Adventures in Raw Food

Juicing for Health

Summary: Julie Stafford's "Juicing for Health: Over 200 Recipes for Fruit & Vegetable Juices, Soups, Smoothies & Sorbets" is exactly the book you want if you have a certain fruit or vegetable on hand, and want to know what to do with it.

Here’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time: a raw food cookbook which gives me not raw food recipes by recipe type, but by main ingredient. And Julie Stafford’s Juicing for Health: Over 200 Recipes for Fruit & Vegetable Juices, Soups, Smoothies & Sorbets does exactly that, and more.

Got a couple of extra pears to use up? Look up “pear” in Stafford’s Juicing for Health and instantly have nine recipes for using up those pears, along with the full nutritional information for that lovely little fruit (did you know that there are 8mg of calcium in 100grams of pear?)

Same for vegetables. Got a bumper crop of tomatoes? Stafford gives you a half dozen recipes to quickly use them up (and take advantage of their 1.1grams of protein, 13mg of calcium and 244mg of potassium per 100grams).

There is also a separate section of soup and sorbet recipes, but the real value in this book (more…)

Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow

Summary: If you are looking for that perfect raw food cookbook, with wonderful and real world raw food recipes, then look no further than Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow.

Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow is so far my favourite raw food book of all time.

In fact, it is the only raw food book that I have found so far that actually is like a real, traditional cookbook, in that it has recipes that involve more than just combining various raw fruits, vegetables and seeds.

Raw Food/Real World makes extensive use of the dehydrator, for example, so that many of the recipes while technically raw, are perhaps more properly called “uncooked”. Which mean that you get all of the benefits of eating food which still retains all of its nutrients and enzymes as they have not been killed by being cooked, but you also get the benefit of .. you know .. real recipes which transform the raw ingredients into a tasty dish.

Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow is written by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis, and beyond being a cookbook, it’s a love story. Woven throughout the book is the story of how Matthew and Kenney met and eventually fell in love; and how they both came to fall in love, quite accidentally, with raw food and its amazing benefits.

Both Kenney and Melngailis are graduates of culinary academies, and Kenney had owned a string of quite successful restaurants, when he interviewed Melngailis one day to help him with a project.

Their collaboration blossomed, and they began dating.

One day a friend invited them out to dinner and, both being accomplished food professionals, they were looking forward to a gastronomic treat. As Melngailis tells it in the book, she was actually quite put out to find that their friend was taking them to a – gasp – raw food restaurant, and she was quite prepared to have a perfectly horrible (more…)

Raw Corn Tortillas

Summary: We absolutely love these raw corn tortillas, and they are among the easiest of raw food recipes to make!

We absolutely love these, and they are so easy to make!

This recipe is from Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis. I adore this book!

Take 3 cups of corn kerns, either cut fresh from the ear, or frozen corn which you have thawed. We use a package of Cascadian Farms organic frozen corn, which works out to just three cups.

In a food processor, chop up the corn with 1 1/2 cups diced yellow or red bell pepper.

To the corn/pepper mixture add (more…)

Creating Natural Pesticide with Your VitaMix

Summary: Creating natural and organic pesticide with your Vita-Mix is easy as one, two, three!

In addition to being able to make compost with your VitaMix, you can also make natural pesticide with your VitaMix!

Many vegetables contain substances which work as pest repellants, for example tomatoes and hot peppers.

Says Vita-Mix, “hot pepper sprays have been known to work especially well on leaf eating pests as well as root maggots, ants and soft-bodied insects. Best of all, mixing up a hot pepper pesticide is easy! Simply throw a handful of hot peppers into your VitaMix with a quart of water, mix well (about 2 minutes), strain thoroughly with cheesecloth before pouring in your spray bottle, and use this mixture to spray on affected plants.”

Interestingly, Vita-Mix says that you can also use their salsa recipe (more…)

VitaMix Composting – Composting with Your Vita-Mix

Summary: Vita-Mix composting is easy. Making compost with your VitaMix uses up kitchen scraps, enriches your soil, and feeds your plants. And its easy as can be!

I haven’t done this yet, but I’m very keen to try it! It’s so simple! You just keep a spare wet blade VitaMix container in your kitchen, put all your kitchen scraps in it, and whiz it up and pour it on your garden once a day!

According to the folks over at Vita-Mix “pouring pureed kitchen “trimmings” into the soil is a form of slow composting. It is generally agreed that “coldâ€? (slow) composting produces more microorganisms in the soil and retains more nutrients compared to “hotâ€? (fast) composting.”

Ordinarily hot composting kills weed seeds while cold composting allows them to flourish, but of course kitchen scraps cold composted in the VitaMix have no whole seeds at all. Plus, fruits and vegetables from your kitchen also provide more trace elements to the soil than regular compost.

VitaMix cautions that you must get a second wet blade container, and use this second container for your Vita-Mix composting. Do not use your main container for composting, and do not use your composting container for anything else otheer than VitaMix composting.

To make your VitaMix compost, says VitaMix, “loosely fill the 64 ounce VitaMix container to the 6-cup mark with leftovers such as egg shells, vegetables, orange peels, stale bread, coffee grounds, etc. Next, add enough water to completely cover the ingredients (also to the 6-cup mark). Finally, add 1/4 cup of cottonseed meal (CSM) per 6 cups of liquefied compost. The addition of CSM helps to ensure the proper carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Secure 2-part lid. Select VARIABLE speed #1. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to #10; then to HIGH. Run machine for 20 seconds or until smooth.”

That’s it! Voila! You have perfect, no-seed cold compost for your garden!

To use it, just pour the liquid compost onto the soil around your plants. Let it soak in for a day and then work it into the soil by taking a rake or hoe and gently mixing it in to the top one or two inches of the soil. If you are feeeding earthworms, you don’t even need to mix it in!

Also, says VitaMix, “depending on your geographic location, you may also want to cover the liquid compost with a double layer of peat moss mulch and burlap. This will prevent the liquid compost from drying out and forming cracks. This problem is particularly prevalent in the extremely hot and dry southwest.”

That’s it! That’s all there is to it!

If you do this, let me know how it goes!

Welcome to Adventures in Raw Food

Summary: So much of the raw food information out there seems, well, cultish. I yearned for more practical information. Well, here it is.

In the early part of 2006, I started becoming interested in incorporating more raw, or at least less processed, food into my and my family’s diet.

The more I read, the more going more raw made such perfect sense to me.

But so much of the information out there – the groups and websites out there – seemed, well, cultish.

I yearned for more practical information. How could I tip the balance – add more healthful raw fruits, vegetables, and other foods, into our diet – without having to go vegan, cleanse my colon, or swear allegiance to the Great Raw Food God?

Why did it all have to seem so extreme?

And where, oh where, were the raw food cookbooks which had more than recipes for juice, smoothies, juice smoothies, and vegetable smoothies which they cleverly call “soup”?

After much searching and digging, I started finding what I was looking for. But it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t obvious. Certainly not as obvious as it should be.

I figure that if I had such a hard time finding it, others must be as well. So this site is for you.

Enjoy, contribute, keep coming back.