Tag Archives: raw vegan

REVISITING OLD RAW RECIPE BOOKS

I’ve just dug out my copy of Mattye Lee Thompson’s Frugal Raw (Raw on the Cheap at it’s Finest!), and, yes, I made a good purchase.  (the only complaint I have about this book is that there is no index, so I have to remember where I found this and such, or else annotate each page)

This is an older book, from 2008, but it is apparently so popular that hard copies are going for $40 or so.  Fortunately, there is now a Kindle edition, so, if you want to see a really good collection of raw vegan recipes, you can get it on your phone.

The only drawback I see in this book is that she has recipes that require a dehydrator, and dehydrators are notoriously expensive.

Still and all, the author has a lot of good takes on how to integrate a raw food lifestyle into a family setting (where some may not want to go raw), as well as a number of really good recipes.

(I do want to mention that I am telling you all this out of the goodness of my heart.  I am not affiliated with amazon or any other seller, which is why you don’t find any click-throughs.  If you find something you like in my post, please do your own search on Amazon)

READ THE LABELS, READ THE INGREDIENTS!

READ THE LABELS, READ THE INGREDIENTS!
They got me! I confess, I let myself be had!

A thoughtful friend gave me a package of Rhythm SuperFoods Kale Chips. Although the package did not say *raw* on the front, the first line on the back said “These Kale Chips are a raw, delicious and nutrient rich alternative”. I trusted the hype, and ate some of them. Right away, I knew something was wrong (I am a sugar-sensitive, and, since I control, it takes me mere seconds to realize that I have been poisoned). I went to read the ingredients and found that, although this item claims to be raw, it lists “organic cane sugar” as the fifth ingredient (by amount). No kind of sugar is raw (unless you get a piece of raw sugar cane and suck on it). No kind of sugar is healthy http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/is-raw-sugar-healthier-than-refined , unless it derives straight from raw fruit or vegetables.

Please, if you are buying packaged products, read the ingredients listings before you choose something. Companies like Rhythm SuperFoods try to hoodwink folks, and there is apparently no control over companies claiming that their products are raw when, in fact, they contain non-raw ingredients.

DINNER: CASHEW KALE CHEEZE ON TOMATO SLICES, CORN SALAD, INSTANT KIRBY PICKLE

I am very pleased with myself: I can make a nice dinner tomorrow with 3 of the items from my CSA share

CASHEW/KALE CHEEZE ON TOMATO SLICES
1 C cashews, soaked and rinsed
2 C kale, chopped fine
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C onion, chopped
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In the food processor, process all to a fine consistency.
Spread on 1/4 inch-thick Roma (or other) tomato slices

INSTANT KIRBY PICKLE
1 small kirby cucumber, thinly sliced
1 t minced onion
1 T raw apple cider vinegar
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Place in a tightly covered container and shake well. (Otherwise stir thoroughly to mix well.  Let set for 1/2 hour or more.

RAW CORN SALAD
1 C raw corn kernels (this can also be done with cooked corn)
1 T onion
3 T sweet red pepper
1 t cumin powder
1/4 t minced garlic
1/2 t raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 t olive oil

Toss to mix well

HOW RAW ARE YOU, AND HOW MUCH DOES IT MATTER?

POST #928
If you have read the previous post, which I caught on google+ from a website I like, you might wonder where I stand.

I *am* 100% raw and have been for a  long time. Still, I like to say that I am 95% raw, because I am a human, and I don’t ever know if or when I might slip, or choose to eat something that is not raw, or eat something that isn’t raw by accident (I was at a raw meet-up the other night, and I happily ate something that was put out, but a friend suggested to me that it might not actually be raw since there were beans in it — okay, so I cannot claim to be 100% raw, at least not for that night. I like to say 95% raw because, then, if I do slip, nobody will be pointing fingers at me.

Most of the self-proclaimed “raw gurus” have been outed, at one time or another, as enjoying non-raw foods, while they continue to solicit your massive payments for their raw programs.

Folks who become enamored of a “raw food guru”, often find that they cannot follow the program easily, simply because it doesn’t really work as it has been put forth. Then, if they find that their “guru” of choice has begun advocating eating some cooked food, they become confused.

