In the spirit of this newsletter I would like to attempt to illustrate some techniques that will make your living food experience easy.
The emphasis should be placed on organizing a weekly shopping and food preparation schedule that works best for you and your family. This tends to be one of the most difficult chores facing Hippocrates alumni. Where, what and how do I store it? How do certain items keep? The suggestions presented here are a combination of restaurant tricks and some ideas that have worked in our home.
First, seek out the produce manager at your local health food store and find out the delivery days; those would be your best shopping days. Ask about getting some discounts if you put a small (four to six people) buying group together. Check out the local vegetarian society or support group about assembling a co-op.
The next best option is to seek out farm stands or green markets. Spend some time talking to the growers; they will be thrilled to explain how they grow their food. By supporting transitional organic farmers (those not yet certified), you will be helping them to sustain their livelihood and families. Everyone benefits, the growers, you and our planet.
Of course, growing your own is rewarding, but not all of us have space, time or a ‘green thumb’. There are mail order sources available. Check the pages of your favorite vegetarian magazine (Vegetarian Times, Veggie Life, etc.) or other food and health journals (some sources are listed in the back of my book).
You must plan your weekly menu. It is important always to have something soaking and sprouting. Below is a sample of a three-day menu allowing for soaking and sprouting time:
SUNDAY (Shopping Day)
AM Prep Work: Drain and rinse produce and fruit; fill pantry; prep greens
Lunch: Sprout and avocado salad; grated vegetables; olive oil; lemon; garlic
Dinner: Grilled tempeh burger on spelt buns; sprouts and marinated onions; garden salad
PM Prep Work: Soak chickpeas (2 cups); soak sun seeds (2 cups); prep sprouts; prep/cut vegetables
AM Prep Work: Soak 4 cups rye berries, drain/rinse chickpeas and sprout
Lunch: Sun patties; sprouts and baby greens with flax oil and lemon dressing
Dinner: Steamed sweet potatoes; mixed steamed vegetables with garlic and herbs; spinach and mushroom salad
PM Prep Work: Rinse chickpeas, continue to sprout; dehydrate leftover seeds; soak 2 cups almonds; rinse rye – set out to sprout
AM Prep Work: Check rye; rinse chickpeas, continue to sprout; rinse almonds, dehydrate
Lunch: Guacamole and chips; leafy greens and sprouts; grated beets with lime and dill
Dinner: Sprouted chick peas and Italian-style vegetables (chickpeas can be cooked briefly); steamed kale with onions; sprouts with grated carrots and sliced celery
PM Prep Work: Store sprouted rye in refrigerator; puree extra leftover chickpeas and dehydrate as patties.
When you arrive home, you will need to take an inventory of what’s on hand. Following are some helpful items: Champion Juicer, blender (stainless steel or glass pitcher), food processor, storage containers (all shapes and sizes; plastic or glass), rubber spatulas (2), glass or ceramic mixing bowls (3 or 4 large; 2 or 3 small), 100% cotton kitchen towels (12- 24” x 12”), stainless steel box grater, good quality paring knife (8” – good for slicing sprouted breads, melons, cucumbers, etc.), wood cutting board (18” x 18”), and a sharpening steel (12” or longer).
Another “living foods” tool is the dehydrator. This will allow you to prepare your own snacks, dried fruit, crackers and other goodies to keep you from straying to the “healthy” junk food. A dehydrator is one of the best investments you can make towards setting up a practical, workable raw and living foods kitchen. They allow you to create entirely different types of foods to compliment your sprouts, greens, soups and salads. Dehydrated foods also are enzyme “intact”. Fruits (ripe only), soaked nuts and seeds, most vegetables, herbs and sea vegetables are all candidates for the dehydrator. With some pre-planning and thought, you can begin work toward accumulating a running supply of dehydrated products.
The “Excalibur” brand dehydrator works well and accurately. The five-tray model should be adequate for two to three people. Large families should look into the nine-tray model. The Excalibur is fairly energy efficient and works well even when all trays are filled.