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Ok, so these are not black and they don’t contain licorice BUT they TASTE just like black licorice! And trust me, you are looking at a black licorice expert. Is is by far my all time favorite candy, black licorice and I have a long time love affair. It started when I was in my mother’s womb, seriously. Through the duration of her pregnancy she craved black licorice 24/7 and she ate it, 27/8. It’s in my blood. In fact I used to tell people if you were to cut me open, my blood would run black.
The smell alone will put me into sensory overload. I do however realize that not everyone feels this way about black licorice, Bob for instance. People either love it or hate it. Is there not enough hate in this world? Can’t we all just love it? hehe Several years ago as I attempted to clean up my diet, I had to turn my back on my beloved licorice. Sniff sniff. There just isn’t anything good for you in those darn candies. They are typically made of; Brown sugar syrup, wheat flour, corn syrup, starch, licorice extract, salt, artificial and natural flavors, fractionated coconut oil, beeswax coating, and carnauba wax.
But today is a new day and at 4:00 A.M., I woke up, staring up at the dark ceiling and it hit me, “Why can’t I make black licorice out of my date bits recipe and add fennel…or anise… fennel?…. anise? What’s the difference?” I knew my mind wouldn’t rest till I had fully researched this question. So I stumbled out into the living room and snuggled up on the couch, hoping that I wouldn’t wake up my true love.
After “thumbing” through site after site, learning all about anise, I knew what I had to do… use ground fennel seed. Why? Because that is what I had in the spice cabinet. lol Fennel is actually very good for you! Fennel seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber. Much of this roughage is metabolically inert insoluble fiber, which helps increase bulk of food by absorbing water throughout the digestive system and easing constipation. In addition, dietary fibers bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol in the liver) and decrease its re-absorption in colon, thus helping lower serum LDL cholesterol levels and eliminate stomach-ache and stimulate digestion. Enough research, lets head to the kitchen!
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One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.