Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘superfoods’

How to Harvest Seaweed: Superfood Nutrition from our Ocean

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories, Travel on May 16, 2014 at 13:44
Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed Some seaweed varieties on the Cape Peninsula


Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

 

   Edible Sea Vegetable: SeaWeed

confess, my kitchen turns into edible science experiments almost every day. Seaweed is my new ingredient in the kitchen lab. Once you get to know the nutritional facts and the familiar taste of popcorn it has when nori (a type of seaweed) is roasted on the fire, then you’ll definitely give this superfood a chance.  When I first moved to Cape Town, I was mesmerised by the huge kelp forests that were washed onto the shorelines.  On low tides, I observed the variety of seaweeds that clung to the rocks and naturally wondered, “Can we eat that?”  You’ve probably already have if you’ve gone to a sushi joint or visit the snack aisle at an Asian supermarket.  When we see an ingredient in it’s natural state – outside of a food product/market/restaurant, we’re often surprised by how it grows, what it looks like and what it may actually taste like?  This is what I call the spark of our own natural whole food education, also known as the moment when our culinary linguistics expand.  I’m a self proclaimed phyco-nerd. Phycology: Greek φῦκος, phykos, “seaweed”; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of algae and was so happy to find fellow wild food foragers on the Cape Peninsula.

Beyond Basic Nutrition: Seaweed Benefits

Contains vitamin B12 (which is rarely found in plants)

  • Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese (overall 13 vitamins, 20 amino acids, 60 trace mineral elements)
  • Highest source of plant protein and zero calories
  • It’s fiber is helpful for the digestive system, making you feel full and satiated
  • Contains iodine which aids the function of the thyroid to release iodine in our blood to help prevent disease.  Our bodies don’t make iodine so we have to get it through our food – why not seaweed?
  • Reduces water retention and contains higher levels of calcium than beef and cow’s milk
  • Natural occurring sodium that resembles human amniotic fluid
  • Alkalinizes and purifies blood as it’s chemical composition is similar to the plasma in human blood
  • Optimum nourishment for hormonal, lymphatic, urinary and nervous systems

Marine Flora: Wild and Crazy? 

  I was honestly hesitant to harvest seaweed in South Africa before doing a bit of research.   I needed a bit of local knowledge to boost my confidence and to verify that I wasn’t the only crazy who wondered about eating ocean algae.  If people in other parts of the world have seaweed-based cuisine, why aren’t we eating it here?  Has there ever been a history of it in South Africa?  Stay tuned for more about that in a future post.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest  I took my mom, one of my favorite foragers for whole foods, to Scarborough to learn more about the beautiful seaweed varieties available for us to harvest responsibly.  In the quest of learning to harvest wild food, you also develop a respect and knowledge for conserving the ocean environment.  I’ve found that becoming more aware of what makes a healthy flourishing balanced ecosystem allows me to make more educated decisions about harvesting and foraging wild foods in nature.

 Some Foraging Facts

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed skin mask

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Wrack-the beginnings of seaweed coleslaw

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Scarborough coastline in Western Cape, South Africa

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Rinsing and preparing after the harvest

The Good Hope Nursery in Scarbororgh did such a great job in creatively sharing their experience in sustainably harvesting, tasting and creating with ocean seaweed.  It was great to ask questions while enjoying the cosmetic and nutritional benefits of this sea vegetable.  We were greeted on the shoreline with seaweed scones and spoke about the red, green and brown varieties of seaweed below our feet.  Snippets of seaweed varieties such as kelp, wrack and ulva were gathered to ensure regrowth, conservation and abundance for our ecosystem (about 1/3 of what was growing on the rock near the tideline.) No random bits of floating seaweed was harvested, only healthy clean varieties that were attached to ocean rocks.

