The Raw Gourmet Newsletter
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Welcome to the very first Raw Gourmet newsletter! If you are reading this, it means that you are a graduate of my free 7 part series about raw food. Continuing along the same path, this newsletter brings you more information and gives you some special recipes for the cool weather and the upcoming holidays.
Table of Contents
1. Question & Answer column covering the following subjects:
How can I get adequate protein on a raw food diet?
Feeling cold on raw food in the winter?
Food cravings-what to do about them
2. Holiday recipes:
Warm Mushroom soup
Raw Veggie Pasta
3. Some personal information about the author of The Raw Gourmet.
4. Items carried by The Raw Gourmet
I am always on the lookout for the best prices and the best items for a raw food kitchen.
As many of you know- my book, The Raw Gourmet- a full-color, informative resource and recipe guide made its debut in Mid-March of 1999. Already in its second printing (with an endorsement by Harvey Diamond, author of Fit For Life,) The Raw Gourmet shows you how to change your lifestyle and your health, one bite at a time. (February 2000 update: The Raw Gourmet is scheduled for its third printing!)
Since the books inception, I have been traveling almost non-stop throughout the country giving demonstrations, classes, talks and dinners. The Raw Gourmet is drawing so much interest because of its clear and simple recipes, its first class color food photography, and down to earth easy to understand style.
Most of us realize that to thrive-or even to survive in this next millennium, we must work against many forces: pollution, chemical intrusions all along the food line, dangerous substances being inserted into the food chain without our knowledge or consent, toxins of all types combining with unknown consequences, genetic manipulation, continued emphasis on beef and dairy mega-industries, etc.
The Raw Gourmet de-mystifies this basically simple approach to life-eating a diet of all or mostly raw food-vegetables, fruits nuts and seeds. This first issue of The Raw Gourmet newsletter is devoted to information sharing and practical advice to get you through the upcoming holiday season in a happy and healthy way.
Please send your questions, comments or concerns to Nomi Shannon at :firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q & A
Question: How will I get enough protein on a raw food diet?
This is usually the first question that people ask. Most of us have been raised with the notion that a lot of protein is good for us. The meat and dairy industries depend on that attitude. But, ponder this for a moment: What is the most perfect food for a human being when it needs it most, as a newborn infant? You guessed it- it is mothers milk. There is no other time in the life of a person when growth will be so dramatic. The infant will triple or quadruple in size in its first year and needs more protein to grow on than at any other time in its entire life span. And just how much protein is in mothers milk? The answer may surprise you. The amount of protein in mothers milk is 2.5 to 3.5 per cent.* Compare that to the amount of protein in cow milk at 30 per cent*. A baby cow needs to gain hundreds of pounds of mass in its first year, while its relatively small brain does not need to grow very much, quite obviously different than the needs of a human baby.
If the amazing growth in the first year of life is beautifully served by the amount of protein in mothers milk, why would any human being ever need more? The answer is, he/she does not need more protein than that. One of the biggest mistakes in a SAD (Standard American Diet) is the consumption of too much protein. One of the saddest and most dramatic effects of a high protein diet is a negative calcium balance leading to osteoporosis. Habitual consumption of high protein forces the calcium in the body to act as a buffer to the high acid state created in the digestion of protein. The current medical advice to consume more and more calcium in the form of milk products, oyster shell calcium and over the counter digestive aids such as Tums can not reverse the calcium loss in the bones due to excess protein consumption. Excess protein robs our bones of the very substance they need to maintain their strength. Osteoporosis is not a disease due to calcium deficiency; it is due to a lifelong consumption of too much protein.
As for a raw food diet, all the leafy greens and sprouts contain protein. If you are eating lots of fresh raw leafy greens and sprouts, along with a moderate amount of nuts and seeds, there is no reason to be concerned about your protein intake.
For those who continue to be concerned or who have higher protein needs, such as athletes, raw sunflower seeds and raw tahini (sesame seed butter) in particular, are very digestible sources of protein and they are very economical compared to other nuts and seeds. Shakes and dressings made with a tahini base are excellent for people with weak digestion, the ill, the elderly and children. Tahini is not only a good protein source, but it is also high in calcium, a good fat and it is alkalizing.
