Ellen G. White’s Favorite Plant-Based Recipes

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the book The Healthiest People on Earth by John Howard Weeks (BenBella Books, 2018). It is published with permission.

The best way to embrace and celebrate a plant-based whole foods diet is to put good food on the table. So, let’s do that. I call these recipes “omnipotent” because, in most cases, they each offer a complete nutrition profile, with ingredients that represent the entire range of essential food groups: proteins, healthy carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Each one of these four components, by itself, is a potent source of nutritional goodness. Together, in one dish, they are omnipotent!

Many of these recipes come from my own family, written by hand on bits of paper that in some cases are more than a hundred years old. There are recipes from my mother, my grandmother, and even my great-great-grandmother, Ellen G. White. Learn how to make her favorite breakfast dish, her favorite noodle dish, and her favorite dessert. These exclusive family recipes appear here in print for the first time anywhere.

Ellen G. White’s Favorite Breakfast: Cooked Wheat Berries with Fruit and Nuts

Serves 4–6

My great-great-grandmother loved hot whole-grain cereal served in a bowl with fresh cream. Wheat, oats, rice, millet, cornmeal—all varieties of grain were to her liking. She also insisted on several kinds of fresh fruit with the morning meal. And nuts. She was crazy about nuts. She bought almonds by the hundred-pound bag!

Here’s her original recipe for a breakfast dish for four to six people that combines wheat berries, fresh fruits, and almonds. Wheat berries are entire wheat kernels with the bran, germ, and endosperm intact. They are readily available at health food stores and online.

2 cups whole wheat berries 6 cups water 2 bananas, peeled and sliced 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped 1/2 cup raisins 1/4 cup slivered almonds Soy or almond milk (optional)

1. Combine wheat berries and water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 50–60 minutes, until tender.

2. Drain and divide the cooked wheat berries among 4–6 serving bowls. Top each with banana slices, dates, raisins, and almonds.

3. Add a splash of soy milk, if desired. Food groups: protein (almonds), carbohydrate (wheat berries), fruit (bananas, dates, raisins), vegetable (soy milk)

Tip: Ellen G. White liked to pour fresh dairy cream over her cereal, but it’s easy to turn this dish vegan by substituting soy or almond milk.

Ellen G. White’s Favorite Noodle Dish: Baked Macaroni and Corn Casserole

Serves 6

Ellen G. White ate only two main meals a day—breakfast and an afternoon meal that was called dinner. One of her “dinner” favorites was a baked macaroni and corn dish that was vegetarian, but definitely not vegan. It was loaded with dairy milk, butter, and cheese. Turning it vegan is an easy trick, though. You’ll see.

1/2 cup dairy-free butter spread 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground turmeric Pinch of salt 6 cups cooked macaroni noodles 1 (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, mostly drained but reserving a little of the juice 1 (15-ounce) can creamed corn 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In a saucepan, melt the dairy-free butter spread over low heat. Add the almond milk and whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture reaches a light simmer.

3. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, turmeric, and salt and whisk until thickened. Don’t allow to boil (reduce the heat, if necessary). When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked noodles, the whole-kernel corn with a little of its juice, the creamed corn, and the sauce. Mix well.

5. Pour the noodle and corn mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake uncovered for 30–40 minutes until lightly browned.

6. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the fresh basil, and serve hot.

Food groups: protein (almond milk, nutritional yeast), carbohydrate (pasta), vegetable (corn, basil)

Ellen G. White’s Favorite Dessert: Bread Pudding with Raisins

Serves 6–8

My great-great-grandmother was very fond of bread pudding with raisins. It’s an old-fashioned classic and the traditional recipe calls for lots of dairy, including milk and butter, and eggs, but it’s quite easy to make a dairy-free version that tastes every bit as good.

2 cups soy milk 1/4 cup dairy-free butter spread 1/2 cup applesauce 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 6 slices soft bread, cut into cubes 1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the soy milk and dairy-free butter spread over medium heat until the butter spread is melted.

3. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the bread cubes and raisins, and stir to mix. Add the soy milk mixture and stir to combine.

4. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch round baking pan.

5. Bake uncovered for 40–45 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Serve warm.

Food groups: protein (soy milk), carbohydrate (bread), fruit (applesauce, raisins)

John Howard Weeks is a career journalist and longtime columnist for Southern California’s largest newspaper group. He is author, co-author, or editor of six previous books (Mojave Desert, Inland Empire, San Bernardino Bicentennial, Choice Words, Dream Weavers, and Window Beyond the World). He has degrees in English literature from the University of California at Riverside and Birmingham University in England. Except for one year in Europe, he has lived for more than 50 years in or near Loma Linda, California, the health-minded community established in 1905 by his great-great-grandmother, Ellen G. White, founder and prophet of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Photo of John Howard Weeks by Mari Sarabia (Earhart Photography), courtesy of BenBella Books. Title photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8659

Regrettably, the modern USA wheat. (dwarf wheat), has been modified and is not the same wheat as in EGW’s day.

Modern wheat is almost instantly metabolized to glucose, causing a spike in blood sugar and an surge of insulin production—not good.

Also many are allergic, or sub optimally negatively react to the gluten in wheat

The latest wisdom is to avoid wheat products altogether.

Response to David :
The books WHEAT BELLY and GRAIN BRAIN, both obtainable,from AMAZON, dramatically document my assertion that wheat products,
such as bread pudding, macaroni/pasta, and wheat berries are no longer fit for consumption.

