Kumquat Mania…

tea_kumquat-ice-cubes-3

Herbal Tea with Ginger and Kumquat “Ice Cubes”

A hint of Summer: An early Spring iced tea I enjoyed recently in this gorgeous Southern Cali weather contained herbal tea with a zing of ginger. The kumquats were frozen and used as ice cubes for chilling, as well as lightly flavoring with the oils from its sweet rind. Slicing them works well, just like all citrus; You can enjoy most any frozen fruit as ice cubes — I especially like to use frozen berries this way. They flavor, beautify, and some sweeten; but with the advantage of being edible instead of simply melting ;). The kumquats, by the way, are also eaten whole — yep, skin and all. The only type of citrus which offers you this benefit — Nice and chewy ๐Ÿ˜€ It is actually the skin that is sweet! Just watch out for seeds ๐Ÿ˜‰

kumquats_bowl-37

Kumquats are one of the fruits that remind me of my childhood. But it’s different from the others in that I don’t recall eating these at all! There is something familiar, reminiscent…I don’t know, the fragrance brings back summer days in cut-off shorts and tees running around the neighborhood; fending off dragon flies; honeysuckle blossoms; sprinklers andย  jumping in and out of our neighbor’s pool (with our dog, of course) :D. There’s something in the very unique flavor of kumquats, too…can’t figure it out ๐Ÿ™‚

I used to confuse them with loquats, which are also delicious — that is, if you get a good one! If it’s from an uncared for tree, they are sour and awful; but a sweet one? Ooh, nice! There are loquat trees all over Southern Californian backyards ๐Ÿ™‚

As I mentioned, unlike most other citrus one of the coolest things is that you eat the whole thing (the cousin of the kumquat, the calamondin can also be eaten whole). With a sweet outside and the inside, tart, you get a delightful sweet and tart — not sour or bitter — flavor unlike any other. Very interesting taste and sensation — they are sweet, unique, and citrusy. Great summer treats. Pop them into your mouth to cool off. Grapes are another fruit great for freezing like this; little pops of instant sorbet ๐Ÿ˜‰

kumquats-161

If you do want to peel, it’s definitely a bit of work, but can be done. If you do not do it over a receptacle of some kind, you’ll really regret it; you’ll lose a lot of the juice. There are several pesky little seeds to be dealt with — be gentle ๐Ÿ˜‰

kumquats-34

kumquats_peeled-2

If you slice them in half the inside actually pops out cleanly…

kumquats-35

kumquats-37

I’ve been having them in my Green Juicie Green Smoothies lately, and they add their unique flavor with only a few added. What a refreshing change. ๐Ÿ™‚

*

I read about Meiwa Kumquats —

MEIWA KUMQUAT Beautiful quarter-sized, bright orange fruit cover a lush, small tree… Meiwa is a very different type kumquat… It’s larger and sweeter and has a more tender rind. It is the most preferred fresh-eating kumquat.


and tried looking for them to no avail. A friend saw some at his local farmers market and brought me some. Unfortunately, they were not Meiwa ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I guess the farmer wasn’t so honest; these command a higher price.

Meiwa are round and very sweet; these were the same as the above kumquats, which I assume are the Nagami Kumquats, which are 90% of the kumquats in California.

kumquat_1_closeup-3-copy

Still awful purty, though :D.

With my, now excess, amount of kumquats, I just washed them …

kumquats_bowl-copy

and stored in bags in the freezer. Lotsa kumquat yumminess this Summer ๐Ÿ™‚ Ooh, kumquat icecream and sorbet ๐Ÿ˜€

I never tried kumquatย  marmalade; though it may be something to try ETLized some day :). Should be easy enough. They contain a lot of pectin in their seeds; but I don’t think I’d cook it. Cooking fruit makes me cringe haha. A raw version should work, especially with the rind being so sweet already, it wouldn’t need to be cooked to cut the bitterness, nor sugar, for that matter. Sounds like a winner project to me ;).

Since I don’t cook and bake, I could use fresh kumquats in my salads; in dressings; relishes, and salsas (would be great for cranberry sauce); add to ptisans; my Green Juicie Green Smoothies;ย  and, yes, I even added them to my latest batch of cultured veggies!ย  Here are a couple…

cv_ap-4-09_-4

*

cv_ap-4-09_-9

I’m excited to try these. I used a piece of orange rind in previous batches, and the hint of flavor was delicious. These, containing the whole fruits (sliced, sans the seeds) are sure to be an experience! Can hardly wait ๐Ÿ˜€

Not too shabby a nutritional profile for these “little gold gems of the citrus family.” There is even an entire festival dedicated to ‘Quats in Florida. Gee I wish I coulda been a “Mz. Kumquat” contenda ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was surprised to learn there are so many varieties! I’m particularly anticipating that lemonkquat! A cross with a Meyer lemon…Mmmmmm ๐Ÿ˜€

I still hope to try the Meiwa; and I’m also curious about the Nordmann variety which is seedless! That would be even nicer ๐Ÿ™‚ I will most likely have to order those.

And of course,yummy kumquatade too ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is a cute little vid on how to eat a kumquat. Notice the instruction to chew-chew-chew ๐Ÿ˜€

How to Eat a Kumquat

Mmmm…
kumquats-11

Kumquats! Try some ๐Ÿ˜€

Poxacuatl

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Advertisements

Ohh, the Umami-ty…

Fermented_Bean_Curd
_Fermented Bean Curd (still in my cupboard!)

*Update* Wow, a “new” umami making the trend du jour — Black Garlic! — the new black.

Umami is the fifth flavor, as discovered and named a hundred years ago by Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, and by French chef, Auguste Escoffier, to a lesser degree. (I like the analogy to art in that article). It is described as the “savory” flavor. It is in meats, sea foods, dairy, and vegetables. It is, apparently, the often dreaded “glutamate”; however, it is a naturally occurring substance as in vegetables, in perfect amounts as it is with whole foods. When it breaks down, becomes l-glutamate, ie, umami. It’s in wines as well, the tannins (some teas fall into this, too, perhaps). Tempeh, is also an example of umami flavor — it’s beans and grains fermented. The Chinese cultivate that flavor by intensifying foods: soy sauces; fermented tofu (used to love this and utilized it often; above pic); and black beans are examples.

I hadn’t heard of it until a couple years ago; though, unknowingly, had been intensifying my foods to satisfy this as a vegan. I imagine it was to compensate for the animal foods I gave up in my diet when I went vegan — I don’t really know, though, because I didn’t eat a lot of animal-based umami pre-Vegan. Of course, I was nowhere near an optimal diet by just going vegan; but going vegan was and is so incredibly easy, especially, in my opinion, if one is basing the decision on ethics.

I cultivated this flavor in my bread creating for example. Since fermenting animal flesh, such as fish and vegetables, such as beans, intensifies umami, the fermenting of grains produces the same thing. I imagine vinegars satisfy this as well (notice how the most prized are those aged and fermented for years and years). I discovered how to make the best bread I’ve ever tasted by accident, and became a very good bread maker; I realized later, it was the umami which I produced through my own methods of making bread that made it so delicious. I was already addicted to bread — which was actually the cover for a sugar addiction — so I don’t believe I was addicted to umami flavors. Meat and dairy were not difficult at all to give up; I didn’t eat much of either pre-vegan or pre- ETL anyway. Lucky me — cheese is highly addictive and seems to give many people difficulty.

Interestingly, I have come to realize it is a flavor that is provided, naturally, by clean eating, just like the other four. I believe it is this flavor that EXPLODES for me when I eat simply, like just a delicious tomato and why I adore mushrooms, and I eat large amounts of these foods. Far from bland, eating natural, unadulterated foods become more flavorful than salty, sugar-ladened foods, when allowed to; this means, getting off the processed junk, and allowing your body to clean, heal and provide the incredible plethora of flavors withinย  them, packaged naturally by Nature. You have to lay off the junk to taste these flavors, unadulterated. Keeping them in the diet (she *forever* laments — and no one listens, of course ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  lol ๐Ÿ˜€ ) only keeps that desire, that craving alive. You double, triple the time it takes to get over it IF you ever do get rid of cravings — most likely, you won’t.

