Have you recently gone to restaurants and noticed all the pitch black food? Right from waffles, pizzas, pastas, burgers, ice creams to beverages as well. Black is back with a bang. That’s the latest trend in food. This fine powder which is added to food and beverages to give it colour, texture and a smoky flavour is actually activated charcoal.
By its name, it sounds like something you could use in your BBQ fire. But that’s not what it is. Charcoal is a by-product of burning carbon or even better if it’s coconut or bamboo shells. Charcoal is turned into “activated” charcoal when exposed to specific gases at a certain temperature. The charcoal is considered “activated” due to a negative charge, which means it has the capacity to bind positive charged ions, thus removing it from the body. For the best benefits one must consume activated charcoal food and beverages, twice a week.
It’s considered a superfood as it’s known:
1) To instantly polish your teeth. An international wellness brand even has a product called ‘charcoal toothy tabs’.
2) To overcome the jet lag. It clears out unwanted body toxins that give you headache, makes you feel irritable, tired and weak.
3) A simple face pack, made with activated charcoal, cools the sunburnt skin and attacks the acne.
4) Charcoal is used in a lot of smoothies, as it’s known to absorb toxins in the stomach, cool it down, and cure stomach aches.
With all its multiple benefits, we call it an ‘Elixir of Life’. So here are some recipes that you can try at home. Activated charcoal which can be used for food is also called food grade charcoal and is easily available on online pantry websites.
Black Vanilla Icecream (makes 10-12 scoops)
1 cup full cream
¼ cup food grade activated charcoal
1 cup sour cream
400 gm condensed milk
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon curd
1 tsp vanilla essence
In a large chilled metal bowl, whip up the full cream along with 1/3 rd of the charcoal quantity. Continue till stiff peaks form.
In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon curd, vanilla essence and the leftover charcoal
Gently fold the sour cream mix into the full cream mix, until combined seamlessly.
Transfer this into a metal or a glass bowl. Cover it up with a cling film wrap and freeze overnight.
When ready to eat, scoop out and serve chilled.
Black Berries Smoothie (makes 1 big glass)
6 tbsp greek yogurt
12 strawberries, cut in half
1½ tsp honey
¾ tsp charcoal powder
Few drops of water
Take the charcoal powder and mix it up with the water in a smooth paste.
Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and add the charcoal mix.
Blend until the ingredients have been mixed into a smooth paste.
Store in the refrigerator for couple of hours.
Black citrus (makes 1 glass)
Juice of ½ lime
Juice of 1 orange
1 tsp honey
Pinch of Himalayan salt
¼ tsp activated charcoal powder
2/3 cup of water
Mix the lime juice, orange juice, honey, salt, and charcoal together in a glass.
Add the water and stir well.
Strain the ingredients so that no powder or seeds are left behind.
Serve in a glass with a slice of lime or orange as garnish.
Disclaimer: Activated charcoal is healthy only in small dosages....