blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Southwest Michigan ain’t North Florida

No leaves on the trees
Stinging Nettles

It’s been several weeks since I arrived in Watervliet, Michigan and one thing is for sure… I ain’t in Florida any more. Often times when I travel I convince myself that if I pack certain items of clothing and selectively leave other items behind that I can control the weather. This technique has yet to work. I did pack some “chilly” weather gear just in case though so in actuality I wasn’t 100% committed to my weather control philosophy. I am grateful I did though because it was cold and wet the first week I was here, then it warmed up, then got cold and then got wet and cold. Now it’s just cold. No worries though because I have truly be able to experience a Spring complete with all of its fresh green shoots and wild edibles.

I broke out the foraging books once the sun came out and boy did I find some good stuff. Nettles, wild onion, mustard garlic and chickweed are some of my favorites. I even lucked upon the highly sought after morel mushroom. The funny thing was I practically tripped over them. They were growing in one small area right in front of the front door of where I was staying. 2 weeks have gone by and I haven’t seen a trace of them anywhere else and believe me I’ve been looking. Another awesome thing about my Springtime in Michigan is that they grow tons of asparagus here. I’m crazy about fresh raw asparagus. It actually seems ridiculous to me that anyone would want to cook asparagus knowing just how good it is raw. I’ve been known to put it in the dehydrator after smoothering it in coconut oil and sprinkle it with pink salt and nutritional yeast. That’s good eating I tell you what! And guess what? It’s another prized wild edible and I found one… not some, one. It was delicious too.

Wild Asparagus

Along with the greens there have been an amazing array of flowers coming up, some of them edible like violets and dandelions and others just beautiful. For this post I’m just going to feature the edibles, next post the beautifuls. Here’s a tasty recipe for a wild nettle and onion pecan pesto that will make your big toe shoot out your boot.

Warning: Sting nettles sting… hence the name. It is best to collect them while wearing gloves. The stinging hairs on the nettle plant are neutralized once they have been crushed or food processed. Fresh nettles can be added to green smoothies or used in a pesto recipe like the one below. It also can be dehydrated and used for making nettle tea.

1 Cup pecans or walnuts

Morels

3-4 Cups fresh nettle tops – tender leaves, lightly packed

1/2 Cup wild garlic or onion greens – looks like chives, peel the older growth back to reveal tender onion shoot inside

1/4 Cup olive oil

1 T white/light miso – I prefer chickpea

1-2 T nutritional yeast

1 t apple cider vinegar

2 t pink salt or to taste

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and process with the S-blade.

Serve stuffed inside of peppers, on veggies or on raw crackers. Recipe can be thinned with nut mylk and used as a sauce for noodles.

Onion and Nettles
Making Pesto

BTW, my new book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox comes out on June 7th at books stores nation wide. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think. I will be hosting a Detox Retreat in Michigan featuring the program outlined in the book from August 12-18. More details to come… Keep it Live!

blog, How To, Recipe

Kelp Noodle Fun

Oodles of Noodles $4 a bag

I’ve got a ton of kelp noodles and I’d love to share them with you! For those of you that aren’t familiar with kelp noodles don’t worry, they aren’t green or slimy and they don’t smell like low tide. They are actually clear and crunchy and when properly rinsed and squeezed out they have very little taste at all… like a good noodle should. So what does one do with these crispy noodles? Anything you want. I like to combine my kelp noodles with other veggies like carrots, onions, zucchini and tomato and then smoother them in a tasty sauce. They are also great in soups and wraps.

First the basics on how to prepare the noodles:

  1. Cut open the top of the bag and drain the liquid out of the bag while holding onto the noodles through the bag.
  2. Once the liquid has drained then squeeze the bag and the noodles inside the bag with all of your might. You want to get as much of the water out of the noodles as possible.
  3. Once the noodles have been squeezed, fill the bag with filtered water and repeat step 2. Do this at least 2 times, soaking, dumping and squeezing the water out.
  4. Transfer the squeezed noodles to a bowl and use scissors or a knife to cut them into smaller pieces. You can also break them up with your hands.
  5. Now your noodles are ready for other veggies and a sauce.

Here are 2 of my favorite sauce recipes:

Hemp Miso Sauce

  • ¾ C hemp seed or 1/2 C almond butter
  • 1 orange – juiced
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T miso
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • salt to taste

Place ingredients in the blender and blend smooth.

