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Quinoa Salad

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Before I left for holidays, I received an awesome package in the mail:

9780980564389 Lola Berry Brisbane Book Launch

Thank you Lola! You’re a doll! It was such a lovely surprise after missing out on getting a copy at the book launch a few weeks back. So it made for some delicious holiday reading.

And I even got a personally autographed copy 😉

So now back on home soil I’d decided to make a variation on Lola’s  Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

adapted from Inspiring Ingredients by Lola Berry

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked red quinoa

4 tomatoes diced

120g of mixed lettuce leaves

1/2 red onion diced

2 stalks celery finely chopped

handful of sultanas/raisins

1/3 cup of sunflower seeds

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

handful of chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

pinch of himalayan salt, cracked pepper and sumac

juice & zest of one lemon

Dressing:

Juice of one lemon

3 T nama shoyu/tamari

1 T agave

1 T olive oil

1 t apple cider vinegar

seasoned with himilayan sea salt and cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and FEAST!

This served 3 hungry adults (Mum, Dad & I)

I love eating salads with bite size pieces that you can shovel into your mouth, and even better I ate this salad with a spoon!

Then whilst watching my new TV obsession, the UK version of Come Dine with Me, I put together a snack plate of this for us all to enjoy.

Almond butter on fruit.

I can rarely enjoy that show without something to nibble on.

First dad eyed off the plate with a bit of a funny look, but when he saw mum and I hooking into it, he bravely sampled a banana then was happy to try out the apple.

What’s your TV obsession right now?

I am also loving Banged up Abroard/Locked up Abroad on the National Geo Adventure Channel.

***UPDATE:  Thanks for your responses yesterday regarding your blender ideas. For those of you currently in the market for a new blender, here was some great feedback:

Kate Quinn (founder and Editor in Chief of Living Raw Magazine) said:

I thoroughly recommend the Vitamix but if you can’t afford it look towards a cheaper one – although I generally recommend 1200 watts or above as the 600W ones (at least here in Aus) don’t break down the greens very well. I have run comparisons side by side and the difference is quite stark.

 

I have tested of a new product called Ladyship which is mid-range priced (about $400?) and while it has a 600w motor the strength is in its torque. Green smoothies are great in it and it also does nut milk – straining the pulp and all – because you can put a filter in the jug (so it also does juicing). I’m quite impressed and now recommending this for people who don’t want an cheap and tinny blender, but can’t afford the Vitamix. More info here:http://www.ladyship.com.au/

InTolerantChef said:

It’s always worth while purchasing the very best equipment you can afford, or maybe saving a bit longer to get the right one. As a chef who uses this type of equipment constantly, it’s not worth while cutting corners to save a little bit of money. It’s false ecconomy in the long run.

Shani said:

I recently upgraded from my breville blender which I used for about 12 months before it gave up on me, but I still could not afford the Vitamix, I ended up researching alot and buying a Powermill Blender form Vitalitly 4 Life in Australia for around $600 AU and it is fantastic. It blends up everything so smooth and does everything else I wanted it too. It was alot cheaper than the Vitamix and I am very happy with it.

You can also read more positive Vitamix comments here on my facebook page.



So What is a Green Smoothie?

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This post is really for those friends of mine that look at my sludge tinged travel mug and wonder either out loud or to themselves, “what the hell is she drinking?”.

Most raw foodies already have had the pleasure of learning for the betterment of their health, what a Green Smoothie (sometimes known as Green Monster) is, so if this is elementary for you, I expect you to switch off now. However for those of you that keep asking me to talk about Green Smoothies here goes.

Green Smoothies:

  • are an opportunity for you to drink your greens in a most palatable fashion (sometimes even your daily amount) when you may struggle to get enough of them in your daily diet.
  • give you boost in energy
  • supply you with a radiant complexion
  • can improve your quality of sleep
  • reduce cravings for sugary and junk foods
  • can assist in effortless weightloss and overall vitality
  • are a complete food
  • are easily digested
  • are loaded with nutrition
  • are full of fibre, so will assist in eliminating toxins
  • taste delicious!!!!

Basically Green Smoothies are a blended drink made with fresh green leafy vegetables (the darker the more nutritious) and fruit and a liquid – usually water or fresh juice, right now I am loving home made almond milk however. Green leafys are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods on earth and when blended with sweeter fruits and water, can actually taste just like a fruit smoothie.

Don’t stop reading now, because honestly, when I first thought of blending spinach with banana and water (the first green smoothie I ever made) I thought I was crazy for even considering it, but what it began was a beautiful love affair which has continued 4 years on. Apart from the green colour, it tasted to me just like a banana smoothie. What a way to disguise your greens, particularly for those of you (children especially) who need to have their greens hidden in their meals!

