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
* 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
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.
Wall Street Journal ECOnomics Conference | Climate | Agriculture | Oceans | CO2 | Earth's Future (Part 1)
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 Journal
I've included the full video which includes these IMPORTANT points below:
We're excited that Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate is being featured on the Healthy Living Open Sky Page for a Limited Time.
Direct Links are below to the Truffles, Salted Caramel & Salted Caramel / Almond Toffee. Thanks everyone and Open Sky for your great support!
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 Run
Participants 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!
Warm weather is upon us, especially in San Francisco!
One of my favorite Spring and Summer drinks is Sangria, and here's a great Rose Sangria recipe courtesy of Nielsen-Massey. Salud!
1 apple, peeled and quartered
10 whole cloves
1 lemon, thinly sliced rounds
1 lime, thinly sliced rounds
1 orange, thinly sliced rounds
1/3 cup Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar
1/2 cup brandy, chilled
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine, chilled
1 1/2 cups pulp free orange juice, chilled
1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Rose Water
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Stud apple by pushing the clove stems into the prepared apple quarters. In a large glass pitcher, place the clove-studded apple quarters with the citrus fruit slices. Sprinkle Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar over the fruit, pour brandy over the sugared fruit and toss to coat. Place in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours to infuse the flavors. Before serving, remove the clove-studded apple and discard, crush the infused citrus fruits slightly with a wooden spoon. Stir in the wine, orange juice, Nielsen-Massey Rose Water and Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract. Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh mint.
Note: Add additional Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, orange juice or soda water for taste variation.
Credit: SF Fine Art Fair
The 2012 San Francisco Fine Art Fair featuring contemporary art takes place at the Festival Pavilion Fort Mason Center May 17-20. The Opening Preview Party benefits one of San Francisco's largest and progressive museums, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
The SF Fine Art Fair will showcase 70+ galleries from around the world and present seminars, public installations, and award ceremonies. An interactive show catalog is here for your reference. If you go, tell us about your favorite art!
Photo Credit: Chef Coscarelli
I've been a great fan of Chef Coscarelli's work for awhile, and she has just written a great post on her Favorite Vegan Eats in San Francisco and New York.
I've been to a few of these locations and now have a reason to try others!
Which restaurants and dishes are your favorites?
Thanks to the UCCE Santa Clara County Master Gardener Program, here are some Tips & Events, starting with this statement :)
Spring is Nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"--Robin Williams
Straw from the local feed store can be an inexpensive, effective mulch
As the ground heats up, keeping moisture in the soil is crucial for a healthy garden. See more benefits of straw in this article on different kinds of mulch. An added bonus: worms love straw!
Nuture your soil between plantings too
Even if you have nothing planted currently, treat your soil well. In order to keep the soil healthy, it still needs water. You can bury some kitchen vegetable scraps, or incorporate a thin layer of grass clippings (grass clippings that are applied too thickly can create a mat-like barrier) under a thick layer of mulch. Decomposing leaves are a great addition to an empty raised bed.
Be on the lookout for bee swarms
As the weather warms up, bees are more likely to swarm. If you see a swarm, enjoy the sound and beauty first, then call us at the hotline number below (Monday-Friday 9:30-12:30) or contact the Bee Guild. We want your swarms! Bees swarm for a few reasons, but they are all looking for a new place to call home. Bees that swarm are loaded with food and are not interested in stinging people.
Good ideas for companion planting
This article from Cornell University's Department of Horticulture will likely interest most of you: companion planting. An excerpt: "plants change the chemistry of the soil, and influence the types of microorganisms that grow there. They actively compete with other plants for space. Some will poison their neighbor's offspring to maintain a competitive advantage, while others change the environment in ways that benefit other species."
Pay particular attention to watering plants after you put them in the ground
While they will need less attention (and water) once the roots are established, keep a closer eye on the newly planted as the weather warms.
