The Raw Deal How to easily include more raw food in your diet

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Raw food blogger and author Gena Hamshaw has us swearing up and down to add more raw foods to our diet after reading her new release, Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat ($20).

Plus, we’ve got our own selfishly lazy motivations: Eating raw food means turning on the stove and the oven a whole lot less during these dog days of summer. Score!

Hamshaw is no hard-liner: She enthusiastically writes about the digestive and nutritive benefits of a fiber-rich, plant-based diet that includes many raw options without insisting that we all give up the comforts of cooked food forever and ever.

Her approach feels easy and refreshing, instead of intimidating. The book starts off with more than 100 pages of knowhow, including everything from meal plans to the basics of healthy vegan nutrition, before jumping into the recipes.

Give your stove a break and try your hand at some raw dishes

As tomatoes and zucchini reach the apex of their season for both flavor and nutrition, take a spin at making a raw ratatouille brimming with fresh herbs.

This flexible recipe drives Hamshaw’s fuss-free philosophy home: “Though the word ‘ratatouille’ may conjure up images of casserole dishes, roasting fragrantly in the oven, this raw spin on the French classic is surprisingly delicious,” she says. “I love it without any heating at all, but I offer up a dehydrator option for gentle heating, and an oven option if you’re craving a more traditional presentation.”

Makes 4 servings

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1⁄4-inch slices

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thinly into coins

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 large heirloom tomato, seeded and diced

1⁄4 cup minced fresh parsley

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips

1 garlic clove, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup pine nuts, cooked or sprouted lentils, or chickpeas

1. Combine all the ingredients except for the pine nuts in a large mixing bowl. Adjust the seasonings to taste (you can add more herbs if you like, or more lemon for a more tart taste).

2. Let all the ingredients marinate for a few hours, so that the flavors can marry. If you’re serving it cool, simply stir in the pine nuts or legumes and plate. If you’re heating it, use one of the options below, and stir in the pine nuts or legumes right before serving.

Oven option: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the vegetables in a small casserole dish and cook for 15 minutes. Give the vegetables a stir, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until they’re soft throughout.

Dehydrator option: Set your dehydrator to 140°F. Spread the vegetables onto two Teflex-lined dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for an hour before serving them warm. If you keep the dish raw, it will last overnight in the fridge.

If you cook or dehydrate it, it will last for up to 3 days.

Adapted from Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

Power Up Recharge your batteries with this cool drink

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Every day, Dan MacCombie and Tyler Gage work to improve the lives of more than 3,000 indigenous Ecuadorian farmers, and each year they plant over 150,000 trees in the Amazon. They also happen to sell a smooth-sipping energy-boosting drink made from certified organic guayusa leaves: Runa (which means “fully alive” or “fully living human being” in Kichwa). Not familiar with guayusa (gwhy-you-sa)? Neither was Tyler before he went to work with indigenous communities in South America. There, he had a life-changing experience: “I tasted guayusa tea, a traditional beverage the native communities drink in early morning tea ceremonies, and was amazed by the nice energy it gave me and appreciated the great flavor,” he says.

Channing Tatum: actor, Indigenous rights activist, Runa investor

The drink, which is brewed in the same fashion as tea, contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as coffee, but it sports super-benefits like amino acids for circulation, chlorogenic acids for high blood pressure and twice the antioxidants found in green tea. Unlike tea, it contains no bitter tannins, meaning each sip has that smooth flavor with sweet carmel notes, that Tyler loved so much on first taste. Tyler and Dan have made it easy to get your hands on that same burst of clean, Fair Trade guayusa energy: The tea is grown in the upper Amazon region of Ecuador but their products are available in some 2,400 stores all over the country. This summer, we plan on sipping on the brand’s new selection of drinks sweetened with Vermont maple syrup ($1.99 for 14 oz.) when we’re lagging. And for days when purity is our MO, we’ll look to the unsweetened guayusa ($1.99 for 14 oz.) that zips with organic lime juice concentrate. But truthfully, Runa is so good that we need no excuse to open a bottle.

Learn about the Runa Foundation

Ice Age Wake up and smell the iced chocolate

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If it’s summer, there’s a damn good chance that every other person on the street is toting around a cup of iced coffee.

This year, we’re nominating an alternative for summer’s drink mascot of choice: iced cacao.

