GUIDE TO GOAT CHEESE AND SELECTING FRESH PRODUCE (August 26, 2010)
I have just purchased your ebook The Rose Cleanse. My question to you is that I live in Boston and can not find raw goat cheese anywhere – AltaDena or any other brand. I have found raw cheddar at Whole Foods, and they also carry soft crumbled goat cheese. Any suggestions?
The Natalia Rose Institute Team receives many questions about raw goat cheese. Although this question is exclusively about availability, it’s a great opportunity to talk more about cheese. I know many are surprised when they read that Natalia does not promote a strict vegan lifestyle. She has addressed this from a planetary standpoint (agriculture is in many ways just as destructive as raising livestock), but lets talk about dairy in the body as well.
First, we eat goat and sheep dairy above cow dairy based on its ability to move through the body with speed. Remember, quick exit combinations and foods are our goal. Think about this from the standpoint of biological design: the giant protein molecules in cow milk are designed to grow a calf into a cow. The smaller molecules in goat and sheep cheese are for a smaller mammal, and will not stick in the body in the same way. And the presence of yeast-feeding lactose, which the human body has a very difficult time processing, is much less in goat and sheep milk.
Second, we choose raw over pasteurized because of the presence of raw enzymes that will help our body’s digestive process. Again, we are trying to keep things moving as quickly as possible, and we don’t want the cheese to sit for a long time digesting in the stomach and then intestines. Opt for raw goat and sheep cheese in the home and when available, and pasteurized when in a restaurant or when you’re in an area where you just can’t find it.
Third, we eat our cheese either with or directly following a big pile of raw water-containing vegetables. On a salad, rolled in a cabbage leaf, or as a component of a cooked entree following a large raw salad are when cheese is best consumed. I love to order a double side salad with goat cheese, steamed spinach, and marinara sauce on the side when we eat out at our favorite restaurant. I take bites with a little of each, covered with lemon juice, for a delicious meal out on the town.
I know that in many areas finding goat and sheep cheese that is both yummy and affordable is difficult. The link below is a resource I have used with great success to order our favorite raw goat cheddar by AltaDena.
Many gourmet shops have a raw goat and sheep cheese selection. My lovely man-friend and I have delicious nights creating a cheese sampler and trying out different varieties following our giant salad. Farmer’s markets are the heroes of this adventure, as well. They often have an amazing selection of cheeses, and can talk to you about the process (some pasteurization is more “gentle”).
Each state has different laws regarding raw cheese. Here in NY the law is that cheese must be aged 60 days or over in order to be safely sold, so only the harder varieties are available. Pennsylvania, however, has no such constriction. A google search yields many smaller operations (like Dove Song Dairy) that are happy to ship the fresher soft cheeses within the continental US.
Here’s what to remember:
1. Cheese is not a healer. We eat it because it adds a delicious density and flavor to a meal, and will produce a beautiful contraction in the body. We can enjoy cheese with this lifestyle if it is goat or sheep cheese, preferably raw, and in the company of raw vegetables and properly combined. It adds the decadence and passion to meals that make this lifestyle not just sustainable, but heavenly!
2. Always do the best you can in your situation, and don’t obsess about the details. This should be a pleasurable process! Do your research, figure out what your state allows, and where to shop or order, but also give yourself the freedom to explore and try new ways of doing this. Take a long weekend drive to a new farmer’s market. Call a Pennsylvania dairy and develop a relationship with a smaller operation that will be educational and expanding. Have a ladies night where you sample a selection of cheeses, dark chocolates, and wine (everyone bring a new kind). This is your life, and regimentation is limiting and joyless.
3. The density of cheese is not going to be an issue for you if you’re living on raw vegetable juices, fresh garden salads, and piles of steamed and sauced vegetables. In fact, it gives many women the figure tightening they’ve been looking for. You do not have to give up your cheese and chocolate to get the health or weight results you’re looking for.
How do I pick which produce is fresh? I have never eaten such a high quantity of fruits and vegetables, and I’m not always sure how to figure out which ones are ready to eat.
Thank you for your question. This is one of my favorite parts of eating such a high percentage of raw fruits and veggies. I think picking your food is a joyful and exciting, even meditative, process. And you will find it is entirely based on instinct!
1. My first recommendation is to find someone in your area who is as passionate about this process as I am. Farmer’s markets are a great place to ask questions, Whole Foods encourages it, and there are many websites that can talk you through the process of selection. This learning process is like taking a wine tasting class. It becomes an obsession! Natalia and I drove to four different spots today to look for a specific sweet potato variety that was more juicy and water-containing and filled with flavor than the kind we had at home. We talked to the proprietors, and learned about many different varieties. Did you know that what Americans call yams are actually just another variety of sweet potato? And that they are in the Tuber family?
2. Once you have done your reading, or have a good guide, employ your senses. A tomato will show you easily when it is ready to take home by its color and texture, but you can’t see into a watermelon or feel by giving it a gentle squeeze. So what other sense can we employ? A watermelon is ripe when you can put it near your ear, drum on it, and hear a hollow thump that has reverberation. This is instinctual! If it’s at it’s full juiciness it will conduct sound more easily than if it is dense and under-ripe. Also, you will always know when something is overripe and about to spoil. Smelly, spotty, leaky, soft produce doesn’t feel right. Always trust yourself.
3. Use the process of trial and error. Eating an under-ripe banana will give you a dense and starchy meal that doesn’t move through the intestines with much speed. It will probably be a bit binding. Eat a nice brown-freckled banana in the height of its sweetness and you’ll have a massive bowel movement the next morning that will knock your socks off!
Avocados: gently push on the “belly button” on the top of the avo to feel it’s softness without ruining it for the next buyer. I buy 3 at a time, one very soft, one less soft, and one hard so that they’ll be ready in order as the week progresses.
Tip: under-ripe produce can be sped up overnight in a brown paper bag. Avocados can even be ripened in one day using this method!
Bananas: these should show no green, and be lightly freckled (but not completely brown) when consumed. The paper-bag ripening method is wonderful for these as well.
Berries: always check the bottom of the container as well as the top. A few greener or harder berries will ripen, but brown, mashed, or moldy is no-bueno.
Greens: for salads, of they’re in the store or at the stand you can assume they’ve reached maturity, and baby greens are delicious as well! Just avoid blackened or mushy edges.
Melons: push gently on the belly button to feel a slight softness, and then smell where you’ve pushed. It should be pungent and intense when ready for consumption. I enjoy mine just this side of rotten!
Onions: look for rotting and sprouting. Otherwise, you can assume they’re ripe enough to eat (as even the babies are delicious).
Peaches and nectarines: the easy squeeze test works best for these. Just be sure to check for bruising and missing stems.
Potatoes: should never be damp, and the eyes should never be sprouting even the slightest bit. Rotten pots are probably the worst smell on earth!
Squash: basically, you only need to worry about it rotting. If it’s available for sale it’s ready to eat (and will always be hard and mostly scentless).
Tomatoes: look for cracks and breaks in the tom, which often mean it has over-ripened or fallen (and will rot quickly). NEVER refrigerate tomatoes, and try to buy them close to the time of consumption. They should be firm, not hard.
Watermelons: hold it on your shoulder and gently drum on it with you knuckles. A surface sound means it’s dense and under-ripe, and deep belly drum sound means it’s juicy and ready.