Archives for category: raw food

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So many years prognosticating
The what ifs of this year.
Look, no comet, no alien landing.
Time ticks slowly on.
But are we off the hook, or on it?
No saviour, no reaper.
The drip, drip
Of a leaky tap;
Small things left undone,
making up life,
creating us,
lest we create
ourselves. 

Make a wish,
Blow a kiss,
Your penny in the hat,
Your hat in the ring,
Your seeds, your art, your love –
Make it:
For the beauty
For the horror
For all our relations.


26,000 year anniversary cake

shazza cake arial

Fresh Persimons in Cardamon Creme on a
Walnut, Cranberry & Sour Cherry Crunch

Sharon fruit in Israel, Kaki fruit in Japan (柿), Putchamin in the Algonquian tongue of the eastern USA (from which the word Persimmon derives). The Greeks called it wheat of Zeus and a Godly fruit it is: like an orangy juicy cosmic date..

There are two main kinds available: astringent and non astringent. The astringent variety has to be really ripe before you can eat it, almost gushing inside it’s skin. The others you can eat when still a bit firm. The only way is to try one when you get it home. You’ll know if you’ve got it too early; the result in a dry mouth experience to rival snogging a slug.

3 Persimmon fruits
1 cup walnuts, soaked and dehydrated, (or just a bit toasted). sharonfruits
1/3 cup dried cranberries &/or dried sour cherries, soaked
Generous pinch of salt

1 cup cashew nuts, soaked
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juiceshazza gat base 2
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup water

shazzy gat base picFirst make the base. Soak the dried fruits in just enough water to cover them. If you’ve left it too late, use hot water, give them half an hour. Pulse them (with their soak water) with the walnuts and the salt in a food processor ’til they’re bitty but still a bit chunky.  Press the mix into the bottom of a 9inch(ish) dish.shazza cake close up

Now make the cream. Drain the cashew nuts and blend them with the rest of the ingredients, adding half the water at first, more if required to get it to a thick but pourable cream. Pour into the base leaving a bit of room for the level to rise when you push in the fruit slices.

Cut the Perimons into thin wedges, then cut each wedge in half making little pointy turrets. Starting from the centre arrange the points in circles or a spiral until you’ve filled the whole top. Put in the fridge for at least 5 hours to set, or the cream will be very oozey..

For an extra crunchy Mayan finish, sprinkle with cacao nibs before serving.

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Adios amigos. So long 2012. See you next ‘year’. Every blessing of the rising sun to one and all.

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First, an apology. How very British.

This post was first published with all my unedited notes on display, after i pushed the ‘publish’ button by accident. Rather like the door swinging open while you’re sitting on the loo at a festival.. Sorry to our subscribers who got flashed! The finished post is now below.

The British Aisles

I found this on the beach last week. My jubilee find. Like the tattered entrails of some passed seafaring ambition, or the skeleton of a land whose soil was washed away.

Funny, no, that this Tuesday marks the anniversary of the reign of Britain’s worldy queen, and Venus our Queen of the heavens as she makes her rare transit across the sun?

The queen is patron of the Rothamstead Insitute, an historic British research institution now overrun by Monsanto goons, lobbying their patented GM wheat straight into the soil. What about that my lady; have we sold our staff, our future, to a juvenile half-brained science, for a handful of dud beans?

Why are they all so keen – government, enterprise, media and royalty? Why is the evidence of danger to our health and the ecology consistently buried or hidden, good scientists scandalised and defamed? Rothamstead have another 120 patents up their sleeve. Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the seeds…

We reveled in cake and tea with a fine gathering of folks on Sunday, at the jubilee celebrations in St Davids. So much charm, finesse and dignity in this culture, but we’re being blindfolded with bunting. The anthems are playing, the china clinking, while the wheat grows taller in the field, behind rows of armed coppers. Once it goes to seed, there’s no turning back. Hello mutant ladybirds. Hello new disease. Hello two-headed celebrity offspring in Hello magazine.

