Chef Douglas McNish, Author of Eat Raw, Eat Well believes that when you eat raw, unprocessed foods that have all their enzymes intact, your body can use the energy it saves for other things. He considers himself to be a walking testimony to the fact that eating raw can have a profound effect on your life, both physically and mentally.
Raw-food diets (where food is eaten raw or, if heated, the temperature can’t exceed 118 degrees Fahrenheit) are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons: Some seek the benefits of weight loss and increased energy, as well as a reduced risk of certain diseases; others have an aversion to animal-based foods or simply wish to consume more whole, nutrient-rich ingredients.
We might as well start off with a Dessert - Yes, you know how I think :) Enjoy!
Photo: Colin Erricson/www.robertrose.ca
Cashew Cheesecake (page 360)
This rich cake is particularly delicious served with fresh berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You will need a high-powered blender to achieve the smoothest consistency possible. Make in a spring-form pan.
Makes 16 servings
* 4 cups raw cashews, soaked
* 1 cup filtered water
* 1 cup raw agave nectar
* 1 cup melted coconut oil
* 1 tbsp raw vanilla extract
* 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 2 cups whole raw pecans
* 1/4 cup chopped pitted soft dates
* 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1. Filling: In a high-powered blender, combine soaked cashews, water, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend at high speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
2. Crust: In a food processor, pulse pecans, dates and salt until smooth (no large pieces should remain). Press into bottom of pan, ensuring that there are no gaps.
3. Assembly: Pour filling over crust and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm in the center. This dessert can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.
4. When you are ready to serve, remove from freezer and set aside to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan sides and slice. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
To soak the cashews for this recipe, cover with 8 cups (2 L) water. Set aside for 1 hour. Drain, discarding soaking water, and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.
To check if the cake is frozen all the way through, insert a tester such as a wooden skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready to be thawed.
Excerpted from Eat Raw, Eat Well by Douglas McNish © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
I've been writing about the Healthy benefits of Quinoa since I started Gratitude Gourmet back in 2008.
Quinoa is rich in protein, calcium, iron, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, 4 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. Quinoa Cuisine contains 150 recipes that use nutritious quinoa in creative ways.
Here's a great recipe from the book for you to enjoy:
Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa Salad with Lime Dressing
Ingredients* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed* 2 cups water
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed* 1 cup yellow corn, fresh or frozen and thawed
* 1 green onion, white and green parts, sliced
* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
* pinch salt
* pinch black pepper
* pinch granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Bring water and quinoa to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce to low, cover, and cook until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Turn off heat and let quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and let it cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn and green onion.
- In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, cumin, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. Slowly add olive oil, whisking continuously to emulsify.
- Drizzle dressing over quinoa mixture. Stir to combine. Add cilantro and stir.
- Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours and serve chilled.
I've been to Morocco and tasted the vegetarian Moroccan cuisine and loved it! I would like to explore much more of Morocco, but in the meantime thanks to 150 Best Tagine Recipes by Pat Crocker, our family officially cooks vegetarian cuisine in our Tagine most of the time. A favorite is spaghetti squash with lots of red sauce :). We even hosted a party where we cooked in the Tagine and it was alot of fun!
Here are some Tagine facts:
* Tagine is a dish from North Africa named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked (formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed).
Note: I bought a quality Tagine made for gas stoves.
* The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving. * Tagines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews at low temperatures, resulting in aromatic vegetables and sauce.
* Moroccan tagines combine a medley of ingredients or seasonings: olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without honey, with or without a complexity of spices.Here's a recipe for you to try, and let me know what you think? Let us know if you have another recipe to share.Lentil Almond Tagine from 150 Best Tagine Recipes by Pat Crocker
2 Tbsp (30 ml) avocado or olive oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 fresh hot chile pepper, chopped (I used jalapeno)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sweet paprika
2 tsp (10 ml) Bahrat Spice Blend (see below)
1 cup yellow, red or brown lentils, rinsed
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups (500 ml) diced pumpkin or squash
1/4 cup (60 ml) ground almonds
2 cups (500 ml) shredded swiss chard
1/2 cup (125 ml) toasted whole almonds
In the bottom of a flameproof tagine (or dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, chile pepper, bell pepper, paprika and spice blend and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil.
Cover with tagine lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add pumpkin and ground almonds, replace lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard, replace lid and simmer for 5 minutes or until greens are wilted and pumpkin is tender. Garnish with whole almonds.
