whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Sunday, May 29, 2011

blackberry mousse pie

here she is


and here is her sacred recipe i promised you

BLACKBERRY MOUSSE PIE
crust:
1 1/2 c almonds
1 1/2 c walnuts
1 c dates
3 tbs lucuma
2 tsp honey
dash sea salt

* crumble nuts in food processor until they are fine. add in the rest of ingredients and process until a dough forms.

*rub the bottom of a pie plate with 1 tbs of coconut oil. press crust into pie plate and place in freezer.

filling:
2 c fresh blackberries
1 1/2 c cashews, soaked
1 c honey
1/2 c cacao butter
juice of two oranges
1/2-3/4 tsp almond extract 
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash sea salt

*blend cashews with honey, orange juice and enough water to keep it moving. when the mixture is completely smooth and in the rest of ingredients and blend until incorporated.

*pour filling into crust and set in the freezer for an hour.

* decorate top with orange slices, orange zest, goji berries and whatever else floats your boat;) store in the fridge or freezer


now this pie wasnt exactly the favorite among my family...we tend to gravitate to more chocolatey things. aside from that there were still a few things that i really liked about this pie...
1. the blackberries were buy five containers for five dollars at the store
2. the lucuma in the crust added a unique flavor (and unique nutritional content)
3. it wasnt super sweet. it was the kind of dessert that you could have one slice and feel perfectly satisfied. which for me, makes a perfect summer treat that can calm my sweet obsession and leave me feeling light for my beach time activities:)

and whats a raw goddess to do with a little bit of extra pie filling? make baby popsicles of course!



i didnt want the popsicles to be bigger than "dimitri size," so i poured them into ice cube molds and let them set for about an hour. then i topped two on top of each other and pierced them with the end of plastic popsicle sticks. i let them freeze completely...and completely enjoy watching my little beetle bug get nutritious popsicle messes all over his face. and hands. and clothes. and legs. and maybe the couch...

and on to my other rawesome thoughts for the day....

who says traveling has to ruin your healthy lifestyle? today my husband and i, along with our baby, drove eight hours to virginia. eating out isnt an option in our daily life, so choosing to eat out while on the road is out of the question also. this takes a little bit of preparation, but let me tell you it is sooooo worth it! we ate like kings today! we drove half way to our destination and then stopped for lunch at a rest stop. with our mini cooler packed with nourishing foods filled with love, we set up a little picnic on the grass while we enjoyed the sunshine on our faces and the grass on our feet. all went well until a giant dinasour virginia bug tried to kill me. literally when my husband tried to swat this beast off of me, it was clinging to my shirt!  but we still enjoyed our lunch of strawberries, roasted sweet potatoes, spicy roasted carrots, raw flat bread (i came up with this recipe the other day...it rocked our world today! recipe soon...), topped with cashew cream cheese (i blended cashews with water and whey and then let it ferment for 24 hours. delish!), shreds of fresh basil and chopped cherrie tomatoes. it reminded me of eating a margarita pizza with the fresh hunks of mozzerella on it! the husband even said "oh these should be like appetizers when you have people over." :) theres nothing better than watching your husband and your baby take nourishing bites of food that you prepared with all the love in your heart!

stay tuned to start living life with this almond butter brownie pie. im serious...you havent lived until youve tried it!!!






Wednesday, May 25, 2011

florida fermentations

dear florida,
thanks for being so good to me
:)     :)     :)
love, 
eleni





theres nothing like a little vacation to get you renewed, refreshed and ready to face everything life has to offer. florida is always the answer! laying on the sand, listening to the waves of the gulf crash on the shore and feeling the sun warm my skin (and my soul) never fails to reignite my connection with mother earth and her desire for us to live simply. my sister has the same effects on me:) when i am with my sister, the world makes sense again.  someone to talk to about real spring water, raw pies, fermented foods, and enemas with, is PRICELESS. when she lived 15 minutes away from me, i had weekly inspiration every time i left her house, still mulling over all the hippie things we talked about and all the hippie foods we created. now that shes a two day drive away, months of inspiration and catching up washed over me in just a few days spent at her beautiful florida home. 

our main topic: fermented foods! i even caught her doing crazy things like just walking by the fridge and drinking a spoonful of sauerkraut liquid and calling it her "medicine!" its inevitable that her and i will end up talking about babies, pregnancy, greek things, desserts and the recent books weve read. she spoke so highly of this book Nourishing Traditions by: Sally Fallon that i just had to check it out. i spent the next few days at the beach trying to swallow as much of this book as i could! Sally Fallon is the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which immediately puts her on my top ten list of most awesome people.  ever. reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by: Dr. Weston A. Price a few years ago had a major impact on how i view food today and our relationship with it.  indigenous people prove to be much smarter than our modern day technology.  they instinctively knew to treat the earth with respect, enjoy the sun with no fear of it, how to tap into the healing powers of herbs and possibly most importantly, they understood that life depended on fermented foods. 

