Coconuts are an almost perfect food: highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance as well as vegans says, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-coconut-milk
Given proper care and growing conditions coconuts palms grow rapidly, can produce up to 100 coconuts a year, and live to be 100 years old! So if you are lucky enough to have access to coconuts – and they are grown in more than 90 countries around the world, one delicious way to use them is to make your own coconut milk.
In the May/June 2017 issue of Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi magazine, “Cuckoo for Coconuts,” Ryan Burden shares his knowledge and passion for coconuts, including this recipe for coconut milk:
How to make homemade Coconut Milk:
- One older, shaker coconut [almost fully mature, these coconuts have thick meat and are rich in coconut oil].
- 1 or 2 rubber or spoonmeat coconuts [younger coconuts with jelly consistency meat]
Split the coconut in half by tapping firmly around the circumference. Tip: You can use any hard surface, like the back of a machete, a cleaver, even a stone.
Scrape out the meat using a coconut tool or butter knife; cut into 2-inch pieces.
Fill a high-powered blender halfway with coconut pieces and top with water. Water from a sweet coconut is best, but you can use plain H20. If you do, add a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt.
Tip: Make sure the water is at least 73 degrees; otherwise, the oils won’t emerge.
Blend on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Tip: Coconut meat is tough. Gradually increasing the speed avoids overheating the blender.
Strain through a nutmilk bag or fine cheesecloth. Squeeze out every bit, and put into a jar.
Fill to the very top, leaving no air in the jar to spoil the water. Chill immediately.
After the jar is opened, milk will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, but is best enjoyed within two days.
For the complete article including how to open a coconut, go to <https://mauimagazine.net/coconuts/
Have fun making – and drinking your homemade coconut milk.
Pistachio-Crusted Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette
Recipe from Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties (Roost Books).
Every spring, Ashley English, author and homesteader, uses asparagus fresh from her garden in Chandler, North Carolina. She says, “When I notice that those first, tender, thin green spears have poked their sleepy heads from the soil, that’s my cue that spring has arrived.” Here’s her favorite asparagus recipe.
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 pounds large asparagus
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons feta, crumbled (Look below for a vegan “feta” that is tasty – and 100% dairy free)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup feta, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Several grinds of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the asparagus, and cut about an inch off the stem ends. Pat to dry. Place the asparagus on a dry baking sheet, and cook it for three minutes to dry off any excess moisture. Remove the sheet from the oven and toss the asparagus on the sheet with the olive oil.
Crush the pistachios in a food processor (or under a towel with a kitchen mallet or hammer) for about 1 minute, until finely ground. Transfer the ground nuts to a small mixing bowl. Using a spoon or clean hands, mix the nuts with the salt. Lay the asparagus out evenly across the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with half of the ground pistachio and salt blend. Turn the spears over, then evenly sprinkle them with rest of the ground pistachios.
Cook 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, and carefully plate the spears onto a platter using tongs. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a lidded container or a food processor. Shake or blend until smooth. Drizzle the plated asparagus with the vinaigrette. Top with the chopped parsley and feta. Serve at room temperature.
Seen in Spring 2017 edible ASHEVILLE, p. 42.
** For vegan feta, see this recipe from Nikki at EatingVibrantly.com for instant raw vegan feta: https://www.eatingvibrantly.com/instant-raw-vegan-feta-cheese/
Enjoy. Happy Spring, Renée
Snakeskin fruit or salak is new to me. “A native fruit from Indonesia and Malaysia, the snakeskin fruit grow in clusters at the base of the palm. The taste is usually sweet and acidic, like a cross between a crunchy sweet apple and a pineapple, but its texture can vary from very dry and crumbly to moist and crunchy. . .[Here in Bali, the ones I’ve had are moist and crunchy – and delicious.] This palm grows to 10 feet tall, is very thorny, and produces fruits in large clusters. Plants are self pollinating. Likes filtered sunlight.”
Snakeskin fruit are refreshing and very popular in SE Asia.
Image and information from: <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/391953973799636953/>.
They are delicious on their own, but adding them to a salad gives an added good flavor and crunch.
