Raw Cranberry Pie- to go! Digestion-How Is yours Right Now?

by Julie on November 21, 2011

Every day that I meet someone that is keen to listen to some of the health wisdom that I have uncovered it’s the most inspiring experience.  It makes everything that I am doing right now including being away from my family each week so worthwhile.  I become even more driven in my studies, in learning and absorbing to expand my knowledge of holistic nutrition.
I am constantly amazed how many people need this information in which I study.  I can completely relate to those in chronic pain and feel compelled to share ideas to allow them to find relief.  Just today I was able to inspire a lovely lady on the ferry with ways to reduce her arthritic  pain.  It gives me tingles to know that I have some answers for her and that I authentically know that she will be fine with a few changes in her lifestyle that we discussed.  We also chatted about live blood analysis as an option for true clarification of any thing else that may be contributing to her pain. We discussed dairy and how minimizing or eliminating it would decrease her pain immensely.  But it is a tough one for many people because either culturally they have been raised with it or they have been convinced by the dairy foundation that it builds bones.

Many studies have shown that it does the exact opposite by leaching calcium from the bones, read this post for how that happens.  When the body is too acidic, the body must balance it’s alkalinity, thus it’s back up plan is it’s own sources, hence bones and organs are depleted of their alkaline stores resulting in osteoporosis and other nasty painful diseases.  Unfortunately the marketing and the big corporations have managed to brain wash most of us into thinking that milk is the answer to bone loss.  Their weak back up studies that indicate the slightest proof were done only on yogurt long ago and that was pre- antibiotic and hormone additive cow time!  It’s crazy that they can continue with their claims when it’s a known fact in a myriad of legitimate studies that milk is seriously bad for us and we cannot digest it properly.  Humans are the only mammals that drink the lactation milk of another animal.  This milk is meant for a baby cow as is human mothers milk is designed specifically for our infants.  This book Called Whitewash is a good read re: the truth about cow’s milk and your health.  This milk documentary, Got the Facts on Milk is also interesting.

I know this is a hot topic but I’m just saying…. if you drink milk or eat any dairy products perhaps take a look at your health and see what you might be experiencing that is due to this dairy consumption.  These symptoms are directly related to dairy: asthma & SIDS in children, frequent colds or mucus in the throat, allergies, acne or skin irritations like eczema, excess weight gain, arthritis, kidney stones, calcium & iron deficiencies, diabetes, MS, Osteoporosis, prostate disease and the big C-Cancer, the list goes on and on.  Yet none of this is enough to convince people not to produce or consume dairy products.  Most people who eliminate dairy for only 1-2 weeks notice incredibly positive differences in their health.  Have you tried this before or would you even consider it? If you currently consume dairy, my recommendation would be to ensure that it is an organic source and seriously minimize your consumption dramatically to avoid these terrible consequences.  Maybe be open minded and give almond milk a try and eliminate dairy for a wee bit to see if you notice any difference in the way you feel.  You don’t have to give it up completely but use it in extreme moderation versus at every meal or every day.

Now that was a tangent, I didn’t plan to discuss milk today but my typing fingers and my brain did some walkin’!

So…. doesn’t this look yummy?  I had some guinea pigs (not our pet one, lol) do some taste tests and the feedback was just what I figured, yuuuuummeeeee!

The fun part of this pie is taking it out for a walk or a picnic in your pocket.  We’ve had some lovely sunny fall days to walk and enjoy the leaves and this a perfect portable snack.  You can make up a few and leave them in the fridge for a couple days as they keep well.  And this recipe is just in time for you if you live in the US and are about to enjoy Thanksgiving celebrations this coming weekend.  Surprise your guests with a morning or afternoon walk with this jar in their pockets, what a treat that would be!  Or if you are a planning a picnic these are the perfect dessert that can be made well in advance.  And of course, this doesn’t have to leave the house to taste yummy, you can make up individual dessert pies or just layer it all in a pie plate.

This recipe was inspired by a cranberry sauce I learned to make from Edin during a recent workshop, “Starve Cancer, Feed Life” that I participated in to learn more about cancer fighting foods.  Eden is an incredible wealth of knowledge as a trained holistic nutritionist. She also shares her own scary cancer survival experience and vast cancer research/learnings with those of us that also want to learn so we can share or for those experiencing cancer that want to approach it in the most holistic manner possible.  Check out Eden”s site for more info on her programs based in Vancouver, B.C. and for some cancer tips and recipes on her blog.  Thanks Eden:)

I just love how gorgeous cranberries look, with their shiny deep crimson coats and their round bouncy shapes.  Be sure to choose organic of course, you’ll find them at organic grocers or Whole Foods.  If you can only find conventional berries then just use them for decorations for your table and surround your candles in glass votive holders with them, they look stunning, and they float if you add water!  I’ve done this many a time for Christmas and they keep til Valentines day!!

