Tag Archives: raw

Light blender fare

BorschtDSC_7117
I am now a proud participant of the ‘Soup challenge’, challenging my soup repertoire. Pan-raw fare while preparing for a blizzard on the East Coast? I don’t know. In this weather when I am reluctant eating salad and prefer comfy food such as split pea soup. After bean and split pea soup, I’m opting for the recommended Borscht. Other suggestions have ingredients that are hard to get here in winter. Still this one also asks for fresh dill… got frozen one instead. I cooked all the beets added some potato for substance, then sautéed onions, carrot and parsnip and add to the blender with broth, almond milk and spices. It works although the sorbet-like result looks more like a light summer refreshment, I preferred it re-heated. It is also harder than I thought to sell ‘pink sorbet for dinner’ to a ‘real man equipped with real teeth’… see recipe

Taboulistic

TabouDSC_6320RAW cuisine is so immensely creative. Replacing cooked grains or pasta for similar tasting ingredients solves the common sogginess of traditional Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad. No matter what I used to do, my grain tabbouleh was sweating. This new recipe has an unusual twist, can be made as RAW recipe and tastes great. Instead of cracked wheat or couscous pasta, it uses chopped cauliflower… See recipe. 

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

PowDSC_6165.1

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

KaleDSC_6142.2

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

Reconstructed Mayonnaise, vegan and raw

MayoDSC_6107
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

Too easy to not DIY…

ChiaDSC_5852

Chia pudding is the new hype After blogs and cookbooks praised chia as the new superfood, the packaged food industry wanted a share. You may remember chia’s early fame in ‘hair growing’ chia pets and recently as Chia fresca, now the seed’s pudding is offered next to the alternative yogurts in supermarket fridge, and I believe I saw a whooping price of 3$ per portion for a small cup of the submerged seeds. While I understand, yogurt making takes some time and expertise, I wonder what makes Chia pudding so special…
The answer is ‘nothing’, it does not take more than 3 spoonfuls of chia seeds per any liquid cup of choice, even without a blender. Stir, cool and wait… really no reason to buy a plastic jar with stale ingredients, and worth only a couple of pennies… See my recipe for Horchata chia pudding

Mexican milk alternative

HorchaDSC_5835

Mexican restaurants and food trucks sell horchata; Asking about this variety of ‘agua fresca’, we learned about the variety of ‘rice milk.’
Horchata originated in Spanish speaking countries, and Latin America has several different traditions for horchata.
The refreshing milky drink is usually ice cooled, tastes of cinnamon and has a tan color unless you use white rice and white sugar. The satisfying milk alternative can easily replace a meal. If you do it yourself, you can influence details such as what sweetener is used, use brown rice and raw nuts. Use more almonds than rice, to achieve a richer, less chalky taste.
While the original recipe includes soaking the ingredients overnight, you can also make a quick horchata in an instant, blended and strained in modern kitchen equipment. Horchata recipe and horchata chia pudding

The mother of all slaw

SurowDSC_4645Ever wondered where Cole Slaw is rooted? It must be from somewhere East… In Poland for example, there is Surówka, which means literally ‘raw’ salad, but then there is the German ‘Rohkost’. It is made in varieties with shredded carrots, apples, raisins and cabbage and likely other raw vegetables, plus fresh herbs, such as dill. You can add some sauerkraut to add some beneficial culture. The dressing can be salty or sweet, with plain lemon and spices. But you can also dress it up creamier, for example, add some cashew cream or tofu and replace the sugar from the recipe with a date or alternative sweetener in the blender. It is so fresh and tasty, much fresher than the usual tired and oily slaw. See recipe

The RAW alternative

BuckDSC_4339
Is RAW better than Cooked? There are surely reasons why you should opt for less processed in first place. Food in its natural state, (and I don’t mean the bogus ‘All Natural’ claim on packaging). Raw food retains more nutrients; some nutrients can be absorbed more readily if food is heated, but it does not mean that there is nothing at all absorbed, when eaten raw or heated below 115˚F. However, when food is cooked, many nutrients and vitamins are lost. Continue reading

