Pineapple Core Cole-Slaw

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Pineapple Core Cole-Slaw

While you probably already have a multitude of favorite recipes for the juicy flesh of the pineapple, what do you with the core? It’s still fragrant and sweet, but the tough core isn’t pleasant to munch on. It can be blended, added to sangria or used to make a broth for seafood stew or South-East Asian soups, but we prefer a fresh and simple slaw.

TuCamino Travel's fearless leader, Nena Belen Ocampo, taking the beloved pineapple out for a surf.

TuCamino Travel's fearless leader, Nena Belen Ocampo, taking the beloved pineapple out for a surf.

Once symbolic of the Hawaiian Islands where Dole’s 1950s plantation empire boomed, the pineapple is now a dominant part of the Costa Rican identity. Since the 1980s, a majority of pineapple production relocated to the lush, tiny country, which now produces over 60% of the world’s pineapples for export.[1]

Known as piña because it reminded Christopher Columbus of a pinecone, it originated in Brazil but made its way to Central America, where it was prized by the Mayans and Aztecs. The only edible species in the bromeliad family, it’s the singular food source for bromelain, an enzyme that is anti-inflammatory and aids digestion, circulation and immunity. Though simple to propagate and grow, each pineapple plant takes 2-3 years to bear just one or two fruits. Now that surely justifies the price on its spiky, golden head!

Roughly 26,000 Costa Ricans and Nicaraguan migrant workers earn their living working in the pineapple fields,[2] growing sweet and juicy treats for the whole country and world. Our fruit stands, markets, and produce trucks are stuffed with the poky little things, but in Puerto Viejo, we prefer to grab ours at our weekly organic farmers market. Our neighbors and countrymen who work on conventional farms are exposed to harsh agrochemicals in their daily work and we truly hope that soon all farms will be organic, sparing the health of the workers and the land. Those same chemicals also contaminate the groundwater, rivers and oceans and all the biodiversity that depends on them for survival.

When you visit Costa Rica, you are immersed in a rich density of living things — from people to plants to creature — that is almost overwhelming abundant; the food is no exception! Simple, fresh, nutritious meals are the mainstay here and perhaps that’s why Costa Ricans are categorized as some of the happiest, longest-living people on the planet. What’s so particularly magical is that by choosing to eat this wondrous, healthy food you actually help to preserve it for generations to come.

We must enjoy the products of our international neighbors in harmony and moderation — whether you are drinking a post-surf pineapple-turmeric juice with us while on a TuCamino trip or you’re in the wintry north eating a Christmas pineapple upside-down cake with your family — you are a welcome part of the Costa Rican farming system! Choose organic and fair trade and you will make a positive impact on both your body and your global community. 

As it grows, the pineapple emerges as a tiny version of itself, splendid with sacred geometry. 

As it grows, the pineapple emerges as a tiny version of itself, splendid with sacred geometry. 


Caribbean Pineapple Core Slaw

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Pineapple Core
¼ Head Green Cabbage
¼ Head Red Cabbage
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Bunch Cilantro
1 Red Onion
1 tbsp. Natural Sea Salt
1 tbsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Ground Jamaica Pepper (Allspice)
¼ Cup Coconut Cream
1 Lime

Method:

Finely slice the cabbage and massage with the sea salt. Set aside. (This will help to break down the cabbage, making it more digestible and nutritious).

Grate the pineapple core using the large-holed side of a cheese grater or a mandolin with a julienne blade (if using the latter, go slow and protect your finger tips!). Thinly slice the red onion and bell pepper and add to grated pineapple.

In a separate bowl, add the coconut cream and stir in the cilantro, roughly chopped, along with the spices. Gradually whip in the juice of the lime.

Stir the creamy coconut sauce into to the cabbage, then add the pineapple mix. Toss all together thoroughly and enjoy!


[1] Source: http://foodtank.com/news/2015/05/costa-ricas-pineapple-monopoly-not-so-sweet

[2] Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/oct/02/truth-about-pineapple-productio

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Asian-Inspired Salad with Jalapeño Lime Dressing

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Asian-Inspired Salad with Jalapeño Lime Dressing

Growing up in Hawaii and California, I was blessed to eat a lot of outstandingly delicious Asian food. Living in Latin America now, I rarely encounter any Asian restaurant that could qualify as authentic and I definitely miss the flavors. The majority of the fruits and vegetables growing here, however, are either from Asia or were brought to there as a result of European colonialism, so it's not too challenging to bring a little Asian flavor into the kitchen down here. Sure, it's hard to find real soy sauce or curry paste or miso but you can make do without it. Here's one quick, easy and filling meal that will help you satisfy your craving.

Asian-Inspired Salad
Mung bean sprouts
Snow peas
Thai spinach (this is the variety you will find all over Latin America)
Radish
Carrot
Tomatoes
Red & green bell pepper
Green onions
Avocado
Hard boiled egg
Brown rice

Jalapeño Lime Dressing
/2 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
Green onions
1/2 jalapeño, seeded
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup sesame oil (or coconut oil if you can't find any)
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

Slice all your veggies thinly and place over a bowl of brown rice. Slice your boiled egg and place on top, sprinkling with green onions, sesame seeds and cilantro to taste. Blend all dressing ingredients until emulsified and pour over your salad. Simple as that! Enjoy!

