Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables













Elizabeth's Sea Vegetable Salad












Lunch yesterday was a fabulous salad made with loads of fresh vegetables and  sea vegetables. I used the Creamy Thai Dressing from yesterday's salad dressing post. I decided to use the red pepper flakes instead of the Thai bird chilies. I like things slightly spicy, not overly spicy. The red pepper flakes gave it just the right amount of heat. I enjoyed this salad so much, I was tempted to lick my plate when it was all gone!

If you are trying sea vegetables for the first time you may want to use less than I did in my recipe. I really adore them so my recipe has quite a bit. Alter it to your tastes and I'm sure it will be fantastic.

Below the recipe I have pasted an excellent article outlining the wonderful health benefits of sea vegetables. It also points out the one sea vegetable you should steer clear of. Please read it and educate yourself. You will be truly amazed at how healthful these plants are.

Here is my recipe:

Elizabeth's Sea Vegetable Salad

2 strands of Ito-Wakame Dried Seaweed
1 C Kelp Noodles
1/2 C Sea Tangle Mixed Sea Vegetables
2 red radishes, cut into slices and quartered
1/4 of a yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
1/4 of a green zucchini, sliced into half-moons
2 leaves of red leaf lettuce, sliced into thin strips
small handful of a combo of broccoli sprouts and red clover sprouts
1/2 of a cucumber, diced

Directions:
Soak the strands of Wakame in a bowl of filtered water for 30 minutes. At the same time soak the kelp noodles in a separate bowl of filtered water. Rinse off the packaging salt from the Sea Tangle Mixed Sea Vegetables and let drain. Now prepare the Creamy Thai Dressing(see yesterday's post for recipe).  After the Wakame and Kelp Noodles have been soaked for 30 minutes, rinse them well and drain. Cut into bite size strands with sharp kitchen scissors. Now you are ready to mix all of the fresh vegetables with the sea vegetables in a large bowl. Pour on the Creamy Thai Dressing and gently toss the salad. Enjoy!!

Creamy Thai Dressing (Spicy)
3/4 C sesame oil
1/2 C Tamari
1/4 C first cold pressed olive oil
1 T real maple syrup (this is not raw)
4 Thai bird chilies or 3 T red chili flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C chopped cashews, that have been soaked 1-2 hrs then air dried
Blend in blender. Yields 2 1/2 cups.

~JMJ~Today I am thankful for the beautiful song echoing in our chimney. Every morning we are blessed with mocking birds that sing the most beautiful songs to us while we enjoy our breakfast.
Peace And Take Time to Listen to the Birds!

I found the following information on this web site:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=135
Take the time to read it. There is so much great information. Educate yourself about sea vegetables before you give them a try. I am a big fan and am totally hooked!


Sea vegetables



Western cultures are only recently beginning to enjoy the taste and nutritional value of sea vegetables, often referred to as seaweed, that have been a staple of the Japanese diet for centuries. Numerous various varieties of sea vegetables can be found in health food and specialty stores throughout the year. Owing to their rise in popularity, they are also becoming much easier to find in local supermarkets as well.
Sea vegetables can be found growing both in the marine salt waters as well as in fresh water lakes and seas. They commonly grow on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes, and can grow at great depths provided that sunlight can penetrate through the water to where they reside since, like plants, they need light for their survival. Sea vegetables are neither plants nor animals but classified in a group known as algae.


Why would anyone want to eat sea vegetables?

 Because they offer the broadest range of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean-the same minerals that are found in human blood. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.

Promote Optimal Health


Lignans, phytonutrients found in sea vegetables, have been shown to inhibit angiogenesis, or blood cell growth, the process through which fast-growing tumors not only gain extra nourishment, but send cancer cells out in the bloodstream to establish secondary tumors or metastases in other areas of the body. In addition, lignans have been credited with inhibiting estrogen synthesis in fat cells as effectively as some of the drugs used in cancer chemotherapy. In postmenopausal women, fat tissue is a primary site where estrogen is synthesized, and high levels of certain estrogen metabolites (the 4OH and 16OH metabolites) are considered a significant risk factor for breast cancer.
In addition to lignans, sea vegetables are a very good source of the B-vitamin folic acid. Studies have shown that diets high in folate-rich foods are associated with a significantly reduced risk for colon cancer.


Promote Healthy Thyroid Function


Sea vegetables, especially kelp, are nature's richest sources of iodine, which as a component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), is essential to human life. The thyroid gland adds iodine to the amino acid tyrosine to create these hormones. Without sufficient iodine, your body cannot synthesize them. Because these thyroid hormones regulate metabolism in every cell of the body and play a role in virtually all physiological functions, an iodine deficiency can have a devastating impact on your health and well-being. A common sign of thyroid deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, commonly called a goiter. Goiters are estimated to affect 200 million people worldwide, and in all but 4% of these cases, the cause is iodine deficiency.


