Pineapple Crunch - Thailand
So there’s been quiet on the western front…because I’ve gone on a well deserved sabbatical from everything related to work. It only took me five days into it when my camera starting sending out subliminal messages “use me, please use me” and having slept four nights in a row for a solid 10 hours to feel the passionate urge to share with you guys one of my favourite travel recipes (before I eat them all).
Firstly, let me say that Thailand can be one of the most difficult countries to go to when you have food allergies. Thai cooks like to use at least five different flavours in each meal and two of them are always salt and sugar. Thai cuisine is a complex interplay of five main flavours: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. Convincing someone to leave out the sugar and salt will get you the same appalled expression as if you asked them to remove a limb.
When I come to Thailand I visit one place in particular, because I know there I can impose my pedantic eating habits on to the long suffering chef. She is used to catering for yogis, where one will eat nothing but seaweed and the other only chocolate; a slight exaggeration on her part I think.
I've been to Samahita Yoga Retreat several times now and generally when I need to reboot. This time I have two weeks, of which one has disappeared so quickly, yet so exhilaratingly that I am beginning to ride the slipstream towards glowing, mind boggling health; hopefully not an exaggeration on my part!
Since the retreat is meat free, but not fish free I have asked the chef to make fish broth. In the next blog I will tell you how it went. I'm in the process of removing the sweet and salty limb from her cooking by finding an alternative that will work.
So in the meantime here is the recipe for one of my most favourite travel snacks.
Pineapple Crunch developed from the need to have something to travel with that I could pack “in the boot” or take on the plane with me and would last several weeks and not spoil. Crunchy, activated nuts are mixed with fresh pineapple and banana pulp, figs, prunes, sultanas, spiced with clove, cinnamon and cardamom for anti-inflammatory properties, then dehydrated to a crispy, crunchy yet slightly chewy texture.
It’s the all in one energy & health kick that will make travel more bearable. For this recipe it is necessary to have a dehydrator, as you will need to dehydrate the lot over a 24-hour period. One of the bonus benefits is that your house will smell, as my son says, like sultana bread.
Activating nuts, as most of us know by now, breaks down the hard to digest enzymes in nuts. Pineapple contains bromide and has great anti-inflammatory properties, as do cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. So for folks like us this is pure medicine and not just an indulgence.
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup almonds
1 cup figs – chopped
1 cup prunes – chopped
½ cup sultanas
1 cup pineapple – chopped
1 tsp clove
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1 tsp pure vanilla
- Soak nuts overnight, then drain and dry with some kitchen toweling. Set aside.
- Place the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and process until roughly combined. It is better not to process too much as you want the ingredients to be chunky.
- In a bowl combine the mixture with the nuts.
- Place the non-stick sheet onto the dehydrator tray.
- Scrape the nut mixture onto the tray and distribute evenly, thick enough to envelope the nuts almost up to the top.
- Dehydrate for 24 hours and store in an airtight container.
- Note: This is an advanced food. You will need to be on stage five of the diet.