Ginger Lemon Kombucha

Did I tell you I was making kombucha again? I did it for nine or ten years in Montana. And this last trip back I brought back a scoby from a friend. (A scoby is the bacterial mat, known as the Manchurian Mushroom used to make kombucha). The officials handled it in Ecuador customs, but didn’t ask me about it. Here is my recipe for Ginger-Lemon Kombucha, and it came out utterly delicious!

bigstock-ginger-tea-with-lemon-on-a-woo-63021598-700x560Recipe of the Day – Ginger-Lemon Kombucha

80 oz. sun tea (water with 4 tsp. (or 4 teabags) green or black tea)
2/3 c. raw panela (brown sugar), coconut sugar, or honey, dissolved in a little of the tea (or raw sugar, or raw agave)
1 scoby (the Manchurian mushroom)
1/4 ” grated ginger in each bottle
juice of 1/2 lemon in each bottle

12 – 16 oz bottles


  1. Pour the sweetener into the tea.
  2. Wash the scoby and slide it into the tea, gently.
  3. Put a paper towel or cheesecloth on top, with a rubber band to hold it. Place in indirect sunlight, in a warm, airy place.
  4. Check after 8 days to see if it’s to your liking, or if you’d like it more fermented.
  5. Add more sweetener, if desired, then the ginger and lemon.
  6. This time, in Ecuador, I added the ginger and lemon after twelve days, to the bottles.
  7. If it’s fermented enough to your liking, bubbly enough, take off the paper towel, remove the scoby and refrigerate!
  8. If you let it sit out too long, it will become vinegar.

Word of the Day – años – years

Tip of the Day – Strain and look at, handle, each bottle and mushroom gently. They are treasured, sacred, medicinal, not to be used lightly.

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Yang Energy Bites

Here are two more signs I made for trails around here.They’re pretty raw, but I absolutely love doing them. I must protect them with clear lacquer, if it ever rains! It’s been that long since it rained!

quinoachiaseedproteinbarsRecipe of the Day – Energy Bars

1/2 c. raw nuts cashews (or walnuts, almonds, pecans,macadamia, hazelnuts,coconut)
1/2 c. raw flax seeds
1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds (or sunflower, chia, psyllium)
1 c. (loosely packed) pitted dates, prunes and dried blueberries, soaked 10 minutes or more in apple juice (my favorite) coconut nectar or water
options: (apples, apricots, cherries, pineapple, or raisins, or other dried fruit, cacao nibs).


  1. In a food processor, grind the nuts and seeds until fine, then pour them into a bowl.
  2. Grind the dried fruit next, and stir by hand into the nuts and seeds until it makes a soft dough.
  3. Divide into 8 sections.
  4. Cut wax/parchment paper into 4″x8″ rectangles and place one scoop of batter onto each paper, shaping into a bar with a knife.
  5. Freeze for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Eat immediately, or cover with chocolate sauce and freeze again.

Other fruit-nut combos:

  1. walnuts-cherries-dates
  2. almonds-apricots-dates
  3. apple-pecans-cinnamon-nutmeg-dates
  4. coconut-pecan-dates
  5. apple-lime-date
  6. flax-prune-date

Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 c. liquid coconut oil or cacao butter
2 T. raw honey or coconut nectar
1/4 c. cacao powder (I mix mine half with carob)
1 T. mesquite or lucuma powder (optional)
Dash of vanilla powder
pinch of crystal salt
Melt in a double boiler. Stir or blend until creamy. Pour over chilled energy bars.

Word of the Day – energia – energy

Tip of the Day – . Full of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, they’re a great snack-size for you to take to school, work, or your long work-out!They sure beat buying raw food bars at over $1, $2 or $3 a bar!

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Papaya Mango Salsa

Today is a good day to celebrate with a mango. It’s my two-year anniversary of landing in Ecuador! And I’m eating mangoes from my land! It’s a lot hotter and drier here in Cucanama Bajo, so some things grow sooner! What a perfect way to celebrate.

green papaya mango saladRecipe of the Day – Papaya Mango Salsa

1 firm, ripe papaya
1 medium- ripe mango
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 T. Lime
2 T. Olive Oil
1 T. lime zest
1/8 ” diced jalapeno
2 T.Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. fresh coriander


    1. Chop in half, Seed and peel papaya.
    2. Peel mango and cut flesh from pit.
    3. Cut papaya and mango into 1/4 inch pieces or scoop with a melon ball.
    4. Place in small bowl and toss with onion, Lime, Olive Oil, and lime zest, Jalapeno, Balsamic Vinegar, coriander, and salt & pepper to taste.
    5. Chill, covered for at least 2 hours.

