Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's Not Fair!

Recipe: Frozen Coconut Yogurt

Those of us with food sensitivities can sometimes wonder why we got left out of the bounty of life. There are so many delicious dishes we'd love to savor that are traditionally made with ingredients that do harm to our bodies.

What wrong with this picture? Why is this happening? It's just not fair! Everyone else gets to enjoy!

I could tell you how many wonderful things you CAN eat, the amazing fresh vegetables with delicate or hearty earth flavors, the alternatives to dairy or gluten, or (insert your sensitivity). Foods with their own subtleties that it's possible to enjoy.

But that's not really the point, is it? We sometimes just miss those
foods, the very one's we learned to love, and led to us feeling: in pain, tired, foggy, irritated, angry, etc.

Or we're overwhelmed because it's just not easy to keep ourselves supplied with the alternatives, or they don't travel well. It would be so much easier to just make a quick stop at a convenience store when we need a snack... if only they stocked something without - all the stuff we can't eat.

This is one of the reasons it's important to incorporate food and eating into our spiritual practice. Even view it as a spiritual practice. We don't have the luxury of being unconscious about our eating, when eating too far outside our limits makes us sick.

If you're thinking it's not fair, you're right. It's not fair.

But it's what is. And what a spiritual practice can do is help us shift our focus to what's useful and true. Less on what gets us nowhere.

Here are a few statistics from Project-Meditation.org:
• 75% of insomniacs who started a daily meditation program were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed.
• Production of the stress hormone Cortisol is greatly decreased, thus making it possible for those people to deal with stress better when it occurs.
• Women with PMS showed symptom improvements after 5 months of steady daily rumination and reflection.
However a spiritual practice might look in your life, whether that might be meditation, prayer, singing, dancing, mindful cooking and eating, or all of the above, it's clear that there are very real health benefits to be had. Think of what a valuable adjunct to good nutrition this is!

We always need to be kind to ourselves, and realize it's hard to have to take such care with our food. We may need to grieve the loss of certain flavors and textures we associate with comfort and happiness. This is part of the process of coming to terms with the reality of our lives. It is not always as we would wish it.

And we need to tap in a bit deeper, to the real love and kind regard we hold ourselves in. It's there. It's the longing for a deeper happiness.

It's easier to find when our health is stabilized. And tapping into it intentionally helps us get our health stabilized, by helping us make clearer decisions. Truly life affirming decisions.

From this place, you may find yourself noticing how incredibly delicious fresh vegetables are, simple soups, herbs, coconut yogurt,... you may find the 'replacement' foods have an identity in their own right on your tongue and in your belly. And they are magical in their utter reality and rightness.

May it be so. And may all beings be well nourished and happy.

Frozen Coconut Yogurt

  • o 14 oz coconut yogurt (1 can of coconut milk made into yogurt)
  • o 2 eggs of choice, chicken or duck (optional)
  • o 1 _ tsp vanilla, preferably glycerin based, or powdered vanilla
  • o 15 drops stevia extract, preferably glycerin or water based
  • o Optional add ins: 1 - 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder, a handful or two of berries, a handful of shredded coconut, nuts, or a swirl of nut butter of choice

Mix the first four ingredients together in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. If using the cacao powder, mix it in now.

If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

If using a Champion juicer or food processor, pour the mixture into ice cube trays. You'll probably need two. Freeze well.

Pass through the juicer with the blank plate on it. Mix in any optional add ins. Serve immediately.

Or, mix in a food processor, adding a little more coconut yogurt if needed to get the frozen yogurt smooth. Mix in add ins. This might need to be returned to the freezer for a little while to firm up.

o Use coconut milk instead of coconut yogurt.
o Make the liquid mixture into a custard before freezing by heating it slowly in a double boiler until thickened.
o Use fresh vanilla bean - split a vanilla bean from end to end and scrape the seeds and pith out of it. Steep it in warm coconut milk or yogurt for a few minutes. Whisk the seeds into the mixture to blend as well as possible.

I usually love the chocolate version of anything, but I have to say the vanilla is outrageously delicious.


Chandelle said...

I've been making a coconut milk-based ice cream for years. I've been thinking of making a frozen yogurt similarly. But I'm curious - are you not concerned about including raw egg whites? My understanding is that raw whites contain compounds that can disturb digestion. I sometimes include raw yolks in my ice cream, but I dump the whites.

Durga Fuller said...

Hi Chandelle,

Good point! I've heard about the biotin blocker in raw egg white. At this point we only have this dish as an occasional treat. If I started making it on a more regular basis, I'd probably use only the egg yolk. For occasional use I figure we're not running the risk of biotin deficiency.

There's just something in me that hates throwing away food. Especially when a happy hen made it! There's also something intuitive for me about eating a whole food - the whole egg. Generally I cook the white of an egg I'm eating.