Real recipe from foodnetwork.com. My fave comment on it: “Tried this recipe last night. The bacon was great, but the paper towels tasted awful.”
“2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut, 1/2 c almond flour, 1/4 c coconut butter, 1/4 c liquid sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, liquid stevia etc.), 1/8 tsp vanilla and sea salt. Mix, roll into balls, refrigerate.” It wasn’t until I read this recipe for raw, grain-free macaroons and ran immediately to my kitchen to make them that I realized how much food bloggers and Pinterest have warped me: I have every one of those ingredients on hand.
First things first: these macaroons are aMAYzing. Go make them. Plus they’re so easy not even I can screw them up. Unlike, say, the chocolate avocado cake I made with chocolate avocado frosting. It looked stunning but tasted… like avocados. Drenched in chocolate. Blech. And I normally love avocados! The recipe said the avocado-y taste would go away if I refrigerated it for a couple of hours. Liars. In a strange twist however, my kids gobbled it up while I couldn’t force myself to eat more than a couple bites.
Second: That is a lot of weird ingredients to just have sitting around my kitchen on any given Thursday night. Four years ago I wouldn’t have even known what coconut butter is much less be okay with eating it and keeping it as a staple. (Hint: make your own, way cheaper! All you do is stick unsweetened coconut shreds in a blender and blend until they’re a spreadable consistency. Almost as easy as that bacon recipe!) Even better, while I was assembling my macaroons tonight, I got a huge box from Amazon that contained a sampler box of flavored stevias, dried coconut, popcorn kernels, aloe vera juice (never tried it before but the interwebs are all abuzz with how amazing it is for you) and a copy of Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook (which is one of the best healthy cookbooks/educations ever, by the way). Oh and an entire case of coconut milk.
As I was putting away my weirdo grocers I started to notice other quirky health food. I have a lot of it: Maca powder. Guar gum. Nutritional yeast (a 2-lb bucket no less). Buckwheat. Teff. Chia seeds. Groats. Quinoa (does this one count as weird anymore?). 5 pounds of coconut oil. Plain, whole yogurt (again, make it yourself. Super easy!). Goji berries. Oat flour. Amaranth. Cardamom pods. Red curry paste. Miso paste. Tahini. A whole beef liver. And we won’t even get into all the crazy spices that I can only find at the Asian food market or my braid of dried chilies.
I blame you.
Not, not Paula Deen (zomgoodness are canned peas not disgusting enough? You gotta add a stick of butter to them??). You as in all you health food bloggers/Facebookers/tweeters/Instagrammers/Pinteresters. While I’m not a food blogger and honestly, not a great cook either, I am a very adventurous eater and if you tell me something has great health benefits then it’s pretty much guaranteed I will find a way to buy some. On one hand, you all have introduced me to some foods I love. Nutritional yeast sounds nasty but it’s really delish – I put it on everything from popcorn to granola to veggies to yogurt. And coconut oil? I eat it plain off the spoon. Mmmm.
On the other hand though, I still have a pound of chia seeds just hanging out in my pantry because HOLY TINY BALLS OF GELATINOUS CRAP, how do you guys eat these? The taste is – well, they taste like nothing – but the texture is the worst cross between tapioca, snot and fruit on the bottom yogurt that’s been sitting in your car all day in the summer. I dry heaved the first time I drank a smoothie with those in it. (Although if you like bubble tea then you’ve just found your new fave food. You’re welcome.) I even tried grinding them first in my Vitamix before I made that chocolate chia “pudding” that is omnipresent on every healthy food blog out there. All the plant-sourced Omega-3′s in the world couldn’t save that one from going down the disposal. Not to mention how you’ll be flossing them out of your teeth for a week afterward. (If you leave them will you grow Chia Pet dentures?)
I suppose, thinking about it, the weird thing is not that my pantry has been taken over by “seven different ancient grains” and a 12 oz jar of Stevia that has caused more than it’s fair share of white-powder-addiction jokes, but rather that I still hang on to any of my processed “normal” junk from before. I still have a couple of vices – and they’re not what you think. For instance I still harbor a secret love for Smart Balance Lite (and hey, it’s dairy free!). I only buy real organic butter because I know it’s better for us and I no longer fear the saturated fats. And while the kids love it (True story: my six-year-old ate half a stick like an ice cream cone before I caught him. Worst part was he ate the paper too.), I still prefer the taste of Smart Balance. I grew up on tub butter! To me, butter is supposed to taste like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
What is the weirdest ingredient you have in your kitchen right now? Be honest: Will you eat canned peas? Do you have a food that you prefer the fake version of to the real one? Anyone have a fave super-simple recipe they want to share? (I bet it can’t top this one though…
Real recipe from foodnetwork.com. My fave comment on it: “This was just ok. Maybe if it could be simplified some because its too much work.”