We often look to the exotic fruits of the west for “superfoods” and as an image of culinary luxury. As a person who has lived in the west for decades, however, I assure you that our indigenous fruits would “medal” with the best of them in any fruit Olympics. Don’t overlook the fruits growing in our own backyard as western fruits have often been overbred, interbred, over-cultivated, genetically modified, and often sprayed within an inch of their lives with pesticides.
It is known in the natural community that wild foods are the hardiest, and thus they bring that hard-scrapping potency to the body nutritionally. For those who prefer to lean on hard science for their facts, you will not be disappointed (see this link). Chemical analysis of wild fruits show quite high levels of vitamins, fiber and minerals, not to mention antioxidants.
Look with excitement to every season and try to get your hands on any of the following – tsubvu, muuyu, matamba, mazhanje, mahacha, manhengeni, madhorofio, maroro, and marula, to name but a few. Eating locally and wildly also forces us to eat fruit when it is in season. This means that the nutrition levels are at their peak and keeps your body in rhythm with the land that you are dwelling in. This notion is a commonly accepted idea among many ancient traditions, including that of the Essenes – an ancient Judaic mystical sect, from whom Abraham, Moses, David , John the Baptist, Mary and Jesus are thought amongst many religious scholars to be descended.
Well, here is a unique idea you can try for a nutritional, seasonal salad dressing using local Zimbabwean produce…
MATAMBA SALAD DRESSING
½ cup of pulp of matamba (or the pulp of fruit of your choice)
½ cup of a good quality vegetable oil (olive, sunflower, hemp, flax and coconut are great choices)
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black or white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped green onions (can substitute garlic or onion powder – 1 tsp – in a pinch)
2 teaspoons of mustard or ketchup (optional)
2 tablespoons of sugar, honey, agave or erythritol (optional)
Your easiest bet is to just throw everything in a blender and puree until smooth and adjust with salt, sweet, and spice for taste. Use the mustard if you like your dressing tangy. Use the sweetener and/or ketchup if the matamba is not particularly sweet or you prefer your dressing sweeter.
If you don’t have a blender just make sure you chop the fruit as small as you can and then whisk everything together by hand and let it sit or marinate for about 4 hours at room temperature to marry all the flavors. Serve over raw or cooked (steamed preferably) assorted vegetables, or salad and enjoy. It also makes a nice dipping sauce for small raw veggie bites at a party, as a school snack for children, and it is very affordable.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with adding different fresh herbs or spices, and if you do…let us know how it turned out!! We love to read your comments.
*Pic sources: marieclaire.co.uk; thelemursarehelping.wordpress.com.