Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cookies, cream and Hot Choco-Maca Zing

Usually this time of year, I'm busy unbaking to my heart's content, but this time, I've opted to just chill a bit, kind of like the weather around here.

You see, my family and I recently returned from a fun-filled vacation in Disney World (you'd be happy to know that you can find some fresh fruit stands throughout the parks, as well as being able to bring in your own snacks). We enjoyed the warm Florida weather from the end of November into December, coming home to freezing temperatures and the holiday rush.

Instead of draining myself even more (it's funny how a vacation can actually tire you out), I took a cue from Natural Zing, whipping up a nice warm mug of Hot Choco-Maca Zing (a recipe found on their website) and treating myself to a massage with some Simply Divine Botanicals How Now Brown Cacao Skin Softening Body Dessert (try saying that one 10 times fast. Unfortunately, it is out of stock at the moment, so I'll also recommend the lemony Butter Me UP! version). I must say, I highly recommend this combination.

To start, you'll need to check out this "crisp" form of maca. Don't be fooled by the small packaging, as it really packs a punch (I can feel my energy improving already). These maca crispy bites are great for sprinkling on raw cereal or oatmeal (I crave these things in the cooler months), or perhaps on top of a raw holiday cookie. It's also the star ingredient in this beverage. If you missed the recipe in the maca crispy bites description, here it is again:


Hot Choco-Maca Zing
cocoa powder
maca crispy bites
yacon syrup or other sweetener (I substituted carob and lucuma powders)
pinch of sea salt
dash of red limo pepper powder
warm water
  • In the bottom of a mug, combine all the dry ingredients to taste. If using a liquid sweetener, add it now and stir it into the dry ingredients.
  • Next, add a little bit of warm water and whisk to combine. Continue whisking as you add the rest of the water, filling the mug.
  • Sip slowly and enjoy every last drop. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the tiny bites of maca inside.

Now that you've warmed your insides, grab yourself a container of this yummy body dessert (or give it as a gift). Open the lid and inhale the intoxicating chocolaty aroma. This luxurious skin cream smells good enough to eat, but even better on your bod. It's soft and silky, and makes your dry, parched skin glisten. I can still catch a whiff of it as I type this. Heavenly!

*How Now Brown Cacao is currently out of stock, but the lemony Butter Me UP! version is good, too :-)

This skin cream makes me want to make some time for a little unbaking, especially if it's my favorite cookie from last year: my Unbaked Walnut Cookies. Here's the recipe:


Unbaked Walnut Cookies
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup oats
1-2 Tbsp. agave nectar
sea salt
cinnamon
ginger
vanilla
*chocolate sauce and extra walnut pieces to hide inside
  • In high speed blender or food processor, grind nuts and oats into a flour and transfer to a bowl. Add sea salt, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Drizzle a little of the agave at a time, mixing it into the flour to create a dough. The amount may vary, but the end result should be wet enough to hold together and dry enough to form into cookies.
  • Divide the dough into six sections and roll into balls. Shape the dough balls into walnut shells with a flattened base. Cut each "walnut" in half like a sandwich, and use your knife to make the decorative lines on top.
  • These cookies can be "baked" in the dehydrator or firmed up in the fridge. Fill the centers with chocolate sauce (mix a little agave at a time into some cocoa powder until it becomes a thick icing-like paste) and pretty looking walnut pieces (try to find the whole ones, if you can). Then, share them with a friend.
I tend to make cookies in small batches, so it is easier to tackle a variety of flavors. Then, I set some aside in the freezer to ensure I have the perfect plate for a special Christmas visitor. Our Santa likes a little of everything, as seen here.


What treats will you be making in your raw kitchen?

Happy holidays!

*****

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name, http://rawdorable.blogspot.com/.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Free $10 gift certificate


Free $10 gift certificate
with your purchase of $50 or more

Promotion duration December 11th - December 22nd 2010.

Natural Zing is offering a FREE $10 gift certificate when you spend $50 or more at Natural Zing. Gift cetificate can be use towards your next order.

