Sweet New Year Apple Cake (Never cook honey!)

It’s Rosh Hashana, aka the Jewish New Year! And this means a lot of sweets this week! Apples and Honey are the most popular two items being consumed (after bread and wine of course) and although both are super healthy (when the honey is harvested consciously and properly), honey should never be cooked! So here’s an epic easy yummy moist fluffy cake that is sweet, full of apples and will satiate both those who celebrate and those who do not celebrate this festive time of the year. It is plant based and any flour and sugar (or granule/powdered sugar substitute) can work in this recipe!

Here are a few articles that explain why cooking honey is a NO-NO!

http://womansvibe.com/heat-makes-honey-toxic-reasons-you-should-never-cook-or-heat-honey/

http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/reasons-why-you-should-never-cook-honey-1696700

https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/is-cooking-honey-unhealthy/

Moist-Fluffy Apple Cake

  • 4 medium, Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cubed small or large  (approx 5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups oat flour (gluten-free or use any flour you like)
  • 2 cups pitted dates, soaked in 1 cup hot water 30minutes
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or use any sugar you like)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp+2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic or Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Optional: 1/2 cup raisins

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Grease+flour a bundt cake pan or a rectangular 9”x13” pan
  3. Mix apples with lemon juice. Set aside.
  4. Cream soaked dates with 2 tsp cinnamon in a blender, set aside
  5. Strain the lemon juice from the apples into a little cup and stir with the baking soda.
  6. Use a hand mixer to blend baking soda mix, sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon, salt, vanilla, almond milk, oil until.
  7. Mix together with the flour until a batter forms.
  8. Stir in raisins, walnuts, and apples.
  9. Transfer the date paste into a large ziplock bag or a piping bag.
  10. Pour half the batter into your prepared pan then squeeze half the date paste mixture, then pour the remaining batter on top evenly.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a thin knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  12. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10minutes before turning it over onto a plate and allowing the moisture to vaccum seal and slide out easily on its own.
  13. Drizzle remaining date caramel sauce on top of your cake, slice and serve. Leave at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days before refrigerating leftovers (if there will be any?)

 

 

Rejuvenating Hot Chocolate Elixir

It’s that time of the month for me and today I felt like something really nourishing, rejuvenating, rich and delicious! It’s a known fact that no matter what time of the month, women love chocolate and especially on their moon (aka menstruation). I don’t mean to seclude men here, I know you totally love chocolate too and this post and recipe is for you all too! Beneficial for all genders and ages!

The moon time is a sacred time for women to relax, rejuvenate, replenish, and surrender. In the world we live in, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle and lack of nutrients in our overall life, so relaxing for even a day is not always an option. Luckily, there are many ways to work, be stressed and make the moon time a little easier and even an enjoyable time.

One of my favourite treats during this time is my delicious, creamy and ever so nourishing hot chocolate elixir. It’s rejuvenating because of all the wonderful healing elements and superfoods added to it.

This special recipe includes ingredients that aren’t just tasty but also healing and beneficial for the body. See info about each ingredient below the recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (preferably preservative free)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (preferably homemade)
  • 1-2 tsp Shatavari powder (use 1 if this is your first time using it)
  • 1 tsp gelatinized maca powder (red/black/white all work)
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil or raw coconut oil
  • Pinch-1/4 tsp Celtic/Himalayan salt (freshly ground preferably)
  • 2 tbsp cacao/coco powder or carob powder
  • 1-3 tsp monk fruit powder/maple syrup or your choice of sweetener
  • optional sweetener replacement:
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp licorice root powder (do not use if you have blood pressure issues)

Note: or use 8-12 drops of your favourite liquid stevia (I like Sweet Leaf because there’s no after taste)

Optional: for spicy add 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and/or ginger powder

Loving  Preparation:

  1. Heat up both milks in a small pot on high heat. Remove from heat just before it starts to boil (approx 5 minutes)
  2. In the mean time add the rest of your ingredients into a high speed blender.
  3. Pour milk into the blender and slowly increase speed until it’s on high and blend for 10 seconds until frothy.
  4. Taste and add more of any ingredient if you desire.
  5. Pour into your favourite mug, sprinkle with cacao/cinnamon and sip away.

Remember: No recipe is set in stone

Some benefits of each ingredient (source of facts provided)

  1. SHATAVARI may promote:
  • Healthy female and male reproductive system
  • Increased levels of breast milk production
  • Soothes and moisturizes the digestive tract and respiratory tract
  • Increased levels of energy
  • Boost the immune system
  • Natural antioxidant properties

Source: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/herbs/shatavari/

2. GELATINIZED MACA ROOT ( (lepidium meyenii)

  • Due to being a cruciferous veggie it needs to be gelatinized and never RAW
  • An adaptogen (helps restore the body back into balance by adapting to stressors)
  • Helps balance hormones
  • Immune Booster
  • Boosts levels of glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase)
  • Increase levels of energy and stamina
  • Improved sexual function
  • Improved memory, mental focus, mood
  • Contains absorbable vitamins and minerals and nutrients such as protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium
  • Over 20 amino acids

Source: https://draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/

3. LICORICE ROOT (Glycyrrhiza: comes from “glukos” (sweet) and “riza” (root).)

  • Relieves constipation (a common symptom for many women on their moon time)
  • Aids digestion and acid reflux
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Immune booster
  • Relieves symptoms of PMS and Menopausal Support
  • Fights viral infections
  • Relieves ulcers
  • Relieves stress from adrenal glands (regulate the stress hormone cortisol)

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/21/licorice-root-uses.aspx

4. CINNAMON

Note: When purchasing cinnamon opt for True Cinnamon aka Ceylon vs. Cassia aka Saigon/Chinese. Cassia contains far more Coumarins which are believed to be potentially damaging to the liver when more than 2 tsp consumed/day).

