Tuesday, December 30, 2008

new things

feeling a little at odds with yourself?

everywhere around me people are focusing on the new year
and a new way of life to improve their own physical,
mental, and spiritual beings.
health... well being... happiness... and plenty other goals
yearned for and yet rarely reached.
it's not as easy as putting it on your to-do list.

it kind of reminds me of the i'll start the diet monday' way of thinking.
resolutions rarely stick. how many people have stopped smoking
every jan 1...
only to need to again by the next day, week, month, year.
real change comes from a deeper place.

i have found a nice little freebie dealing with successfully making changes,
here is a link for a free pdf that may help.
i found some useful info in it. it's called:
The Power Of Me 5 steps to personal success

here are a few more new things i have found this week:

today, i came across a new website the all raw directory,
that helps people searching all things raw,
and it looks really useful! i even signed up my blog & website.

new issue of purely delicious!
with a surprise from me inside ;)

with all the things you look forward to in this coming new year
i wish you all health and happiness!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

raw reviews

thinking that i should pull out my favorite raw reading materials and let you know which ones i found the most helpful. as big reader, i do have quite the bookshelf of raw things read.
so as the day goes on i will add to the blog
hope to see you back!

edited 12/25/08
remember when you were a kid... and your eyes were bigger than your stomach
and you couldn't possible eat everything you wanted to pick out at the candy shoppe?...
well, i modestly have to admit, i did just that with this great idea for reviewing all the raw books on my shelf...
what was i thinking?
i need to finish all this typing for the new book to go into publishing next month!!!
so i need to reign myself in and be the adult and not the kid in the candy shoppe.
first things first.
but i will get back to this too.
have a great day-

Monday, December 22, 2008

chocolate orange confection recipe

someone reminded me about this recipe
and even tho it will be in "raw delights" soon
i thought i would post it here too.
fast... easy... delicious!

chocolate orange confection
1 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c dates (since i didn't have enough raisins in the pantry, & i think it worked better with the dates creaminess)
1/3- 1/2 c cacao powder (i made it very dark with chocolate yummm)
1 T maca powder (why for energy of course!)
1 T orange extract/flavor
1/2 t cinnamon powder
1/2 t vanilla extract/flavor or some seeds
1/3 c (6T) coconut oil melted
pinch salt

food process as smooth as possible
roll a scant tsp full into a small ball shaped candy and dip one side
into sprinkles. plate, seal and refrigerate till firm.
place on a lovely candy dish sprinkle sides up,
and watch them disappear!
i hope you enjoy them as much as i did.

1 T raw sugar crystals (or anything like that)
1 T orange peel (dried & ground into a powder w/coffee grinder)

stir & use to dip one side of candy into

it's pretty fast to make & alot cheaper than the marbled chocolate orange whatever that takes 1-1/2 c of cacao butter $$$ holy schnikie!!!
my inspiration (but not my budget ) i couldn't find
his recipe this morning tho. oh, here it is!
though i really want to taste that too. mmmm
some have added some grand marnier to flavor this recipe
instead of the orange extract, with great results.
if you make this - please let me know how they turn out for you!
comment away on any of these posts.... i'd love to hear from you.

now that i have shoveled for days, i have the sore muscles to prove it.
the snow is at least a few times deeper than moe, my yorkie, is tall.
it is a winter wonderland and the sun shines brilliantly.
time to bundle up, grab my camera and go outside!
have a great day all-

Sunday, December 21, 2008

avocados...fact or fiction

Found this article from David Klein that I thought was very informative.

Avocados are bursting with nutrients--vitamins, A, B-complex, C, E, H, K, and folic acid, plus the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium and many other trace elements. Avocados provide all of the essential amino acids (those that must be provided by our diet), with 18 amino acids in all, plus 7 fatty acids, including Omega 3 and 6. Avocados contain more protein than cow’s milk, about 2% per edible portion. Since rapidly growing nursing infants obtain no more than 2% protein from mother’s milk, we can safely assume that children and adults do not regularly require foods richer in protein than avocado. Our bodies recycle approximately 80% of our protein; cooked protein is denatured and largely unusable, thus our protein need is far lower than what is taught by conventional dietetics. A small avocado will provide more usable protein then a huge steak because cooked protein in meat is deranged and mostly unavailable to our liver, the organ which makes all of our body’s protein. There is clear evidence from many sources that cooked fatty and high-protein foods are the prime culprit in our country’s high rate of cancer, as well as in colitis, Crohn’s disease and many other diseases. (I instantly healed up from a long illness, ulcerative colitis, seventeen years ago after I stopped eating meat and adopted a properly combined low-fat vegan diet of mostly raw fruits and vegetables, and I have since helped over 1,000 people recover from similar illnesses.) Ripe, raw organically grown avocados are naturally pure and furnish all of the elements we need to build the highest quality protein in our bodies.

