First off, please check out my review of Manitoba Hemp products on Jae Steele's blog, Domestic Affair. For those of you who don't know, Jae is the author of the amazing Get it Ripe!, a cookbook staple to any healthy vegan kitchen, and the upcoming Ripe From Around Here.
On a different note, today is more than just Groundhog's Day, between the Midwinter Solstice and Spring Equinox, tucked away between the ends of winter and the tiniest hints of spring, is Imbolc. It is the first of three fertility Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year, usually dedicated to the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Anticipating the upcoming spring, the festival literally translates from the Old Irish as 'in the belly', referring to the lactation of ewes in preparation for their newborn lambs. In many ways Imbolc celebrates life, birth, growth, a new season, and the end of the harshest and darkest months. Imbolc is the seed that will grow into the rest of the year. It is a time to let go of the mantle of winter along with negative thoughts, emotions, and habits, to give way to all things pure, positive, and new. It's a time of regrowth, and like birth itself, it's a time to reflect upon how to turn our internal thoughts into outward actions.
Now, how to incorporate raw foods into festival celebration foods? In the spirit of regrowth, seeds of life, preparing the earth for first plantings (in some areas anyway), my recipes of the day were dedicated to growth and trying to use all the foods that might have been used during a traditional feast, that being using ingredients made up of whatever leftover stock there might have been after a long winter. Because I'm clever, all of the dishes were placed in planting pots and saucers, increasing the 'first planting' and life aspect of the day.
First, my 'planting seeds' dish, dirt-like substance was made by crumbling raw chocolate cookie dough (ground oat groats, cacao powder, ground cashews, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract) and placing pumpkin and sunflower seeds on top of it.
Next was a 'leftover harvest' porridge, made up of soaked oat and spelt groats that went through the food processor to make a porridgy-like substance, grated sweet potato marinated in maple syrup and cinnamon (which was also mushed up in the food processor), both were blended together with chopped raw nuts (walnuts and pecans) and dried fruits (raisin, figs, apricots and prunes).
Last was a Mead cake shaped into a nest (ground cashews & spelt berries, agave, meade, salt, vanilla) filled with sesame seeds.
I thought it was pretty clever anyway... Though the snows have started falling again here in DC, a time to reassess ones goals for the year is always welcome! Happy Imbolc!
Workout of the Day
5 minutes cardio warmup on the stairclimber
ab circuit (3x12 of three different ab exercises)
1 minute plank
3x12 dumbbell chest flyes
3x15 inner shoulder rotation (with cable)
3x12 overhead dumbbell tricep extension (standing)
10 minute stretching