  • Contains absorbable vitamins, minerals, amino acids
  • Helps defend against cognitive decline and protects brain function
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Diabetic (natural sweetener option for diabetics too)
  •  Anti-microbial
  • Immune booster
  • Cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities

Source: https://draxe.com/health-benefits-cinnamon/

5. CACAO (minimum 50%)

  •  Real Raw Cacao contains high levels of flavanols (aka. flavan-3-ols) which promote increased blood flow into and out of the brain to stay focused and take on tasks)
  • Increase mood (increases seratonin levels)
  • Reduce stress
  • Relieves constipation
  • Contains Theobromine:natural stimulant that decreases depression, increases relaxation and euphoric feelings
  • Anti-Oxidant (known to have more than blueberries)
  • High levels of inerals

Source: http://foodfacts.mercola.com/cacao.html

 

Raw Carrot Cake Recipe

It feels so good to be back to blogging again! It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve blogged -here. I’d like to start off my return with this delicious raw-vegan-paleo-glutenfree-guiltfree Carrot Cake I made over the weekend for a scrumptious delightful Easter Celebration I thoroughly enjoyed with my friends in Toronto.

I tend to be detailed so that you get the most out of my posts and have options for recipes to consider and experiment with for later. Please feel free to follow me, share my posts, comment and leave your feedback. I want you to feel apart of my journey and I want to be apart of yours.  I trust you’ll love this recipe and I can’t wait to hear from those of you who make this recipe and/or others I’ve posted in the past and will post more often again now.

With love, gratitude and bliss,

Chef Doris Fin (aka Miss Bliss)

Raw Carrot Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 3 cups peeled and shredded carrot (approx 2 large carrots) (see note below) or carrot pulp from fresh carrot juice
  • 1 cup ground golden flax seeds (see note below)
  • 1 cup almond pulp (made from homemade almond milk)(see recipe below)
  • 1 ½ cups ground almond meal
  • 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in ½ cup water 2 hours
  • ½ cup dried pineapple, chopped
  • 4 tbsp melted cold pressed coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Celylon cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp Celtic/Himalayan salt

Optional:

  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

 

Ingredients for the icing:

  • 1 ½ cups raw sunflower seeds or cashews, soaked in 4 cups water 4 hours
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod scraped out)
  • 3 tbsp melted cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp Celtic/Himalayan salt

 

Loving Preparation:

  1. Prepare your pan first: Cover the base of an 8” or 9” spring form pan with parchment paper and close the pan on top.
  2. In a food processor process the dates, pineapple, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt until you get a chunky jam like consistency (like chutney)
  3. Transfer mixture and remaining ingredients into a big bowl and mix well with your hands. (Note: As you massage this delectable mixture, infuse it with loving intention and be playful)
  4. Allow to sit and absorb moisture while you prepare your icing.

 

To make your icing:

  1. Rinse and strain your sunflower seeds/cashews then transfer to a high speed blender along with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Taste and add more maple syrup if you desire more sweet. If you want thinner cream add a touch of water until desired consistency is achieved.

 

To prepare your cake:

  1. Press half the cake mixture with lightly damp hands in the base of your cake. (See note below about making a no layer cake)
  2. Pour 2 cups of your cream over the cake layer. Freeze for 10minutes.
  3. Flatten the remaining cake mixture in the bowl a little (so it’s easier to place on top of your cake, without the cream spilling out).
  4. Press the remaining cake mixture gently on top of the cream. Use your fingers to seal in the edges and prevent cream from escaping.
  5. Pour the remaining cream on top and leave a little for decoration swirls. If you prefer to cover your whole cake rather than just the top add the cream last minute before serving. Pour remaining cream into a piping bag or ziplock bag and refrigerate.
  6. Keep your cake refrigerated for 2 hours or overnight before removing it from the pan and parchment paper.

 

Note: When removing the parchment paper, place the cake on a plate, tilt it slightly and peel away the paper slowly.

 

Decoration: Cut the tip of your ziplock bag or piping bag and squeeze out swirls, spirals, and/or any kind of decoration you like.

Add parsley/mint/basil leaves on top for decoration. If you can find mini carrots decorate your cake with 6-8 of them splayed out in a flower design.

 

No layer cake option: If you prefer a faster, no layer cake variation press the whole cake mixture into your pan and decorate the entire cake with the cream once ready to come out of the pan.