Wait until after Spring and early Summer to trim your trees
Birds are nesting right now. The babies often don't survive a fall and many die on the ground. Hundreds of birds are brought to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. Those birds will never learn to sing, find food, or avoid predators. Fortunately, trees respond better to dormant pruning anyway. If you're going to prune, check the tree for wildlife before you work and refer to pruning information (PDF) on the UC Center for Landscape and Urban Horticulture website.Plant large-podded peppers in the same hole
By planting peppers together, not only will you get more peppers per square foot, but the peppers will support each other, look lush and beautiful, and protect each other from sunburn. After planting, you also might want to remove flowers and fruit from the large-podded plants the first four to six weeks to encourage deeper roots and more foliage. Learn more pepper tips by consulting our handout on Growing Great Peppers (PDF).
Tomato Planting Time!
The ground is warming up and it should be about time to plant your tomatoes. For Master Gardener Tomato Tips, see our Growing Great Tomatoes (PDF) one-page reference! For common problems, consult the UC pest notes on tomatoes. If you want more bees in your garden, plant annuals such as Cosmos or simply allow your herbs to flower
With few exceptions, fruit will not form until pollen from male parts is transferred to the female parts of a flower. Without pollination, flowers may bloom abundantly, but will not bear fruit. Some plants are better at attracting bees and other pollinating insects and animals than others. Give your fruit trees the gift of an insect-friendly environment and give your family a better harvest! We have a culinary herb event (in San Jose and Gilroy) this month to get you started!
North County Events
Tips for a Bountiful Harvest of Warm Season Vegetables
Saturday, 5/5, 10:00am-11:00am, Free, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr., Palo Alto
Ever wonder how to increase the size of your vegetable harvest? Learn how spacing and timing of planting, pinching blossoms, supporting plants, and mid-season fertilizing can help.
Summer Fruit Tree Care
Saturday, 5/5, 11:15am-12:15pm, Free, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr., Palo Alto
Hear why and how summer pruning of fruit trees and thinning fruit can improve the quality and size of your harvest. Detecting and managing fruit tree pests will be discussed.
Photographing the Garden: Roses, Flowers & Veggies!
Saturday, 5/12, 9:00am-11:00am, Free, Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley Ave., Palo Alto
This horticultural photography workshop will cover the most important methods to shoot stunning pictures of roses, flowers, and vegetables. Limited seating. No reservations needed.
Growing Cut Flowers
Saturday, 5/19, 10:30am-12:30pm, $31, Common Ground in Palo Alto, 559 College Avenue, Palo Alto
Get introduced to the best of the best, easy-to-grow flowers with staying power. You'll also learn about plants whose foliage is used as the foundation for many arrangements. Register online or call call 650-493-6072.
Gardening in Containers: Ornamentals and Vegetables
Wednesday, 5/9, 7:00pm-8:30pm, Free, Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Ave., Cupertino
Learn how to grow ornamentals and edibles successfully in containers. This talk will discuss types of plants that grow well in containers, the best containers and potting material to use, fertilizing, and watering.
Insect Fair at the YSI Science and Nature Center
Saturday, 5/12, 10:00am-5:00pm, $6 (park entry), Science and Nature Center, Sanborn County Park, Saratoga
We're hosting an information table at this family-oriented hands-on affair - bring your questions! Drop by the Master Gardener tables and say hi! Rain or shine!
Saturday, 5/12, 11:00am-1:00pm, Free, Berryessa Branch Library, 3355 Nobel Ave., San Jose
Learn how to create a habitat in your garden fit for beneficial insects, pollinating bees, and beautiful songbirds. You'll learn the basics of habitat gardening, and how to have your own garden certified as a Wildlife Habitat.
Plant Propogation for the Home Gardener
Tuesday, 5/15, 7:00pm-8:30pm, Free, Saratoga Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga
Get acquainted with various types of propagation techniques that can be used by the home gardener including stem, leaf, and root cuttings, layering, and plant division.
Beginning Gardening - From Scratch, No Experience Necessary!
Wednesday, 5/16, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Free, West Valley Branch Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Road, San Jose
This talk will cover basic principles of getting started in gardening, including clearing weeds, amending and fertilizing soil, and basic planting.