Raw Vegan Energy Salad:
3 whole Salak [Snakeskin fruit] -Peel, pitted and cut into strips
1 Avocado – Cut into cube
1 tbsp Goji Berries
1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Pineapple cube
3 pcs Medjool Dates – Pitted, cut into strips
3 leaves Iceberg Lettuce [or your favorite lettuce] – Torn
1/2 pcs Lemon-Squeezed for juice
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
pinch of Natural Sea Salt
Dash Black Pepper
Prepare all the ingredients in salad bowl,
Just before serving. Pour dressing over salad and lightly toss.
There you go! The super tasty Raw Delightful Salak Salad !
Look for snakeskin fruit. I think you will love it too.
Salamat Makan, (Enjoy your meal), Renée
Now more aware of the health benefits of coconuts, I’ve been seeing how I can get more of the wonderful power food. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade coconut butter that you might want to try too.
Meagen, the Vegan Food Addict, says, “Coconut butter, sometimes referred to as creamed coconut, is becoming increasingly popular. With its popularity, however, it can be expensive and often difficult to find. The good news though is that you can still enjoy it…just make your own! If you have access to shredded coconut or coconut flakes, you are in luck.
Check out this recipe:
Homemade Coconut Butter
Yields approximately 1 cup
4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
Place coconut in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5-10 minutes*, or until smooth; stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl.
Store coconut butter in an airtight container at room temperature, in the fridge, or freezer. Coconut butter will begin to solidify after resting.
*Processing time may take more or less time depending on food processor”
Meagen has many more tasty recipes including Tikil Gomen, (Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes). Check out her blog.
Coconut Butter and more from Meagen: ttps://veganfoodaddict.wordpress.com
This recipe from Ayu Spicy is loaded with protein and keeps for several days refrigerated – where it just gets better.
Mango & Chickpea Tabouli – Serves 4-6
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 Tbl. Indian curry powder, toasted in a dry frying pan
- 2/3 cup yogurt (for vegans – substitute soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. See https://reneeriley.wordpress.com/?s=coconut+yogurt)
- 1 tsp. orange zest, grated – just the orange part not the white pith
- 1 cup cooked rice or quinoa
- 1 can (439 g, about 16 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 ripe mango cut into 1 1/2 cm x 1 1/2 cm pieces (under 2 inch cubes)
- 2 Tbl. coriander leaf, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
In a medium sized bowl mix the orange and lime juices, the curry powder, yogurt, and the orange zest. When this is well mixed add the cooked rice or quinoa and stir again.
Now add the garbanzo beans and raisins, mixing well. Finally add the mango pieces and the chopped coriander leaf and mix gently.
Set the tabouli aside, covered, for at least an hour for the flavors to mix and mature. When you are ready to eat, turn it onto a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds.
This tabouli keeps well in the fridge. If you plan to have leftovers, don’t sprinkle all the almonds on at once but save some for when it comes ot of the fridge an sprinkle on just before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
“Salamat makan,” Renée
from: “Food Glorious Food” Bali Advertiser, 12-26 Oct. 2016, 45)
This weekend, the second annual Bali Vegan Festival was held in Ubud. It was fabulous – with speakers, classes, talks, movies, music, food, and, of course, ideas.
To show you how wonderful – and easy – making healthy vegan food can be, here’s a recipe from the Bali Vegan Festival program.
The raw, vegan soup is a creation of Chef Arif Springs and his team at Taksu, spa and restaurant and a sponsor of the festival. http://www.taksuspa.com/.
- 2 tbsp cashew nuts
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1 tsp honey (or if you are vegan, substitute agave nectar, coconut nectar, or maple syrup)
- Pinch of diced garlic
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Sea salt to taste
- Zucchini, cucumber and/or coriander for garnish
- Soak cashews in water for two hours.
- Cut a thin slice from a clove of garlic and dice finely.
- Juice lemongrass (strain out the pulp).
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Garnish with pealed zucchini, cucumber and/or coriander. A zucchini flower adds a decorative finish.
Serve at room temperature or refreshingly chilled for a hot day. Recipe for two.
Salamat malam, Renée
My Brazilian friend Rosita has requested I post Balinese recipes – especially ones for desserts. And so, I have been doing research. 🙂
Here is one tasty – not too sweet – dessert that I think she – and you – will like.