Word of the Day – celebracion – celebration

Tip of the Day – Save those papaya seeds and eat a tablespoon as a preventative cancer measure, as well as removing parasites from your intestines. IT REALLY WORKS. Save a bit of sweet fruit to eat as a chaser. Those seeds are awfully peppery!

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Crunchy Pepper Lemon Salad

Did you know that Marco, chef at El Jardin Escondidio, has been here for thirty years! Back then there were less than 3,000 people here, and only two taxis in Vilcabamba. Donkeys and horses lined the streets.Now, I believe he said there are over 6,000 people and 57 taxis! 

Recipe of the Day – Crunchy pepper salad with Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing


4 c. mixed greens
¼ red pepper, seeds removed, finely sliced
¼ yellow pepper, seeds removed, finely sliced
¼ red onion, finely sliced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
½ lemon, zest and juice
2 T. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Chop the peppers and onions into slits.
  2. Saute in 1 T. hot coconut oil, quickly for one minute, until they develop a sheen.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the lettuce, peppers, onion and parsley.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. To serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix well to coat. Serve piled on a serving plate.

Word of the Day – drizzle- llovizna

Tip of the Day – You might like to add mushrooms to this recipe. Saute them with the onions and peppers, yum!

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Chocolate Orange or Lemon Peels

Jose brought this huge bamboo over, without even asking! To prop up my banana tree, which was leaning so hard. He was afraid it would fall over! The flower hit me in the head as I walked under the tree. Not the first time! I guess I will remember that when the flower hits me in the head, time to prop the tree up!
Recipe of the Day – Chocolate Orange/Lemon Peels

1/4 c. chopped orange and/or sweet lemon peels
1/4 c. coconut sugar
1/2 c. melted chocolate
1 tsp, coconut oil or plate.
1 tsp. olive oil to oil the molds.


  1. Blanche the peels by mixing with 2 c. of water in a deep pan,
  2. Cook  on a medium heat for 2 minutes,.
  3. Drain and put in a bowl. Do not clean the pan.
  4. In the same pan, mix the sugar and ¼ cup of water and cook on a high heat for 3 minutes, while stirring continuously.
  5. Add the blanched orange peels, mix well and cook on a medium heat for 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove onto an oiled plate and allow it to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  8. Cool slightly, add the candid lemon and/or orange peels and mix well.
  9. Pour into chocolate molds or ice-cube trays and keep refrigerated for at least one hour. I oil my molds with a touch of olive oil, for easy release.
  10. Slide them out with a butter knife, or turn over onto a serving plate. Eat now or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Word of the Day limon – lemon

Tip of the Day – Oiling the pan with the coconut oil gives these a richer flavor!

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Masala Chai Sun Tea

My place was full of guests, well, four, this weekend, woohoo! The sweet, grateful kind who wanted to stay here, not even go into town. One couple, a doctor and engineer who had barbecue and drank beer, didn’t want to go into town for anything, and called the taxi to bring them aspirin. And they said they would like to come again many weekends, yay! Perhaps the slow season is over. Can I take a breath?

Recipe of the Day – Sun Chai Tea


1 qt. water

2.  bags  black or herb tea,

2 tsp. fresh ginger

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. clove


  1. Put the mixture of herbs and tea in a jar and put it in the sun for 12 hours, or bring water almost to a boil.
  2. Strain or remove the herbs/tea bags.
  3. Fill up your cup, a fourth of the way, or to desired amount with warmed coconut or almond milk.
  4. Pour the warm tea to fill up your cup to the top.
  5. Makes a good iced tea, as well!

Word of the Day – te – tea

Tip of the Day – Keep the tea decaf, and use lavender, passionflowers, chamomile and/or valerian for a great tea to help you sleep deeply!

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Quick Chocolate Pecans

My sister asks, “What do you have in your gardens, Dorothy?”

I have celery, parsley, 2 types, green onions, tomatoes, lettuces, mustard greens, peppers, beets, kale and carrots, lemongrass, garlic, mint, squashes.

The fruit trees are banana ,mango, papaya, limes, lemons, (sweet and sour), oranges, avocado and pomegranate, figs. But they all have lttle fruits on them, not ready to eat yet this season, except the papaya which grow continuously. And berries, pitahaya,(dragonfruit) tomatillos, maracuya, and (passionfruit).

M – “Damn, that’s awesome, D!”

Thanks. It’ll be more awesome when they are yielding fruit. I may have a papaya next week. That’s about it for now.

Recipe of the Day – Spicy Chocolate-Covered Pecans

1 c. pecans, set aside
1/4 c.coconut oil, melted
1 /4 c. raw cacao powder/carob
1/4 c. coconut nectar, honey or sweetener of choice
dash of vanilla powder
dash of salt


  1. Melt all ingredients except pecans, gently over a double boiler, and whisk until creamy.
  2. Then add the pecans.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the nuts from the chocolate, and lay on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
  4. Salt again.
  5. Chill/freeze 10 minutes or more.

