Sunday, February 27, 2011

SUNDAY SUNNY SMOOTHIE

Sunflower greens--I eat them, juice them and put them in smoothies; I adore these green goodies. I have said it before, sunflower greens are one of those foods that you want in your diet on a daily basis. If you haven't started sprouting them yet, what are you waiting for?? When growing the greens you want to purchase the organic black seeds, called black oil sunflower in shell. I purchase mine locally from our 100% organic market but you can also order them from these wonderful people. You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about sprouting on their site. We all know how important it is becoming to learn how to grow our own food. If you don't believe me go to one of my favorite blogs and listen to these videos Mr. H posted. Hi Mr. H !
 If you desire sunflower sprouts, purchase organic hulled seeds and grow them in a glass jar like any other sprout not requiring soil.
When growing the sunflower greens you must first soak your black seeds overnight in a glass jar fitted with a lid that allows for drainage, in the morning rinse well, tilt your glass jar on a 45 degree angle (I put mine in a small bowl) and rinse once daily until you see a tiny shoot emerge from the shell. I am still looking for a metal dish drying rack to use instead but I can only find wooden ones. I am afraid the wooden ones would mold.
 Now the sprouted seeds are ready to be sprinkled onto some good potting soil. Keep the soil lightly moist and watch your greens grow. You should be able to harvest them in about 3-5 days. During the last two days of growing put them in a sunny window to "green them up" with chlorophyll. Once cut, mine keep fresh in the refrig for 4-5 days after harvest. I put them in a covered dish on top of a piece of paper towel. Here is my previous post on this method. No fancy equipment is needed as you can see here. Also check out their root system; this goes into the compost pile.
Check out their nutritional content.
Nutritional info:

Vitamins A, B, C and E
Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium
Amino Acids
Protein: 20-25%

Here is a very short but good article on sprouted sunflower seeds:
Nutritional Value of Sprouted Sunflower Seeds

By Melody Horner, C.N., eHow Contributor
Sprouted sunflower seeds contain the protein, fat and carbohydrate combination that defines basic nutrition, along with minerals and vitamins. The nutrients intensify during the sprouting process.
Significance
Eating 1/2-cup of sprouted sunflower seeds four times a week may improve health because of the nutritious elements. The sprouts are gluten-free, useful for individuals who are allergic to grains such as wheat and rye that contain gluten protein.
Features
During sprouting, plant enzymes split the seeds' high protein value into easily digested amino acids, according to living-foods.com. Seed fats are converted to essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid. Carbohydrates convert to sugars, and vitamin levels increase. The sprouts retain the mineral content of the seeds.
Functions
The amino acid arginine in the sprouts promotes blood vessel flexibility, which may reduce high blood pressure, according to "SuperFoods RX" authors Dr. Steven G. Pratt and Kathy Matthews.
The magnesium mineral content may help heart arrhythmia. The copper and zinc aid in collagen production and wound healing.
The sprouts' high vitamin E level aids arteries and nerves. The A and D vitamins decrease risk for cancers.
Considerations
Eat fresh sprouts raw. Cooking sprouts will lower the vitamin values.
Uses
Add chopped raw sunflower seed sprouts to scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, soups, salads or fluffy brown rice, or eat as a snack with a dollop of dressing or sauce.
Read more: Nutritional Value of Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5529776_nutritional-value-sprouted-sunflower-seeds.html#ixzz1FB41xJdH

My next post will feature another recipe utilizing these amazing sprouted greens but for now let me share my recipe


SUNDAY SUNNY SMOOTHIE
by Elizabeth @ RAW Living and Learning
serves 6-8
2 C spring water
5 kale leaves, remove stems
3 large ripe bananas
2 C frozen pineapple
2 T chia seeds
1 1/2 C loosely packed sunflower greens
handful of ice
Blend into creamy, green, sunny goodness! Drink in the living energy these greens provide. Enjoy the fruits of your labor--ok, sprouting doesn't require much labor. :) But you get the point. Get excited about raw living foods, I do!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for a good nights sleep. Haven't been sleeping well the last few night but last night was the exception--I slept like a rock!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Probiotics MeetUp--TIME CHANGE

Time has been changed to 6 PM!!!!!!


The coordinator of our Living Foods Group wanted me to post this awesome MeetUp. Here you go Lisa!!
Here are some pics of my Kim Chi I made awhile ago. I look forward to learning new recipes!