Dadar Gulung –
- 2 cups fresh-grated coconut
- 10 Tbs. grated Java dark brown sugar (or better for you, *palm sugar)
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
- ¼ tsp. salt
*”Palm sugar is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic crystalline sweetener that looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, but it’s completely natural and unrefined. It’s acquired from the flowers growing high on coconut trees, which are opened to collect their liquid flower nectar. This nectar is then air-dried to form a crystalline sugar that’s naturally brown in color and naturally rich in a number of key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.” from – Mike Adams, the Health Ranger Editor. Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/028996_palm_sugar_natural_sweetener.html#ixzz4LoXhRcoU
Mix the grated coconut, grated Java dark brown sugar and granulated sugar, cinnamon and ½ tsp.salt together.
Fry the mixture in a dry pan over medium/low heat, constantly stirred for approximately 5 minutes, or until the mixture is dry.
Remove the cinnamon stick, and set it aside.
- 1 cup rice flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1¾ cups coconut milk
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 drops green food coloring (optional)
- Vegetable oil
Mix the rice flour, cornstarch, coconut milk, ½ tsp. salt, green food coloring and egg into a smooth batter.
Lightly oil an 8-inch frying pan, and pour 3 tablespoon of the batter into the pan. Make sure the pan is equally covered with the batter so it becomes a thin layer pancake [crepe]. Fry for one minute, turn the pancake over and fry for another minute. Remove and set aside.
Place 2 Tbs. of the coconut mixture on the near edge of the pancake. Fold over once, then tuck in the left and the right sides and fold over once more. Press gently to distribute the filling evenly.
Serve at room temperature. Makes 10-12 servings.
They are simple to make – and very tasty.
Enjoy, “Salamat malan,” Renée
P.S. Let me know what you think.
As a great appetizer or a vegetarian main dish, these patties are high in protein – and tasty. Plus you can vary the taste by your choice of mushroom. And you can choose just to make the mushroom sauce and lemon aïoli if you have prepared veggie patties.
Makes: 30 small patties or 8 big ones.
- 1 recipe of Tempe Potato Patties uncooked (http://baliadvertiser.biz/potato/) – see below or buy prepared tempeh patties from you local health food market
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Ingredients for the mushroom filling:
- 1 Tbl. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 100 g. (3/4 cup) fresh shitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 200 g ( 1 1/2 cups)fresh portobello mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 1 Tbl. crumbled dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper – to taste
Ingredients for the Lemon Aïoli
- 4 hard-cooked egg yolks, save the whites for another use
- 3 Tbl lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 pinches of ground cayenne
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 small clove of garlic, pressed
- 5 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
Make the recipe for Tempe Potato Patties up to the point where you form the patties or – as I would do – open up your Life Foods veggie patties.
If you love cooking, you can make your own patties:
Tempe Potato Patties from http://baliadvertiser.biz/potato/
Ingredients for Potatoes :
– 350 gr. (about 1.4 cups or 12.34 ounces) potatoes
– ½ tsp. salt
– ¼ tsp. cumin powder
– ¼ tsp. coriander powder
– 1/8 tsp. cayenne or red chili powder
– 1 clove garlic, pressed
– 2 Tbl. celery leaves finely chopped
– pepper to taste
Ingredients for Tempe :
– 100 gr. (3/4 cup or 3.53 ounces) tempe
– 1/8 tsp. salt
– 1/8 tsp. cumin powder
– 1/8 tsp. coriander powder
– cayenne or red chili powder to taste
– pepper to taste
– 1 egg beaten in a small bowl
– ¾ cup bread crumbs on a small plate
– Canola oil for frying
Boil the potatoes in their skins until soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle and then remove the skins. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Once they are evenly mashed add the salt, cumin, coriander, chili powder, celery leaves, and pepper. Mix well. Set this aside.
Boil the tempeh for about 10 minutes or until done. Mash the tempeh. Add the salt, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and pepper. When this is well mixed add the potato mixture and mix very well. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Make patties about 6 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick from this mixture. You should have about 8-9 patties.
Or – if you don’t have time or the passion for cooking, buy quality veggie patties such as those from Life Foods:
Whatever your choice, cook the patties:
Heat about 1 Tbl. canola oil in a non-stick frying pan big enough to hold all the patties in one layer. (You can also do this in two batches – it is important that they are in one layer.) While the oil heats, take a patty and dip it in the beaten egg and then in the bread crumbs, coating both sides of the patty. Do this with the remaining patties. Fry the patties until golden brown and then flip them over and brown the other side, adding oil as needed. These are most delicious when well browned and served warm.