Staying fresh

AquaDSC_3873In Mexican restaurants we have Aguas Frescas. The combination of fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds is blended with sugar and water to make a light non-alcoholic beverage and are popular in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States especially during hot weather.
Aquas Frescas are different from smoothies, as they are fresh, light and based on water, lime and lots of fruit. Another Agua fresca I was writing about is Chia Fresca, which contains besides lime also Chia seeds. Especially melon is refreshing other types are guava, mango and horchata (a rice milk.) If you never know how to manage a whole watermelon in a small household, here is the solution. See recipe

Bars and Balls

PowerDSC_3128Some time during the 80’s, there were aerobics, and then there was the advent of power bars. I remember the first ‘Muesli Bars’ sold before my time in college. We ate several ones during breaks, convinced they were healthy and got quite addicted. Then we noticed weight gain as the contents were just a tad nicer as in regular candies. Today, there are so many different bars; bars for athletes, for meal replacement and weight loss programs and Vitamins, even once a ‘Snooze bar’. Most of the commercial ones taste stale, rancid or sticky. But when you find out how easy you can make them fresh, there is really no reason to put up with ‘saw dust and sugar’. The ones I made, were handy when we skipped breakfast today before the snow storm and are a great snack during meetings. Just be aware that it is very concentrated food, a small bite would be more than double the size of nuts and fruits to eat. See recipe

Tribal Running Foods

I just finished reading two books, both of them (‘The Jungle effect’ and ‘Born to run’) mention the food, of the Tarahumara Indians, known as the ‘running people’. For example chia seeds and limes, called ‘Chia fresca’ which promptly became a popular ‘energy’ drink in Wallstreet. See recipe
‘The Jungle Effect’ book by Daphne Miller has several chapters where each chapter focuses on one Western disease and travels to a part in the world where the disease is rare or unknown (Cold Spots). Continue reading

Battle of the pestos

 

Earth Day weekend paints the town green. NY City exhibits cars, green drinks and alternative snacks, with a party at Javit’s Center, Westchester retreats into volunteer garbage cleanups and weed cutting. And then I thought about eating an invasive weed that day… Traditionally, seven ingredients make an Italian Pesto: fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmigiano and pecorino, garlic and salt. However without sacrificing on flavor, pesto can be done in many different ways with aromatic herbs, without cheese and less oily nuts.

Continue reading

‘Choco Mouse’

Obsessed with mousse! Have you ever watched the Polanski thriller ‘Rosemary’s Baby’? In one scene the elderly neighbor brings Rosemary a dessert she calls a ‘chocolate mouse’. There is something irresistible about mousse. If you saw my earlier recipe with tofu, here is an even easier tofu free version that can pass as raw recipe. Most likely the most healthy chocolate mousse ever – with an unusual ingredient, Avocado!  With 4g of protein, avocado contains all nine essential amino acids to build muscle and create more protein—in addition to heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Avocado is also very high in magnesium, needed to balance high calcium intake. Try me!

Functional Foods

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete from Vancouver, BC  is also vegan. His early research in the nutritional field has been circling around how to improve performance with nutrition, by minimizing the stress that ordinary and high acidic foods may cause to the body. Brazier moved to a diet that uses naturally ‘functional foods’. Continue reading

Better Sweets

Ah Truffles – I have been craving sweets. Lucky if you have a food processor, that can process sticky dry mixes such as truffles. If you are not so lucky, there are ways to trick an old fashioned blender into doing the job. Try to chop everything separately in dry condition and do the soaking and blending part later by hand. Continue reading

Fennel shavings

The last days have been around freezing temperatures. After the unexpected snowstorm at the end of October, we lost power twice. Now nature seems back to its rhythm, trees still show colorful leaves, but temperatures have dropped. After warming up for dinner with a nice hot soup, a winter salad made with oranges and shaved aromatic fennel offers an interesting change. Continue reading

Raw Colors at Sunset

The turning leaves let crowds flock to the Rivertowns and upstate NY in the last weekends of October and early November. Our long Sunday hike on trails around Lake Minnewaska gave us many scenic pictures. Lively fall colors were always among my favorites. For a ‘turning leaf party‘ this weekend, I made a colorful sweet root salad, Continue reading