Tapioca Tribute

 Apricots add a Springtime flavor to our Tapioca Treat

Yesterday I made a Tapioca Treat for my Father’s birthday, which I have to share with you because it is one of those “too good to be true” desserts.

I can’t say my father loved it. It has been a long time since we’ve celebrated with him in person. He would have been 75 this year. But he has been gone almost 20, so now it is a celebration of the heart, an internal tribute to a life that gave life, a personal thanksgiving for his everyday example of nobility in action.

In addition to the endless love, encouragement and opportunities my father showered on us, his five children, he was, for me, a great “spiritual” teacher. He didn’t love the formalities of religion: he was young when his mother died and the Priest who said the Funeral Mass read from the script of another bereaved family, using all the wrong names and describing a very different mother.

That early loss and betrayal preceded the break-up of his family and long, lonely, later-forgotten teen years. Yet, my father was Sattvic ~ wise, clear-minded, generous, curious, fair, smart, philosophical, broad-minded, brave, kind, a safe refuge, and a lot of fun. I often say to myself, not harshly but compassionately, that I haven’t, and may never, live up to the promise of being George L. Plumb’s eldest. But I do my best to pass on the best he gave to us.

Dad

When we were little, he loved gathering us all into the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon 
to make Tapioca and I wanted to remember that with my stepson. So in his honor, I made a special dessert and shared it with my own family, as a flavor of a man they will never meet.

This is a perfect treat for my father’s April birthday not only for its tastes of love reviving connections long lost,  but also because Tapioca is “Kapha-reducing” ~ exactly the action we want from our meals in Springtime. In the Spring, we look to significantly reduce dairy, sugar and heavy grains, while increasing the fibrous foods that make us lighter and warming spices that boost metabolic fires. This Tapioca Recipe is just that. It combines all the digestive benefits of Lassi, with fiber and heart-loving betacarotene from Apricots, and the low-calorie, high-energy boost of Tapioca ~ without any sugar added. I hope you enjoy it!

Tapioca Pearls

Apricot Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca Pearls, 1/3 cup
Water, 2 cups
Dried Apricots, 10-12
Ghee, 1 Teaspoon (Coconut Oil for Vegan)
Cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon
Ginger, 1/8 teaspoon
Clove, 2 Shakes
Cardamom, 2 Shakes
Nutmeg, Dash
Asafoetida, Dash
Rock Salt, Pinch
Honey, 2 Tablespoons
Plain Yogurt, 1 cup

Boil 1 and 1/3 cups of water and add the tapioca pearls. Stir, reduce heat, cover. After ten minutes, check. It is done when the pearls have dissolved and it looks like melted glue.

Meanwhile, melt the ghee in a saucepan on medium low heat. Add the spices and saute one minute. Toss in the apricots and stir to coat throughly. Turn up the heat and add the remaining water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer about ten minutes, until the tapioca is done.

Put the apricots with the water, now more of a juice, into a blender. Mix until the apricots are minced. Add the yogurt and the tapioca and blend lightly. If the mixture is cooled to a temperature that does not burn to the touch, add the honey and blend one final time. Otherwise, you can drizzle the honey over it once served. It should be the consistency of pudding with a light peach color.

You can also just stir it all together if you don’t have a blender. That is how I made it for my Ayurveda Spring Detox Cooking Class. Just be sure, if you do it that way, that you give the apricots a good fine chop before you stew them.

Garnish with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, a mint or basil leaf, chopped glazed pecans or pine nuts, a touch of orange zest for color and zing. Or, just grab a spoon and dig in. Yum!

Apricot Tapioca Pudding

Not too long ago, referring to my father, my college roommate said, “We all want our own George.”  He knew how to lift you up, make you laugh, nourish your mind, feed your soul. He would impart wisdom in easy gestures, subtle ways.

Even in making a straightforward dish like Apricot Tapioca Pudding, for example, I wonder at the world: its diversity, flavors, inventiveness, and above all, the potency of Mother Nature to create such delicious, substantial, cleansing foods. For the thought spirals that go from tapioca pearls to cosmic chemistry, while vividly appreciating the simple sensuous tastes of Spring’s profusion, I have my Dad to thank.

I just wish I did more of that while he was here. Thanking, that is. He knew all along what it has taken me decades to painstakingly learn; that is, how to live a Sattvic life, and feed the body according to the seasons.  For that example, and so much more, I am deeply grateful.

My first Yoga Teacher

Thank you, Dad!