This Venus transit “strongly supports the reintegration and emergence of the Divine Feminine principle in our world”*. Sounds like just in time..

The campaign against GMOs is the campaign to protect our food sovereignty. In lieu of our sovereign’s Venusian revolution, you might like to visit the below:

http://taketheflourback.org/
http://www.gmfreeze.org/
http://www.gmwatch.org/

the Venus cycle

I’m turning my head to Venus today, raising the game to the heavens. You can trust her; big beautiful blue jewel of the sky. Her power’s undimmed by our experiment, her course unchanged by lobbying.

Breathe in, open your heart and take in the nectar of the Divine Queen infusing us, emblazoned in the full force of the sun; tonight, one night only.

Now, what else but…


Cucumber sandwiches

I was planning a jubilee cake, but Charlotte’s on a very low sugar diet on account of our little babe having Colic (a syndrome where babies unconsciously torture their parents with uncontrollable bouts of continuous screaming. There are thousands of things you can try to comfort baby, from singing, walking, dancing, bouncing, jiggling, changing your diet, slamming your head against a hard surface. The method is to try all of them until something works, while maintaining an open heart.. Parenting – golly, who knew!?)

Whizz all the below ingredients in a food processor until it’s a smoothish pate.

1/2 cup soaked hazlenuts
1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 pinches salt
1 teaspoon Umeboshi Plum seasoning (or a bit more salt if not)
a small sprig of Rosemary (about 20 little leaves)

Then cut cucumber rounds and put a good thick slice of strawberry on top. Squish on about a teaspoon’s worth of the pate then garnish with alfalfa/radish sprouts and a blueberry, for a bit of the old red white and blue darling.

* http://www.lunarplanner.com/HCpages/Venus.html
Excellent Venus information.

the prostration zone

Words, food, it all suddenly seems meaningless, ridiculous, after the arrival of a new human being, right in our bedroom, just a few weeks ago. But we’ve got to emerge sometime..

She is The One explosive present moment spectacular road-show happening all day every day (and night). Her whimpers would melt the hardest heart, her screams could break a monk’s order. She has the highest cheek to body-weight ratio of any mammal I’ve ever seen, and she demands (loudly) at least 6 miles of vigorous walking every day. Doesn’t matter if it’s along the headland or around the room, but she can sense the moment i sit down and pretend to be walking.. life is already, never the same again.

she also loves dancing

I could wax on for pages, about her range of wacky expressions, her little mudras, but this is officially a food blog, so better get down to it.

Saturday morning; I was standing in a chaotic kitchen, a spiraliser in my hand, aching for inspiration, looking at breakfast’s leftovers and some random veg. Then something sublime happened..

Cucumber and Pear Udon noodles
with shredded Mint and Dandelion leaves
in Almond and Mead cream ‘soup’

fresh as a surprise kiss on a june afternoon

I used some special ingredients because they happened to be lying around, but i’ve put substitutes below. It’ll still work.

Ingredients

1/2 large cucumber
2 pears
about 20 mint leaves – shredded
about 12 dandelion leaves – shredded (use rocket if you don’t have hedgerow access).

1 cup of Almond milk (or the milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon Moscatel vinegar (or the juice of one lime and a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup)
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup of soaked buckwheat (or soaked sunflower seeds)
1 tablespoon of Honey Mead (or sweet wine or sherry would work – or add a bit more of the lime and honey mix with a dash of cyder vinegar)
The bits of pear and cucumber that don’t make it through the spiraliser (or if your machine does the whole thing, then keep back a little for the dressing).

Instructions
Spiralise the cucumber and pear on the fattest setting (if you don’t have a spiraliser you can grate them) and toss them in half of the Moscatel vinegar (or sweet lime mix) with the shredded dandelions and mint.

In your blender whizz the rest of the ingredients to make the ‘soup’.

Pour over the noodles and serve chilled. (if you’re not chilled when you serve it, you will be when you’ve eaten it..)

It works best alone or as a starter. It only took about 7 minutes.

Here next week, our contrastingly unsentimental Jubilee special..

