Thursday, May 9, 2013

In my kitchen - May 2013 (featuring coconut yoghurt and novel chocolate)

I am linking this post in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

In my kitchen, there is black quinoa. Last month, you may remember, there was red quinoa. Thus, in my kitchen, there is also a slight surplus of quinoa.


I should do a blind taste test with white, red and black to see if I can pick the difference. With my eyes open, I found this to be denser and slightly crunchier than white or red. It is also less sweet than red, but a bit nuttier than white.




In my kitchen, there is always chocolate. This month, there have been new, small-sized chocolate blocks.


On the top, we have Loving Earth's raw sour cherry and acai dark chocolate. It had 62% cocoa, 10% cherries, and agave as a sweetener. I loved it. The sourness of the cherries was blissful against the slight sweetness of the chocolate, and the cherries themselves provided a texture contrast to the soft raw chocolate. At 45g, it represents very bad value for money, unless you count value in pleasure, and then it was worth every cent of the $5.95 it cost me.

On the bottom, we have Leone's absinthe dark chocolate. Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen my reference to this other week. It had 74% cocoa, quite a strong absinthe contribution, and "essences of aromatic herbs and plants". I have to confess I didn't really know what absinthe was when I bought this - basically, anything novel combined with chocolate will draw me in - so I was pleased to discover that it is aniseed based. I was less pleased with the strength of the flavour in this block, and am not sure I will buy it again. Alcohol and I aren't great friends even when the alcohol comes in chocolate form.

In my kitchen, there is coconut yoghurt!


I have been waiting patiently for coconut yoghurt to reach a shop or outlet near me. I found it at a bulk food distributor at my local markets, and whilst it again cost far more than 400g of yoghurt strictly should ($13!), I was eager to try it.


I was hoping for the tart natural flavour of regular yoghurt, so was initially disappointed to find it tasted of coconut, wasn't very tart, and was creamier than I'd like but also not as thick as I'd like (how?). With time, I have come to like it more, and a small amount with frozen berries or atop cereal works very nicely indeed. I am also hoping to use it as a starter for more non-dairy yoghurt experimentation...

In my kitchen, there is an embarrassing box of cereal.


I mean, really. The woman looks like she's having an experience starting with 'o' which I won't sully my blog statistics by mentioning, and the man just looks scary. However, the cereal has dried mango, pineapple, papaya, dates and banana chips, which pretty much makes it snack heaven.


In my kitchen, there are also some snack animals, or snackimals, in snickerdoodle flavour. 


It seems that if I see individual snack sized vegan biscuits, in a flavour I've always wondered about but never tried, my usual apathy for commercial biscuits is replaced by marked enthusiasm. At least until I opened the packet, and discovered that snickerdoodle really just meant cinnamon, and that these need peanut butter to make them worth eating.

In my kitchen, there is harissa, a spice I have wanted to play with for some time.


I am still being cautious, but think harissa and I may get on rather well.

What is happening in your kitchen this month?

34 comments:

  1. I'm actually a little bit scared by thinking that that woman is experiencing what you're hinting at. I might be doing something wrong.


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    1. If you are, I suspect a lot of us are. I'd prefer to think she's going about it the wrong way ;)

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  2. Yep that picture would be a reason for me not to buy that cereal! I just couldn't take it seriously.

    I am intrigued by coconut yoghurt - I love my yoghurt to have a bit of tang but I love the coconut taste. Unfortunately the cost just seems so crazy - but if you can incorporate it into your yoghurt making it would be worth it.

    And I laughed at your comment about not getting on well with alcohol. Wasn't absinthe banned for years because it was so alcoholic - though it does make me thing of bohemian Europe so it has some street cred.

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    1. Absinthe does sound very cool, but I think it's the taste of alcohol that puts me off even aside from the effects. When you don't have it regularly, the flavour is odd! I suspect I'm just not cool enough.

      I hope I can use the coconut yoghurt in yoghurt making. If not, it will have to be a very rare purchase. I hope you get the chance to try some eventually though as I'd be curious to see how you find it if you enjoy coconut flavours.

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  3. I love harissa but yes, you do have to be cautious. I eat quinoa a lot but I haven't tried the black variety. In fact, we had a quinoa salad for dinner tonight - a vegan meal, Kari (if you omit the fact there was also some chicken on the plate!) I'm so glad you've been able to sort out your commenting system xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - I'm very glad too :) And I'd be quite happy to eat around chicken and enjoy your quinoa salad! I'm impressed you can make it for the whole family, Mr B doesn't like it at all.

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  4. Lol that cereal box picture is too funny!!

    I know I want them to bring out coconut yoghurt here as it sounds delicious.

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    1. I'd like them to make it more readily available here too - I'm sure in time it will reach you and cost less for me!

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  5. I'm not sure I'd buy that box of cereal or not but I love what's in your kitchen this month.