Edible Science: Seaweed Recipes

 Since that positive coastal foraging experience, I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned along the way, convincing brave and even unadventurous eaters to enjoy the tasty healthy benefits of sea vegetables.  On a recent trip to Elandsbaai, we harvested, rinsed and tossed nori in a bit of olive oil before placing it on a wood-burning fire.  The result was super flakey, crunchy, tasty green seaweed snack.  Get creative and incorporate seaweed in any of your favorite recipes for extra added health benefits. I’d love to hear more about what you discover.

Seaweed Recipes: Superfood Nutrition from the Ocean

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Good Hope Nursery’s Chocolate Agar Agar and Candied Kelp with Ice Cream. YUM! Sign up for their foraging course.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

That’s me in total seaweed face mask bliss. Rejuvenate, revitalise. Is there nothing seaweed can’t do?

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

A young culinary linguist exploring the texture of kelp. Wait for bath time! Yes, with seaweed:)

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed couscous salad, mussels, kelp and avocado salad, wrack coleslaw . . . the feast continues.

Resources:

South Africa’s West Coast Pomegranate and Peppercorn Salad

In Recipe, Travel on March 25, 2013 at 13:05

Peppercorn salad with PomegranatepeppercornsongroundWestCoastculinarylinguistathenalamberisWest Coast South Africa shade in VerlorenvleiPicking pomegranates in South AfricaThe Culinary Linguist's West Coast getaway #bliss

Soul smiles and surf-sore shoulders leave me mindful and replete. A montage of new faces smiling in the heat. Moon memories and salted dreams sail me through the Monday office beat.

 Yes, let’s strike out into the open, where wild places await. Let’s turn off the cell phones, leave our city behind. Let’s forget the time, and live by the heat of the earth. Let’s let this be the last update, sent into space. 

 I’ll be gone for a while, a moment, a week. To a place with a river, long grass and a beach. – Chris Mason, writer, poet, wildlife filmmaker, my husband:)

We set out to the West Coast, Verlorenvlei near Elandsbay (Elaandsbaai).  With family and friends, the rhythm of the day revolves around the wind patterns and the sun’s heat. At nightfall we light candles, build fires and cook up our communal meals of with mains of snoek, crayfish, mutton, or boerewors.

During the early autumn days on Uithoek farm, red fruits become ripe and our little fingers come to collect them.  One of my all-time favorite, is the pomegranate’s regal rubies that continue to bear fruit until mid autumn.  The other is a tree berry that I recognized from knowing it inside a grinder.  The hanging rainbow peppercorn trees are gifts of shade on the Uithoek farm with their big green wispy branches alongside the farm cottages.  The burst of flavor from the tiny rainbow peppercorn is a medley of fragrant clove, frankincense and cardamom resemblance.  I couldn’t resist some country fruit foraging and harvested a few jars to experiment with some new culinary creations and combinations.  I really love the way the pomegranate and rainbow peppercorn are both powerful little kernels of red fantastic flavor accents.

This is my scrumptious salad recipe I’ve been enjoying this week, bursting with tantalizing flavor combinations.

Pomegranate Salad Recipe in South AfricaWest Coast Candlelight feast in South AfricaWestCoastculinarylinguistathenalamberisFeasting by Candlelight on The Culinary Linguist blog



Pomegranate and Peppercorn Salad Recipe:

200 grams of crisp mixed garden lettuce/watercress/beetroot leaves, etc

1/4 cup fresh pomegranate kernels

1/2 tsp fresh rainbow peppercorns

1/8 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup pecans

1 soft ripe plum or small pear

1/8 cup Danish blue cheese

Dressing:

1 TB tahini

2 TB apple cider vinegar

1 tsp hemp powder

In a small bowl add tahini, hemp powder and apple cider vinegar.  Whisk together.  Wash and rinse the lettuce leaves and plum.  Cut the plum in small bite-size pieces.  Crumble the danish blue cheese.  Toast your pecans and pumpkin seeds until golden brown in a frying pan (the pumpkin seeds will start making crackling sound), then remove from the heat.  Cut open the pomegranate and remove the fresh red pomegranate kernels by removing all the white pith that covers and connects the kernels together.  Add all the ingredients together into a large bowl and drizzle the dressing over.  Toss the salad so all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Enjoy the delicious crunch of pomegranates and rainbow peppercorns in this nutritious salad!

