Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.
The sun is the most important energy on earth while water, air and soil are the sources of life in nature. Before man learned to cook with fire, we relied completely on energy from the sun. Plants store the solar energy and by eating the plants we also indirectly absorb the solar energy. Tropical forests close to the equator receive solar energy all year round. Thus the tropical area has the most bountiful solar energy meals, with many exotic fruits. Even tigers like to eat durians. People in the modern society live far away from the forests, the farm and the soil, how then can they enjoy a solar-energy meal?
Dr. Ann Wigmore had practiced living on solar-energy meals for many years in temperate climate of Boston. She sprouted various types of grains, legumes and seeds. Some of which are sprouted using soil whereas others simply with water. The sprouts are combined with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Despite the cold winter, fresh solar-energy meals are always available for consumption. Her specialty was high-energy soup which contained fruits, sprouts, avocado and seaweed. Her other specialities included wheatgrass, rejuvalec, seed cheese and sprouted wheat crackers, that are oven-dried at low temperature. She influenced the whole “food” culture.
Roxanne, a restaurant located in a small town north of Golden Gate of San Francisco, serves solar-energy meals and has been a highly popular dining place for food lovers since its opening in December, 2001. Before the restaurant’s expansion, the customers had to wait for months to get a reservation. The kitchen of this restaurant does not have any stove but only low temperature oven, juicer, etc. Most of the food supplied here are from Roxanne Klein’s three-acre organic farm. Roxanne, who has a formal chef training, has been a vegetarian since young and began to try a 100% raw diet after an introduction from her movie-star friend, Woody Harrelson. After being on a one-month raw diet with her husband Michael Klein, they both felt very good and started to follow a solar-energy diet. Roxanne Restaurant is her masterpiece. Her achievements have been well acknowledged by the gourmet food industry and she is listed in the current top ten chef in the U.S.. Roxanne has co-authored with Charlie Trotter, a famous chef in Chicago, a raw recipe book called “Raw”. Her innovation brings pleasant surprise – the popular Thai Noodles is made of soft coconut meat; sushi rice is made of parsnip and pine nuts; ice cream is made of nut milk. All dishes, ranging from soup to delicious cake, use ingredients such as fruits, nuts, dried fruits, vegetables and sprouts.
In October of 2003, Roxanne started a take-away shop so that those who do not get a space to dine-in can enjoy take-away food. According to Donna, the chef, one customer who was suffering from pre-existing cervical cancer started buying from them ever since the shop opened. Now she has completely recovered from the illness.
Actually, these famous cooks’ creativities are inspired by Dr. Ann Wigmore’s work. I would like to share with you the recipes I learned from Dr. Wigmore, integrated with my recent experiments.
Three Food Groups Of Solar-Energy Meals
- Fat – coconut, avocado, flax seeds, olive, olive oil, sesame, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, etc.
- Minerals: different kind of vegetables, roots, especially dark-green leafy vegetable.
- Sugar – fruits, sugar cane, sprouted grains etc.
If the above three groups are taken in correct proportion, there is a feeling of contentment. Generally, it is ideal if the weight of dried contents (after dehydrated) of the three groups are equal. For instance, nuts have low water content, thus the quantity needed is smaller.
If all seeds are pre-soaked and sprouted, the nutrient level will be higher and it is also easier to digest. For example, if nuts are pre-soaked and sprouted, then made into milk or butter, it becomes easier to digest. It is better to discard the soaked water for it contains chemicals that inhibit sprouting or tannic acid.
Ingredients that can be sprouted include whole oats (not oatmeal), buckwheat (raw, without shell), spelt (the original strain of wheat), quinoa, brown rice, millet, amaranth, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, flax seeds and all types of legumes. Although walnuts do not sprout, it also needs to be soaked for 8 hours to get rid of the tannic acid.
Rinse seeds, soak for 8 hours, then discard the water, leave at room temperature for 8 hours up to 3 days to sprout, rinse once every day.
Sesame seeds and flax seeds only require a 2 to 6-hour soaking, buckwheat 15 minutes. The following is the method to make seed sauce, first introduced by Dr. Wigmore:
Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds Sauce
Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, one cup each. Sprout for one day after soaking. Add in one cup of water and blend in a blender, keep in a muslin bag, leave at room temperature for one day. This becomes seed sauce which can be used alone or mixed with almonds and cashew nuts. If you have a Champion Juicer, use the “homogenization blank” and it is not necessary to add water as the sauce will be pressed out directly. A maximum of ¼ cup of rejuvelac may be added, also leave at room temperature for one day.
