Happy weekend!

Hello again!  Wow, this week flew by so fast!  I hope to find some time like Domino to just lie on the couch and relax.  The long Tuesdays are making things tough.  Up at 5:30 and to sleep at 11 and I am out of sorts for two days.  The good news is I am almost finished with my 60 assisting hours.  I have 5 tomorrow, then a session next Tuesday and then one more Saturday!  I am trying to remember my intention for this year, to stay grounded in the present, not rushing through things, or wishing time to pass, but it is still so exciting to get some things checked off the list! 

Sign at Johnson's Backyard Garden

Sign at Johnson's Backyard Garden

Tom always tells me to "Slow your roll" when I get in a hurry and he is taking his time. I loved this sign!  Anyway, raw is still pretty interesting, but really is not a natural eating style for me.  Boy it takes a ton of work.  We spent most of this week just preparing things so that we can make recipes starting next week.  We started by sprouting seeds, soaking and sprouting legumes, soaking nuts and seeds to make milks, saved the fiber from the milk to use in crackers, crusts, etc, made vanilla extract, date paste, a thickener called Irish moss that we made into a gel to make things like cheesecake get thick.  (Remember this is vegan, so not "real" cheesecake, but made from soaked cashews….) We sampled soaked and then dehydrated nuts which are delicious, soaked oat groats that are then ground to make oatmeal, and soaked chia seeds also used to make gel for a breakfast dish.  Whew!  It really takes planning.  The food is very different from what we usually eat.  The chef did remind us that lots of the food we are making is special occasion food and that the everyday food like the oats and soups and salads are much simplier. 

Spirilized zuchini with tomatoes, olives, and basil with seed based cheese

Spirilized zuchini with tomatoes, olives, and basil with seed based cheese

We also made these beautiful nori rolls that will be a part of my exam.  You prep a bunch of ingredients and then roll them like sushi into sheets of nori.  You sushi eaters would love them. Me, not so much.  I am not a fan of nori, which even though it is just dried seaweed seems like eating dried fish skin to me.  Yuck.  

Aren't they pretty and colorful?  Romaine, carrot, yellow pepper, daikon radish, avocado, red cabbage and sprouts.  This morning we had a cinnamon roll which was made in a dehydrator with dates, flax and chia meal, grated apples, walnuts, and lots of cinnamon.  Three different components, rolled and dehydrated.  Topped with pine nut orange icing.  Tasted better than it looks….

There are some basic principles of a raw foods diet that I think are worth all of us striving for.  Most of them I have mentioned before but I think they are worth sharing! 

  1. Eat whole foods.  The nutritional value is always superior to refined and processed foods. 
  2. Eat fresh foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables appeal to all the senses and provide superior nutrition. Local grown foods in season are the best. 
  3. Eat ripe fruits/vegetables. Ripe foods are most easily digested and the nutrients are more accessible. Complex carbohydrates break down into their simplier forms as foods ripen, making them sweeter with the most delicious flavor.  (This means ripe bananas, not green, and red bell peppers not green ones.)
  4. Eat raw foods.  Heating destroys nutrients.
  5. Eat organic. Consuming pesticides is bad for the body and non-organic farming is hard on the environment. 
  6. Eat delicious food.  Not only does it taste good, but digestion is enhanced because you salivate more when you eat food you love.  When food is delicious, you are more satisfied.
  7. Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds and legumes.  See the raw food pyramid below. 

So all in all, very good principles for eating.  I hope to have a recipe sometime soon. I haven't cooked anything at home worth posting.  In the meantime, it is grapefruit season…enjoy a raw ruby red!