Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Our Right To Know ... Label GMO's!

Amber at GMO Rally
Amber Making Her Sign for Santa Cruz Label GMO Rally
My seven year old granddaughter Amber Light is passionate about her food being free from GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms are a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal). Amber says we should not have GMO foods in our stores, that they just tempt kids unknowingly and they are just bad for you and at least they should label them. I told her that this is known as truth-in-labeling and  that she is correct that we have the right to know what is in our food so we can make healthy choices for ourselves and our families. Amber is so passionate that she has put signs on her front door saying "No GMO's", she joined me at a local rally we had in Santa Cruz, helped with tabling (where we educate people about hidden GMO's in our food supply and our California label GMO campaign) and she met Jeffery Smith, a pioneer, author & expert in educating the public on the dangers of GMO's. Above are pictures of Amber at our local Label GMO rally.

In California we are standing-up for our right-to-know what is in our food by demanding the labeling of all GMO ingredients. This will be done by a California Ballot Initiative scheduled for November 2012. This initiative will give our citizens the power to decide if and how GMO's will be labeled.

When this initiative passes, California will be leading the nation in labeling GMO's, helping to pave the way for other states to take their own action, demanding their right-to-know too. These type of initiatives are essential to building a safe and sustainable food and farming system. And what is exciting is that the power is with the citizens, at the ballot box. The future of our food supply literally depends upon the success of this campaign.

Look-Out for Label GMO Petitions and Sign One!

Starting in February 18, 2012, in California, you will see volunteers outside your natural food stores,  grocery stores, farmer's markets and other locations around your town asking you to sign a petition to get GMO's labeled. Please take a few moments to sign this petition and pass the word on to family and friends so they can be on the look-out for these petitions as well. 

Be strong about your resolve to get GMO's labeled in California. Educate yourself because when we get our 800,000 signatures (the amount estimated we need to get this initiative on our ballet) and hopefully we'll get a lot more, expect Monsanto to launch their own propaganda campaign to confuse people and to try to persuade voters to vote again this bill. Monsanto will put big bucks into their campaign and we know this as they have done it in the past.

Things You Can Do!

Get educated on GMO's and their health and environmental risks. Donate to the Label GMO initiative. Volunteer with your local GMO group. Share the message with family members and friends. Below are some link to help you along your journey.
  • Download your GMO Shopping Guide or get a free app for your IPhone or IPad at the same link. This guide will help you to avoid GMO's in the foods you purchase at your grocery store and natural foods markets. Up to 80% of processed foods contain GMO ingredients so educate yourself now by downloading the GMO Shopping Guide.  
  • Click on this link to learn more about the health risks of GMO foods.  
  • is a great place to go to read about the breaking news on GM foods. 
  • is a great site to understand what GMO means, what are the health risks, what testing has been done and more.
Sure Ways to Avoid GMO's
  • Shop at your local Farmer's Markets.
  • Grow your own food.
  • Buy organic as most organic foods are GMO free. The concern with organic foods is that GMO crops can cross pollinate to organic varieties in the area.

Please Pass This Message Along to Family and Friends!
Together We Can Change the World!

Campaign for Healthier Eating in America
"Although the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be one of the most dangerous health and environmental problems we face, it can be one of the easiest of the battles to win. The key is found in the tipping point, whereby a small number of individuals can move the market, forcing GMOs out of our nation�s food supply." Jeffery Smith

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mik's Curry Miso Green Soup

Six Servings (about one and one half cups per serving)

This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Mikaële Holzer, of Mik assists her clients in successfully completing green juice cleanses. This quick and easy blender soup can be made in minutes and is a good way to come off a green juice fast or enjoy anytime. It is so nourishing and delicious you may want to make it often. *When washing and preparing the ingredients for this soup sing a song or chant out-loud. In this way you will be adding your divine joyful energy into every bite of this nourishing soup!

To the Chef: South River Garbanzo Miso is my personal favorite but any light colored miso will do. Be sure to purchase miso from the refrigerator section as this miso will be alive with enzymes and friendly bacteria.

Equipment Needed: High speed blender or if using a kitchen blender blend in 2 batches.

2 ½ cups purified water or coconut water
1 lemon, peeled, seeded and cut in large chunks
1 medium avocado, cut in chunks
1 stalk celery, cut in large pieces
1 handful sunflower spouts or other sprouts
1 handful buckwheat sprouts or pea sprouts
1 handful fresh dill weed
3-5 leaves of kale or chard
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons South River Garbanzo Miso or other unpasterized light colored miso
2 tablespoons Nama Shuyo or tamari
2 tablespoons dulse flakes or ¼ cup dulse
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper

For An Artful Presentation
2 tablespoons raw tahini (sesame butter)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Nama Shuyo or tamari

Blend: In a high speed blender, put all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

For An Artful Presentation: In a small bowl, put the tahini, lemon juice and Nama Shuyo and whisk until smooth. The mixture needs to be the consistency of a thick oil. If too thin add more tahini or too thick add more lemon juice or water. To Create a Feather Pattern: Drizzle the tahini mixture in 3 lines or 3 consecutive circles across the top(s) of the soup that has been placed in a serving bowl or individual bowls. Using a thin knife, draw a line across the lines  or circles of tahini in 4 or 5 places. This will make a beautiful feather design on top of your soup. Now your soup has a beautiful and professional look.

