Thursday, July 22, 2010

Easy peasy, fresh and tomatoey

I'm so proud of my little man (my 7-year-old son, Jacob), who seems to be utilizing his green thumb (with the help of his Paw Paw, my father-in-law). He and Paw Paw planted this lovely tomato plant on our front porch, which has yielded some yummy fruit (that's right; a tomato is a fruit). I can't wait for these green goodies to turn sun-ripened red, so we can enjoy them in our favorite simple summer recipes.

I wonder if Jeff and Helen have any ripe ones to spare, as they have the most amazing backyard garden. You should see what grows inside this dome.

But, back to today's recipe, which was inspired by a package of Lydia's Organics Sunflower Seed Bread, although you could use your favorite raw "bread" recipe (don't forget that Natural Zing offers a great selection of ingredients for your raw "bread" unbaking needs). I just happened to have some of this pre-made product on hand, which makes this meal so easy; I like to call it, "Easy Peasy Raw Panzanella."

What is panzanella? Well, it's a basic Italian bread salad, made out of day-old bread, vine-ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. It doesn't get any easier than that. And, with the help of a convenience product like one of these pre-made "breads," there are no excuses not to make some yourself (unless you are still waiting for your tomatoes to ripen).

You don't have to measure anything. Make as much or as little as you want, and season it to suit your tastes. I've pretty much given you all the guidance you need, but if you still need a recipe, here you go:

Easy Peasy Raw Panzanella
Prepared raw "bread," broken into bite-size pieces
Fresh tomatoes, sliced into chunks
Handfuls of fresh basil leaves
Drizzle of red wine vinegar
Heavier drizzle of olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Place the tomatoes and basil leaves in a bowl. Drizzle with some red wine vinegar, and a heavier drizzle of EVOO. Then, season with sea salt and pepper.

Add the "bread" pieces, and toss to coat. Taste, and adjust the flavors to your liking. The "bread" should absorb some of the liquid and soften. Now, it's ready to serve.

*This is just a basic recipe, but feel free to make your own adjustments. Red onion, cucumbers and bell peppers are common additions, and olives are great in this, too.
Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Now that's a n'ice way to stay cool

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but in Natural Zing territory, it is crazy hot. Lucky for me, I always make sure my freezer is stocked with frozen bananas for treats like smoothies (I recently posted one on my blog, which helped fuel me through my painting project) and n'ice creams.

N'ice cream is just my term for this dairy-free concoction that has practically become a staple in most raw households. Much like zucchetti, it is hard to trace back its origins to any one specific person, as it just seems like the natural thing to do; simply blend/process (I tend to make mine in my mini food processor) some chopped frozen banana until smooth and fluffy, and you've got n'ice cream. No wonder so many raw foodies have stumbled upon this concept themselves, if they had not already heard about it from someone else.

The best part about n'ice cream is that the flavor combinations are up to your imagination. You can remain simple with some vanilla and maybe some nut butter to add some richness. Then, you can always toss in some strawberries for my personal favorite, as a child, or some cocoa powder (carob is also good, too) for traditional chocolate, which rawks with a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt sprinkled on top (don't knock it til you try it).

Mint chocolate chip is also an easy and popular flavor to recreate. Cacao nibs are perfect for the chips, and a little spirulina will provide that fun green color. And, if you're not a fan of the green taste, you'll be happy to know that a touch of mint extract or peppermint oil will make it taste great.

I also like to recreate butter pecan. For some reason, I add mesquite powder for both flavor and color, as well as some blended date syrup (I mentioned this in my last post), although not necessary. Toss in some pecans, and it's ready to eat.

And it doesn't end there. Keep experimenting with other tastes and textures, toppings and add-ins (raw cookies, chocolates, and nuts are so amazing for this). You can get your friends and family together for a n'ice cream bar (like this one I blogged about a few years back). Or, you can just enjoy inventing and re-inventing a sundae made just for you. No matter what, it's n'ice to stay cool :-)

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name,

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Natural Zing on Holiday

Natural Zing is closed Monday, July 5th and Tuesday, July 6th to celebrate the United States Independence day.  We will not be shipping and our office will be closed on those days.

We will open again on Wednesday, July 7th.

Natural Zing July Sales