We’ve been brewing Crio Brü’s ($15 for a 12-oz bag) roasted and ground cacao beans and pouring the concentrate over ice with cold water and almond milk all week (get the recipe here). And we’re hooked. The fact that cacao is loaded with antioxidants and hearty-healthy minerals like zinc and magnesium doesn’t hurt its chances for replacing our morning coffee either.

This is no childish chocolate drink. Brewed pure cacao is deeply, darkly chocolately, but in a deliciously bitter (and low-calorie) way. Summer’s sticky heat has got us tense enough without adding a jittery dose of caffeine. Thankfully, brewed cacao contains theobromine, which packs an energy punch without the jitteriness.

What you’ll need to make brewed chocolate

When we asked Dr. Eric Durtschi, the president and founder of Crio Brü, how he came up with the idea to start the company, he was quick to fess up, “I have always been a chocoholic.” Plus, chocolate was in his blood: Durtschi’s dad used to work for Russell Stover.

The company offers multiple varietals of Fair Trade cacao beans from around the globe with both organic and seasonal options.

Cacao also has another leg up on ground coffee beans: The already-brewed cacao grounds can be sprinkled on top of yogurt or into baked goods.

How to Brü the perfect Crio

 

 


We’ve already given away cookbooks and event tickets but we’ve got more goodies waiting to find their way to you— like a Crio Brü gift pack: a bodum french press, Maracaibo, Maya and Mojito crio Brü, and chocolate covered coca beans! FOLLOW US TO STAY IN THE KNOW WITH NEWS, RECIPES, UPDATES AND giveaways, and SHARE WITH US USING #CLEANPLATESCLUB

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Parks and Recreation Our guide to picnicking with style (and sustainability)

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Picnicking might mean eating away from the comforts of home, but that’s no reason to leave your stylish and sustainable principles behind. Below, our guide for all your summer al fresco-eating needs:

1. MyDrap: These cotton or linen napkins come on a perforated roll (think paper towels but much, much cooler) and can be laundered up to six times ($27 for 50). Pick from a multitude of styles and colors, and be happy knowing that this easy solution to sticky fingers is biodegradable.

2. The folks from Brooklyn-based SustyParty (motto: Respect the Earth and Party On) create eco-friendly, compostable, sustainable and disposable tableware, including jazzy paper cocktail straws ($6 for 50). Everything in their rainbow of fun options is made in America in factories that employ and empower the visually impaired.picnic_nat_7.1_middle

3. Say “cheers” with a box of crisp, certified-organicYellow+Blue rosé, which comes in environmentally friendly packing so you can have the best of both worlds ($10 for 1 liter). Not only will a box of wine save you some crucial poundage in your tote, with their smaller carbon footprint, these boxes are better for the environment than glass bottles.


4. If you’re pressed for time, elevate your outdoor dining experience with a curated selection of essentials from Hamptons Lane. These pros will outfit you with everything from an olive wood and carbon steel knife to small-batch fig and onion jam and a BPA-free wine tote ($45 with a free monthly membership; $59 for a single box).

5. Make iced tea on your way to the picnic with aTherm-o Terra Water Bottle ($30). The double- walled glass bottle sports a removable stainless steel tea strainer as well as a solid bamboo top.

 
Find a picnic spot
 

Cook it Now: Watermelon Yes! We've got your watermelon recipe right here.

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Nina Planck knows from real food.

She is the daughter of two Virginia farmers, a founder of farmer’s markets from London to New York, the author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why and Real Food for Mother and Baby, and married to the proprietor of New York’s famed Murray’s Cheese.

Having picked many a watermelon in her day, we knew Nina would be just the person to consult for a summer recipe to suit all the gorgeous watermelon just starting to flood the markets.

We’ve long known about watermelon’s superpower-like hydrating properties, but new studies on the ability of watermelon to reduce the risk of heart disease and to relieve muscle soreness (take that, Ibuprofen), have us wanting to incorporate the fruit into our diets in more ways than just eating it out of hand.

Planck’s recipe for a Fermented Watermelon Basil Cooler from her brand-new cookbook, The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks came through in a big way.Watermelon.Nat.6.24.middle.vertical

This recipe is a perfect vehicle for enjoying watermelon’s amino acids (L-citrulline and L-arginine), antioxidant powerhouses (Vitamins C and A) and its anti-inflammatory phytonutrient (Cucurbitacin E) in one juicy, unexpected drink.

