* AKA Cranberry, Pomegranate and Kale Detox Juice (but don’t tell anyone about the detox part)
[Sometimes, you just want a dish that's quick and easy--no fuss. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
Man, that Ricki is a downer. (Yeah, and have you heard how she goes on and on about how much she hates winter, too? Whine, whine, whinge, whinge, ‘I can’t stand ice and snow, I loathe the cold, I hate the boots and mitts, blah blah blabbedy blah’? Seriously annoying.)
But wait!! Before you flit off to the next mega cookie blog, consider how great you’ll feel sipping on this lovely, fruity, naturally sweet concoction as you debate whether to bake up the Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies or the Chocolate Macaroons. Your desire to consume massive amounts of cookie dough will magically dissipate (well, maybe a wee bit) and you’ll be helping your body cleanse and prepare for the onslaught of heavy meals in the next few weeks–all at the same time.
When I whipped up this libation the other morning, it suddenly occurred to me that I have never posted a juice on this blog. How is that possible?? I drink freshly squeezed juice every week, sometimes several times. My usual veg/fruit beverage of choice contains kale, cucumber, carrot, beet, ginger, apple and lemon, with a garlic clove thrown in for antibacterial good measure (you don’t taste it in the final product) and a bit of whatever herb I’ve got in the house, usually cilantro or parsley. Over the years, I’ve ventured more into the “green” aspect of green juices and smoothies, so whereas I started with the ratio of fruits to vegetables weighing heavily toward fruit, these days I am happy with more alkalizing greens and the juice still tastes great to me.
The HH, unfortunately, won’t partake of my creations. He takes one look at the mucky green elixir, sniffs it tentatively, then declares, “It smells like grass. It reeks of cholorophyll! Ptewy!”. (Silly guy doesn’t know what he’s missing).
With this juice, though, I endeavored to create something the HH would actually like, too, with a flavor profile that highlights the fruity components. It still boasts some great detoxifying properties via the kale (which encourages the liver to excrete toxins and also provides minerals, vitamins and fiber); and the fruits add their own beneifts, with heart-healthy antioxidants called punicalagins via the pomegranate and proanthocyanidins from the fresh cranberries. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and cancer prevention, and the pear, apart from offering fiber and more antioxidants, is just plain yummy.
I adored this juice, which felt very seasonal and festive to me, and provided a great break from the massive quantities of baking I’ve been doing lately. It’s naturally sweet, but if you prefer a sweeter drink, add the optional stevia.
Given the ingredients, you may be wondering, did the HH imbibe? Well, yes, he did give it a taste, and even tentatively approved it. “It’s good,” he said, but then stopped to lick his lips and reconsider. “But it would be even better without the cholorophyll.” Next thing I knew, he was reaching for a cookie.
Festive Cranberry, Pomegranate and Kale Detox Juice
A refreshing, naturally sweet and nourishing juice that combines some key produce of the season, with just a hint of optional mint for an additional festive touch.
4-6 large leaves kale, as you like (add more for more detox properties)
1 cup (240 ml) pomegranate arils (from one large ripe pomegranate)
1 cup (240 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, allow to thaw a bit before juicing)
1 pear, cored
one knob (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled
6-12 leaves of fresh mint, optional
stevia, to taste
Place ingredients in juicer one at a time (I reserved the pomegranate seeds for the end, as their high fiber content pushes out anything else left in the juicer mechanism), strain if desired, and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
Hope you all had a fantastic holiday! Over here in the DDD household, we’ve had a wonderful time the past few days, what with the HH on holidays between Christmas and New Year’s.
(“Yes, Mum, we’ve loved it, too! It’s great to have those extra trail-walks. . . and play time. . . and. . . ooh, whatever that yummy food is called! Um. . . do you think I could have some more of that stuff?”)
After scrambling at a cougar’s pace (that would be the feline kind, not the Courtney-Cox kind) the last few weeks to complete my work at the college (ie, marking last-minute assignments and over 170 exams within the space of 4 days); keep up with writing commitments; and buy gifts for my loved ones (then wrap and give said gifts to their intended recipients)–on Christmas Eve, finally, I began to unwind, think about some serious chillaxing, and prepare for a fabulous festive feast (including triple alliteration, no less).
“Yeah, Mum, chillaxing is great this time of year! I’m feeling toasty warm over here by the fireplace. Oh, and by the way, I’m happy to help with leftovers. . . you know what I’m talking about.”
