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Ital Food Diet: 7 tips to cook Rastafarian Ital food

7 Tips & Rules of Rasta Ital Cooking

Ital food diet of Rastas is close to a vegan food diet. The meaning of the word “Ital food” in Rastafarianism means “clean and natural food.” It’s easier to cook Ital food than you may think. Follow these 7 simple rules and tips to follow a natural Ital food, Rastafari Diet.

  1. Ital food diet Tip #1: Omit Salt – Adding salt to food kills the natural flavour. Rasta believes salt makes the spiritual experience of eating the food non-existent. Eating does have a spiritual component and connection to the Most High, that feels good for Rasta.
  2. Ital food diet Tip #2: Natural SeasoningCertain foods and spices have an abundance of natural flavor. We can use them to season food for flavor, instead of salt. Foods such as…scallion, thyme, garlic, onion, pimento, tomato, and curry powder, are all common seasonings in Jamaican Rastafarian food. Try not to use black pepper. Rasta says its bad for mens reproductive organs, because it doesn’t break down in the body.
  3. Ital food diet Tip #3: No Meat: Rasta diet/recipes contain no meat. Rasta also do not eat any pork or shellfish. Rasta believes all meat and pork is “flesh” and “dead” and should not be ingested by the human body. In Rastafari it is commonly known that shellfish clean the bottom of the sea, therefor shellfish are unclean for Rasta to eat. Rastafari are allowed to eat fish, but only fish that have scales are edible, the fish without scales are not edible for Rasta as outlined in Leviticus 11:9:  “These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.” Most Rasta now a days are opting not to eat  fish, or chicken. They say they don’t want anything “dead” on their plate, because Jah is life.
  4. Ital food diet Tip#4: protein & Greens: Rasta’s love to include lotsItal food diet of protein and greens in the food we eat, to provide strength, to the body and help build up our blood. Rasta love to include, calaloo, spinach, broccoli, peas, and beans on our food plate. Common in Jamaican Rasta dishes are, Kidney beans, black beans, snow peas, black-eyed peas and more.
  5. Ital food diet Tip #5: Color and texture of food – Jah made eating food to be our delight. Food is fun to eat, when various colors and textures and provided to create an experience of variety, flavour and color. Try some bright orange squash, with some yellow ackee curried, and some lovely yellow plantain. Mix up various colors when cooking Rasta food meals.
  6. Ital food diet tip #7: No Cows Milk – Rasta do not drink cows Milk. Instead we opt for soy milk, or almond milk. Rasta says drinking the milk of another animal is nonsensical. Rasta also say cows recieve way too much hormonal, and other “unhealthy for consumption” injections. Rasta eats clean, natural, and healthy too!
  7. Ital food Diet: Tip #6: Fruits & Nuts – Rasta love to eat a lot of fruits and nuts. Fruit is good for Rasta to eat because its clean, natural, and meets all the requirements of Ital Rasta food. Nuts are a great food to pack, and eat “on the go.” Rasta like to shop for “organic whole foods” and organic fruits and vegetables, for healthy Rastafarian food diet. Dry fruits and nuts, bought in bulk, may be added to vegan desserts, such as non-milk soy based Ice cream, and Rasta Ital breakfast cereals in the morning. Cooking and creating Rasta Ital food and recipes, on an Ital food diet, is easy, once you know these 7 simple rules. Blessed Love.


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  • Ital diet
  • Ital recipes

Check out my Page on 7 Jamaican Rastafarian Ital Food Recipes” to try at home.

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Jamaican Recipe:How to cook Ackee and Saltfish

This dish is very popular among Rastafarians and Jamaicans, and vegetarians alike. Many Jamaicans eat Ackee and Saltfish for Breakfast, or for Dinner. If being eaten for dinner have it with a side of white Rice, If being eaten for breakfast, eat with a side of fried dumplings.

Saltfish preparation

Saltfish is a very salty fish. It must be soaked in order to be palatable. Soaking salt fish in cold water will remove some of the salt while still preserving some of the salty flavor. To prepare salt fish to be eaten, it is usually soaked over night. Try to soak it for about 12 hours. Personally, I would taste it after 10 hours and see if you would like to soak it for another 2 hours or not.  If you soak your cod during the day,  change the water approx. every 3-4 hours. Place it in a glass bowl for soaking. (this is not a must) You should use about 1 5 inch by 3 inch piece of cod fish (saltfish) for one can of ackee

Ackee preparation

  • Ackee usually comes “in a can” in western society, there is no preparation.

Other ingredients you will need for your tasty meal.

  • Onion – finely chop your onions. How much do you need? Use half an onion – to a hole for 1 whole tin of Ackee.
  • Black Pepper – How much, you don’t need that much I would say half a tea-spoon.
  • “Thyme” – Thyme is a herb popular among Jamaicans for cooking. You should break the herb up into little pieces and let it simmer in the pan with the Ackee, then remove the pieces of thyme. But this ingredient is not a must for your Ackee and saltfish
  • Tomatoes – (Optional) I never add tomatoes to my Ackee and Saltfish. I find tomatoes water down the flavor. But many Jamaicans do add this ingredient
  • green pepper, and red pepper – 1 quarter of this ingredient, finely sliced, don’t worry about how fine they need to be, just slice them thin and not in long strips. Opt for shorter strips, do the same with one red pepper as well. So you will have One quarter of a green pepper finely sliced, and one-quarter of a red pepper finely sliced.


 buy the saltfish that says “boneless” or you will have a lot of work on your hands trying to remove those “fine” bones.

Preparing the saltfish for cooking

Rinse your cod under cold water,break the cod-fish up with your fingers into tiny flakes the tinier the flakes the better. Do not “smoosh the flakes.” Just shred them between your fingers. The fish once it has been soaked will be easily separated.

How to cook your Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

  • In a sauce pan, put a little bit of oil, maybe 3 table spoons, or you can cook it with water if you like too. Add oil or water as needed. (over low to med heat)
  • Put your ackee into the pan
  • let simmer for about 4-6 minutes, allowing the ackee to mash-up into small pieces. It will get so mashed up, that it may just look like it has already been chewed. This is progress. then…
  • add your finely chopped onions, and all other ingredients,  let simmer 4-6 minutes.
  • Next add you saltfish, and mix it in with the other ingredients in the sauce pan.  Only keep on the fire for about 3-4 minutes.

If this is your first time cooking Ackee and Saltfish,  the Ackee may smell like pee. I It does smell that way to me. But it tastes so good. I made this meal for an old boyfriend, who was white and originally from Poland. He ate the whole thing up, and when he was done he said “where is the rest?” So, it is delicious regardless of the smell.

Where to buy your own Ackee

I live in Canada. We have many Caribbean grocery stores here, perhaps you could find one locally. If not, most big chain grocery stores have a carribean section and you may find your “Ackee in a Can”, there.

Where to buy your own Saltfish

I have always bought my Saltfish at the Caribbean grocery stores. Usually it comes in a thick plastic covering. And is clearly marked Ackee on the outside. Dont forget to make sure it says boneless.

Enjoy your meal!