A couple of days ago we stopped in a Fred Meyer grocery store while traveling through Bellingham, WA. I am always on the look out for new and unusual fruit and veg, and could not resist the lure of an organic Buddha's Hand fruit. Some people go for special vintages of wine or collector items, I look for strange looking produce! We found this lovely fruit in the citrus section, and the zest had a lemony scent to it. My adventurous daughter wanted to be the first to try it once we got home, and declared it was "similar to lemon, with less tang." She was a big fan, and asked for several pieces to snack on. I found her description to be fitting, the zest is similar to lemon in flavour, but a bit sweeter and less tart.
My husband and I did some research later that night, and discovered that Buddha's Hand is popular in Asian (especially Chinese) cuisine. It is commonly used to flavour alcohol and desserts. We don't drink so we decided to give sweeter options a go. I put some finely minced buddha's hand in an oxymel, along with honey, apple cider vinegar, fresh grated turmeric and ginger, crushed garlic, camu camu, pine pollen, and cayenne. I also finely minced some more of the fruit (the "fingers" resemble long columns of lemon zest) and made up an infused sea salt (using a ratio of 1 part minced Buddha's Hand to 3 parts coarse sea salt). I am really looking forward to giving it a try, as our first experiment included adding some minced buddha's hand to a lentil soup recipe and the end result added a lovely lemon note to the final dish.
We really enjoyed this chia pudding recipe (with the exception of my son, who is not into the texture of Chia Pudding at the moment!) The recipe below has a subtle lemony sweetness to it, feel free to adjust the amount of honey (or other whole food sweetener) to fit your personal preference. If you don't have Buddha's Hand available (I had never seen it before, prior to a couple of days ago!) you can swap it out for lemon or orange zest.
Buddha's Hand Chia Pudding
1 cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp finely minced Buddha's Hand (or lemon zest)
3 cups almond milk (I used homemade)
2 tsp honey (or whole food sweetener of choice, to taste)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pine pollen
1/4 tsp camu camu powder
Add chia seeds to a medium sized mixing bowl.
In a high speed blender, combine minced buddha's hand, almond milk, honey, vanilla extract, pine pollen and camu camu powder and process until smooth.
Pour milk mixture over chia seeds and whisk to combine. I like to stir the mixture a few times while the chia seeds are plumping up, as I find this a good way to avoid lumps!
Let the mixture sit for 10 mins and serve garnished with a few thin slices Buddha's Hand (or citrus zest).