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!

 

Caraway Sauekraut

I was lucky enough to be invited to Kimberly’s 7-Course Gourmet Meal at Madre Tierra last night. What a gourmet! Every single dish, (Which there was too much of) tasted absolutely delicious and elegant. I loved it. The menu is below.


Recipe of the Day – 
Caraway Sauerkraut

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Head of Cabbage
  • 1-3 T. salt, as desired
  • 1 beet and 3 carrots (optional)
  • 1 T. caraway seeds
  • Directions:
  1. Put the cabbage, and carrots and beets, if you like, into the food processor with salt and caraway.. Press down the cabbage with something – I use the plunger to the food processor – it works great! For several minutes, until there is enough liquid to cover. Or you can press it down with a plate, with a stone on top. There has to be enough liquid to cover the cabbage. You can add water if you need to.
  2. Cover the jar with a lid, paper towel or coffee filter and a rubber band.
  3. Let sit for a two weeks and let the air out daily. I put a note on top to tell me when it’s done. But if there’s too many fruit flies here, in Ecuador, after several days, then I put it in the fridge.excess pressure. The sauerkraut’s flavor will continue to develop as it ages.
  4. Word of the Day – gastronomo – gourmet
  5. Tip of the Day – Some people like to put the cabbage leaves on top to keep in the moisture, and bury it underground. That keeps the bugs out. Keep checking those leaves, though, to make sure they aren’t moldy.

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!

DIY Sweat Lodge

Here’s my new sweat lodge – made with carriso – like guadua and bamboo but tougher, more resilient and bendable. Wilson Picoita made it! You dig the hole. Then put sticks with room underneat. Then, seven big stones, sticks again, then seven more, in the traditional way. You light and tend the fire for about 3 hours, letting the stones get super hot. Then, remove the fire and sit in your tent, with a bucket of water and eucalyptus leaves. Every 15 minutes, or when you want more steam, pour a cup of water over the rocks. There’s your truco – your steam bath! I’m so happy. You feel amazing agterwards, especially if alternately get out and take a cold shower. Whew! My skin always looks so good afterwards.

Word of the Day – truco – steam bath

Tip of the Day – Start slow, just a few minutes  at a time, if you’re not  used to steaming. Don’t let yourself get dizzy or faint!

Veggie Pineapple Chili

After coming home from the pool and bike riding, having your dinner made sure sounds good. Do this in your crockpot, if you want!

Recipe of the Day – Pineapple Chili

Photo courtesy of heather likes food

Ingredients

  • 3 c. tofu or ground meat.
  • 1 medium whit onion, chopped
  • 3 c. chopped pineapple
  • 8 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 2. c. cooked black beans
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 T. chili powder
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional : 1 c. daiya or regular white cheese, tofu or almond sour cream and hot sauce.

Directions

  1. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook tofu/meat and onions, stirring to crumble. Drain off any fat and transfer to your slow cooker.
  2. Drain the pineapple, separating the juice and the fruit. Add the juice to the slow cooker. Cover and store the fruit in the refrigerator (it will be added toward the end of cooking).
  3. Add tomatoes, black beans, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and garlic to the slow cooker.
  4. Stir gently.
  5. Cook on low (6-8 hours), adding reserved pineapple during last hour or two of cooking, or on high (4-5 hours), adding pineapple during last ½ hour – hour of cooking.
  6. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream and hot sauce, if desired.

Word of the Day – notacion – swim therapy

Tip of the Day – You can leave out the beans, adjust the spices to make it hotter, if you like.

 

 

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!

 

 

Muscle Relaxant Tea

Been having a lot of trouble with my back lately – the tail end of the watering/dry season, where I spend hours in the garden. Here’s my relaxing tea for tired and painful back muscles/herniated disc. Helps me sleep, too!

Recipe of the Day – Relaxation Tea

Ingredients:

1 c. chamomile flowers

1 c. lemon balm

1 c. passionflower leaves and flowers

1/2 c. grated ginger

1/3 c.  poppy seeds

1/2 c. valerian

Directions: For a big batch, mix the herbs above. You can cut it down to one teaspoon, where it says one cup, and 1/2 tsp. where it says 1/2 cup!

Word of the Day – sedante/sedativo – sedative

Tip of the Day – Chamomile is a mild sedative, and lemon balm improves mood and is a mild pain reliever. Passionflower (above) is another mild sedative, very calming, and ginger enhances the effects of the other herbs! Add stevia or other sweeteners to taste.

 

Boldo Tea

This is an herb I got in the Otavlo Market – the Boldo leaf, used to treat mostly ailments of the liver, bladder and protate, but also for the gallbladder and gallstones. It’s also fo insomnia, rheumatism, cystitis, gonorrhea, syphilis, colds, constipation, indigestion and earache. It’s been used traditionally to rid the intestines of worms, as a mild sedative and nerve tonic..

Recipe of the Day – Boldo Tea

Ingredients: a couple leaves Boldo.

Directions. Take a couple leaves of Boldo and pour hot, almost boiling water over. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.  This cup also has a twig of horsetail in it!

Word of the Day – liver – higado

Tip of the Day – What I do, to see if herbs work well together, is to taste the tea of each individually, smell and taste both. If they’re both calm, or of the same feeling, I combine them!

Amaranth Greens or Salad

Amaranth is  a very nutritious leaf that makes nice salad greens. It’s  techically a seed, not a grain. The leaves are nutitionally similar to beets, Swiss chard and spinach, but are much superior. And they are all over the place, in the wild, when in season here. They  contain three times more calcium and niacin than spinach leaves. an excellent source of carotene, iron, calcium, protein, vitamin C and trace elements.


Recipe of the Day –
Amaranth Leaf Salad

photo by serious eats

Ingredients:

4 c. amaranth (washed , picked and towel dried leaves .)

1 T. olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of salt

Directions- Toss.

Word of the Day – amaranto – amaranth

Tip of the Day – Growing amaranth is possible all year round in the tropics. That’s one of the reasons it is an essential and ubiquitous plant in my permaculture garden.

 

Flowering Amaranth PlantsPhoto by Dysviz