Friday, November 9, 2012

Sea Salt and Other DIY Health-Store Goodies


Sometimes things are just better when you make them fresh. Yes, sea salt is sodium chloride - just like table salt; and maybe the trace minerals in salts don't amount to much in the quantities we consume. Maybe sea salt tastes better; maybe it's less-processed; maybe it has better 'mouth-feel'. People argue both ways. 

You know what? I don't really care. I like the idea that I can find myself a clean, unpolluted patch of ocean somewhere, collect some salty-slush or seawater, and make my own salt. With whatever pure, mineral goodness happens to exist in that stretch of blue.

But salt's just the beginning. There are a lot of 'health-store' goodies to be made - salts and sprinkles, chips and nutmilks. Stuff to enhance flavours and make a girl feel pretty damn industrious. Even if she's pulling stuff out of the archives.

Moral of the weekend?
Seek salt.
Amanda xx

1. Sea salt
Find a pristine stretch of ocean; collect sea water or slushy salt that's started to dry out in sunny rocky crevices; follow Ashley's recipe: lots of boiling, lots of straining, but lots of fun. Use for everything. I *have* actually done this. I just don't have pictures for you. Sorry.

Dry-toast sesame seeds {+ optional 2-3 Tbs pumpkin seeds} in a skillet over med heat until nicely browned. Grind with a few pinches of sea salt in a spice grinder, until finely powdered. Use on stir fries, plain rice, pasta - or anywhere you want a non-oily sesame flavour without losing all your seeds to the bottom of the pan. My original post is here.

I don't particularly like kale chips, but I do like kale ... and I know it's a kick-ass superfood, so my compromise is to buy lots of fresh organic kale at the market to make this sprinkle. I sprinkle it on salads, buttered pasta or rice, in soups, or whereever I feel the need for a dash of green. It's easy - just wash, dry, oil, bake, and crumble. My original post is here.

'Activating' nuts just means you soak them to remove some of the enzyme inhibitors; then you can eat them plump and soft, or you can {gently} re-dry them. I prefer the latter. Soak the nuts overnight {more or less, depending on the type}, then dry them with a clean tea towel and spread them across a baking tray. Bake in a low-temp oven for 6-24 hrs till dry and crisp-like. My original post is here.

5. Nut milk
While we're on the topic of nuts ... all you have to do to make amazing nut milk is add water and blend. Seriously. My favourite is cashew milk - made with equal portions toasted {but not salted} cashews and water, blended in a good-quality blender. I've used it for smoothies, soups, pancakes and ice cream - and if you want a real treat, cut down on the amount of water and you'll have cashew cream, a perfect companion for pumpkin pie. My original post is here.

6. Powdered zest
Last but not least, the sprinkles you've been waiting for. And if you haven't? It's because you didn't know they existed. This is how you honour thy citrus - by using every part of it, including the peel. Just under the surface is where all those fragrant oils reside, anyway. You don't want to waste them! Simply wash and dry your citrus; peel off the skins, trying to avoid any of the bitter white pith; dry out the peels in a warm oven {~60C | 120F} until they're crisp; grind them into a fine powder in a spice grinder. Store the powder in your cupboard for those 'doh' moments when you have a house full of hungry guacamole-seekers and not a lime in sight. Or to finish off a pasta dish. Or for vanilla ice cream. The world is truly your zest. My original post is here.


2 comments:

thoroughlynourishedlife.com said... [Reply to comment]

I love the idea of making my own fundamentals from scratch. There was a great feature on 'The Splendid Table' podcast about a man who makes his own sea salt in Mendocino. (http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/listings/120218/) very fascinating article really.
The activated nuts sound delicious, and I do have a bag of almonds sitting on my kitchen counter...

playswithfood27.com said... [Reply to comment]

It always feels like magic when salt still exists at the bottom of the boiled out pot, doesn't it?

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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