Red Clover Tea Jelly: a healthy, raw-ish, ennui solver.
I'm 9 days into my Lenten raw-ish cleanse. I made a decision to eat raw fruits and vegetables only (and a few nuts) for the 40 days of Lent. Then I learned that 100% raw fruits/veg are a little hard on my stomach, so I generally eat a cooked vegetable or warm soup once a day too. As the days have passed I've been feeling great, but I've found I needed to tweak my meals a little bit. In the first days I think I was a little healthy fat starved, then I found I needed to add a little warm and/or cooked food, and finally I've realized that I need more desserts, because ending the day with water makes me feel like I'm living in a Gulag.
I knew from the start that I would probably let myself eat dehydrated/freeze dried foods as long as they didn't make up the main stay of my diet. So, after about a week, I remembered that way back when I started this here blog thing-a-ma-jig, I said I would make a tea jelly eventually. At the time I thought that would be a milky, caffeinated tea jelly, but now that I'm desperately seeking dessert options, well, healthy jelly it is.
Are gelatin desserts raw? Not really. Gelatin, even Agar Agar, is processed, and you have to heat at least some of the base liquid so the gelatin fully blooms and assimilates. But I feel fine with heating small amounts of liquid in my diet, so bring on the jelly. Anyway, this is a supremely uncomplicated dessert, and honestly, it's just health food tea, suspended in gelatin, with some freeze dried fruit powder/chunks sprinkled on top. But it's really good, in a grassy kind of way. Also, red clover tea has all sorts of good medicinal benefits. It's anti-inflammatory, and has an earthy, grassy flavor. But you should feel free to choose your own adventure, and use whatever kind of tea you want, whether it's therapeutic, or just good ole Red Zinger sun tea.
Advance gratitude for putting up with the complete lack of cheesy, fatty, meaty, buttery, noodley goodness in my digital life right now. I'm trying not to worry about whether or not this is going to be permanent, or if the mystery illness weight will fall off. Instead, I'm just doing my best to find my way through this Lenten situation. Did I mention that I bought Lily Kunin's new cook book Good Clean Food? I did. It's amazing, and has been really inspiring. Check it out if you need a jumping off point for healthy eating.
RED CLOVER TEA JELLY
- 16 oz red clover tea, or tea of your choice
- Raw honey, or sweetener of your choice
- 1.5 TBS unflavored gelatin
- 10-15 freeze dried raspberries for garnishing
- Brew the tea. Bring 16 ounces of water to a rolling boil. Add 4 TBS red clover tops and turn off heat. Let sit at least 2 minutes. Strain clover tops out and set aside tea to cool.
- Sweeten to taste. Add as much raw honey, or other sweetener, while tea is warm. Stir in sweetener until fully dissolved.
- Bloom gelatin. Once your tea has come to room temperature, bloom the gelatin by lightly sprinkling it evenly on the top of a small amount (1/4-1/2 cup of liquid is plenty) of tea in a small bowl.
- Dissolve gelatin fully. Add small bowl of bloomed gelatin paste to remaining tea in the saucepan and return to heat. Stir gently until gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Set the tea jelly. Coat your mold/glasses/pan of choice with a light coating of oil if you are planning on demolding it. Pour gelatin mixture in dishe/s of choice and place in refrigerator to set. Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours, or until firm.
- Crush the raspberries. Put the freeze dried raspberries in a ramekin or mortar and pestle. If using a ramekin, crush the raspberries against the straight sides of the dish with the back of a small spoon.
- Demold/Garnish. If demolding your jelly, do so by running a paring knife around the edge of the jelly and then gently pulling the jelly from the side of the mold. Place your serving plate on the mold and invert. If the jelly does not release, quickly dip the mold into warm water, being careful not to submerge. Try to invert on a plate again. Sprinkle tea jelly with crushed raspberries and serve.
- If you need a full run-down on gelatin dish making go to my coffee jelly post. I go deep there.
- Use whatever kind of tea you like! Add milk, non-dairy or cow, if that's your thing.
- Make this dessert cut into cubes if you wanna. The coffee jelly post covers that in detail as well.
- Go hog wild, this is basically drinking healthy tea.