New Mulu Raw Chocolate Bars Review

One of the things I love about my job is all the free samples I get sent to try out. A couple of weeks ago I got sent samples of a new range of raw chocolate bars by Mulu. I remember a long time ago I used to really like Mulu bars, but I stopped eating and selling them because they contained agave which I found was not healthy. So when I was told these new bars are sweetened with SugaVida I was very excited to try them.

And wow, I wasn’t disappointed. They are my new favourite raw chocolate bars! There are five bars in the range, four of which are “milk” chocolate style, using coconut cream as a vegan replacement for milk, and the other is a dark chocolate bar.

All the “milk” chocolate bars are amazing, the best raw “milk” chocolate I have ever tried. I’ll go through each flavour, in approximate order of which was my favourite, although the first three pretty much tie for first place.

Mulu chai raw chocolate barChai – Amazing. “Milk” chocolate with Indian chai spices, absolutely perfect. Containing cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, plus vanilla.

Hazelnut – Also amazing! Containing both hazelnut pieces and hazelnut butter, which gives a delicious hazelnut flavour and crunchy texture, along with the creamy “milk” chocolate.

Coconut – Basically a plain “milk” chocolate bar, so creamy with all that coconut cream.

Banana – This is a unique idea, creamy “milk” chocolate flavoured with dried banana powder.

85% – This is the dark chocolate bar. For me this wasn’t quiet as exciting as the rest of the range, the coconut cream really is the standout point of these new bars, and this one doesn’t contain any. But still a good chocolate bar.

SugaVida (palmyra Jaggery) is the sweetener from a plam tree, claimed to be even better than coconut sugar, containing more minerals and having a glycemic index of 40. They even claim it has vitamin B12, I’ve not checked into this but personally I wouldn’t rely on it!

We’ve now got these bars for sale at Funky Raw with a special introductory discount of 10%. Plus we have a selection pack with one bar of each flavour with an even larger saving.

New Mulu chocolate bars

Where to buy the Best Quality Fruit and Veg

While supermarkets sell fresh fruit and vegetables labelled as organic, this is really not the best quality food you can buy. The main problem is that it is picked a long time before it is ripe, and some of it can be very old, for example apples can be over a year old (they are stored in special storage rooms with no oxygen and different gasses to keep them looking fresh, although nutritionally they are inferior.) Most of this food will come from large scale industrial farms, often imported from far away.


Chegworth Valley Farm ShopThe place to get the best quality organic food is direct from a local farmer. In many parts of the UK you can find farmers markets where you can buy locally produced, freshly picked, ripe fruit and veg, some of which is also organic. There are also farm shops, some of which are excellent, although be aware as some sell produce not produced by the local farm, so check what you are buying. And if you want to be even more picky about the food you are eating, you could try one of the “Pick Your Own” farms! There is an excellent website with an interactive map of farmers markets, farm shops and pick your own covering the whole of the UK here: FARMA (National Farmers Retail & Markets Association).

London also has a couple of specific websites, the main London Farmers Markets website also with an interactive map of lots of markets across London, plus also City & Country Farmers Markets which runs a few more markets including the excellent Alexandra Palace market on Sundays.

Turkish olive stall at Borough MarketWhile talking about farmers markets in London, I must also mention Borough Market. This is a large market at London Bridge which has a combination of direct from the farm stalls with fruit and veg, raw milk, cream and cheese, local meat (including wild meat) plus also other speciality food with non local food including cheese from France and excellent olives from Turkey. I love this market and always go when I’m in London. It can be expensive for some things, this is quiet a tourist attraction so not somewhere for regular shopping, although great for special extras.

Of course if you are looking for the best quality organic dried foods, remember to check out the Funky Raw online shop.

What’s your favourite farmers market or farm shop?

 

Lemon Guava producing fruit so quickly!

I am completely amazed by this tree – we planted it in early spring this year (maybe March, I can’t remember exactly) and now it’s full of amazingly delicious fruit! And they are so much better than any lemon guava I have eaten in the past. They are smaller than fruit I have purchased, a lot softer and juicier, I guess as I am picking and eating them at perfect ripeness compared to buying them.

I am slightly confused by the colour of the fruit – they look like strawberry guavas. When we bought the tree, it was sold as a lemon guava, and I think they taste like lemon guavas… Anyone got any comments on this?

