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!

Dill Pesto

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!

Recipe of the Day – Dill Pesto

Ingredients::

  • 1 c. fresh dill
  • 12 c. Italian Parsley
  • 2 T. nuts or seeds: sunflower seeds, walnuts, pine, cashews or almonds
  • 2 cloves fermented smashed garlic. (See my recipe by typing in Fermented Roasted Garlic in the search engine on the first page of this blog)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. parmezano (walnut parmesan – (See my recipe by typing in Parmezano in the search engine on the first page of this blog) ) or regular parmesan.

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, place the dill, parsley, nuts, and garlic.
  2. Whirl until finely minced.
  3. Add the oil and cheese, and process until blended.
  4. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and chill.

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.

Gluten-Free Choux Pastry Profiteroles

You know, an old reiki client is in town, and hugged me for a longgg time, and then pulled a massage certificate out of his bag, with my name already on it! Come on!!!! And I went to her, Mariana at Hotel El Paraiso, several days ago and she was amazing, including reiki in the treatment. And I haven’t had back pain since!!! I mean, I feel like a normal person!       These profiteroles are like filled doughnut holes, but a lot faster, and no frying!

Courtesy of bbc.
Courtesy of bbc.com

Recipe of the Day – Gluten-Free Choux Pastry Profiteroles

Ingredients:

For the choux pastry:

  • 110g gluten-free flour, sieved ( I like yucca, as it’s the softest flour)
  • 1 tsp coconut or other sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil or butter
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 2 c. coconut cream or whipping cream

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 1/2  c.  water
  • 1/3 c. coconut or other sugar
  • 1 c. dark chocolate, broken in to pieces
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 grains pepper

For the white chocolate sauce

  • 1 c. white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil or  unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. coconut cream or dairy cream
  • Pinch vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch Salt

For the caramel sauce:

  • 2/3 c. coconut oil or  butter
  • 1 c. coconut or sugar
  • 2 T. maple or golden syrup
  • 1/2 c. coconut or double cream
  • Pinch salt
Directions:
    1. Sift the gluten free flour, salt, and sugar together and place it in a small bowl
    1. Place the oil/butter and water in a small pan, and heat gently, until melted.
    1. Add the mixture of flour, salt and sugar, and then remove the pan from the heat. Beat well with a spatula until the mixture combines and comes away from the pan. Cook the mixture through a little more, then leave to cool for a few minutes, knocking some of the hot air out with your spatula. Let the mixture cool a little bit first, or the eggs could scramble when you add them.
    1. Using an electric whisk or spatula add in the beaten egg a little at a time and beat to a soft shiny paste.
    1. Fill a piping bag with the pastry dough. Cut off the end to about a 1.5 cm piece and pipe out balls of dough on to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Each one should be about the size of a walnut.
    1. Bake in an oven pre-heated 200°C for 10 minutes then reduce to 180°C for 15 min until risen and golden.
    1. Remove from the oven, make a small hole in the bottom of each profiterole, then return to the oven for a few minutes to dry out.
    1. Whip the cream, then spoon into a piping bag and fill the profiteroles through the hole you made in the base.
    1. To make the dark chocolate sauce put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. While the sugar syrup is beginning to boil melt the chocolate. Take the sugar syrup pan off the heat and pour that and the rest into the bowl of chocolate stirring until smooth and combined.
    1. To make the white chocolate sauce, place all the ingredients in a pan and stir gently until the butter and white chocolate is melted and you have sauce.
  1. To make the salted caramel, melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once dissolved add the cream stirring constantly to mix. Finally add the salt and stir. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Word of the Day – cliente – client

Tip of the Day – This isn’t as complex as it seems. The pastry is actually pretty fast! You could have the sauces ready ahead of time, if you like. In the states  you could melt caramels or add caramel extract.

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!

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.

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!

 

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!

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!

Black Morada

Happy Day of the Dead! (Día de los Muertos) The colada morada,  black punch with sweetbreads are all over town and the country! The punch is made from fruits like blueberries and elderberries/blackberries. Sangorache (ataco), is a purple grain with black leaves, and to it the black fermented corn is added Nowadays they make it with ishpingo (Cinnamon’s Flower), myrtle leaves, strawberries and blackberries. Some people also use fruit, like pineapple.

Recipe of the Day – Black Porridge

1 c. mora, boysenberries or other berries

 Directions: Bring the water to a boil with the corn, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a large pot. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain o remove the corn and spices. Stir the lemon juice and sugar into the chicha until the sugar has dissolved. Chill until cold. Stir in the chopped pineapple, berries and apple before serving over ice.

Word of the Day – maiz morado – purple corn

Tip of the Day – Share this drink with others. It’s meant to be shared in ceremony, in parties, a common practice in the barrios of Ecuador.

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!