Thursday 18 January 2018

Lipsteria... the latest superfood to sweep Ireland

To camu, or not to camu? Susan Jane White takes a look at the next superfood craze to hit Irish stores

Susan Jane White
Susan Jane White

Susan Jane White

A lick of a study can turn into an orgy of misrepresentation. Have you noticed? Here are just a few. Maca supplements boost fertility. Omega 3 cures dementia. Vitamin D tablets vaccinate against the common cold.

The only consistent thing about health science is its inconsistency. You will have no regrets following an interesting and varied diet, deriving nutrition from actual food sources instead of pricey tablets. I reckon it's more fun and effective to get creative in the kitchen, than necking supplements.

Camu camu is the latest health industry pom-pom. This Amazonian fruit has Herculean amounts of vitamin C, more than a crate of lemons and oranges put together. So will supplementation with camu camu cure the flu? I ain't no scientist, but it's worth noting that research is still very limited.

This hasn't stopped the cash-tills pinging, so I opted to buy the wholefood powder to see what all the fuss was. And I did have fun road-testing it.

Camu Camu Cheesecake

Serves 50.

It's hard to suppress the memory of my making this vegan cheesecake at a recent demo. And receiving a standing ovation. It was one of the most mortifying and confusing moments of my life. I must have missed a beat, but suddenly I was parading around the room, holding it like the cup of Christ. I think they call this Jerusalem syndrome. Anyway, no one was harmed.

For the biscuit base, you will need:

Oil for greasing the tins

475g (16¾oz) walnuts

10 medjool dates, stones removed

½ teaspoon unrefined salt

Squeeze of lemon juice

For the filling, you will need:

610g (21½oz) raw unsalted cashews, soaked in water overnight

300ml (10fl oz) raw honey

190ml (6½fl oz) melted coconut oil

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons camu camu powder

5 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

4 teaspoons dried turmeric

Edible flowers, to decorate

You'll need to oil three springform tins, of ascending sizes. I use an 8cm (3in), a 16cm (6in) and a 20cm (8in) springform tin.

To make the base for all three tins, briefly pulse the walnuts, the stoned medjool dates, the unrefined salt and the lemon juice together using a food processor. A blender will puree the ingredients, so it's really essential to use a food processor here. Stop the motor when the dough starts to clump together. Spread the dough over the base of each springform tin. Place the tins in the freezer to set.

Now for the filling. Drain the raw unsalted cashew nuts and discard the soaking liquid. Cream the now-softened cashews with the raw honey, the melted coconut oil, the lemon juice, the camu camu powder, the grated fresh ginger, and the turmeric - until smooth and glossy. This should take two minutes in a blender or a little longer in a food processor. Pour this creamy filling over the three frozen bases and return the tins to the freezer until the fillings have set.

Allow the cakes to thaw for five minutes before removing them from their tins, and stacking them on top of one another. Parachute some edible flowers on top.

With a bit of luck, you'll only suffer from Stendhal syndrome.

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