Today I’ve got a tasty ice cream dessert recipe to share, which has the added benefit of the medicial chaga mushroom (although it’s optional). I did a post on chaga last year and included a Chaga Maple Frosty recipe in addition to mentioning some of it’s benefits. I’m fortunate to live in an area where chaga grows in abundance all year around.
I made this ice cream last week, since a friend was over for dinner and I wanted to do a little something special. What to do with a few young coconuts, some ripe mushy persimmons, fresh ginger, and a bunch of soaked irish moss?! Here’s what I came up with. It would also be great with a chocolate sauce, or orange segments in place in place of the persimmon jelly. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
I was at the Queen Victoria Market yesterday and I had a chat with an Organic farmer who is also obseesed with peas. Who would have thought? The coversation started off with how meditative it was to shell peas for an hour or so… and how it could also be agitating if you were a type that had no patience for shelling peas. I asked him if he had any tips for people who like to plant peas. He said: “Organic gardeners eager to plant vegetables after a long winter must add peas to the garden plot. Peas grow quickly and aren’t bothered by many pests or diseases.”
So, if you have the time and the space, go ahead and plant peas in your garden. As for me, I was lucky enough to pick some up from Prahan Market just in time to make lunch for my friends. Oh and guess what! It is a beautiful sunny day here in Melbourne Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Coconut Persimmon Flan with Strawberry, Mango, and Banana Salsa (raw)
Young Thai coconut has to be my all time favorite ‘raw food’ ingredient. It’s so versatile; you can use it in sweet or savory recipes. I tend to have a sweet tooth, so I end up using it mostly for puddings, flan, or tart fillings.
The only thing I hate is the labor involved in hacking the coconuts open, scraping out the meat, and cleaning it. There’s just no easy way about it. Other that that, they’re great! I’ve experimented with several different knives. I destroyed my very expensive Viking cleaver- it worked, but the blade is too thin. I tried a couple of those cheap Chinese cleavers, but they don’t seem to be sharp enough. The guys at Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago (www.futurechef.com) came up with the solution- a heavy-duty cleaver that I think they use for chopping off fish heads (gross, I know). It was either that or a machete, and that would have just been too crazy.
Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles with ginger and lime (raw)
Peanuts are technically a legume, although you wouldn’t necessarily think so considering someone misleadingly named them “peanuts.” Make sure you get really fresh, organically grown peanuts. Some debate persists about peanuts having toxicity, but it seems this may be from peanuts that are too old; at any rate, most toxins and other undesirables are washed away in the soaking process. However, if you don’t feel comfortable eating peanuts, try this with cashews.
"One of our chefs, Amanda, helped us turn this idea into a really great, flavorful dish. The flesh of young Thai coconuts makes perfect noodles — although they are soft, they do not stick together and are as easy or easier to eat then regular starchy noodles."
Courgette and coconut noodles, rustic puttanesca, white truffle alfredo, sage pesto (raw)
I grew up in a large Italian family, and gathering at my grandmothers home was like no other feast you could imagine. We would be forced to painstakingly sit through 7+ courses of amazing authentic food every meal. (Sounds rough huh!) My favorite courses were the array of pastas she would bring out around the 4th course. So many types of pastas from cannelloni, tortellini, manicotti, lasagnas, ziti, gnocchi and my favorites; vermicelli and linguini, all embraced by their own magical home made sauce.
So, needless to say, this combination of raw pastas were created when I offered a raw dinner for my grandma at a large catered event outside of Boston a few years back. She fully enjoyed every course; therefore, if grandma approved, the dinner was a success!
For the Pasta:
5-6 Long Straight Courgettes, sliced paper thin, lengthwise on mandolin
then sliced again in ‘linguini’ width ribbons
1 Cup Young Coconut Meat, sliced into thin noodles
Creamy and sweet, rich and fatty. A food item described by these four adjectives surely can’t be good for you. Or can it? In the case coconut milk, that’s an affirmative. Whereas most foods high in saturated fats are bad for your waistline and your heart, when it comes to coconut milk the (albeit not super slim) but definitely heart-healthy South Pacific islanders are living testaments to its good all round health properties.
While coconut milk, which is derived from the flesh of the coconut, is high in saturated fat, it’s a “good saturated fat”, one which can be easily metabolized by the body. It doesn’t transform into “bad cholesterol” that can clog up the arteries. That’s because the principle ingredient in coconut milk is the lauric acid — the same stuff found in breast milk — which promotes brain development and healthy bones. What’s more, “it’s anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral”, and can strengthen your immune system and protect you from illnesses like hepatitis C, herpes and HIV.