Archive for the 'Juicing' Category

Some Observations About Wheatgrass


February 4th, 2008

art of analog

Well, it’s been about a month since I started my experiment with my WINDOW GARDEN. I like how you can see the back of the audio geek magazine in the lower left corner. It says ‘The Art of Analog’.

harvesting

My boyfriend took some pics of me harvesting wheatgrass from the garden. I found that initially I was not cutting the grass close enough to the bottom. So, I wasn’t getting the maximum harvest.

one day harvest

This is about how much grass I harvest from half a tray of wheatgrass. I’ve been doing about a half a tray a day. Ann Wigmore says that it’s important to take at least one day off a week. This somehow makes your body more receptive to it. I guess it’s sort of like how they say you shouldn’t work out every day. You need a day of rest.

one day juice This is the max amount of juice I’ve harvested from a half tray.

shot and a half It works out to be a little less than 2 shots.

grapegginerparsleyapple We’ve made some pretty intense juice concoctions. This one is grapefruit, apple, pear, parsley, ginger, and wheatgrass. WOAH!

lime parsleypear wheatgrass This one is similar but we used lime instead of grapefruit – a little more mild but still pretty punchy.

lime parsley pear grass apple juice

I like how there’s a guitar pick in this picture.

cooking with gas

Now we’re really cooking with gas. I moved all the raw books to another shelf so I could get the maximum output from my window. This is how my garden looked a couple days ago.

garden 2-1

I’ve got 4 trays of wheatgrass going (at various stages – about 2 days apart) and 2 trays of sprouts (one buckwheat and one french garden blend).

wheatgrass

I know what you’re thinking…The all important question: How do I feel? Do I think it’s helping?

Well, it’s interesting. People talk about how you get all this extra energy after a few weeks and get addicted to the feeling. I have definitely been noticing that I’ve been craving more greens. Esp in my smoothies. We made one the other day that was just coconut and fruit – one of my favorite a few months ago. I felt somehow unsatisfied. I wanted something green in it. I’ve definitely noticed a pick me up from drinking it. But I will say that as I’ve mentioned in EARLIER POSTS, I’ve been working through some health issues lately. So I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential yet. There have been days especially in the last week or so where I’ve gotten glimmers of feeling AMAZING. But they aren’t consistent. I’ve also had days where I’ve felt really tired and nap prone – kind of like I’m trying to work through something. So I guess my answer to the how are you feeling question is that I’ve had little teasers about where this can go, but I get the sense that my body is going to have to work through some things before I can get there. If that makes any sense. It took Ann Wigmore 3 years to work through her chronic diarrhea this way. So, I’m not expecting an overnight miracle here. And I AM really encouraged by the glimmers I’ve seen. If I could get to a point where I felt that way consistently, amazing things would happen. So, I’ll keep moving in that direction. And I’ll keep you posted…

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Organic Thai Coconuts


January 31st, 2008

organic thai

Well, as I mentioned in an EARLIER POST, we haven’t really given up on coconuts.  But the arguments about them have at least permeated our consciousness.  So much that my boyfriend went crazy and bought this $4 organic thai coconut the other day.  It’s a little smaller than the usual variety, but this little guy can pack quite a punch.

deceivingly small

It took a lot more force to crack the little feller open, but inside it was immaculate.

little coco water

The water wasn’t really more viscous, but it seemed richer somehow.  It looked creamier and the cloudiness of it was really evenly distributed.  It just looked somehow less fragmented if that makes any sense.

rich coco meat

The meat was really rich too and somehow ‘meatier’ and less slimy.  It was also this amazingly pristine white color.  Almost like snow.

They tasted amazing.  Not sure how often we’ll be able to splurge on these little guys, but they were definitely a delicacy.

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No More Messing Around


January 19th, 2008

Super Green Smoothie

This is getting serious! Ann Wigmore says you should try to drink a little wheatgrass every day. She says 2 oz. is a good serving. She also says you should take one day off a week. Somehow this makes your body better able to receive it. It starts to take it for granted if it’s every day. I haven’t quite got my wheatgrass factory to where I know when to plant the next tray yet, but I started another one last night.

