NÄRA – July, 2013
Text: Madeleine Walles, Photo: Anna Kallberg
In the NÄRA Magazine 2012 issue #8 raw food teacher Åsa Paul-Johansson offered delicious and healthy breakfasts. They were so yummy! We received very positive response from that article and now Åsa is back with fresh and easy-to-make summer foods. Bon appetite – eat, enjoy and have fun!
Åsa’s Summer Drink, non-alcoholic
Blend watermelon, fresh mint leaves and strawberries until you have a wonderful drink with a perfect blend of sweetness and tang.
With her arms, full of fresh vegetables, berries, fruits and nuts Åsa arrives in Malmö to prepare raw food. She has put together a delicious summer menu especially for the readers of NÄRA, food that is perfect for the garden party, or after a nice day at the beach.
-I want my recipes to be simple, Åsa says. There should not be too many ingredients, and most of all no weird ingredients. After having watched her in the kitchen, we at NÄRA can testify that she succeeds with this! Her summer food is unbelievably tasty and takes no time at all to prepare. Without a cook top naturally, since the trick with raw food is that the food is not cooked. Thereby keeping both flavor and nutrients!
-Yes, this is really nutritious, Åsa says. And super yummy at a juicy summer party!
Åsa lives since many years in Florida in the US for most of the year. But every summer she comes to Sweden for two months and enjoys the sea by Kullaberg in Mölle, Scania.
– Swedish summer for me is to get up around 5AM and really savor the early morning and listen to the birds. I do like to take long walks in nature; in the beech forest and on the moors. And then I enjoy the long summer nights, when it does not really get dark until late.
– In Florida we do not have the seasons like this, there it gets light around 7AM and dark around 7PM and it is pretty much the same year-round.
Åsa likes to follow the inner clock, the circadian rhythm which is governed by light and gives signals to the brain to get the different hormones and organs going.
– In the morning it is cortisol, adrenalin and serotonin which should be going, Åsa says. And at night we need melatonin which lowers the body temperature and makes us ready for rest
Åsa has been a vegetarian for over 25 years and been eating mostly raw foods for seven years. This diet makes her feel good. She tells us that she wakes up happy everyday; she is full of energy and feels good.
Besides she feels younger now than she did before.
The magic lies in what the body can do when you give it the optimal fuel, Åsa explains. -The body knows what needs to be cleaned out. Yes, it knows what makes you feel good!
And this is the kind of food I am going to prepare here today.
The menu she put together is in five parts.
-We start the day with a delicious breakfast containing nutritious chia seeds from South- and Central America. The Aztec, Inca and Maya Indians gave these seeds to their messenger who could run for days on end and needed lots of energy. The actual Maya word for strength is chia! Chia seeds contain eight times more omega3 than salmon, gram for gram. Besides lots of minerals, antioxidants and protein.
-Then I am going to prepare a cheese which is made without any dairy products, Åsa continues. It is perfect as dip with summer vegetables, maybe with a drink at the party.
Åsa hardly ever drinks alcohol, simply because it does not go well with raw foods when it comes to taste. She prefers water which has been infused with for instance mint. She gives you her recipe for a fresh and invigorating non-alcoholic summer drink!
The next dish is a tomato soup which you can have ready-to-eat in the fridge when it is time for lunch or after a hot day at the beach. It is also perfect to have chilled when the guests arrive! The soup is also excellent as a snack for hungry kids, a great alternative to sandwiches and ice cream.
-Do take advantage of the Swedish sun-ripe tomatoes, Åsa says. Many Swedes grow their own tomatoes and these are perfect to use in the soup. The combination of tomato, basil and garlic, really tastes Mediterranean!
Naturally we want a yummy dessert as well. Åsa quickly puts together a divinely tasting almond pie, which is topped with fresh berries and fruits. Perfect after the evenings dinner. Or why not as a summer snack under the apple tree!
-Oh yes, a dessert pie can still be nutritious, Å verifies. This does not contain any white sugar, rather gets its sweetness from honey or agave, which is much better for the body.
-Besides it contains no flour! So it is a perfect sweet for someone with gluten intolerance!
Lastly Åsa serves date candy to nibble on when sugar cravings show up later in the evening. Could they really substitute a chocolate bar?
-You can dip the candy in cacao nibs from the health food store, which have a dark chocolate flavor and give a great crunch, Åsa says. Or in cacao powder if your prefer that.
Tastes yummy, we promise!
Almond pie with berries
For the crust
1½ cups almonds
¼ cup raw acacia honey or agave nectar (regular honey is fine too; dilute with water if too thick)
For the filling
2 cups nectarines, diced
1 kiwi, diced
1 handful blueberries
2 bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon honey, dissolved in some water or agave nectar
Place almonds in food processor or mixer and process to finest pieces. Add honey or nectar and work it in. If it is dry, add some more. But it should not be too sweet. Place “dough” in pie form, spread out evenly and press it up the sides. Place in fridge while you prepare the filling.
Cut the nectarines into small slices/chunks. If you are making more than one pie, use the slicing disc in your food processor to gain time. Place them in a bowl and gently mix with honey or nectar. Taste and add more if you like them sweeter.
Place sliced bananas on top of pie crust.
Then fill with nectarines and make space for kiwi and blueberries. Serve right away or place cold for a couple of hours. It keeps fine in the fridge.
The pie is heavenly delicious and really fills you up. The combination with the chewy crust, the berries and the banana is perfect!
You can use nectarines as in the picture or choose your own favorite berries and fruits. Could be enjoyed by gluten intolerant people as well.
