What are your plans for Halloween? I hope you have something fun planned. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I even consider my black cat a very lucky cat in many ways.
I don't like playing tricks on people, but I do have a TREAT for my Gratitude Gourmet readers. We've partnered with Coconut Bliss Frozen Desserts to give away some treats.
Just tell us the Coconut Bliss flavor you'd like to try on Facebook.
Are you interested in learning more about the raw food movement? If so, you may be interested in checking out Raw Food for Everyone by Alissa Cohen.
She lists recipes for Coconut-Curry Sauce, Kale Chips, Pizza, Puddings, and Cheesecake along with a great background on Pantry ingredients..and their health benefits!
I'm not a raw vegan, however, I believe it's important to eat less processed food.
At the San Francisco Vegetarian Festival a few weeks ago, I did taste a 'heavenly' raw vegan cheesecake made with cashews. Now you can make your own with Alissa's help in Raw Food for Everyone.
Farm Sanctuary's Orland, CA California Shelter will again feature their great event: Celebration FOR the Turkeys, a compassionate holiday benefit for our feathered friends. Also, Ellen DeGeneres is the official spokesperson for the Celebration FOR the Turkey's event:
Special Guests are:
- Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur
- Farm Sanctuary Executive Director Allan Kornberg, M.D.
- Farm Sanctuary California Shelter Director Leanne Cronquist and more!
- Festive gourmet vegan dinner
- Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony
- Silent auction
Reserve your spot today! You may also register by calling 607-583-2225 ext. 221.
Did you know?
Did you know that one in five of the world's 380,000 plant species is threatened with extinction and human activity is doing most of the damage, according to a global study published on Wednesday? The study found that agriculture, development, logging, and using land for livestock were among the main reasons plant species were being threatened. More information is here.
Gratitude Gourmet has featured a variety of wine tasting events, and it's been fun to partake in blind tastings and discover the diversity of 'terroir' flavor profiles. I've written about Peets coffee in the past, and I really enjoy the Uzuri African Blend, which is shown in this picture. Many of my Readers have also become addicted to it :-) Here's some great news!
Peets wins United Nations Association Global Citizen Award!
Congrats to Peets!
Have you ever tried a Coffee Tasting?
Recently, I've been experimenting with Peets' Sumatra and Columbia coffees as well, and enjoying the flavor profiles of the different 'terroirs'.
Do you want to have your own Coffee Tasting?
If you're doing a coffee tasting, you can use Press Pots to keep the individual flavors intact.
Next you want to pick your coffees. Peets offers a Coffee selector page that provides Region, Description, Liveliness, and Body information which can help you find a coffee.
Step 1: Smell the Coffee
Start by smelling the coffee when it's freshly ground, then smell the brewed coffee to compare the two aromas. Besides the obvious coffee smell, what does each aroma remind you of? A plant or flower? Wood? Earth? Use your nose to give your mouth a preview and leave your mind wide open.
Step 2: Taste the Coffee
Get the fullest flavor by slurping the brew. Take the coffee into your mouth so that it spreads evenly over the entire surface of your tongue and reaches all your taste buds at once. It is important to taste both at drinking temperature and again as it cools to detect flavor distinctions.
Step 3: Compare Coffees
Taste several different coffees side by side showcasing the uniqueness of each. Change tasting order to uncover additional flavors. Take your time, taste and taste again and enjoy the nuances of each coffee.
If you're interested in having Food Pairings with your coffee, you can try non-dairy coffee cake, cheesecake, and chocolate!
Here's a Coffee Cake Recipe you can use along with a Video on how to make it!
What's your favorite?
What coffee or food pairing is your favorite, please share what worked for you...and what didn't! Cheers!
The 13th United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF) was founded by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic with the participation of the Stanford Film Society and United Nations Association Midpeninsula Chapter--a grassroots, community-based, nonprofit organization. The 13th UNAFF will be held from October 22-31 2010 in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto and San Francisco. The theme for this year is “POPULATION – MIGRATION – GLOBALIZATION.” More information and the schedule can be found here.
Event: Audubon and Wildlife Education Day and McClellan Ranch Park
Saturday, October 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Free
McClellan Ranch Park, 22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino, 95014, Map
Join Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS), the Master Gardeners and more than 20 other environmental groups to celebrate nature and wildlife. Activities include birdhouse and birdfeeder building, a scavenger hunt, educational presentations, and a wildlife poster contest. Live animal attractions include birds, reptiles, & sharks.
SCVAS will hold a guided shorebird walk at Charleston Slough in Mountain View’s Baylands at 8:00 a.m. After the walk, participants will caravan to the Wildlife Education Day in Cupertino.
RSVP required for walk ONLY: contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 252-3740.
The United Nations is celebrating their 65th anniversary in San Francisco Sunday, October 24.