This year, the HH announced once again that he would like a tradtional turkey dinner. As regular readers of this blog likely know, my honey is a devoted carnivore. Most days, this state of affairs presents no problem at all: we coexist peacefully; he eats his meat at lunch time, or orders off restaurant menus when we dine out; or he cooks his own steaks or hamburgers and consumes my dinner as his side dish. (For a good description of how another vegan-omni couple works it out in a similar way, see JL’s recent post). A huge turkey, however, is another matter entirely.
“Yeah–turkey–that’s what it’s called! So, did I hear you say, ‘turkey,’ Mum?”
One thing I love about the HH is his full acceptance of me–quirks, blemishes, and all, including aspects of myself that even I find difficult to tolerate. Neurotic tirades about germs, disease, airplanes, strange noises in the house at night, having to wash the dishes just so–et cetera–are all met with (mostly) patient, even responses or calm rebuttals. In the nearly-15 years we’ve been together, my sweetie has witnessed my physical proportions vacillate wildly a half dozen times, bouncing between an initially svelte, mini skirted physique to that of an engorged beach ball (nearly 200 pounds at the height of my candida woes in 2009). And not once–not even in a whisper–has he ever uttered a negative word about my weight, acted less affectionate, or suggested that I might like to go on a diet.
And so, on Christmas Day, after sleeping in and chasing the lethargy with a shot of coffee (the HH) and matcha tea (moi), we opened our presents in front of the fireplace. And then the HH got to work cooking his turkey.
After he popped it in the oven, he played sous-chef for me, chopping veggies, sautéing onions, slicing potatoes and trimming brussels sprouts.
[Perfect gluten-free stuffing waiting to go into the oven.]
["That's pretty nice music, Mum! Perfect for listening while waiting for more turkey. . . "]
Throughout the day as we reclined and prepped, we snacked intermittently on this cranberry-crusted cashew goat-cheese log I’d made (simply whir about half of them in a blender to create a paste, then mix with the remaining whole berries and press the mess into your cheese; bake at 250F/120 C for 20 minutes to set). Heavenly!
[Cranberry-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese on oat crackers. . . almost made me forget about the meal!]
My final menu included Fava Bean Balls (I loved the flavor but not the texture–I’ll keep working on it and post the recipe once I perfect it) with Apple-Cranberry Sauce; Creamy Whipped Kabocha (processed with soaked raw cashews and a splash of lemon juice for a sour-cream effect); Scalloped Potatoes adapted from Alta’s recipe; our favorite brussels sprouts; gluten-free stuffing (loosely based on this recipe); and onion gravy. It was an incredible, indulgent, celebratory meal, and we relished every bite. In fact, I even enjoyed it again the next day for lunch:
The HH savored his turkey, too, alongside all the same sides as me. And because it was far too much for the HH alone, he shared amply with The Girls, who, it seemed to me, reacted much the way Marilyn Monroe did to a moving camera, or William S Burroughs did to a bag of cocaine on the table, or a gas stovetop element does to a lit match. In fact, I’d say that Chaser still gets that “crazy eye” look any time someone utters the word, “turkey.”
["What? What's that you say? Oh, no, Mum, you're totally wrong about that. No way, Mum. Oh, I can stop any time I want. Really. No problem. No worries. It's just that I like turkey. I choose to eat turkey. I mean. . . hey, by the way, is there any more? I mean, I wouldn't mind some turkey. . . I'd actually love a little turkey. . . just a little. . . just one piece. . . . "]
For dessert, I attempted my very first Sticky Toffee Pudding, combining recipes from both Angela and Lexie. The result was a thick, dense, spiced cake rendered gooey and sticky from soaking in toffee sauce, with a hefty scoop of Caramel Ice Cream alongside, also doused in more sauce (sorry, no photo–we lapped it up pretty quickly). While The HH loved the dessert, I would have been happier with just the ice cream and sauce.
By this morning, I was ready to revert to lighter fare and more of my regular routine. Ever since you all weighed in on what you’d like to see here, I’ve also been thinking about quicker, easier dishes for the Flash in the Pan series of recipes.