According to umami experts, we seek this flavor as well as the other four — sweet, sour, salty, bitter — in varying amounts, naturally. With the over-processing of foods and the monstrous amounts of meat and dairy consumption of today, peopleย  have come to crave these flavors and seek them out at dangerous levels. They become addictions and “cravings” rather than necessities. The amounts one consumes becomes so out of balance. I think, this is one reason some people have varying addiction issues. Some people are addicted to dairy, or salt for example; while others are sweet addicts (sugars/starches); so why wouldn’t someone be addicted to umami? Just as I thought I was addicted to caffeine (coffee = fermented = umami) because of the loads I consumed, it was actually the sugar I put in it; so may it be that those who believe they are addicted to meat are just people who crave that umami most intensely.

I think many people who feel they could never go vegetarian or vegan or consider themselves meateaters or those oh-so-special lot of folks who “need” meat are those who have an addiction to this flavor as others do to sugar, for example. You can get off of meat, as you can get off of sugar: GET OFF IT. That’s the only way. Imagine that.

Eating To Live — the cleanest and best diet for health and longevity — balances this out, in my opinion. It is neither too high or too low on any of the flavors. Although salt is not a healthful substance, we get PLENTY of it provided by nature in perfect amounts. I can taste a salty salt flavor in some foods, such as some tomatoes; definitely in mushrooms; and, interestingly, some greens and even lettuces! More than enough. Pre-clean eating, though, I would never have believed I could live without SOME salt, especially, the soy sauces and misos I adored. But now, these are disgustingly salty in amounts I previously wouldย  have thought small amounts. It’s amazing how the need for salt is satisfied through whole foods.

I recall, having been an avid baker and cook, that when someone didn’t want salt on something I made, it irritated me. I used to think they were not experiencing the best flavor nor the intended flavor without it. How awful! I used to force it on people. Terrible. I now know these people just didn’t need as much as I (thought) did.

I’ve also come to think that it is this fifth flavor which can be one cause for some to struggle to eat optimally. The sudden withdrawal from this savory flavor when eating a nutritious way, causes some to go back to standard fare to satisfy it, whether it’s meat, over-processed, sugary foods, or that ubiquitous addiction, cheese. We often go for the wrong thing to satisfy another: For example, going to sugar when what we need is complex carbohydrate, whole foods, instead or even the need for whole-food fat, as in my case; when we eat instead of dealing with emotions — it’s all the same misdirection. whenever the diet is suddenly changed — and ETL IS a drastic change for many people — there are “withdrawal” symptoms which vary by person and intensity! If you consume lots of salt, then go immediately to no salt, you’re gonna feel it!

Not surprisingly, leafy greens contain this fifth flavor. Just another reason to GO HEAVY ON THE LEAFY GREENS as I always cry. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Greens are, if there is one, the panacea or superfood. It crushes cravings for sugar and eliminates most other cravings as well, IF you take in enough (read: a lot); consistently; and stay away from the foods which you are addicted, you will stop cravings: Stop dabbling in SAD foods and so-called, “treating” oneself “once a week” to them. Rarely, if at all, does this work. Over the years, I’ve found that people who say ETL “didn’t work” for them, or that they “still have/had cravings” following Dr. Fuhrman’s diet were not really, truly following it. Some people admitted later; honestly didn’t/don’t realize they’re not following correctly; are not paying attention to their needs; didn’t do it for any realistic length of time; or some simply just don’t want to do it for whatever reason and blame the diet. Others, don’t like to admit that their “dabbling occasionally” is because of cravings. There’s nothing like being 100% FREE OF CRAVINGS and ADDICTION. :D. It’s miraculous, really. No need to dabble if you’re free ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, I’m hardcore ETL, I make no apologies ๐Ÿ˜€ I *love* ETL!! lol_roll

I have always been and always will be an advocate for following Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live way of eating 100% — again, no apologies ๐Ÿ˜‰ ; which, is a base from which ANYONE can tailor to their needs. Dr. Fuhrman gives you the basics and whatever particular health issues you have, you can alter it and still be eating optimally for you. Ah, the beauty of Eating to live ๐Ÿ™‚ . This does not mean half-ass committments — to me that’s an oxymoron anyway: A committment is a committment: either do it or don’t; either you are doing it, or you’re not. Sorry, that’s the truth.

I’m enjoying my umami flavors as well as the other four via ETL. I imagine the incredible flavor I’m getting from my cultured vegetables (high in umami!) is contributing to the potpourri of flavors (seriously, it’s like the 1960’s of foods ๐Ÿ˜€ ) already in Eat to Live, and the ever-increasing enjoyment of food. Funny how that works: It’s like when you let go of something you hold on so tightly to…like when they say when you “stop looking,” it comes to you? sort of like that. When you stop seeking out these fake-food “tastes” you will eventually attract REAL tastes and flavors, even BIGGER and BETTER! Sounds crazy to those who don’t give it chance; but if you have, you know exactly what I mean ๐Ÿ™‚ And even more crazy-ish, is that no matter how delicious anything I eat is, I’m never “craving” any one food nor do I have any food addictions. I can just enjoy with incredible intensity the way the food is meant to taste. Wow. ๐Ÿ˜€ Why doesn’t everyone eat to live?!

Photobucket

Speaking of fabulously-delish (but not addicting ๐Ÿ˜‰ )…

The papaya kimchi I made is incredible! OMGosh, Om’gosh, OH_MY_GOSH! I can’t even describe it! It’s amazing. I had no rotting of the top leaves again; I imagine this is because of the cleanliness I employ. I haven’t opened the cranberry-persimmon jar; it’s still fermenting; I’m going to let it go another week or so.

I’ve been eating the kimchis on the side as well, like a chutney or salsa, for example. Amazing, just amazingly good. The papaya flavor is not strong, but it’s definitely contributing. I’m not a papaya fan, actually, so this surprised me a little. Some nutritional yeast on the cultured foods also makes it much more “cheesy,” which makes sense, since cheese is fermented (and so is nutritional yeast!)

Afterall, my cultured veggies also satisfy my umami ๐Ÿ˜€

Another umamiย  food, is seaweed:. Since I eat Nori daily for my iodine requirements (other sea vegetables as well,) I make little nori rolls with it. It’s not unusual, actually, since Nori Rolls usually contain pickled ginger. I use the nori sheets like a tortilla sometimes to scoop my food :). Very delicious and a great texture: Nori can be chewy or crunchy, which makes it wonderful for variety. It’s also very mild and not so “sea” tasting as some of the other sea veggies.

Mushrooms — I eat loads of mushrooms; these are also a umami food: Not surprising that they are very meat-like.

Nutritional yeast? Yep, a fermented food, it satiates umami (and my mommy too) ๐Ÿ˜‰ No surprise it is “cheesy” and used as a substitute for same: cheese is fermented.

An occasional dabble into fermemted beverages is also a way for a little nip of umami — rejuvelac; kombucha; my beloved (vegan) coconut kefir — who needs wine? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tea (genuine — Camellia sinensis) is also umami.

Okay, must stop now. As usual, I’ve rambled. Hope it’s at least somewhat sensical. Gimme a break, okay, I’m feeling a bit loopy lately ๐Ÿ˜‰

Poxacuatl

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Nori I like, and Salt-Free Relish …

UPDATE: November 19, 2008

I found this great chart for Iodine content of sea veggies from VRG!! Great magazine, by the way. I subscribed for years — See Below

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I love this brand of Nori sheets. It’s Emerald Cove’s Organic raw seaweed. There are a few other good-quality brands, but the price and quality of these make it a “best buy” ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s often toasted, but I prefer it raw to get the most from it. It does not require cooking.

