If you do your food shopping exclusively at conventional supermarkets, you might be led to believe that the only fruits which have multiple types are apples, peppers, tomatoes, grapes, and pears. Theoretically this is due to there being limited space in the supermarkets and the owners choosing to sell only what is least expensive. For the average person this fact may not be a big deal but for a fruit enthusiast like me there is often a need for more variety and obtaining it a priority. I barely ever go into the conventional supermarket for this reason and instead about 80% of the time at international groceries and the other 20% split between online ordering and farmers markets.
One fruit subject to the produce section limitations is the avocado. The type you are likely to see in the store, at least here in the mid-Atlantic coast is the Hass. They are delicious, but I’ve had a few other kinds which I would say are just as tasty, if not more-so. The Fuerte is the one I most recently put extra effort into getting.
Comparing it in the photo above to the Hass (left), they are both at the fully ripe stage here. They are about the same size with the noticeable differences being the skin texture and colour: Hass – rough & dark purple/black, Fuerte – smooth & green. They both look about the same on the inside.
Taste-wise, there is a significantly different flavour as well. I wouldn’t say better/worse than the Hass… but for a point of reference, it’s comparable to a red delicious apple versus a gold delicious apple.
Oil-free dishes will be my third series on the blog. Oils AKA fats are essential and beneficial to have in the body for various reasons with calorie concentration probably being the biggest benefit (one tablespoon of olive oil contains about ten times the amount of calories that one tablespoon of olives do). However, the intake of large quantities of calories is only a good thing if they are being utilized via physical activity. If they are not, an unnecessary surplus can build-up in the body which encourages weight gain. So, for those times of the day in which we know we will not be too physically active yet still have an appetite, I think eating oil-free should be the advocated.
Trinidad & Tobago style corn soup is one dish I have mastered making oil-free and as the final part of the brazil nut topic, I threw the dumplings into it.
2 ears of corn chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup coconut milk*
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped potato
1 cup brazil nut dumplings
1 TBS T&T green seasoning**
Salt & pepper to taste
Rinse split peas and soak 8 hours. Add to pot with water to cover, boil until liquified then add vegetable broth and corn. For those whom have never chopped corn, it is probably easiest with a cleaver. The pieces should look like this
Bring back to boil for 10 minutes then add all other ingredients except coconut milk and dumplings. After 10 more minutes add coconut milk and dumplings. Be sure to stir periodically and when the dumplings float it’s done.
*heating coconut milk is a means of making coconut oil and thus depending on individual technicalities, this might disqualify the soup as being oil-free
** T&T green seasoning – a ground combination of equal parts cilantro, thyme, scallions, garlic, and parsley using vinegar to assist grinding process and act as a preservative. Found bottled in international supermarkets if you’re not up for making your own.
After reading #’s 7 & 8 the content of this entry may be predictable. In the Caribbean dumplings are a common site on the dinner table to go with stews or in soups and there are three main kinds – wheat flour, cornmeal, and cassava. For the latter two, wheat flour is still used for the traditional dumpling texture and the cornmeal and/or cassava added for a change of flavour. The same procedure for making them can done with your nut milk pulp as well. Simply mix the pulp with wheat flour at a 1:2 ratio with a pinch of sea salt (or two or 3 pinches depending on how much you are making):
Be careful with adding water because the pulp will already have some water in it. The dough should be stiff after forming it into a ball and kneading (you can of course just add more flour if you accidentally put too much water). Tear off pieces of your preferred dumpling size, mold them into your preferred dumpling shape, (I like making mine into “fingers”), and they are ready to boil.