Honey Lavender Hot Chocolate

I’ll bet you’re wondering how Lucas is doing! Well, wonderful! If you recall, he had hip dysplasia, due to what one Vet said was a herniated disc – and the other in town said “long-dog” syndrome. But then, when we went in for his degradation in health, they found tick and mite disease. The nurse said, “When the meds kick in, his hips will be better.” And sure enough, that’s what happened. As soon as his system cleared up, so did his hips! He still has the tiniest sway in his hips, but is running like mad, stealing socks, taking paper from the waste can, and playing with Tiko, like a puppy again! I am SO happy for him, and for us! Love you, Lucas!

Recipe of the Day – Lavender Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

2 c. almond or coconut milk

1/8 c. cacao powder

2 tsp. honey, or 3 drops Honey-Flavored Stevia, liquid

pinch turmeric

2 grains pepper

2 grains salt.

1 sprig of lavender, ground fine

Directions:
  1. Place milk and cacao in a small sauce pan and turn to medium heat. Whisk until dissolved.
  2. Add in  honey, or honey-flavored stevia and whisk until melted.  Add in the spices – turmeric makes cocoa creamy! The pepper ignites the healing elements of the turmeric, and salt makes chocolate wonderful! You can also just throw in a sprig of lavender without grinding it up.

Word of the Day – curación – healing

Tip of the Day – Try it with peppermint or ginger!

Peaches and Curcuma (Turmeric) Smoothie

Well, I kept track of my expenditures last month.  Every day I wrote down the tiniest things. I felt like a total spendthrift, eating what ever I wanted and having smoothies whenever I wanted. And I’m so thrilled. And shocked! I’m still only spending $225 a month. Including swimming! (But not counting yardwork.) That’s what I was spending 4 years ago! (The difference in using my electric bike – no taxis, as I was 4 years ago.)

Ingredients In The Turmeric Smoothie
  1. 1 c. peaches, frozen
  2. 1 tsp. turmeric powder.
  3. 3 drops vanilla stevia
  4. juice of 1/2 lemon
  5. 1 c. coconut milk
  6. 1/2 an orange, juiced.
  7. 1/4″ ginger root, grated

Directions: Blend.

Word of the Day – curcuma – turmeric

Tip of the Day – Turmeric root powder contains 2-4% curcuminoids where all of the turmeric benefits are stored) while standardized turmeric extract contains 95% curcuminoids! That’s quite a difference!

Black Morada

Happy Day of the Dead! (Día de los Muertos) The colada morada,  black punch with sweetbreads are all over town and the country! The punch is made from fruits like blueberries and elderberries/blackberries. Sangorache (ataco), is a purple grain with black leaves, and to it the black fermented corn is added Nowadays they make it with ishpingo (Cinnamon’s Flower), myrtle leaves, strawberries and blackberries. Some people also use fruit, like pineapple.

Recipe of the Day – Black Porridge

1 c. mora, boysenberries or other berries

 Directions: Bring the water to a boil with the corn, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a large pot. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain o remove the corn and spices. Stir the lemon juice and sugar into the chicha until the sugar has dissolved. Chill until cold. Stir in the chopped pineapple, berries and apple before serving over ice.

Word of the Day – maiz morado – purple corn

Tip of the Day – Share this drink with others. It’s meant to be shared in ceremony, in parties, a common practice in the barrios of Ecuador.

Raw Petit Fours

You know, you can complain wherever you go. That everything is not perfect for you. That there’s violence, or meanness. But then you’re at Carmita’s. And a little penny falls out while you’re searching for change. A penny that your son carved ten years ago, carved out in metal shop so that only the face of Lincoln remains. And you laugh and tell Carmita that story, and that that penny has been in your wallet for ten years. And she pauses, then takes the penny, moves to the side, under the counter, and comes up with your little precious penny in a tiny, perfect, sealed bag. So that it will always be protected, and never confused with your other change. She did that.

