Where are the Peanuts? Satay-style Salad Recipe

imageNuts and seeds form a large component of the Raw Diet. However, I realised that there seemed to be a significant absence of one of my favourites in the recipes I was finding. Hence, I turned to Google to undertake some research.

There is some debate when it comes to the use of peanuts in a raw diet.  Firstly, peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut.

Traditionally, peanuts are boiled as part of their processing, due to the tendency for them to have a particular fungi on them called Aspergillus flavus which produces a chemical called aflatoxin.  This chemical is considered carcinogenic. However, this process means that they are not considered a ‘raw’ food.

True raw peanuts and peanut butter are available, and the level of this mould is usually quite small, so the risk is considered minimal – unless you eat substantial quantities every day.

In either case, peanuts are not a common ingredient in raw recipes.  Consequently, cashews are also not technically a raw product either, even though they abound in raw recipes. They are boiled or steamed during processing, as they contain a substance called urushiol, which is the same chemical found in poison ivy.  It can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

I’ve always loved my peanut butter, and as I am not aiming to be 100% raw, I am comfortable with eating traditional organic peanut butter. If you prefer to stay fully raw, I don’t see why an alternative nut butter (cashew, almond) would not work in this recipe, though I am yet to try it.

I was seeking a satay-style sauce to go with my kelp noodles, as I thought that would make a very tasty dish. Note though, that I don’t like spicy food, so this sauce has no ‘heat’ in it as a true satay would. If you like it hot, you could slice some chili and stir that through, along with some garlic and spices.

This is very much an experimental dish, so if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

RFD Original Recipe – Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 packet Kelp noodles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of liquid aminos or Tamari
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 4 teaspoons of sesame seeds

 

Method

  • Dice the mushrooms and place them in a bowl. Pour over 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 of tamari. Stir through and leave for at least half an hour to marinate.
  • Place the kelp noodles in your serving bowls
  • Dice the zucchinis and spread over the noodles.
  • Julienne the carrots and scatter over each bowl
  • Top with the mushrooms
  • Blend the apple cider vinegar, peanut butter and water together (I just whisked them with a fork in the same bowl I marinated the mushrooms in)
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of tamari, according to taste (also depending on how much of the marinade remained in the bowl)
  • Season with salt if desired
  • Divide the sauce between the bowls and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top
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My Best Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

1898010_10202846805552462_1732105077_nHaving experimented with making green smoothies over the last few weeks, I have formulated my ‘basic smoothie’.

This can then be tweaked or adapted depending on the specific ingredients I have on hand, and to provide some variety.

When first trying green smoothies, I jumped straight for the kale – not such a good idea.  It has quite a strong flavour, and made the smoothies a little hard to take for a newbie.  It didn’t help that I just threw some other random ingredients in there hoping that it would taste OK.  Not always the case!

Therefore, after some trial and error, I have hit on the recipe for success!

My Basic Recipe (makes 2 serves)

  • 250ml coconut water
  • Half an orange (I like valencia’s as they are lovely and juicy), segmented and peeled
  • Half a lemon (put the whole segments in rather than juicing them), peeled
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 large or 2 small bananas
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • Several fresh mint leaves
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend together until smooth and enjoy!

Alternatives or additions could include:

  • Kale or cos lettuce in place of spinach
  • Almond (or other nut) milk in place of coconut water
  • Add chia or flax seeds
  • Add your fruit of choice!

Carnage in the Kitchen! Raw Beetroot Chocolate Mudcake

imageI’ve never been a fan of beetroot.  Then again, I’d only ever tried the usual canned stuff – yuck!  After tasting the real deal in one of the salads at the workshop on Saturday, I felt game enough to try making a beetroot mudcake.  While the idea still plays with your mind, I’m hoping the results will prove very tasty.

Having never cooked with it before, I had not realised what a mess beetroot makes.  It looked like an act of violence had occurred in my kitchen.  Chopping board, knife, benchtop and hands were all stained a suspicious red.  Thankfully hands and benchtop cleaned up easily.  The chopping board was a different kettle of fish.  Good old Google provided this handy tip which worked a treat.

For stains on your chopping board, put lemon juice on the stains, sprinkle with salt and leave to soak for 1/2 hour or so. This will draw the stains out.

So, now to the cake itself.  Pretty easy to make in the food processor.  The only ingredient I had some trouble finding was the cacao butter, but that was more because I couldn’t see it sitting on the shelf in front of me until I asked one of the girls in the store for help (I thought only guys did that??).

