Thursday, April 16, 2009

Almond Pulp

Do you ever wonder what to do with all the almond pulp left over from making raw almond mylk? Well, I did! Unfortunately, the day before I learned this nifty little bit of informaiton I'm about to share, I threw out two Ziplock bags full of almond pulp. I am kicking myself now!

You can turn your almond pulp into almond FLOUR by dehydrating it! Run it through your Vitamix to give it a fine consistency and then put it into a tight-sealing container and store it in the freezer.

Do this everytime you have almond pulp and you'll have a nice stash of almond flour to make stuff like raw donuts! I'll post some recipes as soon as I come across some. = )

Monday, April 13, 2009

FlaxSeed Oil

Back in 2004, my Naturopathic Doctor told me to take this stuff. I never really thought much about it and didn't really know what it was doing for me. It sits in my fridge and I use it as a salad dressing, but a recent discovery has me in awe. Let’s back up a bit…

In July of 2008, I was riding my motorcycle through an intersection when I was hit head-on by a car. The driver claimed he did not see me! This is me on my bike; need I say more?!

Anyhoo, I was launched over the hood of the car, flipped through the air a few times and crash landed in the street about 25' away on my right butt cheek. The results of the "sudden stop" were deep muscle, bone and nerve bruising, twisted pelvis, fractured transverse process of two vertebrae and broken pinkie toe on my left foot. For several months after the accident, the area from my spine to my side just above my right butt cheek was numb, but what I didn't realize at the time was the organs that those nerves feed were affected as well. Many months after the accident, I discovered I had some neurological damage to the organs within my pelvis area.

I recently noticed that my Flaxseed oil was getting close to its expiration date and I figured I'd better start taking it because I hate wasting money! When I initially went raw, my Naturopathic Doctor told me to take four tablespoons a day, so that's what I figured I'd start doing. For about the past two weeks, I've been taking 2 TBSP in the morning and 2 TBSP before bedtime.

In the first week, I noticed something happening to the nerves in my hip area – I felt a tingling and other sensations. I discussed it with my chiropractor and he said it probably means the nerves are healing. I wondered if I had done something different to produce this sudden change, and the only thing I could come up with was adding flaxseed oil back into my diet. Intrigued, I did some research and discovered that flaxseed oil helps to reduce the severity of nerve damage as it nourishes the nerve and also aids in the triggering of nerve impulses!! WOW!! I had no idea! It also accelerates the healing of bruises! Sure wish I would have known this back in July!

I was even more amazed by the substantial list of benefits from consuming flaxseed oil! Why on earth did I ever stop taking it, I wondered. Check this out:

AGING
- helps to combat the effects of aging =)

BRAIN
- Nourishes the brain, helps balance emotional health
- Helps improve the behavior of Schizophrenics
- Has been scientifically proven to treat some cases of depression and possibly Alzheimer’s disease
- Can improve the mental function of many seniors.

EYES
- Help improve eyesight and the perception of color.
- Help people suffering from the dry eye syndrome.
- May help to improve vision

HAIR/SKIN/NAILS
- Acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea have all been known to respond favorably to flaxseed oil.
- Improves the absorption of calcium thus aiding the growth of healthy hair and nails
- Strengthens bones, finger and toenails, and prevents nails from cracking and breaking.
- Heals scars, abrasions and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Revitalizes skin, very helpful for treating dry skin, dandruff, & skin conditions like eczema & psoriasis.
- Can also be applied externally on the skin to soften it.

HEART
- Protects against heart disease
- Effective in lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels
- Lowers high blood pressure in Hypertension sufferers.
- May also keep platelets from becoming sticky thereby reducing the risk of a heart attack
- May help lower cholesterol and blood triglycerides, prevent clots in arteries, which may result in strokes, heart attacks and thromboses.
- Protects against angina and could prevent a second heart attack.
- Helps prevent Atherosclerosis

FEMALE STUFF
- Promotes ovulation and extends the second half of the progesterone dominant cycle which is highly beneficial for women trying to get pregnant.
- It is known to relieve cases of premenstrual and postmenopausal syndrome in some women.

INTESTINES
- Relieves constipation and hemorrhoids
- Heals inner lining of inflamed intestines; useful in repairing any intestinal tract damage
- Beneficial for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis sufferers.
- The dietary fiber content in the oil is considerable and helps to ease bowel movements.

LUNGS
- Can relieve some cases of Asthma. (I have gone from 1 puff a day on my Advair to 1 puff every 3-4 days since adding Flaxseed Oil back into my diet!)

ENERGY/MUSCLES/LIGAMENTS
- Shortens recovery time for fatigued muscles after exertion.
- Increases the body's energy production of energy and also increases stamina.
- Sprains and bruises heal faster

CANCER
- Known to reduce the risk of cancers like breast, colon, prostrate, and skin cancer.
- Can relieve the side effects and stop development of many forms of cancer.

WEIGHT LOSS
- Eases weight loss in people afflicted with obesity.
- Stimulates brown fat cells and increases the metabolic rate making it easier to burn off fat.

INFLAMMATION
- Can alleviate some allergies.
- Helps protect the body against inflammation, water retention, and lowered immune function.
- Combats inflammation due to gout, lupus and also inflammation in the joints and kidneys.
- Reduces the intensity of joint pain and also reduces joint swelling.
- Can relieve the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The list was so comprehensive, I tried to categorize it. It’s getting late and I’m tired, so here are the remaining benefits that I came across.

- Can often improve the function of the liver.
- Can relieve the symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus.
- Can help in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
- Helps ward off the ill effects of certain, bacteria and fungi
- Keeps gallstones at bay and sometimes dissolve existing stones.
- May possibly be of some use in the treating of Parkinson’s disease.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll keep flaxseed oil in my diet! Incidentally, if you are suffering from stiff joints, dry skin around your cuticles and impaired vision, then you probably aren't getting enough alpha-linolenic acid in your diet. Flax oil and flax seeds are the richest known source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that our bodies require for many of it's life-sustaining functions. Unfortunately, it is lacking in most diets.