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Even my parents have gotten into it!

I usually have a Green smoothie for breakfast and make enough that I can sip on it right through until dinner time, but some people just start their day off with a Green Smoothie. If you do make a big enough batch however, they can last up to 3 days in a refrigerated environment. Now let me tell you, especially for those die hard coffee drinkers, I find my Green Smoothie gives me a way bigger kick without the come down and is a great replacement for when I am craving junk food!

So here are the basic components of my Green Smoothies

  1. Choose your base: water, fresh made juice (made yourself in a juicer not out of a carton) or non dairy milk – my favourite is almond milk at the moment
  2. Choose your green: plenty of die hard green smoothie heads LOVE kale in their smoothies, but I am yet to try it. I’ve been told it’s quite bitter and can taste like death, so if you’re new to this I would suggest cos/romaine lettuce or even better still spinach as both of them have very little flavour and plenty of POWER. The darker the green leaf, the better. I have also used green cabbage in a pinch. Parsley too, but not technically a green leafy, more a herb but a great addition to any smoothie!
  3. Choose your fruit: bananas almost always have a starring role, but mangos, fresh dates, pineapples, berries, lemons, young coconuts, avocados, paw paw, apples, pears etc are a good place to start
  4. Optional extras: (try not to overdo it maybe choose one or two) : superfoods like maca, spirulina, other seaweeds (like dulse, nori etc), hemp seeds or powder for protein, cacao nibs, goji berries (good idea to pre soak them), lucuma, chia seeds, coconut oil, agave, bee pollen, raw honey,

Get started and Blend Blend Blend!

My suggestion would be to start off very conservatively with your greens and taste as you go along. I really love a thicker smoothie, however my husband loves it much thinner. I feel the thicker the smoothie, the fuller I will feel for longer. A good beginner smoothie would be 2 cups of water, 1 handful of baby spinach leaves and 1 banana. Add less or more fruit to taste. Gradually you will want to increase the greens as you become a regular Green Smoothie drinker :)

Don’t forget, even though you sip your smoothies, DON’T chug them, and DO chew them. The reason for chewing (which seems absurd as you have blended your food into a drink for sipping) is it makes the smoothie even easier to be digested, especially for those who believe Green Smoothies make them bloat up. Chewing your smoothie until it is warm and begins to taste sweeter in your mouth, means that you are producing saliva which will lubricate the sugars and help them to break down in your stomach even better, hence eliminating any bloating feeling you may suffer. Plus it will ensure you don’t suffer any gas 😉

Here are some other great tasty recipes that are perfect for beginners. Once you get your Green Smoothie on, the options are endless and your creative juices will begin to flow.

Berry Green

serves 2

2 glasses of almond milk (I make my own like here)

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1 cup of blueberries (only half a cup pictured)

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1/2 cup of strawberries

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2 packed cups of baby spinach

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1 frozen banana

Optional Extras: Today I added 1 teaspoon of spirulina and 1 tablespoon of hemp powder.

Blend until smooth. Voila!

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Warming Ginger – this was a fave when I took some samples to my Boot Camp class.

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The combination of pineapple, mango and ginger in this smoothie gives it an Asian twist. If you are in a cold climate then don’t let this stop you from drinking green smoothies. Ginger is warming on a cold day and also helpful during colds and flus to help you sweat and promote detoxification. Ginger also eliminates intestinal gas, relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract and is anti-inflammatory. In herbal remedies, ginger is used to alleviate nausea, dizziness and vomiting. To benefit from ginger you only need to use a little, as the active substances in ginger are so concentrated.

Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese, which is an important mineral in energy production. Pineapple is often recommended to promote good digestion.

  1. ½ head romaine lettuce
  2. 1 cup pineapple
  3. 1 large mango
  4. 1-inch fresh ginger
  5. 2 cups of water

Blend the pineapple, mango, ginger and water for 30 seconds. Add the romaine lettuce and blend until smooth.

Quickie Green Smoothie

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Cabbage, parsley, lemon (whole without rind), pineapple, pear, maca and spirulina and water.

My Favourite Green Smoothie Recipe

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Quarter of a whole Green Cabbage

2 small cucumbers

2 zuchinnis

1 banana

1 Apple

2 Kiwi Fruits

2 cups of Spinach/Swiss Chard

1 peeled Lemon

1 tablespoon of Spirulina Powder

Blend all with water to desired consistency. The thicker the better for me. This usually makes a whole blender full which I drink for breakfast and keep the remainder in the fridge which I ‘snack’ on if I am at home, throughout the day, sometimes lasting me until dinner sometimes I make a salad for lunch.

