Saw Palmetto Fruits
Most middle aged dudes who are aware of their prostate have heard of saw palmetto extracts and supplements. The average person is oblivious to the fact that they grow like crazy all over Florida. The range of the saw palmetto stretches from South Florida up the coast in South Carolina. One of Florida’s major yet little known exports is saw palmetto fruit:
With about 2,000 tons harvested from South Florida and exported to Europe each year, the humble berries have become what some estimate is a $50 million a year crop in the state.
No one knows the precise value because the industry has operated quietly, with immigrant workers earning cash for berries taken from parks, riverbeds and ranch lands with no questions asked and no taxes paid. AP Press
The Seminole Indians were onto something when they noticed that during the fall months while consuming these olive sized fruits that their need for nocturnal trips to the piss bush was reduced while their mojo was increased.
Noni's long lost sibling
To my pleasant surprise I was greeted by several drooping bunches of ripe and semi ripe saw palmetto fruits the other day in my parent’s side yard. Being an amateur wild forager I was aware that these guys were edible but not very palatable. Maybe they’re an acquired taste I thought as I found a black juicy ripe one to sample. There was a oily sap coating the ripe ones so I rinsed it just in case it was rabid armadillo spray or something that may spoil this foraging experience. I’d like to mention how ironic it is that these berries are supposed to support prostate health and the prostate being next door neighbors with the asshole. It seems fitting that these olive looking berries should taste like a bag of assholes. You may be saying this is a pretty harsh description, well the only thing I can compare saw palmetto to is noni, ripe, mushy, blue cheese funk noni. I’m talking the fresh stuff off the tree, not some sissy fruit juice concentrate that had a noni fruit placed next to the bottle while the label was applied. I acknowledge the magical healing properties inherent to the noni fruit. Though the taste is a potent deterrent it can’t be denied that noni is powerful medicine especially since your face goes numb after eating it. I’m still experimenting with saw palmetto berries to see if I can adopt a taste for them. Imagine if blue cheese and vomit had a love child. Actually it’s not that bad… well, maybe. There is a brief instant where it almost tastes good. I haven’t given up on these dingle berries though. At this moment I’m pickling a jar of them. Hopefully the salt and vinegar may deactivate some of the vomitis properties inherent to the fresh berries. Time will tell.
They look like olives, don't taste like them
Marinara and Cheeze Pepper Platter
Lots of fun stuff to think about for October. I’ve been working on a recipe book and working with a friend to produce a DVD to accompany it. Every time I visit a book store or go online I see more live food recipe books but I also see scores of … well, “dead food” books. I look at the people on the covers and it’s hard not to notice even with the make up and airbrushing that they aren’t radiating health. Am I judging a book by it’s cover? These books are big budget full color Food Network endorsed circus acts. Wow, how can a person compete with that? My feeling is that I’m not really competing with “that”, I shouldn’t even be concerned with “that”. It’s nice to know that “that” exists but I shouldn’t spend my energy on it. Besides, I’ve got my hands full working the recipe book, there’s also media nights going here in Atlantic Beach at Shakti and there’s a juice feast scheduled to happen. Still with all this going on there’s still time to play in the kitchen and test out recipes… like this one:
Almond Cashew Cheeze
1 C almonds
1 C cashews
1/2 C water or rejuvalac
1 t salt
*** If you don’t use rejuvalac add 1 t of apple cider vinegar and 1 T miso
Process all ingredients smooth in blender or food processor
2 C sundried tomato
1 whole tomato
3 T lemon juice
3 T C Italian herb
1 T olive oil
salt to taste
Process all ingredients smooth in blender or food processor
Add sun dried tomato soak water to blender if sauce it too thick.
Keep it Live!
Viva Italia Eggplant Parm
This week I had a blast visiting Tallahassee, FL to teach a live food class and host a dinner. The theme of the evening was Viva Italia which allowed me to connect with my Italian roots in a vegan raw food way. The menu was eggplant Parmesan, bell peppers stuffed with pecan basil pesto, zucchini and squash noodles with a hemp alfredo sauce, a fresh garden salad with sorrel, kale, baby lettuce and a fig tarragon vinaigrette… dessert was a avocado chocolate mousse that was off the charts. Thank you to everyone who helped and all those who attended. I can’t wait to do it again. Enjoy this clip from the festive event.