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  6. I love quinoa, but I didn't realize it comes in different colors. You will have to let us know if you try the blind taste test. I am curious if the flavors differ a lot. I am assuming the quinoa I have is brown. It looks brown.

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    1. Is it light brown? It might be what I'm referring to as white, otherwise the red one I've tried is brown-y too. Or, there is a fourth colour I don't know about! I will have to try the blind taste test, I think it would be fun.

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  7. I really do love quinoa... My favorite is the red because it's got such a hearty taste to it. I love the consistency of it. I have never tried black quinoa..and didn't know there was black! :)

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    1. I didn't either until recently!

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  8. Hahaha...your description of the cereal box made me laugh! Good to know the cereal is good enough to induce a "Meg Ryan in the diner scene"! The coconut yoghurt sounds interesting (if expensive) - makes me wonder if you could use coconut milk successfully in yoghurt making. Might need to run the idea past Pete. And I'm a big fan of harissa, but your powdered version looks hot! I've been making a paste which was shown on the latest Ottolenghi tv series. Thanks for letting us peek into your kitchen Kari! :)

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    1. If you manage to use coconut milk in yoghurt making I will gratefully follow your lead - I have tried, but failed dismally! I used soy yoghurt as a started last time so am hoping the coconut yoghurt might work better.

      I might have to try harissa paste after discovering this spice, that sounds like an easier way to use it and I imagine it would be fun to make.

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  9. I've never used red or black quinoa - of all the three varieties, which is your favorite? And yeah, the raw chocolate I've had is so expensive but so good. Also, that's an awesome box of cereal, ha ha ha! And woo hoo harissa! So spicy but so good.

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    1. I think I like the plain white best if I'm honest, except for the fun of the coloured varieties ;) The red and black are a bit earthier and have a stronger flavour, so whilst I enjoy them, they distract a bit from other flavours.

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  10. I've only used red and white quinoa but haven't really been able to taste a difference between them. Maybe black tastes different, though?

    I want that chocolate bar!!

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    1. I think I need to do a blind taste test to be sure, because I can easily believe that my mind is driving the perceived taste differences! I found the black a bit crunchier if nothing else, but the visual aspect is the main thing.

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  11. I covet your Loving Earth chocolate, but thst is an ouchy price tag.

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  12. Ha, cracking up over that cereal ;) Yes yes Loving Earth is delicious stuff but WOAH it's pricey - as is the Coyo - I didn't really dig the coconut yoghurt either, I LOVE coconut kefir though (lot's of tang!) which I make myself so it's way cheaper. I think the black & red quinoa is definitely more crunchy than the white..... it's prettier but I don't like the crunchiness as much.

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    1. I'll have to remind myself of your coconut kefir experimenting - that may be my salvation if the yoghurt side doesn't work out! Aside from anything, I can't keep up the Coyo buying or I'll drive us broke...;)

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  13. hehehe, thanks for the chuckle regarding your cereal Kari. I wonder if they think that really is a selling point by positioning the people like so.

    Absinthe chocolate eh... I've tried absinthe once but have no recollections as to whether it was good or not.

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    1. It does make you question marketing decisions!

      I think if you try something and forget it, it probably wasn't wonderful (although perhaps that doesn't apply to alcohol? ;) ). I think I'll stick with just chocolate in future!

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  14. Hi Kari. I love quinoa. Its so good for lots of things. Ive tried coconut yoghurt but wasn't that fussed, still its a great alternative. Where do you get cereal that makes you feel like that?

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    1. If cereal really could make one feel like that, I sense the cereal market would be even bigger than it already is!

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  15. I bought 'alter ego' dark coconut toffee organic chocolate this morning. sooo good. But I like the loving earth one a lot too. I need to get more into my grains, specifically quinoa and frekkah. :)

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    1. I think grains and chocolate make a perfect pairing :)

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  16. I'd like to try the coconut yoghurt. According to one site I've just looked at, the canned thicker coconut milk is the one to try. The sort which are sold for pouring over cereal or fruit is too thin. http://bit.ly/9sHAcs has some really comprehensive instructions. Do post how you get on if you try it, please.

    I'm afraid the chocolate does nothing for me as I lack the chocolate gene. And, yes, I am a woman!

    It's fascinating what a wide range of cooks are joinng in this event'



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    1. I think I will have to try using probiotic powder with coconut milk as opposed to using a yoghurt starter...my previous approach does not have a good track record!

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  17. I don't think I've tried black quinoa yet! I saw that coconut yoghurt recently and nearly fell over when I read the price label, I only buy non-dairy yoghurt for making vegan cheeses so I'm happy to stick with the cheaper soy based one. Harissa is so delicious and very spicy, it also seems to last forever as I've had a small tub of it in my fridge for years.

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    1. Black quinoa is definitely more economical and more practical than the coconut yoghurt! I'm impressed you passed it by, I need to exercise more restraint sometimes, although I am also glad I've tried it. Harissa is a bit of a better buy too - especially if mine lasts me as yours has lasted you :)

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