Monthly Archives: February 2011
If you haven't yet had the pleasure of trying the new chocolate bar from Raw Living's alchemical kitchen, then you're in for a treat.
Supermagic is both super and magic, of this there can be no doubt. It's a double layer of chocolatey goodness, the bottom half is Be The Change (one of my favourite raw chocolate bars ever) and the top is Truth, a creamier, fudgey white chocolate style bar that is made without cacao powder creating a much more balanced effect than you usually get from chocolate. This is the light and the shadow, the yin and the yang, the day and the night of chocolate. And it rocks.
Containing aulterra and etherium gold which help to balance the body and brain along with uplifting mucuna and revitalising crystal manna this really is more than just another chocolate bar.
I haven't consumed milk chocolate for many years but in my imagination, the creamier, smoother consistency that you get with this bar is more akin to it and has a gentler and more comforting effect on me as a result. I definitely found it less stimulating than pure chocolate bars and it would be my bar of choice for those busy stressful time when we crave chocolate but find the stimulating effects too much.
Like a chocolately cuddle Supermagic uplifts but also balances. It's creamy, smooth and delicious and it comes superhighly recommended.
Do you remember that children’s poem?
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.
Funny cos mulberries don’t grow on bushes they grow on trees!
Anyway, I want to tell you about these little beauties. Black Mulberries – as it says on the packet, these are the dried fruit for Goths. But even if you're not a Goth and hold no Goth-aspirations, you will still LOVE these!
Mulberries are a popular medicinal herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and are thought to support the kidney and liver.
These berries are multi-coloured geniuses. When young, they are anything from white or green to pale yellow with pink edges! When they are ripening they turn red and then slowly go from dark purple to black.
Rich in nutrients such as Vitamins C and K, iron, calcium, and fibre, black mulberries are an excellent superfood. They are also full of antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties and are huge in the antioxidant anthocyanin. Wow that’s a lot of ants isn’t it?
Black mulberries have a really incredible texture and taste. They do look a little teeny bit like rabbit droppings but definitely don’t taste like it even though I don’t know what rabbit droppings taste like…they might even taste nice?
Moving on, they’re very like raisins but certainly not as sweet. The taste is still sweet but not sickly sweet like raisins can be. They’d be great to use in recipes as an alternative to dates, raisins or any other sweetener. However I just eat them straight from the bag. I’m not massive on dried fruit but I have to say I’ve been going back for just another handful since I opened the bag!
The great news is that black mulberries also have an antihyperglycemic effect which means they won’t mess about with your blood sugar levels. This makes them even more ideal and my favourite snacky type snack thing to snack on for snacking purposes.
I also plopped a big handful in my chia pudding this morning and it was delicious!
Hemp is pretty much perfect. Apart from spirulina and chlorella, to the best of my – albeit relatively limited – knowledge, there are few foods which are as nutritious. Just why is hemp so wonderful? It can grow pretty much anywhere, very easily. Organic hemp is easy to grow since it requires no pesticides. They can make it into paper and fabric. It has ten amino acids, including all the essential ones, and is one of only a few plant foods that do. Perhaps most famously, it contains a perfect Essential Fatty Acid ratio - omega-3:omega-6 balance of 3.75:1 (Official guidelines state we should have 4:1 – hemp comes closest! Olive oil has a ratio of 9:1 and canola or rapeseed oil has a ratio of 2:1). We all know how important EFAs are – the clue is in the name! It’s also high in chlorophyll, vitamin E (which is something I personally tend to be low in), and various minerals.
Hemp comes in various forms – seeds, both hulled and whole (See Raw Magic for more information), oil, and protein powders. Recently I began to use hemp butter, which is a relatively new addition to the market as far as I’m aware. Manitoba Harvest is a great brand, I’ve been using their organic hulled seeds and their protein powder for a while now, so I was excited to give this brand a go!
When you first open the jar, I’ll grant that it does look a little bit... green... but that’s ok! It doesn’t have an overpowering smell at all, and the taste is brilliant – definitely tastes like hemp, which you’d expect, but not in a catches-your-throat kind of way.
So what can you do with hemp butter then? You can use it in any way you’d use any other nut or seed butter – make salad dressings with it, use it as a dip, in a nori or green leaf roll-up, anything you can think of. It would be great for feeding kids at hallowe’en too – naturally green gunge, no artificial colours required! You can also use it in milks or smoothies for added hemp goodness. When you’re travelling or moving – as I am now – you often don’t want to or simply can’t carry powders, oils, seeds and butters with you. This is where hemp comes in great!! It fills all the roles you could possibly want it to in a convenient 283g jar (it’s a bizarrely specific measurement, I know – I assume it has something to do with using American and Metric measurements on the same label).
Raw Magic – I know I constantly mention that book but it’s the recipe book I’ve gotten the most use out of out of any that I’ve ever owned – has lots of recipes which include hemp, my favourite of which is Balance Your Hempispheres Salad which you’ll find on page 130. I made it substituting the illusive hemp oil with olive oil and omitting the sauerkraut because I didn’t have any to hand but it was still amazing – nom nom!!
For my first blog entry, I didn't want to write about a product, say how wonderful it is and link through to it. I'd rather write about life, as my belief has always been that raw foods and superfoods are a facilitator to living a better life, to coming closer to who we are, closer to being ourselves, and more able to realise our potential.
