Raw Carrot Apple Cookies

This is another great way to use carrot pulp leftover from juicing.  If you don’t have a dehydrator you can bake them in a  low temperature oven.  I did this for years before I had a dehydrator, but you must keep an eye on them.  If they do actually bake, they will still be yummy, full of fiber and nutrition,  just not raw.  Still a healthy cookie you can feel good about snacking on or giving to the kids.

Raw Carrot Apple Cookies

carrot/apple pulp (leftover from juicing)

soaked ground buckwheat groats OR soaked rolled oats

ground flaxseed

sprinkle of stevia powder (very potent, a little goes a long way!) or a little honey

dash sea salt

ground almond meal

raw sesame seeds

raw sunflower seeds

chopped almonds

chopped dried fruit, your choice ( I used papaya and cherries)

about ¼ c. water with 1 ½ Tbsp, lemon juice

Soak grains in water (not too much) about 20 mins.. Add remaining ingredients; use your own judgment to make a moist dough.  Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon. Shape and press dough into cookie shapes on teflex or parchment paper sheets.  Dehydrate until they resemble a moist cookie (4 – 6 hours) – not too long or they will be very tough.  If necessary flip and dehydrate on the other side until done.

You can vary this recipe by substituting whatever ingredients you have on hand for the nuts and seeds (poppy seeds, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seed, coconut, etc.) and chopped dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, currants, dates, etc.). Be creative – these cookies never come out the same twice!

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Sweet and Sour Slaw

This is a Hallelujah Acres recipe.  (You can find more of their delicious recipes at http://www.hacres.com).  It is so healthy, fresh, and tasty!  The combination of apples and onions with the veggies is outstanding.  I appreciate the dressing — it’s much lighter than traditional cole slaw dressings that rely on mayonnaise or sour cream as a base.  If  you use a food processor the prep time is much lower than chopping and shredding everything by hand.  Be warned: this recipe makes a HUGE amount.  I used fairly small cabbages and it made over a gallon of slaw — make it for a crowd!

Ingredients:

1/2 green cabbage, finely chopped

1/2 red cabbage, finely chopped

4 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 carrots, shredded

1 onion, finely chopped

2 apples, finely chopped

Dressing:

1/ cup raw honey

1/2 cup lemon juice or Bragg’s vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 – 2 tsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp. celery seed

Blend raw honey, lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt until smooth.  Stir in celery seed.  Pour dressing over prepared vegetables and apple.  Toss lightly to distribute dressing and set in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Serve cold.

Vegan Seafood Salad

This recipe makes a great summer, picnic, or a take to work lunch.  The flavor is better if made ahead, so make it the night before and packing your lunch the next day will be simple. (The secret ingredient is the nori — for real seafood taste that makes all the difference in the world!)  Remember, organic ingredients are always best.

Ingredients:

1 parsnip, finely shredded

1 carrot, finely shredded

1/2 c. red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 – 4 stalks celery, diced (I like a lot of crunch — it adds interest to this salad)

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

1 sheet sushi nori, crumbled or folded several times and snipped into tiny bits with kitchen shears (This is the quickest and easiest way)

1 tsp. nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp. pink sea salt (or to taste)

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

1/4 – 1/3 c. Vegenaise (vegan mayo)

Method:

Toss to mix all ingredients.  Adjust spices to your preference.  Let chill for at least 1 hr. to allow flavors to blend.

Serve cold on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes.  Also delicious as a sandwich spread on toasted whole grain bread.

Raw Dehydrated Nuts and Seeds

This recipe was graciously shared by Dorothy Gibson, known to many as “the Honey Man’s Wife.”  I regularly shop at their stand, Hallelujah Hive (www.HallelujahHive.com), on Fridays when I’m at Green Dragon Farmer’s Market.  One day she offered a sample of these delicious spiced nuts  after I had told her I was trying to eat a more raw diet.  They are a healthy raw snack that is easy to prepare.  The dehydration process does take a long time, but if you completely fill the dehydrator (mine has 9 shelves) you shouldn’t have to make them too often.  These are so yummy you may be tempted to eat way too many, so please remember that even raw nuts are high in calories — don’t be greedy!

