Pizza Bread- Raw!

3 07 2009

Barley Pizza Crust
2 Cups Sprouted Barley
1 1/4 Cup ground Flax Seeds
1/2 Cup Leek (Onion would work too)
2 Celery Stalks
1 Carrot
1 Large Tomato
2 Large Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Water

I mixed the ingredients in the food processor and spread the batter in small circles on teflex sheets. (If you prefer, you could make a couple of large pizza crusts instead.) I dehydrated at 115 for a couple of hours, turned the crusts onto the mesh, then dehydrated at 105 for another 6 hours or so. Yummo!

BarleyCrustAfterW

Carmella’s Notes:
Alissa suggests that you soak the barley (unhulled as pearled barley won’t sprout!) for 6 hours, then let it sprout for a day or so, rinsing often, until the tail is just starting to peek out. For more info on how to sprout barley, go to this site.

For a delicious variation, you can also substitute barley for sprouted buckwheat.

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Ravioli- Raw!

3 07 2009

This raw version by Alissa Cohen should stick to your ribs. “This is one of my favorite raw recipes,” explains Cohen. “I often make these at seminars and events and people go wild over them! There is always one person who continues to ask me through the whole event, ‘What kind of pasta is this made from” even after I tell them numerous times that it’s turnip not pasta. It’s hard to believe these are raw!'” AlissaCohen.com

ALISSA COHEN’S RAW RAVIOLI

Wrappers (these replace the pasta dough):

  • 4 turnips

Peal the turnips. Slice the turnips into very thin slices, by cutting them in half and then using a spiral slicer, mandolin or other vegetable slicer to make thin round disks.

Cheese filling:

  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 6 t braggs
  • 8 t lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup parsley

Blend the pine nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts in a food processor until ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well, until creamy.

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 dates
  • dash of olive oil (optional)

Soak the sun dried tomatoes until soft. In the food processor, blend the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and garlic – until well blended . Add the dates and olive oil and blend until smooth. This sauce should be thick.

Directions for Assembling the Ravioli:

  1. Remove a single turnip slice from the batch.
  2. Place a teaspoon full of cheese filling in the turnip slice and fold the turnip over until all the sides meet.
  3. Squeeze the edges together. Some of the filling will ooze out, but this is what will hold the edges together. Just put the excess back into the bowl to reuse. If you don’t have enough filling in them they will not stick together.
  4. Place them in a single layer on a large plate and drizzle the tomato sauce on top, allow to sit for a few hours. The turnip will become soft from the tomato sauce.
  5. To serve, scoop us the raviolis with a spatula.

raw_ravioli_1





Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake- Raw!

3 07 2009

Yield one 9-inch cake

Crust:
1 ¾ cups nuts (I used raw almonds)
½ cup raw cacao nibs
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
¾ teaspoon cherry extract
1 tablespoon raw chocolate powder
¾ cup raisins

Filling:
3 cups cashews, soaked 1-2 hours, drained
1/3 cup raw agave
6 dates, pitted
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons cherry extract
1 cup coconut oil
¾ cup raw chocolate powder

Coulis:
1 bag frozen berries (cherries would be optimal but any will do!)
¼ cup raw agave
dash fresh lemon juice
pinch cinnamon

Crust directions:
Grind the nuts, cacao nibs and salt in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the cherry extract and chocolate powder and pulse to thoroughly combine. Add the raisins and process until the mixture sticks together when gently pressed between your fingers. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch round spring form pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.

Filling directions: Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, process the cashews, agave, dates, lemon juice, and water until it’s creamy. This could take 3-5 minutes. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add the cherry extract, coconut oil, and chocolate powder and process until creamy. Pour the filling into the spring form pan and freeze the cheesecake so it sets. Let thaw for up to an hour or more before eating.

Coulis directions: Blend all of the ingredients together.

chocolate_cheesecake





Veggie Pizza…Raw!

2 07 2009

Crust

  • 2 cups raw, finely ground almonds (grind prior to use)
  • 3 cups diced, crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
  • ¾ cup diced, broccoli crowns
  • ½ small, red bell pepper chopped
  • ¾ cup diced, white and green onions (combo of both)
  • 5 pieces, softened sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup tahini (or a little less)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 TB Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • ½ cup water (to help blend)

In food processor, combine all of the crust ingredients. Process until it forms a ball. Spread out on parchment paper lined dehydrator screen. Dehydrate until firm.

Spicy Red Pepper Spread

  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 6-9 (depending on size) softened sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • sea salt
  • ground cayenne pepper

Blend until thick and creamy.

For this pizza I topped it with zucchini that marinated in a small amount of Nama Shoyu, paprika, and just a pinch of ground chipotle chili pepper. Sliced onions, fresh parsley, and raw pine nuts helped finish the toppings list. You can put on whatever you like.