Promo Code:
$10giftcard1210 (only one promo code per order)

www.NaturalZing.com  or call 1-866-729-9464

If ordering online place promo code in comments area at check out. One promo code per order. The gift certificate will not automatically appear in your cart or on your sales receipt, but will be added to your order when processed.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I Live My Sweetheart Raisin Nut Pie - From the Archives

I Love My Sweetheart Raisin Nut Pie (use fresh raw organic ingredients if possible)
Crust:
1 1/2 c. Almonds (germinate and dehydrate if desired)
1 1/2 c. Dates
optional: 1 t. water, if crust mixture too dry

1. In food processor, chop almonds and dates together until finely chopped
2. Press mixture into a pie plate (bonus: try rolling out mixture between sheets of wax paper, peel off top and flip into pie plate)
3. cover and let stand until ready to fill.

Filling:
2 c. raisins, mixed varieties, Thompson, Red Flame, Golden
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. pecans, chopped
1/4 c. raw almond butter
1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. lemon juice

1. Mix filling ingredients together and let sit overnight in refrigerator.
2. Spoon into pie crust, chill 1 hour or serve at room temperature.
3. Garnish with shredded coconut and/or fresh sliced fruit and serve.



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nominate Natural Zing for Best of Raw 2010

 
Nominate Natural Zing for Best of Raw Online Raw Food Store! 

Natural Zing's overview:
  • The best source for high quality raw vegan food
  • Over 1,500 raw vegan food products and accessories
  • Competitive prices
  • Knowledgeable staff (three decades of experience in the raw food life style)
  • Fast delivery (next day delivery for most of east coast)
  • Natural Zing is a Green Business, including a solar powered warehouse and wind powered offices.
  • Supporting small organic farmers in the US and indigenous communities in the rainforest, Tibet, etc.
  • Natural Zing donates 1% of sales goes to sustainable agriculture projects.
  • Trusted source of raw vegan food since 2003.
  • Raw foodist own and operated.  Natural Zing has the same owner and President who founded Natural Zing in 2003.
Click here to nominate Natural Zing!

You can also say why you think we're the best in a YouTube video!
Thank you!

Shop at Natural Zing!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rustic Raw Butterbella Lasagna


Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I'm celebrating early with this yummy raw dish. It's easy to make and less stressful than cooking a huge feast. It's my Rustic Raw Butterbella Lasagna.

Leave it to me to give it a confusing name. "Butter" refers to butternut squash "noodles," while "bella" lets you know there's portabella mushrooms in there, too.

I'd share the exact recipe with you, if I took the time to measure everything out perfectly. But that's the beauty of this dish; you can make as much or as little as you like, and you don't have to stress about following a recipe to a tee.

Here's a play-by-play of how I put mine together. First, I soaked some raw cashews from Natural Zing overnight. Then, I drained them and blended them until smooth with some filtered water (maybe about half as much water as cashews), a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dash of sea salt.

To add some more flavor and texture to the "cream" sauce, I stirred in crumbled up "cheesey" kale chips, and set the mixture aside to thicken.

The mushrooms were marinated in a simple combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, poultry seasoning, sea salt, cayenne pepper and fresh herbs, which included rosemary, sage and thyme.

While the mushrooms soaked up the marinade, I cut extremely thin "lasagna noodles" out of butternut squash using this awesome mandolin (you may remember me mentioning it in this past post). I can't imagine being able to get the slices this thin and pliable with just a knife.

The "noodles" were lightly salted before being introduced to the rest of the ingredients. Now, let the layering begin.

I always start with a smear of sauce to help glue everything to the bottom of the pan. It was just something my mom taught me with the cooked version. Then, put down the first layer of butternut "noodles."

Top the noodles with more "cream" sauce and some thick marinated portabella slices. Feel free to fill in the gaps with more sauce.

Then, cover the mushrooms/sauce with another layer of "noodles," and repeat with more mushrooms, sauce and a top layer of "noodles."

Brush the top with the leftover mushroom marinade and garnish with fresh herbs.

Allow to set in fridge until ready to serve, if you like that leftover cold lasagna feel (I always liked the leftovers the best, straight from the refrigerator), or warm slightly in your dehydrator. Yum!

