Pie, Recipe

Pawpaw pie is actually more American than apple pie

Still Life with Paw Paws

Thanks for joining me for the second installment of the “pawpaw diaries”. This weeks episodes features a video and recipe for pawpaw pie. Considering that pawpaw is the largest indigenous North American fruit, I think I’m justified in saying that pawpaw pie is more American than apple pie. Apples immigrated to North America with the European colonists while pawpaw was here long before they arrived.

Natural growing range of pawpaw

One interesting thing about the pawpaw tree is its flowers, which are tri-lobed and face the ground when in bloom. These funny flowers aren’t very fragrant and what little fragrance they have isn’t very friendly. Their smell has been likened to rotting meat which explains their native pollinators: blow flies, carrion beetles and the occasional fruit fly. I put my nose up to a flower in the Spring and really didn’t notice a smell at all. Pollinated flowers yield fruit that ripens by late September and early October here in Southwest Michigan. Ripe fruit drops from the trees and is a highly prized meal for deer, squirrels, fox, raccoons, possum and black bears. It’s rare to find an unblemished fruit on the ground. Usually they’ve been snacked on. The best harvesting technique I’ve found is to shake the tree and collect what hits the ground. You can admire my technique in the video included in my previous post on pawpaw.

Pawpaw Flower
Pawpaw Flower

The more I learn about pawpaw the more impressed I am with it. Why has no one ever heard of this fruit? Why can’t you get it in grocery stores?

Pawpaw at Whole Foods
Pawpaw at Whole Foods

Unfortunately pawpaw hasn’t quite made it mainstream… yet. While there are plenty of pawpaws feeding the woodlands creatures, they’ve only established themselves at local farmer’s markets and at regional grocery stores. Some of the disadvantages pawpaw’s have which are preventing them from being more mainstream is that they quickly ripen once picked, bruise easily and potentially ferment in their skin once ripe. Some varieties of pawpaw have shown to be better cultivars than others. The ideal pawpaw variety yields many fruit of large size with abundant flesh and few seeds. If Neal Peterson has his way, pawpaw would be seasonal staple around the country.

Neal Peterson tasted his first pawpaw in 1975 and since then he has made it his mission in life to develop pawpaws into viable cultivated crop. Over the past 30+ years he has created pawpaw varieties with outstanding yield, size, flavor and percentage of flesh. For those wishing to look into growing your own pawpaw, he is the authority and source for all things pawpaw.

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Maple Sap Madness at Camp Rawnora

Maple sap Rawnora

Greetings Health Fans,

March Madness finally has meaning in my life once again and I’m not talking about watching college kids running around dribbling a ball either. March is typically the time that the maple sap starts flowing in Michigan and right now the flow is upon us. The picture above shows how the professionals tap a tree. This year I decided to actually tap some trees as well. My set up was a bit more creative and DIY, but I got the same results… gallons and gallons of maple tree sap. Watch the video below and see.jars_of_sapSince tapping the trees I’ve been on a steady diet of maple sap for all of my hydration needs. If you have never experienced drinking a chilled glass of maple sap I encourage you to do so. The sap is 97-98% water when it comes out of the tree and from all appearances you would assume it is just plain water but you would be mistaken. It’s living water complete with organic minerals. The taste is crisp and refreshing with a slight maple syrup sweetness to it. I drink 2 glasses first thing in the morning. The first glass I drink straight and use it to throw back an MSM pill or 2. In the second glass I add some Oceans Alive marine phytoplankton. That’s the way to start the day. My only issue is that I have to keep the sap chilled in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling. I’m not big on cold drinks in the middle of winter but I’m able to make this exception.

sprouted_oat_cookies
Sprouted Oat Cookies

Here are some of the other creative ways I’ve integrated maple sap into my daily diet:

  • Smoothie base, use the sap instead of water
  • Tea base, I use an electric kettle, be sure to rinse it out because the sugar can collect inside the kettle
  • Raw granola and cookie recipes, I use the sap instead of water when making these recipes that will eventually be dehydrated
  • Kombucha starter base, my first attempt at this wasn’t exactly successful but I’m sure it was something I did and not the maple saps fault

Enjoy this video on how to harvest maple sap gadgetarian style. – Keep it Live!

