To Cook or Not To Cook Your Veggies

raw vs cooked vegetables 002 To Cook or Not To Cook Your Veggies

After successfully completing my 30-day plant-based experiment, the masochist inside me was whispering: “go Raw”. Sure, there’s nothing like a crunchy sugar snap, ripe avocado or a bowl full of arugula drizzled with olive oil balsamic. How hard could it be?

On the hard side, if you ask me.

I know I’d miss steamed Brussels sprouts, lightly blanched asparagus, roasted pumpkin — or in fact, any warm vegetable. So, imagine my delight when recent studies supported my gut instinct (or lack of guts, depending how you look at it): that there are health advantages to eating a combination of raw and cooked vegetables.

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Blue Agave | Sweet Nectar of the Gods

agave Blue Agave | Sweet Nectar of the Gods

I fell in love a few years ago with a new all natural liquid sweetener from the exotic agave plant – the same plant that is processed into tequila. This sweetener is a golden amber color like honey with a similar taste, yet it is subtler, smoother, and doesn’t overwhelm the palate like honey or sugar. And unlike honey it is low on the glycemic index, safe for diabetics and soluble in cold drinks. Which is probably why agave nectar is the new it ingredient showing up everywhere from smoothie and juice bars to hip cocktail bars. It’s paired with gin at the Orbit Room in San Francisco, with grapefruit vodka at Sonoma County’s Cyrus Restaurant, and stirred into the Margarita’s at Manhattan’s Employees Only. Even Coca~Cola has jumped on the scene and released a new energy drink called, Full Throttle Blue Demon in Blue Agave flavor. It’s surprisingly questionable if it has actual agave in it however. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Instant Cashew Milk

cashewmilk2 Instant Cashew Milk

Cashew Milk (raw)

Quickly whip up some creamy sweet cashew milk. I prefer using the cashew butter method as it is so fast and I don’t need to soak cashews or strain anything. Although you can get it even smoother by straining it, if you want. Most recipes for nut milks use a little less nuts, although I like mine creamier and more like a whole milk then skim. If you prefer it lighter and lower fat, just reduce the cashews some.

Instant Cashew Milk:

2 1/2 Cups Pure Water

4 TB Cashew Butter

2 TB Agave Nectar

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/8 Tsp. Sea Salt

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Microplane | The Grater For Your Zesting

microplane gourment rasp grater Microplane | The Grater For Your Zesting

Originally found in the wood toolshed, this handy tool was adapted for use in the kitchen. I guess someone noticed how well it grated and shaved down the wood and figured it would work just as well for limes and nuts. And it does.

Made of stainless-steel, this razor-sharp rasp is the perfect essential tool in any G Kitchen. It makes zesting citrus, nuts, garlic, ginger and many other foods fun and easy. Many recipes in GreenChefs and in recipe books will call for you to zest something. This is the tool you need for that. All you do is grate it up and down on the blades quickly and then scrape off the goods on the other side of the blade. $14.95 at the Microplane Gourmet Rasp Graters is a good deal. It has a solid feel and is well made.

If this type of grader doesn’t do it for you, there is also a few other styles you might like.

microplane gourment rasp grater 02 Microplane | The Grater For Your Zesting

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Can Small Organic Farmers Survive The Economic Crisis

So, the big question is, what will happen to all the momentum gained in the organic food movement, now that the world economies are crashing around our feet? Will consumers revert back to buying the heavily sprayed pesticide crops from conventional grocers? Or will they continue to pay a premium to continue eating organic foods from the small farmers, such as the ones the G Living staff buys from? Well, based on my conversations with some of those farmers this past weekend, they seem to be doing fine. They tell me, there hasn’t been any noticeable change in volume of buyers or the amount they buy each week. One farmer did say, he decided to keep his prices lower and ate the higher cost of fuel, to make sure he kept his long term customers happy.

In the clip above from an Irish TV network, the story seems to be the same over in Ireland. The station interviews both a small organic farmer and the largest Irish Organic grocer, with both of them saying sales are steady. The consumer seems to value the quality and is holding firm on their food buying choices for now. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Keeping it Real: Not a religion and not about rules

sarma001 Keeping it Real: Not a religion and not about rules

I am sitting in the restaurant Pure Food and Wine, (my home), at my favorite corner table, very late, yet still early enough that it’s full of people, energy, and loud music (for which we are often given a hard time, but is just all part of the fun). The very fact that these LOUD and rowdy groups are here, and very likely, I am guessing, not vegetarian/vegans, in fact warms the cockles of my heart. How far this “crazy” idea of raw food has come, and yet how far there is still to go…

Given that it’s still January (though with the balmy weather in NYC you’d never guess), I’m going to leverage the New Year’s theme for one more post… as I’ve been hearing so much still about resolutions (mostly broken ones!). I don’t like to make resolutions, because I’m one of those people that sees a rule and wants to break it. If I see boundaries I want to cross them. People ask about my ‘diet’ all the time… “Oh… you’re not allowed to eat this, are you?”… my stubborn response, at least in my head, is always… I can eat whatever I want… I just don’t want to eat that big plate of crispy fries with sweet ketchup. I swear. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Kookie Karma Review | Organic Cookies

kookie karma cookies Kookie Karma Review | Organic Cookies

They sell these at my Whole Foods, of course right smack in front of every cash register as you check out to tempt you to splurge. I’ve tried the Raw Cherry Cashew, the Raw Granola Bar, the Raw Lemon Fig and the Holistic Chocolate Chip. I can’t wait to try all the flavors. The Holistic Chocolate Chip is not a raw one. There is quite a bit of natural sea salt in it, which makes it surprisingly good and unique.

