Travelling in Morocco, I visited markets and smelled amazing spices in the air. I created Moroccan Carrot Salad to remind me of this experience. The flavours in this cuisine are inspired by African roots, Arabic spices and Spanish and French flowers. Upon a visit to any souk in Morocco one notices the most brilliantly coloured bins of spices. Spices are the defining point to any authentic Moroccan meal and are also known to be used for their medicinal value. Although some are imported from the East, most are indigenous to Morocco. The spices most important to Moroccan cuisine are cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, aniseed, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin, and saffron — the most expensive spice in the world. This recipe is inspired by these warm colours and flavours.
MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD
4 organic carrots
2 organic oranges
2 organic dates (chopped)
1 teaspoon rose water
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
Pinch of cinnamon powder
Pinch of cardamom powder
Pinch of ginger powder
1 teaspoon raw honey, maple syrup, or raw coconut nectar
Raw orange chocolate
1 cup organic cacao butter, tempered cacao paste, or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups organic cacao powder
Pinch Himalayan pink salt
2 tablespoons organic agave nectar or coconut palm sugar
4-5 drops of orange essential oil
Shred carrots, then mix in a glass bowl with the rest of ingredients, except the oranges. Let the mixture sit and marinate for about 10 minutes.
Cut the oranges in half, scoop out the insides, and squeeze the orange juice over the carrot salad.
When ready to eat, serve salad in the scooped orange ‘bowls’ with orange slices on the side and raw orange chocolate on the top.
Cut organic cacao butter or tempered cacao paste into small pieces and melt on the stove in a glass pan at around 35 degrees Celsius.
Add organic cacao powder, and keep mixing with a wooden spoon. When all mixed in and the texture is smooth turn off the stove.
Add Himalayan pink salt, orange essential oil, and organic agave nectar or coconut palm sugar. Mix well.
Pour mixture into heart shaped chocolate moulds. Put the chocolates in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to set, then store them in a glass container in refrigerator for up to 8 weeks.
One of my favourite places to visit is Jamaica. The Jamaican people are so warm-hearted, and it doesn’t hurt that the food is so delicious there. I visited a fruit plantation, where I had a chance to see how jackfruit, mangos, breadfruit, and so many amazing tropical flowers are grown. I especially loved the chocolate and coffee. Rising 2256 metres above the sea, Blue Mountain Peak is the highest spot in Jamaica. This is where the world’s best single origin coffee grows. Elevation for growing coffee is critical, and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee must be cultivated at an elevation between 549 and 1676 metres. Many Jamaicans drink their cup of coffee with a little local rum. Another favourite drink is chocolate tea, the Jamaican version of what’s better known in other parts of the world as hot chocolate. This is usually enjoyed at breakfast time but I think it’s perfect for any time of day. I merged these two traditions, creating my own version of Coffee Mocha, made with non-caffeinated natural herbal coffee, Teeccino.
JAMAICAN MOCHA TEECCINO
2 bags of Mocha or Hazelnut Teeccino
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
2 frozen bananas
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Pinch of Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon of raw coconut cream or meat from fresh coconut
1/2 teaspoon of reishi powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of lucuma powder (optional)
Cayenne pepper to taste
Shredded coconut flakes
Steep 2 bags of Teeccino in one cup of water, and leave to cool.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend in a high speed blender.
Add ice if you want for an extra-chilled smoothie.
Top with shredded coconut and serve.
Visit Olenkos Kitchen where many more healthy and colourful recipes can be found.