☞I’m RAW’tn but not forgotten 📰 says the Blogger-Slacker 👓📝

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I know, I know…I’m soooo raw’tn! I have abandoned my readers, my site!!  But I’m back blogging after a short hiatus. (ok not so short more like a 6 + month absence). Your probably wondering why I still have the site open since I haven’t posted anything yet! Well I’m here to tell you that I’m back and I’m here to stay forever!!

WHERE AND WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?

Much has been going on behind the scenes at Spoiled RAW’tn. I have been working for the most part since it is my busiest season being a seamstress/entrepreneur and all. I had many projects in creating custom-made wedding gowns, veils, prom & cocktail dresses,  as well as performing alterations.  You can see all my work on my facebook page CARM’N DINA.

While working full-time as a designer I also dabbled in a couple of raw’tn stuff behind closed doors. I made many purchases that has improved my life greatly leading a healthier and abundant lifestyle. The proof is in the pudding! You can see a couple of my purchases below.

I will write about how a simple water bottle can sustain heat in a bottle for up to 24 hrs as well as other benefits!
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It’s a S’well water container

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I will boast about “How being fit counts every bit” using my fitbit!
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fitbit

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I will post about some items that I have bought that would aid in making my very own deodorant, toothpaste and make-up for a fraction of the cost!
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ingredients for feminine products

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 I am also going to write about how I said Goodbye to contacts, hello Glasses! I will show you the new way in getting the most fashionably and affordable frames that will make a statement!
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Fashionable, affordable glasses

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And last but not least the splurge of the century, my Blendtec. I will write a review on the pros/cons and whether it was worth every penny. When I mean every penny, I mean I got my blender for half the price with a full warranty. Find out HOW in my next couple of blogs it will be worth the wait!
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I heart my Blendtec

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Now you know why I took so long to write my blog. Stay tuned, I have many more subjects that I am eager to share! I Thank you for your patience and see you in my next post!

 

 

Note bene: note the milk cartoon is simply a parody on me and only me! If I offended anyone in this manner I apologize in advance . Missing people is not a joke and it should be taken seriously . They are still out there and we will never stop believing otherwise . If you have any information on missing loved ones or any news or questions about missing people please advise this link ,
http://www.canadasmissing.ca/index-eng.htm

Have faith, and never loose hope.

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🍃This is “Mint”!! 🍃…….You gotta Read this!!!

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Ok so why talk about Mint?

Not a recipe post, nor is it weed..lol.. but a little tutorial or information desk here, just for my reference of course. I have been intrigued with mint lately because ever since I first started eating raw I used to gag when I first tried to eat mint. I hated it, but it wasn’t till recently more like this year,  I slowly added it into my recipes and drinks. I guess your taste buds and health do change over time.

 


Health Benefits of Mint

Mint also known as Mentha, is a genus, (genus not genius),  which contains a group of 18-25 different types of plants in the mint family.

Common Cold>mint contains menthol, which is common in most decongestants syrups or throat lozenges. The menthol is a natural decongestants which helps breaks down mucus.

Quick Recipe For Common colds->The next time you feel a cold coming on or a soar throat why not brew a cup of mint tea leaves for a fraction of the price!

Allergies->Mint is also known for its medicinal properties. It has an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid. The rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory properties which alleviates any seasonal allergy symptoms.

Skin->Mint in oil, lotion, cream format or even brewed is a great cooling and calming agent when applied topically.

Quick SKIN Recipe->Boil mint leaves in water. Let it cool and strain the mixture, use as a face toner. This is great to combat acne and this toner helps keep your skin oil-free and fresh.

Digestive Benefits-> Eating mint leaves helps boosts digestion. Mint promotes the flow of bile in the stomach with ease and efficiency which makes you digest your food more quickly.This prevents from getting an upset stomach or indigestion.

Nausea and Headache->Because mint  contains menthol, the strong and refreshing scent of menthol is a quick way to remedy nausea. Mint is a natural soothing property so it can relieve inflammation such as headaches and migraines as well. So if you feel a headache or migraine coming on rub a little mint oil or mint balm on your forehead and nose for a soothing relief.

