RAWKIN’ RECIPE: Fantastic Falafels

  KK with his plate of fantastic falafels, yum! After a brief hiatus from rawsome gourmet food preparation due to an intensified love affair with simple green smoothies and superfood drinks, the fat bags of quinoa on my table inspired me to create one of my most favorite Mediterranean-inspired meals, falafels with generous servings of couscous and  tabbouleh. falafels dehydrating Falafels are traditionally made with ground chickpeas, formed into small fat patties, flash fried and served with a creamy lemon garlic tahini sauce on the side. Making my own light and raw-ified version, I looked at many traditional and raw recipes. Chickpeas can be very heavy and not easily digested when eaten raw plus, most raw falafels call for a lot of nuts, which can be on the heavy side. SOFTWARE: 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds, measured dry, soak for at least 4 hours 1/2 cup white sesame seeds, measured dry, soak for at least 4 hours 4 medium or 6 small carrots, sliced in 2″ pieces one bunch of parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon salt, more if needed 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon oregano 3 cloves garlic juice of one lemon 1 cup pitted black olives 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder< 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup flax or chia meal for binding HOW TO: In an 8-cup (or larger) food processor, add the seeds, garlic cloves and carrots. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Process until blended. Scrape down the sides. Sprinkle flax or chia meal and process for 20 seconds. Put mixture in a bowl and mix by hand with a spatula. Form into falafels (I used a 2-ounce ice scream scoop instead as I was in a hurry) and dehydrate in 145F for the first two hours and 105F for 8-10 hours. It can be served moist too. Serve with sprouted quinoa, tabbouleh or simple salad or in wraps with garlic sauce (I used coconut yogurt as base instead of tahini). Makes about 39 2-ounce falafels and feed 6-8... read more

For the love of fermentation!

A few months ago, I rekindled my love for kefir and restarted giving grains to anyone who wants. Given that I am a frustrated microbiologist–yes, at one point in my life I enveloped myself in the smell of working autoclaves and the scent of formalin–taking up love-based fermentation naturally became second nature. Choosing the raw living foods lifestyle made me appreciate food preparation and fermented food, these I took for granted for many years as I mostly prepared food unconsciously, without gratitude. Fermentation allowed me to sentiently understand and respect the lives and processes (aka hard work) of plants, bees, animals and microbes in order to feed me. There’s so much dedication and energy that goes to each ounce of kefir and kombucha, a forkful of sauerkraut, a drop of honey.Experiencing all this contributed to my, let me say, “above average” state of health and well-being. Fermentation coupled with raw food and energy consciousness, I am completely healed of my GERD, obesity and high blood cholesterol levels, my blood sugar level found stability. Unsurprisingly, I became resistant to flu, cough, cold seasons. To share my love of fermentation, I improved and systematized the way I give kefir grains to their loving recipients. Before, I would put live activated grains with fermenting kefir water in small jars and post the dates when I can deliver in my kefir share calendar. Since then, I quadrupled my production–my household’s consumption excluded–due to the significant increase of requests and the way I was giving them away is not working as well as I initially thought it would. I always run out of jars and there’s the chronic spillage concern which made transport bothersome for both giver and recipient. dehydrated and inactive kefir grains which plump up to 400% more in volume upon activation To make this entire love-share process sustainable and easier, I started dehydrating kefir grains and kombucha mothers–otherwise known as SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), I started giving these away since December 2011–and packing them in zip lock bags. Also, I prepared kefir and kombucha activation instructions, recipes, FAQs and other reference material for its recipients, all to be sent via e-mail because I commit to love our planet by minimizing usage of paper and plastic. On top of this, I provide online support to all recipients. On a regular basis, I give kefir + fermentation talks and demos in Asha Peri’s The Lighter Side of Raw living foods... read more

Reading and Raw Food

bound sunshine in Fully Booked (Greenbelt 5) October and November spelled the busiest months of my 2011. By end of September, I took a deep breath before jumping onto the sunrise of October 1st. Balancing the different hats I wear and their individual needs posed a sprinkling of challenges, dropping a couple of balls and quickly picking them all back up. During my lovely retreat to Mama Palawan (Coron and Culion) to bask under the brightest of sunshine, I stopped and just BE! and marveled at the phenomenon of the sky and sea melting to one glorious shade of blue. The miracle that is Palawan requires nothing less than reverent silence. Adjusting back from my sweet reprieve, visiting my favorite bookstores are in order. I realized that for quite some time, I haven’t read the way I used to read…voraciously, curiously, taking delight with each flip of a page–no thanks to the internet. The sweet reprieve–and intermittent internet connection–reminded me how absolutely delicious reading can be and why it will always be my first love. As a light worker with a passion for furthering the advocacy in raw food with a renewed love affair with reading, it is a gift to see THREE–not just one but three!–books on raw food on a bookstore shelf. I take that one small step to awakening in the sunshine and love of raw food! About 3-4 months ago, I only saw one book on raw food in NBS, written by Diana von Cranach: I’ve been diligently praying for local raw food books hitting the market like a storm and I am answered by The Farm at San Benito‘s recent release of RAW!: photo by Celine Fernando Unfortunately, RAW! is not available in local bookstores as of this writing. I trust it will be plus others, and soon! the country thirsts for more raw food books and most of them don’t know it yet.... read more

2011 Gratitude List

2011 is a great year of firsts, expansions and more importantly, of LOVE and CONSCIOUSNESS in its grandest, finest, infinitude and wholeness. There is so much to be thankful for and it would a crime not to share even a fraction of its immense-ness in heart. Trail to the God Within 1. Truly learning the gift of silence and communion with the God with-IN It started with the best birthday gift I ever gave myself, a solo journey to the prayer mountain. It was apparent that this wisdom revealed lay the power to share love and best of intentions for others. As this consciousness expanded, my heart grew bigger that my chest cannot hold it in its old place; it took its rightful place in the Universe. Sunset at Dancalan, Sorsogon (Donsol) – The calm vastness that is “home” to the gentle yet largest fish in the world – Butanding (whale sharks – Rhindodon typus) 2. Albay-Sorsogon Going to the Bicol region felt like coming “home”. Its irresistible motherly arms embraced us with so much openness with the majesty that is Mt. Mayon, black beaches, ruins, people, butanding and fireflies up in the trees and under the Donsol River under the full moon. There is something incredibly precious and humbling in swimming with the Butanding. Despite my burned back, stiff arms and calves from swimming as fast as I possibly could for two hours, the encounter left me with so much peace in the confirmation of the littleness of my then day-to-day worries and agitations. 3. Embracing the love and light of the living sun food lifestyle Last March, I decided to undergo a 30-day high raw diet. Little did I know that I will choose embrace it with every cell in my body and with every little bit of my being. Living foods paved my path–with a sprinkling of fairies, suns and stars–to the door to the Source of it all, staking claim to the abundance that is my birth right. 4. Inner Dance and Bahay Kalipay As I entered the door to the Universe, the path is long and endless. To keep walking, I have to get back to who I chose to be and it required peeling every acquired and preconditioned layer. Last May, I found the Dance so seekers such as I, can go back to the “who I am”. After the first session, I made the decision to fly to Palawan to deepen my processing... read more