Mayan Drinking Chocolate

The first known preparation of cacao was as a spicy, bitter drink that was consumed ritually, and in copious amounts. This modern version is sweeter and creamier than the beverage enjoyed by Aztec royalty, but is still full of warming spices and mineral rich raw cacao. It’s perfect to enjoy with a good friend on these chilly autumn nights…. INGREDIENTS: 1/4 C raw cacao powder
Tbsp powdered maca
tsp reishi mushroom powder
tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
1 C coconut milk
1 1/2 C filtered water (or you could substitute chaga tea!)
sweetener of your choice; stevia, maple syrup, coconut nectar, (or raw honey if you prefer), to taste

DIRECTIONS: Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Heat the coconut milk and water in a saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in the cacao mixture. Whisk or stir continuously until the beverage is piping hot, to just under a boil. Add the sweetener of your choice, to taste. As the coconut milk and maca provide a natural sweetness, you may only need a tablespoon of maple syrup or a good pinch of stevia to make the drink delicious.  Be sure not to over-sweeten. Serve immediately, while the drinking chocolate is still steaming hot. If it sits and starts to thicken, simply warm it up again and add more liquid as needed. Serves 2. Enjoy!


Workshops at People’s Co-op



Experts agree that some of the most important foods to include in a healthy diet are fermented, or cultured, vegetables. Fermenting vegetables increases the bioavailability of nutrients, while providing the beneficial bacteria and probiotics needed for healthy digestion, which is so fundamental to overall well-being. In this workshop we’ll discuss a variety of ways to make your own sauerkraut, kim chi, and cultured vegetables at home. In the hands-on portion of the workshop we’ll make a traditional cabbage sauerkraut, a mix of cultured seasonal vegetables, and a fermented beet kvass beverage. We’ll also touch upon the types of diets which emphasize these foods, and the benefits derived thereof.

Suggested donation $15 payable to the instructor at the event.

Please call the co-op to register: 503.232.9051.



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In this workshop we’ll explore the basic principles of raw dessert-making, and learn different ways to get creative with raw desserts at home. We’ll make a raw vegan “cheesecake” with a probiotic cashew and macadamia cream, a raw fruit tart, and even a raw chocolate mousse! You’ll learn to make luscious, healthful, decadent sweets free of grains and refined sweeteners. Participants will take home the skills to make successful and beautifully presented desserts that are sure to be a hit at any holiday party!

Suggested donation $15 payable to the instructor at the event.

Please call the co-op to register: 503.232.9051.




Raw chocolate is all the rage these days, and with good reason! Raw cacao is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world, and one of the most delicious. In this workskop we’ll discuss the nutritional benefits of cacao, as well as its fascinating history. Participants will learn hands-on the secrets to making the perfect raw chocolate bar and other luscious treats.  We’ll talk about innovative ways to flavor your chocolate creations, and how to choose healthy sweeteners. And of course we will eat raw chocolate!

Suggested donation $15 payable to the instructor at the event.

Please call the co-op to register: 503.232.9051.

Changes in the Nature of Yogi Food

Dear Friends of Yogi Food;

After considerable deliberation, I have decided that Yogi Food will not be necessarily vegan anymore. I am experimenting with conscious omnivorism as I really believe it is what my body needs to heal from what ails me. I no longer eat a vegan diet , and although the principles of ahimsa are dear to me, I can no longer promote one.

This is not to say that most of the forthcoming recipes will contain animal products; they will not. But I want to approach this blog, the aim of which is not only to provide recipes but to share information and promote healthy eating and awareness, from a different, more holistic angle. This includes more discussion of a variety of dietary paradigms and practices, and how they fit in to a yogic lifestyle. I will also include new types of recipes, which may include animal foods such as ghee, butter, honey, or eggs. As always, all ingredients are organic, superlatively healthful, and consciously chosen.

So I hope my readers will enjoy the new Yogi Food, and if any true vegans out there no longer wish to subscribe, I’m sorry to see you go, and wish you the best.



Somedays the perfect yogi breakfast is liquid. Today the best possible food for me is spirulina. Just spirulina, and water.Image

My body was craving blue-green algae, so I took a lot.


Stir 2-3 Tablespoons of spirulina into a quart of fresh, cool water. Then pound it!

I used Healthforce Nutritionals Spirulina Manna, which is outstanding. Its blue-green color looks like saturated pure pigment, and the taste is nutty and pleasant.


Spirulina is a complete protein which digests easily and provides all 8 essential amino acids. It is rich in beneficial fatty acids such as DHA and GLA, which it is especially important for vegans to supplement. Although spirulina is not really a supplement, but a whole food (algae) which provides a vast array of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. It is exceptionally nourishing, but also suitable for people who are cleansing. Really, the benefits of this blue-green algae are too numerous to name!

