Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flax Crackers

These can be crisped at a low temperature in the oven (<250 degrees)  with the door cracked, or dehydrated.  The instructions are simple:

1c   flax, ground
1c   shredded carrots (or better yet, use the pulp of juiced carrots)
1/2c  sunflower seeds
1/4c  whole flax seeds

raw honey (optional)
pink salt, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste

Mix all ingredients and add water until you have a pliable dough.  Spread thinly over dehydrator sheets or parchment paper.  Cut the dough into cracker shapes once it begins to firm in the dehydrator.

This is a standard recipe.  Victoria Boutenko, the author of one of my favorite raw books, "12 Steps to Raw Food," suggests letting the dough ferment overnight.  In my experience these crackers take a few days to dehydrate at 110 degrees, so I skip the fermentation step. 

Ground, sprouted wheat berries may be added.  Just soak berries for a day, and lay between two wet napkins to sprout, rinsing about every 5-8 hours for a couple of days until sprouts form. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Super Easy Cleansing Milk - Fresh Food For the Skin!

Making a cleansing milk is probably easier than you think.  I was pleasantly surprised at the results of this simple recipe - after using it, my skin felt soft and clean.  The alpha hydroxy acids in lime and enzymes in the yogurt will ensure cleansing, but will not strip the skin of its natural oils. 

Sure, you could buy a cleansing milk (and it might even come with some sulfates for bubbling purposes) but the real deal - the cleansing milk that Cleaopatra used - consists of FRESH ingredients.  If you feed your body fresh food, why not do the same for your skin?

Here is a vegan recipe:

1 cup soy yogurt
juice of 1 lime
2 t Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I got a little fancy, substituting Pomegranate, Rose Hip, Evening of Primrose for Olive Oil - but olive is just fine, really.  I love it and use it on my skin often.  It is slow to go rancid, meaning it will not age the skin (because it has not gotten stale and oxidized) and it contains plenty of healthy fatty acids.

I also added two drops of (CO2 extracted) carrot seed essential oil.  Carrot seed Oil contains high levels of Beta Carotene, a powerhouse in anti-aging nutrients.  CO2 extraction, also know as supercritical extraction, helps keep the plants' properties intact and preserves the therapeutic benefits of essential oils - as is not always the case in distilled oils.  

One final note:  this cleansing milk will NOT make your face break out... I promise!  As with any food, please keep this refrigerated and discard after a week or so.

Sprouted Sweet Potato

Little did I know that the discount sweet potato that I lazily forgot about would grow into THIS!  After seeing little sprouts pop out a month or so ago, I put the sweetie into a bowl filled with an inch or two of water.  Roots began to form from the bottom, and ivy-like leaves from the top.  

This can be done with all kinds of pits and even root vegetables; avocado pits are especially beautiful.  Usually a toothpick holds the pit so that it sets halfway in a cup of water.  I didn't even do that much; really these root plants are hearty and WANT to live, and in my experience, they grow readily.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Jicamas !

It think the taste of a Jicama, or Mexican turnip, could be best described as a cross between apples and raw potatoes.  The texture is watery and crisp like an Asian (apple) pear.  It's one of the few vegetables, I think, that most cultures traditionally eat raw.  In Mexico, it is sometimes eaten raw with lime juice and chili powder; in the Philipines with shrimp paste; and in Indonesia, like an apple. 

The jicama is common in Asia, but was cultivated by the Spanish and is most associated with the Americas.  It grows in warm climates, and although the root itself is delicious, the vine is harmful to fish and insects, meaning it has its own natural pesticide qualities.

Jicama Fries
from 12 Steps to Raw by Victoria Boutenko

Serves 4

1 jicama, cut into fry shapes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon garlic to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne to taste
1 pinch cumin, to taste

Toss n Serve.

PS: the jicamas pictured are definitely going bad!  My mistake: putting them in the fridge.  Jicamas last longest - sometimes months - when stored in warm, dry places.  I also bought them at a discount produce market, which may have encouraged them to discolor within a week or so of buying them :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whole Wheat Ginger Cupcakes & Raw Snow Dates

I've never been much of a cupcake person... that is, until my friend Lydia called me from DC and explained that she'd tried the most *delicious* ginger cupcake ever.  She described the texture of the frosting as a bit crystallized and the cake as spicy.  My plan was to make her a similar cupcake when she comes to visit; Here's my shot at it.
I decided to make my own powdered sugar for the frosting, which was a bit more grainy than most people might like; still, an easy fix.  I used (sustainable) palm oil (aka veg shortening) instead of coconut oil, because of another friends allergies.  IF YOU CAN, USE UNREFINED COCONUT OIL.  Sorry to yell, I just can't emphasize the importance of good coconut oil enough (like Nutiva.)  Make sure you get unrefined, as regular has no flavor.