* Note: different texts offer different per centage numbers, these numbers are derived from lectures at Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.
Q. Help! I tend to feel cold in the winter and dont know if I can maintain the level of raw food that I eat in the warmer months.
Well, winter is rapidly upon us, and as the weather cools some people feel that a diet of all cold food makes them feel cold, or less able to deal with the cold. There are two main ways to combat this. One is by gently warming some foods, carefully keeping them below 118 Fahrenheit to preserve the enzymes, but still having them warm enough to gain some comfort from them. A perfect recipe to do this with is mushroom soup, which also makes an excellent gravy. Now, here comes the first recipe in this newsletter- dont be fooled by its simplicity- it is delicious, a great holiday treat. In a blender, mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup almond butter (equal to 4 Tablespoons). Add 1.5 -2 cups cut up mushrooms, and some Braggs or tamari or sea salt to taste. If youd like, add a bit of onion and parsley. Blend until smooth. Heat gently in the top of a double boiler, being very careful to keep the temperature below 118F, eat immediately. As a gravy, this is delicious over dehydrated burgers or Neat balls (see below). For a warm breakfast, raw oatmeal can be gently heated the same way. (See page 14, Oats with Almonds and dates)
One wonderful way to have food warm but raw is to use a dehydrator. Be sure that you use one with a good thermostat and temperature control. (See below for a description of the best dehydrator on the market.) Burgers, loaves, soups, sauces and pies can all be dehydrated and eaten while still warm.
Another approach is warming without heat with the warming herbs and spices. Ginger and cinnamon will give you a warm feeling, even to the point that you may notice perspiration on your upper lip! Adding a pinch of ginger or cinnamon to your morning smoothie can make a difference in how the cold weather affects you. Cayenne used as a spice or taken in capsule form is warming. Certain Indian masalas (spice blends) are also very warming. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, in his book Conscious Eating (Vision Books International) discusses the warming aspects of certain foods. He uses ayervedic principles applied to raw food eating. Letha Hadady in her book Asian Health Secrets (Three Rivers Press New York) uses the Chinese herbal approach. Along with the aforementioned spices, her list of warming culinary spices also includes: anise, cardamom, garlic, paprika, orange peel, caraway, cloves, fenugreek, juniper berries, parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage.
Then there are hot herbal teas. On a cold winter morning enjoy your favorite tea first thing, relaxing and inhaling the steam before starting your day. You can make a lovely ginger tea by grating fresh or frozen whole ginger into a cup, add boiling water and allow it to steep for a few minutes.
Dont forget, there is also the magic of exercise to warm your day up. Even a few minutes on a mini-trampoline or a short jog down to the mail box and back can be enough to get your blood running and give you a warm feeling that can last throughout the day.
Q. I am bothered by constant food cravings, and experience a lot of setbacks- will I ever get over this?
A. The first day you notice that you are craving a large green salad or a great juicy apple or a bowl of sprouted pate with sprouts on top will be a great day indeed. Then you will know that you have rounded a corner in your health regime, and that you now have a body that you can begin to listen to.
Being able to listen to your body is often preceded by a period of cleansing. If you have been subsisting on a diet of McDonalds, pizza, soda and sweets, The Quick Fix is what your body will crave. If you are addicted to sugar, it is not just a mental addiction. Your pancreas is screaming for you to feed it the sugar that it has become used to having. What should you do? The best thing may be to eat the highest and best food that will respond to that craving. Far better than a candy bar or an ice cream would be a piece of fruit or two. If you do the best that you can in each instance, including forgiving yourself if you step back to your old ways for a moment, then move on again in the right direction, you will gradually reduce or eliminate unwanted cravings. The amount of time this takes depends on many things such as: how long you had been eating a poor diet, did you transition to raw slowly or quickly, did you begin with a water or juice fast to get a head start, etc.
