Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Think Coconut Lemon Bar when you are trying to figure out what these will taste like. Tamarind isn't quite as crisp for flavor, but it actually reminds us a lot more of sweet tart candy. Even if you can eat lemon, you might just like the tamarind better!
Since losing lemon last year Abby has really mourned it. She has done well with Tamarind but we are hesitant to use it too often, we work hard to resist the temptation to eat it much more frequently and dutifully keep in on a long rotation! Not easy though, we adore tamarind in everything. So on days like today when I go all out using tamarind everyone is very happy in our family.
From Mercola: "Similar to the natural gums and pectins found in other foods, the sticky pulp referred to earlier contains non-starch polysaccharides, which contribute to its dietary fiber content. They bind with bile to help flush waste through the colon, decreasing the chances of it sticking around.
Each 100 grams of tamarind contain 36% of the thiamin, 35% of the iron, 23% of magnesium and 16% of the phosphorus recommended for a day's worth of nutrition. Other prominent nutrients include niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, and pyridoxine.
Tamarinds also contain high levels of tartaric acid, just as citrus fruits contain citric acid, providing not just a zing to the taste buds, but evidence of powerful antioxidant action zapping harmful free radicals floating through your system.
Other phytochemicals found in tamarinds include limonene, geraniol (a natural antioxidant with a rose-like scent), safrole (a natural oil also found in sassafras), cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate (a plant essence with counter-irritant properties), pyrazine, and alkylthiazoles (natural flavors and fragrances derived from plants and vegetables). Each brings its own flavor and/or healing property to the fruit's overall make-up."
We have had good luck buying the tamarind already shelled and compressed into blocks of the fruit.(Asian Markets, Latin Markets and Amazon of course!) You will still have to strain it to remove the seeds and veins but from my own experience it is gobs easier then shelling,removing veins and seeds from each pod individually. We did start by using the individual pods since anything "processed" is a concern for cross contaminates, but knock on wood, the blocks of tamarind have been safe.
1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup cornfree powdered sugar(homemade is safest!)
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or whatever is safe for you)
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil
For the filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups organic C&H cane sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tamarind puree (see below)
3/4 cup shredded Tropical Traditions coconut
1/4 cup corn-free powdered sugar to top the bars.
Preheat oven to 350
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment(really the easiest they tend to stick!)
In large bowl combine flour,powdered sugar, and salt. Cut the coconut oil into the flour combo. Press firmly into pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake crust for 20 minutes.
(reduce oven temperature to 325 after crust has baked)
In large bowl combine eggs, sugar, flour, tamarind puree, and coconut.
When crust is finished baking, pour tamarind mix over the crust.
Reduce oven heat to 325
Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Don't over bake.
Sprinkle with corn-free powdered sugar. Allow to chill completely. We cut into this batch before it was fully chilled and it resulted in slightly messy though still delicious bars.
MAKING TAMARIND PUREE:
I buy the blocks of tamarind paste at the Asian market(on amazon as well). It is the whole fruit compressed into a block. I cut about 1/2 block into small pieces. Then I place in a bowl and cover with equal amounts of boiling hot water. Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Stir vigorously until it becomes more paste like. Place through fine strainer in order to remove any stems, veins and seeds. Measure out 3/4 cup tamarind for the bars. You can store remaining puree in the fridge.