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Spiced Peach Cobbler

Sweet Summer Peaches

Sweet Summer Peaches

Spiced Peach Cobbler
By Chef Shana

For the crust:
2 cups walnuts
½ cup raisins
½ cup dates, pitted

• Place all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Be sure to evenly distribute the dates and raisins. Separating the dates will keep them from clumping together while being processed.
• Process until coarsely chopped.
• Remove ¾ cup of the mixture and set aside. This reserved mixture will be used for the crumbled topping later.
• Continue to process the remaining mixture, the crust, until finely chopped.

Walnut Crust

Walnut Crust

• Pour this crust mixture into an 8×8 baking dish. Evenly distribute along the bottom of the pan then press firmly in place, forming a bottom crust.

Pressed Walnut Crust

Pressed Walnut Crust

 

For the filling:
6 ripe sweet peaches, thinly sliced

Ripe Organic Peaches

Ripe Organic Peaches

Sweet and Juicy

Sweet and Juicy

Sliced Peaches

Sliced Peaches

 

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon

½ tsp cinnamon

A dash, a pinch, a smidgen of nutmeg...

A dash, a pinch, a smidgen of nutmeg…

1 smidgen nutmeg

Psyllium

Psyllium

1 Tbl psyllium
¼ tsp lemon zest
½ cup dates, pitted

• Place half of the sliced peaches into a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
• Add the remaining 5 ingredients: dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, psyllium and lemon zest.
• Process into a smooth sauce.

Spiced Peach Sauce

Spiced Peach Sauce

• Pour the sauce over the reserved sliced peaches and toss until completely incorporated, coating all the peaches evenly.
• Pour this mixture onto the prepared crust in the baking dish.

Sliced Peaches with Spiced Sauce

Sliced Peaches with Spiced Sauce

• Sprinkle the reserved crust topping evenly over the top of the mixed peaches and serve.

Cobbler Crumble

Cobbler Crumble

Note: As with all raw fruit desserts, this peach cobbler is fresh and full of enzymes, so it oxidizes quickly. It will last one to two days refrigerated, but it is best when served immediately.

Spiced Peach Cobbler

Spiced Peach Cobbler

“A Georgia peach, a real Georgia peach, a backyard great-grandmother’s orchard peach, is as thickly furred as a sweater, and so fluent and sweet that once you bite through the flannel, it brings tears to your eyes.”
~Melissa Fay Greene, ‘Praying for Sheetrock’

Raw Chef Panel Q1: What do you eat?

Q. Describe a typical day. What time do you eat? What do you eat?

A. I like to meditate first thing in the morning, but I don’t want anything in my stomach to weigh me down, interfering with my energy flow as I tap into a higher state of consciousness. With this being said, my first meal is usually light. I would also like to add that every day is different and my palate changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, I will have a green juice or a green smoothie. I make the green juice with kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and, sometimes, garlic. All these vegetables, I run through my Green Star juicer. I love this juicer, for it provides a high yield of juice that is slow to oxidize. When I choose to make smoothies, I keep it simple. In the summer, when peaches are sweet and ripe, I adore peach smoothies blended with kale or spinach. Another all time favorite smoothie is mango and parsley. (For recipes, click HERE.) I am absolutely in love with mangos; and, after adding this particular smoothie to my diet, I actually salivate when I see parsley now. It’s a funny thing, but my body just craves these greens. I have noticed that the more greens I eat, the more I desire. I feel optimal physically, emotionally and spiritually the greener my diet.

When I get hungry next depends largely on how I ate the day before. If I had heavy foods or ate a lot of calories the day prior, I may not get hungry until 1pm or so. If this is the case, I will have a late lunch. However, there are other days I feel hungry much sooner. I have no qualms about eating my lunch as early as 10am. I don’t get hung up on timing. I think too many people ignore the body’s need for energy, being slaves to a specific snack or lunch hour. The body knows when it needs fuel. Just listen to it. Lunch, for me, is a huge salad. I like to vary my green leafy vegetable intake for culinary variety and for health. It is important to me that I get a wide spectrum of nutrients from foods. In addition, my salads always include one whole avocado. I find by combining an avocado with a large amount of fibrous foods, I am completely satiated. One of my staple summer salads is made with avocado and strawberries. I will make this with an entire head of lettuce, adding one cubed avocado and a large basket of strawberries, sliced. I toss these ingredients in a light oil, lemon, basil dressing. This is easy, fresh and very fulfilling.

If I need to snack between meals, I usually do so with fruit. One of my favorite fruits are figs, and when they are in season, and full of sweet goodness, I can easily eat a pound or so. My eyes actually roll to the back of my head when I bite into a plump, succulent fig. Yummy! Please make note that I use the disclaimer, “when the fruit is in season.” I try to only eat seasonally. In doing so, I am supporting and consuming eco-friendly, locally grown and highly nutritious produce.

Another fun snack I have recently added to my diet is chocolate in the form of raw cacao. I have a low tolerance for stimulants, and cacao is certainly one. I can only take it in small doses, but I have discovered that a little will not only satisfy me for hours, but it actually elevates my mood. I like to make a chocolate ganache with a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder, softened coconut oil, and a splash of agave nectar or a mashed banana for sweetness. This is the basic recipe. To this, I will sometimes add coconut flakes and superfoods like maca, spirulina, blue green algae and/or Vitamineral Green. This creates a chocolate superfood jolt of pure bliss and happiness. However, due to my sensitivity to the stimulating effect of cacao, I will only have this early in the day. And, I will never have this treat before any spiritual work like meditation or Reiki healing. This is not a grounding or a spiritually stabilizing food for me, so I use it mindfully.