For now, so long wrigglers.
Deep peace of the snoring babe to you.

What wonder,
oh grandfather sky,
in these wisen’d branches
bearing up my questions
to the low noon sun,
signaling victory
beyond reach –

until the stars,
when the chill of night
is like the fast freedom of a dream
and all cold is just a wind
across my fierce warm cheek
smiling,

and all my wondering is as absurd
as that red mushroom in the grass –
big man, you must be joking?

Do not eat these mushrooms. 
Tis for wild pigs to snuffle, but wise pigs to discern; they may be red and pretty, but these are not the mushrooms you were looking for. 
More’s the pity..

Solstice approaches; the sweet sound of the half-time whistle to ragged runners in a race to the spring. Well, not ragged yet maybe but starting to get a little wet perhaps, ready for a nice sit down and a cup of hot tea. Here we’re rosy-cheeked from glorious days of autumn spent outside, kicking the fallen leaves, building a nest for winter in our little woodland.

What, you might ask, is the secret of said rosy cheeks? What magic stokes their digestive fire in these days? Not the latest Peruvian mega-root, not even the godly cacao bean but..

Sauerkraut.

Don’t flinch, or curl your lips – please! Erase all memories of shop-bought jars of saggy wigs of old cabbage. Since we started making our own Kraut, I can hardly pass a meal without it and my intestinal flora is undergoing a quiet revolution.

Once you’ve got all your veggies together it takes less than half an hour to make enough Kraut to get you through the winter with a warm, smug, probiotic glow. Don’t hesitate, invest in your intestinal bacteria today!

le croque Mabon

Directions:
You will need a big pile of veg and a crock, which means a large wide-mouthed earthenware pot. If you don’t have one you can use any big-mouthed vessel (insert your own joke here). You can use large glass jars (bit fiddly) or even a plastic bucket but it should be food grade plastic. You can’t use metal as it interferes with the fermentation process. Whatever you use the inside should be very clean before you start.

I’ve got a big crock (jokes just rolling in now) and so we used 3kg of veg to fill it about 3/4 full. Adapt the amounts of veg below to suit your container:

2 large cabbages
beetroot
turnip
carrots
2 tablespoons juniper berries
3 tablespoons of salt

You can use any combination of the abundant seasonal vegetables we have available now. For our last batch we used dill seeds and caraway seeds instead of Juniper berries and it was super-yum. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, we hightily recommend the book ‘Wild Fermentation’ by Sandor Ellix Katz, the undisputed Don of fermentation. Miso, beer, bread, mead and more are all in there and he writes with the infectious zeal of a self-confessed fermentation fetishist. Add it to your Christmas list or give it to you your more cultured friends (are you groaning yet?). You’ll love it.

Shred all the veg in a food processor or with a grater and mix together in a big bowl. Then dump the mixture in large handfulls into the crock sprinkling the salt and whatever seasoning you’re using in between the layers.

The salt will start to break down the veg as soon as it makes contact, creating a briney liquid. When you’ve put all the veg inside, pummel down on the mixture with your fist and the brine should start to squelch around the sides.

Next find a plate just small enough to fit through the mouth of your container and place it upside down on the top of the mixture. Press it down firmly and the briney liquid should rise to cover the shredded veg (if it doesn’t right away, leave it for a little while and try again to give the salt a chance to do it’s thing).

Now weight the plate down with a vase of water or a rock (cleaned!) and cover with a tea towel. You’re Kraut is now living and breathing its way into incarnation. Check it a couple of times over the next few days to see that the juice protrudes above the grated veg. You may need to give your weight a little manual pressure.

After 2 weeks, remove the plate and scrape off any mold around the edges. Have a little taste. It may have soured enough to dish out your first jar or you may want to wait for it to mature further. It’ll keep fermenting in the crock so you can leave it be and take more out when you’re present jar is running low. Alternatively, if after 3 weeks you’re happy with it as it is, jar up the lot and keep it in the fridge.

Serve with.. everything!

