Raw: Cardamom on Blueberries, Coconut and Pear

This combination is exquisite: sliced pear dusted with freshly ground black pepper, fresh coconut meat with lime, blueberries sprinkled with cardamom.

Our housemate, Jay, and I created a very tasty evening snack. The organic blueberries he brought home tasted unusual – like they had cardamom on them – so – he cornered me before doing my nightly yoga salutations, wanting to pick my brain as to how to incorporate those two flavors – blueberry and cardamom – with other fruit and flavors.

Jay was very excited of the possibilities b/c we had so much fruit in the house to pick from… mangoes, berries, pear, apple, melon, plum, oranges, lemons, limes and more. He had already opened a Thai Young coconut, using the water for a smoothie so when I saw the meat I immediately thought of a creamy strong-sour-like yogurt to balance the sweetness of the blueberries and match the strong lemony-fruity-pungent flavor of the cardamom.

Jay liked the idea, and wanted more. The pear caught my eye. Mainly b/c I thought its texture would go well with the blueberries and the creamy coconut. Jay was pleasantly surprised that the skin color of the pears accentuated – so well – the inner color of the blueberries.

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The recipe ↓↓↓

Cardamon pods and seeds, part of the ginger family, are pungent with flowery notes of lemon and mint. Its handpicked and said to be the 3rd most expensive spice, following saffron and vanilla. Uses: In Indian rice dishes and Chai drinks, Ethiopian berbere blend and northern European baked goods.

1) In a small food processor, blend well:

  • Meat from 1 Thai Young coconut (see TIP, below)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (we think this could be optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

2) Slice the pear, about 1/4 inch thick, and sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, and set aside.

3) Slice the blueberries in half and set aside.

4) Open the cardamom pods with your fingers to remove the seeds. Grind the cardamom seeds. See TIP, below. Or, use cardamom powder (I had a bit left over from previous ground seeds).

Putting it together:

Start with the pear slice (dusted with pepper). Drop a dollop of the coconut ‘yogurt’ onto the peppered pear. Toss on the sliced blueberries and sprinkle with freshly ground cardamom. YUM.

TIP:

Being they are quite spendy – I buy the cardamom pods and grind the seeds myself. Otherwise, the ground cardamom would sit in my spice drawer for quite a while losing its pizazz over time (b/c of the fluctuating heat in the kitchen and exposure to light). Many people store spices in the fridge to extend the lifespan of the spices. I prefer my spices in the drawer – for easy access – just below the counter space where I perform my alchemy.

If you are using fresh cardamom: Peel open a pod with the fingers and remove the seeds, grind them with a mortar and pestle or small spice grinder. If you don’t have either of those, then crush the seeds with a knife (laying the knife on it’s side on top of the seeds and pushing down, repeat until you have small small granules). This works much better if the pods are chilled (stored in the refrigerator) b/c the warmer the seeds are the more gooey they become prohibiting grinding the seed into a powder. Hmm, I guess you could use a hammer with little pressure to crush the seeds.

Health benefits:

Cardamom aids in digestion and increases metabolism b/c of its warming properties. Click here to learn more:  http://www.augustayurveda.com/showarticles1.asp?id=468

The anti-oxidant-rich Blueberries are rated #5 in Mercola’s TOP 7 super foods …. click here to see his list.

Coconut meat has lauric acid and caprylic acid … both are anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. ….  click here to read more about health other benefits. Also, most of the fatty acids in coconut meat/oil are medium-chain fatty acids, that the body burns quite efficiently for fuel (it doesn’t require bile to break it down) … providing quick energy ….while increasing metabolism …. which aids in weight loss/ weight management.

TIP:  How to open a Thai Young coconut

Watch these YouTube videos to learn how to open a Thai Young coconut with ease…..