Jaboticaba Smoothie

Maria and Dennis at the juice Factory have Jaboticaba, the Brazilian grapetree. It’s the seventh year in cultivation here at her and Dennis’ farm in Vilcabamba, which is just now producing fruit. Much like  the acai berry, jaboticaba is high in antioxidants, minerals and Vitamin C. Jaboticaba smoothies, starting Friday until they’re gone, $3.75 at the juice Factory

Recipe of the Day – jaboticaba Smoothie

Ingredients :

1 c. jacoticaba syrup

1-2 bananas, frozen

1 c. nut/seed milk

To make the syrup Simmer 1kg whole, crushed jaboticaba fruit in 250ml water until the fruit is pulpy (about 20 minutes). Add the juice of 1 large lemon, plus 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cardamom pods, and allow to cool.

Directions for the smoothie –

Blend all ingredients.

Word/Phrase of the Day – que madrugador what an early bird

Tip of the Day – Keep the skins, dry them and store in a jar, to add to syrups and cereals for a real boost of beta-carotene. They, the berries are also full of vitamins C, D and E, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and fructose.

Cascarilla and Valeriana Teas

These workers for the Taxi Cooperative, working on the land adjacent to mine, were talking about herbs with me. And they said they had valerian and cascarilla on their land, They brought it today. And planted the valerian for me!

Cascarilla is a very long, tall tree which has the benefits and caffeine of Guayusa. For strength of the body and bones, You use the bark, to protect against evil. He brought me a whole big bag of stripped bark which I’m to dry in the sun.The finely ground outer bark of this large, tropical shrub is known for its medicinal properties that included reducing fevers, operating as an expectorant, and even clearing flatulence. These workers said it’s especially for the bones. In fact, the word cascarilla refers to any kind of outer skin or husk.

Valeriana smells like lemongrass, and looks like it, the leaves and smells like it. But the roots are  a great sedative. My friend is using it for his seizures and having great success! from one a day to one a week! (See my recipe for Valerian Tea by typing it in to the search engine on the front page of this blog.)

Recipe of the Day - Cascarilla Tea

Ingrdients:
3 3" strips cascarilla bark
1 pot water

Directions: Bring the pot of water to almost aboil.
Turn off the heat abd drop in the bark. Let steep for twenty minutes.

Word of the Day - cascarilla - bark

Tip of the Day - Use for only a few days a t a time. It's ver potent and not meant to be used for long periods.

Herbal Ice Cubes

Everyone I tell this to says, “That is brilliant.” My daughter, Clare thought of it. For when you need pain relief, fast, but don’t want to mix all your herbs, let them brew, then drink it. It’s ice cubes! You make the whole pot, pour it into ice cube trays, and have it ready in your freezer. I’ve been doing for maybe a year, as a muscle relaxer. Here’s my blend:

Recipe of the Day – Herbal Ice Cubes

Ingredients:

2 bags chamomile tea (or 1 bunch fresh

2-3 poppy buds with the stems

1/4 tsp. poppy seeds

1 tsp. valerian

a whole, dried passionflower

optional – your sweetening, if desired

Directions: Bring a pot of water to almost a boil, then pour in the herbs. Stir gently and let steep for 20 minutes while simmering. Let cool, then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze.

Word of the Day – brilliante – brilliant

Tip of the Day – Pop one ice cube into a cup, or your last favorite drink, before bedtime or when your muscles are in pain. One is enough to give me a deep night’s sleep.

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!

Ortiga Tea

Okay, I voted! By absentee ballot online, for my state of Montana, while I’m here in Ecuador! And you can, too, at  FVAP.gov, and follow the instructions for your State.

Also known as Stinging Nettle – I used to serve this to my kids for their allergies. It’s know as Ortiga here – used for bleeding, gingivitis, hay fever, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Diabetes, Anemia, Circulation and Anemia!

Recipe of the Day – Ortiga Tea

Ingredients:

1 pot water

1 tsp. ortiga

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 – votar – to vote

Tip of the Day – It’s pretty calm-tasting. You can mix it with another herb to help you sleep,(valerian) or calm down, (chamomile) or wake you up! (guayusa)

 

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.

Geranium Tea

Did you know you could make things with geranium leaves? And they smell amazing! My good friends Darina and Oracio gave me Bulgarian Geranium to plant, and Bulgarian Rose Perfume. Wow! What treasures, both the friends and the gifts!

Recipe of the Day – Geranium Iced Tea

Ingredients:

 5 c. water

 1-4  Geranium leaves, depending on the strength you like it
1 heaping tsp. mint leaves
1/2 tsp. chamomile flowers
Ice cubes

optional – sweeten with your sweetener of choice, stevia, coconut crystals, honey.

Directions: Bring water to almost a boil, then throw in the mint, chamomile and geraniums. Turn off heat and add sweetening.Cover and steep 20 to 30 minutes.  Strain into a pitcher and chill. Pour over ice cubes and add fresh sprigs or leaves, if desired..

Word of the Day – geranium –geranio

Tip of the Day – Darina puts them in her jams and jellies!

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.

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.