Maybe the next entry will be on a product :-)
Actually it won't...I'd like to say something on water, and I don't mean making a speech standing in a puddle. Everyone's heard the phrase 'you are what you eat', how many have heard 'you are what you drink'? Anyway, I'll save that for next time.
Male menopause – and what we can do about it - is about to become a topic. Very few people have heard of the "Andropause." Very few people would say that it exists; it's psychological, just like menopause didn't exist until lots of research proved otherwise.
'The Natural Testosterone Plan', by Stephen Harrod Buhner – writer of 'The Secret Teaching of Plants', 'Sacred Plant Medicine', and 'Plant Spirit Healing', is reviewed as one of the most important books on men's health today.
While much of the book is intended for men over 40, TNTP is also talking to all men, as chemicals in our environment – our water, air, offices, cars, homes, and FOOD, affect the hormonal balance in our bodies.
We know that everything we eat and drink affects our thoughts and our behaviour, what we don't know is how all these environmental pollutants are affecting us, how we would think and feel if we were clean inside. Changes happen slowly, and like the frog in water that doesn't feel the temperature rising, we often don't notice. Humans are one of nature's finest adaptors. The danger in this is that we can adapt so well to an environment that no longer serves us, we forget that we're in it. We forget that our pond has actually become damaging, often very damaging, and if we don't jump out something's going to shrivel up and the light goes out!
We are amazing, and we're going to prove how amazing we are until we nearly kill ourselves!
Buhner writes about the transition into a 'new developmental stage of self', an evaluation of what our dreams were, what we've done, who we are, and what we want to do now. Our culture doesn't understand how important this stage is, there's little guidance, and with the added issue of estrogen mimicking chemicals it becomes very difficult to navigate the shift. Often, the results are loss of energy, loss of drive for life, failure to discover our purpose (either as we're clogged up inside, or we haven't made time to journey inside), loss of libido, impotence, infertility, and some more serious health conditions.
Our bodies, and our body chemistry, is continually changing. Something is interfering with the natural shift. Environmental estrogenic pollutants and substances are entering our bodies in tremendous quantities and shift the balance from testosterone (and other androgens), to estrogen.
This changes who we are, and what we will become.
This book details why we need to take action, and how – going into detail about naturally occurring phytoandrogens (plant medicines that contain male hormones), including pine pollen, ginseng, eleuthero, nettle root, tribulus, and so much more. It's fascinating, and highly recommended.
Not a very witty title this time round... apologies! I was trying to think of a pun involving "ginger" that wouldn't be offensive to all you gorgeous redheads out there (Hi, Penni Shelton!).
Ahem, anyway!! Hot on the heels of Emma's review of the plain variety, I got the chance to review the ginger and orange variety of the same brand. The verdict: impressed!
Initially I thought the bar was quite small but at the same time, £2.20 for 60g is not unreasonable on the raw chocolate market place, as we all know! Here it is on my dictionary, half-eaten (bonus points if you can tell me what language the dictionary is in).
Very bad quality photo, I'm sorry.
The outside is pleasantly mushy, like a thick chocolate bar that's been left in a warm place for almost-but-not-quite too long. The inside has much more bite to it, providing a pleasant contrast and making it seem much more like a snack bar than a chocolate bar (there's a difference, honest) which is something I've never experienced in raw food before.
Tastewise, it was also lovely. Chocolatey enough to give you a hit, but there was a definite gingeriness to it as well - it seemed to build up more as you eat/savour/devour the bar to give something stronger than a tickle but less than a burn in your mouth by the end of it. It definitely wakes you up, at least! The citrus taste I found much more subtle though still present. It was a lovely combination of flavours that would also probably comfort a sore throat if you find yourself with one - a blessing at this time of year in Glasgow!!
I must've been pretty damn amazing in a past life because I seem to get all the good stuff in this one! Namely, a delivery of one Naked Raw Chocolate Pie on Valentine's day. Not bought for me from the husband but hey, who's complaining?
Raw Chocolate Pies are a new addition to the raw chocolate market - you can never have too many raw chocolate options to choose from - and come in a variety of flavours including: Festive, Chocolate and Chilli, Chocolate and Goji, Ginger and Orange, Chocolate Booster, Chocolate with nuts and Naked.
Made by Living Foods of St Ives, these cheeky little pies are reminscent to me of what would happen if a chocolate bar ever mated with a chocolate cake (could happen). That is, a chocolatey, gooey but still a bit crunchy, cakey type mix that's not too heavy but very satisfactorily filling and moreish.
The Naked version of the pie is just a simple pie without anything extra added but raw chocolate, coconut butter, yacon, lucuma, agave and carob flour. It's recommended that you put it in the fridge first but being the raw chocolate devourer that I am, I didn't have time for that hoo hah and went straight in for the taste. Jeez, just having to stop to take pictures of it takes up too much of my important chocolate eating time!
To look at it you might think it would be very heavy but it really isn't! In fact, it's probably the lightest raw pie of it's kind that I've tasted. It's still got a crumbly texture so make sure you're ready to hoover up any little crumbs...with your mouth obviously.
It's incredibly great value for money too at £2.20 for 60 whopping grams!
Can't wait to get trying all the other flavours...where's that husband of mine? :)