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Paramhansa Yogananda’s recipes were amazingly healthy for the 1930’s. They include concepts of health we are familiar with like, vegetized salt, “raw” sugar, honey, ground raw beets, carrots, nuts, dates and raisins. I was happy to see an Uncooked Apple-Banana Pie using a crust of raisins, and whole wheat or carob meal that is dried in the sun! Then, on the other hand, there are surprises with many recipes using sugar, butter, American Cheese, canned food, and, my personal favorite, cinnamon (candy) drops on top of cooked sweet potatoes and apples.  After all, sugar was first discovered in India!

We have to consider, the time period the recipes were written in. Yogananda had to introduce vegetarian eating in a palatable form and in a way that people were used to. When I think of how I grew up in the 1950’s when all our food was cooked to death, and meat was the main course at each meal, I can see that his recipes were groundbreaking for Americans at that time.

My advice is to substitute where necessary using ingredients from your own diet regime. There are some new ideas and combinations in these recipes that will be fun to try out, like Peanut Butter Tomato Soup!?? Let me know what you like or some new combinations you have discovered. There are so many health food products out there now, there are endless possibilities to substitute and discover. Have fun and healthy eating!


Some products mentioned are no longer available like Savita, Somo, Smoein, and India Nut Steak.

American cheese: Please substitute a healthier cheese, preferably organic or raw milk.

Cardamom seeds: These are available at any health food store. Because cardamom powder loses potency quickly, it is best to buy the cardamom pods. Use a mortar and pestle to break the pods open, then, grind the little black seeds for each use.  Or throw in whole, and pick out before serving.

Poultry seasoning: A blend of sage, thyme, celery salt and savory.

Powdered okra: (sodium content is high) I could not find online in the USA, but it is available on Indian sites.

Vegetable stock: This can be bouillon or the vege stocks in aceptic boxes at health food stores.

Vegex: (Brewer’s yeast extract) This is available online.

Editor’s Note: There is some question about if “smoked” seasonings and if smoking anything is healthy, but I could not find anything definitive on smoking chilies. Liquid Smoke is also questionable.

Somo - (a powdered seasoning with flavor like smoked meat. Editor’s note: No longer available. Substitutes: smoked paprika, or chipotle powder (this is spicy).

Smoein (vegetable smoked meat seasoning): Substitutes: Stripples or veggie bacon strips, Smoked Apple Sage and Mexican Chipotle Sausage made by Field Roast, smoked paprika, or chipotle powder (this is spicy).