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Smelly cheese? 

2 Jun

Let’s make some cheese … cashew nuts cheese of course!

There’s a new fancy restaurant in downtown Miami and they are all about plants.
They also give cooking classes … I don’t really care about cooking classes but when my friends started talking about cheese made with cashew nuts … I was in!

Timing and pricing was not easy to match so I decided to surf the web and I found lots of recipes, hop on Amazon and boom the ingredients were delivered in no time …

I’m ready to experiment the cashew nuts cheese.

My Amazon list is the following

The rest of the shopping list you should have home,

  • 1/4 cup water, adjust for the consistence you like
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice,
  • 1 teaspoon salt,
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder,
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder,

This is what you need for the plain no added-flavor cashew nuts cheese.

I decided to make it with a hint of sesame taste so I added

Let’s hit the kitchen and try to make some cheese …

The cashew nuts were soaked last night, let’s drain it and pour it all in my trusteed Nutribullet and blend it together with all the ingredients from the list above.

It’s doesn’t look like cheese … it’s more a spread … an healthy spread (I like it crunchy, so I leave some cashew crumbs).

You can regulate the thickness of the spread by adding more water.

It’s great on soft tacos, with nachos or on bread!

It’s so easy to make and I love it. I’ll start exploring different seasonings for different tastes …

PS: I’m not turning vegan, nor gluten free I still love my jerky … but this is a great and healthy recipe.

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Chia amigos

27 Jun

You know my love for the chia seeds, it’s an healthy little seed that I like to eat for breakfast every morning.
I met some weeks ago Lina, proud entrepreneur and also founder of Chia Ballz, a local company that you can find at the farmers markets in Miami and Fort Lauderdale (good news if you are not around, they also ship nationwide).

Let’s discuss with Lina so she can introduce us to the ChiaBallz world.

Why chia seeds?
I was brought up eating healthy food and my mom used chia a lot. When I started using it, I found out that chia was a super food that did not change the flavor of any of my recipies both sweet or salty. 

How did you start ChiaBallz?
That it is a bit of a long funny story. I needed some extra cash so I went to sell my clay pendants at farmers markets.

In my booth I had complementary Chia balls for the people that would purchase or stop by my booth.

People would taste my Chia balls and they would place an order for balls for the next weekend.

Every week I would sell more Chia balls then clay pendants. And so the journey began.

What’s on ChiaBallz menu?

  • The chia balls, are made with chia seeds, almond butter, honey cranberry, coconut and orange.
  • The chia chocolate (chiacolate), chia seeds, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and semi sweet organic cacao. It is vegan and gluten-free.
  • The chia parfait is made of  chia pudding with almond milk, coconut cream, fresh fruits (banana, strawberry, blueberries and crumbs of chiacolate). The parfait is Vegan, gluten free, dairy free. I created it because I wanted a breakfast that tasted like a desert for my boys. The parfait is a desert that you eat and don’t feel guilty about, in fact, It’s the total opposite . When you eat it you feel good and at the same time you satisfied your sweet tooth. 

Can you walk us through the healthy side of ChiaBallz?
All the products of Chia Ballz are healthy treats, they are packed with power. My motto is “food that is healthy and yet you don’t have to sacrifice the taste.”

Eating should be a fun activity that should not require the sacrifice of taste or health.

Most of us love ice cream and whip cream and chocolate and cookies and sweets and desserts. But we stay away from them because we know that most of the products out there are unhealthy and have a lot of preservatives and processed sugars and just ingredients that are not good for our body. I always have loved food and enjoy a delicious bite. With chia I combined both worlds … tasty and healthy.

Chia is such a healthy seed, it has been around for thousands of years. It’s a seed that contains a minerals vitamins m, high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium … it has so many benefits to the body.

Chia helps digestion, gives you sustained energy, it helps a person that has sugar problems, it is brain food , heart food, it helps the muscles repair after a workout. These are a few of the benefits.

Who is the ChiaBallz team?
This is a family business.
My two boys, my brother and his wife and myself make up the ChiaBallz team.

How do you spread ChiaBallz love in south Florida
We do numerous farmers markets and events.
There are some juice bars that carry our products but the main place are farmers markets and special events. (gyms, sport events, holiday events etc.)

We ship the Ballz and the chiacolate nationwide. Best way is to place your order in chiaballz.com but you can always call me or email me and I would take your order personally .
Where can we find you?
Farmers markets in Dade and Broward (Miami area). The list of the markets are on the webpage chiaballz.com or you can follow us on IG @chiaballz or Facebook @chiaBallz. I post every market or event on our social media. I post constantly to make sure our chia amigos know where we are and when.

Another benefit of following us on social media is that we started going live at least once a week and we show you the fun activities that we get our selves into. I promise at least a chuckle from the videos.

Thank you Chia Amigos and may the Ballz be with you.

Sweet spot

17 Jan

I have a sweet spot for chocolate because I’m from Belgium and that’s where we invented the French frites, the Belgian waffles, the mussels and the chocolate …

In France, I never found a chocolate bar which was worth the calories … So I was importing my chocolate from Belgium every time I went back home …

Recently, I was introduced to this little brand called Claudio Corallo, the name of a little producer of cocoa beans in Africa (São Tomé island) and it was a revelation.