Nourishing traditions on The Culinary Linguist's blog

The Culinary Linguist's road trip up the West Coast South Africa #travelThe Culinary Linguist's DIY hammock The Culinary Linguist's relaxing getaway in South Africa

The Culinary Linguist's West Coast relaxing weekend #farm

firemakingWestCoastculinarylinguistathenalamberis

Keep it Fresh with Juice and Beets

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 10, 2011 at 13:15

When my amigaFresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice, talented singer/songwriter, Ernestine Deane, was preparing to migrate to Germany, she generously gave her juicer a new home, which is now my new favourite kitchen instrument.  Up until Ernestine’s last week in Cape Town, the Le Dou MagiMix spun out delicious alchemy for her family, most importantly fresh orange juice to keep the immune system boosting during the last winter months in the Cape Town peninsula.  Now that oranges are less in abundance and spring has come into play, the iron and folic acid powerhouse: beetroot is added to every juice mix I make. Find out more what beets have to offer at: Juicing for your Health.Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice

The recipe below is my morning favourite.  Rich in beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and iron . . . It makes me feel that I’ll never have to wear blush again if I keep consuming such colourful produce. Turn up the volume to soulful dub while you juice your carrot sticks and beets.  It will brighten your insides and out: Play it here and wash your veggies nice.

In your juicer:

Six whole carrots

1 beetroot

Six strawberries

Healthy Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

Chop some fresh mint for a natural mouth freshener while you gulp down the goodness.

Makes almost a pint of juice!  Chug it down.

Dankie Erniewam! x

TIP: Juice the carrots first and remove the carrot fiber from the juicing blades and place in your garden compost.  The worms will thank you. Then juice the beetroot and strawberries and save the fiber so you can later transform it into a scrumptious breakfast. (I made pink pancakes with it.)  Stay tight for that yummy post soon.

Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

It’s not Rabbit Food, It’s Rainbow Raw Salsa Salad.

In Recipe on November 9, 2011 at 12:34

Call it rabbit food, but it is damn delicious and surprisingly filling too.  Inspired by Raw-vember, I made a spicy salad that is bright and tangy in flavour and festive on the eye.

Raw Salsa Salad on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

This is a super quick, easy and yummy crunch salad that has major nutrients because it is a whole bunch of raw vegetables and fruit at its best.  It can easily be a dish in a non-raw setting and served with tortilla chips and used as a salsa or sambal to any main dish.

I recently bought an organic cold-pressed Omega 3-6-9 (Hemp, Sesame, Pumpkinseed, Flax) oil blend and added that to the raw ingredients thanks to Crede Oils.  It gave a delicious but different flavour instead of using extra virgin olive oil.

Try this recipe out with whatever produce is freshest in your fridge but this combination is a great balance of colour and flavour.

Rainbow Salsa Salad: a Raw food discovery

2 Roma tomatoes

1 large carrot

1/4 red onion

1/2 lemon with peel

1 yellow pepper

1 Serrano chile

1 kiwi

2 tablespoons of Crede’s Omega 3-6-9 Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 TB sunflower seeds

Wash your vegetables and fruit thoroughly and quarter the tomatoes, carrot, onion, yellow pepper, lemon and chile. (Leave the chile out if you don’t want the kick)  Put all in a food processor and pulse for 6 seconds so they have been chopped in small chewable pieces.  Place chopped vegetables and fruit into a bowl and drizzle Omega 3-6-9 oil.  Put salt and pepper and sunflower seeds on top and stir until the salad is coated in the oil, salt and pepper and the sunflowers are distributed around.  Garnish with slices of kiwi.  Eat immediately. Enjoy the chew!