The water content of avocado by weight averages 74%. Because avocado is a ripe, watery, enzymatically-alive fruit, it ranks as the most easily digested rich source of fats and proteins in whole food form. The ripening action of the sun “predigests” complex proteins into simple, easily digested amino acids. The fat content (by weight) varies from 7 to 26 % according to the variety, averaging 15%. Approximately 63% of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, 20% is polyunsaturated and 17% is saturated. Avocados are the perfect source of dietary fat--appetizing in their raw state, digestible, and pure. Another plus is that avocados have no cholesterol.

Avocado is an alkalinizing food, i.e., the mineral end products of metabolism have an alkalinizing effect in the blood and other bodily fluids. Because the human body works to maintain a slightly alkaline pH, an alkalinizing diet is the most healthful way of eating. Meat, dairy and most raw nuts create acidity in the body--excess eating of these causes the leaching of alkalinizing calcium from our bones to buffer the acidity, leading to osteoporosis. Dr. Douglas Graham states:

“Current bone density testing has verified loss of calcium from the bones after the consumption of just one meat meal. A similar meal containing the same amount of protein from plants results in no calcium loss. Fruit and vegetable proteins, which supply the complete spectrum of human nutrients, must be considered superior to animal protein which are deficient or missing many of our essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C and a host of phytonutrients and antioxidants.”

Avocado eaters who eat a healthful vegan diet typically experience more lustrous hair, softer, smoother skin, more pliable nails, fewer joint problems, slimmer belly, less body odor, improved mental function and enhanced libido. Upon giving up animal meat and dairy, switching to a diet of 75% to 100% raw vegan foods with enzymatically-alive “plant meat,” and adopting a healthful lifestyle, a multitude of people have reaped amazing health benefits and joyous vitality.

How to eat avocado

* The Natural Way -- Using your claws (fingernails), peel off the skin. The skin of a naturally ripened avocado will easily spiral off in one to three pieces. Try this: slide a whole nude avocado through your lips and eat it slowly. There is no more sensual eating experience!

* The Modern Way -- Using a knife, slice an avocado along the north-south or east-west axis, then remove the pit. The halves can be sliced into smaller segments. The skin can then be peeled off, or you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Eat plain as a snack or scoop the flesh into a bowl or onto a salad.

* Avocado generally requires approximately one and a half to two hours in the stomach to be digested. It digests well if the eater is relaxed, hungry, energetic, has an empty stomach and follows proper food combining guidelines. If one eats avocado when tired, one may fall asleep.

* For optimum digestion, eat avocado alone or with any non-sweet-non-starchy fruit or any non-starchy vegetable food. Eating avocado with leafy greens, celery and/or cucumber will enhance the digestive process as additional digestive enzymes are secreted. People with weak digestion will generally experience enhanced digestion when eating avocado with non-starchy salads as opposed to eating avocado alone.

* Avoid eating avocado with or within 20 minutes of eating sweet fruit or drinking sweet fruit juice. The combination of little bit of lemon or grapefruit juice with avocado tends to digest well for most people.

* Wait at least 3 hours after eating avocado before eating sweet fruit.

* Do not eat avocado with any other kind of oily, fatty or high-protein food such as seeds, nuts, coconut, olives, yogurt, cream, cheese or meat. Wait several hours between eating these foods, although the ideal is 24 hours. It takes several hours to digest and utilize any kind of heavy/oily food, and the body can only digest one at a time

* Some people become sluggish and do not function well when eating heavy foods in the morning; it might be best to eat avocado mid-day and after.

* Avoid eating avocado if you are experiencing acid reflux, indigestion, sore throat, inflammation or fever.

