It is a brand New Year! Hope it has started well for you…
2012 left on a bitter note with gut wrenching events to swallow and us mute spectators with a ton to learn from.
I want to start this year not by turning back but by learning from the past, looking ahead a little, staying in the present a lot, living well every moment, laughing often, loving much holding dear ones even closer.
In food and eating, to consciously reduce microwave usage (this one is hard, I know!) and have no regrets about indulging whenever I do! (borrowed this from Chinmayie on facebook).
Looking ahead, now for the ‘New” part in the New Year for the blog…
One of my biggest inspirations and motivations to cook, I have realized is ingredients. The whole journey is simply exhilarating from the unstoppable curiosity and excitement that takes over me when I spot a new-to-me ingredient at the grocery store or a specialty supermarket, the anticipation of how it can be used in dishes – savory or sweet, the possibilities of pairing with other ingredients or exploring the choices of how it can be “Indianized” best, researching recipes and nailing “the” one to cook with it and finally sharing the sheer joy with those I love!
I read somewhere that the best way to learn a new cuisine is to get to know the key defining ingredients and learn how to use them well. Whoever said that wasn’t lying, it seems. Coming from an orthodox family, if I have gained a broader interest in cuisines foreign to me, it has most definitely got to do with the curiosity aroused by the ingredients. (I won’t blame you if you are blinking. it isn’t evident on the blog!)
There is an endless list of ingredients I would like to share with you but haven’t been able to, for the lack of recipes to associate with. So I start this new segment with a focus on Ingredients I love, how I like to use them or intend to use them in future. Hope you will like this segment as much as I am excited about!
Goji berries, the name itself is intriguing enough to try, don’t you think?
Goji berries are quite like cranberries (or simply raisins) minus the tang and stickiness, with a hint of bitter aftertaste. These tiny crinkled crimson reddish orange berries have become a favorite snack in our household. If you love dried cranberries, you can safely assume you’ll love these too. We have been enjoying these sprinkled over old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast or simply snacking on them as is, though I would definitely love to bake a cake, cookies or muffins with them. I bet they will be good tossed in salads and trail mixes too.
They keep very well on the shelf for a long time without the need for refrigeration, if they are handled with dry hands or spoon and stored in an air tight jar.
They are considered an antioxidant anti-inflammatory anti-aging super food and are mood elevators. So if it is damp, cold and glum outside and you are feeling a little down, you know which berries to pop?
Tip for those of you living in Houston Whenever I get the chance, I buy conventionally grown berries at Caninos Produce on Airline drive (1 lb for $13)
Otherwise, TJ Maxx or Marshalls are good places to buy Sunfood Organic Goji berries at bargain prices.
Organic Goji berries don’t come without a huge dent in the pocket though. You’ll find them at Whole Foods for sure. If you are unsure about buying the whole 8 oz package, just try buying a little from their bulk bins.
Are you a Goji berry lover, how do you love to eat them?