This is the basic ingredients for salad dressings, sweet mushu sauce, sweet and sour sauce and miso sauce. If finely chopped celery, parsley and carrots are added, it is also an ingredient for sushi and lettuce-leaf wrap.
Flax seeds may be used in many ways, such as in making cookies, porridge (combined with sesame seeds and walnuts). Flax seeds contain fatty acid, Omega-3, which is good for the brain, the heart and blood vessels. Soluble fibre stabilizes blood sugar, other fibres have the effect of preventing constipation. Lignans fibre has the function of controlling cell division. A research from Finland discovered that women suffering from breast cancer after menopause excrete very low level of lignans. Flax seeds contain high amount of lignans that can be as high as 800 times those from other sources.
Suggestions for breakfast
High Energy Porridge (or paste) for 1 person
- 3 tablespoons of sprouted wheat, oat, buckwheat or quinoa
- 1 tablespoon of flaxseed (pre-soaked)
- 1 tablespoon of sprouted sunflower seeds or almonds
- 1 tablespoon of sweet dates or other dried fruits (pre-soaked)
- 1 cup of hot water (could be more or less)
- Add hot water to sprouted grains and flaxseed. Use a blender or food processor to blend. Add other ingredients and beat into porridge or in the form of a paste.
- Fresh fruits (sweet), for instance, pear, banana, and papaya can be added. Choose locally grown fruits. In places where coconut grows abundantly, young coconut meat may be added.
- ¼ cup of flaxseed soaked in ½ cup of water (2-6 hours)
- Add juice and make into paste
- Walnut, sprouted oat, blueberries
- 3 tablespoons of sprouted oat
- 1 tablespoon of pre-soaked walnut
- 3 tablespoons of blueberries
- Mix together for a sumptuous breakfast.
- Sprouted oat may be substituted with sprouted wheat or sprouted buckwheat. Grapes may be used instead of blueberries or other sweet dried fruits like fig, dates, plum and raisins which must be soaked before use.
Low-temperature Baked Cookies
- 1 cup of flaxseed soaked in 2 cups of water for more than 6 hours
- ¼ cup of sunflower seeds soaked in water and sprout for 1 day
- ¼ cup of sesame soaked in water and sprout for 1 day
- 2 tablespoons of orange rind – finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of barley malt or brown rice malt
- Mix the above ingredients, place in low-temperature oven (not exceeding 108º) or use a sun oven, remove the lid of oven. When the top of cookies is dry, turn over and bake the other side. It takes approximately 12 hours.
- 2-3 bananas
- 1 cup of sprouted buckwheat
- ½ cup of flaxseed ground into powder
- Mash banana and sprouted buckwheat. Add flaxseed powder.
- Each cookie is 1 tablespoonful. Place cookies in low-temperature oven. Bake for about 12 hours for the correct hardness. Other fruits which contain less moisture, apple for instance, may be used. Pulp from almond milk, sesame milk may also be added into cookie and baked at low-temperature.
- Other than the fat group, there are plenty of ways to eat vegetables and fruits. Spaghetti squash and young coconut flesh may be used to make noodles and served with sesame-sunflower paste.
- Dark green leafy vegetables may be cut into very fine strips and eaten raw or mixed with olive oil or flaxseed oil, making it easier to digest.
- 1 organic cabbage, cut finely
- 1 bunch of dark green vegetables, for example, kailan, dandelion, kale, chard, etc, cut finely
- 2 teaspoons of natural seasalt
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seed, 1 teaspoon of fennel
- Mix all ingredients. Press firmly into glass container using a wooden pestle. Allow juice from vegetable to cover the vegetable. If there is insufficient water, add a little Nariwa water. Cover the glass container, leaving a little space. Leave glass container at room temperature for 3 days until there is a slightly sour taste, then place in the refrigerator.
- Sauerkraut may be added into salad, or served with hot soup, or mixed with seed sauce to make sandwiches, etc.
Due to climate or geographical location there are many ways to prepare solar-energy meals, the above are only some of my experiment for your reference.