 

 

What do I use Mint for?
-face toner
-tea
-I add it in my smoothies
-I add it in my water daily
-I use it in my dessert recipes, especially in my raw homemade sorbets
-I use it in my main meals as well-You just have to stay tuned and find out!

 

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references

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275944.php

http://www.ageless.co.za/mint.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha

http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/rosmarinic-acid.php

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genus

http://nutankumarisinha.expertscolumn.com/article/31-beauty-benefits-mint-how-use-mint-leaves-your-beauty-applications-beauty

 

Are you well stocked…with the essential “Raw Tools”

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Before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on expensive kitchen appliances. You may already have the essentials laying around in your kitchen. Well I’m here to share what I have and I didn’t have to break the bank in doing so. I will also share where I purchased most of my tools and where you can shop for these items online at a low cost. A well stocked kitchen makes all the difference in your raw food journey.


3 Staple Appliances

 
food processorhigh speed blenderNesco Food Dehydrator

Food processor:

It’s staple to have a food processor. It helps you to slice, grate, chop and more importantly puree. I use it to make dips, yogurt, puddings, nut butters, raw desserts, pates, salads and so much more that you really have to follow my blog! I remember I purchased a mini food processor that eventually I used it so much I burnt the motor. So if your in it for the long run, invest in a heavy duty food processor ( like Kitchen Aid or Cuisinart ). I purchased a KitchenAid KFP715OB 7-Cup Food Processor, Onyx Black, I have had it for 3 years (nonstop pulsating) and it is still going strong. It’s basic, easy to clean, easy to use and I have had no problems. But if your on a budget, you can just borrow your friends food processor for awhile, I’m sure they will not even notice!

Blender:

Blender, yes another important item in the kitchen. It makes liquid food smoother and less gritty. I use it to make soups, drinks, dressings and yogurt as well. Many raw foodists will swear on purchasing a Vitamix or a Blendtec as their high speed blender of choice because it almost replaces the food processor and they even make raw whole juices.  It is heavy on the bank, however I will stick to my current blender until it fails. I own a Black & Decker and it does the job. You can purchase any blender at Future shop, Best Buy, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Costco just to name a few.
You can visit for low prices of Vitamix and Blendtec below:
(i) Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend, 2 Speed
(ii) Blendtec WildSide HP3A Blender – 3 Qt (96 oz) Container & 4″ Blade – BLACK

Dehydrator:

I heart my dehydrator! I think I bought my dehydrator on my second day of experimenting with raw foods, that’s how committed I was. A dehydrator removes the moisture without losing its enzymes. It usually runs all night or more, depending on the recipe. Also, it will emit an odor into the air, so be prepared. (Example when you make onion/garlic bread think twice before you make the recipe). But in the end you will love your R2D2 as my boyfriend calls it. I pretty much use it for making fruit roll ups, cakes, crackers, bread and so many raw desserts. There are 2 different models, Excalibur and Nesco Dehydrator. The Excalibur is most popular with the raw foodist because of it’s square shape and removable trays you can make many variations of raw food. I bought a Nesco FD-75A 600-Watt Food Dehydrator, Gray Speckled, it’s circular shape and restricted layers of trays makes it challenging to make certain foods,(examples: square crackers, loaves of bread) but I managed to find a way.
You can visit for less expensive food dehydrators below:
(i) Nesco FD-75A 600-Watt Food Dehydrator, Gray Speckled
(ii) Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Express 4-Tray Food Dehydrator, White
(iii) Excalibur 2400 4-Tray Economy Dehydrator, Black
(iv) Excalibur 3900B 9-Tray Deluxe Dehydrator, Black

 

Juicer:

There is one more appliance that raw foodist use regularly however I don’t use it as much, it’s a juicer. If your an avid juicer then I say go for it. You can whip up any juice with almost any vegetable or fruit and with the leftover pulp you can make crackers and bread. I own a juicer however I hardly use it. I usually resort to making smoothies using my blender.
You can visit online for the best juicers below:
(i) Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer (Black and Chrome)
(ii) Omega J8004 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer (White)
(iii) Hamilton-Beach 67806C HealthSmart Juice Extractor

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Basic Tools

raw tools raw extras

From my experience these are the tools I use the most and I am sure everyone has these items located in ” the unused kitchen drawer” where all the tools are hidden.

