Posts tagged: raw

Avocado-Quinoa-Scallion Salad!

By , January 14, 2012

I have to share with you this totally awesome little salad I made up the other day! So good!!! Everything is to taste; I use roughly equal quantities of quinoa and avocado (though a little heavier on the quinoa). And we use Nama Shoyu because in our opinion it’s so much better tasting than any other soy sauce or tamari out there!


cooked quinoa

chopped avocado

sliced scallions

Nama Shoyu raw soy sauce

red wine vinegar


How to Juice a Pomegranate (without a juicer)

By , December 2, 2011

Have you ever tried fresh, raw pomegranate juice? It’s incredible! Pomegranates are in season now, so give it a try sometime!

You can easily juice a pomegranate without a juicer; in fact, even though we have a juicer, I prefer to do it this way. And it’s only a little more effort above and beyond the task of separating the seeds from the pith. One large pomegranate will yield roughly 1 cup of juice.

Now when you’re doing this, I suggest wearing black — or at least a big apron. The distance a juice splatter will travel seems to be directly proportionate to how much you love the shirt you’re wearing; this phenomenon also appears to be heavily influenced by the color of the shirt — with white inducing bigger and more far-reaching splatters than any other color.


1. To peel your pomegranate, make perpendicular cuts (both going all the way around the fruit) — deep enough to cut through the skin, but not through the seeds underneath:

2. Grab a section and break it away:

3. Over a large bowl, gently separate the seeds from the white pith. This is the most time-consuming step.

4. Discard the pith & peel:

5. Empty the seeds into a blender or food processor:

6. Pulse them quickly about 8-10 times; we just want to burst the juicy outer red part without grinding up the crunchy white inner seeds:

7. Empty the contents of the blender into a mesh strainer over a bowl:

8. With clean hands, squeeze the seeds to get the rest of the juice out:

9. Pour the juice from the bowl into a glass. Enjoy it!


Indian Summer Watermelon Slushie

By , October 3, 2011

There are still watermelons at the farmer’s market, and the weather is still hot enough to crave them!

My Hubby’s sweet sister created this awesome recipe and sent it to me a couple weeks ago. We love it and have been making batch after batch of it! You don’t even have to be a watermelon lover to enjoy this. I’m not; they’re usually too sweet for my liking. But this…this is just right. It’s so refreshing.

I should add, too, that this is a really good drink for someone who’s sick; it’s very light and hydrating, which is important when you don’t feel well enough to drink or eat much of anything. It’s like a popsicle only better for you! Right now, this slushie is sometimes the only thing that my incredibly delicate tummy will tolerate. I’ve been so grateful for it!


Watermelon Slushie

3 cups of watermelon chunks, seeds removed

2 large (or 4 small) strawberries, fresh or frozen

7 raspberries, fresh or frozen

6 ice cubes

1 cup water (or less for a slushier consistency)

squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)


Remove the seeds from your watermelon. (Don’t worry, this is a quick task if you cut the melon into smaller chunks first. I like to save the seeds & dry them on a plate to snack on later). One time, I didn’t remove the seeds before making the slushie. It makes for a richer, thicker (and even more nutritious) slushie, though the seeds definitely reduced the sweetness. I do like the slushie better without seeds. 🙂

Blend everything till smooth. If you’d like a slushier consistency, reduce the water, or add more ice. Also, it’s easy for the strawberry flavor to overpower, so if that happens, just add more watermelon.






Mint Water: The Simplest + Most Refreshing Drink of Summer

By , July 30, 2011

I’m in love with mint water. It’s the very easiest thing to whip up, with the most cooling and refreshing taste I can think of.

All you need is fresh mint — out your back door, down at the far corner of the yard where you planted it once and now there’s enough to make mint water for everyone in your state. Pick a long sprig or two of it.

Whack ’em against your hand to dislodge any little crawlies. Rinse them off too, if you like.

Pour a glass of water, add ice, crush the mint sprigs in your fist, and submerge them into the water.

When the water gets low, top it up. If you have nice strong mint, it’ll last you through many glasses.

I love this stuff!


Make Your Own “Green Smoothie Frozen Concentrate”

By , July 5, 2011

Green smoothie frozen concentrate made with lettuce, spinach, and lambsquarters.

So I peeked into my remaining three bags of lettuce from the garden this year, and discovered that they were starting to go south and needed to be used right away. I separated out the slimy leaves, washed the rest, and had an idea! I’ll make green smoothie frozen concentrate cubes!

To make the concentrate:

1. Pour some kefir, water, juice, or watered-down yogurt into a blender. You won’t need too much — just enough to get everything to blend together smoothly.