Rest in peace

Finally, a short commercial break:

The Lovechefs’
CHRISTMAS RAW CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Handmade, raw, organic, infused with the spirit of the songs of Noël.

Caramel Crunch – medjool dates, Peruvian carob (mesquite) and cinnamon crunch dipped in bitter dark chocolate
Chocolate olive fudge – outrageous salty sweet chocolate fudge bites – otherwise known as the infamous ‘weird brownie’ – a must try
Strawberry cream – rounds of fresh strawberry, lucuma cream dipped in dark chocolate
Santa’s naughty loveballs – a spiced fudge topped with a lovechefs special brandy butter dipped in dark chocolate
Limited number only!
*note – we use organic sustainably farmed Canadian maple syrup as our sweetener.

For a beautifully wrapped giftbox of 8 the price is £12 including postage and packaging.

If you’d like to get in on the Christmas Lovebox action, please have your orders in to us by WEDNESDAY 7TH DECEMBER and we’ll send them out to you on 15th December to arrive in time for Christmas day.

This is Rachel, in the grass at the top of the hill next to her house, a.k.a. Quiet Earth.

Winner of Grand Designs Award 2010

At the border where the hills meet St Dogmaels, above the Abbey on Cardigan bay, Rachael (and friends) built this house out of straw-bales, wood and some old cans and glass bottles. It’s solar and wind powered, eco-painted, wood-burner warmed.. there are even cyrstals hidden inside the walls. Not a bad place for living foods workshops eh..?

A big ‘cheers’ to all the people we got to play with over the last month at our St Dog’s workshops and at the healing arts and crafts day! Wonderful wisdom shared with good company.

We marinated, we milked, we chopped and spiralized.
We tasted, tested and ruminated, shared stories and experiences, and we feasted.
Then we had cake.
And then we had chocolate.
Guiltless, laughing.

Another big ‘cheers’ to the planners and the community of St Dogmael’s for opening themselves to this sublime piece of architectural witchcraft. You don’t get away with this kind of caper in Ingerland.

Curried Eye of Newt and Bat wing Pate:

Have you been doing your homework? Here is a raw way to utilise the Sambar spice mix we shared a month or so ago in the Dosa recipe. It’s a semi-rich, chunky pate suffused in South Indian spices, with a warm South Indian coconut backing track.

You can try your own combination of soaked seeds and nuts, with your own choice of vegetable if you like. Keep the rest of the ingredients the same, and if you didn’t make the Sambar mix, try adding lightly toasted cumin and corriander seed (or curry powder, for a kind of reincoronation chicken flavour).

1/3 cup sprouted buckwheat groats
1/3 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/4 cup soaked walnuts
1/2 small beetroot
1 small carrot
1/2 small red onion
2 tsp Sambar spice mix (from blog-post no.1)
1 tsp coconut butter
Juice half an orange (about 2 tbs)
1 tsp umeboshi plum seasoning
2 soaked sundried tomato halves, optional (this was for a little sweetness. If you don’t have any try 1/2 tsp honey or a date)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend.

Enjoy!

Did you know that organic spinach has 2x the calcium, 4x the magnesium, 3x the potassium, 69x the organic sodium and 117x the manganese as commercially grown non-organic spinach?

Boink!

xxx

Wild garlic pesto

Are you familiar with Ramsons; aka wild garlic? Fortifying and super tasty, you’ll find it in the woodlands or on the waysides, as abundant as the grass. You can eat the leaves, the flowers and the bulbs. This recipe for pesto is quick as an Italian kiss, easy as pesto-pie and universally popular.

2 cups packed wild garlic leaves

2 cups cashew nuts, soaked 4 hrs

¾ cup olive oil

3 tbs lemon juice

4 tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1 ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Chuck all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the cashews are in little pesto-sized chunks. That’s it. It’ll last for 3 weeks or more in the fridge if you can manage to keep your hands off it.

Gorse flower brazil nut milk

Here by the coast near St Davids we’re surrounded by the constant sunrise of gorse bushes in flower, shrouded in their sweet, coconutty fragrance and bursting with anti-oxidants. I love the look of consternation on the sheep’s faces when we stop to eat them on the moors.