Canning jars are ideal for packing these pies to go, use the 1 cup size shown, or for smaller treats and a bigger crowd choose the half cup sized jar.

Raw Cranberry Pie-To Go!
Yield: 6 – 6oz servings
2 cups raw organic cranberries, (save a few for garnishes)
1 organic pear, not too soft
1/4 wedge of organic orange, with skin on, and juice of 1/2 orange
1 cup raw untoasted buckwheat, soaked- see below
6 dates + 2 dates
1/2 cup raw organic almonds
1/2 cup raw organic pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla + 1/2 tsp
For the base crust
Soak buckwheat in filtered water for 20-30 mins, rinse really well and drain well, patting with paper towel.  In a bowl combine with 1/4 tsp cinnamon,  juice of 1/2 orange, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Set aside.
For the Filling
In food processor place cranberries, pear, 1/4 orange piece w/ skin on, 6 dates, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Combine until well chopped and blended, almost a puree but with some texture still.  Set aside.  Rinse food processor.
For the Pie topping
Place almonds, pecans, 2 dates, 1/4tsp cinnamon  in food processor and combine until a crumbly meal forms.
Fill jars with buckwheat mixture, then layer with 2 scoops of cranberry mixture and then top with nut crumbles and garnish with a fresh cranberry.  Place lids on jar and tie a spoon to the side with butcher string. Voila!

Just a note, remember that this is a yummy ‘treat’ with dates and some maple syrup but also filled with many, many nutrients.  Moderation and balance is still important when ever sugar is involved even if it’s a pure food source of sugar as in this recipe.  Your body sees sugar no matter what source ends up in your body.  Too much isn’t a good thing so small portions are just fine with this, enough to satisfy but not too much to set you off balance.  The cranberries provide such a nice source of Vitamin C to strengthen your immunity since most folks seldomly eat cranberries in their raw state except for dried which are usually filled with sulphites and sugar.  With all these yummy, healthy ingredients I hope you and your guests enjoy this tasty pie in a jar!

Oh and if you are out for a walk, see if you can spot any gorgeous rose hips or hawthorn berries that the birds are feasting on.  Hopefully they save some for you so that you can decorate with a little at Christmas time!  Here’s some that I thought were so pretty, I had to share.

The above were all rose hips and these below are the pretty hawthorn berries.  These ones are poisonous so be cautious when taking them indoors with small children around.

So….. this week in my ongoing holistic studies our focus was on digestion.  Fascinating it was, indeed.  Did you know…. that digestive disease and disorder is the #1 health issue in North America? If you think about it, it makes sense, since we eat to be nourished and the nourishment provides us with the elements to maintain a healthy body.  We might very well be eating thee most alkaline diet to balance our pH but if we aren’t digesting, absorbing and assimilating these nutrients into our cells then a. we aren’t benefiting from the healthy diet and b. the undigested food molecules may be leaking into our blood where they don’t belong causing symptoms that most patients and doctors can’t seem to understand.  Digestion is the last thing that a typical western doctor might question or even consider. And it’s the last thing that you might think of as being a problem since quite often the symptoms are not directly felt in the digestive track.

The function of digestion is like this, particularly for a food starch.  It’s slightly different for digestion of fat and protein, I’ll save that for another time.

Before we even begin to eat our meal our salivary glands begin to secrete enzymes to initiate digestion, knowing that we are about to eat.  Then we chew our food and it mixes with this saliva enzyme, dextrin, and heads down to the stomach where it mixes with gastric juices.  If it we’ve eaten a starch, say a potato, it continues to the small intestine where the pancreatic amylase enzyme breaks it down into maltose after which it heads for the intestinal walls that are comprised of millions of tentacle like brush border receptors where the enzymes called maltase break it down to it’s smallest particle, glucose, to be used by the cell for energy.

It is now in the blood and able to be transported where needed while any excess glucose is then stored in the liver for retrieval when needed, at a later time.  If the liver fills up, as it can only hold 1,000 calories, it will accumulate elsewhere in the body as fat.  Imagine this process not working.  Many things can go awry from a lack of HCL–the digestive juices that reduce the pH for digestion, to a lack of enzymes to break down the food particles, or the digestive flora made up of good bacteria that assist in crowding out bad bacteria becomes unbalanced and bad bacteria take over-(this is candida).  All of these can lead to damage and inflamation in the lining of the intestinal wall that allows improperly or undigested food particles, mainly proteins, to enter our blood stream.  Since these particles can now roam around in our blood this is how symptoms can arise in varying places thru the body.

