Friday, 31 August 2012

Foodie Penpal Reveal #3

The Lean Green Bean

This is the third month that I have been involved in Foodie Penpals. It started in the US thanks to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and is now hosted by Carol-Ann from Rock Salt in Europe. Everyone is assigned a another penpal to send a parcel of food treats to, and you will receive one form someone else.

This month I was ecstatically excited to be paired with Anna and Robert from Amsterdam. Don't get me wrong, I have received two gorgeous parcels from British penpals so far, but a box coming from overseas could only have added mystery.
The pair responded to my dietary needs and preferences beautifully with a variety of sweet and savoury treats and ingredients to inspire me in the kitchen.

The first things I tried in the box were the raw chocolate and fig cake. I have had raw chocolate before but this has a new and intriguing texture for me as it contained whole nibs of cacao, rather than having been completely ground down and formed into a bar. Cacao is full of antioxidants - no guilt whatsoever tucking in! The fig cake is I believe a Spanish treat. All it contained/contains is dried figs and almonds, in a similar way raw energy bars combine dates and nuts. It tasted super luxurious for something so simple. It just goes to show that refined sugar isn't necessary for sweetness.

In the sweet corner is also some organic cacao powder. I don't want to embark on using an over ambitious recipe to use it because of it didn't work out I would hate it to go to waste. I think using it simply in oats and smoothies will be the safest way for me to enjoy it...but who knows, I might man up and get experimental! Anna and Robert also included a recipe for vegan chocolate one way or another I'll be venturing out of my comfort zone as I rarely make desserts - somehow I can never get them right. Hopefully this time will be different!

In the savoury corner are some noodles, stock, alfalfa seeds and curry paste. The noodles are 'cha soba' so they have green tea in! Anna and Robert told me that they have a very interesting flavour and as I love green tea, I couldn't wait to try them out (look out for future posts to find out what I do with them).

There is also organic mushroom stock which I have never heard of before, though I know the Kallo brand. Can't wait to experiment with it!

The curry paste went down brilliantly in a curry with butternut squash, peppers, chickpeas and spinach. Even my meat-loving Dad went back for seconds!

And last but not least, the alfalfa seeds. Now this is way out of my comfort zone. I would love to grow my own fruit, veggies and herbs but have never had my own garden in which to do it. Apparently alfalfa seeds can be grown in a jar in the house to produce sprouts that can be used in so many ways and are super healthful sources of fibre, protein, and vitamins B and K (read more here). I followed this youtube tutorial on sprouting. I will of course be posting a verdict once they are harvested and eaten as the process can take some days!

I sent a parcel to Cara who blogs about her amazing cake baking at Bake yourself crazy, though she hasn't posted a reveal at time of writing this. Fingers crossed she'll post soon! 

So, as you can see I have been a very lucky girl once again! If you'd like to take part, check out Carol's or Lindsay's blogs (depending on where you live) to find out more!


1 comment:

  1. It's so great to get a parcel from overseas, a whole new world of things to try! This looks like a wonderful parcel, look forward to comparing notes on the green tea noodles :)