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Raw Strawberry Key-Lime Mojito Cheesecake

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Via Raw Guru – “This recipe has turned out to be an all-time favorite.  A magical pairing took place between the tartness of the lemon and lime… and the sweet mintyness of the strawberry glaze.  Not only that, it is stunningly beautiful. Enjoy this recipe by Amie Sue of nouveau raw.com”

Ingredients

Crust:

Strawberry glaze:

  • 1 cup sliced organic strawberries
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced

 Key-lime filling:

  • 3 cups raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 1/4 cup raw almond milk
  • 1/2  cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lime zest
  • 3/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 cup cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbsp lecithin, liquid or powder

Method

Crust:

  • Assemble a Springform pan with the bottom facing up, the opposite way from how it comes assembled.  This will help you when removing the cheesecake from the pan, not having to fight with the lip.  Wrap the base with baking paper.  This will make it easier to remove the pie when done… unless you plan on serving the cake on the bottom of the pan
  • In the food processor, pulse the coconut, flour, and salt together
  • Be careful that you don’t over process and head towards making a nut butter.  Nothing wrong with that… just not our goal at the moment
  • Add the coconut butter, water and sweetener. Process until the batter sticks together
  • Depending on your machine, you may need to stop the unit and scrape the sides down during this process
  • Test the batter by pinching it between your fingers.  If it holds, it is ready
  • Distribute the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan, using even and gentle pressure.  If you press too hard it might really stick to the base of the pan, making it hard to remove slices.  You can either just make the crust on the bottom of the pan or you can also bring it up the sides.  It is up to you.
  • Set aside while you make the cheesecake batter

Filling:

  • Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.  Place in a high-speed blender
  • In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, almond milk, lime & lemon juice, sweetener, vanilla, and salt
  • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model
  • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending
  • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled
  • You can use a different liquid sweetener if you are not comfortable with agave.  Just be aware of the different flavors and colors that the sweetener might impart to the cake
  • With a vortex going in the blender, drizzle in the coconut oil and then add the lecithin.  Blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over process
  • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades
  • If you machines isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides
  • Immediately pour the batter into the pan
  • Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles
  • Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours till firm enough to add the strawberry glaze
  • Spread the glaze gently over the cheesecake and place in the fridge for 12 hours

Strawberry glaze:

  • In the blender combine 1 cup of strawberries, lime juice, honey and psyllium.  Blend till creamy smooth
  • Slice the remaining strawberries into bite size pieces and place in a medium-bowl
  • Add the strawberry sauce and mint.  Stir together and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • Once thickened, pour over the lime filling

Store the cheesecake in the fridge for 3-5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.  Be sure that it is well sealed to avoid fridge odours

Coconut Butter Cake – from Thermomix Everyday Cookbook

Coconut Butter Cake

This is my version of the Thermomix recipe. I have substituted:

* For the “self-raising flour”, I have used brown-rice self-raising flour

* and instead of sugar, I have used liquid stevia

Ingredients

Liquid Stevia to taste (I use 16 drops but I am a sweet tooth)

100g fresh coconut or 70g desiccated coconut

250g butter, softened

4 eggs

250g self-raising flour

40g freshly-squeezed orange or lemon juice (approx 1 orange or lemon)

50g full-cream milk

 

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Lightly grease and line a 20x30cm cake tin with baking paper. Set aside

Add fresh coconut flesh (if using) to mixing bowl and mill 15sec/speed 9

Add butter and stevia and mix 30sec/speed 5

With blades rotating on speed 4, add eggs one at a time through hole in mixing bowl lid

Add flour, citrus juice, desiccated coconut (if using) and milk and mix 20sec/speed 5

Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving

If you wish, add your choice of icing

photo courtesy of Thermomix website

Is your hair thinning? – Guest Post by Kirsten Tremlett of Byron Wellbeing

Hair ThinningWe think of hair loss as being a male issue, but in fact over one-third of women will experience significant hair loss in their lifetime

Excessive or accelerated hair loss may be due to a number of factors including:

* Androgenetic predisposition: A genetic condition that sensitises hair follicles to male hormones (androgens) in a woman’s body. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the more potent form of testosterone, shrinks follicles until they no longer produce hair. Insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome are conditions also associated with this type of hair loss, as insulin stimulates androgen production

* Alopecia areata: An autoimmune condition where the immune system sees the hair as foreign and targets it by mistake. Lupus, another autoimmune disease, can also lead to hair loss

* Telogen effluvium: When a large number of hair follicles enter the ‘resting phase’ at the same time, causing thinning. Triggers include physiological or emotional stress as well as endocrine imbalances such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function)