Red Chard

Look at this BEAUTIFUL red chard I got at the coop this week. So yesterday, I threw that in my smoothie with the wheatgrass, banana, a few dates, a VANILLA POD, a little coconut oil, some cacao butter, and this beautiful thing:look tom

Look at that! I cracked it open all by myself, and I didn’t splinter it into a million pieces. Nice neat cuts. My boyfriend usually does the cutting, but he’s out of town. So I’ve been sharpening my machete skills. I know, I know. ANTHONY says we shouldn’t EAT COCONUTS ANYMORE. I have to say though. That if they did use fungicide on these coconuts, I can’t really tell. Because as you can see there’s a nice patch of fungi on the outside. It looks pretty good on the inside though. So yeah. I’m still torn over the coconut issue. I’ll probably stew on it for a while.

My boyfriend is coming home TOMORROW! Check out this movie he sent me of a WATER DRAGON. I guess they just roam the streets everywhere down there (he’s in Sydney today at SPIEGELTENT). Is that the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?

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New Food Processor and Other Musings


January 18th, 2008

new food processor

Check out the new food processor I got for Christmas! My mom gave it to me. She says she’s generally had good luck with anything GE. The last food processor I had was a steal for $25, but pieces started breaking off of it less than a week in (it was a Black and Decker). The blades and the motor on it were pretty good though. So I kept holding it together. I made it for almost a year like that. But I think my mom is trying to support my healthy changes. For the most part, my family thinks my diet is maybe a little strange, but they are happy that I’ve found something that seems to be helping me deal with DARRYL. This kind of thing doesn’t really run in my family at all. So they’re kind of at a loss as to how to help me.

fp action fp action

Here are some shots of my food processor in action. The blades on this one are really great too. And the design is much better. No small plastic pieces which are easily broken off. This one’s a keeper. Here I am making a cheesecake last night for my friend, Elizabeth. She APPEARED in my blog early on and then disappeared (as she used to live across the hall and moved). But I’ve been trying to get her over here to try some stuff as she has fibromyalgia, and I really think this will help her some.

Wakame Hemp

I made ones of my FAVES the wakame hemp power slaw. I tweaked it a little though as I can’t really just leave recipes how they are. This time I added some red chard, sesame, dulse, and miso in the dressing. And of course, I added some fresh sprouts from my SPROUT GARDEN…buckwheat and some of my spicy mix (which i got from SPROUTPEOPLE – it’s a daikon, arugula, cress mix…YUM!). The sprouts really spiced the salad up in a GOOD WAY.

dinner for e

I also made a VANILLA CHEESECAKE which I’ve made too many times to count. I’ve been tweaking this recipe too – adding some vanilla bean, dates, and almonds in the crust.

Elizabeth was pretty into it. I think I may have a convert. She was looking through recipe books and asking lots of questions. She said the food was ‘restaurant quality’ which kind of caught me off guard. I mean, I’ve been working in the restaurant/catering business for 10 years, but not on the cooking end. My palatte is overly developed, but I don’t have much experience cooking. In fact, I never cooked AT ALL until I got sick and had to go raw. But her little comment planted a little seed in my mind. I might put that seed into the ground and see what sprouts up. 🙂

Egg shelf

There are some other small but revolutionary changes going on in my kitchen. I found a really good use for the egg shelf. I’ve been making lemon/lime water every morning to replace that horrible caffeine habit I had for years. I noticed that I was always digging through my two shelves of produce every morning looking for the most ripe citrus until I had this eureka moment.

the garden

Here’s the SPROUT/WHEATGRASS garden as of yesterday. I’ve almost finished my first tray of wheatgrass. Ann Wigmore says that once you’ve harvested a tray, you can let the grass grow up once more before you compost the mats (the dirts and roots). So, I haven’t exactly figured out how often to space the trays apart yet, but I’m starting another tray today and the second tray seems about ready for harvesting as well. I’m in LOVE with the taste of the sprouts so far. I read somewhere though that officially sprouts are grown in water only and anything you grow in the dirt is a micro green. So, I suppose it’s technically a MICRO GREEN garden. Either way, I’m definitely hooked.

green juice

I’m gonna try to have one of these EVERY DAY. It REALLY makes you feel GREAT. I haven’t quite worked myself of to the 32 oz. CHLOROPHYLL BOMB that Anthony (aka RAW MODEL) swears by, but I’m getting there…