THE NAPLES LIVING FOODS GROUP PRESENTS:


A WORKSHOP ON MAKING YOUR OWN YOGURTS, KEFIRS, FERMENTS, & CULTURES
PRESENTED BY JACKIE and GIDEON GRAFF OF WWW.SPROUTRAWFOOD.COM
With the advent of food preservation through canning and pasteurization, the beneficial lacto bacteria are destroyed. Now pickles and sauerkraut are made with vinegar instead of the traditional method of lacto-fermentation with salt. There are many benefits to going back to the traditional ways of our ancestors, and eating more fermented foods.
OUR DIGESTIVE HEALTH DEPENDS ON HEALTHY BACTERIA, AND WE CAN KEEP A HEALTHY GUT BY MAKING OUR OWN PROBIOTICS!
In this two hour class, you will learn to make and enjoy: Coconut Kefir
Cultured Coconut Yogurt
Vegi Kraut
Fermented Dill Pickles
Ched R Cheese
Kale Chips
WORKSHOP COST IS $45 PER FAMILY. INCLUDES INSTRUCTION, FERMENTED RECIPE BOOK, and FOOD. THE GRAFFS TRAVEL IN THEIR RV ONCE A YEAR FROM ATLANTA THRU FLORIDA TO TEACH HEALTH AND WELLNESS THRU LIVING FOODS. BOTH HAVE NURSING DEGREES. COUSE THIS LINK TO REGISTER:
www.meetup.com/THENAPLESLIVINGFOODSGROUP/events/15917214/ OR CALL LISA TOMASI 239-641-5559

Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth
+JMJ+Today I am grateful for our Living Foods Group--I learn something new at each meeting! Thank you Lisa for your time and devotion given to our group!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Morning Chia


Friday Morning Chia

I had to laugh the other day when my husband walked into the kitchen and with surprise in his voice said, "Why did you buy pink salt??" My daughter and I had gone for the first time to World Market. I went crazy in the spice isle and found a great price on their Himalayan salt--aka "pink salt". So what does pink salt have to do with my Friday morning chia? It tastes amazing in this recipe. I only used the slightest pinch and boy did it make all of these flavors pop. I can't believe after living the raw foods lifestyle for 16 months now this is the first time I have bought Himalayan Salt. I have been fine using sea salt all these months but have always wanted to try this beautiful "pink" salt. If you want to educate yourself on salt and their differences, check out this video. Very informative!! If you haven't thrown out your "table salt" yet, save it and use it to scour your sink or bath tub with. It doesn't belong in your body so you might as well not waste it, just clean with it and then get yourself some Himalayan salt. Look at these facts regarding Himalayan Salt; I found it on Mercola's site. Man, I never knew there was so much to learn about salt!!
"This salt from the Himalayas is known as "white gold." Together with pure spring water, Himalayan Crystal Salt offers all the natural elements exactly identical to the elements in your body -- the very same elements originally found existing in the "primal sea."
Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include:
Regulating the water content throughout your body.
Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.
Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.
Supporting respiratory health.
Promoting sinus health.
Prevention of muscle cramps.
Promoting bone strength.
Regulating your sleep -- it naturally promotes sleep.
Supporting your libido.
Promoting vascular health.
In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure."
Here is another article discussing the differences between sea salt and Himalayan salt that I found here.
Salt is salt. . . right?

My Name is Walt Ingvoldstad and I am a Natural Health Therapist & Coach. Himalayan Salt is one of my 5 most recommended food/frequency substances that contribute to robust vitality, mental clarity and high immune function or illness/cold/flu prevention.
Allow me to give you a broad description of Himalayan Salt, why it is a unique type of salt and why it is so very important to have some every day.
Himalayan salt is profoundly amazing. It is 200 Million plus years old and has been nurtured by earth energy and pressure over this time. This ancient sea salt has been alchemized over millions of years into a special energized crystalline form in a process analogous to how coal gradually becomes a diamond. The 84 minerals in this salt are in an ionic form which is molecular instead of colloidal like regular sea salt. It is therefore more easily absorbable and much more use-able by our bodies than any sea salt. Sea salt because of its relatively large size is difficult for the body to digest and use whereas ionic Himalayan salt is molecular and virtually no digestion is required.
Why not ingest sea salt? Sea salt may dehydrate the body whereas Himalayan salt actually hydrates our tissue! Sea salt is difficult to digest and assimilate for our bodies because it is not At the organic mineral electrolyte size which is immediately usable in our blood and cells. No digestion is required for Himalayan Salt. It is therefore immediately available for use throughout the body shortly after drinking some dissolved in water – unlike sea salt! When in solution with water it becomes a solution referred to as Sole, which is electrical in nature and no longer molecular! Because the sole is electrical in nature, it therefore imparts energy for our bodies to use that other foods do not contain. Many sensitive people feel the energy from the salt immediately upon drinking a glass of the water with sole added – I find this is true for at least 1 of 10 people who sample it when I am present. See how you feel after drinking it!
Peter Ferreira is a biological physicist who collaborated with Dr. Barbara Hendel on the book, “Salt and Water”. He discusses how the Himalayan Crystal salt has a near perfect crystalline structure – unlike sea salt that contributes the unique crystalline energy to the salt water matrix which then contributes to our energy for up to 24 hours or more. Sea salt does not have the energetic nature of the Himalayan Salt. Sea salt is still an important nutrient that feeds the pro-biotics or friendly bacteria in our digestive tract. Himalayan salt is often directly absorbed right through our stomach lining before reaching our digestive tract especially when consumed in water on an empty stomach. It has an immediate, profound beneficial effect upon our blood health and immediately stimulates our red blood cells thereby activating the efficiency of our oxygen transport system!
Minerals are the foundational nutrient for the entire body. Every process in the body requires minerals and enzymes. Studies have shown that everyone with a disease has at least one major mineral deficiency. Mineral deficiencies are also present with those dying of natural causes. Organic minerals at a molecular level are also referred to as electrolytes. When we look at the word electro-lytes we can see this: Electrons “turning” the lights on --- eg. We ARE electrical energy beings first and foremost and these electrolytes help to increase our energy, balance and add to every system of our body thru the action of there vibration or the unique signature of each of the 84 minerals that are present and their associated electrons."