2. Add lots of greens. Ideas are: lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, lambsquarters, purslane, mint, parsley, cilantro, edible flowers, etc. (Kale is the only one I don’t like in a shake, but if you do, go for it!)

3. Start the blender and let it run until you have a uniform slurry.

4. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

To use:

When you’re ready to make a green smoothie, thaw out some cubes; I usually use 2 cubes when I make a shake for myself. Add the green liquid to your blender containing the rest of your smoothie ingredients — I like to use fruit and kefir with some ground flax seed and vanilla extract. Blend & enjoy. Yum!!


If you’re curious about green smoothies, you might check out the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, or the related website. My friend Sasha recommended this book to me, and I loved it! While I don’t agree with absolutely everything in the book, I’m glad I read it.


Free Shipping Today Only (Monday, June 13) at Tropical Traditions!

By , June 13, 2011

It’s a Free Shipping Day at one of my very favorite companies, Tropical Traditions! The free shipping will save about $10-15 off your order, so it’s a good day to stock up, or try them out if you haven’t before. I really love this company’s products, and use them daily. Today only, Monday, June 13th through Midnight EDT, they’re offering free ground-only shipping when you enter coupon code 61113 at checkout.

Click here to read about which products I love most.

And if you’re a new customer and have never bought from them before, you can also get this Virgin Coconut Oil book, with information  & recipes, for free (any time, not just today) by entering my User ID, which is 6032410. When you’re going through the checkout process and you’ve added your shipping address and phone number, you will see the question “How did you hear of us?” Just choose “Referred by a friend” and then a new “User ID” field will appear below that where you can enter my User ID. I also get some sort of little gift if I refer a friend, so that’s nice too.  🙂

(screen shot below)

Give Your Health a Boost with Refreshing Green Smoothies!

By , June 1, 2011

Mmmmm, these green smoothies are a lush-tasting way to sneak more veggies into your diet — and the time is now, since it’s spring and salad greens are in season!

There are so many variations to this concept — please be creative and dream up your own! — but here’s how I make mine:

Green Smoothie

kefir (or yogurt thinned with water)

banana pieces (pretty much essential for adding some sweetness)

apple pieces, or any other fruit

spinach leaves and/or lettuce leaves and/or cucumber slices (or two green smoothie frozen concentrate cubes!)

several fresh mint leaves or parsley sprigs

vanilla extract

ground flax seed

First, add kefir and your greens and mint leaves to the blender and blend thoroughly. Add everything else, blend thoroughly, and enjoy!


How to Make Sauerruben

By , May 26, 2011

Sauerruben is made just like sauerkraut, only with rutabagas (or turnips, or a combo). It’s lovely stuff, and a nice change from kraut. It has a sweet, radish-like bite — although that will mellow out after a few weeks in the fridge. I like sauerruben a lot more than I thought I would, especially after it mellowed. Give it a try!


Rutabagas (or turnips, or a combo), washed/scrubbed. I don’t bother to peel mine.

Sea salt (see my salting chart below, plus you may need more to mix up extra brine. (Any non-iodized salt will do, but unrefined sea salt is better for your body.)


Here’s my salting chart. I usually just stick to this, but you can add a little more salt in the summer and a little less in the winter if you like.

10 tsp salt per 5 lbs vegetables

5 tsp salt per 2 ½ lbs vegetables

2 tsp salt per 1 lb vegetables

1 tsp salt per ½ lb vegetables

½ tsp salt per ¼ lb vegetables


Shred, grate, or finely chop your rutabagas. Add the salt, and mix well.

I let this sit on the counter for several hours or overnight (this step is in place of pounding) so that the salt can begin to draw water out of the rutabagas. The water contains nutrients, and these nutrients then become the substrate for the growth of the lactic acid bacteria which is what turns your rutabagas into sauerruben. (Steinkraus, Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods, p.120.)

After some water has been drawn out, pack the rutabaga WITH its water into a glass jar. You really want to pack it in there (use your fist or any kitchen tool), because this will help squeeze more water out. You can also use a specially-made ceramic sauerkraut crock, or a glass or ceramic bowl (anything except metal, since salt and acid can react with metal).

Keep the rutabaga submerged under the brine by placing a smaller plate on top and weighing it down with something heavy (a jug of water, a boiled rock, etc.). Or, nest a smaller jar of water inside your larger glass jar.

This is kale, not sauerruben, but same idea. I particularly like this nesting-jars method for keeping everthing submerged under the brine.

Whatever method you devise, just be sure that all traces of rutabaga are completely submerged in the brine. Little bits sticking up above the water line will quickly lead to a moldy situation (and if you do end up with mold, scrape off the entire top layer, but the rest underneath should be fine!). So if you need to mix up some more brine (which is just a fancy name for salt water), use the ratio of 1 tsp salt to 1 cup of water.

