Tag Archives: Raw Food

Love Affair With Thai Coconut Sugar

When I first started eating more raw foods I was using Agave Nectar in many of my raw desserts. That was all the rage at the time. Now of course many raw foodies have reconsidered this sweetener and decided that it is not the healthy sweetener we once were lead to believe. I went back to my old standby… honey. I missed agave though!

But a few weeks back I decided to try a newish sweetener I had never heard of before… Thai Coconut Sugar or crystallized coconut sap sugar. I ordered a 3 pound tub from Raw Food World and quickly dug in. This stuff is heaven on earth! It is so yummy that you can eat it straight out of the tub with a spoon… just as good as chocolate. It can take the place of sugar and any recipe where you may have been using honey or agave. I imagine you can use it in recipes that call for white sugar too, I am just not sure of the ratio. I look forward to playing with it!

This morning I just slathered some on fresh pink grapefruit and it was yummy. In my house growing up we had grapefruit all the time but my mom would sprinkle Equal packets on each half. When I got older and realized what I bad idea Equal was, I went without grapefruit. I didn’t like them with honey and obviously table sugar was out. My husband uses coconut sugar is his coffee with great success. It melts beautifully and acts much coconut oil/butter in that regard. We keep it in the fridge to extend its life.

This sugar is made from the sap of unopened Coconut blossoms. It is not palm sugar! It is thickened under controlled heat to avoid over cooking which would affect the nutrients and acidity. It contains only 12 % sugars, and has a nutritional content far beyond all other available sweeteners; it is high in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron, it is a natural source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C and amino acids (specially glutamic acid). Extremely low glycemic (35!). All I can say is YUM!

Doesn’t it look like ooey gooey caramel????

21 Raw Questions

I have seen a few of my favorite raw food bloggers doing these 21 raw questions so I thought I would give it a whirl…

1. Favorite Raw Vegan milk? Almond Milk… we drink it straight up, put it in cereal, and add it to fruit to make ice cream, and of course we make yummy smoothies, usually banana chocolate with Amazing Grass Powder.

2. What are the top 3 recipes you are planning to make? Hmmm… this summer I am looking forward to raspberry and blackberry sorbet, watermelon smoothies, and fruit salad. We like to keep it simple.

3. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? The first time I made raw key lime pie it came out lumpy and REALLY sour because I just peeled some key limes and threw them in the blender. The next time I just juiced regular limes instead.

4. How do you organize your recipes? I keep them on my computer in text files, or bookmarked from web sites… it is not a very good system and I need to figure something else out.

5. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? Compost definitely. We throw everything in a bowl on the kitchen counter and when it gets full we toss it into the compost pile in our back yard.

6. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be? Strawberries, watermelon, and snow peas. Delicious!

7. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Probably my mom’s prime rib. I LOVED prime rib with a passion. Pretty sad that my fondest food memory is of eating a dead cow.

8. Favorite raw ice cream? Raspberry Lime Sorbet. I have always loved sweet and sour.

9. Most loved kitchen appliance? My Vita-Mix… life would be incomplete without it!

10. Spice/herb you can’t be without? Cilantro! I spent over 20 years in the Southwest so Mexican food is soul food to me and salsa with tons of cilantro is the heart if it.

11. Recipe (Cook) book you have owned for the longest time? Joy of Cooking. My Mom gave it to me but I don’t ever use it.

12. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Not crazy about jams and jellies generally but Blackberry would probably be the most appealing.

13. Favorite raw (vegan) recipe to serve to an omni-friend? A green smoothie because when people drink their greens and enjoy it, it is like Christmas.

15. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Almonds, Walnuts, and hemp seeds.

16. Favorite grocery store? Whole Foods.

17. Food blog you read the most.Yikes, that is like asking which tooth I brush the most.. I read TONS of foods blogs!

18. What is one ingredient that you’ve become familiar with that you can’t imagine you ever lived without? Chia seeds.

19. Most coveted condiment? Shoyu sauce.

20. Best food smell? Garlic.

21. Best cooked food memory that you’d like to re-create raw? Clam Chowder. I could substitute oyster mushrooms for the clams but that is as far as I have gotten in my planning, lol.

Play along by answering the 21 Raw Questions on your own blog!

Essential Equipment for a Raw Foods Kitchen

When you make the decision to go raw or at least to incorporate more raw foods into your diet you may want to buy some special equipment to make things easier. After all, cooks need good pots and pans…going raw doesn’t mean you won’t need food prep items…they are just different is all. You may already have some of these…others you might not have heard of. If you are on a budget it may be easier to use what you have for now and save for the bigger items because I will be recommending what I consider to be the absolute BEST and sometimes they aren’t cheap. SO here we go:

The Vita-Mix- A raw food eater needs a good blender. The Vita-Mix is the Cadillac of blenders with blades that rotate at 240 MPH. This baby could chew through wood blocks and it has a 7 year warranty…I know one gal that has had hers for 11 years! It is great for making green smoothies, soups, ice cream, fillings for pies and other raw dishes, and for making your own nut butters and nut milks. I would be lost without mine. Read my more detailed review here. If you want to buy directly from Vitamix.com use code 06-002324 for free standard shipping!

If you just can’t afford a Vita-Mix I have heard that some raw foodies use the Magic Bullet for small jobs.

A Food Processor – If you have a Vita-Mix (above) feel free to skip this appliance as the VM does the job a food processor would do but I will admit that for small jobs it would be nice to have a food processor just the same. I like this KitchenAid one.

A Juicer – I admit that I do not have a juicer. I prefer to keep the pulp/fiber intact and drink green smootheis instead of green juices but for quick healing and for juice feasting/fasting a juicer is a necessity. If I found out my cancer had returned I would buy one up in a heartbeat. I have a few potentials on my list including the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite and the Omega Juicer Model 8005. A big favorite among raw foodies is the Green Star GS-1000 Juice Extractor.

DehydratorA Dehydrator- This is essential for drying fruits and nuts. Nuts often need to be soaked first and in their raw state they are sort of chewy…drying them makes them easier to eat. Fruit can be dried and stored for winter time eating and everyday snacking. You can also make rawesome cookies, crackers, and sweet potato chips with a dehydrator. I recommend the Excalibur. I have the 5 tray model.

Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer - This make is easy to cut veggies into thin spirals for pseudo pasta or super thin dipping pieces. It is vital for making sweet potato chips.

Sprouting Jars - Lots of raw foodies eat sprouts…although they are not my favorite…but I do try! If you want to make your own then you will need sprouting jars. The store bought sprouts are kind of pricey.

Wheat Grass Growing Kit- You may be able to use stuff you have laying around the house but for a newbie this kit is handy. You will also need a good juicer (see above) to juice wheatgrass..it is pretty hardy.

Cutting boards – You will need nice cutting boards for cutting your fruits and veggies! I recommend Bamboo.

So what is essential for YOUR raw food kitchen?