Set this aside.
Make the mushroom filling by heating 1 Tbl. olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot add the garlic and shallots, stir frying until the shallots are limp. Crumble in the dried thyme leaves, giving it a good stir and then add the shitake and Portobello mushrooms. Stir fry these over a high heat until they start to brown and release their juices. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and continue stir frying until most of the juice evaporates. Remove from the heat and set aside.
If you are making appetizers, take a spoonful of the Tempe Potato Patty dough and flatten into a 5 cm disk. Make another one the same size. Put 1 tsp.of the mushroom filling on a disk and top with a sprig of dill. Take another disk and lay on top of the mushroom filling, pushing down to flatten and pinching the sides closed. Continue like this until you have used all the tempe potato dough and the sautéed mushrooms. You should have about 30 small filled patties.
If you want to eat this as a vegetarian main course make the patties bigger and fill with a larger amount of sautéed mushrooms. You should have about 8 large filled patties.
Keep the patties warm in the oven until ready to serve.
As you are cooking the patties, make the lemon aïoli.
Put all the ingredients for the lemon aïoli, except the oil, in blender, food processor, stick blender container or a deep mortar with a pestle. Combine the ingredients until smooth. Slowly add the oil while continuing to mix. Taste and correct for salt, pepper and lemon juice.
You can either drizzle the sauce over the patties or serve it in a bowl for each diner to dip into.
Recipe by Ayu Spicy in “Food Glorious Food” from Bali Advertiser, 14-28 Sept. 2016, p. 44
Enjoy – and as they say in Bali, “Selamat makan,” Renée
Images from: <http://www.justpaleofood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/garlic-roasted-sauteed-mushrooms.jpg>; <http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J3C2dwY3n0w/R5EQPDZomwI/AAAAAAAABeg/2t44EYXSWeg/s640/tempeh2.jpg>; <http://www.epicurus.com/food/recipes/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/AddHerbs.png>; <https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/m/boiled-potatoes-their-skins-raw-parsley-39400568.jpg>
On Maui, we enjoy many blessings: the Hawaiian culture of aloha and chant, beautiful beaches, volcanoes, rain forests, temperate weather, splendid sunrises and sunsets, outrigger canoe paddling, . . . a vacation paradise. However, we import about 90% of our food and fuel. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean – 2,336 miles from San Francisco and about 4,034 miles from Tokyo – we are very food and energy insecure.
This is a fact of concern.
However, most of us in Hawaii have been over-looking a terrific food source – a much-maligned tree that will give you a painful puncture wound if you step on its thorn. Its beans have been used as cattle and pig fodder or for firewood (mesquite). Tough and hearty – often looking like dead, brown trees during dry conditions, but quickly becoming green with new growth after a rain, kiawe trees are on all the leeward coasts of the Hawaiian islands.
A recent workshop shared that the kiawe beans – from that non-native, drought and salt resistant invasive tree – is actually a local super food. Wild-food guru Sunny Savage says, “Millions of pounds of kiawe beans are just falling to the ground every year, completely and utterly unloved. This tree of life can produce up to 6 harvests per year” (Wild Food Plants of Hawaii, 111).
We don’t need to be food insecure in Hawaii if we learn how to hunt (not hard in Kihei and other dry areas in Hawaii), gather, sort, clean, dry, make flour, and create from recipes using kiawe bean pods.
Sunny Savage and Vince Dodge presented our Kiawe 101 hands-on Workshop in Kihei, Maui. Vince, of Wai’anae Gold, mills kiawe beans into flour and makes delicious products such as ‘aina bars, a raw power bar from kiawe flour.
Vince and Sunny told us that kiawe (aka mesquite /algarrobo), was introduced in 1826, by a French Jesuit priest who had stopped in Peru for a while on his way to Hawaii. Father Alexis Bachelot was impressed by the uses the Peruvians made of the tree and brought it here. A memorial plaque at the old Catholic Mission on Fort Street in Honolulu commemorates that very first tree; its stump is still there today.
In Hawaii, the seedpods became animal fodder and firewood but was not eaten by the people. In contrast, in the Americas, the Middle East, India and many other places where the tree is native, the dried pulverized bean pods were a revered staple food. Naturally sweet, nutrient dense and diabetic friendly, kiawe bean pod flour is a Hawaiian Super Food. All our islands are blessed with abundant kiawe forests.