Nothing looks more like a chocolate bar than another chocolate bar, so you thought!  So, I contacted Claudio Corallo and asked him some key questions that we, chocolate lovers, have on the tip of our tongue …

Meet Claudio, a little producer of great chocolate who cultivates with love its cocoa beans to make the best cocoa peebles in the world!

What’s a good chocolate? How can we see the difference with “regular” chocolate?

To cultivate and transform chocolate and coffee is my job since very long time. Especially in the world of chocolate I often noted a kind of fogginess, a lack of transparency that benefits to some but certainly not the consumer who actually does not really know what he is buying.

 Moreover, the nomenclatures and standards are built in a way that blurs the situation, and once again especially the consumer. For example, a 100% can be 100% white chocolate, but white chocolate does not contain one single gram of chocolate. You see?

 So lets specify that from here on we only speak about 100% cacao + sugar + eventually some cacao butter. Only this is chocolate. The rest is confectionary or chocolate-based cake.

 Here are some questions of common sense that, as an agronomist, I’d like to suggest you:

  • Is it possible to produce great chocolate with mediocre cocoa beans?
  • Have you ever tasted and compared different roasted and peeled cocoa beans?
  • Do you know what is and how tastes a pure 100%, meaning a 100% produced only from roasted, peeled and crushed cocoa beans, without adding or removing anything?

What’s the best chocolate?

The best way to understand the quality of chocolate is to do a very simple test: try chocolate diluted in water.

The water will amplify the qualities and defaults. It helps a lot in the understanding of the product and you can do it with any chocolate.

How to proceed:

  • Take 100g of 75% Chocolate
  • Break it into smaller pieces
  • Pour 250g of boiling water over it
  • Toss the mixture with a fork
  • When the chocolate is all melted, make it uniform with a hand blender

Taste-it, and you’ll see if you like it

How can a good chocolate contribute to a good health? 

There has been some serious research done regarding chocolate and it’s influence on health. I suggest reading these two articles (magazine Aqua, October 2007, in Italian) & (Reasearch study published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine, in English) for a better and more serious understanding of the subject (read the article in the Nederlands Journal of Medecine).

How should we eat chocolate to enjoy it the best? 

I think that the best way to understand a natural product, may it be chocolate, olive oil, wine or whatsoever, is to empty your thoughts, to expect unexpected flavours, to take time to feel and enjoy and not to stop the tasting at the first impression on the palate, often treacherous.

Let behind you the very misleading influence of marketing and advertising that only aim to influence your opinion. Make up your own one. 

How should chocolate be stored to keep its freshness and great taste?

In general, always keep the chocolate in a temperate and dry place (but not in the fridge). This is the best way to preserve your chocolate for a longer period.

Regarding our chocolate, I always have a small stock of chocolate, which rarely stays longer than two months, in my house on the Terreiro Velho plantation on Principe Island. The average temperature there is 27°C (tropical climate) and humidity is quite high, therefore our chocolate keeps an ideal texture.

 

Now we know what chocolate with a big C should be, the world of sweetness will never be the same anymore. Thanks Claudio for this interesting discussion.

After some tastings, my favorite is the 100% and also the roasted cocoa beans!!

More about Claudio Corallo and his chocolate

Chasing the tiger nuts in Paris

3 Dec

La Noix Tigree goes to Paris!
Great news for those of us living in Paris, the tiger nuts comes to town!!!

You already know everything about the tiger nuts right?

Let’s give you a quick tour just to be sure you have the basics.
The tiger nut grows in the ground and looks like weird little nuts.
They are usually pressed and drunk in Valencia, Spain and it’s then called Horchata de Chufa.

Celine, the owner and founder of La Noix Tigree, decided it was time for Celine, owner and founder of La Noix TigreeParis to wake up at the sound of this delicious and healthy nut (root)!

We met Celine and had an interesting and healthy chat about this healthy nut which is not even a nut!

1/ How did you discover the tiger nuts?
I was living in Montpellier as a teenager and I’ve been to Barcelona from time to time where I discovered the spanished valencian version of the tiger nut milk called Horchata de Chufa . Since then I’ve been trying to find it in France.

2/ Why the tiger nuts? 
They are so good and so healthy at the same time. I don’t understand why we can’t find them more easily here!

They are also called earth almonds, which explains a lot of their aspects: the taste goes between almond and chestnut, ther skin is thicker than the almond’s and you can eat the whole root.

Actually tiger nuts are not nuts, they are tubers like potatoes!

3/ Describe us the process of production? 
Like an almond milk I soak the tiger nuts, then I mix them with mineral water and I filter them.

That is for the plain flavor that I am using as a basis for all the other flavors.

Then depending on the flavor, I can add cold pressed fresh fruit juices (for the carott & ginger for instance) or powder (for the Matcha version).

Everything is cold except the Chai tea for which I infuse the tea separately in hot water and I make it cooler before adding it to the plain version.

