Category — How To
A sweet raw treat just in time for Valentine’s Day!
My absolutely favorite raw food treat is actually one of the most simple to make. Take some young coconut meat and dehydrate it in a dehydrator at 115 degrees for 24 to 48 hrs. At 24 hrs it’s still chewy and at 48 hrs it’s nice and crispy, both taste great and fill your house with the sweet aroma of coconuts!
Happy Valentines Day!
February 14, 2010 7 Comments
Disclaimer: this post is for educational purposes only and is about pooping. Read at your own discretion.
As you might know from a recent post my husband just had his appendix removed, and this has lead me to wonder why appendixes get infected in the first place. With a little research I learned that appendicitis is a disease of the western world and was virtually non existent until the invention of the porcelain sitting toilet 150 years ago. Throughout history human beings have always squatted for bodily functions and 2 thirds of adults in the world continue to use squat toilets all of their lives.
According to Jonathan Isbit from Nature’s Platform when humans don’t squat there can be possible complications caused by fecal stagnation due to incomplete evacuation. He believes a polluted colon can be prone to cancer, diverticulosis, appendicitis, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
I would also assume that a high fiber diet full of lots of fruits and vegetables would also help with elimination and avoiding this problem as well.
Although I would tend to agree that squatting is the healthiest way, living in today’s modern western society makes it a difficult task. The easiest and safest solution I have seen so far is the health step which is a step you can put under your toilet to help mimic the squat position and assist in elimination. It’s discreet, won’t break your toilet seat, and there is no danger of falling or loosing balance like I have seen with some other methods.
Just thought I would put the information out there!
February 11, 2010 20 Comments
A few weeks ago at my potluck group I talked about my list of top foods that I believe to be super nutrient rich. Stinging Nettles, urtica dioica, were on that list.
The reason I think they are so great is because they are rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. According to some sources they are one of the best plant sources of iron. They are 40 % protein which is considered high for a vegetable. Traditionally in folk medicine they were used to build the blood and treat anemia among other conditions. Recently they have been proven helpful to treat hay fever and osteoarthritis. (For more medicinal uses scroll down to the bottom of this post.)
Where to Get Stinging Nettles
To add stinging nettles to your diet, first you need to find them. I am lucky enough to live in Northern California where I can get them at the Marin Farmer’s Market for 6 dollars a pound. If you have a local wild edibles guided tour (please don’t eat any wild edible unless you are sure) you might be lucky to find them in shady spots, in flood plains, woodlands, along streams and river banks in Europe, Asia, North America, and Northern Africa. Or you can simply try to grow them in your own backyard. If you can’t get ahold of fresh nettles you can find dried nettles in the bulk herb section of your natural grocery store, which make a lovely tea.
They are called stinging nettles for a reason, they have stinging hairs which can really irritate your skin. For this reason I do not advise handling them with your bare hands. I personally use tongs, but you could use gloves as well. Some people recommend rolling them like a taco and then eating the leaves. Here is a video of David Wolfe, raw food author and speaker, showing you how to do just that.
I personally prefer to enjoy them using the methods I describe below:
The great thing about stinging nettles is that when you cook them, juice them, or blend them they loose their sting!
My favorite thing is to make a nettle shake. (recipe below)
(Thanks to Novalee for this idea)
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup nettles
Blend for a minute in a high speed blender and enjoy. For a heartier drink you can add 1 banana and half an apple.
Nettle Green Juice
You can also add nettles into your green juice. Just substitute whatever green you were going to use with nettles and run them through your juicer. I like to juice them with celery and apple.
Make Nettle Tea
Boil a pot of water and add a cup of nettles and let sit for at least 10 minutes. It makes the most beautiful emerald green tea you can imagine. Sweeten and enjoy.
