Monday, August 29, 2011

Snack Time

Yep, I failed at the "August Break" goal of posting a photo a day this month. I had a ton of work come in during the second week and I barely left my desk for 4 days straight, trying to stay on two really tight deadlines. Then it just seemed pointless to pick back up on the photo project, especially when it was so hot and muggy outside.

My workday is a little lax today, so I decided to do a little recipe post. I will admit, I am the LAST person anyone should follow cooking advice from, but this recipe requires zero cooking (though you do need a dehydrator, which isn't exactly a staple in every household).

I first tried these Sesame Almonds at a Raw Food/Yoga place in my neighborhood. I didn't have an exact recipe, but it seemed easy enough to figure out on my own.

1. Start off with a cup or so of raw almonds. Apparently, it's hard to find TRUE raw almonds because nut manufacturers pasteurize nuts, which makes them not raw even when they're labeled "raw". These are from Costco, so I'm sure they're not unpasteurized or organic, but they are not smoked or flavored, so it's the best I've got.

2. I used a 1/2 liter mason jar and filled it to the top with filtered water. The next step is to just soak them in a warm place for 8-12 hours so they can plump up. When you soak nuts, you're actually "germinating" them. If they're truly raw, soaking will neutralize the nut's enzyme inhibitors which will make digestion and nutrition absorption easier.

3. After soaking, drain and get rid of the water. Your almonds should be plump and fatty.

4. Next, add some flavor. I add a few tbs sesame oil + some black sesame seeds + Salt (raw foodists like to use fancy pink salt, but all I have is run-of-the-mill white sea salt). Close the jar and shake vigorously to coat. I like to let it "marinate" for a bit, but the raw food lady said this isn't actually necessary.

5. The final step before consumption is to lay the nuts out in the dehydrator for about 8-10 hours (I set it to 105°). Warning: Your house may smell like a chinese food restaurant for the first hour or two.

So why dehydrate something that you just spent 10 hours soaking? Well, the nuts will still stay plump, but now they'll be nice and crunchy. You can taste-test after a few hours go by to see how they're doing. They're the best when they come straight out of the dehydrator so I only make enough to last a few servings. I store the extras in a sealed jar, and sometimes zap them in the dehydrator at a higher temp for a short time if its been a while since I made them. I wasn't a big sesame oil person before this, but these are seriously yummy. If it tastes a little bland, add more salt.

I'm trying to find other nut recipes since I'm more of a salty-snack person, but so far I haven't found anything else.

Friday, August 05, 2011

August Break: Day 5

I left the house today and brought my camera, but forgot to replace the flash card. Oops! Here's a photo taken this evening from the my apartment window instead.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

August Break: day 4

My boyfriend and I watched the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary last week, and promptly jumped on the bandwagon and ordered a Juicer which came in the mail yesterday. I am not good with self-restraint and I'm notorious for giving in to cravings way too easily, but our refrigerator is packed with fruits and veggies for this experiment and I'm interested in seeing how long I last. So far I've just been having fun throwing things in and watching it immediately transform into liquid form. Two juice-only meals down...? to go....

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

August Break: Day 3

Another cat photo so soon. I know. I did go outside today, but it was so hot, I just wanted to run my errands and get back home. No time to seek out interesting photo-ops.

This afternoon a giant box came in the mail. I got about as far as opening the top flap before Trouble hopped on board and staked his claim. I'll do the reveal of the contents for tomorrow's post.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

August Break: Day 2

A slice of my neighborhood. Parking Lot Backdrop - Spring Street, Los Angeles.

Monday, August 01, 2011

August Break: Day 1

I'm going to breathe some life into this blog for the next 31 days (hopefully) by participating in Susannah Conway's August Break. The goal is to post a photo (or more) every day this month. Simple! Let's see how it goes.

Today's photo comes from the vet office where I had to take my cat Toby in for some sniffle-fighting antibiotics. He's been a sneezy cat his entire life, but lately its been bad enough to need professional intervention.

Anyway - while I was in the waiting room, I was dying to take a photo of the on-staff counter kitty - a big, white, grumpy-looking Persian. I hesitated for a minute since I was in a place of business, but fired off two quick shots when the cat stood up and proceeded to sneeze enthusiastically all over the counter and the clipboard he was sitting on. It was pretty funny.