Archive | December, 2009

Raw chocolate Christmas pudding deluxe

23 Dec

Raw Christmas feast for twelve carnivores? What do you think their opinion of a six course raw menu would be? Exactly! So the hypocrite in me gave them what they wanted; turkey mince balls, cranberry chutney, chestnut souffle and a mountain of roasted vegetables. At least until dessert.The raw foody in me then managed to sneak in a raw chocolate Christmas pudding without anyone noticing it was raw. Usually traditional Chrissie puddings seriously clog up your digestive system – you’ll find this one does the opposite!

 

THE INGREDIENTS
200g organic dried apricots
300g raisins
100g prunes
10 delicious caramel-like medjool dates
2 pods of vanilla
a pint of freshly juiced apple juice
3 grated carrots
2 grated apples
a healthy dash of cinammon
150g ground almonds
100g chopped hazelnuts
100g chopped pecan nuts

HOW TO MAKE IT
1. Soak the fruits, vanilla, cinammon and carrot in the apple juice, in a covered bowl, for three days
2. Blend as best you can – roughish texture is still ok
3. Add chopped nuts to mixture
4. Spoon mixture into small pots as in the pic above (I use recycled yoghurt pots)
5. Make the raw chocolate to the recipe here
6. Cover with a generous layer of liquid raw chocolate and refrigerate before serving. Yum.

It tasted delish and with all those dried fruits in there, also gave everyone a good digestive clean out the next day! Just two of the benefits…

TIP
I had loads left over, so rolled the mixture into balls, coated them in left over raw choc and then coconut. They last for ages and make yummy late Christmas presents for lovely neighbours.

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US researchers conclude raw food eaters thin but healthy

16 Dec

a fresh raw fruit and vegetables is best for you

OK – so that conclusion is music to my raw food ears and I’m going to say those four highly irritating words – ‘I told you so’.  I told you a raw food diet was good for you and not just because you’re thinner, have better skin, look younger, have clear bright eyes and lots of energy.  And this BBC story sort of proves I was right.

I say ‘sort of’ because this report is a very frank analysis of the research and a raw food diet overall. It takes into account some of the potential negatives including damage to bone mass and the obvious necessity for a balanced diet.  It recommends including  raw fruit and vegetables into your diet, not following it 100%.  This could mean anything from munching a blueberry muffin to leading a 99% raw fruit and vegetable lifestyle and everything inbetween. I suggest, from my personal experience,  a diet of 70-80% raw.  I think this is not only possible for us punters but also very healthy.  While the study is based on extreme 100% raw foodies and helpfully concludes that they are thin and healthy, the article also provides the biggest clue, to us less fanatical, as to why.  It’s all in the chorophyll, which can be most efficiently found in fresh leafy greens. Hello green smoothies!

On another note, there are a few reasons why I can imagine this story wouldn’t be taken seriously.  Firstly this is a BBC report from 2005 that I’ve only just tracked down. Secondly, the study was ‘found in the Archives of Internal Medicine’ whatever they are.  And then, thirdly, you quickly discover that only 18 people were tested… Mmmmm.  Well.  Can such a small sample count? Probably not.  But who cares. It’s great news and you should read and digest every word!

Extracts from BBC News 29 March, 2005
People who follow a raw food vegetarian diet are light in weight but healthy, according to US researchers.

It has been suggested that eating only plant-derived foods that have not been cooked or processed might make bones thinner and prone to fractures. But a study in Archives of Internal Medicine found although bones were lighter on this diet, turnover rates were normal with no osteoporosis. The lower bone mass is down to raw food eaters being slim, believe the authors.

Dr Stephen Walsh, nutrition spokesperson for the Vegan Society, said it was to be expected that people who ate only raw foods would be slimmer and that this would in turn have an effect on bone mass.

Elaine Bruce, experienced naturopath, homeopath and director of the UK Centre for Living Foods, said calcium was important for building bones, but that inorganic calcium in the form of supplements would not do the job.

“You have to have organic calcium as it occurs in fresh green leafy vegetables. “What we do in our programme is maximise that intake by having it in juice form.”

She said that the chlorophyll found in green plants and vegetables also contained the right amount of magnesium that is essential for the uptake of calcium for healthy bones.