It’s great for a crunchy texture, as well as a chewy flavor when it becomes damp. It comes with the little freshness packet to keep them fresh, of course, but also to keep it crispy. If it’s humid, it very quickly gets soft; not a bad thing at all, really, just, if you want it crispy, keep it in the package till the last minute ๐Ÿ™‚ . You may know if you eat or have eaten sushi rolls that it will become chewy-ish when damp but unappealingly soggy if it gets too much liquid on it. The warm rice used to make nori rolls is just enough to keep it soft without tearing.

I used to make sushi quite often pre-ETL, and I used to like it as a snack, as well; and it was quite inexpensive when purchased at Asian markets.

Now, I use the raw sheets to scoop food or as a vessel for ETL-fillings and salad ๐Ÿ™‚ . I love that it’s mild and non-seafood tasting.

Sea Vegetables are nutritious, containing lots of minerals. I like Nori daily to get those minerals, but mostly to get adequate iodine, which is so important if not eating processed foods which are laden with salt which contain iodine. . Unfortunately the package doesn’t provide the iodine info (Notice there is no sodium! Whoo Hoo!! Yet it has a savory-mild salty-ish-ness):

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

and when I enquired via email, they said not only do minerals vary batch to batch (which is expected and normal), but also they just don’t know that info yet. Apparently, they are looking into it. It’s been a long time since I first enquired, and did so again recently, so, I’m not expecting to get that info any time soon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Here is what they did send me,however regarding Alaria, Dulse, Kelp, and Laver:

Nutrition per serving for Maine Coast Sea Vegetables

– based on 7g per serving (1/3 cup)

– whole-leaf sea veggies

Alaria Dulse Kelp Laver Daily Value

Protein g 1.24 1.51 1.13 1.99 50g

Fat g 0.25 0.12 0.17 0.32 65g

Carbohydrate g 2.79 3.12 2.75 3.16 300g

Calories cal 18.3 18.5 16.9 22.3 2000 cal

Fiber g 2.70 2.33 2.28 2.12 25g

Ca mg 77.0 14.9 65.9 13.2 1000mg

K mg 522 547 784 188 3500mg

Mg mg 64.3 19.0 63.0 26.5 400mg

P mg 35.2 28.6 29.6 28.6 1000mg

Fe mg 1.27 2.32 2.98 1.46 18mg

Na mg 297 122 312 113 2400mg

I mg 1.16 0.36 3.17 0.10 150ยตg

Mn mg 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.24 2.0mg

Cu mg 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.04 2.0mg

Cr mg 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.01 .12mg

F mg 0.30 0.37 0.27 0.41

Zn mg 0.24 0.20 0.20 0.29 15mg

Vit. A IU 594 46.4 39.3 300 5000 I.U.

Vit. B1 mg 0.04 0.01 0.04 0.04 1.5mg

Vit. B2 mg 0.19 0.13 0.17 0.21 1.7mg

Vit. B3 mg 0.74 0.13 0.25 0.41 20mg

Vit. B6 mg 0.44 0.63 0.60 0.78 2.0mg

Vit. B12 ยตg 0.35 0.46 0.18 1.23 6.0ยตg

Vit. C mg 0.41 0.44 0.29 0.84 60mg

Vit. E IU 0.34 0.12 0.19 0.36 30 IU

Highest amount

Lowest amount(s)

Please remember that all the statistics in this chart have only relative significance. The whole plants provide much more than the sum of their parts.

These nutritional assays were done by the Silliker Laboratories of New Jersey and the Plant and Soil Analytical Lab., University of Maine at Orono.

I do recall when researching the iodine content of nori (no one seems to know this info!) that I came across one source that indicated that 1 sheet was about 60-70% DV. So, not sure; but I eat 1 or two sheets a day, or other seaweeds, such as my favorite, arame:

Arame_package

Here it is dry:

Arame_dry

Sort of spaghetti-like strands, and a really great texture.

It should be soaked first:

Arame_soak

A mere few minutes later, it has already absorbed quite a bit …

Arame_fewminutes_soak

…and this is partly why it is good for satiety. I think it’s 4-times it’s dry size once hydrated.

It can be cooked or eaten raw; just be sure to soak and rinse. I used to eat it mixed into my grains, and loved it that way. Now, I add it to my ETL salads or to raw “noodle” dishes, or simply on the side and take bites of it throughout my meal.

I would say it has a mild sea flavor; however, to be cautious, and since I’m used to it, I would say that it may be more moderate for the uninitiated. Just be sure to soak, rinse well and drain first. If it’s too seafoody, then simmer it. It’s also not something that is generally eaten in large amounts; it’s often a side dish or, the way I liked it, something to mix in to a dish. A popular side dish is sauteeing some onions and carrots in a bit of oil and adding some prepared arame. Pre-ETL, I used to add some toasted sesame oil to drizzle on top and some sesame seeds on top (usually toasted).

I also like dulse quite a bit, though I need to rinse it because it is the one which has the most naturally-occurring sea sodium on it. It is very very delicate, so it immediately breaks apart and becomes soggy even with a little bit of moisture. It is not crispy at all to begin with, and, actually is chewy and quite delicious. I’ve used a lightly damp paper towel or tea towel to wipe off a lot of the salt; however, it’s tedious and it breaks apart very easily. So, a good solution is to dry it out in a dehydrator — only takes a few minutes, and, actually you can get it crispy this way. Some people actually fry it for a “bacon” substitute Yikes. Not necessary, really; pre-ETL, I made very tasty vegan “BLT’s” or “DLT’s” with it without having to fry ;).

Lots of other seaweeds available, I also like hiziki/hijiki. It definitely has a stronger sea flavor and aroma. I like kombu for vegan dashi, as well as a great tenderizer and flavor enhancer (and de-gasser ๐Ÿ˜€ ) for cooking beans; Wakame and Alaria are also good for this.

It’s important to buy from reputable vendors and follow the package instructions for hijiki, such as stated on the package of Eden Foods brand:

“…wash, soak for 15 minutes in warm water, drain, rinse well and discard the soaking water.”

Kelp as well as dulse and other combos of seaweeds are available in shakers for use as salt subs or just to add flavor. I like to add sesame seeds and have a salt-free gamasio ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Kelp, by the way should be consumed in moderation — it is *very* high in iodine.

there is laver, various sea lettuces, etc.; and of course, the vegan “gelatin” — the indispensable, agar or agar-agar, aka, “kanten.”ย  Lots to choose!

Could go on and on… ๐Ÿ˜€

UPDATE : November 19, 2008 – Iodine Chart

Table 2: Iodine Content of Some Sea Vegetables

Sea Vegetable

Iodine (ยตg) in a serving

Amount needed to supply 150 ยตg of Iodine (Adult RDA)

Avoid frequent use of more than this amount per day*

Arame

732/Tablespoon

0.6 teaspoon

1.5 Tablespoons

Hiziki

786/Tablespoon

0.6 teaspoon

1.4 Tablespoons

Kelp12

1,986/Tablespoon

Less than
1/4 teaspoon

0.6 Tablespoon

Kombu

1,454/1-inch piece

1/10-inch

3/4-inch piece

Nori

40/sheet

3ยพ sheets

27ยฝ sheets

Wakame

82/Tablespoon

1.8 Tablespoons

0.8 cup

Data from reference 12. All measures are dried (uncooked) sea vegetable. These amounts will vary greatly depending on where the seaweed was gathered and how it was processed and stored.

* Based on Upper Limit of 1,100 micrograms of iodine per day. These amounts assume that your diet does not contain other sources of iodine.

Whoo Hoo! So Iwas worried 2 sheets of Nori a day might be pushing it, but it looks like 3 3/4 sheets is the RDA! Cool beans. ๐Ÿ™‚

Try some seaweed!

Photobucket

I made my own salt-free relish to add to my Thousand Island dressing. Came out really, really good. I layered cabbage on the bottom of the container, added my mixture of chopped zucchini and cucumber and fresh garlic slices, dill seed, and black pepper corns. then I topped it with more cabbage, just like for the cultured veggies. I let it go about 1 1/2 weeks and it was perfect. No need for vinegar, either ๐Ÿ™‚

You can find low-salt relishes and I’ve seen one or two salt free (though they contain junk, including sugar in some!), but why, when you can soooo easily make your own. No compromise necessary ๐Ÿ˜€ Who needs salt?!!!

