I won't go on about it...just that with the humidity and the heat...it has not been a very active few days. We haven't had rain in a while...so our rain barrels have been rendered useless. The sun beats down like a laser. I look at my garden and see the poor plants having a hard time with the air!
It was this week that I dug up one of the Raw recipes I got out of Best Health magazine. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/ There was a recent issue that focused on the raw food diet. Raw is not a new idea, but I just discovered it. According to About.com:
"The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (the cutoff temperature varies among those in the raw food community).
Cooking is thought to denature the enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we overconsume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain."
I was intrigued by the idea and did some digging. I liked some of the recipes I found, however, you would probably need to live near a tropical or sub-tropical area in order for this diet to be kind to the environment. It just isn't doable in Canada AND maintain a low carbon footprint. I do appreciate its benefits though...and thought I would benefit from some of the recipes while the ingredients were ripening in my garden. I would probably have to put raw dietism on hold in winter though. Could you imagine the carbon footprint of the meal posted below in February??? **Shudders**
So I kept one of the recipes in Best Health Magazine and decided it would come in handy one day....that day came when the temp in our back porch was almost 100 degrees F and I wanted to disown my stove.
I grabbed it and went hunting in the garden for virtually all of the ingredients:
1 cup of sundried tomatoes coaked in warm water
1/4 red bell pepper
2 tbsp chopped red onion
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic peeled
1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 large leaves of fresh basil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp marjoram (optional)
1 small-medium green zucchini
1 small-medium yellow zucchini
You also need a food processor...
Put everything in the blender...except the zucchinis and blend a bit (thats the key...don't blend too much or it will be veggie juice).
I just rinsed off the zukes and went at them with a peeler. I made the "noodles" about fettucini width or close enough. They made pretty striped noodles on my plate! Even the "noodles" aren't cooked...so I could have my marinara AND not cook it too!
I blended the fresh ingredients...
See what I mean about veggie juice? My substitutions are below:
I didn't have a red onion, so I used a white one.
I didn't have dried oregano, so I used fresh.
I didn't have sundried tomatoes, so I used a bit more red pepper and a bit more regular tomato.
I didn't have agave, so I used pure maple syrup instead.
I spooned the mix onto my "noodles"...
The recipe was in the article in Best Health magazine, but it originally came from a restaurant called "Rawlicious".
In the end, this meal satisfied me on a number of levels. First, I didn't have to turn on one thing that generated heat. Secondly, I ate a really hearty meal! Third, I got to pick the bulk of this recipe from my backyard. And lastly, it made a really pretty post!!!
I will continue to research the raw phenomenon...but I will also consider its impact on the environment as well as my body.