Today is the Autumn equinox. Summer really feels like it’s gone now and the air is beginning to feel fresh and crisp. I just feel like donning a pair of unattractive slippers and sitting on the couch. So today we were thinking of Chai Tea and how delicious and warming the spices are, but we wanted to make a sesame milk version. This recipe has all the traditional Chai spices but not the caffeine, sugar and dairy that Chai usually has and you shouldn’t. This is a drink that will go down well with friends who are not raw because it’s just so tasty and if you don’t have figs on hand you could also substitute with dates. It’s perfectly autumnal.
Sesame & Fig Chai Milk
2 Cups Sesame Seeds
4 Cups Filtered or Spring Water
6 Dried Figs
2cm Piece of Fresh Ginger Root
1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 Tsp Grated Nutmeg
Seeds of 3 Cardamom Pods
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
2 Tbsp Raw Manuka Honey
Blend the sesame seeds, water, ginger and cardamom pods together in a high speed blender for at least a minute.
Strain and squeeze through a nut milk bag or piece of cheesecloth. Compost the sesame seed hulls and pour the milk back into the blender.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend for another minute. Feel free to adjust the spices to your personal taste.
Pour into short tumbler glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve with a cinnamon quill to use as a straw.
For a Chocolate Chai Milk simply add 1 -2 Tbsp of Raw Cacao Powder.
Making Seed and Nut Milks
Seed and Nut Milks are so easy to make. They are a great base for smoothies in place of dairy or soy. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing how to make the milk. This is a great demonstration by Karen Knowler. She uses almonds in this recipe which also make a delicious milk, I just use sesame seeds quite often as they are less expensive.
There are just so many health problems associated with dairy products. If you think about it we are the only species to drink milk as adults and we are the only species to drink the milk of another animal. It’s infant formula for cows, do you really think it’s going to be good for a human to drink? Cow’s are usually pumped so full of hormones and antibiotics which end up in their milk and eventually into the person who drinks it. Check out this interview with Robert Cohen, author of ‘Milk, The Deadly Poison’ about the dangers of dairy.
I made this dish for a raw potluck this weekend. There are plenty of cheap organic zucchini and tomatoes at the Victoria Street farmers market in Wellington now that it’s near the end of summer. I also picked up the basil there for the pesto. All the classic italian flavours are there which makes this a favourite for friends and family who are not raw. You can make a big batch of pesto up to keep for the week and just do the zucchini on the night.
2 Cups Tightly Packed Basil
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 Tsp Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Cold Pressed Olive Oil
Spring or Filtered Water
Soak the pinenuts and pumpkin seeds for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse.
Place all ingredients apart from the water into a food processor and process until almost smooth. You still want a little texture to it. Add a little water at a time if it seems too dry.
Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
3 Large Zucchini
2 Medium Tomatoes
8-10 Dried Olives
1/2 Red Capsicum
2 Tbsp Pine Nuts
1/2 Cup Basil Pesto
Use a julienne peeler to slice the zucchini lengthways into long noodles and place in a large bowl. You could also use a spiralizer.
Chop the tomatoes and capsicum, destone and chop the olives and add these with the pine nuts to the zucchini.
Add the pesto and mix thoroughly to combine.
Leave to sit for 1hour before serving if you would like the noodles to soften a bit.
This is something like an Energy Soup. Or you might call it a savoury green smoothie. I just call it it delicious and eat it all the time. Don’t worry too much about the amounts, I never measure, I just chop it up and blend. The capsicum and basil really make it, so make sure you don’t skip those. Serve with some herby flax crackers for extra crunch.
1 Cup Cubed Cucumber
1/2 Red, Orange or Yellow Capsicum
1 Cup Tightly Packed Spinach
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil
2 Tsp Unpasteurised Miso
1 Tsp Tamari
Juice of 1 Lemon
1-2 Cups Water
Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper to Taste
Place everything in the blender starting with the cucumber and peppers and blend until smooth.
Serve cold with extra chunks of tomato, cucumber and avocado.