If my physical activity was low or I drank over a quart of green juice earlier in the day, this could be enough food for me. However, there are many days this is not the case. My second meal varies considerably. I do have an active social life, and there are many times I will visit the local raw food restaurants for a meal. I prefer lighter fare, entrees that use few nuts. I also enjoy raw desserts, so I will often order one when out. They are so divine and hard to resist. Though, I do occasionally order nut based desserts, I usually pay the price for that decision. Nuts make me feel acidic and dehydrated. I often wake the next day, feeling puffy with watery eyes and a runny nose. But, as uncomfortable as that is, sometimes it is hard to pass up well made sweets. I know the consequences when I order or make dessert; I accept the results, and I choose, consciously, to savor it. If I ate nut-dense meals or desserts daily, a raw diet would not be healthy or sustainable for me. Being a conscious eater is key. I am aware of my choices. I know my body, and I thrive when in balance. With this being said, more often than not, I make my own foods. Dinner at home could be anything from a shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime salad to a carrot, beet, garlic salad or a simple romaine lettuce, avocado salad tossed in capers. The more green vegetables I eat, the better I feel on every level. I treat myself to complex meals from time to time, but for the most part, I am a simple raw foodie.

Every day is different. My diet ebbs and flows with my energy output, my spiritual work, my mood, the weather, the seasonal produce available and my social life. As I write, today is a dark day. Autumn has firmly set in, bringing with it billowing charcoal-grey clouds. I am craving warmth. I also had a heavy seed day yesterday, for I ate a fair bit of raw granola from Two Moms in the Raw. Because of this, today I am simply not that hungry.

Today I ate:

Breakfast: the water from one young Thai coconut mixed with a tablespoon Crystal Manna blue green algae

Lunch: a quart of green smoothie- 1 apple, ½ bunch of dandelion greens and 4 cups warm brewed herbal chai tea

Snack: 1 large basket of strawberries

I am listening to my body. Though this doesn’t sound like very much food, it may well be all I need for the day. I find when I eat calorie dense foods one day, my body naturally balances itself the next. If I do, indeed, feel the need to eat later, I will most likely have a light green salad with very little fat, meaning no avocado, nuts or seeds.

My best advice is to be highly conscious of what you are eating and why. Listen to your body. Pay little homage to delegated meal times and peer pressure. Eat what feels right for your activity level and mental/spiritual clarity. Eat well, allowing your body to stay in balance. Listen within. Eat for health and enjoy the pleasure of it. Cherish your food and honor yourself.

What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live at Café Gratitude in Healdsburg, California is a fun and informative forum for like-minded, health-conscious people to gather, dine and learn. One can enjoy a cooked or raw vegan meal while listening to the speaker of the night. Industry leaders like raw chefs, athletes, doctors, energy workers and motivational speakers have been enlisted to lecture. There is no cost; simply order a delicious, healthy meal, sit back, relax and allow the theme of the night to capture your attention and inspire your actions.

There is a new lecture series offered at Café Gratitude. Shea Lynn Baird, the brilliant mind behind Monday Night Live, has organized a series of panel discussions. Shea invited me to be a part of the first panel discussion, a raw chef panel, launching her series into high gear. The topic was ‘What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat.’ I was on a panel with Cherie Soria, Gabrielle Brick, Kathryn Ackland, Cecilia Benjumea-Kinzie and Andrea Primm, what a powerhouse of speakers, all beautiful and influential leaders making big splashes in the raw food industry.

As raw chefs, we often create cuisine that caters to the mainstream market. The foods can be dense and highly seasoned. Pick up a raw cookbook, and one will find a variety of recipes to entice any palate. These recipes serve their purpose. They are perfect for transitional foods, offering meals to ease one away from cooked foods and into a raw diet; they are great fun for entertaining, because they showcase beautiful dishes layered in flavor, color and texture, and they are delicious tempters used to lure a cooked foodie into the utopia of a raw lifestyle. What they are not is a way of eating on a regular basis. Most long term raw foodies eat very simply. The recipes created by raw gourmet chefs should be used occasionally, not daily. Many people, first discovering raw food, buy raw cookbooks, hoping to dive right into the cuisine and experience all the benefits this revolutionary diet has to offer. The recipes in these cookbooks create a challenge for many, because eating heavy, complex raw foods will cause imbalance in the body, rendering a raw lifestyle physically unsustainable. So the question begs to be answered, what do the top raw chefs really eat? How should a raw foodie eat to support vibrant health, mental clarity, top performance and emotional/spiritual/physical equilibrium?

I will take the questions posed during this Monday Night Live panel discussion, and over the next few days, I will elaborate on my own answers. (To watch this discussion in its entirety, sign up for Shea Lynn Baird’s Monday Night Live newsletter, and gain access to the video.) Since there were five chefs on this panel, we each only had 2-5 minutes to answer each question, limiting the amount of information we could provide. Watch the video to get a broad view of how different raw foodies eat. But, allow me to share here, in more detail, my own diet and my personal journey with raw foods as I expand on each of the presented questions. Stay tuned as I post the Q&A from the panel discussion over the days to come…

Blessings in vibrant health!

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