Saturday, June 4, 2011

Raw Day Four

Today I started the day with a breakfast of both raw and cooked items.  My boyfriend took me to breakfast, you see, so I wasn't going to pass that up!!

I was quite full from the breakfast, so I didn't eat again until about mid-afternoon, when I enjoyed something new--a lovely Fuji apple, and some sunflower butter!  I've never experienced sunflower butter before.  Almond, peanut, yes, but sunflower is something completely new.  I liked it--it's more mild than almond and peanut butters are, and also has it's own special taste.  I quite enjoyed it, and it wasn't expensive at all.

Today is a day full of new things!  I also made a few other things:

Raw almond milk!  It looked super-easy when I saw Karen Knowler do it a few weeks ago.  I bought a new blender today for an absolute steal, since my Magic Bullet is just about kaput.  It was SO EASY!!  1 part raw almonds to 3 parts water.  Whiz in blender.  Strain with cheese cloth, or fancy nut milk bag.  That's IT!!

It's crazy--it tastes totally different than the kind you buy in the tetra-packs.  Why?  I have no idea!  But I'm definitely a convert!

Mung bean sprouts!  I'm totally doing it all by myself, and it's easy.  I have no idea what they'll taste like, but they're sprouting like crazy, and will probably be ready for eating tomorrow already!  And they're already so pretty too!

After making almond milk, I had a cup worth of almond meal left over, so I also made Almond Cinnamon Bread from The Complete Book of Raw Food which I've borrowed from the library.  It has a while yet until it's done, but I nibbled a bit of the edge and it's really good!  Here's the recipe for anyone who might be interested:

Almond Cinnamon Bread 
(I only had 1 cup almond pulp, so I adjusted the below recipe)

6 cups almond pulp
2 cups flaxseed meal
1 cup olive or coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup date paste, honey, or maple syrup (I used raw honey)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins or currants
2 teaspoons sea salt

Mix the almond pulp and flaxseed meal together by hand in a large mixing bowl.  Add the oil, date paste or other sweetener, cinnamon, raisins or currants, and sea salt, and mix well with your hands.

Press onto a dehydrator tray lined with a Teflex sheet (I used was paper this time).  The dough should be about 1/4-inch thick.  Use your hands to smooth it flat.  Flip the bread using another dehydrator tray, and remove the sheet.  Dehydrate at 105F for about 4 hours (mine is "on" or "off" so I had to keep an eye on it).  Store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze and remove pieces of bread as needed.

Raw Day Four is almost done, but I'm really liking it so far!  Can't wait!

Raw Day Three

Raw Day Three was a little bit less raw than I'd like, only about 40%.  I attended a talk by a panel of scientists about vitamin D at the University of Guelph yesterday, and how much we really need.  The consensus is anywhere from 600 IU (International Units) to 2000 IU.  If you take a dose of liquid vitamin D3 (which is the one you want), for instance, you will get 1000 IU.

Anyway, I had bought a lovely raw salad with hemp seeds and everything, to eat for dinner, but I wasn't hungry until the middle of the night, which of course is WAY too late.  So my percent was off.  Oh well--life happens, right?

By the way, Karen Knowler, out of the UK, is a great source of inspiration and information on the Web.  There are also lots of videos on Youtube to watch, where she explains about going raw in a series of interviews, and also shows how to make many raw recipes.  See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 for information about the raw lifestyle, and just browse Youtube for any recipes that peak your fancy.

Julia asked in yesterday's post if eating raw meant eating no cooked food at all, and if it means a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet.  She was also concerned about eating cold food all the time, and getting enough protein.  Great questions Julia!

Most people who lead 100% raw lifestyles, or "high raw", are raw vegans, though of course not all.  Raw Foodists eat nothing heated above about 118 F, as they believe that the enzymes and many of the vitamins and nutrients are lost from cooking over that temperature.  Some Raw Foodists consume things like raw milk, yogurt, etc. 

There's no reason to go 100% raw, however.  June for me will be "mostly" raw, which can be literally defined as between 51% and 100% raw.  I know that saying that I'll go 100% raw just won't work for me, so I'm not limiting myself in any way.  Eating a lot more raw food, whether it's 60% or 80%, will, as I understand it (this is just day four :) ), have an impact.  I live in an area of the world where fresh produce is very limited in the winter months, so being 100% raw during those times certainly would be both a challenge, and frankly kind of boring!  Plus, who wants to eat all cool or cold food all the time?  So Julia, it's more about finding out what works for you, not what works for others, and expecting yourself to do that.  Even Ani Phyo, who is a very successful raw food advocate, doesn't eat raw all the time!

As for getting enough protein, there are many raw foods which contain a surprising amount of plant-based protein.  This article explains about that.  I make a green smoothie or two each day, making sure that I add lots of dark leafy green veggies.  Spinach is lovely and mild, and you can't taste it in your smoothie!  I like the "green" flavours of stronger things, like fresh parsley, so I'm happy to include that too.  Green smoothies are great--they're chock full of goodness!  Looking for recipes and inspiration?  Green Monster Movement is a great site!

I promise--they're darned tasty!  You'll be hooked!