Resident Raw Foodie,’ Afke Zonderland shares how easy it is to live a whole-food philosophy and make the healthiest choices for yourself and your family. Her strategies and recipes are sure to provide you with plenty of food for thought. A shining star within the gluten-free and health conscious community in British Columbia and beyond, Afke is a Raw Food Chef and CEO of Okanagan Rawsome.
Wheatgrass and Wild Edibles
Wheatgrass is an effective healer because it contains all minerals known to man, and Vitamin A, B-complex, C, E, and K. Wheatgrass is extremely rich in protein and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
The Canadian Celiac Association advises, “Wheat grass doesn’t contain any gluten protein and it is usually harvested before any seeds develop. The concern has always been that their might be seeds accidentally mixed in. Some manufacturers have started to test their products and can produce wheat or barley grass in a way that is not contaminated with gluten. Look for a product that is marked “gluten free” to be sure the manufacturer has considered the issue.*”
I have planted a twin row of wheatgrass in the spring and fall for a few years now. We snip and juice enough for a few months of frozen cubes. I think of wheatgrass as a tonic that is super high in chlorophyll and a cleansing boost for all our organs and circulatory system.
It is said that a 2 ounce shot of wheat grass is the nutritional equivalent of 5 pounds of organic vegetables. I harvest the wheat grass once, then let it grow up to 10” high and till it under for green fertilizer. A masticating juicer works best for wheatgrass. The trick is not to rush the process and feed the grass in the hopper slowly.
Spring is the best time of year to forage!
All wild edibles are sweetest when harvested while young and tender. Dandelions are working its way in our smoothies and salads, while stinging nettles won’t be far behind.
I have considered dandelion roots for drying or juicing on occasion, but the cleaning and scraping involved gives pause for second thought. That is what health food stores are for! Brave souls amongst us might like to go out and dig up dandelion and burdock roots to brew a detoxifying tea.
Burdock has a long history of folk medicine as a blood purifier. This herb – or most persistent and hated weed – contains inulin which helps to regulate inflammation that originates in our immune system. Would it alleviate allergy symptoms? Burdock tea made from dried leaves is effectively used to treat skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
You might be surprised to learn that burdock flowers can be added raw to salads and the young leaves steamed as a vegetable. Horse owners! Here is your chance to benefit from burdock blossoms that you harvest from manes and tails!
- Oxeye daisies, growing in fields and roadsides have edible leaves
- Plantain, another much despised weed is also edible. The young leaves may be eaten raw while the seeds can be dried and ground into flour.
- Lily and deep purple violet blossom would truly make a showcase of your salad plate.
- Find a complete list with images of edible BC plants and roots at www.northernbushcraft.com
Mango Dandelion Smoothie
- 2 ataulfo mangoes, peeled
- 1 banana,
- 1 – 2 cups dandelion leaves or stinging nettle
- 2 cups of freshly made almond milk or spring water
- 1 tsp turmeric
- a tiny pinch of sea salt
Blend until smooth.
Also by Afke:
- Turmeric Goes Mainstream from Facemasks to Yummy Curry
- Dealing with the Dirtiest Place in Your Body in the Cleanest Way Possible
- Essential Oils – Your Allergy Support Team
- Essential Oils – Celiac-Friendly Natural Resource
- The Edible Front Yard – Mow Less, Eat Better, Save Money!
- Looking for Natural Relief from Allergies?
- Confused about Omegas?
- The Skinny on Fat
- Planting Gluten-Free Seeds for Your New Year’s Resolutions
- Almond Milk – Is it Everything It’s Cracked Up to Be?
- Is Kombucha Making a Comeback?
- View Afke’s Recipe Page
Afke Zonderland and Co-Founder/daughter Anna, have turned Okanagan apples and carrots into a made-in-BC success story. They’ve mastered mixing what farmer’s grow in the Interior with carefully sourced spices and sprouted seeds, nuts and fruit. The tincture of time + low temperature results in convenient, portable power-packed crisps in four flavors! Great gluten-free fuel for the health conscious, celiacs and athletes alike! Watch the video!
- Purchase Okanagan Rawsome in Victoria and across Vancouver Island.
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- Okanagan Rawsome is a proud Sponsor of the Canadian Celiac Association’s Classes for the Newly Diagnosed. Details here!