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sustainability starts at home

Growing a Snap Pea Bounty {with Two Recipes}

Posted in Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Salads, Side Dishes | 18 comments

Peas are pretty easy to grow. Just give them cool, spring weather, composted soil that drains well, and some climbing support. If you’re short on space, peas can be grown in containers, along walls, or trained up corn and sunflower stalks.

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Four Traditional Ways to Prepare Raw Beef

Posted in Main Dishes, Raw & Fermented | 19 comments

Many experts now agree with the traditional wisdom that eating 50% or more of our foods in a raw or fermented state can foster optimal health and nutrition.

Fresh, local, organic foods in their raw or fermented state are nutrient-dense and packed with enzymes and beneficial lacto-bacteria that help us absorb vitamins and maintain a healthy digestive system. This is especially true of raw, pasture-raised meats, eggs and dairy, as well as wild caught seafood. 

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Cultured Apricot Fruit Leather

Posted in Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Treats | 4 comments

Apricots are always the earliest stone fruit to come into season, and for many people, their arrival signifies the beginning of summer.

This weekend the farmer’s market had lovely, sweet organic ones for just $1.50 a pound, so I bought a crate of them. I plan to eat them fresh, dry some, and make the rest into fruit leather.

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Cherimoya Love (With 3 Recipes)

Posted in Beverages, Condiments, Raw & Fermented, Soups | 9 comments

Here in Southern California, land of amazing food, grown year-round, there is a fruit in season now called the cherimoya.

Being an East Coast native, I had never seen one before, because cherimoyas have a very short shelf-life and therefore aren’t successful in commercial production. The yummiest, healthiest foods usually aren’t.

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How to Make Raw Sunflower Seed Butter

Posted in Condiments, Raw & Fermented | 32 comments

High in vitamins, minerals, and protein, sunflower seeds are little powerhouses of nutrition. They are also a great stand-in for nuts for those who are allergic to them.

However, like all nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds also contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which protect them from sprouting until they have the rain and sun they need to grow. And unfortunately, these natural chemicals are quite hard on the digestive system. Here’s how to get around that problem…

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Simple Pickled Beets (And How to Grow Them)

Posted in Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Real Food Recipes, Side Dishes | 34 comments

‘Tis the season for greens, greens, roots, and more greens. This week in our CSA box, we got a lovely bunch of beets, and I picked up several more pounds of them at the farm market too.

There is something about the New Year that has me in the mood for pickled beets. 

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Raw Sprouted Chickpea Hummus

Posted in Condiments, Raw & Fermented | 34 comments

There is a local farm market vendor here in San Diego who makes hummus from raw, sprouted chickpeas. He uses no tahini, but plenty of garlic, and it is the very best hummus I’ve ever had. So good, in fact, that I can’t stand to eat cooked hummus anymore.

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Arugula is Not for Snobs {With 2 Recipes!}

Posted in Condiments, Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Salads | 13 comments

The cool weather greens are just starting to come ready for harvest here, and this week both my garden and my CSA box have plenty of arugula with which to make salads and other delights. 

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Four Easy Pickle Recipes

Posted in Raw & Fermented, Real Food Recipes, Side Dishes | 27 comments

The cucumbers are ripe in the Small Footprint garden, and with the amount in my garden and my CSA box, it seemed like a good time to make pickles. And with so many things ripe in the garden right now, once I got started, I caught a “pickle bug” and just couldn’t stop.

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Fresh Figs on a Hot Summer Night {With 2 Recipes}

Posted in Condiments, Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Treats | 19 comments

Figs are coming into season here in Southern California, and trees all over the neighborhood are absolutely loaded with them. Here are two fresh fig recipes to help you enjoy the bounty of these special fruits.

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Cutting the Mustard (Greens)

Posted in Condiments, Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Side Dishes | 17 comments

Mustard greens are fast growing, nutritious leafy greens that grow well both in the garden and in containers. Mustard can be planted in both the spring and fall garden. In fact, to ensure a steady supply of these spicy, flavorful greens, fall is the best time to plant them.

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Coconut Water Kefir and Cultured Coconut Pudding

Posted in Breakfast, Raw & Fermented, Treats | 26 comments

Despite using coconut water, milk, meat and oil in many of my recipes, I have a love/hate relationship with coconut. My love affair with coconut began as a toddler when a nice Mexican man gave me a hunk of fresh coconut meat to teethe on during my parents’ vacation in Acapulco. I have lovingly done the same for my daughter. 

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Stinging Nettles Are Good For You

Posted in Condiments, Gardening, Raw & Fermented | 50 comments

Today I weeded my very overgrown flower garden, and learned (the hard way) that stinging nettles are the most common weed there. But despite the fire in my hands that lasted for several minutes, I was so grateful to find them!

Here’s why… 

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Dandelions are No Lawn Menace {with 2 recipes}

Posted in Beverages, Gardening, Raw & Fermented, Salads | 46 comments

Many wild plants and “weeds” are some of the most nutrient-dense greens you can eat. It is only in the past 100 or so years, as our food system became more and more industrialized, that wild superfoods dropped out of our diet. So I try to include them in mine when I can.

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Shiso Fabulous!

Posted in Raw & Fermented, Side Dishes | 6 comments

This week the CSA box had a big bunch of shiso. I haven’t eaten shiso—also called perilla, beefsteak plant, or sesame leaf—since I lived in South Korea over 15 years ago, so the bunch in my box inspired me to research traditional Korean dishes this week.

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