Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Make . . . Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Wow - just came home to the full bodied smell of dehydrating tomatoes! Not only does raw food have the amazing tastes and textures that I love, but my home is filled with mouth-watering, stimulating aromas when the dehydrator is used! As you can see, my mason jars are getting filled with nutritious, meaty tasting sun-dried tomatoes!

Maybe in some past life I was a Daschnik (people who work and communicate with the earth and its plants - from the Anastasia books), or maybe I just really appreciate simple, natural whole food, because I experience such joy when working with the vital life force in these foods! 

My mandoline is a pleasure to use. I just put it on the thickest setting to slice tomatoes and it helps me go through a box of tomatoes really fast. Tomato slices are placed in a single layer on the mesh of my Excalibur dehydrator tray (for very juicy tomatoes you can put on Paraflexx sheet first.) Dehydrate at 105 degrees F for 12 hours or more, turn slices over, and dehydrate another 12 hours or so until done to your liking! A quick and easy way to make the most of your tomato harvest - PRESERVATIVES and COOKING NOT REQUIRED!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Raw Persimmon Pudding

I just made the most deliciously thick green smoothie pudding - courtesy of Valya Boutenko - definitely going back to Safeway for more persimmons!

Raw Persimmon Pudding
1 persimmon
5 very large strawberries
1 banana
2-3 stalks wild celery, with leaves
(I used regular celery, but since I love wild celery which is more nutritious and tastier, I'll go to the Abbotsford Farmers Market this Saturday for the wild version.)
  • Remove top and seed from persimmon and discard, place remaining persimmon in a blender
  • Add strawberries and banana to blender
  • If using a Vitamix you will want to use the tamber. Omitting water thickens a green smoothie into a pudding.
  • When fruit is mixed thoroughly, add celery, one stalk at a time
  • Blend till smooth and pour into dessert dishes - Fast, Easy and Delish!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sensitive to Gluten?

What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, contaminated oats, and a multitude of other products. It is also a food additive found in everything from ketchup to pharmaceuticals.

What is Celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in every 133 people in the U.S. 97% of those with Celiac disease go undiagnosed. It is more prevalent in certain populations, particularly in people of Northern European descent, and to have celiac disease, you must carry the gene for it.

Who should care about gluten?
Millions suffer from allergies and gluten intolerance, which can result in medical reactions ranging from temporary discomfort to high cholestrol, depression, arthritis, and Celiac disease.

Is gluten mentioned on food labels?
Not always. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified gluten as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe). Requirements for proper labeling are currently being formulated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Some hidden sources of gluten are:  imitation bacon bits, beer, blue cheese, brown rice syrup, cereals, coffees, communion wafers, croutons, dairy substitutes, deli meats, fried foods, gravies, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) and (HPP), imitation seafood, licorice, marinades, salad dressings, seasonings and spices, soy sauce, soup bases, beauty products, stamp and envelope adhesive, Play-Doh, prescription drugs and over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements.

Some Gluten-free foods:  Amaranth, Arrowroot, Artichoke (dried and ground as flour), chickpea flour, garfava flour (chickpea and fava bean blend), Kettle chips, lentil flour, soy flour, buckwheat, corn, flax meal, millet, nut flours, potato flour, Quinoa, Rice, Tapioca, Sorghum, Teff.

Rule of Thumb:  The closer a food is to its natural state, the more likely it is to be gluten-free. Processed foods often include hidden glutens.

Whether you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or a basic desire to live a healthier life, you may want to view the following:
  • "The G Free Diet" by Elisabeth Hasselbeck
  • "Recipes for IBS" by Ashley Koff
  • G-Free forum