But what about the turkey?

Here's my solution: building one out of fruits and veggies makes a lovely centerpiece, like this "Turkfruity." The best part is the fact that it's edible and good for you, too.


Happy Thanksgiving!

*****

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name, http://rawdorable.blogspot.com/.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Win a $50 Shopping Spree at Natural Zing

Write a review of one of our products and win a Natural Zing gift certificate!

Your experience and knowledge of our products could help someone to make a great buying decision. Please share your insight with us and friends of Natural Zing!
To help us get started, we would appreciate if our customers could provide us with a product review on our website or on their website/blog. The reviews will be placed in a prize drawing for a chance to win a $50 Natural Zing Gift Certificate.

Contest ends November 28th.

You can begin by logging onto your account on our website (www.NaturalZing.com), going to the product page, scrolling down and clicking the review button on the bottom of the page.

Any reviews that appear on your website/blog, please email Natural Zing a link to post by e-mailing: Helen@NaturalZing.com.
Thank you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November Specials at Natural Zing

Specials are on until Nov 30, 2010.

Camu Camu 100g - $15.00
Camu Camu whole fruit powder is harvested from the edge of the Brazilian and Peruvian rainforests. Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a native bush to the South American rainforest. It is high in vitamin C.  More detail.

Chia Seeds (Raw, Organic) 24 oz - $12.00


Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt (Coarse) 1 lb - $5.00 (Over 50% off reg. price)
This is a very course grind of the large crystals of Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt. The salt crystals come in various shades from colorless and transparent but usually from pink to dark rose. It is a holistic, natural form of salt crystals, pure living salt. The salt was subject to tremendous pressure when the Himalayan Mountains formed. The crystals have ocean ora locked within and can be readily and easily absorbed and metabolized by your body. More details.

Jungle Peanuts 8 oz - $4.99
Jungle Peanuts 4 lb - $24.00 (Over 50% off reg. price)
Jungle Peanuts (Raw, Organic) 4 lb. Also called tropical almonds, these peanuts are a non-hybridized, toxin free peanut from the rainforest. They are an original heirloom variety provided by the Shuar indigenous people. Sale of this product benefits their tribe of 4300 people.

Lemon Grass, Fine Milled (Raw, Organic) 4 oz - $3.00 (50% off reg. price)
Lemon Grass is an essential ingredient in many Asian and Thai style dishes. It has an intriguing, lemony flavor, but without the bite that lemons have. It taste is refreshing and light, with a hint of ginger.  Use as a spice in Asian, Indian and Thai style dishes.

Pau d’Arco, Tea Cut, 100g (Raw, Wildcrafted) - $10.90
Cold and flu season is upon us.  Do not be out of this essential tea. Pau d'Arco is the only tree in the rainforest that doesn't have fungus growing on it. It is an incredible herb with many beneficial qualities.  More details.


Purple Corn Kernels 16 oz - $5.99
Organic Heirloom Purple corn kernels, a purple food! Make your own Blue Corn chips, just grind these in a coffee bean grinder and mix with some spices and ground flax. Add sesame seeds for a great added flavor treat. Goes great with Cacao Salsa. More details including Purple Corn Chip Recipe.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tastes like fall spirit


It's that time of year again; time to revisit another scrumptious recipe from the Natural Zing archives. You may recall the kabob post I tried/photographed at the end of the summer, which was the first in the series.

Today, we'll be taking a bite out of fall with these satisfying "On-The-Go Crispy Treats." I had hoped to incorporate this recipe into my Halloween post, but unfortunately, time got the best of me. If you have the ingredients already on hand, you're in luck, as these treats are perfect for little ghosts and goblins. Otherwise, this one still works well throughout the fall season and the rest of the year.

On-The-Go Crispy Treats are simple to make, not to mention being a real crowd-pleaser. I, myself, remember snacking on these treats at a Natural Zing potluck a while back, so you can imagine how excited I was to find out they would be the next recipe featured in the "From the Archives" series. Yahoo!