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The Wheatgrass Debacle


January 17th, 2008

grass harvest

cut grass There it is. My first harvest of homegrown wheatgrass. Doesn’t it look lovely? I decided to start with a small batch for my first juicing as I haven’t gotten entirely used to the taste yet. Well, after patiently watching the grass GROW FROM THE SEEDLING STAGE, I was anxious to get started. The juicer seemed easy enough to setup, and I was running late for work. So, I decided to skip the instructional video and just go for it. I gathered up all the parts and assembled them in the seemingly most logical configuration like so:

juicer setup

That looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

NO! I did it WRONG. By the time, I discovered my error I had already spilled green juice all over my kitchen, leaving a very small amount for my first wheatgrass containing juice (satsuma orange, pear, beat, carrot, apple, wheatgrass mixture).

first juice first froth

Not very much wheatgrass, but it made a lovely froth.

the right way

Well, needless to say, as soon as I returned home from work today I got to work figuring out where I went wrong. It all makes so much sense now. Above you see the RIGHT WAY to set up the healthy juicer. Today I tried juicing it with a satsuma orange and pear (all in the Healthy Juicer – yesterday I juiced everything else in my BREVILLE).

Green Alien Blood

I started with the wheatgrass first, and everything was going smashingly. Look at that THICK, green juice. It looks like GREEN ALIEN BLOOD which I find kind of interesting. Ann Wigmore talks in her book about how chlorophyll is kind of like plant blood in that it performs similar functions. She also discussed how closely the molecular structure of a chlorophyll molecule resembled a hemoglobin molecule. They are almost identical except that hemoglobin is built around an iron molecule, and chlorophyll is built around magnesium. They say that because they are so similar it’s very easy for your body to convert the chlorophyll ESP if you’re eating foods rich in iron (like say BUCKWHEAT SPROUTS, for example!).

wheatgrass pear juice

Anyway, despite my success with the wheatgrass, I found that the breville was FAR superior at juicing other kinds of fruits. When I put the pear slices in, the hopper got backed up pretty fast. Thus, I wasn’t able to juice all the pears slices I had prepared. Though they made a yummy snack. I have to say that I REALLY like the wheatgrass pear juice combo. The pear really takes the edge off the wheatgrass. It’s somehow softer and easier to take. I also didn’t notice the aftertaste really. So I think I might be making that again (though maybe in separate juicers). I feel REALLY GOOD right now. Definitely a kick start. We are starting this green year off on the right track!

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Harvest Time


January 15th, 2008

seaweed chowder and sprouts

Well, spring has sprung (in my windowsill, at least). It’s time to start getting down to business. I’m still figuring out what to do with these lovely sprouts. So, I thought I’d start with something simple. Like adding them to something I make all the time…SEAWEED CHOWDER.

buckwheat sprouts

The BUCKWHEAT SPROUTS were crying out to be used. Plus, they’re kind of a nice delicate little sprout that seems ideal for soup. AND they get used in lots of asian recipes (the soup is kind of an asian fusion). So, I went for it.

Can I say YUM?!!! WOW. Who knew a little sprout could pack such a punch. They really added a lovely dimension to the soup. Kinda spicy.

I was a little less successful with the wheatgrass this morning. I might go so far as to call it a wheatgrass debacle. But, I’m late for work. So I’ll expoud on that later…

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New Year, New Plan


January 6th, 2008

Well, it’s the new year. Time to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Reflecting on the past and SAYING GOODBYE to old friends…taking stock on where I am (I finally got a diagnosis on my health issues – more on that later)…and looking ahead to the future.

My big goal for the year is to incorporate more greens. A LOT more greens. I’m setting myself up to have a window garden. My apt is VERY VERY SMALL, but I’m trying to outfit my window with room to get something going.

ikea shelf

You can kind of see where I’m going with this…

ann wigmore books

I’m been studying up on the methodology in these lovely books from wheatgrass/sprouting pioneer ANN WIGMORE.

wheatgrass seeds

I’ve ordered a few different varieties of seeds to get me started: Wheatgrass, Buckwheat, Sunflower, and a couple blends from SPROUT PEOPLE

salad greens

french garden

healthy juicer

And finally, I ordered a hand wheatgrass juicer for greens and sprouts.

hand juicer

Everyone thinks I’m being really ambitious…some think it’s downright crazy. But this is my plan to combat all the fatigue I’m feeling from the chronic D. I don’t like to talk about it. I’m going to start referring to it as visits from my friend, Darryl. Well, Darryl came by again today…getting on my nerves as usual. So, I’m feeling particularly inspired. Wish me luck! It will be interesting to see what impact this will have. It definitely can’t hurt. But there is no way I’m going to just lie down and accept hanging out with Darryl one week of every month. I’m gonna fight him tooth and nail. He has no idea what he’s got himself into…