STEP I:

The first step is to soak your choice of mixed nuts and seeds in distilled water for 8 – 12 hours.  This will release the enzyme inhibitors that are present in all nuts and seeds.  As the enzymes are released the nuts become more digestible.  After soaking you can simply refrigerate and use within 2 – 3 days, or you can dehydrate them.

To dehydrate, use a temperature of just 105 degrees for about 36 hours, or until crunchy. It is important to keep the temperature low so enzymes are not destroyed (then you would have cooked food, not raw).  Most ovens are not able to keep a temperature below 118 degrees as is required to prevent enzyme loss.  Enzymes are vital to youth and health for the human body.  If you are using small nuts or seeds like pine nuts or sunflower seeds line the shelves with parchment paper.  You can eat the nuts plain after dehydrating or use one of the versions below:

Dehydrator

STEP II:

Salty Version

For just a salty, non-spicy flavor use Nama Shoyu non-pasturized soy sauce — about 2 Tbsp to every 4 cups nuts and seeds (or about 1 tsp sea salt in 2 Tbsp warm distilled water).  Add Shoyu (or salty water) to nuts in a bowl, stir well and allow to marinate for 2 – 4 hours.  Then, spread the nuts evenly in dehydrator and dehydrate @ 105 degrees for another 36 hours.*

Spicy Version

All the soaking process is the same; the only difference is adding spices to the Nama Shoyu.  For 4 cups nuts/seeds in a small bowl mix the following:

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Stir until well blended,  add to nuts/seeds and toss until the spices are evenly distributed.  After marinating for two hours, taste to see if you’d like it to be saltier or spicier and adjust if desired; then marinate for two more hours.

STEP III:

Spread the marinated nuts/seeds evenly in the dehydrator and dehydrate @ 105 degrees for approximately 36 hours* or until crunchy.

*Dehydrating is a long process.  Depending on the amount of nuts you are making and the type of dehydrator you have, you may find that you can cut down on the length of time for the second dehydration.  Start checking at around 18 hours, and stop when nuts are dry and crunchy.

NOTE: Dehydrated nuts will keep in your pantry in a well-sealed container for about one month, almost indefinitely in the frig.

Vegan “Parmesan Cheese”

This is an exciting recipe I discovered while viewing a recent cooking demo on http://www.therenegadehealthshow.com . (I highly recommend this site.)

We all know how expensive commercial brands of veggie cheese are, so I couldn’t wait to try this recipe.  I made it last night to serve on tofu stuffed shells, and it was great.  You can make a larger batch to keep on hand. It’s simple and stores well in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

5 large Brazil nuts, rough chopped

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste (I found that 1/2 tsp. works well)

Grind the nuts.  Add sea salt and nutritional yeast, and grind again.  Done!

Is that easy, or what?

Potato Chips

This recipe is from the cookbook, “How We All Went Raw, Raw Food Recipe Book,” by Charles Nungesser, Coralanne Nungesser, and George Nungesser.  I recently decided to eat more raw and purchased an Excalibur food dehydrator and this book to start on my journey.  This potato chip recipe is the first I tried with my new dehydrator.  I was delighted with the results, and so was my family.  The chips were crispy and delicious.  The only thing I would change is the cayenne pepper.  For my taste 1 tsp. is just too much — way too spicy for me.  Next time I will use 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, and I think that would be perfect.

I love that these chips are raw, and that I have the power to regulate the amount of spices;  definitely healthier than the supermarket variety.  A dehydrator uses low temperatures over a longer time than baking does, but don’t worry, it only costs 3 – 6 cents per hour to run a dehydrator, and you will be preserving  the living enzymes in your food.

time: 20 minutes prep

2 – 3 hours to soak

11 – 12 hours to dehydrate

In a bowl, add: 6 red potatoes, thinly sliced (if you use russet potatoes, trim off any green spots)

5 cups distilled water

Soak about 2 – 3 hours; rinse and drain to remove starch.

In a bowl, add:

potato slices

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. Ume Plum Vinegar (or raw apple cider vinegar)

1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I think 1/4 tsp. is plenty)

1 – 2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

Marinate for 1 hour.  Place each chip on a teflex sheet and dehydrate 11 – 12 hours at 105 degrees.