The base is Lydia's Organic Cinnamon Cereal, which cuts out all the soaking, sprouting and dehydrating time (it contains sprouted buckwheat, sunflower seeds, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and almonds). It's mixed with both carob and mesquite powders, which together taste similar to chocolate, but without all the caffeine. The combination compliments the cinnamon in the cereal, giving it that warming fall flavor.

The treats are bound and sweetened with coconut oil and agave nectar, although you could always make them with nut/seed butter and another liquid sweetener. You can also play around with the cereal base (Lydia's Organics makes a variety of other cereal flavors, as well as bars, crackers and breads) and dry ingredients (try combos of cocoa, lucuma, spirulina, acai, camu camu and other powders). Don't be afraid to experiment and post your results.


On-The-Go Crispy Treats
2 cups Lydia's Organics Sprouted Cinnamon Cereal
1/2 cup carob powder
1/4 cup mesquite powder
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. agave nectar

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (cereal, carob and mesquite). Stir with a whisk to break up any lumps (this step is not in the original recipe, but I felt it was necessary, as the powders tend to clump; you could also opt to sift them before adding to the bowl).

Stir together the coconut oil and agave in a smaller dish. Add to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine (I used my clean dry hands for this step, which absorbed some of the oil, an excellent moisturizer for this time of year. As a result, I added more coconut oil to achieve the correct consistency).

Using wax paper, form the mixture into a 1/2-inch thick square (I molded mine in a parchment-lined baking dish). Then, place in freezer for 1 hour.

Remove from freezer, cut into squares and serve.


*****

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name, http://rawdorable.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Follow Your Instincts! - From the Archives



*** This is another article from our newsletter archives that I thought was worth putting on our blog.  This articles is from March 2005.   It is still relevant today.  Please not I am not pregnant now :) ***
Some people give us unsolicited advice on what they believe is best for us. You know the usual advice on what we’re eating, what career paths we should take, and what kind of medical care we should get.   Some of this comes from genuine concern ...and sometimes a reaction to their own discomforts and fears.  Knowing our customer base as I do, I know that we often choose "other than" what the mainstream would see as a typical choice or the choices that would make them most comfortable.   I’ve run into a lot of this recently, as I am expecting a baby any day now, and my choices of health care provider, diet, where I’m choosing to birth my child and even naming my child have all been questioned.    Not surprisingly, due to my focus on health, I’ve been having an extremely healthy pregnancy.

When it comes to your choices, they are your choices and yours alone.  This is your life, your body and you must do what it best for you - in my case, what is best for my baby or me.  Through following your instincts, in experimenting with diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes you are the only one who knows you best.  It is important to keep that in mind.  Many of you do extensive research and have tested different foods and lifestyle choices.  You’ve learned a lot and you need to trust your instincts and your knowledge.   Each person is different and each person must find happiness in life.  So go find your happiness! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

D.C. Green Festival is this weekend

I know this is short notice, but for those of you in the Washington D.C. area, it may not be too late to encourage you to attend the D.C. Green Festival this Saturday and Sunday, October 23 & 24 at the Washington Convention Center. While you are there, make sure to visit the Natural Zing booth (booth 855 & 856), where you can purchase items from the Natural Zing website.

The Green Festival is where I was first introduced to Jeff (pictured at right) and Helen, the owners of Natural Zing. Although I already had a pleasant experience ordering products from them online, meeting them in person kept me coming back to their site, even as other competitors joined the raw foods online marketplace.

You may recall me mentioning this in a prior post. The couple and their staff are very down-to-Earth and personable people, who are also very Earth-friendly. Just check out this post about the company's top 15 green business practices, its use of wind power, as well as its solar-powered warehouse, and the source of its cacao.

There's so much to do and see at the Green Festival that you are bound to get hungry. Luckily, you'll be able to sample products from various exhibitors, as well as having the opportunity to purchase snacks to take home. There is also a yummy food court set up, where I have found memories of loading up on kale salad and a mock tuna made from carrot pulp.

