The Beauty of Chocolate

Chocolate makes me smile! It’s just that simple. And when I am smiling the world is a better place. I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite poets and Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

One reason to smile is this delightful Pistachio Chocolate Mousse. The recipe below comes from Eric Lechasseur and Sanae Suzuki’s vegan macrobiotic cookbook Love, Eric & Sanae. When I prepare this mousse people think I’ve spent hours fussing to create it and that also brings a smile to my face. Both because they enjoy it and because it is truly a simple dessert to make.

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Pistachio Chocolate Mousse

Love,Eric  Sanae

Here’s the recipe:

24 ounces of silken firm tofu, well drained.

½ cup maple sugar

1 pinch sea salt

½ cup soy milk (unsweetened)

9 ounces grain-sweetened chocolate chips – semi sweet also works

½ cup ground pistachios

Combine maple sugar, tofu and sea salt in a food processor and process for approximately 5 minutes until creamy.

Combine soy milk and chocolate chips in a saucepan, heat at medium. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted than transfer to the food processor.

Add vanilla extract and continue to blend for a few minutes.

Add ½ cup pistachios and process until well combined.

Transfer mixture to glass or ceramic container and chill for a few hours.

Serve in individual serving bowls topped with crushed pistachios.

YUMMY!

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As you go along your path remember….

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Health, Peace and Brightest Blessing

Homemade Amasake

I could start this post with so many topics. The Presidential election this week could be one or the fact that some folks in New York and New Jersey are still without power after epic storm Sandy. I could share the progress I’m making in redesigning my kitchen…well not that one since each time I go back to the online design center I’m using the first floor of my house has been redone and I can no longer get to the upstairs. Clearly I need to get help on this remodel! You have likely heard enough about the other two topics so how about we change things up a bit.

I think the one topic I’m feeling pretty happy about is FOOD…good organic whole food in particular. Some of you might think that’s no fun. You may want sweet or comfort foods and don’t really care about healthy. Well what if you could have both? Seriously, I think I can share a dish that is really sweet and also healthy. It is made with just 3 ingredients and everyone can make it…it’s that easy. What… you ask is this dish? Amasake… I just love the name of this delightful dessert “Amasake” it has a musical ring to it. Try singing it to the tune of Fara Shaka and you’ll see what I mean. Amasake requires several hours to ferment so plan an afternoon or evening when you can be available to check on your process.

Homemade Amasake

4 cups organic sweet brown rice

6 cups spring water

½ cup Koji (we will talk a bit more about Koji promise)

1)      Wash the rice and soak it in the water overnight.

2)      Place rice and soaking water in a pressure cooker and bring the pot to pressure. You can do this in a regular pot as well just watch the rice closely to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the pressure cooker has reached pressure reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes.

3)      Remove from heat and allow pot to sit until the pressure is reduced naturally. Remove the lid and place the rice in a glass or stainless steel bowl.

4)      When the rice has cooled to a little warmer than body temperature mix the Koji into the rice.

5)      Put approximately 1 inch of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.

6)      Place the bowl of Sweet Rice and Koji into the larger simmering pot. Cover the bowl with a plate or lid. Allow the rice mixture to ferment in this warm environment for 4-6 hours. Check periodically and mix so the temperature is keep fairly even throughout the rice.

7)      Once the rice has become sufficiently fermented and has become very sweet, place the Amasake in a pot and bring it to a boil to prevent any further fermentation. If the Amasake continued to ferment it would turn sour.

8)      After the Amasake comes to a full rolling boil remove it from the heat to prevent burning. If you would like a smooth consistency place the Amasake in a blender and puree it.

9)      You and eat it plain or add fruit puree/juice to flavor it further. Amasake will keep for 6-10 days in the refrigerator. It also freezes well.

So there you have it…clean, simple and sweet!

Peace and Happy Cooking!

Here’s a photo of Amasake Plum Pudding with blanched almond and black sesame seed flower.  Photo taken by Marty…thank you Marty we love you!

Amasake Plum Pudding