How I Use Flaxseed Oil in My Diet

As a salad dressing – I drizzle flaxseed oil over my salad, then squeeze the juice of ¼ lemon, and sprinkle Celtic sea salt and pepper on and it’s great!

On baked potatoes – when I ate baked (or nuked) potatoes, I would drizzle the same “salad dressing” mixture that I use on salads on my baked potatoes and sometimes add broccoli flowerets.

One of my favorite snacks (although not raw) is to blanche fresh green beans for about 2 minutes, then dunk into iced water to cool down fast. Drain and put green beans on plate, add crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, flaxseed oil, salt, pepper and fresh squeezed lemon juice. I love this recipe. It’s so refreshing and delicious … and highly beneficial for folks with Type A blood! =)

I grind flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and add it to my raw energy bars and smoothies.

And finally, I take it straight out of the bottle, using a spoon of course!

Gotta go take my last two TBSP of flaxseed oil and go to bed! ZZZzzzzz.....

Just Had To Share This ...

I came across this site of an extremely talented woman who takes the most incredible photos of raw food. Check out her Raw Food Gallery. When I look at her photos, I drool! Enjoy!

Warning: Her photos will make you HUNGRY!!

Quicker Buckwheat Sprouting

What a delight to know that I no longer have to measure out specific amounts of buckwheat into mason jars, add water, cover them with cheese cloth secured with rubber bands, set them into loaf pans at an angle, then remove the cheese cloth three times a day to rinse and drain the sprouts, then replace the cheese cloth with the rubber band ... you get the point. It's time-consuming, monotonous and quite frankly, a pain in the buckwheat! = )

So, here's the new and improved way to sprout buckwheat. Are you ready? =)

Step one... before you go to bed, fill a large bowl about 1/3 of the way with sprouts and fill the rest of the way with water.

I set a lid over the top of my bowl and leave it overnight.



Step 2: In the morning, rinse the sprouts in a mesh strainer until you no longer feel slimy water coming through the bottom.




Step 3: Then set the strainer over your bowl for about 10 minutes to drain off the excess water. We don't want the sprouts to mold.




Step 4: Then place your strainer full of sprouts onto a plate, cover with a towel and let it sit until evening. Before going to bed rinse the sprouts again. Wash off the plate as it will have some slimy residue, shake the strainer to drain out the excess water, return the strainer to the plate and cover again till morning.

Step 5: The next morning, lift the towel and check your sprouts. If you look closely at this picture, you will see little tails sticking out on some of the buckwheat. This batch is ready. If you do not see little tails, then rinse your sprouts, clean the plate and set the strainer back on the plate and cover up. Check them in the evening to see if they have sprouted yet. If they have, go on to the next step.

Step 6: Transfer the sprouts to a teflon sheet of your dehydrator. I usually line my trays with wax paper (not pictured) if I need to use more than one tray.






Step 7: Dehydrate. It doesn't take long for buckwheat to dehydrate - usually a few hours. When they are dehydrated, you can go ahead and use them in your recipe, or you can place them into a glass container and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them! Voila!

Learning this information has made me a very happy camper! =D

Coming Next, the amazing benefits of FlaxSeed Oil!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yummy "Ooops" Smoothie

I found this recipe for a Raw Iced Mochachino that looked really good, but I was missing one of the ingredients. Hoping it wouldn't matter, I proceeded anyway. YUCK!!

I HATE wasting food, so I decided to keep adding ingredients to see if I could save the drink. The end result is being named the Yummy Oops Smoothie! My step-daughter and her friend LOVED it! They said it was delicious. So ... SUCCESS! Yay!! It tastes like a chocolate smoothie, but better.

Here's the recipe. =D

2 cups of coconut milk (which I made by blending 3 cups of water with the meat and water of one young coconut, and then straining through a nut bag.)
3+ TBSP of cacao powder
1 TBSP of maca powder
1 TBSP of mesquite powder
1/2 TBSP of raw cacao nibs
1 vanilla bean
3+ TBSP of agave nectar (approx.)
dash cinnamon
2 frozen bananas
2 cups ice

Blend and serve. And this was the end result!

Coming up ... I found a quicker and easier way to sprout sprouts!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lesson Learned

DO NOT OVER SOAK YOUR ALMONDS!!! I made almond milk but left my almonds soaking for almost 24 hours! Not on purpose, mind you, but just got caught up with too many things to do and forgot about them. The almond taste in the milk was very overpowering. It reminded me of eating apricot kernels that have a very strong almond flavor.

In case you didn't know, Apricot Kernels (the seed inside the pit) are the richest source of Vitamin B17 or Laetrile. Other foods that contain Vitamin B17 are: Apple seeds, alfalfa sprouts, bamboo shoots, barley, beet tops, bitter almond, blackberries, boysenberries, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, buckwheat, cashews, cherry kernels, cranberries, currants, fava beans, flax seeds, garbanzo beans, gooseberries, huckleberries, lentils, lima beans, linseed meat, loganberries, macadamia nuts, millet, millet seed, peach kernels, pecans, plum kernels, quince, raspberries, sorghum cane syrup, spinach, sprouts (alfalfa, lentil, mung bean, buckwheat, garbanzo), strawberries, walnuts, watercress, yams.

What's so great about Laetrile?

It is believed that consuming Vitamin B17 or Laetrile enhances the immune system and can help prevent cancer. So, whenever I buy apricots, I'll eat the kernels too. =]

Just thought I'd share a kernel of truth.