One year, I enjoyed this tasty kelp noodle dish (from a local restaurant at the event), which made me anxious to try replicating it at home. Conveniently, I picked up some kelp noodles from Natural Zing. The directions for rinsing and cutting the noodles were explained on the back of the package, which also provided some easy recipe ideas.

Who knows what else you'll find at the Green Festival this year, but with Natural Zing there, you, too, could take home the ingredients for recreating your favorite festival food memory.

*****

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name, http://rawdorable.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prepare for the future, be the leader of yourself, dancing towards Utopia

This is another article from our newsletter archives.  I hope you enjoy this and other contributions "From the Archives".

Leaders usually lead others and usually are actually leading themselves too or have led themselves. Be your own leader. Be the leader of yourself. In any situation does it matter if others follow? Yes, it is easier if you hang with a group of like minded people but that is not always going to happen in a given situation. How many of us get to hug at least one raw foodist everyday? How many of us get to see two or more raw foodists on an average day? That number is rapidly growing.

We prepare for the future by leading ourselves. Lead yourself to learn how to be prepared. The best way to be prepared is to take immediate action in a given situation no matter what others are doing. No matter what happens to you, take immediate action to address your desire. Getting healthy now, today and getting even healthier each and everyday forward. Eating living food is a way to do that. Being healthy gives you an advantage in every aspect of your future. It allows you to reach your maximum level of functioning to create your future.

Leading your way to sustainable living means you do not need to rely on corporations or governments or others to provide you services or goods to survive. Learning and evolving your current environment toward sustainability would be a great area to spend some time and effort. Things we could learn include: learning to forage for food(what wild plants and weeds can be eaten), learning to grow food and/or fermenting food, learning about alternative power like solar, wind, bio-diesel or ethanol,learning to ride a bike or hike or hike carrying a bike, getting stronger emotionally, mentally, spiritually, vocationally and physically, learning to love more, learning to buy less stuff and use less stuff, and even meditating.

What if you were involved in an event that is "other than" the best ever for yourself or family? A giant wave 200 ft high crashes on the shore, a meteor hits the Earth, a hurricane strikes nearby, these are not necessarily negative events they can be challenges. Now suppose you are in an area where there is a need for a military quarantine because of a pandemic outbreak of a deadly virus. And suppose you don't want to stay in the quarantined area. You would need to take immediate action to get out. Going by vehicle would not be an option most likely unless you were very fast and there were many backroads available. A more likely reality would be that you may need to hike through a wooded area away from roads. Weighing your available options and making a fast decision would help you acheive your desired goal.

What if climate changes rapidly occur in the area where you live, rendering it unliveable? Get your bikes out, pack your backpacks and head out, maybe South to Mexico. Or take the last boat to Hawaii. What would you pack in that backpack other than water? Would it even matter?

Life is a series of situations. A pregnant lady flags you down on the highway and is giving birth. You come upon an accident in the middle of the night. The government is coming around with your vaccine filled with mercury and a microchip to help prevent the pandemic of mystery flu. A stranger or someone in your family is hurting and needs you. Take action, Be the leader and dance towards Utopia.

Have you discovered your limits? Have you pushed yourself to the edge in any aspect of your life. Go on a fifty mile bike ride in the rain on a muddy trail. I did. Here I was a good rider regularly riding 25 miles in less than 2 1/2 hours and my coworkers decided they wanted to ride 50 miles on the C & O trail. I had been around the sun about 10 times more then them and I was very game because I knew I could do it but it would not be easy. It rained that day, we rode totally soaked, through thick mud, tires sinking in and made 50 miles in about 4 1/2 hours with a 15 minute break and 32 ounces of water. I never did get that mud stain out of my underwear. I am glad we didn't let the rain keep us from that ride. I wasn't even sore the next day and didn't feel I was really pushing it. That wasn't my limit (almost). Once I hiked 16 miles in 8 hours and was much more tired.

Eating raw organic vegan living food inherently prepares you for the future. It holds the wisdom of all of nature through all of time and all spirits and that is all you need.