This drink is perfect when you practice yoga later in the day, as it satisfies and provides clean energy without filling you up or weighing you down. Speaking of which, I’m off to class!


Fresh Turmeric Cooler

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This is my new favorite thing. Turmeric is a wonderland of goodness; it’s health benefits are innumerable and great, and it tastes awesome too. For yogis tumeric is especially important because it soothes and reduces inflammation in the joints. This easy-to-make, brightly-colored drink is hydrating, refreshing, and a total immune system booster.

If you are lucky to be able to find fresh tumeric root at your local market, stock up! You can also add a little bit of the grated root to soups, grains, salads, on top of your steamed vegetables, et cetera.


This drink also includes lemon, which is a revered detoxifier and alkalizer.  Prefering to use the whole food rather than the juice, just use a sharp knife to cut off the rind, and throw the chunk of lemon in. In this way you also consume some of the white pith, which is where much of the vitamins are. Use the rind for zest, but only if your lemon is truly organic.

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2 cups fresh, cold, filtered water

1/2  lemon, peeled

1″ piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled OR substitute 1 teaspoon powdered dried turmeric

1-2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

Optional: small chunk of peeled fresh gingerroot, pinch of cayenne pepper


Simply put all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend on high for about 10 seconds. Enjoy!

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Superfood Raw White Chocolate

286715_267032113313148_2182149_oRaw cacao butter is definitely one of my favorite substances on Earth. Its chocolatey fragrance is heavenly, its sensual texture is divine, and its healing properies are simply out of this world! Cacao butter massaged into the skin and lips is rejuvenating and beautifying; when consumed, its vitamin E and essential fatty acids beautify and provide a healthy glow from the inside out. You can find cold-pressed, pure (food-grade!) cacao butter online, or at your local organic food co-op.

Another of my favorite foods is the almighty coconut. Full of healthy medium-chain triglycerides (fats that convert directly to energy without being stored as body fat) and antibacterial lauric acid, coconut is in high demand these days by athletes and health-conscious people around the globe. Thankfully, the production and fair-trade of coconut products can be quite beneficial, economically and agriculturally, to the people who farm them and the soil on which  they are grown.

This recipe calls for coconut butter, which is becoming fairly easy to find in most co-ops and whole food supermarkets. You can also make your own in your food processor. Simply put about 3 cups of dried, shredded coconut in the processor and blend on high for about 15 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally, until the coconut forms a thick, creamy paste. It will become solid at room temperature. Store the butter in a glass jar.

The third superfood ingredient in this recipe is Maca. Maca is a nutritionally-dense, mineral-rich tuber grown high in the Andes mountains. Revered for its ability to provide lasting energy, balance hormones, and perhaps increase libido, this delicious, mildly sweet root has been used for centuries as a food in Peru; these days it popular with ultimate health-seekers, vegan athletes, and raw foodists alike.




1 1/2 cup raw cocoa butter, grated or finely chopped

3/4 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup maca powder, raw

1/2 cup fine coconut sugar, or maple sugar

2 tsp vanilla bean powder


1/4 cup goji berries and/or cacao nibs

2 Tbsp lucuma, mesquite powder, or chlorella


In a double boiler, gently melt the cacao butter. Use a low heat and stir frequently; cacao butter melts at about body temperature, so there’s no need to make it much warmer than that. You could even melt it in a bowl, inside a larger bowl of hot water. Stir in the coconut butter, keeping the temperatures low.

When the butters are fully melted, gently stir in the maca powder, sugar, and vanilla bean, until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended together. You may want to use a whisk to get out any lumps. Stir in any optional superfood ingredients such as goji berries or nibs at this point.

Pour the warm mixture into molds; I used a mini-muffin tray and just filled the bottoms of the molds to make these round chocolates. Let the mixture cool and harden. You can put the chocolates in the freezer for 15 minutes to make them firm enough to pop out of the molds.

Store the chocolates in a glass jar, and keep them refrigerated or in a very cool, dry place.


about the author…

Lia Leilah is a world-traveling vegan chef and dedicated practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga yoga. Her passions include learning and teaching about nutrition, feeding people delicious healthy food, chanting in strange languages, and standing on her hands. Oh yes, and raw chocolate!

Lia is known for laying out rainbow-like buffets for hordes of hungry yogis at international yoga retreats. Diners are often stunned by the things she can do with a vegetable! Inspired by the idea of sharing the ultimate, guilt-free, culinary pleasures with as many friends as possible, Lia began hand-crafting gourmet raw chocolate. She opened her own small business, ELIXIA, in 2010.  Incorporating superfoods and  alchemical substances such as monoatomic gold, rose otto, and Ormus-rich green powders, ELIXIA raw chocolates have acquired something of a cult following.

This spring will find Lia in Portland OR, teaching Ashtanga yoga at the Shakti House, making magickal chocolate, slinging ink,and of course, creating Yogi Food!