Enough about salt, let's get back to my Friday morning chia. I love how simple and quick this recipe is. It would be a great recipe to have when traveling. You could whip this together anywhere as it requires no kitchen appliances, just a knife to dice your apple. I always pack my sprouts when we travel, so you could even have those available if you pre-plan --very important to eat your sprouts EVERYDAY!! I began by soaking my chia in some water with a pinch of the Himalayan salt. I topped that with some sunflower and pumpkin seeds and my own sprouted and dehydrated Buckwheat Crispies. I let the chia do its thing in the water and returned 10 minutes later to add: Gogi berries, organic raisins, one red apple and my fresh homegrown sunflower sprouts. I have a feeling this chia cereal will keep me satisfied long into the afternoon (eating it as I type this). I love how chia keeps me full for long periods of time. I usually will eat it on days that are jam packed with activities knowing I won't have to worry about getting hungry while running around. I am one of those people who tends to forget to pack snacks for myself. I am always so worried about remembering all of the kids stuff that Mom gets put to the side sometimes.
Here is my simple recipe for Morning Chia.

Morning Chia
1/4 C chia seeds
1/2 C spring water
pinch of Himalayan Salt--pink salt :)
1/8 C raw pumpkin seeds, soaked
1/8 C raw sunflower kernals, soaked
1/8 C organic raisins, soaked
1/8 C Gogi berries, soaked
1 organic red apple, diced
palmful of sunflower sprouts

Soak the chia seeds and pink salt in the water for 10 minutes. Top with the Buckwheat Crispies, pumpkin seeds, sunflower kernals, raisins, and Gogi berries. Stir well. Add the diced apple and sunflower sprouts. Enjoy!

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for learning about nearly perfect salt. I am amazed at the new things I am learning everyday while journeying down the path of raw living foods. Who knew I needed to study and learn so much just to nourish and feed my family the best that I can?!  And I thought I was learning a great deal educating my kids at home--this food thing is right up there with home education! I am loving this journey!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monsanto--A Long Read, But Very Important

Our town has a wonderful 100% organic market, yes even the shelved items, meaning not produce, are organic. EVERYTHING in the store is organic. Makes it really easy to shop! They do a great job keeping their customers informed and this article was on their website. Sobering news, but we must be aware of what is to come and what is already here! I'm very afraid of Frankencrops, are you???
Peace & Raw Organic Health.
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for open and honest people who work hard to keep us informed.

The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto



“The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.” - Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic
Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
In exchange for allowing Monsanto’s premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants “compensation.” In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil’s crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay “compensation” (i.e. hush money) to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.”
In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for “public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry,” even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government “oversight” of Frankencrops such as Monsanto’s sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: “The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well True coexistence is a must.”
Why Is Organic Inc. Surrendering?
According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack’s previous electoral campaigns. Vilsack was hailed as “Governor of the Year” in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail. Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.’s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores. The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face. They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that it’s time to reach for the consolation prize. The consolation prize they seek is a so-called “coexistence” between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public to sleep and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsanto’s unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.
WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded by Whole Foods and giant wholesaler United Natural Foods (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organic foods are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called “natural” foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFI’s sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.
From their “business as usual” perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center for Food Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic Consumers Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops and foods such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs.


