WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lotus Seeds (Lotus Seed Paste Pop Tarts)

I have hesitated to bring these home, for some reason they look like weird olives to me. They also have them dried, and next time I hit the market I will definitely be buying those too!

Some information on the lotus seeds from Home Remedies:

Nutritional Information and Properties
Lotus seeds are a rich source of phosphorus, protein, potassium and magnesium. They may also contain zinc and iron. The seeds contain low levels of sugar, sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. One ounce of raw lotus seeds contains approximately 94.3 calories.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses
Lotus seeds are popular for their nutritional benefits and healing properties. They are commonly used in Chinese medications and also in various recipes.

Lotus seeds contain L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase, an enzyme with anti-ageing properties. It is known to help in repairing damaged proteins.
The seeds contain kaempferol, a flavonoid known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to help in repairing aging gum tissue.
The astringent properties of lotus seeds make them beneficial for the kidneys. They help to regulate the energy levels of the body.
Some studies indicate that lotus seeds may be used to treat various sexual conditions.
Lotus seeds are used in Chinese medicine to relieve the problem of diarrhea. They are also used to improve the health of the spleen.
Traditionally, lotus seeds were used to treat people with sleeping disorders such as insomnia. They are also known to be effective in alleviating restlessness. This is due to the natural sedative and calming effects of the seeds.
The center of the lotus seed is known to be beneficial for the heart due to its cooling properties. The bitterness of the seeds comes from isoquinoline alkaloids which are believed to induce a calming effect and are also anti-spasmodic in nature. They cause dilation of the blood vessels and thus help in controlling blood pressure levels.
Some medicinal researchers believe that lotus seeds help to strengthen the digestive process and relieve diarrhea.
The seeds are sometimes combined with other herbs in order to treat urinary ailments such as prostatitis and reproductive diseases. However it is advisable to consult a doctor before using any natural remedies such as lotus seeds.
Other Uses
Lotus seeds also contain a powerful anti-aging enzyme which researchers are now trying to add to various anti-ageing products and cosmetics. The dried seed heads are sold for decorative purposes across the world. These seeds are commonly used in dried flower arranging.

One of the many benefits to Abby being a very clean diet is that when we try something new we can usually tell right away whether it is a keeper or whether it needs to be avoided.

These were a huge hit! I made a lotus seed paste with the canned lotus seeds in syrup. Mixed with brown sugar the paste is like a super rich caramel flavor with a hint of something nutty- really not weird at all and another food I wish we had found earlier.

Lotus Seed Pop Tarts

Preheat oven to 350

1¾ cups lotus seed paste ***see below
Some grapeseed oil and poppy seeds to garnish

Water dough

¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn-free powdered sugar
1 tablespoon palm shortening
3-4 tablespoons water

Oil dough
½ cup gf flour, sifted(if you want these more delicate, remove 1 tablespoon of the all purpose gf and add 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch)
3 tablespoons palm shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt

Water dough: Sift the gf flour and powdered sugar together. Cut in the palm shortening, then gradually add the water until the mixture comes together (use only as much water as you need to bring together). It will hold together but will be stiff; knead for a 1-2 minutes and the dough will become smooth and formed ball,cover.

Oil dough:
Combine the ingredients and press together into a ball. This dough will hold together but be a little powdery.
Cover both dough and set aside to rest for 10minutes.

1) flatten the water dough. Set the ball of the oil dough into the center and pull water dough up around it so the oil dough is covered in the center. Roll into rectangle and roll up like a jelly roll. Turn dough and roll out again into rectangle. Place lotus seed paste over 1/2. Carefully fold the dough in half so the paste is inside. Brush with a bit of grapeseed oil and sprinkle with poppyseeds. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Slice into servings serve hot or cold. We added a quick water and corn-free powdered sugar glaze to these, though they did not need it.

*** Lotus seed paste- a lot of recipes on the web for this. I used the canned lotus seeds. I poured them and their syrup in a pot and simmered softly for about 1 hour. I poured the syrup and seeds in the Ninja and blended. I then pushed them through a screen the seeds don't break down completely and leave tiny grit so you have to screen it. I then placed the screened seeds with 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and cooked on medium stirring the whole time till "paste" like. You can also buy the lotus seed paste already premade. Dried lotus seeds need soaking and often have a center stem that needs removing before you can eat it(the stem is bitter). Canned or premade is easiest.

Note: On the final roll out for the tart pastry I recommend doing it on a piece of parchment. Gf dough is difficult to work with and tends to crack and crumble. If you roll on parchment you can grab the parchment to fold dough in half over the paste. Then you can place parchment and all right on the cookie sheet to bake.


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