Nutrient Prevention of Birth Defects and Cardiovascular Disease


The folic acid so abundant in sea vegetables plays a number of other very important protective roles. Studies have demonstrated that adequate levels of folic acid in the diet are needed to prevent certain birth defects, including spina bifida. Folic acid is also needed to break down an intermediate dangerous chemical produced during the methylation cycle called homocysteine. (Methylation is one of the most important cellular cycles through which a wide variety of important chemicals are produced.) Homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls, and high levels of this chemical are associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Flavoring soups and stews with sea vegetables or using them in salads is a smart strategy, especially for those dealing with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.


Sea vegetables pack a double punch against heart disease. In addition to their folic acid, sea vegetables are a very good source of magnesium, which has also been shown to reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart attack.


Anti-Inflammatory Action

Some sea vegetables have been shown to be unique sources of carbohydrate-like substances called fucans, which can reduce the body's inflammatory response. Plus, as noted above, sea vegetables are a very good source of magnesium, the mineral that, by acting as a natural relaxant, has been shown to help prevent migraine headaches and to reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.


Relief for Menopausal Symptoms

Sea vegetable's supply of relaxing magnesium may also help restore normal sleep patterns in women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause. And the lignans in sea vegetables can act as very weak versions of estrogen, one of the hormones whose levels decrease during the menopausal period. For women suffering from symptoms such as hot flashes, sea vegetable's lignans may be just strong enough to ease their discomfort.


Description

Sea vegetables, often called seaweed, are one of Neptune's beautiful jewels, adorning the waters with life and providing us with a food that can enhance our diets, from both a culinary and nutritional perspective. Sea vegetables can be found growing both in the marine salt waters as well as in fresh water lakes and seas. They commonly grow on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes, and can grow at great depths provided that sunlight can penetrate through the water to where they reside since, like plants, they need light for their survival. Yet, sea vegetables are not plants nor animals-they are actually known as algae.


There are thousands of types of sea vegetables that are classified into categories by color, known either as brown, red or green sea vegetables. Each is unique, having a distinct shape, taste and texture. Although not all sea vegetables that exist are presently consumed, a wide range of sea vegetables are enjoyed as foods. The following are some of the most popular types: Nori: dark purple-black color that turns phosphorescent green when toasted, famous for its role in making sushi rolls. Kelp: light brown to dark green in color, oftentimes available in flake form. Hijiki: looks like small strands of black wiry pasta, has a strong flavor. Kombu: very dark in color and generally sold in strips or sheets, oftentimes used as a flavoring for soups. Wakame: similar to kombu, most commonly used to make Japanese miso soup. Arame: this lacy, wiry sea vegetable is sweeter and milder in taste than many others Dulse: soft, chewy texture and a reddish-brown color.


History


The consumption of sea vegetables enjoys a long history throughout the world. Archaeological evidence suggests that Japanese cultures have been consuming sea vegetables for more than 10,000 years. In ancient Chinese cultures, sea vegetables were a noted delicacy, suitable especially for honored guests and royalty. Yet, sea vegetables were not just limited to being a featured part of Asian cuisines. In fact, most regions and countries located by waters, including Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and coastal South American countries have been consuming sea vegetables since ancient times.
Presently, Japan is the largest producer and exporter of sea vegetables. This may explain why many of these precious foods are often called by their Japanese names.

How to Select and Store

Look for sea vegetables that are sold in tightly sealed packages. Avoid those that have evidence of excessive moisture. Some types of sea vegetables are sold in different forms. For example, nori can be found in sheets, flakes, or powder. Choose the form of sea vegetables that will best meet your culinary needs.
Store sea vegetables in tightly sealed containers at room temperature where they can stay fresh for at least several months.