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Raw Falafel

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yields 20 pieces

 
INGREDIENTS:
 
1 CUP SUNFLOWER SEEDS, SOAKED
1/2 CUP SESAME SEEDS, SOAKED
4 LARGE CARROTS, SHREDDED
2 TBSP NUTRITIONAL YEAST

1 LEMON, JUICED
1 CUP PARSELY, FINELY CHOPPED
1 SMALL ONION
4 LARGE GARLIC CLOVES
1 TBSP CUMIN
1 TBSP BLACK PEPPER
 

Shred the carrots and onion and set aside. In a high-speed blender or food processor, cream together the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds with the lemon juice and spices. Fold the seed mixture in with the carrots and parsley. Shape into balls, roughly one inch in diameter and place them on a waxed dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 105 F for 8 -12 hours, until outside is crispy and inside is still moist and creamy.  

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Raw Whole Seed Mustard

This recipe utilizes raw miso in place of salt and the sweetness of dates instead of honey. You could easily play around with switching out for the other ingredients. You may find yourself needing extra dates or honey, too, as mustard seed can become impressively potent when it is soaked in water. If you let your mustard temper in a jar in the fridge for a few days, you will find the spice-level drops to something a little less sinus-clearing. The sunflower seeds in this recipe are to help give a creamier texture and also to make the heat a little milder. Feel free to forgo them if you'd prefer a more traditional mustard flavor.

yields 1 cup

Ingredients:
 
1/2 cup mustard seeds, soaked
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp raw miso paste
1 lemon, juiced
1 date, pitted
1/2 -1 cup water 

 
Soak the mustard seeds for 8 hours then drain the soaking liquid. Place them in the blender with all other ingredients and blend until creamy, adding water as needed to gain desired texture. For milder mustard, add more sunflower seeds and/or dates.

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Raw Extra Creamy Tahini

yields 2 cups    


Ingredients:
 
1 cup sesame seeds, soaked
1/4 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 -1/2 cup water
1 lemon, juiced

Place the sesame seeds and cashews into blender with lemon juice and a small amount of the water. As you begin blending, add water as needed to allow the ingredients to whip into a creamy sauce. As this tahini is totally raw it must be refrigerated for storage. 

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Raw Zucchini Hummus

yields 2 cups


Ingredients:
 
2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked
1/2 cup raw tahini
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp cumin
juice & zest of 1 lemon
 

Blend all ingredients together until they are thoroughly creamed and fluffy. Feel free to garnish with a drizzle of flax oil and finely chopped parsley!

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Lemon Thyme Super Protein Crackers

yields 25 pieces

 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup pepitas, soaked
1 cup flax, soaked
4 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup young sprouts (broccoli, clover, etc)
1 tbsp juniper berry
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp dried thyme
juice & zest of 1 lemon
 
Roughly chop the pepitas and mix with chia and sprouts. Blend the flax until doughy and fold in with the seeds and sprouts. Grind the spices finely and stir into the mixture along with lemon juice and zest. Spread thickly and evenly over waxed dehydrator sheets and use a pizza cutter to score 5x5. Dry at 105 F for 8 hours, or until crisp. 

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Rosemary Calendula Zucchini Crackers

yields 25 pieces

 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup flax, soaked
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked
2 small zucchini
1 small onion
1/4 cup nutirtional yeast
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup dried calendula petals
1 tsp raw miso paste 

Finely shred the zucchini and onion, combine with calendula petals and set aside in a large bowl. Blend together the flax and sunflower seeds with all other ingredients and then stir into the zucchini mixture. Spread thickly and evenly over waxed dehydrator sheets and use a pizza cutter to score 5x5. Dry at 105 F for 8 hours, or until crisp. 

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Tortilla Wraps (Raw Vegan)

yields 8

Ingredients:
2 carrots, shredded
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 cup flax, soaked
2 tbsp psyllium husks
1 avocado
1 cup sunflower sprouts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup garlic scapes
1 cup parsely, chopped
1 cup dill, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped


Set carrots, onions and herbs aside in a large bowl and blend all other ingredients together, adding water as needed to create a thick liquid. Stir everything together and spread thickly and evenly over waxed dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 105 F for 8 hours, until dry yet flexible. Cut into four and eat right away or store in the fridge for delicious wraps later. 

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Raw Vegan "Cheesy" Kale Bread

yields approximately 20 slices

Ingredients:

BY WEIGHT
280 g soaked almonds
165 g soaked flax
80 g kale
4 g sage
40 g nutritional yeast
4 g sea salt
8 g black pepper

BY VOLUME
2 cups soaked almonds
1 cup soaked flax
1 cup kale, shredded
1/2 tbsp sage
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp sea salt

Prepare your kale by removing the tough stems, then chiffonade the leaves or shred them in a food processor. In a large bowl, massage the kale with the salt until it softens — this little act aids the digestibility of these fibrous little guys. Pulse the almonds in the food processor until you have a fine flour-like meal.  Mix together kale, ground almonds, and spices. Place the flax in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until you have a doughy consistency, adding a little water, if needed to keep it moving. Fold the flax mixture into the flour & spice blend, mixing thoroughly. Spread the mix evenly on waxed paper or a teflon dehydrator sheet, approximately 12 mm (1/2 inch) thick. Using a knife or a pizza or pastry cutter, score this to the desired bread slice sizes (I suggest 5x5) then bake* or dehydrate at 43 C/110 F for 12 hours or until crisp yet flexible.

*The majority of us don't have dehydrators or low temperature capable ovens, so how do we achieve raw crackers? Sometimes we don't, and that's okay. But you can set your oven to its lowest setting and leave it a crack open (this is ever so nice in cold regions/seasons) and you'll get pretty darn close! If you'd like to try this as a fully cooked recipe, set your oven to 200 C/400 F and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

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