Cover the jar with a towel to keep bugs out. Leave it to ferment at room temperature until you like the taste of your sauerruben. Let your tongue be your guide to done-ness. Taste it every few days, and transfer into the fridge when it tastes the way you like it. I like mine pretty sour, so I usually leave it out for 1-2 weeks or more, depending on how warm it is in the kitchen. If the taste is right but the ‘ruben is still too bitey, shove it to the back of the fridge for several weeks for it to mellow out.

Once in the fridge, your sauerruben will keep for many months. And when it’s all gone, don’t throw out the juice; it’s full of beneficial Lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria) and is said to be a very good digestive tonic. And if you like, add a little of the juice to your next batch of sauerruben as a starter.


If you see a white film (“kahm yeast”) develop on the surface of the brine, scrape off what you can each day until the ‘ruben is done fermenting. Sometimes I don’t get any film. Sometimes I get a fair amount. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. The kahm yeast won’t harm anything, but if you keep getting a lot of it day after day, it can sometimes (not always) impart an off taste to the brine. Just try to scrape it off on a regular basis (daily is nice).


How to Make Beet Kvass

By , May 21, 2011

Beet kvass is a favorite at our house! It’s so easy to make and so good for your body, and we love the taste — salty, sour, very refreshing.

Beets are extremely nutrient rich and have long been valued as a blood tonic (and their doctrine of signatures would suggest this — they make everything look bloody after you’ve cut into them!). They are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, carotene, B complex, copper, and vitamin C. Beets and their greens contain special substances that protect the liver and stimulate the flow of bile (Nourishing Traditions, p. 373). And drinking beet kvass is especially beneficial to digestion because it’s lacto-fermented and therefore contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria for your digestive tract. It’s an all-around health tonic, and according to p. 610 of Nourishing Traditions, beet kvass promotes regular elimination, aids digestion, alkalinizes the blood, cleanses the liver, and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.

Well, all I know is that it tastes good!

The recipe in Nourishing Traditions describes letting your beet kvass ferment for 2 days on the counter and then refrigerating it. However, I find it usually needs to ferment a lot longer than that. I let mine go a week or two on the counter, until the kvass is completely opaque — a deep, thick red that you can’t see through. I give it a taste, and if it’s sour with no hint of sweetness left, I know it’s done (though some may like to have that hint of sweetness). As with all fermentations, let it go until it tastes good to you, regardless of what the directions say.

Here’s my recipe:

Beet Kvass

8 – 10 ounces organic beets, scrubbed & coarsely chopped (I don’t bother to peel them)

1/4 cup whey* (optional)

1 Tbsp sea salt (I like unrefined sea salt because the minerals haven’t been taken out)


Place the salt into a 2-quart glass jar. Pour in a little warm water to dissolve the salt, and then add the beets and whey (if using). Fill the jar to the top with water. Stir and cover. Let sit at room temperature until the kvass tastes good to you — several days to a couple weeks, depending on your kitchen temperature and your tastes. Transfer to the fridge. If the kvass isn’t delicious, it may need a few weeks to “do its thing” in the fridge. I always find that my ferments taste even better when they’ve been shoved to the back of the fridge for a few weeks (or…er…months!).

And I have found that the whey is an optional ingredient, even though it isn’t listed as such in Nourishing Traditions. Feel free to leave it out; your kvass will take a little longer to ferment, but will be just as delicious!

When the liquid is nearly gone from your jar, you can fill it halfway again with water (no extra salt) and let it re-ferment if you want. Or you can save some kvass to add to your new batch as an innoculant, or you can juice your spent beet chunks! Or all of the above.

Starting a new batch of beet kvass

Beet kvass, finished and ready to drink


*Whey: a clear yellowish liquid that can be drained off a fermented milk product like yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. Whey will actually last for a couple months in your fridge. There are several ways to collect it:

– Easiest way: make kefir and let it over-ferment until curds and whey have separated. Spoon off the curds, and strain the whey through a fine mesh seive.

– Another way: Place a colander or seive over a bowl. Line the colander with a clean, damp tea towel, and pour yogurt into that. Leave for a day or two in your fridge to drain. You’ll then be left with whey in the bowl and “Greek yogurt” (or “yogurt cheese” if it’s really thick) in the colander. Both are great for making dips.



My ferments, including my kvass, sometimes get a white film (kahm yeast) on top during fermentation. It looks like this:

Kahm yeast is harmless, but you’ll want to try to keep it scraped off so it doesn’t affect the flavor of the kvass too much. I do find that my kvass gains a depth of flavor when it’s had this film on it, but if you let it go uncontrolled, it can make your kvass taste weird. Try to scrape as much of it off each day as you can.


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