Garden Tools and DIY Projects: How to Save Some $$$
Saturday, 5/19, 1:00pm-3:00pm, Free, Sunnyvale Teaching and Demonstration Garden, 433 Charles St., Sunnyvale
Learn how to make useful and attractive garden projects with readily available items from your local hardware store and a few tools. We'll talk about some of our favorite tools, and review how to keep them in good condition.
Improving Your Garden Soil
Saturday, 5/19, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Free, Santa Teresa Branch Library, 290 International Circle, San Jose
Learn the importance of healthy soil for growing healthy plants. Topics include evaluating and testing your soil, composting, amending, and mulching.
"Growing Your Yard" - Attract Birds, Bees, Hummingbirds, and Beneficial Insects
Wednesday, 5/23, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Free, Vineland Branch Library, 1450 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose
Learn about the diversity of plants that attract birds, bees, hummingbirds and more to your yard. We'll also define the term "beneficials" in relation to the plants and organisms attracted to them.
Managing Pests and Diseases in the Edible Garden
Saturday, 5/26, 10:00am-12:00pm, $15 ($10 members GRPG), Guadalupe River Park, 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose
This class will teach you how to deal with pests and diseases common in the vegetable garden in the most earth-friendly way by using the principles of Integrated Pest Management (also known as least-toxic pest control).
Controlling Animal Pests in the Garden
Saturday, 5/26, 12:00pm-2:00pm, Free, Santa Clara Central Park Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara
Learn how to identify what animal pest was in your yard by the kind of damage that was done. Find out what attracts which animals, when and why animals are more active at certain times, and different ways to control them.
Water Wizard at Guadalupe River Park
Wednesday, 5/30, 9:30am-1:00pm, Free, Guadalupe River Park, 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose
Join us at this fun event where we'll be hosting an information table - bring your gardening questions or just drop by the Master Gardener tables and say hi!
South County Events"Growing Your Yard" - Attract Birds, Bees, Hummingbirds and Beneficial Insects
Saturday, 5/19, 10:00am-12:00pm, Free, Saint Louise Regional Hospital, 9400 No Name Uno, Gilroy
A special South County session to learn about the diversity of plants that attract birds, bees, hummingbirds and more to your yard. We'll also define the term "beneficials" in relation to the plants and organisms attracted to them.
We're happy to announce the winner of our Gratitude Gourmet Broccoli Facebook Recipe Contest! Congratulations to Robert Priddy with his Recipe: Broccoli & Cranberry Slaw, and he will receive a Wusthof Classic Pairing Knife 3.5" as his Prize!
We received lots of delicious and healthy recipe submissions which you can view and try here, and we asked the Gratitude Gourmet Community to vote by 'liking' their favorites on this page and the Recipe with the most 'likes' won! Thanks to everyone who submitted and 'liked' - there were alot of 'likes'!
We all know of course that all submissions are fabulous because they encourage the Gratitude Gourmet community to add Broccoli and other healthy items to their daily eating, and in turn make everyone healthy. We encourage you to check out all the Recipe Submissions, and continue to let us know your favorites. We also thank Wusthof for sponsoring this quality prize!
Here is the winning recipe by Robert Priddy: Broccoli & Cranberry Slaw!
1 (12-ounce) bag Broccoli Slaw
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
2 stalks Celery -- minced
¼ cup Red Onion – diced
1/3 cup Mandarin Oranges -- diced
¼ cup Pecans – chopped
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Celery Seed
Salt and Pepper – to taste
1. In a bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper, and celery seeds.
2. Mix in remaining ingredients: broccoli slaw, celery, cranberries, oranges, pecans, and onion.
3. Let this sit for at least a hour and stir a few times.
Gratitude Gourmet Truffle Collection
Great News! We have Free Shipping for Mother's Day on Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate!
All Chocolate is Fair Trade and Made in the United States.
Truffles, Chocolate Samplers, Almond Toffee and Salted Caramel are some of our top sellers!
Order by Saturday May 5 for Free US Shipping, just in time for Mother's Day. Enjoy!