Raw Spicy Salsa Salad on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

To Cook or Dehydrate: Raw Food Recipes and Creativity

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 8, 2011 at 11:54

Rawlicious on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

I just learned how to harvest Aloe Ferox from the ‘cook’ book Rawlicious-Recipes for Radiant Health.  It’s a recipe book that encourages you to make colourful and vibrant food by encouraging you to put aloe in your smoothies, have sprouts as a kitchen staple,  and make edible flower salads that look like birthday confetti.  Who wouldn’t want to pick flowers and eat them too? 

I’ve enjoyed some great raw food dishes from this book made by friends who have created delicious versions of the Mango-gooseberry cheesecake and savoury snacks. The Rawlicious team, Lexi, Beryn and Peter, have put together a beautiful book that makes it fun and intriguing to incorporate raw dishes into your daily graze.  I don’t think I’ll ever substitute pancakes on the griddle for dehydrated ones but I most definitely will enjoy the creativity that goes into making other raw food dishes.  It’s a proudly South African Raw Recipe book that even attempts biltong in the form of aubergine. Props to that! I most definitely am going to try it out and attempt the beetroot ravioli too. I love having a recipe book that experiments with all the possibilities that food in it’s natural element has to offer.  Stay tuned for some posts on making these raw recipes come alive in true culinary linguistic style.

Raw Food on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Do you have any great raw recipes to share?  I’d love to hear your tips, post your links, methods, and pics right here. The food pictures posted are from home gardens in my paternal grandmother’s village, Alepohori, Greece in the Peloponnese.  A place where radiant health is determined by the food you grow and the food you eat.

Raw Food on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Pomegranates for Breakfast

In Stories on June 8, 2011 at 00:31

ruby juice star sign

If theres one thing I like about winter its the fact that pomegranates are readily available to my tastebud’s needs.  If I had to make up a fast or some sort of ‘cleanse detox’ sort of regime it would be to eat pomegranates for breakfast lunch and dinner and in this ‘detox,’ we would have pomegranate desert.

So here I am on my balcony on a mild Cape Town winter afternoon and opening up a ripe red pomegranate with just the right amount of juicy ruby kernels. This moment could be the equivalent to someone lighting up with delight as they see a rainbow or a pair of zebra in the distance.  Me, I’m easy, yeah a rainbow and zebras are cool but send me a crate of pomegranates for my birthday and my heart beats with happiness forever-but ripe ones please (don’t torture me).

Another great idea: People! Let’s line our streets with fruit trees, not oak and maple!  And if your in my hood then I’ll be there with my pomegranate seeds planting new trees every year on every corner.  Until then, I wait until the pomegranates are at the height of their season and are on sale at my nearest market so I can afford to buy about 10 at a time cause my fruit basket only wants pomegranates in winter.  I feel I am doing my Greek girl duty to delight myself on such a Mediterranean activity of eating pomegranates everyday, an anciently-respected sweet beautiful treasure.

edible masterpiece

Each individual morsel is a fantastical taste bud circus, it beats housing a packet of Starburst or a bag of Skittles, which I could devour with almost the same delight.  Eating a pomegranate stains your lips and mouth the same as it’s artificial fruit posers.  So maybe that’s why i love pomegranates so much, as my South African compadres always remind me “Only American’s really LOVE candy”.  So if that’s the case we are arguing, then yes, pomegranates are my natural candy treat.  Every pomegranate is like opening up a variety pack of flavours, each segment being unwrapped and devoured to maximize full flavour capacity and the best part is it’s packaging gets enjoyed by the worms.

So go buy your own packet of “Ruby Juice Bursts!’ (That’s what I would call them if I had to market them like candy.) And now that pomegranates are synonymous with candy, will we start giving pomegranates out to trick-or-treaters for Halloween? Well, hopefully in coming years, kids of all ages, including me, can go pick them their selves at their nearest street corner lined with Ruby Juice Burst Trees.  I’ll take Granada flavour please.

