There's nothing like a ripe fig, picked straight off the tree. For this recipe, figs were a perfect compliment to the delicate flavor of chamomile, which is infused in raw cashew cream. I'm learning, always, about edible flowers and different herbs. Fireweed is a common wild plant in the Pacific NW, and you'll see it all over the roadsides and in open fields that have been recently clearcut or burned by fire. I never knew fireweed was used in herbal medicine, or that the flowers could be used to make jelly or syrups. Now, where I'm at there are only little patches, so I've decided to use them as a beautiful garnish on the dessert. They give a beautiful pink pop!
Chamomile is an herb used for its calming effects. This flowering herb looks like mini daisies, with a yellow bulb-like center which gives chamomile its flavor. A basic cashew cream is a perfect base to capture chamomile's light floweriness.
For this recipe, serve how you please. If having guests over, it may take too long to make up all the plates like the photo above unless you have an assistant. ;) You can serve the heirloom chocolate brownies in little squares with the cream ladled over the top, or ice cream, and top with edible flowers. Or simply make one of the components on its own. But I highly recommend all of them together, as they compliment in flavor and texture.
Chamomile Cashew (Ice) Cream
1 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours and drained
1 cup chamomile tea
1/2 cup coconut oil
3-4 T raw honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
> Make chamomile tea, using 1 cup water and 1-2 chamomile tea bags, or dried chamomile flowers.
> Blend all ingredients in a high power blender until completely smooth.
> Pour into a shallow bowl and let sit overnight in the refrigerator for a cream, or in the freezer for at least 4-5 hours for ice cream.
Chocolate Quinoa Brownie
2/3 cup quinoa flour
1 1/2 cup oats, blended into a flour
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T lucuma powder
1 organic pastured egg
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup cacao paste, melted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 T lemon juice
a few pinches sea salt
> Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
> Make oat flour by blending oats in a high power blender.
> Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl, and mix until combined.
> Mix egg, lemon juice and olive oil with a fork, then add maple syrup.
> Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix, adding melted cacao paste last.
> Pour into a coconut oil greased brownie pan, 8x8".
> Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until set in the middle.
> Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
Use edible flowers for decoration, and a light floral flavor. Fireweed petals and oregano flowers are used in this recipe. Calendula is also great, or johnny jump ups which are both fairly easy to find. Serve with fresh, seasonal fruit!
<< Herbal Additions >>
Chamomile >> relaxing herb with anti-inflammatory properties. Used as a tea can also aid in digestion, is anti-microbial and can be a muscle relaxant. A perfect after-dinner addition to your evening.
Fireweed >> many parts of this plant can be used medicinally. The young shoots can be eaten raw or lightly cooked, and the leaves can be used in salad. When the plant flowers, the leaves can be used for tea, and is great for digestion. It contains tannins, giving it an astringent quality. Also potentially anti-fungal and can be used for candida overgrowth. A addition to this dessert would be a fireweed and chamomile tea!!