A Instagram page on food philosophy and affordable health through real food, developed into a series of zines by the same name.
Where Do Bananas Come From?
EAT SHIT & DIE
Chicken of Tomorrow
533. Go get yourself a #clay #pot, it completely changes your food. Not to mention better for you and the earth in a number of ways, and also is great for your garden if it gets broken.
The beauty of a clay pot is it retains moisture a lot better. Metal cookware got popular for its durability but also its faster cooking. Metal gets hot really fast but doesn't retain the heat so well, so you get a spike in heat. This will burn your food. Clay, being porous, retains moisture and heat, making sure that you can't burn your food, but also making a natural slow cooker. Because metal heats so fast and so erratically, we had to start using fats and oils with it, you don't need oils for clay pots.
Clay is also alkaline, making your food less acidic, completely transforming the flavor that can make food astringent. Tomatoes, for example, can be slow cooked to mush and they become this beautifully savory sweet soup with little added to them.
Also because clay is earth, it's a vital part of soil, and therefore a vital sustainer of life, clay pots are believed to contribute extra calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus to your food just by cooking in them. Plus the slower cooking, and retention of water and nutrients, makes for a much deeper flavor and much healthier meal from the exact same ingredients. It's sort of unbelievable. Put it this way, when I baked this sourdough loaf this morning, my roommate asked if I was making bacon.
Also have to throw in the fact that when this breaks down, it becomes mud, not metal in landfills. But also, because I've broken a few in my time, you can add it to the compost and it's actually a huge benefit. The porous nature acts a bit like charcoal, and locks in nutrients and microorganisms from the compost, to feed your garden for years to come. When they tried to figure out how the Amazon got so lush, they found clay pots buried within the special soil mix the indigenous people made.
Plus the fact it has no C8 or teflon, or anything terrifying for both you and the earth.
And at just $13 for this treasure, they are super worth transitioning over to. Make soups and sauces, make breads, use them just like you would any other pot.
This Friday and Saturday!! I'm looking for a few volunteers to help on Friday at about 5:30, message me if you can help 🙏🏽 #puertoricoisdying
Just got updated THIS MORNING that they are going to LIMIT electricity usage in Puerto Rico, because the grid has yet to be rebuilt, plus a substation explosion earlier this week sent the island back into darkness. 5 months have gone by in the dark. Thank you @luminaid for giving a charitable discount so I could buy a bunch of solar powered lanterns in bulk. It tears my heart apart to know people still need these, but that is the reality.
Come to my gallery show/fundraiser on Friday in Richmond to continue to help. Details in bio.
Striking. The results of a 10+ year economic recession.
Source: US Census Data
I have a pop up show about Puerto Rico, five months after Hurricane Maria, at @candelabooksandgallery scheduled for Feb 23 & 24. Come out 🙏🏽. Check out the schedule of events in the link in my bio.
UP NEXT: POP-UP EXHIBITION
Steven Casanova: DAY 155, 156, 157. A show about Puerto Rico five months after Hurricane Maria. February 22-24 at Candela.
528. Restocking my once-a-day antibiotic tincture, aka hot sauce. Roasted #jalapeños + roasted #garlic (in tin foil so it doesn't burn), blended with vinegar and honey makes an amazing sauce you can add to almost anything.
Chili peppers and garlic are two of the most pungent antibiotics found in nature, plus the honey (both antibiotic AND probiotic) and vinegar (fermented grains), all 4 are used in common home remedies for a number of illnesses, making homemade hot sauce a daily health potion for your gut.
Your gut is your immune system but it's also closely linked to your brain. Almost everything that happens there is reflected all over the body. Healthy gut, healthy everything. And hot sauce can keep it all healthy and clean.
If you can, get your jalapeños from a Latino market, you'll pay a fraction of what it costs elsewhere. You can also find red jalapeños (ripened) which are sweeter and spicier. That's what I usually use (sriracha is made from red jalapeños) but variety is key so I went for the green ones that were 10 for $1.
Roast the peppers and garlic pouch under the broiler or on the grill or over the bonfire, whatever you got. Blend together and once it makes a thick paste, add some raw, unfiltered honey and enough vinegar to the consistency you want. You can add a little water to cut the vinegar if it's too acidic. Just make sure it's at least 75% vinegar so that it doesn't spoil.
These bottles of daily health cost me about $2 a month.
527. Save your #banana peels and ferment them for your garden.
Fruits exist as vessels to carry new, future life for the plant. The seed obviously carries the new generation, coded with all the life experience the parent plant earned, but the fruit is the egg, the first crib and the baby food for the new born. As a fruit ripens and breaks down, it is releasing the seeds, providing the sugars starches to feed it and fermenting to allow the nutrients to be accessible enough to help the new plant grow.
If we grew food nature's way, we would bury entire tomatoes to make new plants. We'd also plant the seeds straight fro animal wastes. Instead, we supplement the nutrients and manure afterwards, for good reason and also not so good reason. Nonetheless, the most successful plant growth comes from our most prolific teacher, Mother Nature.