Everything from fatigue, allergies & food intolerance/sensitivities, joint pain, arthritis, myalgia, abdominal & GI symptoms (diarhea, distenstion/bloating & gas) poor memory, shortness of breath, environmental illnesses, infections especially chronic and fungal ones, pancreatic insufficiency, lowered digestive capacity, rashes and hyperactivity to name a good many of them.

Any of these seem familiar? Not only is food the culprit but stress is a HUGE contributor as it takes energy away from the digestive process making it ineffective.  Thus a combination of poor diet, poor absorption of the few nutrients within a poor diet and then a load of stress, is lethal.  Other sources that contribute to intestinal damage are drugs (highly acidic and toxic), allergies to foods (they initiate inflammation) & excess environmental toxin exposure (these damage the immune barrier). It’s no wonder we have such a sick population since these are common exposures for much of the population.  And of course if left long enough any of these conditions will morph into cancer.

The good thing is that it’s not that hard to fix if you choose to go the holistic route and you are prepared to begin giving your body the nutrition that it is craving.  With the guidance of a holistic nutritionist or a naturopath, you can supplement with HCL (hydrochloric acid) if your stomach acid is low–most people are low versus high–add some probiotics, enzymes, some amino acids and you could be on your way to much improved digestive track.  Of course I wouldn’t recommend just beginning a protocol with out assessment, as you will need to ensure your symptoms are accurately defined and the correct supplementation is followed, since there are many different types of enzymes and amino acids that need to be properly assigned.

So there you have it, Digestion in a nutshell. If you have any notion that you may be suffering from this, do take the time to have it checked cuz when you get it sorted out you will feel so invigorated and will avoid the many chronic issues that could arise down the road like the Big C!  For further reading see this site.

Please hollar with any questions since this was a very abbreviated version of our studies.  I’d be happy to answer your concerns or thoughts the best I can.

I apologize for making you wait for 2 weeks for a post, but gosh, school is keeping me mighty occupied these days.  I hope this post will satiate you for a while til I have time to write and create for you once again.

I hope you have a wonderful week.  Happy Thanksgiving to those of  you celebrating this weekend.


ps. for any of you doing the candida cleanse, how goes it? I’m doing quite well, pleased with the results so far and while I’m at it I’m going to continue for another week or two just to make sure I really knock it.  I’d love to hear how  you are doing and if you have any questions or need some recipe tips.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria @ Scandifoodie November 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

Thank you for the interesting post!
I have gone dairy-free in the past, but it didn’t have that big of an affect on me. I like to keep my dairy for protein (I don’t eat any meat). I have been on a sugar-free/grain-free challenge for the past 8 weeks now and that has certainly raised my energy levels and improved my general well-being! Cutting off all sugar (incl fruit) has been great.
Digestion is also an interesting topic and we have spent quite a bit of time researching it as my fiancé has had some problems in the past. I love reading your posts also because I’m still dreaming of doing a degree in nutrition! It’s a huge financial commitment though so I’m not quite ready for it yet.
These little treats in jars look gorgeous too, by the way!
Thank you Julie! xx

Ivy November 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Your posts are always FULL on inspiration: pretty, educational and yummy.
I have told many friends to stop by. I hope you meet some new people as they devour your wisdom, something you so generously share.


Julie November 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Maria, thanx kindly for your comment:) I’m loving the learning and I’m sure you will too. Reading anything you can, now, if you plan to study later is sooo helpful, esp The China Study by T.Colin Campbell. Good for you for cutting the sugar and grain for a bit, it allows a cleanse. But you still need fibre that will drag the toxins out-they link together and leave arm in arm! but with out the fiber it’s tricky and can make things dicey. I take a supplement of fiber right now during my candida cleanse to ensure enough. As for the dairy and the protein, unless you are only taking organic dairy and it is extremely limited I would suggest looking at this protein hand out that my instructor (he’s a naturopathic doctor) has on his site. It’s a download and shows many, many options for ideal protein intake instead of meat and dairy. I do smoothies that I add protein too via hemp, avocado and an isolated protein powder from a plant souce like rice, or pea or hemp or brazil nut, it varies. It ensures enough protein. Quinoa is not a grain but a seed and is an excellent protein as is chia, amaranth, millet & teff. If you feel great now, you’ll feel like super women once you give up dairy-lol! Hope you are well:)

Britt November 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Treats look delicious – and I love the travel jars. I’ve been using jars to take my small quinoa salads to work :)
Proper digestion is life changing, its worth experimenting dairy-free to see if you feel the difference!