Wai’anae Gold is working with families to produce food and create livelihoods for the future. For ten years Wai’anae Gold under the leadership of Vince Dodge has been on this path educating and encouraging communities to return to the bounty that the `aina has provided for us all.
To see recipes, buy milled kiawe flour and other kiawe products direct, go to the Wai’anae Gold site:< http://waianaegold.com/ >
Vince says, “We are `Ai Pohaku – The Stone Eaters. Come and join us. He ali`i ka `aina. He kauwa ke kanaka. The land is chief, people its servants (`Olelo No`eau 531 Pukui 1983).”
For the workshop, Vince and Sunny shared how to hunt, gather, select, dry, and use kiawe. We got to taste the super sweet (but diabetic friendly) tea, and eat a meal of kiawe and coconut soup, with kiawe cornbread, kiawe tortillas, and to top it off for dessert, kiawe ‘aina bars: delicious, filling and nutritious!!
Vince is “The founder of ‘Ai Pohaku, Vince Kana‘i Dodge, is a papa (grandfather), educator, cultural practitioner and longtime resident of Wai‘anae where kiawe trees are plentiful.
He shares the story that one day in early 2006 on MA‘O Organic Farms a couple from Arizona shared that “mesquite” – the cousin of kiawe – was a staple of all the Southwest native peoples. All those years ago, Gary told Vince that kiawe was a sweet, nutritious and diabetic-friendly food.
At that time the Wai‘anae community was in the throes of a diabetic epidemic (about one-third of the people in Wai’anae had diabetics, including some as young as 7th grade). Imagine: a sweet, nutritious diabetic-friendly food growing in our backyards… Vince was called. We believe it is no accident that the concentration of kiawe and diabetes are in the same place.”
Last week, Vince was able to meet Gary Paul Nabhan that important visitor from 2006, who was speaking here on Maui for the organic agricultural festival. 🙂
Sunny Savage is host of the wild food cooking show Hot on the Trail, presenter at the 2014 TedxMaui, a foraging workshop guide, and author of the beautiful and inspiring Wild Food Plants of Hawaii. To be connected to the land, to absorb important trace minerals and nutrition we aren’t getting from our processed food, Sunny encourages all of us to forage for at least one wild food each day.
Yesterday, my son Johnny and I ran into each other. We had an hour to spare. We each took a bag and in no time walking along the beach under the shade of kiawe trees, we had them filled with bright, plump kiawe pods. Right now they are drying (inside my car with the windows rolled up)! We look forward to making our kiawe flour into pancakes, bread, soup, sparkling drinks . . .
Again this weekend, we have warnings of two hurricanes headed this way. But now besides our cans of beans and bottles of water for emergency use, we have the knowledge of how to sustain ourselves on the humble kiawe bean pods that are all around us.
What overlooked food source do you have nearby?
Nature is bountiful; we just need eyes to see – and people like Sunny and Vince to teach us.
Although I don’t remember my Grandma Riley, she lives on in her good cooking. Here’s another delicious family recipe handed down from our grandma to my cousin Elaine:
1 – 15oz. can of pineapple rounds (cannot use fresh pineapple) – save juice in can
1 – cup light brown sugar
1 – stick of butter
1 1/2 cup – white sugar
3 – eggs
1/2 cup – cold water
1 1/2 cup – flour
2 tsp. – baking powder (rounded)
1 tsp. – vanilla
Melt brown sugar and butter in cast iron skillet until the mixture bubbles.
Add pineapple rounds in the bottom of the skillet.
In a separate bowl, mix white sugar, eggs, water, flour baking powder, & vanilla.
Pour over pineapple mixture.
Bake: at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. (Done when a toothpick comes out clean).
Elaine says this pineapple upside-down cake is best served with pineapple curd and whipped cream.
Pineapple curd recipe
Cream together –
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (margarine)
1 or 2 eggs well beaten…
1 heaping tablespoon flour
Heat juice – saved juice from the can of pineapple….
Add above mixture of creamed sugar and margarine,
Add 1 heaping Tablespoon of flour,
Stir constantly until thick and smooth…
Let cool and serve with real whipped cream over cake ….makes a nice presentation.. and now we are all hungry…
Serves: 10 – unless Thor is home 🙂