You are going for cold pressed, why?  What are the benefits of cold press? 
La Noix Tigrée drinks are cold pressed and handmade because tiger nut milk is delicate and quite unstable while you heat it. There is no hot process yet that can keep the flavor and the quality of the milk.

The cold pressed process keeps all the nutriments that will benefit to your health.

4/ Can you introduce us to your products?
La Noix Tigrée (pronounced La Noa Teagrey) products are a wide range of organic sugar free tiger nut milk drinks which goes from plain to Golden milk – Curcuma flavor.

Tiger nut is the root of the Cyperus Esculentus plant that grows in south of Spain and west Africa.

It is well appreciated for its fibers, unsaturated fat, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin E contents

All the ingredients are organic and I don’t add any sugar or dates, the tiger nut I am using is naturally sweetened.

The drinks are raw and healthy, very good for people who are dairy intolerant and their fibers make them very easy to digest.

I love drinking it before and after practising sport because it gives me a lot of energy without giving me the impression that I am heavy. And it lasts because there is no sugar added. It’s a good way to rehydrate yourself. The Baobab version will bring extra calcium and vitamin C, the spirulina version will bring extra vegetable proteins…Everybody can find a flavor that suits him!

5/ Where can we find you?
Now on La Noix Tigrée facebook page or La Noix Tigrée on Instagram.

Very soon, I’ll open an e-shop and La Noix Tigrée will be available at different partners boutiques in Paris like detox restaurants, fitness studios, …

I am starting with Paris and I have the project to deliver the whole France very soon!

Celine organises tiger nuts tastings in Paris. If you want your colleagues, friends, customers to discover tiger nuts don’t hesitate to contact Céline.

I love granola!

23 Nov

my granola I never ate granola before January 2015 when I discovered 1111granola in melbourne. It was so good that my stock lasted less than a month. Then I started to hunt granola in Parisian supermarkets but never found the right one (in France, we have mostly muesli not granola and it’s not the same). So I bought it abroad while traveling.

My colleague, who studied at UCLA, told me it was super easy to cook and dared me to try …

I’m good at eating but not really at cooking … so I gave it a try!

The last granola I ate was peanut butter and nuts so let’s go for homemade peanut butter and nuts ganola.

I found a super easy recipe and try to gather the ingredients.

Here’s the list:

  • Peanut butter, 1/2 cup
  • Maple syrup, 1/2 cup
  • Oatmeal, 4 cups
  • Cinnamon powder, 2 tiny pinches
  • Mix of nuts, 3 handfuls
  • Raisins, whatever you want

And the instructions are easy to follow (even for me),

  • Mix the peanut butter and maple syrup and put it for 30 seconds in the microwave
  • Stir and make a beautiful paste
  • Pour the oatmeal and stir to make it homogeneous
  • Put the cinnamon powder in and stir
  • Put the nuts in and stir

… Basically if you can stir, you will make it!

my granola

DON’T put the raisins in, don’t or they will dry, get black and basically melt and burned … and we don’t want that … I did during my first attempt so I prefer to share the info before you try it too …

  • Preheat the oven to 210C/410F
  • Spread the mix on waxed paper … I don’t have any so I put it in my silicone baking pan in the shape of a star …
  • Then when the oven is ready, turn down the heat to 180C/156F and let it cook  for 12 minutes.

And here it is! I have a full week stock of granola read to dive in my chia pudding every morning !!

If I can do it, so can you!

Chase It, the Show! Episode 2, all about chia seeds!

5 Nov

ChaseIt_BC_rectoThanks for coming back to Chase It, the Show episode 2!

In this episode, I’ll walk you through the mystery of chia seeds from the seeds and its superpower, to recipe from a world well-known pastry chef to health info from our in-house doctor.

Thank you

  • @pierrickboyer, the famous pastry chef from Melbourne, for your great chia pudding recipe
  • JB from @espconsulting13, for your healthy comments
  • Philippe Swan for the great music

and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel

Follow the trail

9 Mar

chia pudding on the left and granola on the rightI love trail mix. It’s an easy way to eat healthy food as a snack.
Recently I discovered the granola and its a revelation.
I though granola was not for me because the oat (it didn’t look good to me, not sweet enough for me … Whatever).
Then, my best friend in Melbourne introduced me to the 1111Granola. I though this could be the new best friend of my breakfast and go along like horse and carriage with my chia pudding.
The 1111Granola is made home made with love by the owner Rob Rabba.

my bff for the breakfast Mango and granola soy cherry yaourt topped with chia seeds and granola

2 varieties are available so far Macadamia & Cranberries as well as Puffed Quinoa & Macadamia.
I’m a fan of the Macadamia & Cranberries, a mixture of macadamia nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Blended carefully with dried dates, cranberries and apricots. Our gourmet mix is coated with natural honey and spiced with cinnamon.
The Puffed Quinoa & Macadamia is Gluten Free with puffed quinoa, rice puffs and rice flakes, mixed with macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, blended with dried dates, cranberries and apricots. It’s is coated with natural honey and spiced with Cinnamon.

Did you know that granola is NOT muesli, granola is baked until crisp and sweetened unlike muesli! So now, we know the difference.

More info
. Official 1111granola website
. Follow @1111granola
. Instagram 1111granola

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