accompanied by yummy, delicious sounds.

Kanga is a dessert dog. She hates water and baths. She was rewarded after her lavender bath today with these treats, and was very happy.

I realize this is a recipe section where I list food for people. The good thing about raw food is that even treats for dogs could easily be enjoyed by humans. Many times, friends have come over and said “your dog eats better food that I do!” And this is so true, since Kanga eats organic, local, seasonal, and many times stuff that I eat. I joke that she’s my compost bin, eating up all my leftovers.

Kanga Dog Treats
(page 241 of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, the Kanga dog food chapter)

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Place sweet potatoes on dehydrator trays, and dry at 104 degrees F for 12 hours, or until completely dry.

The sun was out for Day 1 of Expo West, and I was happy it was warm outside for the folks visiting from colder climates.

brendan brazier vega and ani phyo raw food

My first stop was the Sequel booth, where I found my good friend Brendan Brazier. He’s the formulator of Vega. He has a new Sport line out for pre and post workout fueling. Brendan’s the author of Thrive and Thrive Fitness books. I love Vega drinks and bars.

robert cheeke and ani phyo, raw foods

I also found my friend Robert Cheeke at the Sequel booth, vegan body building champion. He also has a new book out soon called Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness.

matthew kenney and ani phyo raw food at expo west

Next stop was the Ohgave booth, where I found Matthew Kenney with his new raw agave product. Matthew’s latest restaurant, 105degrees, is opening up the world of raw food to mainstream America in Oaklahoma City, of all places. Matthew’s the author of numerous cookbooks including Everyday Raw, which I’ve often found my Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen book sitting next to on store shelves. What a cutie pie.

Excited by the huge jump in new raw products at this year’s Expo West, I forgot to take anymore photos after this point, and got carried away into the thousands of booths and new products. I found several raw kale chips, tons of raw chocolate, a couple raw kombuchas, new raw bars, and several flax crackers. The raw food explosion was quite a sight to see.

I had my preview copy of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials with me, and folks were stoked to see a sneak peek at my new book. In addition to several awesome meetings, I was also video interviewed for VegNews and Delicious Living Magazines. I’ll make sure to post up the videos right here as soon as they are live.

Vitamix's Create Cookbook, Professional Series

Ani's Miso Soup featured on the cover of Vitamix's Create Cookbook, Professional Series

My raw food Miso Soup recipe is featured on the cover for the new Vitamix Create Cookbook. It’s included inside the box with every professional series Vitamix blender.

ani phyo raw food Vitamix's Create Cookbook, Professional Series

Ani's raw food recipes in the Vitamix Create Cookbook, Professional Series

Food & Wine 2009 Cookbook

Food & Wine 2009 Cookbook

Two of my recipes are included in the 2009 Food & Wine Cookbook.

2009 Food & Wine Cookbook - Ani's Raw Marinara recipe

2009 Food & Wine Cookbook - Ani's Zucchini Noodles with Raw Tomato Marinara recipe

I love this recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Raw Tomato Marinara. Super easy to make. Just blend tomatoes and herbs with some lemon to add that tart flavor of cooked tomatoes and a date for added sweetness. Serve marinara over thinly sliced zucchini ‘noodles’ for a wheat free, low calorie, raw food pasta dish that will help you loose weight and feel great too.

2009 Food & Wine Cookbook - Ani's Corn Chowder Soup

2009 Food & Wine Cookbook - Ani's Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder

This delicious Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder is made by blending fresh corn with cashews for creaminess, a splash of olive oil for rich smoothness, and fresh cilantro for brightness.

Food and Wine Magazine
I was featured in Food & Wine Magazine along with five of my raw food recipes for well-being and weight loss. The recipes included Zucchini Ribbons with Raw Tomato Marinara, Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder, Orange-Cardamom Date Bars with a Nutty Crust, Sunflower Seed Dip with Dill, Coconut Almond Balls with Dried Fruit. As with all my raw food recipes, these are made using only fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and are free from dairy, wheat, gluten, and refined sugar.

Food and Wine Magazine

Food and Wine Magazine

Food and Wine Magazine

Ani Phyo Raw Food Food and Wine Magazine

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Ani Launches New VitaMix TurboBlend VS
I was invited to the VitaMix headquarters to shoot a 60-minute DVD they'll include in...
Ani's Raw Food Essentials
My new book, Ani's Raw Food Essentials, will be available everywhere May 3rd! I was...
Ani's Recipes in the 2009 Food & Wine Cookbook
Two of my recipes are included in the 2009 Food & Wine Cookbook: my Zucchini Noodles with...
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