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ENJOY!

Do you have a favourite Green Smoothie recipe you’d like to share?

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Video | How to Make Raw Almond Flour

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Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since I Video posted, so thought why not share with you what I do with my left over almond pulp from all my almond milking I’ve been doing lately.

This video steps off from this one here, where I show you how to make your own nut milk.

Enjoy!

To Agave or Not To Agave?

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Ever since this post on Mercola’s website regarding agave nectar (from the agave plant) came about, there has appeared to be some confusion in the raw food world as to whether or not agave should be continued to be used in recipes.

Whilst I was a culinary school, Matthew Kenney posted this statement on his facebook page to address so many people’s confusion:

I have received dozens of inquiries about agave in recent weeks, particularly following Dr. Mercola’s article. Rather than jump on one bandwagon or another, the intelligent approach seemed to require deep research and a further look into the issue. Along with a number of conversations, readings and studies, we sent Meredith Baird, who I have worked with on all projects for the past couple of years, to Mexico last week to explore and document the entire production process. While her findings have not addressed 100% of the ‘claims’, it is safe to say that many of them are exaggerated and include uneducated guesswork. There are a couple of issues we are still researching, particularly the temperatures that ‘raw’ agave may reach during processing. We will release our findings in the next couple weeks on www.matthewkenneylifestyle.com.

As a measure of flexibility, we have adjusted recipes in the 3 upcoming books we are currently writing, to include 3 options for any dish that requires a sweetener. That said, we are currently still utilizing agave for many of our recipes. As always, the most important factor is to listen to your body and try to remember that any sweetener should be used in moderation, and are primarily for dessert.

One year ago, many of the same ‘authorities’ proclaimed that cacao was toxic, full of harmful elements and could even cause nerve damage. Anyone that has been to a recent trade show or health food market will recognize that raw cacao usage has only grown rapidly in the past year.

I grew up with maple syrup and honey that were both produced in my back yard, so I’m comfortable with them both. Those are the options we recommend for anyone seeking alternatives, although they do alter the character of certain recipes. We will also explain this in more detail in our upcoming article.

In the meantime, it’s always good to relax a little – we are, after all, talking about the nectar of a plant, not the KFC Double Down. I sometimes find the drama to be more of the point than the issue being discussed with some of these topics. Obviously, nothing in excess is good for you- excessive equals obsessive. And that is never healthy.

I like the idea of listening to your body. And it is so much easier to do when our bodies aren’t junked up with loads of processed, refined unnecessary products, that some companies call food. Just my 2 cents worth. What do you think?

Video | How to Make Nut Milk

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I’d thought I’d share with you a basic video on how to make nut milk. Most raw foodies are all over this process, but this is for my non raw foodie friends who been asking me how/what is nut milk. Enjoy!

Video – How to Make Raw Veggie Pasta I

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  • The Cashew & Red Pepper dip I made was featured here thanks Jess at Dairy Free Betty for tweeting that recipe. I found the original recipe quite bland so I increased the sesame oil and added 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. I also used raw red peppers and NOT roasted as per the recipe.
  • I bought my Spiraliser from Fresh Network in the UK here but I don’t think they sell them anymore. I also bought one for my parents in Australia from here or  you can buy online in the US here.

Raw on the Road – Video Post

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Hey everyone!! Three more sleeps til Santa comes (and until I am on that 24 hour journey in a metal tube via Abu Dhabi and Singapore to Brisbane, otherwise known as Bris Vegas).

I had a fairly quiet day today in my hotel room, as our trip has been shortened again so I leave to go home tomorrow and I didn’t really fancy going out and spending money I just don’t have thanks to the left purse at home debacle. It was nice to just hang out in a beautiful room and get caught up on emails and trip planning. Sometimes you need to get out of your usual comfortable environment to get these things done right?

I also taught myself how to use some more features of my Mac. Oh how I love thee. Seriously, once you go Mac you don’t go back….well that is what this newbie is saying.

Today I learnt how to create and massacre edit a movie!! I have been wanting to do a video post for soooo long, so here it finally is.  Please be gentle, I had to make this one on my own today and I am still learning how to use the editing software so hopefully next video will be even better.

So here is to being Raw on the Road!

PS I wrote an ebook on how I travel raw which can also be helpful with giving you ideas and solutions just for being healthy in general whether you are flying for work or pleasure: Click on the image below to buy on Amazon.

