Champurrado – Corn Cacao Drink

A friend gave me this amazing recipe: corn with cacao truffle, topped with frozen bananas. Wow! Then I read about it – The Mayans recorded their complex cacao recipes, inscribing each drinking vessel with glyphs for the beverage they contained! A variation on this porridge, or chocolate atole, is still widely made today and is now known as champurrado.

Ingredients:
  1. 3 c. water.
  2. 2 cinnamon sticks.
  3. 1 anise star.
  4. ¼ c. masa harina.
  5. 2 c. coconut or other milk.
  6. ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
  7. 1/3 c. panela , honey or other sweetener

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks and anise star. Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks and anise star steep for about 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks and anise star, return to low heat and slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, and sweetener.
  2. Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sweetener is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.
  3. Word of the Day – Champurrado – Corn Cacao Drink

Tip of the Day –You can turn it into a sweet truffle by leaving out all but a tsp. of the milk, rolling into truffles and  topping with frozen banana ice cream!

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!

How I Harvested My Cacao – DIY Cacao Tea and Nibs

I’m harvesting my first cacao pods! I’ve shelled the dried seeds to use as cacao tea. And the beans to ground for my desserts. The nibs to use in my oatmeal and cookies! It worked very well. No bitterness at all. Beautiful!

Recipe of the day – DIY Harvest Cacao

Ingredients:

3-4 Cacao Pods, slightly soft and dark red

Directions:

Cut the pods in half. You can cut off the ends first, if you like. Scoop out the insides. You can eat the white flesh around each seed, if you like. But you don’t have to! They dry in the dehydrator and taste like candy! Throw the whole mass on the dehydrator sheets and dry at 150 degrees F. for 20 hours. Put in a bag and mash with a mallet. The shells will come off and you put them in a bag for cacao tea. Put the nibs in another bag, and the white shells in a third. The shells are your tea!

Word of the Day – cosecha – harvest

Tip of the Day- You can put them in the sun. It’s just that the bugs come so fast. You can dry them under 105 degrees F, to keep them raw. But going over 150 degrees will make them bitter and burnt.

 

© clare parsons photography

Using the Omega Juicer for Ice Cream and Nut Butter

When do I pick my cacao pods, do you ask? When you tap them and they sound hollow! You gotta be careful not to cut off the buds from the trunk, as they will grow new cacao pods, cool!

Recipes of the Day –  A How-To Video on Using the Omega Juicer for Ice Cream and Nut Butter

Word of the Day – maquina – machine

Tip of the Day – Have banana ice cream instead of the regular dairy. It’s so good!

Shamrock Smoothie

I have my first cacao pods on my cacao trees! One will be ready soon – about 10 inches long and dark red. Can you believe that?!!! I will cut it open, take out the beans and let them sit and ferment in the sun for 6 days or so. Then roast for about 5-6 mintues on each side, take the skins off, open the beans up and take the nibs out – my favorite part.

Recipe of the Day – Shamrock Smoothie

Ingredients
1/2 c. water
2 bananas, peeled & frozen overnight
3 T. chia
1 T. peanut butter
2 Fresh mint leaves or 1/2 tsp. mint extract
1 cup baby spinach
1 date, soaked and pitted
Topping
1 c. coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
A sprinkle of cacao nibs or chocolate shavings

Directions: Blend the first 7 ingredients. Pour into glass.
Use spoon to dollop about a tablespoon of coconut cream on top.
Sprinkle chocolate on top.

WWord of the Day – cacao – chocolate

Tip of the Day – Do it without the spinach for a chocolate shake.

Orange Cacao Truffles

Watching a friend of mine eat straight stevia leaves, and hearing how much he eats them, I was interested again, in what the benefits are, and why the body would crave them. Stevia can help regulate blood-sugar levels, as a hypoglycemic aid for diabetics. Stevia may also help in lowering high blood pressure but won’t lower normal blood pressure levels. This plant may also curb sugar, tobacco and alcohol cravings.

The leaves contain vitamin C and A, rutin, zinc, magnesium and iron, according to Dr. Sanjeev Gupta in the book “Kick Your Sugar Habit.” It’s rich in antioxidants, which helps to safeguard the body from free-radical damage as a result of metabolic and environmental factors. A particular enzyme present in the leaf, called superoxide dismutast, may also help to inhibit cancer cell growth, although further research is needed.