 

Freeze Your Tomato Harvest

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I grew up helping my mother can tomatoes the old fashioned way. We spent hours skinning the tomatoes in boiling water, sterilizing glass quart jars, and then processing the tomato-filled jars in a boiling water bath and waiting to hear the “pop” as each jar cooled and sealed. It was an all day project that most gardeners endured in order to enjoy the fruit of their labor during the long winter months.

Later, as a young wife, my mother-in-law taught me how to freeze fresh tomatoes. It still involved skinning the tomatoes in boiling water, and then slicing them into eighths. But, instead of the canning process, you just had to pack and freeze them in plastic quart containers. I thought this system was a real time saver, and did it that way for years.

Imagine my surprise when I learned just last year that there is a MUCH simpler way to freeze all the tomatoes we harvest from our garden, and now this is how I do it:

First, wash and core (cut out the stem end) your whole tomatoes.

Place the cored tomatoes on a tray with sides (leave a little space around each one — you don’t want them to touch) and place the tray in the freezer. (notice that you DO NOT have to peel the tomatoes). IMG_0177

When they are completely frozen (like the next day), put the whole frozen tomatoes in a gallon size plastic freezer bag, zip closed, and store in the freezer until needed.

When you are ready to use, simply remove however many tomatoes you need and hold each one under hot running water. The skin will easily slip off the frozen tomato. Then let them defrost just long enough to be able to slice or chop.

That’s it! You can easily fit this method of preserving your tomato harvest into even the busiest day and be satisfied with the results.

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Zucchini, Zucchini, and More Zucchini!!!

IMG_0141By mid July most home gardeners find themselves drowning in zucchini. We loved planting those seeds a couple of months ago and the almost instant gratification when we saw the sturdy green sprouts poke through the soil. But by now we are asking why we ever planted so much zucchini (face it, you really only need one plant and you’ll have all the zucchini you need for the summer). You know it’s bad when friends start to avoid you because they’re afraid you’ll try to “bless” them with more of your zucchini harvest!
Well, did you know that you can freeze fresh shredded zucchini , and it’s so easy to do? Simply wash the zucchini. Don’t peel it, but cut off the stem and the blossom end. Shred the whole zucchini. Zucchini is very moist, so you will want to get most of the water out. An easy way to do that is to put the shredded zucchini in a colander or large strainer; salt and toss it so that the salt is evenly distributed. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then squeeze out the moisture — you will be surprised how much comes out. You can freeze the drained shredded zucchini in one cup portions, and then it will be ready to use it in your favorite recipes all winter.
Hiding this shredded zucchini in whatever you cook (soups, stews, “meat” loaves) is a great way to get more green veggies into your kids’ diets. Hint: to make it even more inconspicuous, peel the zucchini before shredding and they will never suspect a thing:)

Raw Banana “Ice Cream”

When it’s hot outside most people look for a cold treat like ice cream.  When I stopped eating dairy this created a problem because I really LOVE ice cream.   I have learned that frozen bananas make the best ice cream substitute ever.

It’s simple to make:  All you need are a Champion Juicer* and a couple of frozen ripe bananas. ( I like to wrap each banana in plastic wrap before freezing so they don’t stick together in the freezer.)  When you want a naturally sweet frozen treat simply run the frozen bananas through the Champion Juicer using the blank (not the screen).  What you will have is something that looks and tastes like soft-serve banana ice cream, but without all the negatives of dairy.  For variety you can add any frozen berries you desire.  This is also an inexpensive alternative to any sorbet on the market.

*If you don’t have a Champion Juicer you can use a food processor.  It doesn’t produce the same creamy consistency as the Champion so you may have to add a little rice or soy milk and some sweetener (the rice or soy milk will dilute the natural sweetness of the fruit).

Recipe: Greek Salad Dressing (+ Salad)

This is an easy dressing that you can mix up in minutes with common ingredients you already have in your kitchen. It’s the best!

Ingredients:

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. of chopped fresh dill OR 1 Tbsp. dry dill weed

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Whisk all above ingredients together until well blended.

Then add 2/3  – 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, and whisk again.

Serve over a salad that includes Romaine lettuce, sliced sweet onion, sliced green bell peppers, cucumbers, black Greek olives (Kalamata), and tomatoes. Top with crumbled feta cheese (look for vegetarian) if desired.

( Note: Sometimes I toss everything above with cooled cooked wholegrain pasta to make a complete meal.)