Thursday, August 31, 2006

Raw/live Food Revolution: The next generation in health food products

From We like it RAW blog....Very interesting!!!!!

The raw food movement has been producing a lot of green recently, and I'm not talking about kale and cucumbers.

As the term raw food has gone mainstream most of the major players in the industry, such as Nature's First Law and Larabar, have seen tremendous growth. So its no wonder that major food companies are starting to take notice.

Take a look at this $1440 report whipped together by Business Insights and In-Food Consultancy, (link courtesy of Sarma):

Raw/live Food Revolution: The next generation in health food products

Consumers have grown weary of diets like Atkins and South Beach and are beginning to see natural options like 'live food' and 'Ayurvedic' diets as sustainable, long-term choices for maintaining health and weight. The growing demand for both allergen-free and less processed foods is also driving consumers towards this new health regimen. Raw/live food revolution is a new management report published by Business Insights in association with In-Food that analyzes the fast growing raw and live food market. This report provides analysis of raw and living products found in health food stores and forward-thinking supermarkets in the US, Canada, Australia, France and the UK. It details the leading products and manufacturers in the market and the key issues and trends that will shape its future. The raw and live food market is yet to be dominated by major players and provides profit opportunities for all food and drink manufacturers and retailers. This new report will help you identify, understand and exploit the new product development potential of the raw and live food market. Full PDF Summary

It is clear that the growth of the raw food movement is going to attract its fair share of vultures and value-adders. Although there is the potential for a conglomerate to swoop in and try to mass-market and dilute the integrity of the raw food movement, I think anyone who tries to do that is in for a surprise.

The raw food community is one of the most educated and viral group of "consumers" in almost any industry. That's one of the main reasons that raw food has grown so quickly! We have opinions and aren't afraid to tell our friends because we've seen first hand the results that are possible.

So in this green movement know that you also play an important role. Keep both the established companies and the newcomers on their toes by constantly questioning and researching their standards. Push for transparency and reward the companies that do with your dollars.

p.s. $1440 is quite a bit for a report, but I'm sure worth it if you need to get raw strategic with your company. If anyone ends up buying it please do send us your review.

Just wanted to share...

Good are friends when need arises;
good is contentment with just what one has;
good is merit when life is at an end,
and good is the abandoning of all suffering.

Dhammapada 331

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Have a papaya and save your seeds!

I fell in love with papayas in Costa Rica. Though, I stayed at Hotel Mangos (highly recommended) surrounded by mangoes , papayas were so good in Montezuma, now I am hooked. I would have them for breakfast, along with watermelon, pineapples, bananas and oranges! Then, I dropped pineapples, bananas and oranges for more papayas...Nowadays, I eat half a day and save the seeds...I am also working on a shake recipe, similar to this....
I can't remember where I heard this but papaya seeds are good for you...Some information on papayas are here... and they taste peppery...You can crush them over salads or soups and even grind them like peppercorn...

P.S. Posting photos on blogger is not an easy job these days...I made a wrong decision to switch over to Blogger Beta and it doesn't support Flickr or Picassa yet. So, think twice before whining to your friends at Blogger:)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Very Healthy Macaroons!

This is the easiest cookie recipe you will ever find on this blog. So mark it! It is from the Real Food Cookbook, from Pure Food and Wine in NY. I have never been to this restaurant but if you happen to be in NY, you must check it out. At least get a menu and mail it to me:)

Chocolate Macaroons:
1/2 cups shredded dried coconut-unsweetened
3/4 cup cocoa powder1/2 cup maple syrup, I used agave nectar
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt

My trusted tasters (Lane and Sam) found the original version way too bitter for, so I would suggest to add a little more dried coconut or almonds (experiment with tablespoon increments). For the almond version, substitute ground almonds instead of cocoa. Mix everything together and form balls, one tablespoon each.If you have a dehydrator, dehydrate at 115 for 12-24 hours. I don't have one, so I heated the oven to 200 and kept the cookies there for 15 minutes....Then kept them outside overnight...

If you still think you won't be able to make these, you can buy them online...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Love: My Ice-Cream Machine!

I resisted to add another appliance to my beloved kitchen for a long time but finally gave in to this beautiful red Cuisinart.