Spring Clean | Cilantro Detox Pesto

Imagine sunflowers floating on rafts on a pond. Then imagine that there are many ponds ~ sunflower rafts as far as your eye can see.

Then imagine these sunflowers are growing on rafts in ponds that surround the Chernobyl nuclear site in the Ukraine. Odd? Beautiful? Gesture of Peace?

If you attended my Spring Ayurveda Nutrition & Cooking Class, you’ll know about Mother Nature’s remarkable ability to cleanse, purify, renew and restore her own earth body ~ and our human bodies, too. My last post, “21 Day Challenge,” was dedicated to those gifts of the Earth that emerge in Springtime to naturally and very efficiently help us detoxify body and mind.

A field of blooming sunflowers in the Ukraine

But as talk these days turns to Japan’s nuclear problems and the prevailing westerlies carrying waste on the wind and  radioactivity with the rain, I think even more about this self-regulating, self-restorative, self-renewing intelligence of nature, and specifically about something my brother-in-law, Daniel Goldfarb, a soil restoration expert, told us recently about sunflowers.

In Chernobyl, floating rafts of sunflowers are being used to clean up water contaminated as a result of the 1986 disaster at their Nuclear Plant. Sunflowers remove up to 95% of the radioactivity below ground by pulling contaminants out of the water and up into their root system. This technique, known as phytoremediation, got its roots, so to speak, there in Chernobyl, where the sunflowers outperformed all expectations.

Sunflower Seeds & Soil

So, as an experiment, I sprouted sunflower seeds, tossed them liberally onto our garden, watered, mulched and waited.

In the meantime, we are eating copious amounts of sunflower seeds and sprouts ourselves, because, I wondered, if they remove radioactive toxins from the body of the earth, could they do the same for our human bodies?

I began researching this, looking at the western and the Ayurvedic literature, and along the way came across this recipe for a Sunflower Seed & Cilantro Pesto that harnesses not only sunflower power, but also cilantro for its super scour muscularity in eviscerating heavy metals and toxic waste.

Surprisingly, for something so green, so clean, so good for you ~ this is outrageously delicious.

Cilantro Pesto

In making this “Pesto” myself, I wanted to increase the fire element since greens and nuts can be hard to digest. To that end, I added ginger, asafoetida and a dash of cayenne.

I also wanted to be sure that the organs of elimination were well lubricated so toxins would definitely be removed and not just swished around the body, exchanging places and causing more damage. The original recipe had plenty of flaxseed oil to help with that but, unless you are Vegan, I suggest adding a spoonful of ghee because it both enkindles the digestive fire AND is mighty efficient at loosening toxins and carrying them away.

With Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Sprouts

If you tried it at my house last week, you tried a batch with three times too much flaxseed oil. Ech!  Try making this yourself with the correct proportions, as below. Or, come back over and I will make you a fresh batch. I want everyone to have some. It is Spring’s divine joy in every bite, so healing and so promising!

This is how I make it now ~

PLEASE NOTE: I now add 1 teaspoon chlorella to this recipe, because cilantro can mobilize more toxins then it can carry out of the body, and Chlorella is a potent intestinal toxin-absorbing agent necessary for efficient elimination.

Double Click for Print Version

The original recipe is a more scientifically named Coriander Chelation Pesto, and comes from the sweet souls at Essential Oils for Healing. This is how they describe its benefits ~

Delicious Chelation Pesto Recipe Removes Heavy Metals and Fallout Radiation from your Body

The main ingredient, Cilantro (aka: fresh coriander/Chinese parsley), is probably the most powerful natural chelating agent around. Besides being a renown culinary herb in Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican cuisines, Cilantro has a long 7000 year history as a medicinal herb. Both the fresh greenery & seeds are also resources of powerfully healing essential oils. Cilantro contains chemical compounds that bind to the heavy metals, loosening them from the tissues, blood and organs. Cilantro’s chemical compounds then aid transport of these harmful substances out of the body through channels of elimination.

This recipe combines cilantro with other ingredients that have a synergistic effect. They cleanse the tissues by increasing the urinary excretion of mercury, lead and aluminum. 

This great recipe is not only easy-to-make, but delicious on toast, baked potatoes and pasta.

Two teaspoons of this pesto daily for three weeks is purportedly enough to substantially clear these toxic metals from the body. It is recommended to repeat this cleanse as a preventative measure at least once a year for three weeks.


I like it generously spread on raw Flaxseed Crackers, which you can make at home.  Eat, Taste, Heal has a great recipe, only I find it easier to pick up a box of Savory FlackersLet me know what you think.  

To your Good Health ~ Namaste!