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Food and Recipe of the Month

April - Cooking for Spring

According to the Five Transformation of Energy, which is the ancient study of the energy of food, how it relates to the seasons, and how it feeds and nurtures our bodies, emphasizes the foods available at that particular time of year. These are the ideal foods that our ancestors had available to them. When we lived close to nature we knew how to nurture our bodies with the local available foods. The Spring Time, when everything is growing and coming to life again, is known as the Tree Energy phase. Spring is when we feed and nurture our liver, gallbladder, and nervous system. The main job of these organs is to purify the blood. The liver, in particular, is the main detoxification organ of the body. In spring time your body goes through a natural cleansing process.

We go from eating denser, fatty foods in the winter time to keep us warmer, to eating much lighter foods for spring and summer. It is a good time for the body to naturally detoxify itself. By eating foods available and associated with the spring time, we assist our body as it does this process of detoxification. The signature taste for spring is sour. The sour flavor animates the liver, gallbladder, and nervous system. When we eat naturally sour foods we are feeding and nurturing these organs. Naturally sour foods consist of foods that make your mouth pucker. Such as: lemons, limes, plums, pomegranates, sauerkraut, and naturally fermented pickles. The signature whole grains for spring are: barley, oats, rye and wheat. These grains are some of the oldest known grains eaten by humans. They have a strong cleansing properties to them, assisting your body to do it naturally. Just like the plants that are opening this time of year, these whole grains have the energy of opening and dispersing, moving energy thorough our bodies. These whole grains help the energy flowing through your body, so we do not become stagnant and un-moving.

Here are some more Tree Energy foods associated with the Spring time: black eyed peas, lentils, split peas, green beans, asparagus, lettuce, peas, endive, parsley and olives.

The emotions associated with the Tree Energy phase are: optimism, patience, and being carefree. If you find that you have a general optimistic outlook on life, are fairly patient, and can live life in a care-free way, you are balanced in this energy phase. If, however, you are having some issues these emotions, you may want to start incorporating more of these Spring foods in your diet.

Recipe of the month:

Chocolate Lime Squares

2 cups cookie crumbs
¾ cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
2 T. rice beverage

1 cup rice beverage
½ cup lime juice
¾ cup brown rice syrup
2 T. maple syrup
5 T. agar flakes
Pinch sea salt
4 T. kudzu (dissolved in ¼ cup rice beverage)

1/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
4 T. rice beverage

To make crust, on a low heat, slowly melt the chocolate chips with the 2 T. rice beverage. Stir as it melts. Mix together the cookie crumbs with the melted chocolate. Press firmly into the bottom of an oiled square dish. Refrigerate until cold.

To prepare filling, put all ingredients, except the kudzu mixture, in to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kudzu mixture. Whisk as it starts to thicken to prevent clumps. Once it has thickened, pour over crust. Refrigerate until firm and cold.

To make topping, on a low heat, slowly melt the chocolate chips with the rice beverage. Once all is melted, drizzle over the top of dessert. Let topping cool before cutting and serving.

Recipe and article excerpted from: Healthy and Delicious Cooking Spring Season, by Valerie Wilson.


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