Chef Adam checking in from Jacksonville, Florida. I had to escape the cold and snow of Michigan for a bit. Unfortunately the sun is hiding where I am in Florida but at least the temperatures are warm.
I want to let everyone know that the new 2014 Raw recipe calendars are available. They’re just as good as our past 2 calendars with 13 great recipes and beautiful color pictures. You can pick them up at Rawnora.com
Here’s a sample of one of the featured recipes… Avocado Apple Gadget
This was an inspired creation using Irish moss blended with water, banana, pecans… nice little breakfast gadget. For those of you not familiar with Irish moss, it’s a see vegetable that can be used as a thickener. Flavor wise it doesn’t taste very good so you need to rinse it and then soak it for at least 2 hours prior to using it. I rinsed, soaked for 3 hours, then rinsed and stored 2 cups of Irish moss in the fridge for use through out the week. Even after all of that the Irish moss is not very appetizing. Irish moss works great as a thickener for pie fillings and for ice cream. The combo of Irish moss and blended chia make this porridge nice and fluffy. The recipe below serves 2.
1 C hot water
1/2 C pecans, almonds or pumpkin seeds – try a combo
1/4 C soaked Irish moss
1 TB chia seeds
1 TB maca
2 TB mesquite powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Irish moss needs to be rinsed and soaked in advance. You can’t just throw Irish moss in the blender without prepping it first.
Blend water and Irish moss until smooth
Add remain ingredients and blend
Top with pecans, cacao nibs, raisins, bee pollen… whatever you like.
Thanks for joining me for the second installment of the “pawpaw diaries”. This weeks episodes features a video and recipe for pawpaw pie. Considering that pawpaw is the largest indigenous North American fruit, I think I’m justified in saying that pawpaw pie is more American than apple pie. Apples immigrated to North America with the European colonists while pawpaw was here long before they arrived.
One interesting thing about the pawpaw tree is its flowers, which are tri-lobed and face the ground when in bloom. These funny flowers aren’t very fragrant and what little fragrance they have isn’t very friendly. Their smell has been likened to rotting meat which explains their native pollinators: blow flies, carrion beetles and the occasional fruit fly. I put my nose up to a flower in the Spring and really didn’t notice a smell at all. Pollinated flowers yield fruit that ripens by late September and early October here in Southwest Michigan. Ripe fruit drops from the trees and is a highly prized meal for deer, squirrels, fox, raccoons, possum and black bears. It’s rare to find an unblemished fruit on the ground. Usually they’ve been snacked on. The best harvesting technique I’ve found is to shake the tree and collect what hits the ground. You can admire my technique in the video included in my previous post on pawpaw.
The more I learn about pawpaw the more impressed I am with it. Why has no one ever heard of this fruit? Why can’t you get it in grocery stores?
Unfortunately pawpaw hasn’t quite made it mainstream… yet. While there are plenty of pawpaws feeding the woodlands creatures, they’ve only established themselves at local farmer’s markets and at regional grocery stores. Some of the disadvantages pawpaw’s have which are preventing them from being more mainstream is that they quickly ripen once picked, bruise easily and potentially ferment in their skin once ripe. Some varieties of pawpaw have shown to be better cultivars than others. The ideal pawpaw variety yields many fruit of large size with abundant flesh and few seeds. If Neal Peterson has his way, pawpaw would be seasonal staple around the country.
Neal Peterson tasted his first pawpaw in 1975 and since then he has made it his mission in life to develop pawpaws into viable cultivated crop. Over the past 30+ years he has created pawpaw varieties with outstanding yield, size, flavor and percentage of flesh. For those wishing to look into growing your own pawpaw, he is the authority and source for all things pawpaw.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge miso fan. I use miso in dressings, sauces and on almost daily basis in my almond miso spread. My preferred miso of choice is chickpea miso either from South River Miso or Miso Master. Both brands are organic and GMO-free. When shopping for miso, look for it in the refrigerated foods section of the health food store. Your average grocery store will not have miso unless it’s an Asian market. Miso seems to be a food item only appreciated by those with an Asian upbringing or those aware of the importance of fermented foods.
Miso is my favorite of all the ferments because of its flavor, functionality and superfood status. Miso is a fermented bean paste that most people are familiar with in the form of miso soup. The soup, being made with boiling water is unfortunately dead. There’s no need to kill your miso in the process of making soup. Especially considering the time invested in making this living food which is anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. Heating water to 150F and allowing it to cool will make soup that is warm and alive. Miso has many endearing qualities. For starters it takes an indigestible protein source – beans, legumes and pulses – and makes them digestible. The bean most commonly used to produce miso is soybean. Because of GMO (genetically modified organisms) concerns, one must be sure to purchase organic miso products to insure that you are not consuming a food containing genetically modified ingredients. I am a fan of chickpea miso, which has no soy in it at all. Miso must be unpasteurized to retain its health benefits. Miso powders are not a substitute to vibrant living unpasteurized miso paste. Miso has a hearty salty flavor with earthy undertones that are dependent on the ingredients used to make it. Dark misos are heartier and make wonderful additions to savory recipes while light misos are salty and slightly sweet allowing them to be used in milder creations.
In Asian countries like China, Korea and Japan; miso and fermented vegetables are a traditional daily staple. In some households they are served with every meal.
Miso contains Lactobacillus like other friendly ferments. This probitoic has been shown to protect against E. Coli, Salmonella and Shigella. Another beneficial characteristic of unpasteurized miso is its ability to detox heavy metals and radiation from the body. Miso is a enzyme rich, protein dominant food containing all the essential amino acids. Miso contains omega-3 fats as well as lecithin, which is an emulsifier. This combination allows miso to balance cholesterol in the body. Miso is also a great source of calcium and B vitamins. Its salty taste allows you to use it in place of salt in many recipes.
Enjoy this miso marinade recipe and video. I hope you can join me at one of our upcoming retreats and Camp Rawnora in Michigan. The marinated asparagus is sure to be delicious. Keep it Live!