Recently, I have seen that many of the folks who have been loudly advocating raw vegan diets are “softening up”, or saying that it isn’t necessary to follow a 100% raw diet. Of course, it has never been necessary to follow a 100% raw diet – you only do that if you want the maximum benefit in the least amount of time.  Otherwise, you just simply incorporate more raw food in your diet. The AMA has urged us to incorporate more raw fruit and vegetables in our diet.  More is better than none.

Since I don’t follow any raw gurus (some of them may not have even been born when I first went raw), I really don’t care what they do, unless it hurts me, but, fortunately, I don’t care what they say, for the most part, either.

I have my own take on a raw vegan diet, which has worked for me for a long time,and keeps me healthy, happy, and craving free. People who come to me are usually worried about slipping, about cravings, which are things my approach addresses.I also work with people want to simply incorporate more raw foods into their diet. I also work with people who are interested in including more raw foods in their diet, or who are interested in going totally raw.

As a nutritionist, I would rather help someone find a healthier way to eat for where they are at, than to blow them off because they do not want to go 100% raw this very evening.

COCONUT OIL – not the villain it was once thought

POST #919
Not too long ago, coconut oil was vilified as being too high in fat, a saturated fat bad for health.  Now, though, even the AMA is back-peddling in its stance against dietary fats.  The continued rise in obesity and Type II diabetes, despite an emphasis on low-fat diets, as well as the rise in “new” illnesses, allergies, and sensitivities, seems to indicate that a low-fat diet may not, in fact, be the silver bullet.  The AMA seems to have decided that there are “good fats” and we should be getting them in our diet, in order to remain healthy (something I have never doubted).  Suddenly, across the board, people are beginning to recall that dietary fats are necessary for the creation of cell walls, keeping skin in good condition from the inside out, and controlling cravings, among other things.

What does this mean to us in the raw food world?  Well, if you’ve been worried about fat, and, perhaps, even trying to maintain a low-fat raw vegan diet, you can relax.  You can re-acquaint yourself with avocados and raw nuts and seeds, as well as oils.

Enter coconut oil.  It is a saturated fat, yes, but if you’re getting organic virgin coconut oil, all the fat is natural and is good for you.  Heck, Dr. Oz, and Oprah both agree.  Now it seems that coconut oil can even improve brain function. Make way for the latest candidate in the superfood arena.

BEST OF RAW – great recipes!

POST #907
Congratulations to Amie Sue of Nouveau Raw for winning BEST OF RAW – 2013!  This girl has some  of, if not the,  best raw vegan recipes in town (yours, mine, anybody’s!). Do check out her recipes – I’ve already mentioned a lot of them, but, it seems that, each time I go to her blog, it seems I have a different hankering, so I end up looking at something that has probably been there all along, but which I have cavalierly ignored previously. Today’s discovery was the coconut bark recipes – I don’t rightly know that I’ll ever get around to making those, but I might, since they do sound delicious (but I would need to get the cute little molds first, wouldn’t I?

FERMENTED TURNIPS – SUCCESS

POST #778
I opened the fermented turnip jar last night.  What a pleasant surprise.  The taste of the turnips was very interesting (and pleasant!)  I will make this recipe up again, as soon as I finish this jar-full (I think I might add some things, perhaps dill, or garlic — or both- -I actually have an idea of doing 2 or 3 different combinations that would pique my personal taste buds. At the same time, I will make a plain version.)

Personally, I don’t think that this is a “side dish” (I do like sauerkraut as a side dish).  I like the taste, but, as a side dish, I would do a “dab”.  I do think it would be a good addition into any vegetable dish.

It’s Day 10!!! Last Master Cleanse Day

This has been an interesting Master Cleanse.  All the detoxing, the craving… at the same time, I have been positive and strong throughout: I have kept up my normal hot yoga schedule throughout (4 – 5 days a week –the only times I can make it to class). I believe that I have dropped most of the 15 lbs. I had added over last year, as well (and, with my plans to stick to a low carb/low glycemic index diet from here, I expect the rest will come off relatively quickly)

Now I am really ready to start food.  I went out in the snow last night and bought 10 oranges for my first day post MC.  I forgot the cucumber, the only thing I don’t already have  to make the Carrot/Cucumber Bread, but I can get that tonight (the blizzard did not materialize, so no snow day, must go to work) or tomorrow.  I’m thinking of an orange/frozen banana/apple cider smoothie for Tuesday. Yes. Yum. I’ve never made such a thing, but it sounds good to me right now. (I have all of that apple cider that I got in the CSA share on Thursday – must use it up quickly)

My lemonade (perfectly timed with the last three lemons is made up for today, and I am ready to go!