Another way to quell cravings is to eat a good healthy meal as soon as you begin to lust for pizza or fries. In the early stages of being a raw foodist, hunger often brings on cravings. Often, once you have eaten and are satisfied, the craving itself will just go away, or at least you will find it easier to resist. This means that it is important to always have some good healthy food on hand. It is guaranteed that you will get into trouble if there are no fresh fruits and veggies in the house or office and you are hearing a litany of cheesecake, cheesecake in your head. It is too easy to give in to cravings when you have no way to fill up with healthy food. Plan ahead- bring a bag to work with you each day with a variety of fruits and veggies -try red peppers, apples, baby carrots, celery, fennel, zucchini, orange, pear. Be imaginative. Try new things.
Other ways to help you stay centered in your food choices are to meet regularly with other raw fooders and to encourage restaurants you frequent in your area to provide wonderful salads and other raw foods. When a person has feelings of alienation or loneliness it is difficult to combat unhealthy cravings. Remind yourself that the value of life and socialization is not just about food. Creating an environment for yourself that includes other raw fooders without excluding the other people in your life, often the ones that you love the most, is a delicate balance of strength and tolerance.
Cleansing, whether with a water or juice fast or more gradually through eating more and more raw food, is what will change the very tissues and cells of your body to be tuned into seeking the foods that are good for you. Ancient toxins that have been stored in your body are brought to the surface during a fast and as they exit the body via the blood stream can trigger old cravings.
Each cleanse experience is different. Perhaps in your case you may get a headache that you would have eaten sugar to avoid in the past. Now you know that a healing is taking place and you need only to wait it out and it will go away. Actually giving in and eating sugar will set you back in your process.
The day will come that you will far more often crave for the healthy foods than for the foods you wish to avoid. And as time goes on you will learn to trust your body more and more. You are on a journey and are working towards the freedom of wonderful health: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual; we all are.
Neat Balls (see the following recipe for Sun Garden Burgers)
Sun Garden Burgers are great just out of the dehydrator, or they can be made in advance, dehydrated, refrigerated for a day or two then touched up in the dehydrator for an hour or two to restore crispness and warmth. If you do not yet own a dehydrator, they can also be lightly warmed in an oven.(This will destroy some of the enzymes.) A nine tray dehydrator can hold 81 burgers, so you can make enough for a crowd (the dehydrator will have to run longer with that many-the temperature should be set a bit higher than usual.)
Try making little balls instead of burgers (Neat Balls) and top them with warm gravy. A great hit as a main course or an appetizer.
Sun Garden Burgers
(from The Raw Gourmet ©1999 Nomi Shannon (Alive Books)
3 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
6 tablespoons water
1 cup carrot pulp
1 cup sunflower seeds, ground
1/2 cup finely minced celery
6 tablespoons finely minced onion (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
2 tablespoons finely minced red pepper
2 teaspoons liquid aminos
Use an electric coffee grinder to finely grind the flax seeds and the sunflower seeds. The carrot pulp is what is left over after you juice carrots. If you dont own a juicer yet, ask for carrot pulp at a juice bar.
In a blender, blend the ground flax seed and water, immediately pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Rinse the blender container out immediately. In a medium size bowl, thoroughly stir together carrot pulp, ground sunflower seeds, celery, onion, parsley, red pepper and liquid aminos. Add the flax seed mixture and mix thoroughly. Add more water if necessary to make the consistency to form patties. Form into six 1/2 inch thick patties. Dehydrate for 4-8 hours, or leave in sun until warm, or place in warm oven for 10-15 minutes. Makes 6 patties.
The most exciting thing that has happened to me since I wrote The Raw Gourmet is the discovery of the Saladacco-(its new name is the Spiral Slicer). This inexpensive manual kitchen gadget does a great job making attractive slices, but the best thing that it does is turn simple hard vegetables like zucchini, carrots, parsnips, yams into raw veggie angel hair pasta!
