These golden raw food bars are tangy and delicious, great to make in spring when fresh lemons are in abundance. You can also grow your own Turmeric if you have a warm spot to plant the root in! I made these bars from our first crop of Turmeric root which we grew in our green house simply by planting the fresh root from our organic store.
Turmeric root is a wonderful herb to support the liver and immunity, reducing inflammation and improving digestion. It has a slightly warming energy, making it suitable for those with a cold constitution but is also mild enough for more hot blood constitutions to enjoy it in moderation. It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine to strengthen digestion and purify the body, aiding arthritis, skin conditions, liver complaints and menstrual issues.
These raw food bars are zesty and delicious and store well in the fridge or freezer. The black pepper and healthy fat content enhances the absorption of one of the active ingredients of turmeric, known as curcumin.
Tumeric, Mango and Lemon Bars
Place dried mangoes and dates in a bowl and cover with the lemon juice to soften. Stir occasionally while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Place coconut and cashews in a food processor with a tightly fitting blade, turn on high and blend until forms a thick paste - this is coconut and cashew butter! Remove from blender and set aside.
Place turmeric root and soaked mangoes and dates into the food processor and blend to a pulp.
Add all the other ingredients including coconut and cashew butter and blend together.
Press into a tin lined with baking paper, chill to firm up and then slice into bar sizes as desired. Store in the fridge.
It's a beautiful thing to make delicious food as medicine from plants grown in your own garden. This traditional healing drink was made from our first crop of fresh Turmeric root grown in our greenhouse. Turmeric is a powerful food for supporting healthy immune response, enhancing digestion and liver function and reducing inflammation. This recipe makes a delicious, milky drink which is one of the traditional Ayurvedic ways of preparing this herb. Turmeric root can also be used in making sweet foods such as bliss balls or savoury dishes such as stews and curries. You can buy fresh Turmeric at whole food stores, vegetable stores and Indian grocery stores.
Ayurvedic Golden Milk
Place all ingredients apart from honey in a pot and simmer gently (do not boil) for 5 - 10mins. Place in a heat proof blender or use a blending stick to whizz mixture till creamy. Serve as it is, top with extra sprinkle of cinnamon and add honey if desired. Take care of surfaces as Turmeric can easily stain objects!
Nb: It is important to heat Turmeric gently when preparing as some of the active constituents are lost on high heating. This also prevents the milk splitting, especially if using milk alternatives.
Black pepper is needed for absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric. Fat is also required for absorption of curcumin, so if milk used is not high in fats, include some coconut oil or nut butter into preparation.
Have you ever found yourself frustrated at not being able to be as vibrant and healthy as you want to be, despite all your best efforts? Sometimes it can be helpful to dig deeper to identify any blocks that may be getting in the way of your natural state of well being. This video shares the powerful effects these obstacles can have on our body functioning, and how we can transform our wellness at this level. Case study shared with permission.
The wonderful, tasty and medicinal Nasturtium! Discover how to incorporate this wild edible into your life to support your immunity and well being.
Wood ear mushroom, Auricularia auricula-judae, is a wonderful wild food that can be hugely beneficial for our immunity. It is easy to find around the Taranaki region, growing on rotting trees in damp, shady areas. I love spending time foraging in the native bush on our property to harvest wood ear. Simply being in the bush has profound effects on our health, with the plant chemicals we breathe in being shown to lower stress, improve immunity and enhance heart health. Harvesting food and medicine from this healing place feels extra potent.
Wood ear mushroom is particularly therapeutic for our immunity. Studies have shown antibacterial effects as well as high levels of polyphenols, potent antioxidants that protect us from disease. Wood ear is also rich in prebiotics such as beta glucan, feeding our beneficial gut bacteria that are an important part of our immune defense. Wood ear has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to nourish the lungs and the blood. Modern research has shown it to be effective against cancer, and significantly improving heart health. Nutritionally, wood ear is rich in nutrients such as vitamin B5 which is important for our adrenal health and selenium, a valuable antioxidant mineral that supports good detoxification.
Preparing Wood Ear Mushroom
Wood ear has a jelly like, crunchy texture that works well in lots of dishes, including soups, stir fry's and salads. Neutral tasting in itself, wood ear or black fungus absorbs seasoning and can become a delicious part of your meal! If you can find it fresh, harvest the younger fungi as this is more tender.
To prepare, rinse and cut off the fibrous part where it was attached to the log. Cut into smaller pieces, cover with water and boil for ten minutes. Boiling the mushroom actually increases the antioxidant effects and kills off any bacteria that may be present. Drain and rinse. From here they are ready to add towards the end of a stir fry with a savoury sauce or soup. Add towards the end of cooking to preserve the crunchy texture. A stir fry sauce that works well with wood ear is 2 T tamari, 2 T rice wine, 2 t sesame oil, 1 tsp coconut sugar. Thicken the sauce with 2 t corn starch mixed with 1/4 C water. In the photo below I added it to our gluten and dairy free pizza's for some fusion cuisine! Delicious.
Whenever harvesting from the wild, be absolutely sure you can identify what you are harvesting to avoid poisoning! Fortunately wood ear mushroom is easily identified by it's ear like shape, and the other similar looking mushrooms are generally also edible. These include black fungus and cloud ear mushroom. You can also purchase these mushrooms in dried form at Asian food stores. Soak the dried mushroom in warm water for 30 mins before cooking.
ThetaHealer, Naturopath, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Wholefood Cook and Mother.