This breakfast is a hybrid of a classic chia pudding and a breakfast smoothie. It can be prepared the night before and left in the fridge to soften and plump up overnight. The pudding combines some of my favorite smoothie ingredients (rice protein powder, avocado, rice milk, cacao) with the texture of a pudding, resulting in a high-protein, high Omega-3 meal-in-a-bowl that provides a whole host of other health benefits as well. Pillowy soft, luxuriously creamy and rich tasting, this breakfast is a quick way to acquire a full serving of protein in what tastes like a dessert. It’s a great way to use up those ripe avocados on your countertop, too.
I can’t think of a better way to cap off the holiday feasting. Can you?
“Well, Mum, if you really want to know, I’s say that another slice of that turkey would do just fine. . . but chances aren’t looking too good at the moment. I may as well just give up on it for now. . . *Sigh*.”
And finally. . . your opinion, please!
I loved learning what you’d like to see on the blog in 2012 (and please feel free to keep those ideas coming in the comments!). For now, I’ve got a more immediate question for y’all (I already asked this one on Facebook, so if you answered there, thanks!): The HH and I have been invited to the home of a friend of a friend for a New Year’s Eve bash. All I know about this gent is that he’s a true gourmet who loves to cook and eat. I’ve been asked to bring a sweet treat and am considering the following three (note that they’re not ACD friendly or gluten free–but then again, these are for a crowd of conventional eaters).
A great no-cook, prepare-ahead breakfast that you can pack up and bring to the office for those mornings you have no time for a nourishing meal as you rush out the door. It makes a great light lunch, too, alongside a crisp, fresh salad.
Place everything but the chia seeds in a strong blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Pour into a container and stir in the chia seeds. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then stir again to ensure that all the seeds are submerged. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Stir again before serving. Makes 2 servings. Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The wonderful folks at iHerb have, once again, offered a $50 shopping spree to one lucky DDD winner! (iHerb is an online shop for all of your supplement and health-food needs. They carry an extensive array of products that you can order for delivery to your home). Read all the details about the giveaway at the bottom of this post (look down. . . .look waaaaay down), but first I want to share my review of the latest products they sent to me: nutritional powders from Madre Labs.
As soon as I read the ingredients list on the Midori Greens jar from Madre Labs, I was in love. I mean, which holistic nutritionist doesn’t want to read the words, “freeze dried marine phytoplankton”? (Okay, we holistic nutritionists are weird that way). But I’ve been taking spirulina (another type of green algae) with my flax and/or chia daily for almost a decade (what the HH calls “Green Slime,” though Chaser loves the stuff) and was more than ready for a little change of pace. And the Midori Greens offered some truly heavy-duty antioxidant superfoods.
Ingredients include organic Japanese matcha green tea (and you know how much I love my matcha tea–as I mentioned here); wildcrafted wasabi; organic ashitaba (Angelica Keiskei Koidzme), which is also known as the “king of vegetables” and “longevity herb”; organic field-grown whole grass blend (with wheatgrass, barleygrass and alfalfa); herb & vegetable leaf blend (Nettles, Parsley, Kale & Spinach); aqua-marine blend (Chlorella & Freeze Dried Marine Phytoplankton); and beet juice powder. These are all amazing ingredients with fierce antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are known to help keep your cells in optimum condition, to keep your immune function strong and to counteract health-depleting free radicals.
In fact, all of Madre Labs products are made with the highest quality whole ingredients, and it’s clear that these guys have done their homework. Their “superfood and nutraceutical” line includes “nutrigenomics”–that is, “the study of how the foods we consume affect our genes and how individual genetic differences can affect the way we respond to nutrients. . . in the foods we eat.” In other words, they believe in using “food as medicine”–exactly the way holistic nutritionists (such as yours truly) do.
The other powder I tried, Acai Heart, contains more familiar ingredients that are all superstars when it comes to supporting heart health: acai berries, pomegranate, freeze-dried beet juice, and a resveratrol blend (the antioxidant found in red wine–though of course there’s no alcohol in this powder!). Mixed with some frozen strawberries, almond milk, chia seeds and stevia, it made a refreshing afternoon imbibement:
Ah, but back to the greens powder! I must admit to you all that I wasn’t exactly enamored of the taste when I tried to drink it on its own (or mixed with simple juice or almond milk). I know that other reviewers have found the taste “neutral,” but something about my tastebuds could really sense the earthy, slightly bitter wheatgrass undertones (I actually really enjoy freshly squeezed wheatgrass juice, but the freezedried flavor doesn’t agree with me). What to do? My desire to benefit from the amazing nutritional qualities of the powder overruled my initial gustatory reluctance. I decided that I had to find a way to create a smoothie that I loved using the Midori Greens.