Word of the Day – jardin- garden

Tip of the Day – Get a good rhythm to planting her, so you can keep things growing all year. Planting two days before the full moon works beautifully.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

Going to Sunday market was so fun today! I actually got a feeling of elation in my heart and chest, just having the money to spend. Usually I have, say 65 cents, and I dicker on 3 potatoes and 2 carrots and an avocado, for instance. And today I could buy whatever I wanted! I had ten dollars! And actually looked at things with interest, oh my gosh, What a different world it is with cash in your pocket.

Recipe of the Day – Sweet Potato/Yam/Camote Pancakes


1 c. oats

2 1/2 c. coconut or almond milk

1 3/4.  c. gluten-free flour (I used brown rice, haba and rice flour today)

3/4 c. pureed sweet potato, pumpkin, camote or yams

1 T. coconut oil

2 eggs, or 4 T.flax seed in 12 T. water

1/2 c. canela or coconut sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ginger

2 pinches vanilla powder or 2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda


  1. You can do this in the blender.
  2. Pour the milk, vanilla and eggs or flax and blend.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients , minus the oil and mix well. Let rest while you heat the griddle to medium-high.
  4. Throw a few sprinkles of water on the griddle. If they jump, it’s ready.
  5. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto the pan and cook 1-2 minutes on the first side.
  6. If there are bubbles in the batter and the bottom is golden, it’s time to flip it.
  7. Flip and cook for 30 seconds to 0ne minute.
  8. Serve warm with Stevia syrup (see recipe this blog), honey or fruit jam. (See recipe this blog.)

Word of the Day – trato – deal, treaty

Tip of the Day –  Substitute bananas for the sweet potatoes, to make banana pancakes. Add some walnuts or cacao nibs to the cakes after flipping!

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Zucchini “Parmezano” Crisps

I met my guru person in front of the restaurant, Midas Touch. I want you to breathe, and count your breath. “You mean, count, using numbers,” I queried. “Because I started meditating when I was forty, and I’ve worked so hard to get rid of the numbers,in my head. G.” He never lost that amazing smile, and didn’t really answer. So after a pause, hoping he would change his mind, I acquiesced. “Okay, I will do as you say. To what number?” He looked like he thought that was really funny. “To 107.” He said.  “Okay, I responded. “But why not 108, for the number of Buddhist saints, and on the numbers on the mala?” “You know,”  he said, “They added one in case we forget!” Ha ha!  

“You watch your breath, and count. And tell me where the breath comes from.” Interesting! I will meet next week or whenever he appears again, and tell you the answer! I hope. If he lets me.

zucchini-parmesan-crisps1Recipe of the Day – Zucchini Parmezano Crisps


2 T. olive oil to oil the pan
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. Parmezano (nutritional yeast, walnuts and garlic- see recipe this blog)
1/4 c. oatas or gluten-free dry bread crumbs
Dash salt
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Coat a baking sheet with coconut oil. Or line your dehydrator with paper.
  3. Wash and slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
  4. In one small bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the Parmezano, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper.
  6. Dip each round into the Parmezano mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Or dehydrate at 105 degrees for 4 hours or until desired crispness.
  8. Serve immediately if you haven’t eaten them all. So addicting!

Word of the Day – contar – to count

Tip of the Day – In Vilcabamba, when you see the small zucchini, grab them! They sure go fast!

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Raw and Easy Caramel

Tiko asked for Toto’s leash, as he often does on our way back from our walk. And they scurried ahead, usually to go inside the gate, turn around, sit down and wait for me. But today, I realized the gate had closed and they couldn’t get in. I went up to the apex of the road, and there was Tiko looking at me. “Where’s Toto?” I asked him. He literally looked up the mountain, (this dog is like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin!), then took off up the mountain to show me Toto in his dirty whiteness, sitting so still and patiently, his leash caught around a bush. So sweet!                                                                                                  

The way down was a bit treacherous, for me. Luckily I was wearing my boots, and just at the last moment, a hand reached through the bushes to guide me down the steepest part. It was my neighbor, Fanny, the lovely Ecuatoriana who caught me in my Oscar the Grouch pjs, the other day. What a marvel, that she would leave her house down the road and come up here for her walk, to meet and help me at that precise moment!!

rawcaramelRecipe of the Day – Easy Caramel


10 dates, soaked and pitted

the soak water

juice of one lemon



  1. Ground ten dates, soaked for 10 minutes, and pitted. in the food processor, using a little of the soak water and juice of one lemon. That’s it!

Word of the Day – bosque – forest

Tip of the Day – For a sweet tooth, make this quickly and you won’t want any more sweets for awhile! Take it traveling, and dip apple slices in it!

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