Photobucket

Strix

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

More Cultured Veggies – A quickie “How To…”

Photobucket

Just looks like one of my regular ol’ ETL salads, ha?ย  lol_roll Very close ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, so here is a quickie on how I made 2 small batches yesterday. Yes, lots of pics; I take several because I figure at least ONE will come out decent. then when a few of the same come out nice, I just can’t decide lol I just love fresh, whole foods. They’re more beautiful and gorgeously colored than any cooked junk standard food.
So you’ll have to suffer through them green_tongue

Okay, so…

Persimmon-Cranberry Kimchi

Persimmon-Cranberry Kimchi


Get all yer stuff togetha:

You need to sterilize ALL instruments which will be coming in contact with your goods ๐Ÿ™‚ You don’t want it to get contaminated. So, here is a pic of some of the stuff I would put into boiling water — just as if I were canning:

Photobucket
As you see, you will need to boil some and just dip some others, such as a food processor bowl, if you are using one, as it is not a plastic that you’d want to boil :D. Just dip it in the hot water or pour the water over it in the sink. As well, any of these things can be put into a large bowl, for example and boiling water dumped over them. Retrieve them with a towel or pot holder! Ouchy, it’s hot stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰ .
Those cooking tongs are really great for lifting the items from the pot. I used them when I did a lot of canning in the past. Any kind of tongs should do it. Be sure to still have a towel in hand in case it slips. Or if you have the newer tongs, covered in heat-resistant silicone or other type of rubbery material to hold steadfast, those are great for this as well.

And, of course any appliance blades and your knife. And cutting board! I forgot to add those to the pic. How silly crazy_moon_bulge
So, just some extra spoons — a large one for mixing, or some salad forks are good — maybe a regular fork, and a spatula will probably be useful. Just prepare :). First time is always the learning period anyway.
If you do boil, just remove items from the pot with tongs and place on a clean towel or paper towels to cool and dry. If you have a nice big pot with an insert, that’s even easier, or just your largest pot will do. You can get the water boiling first thing, then while it’s coming to a boil, you can do all the prep work to utilize time :).

Photobucket

Other stuff you need — a good-sized bowl to put your shredded vegetables to mix thoroughly, or a few (yes, pour hot water over them too) if you don’t have a very large one. You may like a blender, if you wish, for the liquidizing of the portion of the mixture; or you can do it with your processor, really. You don’t even have to get it completely smooth. You do want to make it watery though, since that’s the point :). Or, you can always pound away like the old days green_cute_happy_smile

So after that sterilizing, hands nice and clean too, get your ingredients together:

You want to use some whole leaves to cover; I choose the outer, less fresh leaves of cabbages for this job –no waste! These act as a nice barrier to air and take the punch from any bacteria while keeping your veggies safe and submerged under the liquid. You will remove these and discard (or compost). When these look a bit ‘rotten’ that’s okay, that’s their job :). It’s the prize underneath the liquid you want.


I decided on 1/4 C fresh then frozen cranberries (no fresh available yet; fresh would be optimal) and a 1/4 of a Persimmon:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Since this was a small batch, only 1/4 of a large Purple cabbage; some garlic:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Get your spices together too:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The pretty orange chunks are tumeric, from a fresh rhizome I had a few months ago. I froze, juiced, and kept whole some, and decided it would be great to have some freshly preserved, dry. Great color!

tumeric_fresh

I just chopped it and dried:

Photobucket

Tumeric is potent but moreso when dried fresh! It’s strong fresh, too, but –how to describe? Mm, I guess strong flavor, but mild ?? Ha! Anyway, a word of caution — you will be sorry if you do not take care to avoid getting this stuff all over the place: It is not used as a dye for no reason ๐Ÿ™‚ It will stain your skin for a few days…maybe play it off by pretending you’re doing some henna ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your dishes will stain too, so just clean up quickly. If you wash your hands right away, you will probably be okay handling fresh tumeric; however, if you wish, some gloves may be in order. ( I do, so go off topic, don’t I? And realize, I actually know this, and restrain myself..or you’d never get outta here! Photobucket )


This is why it’s important to wash yer veggies ๐Ÿ˜‰
Photobucket

You don’t want that nice chunk o’ dirt in yer kimchi, do you? Haha

Prep ๐Ÿ™‚ :

Photobucket

Here is how I always prepare my napa, even for my salads: Because the the larger, outer leaves always have too-big stalks, I cut them out. They are also very fibrous and stringy. You will see the strings wrap around your processor’s blades, if you decide to use them. They aren’t pleasant to eat, unless you like stringy-get-stuck-in-your-teeth-have-a-helluva-time-flossing foods ๐Ÿ˜€ ย  I just trim the largest ones (far right you can see the stalks I cut); as you see, the rest of the more juicy, tasty stems are part of the goodness of the napa, so I leave those in; then I cut off and discard the bottom:

Photobucket

Combine all the veggies and add your fruit, if using (or if you don’t want to blend your fruit, add it after you remove the portion of mixture to be blended – in next step):

Photobucket
Portion out some of your mixture and place in blender, processor or whatever …

Photobucket

Let ‘er rip!

Photobucket

Pour into mixture…

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Mix thoroughly…

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Spoon into jug, and PACK DOWN as you add each layer. Then cover well with the reserved outer leaves:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

clamp it!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Don’t forget to date it:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just beautiful. Won’t these make great gifts for the holidays?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Okay, next one I made:

Cultured Vegetables with Papaya

Cultured Vegetables with Papaya

Again, get your stuff together:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I wanted a green papaya to make an atchara-style culture; however, it’s eluding me at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ So the ripe one will do (I slice and freeze the rest and use for my Green Juicie Green Smoothies). The seeds of papaya are used in various ways in different cuisines. They can be used fresh or dried. They are not, as far as I know, eaten like, say, sunflower seeds, out-of-hand; but more as a condiment, flavoring, or “cleanse”; some people put them in green smoothies or fruit smoothies. I like them dried and use like peppercorns. They have a peppery taste, so perfect for that. I allowed a few into this batch; but scooped out the majority of it. They can be frozen for later, or, as I mentioned dried.

Spice Mixture too:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Prep:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pulsed onions:
Photobucket

I thought I’d put this pic of processed cabbage just to show you how much you get. Now, that’s one whole head of napa! Cabbages have such a high water content, you need more than you think; so keep that in mind when buying your vegetables and determining how much you wish to make!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mmmm, Ginger! I decided on some orange rind. I had meant to put it in the cranberry kimchi, since orange and cranberry is a classic combo…Anyway, the slice of orange peel was *very* fragrant. What a great addition…
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I used other veggies I didn’t take pics, like cauliflower, other greens, for example — couldn’t do EVERYthing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mix everything together:

Photobucket
Add your blended mixture:

Photobucket


Spoon into sterilized jug:
Photobucket

Pack down. You’ll be surprised how much juice you will continue to release as you pack down. Try not to add water; though you can add a small amount to the blended mixture if you wish. Just know you don’t need that much. The veggies have more than enough. You just have to blend some of it and pack it down to release it. And since we don’t use salt, which releases the juices from fruits and vegetables, it’s important to get that juicing started before storing.

