Friday, November 19, 2010

Last Post...

This weekend (November 20) marks the tranformation of Humbaba World into Each Peach Cafe, and thus this blog will come to a close and the new blog will be born! Become a follower of Each Peach Cafe for recipes, class dates, events, education, and more! The new Each Peach Cafe website will be up soon as well, but in the meantime you can still view calendar dates, etc., on the Humbaba World website.

See you at Each Peach!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Events for the rest of 2010...

I can't believe how quickly this year is coming to a close, and how much there is still left to accomplish! We taught our last class of the year already, and won't hold any during the holiday season. We will definitely start right back up in January with a Level I & II, followed by a Just Desserts class in early February (before Valentine's Day).

That said, we do have some exciting events coming up before the curtain closes on 2010. Thursday, November 18th from 3pm-7pm, we will be giving out raw samples at Just Naturals' Girls Night Out event. This event will be held at their new location in Bedford. This night also features a complimentary makeover, chair massage, astrology reading, reiki, and wine tasting! In December we have another free raw demonstration at Amoskeag Chiropractic in Manchester, this time featuring delicious raw snacks like cauliflower popcorn and cheesy kale chips. We have another event planned at Amoskeag in January, dedicated entirely to the coconut!

As always, check our Humbaba World calendar for class and event dates and details. Except, wait a week because I'm in Germany right now and can't update it! I will certainly have all the dates and times added in once I'm back in the states. Pictured: my cute, efficient hotel room in Berlin.

I hope to see you soon, at an event this year or a class early in 2011!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ah for the Love of Cheesecake!

We held our Just Desserts class last night at Denise's house, and oh what a night! As I said, we've been experimenting with desserts lately, and this led us to change up our class menu a little: pineapple crumble cake, key lime tarts, chocolate ganache cake with raspberry sauce, and maple pecan cheesecake. As we explained to the class last night, Denise and I are VERY particular about taste and texture especially. So we were still doing a little experimenting with the crust last night to see if we could achieve the perfect texture. Pictured, Denise and I are inspecting the texture and smell of the crust... Yum, yum.


The Crust...
- 1 C walnuts
- 1 C pecans
- 2 T coconut sugar crystals
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 T maple syrup
- 1 t vanilla
Process nuts, sugar crystals, and salt in food processor to a fine meal. Add remaining ingredients, but do not over process; should be crumbly. Press into spring form pan (or ring molds).

The Filling...
- 3 C cashew flour
- 2 C cashew milk (unstrained)
- 1 C maple syrup
- 4 T lemon juice
- 2 T vanilla
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 C coconut oil, melted
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil until smooth. Add coconut oil and continue to blend until well combined. Pour filling on top of crust and chill for an hour in the freezer before serving.

Enjoy! Augusta

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alissa Cohen's Book Signing... and Other Things

It was fantastic to see Alissa last night, taking questions from the audience at her book signing in Brookline. Denise I sat front row (of course!), and brought Rachel along for the ride. We're all three very excited to dive into her new book "Raw Food for Everyone" as soon as possible to recreate our favorite recipes from Grezzo. Oh, like wild mushroom fettuccine, BLTA wraps, California maki rolls, avocado skins... And the coconut meringue! (Thank you Sam). Rachel just took our Level I class a couple of weeks ago, finished a 21-day cleanse, and she's ready to jump right into raw with both feet. Yesterday, Lori and I found a fantastic location for our smoothie bar/cafe... everyone please keep your fingers crossed for us! We will know where we're setting up shop by the end of this month. It'll take about a month to get everything set up, painted, etc., and then we should be opening early 2011. So exciting!

The night before (Wednesday), Denise hosted a pot luck at her house, and we did a little experimenting in the kitchen in preparation for our Desserts class tonight. Busy, busy! We are perfecting a new dessert recipe, Maple Pecan Cheesecake, which is now Denise's mom's absolute favorite. It truly is an amazing dessert. Our lucky students will be eating it tonight! I'll be making some snacks tomorrow to take with me to Germany for a week... Walnut pate, onion bread, raw granola, etc. Hopefully customs doesn't figure out that I'm carrying raw nuts and seeds into the country! I'm guessing they won't. But now, I'm off to Manchester for our Just Desserts class, with chocolate ganache cake and key lime tarts in tow...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Raw Apple Crumble with Caramel

Denise and I have a raw desserts class coming up, our favorite class to teach, and we always get a little extra creative in the kitchen before one of these classes. Because our desserts class falls just before the holidays (Nov 5), we thought it would be nice to add in a dessert or two that our students could bring to Thanksgiving dinner, or a holiday party.

