Month: March 2014

Raw “Sweet Guacamole” Avocado Pudding

Avocado Pudding with Toppings

avo pudding1

It has been avocado season on our farm for the past few months, and we have reached a point where we are actually drowning in them. They’re ripening so fast that we can’t even keep up! This means that I sometimes have to resort to eating one at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m not complaining though. This is a pretty nice predicament to be in.

Being blessed with a bounty of one of Mother Nature’s most perfect foods just means that I have a lot of room to experiment with this delicious fruit. One of my favorite recipes I’ve played around with is a breakfast dish that may start off like a guacamole (hence the name “sweet guacamole”), but ends up as a tasty whipped pudding that you can enjoy with a plethora of toppings. As you can see pictured above is my actual breakfast this morning– topped with chia seeds, dry buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, dried goldenberries, and chopped macadamia nuts. But you can also use a variety of other seeds and nuts, fresh or dry fruits, raw or toasted oats, granola, etc. Pick your own favorites! I’ve found that it’s pretty much tasty with anything.

This recipe should make approximately 5-7 small servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large avocados (the Sharwil variety work great)
  • Juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
  • 2 bananas
  • Water (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Food processor
  • Citrus juicer
  • Spatula
  • Spoon
  • Glass Bowl

Directions:

Slice up the avocados in half and spoon them into a food processor. Then, juice the lemons and add into the food processor with the avocados. Pulse together until the avocados are creamy and no longer chunky. In the meantime, melt down the coconut oil into liquid form, if necessary. Once the oil is completely liquid, add into the avocado mixture and blend together. Once the blend is nice and creamy, cut 2 bananas into small slices and add to the food processor. This will give the pudding a mild sweetness to start as well as a creamier texture. Pulse again until the bananas are well blended in with the avocado mix. Then, add the maple syrup or raw honey little by little (one tablespoon at a time) until you reach the desired sweetness. For this particular recipe, I suggest to stick with a liquid sweetener instead of a granulated one like coconut palm sugar or date sugar, as a liquid will distribute better throughout the mix. Oftentimes I have discovered that to overcome the avocado-y flavor, and to actually have the pudding tasting like a sweet dish instead of an odd version of the normally savory dip, you will have to add a bit more sweetness than you might normally. For that reason, a range of 3 to 5 tablespoons full of your sweetener should do, depending on the size of the avocados you are using.

As an option, if you need to add a tablespoon or two of water to help the mix blend better, you can add it in at any time. In terms of getting the pudding to your desired consistency, the denser the mixture, and the less water you add, the more it will set closer to a mousse. The more water you choose to add, the fluffier the mixture will become and the more it will set like a lighter, whipped pudding. Once everything is blended well together, spoon the pudding into a glass bowl. You can eat it immediately, or allow it to set in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours for a thicker texture.

 

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Hawaiian ‘Ulu (Breadfruit) Chips

Breadfruit chips

Breadfruit

Breadfruit, although it is not indigenous to Hawaii, has been a staple of the Hawaiian diet since the Polynesians arrived on the islands, having originally brought it from their native lands. The fruit itself proved useful for keeping their bellies full and for its nutritional properties (calorie-dense with fiber, Vitamin C, B, and potassium) but the islanders also utilized the rest of the plant for many other things: housewares, furniture, decor, and medicine. The ancient Hawaiians also had a special reverence for this fruit, as its original appearance on the islands was described in many different legends thanks to the divine intervention of the gods, and thus stood as an important symbol of their survival.

While the plant had versatile uses, breadfruit itself is very versatile because it can be eaten in different stages of ripeness in so many ways. More often used in its unripened state, ‘ulu as it is named in Hawaiian, is prepared and eaten as a starch. It can be steamed, baked, mashed, fried, and is essentially a viable substitute for a root vegetable, as its flavor and texture is similar to that of a potato. In its ripened state, it is a sweet, creamy and gooey texture that I can only liken to that of a less pungent durian with hints of jackfruit, which you can just spoon out and eat directly.

One of my personal favorites ways of enjoying ‘ulu is fried into chips, because to me, it’s like a tastier version of french fries or home fries. You can basically eat them in the same way with a little salt, pepper, and ketchup– or as a side dish to soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. Here, I’ll show you how super easy it is to make too.

Ingredients:

  • Breadfruit
  • Coconut oil
  • Water

Kitchen Tools:

  • Large and small knives
  • Fork
  • Vegetable steamer
  • Large pot
  • Cast iron frying pan

Directions:

Wash the breadfruit skin well, then cut the breadfruit vertically down the center into wedges. The smaller you cut the wedges, the faster the breadfruit will cook. Place some water into a large pot with the vegetable steamer on top and heat. Put the wedges of breadfruit into the steamer and cover with a lid. Steam the breadfruit until they are soft enough to be pierced through easily by a fork. Be sure to check that the breadfruit is soft all the way through, in the center as well as along the edges. You can also flip them halfway through the steaming process to make sure all pieces cook evenly. This should take about 15-20 minutes total. Turn off the heat and allow the breadfruit to cool. Then, remove the breadfruit from the steamer and use a small knife to remove the seed (the dark area in the middle of the wedges) and to slice the skins off the outside. Some people actually enjoy eating the skins too, so you can even fry those up later as well.

Then slice up the breadfruit into thin pieces, and begin to heat up the cast iron pan with coconut oil. Once the oil is hot enough, place the breadfruit pieces individually onto the pan until the entire surface area is covered. After 3-5 minutes, check to see if the first side of the breadfruit pieces are beginning to brown or crisp, then flip them all to the other side. Repeat this several times until the breadfruit are all nice and crispy. If the pieces are sliced very thin, they will be very crispy. You can also cut them thicker for more of a “french fry” texture– crispy on the outside and soft and starchy on the inside. Garnish with a little salt and pepper, and you’re done!

Cool and Refreshing Citrus Ginger Icee

Citrus ginger icee

It’s zingy and tangy. It’s cold and refreshing. It’s a boost of Vitamin C, and it’s got a kick, thanks to the ginger. It’s a throat soother and a tastebud pleaser. Basically, it’s the perfect cure for a case of the It’s-So-Stinking-Hot-Outside virus!

We are kind of addicted to these at the farm. It’s a favorite drink for breaktimes after many hours out in the hot sun. Sometimes we don’t even have enough ice cubes to keep up with our thirst.

It’s great because we can just use whatever harvested citrus we have handy. One day we might make it with just sour mandarins, or other days we might just do a whole citrus mix-up and use lemons, limes, and sour mandarins together. We would probably gulp them down even faster if it weren’t for the issue of brain freeze.

Please, allow me to introduce you to this simple and tasty beverage.

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 2-3 lemons, limes, and/or sour mandarins
  • Small nub of ginger
  • Sweetener (stevia, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar)
  • Tray of ice cubes
  • 1-2 cups of water

Kitchen Tools:

  • Blender
  • Citrus juicer
  • Zester/grater

Directions:

Juice 2 or 3 citrus of your choice. Grate a small nub of ginger. Pour the juice and the ginger into the blender with your chosen sweetener and blend. Then add water and a whole tray of ice cubes and blend again. My suggestion would be to add only a little sweetener at first, then add more little by little after the ice and water have been blended in until you reach your desired flavor. The best thing about this icee is that you can make it as sour, sweet, gingery, or icy as you want, because everyone has a different preference, so the measurements don’t have to be precise. Play around with it until you reach your desired taste.