After pizza crust is firm spoon the red pepper spread on thick.
Top with zucchini, onions, pine nuts and parsley.

raw_pizza





Is It Raw or Not?

1 07 2009

Lets break this down into three categories:  foods to maximize, foods to include some, and foods to minimize or exclude.

On a raw foods diet, you want to maximize your intake  of the following raw food:

  • Fresh fruits and Fresh Vegetables. – Any fresh fruits or vegetables.  The fresher the better. If you can pick the produce yourself, that’s the best. The next best would be  direct from a farmer  or farmers market, next best from a health food store, and last from a “chain store”.   Here is why- once the food is picked, the vitality starts to lessen.  If the produce is refrigerated, the vitality is lessened even further.
  • Fresh Sprouts – you can sprout your own seeds yourself, and eat these life-force rich foods while they are still living and growing!

Next as a raw foodist you may want to consume some of the following: (concentration should be on FRESH fruits and vegetables)

  • Nuts and Seeds – Many nuts are raw and go through no heat processing.  Always purchase nuts in the shell whenever possible, since once nuts are out of the shell, they start to oxidize, and can go rancid.  Some nuts are heat processed in the process of getting the nut out of the shell.
  • Young Coconuts – Young coconuts are a excellent source of electrolytes, the best purified water and a good source of fat and calcium.
  • Dried Fruits- Most dried fruits in the natrual food store are cooked!
  • Dates – Dates are generally sun dried, if good organic dates are purchased.  Many “conventional” dates can be dried and then steamed to make them look “plump” and moist.  The Date People and Flying Disc Ranch are my two good sources.
  • Sea Weeds – Sea weeds such as nori, dulse, Laver, sea lettuce, kombu purchased from a “family” business are usually sundried.   Seaweeds from “asia or china” may or may not be sun dried. Sometimes they are roasted, and it may not be mentioned on the package.  This should be eaten minimally
  • Dried vegetables, herbs and spices for flavoring – I have not checked to see if these are in fact considered “raw” or if they have been heat treated in the drying process. Whenever possible dry your own herbs and spices, and use as sparingly as possible.
  • Olives – You may want to consume some raw olives.   Raw olives are hard to find. The best raw olives are sun dried raw olives, that have not been preserved with salt.  Most olives are preserved with salt.  Most canned olives are cooked in the canning process.   Most olives are packed in a vinegar or lactic acid brine, which I do not recommend.
  • Green Powders – A good green food powder can be helpful as long as it is not heat processed, considered “raw” and dried at a low temperature, and do not include toxic additives.  Some examples would be dried wheatgrass, blue green algae, barleygreen, etc.
  • Raw Honey – I do agree that raw honey is probably the best concentrated sweetener to use, I still reccomend minimizing concentrated sweeteners such as honey.  Get a honey that includes the pollen and propolis, a more “whole” food.
  • Frozen Fruits – It seems that most frozen fruits are not blanched before freezing, so they could be considered “raw”.  Although its best to eat FRESH FRUITS instead, or freeze fruits yourself.

Things to minimize or cut out completely.  The items listed below are many times included in a raw food diet.  They can be helpful while transitioning to a raw food diet, but have no place in a long term health building raw food diet.

  • Table salt and celtic sea salt- While table salt is much worse than celtic sea salt, many raw foodists believe that celtic salt is good for them.  I believe it is not.  This is primarily due to research on the potassium/sodium balance.  Each cell in our body needs to maintain a ratio of sodium to potassium and in the “standard American diet” has the sodium ratio way too high. We get enough sodium from fruits, vegetables and seaweed. (Use seaweed instead)
  • Nama Shoyu and Braggs Liquid Aminos – Once again these items show up often in raw food recipes, and many people think them “healthy”.  Try drinking a bottle of the stuff, and tell me how you feel. I bet you will feel sick to your stomach!  These are highly processed foods that do not occur naturally in nature. (try using seaweed instead)
  • Maple Syrup – Maple syrup is another ingredient considered as “raw” by many.  Based on research, all maple syrup is cooked, so it is not raw..  Use fresh barhi dates (which do taste like maple syrup – there are many different varieties of dates to try!)
  • Agave Nectar – While this “concentrated sweetner” is very popular in raw cuisine, I believe it has no place in a truly “raw” diet.   This is primarily due to the fact that it is a concentrated sweetner.  The “nectar” is collected or “cooked” out of the agave plant, then must be “cooked” or dehydrated down, much like “boiling down” maply syrup.  There is even some rumors about “corn syrup” and other sweeteners being added to “raw” agave nectar to give it the sweet taste. In any case, it is a processed, product, and not a raw, whole food.
  • Wine – Wine can be raw, but while it may have some health benefits – I say drink FRESH made grape juice instead.  Exclude wine from the raw food diet.  Alcohol does kill brain cells.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Vinegar contains acetic acid.   Acetic acid  is a toxic chemical. If you drink a whole bottle of vinegar, I bet you wont feel too good.  Did you know acetic acid is used as a pesticide?
  • Bottled oils – Many raw foodists include oils in their diet. This should be minimized for a few reasons.  Oil does not occur naturally in nature.   Once oil is extracted, it generally goes bad (rancid) very quickly.  It is super concentrated and hard for your body to break down.  Try drinking a bottle of oil, and tell me how you feel.  Probably like you want to sleep – its your body having to work overtime to digest the oil.  Yes, even if its cold pressed an organic.  Eat the food instead- i.e.: eat olives instead of olive oil.  Eat coconuts instead of coconut oil. Eat ground flax seeds instead of flax oil.
  • Frozen Vegetables – Confirmation from several major manufacturers of frozen vegetables, frozen veggies are blanched before they are quick frozen, so these would not qualify as raw.




