Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Speaking of Cucumbers . . .

I'm sooo excited--I harvested our first cucumber today. Sooo yummy. It turned out to be breakfast for me, as I wasn't very hungry. ( Ate a little while later too.) My sweet spirit was it good.
Other garden news: Lots of green tomatoes, beans are getting there, peas have been harvested and another batch due in a few more weeks, baby carrots--OMG are they good---, Lots of kale and collards being washed and frozen for smoothies. Other stuff growing GREAT. Strawberries are done--they didn't do so well this year w/ all the moisture. Time to harvest mulberries. Blue berry lady will be getting a visit from me soon too.

How is your garden growing??? (Yes, I'd really love to know!!!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Amazing Cucumber

I received this e-mail and wanted to share it with every one. Funny, this morning I made cuke-celery-apple-mixed lettuce green juice for breaky. (((smile))).


1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area. (I'm definately trying this one.)

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Baby update:

Just entered my 28th week/third trimester yesterday. So far I've gained between 3 and 5 pounds (it fluctuates every week). My midwife has some concern with this, but I feel with the nutrition packed food I consume and the fact that I stuff myself often enough (o.k. I'm a pig!!) I shouldn't worry. So I'm not. Baby is getting huge and moves quite a lot whenever I crunch on ice. Maybe the sound . . . ? Looking into a possible water birth. I figure we can set up a fishy-pool in the kitchen. Easier clean-up too. We'll see.

Tris is off to his dad's for 3 weeks. Rowan is three and acting every bit of it. Garden is superb, 'cept for the slugs and cabbage wormys. Carrot and pea and strawberrys for dinner last night--YUMMMMMM.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Favorite Nice Cream Maker

So what’s the best ice cream maker?? One that you use, of course. As the weather is heating up around here, I’ve put my maker base in the freezer to have it ready whenever I want.

Which one do we use around here? It’s a small electric one that doesn’t use ice or rock salt or makes a mess, which I love!! No worrying about having to have ice and salt on hand every time you want to make nice cream. The base doesn’t have Freon or anything, it’s just like a freezer pack in a bowl shape. The small size is a plus too, cuz how many of us really need to make huge amounts of sorbet at a time on a regular basis? If you’ve made your own at home, you know that it is soft at first, but if you freeze it for long it becomes hard (although Raw for $10 a day (or less)’s blog had a creamy-soft-smooth-when-frozen-longer nice cream recipe which I have yet to try).

You want some recipes, you say? Of course!!!

One site I recently stumbled on is called, and they had just finished a raw ice cream cake contest with 29 entries. Pics are posted, as well as links to every entrant’s blog or website. Sunflower Lord has a great e-book out for $10 (I think) with 20 or 30 raw ice cream recipes (Love this!!). And if you google, I’m sure you can find some other great recipes. Or get creative. Tristen came up with Carrot Ice Cream, which I would never have thunk of.

Here’s a base I frequently use, cuz it’s just too easy.

When I make my nut milk, I’ll double the recipe and not add all the water at first. Then, I pour half into a container, make the remaining into milk as usual and put it away, then pour the 1st reserved half back in the blender. I add a bit more sweetener, sometimes more nuts or coconut, and whatever flavor I want (fresh or frozen fruit, cacao powder, extra vanilla or almond, etc.), some ice, and blend it. (This is great at this point for a milk shake.) Then I pour it into the maker base, plug in the top, and wait 10-15 minutes. That’s all it takes (which is great, because we don’t always practice patience around here LOL).

Here’s some more basic recipes, but get creative—add whatever superfood, fold in nuts or fruit or raw vegan cookie dough when frozen, top with fudge, maple syrup, agave, etc.

Cantaloupe Sorbet

1 cantaloupe, frozen in chunks

1 frozen banana or some

other sweetener if you like

Raspberry Sorbet

2 bags frozen raspberries, or 2 lb. fresh, then frozen

3 T. agave/ honey

Strawberry Sorbet

2 bag frozen strawberries or 2 lb. fresh, and freeze

3 T agave/honey

Mango Sorbet

1 bag frozen mango

or 4 mangos, frozen

3 T agave/honey

With the sorbets, you could use either a little water or nutmilk to help blend, though I prefer to allow half of the fruit to thaw, blend it, then add the rest of the still frozen fruit and sweetener. Put it in your maker and wait 15 minutes. That’s quicker than picking lettuce and veggies from the garden, washing, chopping, making a dressing, and mixing. Also, please note that the fresh, then frozen fruit has all been washed, peeled, seeded, and/or cut into chunks. Sometimes I reserve a few berries and mix those in by hand or add to the maker so there’s berry chunks in the sorbet. That’s nice too. Hmm, fresh veggies . . . how bout a green smoothie sorbet!! Blend the greens, add the fruit n blend, add the frozen b-na chunks, agave . . . blend and freeze. Cool!! Probabally not collards or kale—too strong for ice cream. Spinach or leaf lettuce??

Creamy Chocolaty

Nice Cream (this is from the Raw on $10 a day or less blog)

1 avocado
2 bananas
2 T. agave or honey
4 T. cacao powder

1 t. vanilla or ½ bean
pinch salt

Just blend. You can fold all kinds of things after it's hardened up a bit.

I was going to post more creamy recipes, but instead thought I’d post something special I just made up:

Black Forest Nice Cream Cake

Dark almond-cacao cake base:

1 C. ground almonds

¼ C. cacao powder

2 T. maple sugar

¼ C. dates, pitted

1 C. fresh shredded meat from a young coconut

1 T. agave

Process the almonds, cacao, maple, and dates in your processor until “grainy.” Add the coconut and process about 5 seconds, pouring the agave in as you do so.

Gently press this into a plastic-wrap lined pan or tub (I used 5” deep cardstock taped into a 7” circle and set into another pan and lined with plastic), and put in the freezer while preparing the next layer. If you want a thicker cake, double the recipe.

Creamy chocolate nice-cream layer:

2 avocado
4 bananas, frozen into chunks
4 T. agave or honey
8 T. cacao powder

1 T. vanilla or 1 bean
pinch salt

frozen cherries

Blend or process everything except the bananas and cherries until smooth. Add the frozen bananas and process smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker until frozen. Fold in the cherries and pour on top of the cake layer. Return to freezer.

Vanilla coconut cream:

½ C. pulp from a young coconut

½ C cashews, soaked

1 T. vanilla or 1 whole bean

1 T agave (if desired)

Blend until smooth. If this is too liquidy, you can add powdered dried coconut to help thicken, then pipe “flowers” with a frosting tip around the top and in the center of the cake. Put a frozen cherry in the center of each “flower.” Allow to set for a couple hours, cut, plate, and eat.

If and when I get a pic before this is eaten, I'll come back and post it.

And remember, Nice Cream is HEALTHY. Today Ro and I had sliced banana and strawberries on chocolate-coconut nicecream and topped with walnuts, hemp and chia seeds, and a quick fudge sauce made with 1 T oil, 1 T agave, and 1 teasp. cacao powder. We both did a happy dance. ((Giggle)).

Have a nice (cream) day!!!

~~~Rowan and Sharilyn

P.S. This formating is driving me CRAZY, so if the spacing is off in some areas of the post, I appologize!!