Sep 27, 2010

mel vs. coconut kopyor

my friend M from cologne treated me to yet another rare wild delicacy: a special kind of coconut. it's called kopyor and is kind of a "spook of nature"...

from the outside it looks just like a regular coconut...

...but once opened... it's nothing like a regular coconut at all!

the "meat" is all flaky and grainy and NOT sweet! it tastes a little bit like a curd cheese or a rubbery kind of cream cheese.
to tell you the truth: i was a bit disappointed.
i am a big coconut fan, but this was not my taste. i expected something more coconutty:

let me tell you about the origin of this kind of coconut anyway: "kelapa kopyor" is indiginous to indonesia. it grows on a regular coconut tree! it's a genetic mutation (abnormal fruit endosperm controlled by a recessive gene) that might occur if the tree has a growth spurt during the fruiting process.

according to legend told in central java, it is believed that the moon itself ate the meat of the nut during a lunar eclipse. therefore, eating that kind of nut used to be taboo!
in indonesia the kopyor is prepared as a dessert: scoop out the flesh and mix it with the coconut water, rose syrup, and ice cubes.
since kopyors are rare there is also a recipe to create a fake kopyor from a regular coconut(!). for this one mixes the water and meat of a young coconut with agar agar to recreate the "jelly".

so how do people know that the nut is a kopyor? they shake it, or rather move it gently from left to right... if it feels like there are solid components inside, chances are it might be a kopyor...

rohvolution in speyer!

i had a good time at the raw fair ROHVOLUTION in speyer!

despite voices going on about the "good old times" and the "true spirit" of the raw food movement i am not against the commercialisation of a good thing.
i think in order to spread the message of raw one must be willing to compromise.

the majority of people can relate to cakes, chocolates and other raw gourmet creations. and if this ultimately leads them to healthier eating habits: BINGO!

look at all those fantastic carob cacao cakes! yummy!

raw pizza!

a pumpkin mango carrot "soup" (cool and raw)

my personal highlight: raw vegan mayonnaise! super rich + tasty = completely addictive.

"the raw gang" :)
sorry, i didn't really take so many pics this time. if you're interested in more visuals go back to this blogpost: ROHVOLUTION BERLIN 2010, it was very similar.

Sep 24, 2010

mel vs. cempedak

last week i visited my friend M from cologne. he's been on the raw path for 8 years now and is keeping a strict mono diet (= he doesn't mix his food, he eats all his fruit, veggies and nuts seperately on their own)
he and me get veeeeery excited about wild exotic fruit. i brought him some wild grapes from my mother's garden and the last salak from paris and he treated me to.... CEMPEDAK!

the cempedak is related to the jackfruit (actually jackfruit is a domesticated version of cempedak)
it's cultivated in south east asia, but not as commercially as jackfruit and durian. it's a truly wild fruit.

i'm usually not short for words... but describing the taste is a true challenge.
to me it tasted nothing like jackfruit, although the consistency is similar.
the taste is fruity, sweet and sour plus something that tasted like a christmas cookie (like gingerbread) to me.

i found it super delicious and hope that i'll have the chance to indulge again sometime.

the seeds are, like durian seeds edible when roasted.

6 days of juice fasting...

all in all i did 6 full days of juice fasting... and this took it's toll on me. anyway, i'm glad i did it, it was quite an experience.

so before i'm heading off to the ROHVOLUTION in speyer for the weekend i wanted to post some pics.

i broke my fast with a tonkwa salad (a chinese vegetable, tastes a bit like a cucumber). it was so great to finally CHEW again.

recently i'm totally addicted to cucumber. this is my version of a sandwich.

banana ice cream! it's so easy: just blend a banana (or two) with e.g. some vanilla, honey/agave, maybe some bee pollen or whatever you have a hand.
put it in the freezer for some hours and: there you go : )

Sep 17, 2010

day 4 of the juice fast

good day everybody.
today is day 4 of my feast, which has actually turned into a real fast, meaning i drink less and less juice and more water.

i don't feel so good today. i have a cold and i feel pretty weak in general. i had to skip my workout today, i just didn't see it happening. *sigh*

i downed my intake of green juice to just two juices yesterday. i made a green veggie juice in the middle of the day and another veggie juice (with red beet, so it was actually a red juice...) the evening.
in between i had chaga tea and water.

i spiced up my evening meal with a light miso soup :) that was quite an experience tastewise, it was sooo good.
i took a tablespoon of white miso to about a liter of water. then i mixed this spoon by spoon with the juice. very nice.
well, i'm having a little low today, which was to be expected. yeah, i'm still waiting for that fasting high... yesterday i definetely felt intoxicated somehow, today i just feel like i have a cold.
i will carry on with the fast until the weekend for sure. somehow i feel i should to do at least 5 days to experience all the positive effects of detoxing.
my plan is to do strictly water on the last day. (yeah, let's see how this works out...)