* Overeating avocados can lead to sluggishness, hyper-acid stomach, and skin outbreaks.

* The quantity of avocados that is healthful for you is a function of your taste preferences and digestion. Generally, one a day, three to six days per week is a good baseline. For best results, tune in to your body’s senses and observe your energy levels, digestion and elimination.

Some avocado myths & facts

1. It’s a vegetable.

Fact: It’s actually an oily berry--a fruit.

2. It’s high in cholesterol.

Fact: It has no cholesterol. Only animal foods have cholesterol.

3. It’s high in fat.

Fact: By weight, avocados average 30% easily digestible oily fatty acids and approximately 70% water.

4. Its saturated fat content is dangerous.

Fact: Only about 2.5% of the edible portion of avocado is saturated fat, and unheated saturated fat from live plant foods is non-toxic.

5. It’s fattening.

Fact: It is the cooked starches, meat, dairy and processed sugar in people’s diets that feed their fat cells. Most active people who consume avocados as part high raw food vegan diet have no problem losing excess fat and staying lean.

6. It is a tree ripened fruit.

Fact: The avocado doesn't soften on the tree. After dropping or picking it must be allowed to soften for 4 to 17 days depending on the variety and ambient temperature and humidity.

7. It is best to ripen it in a bag.

Fact: Not necessary. Keep your weekly supply of avocados on your kitchen table, counter or somewhere else in plain sight. Pinch the tops and bottoms each morning and when they yield to pressure on both ends they are ripe. Refrigerate the ones you are not ready to eat.

9. It can’t be refrigerated.

Fact: Yes it can. Wrap ripe avocado in plastic or keep it in a plastic bag or container. If it is refrigerated for too long some spoiling may result. Remove unripened avocado from the refrigerator 2 or 3 days before you intend to eat them.

10. Keep the seed in to keep the guacamole from turning black.

Fact: That is an old wives tale! Wrap it in plastic to keep oxidation at bay.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

snowdrop's cheezy corn chowder recipe

this week is definitely winter.
14" of fluffy snow last nite
8-16" more predicted for tomorrow ....what kind of prediction is 8-16???
(sounds like the hrs the cable repairman will visit
anytime between 1999-2009, and you'd better be there, ha!)
and who knows about the storm on wednesday.

so the shoveling event is on.

and what is good to warm up your frozen self upon coming back inside?

snowdrop's cheezy corn chowder, that's what! :)
another offering from the upcoming book 'raw delights'

go warm yourself up on some of this delicious raw vegan dish-

snowdrop's cheezy corn chowder

1 c corn kernels
1 clove garlic
1 T onion
1/4 c cashews
2 T nutritional yeast
4 baby carrots (or 1 regular one)
1/4" ring of red pepper
2 T olive oil
1/2 t psyllium husk
1 t cumin
1/8 t nutmeg
1 T parsley
1/2 t salt
grind pepper to taste
2-3 c water
1 T light miso paste

blend in hi speed blender till very creamy
add :
1/4 c more corn kernels
1 T parsley

and warm up in a saucepan on your stove till warm enough to eat. (105-ish)

bowl up in a prewarmed bowl and garnish with additional minced parsley & fresh ground pepper

you can use fresh or frozen corn - i used frozen today because it is winter
and there is no fresh corn available.

this recipe is very quick and easy, i serve it with flax crackers.

whatever the weather is where you are..
this is a bowl of comfort.

have an enjoyable raw day!

Friday, December 19, 2008

snowdrop’s blonde fruitcake recipe

i absolutely looove this recipe
i hope you do too.
it was created for my book 'raw delights' but i just had to share it with my loyal readers.
here is the recipe:

snowdrop’s blonde fruitcake recipe

Soak 1 hr:
¾ c dates (packed)
½ lemon juiced
½ orange juiced
2 t almond extract
pinch sea salt

grind, sift, & set aside in bowl:
1 c almonds
1 c dry coconut shreds
½ c cashews
(to make a dark spiced fruitcake add your spices to the dry ground nut sifting)
1 T cinn
1 T cocoa pwd
½ t nutmeg
2 star anise ground
1 t ginger pwd

fruit filling 1
combine in any ratio to equal ¾ cup total
your choice of the following dry fruits:
raisins, cherries apricots, pineapple, cranberry, currants
in similar size cuts
soak 1 hr in ¼ c of fruit juice of your choice (or brandy, rum…)
in the dehydrator 1 hr

fruit filling 2
1” fresh ginger root sliced & slivered
1 T lemon zest
1 T orange zest
2 T agave

put in bowl in dehydrator 1 hr

candied nuts

1/3 c walnut halves
1/3 c pecan halves
2 T maple syrup
½ t cinnamon
pinch sea salt

toss in small bowl put on teflex sheet in dehydrator for 1 hr

lets put it together!

