Sunday, January 5, 2014

Raw Olives

My morning ritual starts with dropping off 6 of my 7 children off at school. This starts with the countdown. We are leaving in ten minutes! Which usually means we will be out of the driveway in 20. My kids go to three different schools with in about a 5 mile radius. Its a bit crazy but at the end theres a peaceful 10 minutes with my oldest son.

He goes to a charter school that has taken up residence in an old shopping mall movie theater. I never noticed until yesterday that the parking lot is brimming with olive trees that are packed with big fat black olives!

Well I am totally in love with olives and not one to let a good olive go to waste I got permission to pick. My to my children's horror I perched myself on top of our mini van with a plastic bucket left over from Halloween emblazoned with Frankenstein and got to picking!

There was some whining with the typical phrase, "Are you done yet?" Yet only my 8 year old, who loves to climb up into trees, was eager to help. So we picked and picked until I came away with 3 gallons of olives! Yeay me!

The first thing your going to want to do is wash your olives. Put them in a big bowl and cover them with clod water. Gently run your fingers through them and stir them up. The leaves and stems will rise to the top and you can scoop those out.

Salt Cured Olives

This is the easiest and best way to cure ripe olives! They are a very robust flavored olive with a fruity taste.

You will need equal amounts of sea salt and olives and an open bin or wooden crate. Start with a layer of salt and then a layer of olives until you have added all your olives and then cover with a final layer of salt.

I had ten pounds of olives so I used that much salt. Don't freak out about the sale, because very little remains at the end. When your salt is a purple color it's a good indicator that they are done.  Wash one off and give it a taste. If it's still bitter let the sit another week. The whole process takes about 6 weeks. Where ever you store these will smell so wonderful, of fresh olives. Don't for get to save the salt when your done. We blend with garlic and fresh herbs and give it as gifts. Its amazing flavor profile!

Once we have determined they are ready we will rinse them with boiling water . Yeah ok not totally raw, but it's a quick dip, a couple seconds.

Now we will pack them in jars with herbs and spices and cover with a good olive oil. 

Enjoy now or store in your fridge for up to a year! We enjoy these chopped on top of raw pizza!

Spicy Jicama Chips

When starting out raw, craving for SAD foods are really hard. They can almost be a deal breaker for some. Quite often raw recipes meant to be like the real thing are a poor substitute. 

That's why I love Jicama Chips! Easy to make and thin, crispy, and a little bit greasy. They make a perfect substitute for the fried version!

Spicy Jicama Chips

1 Large Jicama
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbs Organic taco Seasoning
2 TBS of your favorite hot sauce

Peal your jicama and slice thinly. This is not a job for a knife. I used the 1/16 setting on my mandolin and they turned out amazing. You want big thin pieces because these shrink up a lot. If you slice too thickly they will be chewy.

In a bowel whisk together the remaining ingredients. Put sliced jicama in a bowl and pour your spice and oil mix over hem to coat. Toss gently.

Dehydrate until crispy. I make these  at night and by morning they are ready to eat.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Raw Orange Julius!

When you are first getting started out with eating Raw Foods, it can be quite daunting. Especially the amount of equipment you supposedly need. For the first part of my raw journey I used and Oster Beehive Blender. Honestly I loved it. It did most everything I needed, Occasionally I would have to stop and scrape the sides with a spatula, and it was no biggie.

As every Raw Vegan aspired to have I coveted a Vitamix. I simply had to have one. SO last month I bought one, $299 refurbished by the factory with a new jar was a great deal.

I have tried it out and I must say its a pretty awesome blender. Of course its a bit better than my Oster Beehive, but honestly not by a huge amount. I would say if your doing raw on a budget, get the Oster Beehive and you will be just fine with it.

So I have been playing with my newly acquired Vitamix and I have discovered a new Favorite Smoothie. Its really a must share and is an almost exact match to the SAD version.  My son thought that the picture needed a car in it, so enjoy!

Raw Orange Julius Knock Off Smoothie

2 Navel Oranges (peeled)
2 Ripe Bananas (peeled)
Handful of Almonds about 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cup of ice
1 cup coconut water
1 tsp vanilla
Optional Stevia to sweeten to taste

Its pretty easy toss it all in your blender and whirl it up until smooth. Share with a friend or keep to your self, its that good!