So this is all about us convincing you to stock some unusual ingredients in your pantry. Why? Because we can, but more importantly because all the weird and wonderful ingredients we will be sharing info about in these coming posts are delicious.
We have decided to spend the next few months shedding a little light on lesser known, yet simple to use delicious ingredients that may fall just outside the norm.
We spend all day around food, whether it’s with our personal chefs, writing menus or experimenting with new ingredients for our friends.
Therefore, experimentation is how we keep things fresh, it’s fun, it keeps you on your toes and that’s exactly why we want to share more ingredients with you.
So here we are, 5 Unusual ingredients to stick in your pantry this year
- Goji Berries
- Maca Root
- Charcoal Powder
These little gemstone berries reign rom the Himalayas, where they are often referred to as wolf berries.
Goji berries may be minute, but they pack a serious punch when it comes to Vitamin C, Vitamin A, antioxidants, copper, selenium and protein. All that in those tiny little berries? Yep… They even boost your metabolism.
We often throw a handful in our muesli, or sprinkled over some coconut yogurt as a healthy dessert.
Spirulina is an algae that you’ll find in smoothies in the trendiest health based cafes. It’s a bluey green powder in its most common form and is considered one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet.
Packed with B.1, B.2, B.3, iron, copper and protein.
Spirulina as an ingredient is best suited to smoothies and adds an earthy energy boost.
This Peruvian ingredient, often falling into the superfood category along with the aforementioned goji and spirulina is also often referred to as a form of ginseng.
Maca as an ingredient is most commonly a powder formed from the Maca Root. Its epic as an energy boost in smoothies, lattes and even finds its way into my honey and almond porridge.
It’s a caffeine free energy kick up the backside!
Kudzu (or kuzu)
Kudzu, quite different from the above ingredients is predominantly used as a thickening agent. Therefore not quite as exciting to get busy with, however this primo ingredient offers a bunch of health benefits and we dub it one of our favourite thickeners. (it doesn’t give the same cloudy or powdery results as cornflour’s and arrowroot)
Kudzu has long been used in ancient Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory affects and abundant antioxidants. Its known to strengthen your digestive system and can apparently help with a hangover. (if you need any help getting the hangover first, head over to out wines to try in 2019 article;)
Kudzu can also be used to make Kudzu pudding which when you pair with some coconut, fresh berries and almonds is all that and some.
The first crew to realise how profitable the charcoal industry really hit the mark hey…
An accidental burnt piece of toast turned into a multi-million dollar industry where we now have charcoal in our bathroom cupboards, kitchen cupboards, coating our goats cheese and even on the end of our toothbrush.
We will narrow this down as we have a little something we want to share with you. Homemade charcoal… its far cheaper and a great way to use up some weathered veggies.
We often roll our goats cheese in homemade charcoal, or use the charcoal as a garnish… It’s very, very simple to make.
One of our favourite ingredients s the ends of a leek. The thick, woody, tops can simply be washed and burnt. We throw them in the oven at 180C and literally forget about them. Let burn to a cinder then cool and blitz in a spice grinder. It’s that easy.
We also recently rolled some lightly cure kingfish in this ash and wow, our guests were well impressed.
Have you been experimenting with some unusual ingredients recently?
If so, let us know about them in the comments below,