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.

Joy’s Almond Ginger Turmeric Cookies

You know, on our trip to Zamora something wonderful happened. I got into the cold, cold Andean water, right? Submerged the whole body for a second, and it was so cold I couldn’t even gasp. And i said, “I”m gonna try and stay in for one minute, ” so I started to count. At 40 seconds there was this huge, “whoosh” of feeling from my solar plexus to the base of the throat. The whole area expanded and warmed with pleasure. I told Joy about it as it happened. And i was able to stay in for fifteen minutes, what!!!! Come on. Well, I mentioned in to three people . One said it was a heart-healing from the waters. Another said it was a gift from the fairies in the waters. I love that! the other said it was a kundalini experience. I think, now, maybe it was all three. I will never forget that in my life. What happiness.

Joy Lopez brought these cookies on our trip to Zamora. They were So good, it was all I could do to not eat them all!



Recipe of the Day –
Almond Ginger Turmeric Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds, soaked in water for several hours (alt: Peanut butter)*

1 Tbsp flaxseed soaked in 3 Tbsp water for at least one hour

1/3 cup cane sugar (Panela)

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

2 Tbsp freshly grated turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 350 deg.F (175 deg.C) 2. Blend almonds in food processor till buttery. *3. Mix together the almond butter and sugar in a bowl. 4. Add the flaxseed, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and shredded coconut and mix thoroughly. 5. Batter will be thick but not crumbly. *6. Scoop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto oiled cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the tops with the back of a spoon. 7. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes .8. Let cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.  *Alternates:Substitute peanut butter for the almonds.If mix is too runny, add ground flaxseed and/or coconut flour to achieve desired consistency.

Word of the Day – bienestar – well-being
Tip of the Day – Says Joy, “Here’s my Ginger cookie recipe. (Note, I used ground turmeric powder in the ones you tried because I didn’t have any fresh.)”

 

Joy’s Chocolate Spirulina Truffles

This picture is a group of butterflies in Zamora, Ecuador. The big one in the middle is the Zebra Swallowtalike. The red and brown “89” has an 89 on it’s back, and the Skippers are the little, brown grey and black ones! At least, so says my friend, Jim, butterfuly aficionado!

These truffles are based on Karl’s Spirulina Truffles! And they are the best I’ve ever tasted, including my own!

Recipe of the Day – Spirulina Superfood Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

There are three options for the Filling:

Option 1 –

2 c. almonds

1 c. dates

1 T. maca geltainized

3 T. spirulina

1 T. goji berries

1 pinch sea salt

1/4 c. cacao nibs

2 T. chia seeds soaked in 1/2 c. water

1 T. turmeric

optional: add mint or orange food grade essential oil

Option 2 –

1 c. cashews

1 c. almonds

1 c. dates

pinch salt

1 T. spirulina

Option 3 –

1 c. cashews

1 c. coconut flakes

1 c. dates

1 T. maca

2 T. cacao powder

pinch salt

Directions: Blend in a food processor until smooth. Roll into balls.

Coating –

1 c. cacao butter

1 c. cacao powder

1 c. coconut crystals

1/2 tsp. vanilla powder

pinch sea salt

Directions: Grind the coconut crystal to a fine powder. Melt cacao butter and add remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth. Dip balls in chocolate and place on waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm. The coating is somewhat grainy depending on how fine the coconut crystals are.

Makes 24-28 balls with about 1/2 oz. of coating each.

Word of the Day – mariposas – butterflies

Tip of the Day – Try them with walmuts and stevia for a low-glycemic option!

 

Joy’s Granola

Here in Zamora -2 1/2 hours from Vilcabamba, they don’t have that many interesting restaurants. So Joy brought us her home-made granola! Taken from ketodietapp, it’s a low-carb granola, and so amazingly good! There’s Joy, below, planning our next move in Zamora.

Recipe of the Day – Joy’s Granola

Ingredients (makes 6 cups)

1/4 cup pinenuts (34 g/ 1.2 oz)
1 1/4 cup whole almonds, skin on (179 g/ 6.3 oz)
1/4 cup cashews (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (27 g/ 1 oz)
1/2 cup pecans (50 g/ 1.7 oz)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (70 g/ 2.5 oz)
1/2 cup pepitas (65 g/ 2.3 oz)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (36 g/ 1.3 oz)
1/2 cup flax meal (75 g/ 2.6 oz)
1 cup shredded or shaved coconut, unsweetened (75 g/ 2.6 oz)
1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup (85 g/ 3 oz) –
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 tsp orange zest (can be dried)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

1/4 c. cacao

optional – cacao nibs, raisins, bananas, strawberries

Pre-heat oven to 150 °C/ 300 °F. Combine all nuts, seeds and spices, except for the salt and orange zest, into a large bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a small pan. Add the syrup and mix well. Pour melted ingredients into nut and seed mix and combine thoroughly.
Spread mixture out in an even layer onto a lined baking tray and bake for 60 minutes.
Stir every 15 minutes and keep a close eye on it after the 45 minute mark, it can easily go from toasted to scorched.
Once brown and crunchy, remove from oven and let cool. While still warm,  sprinkle sea salt and orange zest over granola and stir through. Once chilled, transfer into a jar or airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to a month.

Word of the Day – carbohidratos – carbohydrates

Tip of the Day – Good maple syrup is hard to find here, but they did have it at SuperMaxi in Loja!

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.

Berry Bulgarian Geranium Jam

A reader just asked me – “Hi Dorothy, Looking at trying to make a blueberry sauce for turkey.. water, panela (pequena) dried blueberrys? Any thoughts? What do you think of wine instead of water?” I said, “For my taste, I’d do blueberries, chia seeds to make it thick, coconut waer and coconut crystals or stevia in the blender. Super fast and no need to cook it! Let it set. No wine for me – I prefer it on the sweet side.”

Recipe of the Day – Berry Bulgarian Geranium Jam

2 c. blueberries or raspberries, strawberries or grapes

2 leaves bulgarian geranium

1/4 c. chia seeds

1/4 – 1/3 coconut water

1 T. coconut crystals or3 drops  stevia

Directions: Super easy and all in the blender in 5 minutes. Let it set.

Word of the Day – jam – marmelada

Tip of the Day – Use any sweetner and any liquid!

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!

Steve’s Lemon Astringent/Toner for the Skin

Okay, so my candle with Palo Santos sputtered and left wax on the wall. I was using my hair dryer to melt the spots and wipe them off. Nice! But it takes awhile. When my daughter said it’s even faster to use a paper, like a paper bag, and hold the iron onto it. It picks up the wax in bigger areas! Just don’t use anything like newspaper with words on it. Use a paper bag.


Recipe of the Day –
Steve’s Lemon Astringent and Toner for the Skin

Ingredients:

1/2  whole lemon, juiced, skin and all

1 huge oregano leaf, juiced

1-2 drops DMSO

optional: 1 tsp. aloe vera juice, 1/2 tsp. turmeric.

Directions:

Juice the lemon, whole, with the oregano leaf. And the DMSO ad stir or shake gently. Add aloe and turmeric, if desired. But be careful as the turmeric can color your skin.

Word of the Day –astringente – astringent

Tip of the Day – Use fresh daily, splashing clean skin whenever desired.  Then, make some fresh every day when you do your juicing! You can drink it, too!

 

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!