And guess what? I SUCCEEDED! This combination of the powder, raw cacao powder, avocado and mesquite is a perfect cloak for the greens. All you’ll taste is a slightly chocolate, slightly malted, sweet and appealing drink.
And your cells, no doubt, will thank you.
Chocolate Malted Smoothie
A great mid-afternoon pick-me-up or a rich, creamy dessert. Add ice for a cool summer sipper out on the patio.
1/2 just-ripe avocado, peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 fresh or frozen pear, cut in chunks (I used frozen for a very rich, creamy texture)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) raw cacao powder (you can use regular cocoa, but the flavor will be more bitter)
1 tsp (5 ml) mesquite powder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chia seeds (see note)
1-1/3 cups (320 ml) plain or vanilla unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
15-25 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
1 scoop Madre Labs Midori Greens powder, or your favorite greens powder
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Drink immediately. Makes 1 large or 2 smaller servings.
NOTE: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, grind the chia seeds in a coffee grinder before adding them to the blender.
The lovely folks at iHerb are offering a $50 shopping spree PLUS a jar of either Midori Greens OR Acai Heart to one lucky DDD reader!
The contest is open worldwide, as long as iHerb ships to your country–whoo hoo! (You can check the iHerb website to see if they ship to your home country). International readers, please note: if there are any extra customs fees or duties on your prize, you will be responsible for paying them. I have received several packages from iHerb sent via air mail over the past 2 years (I’m in Canada) and have never been charged extra fees or duties).
Here’s how to enter:
To be eligible to enter the giveaway, you’ll need to register at iHerb. It’s free and there’s no obligation to buy anything. Just go here and sign up. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
Second and subsequent entries:
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following:
Browse through the Madre Labs page on iHerb, then come back here and tell me which product you think has the weirdest-sounding ingredient (I thought “freeze dried marine phytoplankton” was pretty good) [UPDATE: I've been going through the comments so far and am loving the ingredients you've all found--giggling like crazy over here!];
Browse through the rest of the iHerb site, then come back here and tell me what you’d buy with your $50 shopping spree if you win;
Follow me on twitter, then come back and leave a comment telling me you did so (I will receive an email notice that you signed up); or tweet about this giveaway on twitter (use @rickiheller so I’ll see it);
“Like” the DDD page on Facebook, then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so;
“Like” the iHerb page on Facebook, then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so;
Follow iHerb on twitter, then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so;
The contest will remain open until midnight my time on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011, after which I’ll randomly choose a winner and announce it on the blog. Please note: it’s up to you to check whether or not you won, then contact me if you did. I”m sorry, but I will not be emailing the winner. If the winner doesn’t claim her/his prize within a week, I’ll choose someone else.
[Sometimes, you just want a dish that's "no fuss." I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
Do you remember when milk came in glass bottles (the first time)? We had a milk delivery man (yikes–I swear, I really was born in the 20th century) who would drop off the bottles at the door every morning, then zoom away in his milk truck (and didn’t even ask for payment until the end of the week!).
Until I was 11, I thought milk came from trucks.
In those days, the bottles were stoppered with cardboard plugs that looked like inverted baby soothers–the part resembling the nipple was the handle, and you could push the cardboard disk below it back into the top of the bottle to close it. In first grade, our math teacher had us save the stoppers over the course of a month to use as props for addition and subtraction exercises. We each brought in about 50 stoppers–that’s how much milk we drank in those days (no wonder I have a reaction to it now!).
Well, this post isn’t about archaic cardboard milk stoppers, but the milk itself. My mom always ordered four bottles of chocolate milk the day before one of our birthday parties, because it was more expensive and too rich for every day. In fact, most moms would thin out the ultra-thick, ultra-rich chocolate milk with some two percent–but not in our house. We drank it straight–if “drank” is the right word. It was so rich it could coat a spoon, and you had to slurp it, slowly. My sisters and I loved it.
This carob chai latte reminded me of that chocolate milk. The inclusion of cashews and carob chips renders the liquid thick, glossy, and luxurious–just like that chocolate milk of yore, it coated a spoon. The consistency was very much like old-fashioned hot chocolate, frothy on top, with aromatic cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to warm it even more. If you’re not a fan of chai flavors, simply omit the spices for a comforting mug of hot, milky carob. Sipping this by the fire, I could almost see the milk truck in the distance.