Whole Food’s Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called “Natural” Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs
The main reason, however, why Whole Foods is pleading for coexistence with Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the biotech bullies, is that they desperately want the controversy surrounding genetically engineered foods and crops to go away. Why? Because they know, just as we do, that 2/3 of WFM’s $9 billion annual sales is derived from so-called “natural” processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. We and our allies have tested their so-called “natural” products (no doubt WFM’s lab has too) containing non-organic corn and soy, and guess what: they’re all contaminated with GMOs, in contrast to their certified organic products, which are basically free of GMOs, or else contain barely detectable trace amounts.
Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by Whole Foods Market and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted) foods and products disguised as “natural.”
Unprecedented wholesale and retail control of the organic marketplace by UNFI and Whole Foods, employing a business model of selling twice as much so-called “natural” food as certified organic food, coupled with the takeover of many organic companies by multinational food corporations such as Dean Foods, threatens the growth of the organic movement.


Covering Up GMO Contamination: Perpetrating “Natural” Fraud
Many well-meaning consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as “natural,” and those nutritionally/environmentally superior and climate-friendly products that are “certified organic.”
Retail stores like WFM and wholesale distributors like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and certified organic, conveniently glossing over the fact that nearly all of the processed “natural” foods and products they sell contain GMOs, or else come from a “natural” supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in factory farms or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large formerly organic brands from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called “natural” ingredients. With the exception of the “grass-fed and grass-finished” meat sector, most “natural” meat, dairy, and eggs are coming from animals reared on GMO grains and drugs, and confined, entirely, or for a good portion of their lives, in CAFOs.


Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices. Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while genuine organic farmers and ranchers continue to lose market share to “natural” imposters. It’s no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and “natural” purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.
The Solution: Truth-in-Labeling Will Enable Consumers to Drive So-Called “Natural” GMO and CAFO-Tainted Foods Off the Market
There can be no such thing as “coexistence” with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically devastates the world’s 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers. There is no such thing as coexistence between GMOs and organics in the European Union. Why? Because in the EU there are almost no GMO crops under cultivation, nor GM consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Because under EU law, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to choose GMOs; while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are safety-tested and labeled. Of course the EU food industry understands that consumers, for the most part, do not want to purchase or consume GE foods. European farmers and food companies, even junk food purveyors like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, understand quite well the concept expressed by a Monsanto executive when GMOs first came on the market: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”


The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don’t want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont – the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming. Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.






Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) recently introduced a bill in Congress calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing for GMOs, don’t hold your breath for Congress to take a stand for truth-in-labeling and consumers’ right to know what’s in their food. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the so-called “Citizens United” case gave big corporations and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) to buy media coverage and elections, our chances of passing federal GMO labeling laws against the wishes of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent. Perfectly dramatizing the “Revolving Door” between Monsanto and the Federal Government, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, delivered one of the decisive votes in the Citizens United case, in effect giving Monsanto and other biotech bullies the right to buy the votes it needs in the U.S. Congress.


With big money controlling Congress and the media, we have little choice but to shift our focus and go local. We’ve got to concentrate our forces where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level; pressuring retail food stores to voluntarily label their products; while on the legislative front we must organize a broad coalition to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels.
The Organic Consumers Association, joined by our consumer, farmer, environmental, and labor allies, has just launched a nationwide Truth-in-Labeling campaign to stop Monsanto and the Biotech Bullies from force-feeding unlabeled GMOs to animals and humans.
Utilizing scientific data, legal precedent, and consumer power the OCA and our local coalitions will educate and mobilize at the grassroots level to pressure giant supermarket chains (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Costco, Safeway, Supervalu, and Publix) and natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to voluntarily implement “truth-in-labeling” practices for GMOs and CAFO products; while simultaneously organizing a critical mass to pass mandatory local and state truth-in-labeling ordinances – similar to labeling laws already in effect for country of origin, irradiated food, allergens, and carcinogens. If local and state government bodies refuse to take action, wherever possible we must attempt to gather sufficient petition signatures and place these truth-in-labeling initiatives directly on the ballot in 2011 or 2012. If you’re interesting in helping organize or coordinate a Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling campaign in your local community, sign up here:
http://www.http//organicconsumers.org/oca-volunteer/
To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices sign here, and circulate this petition widely: http://www.http//www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22309.cfm
And please stay tuned to Organic Bytes for the latest developments in our campaigns.
Ronnie Cummins
Organic Consumers Association

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Cherry Green Goodness Posted on Blend It And Mend It























I posted a few days ago about a great site I found called Blend It and Mend It. Well, now she has show cased two of my smoothie recipes!! She videos her recipes and also viewer submitted recipes, demonstrating how to make wonderfully healthy and delicious smoothies and green drinks. A recent video is of my cherry smoothie that I wrote in to tell her about.

Elizabeth's Cherry Green Smoothie
2 C spring water
1 10 oz bag of organic cherries
2 ripe bananas
3 handfuls of organic spinach
1 T chia seeds
1 T hemp seeds
1T sprouted and dehydrated raw buckwheat (buckwheat crispies posted here)
1 tsp pure vanilla or almond extract (we use almond primarily)
Blend until creamy smooth. Enjoy!

