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Category Archives: recipes

Be a peach, don’t use bleach!

ECB Hazard Very Toxic Symbol

ECB Hazard Very Toxic Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You want those whiter than white clothes? You want that mold gone? You want to poison yourself and your family?

Well, hopefully that last one doesn’t strike a chord with you. If it does, my recommendation is professional counseling!

For those of you who said yes to the first two questions and thought I was mad when you read the third, there’s a reason I wrote that in. Many people use straight bleach or bleaching products in their cleaning routines. This is very dangerous. Think about it. The Germans started using chlorine gas in the First World War to incapacitate and kill their enemies. I know you may sometimes feel like your house is a battlefield of mess you must conquer, but isn’t that a bit of overkill ? When you are cleaning with bleach it gives off toxic fumes. If you are not in a well ventilated area, you could pass out and that is just the start of the problems. Once it goes down your drain it can become an organochloride. These newly formed organochlorides have been tested and shown to be carcinogenic. Not to mention the fact that chlorine alone is corrosive to the skin, eyes and lungs. Some studies have even shown its negative effects on the immune system, reproductive system and it may likely be a neurological toxin. Now how important are those whites?

Does that mean you can never have white clothes again? Absolutely not, there are alternatives. When washing white clothes, use 1/4 cup of washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate. Not to be confused with baking soda, washing soda can be used instead of bleach. *Make sure you wear gloves if you’re going to touch the washing soda as it does have irritant properties.* Toss in a 1/4 cup of white vinegar and you’re good to go!

What about molds? As I’ve mentioned previously in my blog ‘My basic, all-natural, cleaning tool kit‘, vinegar is great for getting rid of molds.

So really, there is no reason to use bleach. It is dangerous for you, your loved ones and the environment in general. It reminds me of when I was young and had my first ‘bleach experience’. I had several fish in this really great, tall punch bowl. I thought I would get the bowl and rocks cleaned up, so I put the rocks in bleach while I cleaned the bowl. After about and hour, and much loss of rock colour, I rinsed the rocks thoroughly. Placing the whole thing back together and the fish back to their home, I went about my day. When I came up to my room that night, all the fish but one were dead. I felt terrible. Knowing there must be something wrong with the water, I took the only surviving fish, Megara, out of the bowl. Once I told my parents, they pointed out my mistake and we threw all those rocks out. Lucky for me, Megara was a tough, hearty broad and I actually had her for something like 6 years afterwards. She was a sucker fish and by the time she passed, she was longer than the kleenex box my dad used to bury her. (She was way to big to flush!) Point being, I’ve known for a long time how toxic bleach can be and I don’t want to expose myself to it, if at all possible. Another point, talk to your kids about the dangers of bleach if you haven’t already. I would even say hide your bleach until they are in their teens so there’s no accidental misuse, like myself and my poor fish.

Does anyone have other toxic bleach stories to share? Or any alternatives they’ve found that I haven’t mentioned?

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Completely raw meal #2

On Monday night I put together my second completely raw meal. I learned a bit from my first and added an extra course so we weren’t still starving afterwards. I made three dishes, a ‘Christmas Kale Salad’ , ‘Spaghetti Alla Baguetta’ and Chocolate Mousse.

I found that the salad’s dressing was overpowering due to the amount of balsamic vinegar it called for, the sauce for the ‘spaghetti’ was too watery and I should have blended the cashews longer. As far as the mousse goes…well, I guess it was also too liquidy. But the point was I tried, right? It still tasted good. I’ve posted the recipes below with a few of my personal suggestions in italics for anyone who wants to give it a go. If you do, let me know what you think!

Christmas Kale Salad (from crudessence.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2 kales hulled and roughly chopped

    My kale salad

  • 1 medium cauliflower cut into cubes
  • 2 red peppers cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (I would personally put 2)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts ( I substituted almond slivers)
  • 1 pinch of ground pepper

Rub the kale with the salt to tenderize it. Put it in a bowl with the other ingredients and mix. The kale will keep sweating, so if you want to have a less crispy salad, prepare it a few hours before serving.

