Monday, November 12, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside

I don't know what it is like where you are at, but where I am, it's getting cold outside. So, what's a raw girl to do to stay warm?

Of course, the first thing I've done is break out the cold weather wardrobe, including the heavy coat, scarf, lots of layers, and of course, my favorite thigh-high socks (definitely a raw fashionista staple). I have at least a whole weeks worth. American Apparel sells both sporty gym sock-inspired striped pairs and more conservative solid styles, individually and in 3-packs.

As for the scarf, I usually wear one my mother made me a couple years ago, as one of her first knitting projects. She has come along way since then; she now hosts a knitting group at her house once a week, where the ladies of our church get together to socialize, and make hats for the newborns at the local hospital, prayer shawls for those in need, afghans to donate to hospice, hats for women fighting breast cancer and various other projects.

Yesterday, my mom made a second attempt at teaching me how to knit. She showed me once two years ago, but I gave up after about 5 or 6 rows. This time, I think I have the hang of it. It is actually starting to look like a scarf, although it is only about a quarter of the way finished.

This is just a practice scarf. If I make it through this one, I hope to try it again using a really soft bamboo yarn I found recently.

Another way to warm up is by spicing up your raw cuisine. I find that adding cayenne pepper to my dishes and smoothies really helps heat up my insides. You can even add fresh jalapeno or habanero peppers, like Kristen Suzanne of Kristens Raw.

She says, "They warm you up in winter, so if you live in a cold climate and you're trying to stick with Raw food, add some hot peppers to your diet."

My favorite raw dish to have for dinner this time of year is raw soup. There are plenty of recipes out there, but I usually just create something on the fly with whatever I have in my fridge at the time.

Most raw soups are purees, like butternut squash soup and classic tomato, but I usually prefer something that incorporates more textures. Matt Amsden has a good Dixie Chicken Chicken-less Noodle Soup in his "Rawvolution" book that combines a raw broth with diced carrots, celery, mushrooms and zucchini "noodles."

Tonight's meal consisted of a raw broth made out of a miropoix (a fancy way of saying, carrots, celery and onion), tomato, water, miso, garlic, cayenne pepper (of course), fresh parsley and herbs de provence. I just blended all these ingredients in my Blendtec until smooth, scraped the foam off the top (this just makes it look prettier) and poured it over some thinly cut veggies (I used zucchini, yellow squash, carrot, celery, tomato, red onion, peas and corn kernels).

You can either enjoy your bowl of deliciousness right away, or warm it slightly in your dehydrator (yet another way to turn up the heat this time of year and still stay raw).

If you still need some inspiration, check out these other raw soup ideas: Fiery Lava, Spicy Lime Green Cilantro Soup (you know how much I love cliantro), Red Pepper Gazpacho, or one of these recipes from the Sunny Raw Kitchen.

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