Since I was already using my VitaMix to blend this together, I decided to take advantage of the “soup-making” capacity and run the blender until the drink was heated through by the power of the blades rather than dirty a pot. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, melt the chips first to ensure that they will blend in completely.
2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened rice, almond or soy milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened carob chips
2 Tbsp-1/4 cup (30-60 ml) raw or lightly toasted cashews, depending on how thick and rich you want the latte
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ginger
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cardamom
15-20 drops vanilla or plain stevia liquid
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until hot. Pour into mugs and serve immediately. ( Alternately, place all ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed pot, and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until everything is melted and blended together. Then, use an immersion blender or frother to ensure that the melted chips are well-blended and to create a foamy top.) Makes 2 servings.
I’m linking this recipe to Amy’s weekly event, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (even though it will feel entirely indulgent!). Check out the other entries, too!
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and left such great comments about matcha green tea (and those truffles!). I have no doubt you’ll enjoy the tea as much as I did and will reap the health benefits as well!
And now, thanks to my trusty assistant, here is the winning entry:
* Sorry, couldn’t resist. Please feel free to groan.
[A cuppa matcha, pure and straightforward. . . a warm, comforting, health-boosting sip to enjoy daily!]
* * * * For details and to enter the Matcha giveaway, see the end of this post! * * * *
You know, sometimes I actually forget it’s the 21st Century. After all, I’ve spent more of my life before 2000 than since. Yet there’s no doubt that we’ve already lost many 20th Century conventions–handkerchiefs, girdles, bank withdrawal forms. Still, the real changes have all emerged in the realm of communications. When’s the last time you heard of someone receiving a telegram? Or how about rotary telephones–remember how reviled those people were whose numbers contained too many zeroes? And who still writes letters–old-fashioned, pen-and-paper-walk-to-the-mailbox-to-mail-’em letters? They’re more or less obsolete, too.
I do miss letter writing, though. Over the years, I’ve exchanged letters with two devoted correspondents: one was my revered mentor, John Ditsky, whose missives seemed to arrive at my home practically before I’d returned from the mailbox to deposit my own letters to him. The other is my Japanese penpal, Masayo, whom I’ve known since we were both twelve years old.
Back in sixth grade, my school received letters from six Japanese girls seeking Canadian penpals. Ever the nerd (and always interested in writing), I responded to all six. Over the next year, all but one dropped away, and we continued to correspond, at the rate of 2-3 letters per month, for the next 30 years or so.
When we were about 18, Masayo wrote to tell me she had planned a summer vacation in Canada. Of course, I immediately invited her to stay for as long as she liked with me and my family in Montreal (fortunately, this was okay with my parents, too). She was landing in Vancouver on July 12, she wrote back, and would I be so kind as to pick her up at the airport? (for the non-Canadians among you, that’s tantamount to asking someone in New York City to pop over and pick you up at the airport in Los Angeles).
I explained that distances in North America were, perhaps, a tad greater than those on the islands of Japan. Astonished at the possibility, Mako nevertheless arranged for a second flight to Montreal.
[Matcha-Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles: a perfect healthy indulgence!]
On the eve of her arrival, I waited anxiously at the airport with my dad for the plane to disembark. Over the years, of course, I’d seen innumerable photos of Masayo and felt fairly confident I could recognize her in a crowd. My eyes trained on the exit stairs attached to the airplane, I’d stare with steely eyed intensity each time a petite, dark-haired woman emerged from the doors, only to be disappointed as she passed by.
Finally, I heard what seemed like a tiny, disembodied voice calling from somewhere above my field of vision. From within the throng of passengers there stood before me a petite young girl with a mop of wavy black hair, perfectly coiffed in the ultra-hip shag haircut of the day. She wore black Calvin Klein jeans and a screamingly vibrant Hawaiian shirt. As she glided toward us, her dainty feet seemingly floating along the stairs, she called out in her delicate, excited falsetto: “Ricki! It’s Masayo! Ricki!”
We hugged and immediately began to chatter as if we’d known each other our whole lives: How was Vancouver? How was the trip? Do you live far from here? How do you like Canada? Is everything here so big? Is all of Canada this beautiful? I love your shirt! I love yours, too! We continued the gabfest until well past 2:00 AM the next morning, giggling and squealing as we confirmed, in person, a friendship we’d established on paper over the previous six years.