after the hour of soaking, take the ginger bowl & just drain the juices into the dates (set ginger citrus zest aside)…take the date mixture and blend into a smooth puree.
pour into the ground nut mixture and stir lightly till combined. set cake batter aside.

fruit & nuts:
drain the fruit and put onto cake ‘batter’, also add the ginger citrus zest, …set aside the nicest dozen pecan halves for the garnish and break up the rest of the nuts into the cake batter into small enough pieces. (remember, if the nut pieces are too big… the knife will have trouble slicing the cake neatly… ask me how I know…)

stir the additions lightly till combined then press into your 5-6” cake mold. (Use plastic wrap lining to make sure you can get it back out again.)
plate your cake and decorate with icing if desires & pecan halves.

i used ground coconut & lemon zest powder with a little agave and enough water & 1 T coconut oil to make it workable... it's not a recipe that is perfected yet, but it worked well enough for tonite.

we are just getting belted with the next round of snow and it is falling quite heavily (they expect 1-3" per hour at certain points in this storm) then we have another storm due sunday and another on wednesday. so it is now very white outside and will continue to be so for quite a while. good thing i like it :)
one of my favorite things about deep fresh snow is how it muffles all the noises except the little birds singing. i picked up some extra birdseed today just for them. tweet tweet!

well i better keep my shovel handy today...

happy & raw days to you all

Friday, December 12, 2008

of storms and grasshoppers

storm over.
sun brilliantly melting snow in great big drips & drops off of the trees.
we, of course, didn't get the full amount forecasters promised...
but then again i always fail to remember they report for ratings
(the sky is falling! the sky is falling!!)
i think we got all of 6"

but that was still enough to almost bury the dog

so now i have a free afternoon (snow day, of course silly!)

i have been working on a recipe - grasshopper pie
and i think i have it ready to insert into the book.
it is cool and a creamy pale green with the dark brown crumbs so reminiscent of crushed oreo cookies.
well, here's a slice, you tell me- is this something you'd like to eat?

it was for me, i polished off that slice as quick as i could find a fork!
:) mmm mmm yummy!

i am still in awe of what can be done with raw foods to mimic the old favorites. they taste as good if not better, and they are actually health building instead of health destroying. how much better can it get? (ok, so it could be better if you had your own personal chef, true. but not realistic.)

so now for the free afternoon....hmmm.
maybe next blog i will let you know what that turned out.
till then -
eat well and stay healthy!
snowdrop, chef

Thursday, December 11, 2008

first storm

well it was bound to happen.
it is snowing.
hard enough to believe the reported forecast:

8-12" to come in the next 24 hrs.
i will update with a photo or two as this storm progresses.

being snowed in is one of my favorite things though.
i can putz around getting things, i ordinarily wouldn't, done.
and if we lose power...
then my day is during daylight
and my night begins at dusk instead of after the 11 pm news.
then i am very happy to have a wood stove for heat.
then i am so glad my dehydrator preserved foods that are raw organic and delicious,
just waiting to be munched or rehydrated...

eating raw foods, a dehydrator has become an invaluable tool in my kitchen.
i use a 9 tray excalibur, and loooove it.
i know the 4 or 5 tray one is cheaper-
but i only use it a couple times a week
filling it as much as possible, thus saving time and power.
in alissa's book i learned how much easier it is to prep the bulk of your whole week of meals in just 2 sessions. what a valuable tip! i also am able to 'd' many things at once with no cross contamination. i am able to 'd' big things like raw lasagna, tall things like raw 'meat'loaf...
i appreciate having a temp control on the box, a must have feature.
fine tuning my recipes a bit more than the indians hanging strips of buffalo meat

to dry for winter provisions.

