|OK In Health - Raw Food Column|
Xmas in the Raw - December 2014
Creative for xmas gifts with a "raw" theme
How can you NOT notice that Xmas is coming. Every store is starting to stock their shelves with enticing Xmas gifts, Xmas wrap, Xmas cards…oh my, didn’t we just have Halloween??
Why not try to make a difference with your Xmas gifts this year, by giving “living gifts”. By that I mean gifts oriented towards health and wellness for their recipients. Following are a list of my very favourite recipe “uncook” books. All of these books are beautifully illustrated and, I have found, very easy to follow for even the novice. I’m noticing that more and more mainstream bookstores are stocking their shelves with Raw “uncook” books. Chapters in Kelowna, for example has quite a nice variety and they are more than willing to special order anything that do not have in stock. I have also noticed that Health Stores in Kelowna, Westbank and Penticton are carrying a great selection of raw “uncook” books.
My very favourite “uncook” recipe book and, by the way, the first one I ever purchased was from the Author herself, Rose Vasile, who had traveled through the Okanagan some years ago promoting raw foods and doing a number of workshops including mini workshops in many of our local Fruit Stands. Her recipe book is called, simply…
“UNCOOKING WITH RAW ROSE”, Your Guide to Raw Foods”. I particularly like her book as it is done with large 8x10 glossy pages and a spiral binding so that you can open to the page you want and it stays open and the glossy pages lend themselves to easy clean up from the typical splatters that happen in a kitchen.
Another of my favourite that is literally falling apart from use is…
Gourmet Living Cuisine” by Matt Amsden. This is a beautiful hard cover, 5x7 book, unfortunately the only drawback being the fixed binding. However, worth every penny.
“ANI’S RAW FOOD KITCHEN” by Ani Phyo…
One look at the photograph of the radiantly healthy author on the cover of this book and you will want to start following a Vegan raw food diet.
‘RAW FOOD REAL FOOD”, by Matthew Kenney & Sarma Melagalis
This is a large 8x10 hard cover book that contains a more “gourmet raw food” recipes, but well worth the effort if you like to get really creative in the kitchen. It is beautifully illustrated with dreamy photographs of the author couple.
Of course, there is an endless variety of wonderful kitchen gadgets and utensils that would make any raw food gourmet drool, or for that fact any conventional cook. Why not introduce something really unique to their kitchen this year. I have chosen my very favourite, can’t live without kitchen ware.
Where would a raw foodist be without her/his very own DEHYDRATOR. These now come in all shapes, sizes and prices…round format, square format, multi-trays and on and on. Prices can start around $60-$70 for the popular “Nesco” brand and upwards of $400-$500 for the high end “Excaliber” brand. The most important quality to watch for is an adjustable temperature control.
A ‘SPIROOLI SLICER” is a must if you want to make perfect raw spaghetti “noodles” from all kinds of vegetables such as yams, beets, zuchinni, carrots, etc. All you need is a delicious raw pasta sauce from one of the above mentioned recipe books to complete this “carb free” dish.
QUALITY, VERY SHARP KNIVES…for creating angst free dishes…You can start at Wall Mart and work your way up. I have found a very high end specialty store in Kelowna, with very personable service…”Chef’s Edge”. They have a sharpening service as well.
A very simple, inexpensive stocking stuffer suggestion is a ‘JULIAN SLICER” available in almost all kitchen ware sections. This fits in the palm of your hand and you can shred vegetables (carrots, zuchinni, etc) quickly and easily to add to your tossed salad.
Of course, Xmas is not complete without a decadent dessert. I’m going to share a TRUFFLE recipe from the pages of “Uncooking With Raw Rose”. These Truffles are sooooooooo easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for several weeks or in the freezer for a month. Make them bite size to just pop into your mouth.
- 1 – cup pecans (unsoaked)
- ½ - cup pitted dates
- ¼- cup water
- ¼- tsp sea salt
- 4 – tbls. carob powder, plus 1 additional tablespoon for coating
- 1 – tbls. Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Process pecans in a food processor. Set aside one tablespoon the processed pecans in a small bowl for coating the truffles.
Add dates to the pecans in the food processor, then process until smooth. (Rose suggests that you don’t try to combine this step with the next one..as the carob powder will absorb all the moisture, resulting in a mixture that is too dry to process)
Add water, sea salt and 4 tablespoons carob powder to the pecan/date mixture in the food processor, then process. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes so that it becomes firmer.
Put the remaining tablespoon of carob powder in a small bowl and put the shredded coconut in yet another separate small bowl.
Remove the processed mixture from the fridge and roll into balls. Coat some of the balls in processed pecans, others in the carob powder and the rest in shredded coconut. For the balls that are coated with pecans, you can double roll them in the carob powder if you wish.
These are so easy and delicious.
I sincerely hope you have a wonderful Xmas with your family and loved ones. Don’t be afraid to add lots of “raw” to your traditional Xmas dinnerJ
Cleo'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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Description: Acorn squash has a green skin speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh, this squash has a unique flavor that is a combination of sweet, nutty and peppery.
I like this recipe as it uses many interesteing ingredients such as pomegranate juice, roasted peppers, Chinese five-spice powder and coconut milk aswell as wells as lots of nuts and seeds. In my garden my acorn squash are just about ready to harvest. I often store them and use later in the winter. At the store, squash is easily prone to decay, so it is important to carefully inspect it before purchase. Choose ones that are firm, heavy for their size and have dull, not glossy, rinds. The rind should be hard as soft rinds may indicate that the squash is watery and lacking in flavor. Avoid those with any signs of decay, which manifest as areas that are water-soaked or moldy.
While we've become accustomed to thinking about leafy vegetables as an outstanding source of antioxidants, we've been slower to recognize the outstanding antioxidant benefits provided by other vegetables like winter squash. But we need to catch up with the times! Recent research has made it clear just how important winter squash is worldwide to antioxidant intake, especially so in the case of carotenoid antioxidants. From South America to Africa to India and Asia and even in some parts of the United States, no single food provides a greater percentage of certain carotenoids than winter squash.
The unique carotenoid content of the winter squashes is not their only claim to fame in the antioxidant department, however. There is a very good amount of vitamin C in winter squash (about one-third of the Daily Value in every cup) and a very good amount of the antioxidant mineral manganese as well. Recent research has shown that the cell wall polysaccharides found in winter squash also possess antioxidant properties, as do some of their phenolic phytonutrients.
It's the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in winter squash that have shown this food to have clear potential in the area of cancer prevention and cancer treatment.