The next day, I knocked on Mako’s door. What followed was a classic ”Who’s on First” exchange.
Me: [knocking on door]: Mako?
Me: Hi, good morning! Is it okay to come in?
Me: Er, hi. Did I wake you?
Me: Sorry. Is it okay if I open the door?
Me: Hi. Should I wait for you to get dressed?
Me: Okay. So should I meet you upstairs?
Me: [at a loss] Hi. . .
What I hadn’t realized, you see, was that Mako might still be suffering from jet lag, and too sleepy to remember to translate Japanese into English. And I didn’t know at the time that ”Hai” (sounding like “hi”) in Japanese means “yes” while “Eee-ya” (resembling “yeah”) means “No.”
The trip was, truly, a once in a lifetime experience, and we forged a bond that has lasted until this day. I was thrilled to discover that Mako was witty, upbeat, silly, smart, hip, and fun to be with–all the qualities I loved in my closest friends. She was also incredibly generous, toting a huge sack of gifts for everyone in the family.
[Frozen Matcha Latte--so simple, and so refreshing.]
I was given a purple and indigo kimono (which she helped me to tie in the traditional manner–so much excess cloth!) and a beautiful, delicate and hand-painted porcelain tea set along with a cannister of Japanese tea. I’d never seen tea like that before, light and loose and intensely green. Mako explained that this tea had amazing medicinal properties and that she was wont to drink an entire teapot of the stuff herself in an evening. The first time I brewed the tea for myself, I was surprised anew at how green it was, like a freshly mown lawn in summer. Eventually, I grew to appreciate the slightly bitter, astringent flavor of the matcha, and, before I knew it, the cannister was empty. And while I continued to use the tea service for years afterward (I searched, in vain, to find it for this post; sadly, it is buried under some of the other 57 boxes still unpacked in our basement), I never did buy more Japanese green tea.
This past week, I returned on a wave of sensory memory to that long-ago summer of Masayo’s visit. After receiving a sample pack of tea from Matcha Source, I’ve been once again imbibing the green stuff, as well as cooking with it. I love it as much as I did back then–and this time, I vowed, I won’t let three decades elapse before I buy more!
Pleased with the opportunity to play with some matcha recipes, I decided to use the tea for more than a simple brew (though I do adore the tea on its own). Here’s what I came up with.
If you’ve never experienced matcha green tea before, now’s your opportunity to try it!
A perfect treat for any chocolate lovers. The pairing of deep, dark bittersweet chocolate and slightly bitter, umami matcha is, unequivocally, one of the most heavenly taste combinations I’ve ever savored. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your taste–these are deliberately just barely sweet.
1 cup (240 ml) full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Sucanat (optional)
12 ounces (340 g) good quality bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% cocoa)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) matcha powder, plus more for dusting
pinch fine sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, place the coconut milk, maple syrup, Sucanat (if using), chocolate, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) matcha powder, and sea salt. Cook over lowest heat possible, stirring constantly, until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and stir to blend well.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until just solid enough to hold its shape. Using a small scoop or teaspoon, roll mounds of dough into balls and place on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until solid.
Just before serving, sift a bit more matcha powder over the tops. Makes 30-40 truffles. Will keep, covered in the refrigerator, up to 5 days (good luck keeping them that long!).
ACD-Friendly Matcha Chocolate Truffles
10-1/2 ounces (300 g) chopped unsweetened chocolate (I used Cocoa Camino)
3/4 cup (180 ml) full fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) matcha powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
10-20 drops stevia liquid, to taste
Matcha powder, for dusting
In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the chocolate, coconut milk, matcha powder, and salt over lowest heat possible until most of the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stevia, and stir until all the chocolate melts and mixture is perfectly smooth. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill until set.
Using a small scoop or teaspoon, roll the mixture into balls (it will begin to melt on your hands). Once rolled, dust the truffles with additional matcha. Chill until ready to serve. Will keep, covered, in refrigerator up to 5 days. Makes 12-20 truffles.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until the ice is completely incorporated. (If your blender isn’t strong enough to pulverize all the ice, then strain the mixture through a sieve before drinking). Pour into serving glasses and enjoy immediately. Makes 2 servings.
If you’ve never experienced matcha green tea before, now’s your opportunity to try it!