For the recipe Planck blends watermelon with basil, lemon juice and a tiny bit of whole cane sugar (palm sugar is an acceptable swap) and unrefined sea salt. The final magic touch is fresh whey and a fermentation period of three days (i.e. leave it out on your counter and don’t touch it), which carbonates the drink. Drink the cooler as is, or make it boozy with the addition of vodka for a Watermelon Basil Fermentini.

We’re raising a glass to your health!

 Fermented Watermelon Basil Cooler

Makes 2 quarts

8 to 10 pounds watermelon, cut into cubes

1/2 cup basil leaves

1 cup of juice from Meyer or regular lemons

1/4 cup organic whole cane sugar or palm sugar

1/4 cup fresh whey (CP Note: Purchase a quart of organic whole-milk yogurt and strain through cheesecloth overnight in the fridge. Use resulting whey in recipe.)

1 tablespoons unrefined sea salt

3 cups water

1. In a blender or food processor, blend the watermelon chunks until smooth (working in batches if necessary). You should have 3 cups of pulpy juice.

2. Gently bruise 1⁄2 cup of basil leaves with a mortar and pestle to release their oils. Squeeze 1 cup of Meyer lemon juice.

3. Place the watermelon juice, lemon juice, basil leaves, sugar, whey and salt in a sterilized 2-quart glass jar. Cover with the water, stir and close the lid tightly.

4. Let sit at room temperature for 3 days. Unscrew the lid daily to allow a little carbonation to escape, then replace the lid .

5. After 3 days, chill and serve. The watermelon cooler can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

 Watermelon Basil Fermentini

Pour 1 ounce of vodka over ice, add 6 ounces of Watermelon Basil Cooler, and shake vigorously. Garnish with watermelon and basil.

Fat Is Back A NEW BOOK SAYS “NO” TO EVERYTHING LOW-FAT

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Once Nina Teicholz chose fat, she never went back. The author of the new hard-hitting bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, says “I was a faithful follower of the low-fat, near-vegetarian diet, but when I started writing a restaurant review column, I found myself eating things that had hardly ever before passed my lips: rich meals of pâté, beef, cream sauces and foie gras. To my surprise, I lost the 10 pounds that I hadn’t been able to shake for years and, to boot, my cholesterol levels improved.”

In order to see if she alone was just a dietary miracle—or if there might be something more to a diet high in saturated fats—Teicholz embarked on a decade-long research quest that revealed the many flaws in our national nutrition policy and how so many of us became swept up in the low-fat craze.

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 THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

Teicholz, who studied biology at Yale and Stanford and earned a master’s degree from Oxford University, ended up with a resulting book that is a solid, well-reported piece of science, but that also goes down as easy as a pat of butter on toast. If you’ve ever been confused (and who hasn’t) on choosing the right fats, Teicholz will give you more than enough ammo to sort it out.

The book isn’t a rallying cry to start eating a bathtub’s worth of brie every night, but is instead a welcome reminder on why we should continue to make healthy fats—such as avocadoes, nuts, coconut oil and grass-fed dairy—part of our regular rotation.

Cheers to easy choices.
Buy the book

Read more about ending the war on fat

Home Shopping Network Change your grocery game forever with these new services

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We’re big fans of sitting down for a great meal. But all that darting around town to forage for every last component: Not so much.

That’s why we’re ecstatic about the proliferation of so many online grocery-shopping services. Not only will these guys brings the groceries straight to your door, they will pack the bags and boxes with food that is grown and produced by folks in your own ‘hood. It’s like a farmer’s market just happened to set up shop in your living room.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut: For those days when you can’t even decide what to buy, Fresh From the Farm 365 will put together a convenient Market’s Best Bag of seasonal produce and pantry staples full of essentials like organic milk, fresh-baked bread, free-range eggs and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Ordering groceries is so easy even a cartoon can do it!

Brooklyn, San Francisco Bay Area, New Orleans and Los Angeles: Good Eggs specializes in local groceries (with free delivery!) from the best local farmers and foodmakers—meaning you can fill your shelves with everything from organic fruit and nut muesli to fiddlehead ferns, without ever leaving the house.

Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles: If you buy from SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery) you’re guaranteed that every product is either certified organic, natural or locally and sustainably made. The company is also a certified B Corporation.