Fine mesh strainers: Cheesecloth, mini strainer (or regular size strainer), I use these to strain the liquid out when making milk, cheeses and nut pates. Cheesecloth are also recyclable and can be used many times which provide great uses to dry out washed salads, herbs, sprouting and fermentation. You can purchase all of these items at the dollar store.
You can visit online for cheesecloth below:
(i) Beyond Gourmet Unbleached Cheesecloth
(ii) Norpro Natural Cheese Cloth

Measuring Tools: Measuring cup, measuring spoons essential when you want to replicate your favorite recipe and you need to know the units. You can purchase all of these items affordable at the dollar store.

Julienne Tools: String peeler is used to make fine vegetable strands like spaghetti.  The peeler is great for removing skins from any fruit or vegetable. I purchased a OXO Good Grips Good Grips Corer peeler from Deco Decouverte. Best peeler yet, it’s sturdy and peels easily, no force. (I’ve been through a lot of peelers and this is the best brand thus far)
You can visit the best julienne tools below:
(i) String Peeler:OXO Good Grips Peeler – Julienne – French – Soft grip
(ii) Peeler:OXO Good Grips Good Grips Corer

Lemon squeezer: The best invention yet! As stated when you have lemons, you make lemon juice. Especially when most of my recipe calls for lemon juice for dips, yogurt and cakes, yes lemon on cakes do exist! I own a stainless steel lemon squeezer. From my experience, I purchased a plastic lemon squeezer and well it didn’t last very long. Either that or I’m really strong. All this to say, invest in a stainless steel lemon squeezer.
You can visit online for stainless steel lemon squeezers below:
(i) Stainless Steel Manual Fruit Juicer Lemon Squeezer Kitchen Tools
(ii) MYLIFE Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press Lemon/Orange Squeezer*1
(iii) Stainless Steel Lemon Squeezer Juicer

Funnels: Another great tool to channel my nut milks. Especially if you want to transfer your liquids from one bottle to another. You can purchase a variety of funnels at the dollar store.

Rubber cookie sheet: I purchased this at the dollar store, not a bad investment. I use it when I have to make cookies. Or when I need a surface to flatten my raw dough. Because of its silicone base, it’s very easy to clean! Love!

Mini whisk: I use it for mixing up salad dressing very fast. Recipe to follow in my future posts. I received my mini whisk as a gift. But its best to purchase a silicone whisk, just in case you need to whisk minerals that cannot get mixed with metals.
You can visit for mini silicone whisks below:
(i)Cute Retro colourful mini whisk – assorted colours – kitchen gadget aid (FYI very cute as a gift set and possible my next purchase!!)
(ii)Danesco Sauce Whisk – Silicone – Mini – Green

Garlic press: Essential to make mince garlic for my hummus and other dips. Again I own a stainless steel garlic press for durability. It’s also best to get one where you can crush nuts and remove pits from olives or cherries so you will get your moneys worth in the long run.
You can visit for stainless steel garlic press below:
(i) Garlic Press / Crusher with Nutcracker

Knives: Essential need I say more. And can be purchased almost anywhere.

Bag clips: I recycle my chip bags so I use my bag clips for extra closure. Bag clips can be purchased at the dollar store.

Rolling pin: Useful when I need to flatten out crackers or raw desserts. Also it can be purchased at the dollar store.

Plastic spatulas: Useful when removing all the leftover pudding, dips or pates from your food processor and great to score and spread the mixture on the dehydrator trays. Can be easily purchased at the dollar store.