Lemon Guava

Lemon guava fruits

Raw Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

Raw Vegan Ice CreamAfter living without a fridge or freezer for almost 6 years (first travelling, and now without a finished kitchen), some friends gave us one last month. Which was perfect because this summer in Portugal has been particularly hot! I’ve experimented with a few different ice cream recipes including one with egg yolks which worked well (although at the moment I’m not sure where I wrote the recipe down). But now I want to share this very simple recipe, that makes a really nice ice-cream:

Very simply blend and freeze! It’s good to stir it a bit during the freezing process, this makes it a bit more creamy, although it doesn’t seem to be necessary with this recipe. If you have an ice cream making machine, you could try using that.

I’m sure you can add other ingredients to make different flavour ice creams, let me know in the comments below if you come up with anything good.

What’s your favourite raw ice cream recipe?

Ethical Organic Cotton T-Shirts

About 7 years ago, Jolita and myself had the idea to produce organic, fair trade t-shirts. Because for me, buying clothing is very difficult, I cannot bear to buy cloths made with slave labour, which unfortunately is most of them.

Abstract snail and flowers t-shirt

The first t-shirt design by Jolita

At  that time, our plan didn’t happen for various reasons, although we did produce a fair trade organic cotton shopping bag.

So, fast forward 7 years, and we finally have organic ethical t-shirts and other clothing for sale. We even started with one of Jolita’s designs from 7 years ago, I still think it looks great! The blank t-shirts are made in India in wind powered factories where the workers are paid a fair wage. They are then shipped to the UK ready for your order. Once an order is placed, the t-shirt is printed with your chosen design with eco inks in another wind powered factory.

Here’s a design I came up with for raw fooders:

Broccoli power ethical organic t-shirt

Delivery is usually next working day, and is free to the UK Mainland if you spend over £50 (on clothing, this is completely separate to the main Funky Raw shop).

We also have eithical organic cotton hoodies and jumpers:

Broccoli power hoodie Womens ethical organic jumper



Summer Joy men's organic hoodieSummer Joy women's organic jumper

 

Click to view the whole range.

Wild Food: Pellitory Of The Wall and Salad Burnet

This article was first published in Funky Raw magazine issue 36.

Pellitory Of The Wall, Parietaria officinalis

Pellitory of the wallA couple of weeks ago I went on a wild food walk and discovered some new plants. Pellitory Of The Wall is in the Urticaceae family, that’s the same family as nettles. It has a hairy texture, actually one of it’s common names is sticky weed as it will sometimes stick to clothing, although it is nowhere near as sticky as cleavers which also has sticky weed as a common name. To be honest if I just put a leaf of this in my mouth I don’t like the rough texture, but mixed into salads with other wild greens it is not noticeable.
The pollen is known to cause allergies in some people, so careful if you are sensitive to pollen.

Pellitory of the wallAs you might have guessed from the name, you will often find this plant growing on walls – it grows on the side of our house!

The leaves are smallish so I pick the whole tops, the part which looks tender, the stem is also tender at the top.

This plant has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal plant for its diuretic action, to sooth chronic coughs (probably as a tea) and as a balm for wounds and burns.

One reference even says it is good for cleaning windows, I’ve not tried that yet!

Salad Burnet, Sanguisorba minor

Salad burnetI don’t quite know how I never knew this plant before, I’ve heard the name mentioned regularly but somehow I never met the plant until now. Maybe because it is a very small plant; I tend to go for larger leaves to make a good salad. Or maybe because the Portuguese name for this plant “pimpinela” caught my attention more than the English name!

Excuse the lines on my photo, it seemed like the best way to take a photo was put it on my notebook to get a clear view.

When I tried it, it had a nice flavour, a bit different to other wild greens and no bitter flavour, although according to Ken Fern of Plants for a Future “In the acid soil of our Cornish trial grounds, the leaves have a distinctly bitter flavour, though when the same plants were grown on a chalky soil they had a much milder flavour” and according to Wikipedia “Typically, the youngest leaves are used, as they tend to become bitter as they age.”

Salad burnet

Monthly Raw Food Snack Box

I want to introduce my new service to you – a monthly raw treat box. Each month subscribers will receive a selection of raw snacks: chocolate bars, snack bars, crackers, that kind of thing, plus product samples when available. Subscribers will also get free access to all PDF copies of the Funky Raw magazine (back issues and new issues) plus 5% off all orders from the Funky Raw shop. All this for only £15 per month… click here to read more and subscribe. The first box will be going out in the first week of June.