Individual Concerns


Sea vegetables have been a topic of ongoing debate and research concern involving heavy metals. In the world of marine biology and marine ecology, sea vegetables are widely recognized as plants with an excellent ability to take up minerals from the water and hold onto these minerals in their cells. This ability makes sea vegetables a rich source of many wonderful minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, and iodine. However, in waters that have become polluted with heavy metal elements - including arsenic, lead, and cadmium - sea vegetables can also act like a sponge in absorbing these unwanted contaminants. Some marine ecologists actually use sea vegetables as a kind of "biomonitor" to determine levels of heavy metal pollution in bodies of water.
Among all of the heavy metals, arsenic appears to be most problematic when it comes to sea vegetable toxicity risk. Virtually all types of sea vegetables have been determined to contain traces of arsenic. These types include arame, hijiki, kombu, nori, and wakame. Among all types of sea vegetable, however, hijiki stands out as being particularly high-risk when it comes to arsenic exposure. During the period 2000-2005, government-related agencies in England, New Zealand, and Canada issued public health recommendations advising against consumption of hijiki sea vegetable unless verified as containing very low levels of inorganic arsenic. Based on these reports, we recommend avoidance of hijiki as a sea vegetable unless available in the form of certified organic hijiki.
The levels of arsenic found in other types of sea vegetable have been relatively small. For example, after preparation using water soaking, a British study found wakame to contain an average of 3 milligrams arsenic per kilogram of sea vegetable. In practical terms, this amount represents about 43 micrograms per half ounce of wakame. However, even in this case of relatively small exposure, health risks appear possible. Our reason for posting information about these possible risks involves a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993 to set an oral Reference Dose (RfD) level of .0003 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day for inorganic arsenic. In practical terms, this maximum safe dose level would allow an adult weighing 150 lbs. to consume about 20 micrograms of inorganic arsenic every day and stay beneath the RfD level. While a person might be unlikely to eat sea vegetables on a daily basis, you can see from this example how an arsenic-related health risk might be possible with routine consumption of an arsenic-containing sea vegetable. It's important to note here that scientists continue to debate the health risks associated with inorganic (versus organic) forms of arsenic, and that the arsenic found in sea vegetables exists primarily in an inorganic form. It is also important to note that methods of preparing sea vegetables can make a difference in the amount of arsenic found in edible portions.


We continue to include sea vegetables among the World's Healthiest Foods because of their incredibly rich mineral content and other unique health benefits, and because the toxicity risks described above can be prevented through the purchase of certified organic sea vegetables! Because most certified organic sea vegetables can be purchased in dried form and reconstituted at home, they can often be ordered from outside of your local area and shipped to you at a relatively low cost.


Nutritional Profile

Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K and a very good source of folate and magnesium. They are also a good source of the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables are a good source of the minerals iron and calcium.


For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Sea vegetables.
In-Depth Nutritional Profile


In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Sea vegetables is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.


Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.


Kelp (sea vegetable)


0.25 cup


20.00 grams


8.60 calories


Nutrient Amount DV


(%) Nutrient


Density World's Healthiest


Foods Rating


iodine 415.00 mcg 276.7 579.1 excellent


vitamin K 13.20 mcg 16.5 34.5 excellent


folate 36.00 mcg 9.0 18.8 very good


magnesium 24.20 mg 6.0 12.7 very good


calcium 33.60 mg 3.4 7.0 good


iron 0.57 mg 3.2 6.6 good


tryptophan 0.01 g 3.1 6.5 good


World's Healthiest


Foods Rating Rule


excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%


very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%


good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%














In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Sea vegetables






References






Blondin C, Chaubet F, Nardella A, et al. Relationships between chemical characteristics and anticomplementary activity of fucans. Biomaterials 1996 Mar;17(6):597-603 1996. PMID:11800.


Blondin C, Fischer E, Boisson-Vidal C, et al. Inhibition of complement activation by natural sulfated polysaccharides (fucans) from brown seaweed. Mol Immunol 1994;31(4):247-253 1994.


Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.


Goldbeck N, Goldbeck D. The Healthiest Diet in the World. Plume (Penguin Putnam Inc.) NY, 2001, pp 378-80 2001.


Terry P, Jain M, Miller AB et al. Dietary intake of folic acid and colorectal cancer risk in a cohort of women. Int J Cancer 2002 Feb 20;97(6):864-7 2002.


Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Salad Dressing Post

Today I would like to share some really great raw salad dressings. Wait, aren't all salad dressings considered raw? No they are not. Remember, you have to be very careful about the ingredients you use. Raw salad dressings are as unprocessed as possible. Using ingredients that are as close as possible to their natural state. That is why I choose first cold pressed olive oils, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar, fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits. You get the picture. But keep in mind sometimes I will use a small amount of ingredients that may not be truly raw. For example, real maple syrup is heated to reduce the amount of water content and to make the syrup into what it is when we purchase it in jars. And I am pretty sure balsamic vinegar is not raw. I still love the taste sometimes in dressings so I don't mind using a tiny amount. I am not an extreme raw foodist. If I choose to eat something that is not raw I am fine with that. Keep it simple or you set yourself up for failure. I have to look at things in a positive light and I feel very positive that my diet is 95% or more raw! How does one truly calculate the percentage?? Who cares, right?
 Here are some great recipes to try:

Orange Sweet and Salty Dressing and Marinade

3 T Organic Tamari
1 tsp organic orange zest
2 T fresh squeezed organic orange juice
2 tsp organic Dijon mustard
2 T raw honey or other raw sweetener
pinch sea salt
pinch fresh ground pepper
2/3 C First cold pressed olive oil
Whisk all together till fully combined.
This makes an excellent marinade as well.
***My daughter Madison had a great idea....To make an Asian style,  add 1/4 tsp ginger, 1 clove pressed garlic, a sprinkle of black raw sesame seeds. 

