Posts Tagged ‘nuts’

Pasta

If you don’t like cheese this is not for you.  If you don’t like noodles, this is not for you.  However, if you’re one of the billions of smart people out there who love the creaminess of Alfredo this is dedicated to you!  If you want a pasta that’s not as heavy and doesn’t leave you feeling so full, it’s for you.  A pasta with more nutrient dense calories than regular pasta.  If you want a pasta that just tastes freakin delicious, you clicked the right spot.

How do we get raw pasta?  Firstly, we could search the shores far and wide for the exotic “Kelp noodle”.  We could search online and pay a gazillion dollars for shipping and handling. We could go into every health food store within a 100 mile radius and get funny looks or shrugs(remember I’m in the south).  So that won’t do.  We could try to think of some way to create our own noodle from scratch using flaxseed instead of egg, sprouted flour instead of white, and dehydrate??  Sounds like a complicated mess.  We could buy a fancy spirolini tool and surely our pasta woes would go away.   Well you are more adventurous than I, because I am simply going to vegetable peel some zucchini, and maybe, if I’m feeling brave, some squash or carrots.

When making your noodles, think fettuccine for the thickness and size of the noodle.  Simply peel away all the green from the zucchini or outer part of whatever vegetable you decide to use.  Then peel each side of the vegetable lengthwise, rotating it as you go.  For us, three zucchini equals about two servings, or one for me two for Todd.  Lol.   Letting the noodles sit out for a while helps them to become softer.  Additionally, you can soak them in water.  Sometimes I rub them with olive oil and a little sea salt.  You’ll just have to try different techniques to see what you prefer.

What shall you put on those naked noodles?  Why! A delicious cheese sauce of course. (Today anyways.)

Rawfredo Sauce:

1 cup soaked cashews

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 cup water

Directions:

Throw everything in the food processor and blend.  You can add a little lemon juice if you like.  Make sure not to add to much water or it won’t be as thick and creamy.  Give it plenty of time to blend so you won’t bite into a chunk of cashew.

To this mix I like to add:

Marinated Mushrooms:

Namu Shoyu Sauce

Minced Garlic

Olive Oil

1 cup mushrooms

Directions:

Add a small amount of each ingredient to the mushrooms.  Give the mushrooms a massage, they’ve had a hard life and you have know idea what they went to get here, what with being removed from their dark stump and all.  Set them in the dehydrator to get warm and soft, but not too long.  Usually I just have them going while I’m preparing everything else.

I also like to add in diced red bell pepper, or whatever other vegetable I fancy at the time.

Now who wants cold pasta?  Not I.  So I “cheat” a little bit (Don’t tell the crazy raw foodist clan or they come burn my stove down!)  I put the whole mix into a pan and cook over VERY low heat standing right over it and stirring it constantly.  This allows everything to meld together and get nice and warm.  Hint: if it were to get over 115 it would burn your tongue.  So it should be warm, not hot.  When I first gave this to Todd, he didn’t know what it was, he just knew it was delicious.  He thought I had actually used alfredo sauce and was wondering where I got the noodles from.  Basically, you HAVE to try it.  It’s law.

What’s so great about this pasta for our bodies?  Because you’re not cooking it, it’s going to have enzymes and be easier to digest, while providing energy, which is the purpose of food in the first place.  The zucchini is low in calories, while it doesn’t shine with any single vitamin zuccihni is just all around good for you with a few B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, amino acids (to build protein), iron, and other minerals.  It also high in fiber.

The cashews provide good fat and fiber to help you feel satisfied.  If the cashews are truly raw and soaked they will contain enzymes, specifically lipase, which helps your body break down the fat.  While cashews and nuts ARE high in calories and fat, studies have been conducted that show people who snack on nuts tend to have a healthier weight than those who don’t. Yay!  The key, as always, is moderation.  If you have a nut based meal for lunch, you probably wouldn’t follow with a nut based snack and nut based dinner.  It just depends on your calorie and fat needs.

Just in case you’re more of a dip your toe into the water kind of person or you don’t have a food processor I’ll be nice and share.  If you want to try the noodles, but not the cashew alfredo cheese, here’s a recipe I made before I ate mostly raw:

Skinny Alfredo Sauce:

1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free plain organic yogurt

4 oz organic low-fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup of PLAIN almond, soy, or fat free organic milk

1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Combine yogurt and cream cheese in a sauce pan until mostly melted.  Add garlic and salt and slowly pour in the milk while continuing to whisk the mixture.

Now you can enjoy your vegetables and your pasta too!

