These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Silky Araucania Ruca Yarn

/Cue Music   

“Raindrops on windows and whispers from willows

Shepherds of sea life from great whales to minnows

silver white tea leaves sun-kissed into greens

These are a few of my favorite things!”

/Cut Music

*

Okay, been a while since my last “Favorite Things” post…ya think? :? But here we go…

So, my favorite tea greens are ground up into Matcha, as I’ve mentioned; my favorite being Matcha from Mountain Rose Herbs which consistently offers superior quality for fantastic prices. You’ll not find that quality matcha for less.

***

A Touch of Evil :D (just a touch ;) )

Jerusalem Artichoke Inulin Powder, from Natural Zing

Now, I normally do not recommend sweeteners aside from fresh fruits,and, really, it shouldn’t be needed much at all on a  NDE Diet. But, occasionally, when needed, I like to go as natural as is good –  this is my favorite:  One of the ever increasingly popular type of  inulins being used as sweetners; specifically, my favorite is Artichoke Inulin. (The most popular, well-known, and the “original” is chicory inulin*) This is not the  artichoke flower which may come to mind, but a different root veg called Jerusalem Artichoke,  also known as sunchoke. These were a “What Is It?” featured here on BeStrixed.

Artichoke inulin is available from a few sources; I get mine from Natural Zing – another “Favorites” places! Lots of raw-foodie good stuffs :D

By the way, fresh sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes are great mashed and combined with cauliflower to make faux mashed potatoes! Delicious veggie!

I first tried inulin in chicory form, many years ago before I was an NDE, and, while it didn’t taste bad, it was not sweet enough for me, nor for the recipes I was making at the time. Whew! Glad those hyper-sweet days are long gone! Still it is much better than the alternatives such as Splenda, and saccharins out there, so if the artichoke is not available for you, the chicory may be one to try.

I have always liked stevia (combined with erythritol,which I also recommend – no laxative/gas/bloating effect; and better for some applications); however, Dr. Greger has recommended what is a safe amount of stevia, so bear that in mind (But also, pure unprocessed stevia seems to  have no problems**)One thing to remember, though, is that stevia doesn’t require large amounts anyway. I used to find erythritol in small independent vitamin shops (if lucky) or online in few places; it’s now everywhere. Again, sweeteners should not be used in large amounts in a Nutrient Dense Diet; but, I use it for the occasional beverage, for example, and moreso for guests dishes and desserts.  I’ve used it for Thousand Island dressing as well.

I really don’t like date sugar unless it is for a brown sugar substitute, for which it is perfect( See my No-Grains Granola, and my Essene breads/Manna/Raw/Ezekiel, etc.)Plus, way too much sugar, way too many calories, and…

…very grainy makes it less than ideal: See here what happens when you sift date sugar

Big difference!  Oh, and …

always check the label to see if it’s 100% dates…Yikes!Oat flour! And Wheat!

HOWEVER….

…You know there’s always one ;^)  On the plus side, fresh dates are very nutritious and don’t have to be excommunicated from your Eat To Live relig — uh, I mean, menu! ;^) ) Occasionally, they are fine. See my Butterscotch Pudding” recipe ;)

Luo Han Guo, pure,  is another sort of brown-sugar-ish flavor sweetener with a fruity-ish twist; I don’t like it, really. It’s got its own unique flavor which makes it use very limited. It can be found in combinations (with one of the sugar alcohols, for example),which improves it immensely; some being better than others. Basically fruit and, GRAS, it doesn’t seem to be bad; however, there are always critics.

As an aside, D mannose, commonly used to treat bladder infections, is sometimes found in sweeteners. It is also a “simple sugar molecule.”

Many other sweeteners out there, but I don’t or didn’t intend this to be a review of all faux sweeteners! :)

***

–> Back to the Artichoke Inulin;)

*

I’d say, it’s about 70% as sweet as the same amount of sugar; HOWEVER, I must caution that my sweet sense is really heightened compared to the taste buds of someone consuming sugar at a standard rate. I haven’t had sugar in over 8 years; so, it probably would not be a choice of the average American-style-diet consumer. In fact, I know it wouldn’t. A standard diet eater may think this is maybe 40- to 50% as sweet as regular sugar.

It’s actually delicious.

Upsides

Unlike all fake sweeteners, Jerusalem artichoke inulin has some nutritive value. Even the erythritol I mentioned is harmless, but it’s not nutritious — not by a long shot.