this is a strange concept to most people living in the western world.  i once told my friend that i fermented a nut mixture over night to make cheese out of it and she replied "oh and then did you drink the alcohol?" it was funny then, but sadly most people only connect the word fermented with alcohol. but this word means so much more than that! the art of fermenting is allowing a food to sit at room temperature for as little as a few hours and as long as a few days, to give the good bacteria an opportunity to populate.  not only does this increase the nutritional content of the food, it also acts like a preservative.  once it enters your body, the living enzymes of this beautiful creation lend a much needed hand to the digestion process, making it much easier to absorb nutrients.  when they reach the intestines, these friendly bacteria help to rebalance your gut by making their home there and continuing to fight off bad bacteria.  this is called our inner ecosystem.  (to research this concept more in depth, visit Donna Gates' amazing website.)  perhaps the reason our culture is always sick (and tired and overweight and grumpy and sleepy...) is because we do not pay any attention to our inner ecosystem.  a person can eat as many raw foods, and superfoods as he or she wants, but until fermented foods are a regular in the diet, balance may never be achieved.  reading through Nourishing Traditions reminded me of the importance of this forgotten food group.  and down right shook me to my core to start making fermented foods a priority everyday instead of just enjoying the occasional sauerkraut!  

immediately upon returning home from florida i was fermenting away! a few things we enjoyed this week were:

young thai coconut yogurt with traveling trail mix


almond milk yogurt
almond milk kefir
cultured coconut cream
sauerkraut
my sister's recipe for cultured blackberries
and one incredible black berry mousse pie!



stay tuned for my recipe for this delicious and nourishing blackberry mousse pie!  in the mean time...get fermenting! sauerkraut is one of the easiest recipes to start with and will help open the door to this powerful world of healing.  if you have already incorporated this magical food into your diet, what foods do you usually ferment? and what is your favorite fermented food or beverage?


Saturday, May 7, 2011

traveling trail mix

there's nothing i love more than traveling. as crazy as you know i am, it shouldn't surprise you that the first thing i plan for a trip is all the food i will be bringing with me. i usually spend a few days day-dreaming and preparing the food i make for a trip, and less than an hour packing my suitcase with personal belongings. the only person who takes this task more seriously than i do is my sister. she even packed fermented vegetables in her suitcase while traveling to another continent! read her blog, see how she did it and learn about some of her healthy tips and adventures in greece.

i'm currently sitting in the airport waiting to board a plane that will take me to paradise....navarre beach, florida! as one of "florida's best kept secrets," it has emerald coast lines with white sand that soothes your feet as you frolick across it. my family has been traveling to this same destination for the last twenty years, and i love it more and more every year we go!!!! (words really cant express how excited i am for our trip this time, because its the beginning of may and the warmest it's been around here is in the 40's! and it's constantly raining!)

so on to the reason for this post.... i'm sitting here snacking on my traveling trail mix and i just couldn't wait any longer to share this recipe with you. it's fantastic to snack on while traveling, and every time i prepare it for a trip i think about how i need to make it just to have on hand at the house for "quick-pick-me-ups" and delicious breakfasts....however i haven't gotten around to that yet, so this is strictly traveling trail mix. for now.

TRAVELING TRAIL MIX


there are endless ways to give the base of this trail mix any flavor combination you wish. i'm already thinking of how to make this in savory, garlicky and spicy varieties. posts to follow:) this trail mix is slightly sweet with a vanilla background and a cinnamon twist. it's crunchy and chewy....and down right addicting. snack on it as it is, or enjoy it in a bowl with almond mylk.

TRAVELING TRAIL MIX
3 c almonds
2 c walnuts
4 apples
1/4-1/2 c water
1/4 c honey
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
1 tbs ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt

*pulse the almonds in your food processor until they are crumbly, leaving some big chunks in there. empty into a big bowl. pulse the walnuts in your food processor until they are crumbly, leaving some big chunks in there too and add them to the almonds.

*peel the apples. place three of them in your food processor. chop the other one into bite size pieces and drop it off at the party with the nuts. 

*pour the honey, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt (1/4 tsp of ground cloves would be great in this, but i didn't have any!) into the food processor. run your processor, streaming the water in as necessary to achieve a smooth liquid.

*pour the apple mixture over the nuts and toss everything really well. lay on teflex sheets and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 24 hours. 

*add raisins or any other dried fruit to the mix to complete it's powerful addictive properties. store in an airtight container, or ziploc bag for traveling. if it survives the hungry fingers of those traveling with you, this snack will last indefinitely. 

this recipe requires the use of a dehydrator, but for those of you who don't have one, you could leave the mix in your oven on the lowest setting, with the door open for 12 hours-ish, or until it's thoroughly dried out.  i've had a few people ask me "why dehydrate?" lately, so i will be trying to persuade you of their awesomeness in the near future. until then.....off to florida!