The next 4 recipes come from the book, EVERYDAY RAW by Matthew Kenney. I have changed the recipes because he uses agave and I do not. Wherever you see raw honey or other raw sweeteners that is where he would have used agave. Feel free to use whatever sweetener you are comfortable with. I am going to start experimenting with new raw sweeteners I have discovered. I will post something once I have tried them.

Ginger-Miso Dressing

1/2 C white miso (I use Miso Master Organic brand)
1/3 C raw honey or other sweetener
1/3 C Bragg's unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1/4 C sesame oil
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 C fresh ginger, chopped

Blend well in a blender.
Yields 1 Quart

Creamy Sesame Dressing
This goes well with seaweed and also sturdy greens or chopped vegetables.

1/2 Tamari
1/2 C Raw Tahini
1/4 C sesame oil
2 T raw honey
1/4 C Bragg's unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1-inch piece ginger
1/4 C first cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp fresh lime juice

Blend all till smooth, in a blender.
Yield 2 cups.

Creamy Thai Dressing (Spicy)
Try this one on sea vegetables and kelp noodles.
3/4 C sesame oil
1/2 C Tamari
1/4 C first cold pressed olive oil
1 T real maple syrup (this is not raw)
4 Thai bird chilies or 3 T red chili flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C chopped cashews, that have been soaked 1-2 hrs then air dried
Blend in blender. Yields 2 1/2 cups.

Sweet Miso Dressing
He says this is as much of a dipping sauce as a dressing--it goes well with any salad, sea vegetable, or roll.
1/4 C Raw tahini
1/4 C raw honey
1 T water
2 T mellow white miso
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl till very well combined. Yield 2 cups.

This next recipe comes from the book THE WHOLE FOODS ALLERGY COOKBOOK by Cybele Pascal. It is her favorite dressing and one of my favorites as well.

My Favorite Salad Dressing
1 small clove garlic, pressed
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
2 tsp Organic Dijon mustard
1 T raw honey
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T good quality balsamic vinegar (Manicardi #12)
1/2 First cold pressed olive oil

Blend the garlic, basil, mustard, and honey into a paste. Add the rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar, mix well. Now add the olive oil, slowly blending in a little at a time. Once you finished adding the oil and everything is well blended, enjoy!
Makes about 3/4 Cup.

Now I will feature a recipe from the book FEEDING THE WHOLE FAMILY by Cynthia Lair.
Note: She uses tofu in this cookbook and I personally do not. The only soy products I use are fermented and I use them in small amounts on a limited basis. But, the book in general has some really great recipes for your non-raw family members. It is a great book for learning how to incorporate whole foods into their diets. If you are not a soy person either just skip over those recipes or find ways to alter the recipes to your liking. I have even found some recipes that I can make for myself, raw. I love converting traditional recipes to raw ones. Here is her balsamic vinaigrette:

Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 T good quality balsamic vinegar like Manicardi #12 aged
1 tsp real maple syrup or raw honey
3/4 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3-4 T First cold pressed olive oil

Place all dressing ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Stir to mix and then add in the oil a little at a time, whisking well until incorporated.

This dressing is nice on baby spinach salads, but you can enjoy it on any of your favorite salad recipes.
Hopefully you can try some or all of these great recipes. Share your favorite recipe in the post a comment section below. I would love to get more salad recipes in my collection!
Today for lunch I am going to have the Creamy Thai Dressing on some kelp noodles mixed with sea vegetables, yellow squash and green zucchini. Yum!
Peace And Eat a Salad Today!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for the return of my husband and our oldest son. They traveled to Michigan last week and I am always so grateful when everyone returns home safely!

Basic Avocado Salad















Basic Avocado Salad

The other day I just wanted something really basic and easy for dinner. This salad hit the spot and was very satisfying too. I have been able to get the most wonderful avocados lately. I try to only eat one per week or one every two weeks even. Then there are times that I will go months without wanting any. Funny. Here is my simple yet tasty recipe. Enjoy!

Basic Avocado Salad


1 organic avocado, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced
6-8 grape tomatoes, cut in half
handful of cilantro, chopped
lemon basil, chopped
2 C sunflower sprouts
3 T First cold pressed EVOO
1 T Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
juice from half of a lime

Put the sunflower sprouts on a plate. Top them with the vegetables and fresh herbs. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the EVOO, vinegar and lime juice. Pour dressing over salad.
Enjoy!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for simplicity. The simple things in life always seem to make me smile; this salad actually did that. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Romaine with Apples and Pummelo

Romaine with Apples and Pummelo


So what is a pummelo/pomelo???
Read about them here:



I love starting the day with salads. They are very refreshing to me in the morning and really make me feel good. I usually like a sweeter salad early in the day versus a savory. I make many variations of these pummelo salads. When pummelos are in season I am fortunate enough to have some very dear friends who share them with me. They have a large tree in their yard and they bring me pumelos often. It is such a treat and I adore them. I actually prefer pummelos to grapefruit. Here is a simple morning salad that you can of course enjoy any time of day. If you do not have access to pummelos just use a really good grapefruit!

