Monday, October 06, 2008

Aloe Vera Shooters...like a nutrient shot!

Paradigms are always shifting in the food industry. Starwood is a strong advocate of healthful eating with its Superfoods dogma.

On hindsight, I have always wanted to make my treats not always hi-calorie-driven but nutritionally sound.

When I came to China, it is when I realized that the possibilities are endless. One of the products that caught my interest is aloe vera. I have been aware for a long time that it is being sold as a health drink but never really appreciated its other applications.

In Beijing, I found yoghurts with aloe vera and beverages with aloe vera.

Kevin introduced to me aloe vera for use in the buffet as part of our normal offerings. It was successfully accepted by his guests in the Financial Street. However, in Chaoyang, it didn't fly high. I reckoned it must be because my guests don't like the taste of fruit purees which is thick, strong and more acidic. Hence, I made a minor revision that would make it really healthful even to purists.

Here is how I make it:

Mise en place list

1.) Aloe vera chunks, drained
2.) Hard Fruits in season, rough chopped (for option 2) or pureed and strained using a medium-sized mesh (for option 1).
This is to provide some body to the juice. If you are using soft fruit, I would recommend not straining it.
3.) Mint leaf, minced

Assembly:

1.) Fill the shot glass with aloe vera chunks up to 1/3 full. For the second step, there are two options.
The first option must be done just before setup in the restaurant. The second option can be done way ahead before service time.
2.) 1st Option: Top the aloe vera with freshly squeezed juice and garnish with minced mint leaf.
2nd Option: Combine the chopped fruits with minced mint leaf and fill the shot glass.
3.) I strongly advise not to garnish the shooter with chocolate as it will defeat its raison d'ĂȘtre.

Here is the original version of the shooter.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greetings Chef Nouel!

Great article! I never knew the nutritional value of Aloe Vera. I just used it to heal my cuts and burns when I was during my culinary apprenticeship 36 years ago! :-

Like the saying goes: "You can teach an old dog new tricks"!

I will have to do some additional reseach on this as I am a health avocate and also looking for new and creative products to offer our guests.

I have implemented a "Power / Super Food's Buffet section at our hotel recently and would like to add your idea to this. I also am uncertain of the guest's response, however; I think a few may try just because they have never seen it before.

Thanks for the inspiration once again Chef Nouel!

Best regards,
John!

primo said...

im so proud of you wyn!

floyd here. log on to: www.unoprimo.blogspot.com