I love how Jane improvises, using what she has on hand when recreating other's recipes. She has made some good substitutions. Go to her site and watch the video. My recipe calls for hemp seeds and she substituted sesame. Did you know that a 2 tablespoon serving of hemp has 5 grams of complete protein including all eight amino acids and 880 mg of omega 3's?? And one tablespoon of raw sesame seeds contains as much calcium as 5 cups of (toxic) cow's milk!!
When you go to Jane's site plan on spending some time there, she has fabulous recipes that you are going to want to write down. Trust me, I went through all of her previous posts and wrote down all of the recipes into my raw  spiral notebook. You won't be disappointed.
Here is the other video she made for her smoothie recipe that called for grapefruit and I suggested she try substituting my beloved Pummelo! You can view that here. Her original recipe called for spinach, I think, but this time she used parsley.
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for a beautiful female cardinal who sang me the sweetest song this morning when I opened up the kitchen window. This has happened to me several times before, but it is still just as special as the first time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Carob Pudding with Raspberries and Sprouted Buckwheat Crunchies

Yesterday for lunch I had dessert; carob pudding to be exact. But I pumped up the already healthy dish with some organic raspberries and my sprouted buckwheat crunchies. Later in this post you'll see just how I sprout and dehydrate raw, hulled buckwheat.
Buckwheat is a variety of plant in the dicot family Polygonaceae: the North American genus Eriogonum. Buckwheat is not a cereal but a pseudocereal. It is not a grass either, despite the common name and grain-like use of this crop. The name "buckwheat" or "beech wheat" comes from its triangular seeds resembling the beech trees much larger seeds, contained in the beech nut, and the fact that it's used like wheat. This name makes it very confusing especially for those looking for gluten free alternatives. This seed is in fact gluten free and in recent years has been used as a substitute for other grain in gluten free beer!
How about its chemical composition?
The seeds contain:
STARCH-
71-78% in groats
70-91% in different flours
25% amylose
75% amylopectin
PROTEINS-
18% with biological values above 90%--due to its high concentration of ALL ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS!!!!
Especially high in lysine, threonine, trytophan and the sulfur-containing amino acids.
MINERALS-
Iron 60-100ppm (wow, nice way to get this mineral naturally)
Zinc 20-30ppm
Selenium 20-50ppb
ANTIOXIDANTS-
rutin 10-200ppm
0.1-2% of tannins

So you can see why I didn't even think twice when making a luscious dessert for my lunch today! This baby is packed with so many good things. Next time I will add some chia as well.

Carob Pudding with Raspberries and Sprouted Buckwheat
2 small, ripe avocados
1 small, ripe banana
4 T carob powder
raw agave to taste, optional
1 T vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
splash of raw almond mylk or water
6-8 frozen organic raspberries
2 T buckwheat crunchies

In a small food processor, process all of the ingredients until the desired consistency of pudding. Adding nut mylk or water as needed. Top with the raspberries and sprouted buckwheat crunchies. Enjoy!
Buckwheat is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest seeds to sprout. They make a great alternative for getting your daily greens. I have even blended them up in smoothies in addition to adding them to salads, chia cereal, desserts, and even raw pizza crusts and raw breads. The possibilities are really endless bound only by each individual's imagination.
Here is my simple method of sprouting and making "Sprouted Buckwheat Crunchies":
Soak 2/3 C of organic, raw, hulled buckwheat in spring water for 20 minutes. Rinse until no slimy residue remains. I rinse them in a colander making it easier to sprout them using the same. Place your colander over a bowl to allow for drainage. Rinse the buckwheat every 6-12 hours. Place back onto  your bowl to drain and sprout. Keep rinsing every 6-12 hours until their tails sprout. You will see the tiny tails emerge in 1-1 1/2 days. Once your buckwheat has sprouted, spread them onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 6-10 hours or until crunchy when tasted. I just keep checking my buckwheat during the dehydrating process and once they are crunchy they are done! Allow them to fully cool and then store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid in your pantry. Keep in mind that 2/3 C of buckwheat seeds will yield about 1-1 1/4 cups of sprouted.
Here is a recipe for a sprouted buckwheat raw pizza crust using freshly sprouted buckwheat that has not been dehydrated into crunchies:

1 1/2 cups  fresh sprouted buckwheat groats


1/4 cup olive oil


raw honey to taste


2/3 cup carrot pulp


2/3 cup soaked flax seeds


1/4 cup water


In a blender combine groats, olive oil, honey, carrot pulp, flax seeds and water. Blend using a spoon or rubber scraper to mix occasionally.