Romaine with Apples and Pummelo

1/2 a head of romaine, cut up
1 red apple, diced
1 grapefruit or pummelo, cut into bite size pieces
shredded raw coconut, soaked
1/4 C raisins, soaked 3 hours
Fresh lemon thyme, chopped
3 T First cold pressed EVOO
1 T Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
2 t raw honey
pinch of sea salt
Plate the romaine, apples, grapefruit, lemon thyme, raisins and coconut. Whisk together the EVOO, vinegar, salt and honey. Drizzle over the salad. Enjoy!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for good friends! You know who you are!!! :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Banana Kiwi Granola Crumble

Banana Kiwi Granola Crumble

I used some of my buckwheat krispies on this crumble. Buckwheat krispies are simply raw buckwheat that has been soaked 6-8 hours in filtered water. Then you rinse and drain the buckwheat and dehydrate it at 104 degress for 3-5 hours. Store them in an airtight container in your pantry. They added a great crunch to this dish. I loved how the granola turned out. It has sprouted quinoa, wheat berries and walnuts. I think I may have posted this granola previously. Here is the recipe:

Banana Kiwi Granola Crumble

1  ripe organic banana, sliced
2 organic kiwis, peeled and sliced
handful of fresh organic blueberries
fresh lemon thyme leaves

Granola Crumble:
1/4 C sprouted quiona
1/8 C raw walnuts, soaked
1/4 C sprouted wheat berries
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
6 soft dates, sliced
In a food processor, process the crumble ingredients. Crumble it over top of the fruits. Garnish with fresh lemon thyme leaves. Enjoy!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for the smell of early morning air. It is always so peaceful and beautiful when I go out early in the morning to get the newspaper off the driveway. I would have stayed out and enjoyed it longer, but I was in my P.J.'s. :) :)
Peace and Eat More Raw!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Three Baby Bok Choy Recipes

I previously posted the recipe for marinated baby bok choy.  I have another version of marinated bok choy that is a little sweeter. It can be served on a bed of carrot noodles for a beautiful contrast of color and wonderful flavor. I like both of them equally. A lady in our raw living foods group gave me a more savory bok choy recipe that her toddler loves. I will post all three recipes here.

Sweet Bok Choy on Carrot Noodles

4 heads baby bok choy, cut in bite size pieces
3-4 carrots, peel into noodles w/ vegetable peeler
Dressing:
Juice of 2 oranges
5 soft dates, cut up
2 tsp cold pressed EVOO
2 T raw tahini
2 T raw honey
sea salt to taste
Blend the dressing in a small blender till creamy smooth. Add more or less OJ depending on the consistency. It should end up thin enough to pour over the bok choy. Mix well.  Serve the bok choy on a bed of carrot noodles.









Sweet Bok Choy on Carrot Noodles


Marinated Baby Bok Choy



2 small bunches of baby bok choy, sliced thin
2 medium carrots, shaved into strips w/ vegetable peeler
1 small lemon, juiced
1 small lime, juiced
2 T fresh OJ
4-5 dates, soaked and cut up
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 C cold pressed olive oil
3 T coconut aminos or 1 T Tamari (organic)
2-3 T raw sesame seeds, soaked 2 hours
Prepare the vegetables and put into a storage container that has a lid. Mix up the remaining ingredients for the marinade. Pour marinade over top of the bok choy and carrots. Mix well Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Let marinate 2 hours at room temp. Serve room temp. Refrigerate any leftovers.




Savory Marinated Baby Bok Choy (no picture)

2 heads of baby bok choy, cut into bite size pieces
2 cloves pressed garlic
3 T Wheat Free Tamari
3 T of cold pressed EVOO
Place bok choy into a bowl. Drizzle the bok choy with a mixture of the garlic, tamari and EVOO that has been well whisked. Stir to evenly coat the bok choy. Let marinate 2 hours.

Before staring my raw living foods lifestyle, I never had eaten bok choy raw . I really love it and routinely make all three of these recipes now. Give it a try, you just might be pleasantly surprised also. Peace and Eat More Raw!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for a sleeping baby on my lap.





Friday, June 25, 2010

Blueberry Chia Parfait








Today for breakfast I really wanted to try my chia seeds that I bought a few weeks ago. I had been reading on line from several different people how much they love their chia. Well I just had to see what all of the fuss was about. I liked chia very much. It is a texture thing, so if you don't like textures similar to tapioca pudding you probably wont care too much for chia. But who am I to say; give it a try and decide for yourself.

