August 4, 2009
I hesitate to post something that seems so simple, but I remember a time when I really wasn’t very confident in my pineapple carving technique. :) So for anyone who can benefit from seeing it laid out for you from someone who has since gained plenty of experience – allow me to present below, my ever so refined technique!
First, holding it by the crown with one hand, tip it onto it’s side and slice about an inch off of the bottom so that it will stand upright. Then tip it again to slice off the crown. If you live in a warm climate or have a greenhouse, you may plant the crown and grow your own! Take it from someone who has feasted on homegrown pineapples, it is worth the wait.
Sit it upright and with one hand stabilizing it, use a very sharp chef’s knife or a serrated bread knife, to slice the rind off as thinly as possible. As you can see, I don’t worry much about going deep enough to remove the “eyes” because I want as much fruit as possible and I don’t really mind them.
Once the rind is removed, slice it in half, then halve those halves.
With a regular yellow pineapple many slice out the woody core but white pineapples are so tender, there’s no need. I always just eat the core, or most of it, because it’s an excellent source of bromelain, a vital digestive enzyme.
Also, it’s worth knowing that pineapple is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, an essential co-factor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. I’ve begun taking a lot of extra anti-oxidants to help provide natural sun-protection in order to cut down on sunscreen use and it’s good to know that my recent affinity for pineapple is very likely the body’s natural balance kicking in with the appropriate message…the rewards of listening.
This lovely specimen was grown by a generous neighbor on his micro-farm just up the road from my house. We did a trade actually. I visited him to get plant starts of the Chinese herb He Shou Wou or fo ti as it is also known, and for payment he asked for a trade in return. So I gave him a box of fresh goji berries , knowing he would want to plant them, and was then given this incredible bonus in addition to the plant stock: white pineapple freshly picked from his organic farm! It’s been so long since I’ve come across these, that I nearly forgot just how good they were.
If you’d like to try a Kona Sugarloaf, as the Hawaiian white pineapple is known, (sometimes called Brazilian White elsewhere), be on the lookout because, though seasonal, they can be found in markets with a good fruit department in mid-summer. Juicy and sweet, and just the barest hint of tang to let you know you’re biting into a divine fruit and that this is a moment to be cherished as absolutely sacred! Seriously. These are good. With flavors of sweet pineapple, ripe pear and maybe a touch of kiwi, (hey, that would be a fantastic smoothie : ), you are sent to a heaven of deliciousness that has to be tasted to be believed. Just another example of why we need to support agricultural diversity – we have no idea what incredible fruits and vegetables are still out there, off the beaten, supermarket path!
July 30, 2009
After making coconut water kefir the other day, I was left with the coco meat and the tantalizing option to make coconut kefir yogurt presented itself. While the water takes up to 48 hours to culture, the yogurt only takes overnight.
I scooped out the meat – perfectly tender, deliciously gelantinous young coco meat – into the blender and added just enough water to bring it to the consistency of heavy cream. As I learned from making seed yogurt, if it’s not fluid enough it won’t culture properly and can spoil before the beneficial bacteria get a chance to propagate. So add a bit of liquid – a bit of coco water or filtered water is perfect.
Next, I added the same Body Ecology kefir powder I used to make the cultured coco water and blended it, adding the tiniest bit of liquid and adjusting the fluidity as I went until it was somewhere between loose regular yogurt and heavy cream.
As I mentioned in the cocowater post, I’ll use the water kefir grains for daily use simply because they are the sustainable option, having no packaging to throw away. You can order them from me for $15, including shipping, by emailing me. Thanks again, Irina!
I wanted to try this powder starter to see how it works and so far it seems just fine. Certainly convenient. Will be useful for travel, when you really want to insure healthy inner bacteria balance. And now that coco water is available almost anywhere, life is becoming so easy! I mean, about 4 years ago, I found fresh Thai coco’s in, of all places, an Oklahoma Walmart!
As you can see in the photo above, it has nearly doubled in size and is full of bubbles that show that the beneficial bacteria are busy loving life! Bless them, then welcome them to their new home – your belly – where they will live long, productive lives of beneficial, prosperous creativity.
When I tasted it the next morning, it was slightly fizzy, super creamy and quite tart. I had some goji berries left over from making homemade goji juice and used them as a topping along with a spoonful of honey.
An aside about honey and bee pollen: I am careful to only use honey that is far, (hundreds of miles far), from regions where GMO plants might be grown. This honey is raw Himalayan forest honey and I can only hope it’s far from any GMO’s blowing in the wind. I also only get New Zealand bee pollen for the same reason – their country has very strict laws about allowing live GMO plants in their country from what I understand and so I tend to trust that their pollen is virtually guaranteed GMO-free.
It’s pretty much impossible to say that for anywhere else, because, being specifically designed by Nature to carry genetic info from plant to plant, pollen travels on the wind and can be blown for distances of hundreds of miles, not to mention the fact that pollinating insects are designed to carry it far and wide. I avoid conspiracy theories like the plague but of course the principles of pollination were understood when agri-biz began producing gmo’s, so it really is worth it to vote with your dollars by only purchasing things that your educated guess determines likely to be non-gmo or are clearly labeled non-gmo.
July 19, 2009
Guess what, of all things, I found in the produce isle of the local health food store today? FRESH goji berries. Incredible!
Goji berries, ubiquitous in the health food community, are normally found dried and available in most health food stores, thanks to David Wolfe’s laudable – and relentless – promotional efforts. As Chinese health practitioners have known for over 2,000 years, they have purported health benefits above and beyond your average berry, hence their superfood status.
My understanding has been that they are supposedly so fragile that even in Asia they’re sold dried. And that’s the only way I’ve ever had them or heard about them – until now!
Imagine my surprise then, while strolling along in the produce aisle, I spied this glowing little punnet of…what? What could be such an incandescent red in the berry section? I mean, this color is much different than strawberries or raspberries or even cranberries. It turned out the tiny stash of 1/2 pint berry boxes contained FRESH ORGANIC GOJI BERRIES! For $6.89! Ouch. But impossible to pass up, obviously. I put them in my cart without a moment’s hesitation. The only delay was over whether or not I should get TWO boxes, but I didn’t and a good thing too, as I will explain.
Living in Hawaii, we are incredibly fortunate to have all sorts of unusual, exotic delights available to us, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this. I have heard that people are planting the seeds though, so I shouldn’t be so surprised that someone already has enough of a crop to market them. These are from an organic farm in Watsonville, California so you can request them from your produce manager. Their season, according to my research, is July – October so there’s plenty of time still to place your order!
I am going to try to grow a bush or two – they get to be about 1 meter tall I’ve read. We shall see.
I was eating from the box while writing this and discovered that these are potent little berries, and as it turned out, I doubt I could have finished two boxes before they turned. They are really good, but seemed to definitely be medicinal in that I only felt like eating about two tablespoons and then felt like drinking a lot of water.
They have a very mild flavor – in the way blueberries are mild – and they are quite sweet in the same way watermelon is. That’s sort of how it tastes – juicy and surprisingly reminiscent of watermelon, though not for any specific reason. In conclusion, they are quite medicinal after all and also, in the way of berries everywhere, will not keep long, so if my body has had enough I suppose I’ll be drying the remainder, after all! How ironic, haha. Or… at least the ones I don’t plant!