>Sunflower Seed-Date Milk Shake

(or Pudding)

by Martin Adams

1 cup Sunflower Seeds soaked 8hrs (see below for other possible seeds and combinations)

1-1.5 Cups Pitted Dates (no air) or Date Paste soaked

1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

2 Tbsp Raw Carob Powder

1-1.5 quarts water

small sliver of fresh Ginger (optional)

pinch of Cinnamon (optional)

Vita-Mix or equivalent power blender (referred to as 'blender' below)

Soak Sunflower Seeds overnight, drain off water, put in blender with 1 cup water.

Blend on highest speed 60-90 seconds, adding only enough additional water from time to time to keep the material moving around the blades. Stop when you have an almost white cream.

Add another cup of water, the Carob Powder and Vanilla Extract and the Dates (with soaking water), cover and blend on high for a minute, again adding water only to keep the mix moving. If using ginger, add here.

You should now have pudding - try it. If you like it as pudding, you're done. If you want a milk shake, add water (dilute) with the blender on mediium speed until it reaches the consistency you like. The Vita-Mix pitcher is two quarts (64 oz), and the above quantities will make two quarts of milk shake, a cup more if you prefer it thinner. So you can simply add water to the mix until the pitcher is full.

Refridgerated it will keep a few days, but the sooner you consume it the better. Raw unsoaked seeds can be used, but soaked seeds are easier to blend and are more nutritious (and alive). Be sure to 'chew' this drink, as it is very dense food and may feel heavy in the stomach if you just drink it down like water. In place of Sunflower Seeds, Hemp Seeds work well, as do raw Peanuts, Almonds and other mild-flavored seeds and nuts. They can be used mixed in any proportion. Sesame Seeds are also excellent, but have a stronger flavor than others, so try substituting half (or less) of the Sunflower Seeds with Sesame to see if you like it.

Other seeds that work well in small amounts are Pumpkin, Pecan, Pine Nuts, and nuts like Macadamia and Brazil. Experiment to find the proportions you like most. Dates can be increased to 2 cups for a sweeter, lighter mix. Less dates gives a nuttier texture. Fresh ginger adds a spicy jolt (cream with the seeds). Cinnamon, cloves and mint create other variations. Enjoy.

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