Add Zest to Your Life and Your Raw Food Recipes
Posted on August 20 2012 | (1) Comments
Category:Raw Snacks and Desserts
One raw food ingredient that I’m crazy about is citrus zest. Adding pieces of the brightly colored outer layer of oranges, lemons, and limes to a recipe makes it taste extra-fresh and especially summery. So it’s no surprise that many of the recipes you find in Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People Revised are ‘zesty.’
Peel a piece of citrus fruit and you’ll see two distinctive sides. There’s the bright outer skin, known as the ‘zest’ that carries the delicious bright taste of the fruit in its essential oils But there’s a bitter truth about the peel of citrus and it’s called the ‘pith.’ The pith of the peel (say THAT three times fast!) is the white under-section and it’s extremely bitter. Make no mistake about it; it’s not tastily tart, it’s nastily bitter. And you don’t want that in your recipe.
It’s difficult (but not impossible) to peel a piece of citrus so carefully that you leave the pith behind. And once you do, the slices of peel will need to be cut up into small pieces as they are too intense to be consumed in large mouthfuls. A better tool to use is a file grater.
I prefer the Microplane brand. It’s wonderful for removing the zest from lemons, limes, and oranges. I also use it to grate fresh nutmeg and ginger.
Zest is especially nice when combined with fresh and dried fruits, too. The tart of the citrus actually brings out the delicate of taste fresh fruit, making it taste even sweeter. It also balances the heavier and more concentrated sweetness that occurs when fruit dries.
My Summer Fruit Platter recipe is a colorful dessert made with sweet, seasonal fruits. I like it much better than traditional fruit salads that often have so much sugar on them that you can’t really taste the natural flavors of the fruit.
All you really need to do to make the platter is slice and arrange your favorite fruits on a pretty plate. Zest lemon, lime, and/or orange over the top. As well as bringing out the flavor when it clings to the berries, grapes, and other fruits, zest also acts as a beautiful garnish.