Sugar Substitutes III: Honey- Raw Organic vs. Refined Pasteurized

30 06 2009

Refined and Pasteurized Honey

The vast majority of brands of honey in most grocery stores are refined and pasteurized – these brands provide little more than liquid sugar.

Nectar commonly contains about 20 to 40 percent sugar. The bees in the hive concentrate the honey in the honeycomb to about 83% solids. Bees add the enzyme invertase to convert sucrose to the simple sugars glucose and fructose. After collection, most honey is heat treated. Honey is also filtered to remove air bubbles, solids and pollen grains.

Raw, Organic Honey

Honey that’s truly raw – not exposed to more than 118 degrees Fahrenheit – contains the following nutrients that can nourish your cells and keep you healthy:

  • A number of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help keep your cardiovascular system healthy and help prevent damage caused by excessive amounts of free radicals
  • Amino acids (building blocks of protein in your body)
  • Enzymes
  • Trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and a number of other minerals
  • Healthy, natural sugars (fructose and glucose) that can help create glycogen stores in your liver and muscles, and provide a source of energy to your cells

What follows are some health benefits that are associated with raw, organic honey:

  • Raw honey contains phytonutrients – caffeic acid methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate – that may have anti-tumor and cancer-preventing properties. When raw honey is heavily processed and heated, these phytonutrients lose most or all of their effectiveness.
  • Research carried out in several Israeli hospitals indicates that honey may improve the strength of your immune system by supporting your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
  • Honey may help promote optimal build-up of glycogen stores in your liver, which can help your liver optimally supply your brain with glucose while you sleep and exercise for long periods of time.
  • When compared to other sweeteners, honey may improve your ability to regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, though you still want to use raw, organic honey sparingly, as consumption of all sweeteners, even natural ones, can increase your blood sugar and insulin levels in the short and long term. Because raw, organic honey is rich in antioxidants, eating high quality honey may help support the health of your blood vessels.
  • From batch to batch, raw, organic honey may contain some friendly bacteria, which may help you experience optimal digestive tract health and a strong immune system.
  • When applied topically, raw, organic honey may accelerate healing of wounds, including burns and ulcers. The wound-healing properties of honey may be partly due to glucose oxidase, an enzyme that naturally occurs in honey. When glucose oxidase combines with water, the result is hydrogen peroxide, which is a mild antiseptic. Another possible reason why honey is an effective ointment for wounds is that the fructose and glucose in honey attracts water, and by keeping a wound dry, honey can help prevent growth of undesirable microorganisms.

Honey_on_a_spoon_by_jfschmit





Raw vs Cooked.

23 06 2009

Why go Raw?

The benefits of going raw-vegan are boundless. Raw foods are easy to digest, and they provide the maximum amount of energy with minimal bodily effort.

Studies have shown that living foods have healing powers that can alleviate many illnesses such as low energy, allergies, digestive disorders, weak immune system, high cholesterol, candida, obesity and weight problems (weight normalization), etc..

Research and real life experiences have also shown that a person can prevent the body’s healthy cells from turning into malignant cancerous cells by consuming mostly a raw food diet that includes whole organic foods!

What’s wrong with cooked foods?

Heat changes the makeup of food. Foods that have been heated have lost all of their life force, and their beneficial enzymes are destroyed.

The digestive system has to work harder and longer to process cooked foods to get nutrition and energy from it. Once cooked, food can lose up to 85 percent of its nutritional value. Raw foodists call that “dead food.” Since we are essentially what we eat, consuming the dead energy of dead foods make our bodies feel heavy and stagnant.