CARROT/CUCUMBER BREAD

I’ve found another bread recipe. This one looks like easy and fast to make. I like easy and fast to make.  I found it at Hi-Rawkus a wonderful site that I don’t visit enough.

CARROT CUCUMBER BREAD
based on a recipe found at hi-rawkus.com

1 C carrot juice pulp
1/4 C cucumber juice pulp
1/2 C flax seed, ground
1 and 1/2 T dates, pitted and chopped
1 T raw coconut oil
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 C fresh water (optional)

  • In a food processor, thoroughly process carrot pulp, cucumber pulp, dates, coconut oil, and salt in a food processor.
  • Add flax seed and continue processing until a ball of dough begins to form.
  • If the mixture is too thick, incorporate some or all of the fresh water to help loosen it up.
  • On a teflex-lined dehydrator tray, spread the dough to about 1/2 centimeter to 3/4 centimeter thick.
  • Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 2 – 3 hours, or until dough is dry enough to be turned onto a mesh dehydrator sheet.
  • Score into bread slice-shapes.
  • Return the tray to the dehydrator and dehydrate for 3 – 4 more hours, or until bread is firm but flexible.
  • Remove tray from the dehydrator and separate bread slices.
  • Refrigerate finished bread in an airtight container.

2009 FOOD TRENDS: SAD?

Food trend watchers are predicting that, in 2009, people will be focusing more on back-to-basics, going for comfort foods, cooking from scratch, and nostalgic foods like those Mamma and Grandmamma made, as they rein in food spending.

Interestingly, although food trend watchers predict a decrease in organic food buying, they foresee, at the same time, that the focus on nutrition and natural health choices will increase. Do you see a dichotomy here?

Free food’ is seen as becoming more popular, with foraging [let’s all go find vegetables in Central Park– do they still have those foraging tours?], and freeganism (that practice of “dumpster-diving”, foraging for discarded, but still edible foods that have been thrown away) increasing in popularity.

Now, what can you do?

JOIN A CSA: The first thing I would do is sign up for a CSA membership. Community Supported Agriculture organizations provide weekly deliveries of fresh organic vegetables directly from a local farm. The cost of a 6 month CSA membership (usually from June through October or November) works out cheaper than what you would be paying for organic vegetables in a market. Since I joined the CSA 2 years ago, I have had more than enough vegetables and fruit (sometimes I have to dehydrate what I cannot get to), and, with the winter extension (25 lbs. every 3 weeks, December through March for @ $140), I have been able, most weeks, to avoid a trip to the supermarket entirely. Yes, sometimes, I do supplement, if I want an avocado, or some oranges, or if I need dates, raisins, or nuts.

INVEST IN A DEHYDRATOR: My dehydrator is the best investment I have ever made (okay, I love my Champion juicer and my VitaMix). I can dehydrate leftovers (leftover sauces can be dehydrated then powdered to make instant sauces for later), and make snacks, patties, fruit leathers, chips, and crackers. I can take advantage of seasonal prices and snap up vegetables I love, and dehydrate them for use throughout the year (I get 40 lbs of tomatoes in the late summer from my CSA, and dehydrate most of them to have “sundried” tomatoes and tomato powder for sauces and seasoning throughout the winter. You don’t have to be rich to have a dehydrator – you just have to want one. I live on a limited budget in a tiny apartment –- I saved for several months to be able to by my $250 Excalibur 5-tray model with a timer and a temperature control, and I keep the dehydrator on a microwave cart in the hallway near the kitchen. I recommend getting an Excalibur simply because you are going to be using your dehydrator a lot, and Excalibur, with its front-loading trays, is much easier to use than the cheaper stacking kinds of dehydrators)

SHOP AT FARMERS’ MARKETS: Often, the farmer’s markets can offer vegetables and fruit at cheaper prices than regular markets can (Do you homework: know the prices at your local markets so that, when you venture into the farmer’s market, you know whether you are getting a bargain or not.

BUY SEASONAL VEGETABLES AND FRUIT: Seasonal vegetables and fruit are normally cheaper in season than when they are not in season and must be transported from far away places where they are in season. You can also buy large quantities of vegetables and fruit when they are in season and dehydrate them to be able to enjoy them later.

Of course, you could also consider joining a freegan group and going out dumpster-diving late at night with like-minded people.