* Nutritional deficiencies: Common deficiencies that lead to hair loss include zinc, vitamin A, EFAs, iron and protein. Ferritin (stored iron) levels at or below 30mg/L are strongly associated with telogen hair loss

* Certain medications: Some antidepressants, anti-coagulants, the contraceptive pill and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can all cause hair loss. Over-styling hair, using harsh chemicals, curling tongs and hot blow dryers can damage hair also

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What you can do:
* Improve blood glucose regulation: This stabilises insulin levels and helps reduce androgen over-activity associated with PCOS and insulin resistance. Adopt a low GI diet and aim for 30g of fibre a day in the form of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, beans, and chickpeas

* Boost your intake of antioxidants: Higher levels of free radicals have been found in hair follicles of men with hair loss. Defend your follicles with sulphur-rich foods, e.g. garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower). These, combined with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables can increase levels of the ‘master antioxidant’, glutathione

* Olive oil massage with essential oils: Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants to nourish your scalp. Massage stimulates blood circulation which keeps hair follicles active. Add a few drops of peppermint, rosemary or clary sage essential oils for their circulation-boosting properties. Healthy hair follicles hold on to hair longer!

* Switch to sulphate free or low-sulphate shampoos as synthetic sulphates are known to damage hair follicles

Natural anti-androgens:
The hormone DHT is often the culprit in hair loss, as it causes the hair follicle shaft to narrow. Try these natural remedies to reduce DHT levels

* Spearmint oil: Taken as a tea twice daily, this significantly decreases plasma levels of androgens

* Reishi mushrooms: Found to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to DHT

* Green tea: Either as a tableted extract or a drink also reduces 5-alpha reductase

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FROM MEGAN – And, of course, I will add coconut oil! Here is a précis of what Bruce Fife has to say about hair in his book, Coconut Cures (pgs 160 – 161)

Coconut oil can do wonders for your hair….Some claim that it helps prevent both premature graying and baldness. It is also great for the scalp and helps control dandruff…

Coconut oil has a long history of use as a hair conditioner in the (Pacific) islands…. What has been observed for centuries is backed by science. Studies have shown that using coconut oil in the hair can help prevent combing damage and improve its health and appearance.

An interesting study was reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Science …. In this study coconut oil was compared with sunflower oil and mineral oil – the two most extensively used in hair formulations. “The findings…clearly indicate the strong impact coconut oil application has to hair as compared to the application of both sunflower and mineral oils”.

Among the three oils, coconut oil was the only one that reduced protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Neither sunflower nor mineral oil reduced protein loss in hair. The authors of the study indicated that the difference in results was due to the composition of each of the oils. Coconut oil, being rich in medium-chain triglycerides is able to penetrate the hair shaft, protecting it from protein loss as well as giving it more body…..

(From all oils) Only coconut oil can protect the hair from protein loss and prevent hair damage. Therefore, it is the best oil to use for your hair care.

Random Acts of Kindness

IMG_1498My current housemate and dear friend Deb bought a flyer home from church entitled Random Acts of Christmas Kindness that listed many ways to spread the love. My church also encourages us to constantly give out to others – to commit to thinking outwards as we all go through our day. And what better time than Christmas to start or continue a wonderful daily habit such as this. So here is a selection of the suggestions on the flyer (plus I added a few!)

1. While you are out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is
2. Compliment someone to their boss
3. Smile at people in the street, just because
4. Let someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush just like you
5. Talk to the shy person sitting by themselves at a party
6. Give someone a hug
7. Stop to talk to a homeless person
8. Listen intently
9. Babysit for a single parent
10. Hold the elevator
11. Write your partner a list of the things you love about them
12. Do No. 11 for your children
13. Do No. 11 for your siblings
14. Do No. 11 for your parents
15. Say thank you to a janitor
16. Help your elderly neighbour take out the trash or mow the lawn
17. Give up your seat on the bus or train for a pregnant woman or anyone older than you
18. Make two lunches and give one away
19. Encourage someone today
20. Call your mother
21. When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to leave yourself alone – you deserve kindness too!

Healthy Bounty Bars

BountyBars 2

INGREDIENTS:

Coconut Filling:
1 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons coconut syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups desiccated coconut
Pinch of sea salt

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Raw Chocolate Coating:
Chocolate Coconut Butter

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METHOD:
To make the coconut filling, place the coconut milk, coconut syrup and coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan. Over a low heat, stir the ingredients together until combined. Mix in the desiccated coconut

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Line a slice tray or container with baking paper. Press the coconut mixture into the pan so that it is about 1.5cm thick. Refrigerate until coconut filling has set

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Once completely set, cut the coconut filling into bars. Cool in the freezer until very cold (this will make the chocolate coating step easier)

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Coat the coconut bars with the first layer of chocolate coconut butter. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until set. When completely set, coat the bars with a second layer of chocolate. Allow to cool in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving

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Original recipe via iquitsugar.com. We have edited this to make it even better!

