Wednesday, May 16, 2007

from 4/19/2007

Yo, yo, yo! It is a lovely day! And, I just looked at the 10-day forecast, and it's in the 50s and 60s the whole time. Now, this is what I'm talking about! This is spring! I'm so, so glad that I got my little bike! I wish I had it with me here so I could go out at lunch and ride around. I can't wait until I get good enough to ride it to work and back. That's tough 'cause I live on top of a mountain, and there's no way to get there except up-up-up. My goal is to be able to do it by the end of September. Maybe I could start out by driving to Shadyside, and riding it from there. Then, Bloomfield, then the Strip, then the North Side, then home. That sounds like a plan.

And, I need a new bike seat. The one that's on it now is brutal. It makes my butt and my delicate lady parts alternately hurt and go to sleep. Not good. But, it is real cute. Her name is Scout. I just found out that she's a kid's mountain bike. No wonder it's so small! That's okay; it's my starter-bike. At least there are no training wheels! Here she is:

So, anyway. I went to the Raw Foods Class last night at Whole Foods with Matt and Chad. It was great! They made nut/seed milks, a dip and a couple salad dressings. Here are the recipes:

1 c. raw nuts/seeds
1 qt. water
pinch of salt
optional: honey, dried fruit, stevia, etc.

Soak nuts or seeds. Rinse the seeds, then blend with a small amount of water to liquify, then add the rest of the water, the salt, and the optional sweetener. Strain and serve. Keeps up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

For this class, they used pumpkin seeds. The milk was really mild, and just really sorta tasted like regular skim cow milk or soy milk. But, it's really nutritious (pumpkin seeds, in partcular, are really high in iron and zinc), and was a lovely light sage-green color. It would be great as a smoothie base, in recipes, or just for drinking.

As far as soaking, here's the scoop:
almonds need 12-48 hours; cashews/macadamias need 1-2 hours; brazil nuts need 30 minutes; walnuts/pecans need 4-12 hours; seeds need 4-6 hours.

I've found tons of stuff online about soaking. There are varying times. But, basically, the idea behind soaking is that nuts and seeds naturally contain some enzyme inhibitors that protect them while they're growing. By soaking them, you remove these inhibitors, and also release their natural life force. And, always rinse them after, so you remove the toxins that leech out into the water. And, don't soak almonds with other nuts. This is a good raw/vegan site for recipes and resources:

Okay. So, the next thing they made was Chocolate Milk. And, it was seriously the BEST chocolate milk I've ever had. So freakin' delicious! I could've chugged the entire batch they made (which was, like, a gallon).

1 qt. nut/seed milk*
2 heaping T. ground cacao
1 heaping T. raw carob
1-2 t. maca root powder (more, if desired)
honey, soaked dates or some other sweetener to taste

Blend, strain, enjoy.

*Matt made the nut milk first using 2 c. soaked almonds, water and 4 soaked dates.

That stuff is magically delicious. For real.

Next Chad made a raw macadamia dip. It was sort of like hummus, but better.

1 c. macadamia nuts (don't need to soak; can also use pine nuts)
1/4 c. water (you can increase the water to 1/2 c. to make it a dressing, or use these two ingredients--the nuts and water--as a base for all kinds of dressings)
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (or slightly less than 1/3 c. raw apple cider vinegar)
2/3 c. cold-pressed olive oil
herbs (he used dried Italian Seasoning herbs)
1/2 T. ground, dried sage

Blend the nuts and water first to desired consistency, then mix in other ingredients. This stuff is taste-a-licious! They served it with baby carrots. Yum.

Next up were the salad dressings. Just throw these in a blender. Quick and delicious.

(keeps up to two weeks in the fridge)
1 large tomato, chopped
1-2 T. fresh dill
1 clove garlic
fresh thyme (he used the leaves from about 5 stems)
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. water

(keeps up to two weeks in the fridge)
1 c. raspberries (can use fresh or frozen-and-thawed)
2-3 soaked dates
4 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar or 3 T. lemon juice
1/2 -3/4 c. water (use the lesser amount if you're using frozen berries since they'll have some liquid when they thaw)
1/4 c. flax oil
2-3 cloves garlic
3/4 - 1 t. celtic salt

This one delicious and really beautiful. It's a hot pink color, and looked really striking on the salad. Matt says he always makes this when he's having someone to dinner that he wants to impress.

Matt also gave us a recipe for a basic dressing, but we ran out of time last night, and didn't make it.

1 lg or 2 small avocados
1 med. orange
1 lemon

Peel fruits, blend, enjoy.
1/4 c. olive oil

Right on. Thanks, Matt & Chad! I also came outta there with another huge list of things that I want to google to learn more about. Here's that list:
-nightshade plants
-nut milk bags
-Institute for Integrative Nutrition? (nyc)
-The China Study
-Healthy At 100 (John Robbins' new book; I just started his other book Diet For a New America)
-some guy who ate a plane
-acidity/alkaline levels in body
-Herbert Shelton (Sheldon?)
-Hunza (out of print. used?)
-Hunza valley
-Dr. Douglas Graham
-David Wolf
-nettle tea
-burdoch root
-dandelion flower (one of the only plant sources for vitamin D)

And, tonight I'm going with Ellen to another cooking class at Whole Foods with Chef Lon. Will report back.

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