Sep 12, 2010

day 3 of the juice feast

good morning. yes, all my meals still look the same...
yesterday i felt weaker that when i started the feast, although engery comes in waves (short waves that is...)
i also think that i might get a cold soon :(

yesterday i drank significantly less green juice, i made some chaga tea and i "ate" some soup (although warm water with a pinch of pepper hardly a soup makes)

my workout didn't go so hot yesterday either. my legs felt like stone. i took a class and that went ok, then i did some cardio on my own and didn't last very long.

several people asked me if i was tired or in a bad mood. i have the feeling my eyes look... manic somehow.
anyway, it's the morning, so everything is easy again. it was hard last night.

i'm much more emotional and my other senses are heightened. the tram drives incredibly rumbly and makes the earth shake, rehearsal was sooo loud (i had to use my big earplugs, usually small ones are fine), people on the street and at the gym smell disgusting, cigarette smoke is impossible to stand, i smell a bakery a mile away.

i have the weirdest food cravings, maybe not even cravings... i have tasting sensations in my mouth (or in my mind rather)
the only craving i really have is to chew something. an apple maybe. oh, an apple wound be marvellous, don't get me started.
sometimes i am sooo impatient, just to be ultra relaxed the next minute.

i'm planning to go through with this today and then see where it takes me.

i got these to juice as a treat. i juiced 1 1/2 and it wasn't all that tasty :(
they are called ox heart and are really big.
just like yesterday i'll treat you to some pics from my archive, so you don't get bored:

ahhhh, frozen durian. if no fresh stuff is available i'll even settle for frozen durian (better than no durian at all, right)
but do be careful: some of the durian is pressed into little plastic tubes, those are tasty, but they don't have much structure left, it's pretty much a mass.
the one i got was just frozen, though seedless (keep in mind that the seeds are big and heavy, go for seedless, then you'll get more flesh) and once defrosted had some "structural integrity" (who doesn't like star trek?) left.

A got me hooked onto a special treat.... durian with vanilla. seriously, i thought durian couldn't be any more perfect and was complete on it's own... but seriously, durian with vanilla is a match made in HEAVEN.

day 2 of the juice feast

i'm still on the juice feast :)
yesterday was day 1 and it went better than i thought. i wasn't even hungry, i had my belly FULL of green juice all day long, but at some point i just really wanted to chew something.

1 drank about 1 liter of green juice before my workout (which went really well by the way) and about a liter afterwards. i had another liter for lunch and the same again in the afternoon. i took a green juice to rehearsal and back at home i had another night drink. that makes some 5-6 liters of green juice. this sounds way too much, but i'm sure this will level down.

i'm not planning to do this x number of days. i'll just see how this goes today. at some point yesterday i almost cried at the main station, because somebody was eating a baguette (of all things) right next to me. i thought about snatching it from her hands for a nano second...
then again i felt like i had nerves of steel. i would say that regular moodswings are much more pronounced and quicker to change.

every day is an adventure!

meet my breakfast :)
it's a mix of:
looots of spinach leaves
a few biiiig dark kale leaves
1/2 turnip cabbage
1 cucumber
1 small apple
1/2 nashi pear

it does taste surprisingly refreshing. it's even a little bit sweet from the apple and the nashi. the mornings are easy for me. the trouble starts after dark ;)

a green juice in a bowl... makes a green soup! i swear it tastes different if you eat it with a spoon.

ok, i will not bore you endlessly with pictures of green juice... instead, here is some stuff that i bought (and ate) last week and didn't get a chance to post yet.

a different kind of fresh date. the yellow ones are called "barhi dates", i don't know how the red ones are called.

sapodillas and apple bananas (they really have a slight hint of apple) for 3,99 a kilo...

a sapodilla in the right state of ripeness tastes like nut caramell...