The Journal of American College Nutrition reports Researchers at Penn State University believe a diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may prepare the body to deal better with stress. Particularly:
Walmart has unveiled it's Global Sustainable Agriculture Goals, and they include:
I've been hearing great things about Coconut Bliss Frozen Desserts, and I'm a huge fan of coconut and fresh coconut water from a young coconut. Luna Marcus and Larry Kaplowitz, creators and owners of Coconut Bliss, met in 2002 at the Lost Valley Educational Center, a land based non-profit in Dexter, Oregon. After giving up dairy for health and ethical reasons, Luna and Larry were finding themselves unsatisfied with soy- and rice- based ice cream alternatives. Luna had used coconut milk in a lot of Thai cooking and it seemed an ideal base for a non- dairy ice cream.
After a few trial and error attempts, in late 2004, Luna & Larry finally came up with the perfect recipe, free of dairy, gluten and soy and sweetened only with agave syrup. The companyʼs name “Luna & Larryʼs Coconut Bliss” was established shortly thereafter.
Perhaps you've heard about the health benefits of coconut which includes potassium. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it's different from the saturated fats in animal products that contain cholesterol and promote heart disease. Animal fats have long chain fatty acids which takes longer for our bodies to break down and are more likely to lodge in arteries and be stored as fat. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids which our bodies can break down and use for energy. Coconut Bliss' website mentions this site for further information. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org
I've tried 2 flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Glactica - these were delicious!! Gratitude Gourmet and Coconut Bliss are giving away a few free pints!
1. Tell us the flavor you would like to try on the Coconut Bliss Facebook Post and
2. Share the Coconut Bliss Facebook Post with Your Friends!!
Good luck! :-)
Party Season is here! If you're looking for innovative baked snacks for your parties or work, check out Pretzel Crisps which come in fun flavors like Garlic, Sesame, and Everything (Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Onions, and Galic). There's also Original Style for folks who are happy with the basic pretzel flavor. Do you have a favorite dip or topping for your pretzels? Please share it here in the comments.
For those who are on the go and don't have the time to stop for fresh fruit, here's a delicious product calledFruitaBu Smooshed Rolls where each roll equates to 1 fruit serving, and it comes in 3 flavors: Grape, Strawberry, and Apple. For the Gratitude Gourmet readers with children, the box's interior has kid's activities on the carton itself - what a great way to dual purpose this product!
Lauren Ornelas and Mary Vincent
At the recent San Francisco Vegetarian Festival, I spoke with Lauren Ornelas, Founder/Director of the Food Empowerment Project and Campaign Director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. I saw Lauren speak in Washington D.C. a few years ago, and was pleased to see the wonderful work she is continuing to do. She showed me her latest Food Empowerment Project Study released in August 2010 showing Santa Clara County residents in lower-income communities and communities of color lack easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Founded in 2006, the Food Empowerment Project seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one's food choices. They encourage healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, and the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas.
The Study: “Shining a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight” reveals that higher-income areas have more than twice as many large supermarkets per capita as lower-income areas. In contrast, the report shows that lower-income communities have nearly twice as many liquor stores and 50 percent more markets that sell an abundance of meat products; neither of these types of stores offers a variety of healthy food options, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
“With all of the wealth in Silicon Valley, it is unacceptable that certain communities do not have access to fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food alternatives,” says F.E.P’s Executive Director lauren Ornelas. “Such a food injustice can lead to a host of health problems, including type-2 diabetes and obesity. That this can happen in our own backyard is inexcusable. It’s really a form of environmental racism.”
F.E.P. found that low-income households have virtually no access to organic produce in their communities. Moreover, F.E.P. discovered that plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products (such as tofu, meat-free burgers, and soymilk) are extremely limited in these communities, where consumers do not have the same access to large supermarkets as do consumers in higher-income communities. “This is especially alarming when you consider that many people of color are lactose intolerant, so the lack of dairy alternatives has serious health implications,” says Ornelas. “In addition, the more that people learn about how farmed animals are treated, the more they want to avoid animal-based products in their diets.”
“What we found is an extreme inequity when it comes to nutritious foods,” says Ornelas. “Because communities of color and lower-income communities have about half the number of large supermarkets as their higher-income counterparts, for example, they have much less access to fruits and vegetables. As a result, consumers shopping for food in lower-income neighborhoods rely more on liquor stores and other retail businesses that don’t necessarily offer healthy options.”
F.E.P. believes that the problem can be fixed by policymakers and communities combining their efforts, and the group’s report covers a variety of recommendations, such as including prices on produce and clarifying the federal North American Industry Classification System, which currently counts small retail outlets as grocery stores, even if they sell mostly alcohol and junk food. “Our goal is to work with the communities suffering the biggest food inequities,” says Ornelas. “We know that a more just food system in the U.S. is possible if everyone works together.”
To download a free copy of F.E.P.’s report, please visit www.foodispower.org/scc_study.htm