Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Soak instead of cook? Author says less cooking equals more healthy

When Yuri Elkaim serves noodles, it is actually zucchini, cucumber or sweet potato stripped into noodle shapes. He soaks, rather than cooks brown rice and advocates raw foods in “Eating for Energy: Transforming Your Life Through Living Plant-Based Whole Foods. The author advocates beginning each day with gratitude and breathing exercises. There are recipes and methods and, I also learned that avocado means “testicle tree” in ancient Aztec dialect. I won’t soon get that out of my head. Here’s a quick recipe that your family may not realize is very healthy:

Sunset pudding
Serves 2 to 3
2 bananas
1 mango, skinned and stoned
10 strawberries
1 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 dates, pitted and chopped (optional, because this is a very sweet pudding)
Put everything in a food processor and blend until it looks like a pudding.

What’s up, doc?
Carrot cake was my birthday pick for several years. The tradition netted the story about the year my sister forgot to put eggs in there and I got a hard, carrot Frisbee. My January birthday season was filled with the new Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Decadent Carrot Cake. Somehow I ended up with three in my pantry, including one from my mother’s house. She said if my daughter made it, we could keep half. Yesssss!
There’s a pouch of real carrots and raisins that you plump up with water. This really makes a delicious difference. It was spicy and moist and attractive. The can of cream cheese frosting was literally, the icing on the cake.

It’s not candy
Makers of KickBrix Energy Chews sent a sample and asked me to stress this stuff is not candy. It’s a chew with less caffeine than a small Starbucks coffee, but apparently just the ticket for the energy you need on a long drive or while studying for a big test. To me, the vitamin B-12, ginseng, and taurine, with zero sugar and 25 calories, reminds me of the good kind of cough syrup. They come in Citrus Blast and Berry Blast with a “menthol boost.” This energy is designed to appear in 5 minutes, not 30 minutes, like after an energy drink, makers say.
I give them a thumbs-up. I hate those drinks, but a chew made our weekly staff meeting quite tolerable. I managed to get one other staffer to try KickBrix and he also gave it thumbs up, especially for the menthol.

Green cat’s eyes watch from the Lucid Absinthe Superieure bottle. Makers promoted this historically accurate concoction of grande wormwood, anise and sweet fennel from France for Halloween. It has a spooky history that is just as fitting for our Mardi Gras season. I’d be happy to have a glass in old New Orleans. I tried it at home, dissolving a sugar cube through my grandmother’s silver pie server, and watched Johnny Depp try absinthe old-school style in the movie “From Hell.” I’d always been fascinated by this mysterious concoction. It’ll tell you now, it’s like a strong glass of glowing, green licorice. It certainly is a conversation starter.

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