Have you noticed the foodie market changing? What I mean by that is, more and more interesting ingredients are becoming mainstream.
Ingredients that, a couple of years ago, noone had heard of, and if you wanted them you had to order them online, are now appearing in bulk food places and sometimes even supermarkets!
I am talking about things like quinoa (a superhero charged grain), goji berries, chia seeds, coconut sugar and coconut flour, raw cacao, rapadura sugar, khorsan flour….just to name a few.
I have used a few of these in the recipes in Fairytale Food Safari to encourage an adventurous nature in aspiring cooks and to broaden foodie horizons. Some of these ingredients have surprising properties as well and make for interesting ingredients in recipes. For example chia seeds. When you soak them in water, they turn into a kind of jelly. This makes them ideal for making little puddings as a dessert. By themselves, the seeds don’t really have much flavour, however why not use them to set a liquid that does? For example try this little chocolate pudding – see recipe below.
Another ingredient I tried recently was coconut flour. I was surprised to find that it absorbs a LOT of liquid. In fact you need very little in cake recipes compared with usual flours. In a muffin recipe I experimented with, I used only 3/4 cup flour and it made 12 muffins. More coconut flour recipes to come in later posts as I want them to be perfect before sharing.
The last ingredient I would like to mention is quinoa. This grain has become a staple in our house. It is packed with nutrients and protein, tastes great and is so versatile. To cook it, boil it in water much as you would rice, and leave to steam the final liquid in the pan to prevent burning. Use 1 part grain to 2 parts water. I make salads with it all the time – I just add whatever I have available to the cooked grain and then make a dressing. I also add it to bread mix, burger mixes, even cakes. I was given a delicious chocolate quinoa cake recipe. Watch the next post for a recipe for Lime, Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad.
A creamy chocolate pudding using raw cacao and chia seeds.
- In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except the chia seeds. Blend until the mix is smooth. At this point, taste for sweetness and add more maple syrup if it is not sweet enough for you.\
- Stir in the chia seeds and then pour into a container.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Stir a couple of times before the time is up in order to stop the chia from clumping together. When it is ready, it will be the consistency of a thick custard.