San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Philadelphia and Los Angeles: We call on Instacart and it’s army of personal shoppers when we need food—and need it fast. For most stores (including Whole Foods), delivery in less than 2 hours is just $4.

Know what’s in season in your area 

Three new reasons to play in the dirt Must haves for your Spring garden

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So stunned were we by those first warm spring breezes this year, that we’ve been slow to plant our customary kitchen gardens.

If you are feeling at all like us when it comes to playing in the dirt, take this as a neighborly nudge to get going. Below, our recommendations on under-appreciated, nutritional powerhouse plants that deserve a spot in your garden this year:

1. Alpine Strawberries

No mammoth grocery store strawberries that taste like Styrofoam packaging peanuts for us this year. Instead, we are planting the alpine strawberry, a petite but intensely flavorful cousin of the modern strawberry hybrid. As a bonus, these little guys aren’t overly fussy about what kind of soil they are grown in, and they are high in vitamin C.

2. Lemon Verbena Green Scene

Make like Chez Pannise and keep these skinny green leaves on hand, along with fresh mint, for the makings of an easy after-dinner pot of herbal tea that will help with digestion. Lemon verbena is also said to help with high blood pressure and anxiety, but for what it’s worth, that could just be the calming effects of a good cuppa.

3. Wild Arugula

With serrated leaves and a peppery wallop, arugula is one little salad green with a big personality. It’s also perfect for the impatient among us: you can be harvesting leaves packed with iron and vitamins A, K and C within 21 days of planting. Also, impress neighbors by calling arugula by its cooler-sounding British name: rocket.

Buy your seeds here and get planting!

Sugar High Fed Up takes a hard look at our collective sugar addiction

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In a galaxy far, far away … a nation of people is in crisis … its citizens are all addicted to a potentially toxic substance, and an epidemic is sweeping the nation.

Oh wait. Scratch that. We’re talking about the United States.

And that scary substance? It’s not a hard drug; rather it’s sugar, a major contributor to our country’s ginormous obesity problem.

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These revelations are nothing new for those concerned with health, but that shouldn’t preclude a single American from going to go see the new movie Fed Up . Now open nationwide, it will continue to roll out in both English-and Spanish-language versions in theaters around the country through June.Laurie David, the producer of An Inconvenient Truth is back again, and this time she has brought on Katie Couric for sheer star wattage and narration.

The movie intermingles the intimate personal stories of obese teenagers and interviews with experts on why Big Food (often aided and abetted by the U.S. Government) is making us sick.

Don’t get scared off: The movie is an enlightening and entertaining watch that could move you to action. We came away learning that sugar doesn’t go by a handful of names, but by a full 56, which has us playing “spot the hidden sugar” in our own kitchens.

Find showtimes in a theater near you here .

The Long Con How to shake up the condiment drawer

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Classic ketchup, mayo and mustard: You are our Big Three. Our refrigerator door stand-bys. A shining trio of childhood nostalgia.

You are also a predictable snooze-fest.

We love you, truly, but this spring and summer we are shoving aside precious fridge space for three new sauces that bring zip to every meal.  Call them the new classics.

SCondiments - Nat 5-14(4)rirachup: Yes, it means Sriracha + Ketchup, and yes, we are of course smitten. Thankfully, this kicky gluten-free ketchup
is also as good-for-you as it is tasty. Each jar is made using almost two pounds of organic, non-GMO California tomatoes, along with organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt and organic garlic. You’ll find absolutely no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial preservatives here.

 

Empire Mayo: When one chef (Sam Mason) and one designer (Elizabeth Valleau) get together and think of Condiments - Nat 5-14nothing but mayonnaise, the delightfully savory result is Empire Mayonnaise. Their line, which includes a decadent white truffle version and a smoky and sunset-colored smoked paprika variety, use only non-GMO oils and local, pasture-raised eggs. The duo is always rotating seasonal flavors, so check back frequently.

 

Gochujang: Lauryn Chun of Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi recently introduced gochujang to her line. Made from Condiments - Nat 5-14(3)fermented soybeans, this thick, spicy condiment with a serious umami wallop takes happily to scrambled eggs, burgers and grilled vegetables alike. Its deliciousness is due to the mix of chile flakes, soybeans, rice flour and gut-happy probiotics. Chun’s tangy gochujang is made sans sugar, high fructose corn syrup or MSG.