From the Chicago Tribune:

"The need for ice cream makers baffles many: "Another appliance in my kitchen?" they wail. But skeptical frozen-treat lovers may want to reconsider. These machines offer an excellent way to put seasonal fruit to work in luscious and creative frozen desserts." and my love got 4 scoops!!!

I tried an amazing frozen yogurt recipe from Delicious Days and used agave syrup instead of honey (you can also use maple syrup) and it worked great. Adjust the sweetness as you like it. This was my second try though, I used non-fat yogurt on the first version, but it didn't work as well, lots of ice crystals. Lesson learned, you need some fat to turn the yogurt into creamy go for the full fat and sign-up for a spinning class at Connect 18!

Pistachio-Yogurt Ice Cream
Serves 4, or if you are me, serves 1:)

3 cups (450 gr) yogurt (Greek yogurt from Trader's Joe rocks!)

1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, (use ground pistachios if you like your ice cream green)

5 tbsp agave syrup (adjust as you like)

1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except the chopped pistachios, put them into your ice-cream maker and watch it churn and churn and least 15 minutes...then add the pistachios and churn for 5 more minutes. Get your favorite ice-cream spoon and dig in!

I have this blueberry sorbet and watermelon sorbet next up on my list....

Have a cookie, sweat it and ask for the second one in SPANISH!

I am in desperate need of learning Spanish and Jason's gift vocabulary book for ages 3+  was my one and only tool, until Lane introduced me to Connect 18. The concept is very San Francisco, 2 birds with one stone, but has a solid hypothesis behind it:
It is a Spanish class with a are in a gym and sitting on bikes, yup you get the idea, it is a spinning class! Apparently, our ability to learn increases when our bodies are physically challenged. So, while spinning around Mexico, I was able to count to 10 and ask my fellow biker what her favorite food was in Spanish! Impressive huh??? No joking, from the Outside Magazine:
It's smart multitasking, sure, but according to Connect18 (the company says its name alludes to the number of inches between the heart and brain), the underlying premise that exercise improves mental acuity is also sound science: Research in the 2004 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which studied adults over age 60, suggests moderate aerobic training yields a big mental boost. And a 2003 report by the University of Georgia's Phillip Tomporowski found improvements in reaction time, decision making, and cognition during and after aerobic activities...
They are also featured today at Daily Candy. You should check it out. They are in San Francisco now but coming to LA, NY and Chicago soon...The first class is FREE and I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Master Cleanser Lemonade Fast

DAY 6: One of the many new things I learned in Costa Rica, was the Master Cleanse fast. Dagmar recommended it and I wanted to give it a try-after vacation of course...You drink 10-12 glasses of lemonade made from 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper with 8 ounces of filtered water.  It is really delicious....
The first two days were hard but I knew they would be, given my addiction to sugar and food in general...But after Day 3, I was at Cafe Gratitude and imagining eating "I'm Cheerful" (their burger) and sipping "I'm Cool" (my favorite mint-chocolate shake) but didn't even want to touch any of it...Fasting is good for you...If you resist the idea, you can still enjoy
MC-tini at Pure Food and Wine but only in New York!!!
Hermann Hesse writes in Siddhartha, there a few things that you should master in life...Fasting is one of them...(meditating and being patient are the other two). I came across a Rumi poem last night at Stacey's class and he was saying the same...
Here is a piece from Siddhartha...very very neat...If you haven't read this book, I would highly recommend it...
"And what's the use of that? For example, the fasting-- what is it
good for?"

"It is very good, sir. When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the
smartest thing he could do. When, for example, Siddhartha hadn't
learned to fast, he would have to accept any kind of service before this
day is up, whether it may be with you or wherever, because hunger would
force him to do so. But like this, Siddhartha can wait calmly, he knows
no impatience, he knows no emergency, for a long time he can allow
hunger to besiege him and can laugh about it. This, sir, is what
fasting is good for."

"You're right, Samana. Wait for a moment."

Well, a baking fairy who doesn't eat? That is not going to go for a long time....I am taking dessert to a BBQ on Sunday, from my new raw cookbook, Real Food...Stay tuned!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bill Buford gushes about Harold McGee over at NPR

I love Harold McGee and totally agree with Meg, this book is a must in your kitchen!