Homemade Chocolate in a Jar

In Recipe, Stories on February 14, 2011 at 13:43

 

The source of love in chocolate

Breakfast on Valentine’s day involved me, a spoon and my Love Source jar. This chocolate is goddessa concoction of coconut oil, cacao, agave syrup and vanilla pod with niblets of an orange essence. It’s from the ladies of I Heart Life Outside The Box where poetry and chocolate unite  just in time for Valentine’s Day. This is definitely a fine example of food language love. Viva homemade superfood chocolate! Happy Valentine’s Day with wishes and kisses from a lover of Love Source.

 

Fresh Fruit Smoothie (Batida)

In Recipe on November 19, 2010 at 23:52

 

Strawberry Pineapple Apple Batida

An apple a day plus some other amazing ingredients will definitely keep el doctor away.   I am self-medicating with an abundance of fruits in season.  In my own kitchen I took the fruits in season in South Africa with some inspiration from the beloved country, Brazil, and I blended the fruit together to make an awesome fruit smoothie (batida). Papaya and orange are an amazing combination but anything fresh will go down easily.  I added baobab fruit powder for some calcium, bee pollen and honey for medicinal and sugar-energy purposes.  If breakfast can be made as a preventative medicinal meal with essential vitamins and antioxidants, than you can be sure to maintain a healthy immune system during the change of seasons with this batida.

 

How to make a batida:

1 apple

half cup fresh peeled pineapple

4 frozen strawberries

tablespoon honey

teaspoon bee pollen

tablespoon baobab fruit powder

4 ice cubes

1 cup water

 

Cut the apple into quarters and the pineapple and place in a blender.  Then add all the remaining ingredients and blend into a smooth consistency.  Garnish with some fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice on top. Drink right away, and if the contents start separating, just stir it with a spoon.

 

Refreshing Breakfast Appetizer 🙂

 

Tip 1: If you have made too much, then freeze the rest of your smoothie into an ice cube tray and add cubes at different times to any blended fruit mix or cocktail in the future.

 

Tip 2: Consider this batida to be a mixer for a delicious spiked punch.

 

Morning Power Smoothie with Baobab Fruit Powder

In Recipe on September 8, 2010 at 16:05

A morning smoothie that uses super-powered natural foods to the best of their ability. You’ll consider fruit and nut gathering as a hobby after making this potion.

Baobab Smoothie on The Culinary Linguist Blog #smoothie

Ingredientes:

1 cup Oats (ground)

2 cups water/tea

1 TB wheatgrass

2 tsp Maca

2 TB flax powder

1 TB hemp powder

1 TB baobab fruit powder

1 TB unheated honey

1/2 TB coconut oil

10 almonds

4 medium sized pitted dates

2 frozen bananas

Garnish: Raw Bee Pollen, Cacao

The story:

The Coffi Thermoazzo.  I bought the saucy little number at a China Shop in Kalk Bay.  I loved the look of it, the old 50’s candy red and white, it was only R25 and it still worked eagerly.  Now it is my most prized appliance to assist in the random grind of the kitchen.  It barely grinds coffee beans these days though, but can grind and finely dice many other things.

This is what is it used for in the morning potion:

-Grind a cup of Oats.  Grinding a cup of oats is an easier and fresher way to give your smoothie a dairy-free base. Instead of adding two cups of water to the base I sometimes add cooled green or rooibos tea for extra bonus anti-oxidants  rather than just plain ol’ agua.

Next, adding all these powders, proteins, grains and nuts completes this potion into a full vitamin meal.  Your morning potion will naturally sustain your energy through the first quarter of your day.

Why the potion is so deliciously fine?

