I’ve been up since 3am (when Bobby went to sleep) – insomnia much? I crashed around 10:30pm last night though (very early for me). So I decided to just get out of bed, call my mom (who is on the east coast, and 3 hours later than me), watch the news, and make a post. It’s peaceful being up this early. I might do some morning yoga or go for a walk when it starts to get light out.
I finally discovered the amazingness that is agar agar powder. Who knew you could make such a nutritious, yummy dessert in about 10 minutes? Agar agar comes from seaweed. It’s very popular in Asian desserts, especially in Japan. It’s a vegetarian/vegan substitute for gelatin too.
Since I’m kind of a linguistics nerd – agar comes from the Malay word “agar-agar”, meaning jelly. Other names are kanten, China grass, and Japanese isinglass. Cool, right? There was actually a diet fad in Japan called “the kanten diet” where you eat it with every meal.
Unsweetened Dessert Jelly
- 3.5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon agar agar powder
- 1 can coconut milk OR 2 cups fruit juice (I used coconut milk for one batch; POM pomegranate juice for another)
- optional: chopped fruits (I used 1 chopped apple in the POM version)
- Add the agar agar powder to the water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes (until the powder has completely dissolved).
- In a separate pot, heat the coconut milk OR juice for 3-5 minutes.
- If you’re using fruit, put it on the bottom of a large flat pan/dish.
- Then add the warmed coconut milk OR juice and whisk around until they are mixed well.
- Let cool completely before refrigerating. Cut in squares and eat!
I liked the subtlety of this dessert/snack – usually Jell-O is sickeningly sweet, but that was not the case at all here. Bobby thought the flavor was almost too subtle, but I liked it. If you do want to sweeten it, just add sugar/other sweetener to the water and agar mixture and let it dissolve.
I got this salad at Sprout Cafe the other day with lunch – I don’t remember what was in it though. I know there were lots of kalamata olives, which I love. They are one of my favorite salad additions! The salad dressing was a chili-lime vinaigrette, and it was wonderful.
Do you ever get insomnia or wake up really early? What do you do?