I*Tal Mon Food

This dish pictured is what I’ve named “NZINGHA’s I*Tal Mon Fruit Salad” Kiwifruit, Mango & Pineapple, Strawberry & Pomegranate in a Simple Syrup w Coconut Yogurt and Vanilla Granola
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❤💛💚🌴 I*Tal Mon Food🌴❤💛💚
Photos & Food by NZINGHA for ZLounge: Nouvelle Caribbean Cuisine
Written by NZINGHA

Ital = applied to food, Ital meaning “whole,” unprocessed, natural; natural state of being; non-artificial, non-synthetic

Respect! The Rastafari way of living is all about “Livity” (Living Vitally…Vitality). Living foods, herbs, grains, pulses, nuts, fruits and berries and some fish. But this “Livity” is not to be taken casually…it is a daily lifestyle and respect for all living things

This article is not about the politics or expounding on religious views of Rastafari but to talk about the Rastafari way of cooking and eating (since this blog is mainly about food and food preparation).

I personally am not Rastafari or Vegetarian (although I had been a Vegetarian/Pescatarian in previous years, 13 to be exact). I currently, do eat fish, meats, grains, nuts and lots of fruits and vegetables.

All of my dishes are prepared “clean eating style” having been a former Vegetarian who still loves and prepares food with consciousness in health. I personally believe in Juicing, Fasting and balanced eating and living.

Having several relatives including my Brother and numerous Cousins who are Rastafari, I have had numerous opportunities to cook meals for them because I understand the mindset of Vegan and Vegetarian eating. To which they respectfully enjoyed.

Pictured here is my “Rasta Ramen”. This soup has Ramen Noodles (without the packet or you can add any other noodle. There are a variety of noodles that contain no Eggs. Just explore for yourself), Ginger Vegetable Broth, Jerk Fish wrapped in Callaloo, Corn, Sweet Potato, Traffic Light Peppers, Plantain and Breadfruit.

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This article is to show my love, respect and recipes for many who are Rastafari and also on my blog to share recipes that can be used or adapted for the Rastafari and Non-Rastafari palate. And introduce new additions to original Rastafari favoties…maybe you'll find a new recipe here on this blog. Also to clear up some misconseptions and unfounded notions based on "Lack of Knowledge" or Fear.

The "Authentic" Rastafari food is predominantly Vegan, Vegetarian and a few Pescatarian (some will eat Fish). An Ital diet can be cooked or uncooked. Traditional Ital cooking involves the cooking of stews without the use of "extra Salt" though Sea Salt is acceptable because it is natural Salt and not processed (as Salt can be harmful with over use…i.e. High Blood Pressure. I usually substitute Salt where I can with Lemon/Lime or Vinegar).

Coconut is also the main foundation of Ital cooking and baking. Rastafari consider the Coconut Tree to be "The Tree of Life" and I am leaning towards agreeing with them on this. You have seen me on my previous pages extol the virtue of Coconuts. Not just because I read it someplace but that it works by my personal trial of it.

Authentic Ital meals are usually prepared using Wooden or Coconut utensils and Earthenware cookware. To this porcelain cookware will also do. Avoiding too much metal in the preparation of the food is preferred.

Here quoted by the iRiE Foundation about the Ital diet:

"Vegan would be the equivalent to Ital, meaning non-animal or animal by-product based diet. Yet there lies a difference between the two.

The difference is: tofu, seitan, tempeh, veggie chunks and all processed meat substitutes, that is commonly accepted as vegetarian, couldn't possibly qualify as Ital for two reasons:

(1) Ital is rooted in a botanical consciousness therefore, there can be no meat substitute, as this is of a carnivorous mentality which contradicts the principles of the Ital way.

(2) Meat substitutes are heavily processed foods. Ital dictates fresh and wholesome as opposed to refined, canned, packaged and over-processed foods. Natural and organic is crucial to Ital consciousness.

Vegetarian food is a general term that is wide in its scope, and can be broken down into groups with sub-groups within each category:

Group (A) Vegan-vegetarian (no dairy or eggs)
Group (B) Lacto-vegetarian (includes dairy, no eggs)
Group (C) Ova-vegetarian (includes eggs, no dairy)
Group (D) Lacto-Ova-vegetarian (includes dairy & eggs) "

Read more:
http://iriefoundation.com/history.htm

The Ital Food Fair in St. Thomas, USVI

Now lets go back a bit and talk more about the word Ital and its meaning, origin and purpose. Here this segment is taken from Jamaicans.com website:

"Ital food is derived from the word "vital food" (Self-determination of the black race resulted in the Rastafarians usage of the word 'I" to replace the first letter of many words).

Ital food means it is natural, pure and clean food. For a Rastafarian it means no salt, no chemicals, no flesh, no blood, no whites (called whiteblood), no alcohol, no cigarettes and no drugs (herbsare not considered drugs).