Dill and chive cheese
¾ cup macadamia nuts
¾ cup cashew nuts (natural no salt)
Juice from a large lemon
½-1 teaspoon sea salt (coarse, unrefined)
¼-½ cup water
1 clove garlic, pressed
Chives and fresh dill weed, chopped
Soak the nuts 2-4 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Place the nuts in a blender cup and blend until finely chopped.
Add lemon juice, salt and some of the water. Pulse and blend until the spread is smooth. Add water as needed. The mixture should be quite thick. Taste and adjust.
Add garlic and herbs and pulse. Or transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add garlic and herbs and stir by hand to mix evenly.
Stored in a sealed glass jar, the cheese will keep for at least three days.
Really tastes like cheese! A fresh and summery flavor thanks to the wonderful herbs. Perfect on a hot summer day.
Spread the cheese on crisp bread or use as dip for summer vegetables. If you add more water you’ll get a delicious dressing!
Summer Tomato Soup
1 cup water
A handful pine nuts
2-3 large sun-dried tomatoes, in chunks
3-4 large ripe tomatoes, in chunks
Juice from half a lemon
1 small clove of garlic (or 1 tablespoon onion, chopped)
1½-2 teaspoons sea salt (coarse, unrefined)
Freshly ground black pepper
a large handful fresh basil leaves
Halved cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and basil leaves
Measure the water in the mixing cup and add pine nuts and sundried tomatoes. Mix until smooth. If the tomatoes are dry, let them soak while preparing the other ingredients.
Add remaining ingredients except for the basil and mix to a smooth soup. Flavor with salt and lemon.
Add the basil and pulse until broken up.
Pour into serving bowls and top with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and torn basil leaves.
Tomatoes and basil are a classic, and lemon and garlic makes the flavor rich and hearty. The cut cherry tomatoes and the pine nuts makes the soup wonderfully crunchy.
Tomatoes contain a lot of lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant, and betacarotene. Do you prefer the soup to be warm, you can heat it up to 115 degrees and it is still raw food!
2 Medjool dates, fresh large
4 walnuts or almonds, or 6 filberts-hazelnuts
1 teaspoon cacao nibs or cacao powder (optional)
Remove the pits and fill the dates with nuts. Cut them across into bite size pieces. Dip the dates in cacao nibs or cacao powder if you want chocolate flavor.
This is sweet and scrumptious. The characteristic flavors of the walnuts and hazelnuts are really showing, while the almonds are a bit milder.
Serve with three different nut fillings and you get more variation!
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon raisins and/or dried cranberries
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries, or a berry mix
½ cup water
Watermelon, diced (apple is great too)
Place chia seeds, raisins and blueberries in a cup or bowl. Add water and stir to mix. Place in fridge for an hour or overnight.
Pour the chia mix over the melon. Top with coconut flakes.
Chia seeds have a slight nutty flavor, like sunflower seeds. They can be eaten as they are, or swell in water or juice. They soak up liquid and can increase their size twelve times. The breakfast is dominated by the flavor of melon. And it looks so beautiful!
Chia seeds which swell in water make a gel which soaks up impurities, waste products which the liver has cleaned out. This gel helps the body to remove these impurities in the intestines!
Karma in food – top list!
Karma is energy, all collected activity during a human’s existence, what you have done and not done during your life. This forms your karma. But did you know that food contains karma? Negative karma in food could come from animals that have been tortured and killed which leave imprints in the flesh that we humans then eat. Or plants that have not been treated with love – this becomes bad karma which we ingest.
Åsa lists karma in food. Every section starts with which is best and goes down to which is the worst. The best food for human’s, on the karma list is breast milk – the worst is blood.
GOOD KARMA IS FOUND IN:
Breast milk given with love.
Fatty fruits like olives and avocado.
Sweet fruits like pears, banana, orange, melon and berries
Non-sweet fruits like cucumber, tomato, eggplant, peppers.
Raw food prepared with love.
NEUTRAL KARMA IS FOUND IN:
Milk from cow given freely.
Edible flowers, like lavender and marigold.
Plants where the leaves have been picked, but the plant is intact, for instance basil.
NEGATIVE KARMA IS FOUND IN:
Plants when using the whole plant, like sprouts.
Nuts and seeds which could have been planted and become trees and bushes.
Hybrid roots like carrots, potatoes, beets.
Milk from enslaved animals.
Animal muscles, meat.
Organs – of which blood is the worst.
Åsa’s 5 summer favorites
Sun ripe tomatoes
Herbs like mint, dill weed and basil
Sun ripe strawberries – enjoy them, the season is so short!
All tender veggies of the season, mostly carrots
All the tasty green salads. I do want them every day!
Åsa’s raw food breakfasts!
In Nära number 8, 2012, we had a large article about Åsa Paul-Johansson and recipes for simple and delicious raw food breakfasts. You can order that magazine at tidningennara.se.
Åsa’s raw food-help!
Are you unsure how to get into the raw food-world and want to know more? Åsa gives consultations via Skype. One hour guiding for beginners + a recipe book where you learn how to make dishes with few steps and few ingredients. Contact Åsa for costs. The Skype consultation in itself is free.
Contact Åsa: email@example.com
This is Åsa:
Age: 63 years
Lives: In Florida and Mölle.
Family: Husband, two children and a grandchild.
Works as: Certified raw food teacher and raw food chef.
Offers: Consultations and classes in raw food.
E-Books: Åsa has written two e-Books about raw food, “10 delicious breakfasts for a GOOD morning!” and “3 days RAW with Åsa!”.
Web page: onthelime.com
Facebook: On The Lime – Raw Food Inspiration