The chronicles of adding raw food to my diet

On this blog, I'll post about the transition to a more raw food based diet. Check back often for posts on raw foods that I'm eating!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

I'm sure most of you reading this know what a CSA is, but for those who do not, it is Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, it is a way that you can get involved with your local farms, by buying a "share" of the farm. Most farms either deliver to you once a week, or you go to the farm to pick up a cut of what the farm is harvesting that week. It is hands down, the best way to get the freshest produce out there (short of growing it yourself). For more information about farms in your area that offer CSAs, check out
The farm that I have been a member of for years is Stillman's Farm. It is a family run farm out of Western, Mass that offers both a produce CSA and a meat CSA. I am as proud to support both CSAs as I am honored to support them. Their produce and meats are exemplary and I am excited each week to get my share....(the meat pick-ups are once a month and the CSA runs through the entire year).
So, it's probably not too late to check out if there is a farm in your area that offers a CSA program. Look into it, you will not be disappointed, especially if you are shelling out cash a couple times a week to Whole Foods or some other store. If you were to buy the amount of fresh, local and conscientiously grown food that you get from the farm at Whole Foods I guarantee you'd be spending far more than what your share will cost you. It's worth it!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's easy to grow Wheat Berries and Sunflower Sprouts

I do a ton of get it.. whatever I can sprout.....those seeds/beans are sprouted w/out soil, usually in glass jars or some other sprouting device.
I'm just getting into sprouting wheat berries for wheatgrass juice, sunflower sprouts and peas, which are done in soil. As part of my Life Force Energy class, we got to sprout both wheat berries and sunflower sprouts, which was surprisingly easy to do.
You first soak your wheat berries (Hard Red Winter Wheat) and sunflower seeds (Black Oil sunflower seeds) overnight in water. The size of the tray will determine what volume of seeds to soak.
The trays are filled with soil; I use a top soil mix w/peat moss and enrich it with glacial rock powder. After the over night soak, drain and rinse the wheat berries and/or sunflower sprouts and press them into the soil.
It's best to dedicate trays, but for our class, we split 1 tray each to get started.
Gently water to make sure soil is moist, and then cover with another tray. Water again in the evening. Repeat this for 3 days, and the sprouts will actually start to push up the tray that is laying on top of it. At this point, remove the top tray and give the sprouts indirect sunlight and continue to water 2-3 times daily, depending on soil moisture.

Day 2:
Day 4:

Day 7:
Harvest the wheatgrass when you see a second, smaller piece of grass growing out of the first, ~7-10 days. The sunflower sprouts are harvested when you can see the second pair of leaves starting to grow with the larger, top pair of leaves, also ~7-10 days.
The wheatgrass obviously you juice into wheatgrass juice...the sunflower sprouts can also be juiced, or eaten straight up, they are delicious and sweet.

Eat something raw today!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Raw Portobello "Parmesan"

Hands down, this is the best raw food I have prepared to date.
Using the raw marinara that I blogged about here, and a cashew "cream", I stuffed portobellos and dehydrated them. The result was a melt in your mouth, delicious, velvety, yet savory and filling dish.

Let's talk about the cashew cream. The recipe came from an amazing blog, called Rawmazing. The recipe that follows is my adaptation:
Cashew Cream
1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup young coconut meat
2-3 TBS young coconut water (I actually used a bit more than this)
1 small garlic clove (I used only 1/2 a clove since I find garlic can easily overpower a raw recipe)
Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
2-3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro (You can use any herb that you like)

To prepare, simply put all ingredients except cilantro in a high speed blender and blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Stir in the fresh herbs and check your seasoning; adjust accordingly.
Cashews are a great nut to make creamy sauces out of, including ice creams! That is for another blog...

Next you need to prepare the portobellos. Remove the stem and then use a small spoon to gently scrape out the gills. Once the gills are cleaned out, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil across the area where the gills were, and season with Celtic sea salt and pepper.
Now, layer in your sauces, first the raw marinara, then the cashew cream.

That's it. The portobellos are ready to go into the dehydrator. I chose not to use a Teflex sheet, but rather put the portobellos on the screen instead. I dehydrated them at 105 for ~8 hrs.
The portobellos softened up beautifully, and the marinara and cream sauces both firmed up a bit, creating a pleasing texture. The taste was off the hook.
I enjoyed them so much that I wanted, no strike that, I NEEDED to make more! I didn't have any more portobellos, but I did have a zucchini, so I decided to try it with that. I added on a sprinkle of nutritional yeast as well, and dehydrated it at 105 for ~8 hrs. Here is a pic, prior to dehydrating:
Delicious....I have another batch of portobellos in the dehydrator as I type. DO TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!
:) Eat something raw today!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Raw Marinara Sauce

It's almost (not quite yet) tomato season, and I can't wait. In the meantime, using sun dried tomatoes is a good way to get your tomato dose in. You can use both fresh tomatoes and sun drieds to make a robust, raw marinara sauce.

First off you need to soak your sun dried tomatoes (~1 cup) to rehydrate them; to keep it raw, soak for about 4 hours in lukewarm water. After soaking, drain the tomatoes, reserving the soaking water to use to thin out the sauce as you process. Put the soaked tomatoes in a high speed blender.
In the meantime, rough chop 5-8 Roma tomatoes, depending on size, a garlic clove, 1-2 tsp fresh oregano and thyme, and a handful of fresh basil. Put all of those ingredients in the blender with the sun drieds.

Add the following to the blender: juice of 1 lemon, 2 TBS best quality cold pressed olive oil, 3 dates (pitted) and sea salt to taste.
Process the ingredients, adding the soak water to thin as necessary. Season with S+P to taste after processing. The consistency of the sauce will vary based on your preference.

So, what do you eat the sauce with? Well, to keep it raw, you can make "pasta" out of veggies. I used zucchini, summer squash and carrots.
I used a tool called the Spirooli Spiral Slicer. Its basically a tool with 3 different blades that can be used to cut vegetables into thin cut slices, or 2 different size spiral slices.
Here's a pic with the zucchini in place:
Here are a couple of pics of the veggies as they come off the blade:

And the finished product:

Before I sauce the noodles, I add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to soften them up a bit.
Though not totally raw, but enjoyed by raw food enthusiasts, for a cheesy taste like Parm cheese, you can top the sauce and noodles with some nutritional yeast.

I had a bunch of sauce left over, so I took some and added ground flax to it and then blended it together in the high speed blender. I spread it on the dehydrator sheet and dehydrated it into a tomato wrap. Today I enjoyed it filled with sprouts, avocado, grape tomatoes, hemp seeds and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast:
Enjoy! Eat something raw today!