Rastafarians avoid salt, oil and meat. Their dietary laws are similar to the laws followed by Jews in Leviticus 11. Fish must be less than a foot long. No shell fish or fish without scales. Pork is especially condemned amongst Rastafarians. It is so important to not put the wrong thing in your body that some Rastafarians never cook in aluminum pots as it is said to leave traces of metal in the food that can get in your body. Cooking in a clay pot is popular among Rastafarians.

Rastafarians see their food as a way to be one with nature and also as medicine for the body, as it builds your "strucha" (Patois or the word structure). There are also strict hygienic laws that Rastafarians follow."

Read more: http://www.jamaicans.com/culture/rasta/ital_food.shtml#ixzz2UbVnZIqq

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❤💛💚I*Tal Mon Coolah❤💛💚

Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: Makes about 1 quart

*****INGREDIENTS*****
1 lb of Cucumbers (cleaned and coursely chopped)
1 lb of Kiwifruit (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 cup of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice from fresh Limes
1 1/4 cup of Mint Leaves (about a large handful), woody stems removed
1/2 cup Vanilla Sugar, Mint Sugar, Orange Sugar or Honey
1 1/4 cup of Coconut Water

*****GUIDE*****

1 Add all of your ingredients to the blender, add enough water to fill 3/4 of blender. Hold the lid on the blender and purée until smooth.

2) While blending get a medium sized sieve to filter as you will only want your juice and not the fibrous materials from your ingredients.

3) Now use your sieve over a bowl and pour the purée through it, pressing against the sieve with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid out as possible.

4) Now after filtering your mixture find a clean dry pitcher, glass preferably as you will want to show off the lovely almost neon green colored juice. Fill a large pitcher halfway with ice cubes and the juice.

5) Decorate your glasses with sprigs of Mint, Cucumber, Kiwifruit or Lime slices.

Keeping it Ital…
Peace Be Your Journey….
NZINGHA

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🍃Vanilla Sugar🍃

Vanilla sugar is very easy to make. You simply scrape the inside of a vanilla bean pod, make a paste with the caviar and put it into 1 5lb jar of sugar, seal it airtight, and let it sit for two weeks so that the sugar gets infused with the flavorful vanilla and its caviar.

*****INGREDIENTS*****
5 whole Vanilla Beans
1 5lb bag of Sugar
1 large bowl
1 medium sized sieve
1 large airtight glass/plastic jar

*****GUIDE*****
1) Split the vanilla pods in half lengthwise and scrape the caviar out with a small paring knife and into a food processor. You will use both the caviar and the whole bean pod in the processor plus one cup of sugar. Reserve the remaining sugar in a bowl.

2) Pulse your ingredients several times until the caviar, pods and sugar are all blended.
Pour the blended sugar through a sieve (to remove the large pieces of bean pod) into the reserved sugar in the bowl and fold it all together. Then transfer from bowl to jar, cover over and store until needed.

Peace Be Your Journey….
NZINGHA

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🍃Mint Sugar🍃
I have always loved the taste of Mint. I use it for fruit salads (my Pineapple Mint Salad, Teas (iced and hot), Mojitos (Virgin) and other dainties. So here goes…

*****INGREDIENTS*****
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 medium size glass/ plastic jar with airtight lid for sugar

*****GUIDE*****
1) Place both ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the Mint is finely chopped and the Sugar turns green (my fave color).

2) Use immediately or refrigerate.
The Mint Sugar will last about a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

Peace Be Your Journey….
NZINGHA

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🍃Orange Sugar🍃
Orange or any citrus fruits Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit all are equally as lovely and useful. Trust you won’t go back to plain old boring White or Brown Sugar

*****INGREDIENTS*****
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup of fresh Orange Peels
1 medium size glass/ plastic jar with airtight lid for sugar

*****GUIDE*****
1) Place both ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the Orange peel is finely chopped and the Sugar turns pale orange and has fragrant Orange bits.

2) Use immediately or refrigerate.
The Orange Sugar will last about a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

For Rastafari Fashion…
http://www.rastaempire.com/default.aspx

Pictured below is a ZLounge original dish…”NZINGHA’S Rasta Crepes w Coconut Syrup”.

This dish is made in 3 separate Crepes 1) Sorrell 2) Mango 3) Matcha Green Tea. Topped with Mango and Coconut Syrup
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Pictured here is my “Caribbean Borscht Soup w Beet Dumplin’s” (oven roasted Beets). On the side are Goat Cheese but it can be replaced with Sweet Potato or Coconut Meat.
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Here in this photo is my “Honee Doo Coolah” made with Honey Dew Melons, Starfruit, Lime, Mint and Cinnamon Honey.
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2 thoughts on “I*Tal Mon Food

    • Aww thank you so very much for your kind and encouraging words! God bless you too!!

      I hope you will continue to join me in more of my recipes to follow that will include Vegetarian fare.

      Blessings…
      NZINGHA

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