I happened to pick up the new Everyday Raw Desserts book by Matthew Kenney in September (because I love his Everyday Raw book so much!), and decided it would be wonderful to experiment with his apple cobbler with almond crumble recipe. The result? Fantastic!

2 cups almonds, soaked and dehydrated
2 cups walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
6 T powdered sucanat or maple sugar (I used coconut crystals)
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground cloves
1 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup date paste (1 C date, 1/2 C water, 1 t lemon juice, blended = 1 C paste)
1 T coconut oil, melted

5 medium apples, thinly sliced (mandolin)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 t lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
pinch salt

To make the crumble pulse the nuts, sweetnener, and spices until well combined but still chunky. Add remaining ingredients and process until crumbly.

For the filling, toss the sliced apples with remaining ingredients, and dehydrate for 1 hour until apples are semisoft.

Line a pan or dish with plastic wrap or parchment. Press 1/3 of the crumble on the bottom for the crust. Spread in the apple filling and top with remaining crumble.

Serve with caramel...

2 cups maple syrup (I only used 1 1/2, which was plenty)
1 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 t vanilla extract
1 t salt
1/2 t lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix until smooth.

I have one more recipe to try before our desserts class, and then Denise and I will decide which to add into the mix. More to come...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brendan Brazier, Cleanse Meeting, and a Level I Class... What a Week!

It's been quite a week for me, with lots of high points amidst LOTS of work.

Monday night Denise and I attend the Brendan Brazier seminar in Manchester, NH, sponsored by A Market. Wow. I've been dying to meet Brendan ever since my friend (and smoothie partner in crime) Lori turned me on to his book "Thrive Diet" years ago. I've been such a fan, I've even shipped copies of his book overseas to friends and family. I use him as an example almost daily when talking about a raw, vegan lifestyle, and he truly is an inspiration. Can you tell I absolutely love him?

Brendan spoke about how it takes energy (from your body) to gain energy (from the food you eat), and how you want to spend the least to gain the most for a higher net gain. Most Americans are overfed, but undernourished, because of the food they eat!

He also explained the stress/hormone relationship. Stresses including work, environmental toxins, foods we eat, even exercise, cause the hormone cortisol to rise. Excessive cortisol levels prevent the delta phase of deep sleep. This causes adrenal fatigue (I am a sufferer!), and causes many to turn to stimulants such as coffee... Which causes more stress on the body. 40% of stress can be attributed to POOR NUTRITION!

So... Change your diet to a plant-based diet, which is easier for the body to assimilate (use) for a higher net gain. This lowers stress, which lowers cortisol. Eventually you are able to reach the delta level of sleep (2-6 weeks). You'll sleep more efficiently, and require less sleep yet have more energy. The idea is to introduce high net gain foods that are alkalizing (as opposed to acid-forming). Acid forming foods (meats, dairy, sugars, processed, cooked) causes your body to pull calcium from your bones to neutralize your blood. THIS is what causes osteoporosis. Acid forming foods also cause INFLAMMATION.

Introducing nutrient-dense, alkalizing foods such as maca (root from Peru full of nutrient-rich minerals from volcanic ash), and spirulina and chlorella (70% protein and alkalizing) into your diet will improve sleep quality and energy levels.

Remember: CHANGE is stress, even if it's positive change. Make the change to a new diet slowly, and preferably with the assistance of a holistic nurse practitioner (such as Val or Maureen at Londonderry Whole Health).

Tip for athletes: carbs BEFORE a workout, protein AFTER. Learn about Brendan's amazing products on his website

It was a true pleasure to meet Brendan, and I hope he is able to come to the grand opening of the coming soon smoothie bar and cafe Lori and I are working on opening.