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Get More Antioxidants From Your Green Tea

green tea 003 Get More Antioxidants From Your Green Tea

Green Tea has been hailed as the holy grail superfood –- getting credit for everything from making you slim, gorgeous, smart, relaxed and cancer free. So, what’s the bad news? Well, aside from concerns over the fluoride and caffeine in teas, what good are all the antioxidants if they’re never even absorbed?

Recent studies have shown that most of the free-radical fighting catechins in green tea — the ones credited for most of these wondrous effects — never even make it to your bloodstream. In fact, only 20% of the antioxidant catechins survive after digestion because they’re unstable in non-acidic environments.

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G Style | Bamboo Serveware

bambooroom G Style | Bamboo Serveware

I’m starting to see bamboo everywhere now! I bought a pair of stylish black bamboo dress pants at Max Studio. I bought 100% bamboo sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond which I love. Online I bought some bamboo and organic cotton towels (not the greatest), and even a bamboo sports bra. Now I see that West Elm not only has bamboo throws and blankets but 3 different sets and styles of bamboo serving bowls and trays, and they’re beautiful! We bought their white bamboo serving bowls and tray for the GreenChefs kitchen and they look so clean, natural and modern. They are slightly rustic, yet simple and subtle, and really let the food and colors stand out on them. Just something to make the kitchen a little more G!

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Grow Your Own Sprouts For Condensed Nutrition at its Finest

kitchen sprouting3 Grow Your Own Sprouts For Condensed Nutrition at its Finest

It doesn’t take a green thumb to get green — and sprouts are the living proof. If you can take care of a goldfish, you can easily take care of sprouts: they require about 2 minutes a day in terms of maintenance, all in the convenience of your own kitchen. No dirt and no bugs, just beautiful jars and baskets brimming with micro-veggies, bringing your kitchen (and your diet) alive. No patience is required, either — which is a good thing, if you’re like me — as you can go from seed to harvest in just a matter of days. I like to start a new batch a few times a week, to ensure that I always have fresh sprouts to enjoy in salads, wraps, breads and snacks.

Reasons To Eat Your Mini-Greens | Healthy and Cheap

Sprouts are baby plants and vegetables. In many ways, the sprout stage of a plant is its nutritional prime. An incredibly nutrient dense food, sprouts boast copious amounts of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and even protein. The process of germination dramatically improves the nutritional profile of the dormant seed — multiplying the seed’s nutrition benefit anywhere from 300 to 1,200 percent! And many sprouts reign nutritionally supreme when compared to their corresponding adult plants, too. As listed in Sprouts: The Miracle Food by Steve Meyerowitz, 100 mg of radish sprouts contain almost twice the calcium, and thirty-nine times the Vitamin A of an equal amount of mature radish. Sprouts are condensed nutrition at its finest.

kitchen sprouting2 Grow Your Own Sprouts For Condensed Nutrition at its Finest

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How Important Are Fats In Your Healthy Diet?

brendan brazier fats diet 02 How Important Are Fats In Your Healthy Diet? Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

How important are fats, what forms should you be consuming and in what quantities? It wasn’t long ago when then medical community was advocating the avoidance of all fat, even in the form of nuts or an avocado. Long gone are the days of neglect and dismissal when it comes to fat. We have made great progress drawing more clear lines between raw plant based sources that are good for you, even anti-aging, and those that are harmful such as cooked, animal based, and processed saturated and trans fats.

Bad fat

A deficiency of healthy fat runs prevalent throughout the modern day North American diet with the majority of people consuming too many of the detrimental bad fats including saturated fats in meat and dairy, and processed polyunsaturated fats or hydrogenated trans-fat from cooking oil and margarine used in processed foods. Consuming too many of these and not enough of the good fats contribute to stroke, heart attack, chronic inflammation, cognitive impairment, allergy, auto immune diseases and ultimately premature death.

Many of the oils we think are doing our bodies good are in fact causing further damage. The processing of oil can be the difference between good and bad. Some extraction methods for cheaper oils involve high heat, which can actually cause the oil to convert to trans fat. Other extraction methods use chemical solvents to separate the oil, usually done with low-grade oils.

brendan brazier fats diet 03 How Important Are Fats In Your Healthy Diet?

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My Summer Adventures in Juice Cleansing

sarma green My Summer Adventures in Juice Cleansing

Intro Note

This is an extended, unedited version of an article I originally wrote in July for Get Fresh magazine… U.K.’s glossy raw food mag. You can get current and back copies of the mag at oneluckyduck.com. Dhru has been a contributor in the past too!

Thanksgiving was beautiful at Pure Food and Wine… and WLIR’s own Philip was there too. Now we’re full on immersed in the holiday season, so I thought it’s not a bad time to put up this post about fasting, eating and all the issues in between. Happy Holidays, and may everyone take really good care of themselves.

Love, Sarma

My Summer Adventures in Juice Cleansing

Some people call themselves experts or even gurus (yes, I have heard someone introduce themselves as a “guru”) on nutrition, raw foods, weight loss, or enlightenment, or all of those. They write and/or speak publicly about conclusions they’ve arrived at through years of experience and diligent research. I, on the other hand, don’t claim to have conclusively figured it all out, nor do I have time for hours of detailed investigation. I just try things for myself and write about it while I’m sorting it all out—like a guinea pig with a notepad, jotting down reports on the experiment phases, tossing out random hypotheses. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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