Photo via iquitsugar.com

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

www.yummy.ph

 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

1/3 cup small pearl tapioca
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
2 heaped teaspoons of coconut cream concentrate
1/4 cup sugar or stevia liquid to taste
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup unsweetened large-flake coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh fruit such as mango, papaya or strawberry

Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients in bowl of 6-cup rice cooker
  2. Slice vanilla bean along side, scrape out contents. Add both contents and the bean shell to the other ingredients
  3. Stir to combine. Close the cover and set for Porridge cycle
  4. Open the cover and stir briefly every 20 minutes, then close cover.
  5. At end of cycle, carefully remove bowl from cooker. Remove the vanilla shell. Pour into a large serving bowl or individual serving dishes.
  6. Serve warm or cold. Top with toasted coconut and fresh fruit

Note: small pearl tapioca is about the size of sesame seeds; anything larger will take longer and require more liquid.

 

Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/coconut-tapioca-pudding-rice-cooker-178736

 

 

 

 

Raspberry Coconut Smoothie

Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Place all ingredients (except ice) in the blender. Blend on high 1-2 minutes.

Add in ice cubes, blend on ‘frozen drinks’ mode or use ice crusher to blend cubes.

Blend until smooth.

If using your Thermomix, add ice cubes in at step 1

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Recipe submitted by Emily, Ottawa @ freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2013/9/25/raspberry-coconut-smooth

Murray Valley Pineapple Juice – Ingredients & Processing – Pantry Audit

 

Murray Valley Pineapple Juice 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ingredients

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Murray Valley Pineapple Juice ING

 

 

 

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 Reconstituted Pineapple Juice (99.9%)

Reconstituted fruit juice is juice produced from a fruit juice concentrate. Like freshly squeezed juices, juice is produced from a juicing machine, which then has as much water removed from it as possible using heat –  to remove around 80% of the water content and reduce it to a to a concentrate.

Concentrate, if properly refrigerated or frozen can last for years. The primary reason for companies using reconstituted juice is economic transportation and to ensure availability all year round.

It differs slightly in taste to fresh juices, carrying a different texture and aroma. It is generally considered that enzymes are destroyed during the heating, boiling, and reconstitution process which is why some reconstituted juices have Vitamin C etc in the ingredients list. These extra ingredients can sometimes be the artificial versions

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Acidity Regulator (330)

A weak organic acid also known as citric acid. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks, as an antioxidant as well as enhancing the effect of other antioxidants, and also as an acidity regulator. Acidity regulators are used to alter and control the acidity or alkalinity on a specific level for processing, taste and food safety. Inadequate control of the pH can result in the growth of undesirable bacteria in the product that could be a potential health hazard.

It is naturally derived from citrus fruit, although commercial synthesis is by fermentation of molasses. Present in virtually all plants and has been used as a food additive for over 100 years.

Most people can manage citric acid (330) but a few react. In the Chemical Maze, there is a cautionary note for people with allergies or intolerances to MSG as it can provoke similar symptoms. Most citric acid is produced from corn and manufacturers do not always take out the protein which can be hydrolysed and create MSG (621) causing reactions in MSG-sensitive people. Stomach ailments, eczema, hives and other skin irritations may be a result for some people. Has been known to damage tooth enamel.

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Flavour Antioxidant (300)

Also known as Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C. Antioxidants in the 300 range slow or prevent the oxidative deterioration of foods.

As well as an antioxidant, it is also seen as a colour and preservative. Ascorbic acid is industrially synthesised from glucose, using a number of different biological techniques. Large doses can cause dental erosion, vomiting, diarrhoea dizziness, and could possibly cause kidney stones if more than 10g is taken. Should be taken under medical advice if suffering from kidney stones, gout or anaemia. Other names: l-ascorbic acid, l,3-ketothreohexuronic acid.