Spaghetti Alla Bagutta (rawfoodrecipes.com)

  • 1 package of kelp noodles
  • 1 cup of water (I would use HALF A CUP)
  • 1 fresh tomato or 4 sundried tomatoes, soaked

    Spaghetti Alla Bagutta of Jenn

  • 1/4 cup of cashews (soak them…for the love of raw, SOAK them!)
  • 1 garlic clove (or more)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • parsley or basil, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes
  • crushed red pepper

Rinse the kelp noodles in warm water, cut and drain and place in large mixing bowl. In a blender mix all the remaining ingredient except the basil/parsley and cherry tomatoes. Toss the cream sauce with the kelp noodles and remaining ingredients. (Make sure to blend the cashews until smooth!)

***A note on this dish. Make sure to warn people that kelp noodles are crunchy. I warned my husband because I know he has a thing about the textures of some foods and I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t thrown by the crunch when he was expecting soft. ***

Chocolate Mousse (crudessence.com)

  • 50g of coconut oil

    Mmmm, Chocolate Mousse!

  • 75g of cocoa butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cups of agave nectar (make sure you get the RAW kind)
  • 2 tea spoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups of coconut milk (Or 3 1/2 cups of water plus 3 cups of coconut flakes (Maybe less…?)

Melt the cocoa butter in a dehydrator or in a bain-marie. While it i melting, in a blender put the water and the coconut flakes to make the coconut milk and filter (if necessary). Put the coconut milk in the blender with the vanilla, agave and cocoa powder. Add the melted oil and butter and blend briefly (I don’t think it should say briefly here, but I will have to experiment a bit) at a low speed. Pour the mix into a container and leave in the fridge for one to two hours.

So there you have it! A few new recipes to try out. I definitely say you should try kelp noodles. I bet they would taste fantastic on salad and they are full of nutrients. Best of luck with these recipes.

Raw burrito success!

Attempt number 2, raw burritos fantastico!

My second attempt was much better than my first. I amended the recipe to include less garlic and cilantro. The result was much tastier, indeed.

Jenn’s Amended Raw Burrito Recipe

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of minced cilantro
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 6-8 large lettuce leaves, I used romaine

You can also add the following to your tastes, I didn’t because of my own tastes and what was available.

  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp yellow onions, diced
  • kernels from one ear of corn

Preparation:

In a medium sized bowl, mash the avocados. Then add the other prepared ingredients and stir them up well. Spoon 2 or 3 table spoons per lettuce leaf, then enjoy! Good for two people.

It was delicious, especially if you enjoy a good avocado! The original recipe, which I found online at About.com called for 3, count ’em 3, cloves of garlic and 1/4 a cup of cilantro. Yikes! It was terrible, just terrible. This one is much more palatable but if you find it too bland, you can always add a wee bit more garlic and cilantro. I say it is good for two people, but you will definitely need to have something else. It is a lot of avocado to eat for one person.

I didn’t take any pictures, but I also made a raw key lime pudding. The recipe is from the Raw Food Society of British Columbia and it was quite tasty. Even my husband thought it was good.

Raw Key Lime Pudding with tips from Jenn

  • 1 cup coconut meat (as I found out, you need only 1 medium sized coconut for this amount)
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter (again, I found out this is the SAME THING as coconut oil)
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 tsp. of water
  • 1/4 cup of coconut water (if you do it right, you can just use what is in the coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice (I would double this if you really want to taste the lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 drop of Stevia (optional)

Mix macadamia nuts, water, coconut water and lime juice in high powered blender. Once blended, add all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least one hour. My tips: SOAK the macadamia nuts in the water, coconut water and lime juice. I’m sure it would make them much easier to blend. As it was I spent forever blending them down.

Well, not too bad for my first raw meal. I think for the next one I will make a raw hat trick. I feel hungry.

Any suggestions?