Makes 4 servings. May be frozen.
Bahrat Spice Blend:
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coriander seeds
4 tsp (20 ml) cumin seeds
1 piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) cinnamon, crushed
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cardomom seeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) paprika
1 tsp ground sumac, optional
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground nutmeg
In the bottom of a small tagine or frypan, combine the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly colored and fragrant. Remove from direct heat just as the seeds pop; do not let the spices smoke and burn.
In a mortar and pestle or electric grinder, pound or grind the toasted spices until coarse or finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the paprika, sumac (if using) and nutmeg.
Store in an airtight (preferably dark) glass jar with lid in a cool place for up to 3 months. Makes 1/4 cup (60 ml).
Photo: French Meadow
Did you know that French Meadow Bakery is the longest continuously running certified organic bakery in the US?
I've previously written about French Meadow products, and recently tried some of their new product lines: All Natural Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bagels, Gluten Free Pizza Crust, and All Natural Sprouted 16 Grain & Seed Bread. In short, they are all GREAT products!
If I could pick a store-bought cinnamon raisin bagel, it would definitely be French Meadow. The ingredients include some of the healthiest ingredients: Sprouted wheat berries, raisins, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted millet, organic cinnamon, organic apple cider vinegar, organic sprouted lentils, organic sprouted spelt berries (wheat).
In One Word: Delicious!
A study published in the Journal Annals of Neurology shows that higher saturated fat (SFA) was associated with worse global cognitive and verbal memory trajectories, and higher monousaturated fat (MUFA) intake was related to better trajectories in healthy community-based older women.
The study looked at 6,183 older women participants and related intake of major fatty acids (saturated [SFA], monounsaturated [MUFA], total polyunsaturated [PUFA], trans-unsaturated) to late-life cognitive trajectory. Serial cognitive testing, conducted over 4 years, began 5 years after dietary assessment. Primary outcomes were global cognition (averaging tests of general cognition, verbal memory, and semantic fluency) and verbal memory (averaging tests of recall).
The Study concluded that Higher SFA intake was associated with worse global cognitive and verbal memory trajectories, whereas higher MUFA intake was related to better trajectories. Thus, different consumption levels of the major specific fat types, rather than total fat intake itself, appeared to influence cognitive aging.
Examples of foods containing MUFAs are avocados, olives, most nuts and seeds, especially macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts and sesame seeds and dark chocolate.
Wanderlust's core mission is to create community around mindful living and brings yoga, music, and dance together in beautiful US environments.
A core mission is to Create Awareness because they believe that: "many of the great challenges facing us today, from environmental damage to food shortages to disease to political upheaval, can be improved or solved through mass action. But mass action requires awareness, so wherever possible, we will use the Wanderlust platform to highlight -- and with luck, resolve -- the most important issues of our time."
I was fortunate to attend last year's Wanderlust Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe for one day last year. It was amazing to practice yoga at Squaw High Camp overlooking the gorgeous snow-capped mountains on a sunny California day, BREATHING fresh air, and meeting the most friendly people. In the evening, Winederlust offered local, organic, and biodynamic wine and beer samplings, along with a Music Festival. A Wanderlust video is below including some nice video interviews.
This year's Wanderlust California Squaw Valley event is July 26-29. I would advise registering early because the online class schedules get booked very quickly along with the Farm to Table Dinners.
During the March 21, 2012 Extreme Innovation Wall Street Journal ECONOMICS Panel I attended which discussed progress toward reducing carbon emissions and scaling alternative energy and technology, the discussion turned to Agriculture, Carbon, Oceans, and a Carbon Tax. The following people were on the panel:
Dean Kamen, President, DEKA Research and Development
Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO, Tesla Motors and CEO and CTO, SpaceX
J. Craig Venter, Chairman and President, J. Craig Venter Institute
Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online, The Wall Street JournalI've included the full video which includes these IMPORTANT points below:
- Dean Kamen: You're looking at a 21st century problem with a 19th century mindset. You're assuming it's all going to be what fixes cars in this country. If all the passenger cars in North America stopped tomorrow, they would have a 2% impact on greenhouse gases globally. The amount of methane gas coming off of cows in India and China, since methane by itself (CH4) is 21 times as bad for the environment as the C02, that's the byproduct of burning gasoline. Once you multiply it by 21 times, there's more greenhouse gas coming out of methane, coming out of those cows. Fortunately, until the 21st century almost nobody used as much energy, but the assertion that there's this tiny rounding error of the global population are going to start driving Prius' to solve the problem is like swatting at flies when we're going to get trampled by the elephants. The right question is there are 7 billion people out there now, most of whom have essentially never used electricity and don't have cars and they live on a buck or two a day. If all those people have the outrageous goal over the next 30 years of doubling - they want to live on 2 to 3 dollars a day, most of what that money will buy is power, energy and clean water. If those people do it the way we did, it doesn't matter what we do. All the stuff you're talking about would be like swatting at the flies while we're going to get trampled by the elephants. We have to come up with a way to make sure that the 7 billion people find a way better way to make, store, distribute, and use energy.