Wikipedia describes Ascorbic acid as a naturally occurring organic compound but also notes that the distinction between organic and inorganic carbon compounds, while useful in organising the vast subject of chemistry, is somewhat arbitrary

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Processing

Query has been sent to Australian Pure Fruits  – the owners of the Murray Valley brand. Will keep you updated on response

General info:

none available on bottle apart from what is already discussed above

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Sources:

naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/reconstituted_fruit_juice

fruitjuiceaustralia.org/faq

meltmethod.com/blog/reconstitued-fruit-and-v

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid

mbm.net.au/health/296-385.htm

chemicalmaze.com/citric-acid-330-an-often-used-food-additive

eufic.org/article/en/food-safety-quality/food-additives/artid/acidity-regulators

nutritionclinic.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/food-additives-50-food-additives-should-be-avoided

drsref.com.au/foodaddcodes.html

mbm.net.au/health/296-385.htm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascorbic_acid

Niulife Chocolate Coconut Butter – Ingredients & Processing – Pantry Audit

CO Butter Choc

 

 

 

 

 

Certified  Organic

NASAA

Low GI (35) – Gluten & Grain Free – Dairy Free – Vegan

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Ingredients:

raw organic extra virgin coconut oil

click on link for details

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raw organic cacao powder

Cacao is the source of chocolate – made from the bean of the cacao tree. The full name of this food is Theobroma cacao, which translates as ‘food of the gods.’  Raw Cacao has more antioxidants than any other food including green tea and red wine.

Raw cacao powder is unadulterated and sold mostly via health food stores and online retailers. Cacao in its natural state contains no sugars. As a potent antioxidant, cacao can repair the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Antioxidants are responsible for 10% of the weight of raw cacao.

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 raw organic wildcrafted agave syrup

Wildly contradictory information out there, both for and against. Some say it is ok in moderation, some say it is so bad for us. Seems to be another product in the sweetener race that has overtaken the sugar industry – google it and make your own decision

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organic vanilla bean

Vanilla is a flavour derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia).

Initial attempts to cultivate vanilla outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the vanilla orchid and its natural pollinator, the local species of Melipona bee. Pollination is required to set the fruit from which the flavouring is derived. In 1841, Edmond Albius, a slave, discovered at the age of 12 that the plant could be hand-pollinated, which allowed global cultivation of the plant. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is highly valued for its flavour.

Vanilla beans consist of an almost waxy dark brown plump and smooth pod filled with thousands of little brown flavourful specks that smell highly fragrant. They are considered by some to be the ultimate in flavouring and scenting baked goods 

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Himalayan crystal salt

Himalayan salt is a term for halite (commonly known as rock salt). It is mined in Pakistan. The salt sometimes comes out in a reddish or pink colour, with some crystals having an off-white to transparent colour.

Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt are listed as regulating the water content throughout your body; promoting healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells; promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging; assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body, absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract; supporting respiratory health; promoting sinus health, prevention of muscle cramps; promoting bone strength; regulating sleep; promoting vascular health and in conjunction with water, it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure

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Processing:

The coconut oil is processed by

Direct Micro Expelling (DME)

DME

Fair Dinkum Fair Trade

Fair Dinkum Fair Trade

Niulife states:

DME extra virgin coconut oil blended with raw foods – made in small batches using the very freshest raw organic ingredients.

buy here

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Sources:

cheftalk.com/t/19794/whats-difference-between-cacao-powder-and-cocoa-pawder

iquitsugar.com/raw-cacao-vs-cocoa-whats-the-difference

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_nectar

huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/agave-this-sweetener-is-f_b_537936.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla

thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-vanilla-extract-vanilla-bean-vanilla-paste-169336

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_salt

mercola.com/himalayan-salt

Natural – Does That Word Have Meaning Anymore?

strawberries_and_green_grapes

We see the word ‘natural” plastered across so many foods in the supermarket – “foods” that most can tell are not natural. In some cases, an ingredient or two may have started out as something natural but probably isn’t anymore. In more cases, it is a blatantly misleading statement about a “food” that is not natural in any way.

Aren’t there laws about misleading advertising? Or have those laws been compromised by further legislation and regulations which serve to confuse the entire issue and actually provide an “out” for companies to say pretty much whatever they want on our food packaging?

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Let’s start with the dictionary meaning of the word NATURAL. We researched across a few dictionaries and here is the short list concerning food:

  • existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind
  • having had a minimum of processing or preservative treatment and containing no chemical additives
  • based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature
  • in conformity with the ordinary course of nature; not unusual or exceptional
  • not treated, tanned, refined, etc; in its original or raw state

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The simple fact is that the word NATURAL most certainly does have meaning.

The fact that some food companies are out of integrity with their use of this word does not change its meaning in any way at all.

It does mean, however, that these companies are out of integrity and not to be trusted

The truth is NATURALLY simple and straightforward (excuse the pun!) – as it always has been and as it always will be.

The truth will also set you free – now there is a truth to hang on to!

Educate yourself today regarding food and health