On a solid dehydrator tray, spread the dough mixture out. You can use a spoon to transfer the dough and then use wet hands to spread the mixture evenly.
Dehydrate the crust at 100 degrees for 7 hours.
Transfer the crust to a mesh dehydrator tray and dry for 8 hours checking occasionally to see if it is fully dry.
Top the pizza crust with your favorite ingredients and eat immediately or store covered in a dry area for up to one month.
(Read more: How to Make Sprouted Buckwheat Pizza Crust: Raw Food Recipe
eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5190689_make-crust_-raw-food-recipe.html#ixzz1E3frKU7P)
 
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for being my children's teacher. I felt so much joy today listening to one of my sons reading their stories aloud from their reader. It just made me feel so blessed knowing that I am responsible for his learning and that I get to see first hand all of his academic accomplishments. I wouldn't want to miss one minute of it. **BIG SMILE**

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunny Salad Bowl

Crystal blue skies this morning in SW Florida, the air is crisp and the smell is sweet. I had to fill up on some sunshine this morning and this was the perfect dish to do just that!
I was blessed once again to receive fresh, tree ripe, Florida pummelos from our dear friends Dr. & Mrs. "F".
Thanks guys!! You are so wonderful.
Well this time I hit THE PUMMELO LOAD-- the mother load of pummelo. Seven of them are missing from the picture, I already ate those :)

Mother Load of Pummelo

Sunny Salad Bowl
2 pummelos, peeled and sliced/diced
handful of sunflower sprouts (my own :)
handful of organic raisins
drizzle of RAW honey
sprinkling of pumpkin seed powder (ground in nut chopper)

These citrus fruits are sooo juicy, you will be left with a delicious juice in the bottom of the bowl. Be sure and drink that straight from the bowl, I always do!! It is so sweet and yummy with the raw honey mixed with the pummelo juice--yummo! Drink in the sunshine. If you spot a pummelo at your market I highly recommend you try one, they are so worth it. Be warned, they are filled with millions of seeds and there is only one way to cut them. You'll want to get every bit of this delicious fruit when cutting (that you'll probably pay dearly for) so please read my step-by-step post. I posted about that here.
+JMJ+Today I am grateful for tree ripened fruit right from my friend's backyard.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tiny Fudge Bites on the Feast Day of St. Valentine

Sweet Feast Day Treat for my Valentines

 St. Valentine's History
He is the Patron Saint of:
 affianced couples
 bee keepers
 engaged couples
 epilepsy
 fainting
 greetings
 happy marriages
 love
 lovers
 plague
 travellers
 young people
He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.


The origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery. One opinion is that he was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Other historians hold that St. Valentine was a temple priest jailed for defiance during the reign of Claudius. Whoever he was, Valentine really existed because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.


The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner -- until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't do it, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate [circa 269].


Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they're expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine."


St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. (source: catholic.org)Full article here.

Sooooo, from all of this history we come to present day and see all of the commercialism and money making that surrounds this "holiday". In our house it is a Feast Day, and another chance to get history into our homeschooling day--in a fun way. A springboard to studying the Emperor Claudius, Rome, archaeologists and the persecutions. I try to ground my kids in history before the world tries to sweep them away with all of the retail brainwashing, telling them it is all about roses and chocolate. While those are lovely, I say it can be simply showing love through kindness and caring without any material things involved. But, did I still get the hubby a card and some sweets?? Of course I did but I also surprised him with an act of kindness, by filling his car up with gas late last night so he wouldn't have to leave for work early to do it. Little things like that go a long way. I hope to show my children that it is the way we treat others and not what we buy them that shows our true love. My children see all of the chocolates in the stores and even though they don't say anything I know they are probably thinking it would be nice to have some. Well, they do not consume cow's milk, or any animal milk for that matter, so this gives Mom a perfect opportunity to make them something healthy and sweet.
The other day when we celebrated my Mom's birthday I had made Heather Pace's Lava Cakes and I added a carob sauce. Well, I had so much "dough" leftover and carob sauce that I decided to make some freezer fudge. I took the leftover "dough" and pressed it down, very firmly, into a square dish. I then poured on my leftover carob sauce and popped it in the freezer. I knew it would turn out to be more fudge like this way and boy was I right. This is amazing fudge. I love that it is kept in the freezer because the kids can snack on it for several weeks to come and it will taste just as fresh as the day I made it. See my post about the Lava Cakes here. I hope someone gets the chance to make this wonderful treat! Enjoy. Happy Valentine's Day!!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for unconditional LOVE.











Saturday, February 12, 2011

Avocado Tacos

This was an impromptu lunch and I am very pleased with the result. I used what I had on hand and threw together this easy raw taco recipe. Romaine hearts served as the taco shells and the fillings were;
*Bubbies Kraut
*1 avocado
*fresh cilantro
*radish sprouts for some heat
*fenugreek sprouts
*sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
It is simple foods like this that really make raw living foods so enjoyable. I could taste the flavor of each individual ingredient and there was no competition. If you have not tried real sauerkraut with avocado you are missing out on something truly spectacular. Of course it would be even better if it were my own fermented cabbage, but hey I can only do so much. Some day I will get back to fermentation. For now I am thankful for Bubbies.





