I chose to layer the fruit pieces:

Photobucket

Clamp it!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Now, if you have extra, you can eat that right away. It’s yummy and will keep in the fridge several days, so you can add to your salads, slaws, soups or smoothies :D. Just be sure to pick out any whole chunks of herbs! You don’t want to bite into a slice of garlic … or maybe you do, Halloween is here, afterall Photobucket.
And don’t forget the awesome cultured “liquor” — its delicious on it’s own (in between meals as a probiotic or before/after meals) or as a great vinegar. You can add it to soups to “pop” the flavor just so, the way a splash of vinegar or lemon does. Makes a fantastic hot and sour soup ;).
I use it in place of vinegar every where! I cannot handle vinegar any longer — it’s WAY harsh and acidic, with little to no benefit, having been pasteurized and or cooked to death. Only vinegar I’d use nowadays — if I had to — would be raw, apple cider; and I do choose the fabulous raw coconut vinegars, I’ve mentioned before in my Suggestions for Digestion Post. The coconut especially has more to offer than any regular ol’ vinegar. The addition of fruit results in your own, homemade fruit vinegar!
Try adding some dried fruit :). You’ll see. You can even drain the juice into a separate jar, add the fruit and let it ferment for a more intense version.

Oh, and if you’re worried about fruit sugar, don’t; it’s ‘eaten up’ in the fermenting process — basically, no sugar left in the finished product. Plus, not much is (should be) used anyway. (I also have a draft from months ago about some other fermenting I did earlier this year. Sigh…I need to get that up too, darnit!)

The cultured veggies are not harsh and have a mildness to them, but pack a punch of flavor! And with all the benefits of cultured foods… ๐Ÿ™‚ My home-prepared cultured vegetables don’t hurt my teeth at all when I eat it straight, while vinegar has been off limits to me for about 5 years now because my teeth will hurt for a few days after getting it on my teeth. I have no problem with anything acidic if I drink it through a straw, like my Green Juicie Green smoothies, because it bypasses my teeth. Photobucket

You will also notice a wide variety of textures within the individual batches and also between them. Some are melt-in-your-mouth and others with varying degrees of crunch ‘n’ munch. I’m sure this contributes to its enjoyment.ย  Some have a “cooked” texture, yet it’s live food! And it retains all its benefits and more, having fermented. A carnival of flavors in your mouth ๐Ÿ™‚

Photobucket

An *important* note — If you fill the jug too high with the veggies as in this photo…

(The liquid is way too high.

…before you add the pieces of leaves to cover, you may have overflow! Believe me, you do not want your entire house — wait, make that the entire neighborhood — to smell of your kimchi…delicious as it is ๐Ÿ˜€ It will expand during fermentation and it will leak out and drip. SO, be safe and do it like so:

So that the prepared veg mixture is below the liquid and the leaves are on top of that. They are there to protect your precious cultured veggie delight :D.

Here is anย example of one ready-to-eat jug that came out better than *perfect*

Photobucket

There was no bacteria even on those top exposed leaves. Amazing! It’s normal, however, to have the top leaves really spent and somewhat “rotten” for lack of a better word. This is one that was sitting out about 1 1/2 weeks. It could have gone longer but I ran out and needed it lol.
I’ve seen recipes calling for 3-5-7 days; others for weeks on end. Then I’ve read storage for months (out of refrigeration). I would not hesitate to keep it out for months, as long as it’s fresh. Eventually, you will see if it’s not. It could be, however, that the storage for months are cultured krauts that have salt, which acts as a preservative, like the old days. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll prepare one and let it go for a few months. I have gone over one month, but caved ’cause I needed me some cultured veggies!
Aaaaany way ๐Ÿ™‚ Try 3 or 4 days and see how you like it. Then try longer, etc. The longer it sits the better, for most. Again, it will continue to culture in the fridge, just at a much slower pace.

I’ll take a shot of one that’s not ready for its closeup next time but perfectly fine to eatย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

These *perfect* ones are great, though dance

Please remember that if there is anything “off” smelling, looking, then, “when in doubt, throw it out”! There should be no slime or any bacteria on the submerged foods — none! Don’t eat any of the top spent leaves, if you doย  have them. Just common sense stuff, okay?

Okay, now, this is equally important for this dripping issue — here is a suggestion for your first few times or if you’re just not sure: Juuuuuuuuuuuuust to be safe ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Place your jars on a deep plate with some paper towels; or, I use this big container from salad mixes I buy lol. Hey, it works ๐Ÿ˜‰ This will catch any dripping or bubbly wubbly. Itย  happens ๐Ÿ˜€
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Jugs are available all over. The Bormioli-Rocco glassware, their “Fido” line, in my pics are from Sur La Table and only $6 each (I have some of their great pitchers too):

Bormioli-Rocco_Jugs

Traditionally, these were made in humongous batches in specialty crocks (at least the Korean Kimchi) with loads of salt for preserving and to keep from contamination; they are fairly expensive unless you seek out a Korean grocery. For now, the glass is probably more reliable and sanitary.

Whew! Okay, any questions? Did I leave anything out? I sorta did this quickie-like, so feel free to comment and or leave me any questions. If anyone has suggestions or makes their own, I’d love to hear your variations ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember: You can make your cultured vegetables the traditional way with salt.

*The contents of this entry is for information only. It is the sole responsibility and discretion of individuals who choose to apply it.

Poxacuatl

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Back to posting, Cultured Veggies…and Sewing Porn!

So, it’s been so long that I cannot even begin to find the right place to pick up where I left off ; and I have loads (LOADS, I tell you) of pictures and subject matters that should have been posted since — what? July!???? So, instead of the overwhelming-ness of it all, I’m simply going to start somewhere…any ‘ol where!

So let me just apologize for the jumbled nature of this post (okay, nonsensical rambling-ness), the non-thorough-ness, and the general poor structure and grammar to boot!

Sewing

Aprons I made from some awesome retro-looking rooster fabric:

Photobucket

Had enough fabric to make another one (another plus to being an ETLer ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) — this one is reversible:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Autumn is my favorite time of year; I just LOVE it. Photobucket It also brings more sewing projects :^). I did some easy-breezy summer sewing — dresses, cool cotton drawstring pants, lotsa shorts, etc. I made a few aprons, too;The above apron(s) is my favorite because of that fabulous fabric print.

I‘ll try to post here-and-there some projects I’m currently working and some I did earlier this year. I’ve got LOTS of things I photographed… i just gotta get it all sorted!

But, seriously, just the sorting and choosing of the photos is labor intensive,ย  haha.

I’ve read several interesting sewing blogs and some of these major-major sewists are incredible. They often have these fun projects going where whoever wishes can join in making a project for that month — aprons, purses, skirts, etc. Some beautiful, beautiful work being done out there. And then there are times when people just post what they’re working on or their latest discovery — notion, technique, pattern, etc.
I’ve been thinking…there should be “Sewing Porn Day” and a “Fabric-Porn Day”ย  Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Perhaps, in this day of “promises” — ya think I can convince the next President to advocate for such a day? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ooooh, don’t get me started on poli-tick-nitpicking! (say that fast 3 times…)

Serious!ย  Set me loose in a fabric mart and I’m comin’ home with a motherload. I love children’s fabric…I know, I know! I love the cutsie patterns (not pacifiers and rattles, though!!) of little animals, etc. Oh, that reminds me I should post some of my jammies, lol. I’ll post some of my porn-worthy fabric cache at some point ๐Ÿ˜€

Now, as far as adult-print fabric, well, I just adore Japanese imports. Gorgeous. I’m not too fond of loud, bold colors. I like old-fashioned colors and patterns. Oh, give me some vintage fabric and I’m in sewing heaven!

Okay, here is an example of drool-worthy Japanese fabric I purchased:

Photobucket

Ooh, La, La, a French seam…(I’m a serious French-seam Queen!) Just love ’em. Yummmm…

Photobucket
OMGosh I really AM an edge-sewist! (a friend dubbed me so. Or was that “on-the-edge” sewist…

HA!)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
DANGEROUS!! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Okay, okay…whew.
So any hard-core sewists out there want a Sewing/Fabric-Porn Day, too?