And so we must do the best we can to mimic the process laid out for us. Manure is crucial as is replenishing the nutrients that get taken from the soil. Compost is great for this. However, we are missing the fermentation, the microbiotics that would be the first thing the new life is introduced to.
We can mimic this with our own techniques, fermented food scraps make for super charged energy sources for new plants and banana peels are particularly awesome. Potassium is great for root growth - important for all plants but adding peels to your potatoes and carrots (and all root veggies) will dramatically increase the yield you get. The second major nutrient peels offer is phosphorus - the nutrient that helps your seeds sprout and gives healthy flowers. And there's a whole list of other nutrients that help but those are the major two that make banana peels great.
Since bananas are the single most eaten fruit in the United States, there's plenty to go around. So, although I've been actively boycotting bananas since learning that @Chiquitabrands has a history with a Colombian massacre of upwards of 3,000 people, people around me always are tossing out peels. Which I shamelessly ask them for. I chop them up and then toss in the freezer until I have a big pile.
526. This is what #hibiscus looks like before it’s dried! And it tastes incredible.
There’s so much beauty in food that we miss in the U.S. It’s because we use the vast majority of our agricultural land to grow corn and soybeans, really Florida and California are the only states really producing much else. And we also have an appetite for international foods that just can’t grow here. (Not to mention the way we grow things.) But that’s why we only experience so many foods dried or frozen or completely processed.
I guarantee if you are ordering any tropical fruits in your smoothies (outside of canned pineapple) then they are coming in the form of a sugary juice concentrate.
The hibiscus plant (aka roselle aka sorrel) is actually this magic plant that you can make fibers out of for making bags and such, and the leaves can be eaten like spinach, but with more flavor, and both the roots and flowers are so healthy they’re regarded as ‘superfoods’. Also, because the inside is naturally full of pectin, you can make hibiscus jelly or jam with just the fresh flower and sugar.
These are the flowers. The petals are firm, you actually snap the leaves off, which are super crispy and delicious. The flavor is sweet and sour – with a strong acidic taste like a lemon. That taste we associate with citrus, from the citric acid (Vitamin C) tells me that a single petal of fresh hibiscus probably has half my day’s need of Vitamin C.
Unfortunately, since vitamin C is water soluble, it dramatically declines in the drying process. Still, a glass of hibiscus tea is high in Vitamin A, C, and iron - all three great at jumpstarting the body - plus plenty of micronutrients. And so hibiscus is often my tea of choice when I fast. Lots of nutrition, but it also depresses my appetite, as well as acts as a diuretic – helping flush my body.
These were one of the first crops to come completely back on one of the farms in Lares. They only have a line of plants on the hillside, but with each plant producing at least 10 flowers at a time, they have plenty of this super food to go around.
THANK YOU AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADASSA!! We've got a camera! Now just looking for a tripod to put it on, a few memory cards (swipe left to see what kind) and if we could get an audio recorder we'd be so set. Can't wait for the farmers to be able to share the things they do and learn with their community around Puerto Rico and the world. (See post from 4 days ago). You all are amazing ❤️❤️❤️. And peep @micmasremix cause they're clearly dope people.
524. I woke up 2 hours early for work just to be able to bake the #sourdough loaf I made last night.
I make so much bread cause I need to eat - I need it in my life's diet. I need the bread to sustain, and the bread making for my peace. The process becomes apart of you.
I love sourdough not only because it is the healthiest bread to eat (all other yeast breads are artificially risen) but also because it takes time, and the patience needed to make this bread is part of the reward. Most breads takes about 2.5 hours, sourdough takes about 9. So I have to plan my day around it. Not to mention that I've been taking care of my current culture for 2 months now. For a hour a day (every other day when I'm making less) I must put everything else aside and focus on my hands making dough, crafting life, working to building something for myself and others.
And I was being literal when I say it becomes apart of you. There was a recent worldwide study that sought to find out how different enviornments affect sourdoughs. (Since it is using the yeast from the air, every kitchen will produce a different loaf). The study not only found drastic differences between different loaves (color, taste, smell) using the exact same ingredients and methods, but they found that the baker played a huge roll.
They tested the hands of all the bakers, to see what bacteria from the hands might get in the sourdough, and what they found is that the external layers of hands of the bakers was as much as 50% sourdough culture! The general public has about 4% on their hands, and even though the bakers had washed their hands and travelled to the testing facility, their hands were still made up of sourdough biotics. So much so, that a baker might be able to knead just flour and water and make it rise from the yeasts living in their hands alone. That is magic.
Think about how much a farmer's hands reflect their land and how much we are literal reflections of our enviornments. We are more than what we eat, we are the process of how we get that food, and the result of everything else we allow into our lives.
A 40 cent mix of flour, water, and salt, plus my own energy and intention, make my daily bread.