Tag Archives: Raw Foods

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????

Improving Health With Lemon Water

Nutritionists, doctors, and beauty experts often advise people to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Despite the benefits that this act would bring to our bodies, only a few people actually do it. In these times of coffee shops and fast food chains, water is becoming a drink merely for drinking medicines and if you do not have anything else to drink. This needs to be changed so we could get the much-needed water in our bodies. Raw foodies are already a little ahead of the game because the water content in fresh raw foods is much higher than in cooked, processed foods. But even then we still need to drink water. What you can do is perk your drink a little bit. How? Add lemon. It adds a refreshing twist to plain water while providing your body with more than what plain water can offer.

Lemon is pretty inexpensive so you would not have to worry about your budget. With just a little slice of lemon, you get necessary nutrients such as Vitamin C, B, and Riboflavin.

If you have issues with digestion, adding lemon to plain water is often recommended. Regular drinking of warm water with lemon can help relieve nausea and vomiting, heartburn, hiccups, bloating, and other digestive irritations. This is also an ideal drink for people who do not have regular bowel movements. Lemon is well known to be a natural cleansing agent so it can help cleanse the colon and get rid of waste effectively. It is also said that a spritz of lemon in water would be able to aid the liver into producing bile and to help dissolve gallstones.

If you read a lot of women’s magazines, you would know that lemon is a natural skin care agent. It has antiseptic properties and contains enough vitamin C to promote healthier skin by preventing the early signs of aging from taking place. If you have burns, applying lemon purely or with water will help relieve the burning feeling because lemon has a natural cooling effect.

Drinking water with lemon not only cleanses and improves bodily processes; it also helps with dental issues like toothache and gum problems. If you are prone to bleeding gums or your gums are causing bad breath, massage some lemon water on them to cleanse them and give them a fresher scent. Lemon water can also be applied on the gum and the tooth that aches. The antiseptic property of lemons helps cleanse and ease the pain brought about by toothaches.

Weight loss is one of the many things that are difficult to achieve for many people. If they knew that lemon can help with weight loss, they would probably be drinking nothing else but lemon water. By drinking this instead of other commercial thirst quenchers, you get lesser calories and you get the water that your body needs to digest better and to burn calories faster. You can even maximize the weight loss effect by adding honey to your warm glass of lemon water.

Lemon water is not just for adults, but for kids as well. When your child has a fever or flu, let them drink warm water with lemon. This does not only provide them with much-needed vitamin C to make their resistance stronger, it also helps the body perspire more, thus, breaking the fever.

One small change with big results.

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?