Oh, Come, now, you KNOW you want it Photobucket
Link me summa yer “stuff,”ย  Y’All
Okay, ‘nuf-a dat! (I’m so easily distracted, no? ) ๐Ÿ˜€

Speaking of vintage…a little sneak peak: I’ll be working on this (soon!). I’m hoping to wear it ’round Thanksgiving:

I love it! I like the third view (far right) best. The middle is very vintage looking, however, I’m not too sure how I’d look in that style…I may be too short ๐Ÿ™‚
Anyway, I am thinking maybe linen…I don’t wear animal products, so no wool; but there are fab alternatives out there. I bought some hemp “suede” earlier this year (yet another fabric run I didn’t post!) and that just might be perfect…anyway, I’d better hurry-the-heck up!

I have the pattern already; I just have to get started on a muslin. It looks easy, actually; however, from experience, I know I’m going to need a muslin. I read a few reviews to see how others got along with it and all seem to be favorable. The issues were about the armholes being a bit too small (to accomodate a shirt underneath) and the bodice being a bit too short, making the empire waist slightly too high…this is common stuff, though. Everyone is shaped differently. If only the pictures were how the dresses looked on us all! I love the fabric this blogger, Frosty772, used. Came out really nice.

*

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This weekend I didn’t work on any garments, but felt like something simple…so I made a few (very easy-peasy) booties ๐Ÿ˜€ . Most you find are for babies! I decided I needed some. It’s one thing to make things it’s an entirely different thing to make a tutorial — and a decent one, at that! and, as for these it was the same: I just sort of worked out a pattern and way to go about it from various techniques I’ve learned (very much like I make my “recipes”! I rarely write them down….Photobucket!)
I’ve got some other booties/slippers versions in the works, but these I can bust out in about 15 minutes:

These are snuggly fleece!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


And they are very sturdy :).

I added batting (stuffing) to some to make them warmer.

These are felt, I think (faux, of course)…


<ePhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Well, Halloween IS upon us… ๐Ÿ˜›


Here is the bottom:

Speaking of witch… ๐Ÿ˜‰ A reversible one I’m working on:

Boo!-ties


Here is one with a different bottom; this one is just a proto — Pattern just needs to be altered to accomodate the extra bulk, really. Easy enough. But, right now, warped and messy —ย  not quite ready to wear ๐Ÿ™‚


These are one of the first ones I made, and they came out a bit too round-ish — I call them my “duck-feet booties ๐Ÿ˜€ These are made of (vegan) flannel:
Photobucket

Made several others…

Sewing is definitely work; However, have fun, I say…sewing IS fun
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

… any way you look at it, no? ๐Ÿ˜€ :
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

*

Okay, next…

Photobucket

Cultured Vegetables

And, my continuing love affair with nutrient-rich food and optimal health through Eat To Live continues, unabated ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are some cultured veggies I threw together recently:

Ingredients: Yep, I added my beloved Sprouts!!

Photobucket

Result:

Photobucket

In fact, the ones I’ve made with sprouts taste best.

This one I added Arame, a black (when dried) Japanese seaweed you can see:
Photobucket

Ultimate survival food! Cultured veggies are super nutritious, GREAT for the digestive system, and not the least — yummy ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I made my own since purchasing it premade is EXPENSIVE, IF you want organic, raw, and salt-free!ย  Pasteurized would defeat the purpose anyway; so buying it raw is a no-brainer; however, it’s difficult to find salt free and organic.

In my previous post about digestion , I mentioned Rejuvenative brand of raw cultured veggies. Very good and definitely my go-to source now. However, making this myself is SO easy peasy, it’s downright foolish to purchase it regularly, anyway, especially in this economy.

I most often add it to my dressing and it acts as, say, a vinegar might; however, it’s not “vinegary” or sour at all. Much better than any ol’ vin ๐Ÿ™‚

I also add a few huge spoonsful to mix into my salad sometimes. It’s a good way to stretch a dressing!

Apparently, the juice is traditionally a prized food. I have found it excellent as a pre-meal digestive aid (similar to why one would take a probiotic supplement or digestive enzymes, etc.) or in-between meals — “digestive conditioner, I guess, ha!

This juice is also a fabulous “vinegar.” The difference is this is MUCH better. MUCH less harsh from even the mildest vinegars. With small amounts of fruit added, it becomes a delicious flavored vinegar. ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE IT!!!

I’m a big believer in the pivital role of digestion to optimal health.

Cooking season too

Haven’t cooked in ages — since last time this year, I think! But I will do a bit, I’m sure, soon. I have something in the works right now that I actually started earlier this year, made a draft post, and never got around to posting it! Good stuff, hopefully, coming soon!ย  So, like the 10 others I have unfinished (and the who-knows-how-many-more-waiting to be born) I have to go back and refresh it, add this-and-that, and, of course finish it. I sometimes forget much of the info so I have to redo whatever it was … Sooo much to post!

Okay, I gotta stop now…Yikes. Posting takes up so much time…Photobucket

But, here I am, a small step back into the posting game ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Hopefully, I can tackle some of my older non-posted ones this season as my indoors status resumes for the season ahead ๐Ÿ˜‰ So much to post so little time…Sigh.

Oh, did Post this one already?


๐Ÿ™‚ Tis okay; it deserves another gander ๐Ÿ˜‰

_Strix
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Suggestion – Digestion and a Blast From the Past …

Digestive system from, Diet and Health.net

*ย  A healthful environment in the body at the cellular level is crucial to health, according to Dr. Fuhrman. Here is an excerption in response to someone at his forum struggling with letting go of processed foods and not losing weight right off the bat (it takes time!):

“Its not the caloriesย we want to change or reduce it isย the digestive and cellularย environment right now and have your body reallyย getย a cellular cleaning.”

Of course, this was referring to a specific case; nevertheless, a proper environment is important. This is just an example. Clearly, this person needed some time to get her body “clean” and functioning properly. Only way — and I mean, the ONLY way — is to eat the nutrient-dense way; in other words, Eat To Live. When you eat your Nutrients high you cannot help but get healthier. The wonderful side benefit is…

Eating for nutritional excellence will protect your precious health, and it just so happens, when you eat so healthfully you will lose weight until you achieve your ideal weight.”

One of the more profound things I’ve learned from Dr. Fuhrman is that yo-yo dieting is extremely DANGEROUS:

It has been observed by scientific studies that overweight people who go on and off diets and yo-yo their weight lay down more atherosclerosis than those who did not diet and kept their overweight condition stable.”

That was a REAL EYE OPENER for me. Iย  used to yo-yo a LOT; and I thought just “getting back on track later” was good. Mama, Mia….

Remember: H = N/C. Period! End of argument. Do IT ๐Ÿ˜€

Okay…SO, eating properly is first and foremost. To help you along…

Some helpful things for creating a positive, healthy body ecology — VEGAN way, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ — I know of and some I like (These are based on my personal experience with these foods and are by no means meant to be taken as general “truths” for everyone):

Raw Cultured Vegetables: Sauerkraut, Kim Chi, etc., are examples of cultured veggies. Easily made at home, it’s next on my list; soon to be posted ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Rejuvenative Foods is SOoooo convenient, and I’m glad it’s still around! I get the unsalted, of course, and I use it in my dressings. I don’t consume straight vinegar in my salads because it would be too much direct contact with my teeth for good oral health. For some reason, the kim chi, while “vinegary,” does not affect my teeth (make them hurt) when blended into my dressings; I do, however, avoid eating it straight. It’s savory and delicious in dressings, acting very much as the vinegar. Makes an excellent Asian soup broth base, too: think hot and sour soup, raw or cooked ;^)ย  Remember you want, raw, unpasteurized for this and all the food/beverage probiotics. This is excellent for the digestion and stomach flora. Love it.

I make my own now — see these blogs about it:ย  Cultured Veggie-A “How To” and More on Cultured Vegetables

Coconut Kefir: I could go on an on! MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE — no contest! Better than kombucha, way better than any of the rejuvelacs, it’s made from the water of young coconuts and kefir starter, coconut kefir is the best probiotic drink one can consume. It’s so unfortunate that it is not widely available. I’m lucky to have been exposed to it from a health market nearby which carries one of the very few brands available, “Tonix” Coconut Kefir.ย  Delicious stuff. BUT, as you imagine, very expensive. I decided to make my own; post soon to follow ;^) I kid you not: This is my go-to beverage of choice for any unwellness, especially with the tummy. If struggling with going off plan and eating poorly, Iย  suggest to call it a day and drink kefir before bed and first thing in the morning — new day, new start, fresh tummy back in order and quickly! ๐Ÿ˜€ Post on my own coconut kefir to follow! Whoo Hoo!

