Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More thoughts on agave...

There is a new article on Mercola.com about the "evils" of agave - worse for you than HFCS! It's very easy to believe every word of this article, and start dumping any agave you may have down the drain. But what I'd like to know, before I jump on the "agave is the devil" bandwagon, is who paid for the studies that produced this new information? Was it paid for by the stevia people? Or the sugar people? Or some other competitor? I trust Dr. Mercola as a good source of information, but it is still important to check the original source of that information. And Mercola has been known to make a retraction or two in the past.

There is one tiny little paragraph buried in the article that caught my eye the second time I read it through: "It is worth mentioning that some websites mention that a natural raw agave product does exist in Mexico, made from the actual sap of the agave, but availability is limited because it is so expensive to produce. By far, the vast majority of agave syrups offered commercially are not this unprocessed raw agave from the sap." Nothing more is said about this, but it does mean that raw, unprocessed agave does exist somewhere in the world.

I personally don't purchase agave found in stores. I order mine from Ultimate Super Foods online, and they do sell a RAW agave. If you just compare the color and consistency of what I buy with what's found in stores, there is a profound difference. I will try contacting Ultimate Super Foods to learn whether the agave I've been purchasing from them is truly unprocessed raw agave or not, now that I'm armed with new information.

I truly believe it's a good practice to not immediately cry wolf without doing some investigating first. This is true about any incendiary information! And I also believe it's a good practice to limit ANY sweeteners in your diet, including raw honey. Stay tuned...


Sunday, March 28, 2010

All Raw, All Weekend

Wow. Denise and I were elbow-deep in raw all weekend... And I cannot think of a better way to celebrate turning 36! Friday night my beau treated me to Grezzo. His critique? "It didn't make me gag." HIGH praises coming from a very non-raw guy, trust me! I caught a glimpse of Alissa on her way out to a show with a friend, and of course Leah in the kitchen making her beautiful creations.

Denise and I taught Alissa Cohen's Living on Live Food Level I on Saturday, and we taught Level II on Sunday. My poor little 5-tray dehydrator didn't know WHAT to do with itself! It was awesome. When Denise emails me the photo, I'll post the gorgeous pizza we made in Level II. MMM.

We couldn't have asked for a better group of women to join us in this weekend adventure - it was truly amazing. As always, we learned just as much from them as they did from us, and we loved every second of it.

We are looking forward to our upcoming Free Green Smoothie Seminar April 29th, and our Next Level I & II Classes June 5th & 6th. We hope to see some familiar faces, and some new ones too!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Bathing in chocolate...

Here it is, my little mishap with the Vita-Mix (notice the chocolate in my hair). Hey, if you can't have fun in the kitchen, what's the point? And making a mess is ALWAYS fun. Just ask Denise about the splatters on the ceiling...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Desserts Night... Recipes

Our Just Desserts class last night, in Londonderry, NH (thank you Maureen!), was amazing fun as always. We had a fabulous group of women, and we ate, and ate, and ATE! Per usual, Denise and I prepared a couple of treats for the class that we do not teach during the class - one of which last night because it's in the experimental stages. Several requests were made for these recipes... Following is the latte recipe...

"Strength" Mocha Latte
- 1/2 C brewed burdock root tea (brew and strain)
- 1 C almond milk
- 1 to 2 t agave (or honey or maple syrup)
- 1/4 t vanilla
- 1/4 t shilajit (optional, but gives you calm energy)
- 1/2 t maca powder (gives it a malt flavor)
- 1 to 2 t cacao powder (or more if you like)

Blend ingredients together to incorporate and make them frothy. Serve chilled in the summer. Or warm in a Vita-Mix. If you make this the moment you brew the burdock root tea, it will be warm already. You can purchase the shilajit and agave at Ultimate Super Foods. I also reference other great places to purchase products online on the Humbaba World website.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Just Desserts is right around the corner, and Denise and I are really looking forward to an evening of delicious, healthy desserts shared with a great group of people. It is definitely one of our favorite classes to teach.

Sadly, we had to discourage a couple of people from joining us this coming Friday night. Why? NUTS.

Raw food desserts are notorious for using nuts - nut flours, creams, ice creams - it's practically unavoidable. Well, why? Surely there has to be other ingredients we can use as substitutes. Coconut meat, of course, is one such ingredient... but truth be told, Denise and I have not cracked that one so-to-speak. Our next task is to get over the fear of opening coconuts. Silly, I know. It's not, for example, like having to get over the fear of public speaking!

Because of all this, we are working on creating nut-free alternatives to as many of the recipes we teach as possible. Nuts are a wonderful source of protein and good fats in the raw food world, but there are plenty of other sources of these such as sprouted quinoa and avocado.

We don't want to have to turn people away again because of a nut allergy, so keep your eyes open for a nut-free raw food class sometime this year... Including desserts!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring/Summer Classes Added!

This past Sunday Denise and I got together to "play" in the kitchen, in preparation for our next Just Desserts class. You wouldn't BELIEVE the craziness that ensued! We're talking chocolate splatters on the ceiling and my head covered in chocolate mousse... Not kidding. We even have the pictures to prove it, which I may post one day.

Needless to say, we had a tremendous amount of fun like we always do when we get to messing around with raw food creations. And we did actually accomplish some things in and amongst all the "play", such as setting more class dates:

April 29th - FREE Smoothie Seminar
June 5th - Level I Certification
June 6th - Level II Certification

Keep your eyes peeled for more summer events as we add them to the calendar... Do I hear "pot-luck" anyone??? And of course, if there are any classes you'd like us to offer that you don't see on the schedule, put in a request for it!


March Classes at Affordable Prices

I've noticed lately that several raw food classes are being offered on a sliding scale to accommodate everyone's wallet. For example, Rawbert's classes (of Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly, MA). Also Alissa Cohen recently offered her 4-day training this spring at a discount for the remaining open seats.

Denise and I understand what it feels like to really want to learn about how to prepare raw food, but just not being able to stomach paying the class fees to do so. It was a significant investment for us to take Alissa's 4-day training, and we almost didn't do it because of the financial hurdle. But, oh, was it worth it! Doing something wonderful for yourself always is.

We certainly don't want people to miss out on learning as much as they can about how to live and eat healthy in a sustainable way, so we decided to follow suit by offering our spring classes on a sliding scale as well... Just pay what you honestly can afford! This offer includes our Just Desserts class March 19th, and our Level I & II classes March 27th and 28th.

Now, if only Whole Foods would take on this philosophy...