So, I've decided to give myself random food challenges.
This will not only be to expand my views of certain foods, but my culinary repertoire. I have to admit that I generally think of certain foods to be good for few purposes. Those tried and true recipes that we all know, and don't really diverge from. No more, I say!
My first challenge is Raw Butternut Squash. I haven't worked much with winter squashes in my life, and I tend to only make creamy soups from them. About a week ago, I did a couple days of just raw food. I had this lovely butternut squash sitting there, crying at me to be used for something... But squash, how could I use you in my raw food adventures? What wonderful flavours could you possibly bring to my raw table? It just screamed CAROB! I don't know why - it just did.
The outcome was amazing! It was spicy, tangy, sweet, and slightly creamy. I ate almost all of it when I found those tasty strips in my dehydrator in the morning.
Mango and Butternut Squash Jerky
1 cup butternut squash, sliced into long, thin strips
1 mango, sliced into long, thin strips
2 Tb. agave
2 Tb. lemon juice
2 Tb. orange juice
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tb. carob
1/4 tsp. aji panca hot sauce*
Mix everything together in a glass bowl, and let sit (I set it in the sun) for about 4 hours. Add the mixture to the dehydrator, on about 100 degrees for about 6 hours or so. (Pretty much as long as it takes to get to a fully dried, malleable state. I put it in overnight with no problem.) If you don't have a dehydrator, use the lowest setting on the oven. If it only goes to 175 degrees, leave the oven door open.
*We used to get this from BeOnLiving.com, but they don't seem to carry it anymore, which is a shame. It's a lovely raw paste made from Peruvian Chiles. Yum!