This sticky tacky snack was an experiment borne of dehydrating strawberries. You might exclaim, “Blasphemy! Why would anyone want to dehydrate juicy berries that are clearly meant for consuming whole?” To that I answer, like baking, boiling, roasting or steaming, dehydration is just another cooking (or uncooking) method to have fun and add various dimensions and textures to food. Since strawberries were on discount last week, I took the opportunity to do some experimenting.
This video on Youtube taught a very helpful trick of using an egg slicer to slice the strawberries evenly and efficiently. Don’t you love these grand nifty ideas?! I suppose it will also work for other soft fruits and vegetables like kiwi, mushrooms and avocado. Depending on how long you dry them, the strawberries will turn from sticky to tacky to slightly crunchy, and the sweetness and perfume will intensify ten-fold. So you can only imagine what a punch these berrylicious bites pack!
The binder in these moreish morsels are ground flax and psyllium husk. I think most people are familiar with flax seeds already as a binder and egg substitute, as well as being a nutrient-dense plant-based source of essential omega-3s and dietary fibre. Psyllium husk is a new binding ingredient I was exposed to not long ago. Psyllium is derived from the outer husk of the seeds of Plantago ovata, a plant native to parts of Asia, the Mediterranean and North Africa. In the nutrition and scientific community, it is a well-known laxative attributed to its supremely high dietary fibre content (70 percent soluble and 30 percent insoluble), fourteen times that of oat bran! This powerhouse is used to promote regulation of bowel movement, treat constipation and diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and regulate cholesterol and blood sugar level in diabetics. Similar to flax and chia, psyllium forms a clear colorless mucilaginous mass that helps peristalsis through the gastrointestinal tract and has bulking and lubricating properties. In the cooking world however, it is popular as a binder for gluten-free baking, said to be even more powerful than chia and flax (in that order). However unlike chia and flax, it is not a source of omega-3s. Some people experience discomfort with psyllium, so feel free to replace with an equal amount of chia or flax.
When taking psyllium, please drink lots of water, about one cup for one tablespoon of psyllium. Without sufficient water the husks may form blockages in the intestines. Yikes!
Currently reading: Restoring our bodies, reclaiming our lives by Aimee Liu
Quote of the week:
Learn to value yourself, which means, fight for your own happiness. (Ayn Rand)
- ⅔ cup (28g) dehydrated strawberries (see Notes)
- ¾ cup (36g) white almond flour
- 3 tablespoons (12g) ground flax meal
- 1 tablespoon (4g) psyllium husk
- 1 tablespoon coconut butter
- 1 tablespoon yacon syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 fresh strawberries
- ½ cup (70g) macadamia nuts, soaked for 6 hours or more
- ⅙ cup (62g) young coconut meat
- ¼ cup fresh pressed blackberry juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon yacon syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the food processor, combine the ingredients for the Hearts. Give it a good whirl until a pretty ball of sticky dough forms.
- On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough to about 1-inch high. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out into hearts. Alternatively, the dough can also be rolled into balls.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- For the blackberry frosting, process all ingredients in the food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Use a palette knife to spread a thin layer over the hears. Return the hearts to the freezer.
- To serve, allow to stand for 15 minutes at room temperature and enjoy!