Healthful; pre-biotic;  It is white-ish; dissolves well (though best in warm to hot) and clear; has no aftertaste; no strange flavors or bitterness whatsoever; very “clean” taste; measures more like sugar; has an emulsifying ability, adding smoothness/creaminess, slight thickening; NO graininess at all, it’s powdered, but not dusty; goes with well with any type of recipe.

Downside

is the price :( . Still, if you are an NDE (Nutrient Dense Eater) who has healed from sugar addiction, then you  won’t need loads of it ;) It does provide some calories,; though not too many, in my opinion.  Another you may like is Agave Inulin — higher calories; less expensive.

So, Artichoke Inulin –  my favorite, best recommendation for sweetening, when you must!

***

/Cue Music -

“Plant yarns,  and fabrics, compassionate satins

Pleathers and faux furs, save seals brutal lashes

Bees buzzing by with nectar on their knees…

These are a few of my favorite things!”

*

/Cut Music   ;)

***

Araucania Ruca is a gorgeous drapey yarn made from sugarcane — Yes, THAT sugarcane! It is a perfect substitute for silk and is often mistaken for same. Stunning, silky and soft.

*

There are a plethora of plant yarns and fabrics so there is no need to rob animals of their skins and hair (and then eventually kill them, no matter how “humane” you are told they are treated).

Wendy-Peter Pan 4-Ply Fingering Yarn

Really, way too many favorites, but a stand out yarn for socks is Wendy Peter Pan “Happy 4-Ply” Bamboo/Nylon blend. The reason I love-love-love this yarn is because it is a true fingering weight yarn (I can use a quintuple 0 needle  for socks). The color — as with most bamboo — is stunning. It’s machine washable; strong(!); and wears very well. Feels mighty nice, too. No drapey socks, either; the nylon holds them up well.Wish they had solids!

Hemp yarns are great for accessories; here is just one way I’ve put this strong, sturdy yarn to use –a nice pair of working gloves :^)

I love hemp fabric. One would think it’s harsh; it’s not! Try my favorite, Hemp Traders. Lots of variety. Seriously, they’ve got hemp velvet and terry cloth — suede! Love it. All kinds of blends. Great place. Great service. Great products. I’ve bought tons from them.

_

Purlple Aronia Berries, powdered

And since I added that link to the agave inulin, a shoutout to Z-Naturals! A definite “Favorite Things” place. The fastest service I’ve ever experienced, good-quality products and  good prices.

I have been using their superfruits in my green smoothies — Purple Aronia berries and Seabuckthorn berries (though only available in powdered form and most products are in bulk.) A few other things I’ve ordered, all fab quality. Good stuff.

But of course You All know how I adore Mountain Rose Herbs. Def at the top of my Faves list! I’ve been shopping there for years and they just get better and better. Here’s a tip, though: If you phone order, make sure to get all you need when you call because, one, they will not allow you to add anything once they put your order through (as in you cannot call back even 1 minute later and add on; nor even right after they input it while you’re ordering!); so write it all down and have ready to order if you call; two, the shipping is expensive!

“Amla”Also known as INDIAN gooseberries

I’ve mentioned lots of stuff I get from MRH, including dried fruit; Iam so glad they offer  whole, dried Amla berries . I also love-LOVE their bilberries — super yummy in my GJGS’s! Elderberries, and, of course Maqui’s are two others I buy regularly. YES, I still use fresh fruit! But why deprive myself of this bounty when it’s available?

______

*Chicory, by the way, is one of, if not the, original coffee substitute. The roots are roasted and ground. There are many variations of its use for coffee; so if you need one, a blend with chicory and dandelion is one you may want to try.

**That I am aware, pure stevia plant, meaning the green leaves, simply ground or used whole-leaf has no problems associated with it — if anyone knows any different, please leave let me know in the comments! The stevia most used and referred to is the highly processed and isolated white stevia powder.

More “Favorites” to come!

Poxacuatl  Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

4 Comments

  1. Mira McCombe said,

    July 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Always love to read your informative postings. Wanted to share a link to lots of excellent owl pictures (among other creatures): http://www.providenceraptors.com

    • Strix said,

      July 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks, Mira. Nice photos.

      Is it wrong to wish to have an owl of my own? :) I know, I know…I wouldn’t…but maybe just one that lived outside my window would do!

      When I was a child we had one that lived in our walnut tree. It was very high up, so not always easy to see. But we heard her often. That hooting was so soothing.

  2. September 6, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I very much like your associative, circuit-taking style of writing, and I always learn a lot from your posts. The music you picked is one of my favorite jazz standards. :) I love this interpretation of it:

    • Strix said,

      September 6, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Wow, that is beautiful. Thanks for posting it. I love it too!


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