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News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Some like it Sweet: Natural sugars curb cravings and fortify the body

Photo Sarah Manning/ Special To The Town CrierRose-Scented Raw-Chocolate Truffles, are indulgent yet healthful.

 

Some like it sweet. And admittedly, I’m one of them.

Seduced by the tasty allures of Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to resist the traditional boxed candies and processed sugar. But with good health as our aim, let’s focus on the natural sweetness of whole, raw foods.

You’ll find lots to love in some of nature’s hidden treats, which hold the power to curb cravings and fortify the body.

Regular white sugar, a staple in candy and chocolates, goes through a lengthy refining process before landing on store shelves. Much different from the plant from which it derives, white sugar is clarified and stripped of any trace minerals, processes that greatly alter its chemical form and can be detrimental to health.

According to the Global Healing Center, refined white sugar actually drains the body of precious vitamins and minerals due to the havoc it wreaks on the digestive system.

Corn syrup, another ingredient you’re likely to find in many commercial chocolates and candies, is even sweeter than white sugar and much more processed. The harmful side effects of corn syrup have generated media attention recently. A Princeton University study reported that corn syrup causes considerable weight gain, along with mood swings, crashes in energy and cravings for more sugar.

In short, these common sweeteners may be delicious, but they come with a hefty health price tag.

But all forms of sugar are not created equal. Fruit, for example, contains fructose, a sugar free of refining and processing, which affects blood sugar much more gently and contains vitamins, fiber and antioxidants to boot. Many other plants provide sugarlike appeal as well, and can replace white or brown sugar in most recipes.

Following are my favorite plant-based sweeteners and their benefits.

• Dried figs and dates. Because the water has been evaporated, the sweetness of dried fruit is more compact than in its fresh form. Figs that contain omega-3 fats and fiber-heavy dates make these chewy and delicious treats guilt-free.

• Raw honey and maple syrup. Honey is known in holistic, ayurvedic practices for its medicinal and healing properties when left raw and unheated. When sourced from local beehives, honey can also aid in the treatment of seasonal allergies. Real maple syrup contains trace vitamins, minerals and an earthy allure, making the long-loved pancake accompaniment much more enjoyable.

• 100 percent fruit juice. Like dried fruit, apple, pomegranate and orange juices feature a boosted dose of sweetness. Fresh-squeezed fruit juice contains all the vitamins and antioxidants of the original fruit, released from the fiber and even more readily absorbed by the body. Instead of milk or water in your favorite pancake recipe, try substituting pomegranate juice for an antioxidant-packed breakfast.

This Month’s Morsel: To sweeten up your Valentine’s Day the natural way, try substituting more wholesome forms of sugar in your favorite treats. The raw-chocolate truffles in the accompanying recipe contain dates, nuts and cocoa powder for an indulgent but healthful take on the store-bought variety.

With a hint of rose flavor from tea, they’re sure to please even the pickiest romantic (or child) without sacrificing nutrition.

 

Rose-Scented Raw Chocolate Truffles

 

• 1?2 cup almonds

• 2 tablespoons cashew butter

• 1 cup pitted dates, packed

• 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

• 1?4 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

• 2 teabags rose-flavored tea

 

In food processor, process almonds until fine. Roughly chop dates, then add along with cashew butter. Process until crumbly. Add cocoa powder, almond extract, sea salt and rose tea. Process until fully incorporated and mixture begins to stick together a bit, but do not overmix. Working mixture between your hands, form balls and roll in cocoa powder, melted chocolate, coconut or crushed almonds. Chill for one hour before serving. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Makes 12-15.

Sarah Manning is a Los Altos resident who blogs weekly about her gastronomic adventures. To read her food blog, visit www.thechocolatefigSF.com.

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