Archive | January, 2009

Where is the raw food in Paris?

27 Jan
Not remotely raw french onion soup

Not remotely raw french onion soup

There’s only one answer to that question. There is none. Other than, of course, the fresh market fruit and veggies on every second street corner. But who on earth would consider eating raw food in Paris anyway? Well. Me. I did. But only for a very, very brief amount of time.

I thought that, in a country famed throughout history for being the leading innovator of cuisine, surely there would be a couple of raw food restaurants, such as SAF we have here in London or RAW in New York. My research began and ended with a list from http://www.HappyCow.net of 38 Parisian vegetarian restaurants, with nothing obviously raw. Nevertheless three hours later I’d checked into my hotel in the Latin Quarter, print out and raw food intentions in hand.

I meandered around nearby Parisian cobbled rues and boulevards, salivating involuntarily. I’m sure someone with more resolve would have jogged past the many restaurants and bistros, without being tempted for a moment. That person would have ducked into a supermarche, bought a pile of seasonal organic root vegetables, julienned them with their pen knife and eaten them piously in their hotel room. But not me.

I scanned my eighteenth menu outside a small and crowded bistro on a busy square. I looked briefly at the salad option; ‘salade du chef prepare selon humeur de jour’ – roughly translated as ‘salad of the chef according to his mood of the day’. The deal was done. Raw or not, I was not going to be victim of a stereotypically moody Parisian chef. I sat down and ordered the French onion soup loaded with melted gruyere on toast. I followed it with duck confit on truffle sauce. I could easily have skipped the duck. The soup was rich, filling and more than enough. But I’m glad I didn’t. The flesh du canard melted heavenly off the bone, onto my fork, and into my hypocritical mouth. On a positive note, I ate all the lettuce, which was 100% raw.

I slept badly and felt sluggish with a sore stomach the next day. I know if I’d eaten raw I would have felt light and fresh. But, I’m sorry to say, it was worth it. Next time I visit Paris, I’ll have to psyche myself up properly, do adequate research and stay somewhere less ‘cooked-french-food’ concentrated, if that’s even remotely possible. Any ideas?

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from The Times: Avocados offer fresh hopes of preventing mouth cancer

23 Jan

Avocados may prevent mouth cancer and even reduce the rate of cancer growth, research suggests.

Hass avocados, which are readily available in British supermarkets, have been shown to inhibit the growth of mouth cancer cells in the laboratory, and even cause the death of precancerous cells and cancer cell lines, leaving normal cells untouched.

The researchers ascribe the healing effects of avocados to their high levels of phytochemicals, chemical compounds from plants that are often found in dark-coloured fruits and vegetables. There is plenty of evidence that phytochemicals boost the cancer-fighting properties of many fruits and vegetables, but this is the first study relating phytochemicals in avocados to mouth cancer.

Dr Steven D’Ambrosio, of Ohio State University, who led the study,said: “We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells in the body or they kill the precancerous cells without affecting normal cells.”

For the full article go to http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article2396493.ece

Raw recipe: Raw chocolate mousse

18 Jan
100% raw and delicious

100% raw and delicious

The raw ingredients

2 large ripe avocados

3 pitted dates

1/2 cup of 100% raw cacao

 

How to make it
Blend everything together. Pop it in the fridge for an hour and serve.

 

Tips
1. I serve mine in shot glasses with a fresh raspberry or cherry on top.

2. To spice it up – add chilli flakes, a dash of cayenne pepper and a full cup of cacao.

Fatty avocados can make you thinner

18 Jan

Very high fat content is the reason my serious calorie counting friends wouldn’t touch an avocado with a proverbial barge pole. And on the surface, they are right. However, if you look a bit closer… 

Avocados can increase your metabolism

Avocados can increase your metabolism

the avocado is a rich and vital source of essential minerals, vitamins and mono unsaturated fats that actually lower your cholesterol level, keep your immune system strong and your skin supple, lower your blood pressure, stimulate your metabolism and improve your liver function. The overall benefits of including avocados in your daily diet are numerous and weight loss is only one of them. Also, if you do happen to be on a diet, the high fat content of a single avocado can make you feel more full, more quickly, and hence, potentially prevent you from eating more than you need. 

An avocado has one of the highest contents of B6 in any known food, which we need to keep our blood, teeth, gums and nervous systems in top notch condition. With three times as much B6 as a banana, which is widely promoted as the ‘good mood’ food, perhaps we should call the avocado the ‘best-ever mood’ food.

It is also very high in Potassium, essential for keeping blood pressure in check.  In fact, in 1987,  the results of a two year study run jointly by the Schools of Medicine of the University of California San Diego and Cambridge University in England, showed a 40% reduction in stroke risk following an increase in daily consumption of 400mg of Potassium, equal to about half an avocado.

Avocados are also rich in fibre, another important factor in keeping our digestive systems happy and our weight under control. And because, unlike many other vegetables high in nutrients, we eat avocados raw, all those lovely vital nutrients enter our systems more efficiently and unaltered from their natural state, ensuring we get maximum benefit.

Content on the way

17 Jan

Raw food info will be posted ASAP