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Follow me on my journey through Motherhood, the Divine world of Raw Organic Eating, Greater Spiritual Awarness and a life that will eventually lead to Self Sufficiency and Complete Contentment.......This is my journey.....

Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Amazing JACKFRUIT! Raw chewing gum, icecream and more....

Well to kick off my new inspired self back into the vibrant life of raw living and self sufficiency, I want to share with you a newly discovered fruit I have just found.....the incredibly amazing and versatile fruit known as Jackfruit. I had heard of a jack fruit very vaguely but knew nothing about it, that was until we moved to our piece of paradise and discovered a massive old tree growing in our back yard, literally loaded with massive knobbly fruits. After a little Internet research, I confirmed my suspicions and found out they were actually indeed the jackfruit. So what is a jackfruit? Well actually something very fascinating. Its a tropical fruit grown and widely used mostly in Asia. It has the largest known fruit growing up to a whopping 90cm long! Whoa that's huge, but ours were nothing in size to compare to that. This ancient massive tree growing in our back yard was supporting quite a crop and we moved in just as it was the time to harvest.

One of the last of our jackfruits left to ripen on our tree
With a little research we soon discovered the versatility and benefits of the jackfruit. The tree itself has been used to dye cotton robes of Buddhist priest because of its orange coloured wood chips

Slight orange colour used to create a dye
The tree and fruit also excrete a mass of milky liquid that dries thick like a latex rubber. It sticks to the hands and so the fruit can not be handled without rubbing a little vegetable oil on the skin first or everything becomes a sticky mess! This latex like substance has been used as a cement to repair broken earthenware amongst other purposes.

The tip of a cut branch still oozing with liquid and goo after we cut it 3 weeks ago!
The roots and bark have medicinal and material making qualities among other things, the young leaves are boiled and eaten as a vegetable or used in cooking to wrap and steam rice recipes.

As for the fruit, well the list continues......When left to ripen on the tree, we found flying foxes destroyed the fruit during the night leaving holes in them. I was then advised by a local to pick the largest just before they ripen and place at the base of the tree. Following his instructions, this method worked, and in just a few days we had our first soft, ripe jackfruit. Excited we got it inside to taste test. Breaking open the thick knobbly skin exposed a lush yellow centre filled with parcels of juicy pockets of flesh
Exposed sweet juicy flesh of our home grown jackfruit

The flavour I first used to describe this interesting fruit was something like a mashed ripe banana. This seemed more accurate in describing the riper segments that had gone quite soft and yellow, but when I tasted a fruit that had not ripened so much and the segments of flesh were still rather firm, I found it much more to my liking, reminding me of something really sweet and unique.

Bowl of juicy, ripe, sweet flesh

Now the really interesting part about this fruit is that it was the original inspiration behind the flavour of 'Juicy Fruits' chewing gum. After eating a lot of jackfruit I can now see how this could be. The flavour is some what similar and the texture is quite chewy. It really is like chewing a piece of that old famous gum when torn into thin strips. Now my kids have never had chewing gum, (oh that's right, there was that one time someone did give them some without my knowing) but my daughter has been asking me about buying chewing gum often as she watches the older kids in the street chewing away. So here it is, the perfectly, natural and raw alternative. Strips of ripe, raw jackfruit! I began tearing strips of the flesh and calling out to the kids to come get your chewing gum. They came running, eating bits at a time, chewing away happily for a few minutes until they swollowed and came running back for more. They felt rather 'cool' and loved it. Starzi even said she liked to chew her piece until it turned white!

My style of 'juicy fruit' raw chewing gum, direct from the original source
With so much jackfruit flesh and so much we could indulge in before getting overloaded, I decided to bag the flesh into ziplock bags and freeze. This meant removing the inner seed from each segment and washing the inside before placing in a bag. It was quite a process, but well worth it as we now have a good supply of frozen ripe jackfruit.....ready to make icecream! I heard that jackfruit has a great consistency to make icecream, so today I grabbed a bag out of the freezer and used my vitamix to blend (with a small amount of almond milk just to get things going) until whipped.  The kids were quite impressed polishing off their serve each as did I, with a drizzle of passionfruit pulp. The consistency was a lot like soft serve, Id even say, so much better than frozen banana whipped into icecream.

Scrumptious raw jackfruit icecream with passionfruit
And now for the last wondrous discovery of this amazing fruit...the seeds. Unfortunately they cannot be consumed raw being indigestible due to the presence of a powerful trypsin inhibitor. I am told this can only be destroyed by boiling or baking, so that is what we did. Wanting to experience a little self sufficiency and enjoy the fruit, in its entirety, we boiled the seeds and shelled them of their outer hard shell. I then roasted them in a oiled pan and enjoyed them with salt, tasting similar to a little potato. They were well received by all, especially the hubby who praised them immensely.
Washed jackfruit seeds freshly plucked from the pulp

The white is the outer hard shell which needs to be removed before eating
 (after boiling is sometimes easier)

Boiled and sauteed jackfruit seed, which were delicious but unfortunately are not digestible raw

I have also heard they can be grinded after boiling to make a flour for breads....oh and the green jackfruit is widely popular as a meat substitute taking on the texture of chicken when boiled and fried? added to curry as are the boiled seeds....I'm yet to try this and have just a couple of green jackfruits still hanging on the tree to do so. I love the idea of eating raw, but also love the idea of being self sufficient and eating something grown in your own backyard and used in its entirety even if portions are cooked, how amazing is that :)
I am so fortunate to have discovered the amazing Jackfruit  

Friday, 29 March 2013

Welcome back!!!!

Oh my Goodness!  Has it already been a year since my last post?

 I cant believe its been that long, then again I can as its been a massive 12 months and so much has changed. Honestly, I haven't even logged into my blog or viewed it in all of that time. I tried tonight for the first time in a year and couldn't even sign in as Id forgotten passwords and my email account had voided. Whoa....but I'm back now and have so much to share.......

SOLD - Our home in Kalgoorlie

So where to start? Where was I before I left? Living in the outback mining town of Kalgoorlie WA, I think our house had just sold and we were preparing to move back East. Well we did. We are back East at last. After a long story and many stop over visits and stays with families and friends, we found ourselves attracted to the beautiful community of Mullumbimby, hinterland of the amazing Byron Bay Shire. We spent 6 months living within town of Mullumbimby in a rental home, introducing ourselves to the community and discovering all that this incredible place has to offer. We fell in love within the first week and immediately  began searching for our ultimate dream parcel of land to begin our everchasing goal to live in nature and become self sufficient. By the end of 6 months, we had found our 'space of love' a place to grow, discover, enjoy and live. We found and purchased 24 acres of the most stunning land only 8 km out of Mullumbimby. The land is fertile, private, pituresque, diverse, amazing......filled with a flowing fresh water creek, trickling from a spring in the hills, bordering forested ridge and many glorious level acres scattered in an array of ancient trees, native and fruiting. There is a beautiful rustic, handmade stone and wood dwelling on the property made from materials sourced from the land itself. Within the boundary of our property we have everything we could have dreamed of and more. We have found paradise and are living the dream.

Our beautiful new retreat in the hinterland of Mullumbimby

As for my raw journey....well over the last 12 months it has very much fallen to the way side. After leaving Kalgoorlie and living with so many different people and locations, food of any description (vegetarian still though of course) was consumed.....hence I suppose why I haven't wanted to follow up on my blog during that time. My eating habits have turned to crap, I have caved into every craving I have ever wanted. It would even be safe to say that my diet has been the worst its ever been since I was a teenager after first moving out of home. Processed junk food has been a big part of my meals along with many glorious healthy dishes, raw and vegan. I have been swinging from a highly processed diet for a long period, then swinging to an extreme raw, lasting only days, before having major 'splurges' and hitting the processed food again. Though my taste buds have enjoyed so many of these artificial delights, my physical and mental body have not. I have gained weight, I have lost all of my energy, I have lost motivation, I have lost passion, I have lost will power and control, I have suffered skin breakouts, constipation, headaches, I have low self esteem and constantly crave junk food and I feel drained, fat and lazy. It all does sound really bad doesn't it, but I suppose to someone who eats a regular diet of highly cooked and processed foods suffers these symptoms regularly and knows no different, so isn't really noted to them. But since I have enjoyed a long period of 100% raw diet over almost 10 months, these effects I am experiencing now are being felt heavily. Maybe If I never went raw for that time, I would consider all those things to be normal and expected. Anyway, Ive had enough. No more excuses. We now live in paradise, surrounded by an 'aware' community  with an array of markets everyday filled with fresh, raw and organic food. Eating raw is highly accepted here and even has a large following. These last 12 months of searching and finding and my journey into a 100% raw diet in Kalgoorlie has taught me so much though. I have experienced comparable diets on both ends of the spectrum providing an understanding and recognition of extreme vibrant health and regular mainstream health. I have also experienced a very disciplined and highly controled lifestyle and a 'who cares' attitude to diet. And now with the knowledge, experience and awareness of both these extremes in my life I am ready to move forward on this beautiful, ideal location with a healthy balance and harmony in my life.

View from our front door.
Our driveway

Our tranquil fresh water creek