Raw Foods Instructor – Jess Rice

Earlier this month our Raw Foods and Plant-based Nutrition instructor, Jess Rice, sat down with us to talk about her first experience teaching at Nashville Community Education. Jess taught “Raw Foods and Plant-based Nutrition” in September at the Cohn School with NCE. This class had a wildly successful first run, and it has been requested of both us and Jess to offer another class as soon as possible!

Some of you may be reading this and wondering what is a raw foods and plant-based diet? The fundamental principle behind raw foodism is that plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed – are the most wholesome for the body. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 °C (118 °F). A raw diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, and fresh juices. The definition of a raw diet can be loosened to include vegan diets with at least 75–80% raw foods.

Learn more about raw foods, Jess, and her background in the video, then jump to Jess’s recipe for Raw Vegan Avocado Pesto below the video!

Raw Foods Instructor, Jess Rice video interview

Recipe from Jess’s blog – http://mypoortiredliver.blogspot.com/2013/03/avocado-pesto.html?m=1

Raw Vegan Avocado Pesto


3 cups raw spinach
1 cup soaked raw pumpkin seeds (at least 2 hours), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup flat parsley
1 large avocado
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice – fresh squeezed!
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt

  • Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth – If you like your pesto a little chunkier, you can add some extra pumpkin seeds and mix them in by hand.
  • It should be thick, but add a little water or lemon if you must (keep it to a minimum!)
  • This will keep for at least 3 days in the fridge. The lemon juice keeps the avocado from turning brown… plus, there’s so much spinach. It’s a beautiful color. Enjoy!

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