"Chia is a powerful plant that was used centuries ago as a staple crop by the Aztec Indians and other tribes in what is now Mexico. They believed it was very powerful, not only for the body, but for the mind. Chia is a whole grain that contains protein, fiber, calcium, omega-3s, and antioxidants. The benefits of chia have been rediscovered, and science is proving just how right the Aztecs were to rely on this little seed." (source : www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-chia.html)



Omega 3’s


"Chia seeds are packed with omega-3s, and they are a great alternative to eating fish for the fatty acid. It will give you the same results without the risk of mercury poisoning or seafood allergies. Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for cardiovascular health. They decrease abnormal heart rhythms and lower triglyceride levels. They can also help to prevent coronary heart disease.


Antioxidants


Chia seeds also have a large number of antioxidants. They protect your body from free radicals. These antioxidants can help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other attacks on the body. Chia seeds have as many or more antioxidants than blueberries, which are considered to be a "superfood."


Fiber


The high fiber content of chia seeds allows them to be slowly digested and absorbed by the body. This means that they don't cause a sharp change in blood sugar levels, which can have dangerous outcomes for diabetics. The slow conversion of carbohydrates into sugar makes it perfect for those with diabetes, because it keeps blood sugar levels stabilized. The slow digestion of chia seeds also means that you will feel full longer, and they block food absorption, which is great news for any dieter. Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, so chia seeds help to ease digestion.


Hydration


Chia seeds absorb more than 12 times their weight in water. This allows them to help balance electrolytes in the body and keep you hydrated. Aztec warriors could subside on chia seeds because of both their nutrition content and their hydrating qualities.


Protein


Chia seeds are an excellent vegetable source of protein compared to other grain sources of protein. They will help give you energy and keep you focused. They can also help reduce cravings. The protein will help build lean muscle and boost metabolism.


Other Nutrients and Minerals


Chia also contains calcium, phosphorous, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. All of these are essential for the human body to run efficiently.


Eating Chia Seeds


Some books recommend that you add them to water and allow them to produce a gel before using them in recipes. While you can do this, you don’t have to. They have a nutty flavor, so you can add them directly to salads, cereal or yogurt. You can also add them to your favorite bread or muffin recipes. Unlike flax seeds which have similar health benefits, chia seeds do not have to be ground up, and they do not spoil as quickly."


 I wanted to use some more of those free blueberries that I got the other day with that awesome coupon. This recipe was the perfect one. I made a banana kreme to layer between the blueberry chia pudding to create a parfait. Something about eating out of a pretty glass makes your meal extra special. It was so filling and so hydrating. Chia are like a sponges; they soak up massive amounts of liquid. This would be a great summer recipe for those hot days or as a pre or post workout snack. And as you can see from the article above, the nutritional content is amazing! Here is the recipe:

Blueberry Chia Parfait

2 C fresh organic blueberries (reserve about 5 to garnish top)
1/2 C chia seeds
1 T raw honey (optional)
1 and 1/2 ripe organic bananas
1 drop of almond extract
pinch of cinnamon
cinnamon and nutmeg to garnish
1 T Nutiva Hemp Seeds
Pudding:
In a vita mix or coffee grinder, blend chia seeds till powdered. If you want a chunky texture, skip the grinding step. Add the chia, blueberries and honey, to the blender. Blend but don't liquefy. Pour into a container and let firm up. Adjust the texture by adding some filtered water if needed. 
Meanwhile prepare the banana kreme:
With a fork, mash the banana. Add in 1 tablespoon of Hemp seeds, a drop of almond extract and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir to mix well. Now you are ready to layer the parfait. In a tall glass, add some of the blueberry pudding. Next top  that with a layer of the banana hemp kreme. Repeat the layers ending with the banana hemp kreme. Top the parfait with 5 whole blueberries and a sprinkle of both cinnamon and nutmeg. Enjoy!

Note: Truly ripe bananas have multiple brown spots on the skin. I only consume truly ripe bananas. They are the most flavorful and digest better than unripe.

~JMJ~ Today I am grateful that both of our youngest children slept through the night!! No one woke up, I can't believe it. I actually am not tired today. I finally had a peaceful nights rest. WOW!
Peace and Do Like the Aztecs, Eat More Chia!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bountiful Berries















Blackberries with Banana Hemp Kream


Yesterday I went shopping for berries. Our market has them on sale and I had coupons for $1.50 off each package of berries. I actually ended up getting my blueberries for free and my blackberries for only $1.50 per 12oz box!! I am posting some of my favorite raw cobbler recipes today. You will notice that all of my cobblers incorporate some type of "green". One even uses sprouts as the cobbler's crust. I mentioned before that I have to start my day with greens. You will be amazed how wonderful berries taste when using fresh herbs and sprouts as a garnish or a central feature in a recipe. Gotta get my protein and chlorophyll! (I get protein from sprouts, dark leafy greens and sea vegetables.)
 Hope you get a chance to enjoy these amazing berries while they are in peak season.