A few turns of the handle and you have a bowl full of the most wonderful pasta, ready to have a delicious sauce poured over it! Just try the following pasta recipe and you will see what I mean-this is a gadget that you will want to use 2 or 3 times a week- the taste of the veggie is so fantastic, even people who never liked zucchini before are loving it as a pasta. What a great way to wow your traditional food friends and family. For a picture of the saladacco spiral slicer go to:
For pasta- When making pasta as a side course with other dishes allow 1/2 a medium zucchini per person. When making the pasta as a main course, allow 1 whole zucchini per person. Make the pasta, then pour the Pesto sauce over it and toss together to mix well. On the serving plate or on each individual plate - spoon a generous amount of pomodoro or marinara sauce right in the middle of the pasta.
If you dont own the Spiral Slicer then make julienne strips either by hand or with a mandoline.
A single recipe of pesto sauce will serve 8 over zucchini pasta, a double recipe will serve 15-16.
(When served as a side course-using 1/2 zucchini per person)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, soaked in water 20 minutes
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
pinch of sea salt
Blend ingredients until very smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a spoonful of warm water. Yields approximately 3/4 cup
Serve pesto sauce and pomodoro over Raw Zucchini pasta for a memorable summertime combination. I say summertime because it is important to use only the freshest, ripest tomatoes that you can find.
For an intense basil flavor, place basil strips in the colander with the tomatoes. Or, add the basil just before serving for a less intense flavor.
4-6 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, slivered
pinch of sea salt
Additional fresh basil to taste
In a colander, put the tomatoes, slivered basil and sea salt. Drain for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally. If you have time, 8-10 hours of draining (do not refrigerate) results in a more highly flavored sauce. Add additional basil, if desired. (Serves 8 as a side course)
note: Do not throw away the tomato water as it drains, it is delicious!
For those times when you cant find perfectly ripe tomatoes, use the following marinara sauce recipe - perfect for winter meals. (This recipe is not in The Raw Gourmet- it will be in my next book.)
2 cups Sun Dried tomatoes*, soaked in water for 2 hours
(add ingredients according to your own taste)
Cut up and blend the tomatoes in a blender. Drain the sun dried tomatoes and add enough of them to the tomato puree until the mixture is quite thick. Add the following to your liking: garlic, onion, a little olive oil, parsley, fresh basil, sea salt, oregano. (Add any other ingredients that you like in a tomato or marinara sauce, such as cut up olives.)
*Sun dried tomatoes are an excellent ingredient to keep in your raw food pantry. My favorite source for organic, raw, sun dried tomatoes is Sun Organic Farm (Sunorganic.com, or 888-969-9888- ask for their catalog they carry many wonderful items for the raw fooder, all organic and raw)
3. Some personal information about Nomi Shannon, the author of The Raw Gourmet.
I am living proof that the raw food diet works. Over 12 years ago I had serious digestive problems, suffered from fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, candida, allergic sinusitis and mood swings. When I went for three weeks on a one hundred per cent raw food diet I was astounded by the transformation. I lost 11 pounds in 10 days and had more energy than I ever had at twenty. In time, I said good riddance to other conditions as well. I now use my personal success story to help others as a Certified Hippocrates health educator. I teach people how to develop their own cleansing and healing diet plan. My goal with The Raw Gourmet is to get those interested in this diet up and running, one bite at a time.
From the back of the book: A well-known proponent of natural health and healing, Nomi Shannon is an author, a raw foods chef and a certified hippocrates health educator. As a culinary artist and living foods lifestye coach, she provides counseling and consultation services for individuals and groups the world over who wish to improve their health.
5. Here is a list of items that The Raw Gourmet carries, all designed to get you up and running in a living food program:
The Raw Gourmet Book 24.95
Saladacco (Spiral Slicer) 39.95
Digestive Enzymes 14.00 per bottle of 90
Teflex sheets for the Excalibur
Green Power Machine
Green Life Machine
Miracle wheatgrass juicer, electric and manual
Call The Raw Gourmet for prices and to help you decide what equipment is best for you.
888-316-4611 (24 hour message) Direct Line: 760-967-6664 email: email@example.com