Kombucha; Kombucha has been around for ages, too, but it sort of becoming — yep, trendy!ย  Reputed to be a powerful detoxifier, it’s all the rage. I drink it only occasionally. I like Millenium GTS’s, Multi-Green Kombucha (of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) but there are some yummy flavors too, such as ginger. It is started with tea and some tea remains, but not a lot, so very little caffeine in the resultant product. It is made with sugar, which is consumed by the mother spore, “SCOBY,” and so, again, not much remains as a result. I like this, but don’t find it particularly advantageous enough for me to include it regularly. Many claim it does wonders for them, though; so, I think occasional consumption is okay. Most are raw and are labeled as such.

Rejuvelac: Either love it or hate it! I’ve had success with mine :^).I think it depends on how it turns out rather than the drink itself. It’s a fermented, fizzy grain beverage — like a light effervescent drink; referred to as the “champagne” of raw foodists :). It can be flavored as such; makes a nice substitute with some experimentation.ย  I like the traditional wheat okay, but soft spring wheat is what I would make for myself, nowadays; but, I lprefer the combination of rye and spelt best. I can drink it straight, but, it’s usually summertime when I get a hankering for rejuv, so I usually add lemon or lime, bit of fresh ginger, and some stevia. It’s fairly verstatile: it can be used to make really excellent raw vegan “cheeses,” and can be used as a base for dressings as well. Choosing the right grains for you and your taste is also important. It’s easy to make rejuvelac, too.

(It’s interesting that this company recommends it for weekly consumption, as opposed to companies, hawking a product, which always seem to over-sell and have very high recommendations for consumption.)

Coconut Vinegar: Raw coconut vinegar would be similar to the apple cider in its effects, just better ;^) It is an interesting flavor; I love it.ย  It is both very mild yet flavorful at once…I think I would say, it is “mild” more because of the acidity — very low; and there is a flavor that comes through, and it can alter a recipe’s results. It’s great in a vegan mayo or dressing. I also use it as a between meals drink to help with tummy issues, such as is recommended with raw apple cider vinegar. One tablespoon in a glass of water; or you can start with less, if you like.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: What can be said?! This stuff is and has been purported to be the panacea, lol. Great-great-infinitum Grandmothers used this stuff ๐Ÿ˜€ It is good for heartburn, gas, digestion, appetite suppression — these, as far as my experience; but the claims go far beyond! I have no knowledge of them other than my own experience and utilizations of RACV. It’s good in-between meals or 20 minutes before to aid digestion of those meals. One Tablespoon in a glass of water. Of course used in recipes too.

Miso – It’s a healthful food used for the Ages; however, it is high in sodium; but, if one is going to use salt, this would be a healthier choice. I really love(d) miso, but definitely preferred a high-quality such as South River Miso. If I were to go back to consuming salt, it’d be miso all the way ;^) Miso is a living food; not a “raw” food.

Natto: A Japanese fermented soybeans condiment. It’s not caught on with the Western palate! The viscousy — very — and mucousy texture is what seems to be the offputting element — well, for me, I would say. One could blend this into things, if desired, as well. I don’t like it, myself.

Food Combining: Some folks take this to a strict level and employ it as their way of eating. It is based on the varying times which foods digest;ย  and which should and should not be combined so as to facilitate the most efficient digestion.ย  I don’t follow it strictly; but, rather, I do find that some of the “rules” apply to me. So I follow those signals. For example, I will not eat fruit, especially a melon, after a meal. It causes a lot of bloating and, inevitably gas; some fruits are worse than others. If I were to have fruit later, it would be at least 4 hours after a meal. I do prefer eating fruits as a mono-meal, but not necessarily mono-fruit meals. So, in other words, I’ll have a bowl of mixed fruit, whereas a mono-fruit eater would consume only a bowl of one type of fruit. Whatever works for ya ;^) For me, fruit is best before a meal or as a meal by itself, or 4 hours after a meal. Dried fruit is another big gas producer, it seems, and for me it certainly is. And its challenge, compounded when mixed with fresh fruits and/or vegetation. Dried fruit is best eaten alone. Soaking and blending helps; so, add it this way to a dressing, soup, or sauce. It’s not in my diet (with the exception of goji berries in small amounts on a rare occasion in a smoothie) and I don’t miss them (or the wind!)

Amazake: Loved this stuff! I haven’t had it in years, actually, but it’s delicious. Better than any yogurt drinks or thick-dairy drink-stuffs! Known mostly in Macrobiotic circles, it’s a fermented rice beverage — no sugar or salt added; yet it’s delicious and lightly sweet. It’s thick and is satisfyingly filling. A very good drink for kids too, instead of say, a sugary yogurt drink or flavored milk! It originated in Japan, where it remains popular. Found in the fridge section of healthier markets in plain and various flavors. You can make your own amazake out of grains as well as rice — millet is a good one — with koji cultures. This is what’s used for fermentation to make sake, too. (I loved amazake so much I named an adopted dog “Koji” ๐Ÿ˜€ )

So instead of the new “yogurt for digestion/enzymes/health” trend so obnoxiously pounded into our heads as the vogue “health product du jour” right now and funded by the Dairy Industry, try some amazake :^) You might want to blend in some whole fruit for a fruity one, add stevia, or other flavorings to make substitutes for those yogurts so poplular now, or yogurt drinks. This, by the way, is not a raw food.

 

Probiotics, Supplement: Nature’s Way “OPTIMA” is the best I’ve tried. It is pricey, but good. Very effective. It’s in vegetable capsules and needs to be refrigerated. On the other hand, I don’t believe one would need this as some sort of life-long supplement if following a nutritious way of eating for life. I think it would be fine occasionally or as needed, or if someone needs to get their system healthy again or are starting a new healthful way of eating for life (Eat To Live) (and not just a crash diet), then this would be great. There is a less expensive one offered by Nature’s Way, “Primadophilus, Original,” but, in my experience I needed 2 capsules to get good effects, whereas the Optima required only one. But with time, when you reach a state of higher health, you don’t really need any ;^)

Dr. Fuhrman also has a probiotic, Favorite Flora. It tastes exactly like the Nature’s Way, Optima (Yes, I open the capsules ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), it comes as a powder and must be refrigerated, as well.

Enzymes: Well, I don’t use them regularly; but when I needed them MRM Digest-All was the (only) one that worked for me.

Good Fruits and Herbs: Ginger and Tumeric are excellent. There are lots of herbs and spices such as fennel, anise, peppermint, etc., which are great for gas, bloating and other ramifications of a sluggish digestive system. A good example of sources for digestive enzymes from fruits would be papaya and pineapple. Add them to a Green JUICIE Green SMOOTHIE with a small piece of ginger and you’re good to go! I sometimes use the kefir in my GJGS’s too, as well as herbal tisanes; so that’s another way to get some in.

Chop Raw Food Well. When I slice my veggies, I like textures, but I also know, with the size of ETL salads, I’m going to be doing a LOT of chewing. So I find slicing very important in helping with digestion. I recall my mother telling me to chew each (modest) mouthful at least 25 times before swallowing; she probably learned that from Jack LaLanne, lol. Wow, he was a head of his time, no? Several months ago, I came across some of his old tv shows on YouTube. WOW. He is preaching very close to what Dr. Fuhrman’s research and experience has proved about health and nutrition. Almost. He was (still is?) a little high on the “more protein” thing (and recommends meat and a bit of dairy); but, then again, athletes seem to feel they need extra protein, (the myth that never dies…or at least you’ll die before it does, if you adhere to it) which, we all (should) know by now is NOT necessary. But, anyway, who can not respect Jack? What a fabulous man. Anyway…that was my little “Blast from the Past.” Watch some of these and be amazed yourself :^) Enjoy!