Blackberries with Banana Hemp Kream

Sunflower sprouts, rough chop
Blackberries
Boxwood basil, remove leaves from stems
1 ripe banana
2 T Nutiva Hemp Seeds
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Drizzle of raw honey, in its liquid state

Place sunflower sprouts in a bowl or on a plate. Top with the blackberries. To make the banana hemp cream, add the banana, a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the hemp seeds to a small food processor. Process till creamy. Top the berries with the kream. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds. Drizzle the kream with the raw honey. Sprinkle the boxwood basil leaves over the entire cobbler, Enjoy!








Mixed Berry Cobbler with Basil

For this cobbler I prepared a crust with pecans and sprouted hard winter wheat berries. The sprouted wheat added a wonderful texture to this crust. I just loved it. Here is the recipe:

Mixed Berry Cobbler with Basil

Crust:
1/2 C raw pecan, soaked 6 hours
6 soft dates, chopped
1/4 C sprouted hard winter wheat berries
 pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
Process all of the crust ingredients in a small food processor until the crust  starts to stick together. Place this crust into a bowl or on a plate.

Syrup:
1/2 C fresh raspberries
1 T raw honey
1 T filtered water
Process the sauce ingredients in a small food processor.


Berries and Basil:

1/4 C blueberries
1/4 C strawberries
handful of boxwood basil leaves

Assemble:
Top the crust with the berries. Drizzle on the raspberry sauce and sprinkle on the boxwood basil leaves. Garnish with sunflower sprouts. Enjoy!




Sunflower Blueberry Cobbler with Raspberry Sauce
For this crust I added in some sprouted quinoa for its incredible nutritional content and also for the wonderful flavor and chewy texture. It made a fantastic crust.


Crust:

1/2 C sprouted hard winter wheat berries
1/4 C sprouted quinoa
1/4 C raw pecans, soaked 6 hours
6 soft dates, cut up
pinch of sea salt

Raspberry Sauce (same as recipe above)

1 C Sunflower sprouts
1 C blueberries

Place crust into a serving bowl. Top the crust with the sunflower sprouts. Place blueberries on top of the sprouts and drizzle with the raspberry sauce. Enjoy!

~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for...can you guess it??? Yes, I am grateful for bountiful berries in peak season. God is great! Another joy in my life from God's amazing garden. Peace and Happy Berry Eating!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Going Nuts for Coconuts

Ok, I am going nuts here in South Florida looking at all of the green coconuts in the trees and wondering how the heck I can get some. I want them for the coconut water. I have been wanting to add fresh coconut water to my raw diet for quite some time. I am a bit afraid to knock on people's doors and ask them if I can cut down their coconuts.
I found water Kefir grains so I can make my own non-dairy kefir with these water grains and coconut water. I added the water Kefir grains to my store...check them out. Now I just need some coconuts!! 
Anyway, if you too want young coconuts but don't live in a tropical climate, check out this web site:

http://www.florida-coconuts.com/index.php

Here is the direct link for the products they sell. They even have coconut pencil holders!
http://www.florida-coconuts.com/produtos.php


Peace and have a great raw day!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for my 3 red cherry tomatoes that I picked from one of my potted plants. I am just thrilled that I am actually growing things in this HEAT!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SPROUTY MORNING SALAD


The other day I made a delicious "breakfast" salad. I love "breakfast" salads. I really don't label it "breakfast", I call it my morning meal. I don't limit myself in the morning, I eat what ever sounds good or what ever I think my body needs that particular morning. Well that particular morning I needed grapefruit. I also wanted to start my day with some greens and of course sprouts. Here is what I came up with:

Sprouty Morning Salad

Organic romaine, cut into thin strips
1-2 small organic carrots, shaved with vegetable peeler
1 large organic grapefruit, cut into bite size pieces
Organic yellow pea sprouts
Organic adzuki bean sprouts
Organic mung  bean sprouts
Organic quiona sprouts
fresh  lemon thyme or lemon basil

Plate the romaine lettuce. Top lettuce with the carrots, grapefruit and sprouts. Add some chopped lemon basil or lemon thyme.



Salad Dressing



1/2 C Cold pressed olive oil
2 capfuls of Coconut Aminos or Coconut Vinegar
2 T Braggs Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 clove pressed garlic
1 T real maple syrup (this is not raw)
1 T organic Dijon mustard
pinch of sea salt
juice from a wedge of lime
fresh boxwood basil, chopped
fresh lemon thyme, chopped


Whisk the ingredients well and drizzle over top of salad.


It really is amazing how much better I feel when I eat either greens or sprouts as part of my morning meal. If I am not in the mood for these in the form of a salad, I blend them instead or juice them. I'll either start the day with a green juice or a green smoothie. It is all about listening to your body and fueling it with what it needs. Enjoy and Eat More Greens!
~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for the rain. We had a great rainfall last night and when I went out this morning to water my container garden I realized that the rain did it for me. It must have been coming down at the perfect angle because it hit all of the pots up on the second level deck, even though there is a roof over it! Thanks.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Smoothie Fest



Green Mango Madness

1 golden mango, peeled and sliced off of pit
1/2 C frozen mango cubes
1 frozen organic banana
large handful of organic baby spinach
2 T Nutiva Organic Hemp seeds
1 1/2 C filtered water
Blend well in a high speed blender. Enjoy the green madness!