Last but least the apple corer:  This was my latest addition to my kitchen family of tools and I love it. It’s great when I have to core an apple and make my apple chips. Also great tool for piercing holes for my raw doughnuts. I purchased my apple corer from this kitchen appliance store called, “thinkkitchen“. I own a OXO Good Grips Corer – Soft grip, OXO is a brand that I trust.
You can visit online for apple corers below:
(i) OXO Good Grips Corer – Soft grip
(ii) SODIAL(R) High Quality Apple Fruit Corer Core Remover Handle with Soft Grip

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Extra Appliances and Tools

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raw extra tools

Here are extra tools and appliances that I had that grew almost into an addiction, (kinda like tupperware. lol)

Molds: Cake and cookie molds, cookie cutters, sandwich storage container, silicone cupcake molds, plastic containers, ice trays, I use all of these to make bread, chocolate, crackers, cookies, cakes. And I purchased most of these straight from the dollar store.

Magic Bullet: I had this before raw entered my life and I mostly use this to make my smoothies. You can purchase the magic bullet at Costco or Walmart.
Or you can visit online below for the Magic Bullet:
(i) The Original Magic Bullet Express Blender System (as seen on TV! Includes 17 pieces)
(ii) Magic Bullet Express Deluxe 26-piece Mixer & Blender (25-piece with Bonus Ice Shaver Blade)

Mandolin Slicer: I use it to make thin slices of any vegetable and fruit. Especially if I want to make any type of vegetable or fruit chip, jicama perogies or eggplant bacon. Yes you can make raw bacon and it’s not fattening! Recipe to follow.
You can visit online for the Mandoline Slicer:
(i) OXO Good Grips Good Grips Hand Held Mandoline Slicer
(ii)Norpro Mandoline Slicer Grater with Guard

Slap Chop: I already owned a Slap Chop before being a raw foodie. But I do find it useful if I have to chop nuts quickly to put on my cereal! It’s not a necessity, but it is handy.
You can visit below online for Slap Chop:
(i) Slap Chop
(ii)Kitchenaid Slap Chop Food Chopper Machine Grater

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Storage

glass storage

Glass storage, recycled plastic bags, glass containers, glass bottles: It’s important to own storage containers in order to preserve what you made for a limited time. I use my glass jars to store homemade jams, nuts, nut milks, chips, chocolate, I even drink my smoothies from them. I find that glass is always better than plastic for future health reasons.  I also keep my chip or any bags for extra storage when I make my Kale chips, especially if they have a closure at top. You can purchase all of these items at the dollar store, Walmart or Costco.
You can visit online for glass mason jars and milk bottles below:
(i)Bernardin Vintage Jars, Blue, 500ml – Pack of 6
(ii)Quattro Stagioni Jar – 0.50L. Lid #70mm – 17 oz
(iii)Set 12 Retro Colorful Spice Jars Glass Food Storage Bottles with Sealing Clasp Lids
(iv)Jarden Home Brands Ball Mason “Pint” Jars Wide-Mouth Can or Freeze-12pk (By)
(v)Milk bottle with glass stopper, Collection “Nadia” , modern and unique style (ART GLASS powered by CRISTALICA)
(vi)Clear Glass Milk Water Bottle – 19 x 8cm

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I hope you enjoyed this little reference of what useful tools are needed to make some of my raw food recipes. You don’t need to purchase all of these at once. This process took many months to figure out what works best for the recipes I love to crack! All I started was a cutting board, a knife and the rest was history! Show us what you have and leave us your comments below! If you see anything missing, post about it!

Thanks again Raw foodies’s, go ahead spoil yourself Raw’tn!!

RAW..huh yeah……… What is it good for?

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Raw, huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely anything, oh hoh, oh
Raw huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely everything, say it again y’all

Oh, raw, I’m surprised
‘Cause it means encouraging many lives
Raw means opening up your taste-buds and eyes
To something healthy, energetic and alive

Here’s a little play on words on Edwin Starr – War Lyrics

 Make raw not war !!

