I was doubtful about using cacao in a savory recipe, but I have a different idea now that I’ve tried it. In fact, I’ve made this recipe three nights this week. The rich flavor, bitterness and buttery-ness adds a lot to a recipe, and mixed with the almonds and balsamic vinegar, it’s sublime. Plus, cacao is a superfood. Try it and let me know what you think! Continue reading
I recently visited a chocolate plantation in Costa Rica. Cacao pods lounged in the trees, and workers tended to the plants. I learned a lot by talking with the local expert who showed me around. I learned about the process of making chocolate and about the socioeconomic effects of chocolate consumption worldwide. And I came away with one resolve planted firmly in my heart: don’t buy cheap chocolate. Here’s why.
This recipe was passed down in my family from generation to generation. Well, maybe that only happened once. But my children will certainly be eating them, so that makes them something of an edible family heirloom, doesn’t it?
Plus, they’re deliciously nutritious, so they allow us to scrap the age-old question of whether it’s better to feel guilty about eating lots of brownies or sad about not eating any. They’re sweet, beautiful, and nutritious. And really, can you think of anything more to ask for? Continue reading
The ancient Mayans knew of Cacao’s nourishing qualities and held it sacred, and Aztec warriors prized it for its energy and nutrition. It’s time we reacquainted ourselves with the ancient wisdom regarding this amazing food. Here are some of raw cacao’s health benefits: Continue reading
Announcing… Chocolate Month! That’s right, this February we will be devoting an entire moon cycle to chocolate and cacao. We’ve created a lot of exciting content that we hope you’ll enjoy. We’ve experimented with sweet and savory cacao recipes, delved into the dark secrets behind major chocolate producers (and found out how to buy ethically sourced chocolate), discovered why cacao is considered a superfood, interviewed a small, local bean-to-bar chocolatier, and quite a lot more. We hope you’ll join us for this adventure. If you’re not already subscribed, please do so below for the full experience:
We would also like your appreciation for not including any puns about “having a taste of…” or things being “sweet,” in this announcement. There may, however, be some puns made over the course of chocolate month. We are not liable for bouts of punny-ness, fits of anger, or injury as a result of these puns.
“Wild Man” Steve Brills was a professional chef before he took to the wilds of New York to teach people about wild edibles. During my recent interview with him, he passed me this recipe by memory.
“Wild Man” Steve Brills and his daughter Violet lead educational foraging tours throughout the greater New York tri-state area, including in Central Park. Steve was arrested 30 years ago in Central Park by undercover agents on charges of criminal mischief for eating a dandelion. “That got me so much publicity that they dropped the charges, and the parks department hired me to teach foraging,” he says.
When not teaching about wild foods, Steve can often be found foraging and cooking wild meals with his eleven-year-old daughter. Violet started foraging at the age of two months and, according to her father, “knows the ins and outs of every single plant.”
I reached Steve and Violet by Skype at their home in upstate New York. They had just come in from a walk in which they found Artist’s Mushrooms and enjoyed a late first snow. They regaled me with jokes, skits, and stories as we talked. Continue reading
Walking into the field with a shovel. Cold hands on the smooth wooden handle. You are warmed by the smell of earth as you dig. Hands plunge into chill earth, searching with strong fingers. Finally, you clutch the wise burdock root, and you feel somehow compelled to bow.
There is something to be said for taking one’s time with plants. They offer so much more to our psyches than most of us living a modern lifestyle can comprehend. Watching a plant through all of its seasons, befriending the little star lady Chickweed and allying yourself with Burdock’s ancient wisdom. There is nothing to describe the joy. It is something like coming home.
But not everyone is up for harvesting burdock, or even devoting much of their busy lives to foraging. Continue reading
“We go to the hilltop. And when we finish the ceremony there, that’s when we divide the plantains… we leave a piece there, for the hill, and we divide the rest up between those who’ve accompanied me and those who are making lunch in the house.” –A Mayan priestess speaking of her initiation ceremony.
I love this wise fruit. Named Musa Paradisiaca, for “paradise,” because the plantain is said to be the first inhabitant of heaven. It is a grand bow, the golden king of fruits.
Why is almond butter so expensive now? This is what I thought as I returned the glass jar to the shelf of the co-op last summer. It was my first summer working full-time on a farm, and I watched my newfound perspective inform my reasoning. California… drought… almonds… aha!
Almond butter is so expensive because there’s a drought in California, where most of America’s almonds are produced. A no-brainer for anyone connected to their food. But I was just beginning to learn the consequences of the food choices I was making, and most Americans are still in the dark.