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


3-4 Cacao Pods, slightly soft and dark red


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

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
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


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


  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


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


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

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


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


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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Hayden and Marina’s Cacao Cashew Smoothie

Remember my friend, Dave, and his first mora berry smoothie? Well, here’s his son, Hayden, and his first Cacao-Amazing Smoothie! He learned it from his friend Marina, and here it is, and it is wonderful!

Recipe of the Day
– Cacao Cashew Smoothie


2-3 handfuls cashews

1-2 spoonfuls cacao powder

3 frozen bananas

or 3 non-frozen bananas and 5 ice cubes

1/2 c. coconut  meat

1/2 c.water

Directions:: Put the cashews in the blender. Add the water. Blend first, but you don’t have to, says Hayden. Add the rest and blend again until creamy.

Word of the Day – primero – first

Tip of the Day – Hayden says you don’t have to blend the cashews first if you have a really good blender that will cream the, together nicely. I had some right before I got on my bike this morning and had so much energy!

Chocolate Chia Peanut Butter Pudding

I was beginning a yoga session by telling of my recent discussion of the silence after the exhale. Then, this meditator and I discussed the subtle breath. When you are in that space where you don’t want to breathe. Everything is so illuminated, so divine you literally can’t breathe. And you wonder how long it was since you took your last breath. Or maybe they were the tiniest of breaths, so subtle you could envelope yourself in the cloud of unknowing.                          

That was literally a discussion from one deep meditator in the marketplace, my guru, to another in the Meditation Center, a student!

Recipe of the Day – Chocolate Chia Peanut Butter Puddingimage


1 T.Chia seeds

1T. Peanut butter

1/ 4 c. coconut  Milk

1/ 4 c. cacao  powder


Add milk to chia seeds, and let it sit for 15 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Now mix peanut butter in to it, then the cacao powder and stir until fully combined.Chill.

Word of the Day –pudin – pudding

Tip of the Day – This is one pudding that will give you energy, energy, energy from all the protein! Be prepared to feel good!