Nettles can be steamed or boiled and are probably one of the most delicious greens out there. They have a mild nutty flavor and can be substituted in any cooked recipe that calls for spinach or kale. They are so good that they can be enjoyed just steamed plain or perhaps with a touch of sea salt. I have also seen recipes where they are boiled with potatoes, leeks, and other ingredients to make a creamy blended soup.
Nettles have been used medicinally in folk medicine for such things as: allergies, water retention, anemia, poor circulation, asthma, wound healing, as a diuretic, to build the blood, and for arthritis and rheumatism. Recently, nettles have been proven effective for treating hay fever and osteoarthritis.
*Now if you are going to use nettles medicinally I would definitely work with a professional for the correct dosage and there are some contraindications and drug interactions you might need to be aware of especially if you are pregnant, have kidney issues, diabetes, or are on blood pressure medication or other medications.
Hope you can enjoy this powerful superfood as a regular addition to your diet!
January 20, 2010 6 Comments
Santa was good to me this year and brought my husband and I a new juicer. I think we opened it on the 20th, as soon as we saw it under the tree, we couldn’t wait! We already had a centrifugal ejection model, the one that spins around and ejects pulp into a container (that we will probably end up gifting to someone who needs a juicer). It served us well for awhile, but I was always disappointed by the fact that it couldn’t juice leafy greens well and my husband didn’t like the noise or that the pulp could get messy if we juiced a lot. (It would end up on our counter if we weren’t careful!)
I had been aware that Omega (a trusted juice manufacturer) had come out with a juicer that could juice leafy greens such as wheatgrass, hard vegetables like carrots, and soft fruits as well. This was a momentous accomplishment in the juicer world. Up until the upright juicer style was introduced it seemed that most juicers fell short in one area or another. They would be great at leafy greens but perhaps it was a chore to push through carrots or apples, or carrots and apples were a breeze, but it couldn’t juice wheatgrass. I admit I was a little skeptical, but because of all the buzz in my local raw food community and because of the great things that people were saying about the Omega Vert 330, I decided to try it.
When my husband and I first used the Omega Vert 330 we juiced carrots, celery, apples, and Swiss chard. We were amazed at how easily everything was feed into the juicer, the auger just pulled the carrots through, no plunger was necessary. My husband loved how quiet it was and he really liked how the pulp was neatly ejected into the 30 ounce juice cup. He likes that he can easily separate the different pulps. This is important to us, as the carrot pulp goes into the dog’s food, but not the celery pulp for example.
What we have noticed is that we are juicing almost everyday! It just seems more fun with the Vert. Clean up isn’t bad, the screen is a little bigger than most single auger juicers, so there is some scrubbing involved, but if you run water through the Vert at the end it will minimize how much pulp is left in the screen. They also supply a special scrub brush which helps a lot.
My husband likes that the juice is a bit pulpy, I prefer to strain my juice which is easy to do. The Vert does not come with a strainer so you would need to purchase your own. We have a lot around the house for my hubbies tea addiction!
I am always looking for new products that I have fallen in love with to carry on Raw Glow and I believe that the Omega Vert Juicer makes the cut. I now proudly offer it on Raw Glow, Please click here for more info on the Vert.
Here is a video demonstration of the Vert in Action:
Here’s a Juice Recipe to Start out the New Year!
Happy New Year!!!!!
P.S. My 2nd favorite Christmas present was the hat I’m wearing in the video lol:)
December 31, 2009 1 Comment
Even here in Northern California are we starting to feel the chill of fall and no longer do I crave watermelon juice, but rather am seeking warming food to offer nourishment and comfort during cooler weather. This leads me to one of the most frequently asked questions about the raw food diet: How do you stay warm?
First off I’d like to say that you don’t necessarily need to use food to stay warm; that’s what sweaters and blankets are for:) But, there are a few things you can do to winterize your raw food diet.
The vegetables that are in season in the fall and winter are usually the ones that take the longest to grow and are also the most warming. Some examples: most root vegetables (parsnips, turnips, carrots), sweet potatoes, winter squash, onion, garlic, and most nuts.
