Recipe: Lotus Lovin' Chips
The lotus flower grows deep in the darkness of murky waters, far from sunlight. As it's little bud forms, it pushes up through the mud and the murk, and emerges at the surface of the water to reveal a perfect, beautiful flower. When night falls, the lotus retreats under the water and back into the mud, only to reemerge when the sun returns. It's leaves are perfectly formed before it even blooms; it's stem is flexible but does not break.
As humans, we too start out small, but with great potential. We bend and sometimes fall, but like the lotus stem, we do not break. We make our way up through the murky waters of the material world, searching for our own patch of sunlight between the lily pads to break the surface. We gravitate to our patch of sunlight, and when we’ve found where we truly belong, we burst through the water and unfold our perfect petals to share our beautiful blossom with the world. Like the lotus flower, we rise and we fall, but we know that with hard work, we will blossom into a resilient, radiant, beautiful flower.
In Buddhism, the lotus represents the moment when a being has transcended the material world, and reached enlightenment – aka nirvana. You may recognize the lotus as one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism, or maybe to you, it’s just a pretty plant. But did you know that it’s also a delicious food? Sacred to many East Asian cultures, the lotus plant is the only known plant to thrive in all three elements simultaneously – air, water, and earth. It's flower floating on the surface of a lake conceals a nutrient-rich rhizome beneath the green of its lily pads, growing a length of up to four feet. With a chewy / crunchy texture similar to a water chestnut, this tuberous root tastes like a potato with a bit of coconut-like nutty sweetness. A glance at the lotus root from the outside does not look overly appealing, as it is often laden with brown spots and slimy to the touch. But once the outer skin is peeled, you’ll discover a unique maze of tunnels running from one end to the other within it’s milky white flesh.
The lotus root is rich in various health-promoting vitamins and minerals, and is said to purify the lungs as well as aid in digestion and boost energy. Being a symbol of purity, beauty, rebirth, and spiritual enlightenment, of course we wanted to get a piece of the lovely lotus’s divine powers. So we ventured to our nearest Chinatown market and picked up some of these exotic vegetables to try our hand at some nouveau recipes.
Our luscious lotus chips are simple, delicious, and can be prepared in endless variations with your choice of seasonings and herbs.
1 lotus root
extra-virgin olive oil
pink himalayan salt
To make these crispy lotus chips, simply peel and slice the root, lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with a little extra-virgin olive oil and pink himalayan salt. Bake them in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes and let cool until they crisp up. Enjoy + Enlighten, you beautiful lotus you!