OK In Health - Raw Food Column

Farmer's Markets "Treasurers" Continued - August 2017

Lucious fruits and vegetables at local Farmer's Markets gets a raw foodies creative juices flowing.

By Cleo Murray

Tomates for raw salsa

Are you partaking of the abundant fruits and vegetables so artistically displayed at your local Farmer’s Market??  It’s simply a feast for the senses as one works their way through all the tables.  My creative juices start flowing right away as I imagine how to prepare all the beautiful fresh produce.

I am a huge fan of fresh, raw Salsa.  Mmmmmm, nothing like it, especially when made with the new heirloom varieties of tomatoes that are showing up at the markets now.  Multi coloured and multi flavoured, they lend themselves beautifully to Salsas.

In our rush to pop these beauties into our mouths, we should not overlook tomatoes nutritional benefits.  The tomoto’s high Lycopene content is a viral antioxidant that helps in the fight against cancerous cell formation.  Free radicals in the body can be flushed out with high levels of Lycopene.  Tomatoes are so amply loaded with this vital antioxidant that  it actually derives its rich redness from the nutrient.  Lycopene is not a naturally produced element within the body.  No other fruit or vegetable has the high concentration of Lycopene that the tomatoe takes pride in.

I am going to share my all time favourite Tomatoe Salsa recipe with you.  Trust me, I’ve been known to down an entire batch in one sitting of this delicious appetizer.  Note the use of raisins to add a touch of sweetness.

OH SO GOOD SALSA…..

  • -3/4 cup sweet onion
  • -1 cup fresh cilantro
  • -3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • -3 tbsp raisins
  • -1 tbsp olive oil
  • -6 garlic cloves
  • -1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • -1/2 tsp cayenne (or 1 tsp finely chopped jalapeno)
  • - 4 cups tomatoes
  • -1 cup red or yellow peppers

 

You can either finely chop all ingredients by hand for a coarser texture or simply put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired texture is achieved.  Be careful not to over process this mixture as you will be drinking your salsa…lol

Now you simply can’t have Salsa without the crackers/chips to dip into it.  A match made in heaven (in my mind anyway) is this gorgeous Raw Corn Chip recipe, dehydrated until crispy.  (remember that food heated under 105 degrees still retains its enzymes and is considered to be a “raw” food.)  I promise that you can’t just eat one!!

Let’s first take a look at the nutritional benefits of corn, which is in an abundant supply right now at a local Farmer’s Market near you.

Corn is a decent source of B1, B5, C, E and folic acid, magnesium and phosphorous.  It is a good source of carbohydrate, fiber and essential fatty acids.  The various flavonoids and carotenes contained in corn are responsible for the different colours of its different varieties.  The most common local corn is yellow, which is high in the carotenoid, lutein,  which is said to protect t against heart disease and macular degeneration.

Okay, now that you know it’s good for you, here is the recipe….

“RAW” CORN CHIPS

  • - 4  cups raw corn kernels  cut from cob
  • - ¼ cup olive oil
  • - ½ cup water
  • - ½ tsp. sea salt
  • - 2 chile peppers (jalepeno)
  • - 1 tbsp honey
  • - 1 bunch cilantro

½ cup ground flaxseeds (preferably golden flaxseed) (if mixture is too watery, add more ground flax until mixture is thicker)

Mix all ingredients (except flax) in a blender.  Add mixture to dry flaxseeds and mix thoroughly.  Spread thinly onto dehydrator sheets, transferring onto the dehydrator trays as mixture dries and score into shapes.  You can dehydrate these chips at 105 degrees for about 12 hours or cheat a bit by increasing the temperature to 110 degrees for a slightly less drying time.  You want to dehydrate enough to get a crispy chip as opposed to a chewy one.

One leafy, green vegetable that I cannot seem to get enough of is Spinach.  Even though it may be getting a little late in the season to see spinach at Farmer’s Markets it is definitely worth mention.  Besides I did promise to share my, oh sooooo delicious Spinach and Cilantro Pesto didn’t I?

Spinach is so versatile, from spinach salads, to spinach smoothies, to spinach soup.  You name  the recipe and spinach can be added to it.

And talk about nutritious…remember Popeye??  The health  benefits of spinach are numerous.  It sits at the top of many super food lists.  Spinach is loaded with calcium, folic acid, vitamin K and Iron.  It is also rich in Vitamin C, fiber and caretenoids.  Add its lutein and bioflavanoids and spinach becomes a nutritional powerhouse.

The combination of flavours in the following recipe are simply divine.  I’ve cheated a bit and  toasted the cashews, but it’s worth it for the enhanced flavour.

SPINACH & CILANTRO PESTO…

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups toasted (raw) cashews
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Combine the garlic, green onion, lemon juice and cashews in a food processor.  Coarsely blend and then add a third of the spinach and cilantro, plus the salt.  Blend.  Add the remaining spinach and cilantro, alternating with the olive oil, pushing down the sides with a spatula between blending, until all is well blended.

Your Raw Corn Chips work beautifully with this Pesto.  I have been making double and triple recipes of this pesto all summer.  I will confess to you that I even  have it for breakfast sometimes, piled high on a Raw Corn Chip.  Oh my, what a great start to the dayJ  Try it sometime…they say that, “Life Begins on the Edge of Your Comfort Zone”.  Be gone, boring breakfasts.

Namaste

Cleo Murray




Cleo MurrayCleo's Bio: Cleo Murray is currently a Vegan Raw Foodist. After 15 years of Veganism she decided to take her nutrition to the next level. She decided to share her radiant health success by giving local Raw Food Workshops and talks. She also had a business in Vancouver as Personal Trainer, Massage Therapist and Reiki Master. She currently lives in Peachland, B.C. (250)767-7623 - Email


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