It’s two weeks now that I am at my new-home-for-three-month in France, crossing the border to work in Switzerland every day. I could tell you that I still haven’t had the time to buy the essential ingredients to start getting creative with new recipes. Or that I’ve been extremely busy at my new working place. Or that the long way to work takes so much time, that it has been impossible until now to come up with a new post. But the truth is, I’ve been making many excursions to the supermarket and health food store, carrying my huge backpack full of ingredients home. Actually, as the kitchen is still partly under construction, I’ve been filling up all of the little pantry space with my stuff. The fridge is also really small while electricity is still provisional, so that putting things into it and taking things out is like playing tetris. I’m now becoming good at it and starting to have some fun rearranging everything in the most convenient way all the time.
Work is nice, I’m getting to know the people, and a good thing about such a big group is that there are many interesting activities going on, such as talks by invited speakers, workshops and classes in programming for example. Still, I’m just starting, and have not been as busy as I usually am in Barcelona. Going to work really takes quite a while, I’m still figuring out the best options. First I took the straightest way with the bike, even though it was a rather rainy day and I promptly got rewarded for this not so great idea by slipping away and falling when entering Geneva. I didn’t fell too bad and the cars behind could stop, but I think I still broke a rib, and now I can’t go running anymore (fortunately cycling is no problem). Also, the shortest way is taking a wide road with lots of traffic, a noisy, toxic and stressful experience. I then switched to do only the nicer part with the bike followed by a ride in the tram and finally walk for a while, which is more comfortable, but takes longer (1,5h). So now I’m experimenting with going by bike again, taking some beautiful and much quieter streets across the countryside, passing Geneva’s lake on the way (soon, when it’ll be a little warmer, I speculate on having a quick swim before going to work!).
The real reason for taking so long with this post however, is that I have been cooking and even shooting the dishes I was making for the blog, but the recipes didn’t pass the awesomeness-test lately. They were okay, but not great. I’ve made a promising pea-quiche for example, but it turned out a little dry. I would have experimented with an improved recipe, but I had made so much of it the first time, that at least for a while, nobody (including me) wanted more pea-quiche. It’s disappointing when that happens, cooking dishes that are just not really convincing. Especially when it happens repeatedly.
But here, finally, comes a good one. The MANGHURT. It’s kind of a vegan yoghurt with mango or a vegan mango-lassi, but apart from being dairy free it has a more complex, more interesting flavour and is less sweet than a typical mango-lassi. Plus, the ingredients are much healthier. It contains turmeric, which is a great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as a detoxifier (by increasing bile flow, the way of the liver to cleanse from toxins). Just a tiny pinch of black pepper is added because it increases the bioavailability of curcumin, the phytonutrient that makes turmeric such a powerful herb, by a thousand times. I also added some lucuma in powder, which has high amounts of many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc and calcium among others, but that is totally optional. It is one of these so called “super-foods” that are so fashionable lately. I’ve always thought that eating fresh and varied makes nutritional supplements superfluous, and there are even studies showing a detrimental effect of some dietary supplements. The case of the “superfoods” is different in the sense that they are natural foods, just very high in certain beneficial nutrients. Still, they are mostly rather expensive and not indispensable for a healthy diet. But, as you know, I love food and I’m always curious about trying new things. Apart, I knew lucuma yoghurt and natural ice creams from the year I spent in Chile and Peru, so it has some additional nostalgic value. The Manghurt has a creamy, yoghurt-like texture and is fruity with a subtle sourness. I topped it with some fresh raspberries, blueberries hemp seeds (another superfood!) and coconut flakes, but you could also have it by itself, add different fruits and/or granola, cacao nibs… or whatever your heart desires.
• 1 medium sized mango or 1 cup mango puree
• 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least a couple of hours or overnight
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds (or flaxseeds)
• 1-2 teaspoons turmeric (to taste)
• 2 tablespoons agave syrup
• 1 pinch of black pepper
• Juice of 1 orange
• Juice of 1 lemon or lime
• 3 tablespoons of water + more to taste
• 1 tablespoon lucuma (optional)
Start by grinding the chia seeds. Add 3 tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit for at least five minutes, until a very thick gel forms. Meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients in the food processor, blender or bowl. Add the chia gel and blend. If it is too thick, add more water (this will depend on the size and juiciness of the mango, orange and lemon). Easy, right?