Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars

My daughter was showing me on video, these beautiful columns of light seemingly beaming upwards in the skies of Montana. They are from unshielded lights, visible when it’s super cold. They are actually ice crystals, shaped like plates, that are usually in high clouds, but they float in the air, close to the ground, and then reflect light back downwards, making pillars of light. The collected light beams from millions of cyrstals relfecting light towards your eyes.

Recipe of the Day – Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars

 

Carrot-Rice-Nut Loaf

My sister says, “Tonight I’m making a variation of that old carrot rice nut loaf we used to make. I’ve added spinach,arugula, and sesame seeds.”

And these flowers in the picture cost $1.50 at Sunday Market. There’s an orchid in there!

Recipe of the Day – Carrot Rice Nut Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 c. brown rice
  • 2 c. sunflower or almond cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. oats or gf breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian herbs
  • optional – 2 c. spaghetti sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all into a  greased 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes until firm. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice. Serve with heated spaghetti sauce, if desired.

Word of the Day –hoy dia – today during this day/all day

TiP of the Day – Put the cheese and avocado on top, if you want, too!

Pumpkin Seed Snack Bars

Did you know, I didn’t, that women donate their old wedding dresses so that the lace and detail work can be deconstructed and used as appliques on burial baby gowns? These gowns are donated to parents in need who have lost their children. Such a beautiful cycle, to go from marriage to loss. Celebrating your beautiful day to help others who are suffering.Then there’s Menstrual Reusuable Pads for women in third world countries, who miss so many days of school for having to stay home  during their times of the month. Each girl gets two resuable waterproof pads, and two bars of soap and one to three pairs of panties for girls. You can donate any part of this. Based out of Bellingham, WA. is the company that starts these things. My daughter’s mother-in-law got her kits funded byvThrivent and has made 4000 pads already – changing the lives of 2000 girls already. You can apply for a grant through them and they give you $250 in supplies to start out helping others. Pretty. Dang. Cool.
Recipe of the Day – Pumpkin Seed Snack Bars:

Ingredients:

4 c. toasted oats
1/2 c. coconut cream
1/2 c, almonds
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (pepitas), raw or roasted (150 degrees C for 45 minutes)
1/2 c. dried berries of choice
1/2 c. cacao nibs
1/2 c. shredded coconut
dash salt
Syrup – 1/3 c. Grade B maple syrup, coconut syrup, honey,

OR make your own:

1/2 c. panela or brown sugar or stevia leaves
1/4 c. honey
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. salt
Directions:
Lightly oil a 13×9″ pan with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combing the oats, coconut cream, nuts and berries. Set aside.
For the syrup – Use Maple syrup, or, In 1-quart saucepan, heat all syrup ingredients over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour over oat/nut mixture; gently toss to coat. Press in pan; cool 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 5 rows by 3 rows. Store tightly covered.
Word of the Day – angeles – angels
Tip of the Day – You could do this with Cheerios or any other cereal for a great snack mix!

Jessica’s Uvilla Berry Sauce

Jessica gave me her recipe, as we were sitting down together at the Gourmet Dinner. Uvillas are SO good! So what a great idea to make them into a sauce.

 Recipe of the Day – Jessica’s Uvilla Berry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 c. uvillas, cranberries or Mora berries

1 tsp. cardamom

1 T. chia seeds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Let sit in the fridge until the chia seeds have made it thick.

Word of the Day – sentado – seated
Tip of the Day – Add a little sweetening, if you like. Honey goes really good with uvillas.

 

Mango Coconut Popsicles – Only Three Ingredients!

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.


Recipe of the Day – 3-Ingredient Mango Coconut Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. diced fresh mango
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • The cream of one young coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend the mango and the coconut milk and cream in a blender until smooth. Taste to see if you need any more sweetening.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle or ice cube trays.
  3. Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
  4. 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!

 

Vegan Gingerbread With Aguafaba

My daughter made vegan gingerbread for her in-law’s Christmas, and she says this recipe sacrifices no flavor. She added in allspice , cardamom and a little extra ginger. Every minute that you bake with ginger in an oven,” she says, “a little ginger flavor dies off. If you oven-bake it, you will ruin it.” And she used Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening – a vegan-friendly product.

Recipe of the Day –Vegan  Gingerbread House

Ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour of choice

1/3 c. vegetable shortening + 2 T room temperature

1/4 c. + 2 T. Molasses

1/2 c. milk of choice

1 c. Sugar

1 tsp, baking powder

3/4 tsp.  Cinnamon

3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

2 tsp. Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp. allspice

  • 3/4 tsp. cardamom
Royal Icing
  • 1- 2 lb bag powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. aguafaba (Garbanzo juice)
  • 1-2 T. fresh lemon

Directions:

Gingerbread Dough
  1. Combine shortening, molasses, sugar, milk, and spices in bowl. Mix by hand or with a mixer until ingredients are well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add baking powder and gradually add all of the flour while constantly mixing. The dough will turn from sticky to stiff by the time all flour is added. Continue to stir until all the flour is incorporated.
  3. Dough should be firm and pliable. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness parchment paper. Cut into shapes and peel away excess dough. Do not move the dough or else the shape will be distorted. (It may seem too thin but the dough will puff up while being baked)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Look for the edges to turn golden brown and the center will appear dry to touch. Allow to full cool before moving or assembling. (You can make it in advance to allow the cookies to dry out)
Royal Icing
  1. Pour powdered sugar with the aguafaba into a blender or large food processor. Mix until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides and mix an additional 1-2 minutes. Icing will be very thick.
  2. Pour a portion of the icing in a heavy duty ziplock bag. Seal and cut a small hole on one of the corners to pipe frosting/glue for house assembly.
  3. Use the same icing for decorating icicles and designs; add a little water to make it thin enough to create designs but not too thin or else it will run.
House Assembly
  1. Pipe a thick line of icing on the back borders of the cutouts. Start with a front and side piece. Firmly press all pieces making sure there is enough frosting to cover gaps. Repeat with other pieces.
  2. Allow to dry at least 2-4 hours before moving. Decorate however you choose and have fun!

Word of the Day – Casa de jengibre – gingerbread house

Tip of the Day – “I used powdered ginger,” Clare says. The dough was incredibly wet so I advise having extra flour on the side. 1-2 cups extra.

 

Clare’s Meringues with Aguafaba

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

Recipe of the Day – Clare’s Midnight Meringues

Ingredients:
8 T. aguafava , and beat the hell out of it.
4 drops chocolate stevia
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
t tsp. raw unsweetened coconut flakes,
2.5 TBS cocoa nibs
1/4 c. cocoa powder
Directions:
    Beat the aguafaba with the cream of tartar until they stand in peaks. Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients and bake at 225 degrees F. for one hour… – less than 1 g. of sugar in each. BAM.
Word of the Day – agaufaba – bean water
Tip of the Day – You have to beat the heck out of it.

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 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!