Renee

Basic Raw Food Questions

So my sister has decided to “go raw” for at least 30 days.  As she’s started out she’s had plenty of questions for me.  Some things we talked about today:

Milk: Well by the time the milk comes from the lovely fat cow that has been given antibiotics, hormones to increase milk productions, and fed food with pesticides, the milk  itself has been processed to remove any bad bacteria.  Unfortunately this process also removes the enzymes and good bacteria present in the milk.  Even if you buy organic milk from the grocery store you would not be getting the same milk the calf lives from.  If you’re going to drink milk, I would definitely drink the raw version, just make sure to know the source you’re getting it from.  The reason laws were passed to pasteurize milk in the first place was because of “beat-you-down” bad bacteria like e. coli and salmonella.  BUT HOW WILL I GET CALCIUM???  Some high raw vegan sources of calcium include: Sesame seeds or tahini (sesame seed butter), flax seeds, almonds or almond butter, raw soybeans, dandelion greens, brazil nuts, and chia seeds.  With these foods you’ll be getting lots of other nutrients as well.  Plus, most of them are alkalizing so your body want have to rob from your bones in order to balance your pH levels.  : P

“I need the creamy texture of milk…I will die without it!  Literally.”  Ok, seesh.  Here’s your milk replacement:

1 cup nuts of choice (cashews are super creamy….sunflower seeds are cheap)

2 cups water

Blend it all together for…a while.

Run through a small mesh strainer OR a nut milk bag.  The liquid is the milk- you can sweeten it if you like, add it to smoothies, and raw cacao powder to it.  The “pulp” that’s left over can be used for “pates” or cookies, or dehydrated and ground into a meal or flour.

Sprouts? What are they?  Why sprout?  What can you sprout?

Basically sprouts are a seed, nut or grain in a certain stage of its growth period.  And you decide to interrupt that stage….by chomping into it.  Meanie.  We sprout because it releases enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins.  The little guys are high in protein too.  Some of my favorite things to sprout are mung beans and lentils.  These also happen to be two of the easiest.  Go here for directions on how to sprout lentils. http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/print/lentils.html super easy and the site has plenty of info on sprouting.  It’s not really necessary to buy a bunch of gadgets for sprouting, a mason jar should do the trick.  What to do with your sprouts?  Well, depending on what you sprouted you might want to throw them on top of a salad, in a lettuce “wrap”, in a raw sandwich,  in some raw soup, or whatever else you feel like!

Another point to make while talking about sprouting is soaking.  If you’re not sprouting your nuts and seeds, it’s best to at least soak them for 2 or more hours.  This allows enzyme inhibitors  (things keeping you from digesting that nut or seed easily) to be released from the nut.  Just remember: “Soaking the nut is better for the gut.”  <—- Ok that’s a ridiculous line.

My sister also brought up the question: How do you eat sushi?  It has rice on it so it’s not raw.  Weeeell, as ridiculous as it may seem, if my only option is a sushi roll (maki)….I pick off the rice.  Of course I could always just order sashimi.  Bottom line is, I really don’t eat sushi that often, and when I do I order it with raw cucumber and avocado and remove all the rice.  I actually removed the rice BEFORE eating a high raw food diet simply because it’s so starchy.

What’s xylitol?  Is it raw?  Xylitol is the alien captain come from Zeebus to bring peace to all earthly beings.  K not really.  It  is a sweetener sourced from fruit.  It’s not raw, it has to go through a long and treacherous process to get to us at the health food store, in the sugar-free gum, and the “healthy” ice cream at the grocery store.  It’s sweeter than sugar and contains sugar alcohols, so it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly.  Other than that, it has no real nutritive value.  It does have calories, but less than table sugar.

What’s stevia?  Stevia is a green plant that looks like this guy:

It’s waaaaaaaaaaay sweeter than sugar.  You can literally take a pieces of the leaf and start chewing it.  It’s very sweet….I know because I recently acquired a stevia plant and this is the first thing I did.  Just to make sure it was true.  : P   So in it’s purest form you would take the stevia leaves and grind them up.  I think once mine starts growing I will dehyrdate the leaves at a low temp and then grind them up into a powder.  Yes this will mean there is a green tint to anything I make that’s sweet and uses stevia.  Shrug.  At the moment I’ve been using white stevia in small quantities.  It’s not raw, but it only takes a very small amount to sweeten something.  The best part is it’ s zero calories and zero impact on blood sugar.  High five mister stevia, high five.

And last but not least my sister asked about olive oil.  Is it raw?  Yes you CAN buy it raw, but it’s not easily available.  Fats and oils are touchy subjects for some raw foodies.  The point of a raw food diet, to me, is to incorporate as many healthy living foods into my diet as possible.  Do I shutter from using a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a recipe?  No.  Should someone else avoid it?  If they feel that’s best for them then of course!  We each have to learn what works for us to be the healthiest and happiest.

Check out my sister’s blog as she “goes raw” for 30 days.  : )

http://myrawfood30.blogspot.com/

Peace,

Renee