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Archive for the ‘Raw Food’ Category

Here, in the midst of Summer, we are finally back to regular posting. Quite honestly, we missed all of you, as well as the process of creating a post, birthing it and releasing it out into the world. But life has a way of changing everything up a bit. Our lack of frequent posts, sadly does not imply that we were on vacation – far from it.  However, we do feel the call – somewhere out there, two beach chairs are calling our names.

Back in June, our initial plan was to take a couple of weeks off  from our recipe development projects, especially the creation of so many yeast-based recipes. Between finalizing recipes for our upcoming book and our participation in the wonderful TWD group, we felt a little overwhelmed.  Considering that our personal diets don’t include an abundance of baked goods, our digestive systems demanded a break. Don’t get us wrong, we do eat some bread and other baked goods – just not every day. The recipe that follows fits much more into the way we like to eat, and is also delicious on these extremely hot Summer days.

Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Anyway, back to the story of our Summer so far.  Just as our brief break began, our cat Bhakti was diagnosed with a highly advanced stage of  intestinal lymphoma. That was completely unexpected, devastating and sadly no hope was offered.  Conventional treatments, with their many devastating side effects, still only offer, at best, a life expectancy of just a few short months. We spent a significant amount of time researching all options available for Bhakti. The stage of cancer that he is in, apparently only allows for remedial help, i.e. pain relief, anti-inflammatories, etc. We learned that Veterinary Science does not even attempt to seek a cure, but rather hopes to alleviate the accompanying symptoms until the inevitable end arrives; in other words when the drugs fail, the body becomes too toxic, or is no longer able to metabolize the drugs. It is just curious that with all the liberal amounts of money being thrown at our so-called scientists to find a true cure for cancer, none has yet been found. Perhaps, the lucrative incomes derived from the production of pharmaceutical drugs, does not offer a true incentive?

Bhakti-Our Summer and Edible Sunshine, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

As you might imagine, this has been quite an experience.  Having rescued and adopted into our family quite a number of animals over the years, we are very familiar with the journey  of life, and the process of birth and death. These cycles are a normal part of life. But, the question begs to be asked, why as a society at large,  we have not endeavored to find a truly humane and effective treatment for cancer for both ourselves and our animal companions?

As of this moment, Bhakti is still alive, supported by holistic veterinary means (turmeric, boswellia  and homeopathy) and lots and lots of love.  He amazes all of us on a daily basis with his ever present fighting spirit and will to live. His courage is inspiring.

Amidst our work and our care of Bhakti, we were also inundated with massive storms – unheard of sand storms. Remember the wall of dust that hit Phoenix, AZ last year? We came very close to that this summer. Wow!  Then followed the hail, as a result of the cooler Northern air moving South, turning the ground white, like a fresh snowfall in Winter. The hail packed a damaging punch, we will have to restucco some walls and have the roof and skylights replaced as a result. Finally,  after our prolonged drought, the monsoon has arrived, which we are, on one hand, ecstatic about, but on the other, we now get a little nervous every time it rains, due to the damaged roof and walls. Everything is awaiting insurance settlement and ensuing repair. Living in the Southwest High Desert, truly is feast or famine, all or nothing. We went for nearly eight months without a drop of moisture before the monsoon came. On the upside, it is finally greening up all around us,  like a belated Spring in the midst of Summer.

 Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

The excessive heat leading up to our present monsoon has inspired today’s recipe. The mere thought of turning on the stove when it is in the mid to upper 90s everyday is unappealing. Our morning ritual has now become a green energy soup or a green smoothie, but with the abundance of fruit available, a savory fruit soup offers another delicious and easy to make alternative for lunch. You will need a blender (does not have to be a high end one – we used a Ninja) and the following ingredients:

Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved.

This recipe makes two large servings:

  • 1 organic avocado, seeded and chopped
  • 2 peeled and diced mangoes
  • 2 peeled and segmented organic oranges, or 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 whole organic cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 handfuls organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, peeled and segmented
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. organic olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Himalaya salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Reserve  a small amount of avocado, cucumber, mango, tomato and cilantro for garnish. Blend all the remaining ingredients until smooth. Serve in two large soup bowls and garnish with the reserved ingredients.

This soup offers a surprising and delicious harmony of flavors and might just become something you want to make again and again.

Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

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Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

When most of you land on our website, your have come to expect yet another gluten free dish, ideally in a baked version. Don’t worry, we are still developing gluten free recipes and plan on doing so for some time to come. However, in our own home, we also prepare many raw food dishes as well. We especially enjoy the many nutritional benefits they offer.

I was first introduced to raw foods about 25+ years ago,  through friends and acquaintances and through their convincing arguments, enthusiastically  purchased a champion juicer. I loved making vegetable and fruit juices, as well as the occasional nut butters. Some of the resulting vegetable pulp was used in making delicious vegetable burgers, blended with spices, seeds and some rice, or spelt. But my all time favorite comfort foods have always been salads.  Now, I am not talking about the currently popular “tossed meals”, overflowing with the addition of too much meat and cheese, and, of course, the inevitable croutons.  I am talking about salads that are primarily made with a variety of greens, sprouts, carrots, avocados and some fruit. In those days, I was completely unaware of being gluten intolerant and, no doubt, consumed too many gluten containing breads, crackers, etc. No one ever talked about gluten intolerance, or celiac disease. In fact, everyone talked about adding whole grains to one’s diet. Some health books espoused this untruth and many followed these teachings, myself included. At the time, book selections involving nutrition and health, were far more limited than they are today. But Ann Wigmore’s books were readily found in most health food and book stores.  I read most of them and found her to be  a fascinating lady. In her autobiography “Why Suffer? How I Overcame Illness and Pain Naturally,” Ann Wigmore (1909-1994) recalls observing her grandmother using herbs and natural remedies, growing up  as a child in Lithuania. As an adult, she began testing various whole foods and dietary approaches, which she credits with solving her medical problems and changing her life.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Together with  Viktoras Kulvinskas, Ann Wigmore co-founded the Hippocrates Health Institute back in 1968 . She was an early pioneer in the use of wheat grass juice and living foods for detoxifying and healing the body, mind and spirit. In case you are not familiar with her work, you may want to check out two  living food lifestyle and health facilities that continue to spread her teachings.  One is located here in New Mexico, the other program is located in Puerto Rico.  Today, Brian Clement owns the Hippocrates Health Institute, which he moved from Boston to West Palm Beach, Florida.