Julie November 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Hey Brit, miss you! Thanks for stopping by. It’s so true, digestion is essential to good health. Yes, the jars are handy, some of my class mates use them regularly, all sizes, for smoothies too.

Danielle November 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Mmmmmm, I remember this one!! Absolute deliciousness and so beautifully presented :) xoxo

Rebecca November 23, 2011 at 7:45 am

Mmmmmm this looks amazing! What “guts” you have! 😉
I’m so jealous — they don’t have cranberries here in Paris (sacré bleu!) I’ve been slowly learning that health all begins in the gut and digestion is so important! I will definitely be making an adapted (cranberry-free sadly) version of this asap!
Since I ADORE your site…
I just launched a new healthy cooking video website and would LOVE to incorporate your recipes (and link to your blog, bien sûr :)
Do you have a favorite recipe idea you want to share? Perhaps something with a French influence? 😉 The idea would be: The Alkaline Sisters are amazingly artistic and talented, but even if you’re just an average person, you can make your own version of it, inspired by the amazing Alkaline Sisters. What do you think? Something healthy, easy and delicious (as your recipes always are!) Bisous from France and can’t wait to see what’s next on your wonderful site!

alexandra November 26, 2011 at 7:30 am

lovely post

Liz November 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Cute presentation and it helps with digestion….i’m in. I’ll probably be making this soon!

Chris November 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I’ve just discovered your beautiful site, and immediately breathed a sigh of relief.
My husband and I have just, at the recommendation of a fertility naturopath, embarked upon the alkalizing diet, and i’ve been looking for good information and inspired and delicious recipes to go with it.
It seems a lot of info on the internet is contradictory – we’ve been advised not to eat lentils or beans (with a couple of exceptions), however many sites include those ingredients in their recipes. Any advice for some newbies?

LizAshlee December 1, 2011 at 7:11 am

Beautiful photos! Amazing recipe!!! <3

Christine December 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

Looks so amazing!! I can’t wait to try it out. The photos are beautiful. I just watched Food Inc. and it made me really sad, so I had to come to your blog to cheer myself up again! Thanks.

Jessie January 5, 2012 at 7:05 am

Hi Julie,

I am gluten free and pretty much dairy free as well. I am interested in integrating some probiotics into my diet, but am overwhelmed by all the choices out there! I am also 6 months pregnant, so I want to make sure they’re safe right now. Let me know what you think and thank you for sharing all of knowledge!


admin January 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

HI Jessie
I rather think a probiotic during pregnancy is a good idea. I would still suggest mentioning it to your doctor, hopefully he/she is familiar with the benefits and can help you with a brand and strains that are suitable. If not, perhaps a visit to a naturopathic doctor is in order and would be wonderful for you and your baby down the road. Plan B is to confer with a certified nutritionist that may work in a supplement store or in the Whole Foods supplement dept. I have had very good luck with advice from these folks that work directly with the products and are trained. Don’t be afraid to ask their about certification or education as it is key in assuring accurate information. I am still studying and don’t feel confident suggesting a brand or strain for you but what I do understand is that there seems to be no apparent danger in taking them during pregnancy. However I wouldn’t bother relying upon yoghurt that is enhanced with probiotics as it isn’t a good source when it is suspended in dairy and sugar two things you will want to avoid or minimize during your pregnancy. Do note that most “good and active probiotics’ are stored in a cooler and are more expensive than those on a dry shelf. Hope this is helpful for you. All the best with baby:)

Gardenia July 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Isn’t it amazing how the simplest things –a jar and some healthy food– can look so pretty!
I do appreciate your recipes. But can I give you a heads up on canning jars? I’ve heard a few bad incidents that happened with people carrying around glass jars as containers.. Smash, crash, broken glass — I’d suggest tin containers unless you are going on a picnic via a vehicle. Also, standard canning jar lids — Ball, etc — have BPA in them. You might want to investigate other canning jar lids on-line. Or you can substitute a piece of metal cut from disposable roasting pans available at dollar stores. Be sure to use a tin snips or an old scissors you don’t care about. Cut the lid so it fits very snugly inside the ring. File the edges with a metal hardware file. Even then you may not want to use this combo for younger, more curious minded children who may try to remove the “lid.”

julie July 12, 2012 at 12:35 am

Gardenia, thanks kindly for sharing, very good things to make a note of!!

Shannon Jones November 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Love this post. I made this recipe with a little twist. Because of my IC disease I can not have cranberries so I made my pie to go with blueberries. Very yummy!!! :)

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not written with intentions to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatments. Our content is for information purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat health issues of any sort. Our information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Copyright Julie Cove and Yvonne Becker, 2009-2010. Please do not use or copy any information, recipes or photos without permission or without noting its origins on your blog or website.