i use my dehydrator much more than i expected... thinking it would be useful during harvest time when the garden was coming into it's full season
but i find myself using up extra produce before it has a chance to turn on me

even my little sister says she has no bad produce at her house anymore since she dehydrates before needing to compost things :)
i also use it to warm my meals, dry my herbs, soften my coconut oil for recipes, and i even dried out a remote control that i had accidentally spilled a glass of water over...oops!... and it worked beautifully afterward.
it paid for itself over and again in the 2 years i have owned it.

so if you are wondering what appliances are worth it to buy-
this is one of them! (but don't forget to order the teflex sheets with it!)

well off to do a project that calls to me-
smocking a baby gown for a baby shower gift for a most beloved niece.
will add photos later today/tomorrow
so be sure to check back!
stay well and happy-
snowed in snowdrop :)

looks like the snow now has something to stick to
and daylight will reveal a new look.
pics tomorrow.

detail & overall shot of the baby outfit i finished today!

hope they like it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

organic or not?


too bad it is costly to eat foods that are not genetically modified or drenched in poisons.
many times i ponder in the produce aisle, which to buy, especially when the price margin is large
and i have been given a little help in deciding whether it is in the budget this week or not.
you may have seen the 'dirty dozen' floating around on the internet. i have also seen it, benefited by it, and thought i would incorporate it into today's blog.
of course in the sweet sweet summer it is so much easier to grow your own or go to the farmers markets, but as the days get shorter and the nights more frigid, it seems anything fresh and green and juicy- costs alot more.
so here is the list of the dirty dozen- the bad guys to avoid when your $$'s allow.

The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic

If you have budget constraints, your money is doing more for your health when you put it towards organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables (listed in descending order, starting with greatest levels pesticide contamination):

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Imported grapes
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes

The Cleanest 12: Save Your Money & Buy Conventional

If going totally organic is too difficult or pricey, play it safe and eat the following conventional produce items to minimize your exposure. These ,are known to have the least amount of pesticide residue (listed in ascending order, starting with of lowest levels of pesticide contamination):

1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Sweet corn (frozen)
4. Pineapple
5. Mangoes
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas (frozen)
8. Kiwis
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Papaya

good eats to you!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a quick up'date'...

just pulled this out of the dehydrator
and it is now the texture of a bar cookie
and tastes well, marvelous!!!
i will make this again (and again)
*see recipe below....*


ps for this recipe i was made raw recipe queen for the day!

thank you thank you all so much
(dabs a joyful tear delicately from eye)

Monday, December 1, 2008

gotta have it or i'll just perish

ever want something so much that you'd be willing to go off your program?
those are tough days.
when i get requests for remakes of certain "gotta have it or i'll just perish" recipes
i really feel for the urgency of the situation.
today i was asked to try and recreate something i had never had eaten before-
a canadian treat called a date square, a baked yummy.
having a photo to go on i gave it my best shot.
i don't know if i hit the nail on the head, but the resulting creation
is very tasty and satisfying. i will be making this again
especially since it made up very quickly with few ingredients.
here is the test version:

snowdrop's date nut squares

1 1/2 c walnut
1/2 c oat flakes
1 T ground flax seed
1 T agave
6 dates
food processed it to a crumb texture
press firmly 1/2 of mix into bottom of pan
reserve the other 1/2 for topping

1 apple peeled & cored
1 1/2 c dates
1 tsp ground chia seed
food process as smooth as possible
spread on bottom crust in pan
sprinkle topping and lightly press it down

i didn't soak the dates (greed- i want it now)
if i soaked the dates- it may only need 1/2 the apple amount and 2x the chia.
it looked great and the apples will darken (that's why i put it in the d)
to the same color as the one in the original photo.

it cuts well after it sets an hour
after tasting it all put together (but not dehydrated)
i find i can taste the apple more than i thought i would
if this is offensive to you (it was yummy to me)
then cut the apple amount in 1/2 and use soaked/drained dates.
if i left it in the d over nite it would be chewey more 'baked'
i have yet to do that though...

all in all i found it to be a wonderful treat.
thanks for introducing me to the date squares!!
till next time-
stay raw & love life!