Recipe Week: Creamy Mushroom Soup

So winter is coming… or should we say it is already here with all the snow we’ve received lately.    We love making soups throughout the winter to take with us skiing or just chill by the fire.   They are quick and easy to make and can be easily transported in any container.    One of our favourites is this Creamy Mushroom Soup. soup

2 Cups of Mixed Portabella and Shitake Mushroom (or your choice)

1.5 Cups of cashews

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Shatavari Powder

1/2  Shallot

6 Cups of water (depending on how thick you want it)

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Tablespoons of Parsley

 

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Add the parsley last.   If you have a Vitamix or High powered blender, then blend until warm and serve.  Enjoy.

 

Bittersweet Almonds

Unlike some exotic nuts, almonds can be found at almost every supermarket and are extremely popular.   Many people however do not know the differences between certain varieties of almonds, where they are grown and when the best time to purchase them is.   So let’s get everyone up to speed.almondtree

There are a few varieties of almonds available in North America.   The more common varieties are from California and include the Monterey and Non Pareil.  Californian almonds are hard, crunchy, rounder in shape and have a mildly sweet taste.   California almonds are not RAW.  The term RAW for these almonds really means that they have not been roasted.   Therefore, all Californian almonds that you find in your supermarket are not truly raw.  Yes, that is correct all Californian almonds must undergo a pasteurization or heat process before they are sold.  So if you are looking for truly raw almonds, look for ones from Europe, particularly Italian or Spanish.almonds

European almonds are soft, slender and mildly bitter compared to Californian almonds.   They do have a more aromatic flavour and make excellent almond oil due to this.  They are harvested during the same months as the Californian varieties but may take a few weeks longer to arrive from Europe once picked, cracked, sorted and packed.  Raw European almonds are not heated or pasteurized and are truly raw.   Many people are not used to their unique flavour and sometimes mistaken them as not being fresh since they are not as crunchy as the Californian ones.   Others bite into them and are lucky enough to find a bitter, almost pungent, almond that has a very strong taste.   Yes, this is also normal for these almonds.   In fact there is a small percentage of European almonds that you will find in each few hand-fulls that will have an overpowering bitter taste to them.   This is absolutely normal and it does not mean that they are rancid or bad.   In fact if you look at a certificate of analysis for these almonds, it clearly states that some may be bitter.   You will also notice that making almond butter with these will yield a butter with a stronger almond flavour and aroma.   Same thing applies when making almond milk. If this does not appeal to you then go for the more bland Californian almonds.

Almonds are only harvested once a year.   The trees bloom around February or March and the nuts grow throughout the summer.   The almonds are harvested in October which means that they are in local stores in November or sometimes early December depending on the crop for that year.   This being said,  the best time to buy would be in late November or December since they are the freshest.  The shelf life for almonds when stored away from humidity and in a cold environment is 2 + years.   You can get a longer shelf life if you freeze or refrigerate them –  it’s your choice since nutrients may be lost when freezing.

We at Upaya Naturals only carry Whole Organic Spanish Almonds that are truly raw and not pasteurized  (available in 1lb to 55 lb bags).   We have been carrying these same whole almonds for almost 10 years and also distribute them to many restaurants and health food stores across Canada.   We also carry almond butters made from both Californian and European almonds.  Remember, that if you are looking for truly raw almonds or almond butters, make sure they are from Europe.

Tell us what your thoughts are on this wonderful food.   Do you prefer European or Californian almonds?  What’s your favourite way to use raw almonds?

 

New Product Review: UltraWater pHD Countertop Water Filter – Non-Electric (with Fluoride Removal)

Over the last few years we have been receiving a huge amount of calls from customers asking for a water filter system that can purify water without removing minerals but at the same time also remove fluoride.   These filters do exist.  For example there are reverse osmosis systems available, but they also remove beneficial minerals while cleaning the water.   Expensive drip systems, such as the Berkey , keep the minerals intact and remove fluoride but take half a day to get a few gallons of purified water out of them.

So along comes this company that has spend millions of dollars on research and development to design a single filter cartridge that can remove 99.9% of contaminants including chlorine, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, arsenic, pesticides and more.  The unique patented design is enclosed in a sleek looking chrome counter top unit named the UltraWater pHD Water Filter that can be attached to almost any faucet.

This unit is so cool that while it’s giving you pure filtered water it is also increasing the pH of the water making it more alkaline without using any electricity or wasting any water.  You can now get alkalized water without inducing harmful electricity through it.  Just like in nature.

How does the water taste? Pure, clean, very refreshing and thirst quenching.  Best of all it’s chemical free!   Check out the product details below.   Now available online at Upaya Naturals for only $399.00.     Aren’t you and your family worth having pure clean water.

The Cleanest and Healthiest Countertop.

Convenient. Stylish. Affordable. Alkaline. Ionized.

Our proprietary UltraWater technology changes oxidizing, chemical-laden tap water into the cleanest, healthiest, mineral-rich alkaline water. It’s like having a pristine mountain stream filled with an ocean of antioxidants coming from your tap!

IMAGINE HAVING FLOURIDE, CHLORINE PLUS 14 OTHER CONTAMINANTS IN YOUR DRINKING WATER 99.9% REMOVED!

Drink the Cleanest!

How does UltraWater contaminant removal compare with other brands that just use basic old-style carbon filters? There is no comparison.

