Monkey Man

Look again... is it Monkey or is it Man?

How close these people are to nature is astonishing.

Larry took this photo one morning when we were sitting on our veranda (a.k.a. our living room). It is very common for us to hear a rustling in the jungle below our house and to see one of the members of the neighbor's family scavenging through the jungle, barefoot, for food, offering, or firewood. Sometimes its a man in a tree. The "tail" you see, is his machette. He uses this to cut the coconuts from the tree. And he scales his way up and down the tree completely barefoot. Amazing. (In many parts of Southeast Asia, men have been replaced in this work by trained monkeys.)

So, next time you enjoy coconut in your morning breakfast cereal, remind yourself of where it came from and how it came to land on your table... maybe it was a man like this one, or maybe it was a monkey.... Here's a simple recipe inspired by the staple foods of Bali. It's a great deviation from oatmeal, and it is scrumptious! It can be taken for breakfast, an after school snack,or dessert.

Coconut Rice Porridge:

Prepare rice of your choice (whatever sits best for your digestion and prepares you best for your day).
10 minutes before rice is finished, add a chopped banana to the rice and complete cooking.

Ready to serve.... Top with slightly toasted coconut (Bob's Red Mill is my favorite as it is unsulphered and unsweetened, and it comes in large or small flakes), milk of your choice (dairy, rice, or unsweetened soy) and a natural sweetener (agave, raw honey, rice syrup, real maple syrup are all great options).

Ayurvedic Considerations:
Vata: white rice with light coconut and dairy milk is best
Pitta: brown rice is best with moderate sweetener
Kapha: brown or red rice is best with no sweetener or just a touch of raw honey