Serving Ideas: Best served immediately. To make this soup a complete meal add a Kale Salad and flax crackers.

How to Store: If you can not finish this soup in 1 setting, put the remainder in a glass jar and secure with the lid. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Apple Walnut Granola

Makes Twelve Cups

Alive with enzymes, great nutrition and outstanding flavor, this granola will quickly become a favorite staple for a quick snack when on the run or a morning get-me-going breakfast cereal served with Almond Goji Mylk (see May 2009 posting). Apple Walnut Granola is sweetened with apple, pear and a little coconut palm sugar. Cinnamon is added to bring out the sweet nature of the other ingredients and balance blood sugar levels. Ginger powder, which has no resemblance to fresh ginger in taste, adds a little spark.

To the Chef: Apple Walnut Granola takes some early preparation so start sprouting the buckwheat 3 days before you are ready to make this special treat. The nuts need to soaked 12 to 24 hours and the sunflower seeds for 6 to 12 hours. Dehydrating will take 6 to 8 hours. Purchase true cinnamon which is also called Ceylon cinnamon and use only an organic ginger powder without preservatives.

Buckwheat Sprouts
1 cup raw unhulled buckwheat

Dry Mixture
3 cups dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
2 cups raw walnuts, almonds or other nuts, soaked 12 to 24 hours, drain & rinse
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 6 to 12 hours, drain & rinse
1 cup currants or dried blueberries
1 cup mesquite powder, optional
½ cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt or other full spectrum salt
4 Granny Smith apples, grated large
2 pear or more apples, grated large

Wet Mixture
2 cups purified water
½ cup golden flax seeds, ground
½ cup coconut oil, softened

Buckwheat Sprouts
In a wide mouth quart mason jar, put the buckwheat and cover generously with purified water. Secure a screen or cheese cloth over the mouth of the jar using a rubber band or metal canning ring. Let soak 6 to 12 hours. Discard soaking water and rinse buckwheat until water is runs clear. Put the jar on a 45º angle in your dish drainer or other convenient place so it can drain further and get plenty of air. Cover with a cloth so it is out of the light. Rinse, drain and return to a 45º angle twice a day until the sprout tails are about the same length as a single grain of buckwheat, about 2 days.

Dry Mixture
In a large mixing bowl, put all the ingredients under Dry Mixture and stir together.

Wet Mixture (instructions are different for high speed blender & home blender, both included)
In a high speed blender, put all the ingredients under Wet Mixture and blend until smooth. If using a home blender, grind the flax seeds in a spice or coffee grinder first then blend with other ingredients.
Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients
Pour the Wet Mixture into the Dry Mixture and stir to combine well.

On a dehydrator tray covered with a teflex sheet or natural kitchen parchment paper, spread the granola mixture evenly to slightly more than 1/8-inch thick. Repeat until all the mixture is used. If using an Excalibur dehydrator, measure 3 cups of granola mixture per tray. You will need about 3 trays total.

Put the trays of granola in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 145ºF for 2 hours. Turn dehydrator down to 115ºF and continue to dehydrate until the granola pulls away easily from the teflex sheet or parchment (in other words, when you lift the granola it's underside is not sticky), about 3 hours. Remove the granola from the teflex sheets or parchment and put it on the mesh screens that came with the dehydrator. Dehydrate until very dry and crunchy, about 2 more hours.

Serving Ideas
Serve Apple Walnut Granola as a morning breakfast cereal with Almond Goji Mylk or other mylks, enjoy as a quick energy snack when on the trail or on the go and serve as a treat or dessert like you would a cookie. Shards of Apple Walnut Granola can be served standing-up in a raw dessert mousse.

How to Store
Let the granola cool completely then immediately put it into a large jar or several smaller jars and fasten on the lid. If left out on your counter too long it will rehydrate and you may have to put it back into dehydrator before storing. Store in a dark cool part of your kitchen. Apple Walnut Granola will keep for several months if dehydrated properly (meaning all the moisture was removed).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Botanically Blessed Desserts with Jia Patton

© 2006 Carrie Toder
Sunday, April 10th ~ 1-4pm
1821 17th Av, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Call to Enroll ~ $50
831-462-1807 ~

You may know the mystical, magical healing powers of Essential Oils when applied to the skin. Now learn how to use EO's in exotic desserts to enhance their flavor and boost your immunity and that of your family's! This is a hands-on workshop so bring your apron and willing hands. We will make Chocolate Truffles with Fresh Mint Centers, Carob Cups with Coconut Cherry Cordial Centers, Blue Heaven Delight (a coconut blueberry mousse) and Coconut Chia Pudding (a quick, high Omega 3 pudding). And... just to snack on, there will be Fermented Nut Cheez with crackers and a beautiful Minted EO Water with Flower Petal Ice Hearts. You will also learn the art of Kitchen Yoga, bring more love, joy and gratitude into the making and serving of your food creations.