- J. Craig Venter: There's no single answer. The problem is such a magnitude of scale we've never dealt with before we need hundreds of answers. 11 years from now we're going to have 8 billion people on the planet. We're adding a billion people every 12 years so we need some solutions fast because we've never had this scale of increases in the population. We have to change how we produce food. Getting rid of the cows would be just as good as getting rid of coal and oil and probably as important because all the amount of fertilizer and water to make a kilogram of beef is not sustainable as 8 billion people start to change their standard of living. Farming, agriculture, using animals as a source of food has to be done away with as soon as possible.
- Elon Musk: Normally I think the market functions well and subsidies are not good, however, when you have a tragedy of the commons problem. Another example would be International Fishing Stocks where there's no ownership of a particular fishing zone because its in international waters then everybody goes nuts and fishes the stock to extinction. That's a classic Tragedy of the Commons Problem. Now we've got this issue where there's some CO2 capacity of the oceans and atmosphere beyond which severe damage will be done to the world and its not entirely clear what that threshold is but we're rolling the dice. In this case the Tragedy of the Commons is the Whole Planet. This is why it seems like an unwise thing to do to play Russian Roulette with the Whole Planet. And we've got only one planet right now. The ideal thing to do would be to tax CO2. That would actually be the best thing, but taxes are difficult to implement. Rather than do the right thing which is to put a tax on CO2, we're doing an indirect thing which is to subsidize electric cars to some degree and other renewables.
- J. Craig Venter: I agree with what you just said...I think putting a price on carbon whether its for fuels or cows, it has to be across the board for everything we do. I think without that there's never going to be a serious set of inventions that have economic and global impact. If we're successful and produce fuels that start to replace oil, that drops the price of oil and that becomes a downward cycle where we can never compete.
- Elon Musk: In order to affect a change that's really going to make a difference in the world, you have to actually start now and grow that change quite rapidly. In order for that change to manifest itself.. to get to a 50% renewable situation in 10 years, we have to push very hard right now. People are really not good at taking action.
- J. Craig Venter: Fuel = Food = Water. If any of these changes that look like their coming, the prediction for California in 50 years is half the water because there's half the snowfall in the Sierras, what happens to California Agriculture with half the water when there's already a water problem? We have to solve every part of the equation. We have to change our source of food because if we have half the amount of water, we can't deal with agriculture, farming, the way we're raising cattle the way we're doing it... We have to change how we produce food and where those sources are. We have to do something across the board or we're going to really be facing some tough challenges as we keep adding 1 billion people every 12 years.
Here is Part 2 of this article for reference: Video: Charlie Ayers WSJ ECOnomics 'You Shouldn't Have To Be Wealthy To Eat Healthy'
Image & Photo Credits: Open Sky
Photo: See Jane Run
See Jane Run is sponsoring their Women's Half Marathon and 5K Sunday, June 3 with Champagne and Chocolate! That's my kind of exercise! :)Location: Alameda CA Crown Memorial Beach
Distance: 13.1 miles/5K/1 Mile Kids RunParticipants Receive: Women’s technical t-shirt with a feminine design, Commemorative champagne glass filled with delicious chocolate wedges, Finisher’s medal, Goody bags with See Jane Run store coupons, samples and much more! The Celebration Expo includes: Chocolate tastings, Champagne, Sport massages, Finishers Food including bagels, fruit and more. Check out the great video below for more fun details! Gratitude Gourmet is giving away 2 Tickets to one of our Readers! Just comment on this Blog Post by May 25, 2012 ' Why You Want to Attend', and a Reader will randomly be chosen. Good Luck!