Also the SUGAR in the bread pudding —a fertilizer for cancer growth and TOXIC to the Alzheimer’s brain! Sugar is an unnatural substance never consumed 200-300 years ago, before the crushing machines for sugar cane were invented.

Only the rich could afford HONEY in those days and only the New England Indians were aware of MAPLE SYRUP —though natural, even honey and maple syrup are taboo for health reasons relating to blood sugar levels!

Corn is also suspect because if is sprayed with MONSANTO weed killer—
carcinogenic and Alzheimer’s causing!

So most of these recipes, containing wheat and corn and SUGSR, are no longer suitable for consumption and are SUSPECT,

So much for the negative impact of modern mega agriculture!.

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Agreed in the majority, and to a point. Some of us can do as you say, but some cannot due to finance constraints. Monsanto is really bad and represents a health hazard far more than realized by many. It is good to see these recipes modernized in keeping with greater knowledge and the times we now live in - greater pollution on every front, animal diseases crossing the species barrier into humans, and as you say, things like Roundup, chemical fertilizers, parasitic worms contaminating an increasing list of animal meat products, the list could go on.

I am a Midwest farmer. There has been some testing with GMO wheat at some testing sites. There is no commercially grow wheat in the U.S. Look it up on Wikipedia. This is my first post here.

I would like that add that active chemical use on the farms in the U.S. peak in 1981. So I believe that we grow healthy food to feed the world.

Please read my response in my original post

This is where I get my information https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/02/27/plant-breeding-blamed-for-gluten-problems-but-evidence-isnt-there/

“Dear Son Edson…Your father is appearing some better. We have killed one wild black squirrel per day. He enjoys it much.” (1866)

I wonder what was EGW’s recipe for preparing squirrels?


Maybe Worthington can make a vegetarian version of that.:smirk:


“I’ve been told I taste delicious, just like chicken!”

Seriously, very funny Frank. You always have the most interesting EGW arcania. Thanks for a good laugh. I can’t help but ask—is your quote an April Fool’s joke?

And just so you know, that’s my taxidermied black squirrel if you ever need one for a lecture on James White’s favorite foods. :wink:

He’s also available to model for Worthington labels.

edit: I checked on the White Estate website and it’s no joke, that is a true quote from a letter.


Since your evaluation of sugar causing cancer is so far off you might consider your other conclusions with suspicion, including your sense of what effects a “spike” in blood sugar may have.
Myth: People with cancer shouldn’t eat sugar, since it can cause cancer to grow faster.
Fact: Sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn’t speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn’t slow their growth.

This misconception may be based in part on a misunderstanding of positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which use a small amount of radioactive tracer — typically a form of glucose. All tissues in your body absorb some of this tracer, but tissues that are using more energy — including cancer cells — absorb greater amounts. For this reason, some people have concluded that cancer cells grow faster on sugar. But this isn’t true.


Of course not. I wonder how EGW prepared her fresh herrings and oysters? I thought we were suppose to be eating the Eden diet–in preparation for our heavenly diet.

I guess there is exceptions for every rule! There is exceptions for working on the Sabbath, disobeying your parents when it conflicts with obeying God, giving false witness to save children from German soldiers, stealing food for survival, committing adultery in remarriage from an abusive husband, killing the citizens living in the promised land or Samson killing his captives and possessing a graven image of religious art. Let alone John’s admonition to “love not the world nor the things in the world,” when we love our cell phones.

In 1882, when she was living at Healdsburg, California, she wrote a letter to her daughter-in-law, Mary Kelsey White, in Oakland, in which she made the following request: “Mary, if you can get me a good box of herrings, fresh ones, please do so. These last ones that Willie got are bitter and old. If you can buy cans, say, half a dozen cans, of good tomatoes, please do so. We shall need them. If you can get a few cans of good oysters, get them.”

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Since the heavenly gates are made of pearl, there should be some mighty big oysters in heaven. One of those gate-sized oysters should be enough to provide sustenance for many. :slight_smile:


It does seem that there are exceptions to most “rules”. And we can safely say that EGW practiced a life full of exceptions, regardless of what she preached, as we all do. I can accept this, although it is a little hard not to be surprised after a lifetime of hearing her health message taught all around me. It would be a whole lot easier to read and accept quotes like this if she had not knowingly allowed her public words to be used as weapons against fellow believers in ways that hurt, damaged and led to lifelong wounds.

A question came to me while writing this: If EGW lived today what would her role be? I wonder.


If you make it “up there,” get ready for this:



I would suggest reading more on this eating of different foods, before and after she knew abt them. The lady that told abt Mrs white eating oysters, confessed later that she lied about it, she never ate them etc.

Please show us the information. Thanks.




As I’ve been saying to William, these are just unsupported assertions until you provide evidence that everyone can see and evaluate as convincing, or not.

It may be true, but we need evidence.


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The truth is that Ellen herself ordered Oysters.

[Lt 16, 1882 (May 31, 1882) par. 4]
Mary, if you can get me a good box of herrings—fresh ones—please do so. These last ones that Willie got are bitter and old. If you can buy cans, say [a] half dozen cans of good tomatoes, please do so. We shall need them. If you can get a few cans of good oysters, get them.


Don’t know anything about “the lady”, but EGW wrote about eating oysters.