Recipe of the Day – Vegan Petit Fours Continue reading “Raw Petit Fours”

Grain-Free Mocha Brownie Bites

Thanks to my gorgeous guests who give me papayas, oranges and now…avocados from their land, woohoo! Organic and delicious!

Recipe of the Day – Grain-Free Mocha Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3/4 c. cacao powder

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. coconut milk

1/4 c. coconut crystals

2 tsp. coffee

Pinch vanilla powder, or 1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Options: handful coconut, handful cacao nibs, walnuts , 1 c. yucca flour, 1 c. oats, (But honestly, I like it better without the grains – fudgy!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the eggs, oil, milk and coffee.Add the cacao, baking powder, salt and then the vanilla. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. They will be fudgy!

Word of the Day – pusimos – we put

Tip of the Day – Use honey or coconut nectar, and they will even more fudgy! Add an avocado for chocolate avocado bites. You won’t be able to tell it’s there once you mix it with the cacao.

Green Smoothie Bowl

I’ve been doing my water therapy for two weeks, and have been out of pain nearly the entire time. Maybe one hour of day with ice after working out. Oh, my gosh! It’s a friggin’ miracle!

Okay, Here’s the skinny on the pools in Vilcabamba.                                                                      -Hotel Paraiso – $4, never warm,  but you get to use the sauna, steam room and jacuzzis.          -The new Old Folks Home. $3, heated by solar panels, so wait for the late afternoon when the sun has heated the pool,  but you get to use the workout room and if you wait 5 minutes the shower is hot.  But you can’t use it weekends when they clean the pool, and evenings are reserved for the residents.    And a 100-year old man may hit on you, but it’s okay.           -Hosteria Vilcabamba – $7. Free if a group eats there. If you tell them ahead of time they’ll heat the jacuzzi and steam room, but not the pool. They need two hours to heat the others. -El Rio Chamba – Across from the Zoo, in a beautiful setting. They often have Saturdays free swim!                                                                                                                                                                     La Molinda – Before the Hotel Izchcayluma,  on the right. Not only is it the warmest pool, but it’s $2 to use the pool. The showers are HOT. The jacuzzi is nice and warm. The steam bath is extra, but it looks wonderful. And you can eat there, too! Open 7 days a week and they will give me a monthly discount.

Recipe of the Day – Green Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ripe avocado

  • 1 lg ripe banana, frozen and sliced

  • 1 c. berries of choice

  • 1 handful spinach or  kale, stems removed

  • 1/3 c. coconut, almond or oat milk
  • 2 T. sunflower or chia seeds
  • 1 c. pineapple or mango, chopped and frozen
  • options: 1 tsp. cacao nibs, chocolate chips or shredded coconut

Directions: Put 1/2 c. of your nut or seed milk in the blender. Add 1/2 of the bananas, 1/2 of the berries, and 1/2 of the pineapple or mango, and all of the spinach and avocado. Blend well. Divide smoothie mixture between 2 bowls and garnish with the rest of the sliced fruits. Add t opping options like granola, cacao nibs, chocolate, granola and coconut.

Date Cookies (GF)

“I ordered a new computer cable, Clare,” I said to my daughter. “You know how to do that, there, Mom?” she asked. I realized, all of a sudden, how comfortable I was here. “Oh, yeah! You just Whatsapp the guy in the Cuenca store and ask him if he has it. Then he gives you his Pinchinca bank account money. They you go down to Patricia’s store and give her the money and his name and account number. Then when he gets it, he sends it to you! Piece-a-cake.”

Photo by oh my sugar high

Recipe of the Day – Date Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. dates, pitted and chopped (about 20 dates)
  • 2 c. walnuts
  • 1/2  c. cacao powder
  • 1/4 c. carob powder
  • 1/2 c. almonds, sprouted, if desired
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut or 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 T. of the soaked date water, tea or water
  • 6 dates, soaked 10 minutes

Directions:

  1.  Place dates, walnuts, cacao, carob, almonds and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add coconut and vanilla pulse again adding water a little at a time until mixture starts to form a ball.
  3. Take 1/2 the dough and set aside. Press 1/4 cup into 6 little rounds (the bottom half of the cookie) or into 6 muffin tins.
  4. Mix the coconut, vanilla and liquid. Spoon onto each cookie.
  5. Top each cookie with the rest of the cookie dough.