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Green Ambition


December 16th, 2007

just juiced

It’s kind of like ‘BLONDE AMBITION‘ but without the pasties and the cut-throat competitive edge. 🙂 It’s also a sneak peak at my new year’s resolution. Well, I don’t know if I would use the word resolution. As that almost sounds like a punishment. But it’s where I feel I’m headed next on my healing journey. I’ve been getting more and more interested and obsessed with greens. The more I read, the more ubiquitous green juices seem for those who have survived any sort of long term illness. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the raw comfort foods I’ve been adjusting to for the beginning phase of my journey. I instinctively know that this more than anything has helped keep me going. But progress is very slow. And I really want to kickstart the process. I’ve really been struggling lately to keep up with life as I knew it. I’m clearly needing to streamline things down to the basics. I’m on the right track. But I’m not there yet.

cuke and apples

Yesterday, I did my first experiment with green juice. Basically I added a cucumber to the POMEGRANATE APPLE PEAR DELIGHT I’ve been stuck on.

rainbow froth

It made a really pretty rainbow froth. I love the froth. It’s like lattes without all the evil.

green juice

Admittedly, the juice was kinda weird. It wasn’t bad, but maybe not the best combo out there. Still, it WAS my first try.

choc mint fixins

But lo and behold, I check my blogs this morning to find SHANNON MARIE posting about her newest creation, a WHITE CHOCOLATE MINT GREEN SMOOTHIE! Not only that, but I just happened to have the necessary ingredients on hand. I tried it with some coconut, banana, spinach, spirulina, coconut dates, cocoa butter, coconut oil, cilantro, spearmint leaves, and I ended up throwing in a titch of cocoa powder for good measure (thus the funny color).

choc mint smoothie

That really WAS a wonderful way to start my day. Decadent…yet refreshing. Very interesting.

Now wish me luck, I’m off to order supplies for my wheatgrass garden…

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Breville Juice Fountain


November 24th, 2007

breville

We got our new juicer this week. Just in time for Thanksgiving. It’s a Breville Compact Juice Fountain. Retails at Amazon for $79 new. It’s similar to the regular juice fountain. I think the main difference in the design is that the pulp collection is in the main unit – instead of shooting out the back. My boyfriend seems to think this is a great feature. He said the Juiceman that he used to have had a pulp ejector, but the pulp would inevitably shoot everywhere and make a mess. This is much cleaner. The one drawback might be that if one were juicing huge volumes at once, you would need to stop and disassemble the juicer periodically to empty the pulp. In other words, there’s a finite capacity for the pulp. But it takes less counter space, and is very quiet. We are really happy with it.

pomegranate

So for our first juice, we decided to make a pomegranate blend after reading THIS lovely post on RAW FOOD RIGHT NOW explaining how to harvest the seeds. Then, we threw in some apples and asian pears for good measure.

juicing

Do you like my FANCY RAY shirt? He sent me this shirt for Christmas a couple years ago 🙂

first juice

All that’s left to do is stir the collected juice and voila!
yum

This was arguably the most delicious glass of juice I’ve ever had (until today). The pears softened the tartness of the apples and pomegranates oh so delightfully. I highly recommend it!

harley

(Harley LOVES apples).

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I got a VITAMIX!


September 17th, 2007

vitamix

Guess what!!  I finally got one.  I didn’t even mean to.  I’d been perfectly content stumbling along with my gritty smoothies and my semi-adequate blender, but little did I know that my boyfriend was secretly plotting.  Last week, for my birthday I got the biggest surprise of all.  My boyfriend got me a vitamix!!!  I was so surprised.  I had absolutely no idea.  I didn’t even ask for one.  I had just resigned myself to getting one at some point in the very nebulous far off future.

I feel silly being so excited about an appliance.  But this thing is AMAZING.  It’s so powerful. The first time I turned it on, I jumped back.  I was not expecting all that.  WOW.  My smoothies are like silk now.  And the best part of all:

self-cleaning

It cleans itself!  You just pour some water in and a couple drops of dish soap.  Flip the switch and you get this beautiful lather.  Look at that thing go!  Then, just rinse.  No more pulling apart all the pieces and washing them individually.

No muss.  No fuss.

Isn’t my boyfriend the best?

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