*ALA, the omega 3 fatty acid found in chia shows a very good conversion rate to EPA (a major omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oil). One study showed as much as 60% increase in serum EPA concentrations after 12 weeks of ALA intake. ALA conversion to DHA (another omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oil), is minimal.
*It appears that EPA alone, with DHA can protect against heart attacks. In a major Japanese study subjects given EPA had 19% fewer cardiac events over five years, compared to those given a placebo.
*Another study showed that EPA protects skin against sunburn and protects against skin damage from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
*More research is needed to reveal all the health effects of ALA, but it appears that chia and other sources of ALA may yield many of the same health benefits as fish oil.
Jack Bukowski, MD, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, NSRI
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
This weeks installment is a festive fermented beverage I lovingly refer to as Goji Beer-y. This is the second time I’ve made this drink since returning to Florida. The fermentation is done with vegan kefir grains called Kefir d’ Acqua. I came accross this treat while working out at the Tree of Life in Patagonia, Arizona. Props to Joshua who scored us the first batch of water kefir goodness. Goji Beer-y was almost a reality while out in Arizona but unfortunately Joshua placed his experimental goji berry batch in the oven to ferment assuming that would be a safe enough place in a house full of raw foodists. Unfortunately he didn’t take into account that using the stove top to heat water would raise the temp in oven thus increasing the pressure inside the goji berry brew. Long story short… there was an explosion, goji ferment juice all over the floor and inside the oven. The upside of this story is the RAWthrock house got their oven cleaned to a level beyond all expectations. Once again, thanks to Joshua.
This friendly ferment is great because the process is relatively simple and can be completed with in 72 hours. I made the batch in the video using filtered water, kefir crystals, 1/2 C of raisins and a 3 oz of home made grape preserves. I figured I wasn’t going to use the jelly, I might as well feed it to the kefir. Goji Beer-y is bubbly, slightly bitter with a little goji sweetness. These days it’s my non-alcoholic beer of choice. Details and direction for creating your own kefir ferments can be found at the link above.
That's a tight roll
Sequels are rarely better than the original but this may be an exception to the rule… well at least this video is shorter. I actually get my roll on. I ended up making a ridiculous amount of filling for these nori sticks. I rolled for about an hour and had only gone through a third of the mix. I recorded this towards the end once I had figured out this advanced rolling technique. If you’re going to roll nori sticks, invite some friends over and make a party of it. No sense in rolling alone. I’ll post my recipe for goji beer and then you got no excuses not to Rawk and Roll.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen, I’ve done and gone it again… ? Yes, I’ve been huffing rejuvalac. Not really. I made some tasty ginger almond nori roll ups last week and now the video is edited and ready for viewing.
The recipe I made on the video was a double batch which is a cruel thing to do to yourself if you’re on your own when it comes time to roll. My prayers weren’t answered and a bunch of escaped Cuban cigar rollers did not show up to help out. And none of the high school kids in the neighborhood were willing to roll up what I had to offer… Below is a half version of the recipe on made on camera.
Happy rolling and Keep It Live!
Nori Almond Sticks
1 C almond (soaked)
1/2 C sunflower seed (soaked)
1/4 pumpkin seeds
1/4 C sts water
1 T ACV
1 t turmeric
¼ t ground black pepper
2 T ground chia seed
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 pinch cayenne
10 Nori sheets – cut in half across the grain
2 T lemon juice (to moisten nori)
Process the above ingredients into a thick paste. Spread a bead of paste on the cut nori sheets and roll. Moisten the edge of the nori and seal it. Dehydrate at 125 for 3 hours then lower to 115 and continue dehydrating until completely dry. 10-12 hours. Nori sticks can be cut in half after dehydrating.