Word of the Day – pedir – to order
Tip of the Day – You can make this with any type of nuts – cashews, almonds, peanuts. Taste them with the dates first, if you want, to see the combination.

Oatmeal Yucca Bread

Here’s what my famous Neurologist brother says about the herniated disc: “Swimming is ideal for a herniated disc, Dot. Start with waist-deep wading 15 minutes, three times a week. Then progress to either holding on to the side of the pool or kickboard and kicking. If you can get up to freestyle swimming, you should be in good shape. Advil is far safer than other meds.”

The non-impact element combined with the exercise and blood flow will do wonders. Just be careful not to over fatigue the muscle groups. Maintain an easy adaptive stage. 

D- Okay! I will do exactly you as you say.

is it true that it can actually start healing, Pat?

P -Absolutely……just slowly…..

Recipe of the Day – Oat Yucca Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. yucca flour
  • 1 c. Oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. Water, rice water ir potato water from cooking your rice or potatoes
  • 1/4 c. Coconut crystals or sweetenr of choice
  • 3/4 c rolled oats
  • tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Mix dry ingredients. Then make a well in the batter and add the egg and water.Pour the batter into a nonstick baking pan (I used a non-stick 8-inch cake pan). Spread the batter out evenly  Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bread to cool before removing from pan.

Note: I placed the bread in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes before serving the next morning to warm the bread.

Word of the Day – yucca – cassava

Tip of the Day – Okay, Vilcabambans, there is yucca flour in Jesus and Nancy’s store, right now!

 

 

Herb Teas for Cleansing the Blood, Liver and Kidneys

Even if you don’t have liver problems, your liver is old enough to need cleansing. My liver will be sixty years old soon, for goodness sake!
Recipe of the Day – Liver cleansing Tea
Ingredients:
Choose from one of the following:

Ginger helps control blood sugar. Studies have also shown that ginger can help treat nonalcoholic fattly liver disesase (NAFLD)

Roselle is a species of hibiscus with a cranberry-like flavor. It has diuretic effects on the body and may assist with kidney filtration.

Parsley can also help protect the liver. It helps the kidneys get rid of waste. Throw a leaf in your tea!

Dandelion is a diuretic, which helps filter waste from the blood and improves liver function.

Green Tea improves liver health by reducing fat deposits, which is why a lot of people use it to lose weight. Drink at least four cups a day.

Directions: Put a teaspoon of the fresh or dried herb in a cup, and pour almost boiling water over it. Let steep for twenty minutes.

Word of the Day –hígado – liver

Tip of the Day – Drink at least four cups a day, of your choice liver cleanser. And vary them throughout the month/ Sweeten with a little stevia or honey, if you want.

Tepache

I had this drink in Agave Blu – one of the Mexican Restaurants here in town. Honestly, the gals I was with and I thought it was cranberry juice. But, no! A wickedly delicious, fermented drink known as Tepache. The chef keeps it raw, so that all the natural bacteria is intact. Here’s his recipe, or one close to it while I was rapidly storing his words in my brain!

Recipe of the Day –  Tepache

Ingredients
  • ½ pineapple cut into chunks (leave skins on)
  • ½ c. panela
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. each of cinnamon, cardamom , Jamaica flower and sweet pepper.
Directions:
  1. Wash the pineapple and  cut into chunks.
  2. Mix the panela and pineapple chunks,water and  spices, and add to a large glass jar or pitcher.
  3. Cover with a cotton cloth or towel and let sit on the counter in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for 3 days.
  4. Tepache will become cloudy in 2-3 days and white foam will form on the surface.
  5. Scoop out the white foam that forms.
  6. Serve over ice.
  7. Word of the Day –fermentacion – fermentation

Tip of the Day – Use organic pineapple, so you don’t get the pesticides in there!