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Camp Rawnora Spring 2012 and Juice Recipe

cabbage pineapple pom juice
The Juice - video below

Greetings Boys and Girls,

Chef Adam Graham here. I’m still up in Michigan running a lovely retreat center and I invite all of you health fans to join me for an event in 2012. Get in your car, jump on a plane, catch a bus, hop a train, walk on your hands… whatever it takes.

We’re closing in on opening day at Camp Rawnora here in Watervliet, Michigan. For those of you unfamiliar with Camp Rawnora, it’s a raw/living food learning center. We’ve got all kinds of fun stuff here at Camp Rawnora… over 350 acres of woodlands, wetlands and trails, a private lake, lodging, gardens, horses and a raw foods teaching kitchen. If you’re interested in what we have to offer please take a look at our upcoming schedule.

Third Tuesday of the month raw/vegan potluck – Every third Tuesday is a raw vegan potluck at Camp Rawnora @ 6:30pm

Earth Day Opening – (April 21-22) Opening day overnight event with some food, foraging and fixing in the gardens

Spring Cleanse and Detox – (May 18-22) A 5 day guided raw food detox with hands on learning and more…

Weight Loss Workshop – (June 1-5)  Lose weight by eating nutrient dense raw/living foods. It’s easy, we’ll show you how.

Mindful Eating Workshop – (July 27-29) Take time to honor the food that feeds your soul with Dr. Hunter Leggitt and Cindy Starry.

Abundance Vortex 2012 – (August 2-5) A four day family friendly vegan celebration that embraces the gift economy.

Here’s a fun, tasty and easy juice recipe I came up with while I was out in Los Angeles nursing a friend back to health who had her jaw wired shut. Who would have thought cabbage, pineapple and pomegranate would make a great juice? But it does! Enjoy the video and please take a look at the upcoming events at Camp Rawnora, I’d love to see you here!

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Best raw stuffing? Best raw gravy? You tell me.

raw pumpkin pie

Hi all,

Here’s a quick post featuring 2 recipes I recently put together for a Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck at Camp Rawnora. We had a wonderful turnout with raw dishes that were delish and beautiful. Some of the simplest dishes are the best like a corn chip and guacamole combo that one guest brought. Being the host I had to step up my game and turn out some dishes that were beyond delicious… I prepared a variation of Cafe Gratitude’s Pumpkin Pie recipe from their amazing recipe book I Am Grateful, also found in their dessert recipe book Sweet Gratitude. These books are the foundation for most of the raw food chef’s that are emerging each day. Master the recipes in these 2 books and you don’t need a chef training course… though it’s nice to get some instruction from a seasoned chef.

raw stuffing

Stuffing (aka: dressing) and Gravy were my 2 other menu items. Both of which I had a vague idea of how I’d reverse engineer them. For the stuffing I was looking for some way to keep it light and avoid making a nut gut bomb. A combo of almonds, walnuts and marinated portabello mushrooms was my solution. The way I did this recipe may be prohibitive for those wanting to do something quick and easy because I had stockpiled dried marinated portabella mushrooms which most people don’t have on hand. Here’s the trick… get dried mushrooms for the recipe and just add the ingredients that are in the marinade to the recipe like so…

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If anyone has taken a class or worked with me in the kitchen you know how I love to “sweat” veggies and use the juice that is removed in other recipes like soups and sauces. With the dressing/stuffing we’re sweating the veggies and using the juice in the gravy recipe. This keeps our stuffing from being soggy and this also adds flavor to our gravy.

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raw_mushroom_gravy
raw gravy on cauliflower parsnip taters

With the recipes out of the way, now it’s time for shameless self-promotion… If you liked these recipes you’re going to love the 13 recipes featured in the Raw 2012 Calendar from Camp Rawnora. Full color pictures and some amazing raw recipes to get you through the year… $10 to start with discounts for multiple orders.

Raw 2012 Calendar

Start off 2012 with a health retreat in Jamaica. Join me (Chef Adam Graham) and Chef John Rasmussen in Jamaica for a 8 day 7 night retreat (January 7-14th).

Jamaica Raw Retreat
Sun and raw food fun!