I found this recipe on Facebook at Wray Organic, where it had been adapted from http://drlibby.com/

Raw Beetroot Chocolate Mudcake

For the Cake
2 cups macadamia nuts
4 medjool dates
½ cup currants
¼ cup organic coconut flower nectar
3 medium beetroots, grated
2 cups desiccated coconut
½ cup raw cacao powder
2 tbsp psyllium husks, ground
1/3 to ½ cup sweet cacao nibs

• process the macadamia nuts until they are crumbly
• add the dates, currants & coconut flower nectar & process until smooth
• add the grated beetroot & process for another minute
• add the coconut, cacao powder & psyllium husks
• blend until everything is well mixed & an even texture
• mix through the sweet cacao nibs.
• press into the bottom of a spring form cake tin
• place in the freezer for at least half an hour while you make the icing

For the Icing
100g cacao butter, melted
1 cup raw cashew nuts
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup coconut flower nectar or maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp tamari

• gently melt the cacao butter over a low heat in a small saucepan
• leave aside to cool
• combine & blend the cashews, cacao powder, coconut flower nectar or maple syrup, lemon juice & tamari in a food processor
• pour in the melted cacao butter & process into the mix is smooth
• pour the whole mix over the cake base & spread out evenly.
• refrigerate overnight & allow all the flavours to absorb into each other before serving.

My Photos

Note: my icing didn’t come out as smooth as I would like, probably as I didn’t grind the nuts on their own first.
I am currently impatiently waiting for it to set in the freezer.  I’ll comment on the outcome once I’ve tried it.

Taste test complete!  Very tasty, very rich. Not sure about having the cacao nibs in there whole. They do add some texture, but I think I’ll leave those out next time. Otherwise, gets the tick of approval!

My First Raw Food Workshop

I attended my first raw food workshop yesterday, and found it very interesting and insightful. The main topic was ‘cleansing’ with raw food.  This was not looking at a detox programming or juice fast; but rather how the raw diet maintains and cleanses your body on a continual basis. As the instructor said,

How often do you shower?  Every day or only occasionally?

This is the same approach we should take with the inside of our bodies too.  Rather than clog them up with empty foods devoid of nutrients then try to flush out our system every few months, we should be maintaining it with daily high-value food. This puts less stress on our bodies and leads to an overall more healthy lifestyle.

We tried out several juice, smoothie and salad recipes, some of which I probably wouldn’t have chosen to make myself. However, that’s another bonus of workshops – you can experiment with new tastes, and often be pleasantly surprised, as I was.  I didn’t expect to enjoy carrot and ginger juice or beetroot salad, but found them both to be very delicious!

That’s another thing I am finding with this raw food experience. I need to keep an open mind, and be willing to try new tastes. Food in its pure form can taste totally different to the cooked or canned varieties we are used to.

Overall, it was a fantastic afternoon. And I plan to hunt down another raw food workshop very soon!

Back on the Raw Food Wagon

EvenTonight's tea though I’ve decided to make a slow transition to the Raw Diet, I had achieved at least two raw meals a day over the last two weeks. The last two days saw and end to that – and didn’t I pay the price!

It was the old ‘too tired’ and ‘too rushed’ evening meal that was my undoing. I was still having my smoothies for lunch and snacking on fruit and nuts. However, tea became ham and salad rolls. Wheat rolls. Large wheat rolls.

I would have considered that a reasonably decent meal until a few weeks ago. Now I am mentally kicking myself in the behind for ‘falling off the wagon’.

I also missed my green smoothies on those days. Dismal failure.

The physical reaction was quite astounding. The fatigue really kicked back in, and my belly was not impressed whatsoever. I’ve been taking more bathroom breaks than is enjoyable.

Never again! Now that I’ve experienced some of how I can feel on the Raw Food diet, I am determined to stick with it. As a lot of the sites I follow point out – it is OK to have an occasional cooked or non-raw meal. However, ‘occasional’ would be the key word there.   Not days in a row.  And keep up those smoothies!!

Get gorgeous skin fast with easy green smoothie

Get gorgeous skin fast with easy green smoothie.

Great post from The Curious Giraffe.  Love those green smoothies – they truly are wonderful for you, inside and out!

Eating Cold Food is Not Cool – or is it?

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When I first started looking into what the Raw Diet entailed, I’ll admit that I was a little put off by the thought of eating everything cold. One of the key elements of the Raw Diet is that food is not heated above 46° C (115° F), as that is when the valuable enzymes and … Continue reading