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All posts for the month August, 2011

Radish Crackers

Published August 20, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey
INGREDIENTS
15 radishes
1 cup of sweetcorn
2 or 3 large tomatoes
a pinch of sea salt
1 dsp lemon juice
about 1 cm fresh chilli, de-seeded
INSTRUCTIONS
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until the mixture is smooth.
Spread the entire mixture onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 105 for 6-8 hours. Turn the sheet over and flip the mixture onto a mesh sheet. Continue dehydrating until crispy, about 12-24 more hours.
Keep in an airtight box. I usually freeze mine. They thaw super-fast whenever they’re needed.
Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com

A Good Drying Day

Published August 9, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

The dehydrator has been used to dry and preserve foods for many years.
When you have a glut of something, it’s useful to have a raw-food way of preserving some, and keeping all the nutrients.
Here are some of the foods I preserve in the dehydrator:

Tomatoes
Slice into 4 or 5 slices each
Dry as they are or…
Dip in olive oil
Sprinkle with salt and chopped herbs
Keep in a jar and use just like sun-dried tomatoes

Plums
Cut in half
Remove stone
Dip in olive oil and mixed spice

Apples
Cut into slices
Either dry as they are or…
Dip in olive oil and ground cinnamon for a spicy Autumnal treat

Root Vegetable Crisps
Use a vegetable peeler to slice carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnip and beetroot
Dry just as they are, until crispy.

Garlic
Peel a lot of garlic cloves
Chop finely in a food processor (or by hand, if you can be bothered)
Dry in a nut milk bag or a dehydrator tray until completely dry
The pieces will clump together, so use an electric mill to crush them
Keep in a jar and use anywhere you’d use fresh garlic

Bacteria Are My Friends

Published August 5, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

I have recently been learning a lot about the beneficial bacteria in cultured and fermented foods and have been introducing these foods into our diet.
One of the biggest benefits I have noticed is the improvement in my digestion.
I no longer have gas, whereas I used to – a lot! I notice now that if I don’t eat these foods for a couple of days; my digestion plays up.
I used to feel sick whenever I ate anything. Since switching to raw food, I do not feel sick anywhere near as often. Beneficial bacteria help this situation dramatically.
Another improvement is in my skin, hair and nails. My skin is smoother and softer – on my body, as well as my face; my hair and nails are growing faster and are stronger. Additionally, my hair, which used to be quite dry, now rarely needs conditioning. (I have changed some of the products I use, but this is not the only reason I believe my hair has improved.)

Here are some of the fermented foods I’ve been making:
Sauerkraut and Kimchi
In addition to the sauerkraut I discussed in an earlier post, I have also been making Kimchi. This Korean dish uses miso instead of salt-water. It’s just as easy to make and I have been using a variety of vegetables, layering them in the jar. It is just as delicious as sauerkraut and a perfect way to make some of those hard greens more palatable.
Some people can manage  crunchy, crispy foods, but I have never ben able to get on with it; I like my food quite soft. Culturing it helps me enormously!

Cultured Water

When I have eaten all the kimchi/sauerkraut from a jar, I bottle the leftover water and use it in savoury recipes, instead of regular water. It adds nutrition and flavour.

Kefir
Water kefir grains are amazing. I bought a small packet on ebay and started making my own Kefir.
Just add a couple of spoonfuls (1 packet) of kefir grain to a glass Kilner jar of filtered water.
Add a couple of spoons of sugar (you could use any sugar, maple syrup, fruit sugar etc.) and leave it for a couple of days. It is ready to drink then, either on its own or added to fruit juice or a smoothie.
The grains grow and multiply. I was amazed at how big some of them got.
In no tome at all, I had enough grains for two jars, then three, then four and now I have five jars on the go, spaced a day apart, so there is always some ready. I even gave my mum some grains when she visited.
I’m not sure I entirely understand exactly what kefir grains are; some sort of bacteria, but I’m no scientist and even though I live with one, I haven’t yet figured it out! What I do know is that kefir tastes good and does me good – all I ask from my food.

Miso
Although miso is not a raw food, it is a living food; at least, if you buy an  un-pasteurised variety.
I use it quite a bit in kimchi, sauces and sometimes just as a drink. I have been a fan of miso for many years.
One of my cousins once asked my what my secret to eternal youth was (he hadn’t seen me for 10 years and asserted that I hadn’t aged!) I told him it was miso, and promptly made a cup to drink!

There are other fermented foods I want to try and I will let you know how I get on when I do.

 

 

Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com

One Potato…

Published August 2, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

I fell right off the waggon this evening when Mr H bought me some chips on the beach!
Oh dear! But I gobbled them down like I was never going to eat again!
I have heard that potatoes are often very difficult to give up. They are so firmly entrenched in our culture.
Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh introduced them in the 16th century, they’ve made their way into so many thing we take for granted about British cuisine now.
Chips are the ‘national dish‘ apparently (together with, ironically, curry!) and just think how many potato products there are in the shops and on menus across the land!
But, of course, potatoes are not really very suitable to be eaten raw!
Kate Wood asserts that cooked food is an addiction and that there are five highly addictive foods. These are: Potatoes, Wheat, Soya, Corn and Rice and she reckons that these vary in how hard they are to give up, depending on your genetic make-up. My European ancestors must’ve enjoyed a lot of potatoes, that’s all I can say! I do crave the fluffy white carbs!
So I was eating my chips and for a while they seemed to be hitting the spot, but it wasn’t long before I felt full, still hungry, slightly sick and the tell-tale headache began prickling at my temples.
By the time we got home, I was really craving some green stuff!
I made this smoothie, quickly, to satisfy my body’s desire for chlorophyll:

1/2 melon, skinned and de-seeded
1 banana
2 handfuls baby spinach
250 mls filtered water

Blend everything together, (adding a bit at a time if you have a regular blender, as I do) until nice and homogenous. You can strain this through a nut milk bag or muslin if you want to, but I was desperate for the green stuff so I guzzled mine down. It made just over 2 pints which, being nice, I shared! =)

 

 

Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com

Salade de Marmande

Published August 1, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

After all that dehydrated food of the past week, I was craving something fresh and pure.
We had this gorgeous Marmande tomato in the organic veg box this week. Just one, but oooh! How lovely:

I knew I didn’t want to process it, so I sliced in neatly and made this simple layered salad:

* first, a handful of baby spinach leaves,
* next, a spoonful of fresh home-made raw hummus,
* then the Marmande tomato, sliced (I had to share mine with Mr H, but there was plenty!)
* finally a couple of spoonfuls of the Cultured Vegetables I made last week
a drizzle of olive oil completed the dish…. Mmm, just what we wanted!

Dehydrated food is all very well and really does add texture and interest to food, as well as making some things more edible (eg aubergines) but as with everything – in moderation. It would be maybe not dangerous, but certainly unwise to rely too heavily on using the dehydrator, or any other appliance, in making a meal. Sometimes it’s good to just get back to easing fresh food. In fact, our diest should consist mainly of fresh vegetables, so no wonder my body was craving that juicy purple tomato!

The Cultured Vegetables are really delicious. I couldn’t believe it! I thought they would smell or taste a bit ‘off’ but they are soft and sweet. I confess I have always had difficulty with raw cabbage, but this makes it palatable and more easily digested. I recommend it. Easy to make, easy to store (pop the jar in the fridge to slow down the process once fermentation has started) and so delicious to eat!

 

 

Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com

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