treats from my mother's garden

last weekend i also went to visit my mother. i took a stroll and harvested some fruit from her garden... look what i got: hazelnuts, medlars, 2 different kind of quinces (called apple quince and pear quince) and two different kinds of apples.

that was quite a stroll, don't you think?

the highlight from my mum's garden are definetely the grapes. the white ones are nice... but the red one are THE BEST.

i harvested a whole BUCKET full of grapes in maybe 15 minutes!! they are the most delicious little grapes i ever had. they are sooo good. the seeds are tiny, so you can basically stuff them in your mouth straight from the vine... mhmmm

my friend A from paris is doing a green juice cleanse. that sounds really great, so i will attempt the same. since i've never done this before i will start small and take it day by day. or maybe even meal by meal.

this morning was easy, i had so much green stuff here... i also put in some fresh dandelions and clover from the garden.

i'm curious how this morning's workout will be... i'm facing 120 min of intense stuff...

5th raw potluck in cologne

yesterday i went to cologne to attend another potluck organized by S. she even went through the trouble to rent a room for us. last time ~25 people attended and we were all expecting an even larger number of participants.

unfortunately, there were only 6 of us (plus child) this time and this came nowhere close to covering S's rent expenses... this is very sad, since people had confirmed and then didn't show up.
i feel for S, who has those costs on her back now. i hope that the next potluck (10.10.10, world raw food day) will be well attended again to cover the rent...

anyway, the potluck was small, but we had some very nice food!

the "ideal dish" from the potluck. the best part for me was a creamy curry sauce (usually i don't even like curry, but i LOVED this sauce), prepared with cashews, young coconuts (water & meat), curry and spices. totally yummy!

this is not just any carrot salad, it's prepared with fennel and lavender seeds! awesome! quite the taste experience.

upon further request it turned out that these veggie sushi rolls had been prepared with conventional red pesto bought from a store :(
the woman who brought them was surprised that we "prepare everything ourselves" and don't buy prepared food in stores.... anyway, i took some sushi rolls home for L.

the spiralizer tool is sooo cool. if you consider buying just one appliance, buy this one. it will never fail to amaze you. (and others :)

mixed veggies marinated in a sweet sesame dressing. very yummy!

S made these crackers in her dehydrator. the red ones (pizza flavor!) are better than the italian ones from lifefood! really nice! S is thinking about selling these online: go for it!

i brought "meat" balls. i had experimented with various nuts and eggplant. unfortunately the eggplant made the whole batch a bit bitter :(

i brought cacao balls and coconut balls

Sep 5, 2010

vitamin b 12 supplement

yes, i've been shooting up... it's vitamin b 12.

vitamin b12 is a serious topic that many raw vegans are concearned about. i haven't been so concerned until i read some stuff online.

let me sum it up for you:

- b12 is a rare vitamin that can mostly be found in animal sources

- raw vegan sources of b12 MIGHT be:

* algea (although it cannot be said for sure if this kind of b12 can really even be affiliated by humans),

* moldy fruit (ewww. again: it's not sure if this does even contain the "real b12") and

* unwashed plant material (in other words: "animal poop" that sticks to leaves. yeah, ewww)

- the body accumulates b12 and can store it for a long time (~6 years), but once your depot is empty filling it up again is tough (to say the least)

so all in all, b12 is pretty hard to get in a 100% raw vegan diet...

"symptoms (of a b12 deficiency) are tiredness, a decreased mental work capacity, weakened concentration and memory, and irritability and depression"

it might be mass hysteria, but you know what? "better safe than sorry"! and oh man, i would be sooo sorry to find myself having a b12 deficiency some time.

so i checked out what's available on the market and came to the conclusion that shots are the best option for me.


- because i don't have to swallow some funky pill that contains gelatin, sugar and/or starches.