We’ve been getting a lot of Cauliflower in our organic vege box recently. It’s the poor cousin to broccoli who always gets picked first. So we have to come up with creative ways to let that cauli-wall-flower shine through. This cauliflower salad is reminiscent of stir fried rice. You basically just need a base of cauliflower and the sesame oil and tamari dressing, then you’re free to change up the other vegetables in this dish to make your own variations. Here’s the combination I whipped up the other night.
1 small head cauliflower
1 large stalk celery
1 stalk spring onion
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp cold-pressed sesame oil
juice of 1 lemon
Chop the cauliflower into florets and place a few at a time into the food processor or blender. Pulse until it looks about the size of grains of rice and place in a large bowl.
Chop the carrots and do the same as with the cauliflower.
Dice the bell pepper, celery and spring onion and combine with the remaining ingredients in the bowl.
This should keep for a few days in the fridge.
Cauliflower is a member of club cruciferous, just like Kale, Broccoli and Cabbage. These types of vegetables promote liver detoxification and help to prevent cancer. The phytonutrients contained in Cauliflower tell your genes to make more of the enzymes that are involved in detoxification which is why cruciferous vegetables are shown to be more effective in fighting cancer. If that wasn’t enough, Cauliflower is also very high in Vitamin C, it has more than oranges. These facts, figures and more are available over at World’s Healthiest Foods.
I made this for my flatmates last night to eat while we watched a movie. It’s really easy if you keep chopped frozen bananas in the freezer and have a jar of buckwheaties on hand. It probably took 10 minutes to whip up.
2 frozen bananas (chopped)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 small avocado
1 tbsp honey, agave or a couple of dates (whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup buckwheaties
Place the chopped frozen banana, avocado, blueberries and your sweetener of choice into a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with coconut and buckwheaties for a bit of crunch!
Soak whole buckwheat groats in water for about 8hrs.
Use a sieve to drain and thoroughly rinse the buckwheat.
Spread the buckwheat over mesh dehydrator tray and dehydrate 8-12hrs or until fully dry and crunchy.
Another optional extra is to add cinnamon and honey, maple syrup or agave nectar before dehydrating.
I went along to Victoria and Valya Boutenko’s talk in Wellington last night. Although I knew their story well from reading Green for Life it was great to hear Victoria tell it in person. She talked about a lot of things I am going to try and implement in my own life.
Here are a few points I took away from the lecture:
- You should try to get in 1-2 litres of green smoothie per day.
- The best time to drink your smoothie is from 6am-noon as that is when your body can assimilate the nutrients most effectively.
- You should try to sip away at your smoothie rather than gulping it all down at once.
- Green Smoothie will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator whereas juice needs to be consumed right away or else it oxidises.
- You should rotate your greens, don’t just stick to one or two.
- You should get in 2 big bunches of greens a day. (A bunch would be something like a head of lettuce or a bunch of silverbeet)
- If you blend your greens you can assimilate more of the nutrients, so you don’t need as many as when you eat them whole.
- If you’re new to green smoothies you might like to start off with a 70/30 ratio of fruit to greens and gradually move to a 30/70 ratio as you get used to the greens.
- You should use greens that are able to be rolled around in your fingers. Things like broccoli or cabbage are too starchy and will create gas when combined with fruits.
- Greens are in a separate category to vegetables.
- Don’t mix in supplements with your green smoothie, it causes your body to concentrate on those rather than the minerals in the greens. Save your supplements for another smoothie.
- The best time to pick your greens is before they have flowers or have gone to seed. Once this happens the plant sends all the nutrients into the flower and then into the seed.
- Diabetes and Candida are not caused by too much sugar. You don’t need to cut out sugar. It’s actually caused by too much fat. What happens when you eat sugar is the pancreas send out some insulin to bind with the sugar in your bloodstream. If you have too much fat in your blood both the sugar and insulin are coated with fat and can’t bind together which is where the problems are caused. Dr Doug Graham has similar research on this. She said that you can cut out all fat for one week and you should see an improvement. After that you’ll also find that your body doesn’t want so much fat anymore.
