Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure.
Building a utopia is hard work, but it's worth it when you're creating positive change in the world. At least, that's the feeling I had after meeting Emily Farver, edibles director at Utopia Edibles in Santa Cruz, California. Passionate about offering healthy options, Farver developed a delicious, raw, gluten-free, vegan coconut macaroon that delivers 50 milligrams of THC while nourishing both body and soul.
Utopia Edibles is part of Utopia Farms, known for their signature Chiquita Banana strain, as well as their commitment to eco-friendly cultivation procedures. Water is recycled, and flowers are grown using all natural fertilizer regiments and OMRI-certified pest management techniques. All products are SC Labs certified, meaning that the flowers, extracts and edibles are all lab-tested to ensure consistent, proper dosage every time.
Chocolate chip macaroons coming down the conveyor belt.
Describing her vegetarian upbringing, Farver shared how kids mocked her macrobiotic school lunches, but later in life, she grew to appreciate the healthy habits her mother taught her.
"It definitely wasn't the normal thing growing up," she said. "Other kids were eating Cap'n Crunch for breakfast while I got miso soup."
At first, persuading dispensary managers to carry vegan pot food wasn't much easier than convincing elementary school kids that nori rolls are preferable to a PB&J , but Farver and the Utopia crew persevered. Winning a First Place Edibles prize at the NorCal Cannabis Cup last June certainly helped the fledgling brand gain recognition, and today, over 30 dispensaries carry Utopia products.
A tray full of healthy medicated macaroons.
Healthy options have gotten a bad rap, with the blame belonging to to dry vegan muffins and bland gluten-free cookies.
"A lot of people are really hesitant to try it," Farver said. "There's a stigma not only with cannabis, but also with vegan, raw and gluten-free labels."
Getting past the prejudicial assumption that "all healthy food must taste bad" only requires an open mind, along with a willingness to try new things. Once you've tasted a moist Utopia macaroon, bursting with fresh flavors and high-quality ingredients, you'll be converted!
Raw foods aren't baked, instead these macaroons are put in a dehydrator that preserves essential nutrients destroyed by heat.
"I truly believe that what you put in your body creates YOU," Farver explained. "Your mental and physical well-being relates to what you ingest."
It's time for the cannabis industry to get behind health-positive options, especially since our favorite herb is such a life-affirming substance. Nutritious ingredients support the healing powers of cannabis, so why mix it with a dangerous, addictive substance like refined sugar?
Farver shared this recipe for Peppermint Patties that also happen to be vegan, gluten-free and kosher, with a brisk minty flavor and a creamy coconut filling enrobed in dark chocolate. It's a deceptively simple recipe, since the filling mixture needs to be worked at a low temperature to prevent it from melting. Try it without added medication the first time in order to master the technique.
These peppermint patties are loaded with 25 milligrams of THC.
Utopia Peppermint Patties
Makes 24 patties, each dosed with 25 milligrams of THC*
*Your results will vary depending on the potency of your cannacoconut oil.
1 cup organic virgin coconut oil (pre-medicated to 2.85 mg of THC per gram)
7 tbsp organic raw honey, warmed
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
2 tsp organic peppermint extract
1.5 cup organic chocolate chips
Equipment: whisk, mixing bowl, baking sheet, parchment paper, saucepan, double boiler, rubber spatula, scale and measuring cups
First, melt or soften your coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Vigorously whisk the coconut oil, warm honey, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until fully blended.
Put mixture into freezer until slightly hardened (remove after 10 to 15 minutes, once it is hard enough to form into balls but not so hard it snaps).
Separate the mixture into 24 even pieces and then roll into balls. Each piece should weigh 15 grams each.
Place balls onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Flatten the balls with a flat object to form a 1/2 inch thick circular disk. The flat object can be rinsed in warm water between flattening to prevent sticking. (I used a rubber stopper wrapped in parchment paper that fit perfectly into a 1/2 cup measure to form my disks.)
Place baking sheet back into freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, until disks are hard.
While disks are freezing, place chocolate chips into a double boiler and heat at low temperature. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat when fully mixed, and let cool so as to be soft but not solid.
Dip frozen disks into melted chocolate and then place back onto baking sheet.
Place baking sheet into fridge and allow to set for 15 minutes. Then enjoy!
Keep finished patties refrigerated in an airtight container.