Bill Buford gushes about Harold McGee over at NPR: "Bill Buford gushes about Harold McGee over at NPR. If you don't have McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen in your kitchen, you are missing a critical component of your food library. Every time I open it, I'm lose myself and just want to read forever. It's perfect for melding of my geeky side and my food side."

Happy Quote from Evhead

Ev always hits me with his quotes!!! Showtime! wink;) wink;)

Happy Quote: "'Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.' –Harold Whitmanvia WorkHappy "

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monkeys @ Bakery Cafe

Monkeys @ Bakery Cafe
Originally uploaded by Baking Fairy.
I just uploaded Costa Rica pictures and this is by far my favorite!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Roasted Plums with Spices

Roasted Plums with Spices
Originally uploaded by Baking Fairy.
This was supposed to be posted before my trip but oh well...Better late than never...Enjoy!

This week's star at the Noe Valley Farmer's Market was plums and I made this dessert for Cindy and Rod's BBQ. Grilling fruits for dessert is a very new concept to me but its been so hot in San Francisco in the last couple of weeks, the idea of turning the oven can make you lose friends...(when Rod heard that I was going to bake, fumes were coming out of his head)
Since they have a fancy restaurant style grill, (those stainless steel, multiple layer grills with gas), we decided to give it a try and roast the plums on the grill. It took about 30 minutes, on medium heat and they were juice and the backyard smelled amazing with all the spices!

The recipe for this dessert is so easy...I got the basic idea from Keiko, and sprinkled all the spices I had at home; Juniper Berries, Cardamom Seeds, Star Anise and Cinnamon Sticks...I also added a few splashes of vanilla...Don't skip this step, the smell is out of this world...

Now, we are not done...You can serve this dessert over store-bought ice-cream or try a homemade frozen yogurt as an alternative. I got a new ice-cream maker this weekend and made my first ever frozen yogurt with pistachios...Recipe will follow soon:) The juices of the plums thickens as the fruit roasts and almost becomes like caramel, but a plummy caramel...Top the ice-cream with this sauce and dig in!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A sad goodbye...

I just came back from a great trip to Costa Rica and learned that Cici has passed away. She was sick for a while and I knew she wasn't doing well.

I am happy that had a full and a great life. Her influence on me is huge, she is the baker in our family, though she had a law degree and worked for the municipality. One of her signature cookies is the "world" famous "Un Kurabiyesi", like the Russian tea cookies but ours have almonds on top. I will make some and post the recipe soon.

By the way, the purple ring that I wear almost everyday, that some of you make fun of it since it really has a huge stone (!!!!) was hers...

I love you and miss you very very much. Have a safe journey and may you be in peace wherever you are. My family is having a service for her tomorrow and she will be burried next to her beloved husband, granddad Rahmi...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hola from Costa Rica!

This is by far the most entertaining, enlightening and heart opening trip I have ever taken. Montezuma is amazing. It is a very small village, 200 people at most live here and almost half are foreigners. It kinda reminds me of Southern Turkey, Kas or Kalkan maybe...

Canopy (zip lines over the rain forest) was damn scary but there was a dog with us, Luna and he was my hero the whole time.

I can now proudly say that I can SURF!!! Well, correction, I can surf a wave, can't paddle my way and pick a wave yet but it is sooooooooo much fun!

It takes 30 minutes to hike to the Playa Grande (no access through cars)...There are mango trees in the hotel I am staying and  mangos are falling down every 10 seconds BAM!!!! Squirrels are eating almonds like crazy, they don't even stop and breath. The green here is something else, you just have to come here.  My Spanish is improving, people are so nice, so far I have been randomly invited to several gatherings, did art work, had coffee, hanged out, all those fun things that you can do when you are travelling alone with open eyes! 

I have been doing yoga everyday, except for one morning, where I had to go and surf! When it is the right wave, you just can't wait!!! and I am much more comfortable with my headstands. Dagmar is such a gifted teacher. We connected really well and she is off to a Vipassana course in India in a couple months...Life is good!

Pictures will follow and I am sailing to Tortuga Island for snorkelling and beach volleyball.

Pura Vida!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Do you know?

How many seeds are on a strawberry?
200!!!! Also, strawberry is the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside...From Martha Stewart! I love her!