+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for cool, crisp weather--the kind where we can open the windows and feel almost zero humidity!! Very nice.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thick and Creamy Carob Smoothie

This morning for breakfast I made a juice for myself and the three youngest children. The older two were still upstairs getting ready to come down and start school. The morning juice consisted of:
2 lbs organic carrots, washed but unpeeled
1 handful fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh dill
1 large organic red apple
1 clementine, whole/unpeeled

I didn't bother to take a pic--we all know what carrot juice looks like :) This was just delicious--you never saw three little boys drink fresh juice so fast. My six year old said, "Mom you make THE BEST fresh juices". Isn't that sweet! He is my complimentor, always praising Mommy and writing me tiny love notes throughout the day even on his school papers I'll see, "Mom, I love you." Sigh! I wish they could stay frozen in time--all this sweetness, can it last?
For lunch I treated myself to a dreamy, elegant, thick and creamy smoothie. It was so rich and so filling I will be set until dinner!!
I made my own version of "Angela's Chocolate Avo Green Smoothie" which was posted by a viewer of "Blend It and Mend It", over at http://www.blenditandmendit.com/ It was her February 10th's post. She demonstrates a version of it in a video. The original recipe calls for a few different ingredients that I didn't use and I substituted others. If you want to see the original recipe submitted by Angela, please stop by http://www.blenditandmendit.com/
You can even submit your favorite smoothie recipe to Jane and she will make a video on it. She made a video for me after I recommended she try using Pummelo instead of grapefruit in one of her recipes. She forgot to remove the pummelo seeds, so if you ever try one be sure and remove all of the seeds, they have like a 100 seeds in each pummelo, I swear.
Here is my recipe for
THICK AND CREAMY CAROB SMOOTHIE
2 C of water or fresh nut mylk of choice
4-5 medjool dates, pitted or use 2 T of Coconut Water Date Paste (my post yesterday)
1 T raw macadamia butter
1 fresh, ripe banana (brown spots on the skin = ripe)
1/2 stalk of organic celery
2 tsp pure vanilla
pinch of sea salt
2 heaping T carob powder
1 large avocado
Blend until thick and creamy in a high speed blender. It will be almost like pudding, so add more water or nut mylk to get your desired consistency. Enjoy! This is insanely good!!!



After enjoying this smoothie I was thinking that this would make the perfect recipe for raw fudgesicles--just add in some coconut oil while blending and then pour into molds, then freeze.
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for friends offering me, much needed, information! It always makes me smile when people step forward and are so helpful.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making Coconut Water Date Fluff (Paste)


"Seek out foods that sustain, nourish, and warm you".
 quote by Terri Trespicio
While raw foods don't warm me in the sense that cooked foods warm others, they do warm me with the feeling of wellness. I feel so alive and warm with energy, when I eat raw living foods. Here is yet another way to bring raw goodness into your life with a natural sweetener from God's creation, one of which was right outside my front door :).

Coconut Water Date Fluff (Paste)
The other week I stumbled upon a great site called Blend It and Mend It. I followed her recipe for making a great all purpose sweetener in the form of a "date fluff/paste", she calls hers something different. She makes it with fresh coconut water infusing the dates with electrolytes. It turned out fantastic, so creamy, thick and delicious. I used it in a raw cookie recipe for the kids. You can also use it in smoothies, raw pies, and any raw dessert that calls for extra sweetness.
I found a fresh coconut in my neighbor's front lawn. Started hacking away at it in the kitchen with my cleaver and before long I had an amazing amount of fresh coconut water.


 This was a young green coconut and had virtually no meat inside, just fresh electrolyte filled water.

Next I pitted several Medjool dates, enough to fill an entire container. I poured the coconut water on top, making sure to cover all of the dates with the water.


 Press the dates down into the coconut water with the back of a fork. Place the covered container in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight for at least 8 hours. In the morning stir the dates well, breaking up and mashing any lumps until you have a creamy "coconut water date paste".
Coconut Water Date Fluff/ Paste
1 young coconut, water from
10-12 Medjool dates, pitted
Place dates into your container of choice, one that has a lid, and cover completely with the fresh coconut water. Make sure the dates are submersed in the coconut water. Allow to sit overnight, at least 8 hours,  covered in the refrigerator. In the morning, mash and stir the dates until creamy smooth. To turn it into a fluffy texture, process in a small food processor instead! Will keep a few days in the refrigerator, freeze for longer storage in smaller batches for future recipes.
It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator but for longer storage measure out smaller batches and freeze for future recipes.
Here is one of her recipes to try with this wonderful "coconut water date paste":
Orangeade from http://www.blenditandmendit.com/
3 oranges
1 T pure vanilla extract
1/2 C date sweetener ("coconut water date fluff/ paste")
Blend till creamy in a high speed blender.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for a snugly little four year old on my lap as I type this post.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Asian Citrus Salad