Jia Patton is a vegan and raw food chef and author of cookbooks. She headed her own cooking school for over fourteen years, teaching the importance of using organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables, and how to incorporate high nutrition foods into your diet. She is a certified Kali Ray TriYoga instructor and is a graduate of The College of Botanical Healing Arts.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pecan Burgers

Pecan Burgers

Serve 6 (about two burgers each)

Pecans are a delicious, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich nut native to North America. That is why pecans were chosen for these great uncooked burgers. Instead of cooking, these burgers are dehydrated until a crust forms on top and yet still moist inside. A tasty tangy tomato pesto and marinated onion rings are the crowning features of these burgers.

To the Chef:
Check the recipe as you will need time for soaking the pecans (about 6 hours) and for dehydrating the burgers (about 5 hours). If making the Marinated Purple Onion Rings, they will need to marinate (about 3 hours), so plan your time in the kitchen. The Pecan Burgers and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto can be made several days ahead of time and the burgers reheated in the dehydrator just before serving. The Marinated Purple Onion Rings should be made the day of your meal as they will get soggy if left to marinate too long.

Pecan Burger

2 cups pecans, soaked 6 hours

1 cup celery, sliced

1 cup parsley leaves, chopped large

½ cup flax seed meal

½ cup purple onion, diced large

2 tablespoons Nama Shoyu (raw soy sauce), tamari or 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink crystal salt

¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink crystal salt

2 cloves garlic, crushed

For an Artful Presentation (optional)

12 large outer leaves of Bibb lettuce

1 recipe Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, see below

1 recipe Marinated Purple Onion Rings, see recipe below

Pecan Burger Process
: In a food processor, put all the ingredients for the burger and process until almost smooth. If necessary, add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture flows freely through the blade. Be careful not to add too much water as this mixture needs to be thick for shaping into burgers.

Shape into Burgers: On a piece of unbleached parchment paper cut to the size of your dehydrator tray, put 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture (for small appetizer size burgers) or ¼ cup (for larger burgers) and into a burger about ¼-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Dehydrate the Burgers:
Dehydrate the burgers at 145°F for 1 hour. Turn down the dehydrator to 115°F and continue to dehydrate until they are slightly crisp on top and moist in the center, about 4 more hours.

For an Artful Presentation (optional) Assemble Burger: On a large platter or individual dishes, put the 12 leaves of lettuce. Place a burger on each lettuce leaf, spread some Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto over their tops and crown with the Marinated Purple Onion Rings.

Store: Keep these burgers in a covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Put sheets of natural wax paper between the layers.

Serving Ideas: Serve Pecan Burgers as the main dish of a meal, as little appetizers for a stand-up buffet or as a snack when you need a little extra protein.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

Makes About One Cup

A pizzazy tomato sauce alive with flavor, texture and color. Let this tasty delight crown your main dishes whenever a tomato taste is desired. It is especially complementary served over Pecan Burgers (see above).

To the Chef:
Look for sun-dried tomatoes without sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a health concern. It is used to preserve the color of dried fruits including tomatoes and to keep them moist and plump. Tomatoes that have been dried without sulfur dioxide will be more dry and dark looking but will be much better for you!

1 medium tomato, cut in large chunks

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill weed or basil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon agave nectar or other sweetener

½ teaspoon pink Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt

1 clove garlic, crushed

Process: In a food processor, put all the ingredients and process until slightly chunky.

Serving Ideas: Use like you would catchup.

How to Store: Store in a covered glass container for up to 5 days.

Marinated Purple Onion Rings

About Twenty Onion Rings

Marinated Purple Onion Rings can be made in a snap but must marinate for several hours to be at their best. They are a tasty and attractive addition to a meal or tossed into a salad. Purple onions are often mistakenly labeled red onions.

To the Chef: Start early as these onion rings will need to marinat for 3 hours. Slice the onion thick or thin depending on the texture, taste and look you are wanting to achieve. I prefer thinly sliced for Pecan Burgers as they will be more supple, slightly sweet and will tend to clump together and loose their shape. A thicker cut onion will be slightly crunchier, have a spicier taste and will keep its shape longer. Cut your onion with a sharp knife or for a uniform precision cut, use a mandolin or V-slicer.

Onion Rings in Marinade Sauce

1 medium purple onion, sliced in thick or thin rings

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu (soy sauce)

¼ tablespoon Himalayan pink crystal salt

Shake all Ingredients: In a wide mouth jar, put all the ingredients. Tightly cover with the lid. Shake to coat the onion slices. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Serving Ideas: These onion rings can be used to garnish on top of savory dishes, add them as a minor ingredient to salads or as a major ingredient to a simple salad of sliced tomato and perhaps some cucumber and sweet basil.

How to Store: Marinated Purple Onion Rings are best used the day they are made.