Baobab Fruit Powder: The baobab tree found in Southern Africa is pure magic. So being able to have access to it as a local product makes my heart sing louder. The powder forms naturally inside the fruit. It’s rich in anti-oxidants (said to be more than double compared to cranberries and pomegranates, and three more times than blueberries). It contains pectin, which enhances the prebiotic bacteria in the large intestine, similar to what homemade yoghurt does for the body.  Plus its a source of iron, potassium, magnesium which promote a healthy body PH.  The main thing for all non-dairy or low-dairy eating habits: Baobab contains higher levels of calcium than milk and far easier to absorb and digest.  I apologise in advanced if you don’t live in Southern Africa and may not have access to the fruit of the African Baobab, but if somehow you want or need a care package, let me know:)

Hemp Seed Powder: No they don’t contain THC, and yes this seed is highly misunderstood. Yet, let’s get over that and focus on the bonus features.  Hemp seed contains all 10 essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.  Proteins found in hemp seed manufacture antibodies and support liver and kidney health. The fiber in hemp seed keeps colon health in check and overall its a great aid muscle building and energy booster.

Maca: It comes from the Andes, super expensivo here, but nonetheless it was worth trying once and it lasts a long while. Its a root which always harbours fine minerals and vitamins that lead to overall health benefits than defaults.  Plus, its a natural aphrodisiac.   It balances hormones and increases energy, endurance and strength.  The legend is Inca warriors used to eat Maca before going into battle.  Well, why not put this in your morning potion?

Virgin Coconut Oil: a spoonful of this stuff is medicine! Virgin means it hasn’t been heated which means all the goodness hasn’t been lost due to heat.  Coconut oil does goodness outside and inside the body, so don’t worry about the saturated fats it has cause all the acids like lauric acid prevents high cholesterol and blood pressure. There is so much going on when you enjoy coconut oil, I suggest your do research to convince yourself and enjoy it inside and out! And if you don’t end up using it for recipes, your epidermeris layer will appreciate it.

Almonds: the lovely wonder nut. Nuts are high in essential fats and protein giving you energy, supplying your body with fiber and good doses of Vit E, plus it gives your  smoothie a crunch.

Dates: The sweet taffy of the palm. My favorite is when the processor doesn’t quite chop everything fine and I get a big chunk of the chewy date at the end of the smoothie. YUM!

Bee Pollen: New to this, but am loving it.  I feel like a   wannabe bumble bee or hummingbird, reaping all the benefits of flowers.  Do people harvest flower nectar? hmmm, anyway, more research to be done about pollen but the health benefits are convincing and the taste is scrumptious.

Unheated Honey: I love honey so much I just checked out a book on how to be an apiarist in southern Africa.  Unheated honey is used to get the maximum goodness from what honey provides.  Honey is used as a natural energy boost. And if I were to rewrite Mary Poppins, it would be just a spoonful of honey, makes the medicine go down.

Bananas: The potassium, the vitamins oh my.  Peel them when they’re brown, freeze them, and there you go: instant frozen smoothie elements that all frozen delicousness.

Cacao: An excuse to make this potion more like a dessert for breakfast? Natural boost of energy and anti depressant, pus a good natural appetite suppressant. No

Wheat Grass: because it’s green it must be healthy?  Well if you put too much your smoothie will taste straight up like you chowed a piece of lawn in solidarity of free-range cows.  So Go easy with this. I used a powder which seems to be very potent. I’d rather be chopping it from a wheat grass tray but I’m not speaking that green thumb kitchen garden language fluently yet. It’s the colour of Ninja Turtle ooze without the toxic waste.  Overall, wheat grass assists in overall gastrointestinal health.  The chlorophyll is a potent antioxidant, assists in anti-inflammatory, antibacterial red blood cell boosting.

So the list of what all these positive elements give is enough to say yes to this green morning potion.  At least for me, I will happily guzzle this a few times a week when I’ve got those frozen bananas around.

Maybe you can’t stand banana and used more frozen dates, or strawberries. Please share other elements or flavours you substituted with the ingredients.  Would love to learn!

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