Enjoy!

Juicing Vs Blending

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JUICING

Juicing is a fantastic way to get a bucketload of nutrients as juicers essentially separate the juice from the fibre of the vegetable and the juicers do the chewing for us, which means the nutrients are delivered faster. Oxidisation is quick however, so it is recommended you drink juices as soon as you have made them or in the very least within a day of making. Different juicers offer different kinds of technology for handling different fruit and vegetables. Most of the cheaper supermarket brands (and some of the more expensive like a Breville) are centrifugal which means they spin the pulp very fast, but there are claims that it oxidises the juice much quicker by heating it which damages delicate enzymes.

A masticating juicer (like a Champion or a Green Star) uses a slower motor and is believed it can enable the release of more minerals from hard fibres and keeps more enzymes intact.

Juicing tends to speed up cleansing and detox reactions much quicker than smoothies and it is believed that juice which still has some pulp in it, may be more taxing on the digestive system than properly chewing fruits and vegetables, due to the lack of salivation that is produced with proper mastication.

All in all though, my thoughts are any juicer is better than none because when was the last time you sat down to eat a bunch of apples, some carrots, a plate of spinach and some kiwi fruit? Sometimes it is just much easier to juice all of these up and drink the glass to get the goodness.

Juicing is ideal when you are ill as the nutrients are more condensed and there is no no time wasted in digestion. However if you are juicing too many sweet fruits, and consuming (even beets and carrots) you can put significant stress on your blood sugar and insulin levels resulting in diabetes or other complications.

BLENDING

Blended foods such as green smoothies (blended salads) and raw soups, are digested much easier than solid foods, as it destroys the cell walls of the fruits and vegetables, making the nutrients more available to our body but not as efficiently as juice. Smoothies are much heavier so can keep you fuller for longer and have been known to take away cravings for sweet sugary processed foods. Whenever I feel like a craving for something ‘naughty’ I make myself a green smoothie and it tends to be satiated immediately.

It is thought that blending fruits especially, rather than juicing, with the fibre kept more intact, allows your body to regulate the pace at which the sugars are released into your bloodstream.

THE VERDICT:

Whether you choose to blend or juice your fruit and vegetables consider one thing, try and ensure the majority of what you do blend or juice is vegetable, with perhaps some sweet fruit added for flavour or sweetness.

Also I do tend to blend more than I juice, purely due to effort factor. My blender is way easier to clean, I don’t need to cut my fruit and vegetables into as smaller chunks and it seems more effortless than the juicer. However after writing this post, I certainly want to pull out my Champion Juicer when I get home and start consuming more veggie juice. Maybe I will try and alternate my juicing with smoothies each day.

How to ‘Sassy’ Up your Salad

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Before going High Raw I had a love/hate relationship with salad. I would either eat them all day every day or I wouldn’t touch one for weeks (and the longer I went without eating one the more I didn’t want to!)
I do know now, they are a great way to stay RAW. But somedays, the thought of ‘just a salad’ doesn’t excite me. If you feel the same way, why not try these inventive pick me ups! Seriously they have given me back my desire for salad 200% and truthfully, I usually have at least two a day now and I really look forward to them!

Why not add these into your next salad?

 

  • Raw nuts: pine nuts, almonds or pecan nuts etc
  • Dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, sultanas etc
  • Fresh fruit: apples (dipped in lemon if you cannot handle the slight browning after it is cut), pineapple, oranges etc
  • Sprouts: alfalfa, been shoots, onion shoots etc
  • Seeds: sunflower, hemp, sesame etc
  • Snow peas (mange tout)
  • Fresh beetroot
  • Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi or pickles
  • Green Beans
  • Marinated Mushrooms
  • Shredded nori (the seaweed sheets used for making sushi)
  • Fresh herbs: basil, coriander, mint etc
  • Experiment with dressings. If you prefer more creamy dressings, consider blending avocado with some water and add other seasonings and spices to your taste (ie chilli, garlic, etc). Oriental flavours can be made with sesame oil/orange juice/lemon juice/olive oil, and the standard balsamic/olive oil/sea salt/ground pepper works a treat on a very full salad
  • Make it as colourful as possible. Presentation is a big part of a dish’s appeal, and making Raw dishes will definitely not be limited on colour, with the wonderful choice of capsicums, cucumber, beetroots and leafy greens available. Don’t just stop there!
  • Consider changing the texture or cuts of your usual salad ingredients ie grate your carrot or finely dice all your ingredients.

You can see that you are only limited by your imagination, so get creative!

What do you like to put on your salads?

Happy Munching.