Monday, September 28, 2009

Upcoming LA/NYC Raw Food Classes

I will be teaching Raw Food 101 twice this month on both coasts.

Sunday, Oct. 4th in Brooklyn

Sunday, Oct. 25th in Long Beach, CA

Click here for more info!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Navitas Naturals Organic Chocolate Kit

I'm so enamored with these cute little kits that came out by Navitas Naturals. They come in three flavors: Cacao, Goldenberry, and Goji Berry, and contain all the ingredients to make your own gourmet chocolate at home. Since Goji berries are one of my favorite snack foods I decided to give the Goji kit a try.

You will need a knife, a couple of bowls and an ice cube tray. I used a heart shaped one but a standard ice cube tray will work just fine.

The kit contains a little brick of cacao butter, some Goji berries and a very delicious blend of cacao powder, mesquite, lucuma and maca powder.

Step one, shave the cacao butter into thin pieces with your knife.

Place in either a metal or glass bowl (or mason jar) and let sit in a bowl of very hot water.

Use a spatula to help it melt and change the water if it cools down too quickly.

Add the cacao mix and combine well. Pour into 12 molds and place in freezer for about 10 minutes.


I thought they tasted fantastic though my husband didn't really care for them. I think mesquite, lucuma and maca is a little unusual for some chocolate connoisseurs but I really enjoyed the malty flavor. The cost of the kit is $9.99 and yields 12 sizable pieces. That's actually a good deal compared to other raw chocolate bars I've bought. I love that everything included was organic and thought it was fun and easy to prepare. This would be a great activity to do with children as well as make a great gift (or Valentines Day candy - thanks Adriana!). Find them at Whole Foods, your neighborhood health food store or online.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Science of Raw Food Nutrition

Last month I attended an amazing nutrition course offered at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. Taught by the raw food doctors, Rick and Karin Dina, they thoroughly explored every aspect of raw food nutrition over nine days. For a health enthusiast like myself this was exciting but also extremely intensive. So much so, that my eyes started twitching on the 7th day from reading the textbook and watching the lectures all day long. Nevertheless, I loved every bit of it!

Some of the topics they covered:

vitamins, minerals, enzymes
optimal blood sugar regulation
acid/alkaline balance
the B12 controversy
how we get protein
essential fats
human digestion
cooked food toxins
history of human food choices
youth extension and longevity
history of living foods
food combining
women's health topics
animal products
menu planning for various health challenges
raw food exaggerations

And that was just the tip of the iceberg. I really appreciated that all of it was scientifically supported and cited. I've been raw for over two years and still get confused by conflicting claims in the raw food community. This helped me make sense of what is nutritional truth and what is just plain silly. I also learned little fun things I've never heard before. For instance, if you lay out for 5-10 minutes a day like I do to get your Vitamin D, don't shower till at least the next day or you will lose the Vitamin D that was created when the sun reacted with the cholesterol on your skin. I also didn't know that green leafy vegetables have essential fatty acids in them or that goji berries are part of the nightshade family.

The classes are offered in three sections that you can take separately or all at once. It equips you to become a Science of Raw Food educator and you receive a powerpoint presentation that you can use for your own lectures. I highly recommend it to anyone in the holistic health field or if you just want to do it for your own health and benefit. You won't be disappointed. If you can't make it to Living Light they do travel the country (and Canada) to teach the introductory class. Check their website for dates.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy Apple-Pear Cobbler

Fall is my favorite time of year. I'm lucky to be spending it in NYC where delicious honey crisp apples are coming into season. Take advantage of the bounty of apples and pears by whipping up this easy cobbler recipe. You can skip the pears if you'd like and even substitute peaches or berries which are still in season as well. Slicing the apples takes the longest in prepping this recipe but so worth the effort. You can easily double this, too. Your family and friends won't even know it's raw or vegan!

1 1/2 cup apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cup pears, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup walnuts or pecans (soaked and dehydrated is best but not necessary)
1/4 cup dehydrated cane sugar (or brown sugar if not available)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup medjool dates
pinch of salt

Toss sliced apples and pears in lemon juice, agave and pumpkin pie spice and set aside.

In food processor, combine walnuts or pecans with dehydrated cane sugar and process until you get a coarse meal. Add raisins, dates and salt and process until it sticks together. Don’t overprocess.

Sprinkle half of the nut mixture in the bottom of four 6 oz. Ramekins or 6 x 6 serving pan, then layer with filling and then use remaining nut mixture on top.

Optional: warm in dehydrator at 145 degrees for 45 minutes or oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

Serve with sweet cashew cream or raw or vegan ice cream (Coconut Bliss is a good one!)

Makes four servings. Will last 3 days in refrigerator.


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