In the past few days, I’ve been trying to cope with bereavement and trying to find a way to function whilst the world carries on as normal. I am very privileged – thanks to my loving family and to the nature of my work – to have had the space to press a brief “pause”. This has enabled me to be in touch with the pain of losing a beloved brother.
As I‘ve been through some losses before, I kind of know the deal: grieving is a long process. You just have to allow yourself to go through some stages. It takes a while to heal but it’s important to acknowledge it.
So, how do we get back to our “normal” life again? As we are all different beings, each person finds their own tools or some external help to deal with it. The easiest thing to do is to not get out of bed and not leave the house for days. But this is also not the healthiest way. I try to find a connection with the person who has gone, and create a channel of communication with them. This can be through looking at old pictures, listening to a song, walking in a park, or cooking something that reminds one of them.
This week, I connected with my brother through something that was always a link between us: the love for food. For instance, whenever it was the mango season in Brazil, he used to call me on skype/facetime, to show those gorgeous golden fruits to make me, and especially my husband, jealous. But moreover, to let us know that he was thinking of us, and wished we were there to share them with him. So did we!
It’s the mango season in London at the moment, thanks to the Indian community. After spending days indoors, I went to the local Indian market and bought a box of the most orangey colour, sweetest, flavoursome Alphonso mangoes that we are lucky to get in this country. I also bought some eddoes - another thing that reminds me of him. We used to discuss all the health benefits they provide, every time we had them in our meals or juices in Brazil.
Using those two ingredients to make a nutritious dessert, I celebrated my brother in a very simple but enriching way. The way he used to enjoy life.
Here is to you, my brother! I am really thinking of you and I always will.
|Mango and Eddoe mousse.|
|Serve it chilled with mango pieces, lime zest and toasted almonds.|
This mousse-like dessert depends very much on your preference of texture and consistency. If you prefer it less creamy, add less eddoes. If you prefer it more like a smoothie, add more kefir or coconut water. As the Alphonso’s are naturally sweet I didn’t add any sugar. But as for a guideline:
I used 2 medium-sized mangoes (approx. 200g), 1 small eddoe* (approx. 100g, peeled, chopped, steamed and cooled), kefir (50-70 ml) or coconut water (if you want to make it vegan), juice of half a lime. Put all the ingredients into a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Put in the fridge to chill. Serve it with some toasted slivered almonds and lime zest.
* You can find eddoes in Asian and African shops and markets.
A healthy note
Mangoes (Mangifera indica) are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It contains digestive enzymes and dietary fibre that support our digestive health. They are a good source of several B vitamins, folate as well as vitamins A and C. Mangoes are good for the eye, skin and hair health. They contain the antioxidant mangiferin that is associated with many health benefits. Mangoes can improve the immune system and support heart health as they also contain minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
Eddoe (Colocasia antiquorum) is a small, funny and hairy looking root. It is a great source of complex carbs and dietary fibre, making this root a perfect ingredient for athletes or active people. Eddoe is also very good to give to children weaning off breastfeeding.
This vegetable is a little powerhouse that may improve gut health, blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health. Eddoe can also boost our immune system due to its good levels of vitamin C and B-complex (B1, B3, B5, B6 and B9). It contains minerals such as potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Eddoe provides resistant starch which is fermented in our large intestine, acting like a prebiotic to our gut bacteria. Studies have shown that resistant starch has similar properties to fibre and could result in the prevention of some diseases.
Eddoe is high in oxalates and should not be eaten raw especially for those suffering with kidney problems. It has a nutty flavour and it’s a perfect ingredient to add creaminess to your food.
Till next month!