Peace!
Bliss

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The best Ecuadorian "Heirloom" Raw Chocolate


Since 2004 Natural Zing has been sourcing our raw cacao from the small farmers in Ecuador that currently supply the cacao for the Pacari Raw Chocolate.  We have supported a nursery that germinates native tree species for sustainable forestry projects such as the Cacao Nacional Arriba Fino de Aroma.  This cacao variety, the “heirloom” Arriba, has been disappearing as new, high yielding, varieties have been displacing this native species despite their relative lack of aroma.  Natural Zing felt from early on the importance of encouraging the growth of the Arriba cacao tree variety.  The Cacao Nacional Arriba Fino de Aroma tree only grows in Ecuador. It is a prized species among chocolate liking because of its unique floral aroma and its nut flavor taste.  In recent years the Pacari brand was created due to the popularity of these farmers’ raw cacao by Santiago Peralta and Carla Barboto. Natural Zing has been connected to the source of this amazing cacao since 2004.


Natural Zing has worked in partnership with indigenous communities and rural small farmers to develop better products that are "good for you and the Earth"TM.  During that time we have supported the training of small farmers in organic agriculture pilot projects, which encourages small farmers to change from conventional to organic growing practices.  These small farmers learn even higher standards than just organic and sustainable methods that not only sustain their families with a better than “fair trade” wage, but support the natural environment.

Look for Natural Zing's brand when shopping for the purest "Heirloom" Cacao Nacional Arriba Fino de Aroma cacao nibs,  cocoa powder, cacao beans, cacao paste, and cocoa butter.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Natural Zing’s Solar Powered Warehouse


Natural Zing furthers its commitment to sustaining the earth with its latest solar project. This major undertaking will enable all of the power required by Natural Zing’s main warehouse to be powered by the sun. Last week the solar panels were installed on the roof of the warehouse, this week the rest of the system will be installed and turned on. This innovative on-grid/off-grid system not only supplies power to the warehouse, but also provides some power to our operational offices. With the innovative design by  a local Mount Airy Maryland alternative power contractor, Banner Homes Solutions,  this system will provide all the electricity for our warehouse, it feeds excess power back to the grid as well as charges a battery backup system that powers essential services during power outages (when the grid is down).

 “Keep in mind that not only is our warehouse going to be solar powered, but all our offices and other locations are wind powered through the power choice program, thus all of Natural Zing’s electricity is being supplied by sun and wind,” stated Jeffrey Rose, President of Natural Zing. He added “It is important for our customers to know that we are not mismanaging their support. We have been examining going solar for the past five years, waiting until we could do it right and the technology was advanced enough to be efficient for us to implement. With everything we do, lightening our foot print on the earth is always second nature to us. We are constantly asking how can we live and do business more sustainably.”

“For Natural Zing being green isn’t trendy, it is who we are and always have been”, stated Helen Rose, Vice President of Administration. “Since our start in 2003, being green is part of our identity. We’ve always practiced reduce, reuse and recycle.” Helen added. Natural Zing has been a member of GreenAmerica, formerly Coop America since 2004. Below are two other articles that highlight some of our green initiatives and practices.

Natural Zing is 100% Wind Powered

Natural Zing's Top 15 Green Business Practices.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ribbons & slice, spirals & dice ...


... these are just a few of the things made easy with the Joyce Chen Asian Mandoline Plus and Spiral Slicer. I had hoped to do a showdown of sorts between the two, documenting it all in pictures, but as you can read in a recent post on my blog, my "plans" didn't quite go "as planned." Instead, I decided to share two simple spa-inspired recipes made using both of these tools sold on the Natural Zing website.

You see, my friend Becky and her son Leo had come for a visit the other day to help me sample some natural beauty recipes from a book I was reviewing, in addition to testing out the mandoline and slicer. I should have known that completing both tasks with two tots in tow would prove to be an even bigger challenge than the one between the two cutting tools.

I managed to test them out while making a spa water recipe and beet-wrapped melon snack, fitting for the theme of the day. Thank goodness I took some pics then, as the lighting was terrible later in the evening. That's when I finally got the chance to run some other produce through these gadgets.

