Monthly Archives: February 2014

Raw sweets

TrufDSC_6198.1RAW foodies have a sweet tooth. When looking at some recipe books recently, I noticed salads, appetizers, dips & sauces and snacks, and then… come the desserts. I flipped back, did I miss the entrees? Don’t expect to find a real heavy traditional main dish in RAW recipes, entrees will look like beautiful appetizers and they are likely very filling.
Here are some little truffles, RAW (or quick vegan). They are  less chocolatey, think of the answer to commercial marzipan potatoes and tadaa…the most indulgent way to eat a carrot…
If you care to make this recipe truly live, you will look for unpasteurized RAW almonds, as all domestic (U.S.) almonds require pasteurization and are likely blanched as well. You may find imports from Spain, which need lots of soaking and may have a higher content of bitter almonds in the batch, but they should even be able to sprout. See recipe

Treats from seeds

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Seed bars work for many occasions. Relatively quick to make, they can replace trail mix, pastries and cookies. After eating too much chocolate, it was time for me to  go a step healthier. Raw seedbars often contain chocolate powder or raw chocolate nibs, which have no sugar or dairy added and are not heat processed.
Depending what you have at home, you can make this recipe truly raw, or nut free, you can also replace some ingredients that are heat processed for a vegan treat. The bars will harden in the freezer, and can be stored in the refrigerator, you may also add some time in the food dryer to remove moisture.
Despite the large amount of ingredients, the amount of servings is relatively small, reminding me again how nutrient dense this food is. See recipe

Green shreds

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Winter time brings sturdy greens, when fresh salad is harder to get and baby greens are traded for a pretty penny. To get more variety, you can use kale or cabbage as a salad. Curly kale, chards or dinosaur kale is is quite hard to digest when raw, so it either needs to be cooked, or prepared in a way that helps digestion. 
Finely slicing raw kale (called chiffonade) helps with digestion and definitely are a great way to train skills with a large knife. The shreds then are massaged with vinaigrette, which makes them very tasty and soft and which reduces the volume of the shreds. I find this recipe more tasty and than steamed kale, likely even better when it is getting warmer. See recipe

You made truffles from what?

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Valentines’ is chocolate season, with sinful sweets and chocolate gifts for loved ones. All the reason to experiment with your own truffles, before the chocolate craze starts.
As in the earlier mayonnaise post, the emulsifier does not need to be from eggs or cream, the blend does not need to contain loads of dairy or fats.

The filling is instead made from a blend of pecans with sweet potato mash(!), they surprisingly taste very much like traditional hand made truffles which makes me wonder, what companies can blend into chocolates these days… DIY and you can influence ingredients; which sweetener or chocolate you use to make it vegan and/or healthier. See recipe

Reconstructed Mayonnaise, vegan and raw

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Mayonnaise is technically an emulsion, a blend of oil, an emulsifier, a sour element, sweeteners and spices. Traditional emulsifiers are eggs, agents, that enable and stabilize the blend of oil with watery substances. You can use other emulsifiers, likely something that has a certain oil content, are soy or nut milk, or as I have heard even cauliflower…
First we were looking for alternative store brands. There was Nayonnaise, then we found Vegenaise more convincing. Alternative brands are often made with soy or canola oil, and it is not clear if these ingredients are derived from GMO plants, I highly recommend checking labels. The Vegenaise Grape seed oil version is also Non GMO verified. Taste and consistency was right, although very salty and we bought it in large containers as a base for potato salads and remoulade dips. 
After I met the very nice Cherie Soria and Dan Ladermann at a recent health conference in New York, I started reading their book ‘Raw Food for Dummies’. They use a very simple raw mayonnaise base which I can recommend; it is close  to the creamy dressing recipe which I posted some time ago. The blend is softer at room temperature and will get the right consistency in the fridge. My recipe is a bit different, mostly because I never have the right ingredients in the house. It also tastes great as a sauce over shredded kale. See recipe

Nutty schmear

SchmearDSC_5858What will go on my bread? If you don’t do cheese, cold cuts or liverwurst, you may wonder what will go on your bread. While you can make your own cream cheese or paté, even ajvar in summer, I recommend to experiment  with a wide selection of nut and seed butters.
Europeans grew up with chocolate noisette creams, such as Nutella and Americans have their Peanut butter. Real peanut butter, technically not a nut butter, but a bean butter, is avoided by some because of high aflatoxin and allergy risk. Stores readily sell alternative butters from ‘real’ nuts and seeds, some are even made from peas.

With a food processor, you can make some fresh butters yourself with ingredients of choice, which may also qualify as RAW food.
Doing it yourself  also brings you awareness of how highly concentrated food a butter is. See 1/2 cup of tree nuts turn into concentrated spoonfuls of delightful butters that will be gone quickly. For example hemp butter, which also adds healthy Omega3’s. See recipe

Is my food safe from arsenic?

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Consumer Reports (CR) wants FDA to limit arsenic in food. Especially rice, apple products and beer have been tested for contamination in the last two years. Inorganic arsenic, the predominant form of arsenic in food, is ranked as Group 1 carcinogen. While there is no FDA standard for arsenic levels in our food, there are regulations on arsenic in water, max 10ppb per liter (NJ standard 5ppb). High levels of arsenic in public water are known to be linked to genetic damage, bladder, lung, and skin cancer in humans, among other suspected diseases, as seen in Chile and Argentina. Continue reading