Today's lunch inspiration came from a vegan magazine titled "Healing Foods". It had a lot of cooked foods in it and only a few salads so I opted not to buy it. I was happy to see an article on sea vegetables, but the recipes were for using it cooked. I eat my sea vegetable raw so all of their vital nutrients are intact. I was a bit baffled with the title, "Healing Foods" since the majority of the foods were cooked??  But I did take the time to make note of a fantastic looking salad. I changed it a bit and love how it tasted. I really like that the dressing is oil free. The original recipe called for arugula but I used mixed baby greens. It also called for shallots but I only had one scallion left so I substituted that instead. I also added a pummelo and a clementine in addition to the grapefruit and orange that it called for. And of course I had to add some fresh home grown sprouts!! The dressing is definitely Asian style so I will call it "Asian Citrus Salad". Here is how I put mine together:

Asian Citrus Salad
mixed baby greens
1 pummelo, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small grapefruit, peeled, seeded and chopped
1  clementine
1 scallion, finely chopped
8 mint leaves, finely sliced into ribbons
1/4 C raw soaked and dehydrated almonds, slightly ground
1 T raw sesame seeds
radish sprouts, for some extra heat

Plate the baby mixed greens and top them with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle on the Oil Free Asian Dressing.

Oil Free Asian Dressing
2 T raw agave or raw honey
1 1/2 T lime or lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 T Wheat Free Tamari
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, use more if you like it spicy and hot
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for silence.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fenugreek and My New Sprouting Rack :)

A very nice couple in my Raw Living Foods Group was nice enough to let me purchase their extra sprouting rack. I was going to make one, with my hubby's help, but when this opportunity came up I couldn't resist. He did a great job and I am so happy with my new sprouting rack!! Thanks guys!

On Our Back Balcony
I put the rack right to use with two trays of sunflower sprouts.


 When I went over to pick it up "L"(not sure if you'd want me using your name) was so sweet, she shared some beautiful Meyer's lemons and some of her fenugreek seeds with me. She said she had sprouted some and didn't like them very much. I had a funny feeling that I would like them, so I was anxious to give them a try. Right away that night I began soaking some seeds. They sprouted beautifully in just 3 days. I sprouted them using my standard jar technique.

 I researched how to sprout them first at The Sprout People's website. I harvested them very young, just as they got their tiny leaf and even some without any leaf showing.



They have a very unique taste that is difficult to explain, but I find them delicious. They are a tiny bit spicy but nothing like my radish sprouts, now those pack a punch.
Fenugreek, when sprouted, is an amazing living food. Here is a brief list of its nutritional contents:
Nutritional info:

Vitamins A, B, C, E
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc
Carotene, Chlorophyll, Digestive Aid, Trace Elements, Amino Acids
Phyto-Nutrients - Excellent for Women (Breast Health)
Protein: 30%
I learned from The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook that fenugreek has therapeutic uses for dermatitis, diabetes, high cholesterol, indigestion, inflammation, lack of appetite, arthritis, cancer, constipation, eczema, gas, hair loss, hardening of the arteries, HBP, high triglycerides, infections, labor, sore throat, stone formation in the urinary system, ulcers, and breast milk deficiency.
Defatted fenugreek seed powder was given to people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in clinical research studies and it had significantly lowered blood sugar, thanks to some six different phytochemical compounds found in it. In one study, urinary excretion of glucose plummeted 54 percent after a group of people with type 1 diabetes began to take 50 grams of defatted fenugreek powder twice a day. Their fasting blood sugar, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and blood triglyceride levels also dropped notably.
Tutankhamen was entombed with the seeds from this ancient herb. You can eat the seeds cooked or raw and can sprout them as well.
Southwest Asia and southern Europe is where this herb originated. It is a member of the pea family and the plant has oval, minutely serrated leaves, with seeds that grow inside a pod like peas. It has whitish flowers. This page has some pictures of fenugreek and the seeds.
I made a wonderful salad with loads of fenugreek sprouts on top. The combination of pummelo and fenugreek was incredible. Here is the recipe for my salad. 
Pummelo and Fenugreek Salad:
Mixed baby greens
1 pummelo, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 radishes, sliced
1 stalk of organic celery
fenugreek sprouts
Whisk together and dress salad with:
fresh lemon juice
raw honey
Dijon mustard
cumin
basil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper


+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for my new sprouting rack and my new found sprout--fenugreek.