Most people don’t realize that they can eat squash, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes raw. The trick is to process them in the food processor with the S-blade to achieve a rice like consistency or to process them longer for a smooth consistency. For example: parsnips or carrots make a nice rice substitute and sweet potato and pumpkin can be food processed to make a raw holiday pie. Another way to use these winter vegetables is to blend them in the blender to make a soup such as a creamy butternut squash soup using a nut milk as the base. If you have a Vitamix you can blend your soup long enough to warm it up and that helps too.
In both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine there are spices that are considered warming. Some of them are: cinnamon, cayenne, curry, cloves, ginger, tumeric, cardamon, nutmeg, mustard, and black pepper. Both cinnamon and cardamom taste great in a fruit smoothie and a good curry powder tastes great in a blended soup.
Warm Things Up
If you would like to warm things up, but not damage enzymes you can gently warm raw soups, and nut milks on your stove. The moment it feels warm to the touch, it is ready to eat. Another trick is to make a warm miso soup out of dehydrated vegetables. Chop and dehydrate all your vegetable scraps in the dehydrator, like tomatoes, bell pepper, kale, green onion . . . and then rehydrate them with some warm or hot water and a spoonful of miso (I prefer chickpea miso) and you have an instant soup.
Most (not all) raw foodists I know drink tea. I love herbal tea and believe that it’s beneficial. Many herbs are nutritious and have healing properties. Some of the herbal teas that I use on a regular basis are Licorice, Pao de Arco, Nettle, Horsetail, Red Clover, Lemon Verbana, Chamomile, Mullein, Elderberry, Schizandra, Herbal Chai, and Ginger to name a few. My favorite tea to warm up with I got from Café Gratitude They call it “I Am Cozy” and it has fresh lemon & ginger juice, honey, and cayenne in hot water. I make it at home with a few slices of ginger, a slice of lemon, a pinch of cayenne, a spoonful of honey, and a few drops stevia liquid. This tea warms me up like no other! Also, you can also make a Chai style tea and then add some nut milk to make a Chai Latte, just make sure your tea has cooled down a bit or the nut milk will curdle.
Like tea this is not a raw option, but I believe that it’s a healthy option. If you have compromised digestion a good vegetable broth is a great way to get minerals easily into your system. Drinking the mineral broth warms and nourishes your whole being. To make a good mineral broth you need a variety of vegetables, herbs, and seaweed. Here are some of the ingredients that I like to use to make veggie broth:
Kale and Kale stems
Chard and Chard stems
Celery with leaves
Basically I just look in my refrigerator for all the vegetables that need to be used. I usually have a lot of stems left over from making green smoothies. Rough chop the vegetables and put them in a large pot of water. Add a few sprigs of herbs, a few bay leaves, and at least 3-5 good sized pieces of seaweed. Kombu and Wakame work best, but any seaweed will do. Let the pot come to a boil and then simmer on low for at least 3 hours. You can then strain the broth and add a sprinkle of salt if desired. For a really clear broth you can use a cotton sprout bag to strain it. Sip the hot broth like tea or use it as a base to make cooked soups and grain dishes. You can discard the broth veggies, eat them, or blend them up in a blender (minus the bay leaves) and use it for another soup recipe.
For more information about making vegetable broth go here:
Stay Healthy with Magic Mineral Broth
Juice with Caution
I love my vegetable juices but in the fall and winter I only do a green juice (celery, cucumber, greens, apple, lemon or lime) if I know I’m going to jump into a hot shower right away because of its cooling properties. In the winter I add carrot and ginger to my vegetable juices and I’m fine as long as I’m in a warm building. Word to the wise: Don’t drink a green juice and then walk outside into the cold, trust me, you’ll be freezing.
I hope these few tips have helped you stay warm on the raw food diet.
November 11, 2009 16 Comments