Blackberry Mango Smoothie for My Cutie!!


Blackberry Mango Smoothie

































Blackberries are now in season, so feel free to use fresh. I had found these organic frozen blackberries on super clearance at our local market, so I stocked up. I try to keep things simple, and one way I do that is using what ingredients I have on hand. I don't like feeling that I have to run out to the market just to make a recipe. Keep it simple and use things you have around the kitchen. You just might come up with an even better recipe than the original.




Blackberry Mango Green Smoothie Recipe
1 1/2 C filtered water
2 handfuls organic baby spinach
2 T Nutiva Hemp Seeds
1/2 C frozen mango cubes
1/2 C frozen organic blackberries
1 ripe organic banana
1/2 of a frozen banana
Blend well in a high speed blender. Enjoy!

~JMJ~ Today I am grateful for delicious fruits! I love starting the day with a nutritious green smoothie. Have a smoothie today and see how great you feel! Peace and Eat More Raw.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

ANI PHYO

Ani Phyo spoke at our local raw living foods group!!


I am so thrilled to write this post. Our local raw living foods group was fortunate enough to have Ani Phyo come and speak. She prepared one of her raw recipes, answered questions and signed books.
  For those of you who are not familiar with Ani, I will tell you a little bit about her. Over the past fifteen years she has gone from making the simplest raw meals to starting her own raw foods company, SmartMonkey Foods. She has published three books: Ani's Raw Food Desserts, ani's raw food kitchen, and Ani's Raw Food Essentials. I personally own the latter two. She signed both of my copies, you can see one of them in the photo above. 
  She was raised in the Catskill Mountains, living on a large plot of land. Her family grew their own organic produce. She ate a lot of Korean food which was whole and unprocessed. A majority of the Korean food was vegan, raw and fermented. Her father was a raw fooder and frequently ate a mono diet. Her parents were frugal and were good at conserving and using less. They passed these wonderful traits onto their daughter, Ani, and she tries to do the same in her daily life. To ensure her overall health and longevity she strives to live eco green and toxic free. She enjoys an active lifestyle, chooses natural beauty and eco fashion. She tries to be happy and eat whole, delicious, fresh, organic raw foods.
  Ani strives to make easy and delicious raw recipes for anyone interested in the raw lifestyle or making better food choices. Her books contain a wealth of information, numerous recipes and beautiful photos. Anyone could pick up one of her books and make a quick, easy, and deliciously healthy raw food recipe.
  My challenge for you--Begin your journey today! Choose one meal today that you will eat 100% raw and you are well on your way to a beautifully healthy lifestyle. Do this for one week and then choose to add a second raw meal each day; continue this for one week. Gradually increase the quantity of raw living foods in your daily diet and you will notice that you have less room in your stomach to consume unhealthy choices. It is not about what you are eliminating, it is all about adding in more of the raw, fresh, organic, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds; oh, and of course don't forget about my favorite, the sprouts!!!
 

  Ani prepared for us her TOMATO AND TARRAGON BISQUE. This recipe is in her new book, ANI'S RAW FOOD ESSENTIALS. I have all three of Ani's books in my astore. Click on my store's link. 
She blended tomatoes with herbs and a hint of nutmeg to create a wonderfully, fresh, and uniquely spiced raw soup. Here is the original recipe:

Tomato and Tarragon Bisque

Base
3 C seeded and chopped tomatoes
3/4 C first cold pressed EVOO
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 T fresh tarragon, packed
1 tsp fresh parsley, packed
2 tsp sea salt
2 C filtered water

Topping
Tarragon sprigs, for garnish

Place all soup ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend till smooth. Divide among 4 serving bowls. Garnish each portion with tarragon sprigs and serve immediately.

In this book, each chapter begins with a base. Ani gives you a base to start  all of her recipes, that way you can personalize any of the recipes to your taste or to what ingredients you have on hand. For example, Ani did not have the tarragon for this recipe today so she substituted all parsley in the base and then garnished the soup with chopped tomatoes and one sprig of parsley. It was amazing! People were asking for seconds. A truly delicious soup. The recipe possibilities are endless; choose your favorite herb and create a masterpiece! I think I will try using my lemon thyme and boxwood basil that I am growing on my porch herb garden. 
  ~JMJ~ I am grateful today for so many things, but the most important today are, my husband, my thirteen year old son and my father.Today was Father's Day and we celebrated one of our son's 13th birthday today as well. All three are amazing men. I love each of them for their own individual qualities. I am proud to call them husband, son and Daddy!
Peace and Enjoy a Raw Life!!

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