- because it's vegan! (this b12 is synthesized in a lab)

- because injecting puts the stuff right into my bloodstream (whereas when swallowed a lot gets wasted along the way, b12 is also a highly instable vitamin)

- because it's cheaper: 5 ampoules plus syringes plus neeles = less than 5 euros.

so how does this work?
for a week you give yourself a shot every day. (the only negative thing is that the stuff burns when under your skin. so do it SLOWLY)
then you continue with one single shot a MONTH. that's very easy and it works well for me.

i can only recommend it. i don't notice any changes or discomfort. a vitamin b12 deficiency is a serious disease.
consider the pros and cons and then make an informed decision for yourself.

mel vs. sugarapple

i've had some sugar apples lately, in paris and also back home. here are some pics of sugarapples in various states of ripeness.

if you don't know this sweet fruit yet: get yourself a cerimoya (e.g. from a turkish grocery market), that will do the trick.
both fruit are from the family of "annonas" and taste almost the same. they taste very very sweet with a hint of vanilla. be careful: each fruit has a ton of seeds.

choco crossies

just wanted to share this pic, i made some raw chocolate again. this time i kept it really really simple. i just used three ingredients (one of them is palm sugar, that's why it's so grainy) and i didn't really feel like putting it into a mold or making balls.

let me tell you: it's dangerous to have that little bowl standing around in the kitchen ;) every time i walk by i'm tempted.

tooth soap

there is a new hot product on the raw horizon. (ok, admittedly it's not so new, they've been doing this since 2003. anyway, it's new to me.)

it's called tooth soap and it's for (surprise) cleaning those shiny white teeth of yours. the only ingredients are: olive oil, coconut oil, filtered water and essential oils. (sounds great)

tooth soap offers a wide range of flavors (also exotic ones, like e.g. "salty mint", "chocolate orange", "sweet fennel & mint"). they just came up with two new products called whip and gel, apparently those aren't liquid but more like a conventional toothpaste.

i'm a big fan of tooth hygiene and i've been looking for the ideal toothpaste for a long time. since i want to be as organic as possible, i've tried various ones from bio supermarkets, health stores etc..
unfortunately, many of those are still way too harsh for me; they make the corners of my mouth rip in after a few uses... which is very unsexy.

back to tooth soap: brushing my teeth with these takes some getting used used to, since i like it foamy and fresh to feel really clean. sadly i find they have a bit of an aftertaste, but i'm also very sensitive. many raw foodies swear by it and it's a great organic, no toxic, fluoride free raw product.

on this side of the atlantic, you can find toothsoap exclusively at pure raw, a german onlineshop that specializes in offering all those fancy raw products usually hard to find here.
it's a young enterprise offering an ever expanding range of great raw organic products. if you're interested in something they don't have on stock they will jump through hoops to get it for you.

have a grrreat day and don't forget to brush your teeth!

mel vs. pili nut

(while i'm at the whole "mel versus" i might as well continue the series.)

i've had these pili nuts for a while now (ordered them online) and i've been meaning to blog about them anyway.
it's the nut of the pili fruit, a rare fatty fruit from the phillipines. the pili fruit is only in season for a very short time and is very uncommon here in europe, since it's not really grown commercially. (i had the opportunity to taste some at the rohvolution and i loved them. the taste is somewhere between avocado, olive and safu. yummy!)

anyway, this is the pili nut, the seed of the fruit. the shell of the nut is extremely hard, so a macadamia nutcracker comes in handy here. (i almost broke my regular nutcracker trying to open one...)

the nut is veeery fatty (fattier than a brazilnut) with a taste similar to the kenari nut and a hint of almond. i like them very much.

mel vs. salak

i found salak in paris (in chinatown of course)! i've been curious about the "snake fruit" for a while now.
it's the fruit of an indonesian palm tree and there are several different varieties. i know many raw foodies love the fruit, so i got really excited.

well, i have one single word for you to describe the taste: SPEEEEEW.

EEEEWWW. it's the same stinky-sticky ewww-ness that i don't like about jackfruit. (yes, i don't like jackfruit very much)

not for me. so not.

mel vs. jícama

i've had marinated jícama before, but i never prepared one myself. jícama (also called "yam bean" and "mexican turnip" is the root of a mexican vine.

it's rich in water, fiber and carbs. it's a bit starchy with a touch of sweetness, but it's definetely a vegetable. the consistency is crunchier than an apple. it's a great addition to salads, but can also be prepared on it's own (e.g. with a spicy marinade)
i can only recommend it, it can be found at local asian stores! if you ask kindly, most shopkeepers are also willing to order it for you.

mel vs. santol

one of the treats from chinatown: a santol (also called wild mangosteen) flown in from thailand. it looks like a combination of a pumpkin and a fig.

it tasted a bit like a starapple (~lychee + banana) and could have been a bit riper.
very very yummy!
i got it at "tang frères", the largest chinese supermarket in paris.