Well, hello there!
You caught me in the act.
Not that act, Dirty Things. That was earlier.
I was just in the middle of obsessively checking the L.A. apartment listings, as I do on a daily basis. It has become a favorite pastime.
Only those bedecked with balconies will do.
And a courtyard.
And a pool.
Mind you, I don’t even swim in pools. I avoid chlorine like the plague.
But I love to lounge beside them.
See the redhead in the Bond-girl bikini, oversized hat, and a pitcher of homemade sangria, blissfully doing nothing? That would be me.
And so, I day dream about my balcony.
(For the record, I’m not delusional. I’m creating my future space.)
I imagine low benches covered in Turkish cushions and plush pillows. Palm trees in Moroccan pots being delicately tickled by the breeze. Colorful glass lanterns reflecting cosmic light. Homemade incense spiraling upwards to the stars, releasing whispered plans...
A nest worthy of a great dragon. One with exotic tastes.
And I must have sunflowers. They remind me of Spain.
(Your ladyfriend here was up at 3am maniacally scanning the internet for "drought resistant sunflower container garden care." After an hour of sleepyhead searching, I'm still not sure it exists. But if it does, I'm gonna find it.)
Giant happy faces I just want to kiss.
I want them surrounding me, in terra cotta pots.
Releasing their darling seeds to the ground in a sweet exhale of abundance.
And what a superfood!
I sang the praises of sunflower seeds recently, and have been playing with them quite a bit as a source of nutrition and a pleasurable nut-free alternative to vegan sauces. I'm so glad you all loved my Sunshine Noodles!
I've conjured up a new delight for you: a creamy vegan yogurt with delicate flavors, layered with a fruit pureé and lightly touched with a sensual surprise...
This recipe easily makes 6 servings, and keeps three days in the refrigerator.
For the Yogurt:
- 1 C raw cashews
- 1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
- 2 C coconut water
- 1 tsp white miso paste
- 3-6 drops Wild Orange essential oil
- 1/2 C pitted organic dates
- 1 Tbsp ground organic cinnamon
- Stevia, to taste (optional)
For the Fruit Pureé:
- 1 C frozen or fresh organic mango flesh
- 1 tsp raw coconut nectar, or stevia to taste
- 1 Tbsp orange flower water
Begin, my Loves, by creating the yogurt. Grind the cashews and the sunflower seeds into a fine powder, using a coffee grinder, food processor, or NutriBullet blender. The trick is to get it to a powdery texture. (My food processor is on its way out, so mine was kind of on the crumbly side. It still tastes out of this world, but I would have liked an ultra-smooth texture.) Once you have it super fine, transfer it to a high-speed blender, an add in one cup of the coconut water. Blend it until you get a thick mixture. Now add in the remaining cup of coconut water, the dates, miso, and cinnamon. Blend it on high until it looks creamy and well mingled.
Taste it. The dates should make it sweet enough, but add some stevia if you like. You could start with, say, 1 tsp powdered stevia or 1 dropper of liquid, and go from there. Either way, you're on a low glycemic, healthy sweet, so enjoy it!
Now add the Wild Orange for that extra touch of magic, stir, cover it with a cloth, and let it rest on the counter top for 3 hours. I know you're saying, "Whaaat? Miso! In yogurt? Gross!" but, Beasties, trust me, you don't taste it at all. It's there to allow the yogurt to culture. Just relax and let it do its thing.
I know miso can be pricey, but if you are willing, it actually has many uses, from delicious soups onward, and it keeps quite a while in the fridge, so you don't have to panic about using it all at once. Adding fermented foods to your repertoire is brilliant for your belly, because they provide the body with probiotics aka beneficial bacteria. These bacteria, when ingested, populate the intestinal tract and begin to interact with the body in a good way by training the immune system, manufacturing vitamins and keeping scheming, opportunistic bacteria away from your precious self. So it's not just me telling you to eat bizarre things. There is a point to all this.
Plus, I'll have a wildly sexy recipe for you in the next couple of weeks using that same white miso, so stay close...
On to the Fruit Pureé: Just blend the three ingredients together. That's it! If you're using frozen fruit, let it thaw first, otherwise the icy goodness will get way too melty way too quickly, and your Parfait will be a slurpy mess.
When the yogurt is finished its divine transformation, check the consistency. It should be thick and creamy, but, if you find it too watery somehow, just cover it in cheesecloth, rubber band the top, turn it upside down into a bowl, and stick it in the refrigerator for about an hour. This will drain any extra liquids.
Find a gorgeous glass and layer the lusciousness. Mmmm!
This is a basic blend that works really well, but don't stop here! Use this recipe as a template for exploring all kinds of flavors: Try a spiced vanilla version, add Lemon or Lime oil in place of the Wild Orange, play with cacao, different fruit blends, anything that excites you!
You have a fabulous treat here. It's both light and filling, easy to digest, energy-boosting, beautifying, and crazy delicious. The orange flower water really puts it over the top, with a depth of sensuality that must be experienced.
I haven't toyed will a seed-only version yet, but if you are allergic to nuts, by all means, give it a whirl around the dance floor. Use your creativity, and your inner Kitchen Witch will meet you there. Promise.
Now, won't you join me on my balcony?
and there's a very good chance I'm not wearing anything.
Tell me what YOU daydream about.
I can't wait to hear.