Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002
Re: Maranatha, dried fruit questions
are the almond butter and tahini that Maranatha sells and labels as "raw" actually "raw"? are Arrowhead bulk flax seeds "raw"? are unsulphured bulk dried fruit "raw"? thanks!!
John Tsevdos wrote: From what I understand, "yes". If they are not, let me know…
In a message dated 6/10/02 8:30:02 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
I just searched http://www.rawfoodsupport.com/, where someone said they had called Maranatha and was told that the "raw" tahini or almond butter actually gets up to 160 degrees in the process of the processing.
June 11, 2002
HI DeVie and group,
When I was doing research for my book Hooked on Raw, I also talked to various producers of "raw" nut butters to find out whether they were cooked or not. The response from most of them was as follows: they do not do a separate procedure whereby they cook the nuts or seeds but, in the process of grinding the seeds into a butter, the machinery gets very hot… thus cooking the product. The figure of 160¡ F is an estimate only – no one has actually tested it because thus far it has not been important for them to do so.
I also heard from a farmer in Puerto Rico that some seeds could be steamed before they are ground into a nut butter (makes a smoother butter and yield is better), but the companies did not mention this to me when I was questioning them. I also didn't ask them the question specifically because I was not aware of it until later. The farmer also said that rolled oats are steamed first before they are rolled. Thus, rolled oats would be a product that is double cooked.
There are a couple of companies that produce genuinely uncooked nut and seed butters. One of them is called Rejuvenative Foods and sometimes it can be found in the refrigerated section of large health food stores. If they do not have it, you can try asking them to get it. The price is substantially higher than the unrefrigerated products but I do believe it is worth it, especially for those who are striving to achieve all raw.
There is also another company that I know of, but to order from them you have to buy in bulk (probably a case) and go through a certain distributor. This would only be viable if people join in together to buy the case. If anyone wants information on that, I can put them in touch.
About the dried fruits. I had a lot of trouble getting RELIABLE information on dried fruits and subsequently some of the information in the first edition of my book is incorrect (since corrected). The only dried fruits that I trust now are "sun dried". All the others may be dried at high temperatures – there doesn't seem to be any way to find out. I've called – haven't given up on it yet- but you get different information from different people. Because of this, I reached the conclusion that I would only use sundried fruit. If a fruit was not available sun dried and I wanted them dried, I'd do it myself. (My only exception is dried prunes because you can't seem to get the fresh plums that are used for making dried prunes. If anybody knows which kind of plums these are – please let me know.)
It's easy enough to dry fruit. In the summer you can buy a case or more of fruit and just cut and dry it at 95-105¡ F. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before storing. Some of the fruits, like cherries have to have a few small holes pricked into them because otherwise the skin is so intact that it prevents them from drying. Another fruit like this would be the cranberry. Also, I've never found dried cranberries or cherries that didn't have sugar or some sweetener added.
About the bulk flax seed from Arrowhead, I do believe that it is raw. I've never heard of any flax seeds being cooked and also if they were cooked I think the appearance would be altered.
for Raw Truth,
In a message dated 6/11/02 3:30:53 PM, email@example.com writes:
Rhio, thanks for all that sun-drying info. when you dry cherries yourself do you take the pits out before? i would imagine this is so time consuming?
Yes, I do. And then pricking them is also time consuming but I do it while I'm watching a video or listening to music. Or I try to get my family to give a hand. Sometimes they do, especially if I have a lot of extra cherries. Two for them. . . one for the dryer, three for them. . .
In a message dated 6/11/02 7:57:32 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
i've also seen a little gadget that pits them for you, very martha stewartish. have you ever tried it? the thought of dried cherries in november is now making me very hungry:)
I have tried some of those but they don't work too well. There may be one that is good and I just haven't found it yet. But I did buy an antique cherry pitter (pits olives too) that works pretty good but it was a one of a kind find. I was browsing in an Antique store in Michigan, found something and asked the person what this unusual contraption was and he told me a cherry pitter. Couldn't pass that up.
Well at least you have the summer to fill up on those cherries. Have you tried Leigh's Cherry Cobbler with Crumbly Crumbs – page 280 of my book. Mmmmm MMMM!