Back to reality. So why raw? What is it all about? Is it healthy? Your probably thinking, “great healthy=expensive”  and the preparation time is tiresome. In my defense, we invest in many materialistic things like our car, our house, our electronic gadgets, why not invest and educate ourselves. I am not going to sugar coat it, it is tedious, preparation time is lengthy and yes it may be expensive, but in the end the results speak for themselves. Eating raw kills many birds with one stone. I eat healthy and the latter you just have to keep reading below. Let’s just say this is the one investment I get a return on. So go ahead make raw and not war with our bodies.

What is “raw foods” you ask?

It is basically what it states, foods that are uncooked and/or unprocessed. It consists of a plant base, organic foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, herbs, spices, seaweeds, as well as eggs, meat, fish and dairy products. There are several techniques to prepare many edible raw dishes. The foods are either prepared cold, warm, fermented, soaked, sprouted or dehydrated, so as long it cannot be heated over 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods heated over a certain temperature may destroy its natural enzymes and its nutritional value.

What are its benefits? I can give you a list of what it has done for me, and so I shall

  • It has improved my digestion (yes I regularly go to the little girls room)
  • Overall improved my skin’s appearance (I no longer have acne)
  • I maintained weight loss (I no longer have food cravings)
  • It has improved my senses ( My taste buds are suddenly heightened)
  • I discovered food intolerance (I can no longer eat bread or dairy)
  • It got me educated and disciplined on nutrition, health and chemical free DIY beauty tips/routines

So now you know what raw foods entitles, I will focus on recipes with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, herbs, spices, seaweeds and some dairy (Dairy? I thought you are intolerant to dairy? Yes you just have to wait and see).  So if your still reading my blog it means that you are still interested. Great! On my next blog I will discuss food preparations, the basic  tools and staple foods I use in the kitchen.

Until then go spoil yourself Raw’tn!!!

 

References:

Lyrics to Edwin Starr – War Lyrics | MetroLyrics

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianlifestyle/f/rawfoods.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_foodism

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What’s your “Number”??? 3XXX, 4XXX, 8XXXX or 9XXXX……

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PLU Codes, 4=Conventionally grown


Picture this. You gallantly glaze at your apple, your prized possession. You had a long day, you pick up your apple with glee and bite into it. With a sour look on your face you become agitated, frustrated. Yes you did it again. You just bit off one of those pesky numeric stickers that is on every fruit and vegetable known to man-kind. Great that just made your day. But don’t get all hasty about it. Although they do seem annoying, however the codes may just save your life.

As I discovered my way into raw foods, I gravitated to eating more fruits and vegetables. So one day I asked myself, what is the story behind those annoying labels that I constantly bite into. Many of you may not know what it all means or you may already know what it is but forgot what each number represents. Well here’s a refresher course. The numeric code that’s attached to every fruit and vegetable is known as a price lookup number or PLU. It’s a code that helps with the cashiers at check out as they ring up the items and it also helps stabilizes the stores inventory. The numbers are a four digit code ranging from 3000 to 4999. A fifth digit is added to the code for fruits or vegetables that were produced non-traditionally. The fruits can either be grown organically, genetically modified or they were produced conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides or any other chemical fertilizers.

So now you know why the labels are added on the fruits, here are what the codes stand for:

4 digit PLU number starting with a 3 or 4 is “Conventionally grown”

5 digit PLU number starting with a 9 is “Organically grown and not genetically altered”

5 digit PLU number starting with an 8 is “Genetically modified or genetically engineered”

If you’re still having trouble remembering the meaning behind these numbers like I do here’s a little rhythm,

8-> We hate (Because they are genetically modified, GMO or GE)

9-> We’re fine (Because its organic)

3 or 4 -> Are standard in stores but always wash before (Because the use of chemicals always wash before eating them)

So now you know what it stands for here’s another little note. The stickers are food-grade but unfortunately you cannot eat them. So the next time you go shopping, remember the rhythm below.

8 we hate, 9 we’re fine, 3 or 4 are standard in stores but always wash before,

and spoil yourself raw’tn!!!

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_look-up_code

http://www.cpma.ca/en/industry-resources/produce-codes-in-canada/plu-codes.aspx