Primroses would be delicious or any other edible flower with a sweet subtle perfume. When you’re picking remember to leave 3/4 or more of the flowers for the bees.

First make brazil nut milk. 1/2 cup brazil nuts (soaked if possible) to 2 cups of water. Whizz in the blender for a good minute or two until all the milk is out of the nuts, then strain off the pulp through a nut milk bag, muslin cloth or fine mesh sieve.

Add a pinch of salt (and a date or two if you want the extra sweetness) then add the gorse flowers – we put in two big fistful’s but even a small handful would give you the amazing colour and a lovely bouquet. Blend til smooth.

You get a ‘head’ of gorse fibre on top which you can skim off (or eat it if you’re a well-seasoned gorse-hound like Charlotte).

Drink. It’s sublime. The perfume wafts up through your head like a mist and any negative ideas drift off in a silent pooff, like dandelion seeds in the breeze, leaving nothing but a soft yellow glow like spring sunshine…

"She was fine when we left home"

Eat wild, become wild.

It works..
You might not believe it until you try it, but the sheer act of wandering out in the morning, snuffling among the hedgerows, and picking these little humble leaves and flowers makes me a bit.. sparky.

I’m stuck in a virtuous cycle. I was all schnoozy when i got back, feeling kind of… old. I forced myself back into the habit of going out and picking for breakfast because I knew the greens were what I needed. It took about 3 days on green smoothies before i was jumping again. Now I’m singing to the little blighters with gratitude. I’m making contact with nature in a new way; I’ve got new friends. Call me crazy or call me wild. I don’t care. They’re free, they’re strong medicine, I can have as much as I want, and I want more and more. I feel less cold. I crave less sweet. My organs are humming…

From left to right: plantain, (something (?!)-wort, cleavers, comfrey

From top left - clockwise: dock, strawberry leaves, dandelion leaves and flowers, nettle tips, clover, primrose flowers, daisies

Clockwise from left: gorse flowers, navelwort, chickweed

In herbal medicine, all these plants are attributed strong healing properties. There are many  good books to guide you for specific conditions, or if you just want to feel more vital and WILD, take my elephant gun approach – eat as much of all of them as you can (being very careful only to eat the ones you recognise please.)

Directions:

1. Nut/seed milk. Blend half a cup of nuts or seeds that have been soaked overnight (and drained) with 2 cups of pure water. Using a muslin cloth or nut milk bag strain the milk from the pulp and set aside. If you like you smoothies thick and super filling then don’t bother with the straining part.

2. Add Fruit. 2 pieces of fruit into your blender will do – apples, pears, bananas, handful of berries – whatever takes your fancy. For extra sweetness add a small handful of dry fruit soaked overnight, with their soak water.

3. Superfoods. We love maca (nice and malty) and spirulina (PROTEIN) at about 1 heaped tsp per person. Also try carob for a chocolatey mood, barley grass powder, lucuma for a bit of butterscotch; pinch a salt or splash of umeboshi plum seasoning (can work wonders), soaked nuts or seeds (these will make it smoother, thicker and pacify the green).

4. Enter the Wild GREENS!

Load up the rest of the blender with as many greens as you and it can handle. If you don’t have a powerful blender then add the greens bit by bit and/ or chop them up first. Whizz and voila!

For beauty, serve in a bowl with a handful of chopped up fruit, and/or sprouts, some whole soaked nuts, seeds, grains (buckwheat’s a favorite), torn up leaves and edible spring flowers (primroses, dandelion, gorse flowers). Go nuts, go  w  i  l  d  …

If you find it too bitter or just plain green, add more fruits. Don’t be put off. It won’t take long before you crave that bitter edge.

These ‘weeds’ were among the herbs cultivated in medicinal gardens at monasteries around the British Isles 1000 years ago and more. Our medicine is in our own hands, close to the ground, at the borders.

Side effects: wildness..