Raw Treat Box

Sunroot Raw Crisps Review

Sunroot crispsThis is quite a unique product so I was intrigued to sample it. It’s got one single ingredient, organic Jerusalem artichoke, which is grated and dried to produce a snack. It is very crispy, but does soften quickly once in your mouth. And strangely, the flavour does remind me of crisps (regular cooked potato crisps), there is even a slight fatty flavour like crisps! The flavour is very subtle, and slightly balnd, I found I preferred to eat them with a pinch of Himalayan salt. I’m sure you could add other flavours, maybe a dash of curry powder would work if you like it spicy.

Sunroot CrispsJerusalem artichoke is a pre-biotic which means it feeds the beneficial bacteria in your stomach, helping your digestive system.

This product is made with Jerusalem artichoke grown organically in Slovakia. You can order them direct from the producers at the Erbology website. They cost £1.99 for a 30g bag or £3.99 for a 100g bag.

Raw Chocolate “Rice Krispie” cakes recipe

I had the idea that maybe buckwheaties would make a good substitute for rice krispies to make a healthy raw treat. Buckwheaties are sprouted buckwheat groats which have been dehydrated making them crispy. You can either make them yourself or buy them ready made (eg here at Funky Raw).

Buckwheatie cakesIngredients

25g cacao paste
15g cacao butter
10g coconut butter

2 tablespoons lucuma powder
2 tsp carob powder
2 tsp mesquite powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp honey

70g buckwheaties

First make the chocolate. The ingredients listed make approximately 100g of chocolate, so you can make the same amount of chocolate using your preferred chocolate recipe, or even melt some ready made raw chocolate bars (a couple of Vanoffe Dark bars might work well).

Melt the cacao paste, cacao butter and coconut butter. Stir in all the powdered ingredients and honey (or other sweetener of your choice, or leave it out completely if you prefer).

Mix in the buckwheaties and form into balls. This is the messy part – hopefully the chocolate is starting to set a little by now which should make it easier! Maybe you could try spooning the mixture into paper cake cases if you don’t want to get messy chocolate coated fingers, although surely licking your fingers at the end is part of the fun!

With these quantities I made 7 balls, although they were a little bit too big so you could make them a little smaller and make 8 to 10.

This should also work well with activated pumpkin seeds, something I will try soon! Or even a mixture of pumpkin seeds and buckwheaties… Let me know in the comments if you come up with a good variation.

Book review: ReWild Yourself by Rachel Corby

This review was first published in Funky Raw Magazine Issue 35.

Rewild yourself coverIf you are a regular reader of Funky Raw then many of the themes covered in this book will be familiar to you, although they are tied together with the overall theme of re-wilding ourselves which may be new to you. Rachel’s main premise is that we have come a long way from our original wild state, and that “re-wilding” is how we are going to fix many of the problems of the world today. She says “I believe the first step in reclaiming areas of land and habitat, to saving, refurbishing, rewilding them, is to find the wild place inside, to rewild yourself.”

The book begins by trying to understand what has gone wrong and the events that led to the current situation where humans are disconnected and separate from nature and destroying the remaining wild places at an alarming rate.

It then starts us on the process of rewilding ourselves, with practical exercises and ideas to move us in the right direction. Rachel suggests that all parts of nature are alive, from animals and plants to rocks, and that we can and should communicate with them all. This is how wild animals and indigenous wild humans survive in dangerous situations by listening to the messages from nature.

In the section “Embracing the Wild” Rachel looks at some specific exercises to help us including walking barefoot, sleeping under the stars, wild swimming, foraging for wild food and more. The next chapter then goes into detail on awakening our senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste, again with exercises to help us fine tune these senses.

The contents of chapter eight will be particularly familiar to readers of this magazine “Eating your body wild”, all about the importance of eating a natural diet and raw food.
“Deep Nature Immersion” is also part of Rachel’s suggestions. She says “When you can, even if that is just once a year, or once in a lifetime, make the pilgrimage to somewhere truly wild and immerse yourself.” This leads on to Vision Quests, which can be doe as part of an organised group where there is someone watching out for you during your time alone in the wildness of nature.

Finally, entheogens are discussed as a way of seriously deepening your connection with nature and in many cases allowing you to experience actually becoming nature.
Rachel understands that over half the population of Earth currently live in cities, so her suggestions work within that limitation and doesn’t suggest that everyone needs to immediately move to the countryside; her ideas and exercises are designed to be used wherever you currently are and help you find the wildness are around your current environment, including the dandelions poking up through your lawn and the wild flowers growing in the cracks in the pavement.

I totally recommend this book to everyone, no matter where you are on your path. Personally I’ve been practising most of the suggestions in this book for many years but still found this book useful. Or it would make a great gift to help someone on their journey.

Available direct from the author at either as a printed book or ebook: www.gatewaystoeden.com