Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chocolate and Stevia and other goodies

Holidays were great! Most of my gifts were food related; some new items I've cooked up and cooking equipment. My friends and family are very indulgent with me and know they are getting some weird but practical stuff and I do appreciate them for humoring me these many years. But one item that I am still working on and perhaps will market is a chocolate sweet made with stevia. Nothing to do with fermenting, but really a good idea worth investigating. I have a brother-in-law with diabetes and some friends and they love sweets but cannot partake, so to provide something they can eat and enjoy I embarked a few weeks ago on this task of putting chocolate and stevia together. One of my trials was pretty good, not great and I made a few chocolate pieces for my brother-in-law. But haven't heard back from him on it. I'll assume that the flavors were too strong and he didn't like it that much.

It is a sizable task. I now have 10 trials and I'm close but not there yet. Trouble is, both unsweetened chocolate and stevia have very strong flavors by themselves and putting them together is like putting two strong personalities in the same group. Which one will win out? Stevia has an aftertaste that is very strong when using the amounts I've been using in order to get the chocolate to taste sweet enough. I've been using various "extender" ingredients with varying success. I've also been learning how to "temper" chocolate which is an art of itself and adding different ingredients alters the "tempering". It is a challenge and I would share more of the ingredients and process here, but like I said, if I can get it right, I would like to market this. Sadly, there are a lot of diabetics in our culture and I think this would be a great thing for them especially as the lack of side effects from stevia sweetening are so promising. I really am just beginning this adventure and don't know much about chocolate or stevia or where it will lead but I like a good kitchen challenge....HEALTHY kitchen challenge.

Another item I have been working on is an energy cake. Yes, all cakes are "energy" cakes because they are nothing but starch, sugar and fat which are classic energy sources but the one I have invented is really healthy too. I don't use the classic cake ingredients; wheat flour, hydrogenated vegetable oils, or white sugar. My recipe does not use regular flour from hybridized wheat, or corn or soy or peanuts or sunflower seeds. Which are all cheap but not good for all, or some of the blood types.

There are many "energy bars" on the market and some of them are processed in a way, and using ingredients that can claim the "RAW" distinction. That is all well and good but mine are different in that the grains and seeds I use are soaked at least 8 hours or more and then baked. So, mine can't claim a place in the RAW market, nonetheless, they are very tasty using high quality ingredients which are neutral for all blood types. I guess that is my distinction; high quality ingredients and neutral or beneficial for all blood types. They provide high energy and high nutrition. I have given many batches of these little cakes away and many more are in my freezer. The feedback I get from these are very favorable. Again, I apologize for not giving the recipe for this as this might also be a product worth marketing. I think it a good item for food storage as well if I can figure out how to package them correctly.

The other thing I have been working on is a grain, legume and seed combination that cooks up into a complete plant protein source compliant for each of the 4 blood types. (I am again thinking of food storage) The question for me was, what can be stored a long time, cooked up simply yet provide high nutrition for us non-vegetarians? Vegetarians have been "combining" for a long time but my concern was for us Os and Bs who really thrive on red meat and very little grain and legumes. I have some red meat stored as canned, dried and frozen but what happens when the meat runs out in a time of economic or natural disaster....what do Os do? I researched the grains, seeds and legumes that were at leat neutral or better for Os and came up with a combination that answers my question and still tastes really good and for me upon eating it clinched the idea was it doesn't constipate me. Yea! I call it Plant Protein Pilaf.

The greatest difference between blood types in what they eat have to do with proteins. Os and Bs can digest red meat easily because of intestinal alkaline phosphotase which we produce in abundance and As do not. As need protein and can get it from fish,(also good for Os and Bs)poultry and plant proteins. Plant proteins are very blood type specific. As have a very wide and long list of agreeable grains and legumes to choose from, Os do not. The O list of agreeable legumes and grains is short but Bs even shorter. The physical test is alsways "gassing". If you eat a legume and it makes you gas up, you know it was wrong for your digestive system and it will be expelled as fast as your body can get rid of it. If there is no gassing, then that legume was agreeable to your system and will stay in you long enough to get the nutrition out of it.

Quarts of this dry combination were part of my Christmas gifts this year as well. I have made up Plant Protein Pilaf combinations for O, B, A, AB blood types as well as those tricky combinations for married couples like....O+B, O+A which are the most common. So far, the feedback has been good. People like it. IF they follow the directions which include 8 hours or more of soaking before cooking.

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