Sat11012014

News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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