A ceramic watermelon teapot from a collection of ceramic fruits and vegetables I saw at the Beverly Hills Art Festival in May. To see more of this artist’s amazing work, go to www.KentConklin.com.
In my daily life, I eat fresh, organic foods as much as possible, with an emphasis on eating them uncooked or lightly processed, especially in warm weather.
This quote from Erom World says it all:
“With a raw diet, vegetables and grains are eaten in their natural state—uncooked and unprocessed. Grown on healthy soil, these raw grains and vegetables nourish the body with life-giving embryos, enzymes, chlorophyll, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other natural nutrients. Thus, eating even a small amount of raw food can improve your health.” Source: www.eromworld.com
Chlorophyll, which is produced by photosynthesis, requires sunlight. While chlorophyll is the storehouse of a plant’s nutrients, it is easily destroyed by cooking, so eating foods in their raw state helps preserve nutrients.
Enzymes, which are proteins that act as catalysts in the body to speed up chemical reactions, are also destroyed by cooking. More importantly, as we age, the ability of our bodies to produce essential enzymes slows down. Since raw food is rich in both chlorophyll and enzymes, promoting metabolism and helping to eliminate toxins and wastes, the more raw food in our diet, the easier time your body will have to do its job of digesting and assimilating nutrients and eliminating toxins.
So enjoy the summer with easy-to-prepare fresh, organic foods that are uncooked or lightly cooked and see if you don’t feel more alive! In fact, we could call this posting Live Foods for Energy.
(Note: Words in bold italics are defined more fully in the Glossary.)
Summer Fruit Salad
This flexible recipe uses any or all of the fruits in season. Buy organic whenever possible, especially those called the “dirty dozen,” because they are heavily sprayed. The dirty dozen list:
apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries spinach, and strawberries.
Ingredients:(one or two pieces or cups of each kind of fruit in season)
berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
Wash, pit, and slice fruit into bite-sized pieces. If the fruits need moistening, add some cherry or apple juice. Serve as is, or top with slivered almonds, unsweetened coconut, or walnuts. Serve slightly chilled. (Fruit may taste sweeter closer to room temperature.)
“Accidental” Recipe: Fruit Salad Pudding:
The day after I made the fruit salad I had about two cups left over and the fruit was beginning to look less attractive, so I pureed it with about 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese and made a fruit salad pudding. I froze it, but thawing took forever, so I suggest you just place it in the ‘frig and use it as a pudding. As an alternative, you can add more juice to the leftover fruit salad and make a fruit salad smoothie. Mmmmm…
Dilly of a Cucumber Soup
1/2 large or 2 small ripe Haas avocados
1 large organic cucumber, peeled (seeded if you wish), chopped
1 T. lemon juice
1-2 tsp. fresh dill (without stems) or half as much dried
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
1/2-1 tsp. salt
1/2-1 cup water
1. Peel avocado, remove pit, and dice.
2. Peel, (remove seeds), and chop cucumber.
3. Place avocado and cucumber in food processor and add about 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, dill, optional garlic, and salt. Puree until smooth.
4. Depending on how watery your cucumber, you may need to add more water for a soup consistency. Taste and adjust flavors.
Right before serving, garnish with fresh dill.
Yield: 2 cups (Double this for serving company.)
Herbal Garden Salad
one head of organic lettuce (I used red-tipped curly lettuce)
one ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
one organic cucumber, peeled and sliced
one half cup grated yellow summer squash
one-two thin slices of red onion
(Feel free to add or substitute veggies of your choice)
2 cups fresh herbs (available in most markets; these are from my patio):
(I cut several stalks of each, removed their leaves but kept them intact. I removed the leaves and washed and gently dried them. With the chives, I merely cut the stalks at the base and cut them into smaller pieces.)
1. Wash and spin dry the lettuce, ripping leaves into bite-sized pieces.
2. Wash, peel, pit, and slice avocado into slivers. (I wash before I peel so when I cut into the avocado, none of the outside “dirt” goes into the flesh.)
3. Wash, peel and slice the cucumber. (If large, cut slices in half crosswise.)
4. Prepare herbs as notes above, keeping the leaves intact. In this salad, the herbs are major ingredients.
5. Right before serving, toss with your favorite light dressing. (I use olive oil and lemon juice.)
Note:The 2 cups of herbs impart a different-tasting salad, because the herbs come on strong. Feel free or start with one cup. Salt & pepper may or may not be necesary.
In Book, Film, and Website Reviews I review a book called Main-Dish Salads by Marsha Rose Shulman. By using the guide in Shulman’s book, you can select fresh herbs that are more sweet, more pungent, or more bitter, which will definitely change the taste of this salad above. I used more pungent/bitter herbs and I could definitely taste the slightly bitter flavor. Next time I would probably use more dill, chives, and basil and less marjoram, parsley and thyme.
This is an easy recipe if you have a sunny spot on your windowsill or porch or patio. I sweetened it with stevia, a sweetener made from an herb. (See P.I.C. in Products & Services.)
one pint purified water
6-8 tea bags of your choice (herbal tea, more bags; black tea, fewer bags)
fresh mint leaves (optional)
1. Place tea bags and optional leaves in a clear pint jar. Cover.
2. Place in a sunny spot until water becomes darker than you would normally brew tea.
3. Remove bags and leaves and pour into a pitcher large enough to hold one quart liquid. Add another pint of cold water and stevia to taste. (Taste tea first; you may not have to add as much water, depending on how strong the tea is.)
4. Chill and serve with lemon or fresh mint leaves.
Note:You can also use loose tea. Strain after placing in the sun and before adding more water.