RAW Food for Truth Living foods lifestyle. Nutritious, raw, vegan recipes. Meals & tips for natural healing. Allergen-free, organic dishes. Courses you can prepare in no time. Meal-planning for those "on a budget". Discovering wild edibles. Eco-friendly, conscious, healthy living. . . . at home, in the office, and on the road.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Monday, October 29, 2012

This time of the year, with holidays approaching, is also about the time when (at least on the Northern hemisphere) the temperature is starting to take a bigger dip. Cooler mornings might call for a cup of warm chocolate and cooler evenings for a bowl of warming soup to cozy up on the couch with. Lucky us, spices of warm energy are available most places year-round and on top of that it's pumpkin season, yay! I'm pretty sure these bright orange squashes are not just for Jack-O Lanterns or pies. Some can be made into soups or stews. And so I do...

Pumpkins' Treat
Pumpkins are very filling and highly nutritious. Being rich in fiber, extremely high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C,  and rich in minerals like potassium, iron and manganese, the favorite holiday squash will nourish your eyes and skin, has anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, and will help keep your bones strong.

Pumpkin Curry
(Makes 4 bowls)
1 small pumpkin*
1 small carrot
2 stalks green onion
1 small piece ginger
1/4 cup coconut butter
1 fresh cayenne pepper (or use some ground cayenne)
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups water

* I know this is relative but I didn't weigh or measure this squash. It was one of those "personal" size pumpkins, about 6-7 in (15-18 cm) across.

1. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and slice into wedges. It's easier to peel the wedges one by one in my opinion.
2. Shred your wedges and place all of it into a pot along with the carrot, the onion, the ginger, and the pepper chopped. Add 3 cups water (or enough to cover the ingredients).
3. Gently warm it up on a very low flame while stirring it.
4. Place the contents of the pot and the rest of the ingredients, salt and spices, in a blender and process until you get a creamy and smooth texture.
5. Sprinkle with cinnamon or garnish with thinly sliced onions, etc.

If it's really cold where you are, sit by the fire and slurp away...

Happy raw & cozy times! : )

What's New? Persimmons!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

At least they are to me since I never had them until a couple of weeks ago when I was given a bagful of them - I know, I'm such a lucky gal. : ) If they're new to you too I'm pretty sure you'll like them. The stem and the leaves lift right off like a cap and the edge of the skin is exposed. Once you remove the peel you're presented with a soft matter that might remind you of a very ripe mango crossed with some apricots and flavored with dates. Its beautiful, moist, dark orange meat tastes sweet and makes everything incredibly creamy.....yes, perfect for smoothies...but it won't stop there!

The Super Nutritious Persimmons
Persimmons are rich in fiber, very high in vitamins A and C and are good sources of vitamins E and B6. How do they score in the minerals department? As you might have guessed, they're are an excellent source of potassium but would you have figured that one fruit provides you with 9%DV of copper????? That is unheard of among fruits! Copper, in general, is abundant in nuts and seeds but a fruit being so rich in this mineral is a god-given! To top it all, they're extremely rich in manganese and believe it or not, a persimmon is a complete protein too. Ok, so what does all this gibberish translate to? You should get some for its antioxidants and wonderful gut-cleaning properties, eye sight protection, gray-hair reversal qualities, skin nourishment, etc, besides the taste and fun of it all...
For an easy start, why not make a persimmon smoothie?

Persimmon Smoothie
(Makes 1 pint)
2 persimmons
1 banana
1 large peach or 1 cup frozen peach chunks
1-2 cups water / juice of your choice*
1 tsp cacao powder

* Depending on how thick you like your smoothies (some rather drink it some like to make it into a pudding-like consistency and spoon it up) you will want to add more liquid to any smoothie you make with persimmons than you usually do because it will come out VERY creamy and NOT pourable with the same amount of liquid added when other ingredients are used.

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Ok, I'm off to make pie... Happy Sunday! : )

From Tortillas to Tostadas

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whether it's Summer or Winter, whether it's breakfast-time or closer to dinner, you can hardly go wrong the Mexican way. The type of cuisine that's known for its freshness, vibrant colors, and fun-loving family gatherings to prepare festive meals together can be made part of a raw household too.  Most of the wonderfully flavorful dishes that, more often than not, rely on simple ingredients can be prepared the raw (or at least highly raw) way to refresh you in the heat or warm you up on colder days. The challenging part for a raw food enthusiast of course is not so much the right combination of fresh vegetables and spices. It's more the chips you eat with salsa or dip into guacamole, the tortillas, tamales, etc.
Making tortillas may seem like an especially intimidating task to embark on because you want them to be firm enough to hold food when you make tacos, but also pliable to make "wraps" or more like burritos and roll them up for single-serve enchiladas, for example. I've already given examples on how to make chips before. Today it's time to make tortillas! Corn ones, that is.

Why Eat Corn?
The pearl-like kernels can help maintain good vision, add anti-oxidants to your diet, aid in digestion, provide fiber, folate, and other essential vitamins and minerals that can even help prevent anemia. In other words, corn is quite nutritious.

