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.

Fermented Grape Drink Recipe

This recipe was first published in Funky Raw Magazine issue 25 (2012) – I’ve been making it again recently as grapes are in season.

I’ve recently discovered this drink and I love it. Jolita first made it, adapted from recipes in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, and then I worked out the exact recipe.

According to Nourishing Traditions, drinks like this were consumed by traditional people. Modern drinks like soft drinks, stronger alcohol and “sports drinks” have replaced traditional drinks. But of course the traditional drinks were much better! They contain lactobacilli probiotic bacteria which help with digestion, they quench the thirst much better than plain water and contain electrolytes and minerals so also great to drink when exercising, better than the so called “sports drinks”.

The fermentation will make this drink mildly alcoholic, our guess is less than 1%, similar to kombucha.

Ingredients

  • 250g grapes (I like it with black ones best, but green or a mixture works just as well)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: teaspoon of whey (I haven’t been using this)

Method

Remove the stalks from the grapes and place in a bowl.

Crush the grapes – I used the wooden ‘pusher’ from our juicer, maybe a rolling pin would work. (And I’ve recently discovered I can do it with my hands!) Try and make sure all the grapes have been crushed.

Crushed-grapes

Place the crushed grapes into a 1 litre jar – I use a kilner jar.

Mix the lemon juice, honey and some water and add to the jar. Then add more water so that the jar is nearly full, but not completely as you need to leave room for expansion during the fermentation.

finished-grape-drinkFermentation time depends on temperature and other factors – try it after 24 hours but I have found that 36 to 48 hours is about perfect. To drink strain off the grape skins.
It doesn’t keep too long after getting to ‘perfect’, although it will probably keep better in the fridge at this point (we don’t have a fridge at the moment.) Also, the addition of whey is supposed to slow the fermentation down, which means it should keep a bit longer if you use it.

This recipe works with various fruits instead of grapes, we’ve tried with orange juice, lemon juice, pears and melons – lots to experiment with…

Simple Raw Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Raw Chocolate Brownie

A few days ago I saw a post for a raw chocolate brownie with only two ingredients. I was intrigued so I followed the link. The two ingredients were dates and cacao powder. Now, while that might make a tasty snack, without any fat it doesn’t really make a satisfying brownie. So here is my simple brownie recipe, four necessary ingredients and one optional:

I used deglet nour dates, if you use medjool dates then you might need to adjust the recipe slightly as medjool are sweeter.

Remove the date stones and chop the dates and coconut meat. Process well in a food processor.

Add the cacao and carob powder and the vanilla if you are using it and process again, it should start to thicken up, although it is still very sticky! You could add more of either powder if you need to make the mixture a bit thicker.

Enjoy! What’s your favourite simple recipe?

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Controversy

Fermented cod liver oilAbout a week ago, Dr Kaayla Daniel published a report on Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil giving various reasons why she claims it is not good. The report is not publicly available, you need to give your name and email address before you can read it – you can access it here. Very soon afterwards, Green Pasture put out a blog post refuting this. And then Yesterday Chris Masterjohn published a critique of Dr Daniel’s report.

Disclaimer/Conflict of Interest: As you may know, I sell the Green Pasture brand of Fermented Cod Liver oil and Butter Oil on my website. I also take it daily. And I am not a doctor or scientist.

I found Dr Daniel’s report to be written in quite a strange way, overly emotional, and making accusations without any real evidence. I found this bit particularly strange “Notably, Green Pasture does not seem to have filed a patent application for its unique and mysterious “fermentation” process.” – anyone who knows about patents knows that a patent is to protect the inventor, and there are reasons why people don’t want or need to apply for them, and it implies absolutely nothing about the process.

A key point people seem to be bringing up is that Lab #3 said that the cod livers in the Cattle Lick product (not the FCLO for human consumption) was “100 percent Alaskan pollock.” But failing to mention that in the “2.4 Evaluation of Species” section of Lab #5, it says “These values of sn-2 position specificity are similar to previous analysed cod liver oil samples. […] The overall CNMR carbonyl profile are similar to cod liver oil, although the levels of monounsaturated fatty acids in sn-2 position seems to be a bit higher than previously analysed cod liver oils.” And as someone points out in the comments to Chris’s article, Alaskan Pollock is a type of Cod fish:

Atlantic cod = Gadus morhua.
Pacific cod = Gadus macrocephalus.
Alaska pollock = Gadus chalcogrammus.

Reading Chris Masterjohn’s critique put my mind to rest, it seems that Chris understands the subject better than Dr. Daniel, and gives a more balanced view. From this I have decided to continue taking the Green Pasture products, and continue to sell them. (I currently take the infused coconut oil.) But I’m providing the links above to all three documents so you can read and make your own mind up. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

Update 7 Sept 2015: Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston Price Foundation has now also published a reply here and also in February this year published test results showing the the FCLO is not rancid.

Update 21 Oct 2015: We are now also stocking Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO) at Funky Raw. This is completely unprocessed and raw from wild cod from Norway.

Chia Pudding Recipe

I was at a festival the other week (Tribojam, it was amazing) and of course I didn’t have my usual full store cupboards of food, which forced me to experiment more. I had lots of chia seeds with me and made a few different chia puddings. So this is a very flexible recipe, you can add what you have. Start with the following:

Organic Chia Seeds

  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds – (at Funky Raw they still on special offer until the end of August)
  • Juice of half a lemon (or lime)
  • Approx 300ml water

Mix together and leave to soak for 10 to 20 minutes. The chia seeds will soak up most of the liquid – you can add more water if you want it not as thick.

Then add a selection of fruit and flavourings as you desire. I like chopped pears, a couple of tablespoons of carob powder and a teaspoon of honey. Chopped or mashed banana also works well (this can be in addition to the pears or instead, up to you). I’m sure there are many other variations you can make, switch the carob for lucuma, algarroba or acai powder, add a teaspoon of bee pollen, or goji berries, etc.

Vikings and Raw Chocolate on TV!

Linus of The Raw Chocolate Company is trying to take raw chocolate “mainstream”! Here he is on Dragon’s Den on Sunday night. He is asking for investment so he can get his raw chocolate bars into more shops and supermarkets. (Personally I’m trying to stop people shopping in supermarkets and get them to the independent shops and farmers markets, but maybe having top quality organic raw chocolate in supermarkets will help wake people up.)

Linus starts 45mins in to the program, this clip should start at the right place but might take a little longer to start once you press play:

The last clip of Linus makes me think that maybe the name “The Raw Chocolate Company” is a bit too obvious and he should have called it “Viking Chocolate”…

Over at Funky Raw we stock a range of raw chocolate from The Raw Chocolate Company including my favourite, raw chocolate coated goji berries

Raw chocolate goji berriesraw-chocolate-mulberries