Friday, January 2, 2009

Juice Fast & Raw Fudge

As promised, here is the update on my New Year juice fast, now behind me (making it a fast in the past).

I went with a 3-day rather than a 5-day fast, due to logistical issues. I also have to say 3-days is a good length for a short fast - easy to complete and very rewarding/renewing! Each day I drank up to three tall glasses of fresh-pressed veggie juice with apples and ginger, plus plenty of herb tea (sometimes with raw honey) and plain water. I also had miso soup at dinner time on days 2 and 3.

Fasting is most definitely a natural high. I got a little spacey and the miso soup help ground me. Veggie broth is often "permitted" on a juice fast; this was like instant veggie broth. Miso is a wonder food, providing immune-boosting probiotics in addition to yummy flavor. I like the mellow/sweet white miso from South River Farms best of all.

Breaking the fast is always the challenge. After resting the digestive organs, we don't want to stress them with too much quantity of, or too dense quality of food. Fresh fruit, salad, avocado are recommended, which is what I did, although I must confess some of my homemade Christmas Rosemary Spiced Nut Mix did slip in there... whoops! And truth be told, it gave me a little tummy ache, just to prove that light foods are better than heavy when breaking a fast. (I knew that would happen...!) They are delicious, though - made in the dehydrator with tons of fresh rosemary and just the right amount of cayenne pepper and agave for the hot & sweet effect.

Anyway, other than the nut thing, the fast breaking went really well, and today I am ready to jump into 2009 with a clean body and energized outlook. In fact, I like this feeling so much that I've decided to do a once-weekly fast day for the month of January. If that goes well, I may commit to continuing through to Spring. (You see, rather than making a mammoth New Year resolution, such as "I'm going to fast once a week for the entire year," I'm going with a shorter, "renewable" resolution to up my success potential - a little trick given to me yesterday from my wise mother. Thanks, Mom!)

In honor of eating again. I made a special treat for dessert last night: Raw Cacao Walnut Fudge. OMG - was this ever yummy! And so quick to make, adapted from the brownie recipe in Jennifer Cornbleet's excellent uncook-book, Raw Food Made Easy. I'm planning to experiment with this one, adding coconut to the next batch, or maybe currants or mint extract or goji berries or.... but I digress. Here's the recipe in its pristine purity:

Raw Cacao Walnut Fudge

This almost-instant recipe makes eight squares of rich, chewy, chocolatey inch-high fudge.

1 cup raw walnuts
5 Medjool dates
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch Himalayan pink salt (or any high quality sea salt)
additional walnuts for topping (optional)

In food processor, pulse 3/4 cups of the walnuts into a fine meal. Pit the dates and add to food processor with salt and vanilla. Process until smooth and transfer to bowl. Finely chop remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and mix by hand into walnut-date blend. Press the fudge into a small rectangular container (about 4"X6") so that fudge is about one inch tall. If desired, press additional chopped walnuts, about 1/8 cup, into top. Or press in 8 small walnut halves, one for each future serving. Refrigerate to help fudge set, then slice into eight squares and enjoy!

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