Independent, EPA certified laboratory testing in the USA, confirms that 99.9% of virtually all tap water contaminants are removed. This next generation in filtration technology removes pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, and other chemicals. Give your family the cleanest and best tasting water free from dangerous contaminants!


Drink the healthiest!

UltraWater has up to 1000 times more acid neutralizing power than tap or bottled water, and more antioxidant potential than any food, juice or pill. Plus, it’s a delicious way to stay hydrated and pH balanced.

Drink safe! Made in the USA
The UltraWater filtration technology in the UltraWater pHD Non-electric Countertop gives you the confidence from being USA made. Our filters contain only carefully sourced and proprietary ionizing media – nothing is used in our filters that is not safe and contaminant free.

Drink with convenience!
It is the ultimate in flow-through convenience. You never have to wait unlike with pitchers and other non-electric gravity systems.

With other alkaline ionizers – electric or non-electric – you are drinking the health enhancing properties they offer along with the common contaminants found in tap water. With UltraWater you get both: the cleanest and healthiest. Why drink anything less?

Enjoy great tasting, alkaline, ionized, mineralized and antioxidant rich water! The UltraWater filtration technology in the pHD Non-Electric Countertop gives you the cleanest and healthiest water from any countertop filter – guaranteed!

Independent, EPA certified, laboratory testing in the USA, confirms that 99.9% of virtually all tap water contaminants are removed. This next generation in filtration technology removes pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, and other chemicals.

UltraWater has up to 1000 times more acid neutralizing power than tap or bottled water, and more antioxidant potentiall. Plus, it’s a delicious way to stay hydrated and more pH balanced.

Technical Specifications

Country of Origin: Made in USA
Flow Rate: 3+ litres per minute
Filter Life: 500 gallons
Height: 12″
Footprint: 4″ diameter
Shipping Weight 5lbs
Filter Media: Patent pending UltraWater (no AAL or harmful resins or exchange media used)
pH Range 8.5 to 9.5 (depends on your water source and contact time)
ORP Range: 150 to -350 (depends on your water source and contact time)
ORP Reduction: Up to 500 mV (depends on your water source and contact time)
Green Product: Eliminate plastic waste in filter replacement and plastic bottles
Outer Casing 316 marine grade stainless steel
Retains essential minerals: Calcium, magnesium, potassium
Great Tasting Water No residue exchange media
Connection Comes with tap diverter and tubing

Pure.

Virtually pure water, without the waste. Using reverse osmosis it takes 4+ gallons to create a gallon of clean water.

Natural.

100% chemical free, sustainable media made of all-natural elements that all biodegrade.

Healthy

Unlike other systems, the essential alkalizing minerals are not removed when water is cleaned. Healthy water infographic .

Green.

Reduce your carbon footprint without compromising the quality of your drinking water!

Smart.

Our ionizers are more efficient and so use less power than any other brand. Our water products replace the need for disposable plastic bottles.

Ethical.

Say NO to bottled water. No more plastic waste in our oceans and landfills.
Bottled water infographic .

But I have a filter, am I protected?

Carbon will not remove harmful things like most of the heavy metals (arsenic, lead, copper etc), fluoride, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

An under-counter model will be available in the next few weeks.

Creating a Perfect Green Juice

Many of you may not know this, but we have been juicing on a daily basis for almost 12 years now. Yes there have been a few days that we missed here and there, but it’s been a daily ritual for us.

We still remember the first time setting up our juicer and getting all excited to juice the bag of apples and carrots we bought.   Little did we know back then, that apple and carrot juice is like having pure sugar – from a glycemic index perspective.   It’s not like beets, apples or carrots are bad.   They do have their benefits but they are also loaded with sugar.   When juicing these, the fiber is stripped away so the sugar goes instantly into your system.

So after finding out that we were getting bad headaches from the sugar rush, we decided to experiment with greens.   Weeks later we were able to figure out what recipes we liked most and how much of each food to put through the juicer.   The greatest part was that we could make our juices and clean the juicer in less than 10 minutes.

So this is what we came up with on how to make the perfect green juice.

1.   Start with a good base – we prefer using cucumber and celery for the base which are both alkalizing.

celerycucumber-longenglish

2.    Add a few stalks or handfuls of your favourite greens. You can use spinach, kale, sprouts, broccoli, collards, dandelion or whatever else you like. Mix them up if you want too.   Dandelion is very bitter so don’t add too much unless you can handle the taste or mask it with some condiments (see below).

kaledadelion

3.   Add some sweetener of choice. You can use apples, pears, carrots or beets. We started off with a whole apple then cut it down to half then a quarter.   Now we can make a juice without even having to add a sweetener to it.apple

4.   Add your condiments.   You can use cayenne pepper, lemon, ginger, turmeric, sea salt or whatever else you like in order to spice it up.  Why not juice a jalapeno or habanero pepper if you like to add fire to your green juice!lemonginger

Our Favourite Recipe (Makes 16 – 24 ounces of juice)

  • 1 whole large English cucumber
  • 1 medium sized whole celery
  • 4-6 leaves of kale
  • 10 dandelion leaves
  • Optional:  ¼ of a lemon,  Small piece of ginger

After 12 years of juicing we no longer crave coffee or tea in the morning.   We crave our green juice since it gives us a quick vitamin and mineral boost straight into our bloodstream.  It’s a way better boost in the morning than caffeine.

What’s your favourite green juice? How long have you been juicing? What’s the funkiest juice you’ve ever made?