Now, back to chopping — If you have a food processor, USE IT! The shredder blade is great. You can get cabbages so thin and light, they are a pleasure to eat instead of a chomping exhibition! (Ever try to eat a humongous salad in front of guests?! How about a date? Lol.) So, think “slaw” for some of the gassier veggies like the cabbages; they are much easier chewed and digested shredded.

Sprouts/Living Foods: Another “light-bulb” for me recently was the discovery of how incredibly easy sprouts are to digest! Maybe because I have a healthy system by now, but I have to say, I imagine they would be easier to digest for anyone, simply because they are a living food. Anecdotally, I have also noted a marked increase in strength :^O Seriously. I am lifting more since adding them, feeling strong and fantastic! I’ve posted on them quite a bit here! Very easy to grow and you will save a bundle while becoming more healthful. Often people complain about the cost of good organic produce — heck, GROW YOUR OWN. You don’t need a garden or a balcony. You need a kitchen; if you don’t have a kitchen, I bet you at least have a sink/faucet somewhere in your dwelling. That’s all you need ๐Ÿ˜‰ No EXCUSES.

Exercise: Speaking of NO Excuses ๐Ÿ˜€ Good for digestion too ๐Ÿ˜‰

BREATHE!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Do remember to breathe correctlyย  while exercising: you should be inhaling (breathing IN) through the nose and exhaling (out) through the mouth. Now, here’s the rub: On the INHALE your tummy should extend (go out/get bigger) and on the EXHALE your tummy should go in…this is opposite of what we learn somewhere, somehow along the way to ‘adulthood.’ We are born breathing correctly ๐Ÿ™‚ You know how when someone sticks their stomach in? Firstly, they hold their breath, but the also breathe in as they do it — WRONG! Should be breathing OUT. Okay, got it? ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, the point is, breathing incorrectly — in through the mouth — is bad for bloating and gas issues as well. If you do this while exercising, you exacerbate the problem. This goes for weightlifting — you should be EXHALING on the EXERTION, the lift; and inhaling on the letting down — as well as cardio <– very important. You swallow a lot of air when getting your heart rate up. And when you breathe — basically backwards! — you are taking air into the stomach. Eegads! So, BREATHE CORRECTLY all the time, and be especially mindful while exercising ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve read that yogic exercises are also very good for digestion. I don’t do a lot; however I do streamline and do the most effective ๐Ÿ˜‰ . That would be The Five Tibetan Rites — FABULOUS, and I’ve found many of the claims are true. (See animated demo here)

Beans: I could write a chapter. Even though I’m high-raw now, as a vegan “foodie” in the past, I certainly mastered the stove-top bean ;Dย  Here are some recommendations, if you eat beans. Remember, if you have issues with them, introduce them slowly, in small amounts toย  your diet and increase them as your body acclimates. Here are some of my tips, with a primer on beans cooking ๐Ÿ˜€

What happens for most is that it takes a couple weeks of consistent eating to live to acclimate the body to the foods.
The gas will go away eventually.

Some things to do:

Eat slowly

Eat with your mouth closed

Eat mindfully, chewing and tasting every bite

Chewing your food to or almost to liquidity before swallowing

Speak after you have thoroughly chewed and swallowed (in between bites); don’t talk with food in your mouth or talk and chew — ew! — you’ll swallow lots of air.

Do not drink with meals; drink before and after, if you do need to drink at all.

Try to manage stress if you have it

Try not to eat while upset

Try to eat as simply as possible (meaning don’t get too crazy with combinations of foods that give you problems…for now)

Do Green smoothies for getting your raw greens in (the chewing of raw veggies that is required causes air swallowing); the blending does all the work for you )

Take smaller bites

Try not to slurp or gulp drinks or soups

Avoid gum chewing (LOTS of unintended air swallowing)

Avoid gassier fruits — grapes, apples, etc.

Overeating — this is a HUGE contributor to gas, amongst other things…yikes.

Using a straw also causes air in the stomach; so limit use of them. (I use them for green smoothies, though, to keep the acid and/or green off my teeth. But I at least rinse right after ). For now, though, try not to use them. Eventually, if this is the only gas-producing thing you do, it will be pretty insignificant.

BEANS:

I always:

Soak for 24 hours (Overnight works too, but longer is better)
Drain/Rinse
Refill pot with fresh water
Add a 1- or 2-inch piece of konbu (kombu) and/or sprigs of epazote
Bring to a boil
Reduce to a simmer level
Cover
Cook til done

I never:

Bring to a rolling boil (breaks them up)
Do the quick-soak method
Simmer too high
Over-cook
Add salt (pre-ETL, this would only be added near the end of cooking — last 15 minutes or so, then cook till done so it can absorb it)
Add citrus (tomatoes) until they are almost or already done

The last two nevers (salt and citrus), are hotly disputed by cooks! However, I find it’s best to do this — better safe than wasteful.

Chew to Liquid: Don’t forget the most oft-neglected commandments: chew thoroughly! One also extracts more nutrients from foods through better, more efficient, thorough chewing, according to Dr. Fuhrman. Not only aids the body in digestion, but one avoids swallowing air which is probably one of the biggest contributors to bloating. Don’t eat mindlessly and hurriedly. Chew food to liquid, then swallow. You’ll be SO glad you did. Getting into the practice of this will do you good, I promise!

World’s Healthiest Foods has a nice read and animation about digestion.

Hara Hachi Bu: “Eat to 80 % fullness.” This has been one of the most wonderful most powerful, empowering things I’ve ever done for myself. If you get to a point of health where this is doable, meaning youย  have overcome, completely, overeating and toxic hunger, this is a gift, really.ย  I employ itย  myself and it is just another fabulous step toward optimal health and excellent digestive system. The body should never be overloaded with food to digest. This accelerates the aging process. Who wants that? And “aging” is not meant only in regard to aesthetics; this is not a vanity issue (though it could be, and so what?). One is aging the body’s organs by overworking them.

Hara Hachi Bu is also a very healthful exercise of control — control of mind, body, and self. Build a strong mind ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Eventually, it becomes normal, though, and no longer something that takes effort or discipline, as your body and, probably more your mind, adapt. Also, always — whether practicing Hara Hachi Bu or not — take your time; don’t ever rush when eating.

For me, as my journey progresses into greater levels of health, I find that I have slowly, without realizing it at first, eaten less and less over time. Once you have saturated your cells with nutrients, it begins repairing whatever damage you did. It may take a while! Some folks take years of having to eat optimally to get to a level another, less toxic or maybe just less prone-to-damage person may be. It’s all up to the body AND how well you feed it. Dr. Fuhrman says the most important thing is CONSISTENCY. I agree. If one is constantly see-sawing and going off-and-on, bingeing, “falling off the wagon” — I always hated that expression — then you are actually setting yourself back further than if you’d never started the health journey to begin. And that’s a scientific truth; it’s not a psychological/mentalย  metaphor — refer back to my EYE OPENER quote from Dr. Fuhrman at the beginning of this post for the 4-1-1; or should I say, “the 9-1-1”?!!

Here is a quote from Dr. Fuhrman:

“Asย the nutritional quality of your diet improves and as your body’s nutrient levels increase, you can be satisfied with fewer calories.ย  Theย goal is to be satisfiedย nutritionally, physically, emotionally, gettingย pleasure from eating,ย not feeling deprived, while at the same time consuming less calories, but not wanting more.”

It happens, People! Believe me, it does.

Conquer overeating, get your digestion in good order, say goodbye to fake “hunger,” — all achieved through adherence to “nutritional excellence” via Eating To Live, and begin a hara hachi bu practice ;^) A similar practice was employed by the Israeli Essenes: Two thousand years ago the Essenes in Israel taught that we should, “Eat your fill at one meal, noting the quantity of food you consume. From that time on, eat a third less.”ย  Good advice!

Pox
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

%d bloggers like this: