I went swimming, are you proud of me on a grey day? And the pool was filled with beautiful Ecuadorian families who loved the water so much, and didn’t think of their bodies. And their joy just filled that pool. Adults and children alike. They have no compulsion about showing joy on their faces – just like when they eat ice cream!
Word/Phrase of the Day – Eso es tu maletin – That’s your problem
Tip of the Day – Serve with raw flax seed or oat/sesame crackers found on this blog.
So, I came in to town to meet Joy, right? And there she is with a present from my daughter, huh? Clare paypaled her the money and asked her to go get me chocolate for Christmas, and she did! She wanted me to have a present to open for Chrismas. And I was just about to go buy cacao powder, when there she handed me the powdered chocolate, gorgeous chocolate syrup and three different chocolate bars!!! Holy cow, that was fun. And my ex- sent the Juice Factory money for smoothies! So of course we broke up the chocolate ginger bar and put it in the smmothi! I am one lucky gal.
- 2 c. diced fresh mango
- 1/2 c. coconut milk
- The cream of one young coconut
- Blend the mango and the coconut milk and cream in a blender until smooth. Taste to see if you need any more sweetening.
- Pour the mixture into the popsicle or ice cube trays.
- Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
- Freeze until solid.
Word of the Day – por supuesto – of course
Tip of the Day – After blending, add a couple drops of stevia or honey, if you’d like it sweeter. Or papaya and a banana, if you want your popsicles creamier!
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.
- 3 c. water.
- 2 cinnamon sticks.
- 1 anise star.
- ¼ c. masa harina.
- 2 c. coconut or other milk.
- ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
- 1/3 c. panela , honey or other sweetener
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
You know the viscous water that you’ve cooked your garbanzos or white beans in? You can use it for a direct replacement for egg whites. It’s used for frostings and so many recipes, Including meringues, fudge and marshmallows. Clare’s using it on her vegan gingerbread house!
1 egg white = 2 T. agua faba
1 whole egg = 3 T. agua faba
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!
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
1 T. spirulina
Option 3 –
1 c. cashews
1 c. coconut flakes
1 c. dates
1 T. maca
2 T. cacao powder
Directions: Blend in a food processor until smooth. Roll into balls.
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!
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- Cover the jar with a lid, paper towel or coffee filter and a rubber band.
- 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.
- Word of the Day – gastronomo – gourmet
- 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.
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
2 c. almond or coconut milk
1/8 c. cacao powder
2 tsp. honey, or 3 drops Honey-Flavored Stevia, liquid
2 grains pepper
2 grains salt.
1 sprig of lavender, ground fine
- Place milk and cacao in a small sauce pan and turn to medium heat. Whisk until dissolved.
- 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!
I went to a friend’s house and he gave me his DMSO Lotion to put on my back. Immediately the herniated disc pain went away and stayed away for about 20 hours. I felt so normal! He said I’m really lucky because that means it was only inflammation. That’s good news!
1 oz. DMSO
6 T. aloe vera gel
1 tsp. magnesium chloride
3 pinches baking soda
Mix the clear liquid DMSO and aloe vera in a personal blender or by hand. Add the. magnesium chloride and baking soda.. Add couple of drops of lavender oil. Shake well. Pour into a dark-colored bottle or spray bottle. Make sure the area is clean, and then spray on stiff muscles for instant relief.
Word of the Day – rociar – to spray
Tip of the Day – DMSO is rich in sulfur which is a major building block of collagen. Billions of people worldwide use it for pain relief, stroke, toothaches, acne, head injuries, headaches, burns, hemorrhoids, treating scars, arthritis, and for many other ailments. It has been documented as a safe substance for long-term use, but it is not approved for medical use in the USA, which makes it even more appealing!