If you are familiar with her teachings, you already know that she recommends a raw living food lifestyle to heal from disease. [ Please note, that we are not advocating a particular program to heal from disease. If you find yourself ill, do your homework, and, if necessary, consult with an accredited health professional of your choice.] It should also be mentioned, that we are not living a 100% raw lifestyle, but generally abide by a whole foods lifestyle ,with the exception of the occasional recipe development project. All we know is that if you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, or just sensitive to gluten, please, do yourself a favor, and eliminate it strictly, completely and permanently. Even the occasional small ingestion of gluten can leave a residual and damaging effect that can last for months. You don’t have to necessarily exhibit symptoms either, although most do.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Now to my favorite raw soup recipe. Aren’t we all looking for a little more energy around now? This tasty and very simple to prepare soup offers a lot of that.  When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, juices and smoothies offered an easy to digest and prepare alternative.  Always having had an interest in nutrition, I read countless books on raw food cuisine. The original “energy soup” recipe recommended by Ann Wigmore, calls for the addition of rejuvelac, a fermented beverage made from sprouted wheat berries. Some say, that there is no, or little gluten in the finished product, but I personally would want proof, and no has been able to offer me that. As a result this recipe does not include any form of grains, gluten free, or otherwise – the emphasis is strictly on organic greens, sprouts, cucumber, lemon, garlic, herbs and one fruit. It is best to use a high powered blender to achieve that desired creamy consistency in the end product. A Vitamix, or Blendtec would be perfect, but we are currently using a Ninja blender, which does the job adequately. . . for now.

Ingredients for 2 large servings:

  • One head of organic romaine lettuce
  • Large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1 organic cucumber, peeled, cut into smaller chunks
  • 1 organic avocado
  • Leaves from several sprigs of Thyme
  • small handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 organic lemon, peeled and quartered
  • 1 organic apple (any variety), quartered and seeds removed
  • 1 cup of your favorite sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, radish, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup organic cherry tomatoes
  • a few small pieces of dried dulse, (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups of purified water

Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, scoop out the flesh, and add it to your blender. Top with the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, cucumber, romaine, spinach,  apple pieces, lemon, sprouts, garlic, thyme, dulse and the purified water). Pulse several times, incorporating the ingredients and then blend for a couple of minutes at the highest setting until everything is well blended and creamy.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Pour into your favorite soup bowls, garnish with some fresh herbs and enjoy right away. It is a wonderfully tasty and delicious alternative to regular soup, and of a slightly heavier consistency than green smoothies. If you enjoy this soup, or green smoothies, also plan on growing some of the vegetables in your own garden this Spring and Summer.

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Salvia hispanica – Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have been a welcome addition to some of our morning breakfasts for a long time now. One of our favorite ways to prepare them is using coconut milk, or fresh almond milk. We were first introduced to the almond milk version in a raw food, gluten free and vegetarian  restaurant in Seattle called Thrive. Check out their website here.

Chia seeds, botanically known as “salvia hispanica,” are a member of the mint family. The word chia itself is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily. Chia seeds are native to Mexico and the Southwestern United States, but are grown commercially in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Australia and Guatemala. In fact, Australia has become one of the largest producers of this crop, primarily in the Ord Valley of Western Australia. Check out this very informative Australian website here.

Chia Growing Area in the Ord Valley, Western Australia (Image by Matt Brann)

A favorite drink in Mexico is chia fresca . It is made by placing chia seeds in water or fruit juice. The seeds need to soak for about 10 minutes. Then some sugar and lime juice is added. You can find the recipe here.

The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are also used to make gruels, porridges and puddings. Ground chia seeds are also used in baked goods, such as breads, cakes, and muffins. Chia sprouts are used and eaten in the same way as alfalfa sprouts.  By placing the seeds on moist and porous clay figurines, they are known by many as chia pets.

Chia Pet

Nutritionally, they are valued for their high omega-3 and protein content. A one ounce sample of chia seeds (based on a daily 2,000 calorie intake), is credited with containing 9% of the daily value of protein, 13% oil (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fiber. They also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium.

Our favorite breakfast version requires 8-10 ounces of coconut milk. You can use the water and coconut meat from a young coconut (well blended), or, if unavailable, substitute your favorite coconut milk – we enjoy So Delicious Coconut Milk. Add one tablespoon of chia seeds and let sit for about 10 minutes. You may also add a tablespoon of organic raisins and/or cranberries.

Chia Seeds in Coconut Milk

Let them soak also. The chia seeds become very gelatinous, almost yoghurt-like.

 

Soaked Chia Seeds in Coconut Milk

Add your favorite fruit: sliced bananas, finely chopped mango, fresh berries, etc. A wonderful addition might be a half cup of gluten free granola (Udi’s is a favorite). Enjoy!

What is your favorite breakfast?

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