“The chemical composition of chlorophyll and blood is very similar which further facilitates this uptake,” she added.

Meatloaf is a vegetarian

11 Dec

Knowing my passion for raw food, my clever friend Wybe sent the raw food hypocrite this brilliant image, designed by JWT Kuwait for International Vegan Union. 

I can safely say that if this was a reflection of my body, there would be some chocolate, an espresso, cheese on biscuits and a pizza in there also!

While their website looks pretty bad, the content on it is really interesting and useful.  For example, I found out that there are no vegan organisations in Swaziland, and that Pythagorus, Tolstoy, Thomas Edison, Kate Bush, Billy Idol, ‘Weird’ Al Yankovich, Mel C, Prince, Moby, Justin Timberlake and even  Meatloaf are vegetarians.

Healthy sustainable eating is number 9 on Epicurious top ten menu trends list 2010

4 Dec

eating raw protects the environment

On the surface, healthy eating at number 9 on a list of trends from a foodie website  seems like a tenuous cause for the raw food hypocrite to celebrate, however when it is linked to sustainability, it is.  

Sustainability is one gigantic benefit to eating raw that goes way beyond our healthy, good looking bodies to a healthy, good looking planet.  We are on the cusp of a wave of consciousness about the links between nutrition, a healthy life and the world around us. Eating more raw fruit and vegies, means less ‘meat’ farming, less food manufacturing and therefore  less pollution, wastage, cruelty to animals and pillage of precious land.  It means that by choosing an apple over a cream bun, we can, even in a small way, do our bit for the environment. Ignoring the frightening other top trends of pot roast and stew and the following meaty, deep fried, beery, chemical-based others, here is the article ‘Menu Trends for 2010’ from Epicurious.com by by Tanya Steel posted yesterday.  

We’re not the only ones brandishing our crystal ball, predicting trends for next year. Among the lists coming out are Restaurant & Institution’s Menu Trends for 2010. It contains few surprises, and we think a fusion of Asian and Latin is so 2000, but the list (follows, verbatim) generally rings true:

1. Pot roast and brisket and stew, oh my! Homey favorites spotlighting affordable cuts are the order of the day for comfort-and value-minded diners.

2. Asian + Latin = A dynamic duo. The Twitter-driven frenzy over Los Angeles’ Kogi truck and its signature Korean tacos gets at least some of the credit for this latest fusion craze, which will only get bigger in 2010. 

3. Midday dining deals. With customers cutting back on dining out far more at dinner than at other dayparts, many operators are turning to speed- and value-oriented lunch specials in an effort to grab more midday dining dollars. 

4. Beer, there and everywhere. Whether diners view specialty brews as an affordable luxury in a down economy or they’ve simply grown more enamored of the drinks’ frothy charms, beer’s star is still rising at restaurants, with operators sourcing craft and seasonal labels, promoting menu pairings and themed dinners, and opening beer-centric pubs and eateries. 

5. Chains build better burgers. Premium burgers represent the ultimate marriage of value and indulgence, so it’s no wonder that restaurant chains are following the lead of high-end chefs and dedicated fast-casual concepts and nudging up America’s favorite sandwich a few notches. 

6. Are eggs the new bacon? Eggs are everywhere on menus–draped over burgers and pizzas, tucked into sandwiches, and showcased in dolled-up renditions of classic deviled and Scotch eggs as bar snacks and appetizers. 

7. Drugstore-counter desserts. The retro-dessert trend just won’t quit, and this time, spiffed-up shakes and floats are taking the spotlight. 

8. Big-name chefs take it down a(nother) notch. The drive toward downscale dining continues: Witness Big Star, Chicago chef Paul Kahan’s just-opened dive bar/taco shack; Il Cane Rosso, the San Francisco sandwich shop from Coi Chef-owner Daniel Patterson; and Bar Symon, Michael Symon’s gastropub-style spot in suburban Cleveland. 

9. Meatless meals. Americans aren’t quite embracing vegetarianism en masse, but eschewing meat more often in the interest of health and environmental sustainability is most definitely in vogue. 

 10: Deep-fried and fabulous. Bone-in fried chicken is the latest unlikely darling of upscale dining rooms, but nontraditional deep-fried fare is trendy, too.