Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved


Yogananda HealthYogananda's WisdomRecipesMP3 AffirmationsAboutContact

Food Preparation Part 1 by Paramhansa Yogananda

We can Live without Poetry;

We can Live without Books

But Civilized Man

Cannot Live without Cooks.


A fitting and timely little rhyme of testimony, we believe, against the complete-raw food diet. Certain foods do NOT lend themselves well to raw consumption and assimilation by the human digestive organs at this stage of anatomical evolution, at least, whatever may have been the power and capacity far, far in the unrecorded past. This is especially true of starches and grains.

Occasionally we may come across one person who relishes a raw potato. This does not mean instantaneous death; neither does it mean a reliable source for future exemplary inspiration. The cells of starches need the breaking-down process which the human teeth and digestive juices seem lacking in sufficient power to accomplish, especially when youthful vigor has begun to recede, and we therefore offer in the present Lesson suggestions of how to prepare them, at the same time preserving much of the original nutritive properties, enhancing the flavor to considerable degree over old methods of preparation increasing the hygienic condition of the foods served, improving the appearance of the finished product, and reducing the actual amount of personal care necessary in the preparation thereof.

In these days of rabid evangelizing in numerous other directions besides Religion, we wish to warn our students against reactions that are sure to follow experimentations that are sudden, complete opposition to what has in the past formed the nucleus of one’s habits of eating, unless fortified by adequate training, and thorough understanding of the principles involved as well as their relation to the individual concerned.

There is a feverish, hyper-active tendency abroad in the land at the present time, towards intense faddishness in the matter of Diet, with few of the teachers agreeing on many points; many of them eventually completely capitulating in a few years and contradicting the noisy proclamations heralded as the “last word” in days gone by. The Awakening Disciple, inspired by the onrushes of effervescent thought that follows personal recognition and quickening of hitherto dormant potential Powers, is easy prey to gullible leadership, must side-step the danger of succumbing to that “ALL or NOTHING” state of mind which might so easily lead to confusion, both mental and physical.

Praecepta Lessons, Volume 3 (1938): Praeceptum #53

Fruits and Vegetables Part 2



(Part II)

When fruits and vegetables are cooked in water their nutritive value is lessened unless the cooking water is used because some of the vitamins and minerals dissolve in water. With most fruits it is used in the sauce and, with vegetables, it should be saved for soup stock. Vitamin C especially is effected by high temperatures and oxidation. Therefore, it is desirable that at least a part of the fruit and vegetables should be eaten raw.

In canned grapefruit and canned tomatoes, the high vitamin C value is excellently conserved. These rank along with raw citrus fruits and their juices among the richest sources of vitamin C. Ripe bananas and some varieties of apples are good sources of this vitamin, besides cooked potatoes and pasteurized milk, which contain a small amount of it. With all of these common sources, it will be seen that it is not necessary to go on a raw diet entirely in order to get enough of this vitamin.

It is not necessary to become a faddist and antagonize your family and friends in order to apply and benefit by the newer knowledge of nutrition. The planning of meals may be an interesting and pleasant task.

Praecepta Lessons, Volume 3 (1938): Praeceptum #77

Food Preparation Part 3



The method of cooking referred to in the two foregoing chapters is extremely simple. Merely moisten well the parchment paper, squeezing out the surplus water, then, after cleaning and otherwise preparing the vegetables or whatever else is to be cooked, empty it into the paper, tying up the corners to form a bag, with a firm white cord or string into a bow knot that will be easily untied.

Meanwhile, the pot of water into which this is to be dropped, has been brought to a boil before the bag and contents have been placed in the water, the lid of the pot being clamped down tightly to prevent steam escaping. If it is being cooked on a gas stove, the fire can be turned down so as to merely keep up the near-boiling point. The simmering and confined steam will do the work.

Several different kinds of food, tied up in separate sheets of parchment paper, may be cooked in the same water at the same time without affecting each other’s taste or odor. As an example, cauliflower is considerably odoriferous when cooking, but one bag may contain cauliflower, another potatoes, another carrots and peas, and neither of them will be affected, each retaining its original flavor, with no obnoxious odors floating through the house.

These sheets come in squares around 21 x 24 inches, usually, which is sufficient to prepare a pretty good supply. As they lose some of their original resistance with constant use, two may be used together as they get older, thus assuring prevention of the juices escaping into the pot of boiling water. The time for cooking varies with the foods, depending upon the fiber, the freshness, and the tenderness. It is never recommended to cook greens and some other vegetables into a mushy softness; the taste is always more agreeable if served when still crisp and firm and holding its shape. Intense boiling destroys the life vigor that the vegetable captured originally from the oxygen of the atmosphere during its growth, and the mineral salts sucked up through its roots while buried in the soil.

Housewives will soon realize the numerous benefits to be gained in this ultra-modern manner of cooking, rejoicing in its use from the standpoint of infinitely less work entailed, not being required to stand over it and constantly watching and stirring it to prevent burning, the superior quality of nourishment; the quickness with which it can be prepared in emergency when time is limited; and, most important of all, the assurance that the important minerals (of which we hear so much on every hand these days) are not thrown down the sink. The moisture that naturally empties into the parchment paper while cooking is to be served right with the food itself.

Praecepta Lessons, Volume 3 (1938): Praeceptum #55