Besides, I never would have had room in this post to give a true visual of all that these little guys (they'll easily fit into any kitchen, no matter what the size) can do. Just check out the pics on the side of the mandoline box to get an idea.

The mandoline comes with a variety of interchangeable blades (be careful changing them, as they are small and very sharp) for slicing (there is a knob to adjust the thickness and as a safety precaution when not in use; don't forget to use the finger guard when you are slicing, especially when you are getting dangerously close to the end) and creating different strip sizes (chop across these and you have a dice). The smallest one reminds me of straight noodles.

If curly noodles are more your thing (like the ones in this recipe), than I recommend making them in a spiral slicer. Although I already have another bulkier model (it's good, too), I do like this one's compact size and ease of use. Just pop your produce of choice, whether it be onion (probably not the best idea for noodles, though), cucumber, sweet potato, zucchini, turnip, daikon radish, carrot, potato, apple, etc., (make sure it fits the size requirements) onto the center of the device, lock on the top, lower the handle so the holder prongs are firmly attached to your produce and turn the crank one way for spiral slices and the other for ribbons (like the beets in this post). Rather than changing blades, you only have to switch a lever to the right or left.

Now I have read some complaints about the amount of fruit or veggie left at the end of the process, but as you can see, it really isn't all that much, in my opinion. I just snacked on what was left, while I made the following recipes. I also noted that this particular model has a stainless steel shaft, so you know it is the real deal (from what I understand, there are some imitators that are entirely plastic).

In the end, I had fun running various fruits and veggies through both. They are definitely time savers, including the fact that they are easy to clean, too.

They definitely came in handy while making spa recipes yesterday (I've never sliced lemons so perfectly and quickly), along with this simple snack and refreshing beverage. Finally, I can relax. Enjoy!

Spa-like Lemonade
*This version of spa water tastes like a jazzed up lemonade without the refined sugar. The sweetness comes from the apple ... and the fact that using these tools makes the prep process more relaxing.
  • Organic lemons (the rind is included in this one)
  • Organic apples (I kept the skin on them, too)
  • Fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Filtered or spring water
Thinly slice lemons, using a mandoline. Add to the bottom of a glass pitcher and/or individual drinking glasses.

Using a spiral slicer, thinly slice apples into ribbons. Add to the lemons in the pitcher and/or glasses. The lemons will help maintain the apple's color, while the apples sweeten the lemony taste.

Next add fresh sprigs of rosemary and fill the pitcher and/or glass with water. Chill to allow flavors to combine.

Beet-wrapped Melon with Mint
*This recipe is inspired by the classic melon and prosciutto pairing. Spiralized beets are flexible enough to wrap around the melon in place of the meat.
  • Cantaloupe and/or honeydew melon (I used 1/2 of each)
  • 1 medium or large beet, peeled
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • Bunch of fresh mint leaves
Using a spiral slicer, thinly slice beets into ribbons. Squeeze lime juice over top and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.

Use a melon-baller to scoop out/shape melon. Place a bit of mint leaf on top of each melon ball and wrap with a piece of marinated beet ribbon (just tear off a small slice for each melon ball). Arrange on serving plate and garnish with lime slices and and mint leaves. Serve.

*****

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name, http://rawdorable.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

New technology is a blessing and a headache

New technology is a blessing and a headache.  Our current newsletter system has been adding new technology to automate emails, connect with various social network systems, and utilizing feeds from blogs, etc.  However, this new technology can be overwhelming.  I have to admit that I am overwhelmed and feel like I can not control  it half the time, causing duplicates to be sent, sometimes it picks up feeds that have already been sent (promotions that have past), and other errors. Some subscribers to our news have contacted me with concerns that they are receiving too many emails.  I apologize.  I am doing my best to determine what is happening and reducing the emails that go out to all of you without delaying emails that are time sensitive like monthly specials.  Again I apologize and I am working to minimize the errors in our system and keep our emails to once a week.

The good news is that we are working with some of the latest technologies and I am committed to making them work for us and you.  We are writing more recipe articles and other articles that we hope you find enjoyable.  Overtime I hope that you will be happy with our communications and look forward to them in whichever way you prefer to receive them.