Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta with Toffee

I recently travelled to the beautiful tropical island of Fiji,  in the South Pacific. I was travelling to Fiji to follow my business mentor Pat Mesiti,  for a 4 day business conference. After the conference we decided  to stay for an extra week, and consolidate what will learnt …………..who goes to Fiji for 4 days and then goes home?

We were staying luxurious  Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Denarau Island. We were able to take our time and sample the food at their amazing restaurant’s, we had breakfast in the Lagoon restaurant, which has a lovely outdoor area where you can get up close and personal to the little tiny frogs and lilies.

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After finishing our course we were able to explore the island and find the local markets and try local food, the type not designed for tourists’….I love being able to find local cuisine and flavours in little back streets. Un fortunately due to the recent hurricane more of the bananas and papayas had been wiped out, so a feast of pineapples and coconuts were on the menu, with about 8 tiny papayas  found and slowly consumed….just heaven.

We have recently returned home to the South Coast were we have endured horrific flooding and freezing tempturaturess…well after sitting on a tropical island for a couple of weeks anything is freezing. All I could think of was coconut, fresh sweet delicous, nourishing coconuts. Now I don’t have access to a coconut tree so the next best thing is an organic tin of coconut cream…and this is what I dreamt up…

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Ingredients

1 can organic coconut cream ( I used Ayam  coconut cream, 270 mls)

1 1/2 teaspoon agar agar

1-2 teaspoons of organic coconut syrup or nectar

2 drops organic lime essential oil

Fresh fruits of your desire

Method

Place 1/3 of a cup of the coconut cream into a small bowl and add the agar agar and stir , leave it for 5-10 minutes. Bring to a gentle boils the remainder of the coconut cream and then add the agar agar mixture and stir until it all has melted and is not grainy. Add the sweetener and stir for a minute. I then added two drops of organic lime essential oil.

Pour the cream into small moulds and let it set in the fridge ,it doesn’t take long, maybe one hour. Then garnish with fresh fruits,coconut chips, lychees,citrus fruits or you could then do what I decided to do…

I actually then did a second can of coconut cream as I was excited to make a vegan toffee.

 

Vegan Toffee

3=4 tablespoons of coconut sugar

a small amount of filtered water

Method

Place the sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently ,then add your water and boil. This is a matter of watching and not letting it burn, most people have made normal toffee with white sugar so its the same technique. After an few minutes you can pour the toffee onto baking paper to let it set and then crush it and sprinkle over the Panna Cotta or you can be impatient like me and have a semi set toffee which was thick and sticky and be happy.

Hope you enjoy the vegan version of a fabulous traditional dessert.

Enjoy

Angela xx

Water Kefir….. a healthy drink

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Have you heard of water kefir?

Water kefir came into our lives a many years ago , when I first tried this unusual drink  was a semi flat flavoured drink that I didnt particularly like the flavour of, a bit like vomit really..well thats what I remember.  One year later I was staying on the  Gold Coast with a friend and she said…..would you like to try some of my water kefir?…oh no thats fine …I said… Im not sure that I like it. She went to the fridge and opened a green wine bottle and as she turned the lid it fizzed. Wow…….a little early in the morning for bubbles  I said….…No this is the water kefir!, and now would you like to try it?

Well my addiction started from that moment on, as I am partial to a few bubbles. I had learnt from my friend that she always did a second fermentation with the kefir and my friend had only ever done the first ferment as she didn’t really like bubbles.

So what is water kefir and why is it so fabulous for us I hear you ask….

Water kefir is is made from kefir grains, little gelatinous looking and yeast cultures made up of strains of healthy bacteria. These little grains live in a symbiotic relationship together. Also found in the water kefir are vitamin B, vitamin K, folic acid , potasium , magnesium and phophorus. These grains are living and if you treat them bad they will not survive. They like to be fed regularly and looked after in a nice warmish environment. If this is done they will constantly feed you and your family with amazing beautful refreshing bubbly drinks.

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Each batch of water kefir contains different strains of healthy probiotic bacteria.  You can make the water kefir by adding organic sugar to water and those tiny little grains go straight to work and eat up all that sugar creating lots of bubbles and hence carbonation . So there is no need to be frightened of the amount of sugar that goes into the water. There are many health  reasons to drink water kefir, some include aiding your digestion,skin issues, contribute to a healthy immune system, helps reduce inflamation in the body the list goes on…Google the health benefits of drinking water kefir, you will be amazed.

You can have your water kefir as a natural flavour( straight from the first ferment ) or as I found out you can make it extra delicous by making a second ferment and adding aditional flavours. You can use fruit juices, coconut water and diferent types of sugars. Which all go together to produce a fabulous fermented bubbly drink for you and your family to share.

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Stay tuned for my next post as I will explain the….How To ….and a couple of my favourite recipes and ….Where ….you can purchase the grains from…….from me of course.

Angela xx