Then Tuesday night I had my weekly cleanse meeting during my 21-day fall cleanse. I love cleansing with a group, because it makes it so much easier. Only one more week to go...

Saturday was the Level I class (from Alissa Cohen's certification program) that Denise and I teach. We had a fantastic group, who were very sympathetic to the fact that Denise and I couldn't eat most of what we were teaching all of them to prepare (because we're cleansing). It was such a fun day - we really enjoyed our time with this group (in the photo). Apparently they enjoyed our company too, because they're all coming to our Just Desserts class November 5th!

Definitely an action-packed week with lots of wonderful things to sustain me.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Raw Halloween Treats - Almond Butter Cups

Wednesday night Denise and I held our second raw living foods seminar at Amoskeag Chiropractic in Manchester... And this time we served up raw almond butter cups and coconut crisps, yum! Of course, Denise and I are cleansing, so we couldn't eat the almond butter cups. Boo.

In the seminar, we shared all of the wonderful benefits of eating raw, as well as the abundance of amazing nutrients in one of those raw almond butter cups such as... protein, calcium, folate, iron, B2, fiber (and that's just the almond butter!), antioxidants, magnesium, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, omega-6 fatty acids (the cacao!)... Then we spoke at length about the MANY virtues of coconut oil. We couldn't cover all of the wonderful things about coconuts in this seminar, so we will have a separate seminar dedicated solely to the coconut.

There is one glaring myth about coconut oil, which I would like to dispel here. Coconut oil was wrongly given a bad reputation by the very producers of cooking oils, because tropical oils are expensive to produce in the United States. They wanted to switch the population over to cheap, easy to produce oils such as vegetable, canola, corn, etc. So, they started putting it out there that coconut oil is a saturated fat (which it is), and that it's therefore bad for you (which it's not). The truth is, coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. MCTs are unique in that they are a form of saturated fat, but one which the body utilizes very differently. Their digestion is nearly effortless. Within moments of being consumed, MCTs are converted to energy by the liver instead of getting stored in the cells (like fat that does not contain MCTs). Because of these "direct burn" properties, coconut oil is THE oil of choice for maintaining a lean frame and optimal health. I can truly go on and on about this, but instead, I'll leave it for the next free seminar at Amoskeag all about the coconut.

We also spoke at length about fructose (sugar), because we used agave in the almond butter cup recipe. I will say this often, so don't expect it to change: sugar should be eaten in SMALL quantities and only on OCCASION. Definitely not every day. This is sugar in all it's forms - fructose, glucose, etc. Why, you might ask. Sugar is a drug that disrupts all sorts of delicate chemical balances within the human body, and is a direct cause of obesity in this country. Our daily fructose (sugar from plants) consumption should stay below 25 grams per day. That's the equivalent of 2 pears! That's it! Someone may think their eating really healthy having lots of fresh organic fruits every day, meanwhile they are consuming way too much sugar and spiking their insulin levels continuously. This is causing the mitochondria in their cells to starve, and therefore every cell in their body is screaming for them to 'eat more'. This is because although the cells are being fed, they are not being NUTRITIONALLY fed. Trust me, it's not the fat that's making Americans obese, it's the sugar.

What makes our raw almond butter cups a much better sweet treat than traditional peanut butter cups (aside from being organic, etc), is that the other ingredients are SO nutrient dense they slow the release of insulin into the blood and your cells can get some of the nutrients being made available to them. The recipe...

Mix together until smooth and creamy:
- 1C cacao powder
- 1C agave
- 1/2C melted coconut oil

Line an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with wax paper, and pour half of the chocolate sauce in. Spread evenly and set in the freezer.

Mix together in a food processor:
- 1 jar organic, raw almond butter
- 1/2 to 3/4C agave (to your taste)
- 1/2C melted coconut oil
- 1T Celtic or Himalayan salt (not table salt!)

Layer this on top of the now solid first layer of chocolate, and return to the freezer. Wait 20-30 minutes before layering on the last layer of chocolate using the remaining half of the chocolate sauce. Return to the freezer to become solid, preferably overnight.

Once completely solid, pop it out of the dish (the wax paper makes this super easy) onto a cutting board. Cut it into serving size pieces, and then store in the freezer for a (mostly) healthy snack!