Corn Tortillas
(Makes 5 tortillas)
2 ears fresh corn, yellow or white
3-4 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
1 finger-size hot pepper*
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
pinch of cumin

*Any pepper will do. I grabbed mine from the garden and I forget what kind they are but cerranos and other small peppers will be just fine. If you can find red ones the color will add to the richness of the tortillas.

1. Cut the kernels off the cobs and place all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
2. Make a paste as smooth as you prefer (I prefer mine with a good amount of "texture" left) and add a little water if you can't manage without. Some blenders need more liquid to handle the ingredients while others do well with hardly any in there. Note: add as little as possible to save time in the dehydrator.
3. Pour the mixture into 5 little lumps on a teflex sheet and spread them out fairly thin, as thin as you can/prefer but thick enough so that you can still work with them when you make tacos, etc. 0.1 in (or about 3 mm) is a good thickness.
4. Dehydrate them for 1-2 hours at 110-115 °F (43-46 °C) and then flip them onto a screen and dehydrate them for several hours longer, until they resemble the dryness of tortillas and they feel "workable".

Here comes the fun part. Now that you have the base, what yummy stuff you are going to pile on them, fill them with, dip them into is up to you but here's what I chose to make this time.

Tostadas the Raw Way
corn tortillas (recipe at the top of the page)
guacamole (see recipe here)

Keeping it so simple by combining such delicious ingredients always works : ) Layer your ingredients in a presentable way and serve immediately. One of those snacks that are great for Summer gathering so if you have people coming over this could be a way to introduce them to the delightfulness of raw foods. Enjoy!

Figs Got Shaken Up

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I was given figs again. This time two different kinds, the black mission variety and some Kalamata (?) and I decided to "shake them up" with other fruits and unique flavors. Needless to say, the outcome is so delicious that it's worth sharing with you : )

Fruit & Spice Mylk Shake
(Serves 1 but you could split it with a friend : ) )
2 cups almond mylk / your choice of nut mylk 
1 peeled banana 
3 figs
handful of strawberries
seeds out of 1-2 pods cardamon
dash of vanilla
optional: 1 tbsp flax seed meal

Whirl it all up in a high-speed blender and enjoy the healing benefits of figs, cardamon and vanilla. Cardamon is extremely rich in the hard-to-get mineral, manganese and vanilla has antioxidant, anti-cancer and antibacterial qualities. I haven't tried it but many people even use it as a food preservative....a good-to-know fact. It's a spice with more than just a fabulous scent and aroma. Get a high quality. I know it can get very expensive but it's worth the price and only a pinch or so is used at a time usually so your batch will last a while.
Have a wonderful Sunday! : )

Soup That's Worth the Tears

Sunday, October 7, 2012

As the weather has taken quite a sudden turn and the temperature's dropping the heat's getting turned up in my kitchen. I love my food spicy year round and will enjoy some raw dishes warm during the colder months but this is more than just a warm soup.  

Consider yourself warned: it's one thing that chopping onions will make you cry but this is also a sinus cleanser alright. It would be a great soup on a cold, rainy day when you're wrapped up on the couch in "under the weather" mode. Warm, savory, and memorably strong. I love spicy, hot, pungent, etc, foods but I even think it's quite strong. You may use less of the onions and/or add more water and more tahini (or oil) to cut the sharpness of it all.

Onion's Magic
These tear jerkers are high in vitamins C and B6 (pyridoxine), manganese, a fairly hard-to-get mineral, and rich in fiber. Besides being a strong anti-inflammatory, they're known for their sulfur content and being hosts of the enzyme allinase. This enzyme, also present in garlic, is what gives them their pungent chemicals, makes you "cry" while chopping them, makes you "smell" like onions, and defends the plant from animals that get the idea that they should be their next snack. The B6 helps efficient metabolism and prevent heart disease, is important for brain function, and it's mood-elevating. Sulfur is very good for your liver, will benefit your hair, skin, brain, and bones. Quercitin, a flavonoid you'll find more of in onions than anything else, has a myraid of health benefits. It's what's responsible for the blood-thinning effect of onions, it will help you fight asthma and bronchitis and help with diabetes. It has antibiotic and antiviral characteristics, and provides this vegetable with powerful anti-cancer properties.

So here's what you do for a wonderful-smelling kitchen and a healthy, warming soup:

French Onion Soup
(Serves 3-4)
1 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup shoyu sauce (contains soy!)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp raw tahini
4-5 cups gently heated (NOT hot or boiling) water
1/4 cup vinegar / lemon juice

0. Slice the onion and the garlic as thinly as you can, place them on a plate, drizzle them with the shoyu sauce, and let them marinate in the dehydrator for about an hour at 115°F (46°C).
1. You may follow or skip "step 0" and then, in a high-speed blender, process all (save a little bit of the marinated onions for garnish if you like) ingredients until creamy.
2. Pour small servings in cups or bowls, garnish, and offer crackers, croutons, bread, etc. on the side.
Don't forget the box of tissue either!
...and have a good week : )