Recipe of the Day – Orange Cacao Truffles

Ingredients:

1 c. Raisins, soaked 10 minutes (save the soak water to add to other dishes)

1/4 c. orange juice

1/8 c. orange rinds

1/4 c. shredded coconut

1/4 c. cacao powder

pinch stevia leaves

Directions:

  1. Soak the raisins ten minutes.
  2. Then grind in a food processor with the orange rinds, coconut and cacao, adding a little of the orange juice  at a time to create a stiff dough.
  3. When the dough starts to form a ball, shape into balls by rolling between your hands.
  4. Chill for an hour, or so.
  5. Enjoy!

Word of the Day – beneficios – benefits

Tip of the Day – Get a little plant to keep in your kitchen. Then you can pluck off a leaf or two, as you need it.

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Energy Fudge Bars

Hey, look i was made top-blogger again! just when I’m posting less, ha ha. I’be made these fudge bars to celebrate!

From: Maxwell Salo
Subject: You’ve been featured as a top blogger!

Message Body:
Hi Dorothy,

Just a quick email to let you know that I featured you in a recent article named:

Top 30 Most Inspiring Expat Bloggers in 2017.

Here’s a link to the article:

Top 30 Most Inspiring Expat Bloggers in 2017

Recipe of the Day – Fudge Energy Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 c. sunflower seed

1/2 c. raisins

3/4 c. oats

1/4 c. cacao powder

1 hpg. T. coconut oil

pinch salt

Directions: Blend in your food processor until mixture forms a ball. Press unto a pie plate or shape into bars. Chill.

Word of the Day – speciál – special

Tip of the Day – Try with walnuts instead of sunflower seeds, yum!

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Monica’s Creamy Aloe Dessert Topping

On my walks, I’m finding big sabila (aloe and agave) uprooted from the heavy rains. So I plant them! Better than leaving them to die, laying there on the ground!

Recipe of the Day – Aloe Dessert Topping

Ingredients:

1 c. Aloe gel

1 banana

1/8 c. Cacao powder

2 drops, two leaves, or two pinches stevia or other sweetener

Directions : Monica says, “YES! you can take the gel only, from the plant, and whip it in the blender with a banana. End result is a creamy dessert topping. Also, you can add chocolate powder in the midst of the whipping and end up with something yummy…. use your imagination!”

Word of the Day – sabila – aloe vera

Tip of the Day – Blend the aloe really well first, more than you think, so there are no clumps inside, it’s really good, great for your tummy, too! You could turn this into a smoothie by adding water, tea or juice!

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Mango Chocolates

i met my old maestro in town, the one who built the house. I never see him in town. He lives out here with his 95-year old mother, in  a little house over the Chaupi/Cucanama bridge. Anyway, he reminded me to clean my rain gutters, very important with all the old trees overhead and the rain. And I did! I’m so proud of myself, and happy, as there was this wonderful compost matting I oulled out of the gutters, to put down in the garden. 

Mango ChocolatesRecipe of the Day – Mango Chocolates

Ingredients:
1 c. Mango cubes
1/4 c.coconut oil or cacao butter, 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 capful olive oil for greasing the molds

Directions:

Melt all ingredients except mangoes, gently over a double boiler, and whisk until creamy.
Pour one drop olive oil in each ice cube mold. Spread to cover the  sides.
Pour chocolate in ine half of each mold. Place a small mango cube in each one. Cover with chocolate.
Chill/freeze 10 minutes or more.

Word of the Day – canal – gutter

Tip of the Day – Sliced bananas are wonderful inside each cube. They come put like cadbury eggs!

 

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Cacao Power Ice Cream or Pudding

My ex-husband sent me a badminton set, what! What a great gift. And in perfect time to play with my guest family. It’s really fun, so perfect because all ages can play. We don’t have a net yet, but a five-foot high rope works fine!

Savannah playing badmintonRecipe of the Day Cacao Power Pudding or Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 T. Cacao butter melted

1 1/2 c. Water

1 1/2 c. Almonds

1/2 c. Cacao powder

2/3 c. Coconut syrup or honey

1/2 tsp. Vanilla powder or 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

10 drops peppermint oil or extract

1/4 c. Cacao nibs

Directions: Melt the cacao butter in the water. Then blend until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the nibs, and blend until creamy. Freeze for ice cream, or chill for pudding. Then sprinkle with the cacao nibs or chocolate pieces.

Word of the Day – raqueta – racquet

Tip of the Day – You can use coconut oil instead of cacao butter. It’s different, but still really good. And you can use chocolate bits or carob chips, to sprinkle on top, and coconut, berries, or nuts.

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