Have you ever heard the theory of the 100th monkey?
In the 1950’s biologists and anthropologists were studying the behavior of a species of monkeys that live on some of the outlying islands around Japan. In order to gain the confidence of the monkeys and get close enough to study their behavior, the scientists would place sweet potatoes on the beach. The monkeys adored these moist potatoes (called batatas), but disliked the sand clinging to them. One day an adolescent female monkey (about eighteen months old) on the island of Koshima, solved this problem by washing her batata in fresh spring water.
She taught the “trick” to her mother, and then to her playmates, and over a period of time most of the monkeys on the island learned to wash their batatas to get rid of the sand. At this point perhaps 99 monkeys had been trained in this behavior. One day the 100th monkey learned how to wash his batata. By the next day every single monkey on the island of Koshima was doing this – even the ones who lived a bit more isolated from the others and had never witnessed a demonstration.
But what was particularly astonishing was that this new behavior was suddenly observed in the populations of these same species of monkeys on the other islands. Every monkey in the remote outlying islands was washing away the sand on their sweet potatoes without ever having been taught how to do it!
An Ultra-Simple, BPA-free, and Mouth-Watering Recipe!
Thanksgiving always means having a few cans of jellied cranberry sauce around our house. While my husband has adopted several of my raw fusion recipes into his repertoire, old habits die hard — so, roast turkey = canned cranberries. Over this past year he has become quite a fan of Dr. Oz and has made many lifestyle adjustments. When I mentioned that a recent study came out that soaring BPA levels have been found in many canned holiday staple foods, he is ready to try my homemade alternative.
It seems ironic to me that we have come to depend so much on canned and processed versions of foods that not only taste superior when made fresh — they are also loaded with nutritious micronutrients and antioxidants. None of these nutrients are compromised in any way in the recipe below as it is completely raw! And most importantly they are NOT loaded with preservatives, sugar, genetically modified organisms and chemicals that leach from the linings from the cans. BPA ( the compound bisphenol A) has been linked to adverse health effects.
Cranberries are a superior source when it comes to phytonutrients, evidenced by their brilliant scarlet coloring; Being harvested on the surface of bogs, they absorb sunlight, which increases their antioxidant effect. They have been credited with removing bacteria from the stomach lining, helping to prevent and cure urinary tract disorders and improving cardiovascular health. They are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese and also a great source of dietary fiber. I don’t think that the canned varieties can boast of these nutritious gems!
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-free and Raw Fusion optional!
The idea of these came to me a few weeks ago without having researched any existing recipes online, and from what I understand, raw versions of these ultra-indulgent appetizers have been around. I am going to improve on my experimentation with this batch and have still not consulted other recipes. Feel free to share any ideas for future batches.
Raw pals, Rob and Kelly Marra (rawlifecoaching.com) were my gracious hosts on my book tour in North Carolina this spring. As they are visiting family over the holiday here in Tampa Bay, I’ve invited them over for a pre-Thanksgiving raw fusion dinner this week along with three other couples. I asked Kelly if there was anything in my recipe book or any of my latest concoctions (these are posted on our Facebook Fan page) and she expressed a curiosity for these poppers.
So I had to start a fresh batch of the simply amazing Pimento (Nut) Cheeze Spread that was inspired by Russel Jame’s nut cheese ebook. It was, in fact, Rob and Kelly who turned me on to this book at their pot luck. I’ve been making this variation of his “Cheddar Cheese” recipe for months now and it’s a favorite for special demos and my “Dine & Discover” events. It takes two days to ferment and will form the base of the stuffing (blended with some fresh pico de gallo, which is one of the variations in this new batch)
Oatmeal is definitely a great choice for breakfast, especially when one considers the many other options. However, cooked grains are not the easiest foodstuffs for our digestive tracts; The more raw and living foods that you consume, the less wear and tear on the body. I’ve always found that if I start the day with something raw (either this recipe, chia “tapioca” pudding, nut milk shakes or my usual green smoothie) it gives my immune system a boost and sustains my blood sugar and energy levels much longer.
The idea of “raw oatmeal” sounded implausible to me at first. Then I discovered steel cut oat groats in the bulk bin of my local health food store when I was testing out some raw foods recipes that called for “oat groats.” The texture of the groats is like grits, but more of a beige color. Not at all like the flat discs of oatmeal we are accustomed to.
And when I do, for convenience, purchase a ready made non-dairy milk, like almond, hemp, coconut etc. one of my favorites has been the Oat milk. Who knew you could make a great milk replacement with oats? All you have to do is take a cup or two of the groats and soak them overnight. In the morning rinse and drain them. Add some water or nut milk, some spices and some kind of sweetener (anything from xylitol or stevia for those with blood sugar challenges, to maple syrup, palm sugar or coconut nectar (all of those are sensible sweeteners — see my Daytime TV appearance on this subject.)
Today is Veteran’s Day when we honor all of the men and women who have pledged to serve our country. Did you know that perhaps only 10% remain of the magnificent population that lived through the world-gone-mad war era of the 1940’s? About 8 years ago my husband read a statistic that WW2 veterans were passing away at the rate of about 1,000 per day. This galvanized him to document the story of 45 men and women who played a role in the war via videotaped interviews.
This project also had a personal appeal as he wanted to have living histories from both of our fathers, who had served in the Army Air Corps, His Dad was a pilot who is now 95; Mine, who is 91 barely escaped Nazi Germany, being a Jew who was born in Hamburg to Eastern European parents. In his interview he shares how left Germany on a ship barely 2 weeks after the Kristallnacht pogrom and joined the army of his adopted new country a few years later. Since my mother’s Holocaust history was much grimmer, the war was not a permissible topic of discussion in my childhood, so this gave me an opportunity to learn more about his life.
Since many of last month’s classes featured spiralized zucchini, we ordered a case of one of my favorite kitchen tools – the Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer. That case went almost instantly and we have another one arriving any day now. Available for $28.00. Special Offer: Combine with one of our nut milk bags (nylon or pure hemp) for only $35.00!
A raw foods staple, spiralized zucchini does double duty as a surprisingly palatable pasta. So much so that it fooled my teenage goddaughter. I served her this dish on her last visit and her comment was “Auntie LJ, I thought you didn’t eat pasta.” NOTE: You can still make this dish without a spiralizer – just use a vegetable peeler and make flat, linguine-style noodles. That’s what I used for over a year when I first went raw!
Spiral slicers are not just for raw foodies; I have served it as a very popular side dish to non-vegan guests, who appreciate the tantalizing texture, great taste and superior food combining. Substitute this angel hair zucchini for starchy sides when enjoying chicken, fish or meat dishes and you will feel and look fabulous as this is superior food combining to the typical pastas, rice or potatoes that traditionally are served.