If you were at the lecture as well please comment below about what you learned!
You can read more about Victoria Boutenko and her family here.Please remember, I’m not a doctor, this is just a blog, so be sensible and do your own research.
I’ve had a few requests recently to post up some green smoothie recipes so I thought it would coincide nicely leading up to the Green Smoothie Revolution talks around New Zealand right now. If you’re already into raw food you’ll no doubt know all about the green smoothie but for those of you who don’t here’s the lowdown.
The basic green smoothie recipe is so easy your kids could and should make it. Take some green leafy veges and blend with fruit and water. That’s it. You’ll eventually come up with your own favourite combinations and it’s best to use what is growing seasonally and locally.
Here’s a few of my favourite blends.
Kale, Banana, Tangelo, Spring Water
Kale, Banana, Yellow Plums, Spring Water, topped with goji berries (as shown above)
Spinach, Strawberry, Mint, Banana, Spring Water
Banana, Swiss Chard, Blueberries, Goji Berries, Coconut, Spirulina, Bee Pollen, Spring Water
Savoury: Spinach, Avocado, Red Capsicum, Tomato, Unpasteurised Miso Paste, Alfalfa Sprouts, Zucchini, Cucumber, Lemon Juice, Tamari, Spring Water. You can eat this version in a bowl like a soup with chunks of tomato and avocado. So good on a hot day.
Greens are so vital for our health, they provide so many nutrients and minerals that we should try to get them in wherever we can. So that’s why the green smoothie is so great. Kids love them too. It’s a good way to hide the greens if you aren’t that into the flavour. The taste of the fruit cancels out the chlorophyll taste of the greens. If you’re just starting out, I recommend a nice mildly flavoured green like spinach which is really high in protein. Ditch the multivitamins and try drinking a 500ml glass or more of green smoothie a day and see how great you feel after a week.
Here’s a great demonstration from the lovely Karen Knowler
If you’re in Wellington or Christchurch you’re in luck! The green smoothie queen herself is doing a tour of Australasia during February. Victoria Boutenko and her daughter Valya are doing a series of talks all about green smoothies and all things raw vegan. You can get more info about the Boutenko family here.
Wellington, New Zealand
When: Thurs 26 Feb. 6.30pm – 9.30pm
Where: Wellington Central Baptist Church, 46 Boulcott Street, Wellington Central
(free parking at the Tournament Car park building opposite)
Cost: $30 reduced to $25 if paid by 20 Feb.
For bookings & enquires: www.purewellbeing.com or phone Wgtn 04-384 7070
or email email@example.com
Feb. 28th Christchurch, New Zealand
When: Sat. 28 Feb. 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Christchurch Netball Centre
Hagley Park, central Christchurch
Cost: $25 (registration essential)
For bookings & enquiries: email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by
texting or calling 027 339 0051.
Messages can also be left on 03 343 2022.
I’m on my fourth and final day of fasting at Atsumi on Phuket in Thailand. It’s been amazing and one of the highlights of my trip. I completely recommend it. Most people do at least a week but four days was all I had time for. You can do an all raw fast or a juice fast or the full fast, which is what I did.
The daily schedule consists of morning yoga and your choice of massage (Thai, reflexology, oil, thaiatsu) sometime during the day. There’s also a beach trip each day and an activity at night like meditation, kickboxing, salsa dancing which all helps to keep you busy. Or you can just do your own thing. We also alternate arise and shine herbs and chompa to help that mucoid plaque out with psyllium and bentonite clay shakes. And to get all of those dirty toxins out we do two colemas a day. So after all that there’s not much time to be thinking of food.
They have plenty of additional therapies like rebirthing, hypnotherapy and acupuncture. Yesterday I had the most amazing therapy though. It was part reiki and energy work and part card reading with a medium. She told me about every part of my life now and for the future. Things that only I could have known, it was incredible.
As far as the physical detox goes, the first three days were tough, I was pretty weak for the most part but this morning I woke up feeling better than ever. Best trip ever. Everyone should do it.
Find out more about Atsumi here.