Sundried Tomato Marinara

  • 1 C sundried tomatoes* – soaked for at least 3 hours
  • 1 C fresh tomatoes – diced
  • 1/4 C onion – diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 – 2 T hemp seeds – optional
  • 1 T Italian herbs – basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 t agave
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed – optional
  1. Pour the sundried tomatoes and the soak water into the blender and blend smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend.
  3. Adjust salt to taste.

*Some sundried tomatoes are salt cured. This will effect the saltiness of the sauce. Adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly.

4 great things about kelp noodles:

  1. They don’t need to be refrigerated until after you open them.
  2. You don’t need to boil water to prepare them.
  3. They have next to no calories and are a good source of fiber and trace minerals.
  4. When marinaded or warmed slightly the noodles become soft.

If you want some noodles I’ve got a deal for you.  $4.00 a bag or 8 bags for $3.50 each ($28). These are 1 pound (16 oz) bags. Most bags in the store are the smaller 10 oz. bags and they sell for more than this.

Contact if you’re interested in this kelp noodle deal – livefoodexperience (at) live (dot) com

Keep It Live! – Adam

blog, How To, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Raw Spirit and San Diego Fun

We got noodles and kraut

The Live Food Experience is on the road again. This time I went to Raw Spirit Festival in Prescott, AZ and now I’m in San Diego to see family, friends, surf and teach a class. At Raw Spirit Fest I teamed up with my friend Savrah of “Savrakraut” and we were vendors. Our booth featured kelp noodles with a hemp miso sauce and 6 different kinds of sauerkraut. Savrah is a good friend from back in Tree of Life days. Currently she lives in LA where she makes her hand-crafted fermented veggies. The flavors we featured at the fest were classic, kimchi, lemon garlic dill, fennel, garlic pickled veggies and goji Chinese 5 spice. During the festival I also taught a food prep demo. The fest was a good time but unfortunately attendance was pretty low. It almost seemed like staff, vendors and volunteers out numbered guests. In the end I was able to make my money back from the fest but it is unlikely that I’ll be a vendor in the future.

Friday Night Demo

Why the low attendance? For one thing Raw Spirit Fest is a niche event so many mainstream people just can’t bring themselves to attend. Another reason may be that this years line up of speakers and presenters was pretty bland. On top of all that the biggest name at the event Viktoras Kulvinskas canceled due to a “family emergency”. Oh yeah, and the Longevity Conference with David Wolfe was the exact same weekend. You add all of these factors together and you have quite a challenge on your hands. No regrets though. I really enjoyed myself and made some new friends, like Bud from the Arizona health department who resembled a cross between Matt Damon and Ron Howard. He paid us quite a compliment in trying our food… which he enjoyed. Most everyone enjoyed Savrah’s kraut and the kelp noodles. We actually sold out of noodles on the last day.

After the fest I headed to San Diego where we arrived at 2am. A slight hiccup in plans had me back in LA the next day and evening. While there I was able to catch up with an old friend (Hara) who I had met in Chicago years ago. She’s an actor, writer and director who has been slugging it out in the LA trenches for the past 10 years. We spent the evening catching up and the next morning I caught a ride back to San Diego with a rideshare that was listed on Craigslist.

Bud from AZ Health Dept.

Once back in San Diego at my friend Robyn’s place I was able to relax. I threw together a kale spinach salad dinner with Robyn and her roomie and that evening I dreamed of West Coast surf… The next morning after an early morning green juice, my dreams came true. I headed down to Swami’s in Encinitas and surfed Robyn’s 10 foot long board. I’ve never paddled a board this big but it treated me just fine. Next up, more surf and a raw food demo on Saturday for the San Diego County Raw Foods Meetup group.

Here’s the recipe for the delicious hemp miso sauce that was on the kelp noodles we served:

  • 1/2 C hemp seeds
  • 2 T miso – unpasteurized
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 t fresh ginger
  • salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients smooth. Add water if too thick.

More to come… Keep it Live!

blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Off to the North

I’m leaving Florida for a visit to family and friends up in Chicago and Michigan. There are a couple of great events coming up. The first is a Juice Feast at Ronora Lodge in Watervliet, Michigan starting August 16th and going until the 19th. I recently was sent the preliminary schedule which looks to be really fun and informative. Immediately following the Feast is a Fest, Green Synergy Fest. It’s a raw food celebration featuring all sorts of raw food inspirational peeps from Aug 20-22nd. As in the past, each time I’ve left Florida during the summer we’ve had some hurricanes and tropical storms that kicked up some good surf. I’m hoping Mother Nature can hold off until I get back at the end of the month.

Enjoy this recipe which combines some unlikely summer produce, The Mango Okra Salad: