Back in 2011 I made lemon posset. It's an easy British dessert made with just cream, sugar, and lemon. Lately, I have been thinking of things to use my passion fruit puree with and it occurred to me that the posset would be perfect. 

If you have fresh passion fruits at your grocery or Asian store, it's perfect to garnish at the end with the seedy insides of the fruit. Here, I used raspberries. 

Where to get the puree? You can get a big container of Perfect Puree at Whole Foods in the freezer section. 


Passion Fruit Posset
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup passion fruit concentrate (reserve a couple of tablespoons)


In a saucepan, stir together 3 cups of cream and sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the majority of the passion fruit puree. Pour into serving glasses, and refrigerate until set, about 5 hours. Before serving, drizzle a bit of the remaining puree on top. Garnish with fruit (optional). 

Last year I read this article about Chinese restaurants in Davis catering to Chinese students. They have an American menu and a Chinese menu and the chefs do not cook across the menu. Certain dishes are cooked and seasoned completely differently by each side. 

I finally got the chance to check them out and it was well worth it. We had a delicious meal of tan tan noodles, farmhouse lamb, and fried fish in sweet chili sauce. 




At work I keep a jar of almonds and chocolate chips to snack on. Nuts are always a healthy choice and dark chocolate has been shown to be beneficial as well. 

We all know that almonds are nutritious and make a healthy, low calorie snack with lots of fiber to make you feel full. What people don't realize that pretty much all almonds that you are eating are actually stopping you from absorbing all their healthy nutrition because they are either raw or roasted, but not soaked. 

Almonds have tannins and enzyme inhibitors that keep you from getting the nutrients. When an almond drops from a tree to dry ground, it doesn't automatically start growing. In fact, it could sit in the dirt for months and not do a thing. That's because almonds are coated with tannins that naturally protect the seeds so that they will sprout in the right season - spring, after the rains. The water washes the tannins away, signaling it is safe to allow the almonds to sprout. 

When you eat raw or roasted almonds that have not been soaked, your body isn't able to absorb all the nutrients from the nuts because of the tannins and inhibitors. You need to soak the almonds overnight so that the tannins are released. Another benefit of soaking is that germination changes the proteins and fats in the almonds, reducing the fat content and making the nutrients easier to digest. Sprouting almonds is also the only way to release lipase, an enzyme which digests fat.
Look at all the tannins that come off in soaking!

    “Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

So even if you are eating almonds just as a snack food, you really should soak them first, rinse, and then dry out again in an oven or dehydrator.
 


What I found is that after soaking and drying, I had softer almonds that weren't as satisfying to chew. I've found the solution is to roast them in the oven for a few hours at 200 degrees. 
Professor Ermias Kebreab explains the trial

OK. The above title is really false, which I'll explain shortly. But it grabbed your attention. After all, we generally think that cows are making too much methane gas that contributes to climate change and that it's coming out as farts. 

Turns out that is false. While they do emit a considerable amount, 95% of it is coming from their breathing and not from the other end. This little detail was revealed to me recently during a visit to UC Davis' feed lots where they are studying ways to reduce these emissions.

Food bloggers had been invited by Mootral, a new supplement created by Swiss company Zaluvida. UC Davis is world renowned for its agricultural programs and is one of the few research centers in the world that can handle many types of animal studies. Mootral is in California for a six month trial of their supplement to test it in our conditions. 

It should be noted that California's Air Resources Board and other agencies have been tasked with reducing factors that contribute to climate change - and that includes through agriculture and livestock. So these studies help toward these efforts. 

We were met by UC Davis Professor Ermias Kebreab, Don Harper, in charge of the cattle operations at UCD, and Breanna Roque, a graduate student working on the Mootral trial. 

Harper explained the feeding that the cows receive and the nutrition involved, especially at finishing lots. The primary focus at UCD is for large cattle operations to feed the masses of Americans who are used to cheap beef in the stores. That means they focus on finishing with corn and other ingredients rather than on totally grass fed cattle.




Video shows the corn, steamed/pressed corn, cotton seed, almond husks, 3 stages of feed mixture moving to more corn, molasses, added vitamins/minerals


One interesting bit of information was about how blessed our California cattle are. Due to our agricultural bounty, their feed is often supplemented with byproducts that we humans don't consume. Such things as the husks from almonds or the cotton seeds. Not only do they help to rid us of these excessive byproducts, eliminating waste going to landfills, etc., but it takes them out as competing with humans for other products that we do eat, such as corn. Other ingredients included processed corn and spent grains from alcohol processing. Added to the feed mixture is molasses and other vitamins and nutrients, providing a very precise nutritional mix. 


the feeder
The Mootral is all natural. It's basically garlic and citrus extracts that are added to feed pellets and given to the cows at only 15 grams per day. The Mootral works to reduce the amount of gases created in the cattle's digestion by 30%. 

I had to ask how the emissions are measured and that's when we learned the fact about the breathing. The cattle are encouraged to eat out of a special feeder that they stick their heads in. As they breathe, a fan system sucks up their exhalations into a device that is able to measure how much methane, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. is exhaled. 

There are many companies and scientists trying different methods to reduce emissions. Professor Kebreab tells us that after the Mootral trial there will be another one with dairy cattle and a seaweed supplement.



We finished with a nice dinner at the UCD Meat Lab. If you are local and did not know, you can buy meat from some of UCD's butchered animals from their Meat Store. 

For more about cattle, be sure and read my piece on Calving at edible Sacramento. 

Thai chicken

Do we need another make-your-own pizza place in town? If you are a beer drinker, you'll say "YES!" when you hear about the newest addition - PizzaRev TAPROOM. The reason I've capitalized the TAPROOM is because, unlike other PizzaRevs which do serve a few beers, this one has an entire bank of taps and you can serve your own beer.




It may surprise my regular readers to see me touting a feature I'll never use because I don't drink, but this was something new to me that I thought readers would appreciate. Really, it might be not new at all, but my friends and I had never seen this serve yourself concept/method before.



Like all the other similar pizza places, PizzaRev has a bank of ingredients and you go down the line and tell them what you want on your pizza. There's thick, thin, or gluten-free crust and then an assortment of sauces, meats, vegetables, and cheeses so you can be as creative as you want. There is always the list of set pizzas on the menu board as well (margherita, Mediterranean, etc.). 




When you get to the register and select your drink, you can choose to use the Coke-your-way soda machine or choose beer and wine. Choosing alcohol means you will receive an electronic wristband so you can go serve yourself at the bank of beers/wines.




There are 24 taps along two walls. Two are wine, the rest are beers, including many local favorites. Hold the wristband up to the machine and it will trigger it to allow you to pour your beer, dispensing a measured amount. While we were there for the VIP soft opening, the wristband allowed 32 ounces of beer. So apparently they can be programmed. 


Margherita

As for the pizzas, we choose to try the Thai Chicken (Thai sizzle, mozzarella with buffalo milk, sweet chili chicken, shredded carrots, fresh cilantro, fresh green onions) and a regular Margherita. We enjoyed the Thai one with the exception that they could reduce the amount of the the Thai sizzle sauce. It's pretty strong and sticky and easily overwhelmed the pizza. 


plenty of hot sauce options

This PizzaRev should do very well being that it is located a mile from Sac State and affordable for students. It has a good amount of seating and a lovely fire pit outside as well. 


For more on make-your-own pizzas and a comparison of other brands, read 

Comparing Fast Casual Pizzas.