I modified a general cupcake recipe to make this, and added a few things myself, but drew the spice amounts from including Jo Ann Sugimoto from the "Just a Pinch" Recipe Club's blog:

1 c.  WW Flour 
1 c. Unbleached Flour (or 2c. total WW - I do this; it works for a heavier cake)
1 1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/4 t. Real Salt
 6 T. Unrefined Coconut Oil
3/4-1 c. Natural Sugar, mixed with 1/2 t. Blackstrap Molasses (a good source of iron)
2 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Cloves
1/4 t. Black Pepper
1 1/2 t. Potato Starch or Energy Egg Replacer mixed w/ 2T Warm Water
1 T Flax, Ground
3/4 C. Almond milk
1t. Apple Cider Vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.  Sift dry ingredients.   Cream vanilla, coconut oil, and sugars.  Add "egg," or potato starch.  Then add almond milk and flour dry mixture in 1/4 c. increments, intermittently.  Pour into cupcake molds 3/4 full. 

Sprinkle natural brown sugar on top of the cakes, concentrating on the edges; it will crystallize and make a nice crispy crust.  Bake 17-22 minutes. 

I tried my hand at making caramel and pouring it on top of the cakes before frosting... but the caramel was a disaster!  So obviously I won't share the recipe for that.  If you can make a good caramel sauce, try it! 

A simple coconut oil/ powdered sugar frosting will work well for this.  If grinding your own powdered sugar, add a pinch of egg replacer, corn starch, or potato starch.

Coconut Snow Dates are easy to make: mix 1/4 cup oat flour (or ground oats) with 1/4 cup shredded coconut.  Stuff dates with whole almonds, coat with a thin layer of raw almond butter, then roll in oat/ coconut mixture.  I think rolled dates are usually cooked in butter before being dipped in the oat/ coconut mixture.

The only issue that I have is with the flour mixture remaining stuck to the dates.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Monday, May 9, 2011

What to do with overripe bananas?

CinnaMaka SHAKE
naturally sweetened :)

2-3 overripe bananas, frozen
about 1/2 c water
2 handfulls of almonds (any nut)
1 t maca powder (tastes malty, and adds tons of vitamins)
1t cinnamon

The amount of water really just depends on the size of the bananas.  Blend until smooth.  Just make sure you PEEL the bananas before freezing them.  I've made the mistake of pulling bananas out of the freezer and trying unsuccessfully to saw off black, frozen peels.

Both maca and Green Kamut powder helped me get through caffeine-free days when I was trying to give up coffee.  I think the vitamin content in both may help prevent caffeine withdrawal migraines.

This shake tastes rich and creamy - just like a milkshake should!  The bits of nuts are my favorite part.  For a more hearty or textured shake, consider adding unrefined coconut oil, flax, or chia seeds.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nutty Sweet Quinoa Salad

I admit I'm not a salad-eater (not even pasta salad,) but this is absolutely delicious!  I was trying to think of what to do with my sprouted quinoa this morning... after reading about how "bitter" it can be, I was a little weary of trying to eat it plain, but low and behold I tried a bite: not bitter at all!  I think it would be if I hadn't rinsed it several times (even though most commercial brands of quinoa are pre-rinsed, the saponin-coat of the quinoa seed is what makes it taste bitter, and I did notice bubbles as I rinsed it.)


3/4 c. Sprouted (black) quinoa 
1/2 zucchini, grated
corn from 1 raw cob
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
handful of parsley leaves
1/2 lemon
1 T flax seeds
sea salt, cracked pepper
1 yellow mango, added before serving (optional)

Quinoa, a seed rich in amino acid proteins, is related to spinach and swiss chard, and is one of the easiest seeds to sprout!  It can grow green sprouts in only a few days, although I definitely like to eat it before that point.  TO SPROUT QUINOA:  Soak overnight in a LOT of water.  Rinse for 3 minutes, and continue rinsing every 5-10 hours until sprouts appear.  Simple as that.  Quinoa is so easy to sprout, you can just leave it in a jar without using a sprouter lid, and make sure you rinse so it doesn't dry out.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

After the quinoa is sprouted, simply mix everything else with it in a bowl.  The mangoes, pepper, corn, parsley all work well with the nutty crunchy-textured quinoa.  I recon this would make a nice salsa, too, but I think it's just fine on its own.  

I usually look for corn that has yellow and white kernels.

Before adding mangoes
My favorite quinoa is Alter Eco black quinoa, but I'm sure any type will work.  Most people think that red quinoa is more bitter than white (which is supposedly why animals choose to feed on white) but I think that this black quinoa is the absolute best quinoa I've ever sprouted.  Happy eating!