 

Note: If you have remaining cream leftover, it will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight bag or glass container and you can add cacao powder to it to make a chocolate spread or add to your future desserts/spread on cake/muffins/bread/crackers/freeze into ice cream.

 

Note: Shredded carrots doesn’t release juice like grated carrots. I use a food processor with the shredding circle blade.

 

Note:  Golden flax seeds don’t have that flax seed taste like brown flax seeds and they happen to be a little more nutritious too and leave no brown colour. Perfect for this recipe.

Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw almonds, soaked in 4cups water 6-8 hours (or overnight)
  • 7-8 cups water

 

Loving Preparation:

  1. Rinse and strain almonds
  2. Blend with water in a high speed blender for 20 seconds (until almonds completely pulverized. If you don’t have an 8 cup blender, make in 2 batches.
  3. Strain through nutmilk bag/cheesecloth.
  4. Reblend almond milk with 4 dates or 2 tsp maple syrup/honey and 1 tsp cinnamon. Store in a glass jar for up to 4 days in the fridge.
  5. For a chocolate variation add 2-4 tbsp cacao/coco powder (depending how chocolatey you like it.
  6. For spicy variation add 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  7. For a flavourful variation add 1-2 drops of edible mint/orange/coffee/rose essential oils. I like the one from my favourite local essential oils company http://www.livinglibations.com/?a_aid=58a6246d0be97 they also have for oral health care, deodorant, perfume, for diffusing, culinary creations, hands, feet, other body parts, etc. J

 

Note: Use leftover pulp for adding to above carrot cake recipe or into your muffins, breads, smoothies, cookies, banana bread, salads, etc. For regular cake recipes replace ½ the flour with pulp and enjoy the moistness, fiber and taste that almond pulp adds to your recipes.

 

Grounding Fusion Soup

Grounding Fusion Soup (Serves 4-8)
It’s Autumn in Ontario and the colours of Mother Nature, the food bursting through her soil, and the overall vibe in the environment, all make me feel like a nice hearty, grounding, yet flavourful soup. With a little garnish of Mediterranean flavour, this soup is sure to tickle even the blandest palate.

Ingredients:
-3 cups boiling water
-1 medium red onion, whole and unpeeled
-1 large sweet potato, cubed
-1 large parsnip, cubed
-1 medium rutabaga, cubed
-1 medium zucchini, chopped
-1 medium carrot, cubed
-4 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
-2 medium stalks celery, chopped
-1 tsp turmeric powder
-1-2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (depending how garlicky you like it)
-1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
-1 Tbsp himalayan or celtic salt
Optional:
-For spicy add 1/2 tsp, or more, cayenne, black pepper or chilli pepper
-For a more pink/red colour soup add 1 medium beet, cubed

Toppings:
-1 recipe of Mediterranean Burdock Mushroom Fusion
-1 Tbsp of each fennel and coriander seeds, lightly toasted
-1/4 cup walnuts, almonds or any nut you prefer, chopped and lightly toasted
-1/4 cup fresh dill, parsley and/or cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Loving Preparation:

1. In a medium pot, add the first five ingredients and optional beets if using. Close the lid and bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
3. Add the zucchini, carrot and cauliflower, keep lid closed, lower heat and simmer for eleven minutes.
4. Remove the whole onion from the pot and carefully peel it. (Skin should come off easily).
5. In a heat proof blender add celery, garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, optional pepper, if using, cooked and peeled onion and using a ladle, add half the cooked vegetables (avoid adding too much liquid into the blender) then puree until smooth and creamy. Be very careful when blending, as the sudden release of steam has a tendency to blow the lid off of blenders. with With a towel covering the lid covered, start at a low speed, and slowly increase the speed. (Blend the entire soup contents if you want a pure creamy soup, rather than creamy and chunky)
5. Transfer puree back to the pot and stir well. You should have a half creamy, half chunky soup. Taste and adjust flavour by adding more salt/pepper, minced garlic/ginger if needed.
6. To serve, pour soup into individual bowls, divide the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of each bowl.
7. Refrigerate left overs (once completely cooled) in an airtight glass jar for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight plastic container/bag for up to 2 weeks.

Variation to Mushrooms:
Instead of adding the mushroom mixture, sauté 1 large red onion in 1/2 cup water or 2 Tbsp olive oil on a medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes. Stir into the entire soup or garnish each bowl of soup individually. The flavour and texture of onions and/or mushrooms really compliment this soup’s overall presentation, flavour and taste.

To toast seeds:
Heat a skillet on medium heat, stir seeds constantly with a wooden spoon until fragrant and lightly toasted (approx 2-3 minutes), remove from the pan immediately, to prevent burning and flavour loss. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Autumn Grounding soup with Mediterranean fusion

Autumn Grounding soup with Mediterranean fusion

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Mediterranean Burdock Mushroom Fusion

Mediterranean Burdock Mushroom Fusion (Serves 2-4)
I love mushrooms, spices and burdock root! This combination is the perfect addition to any soup, salad or any savoury dish. The toasted Fennel and Coriander seeds add a Mediterranean crunch. Try variations with different herbs and mushrooms.

Ingredients:
-1 cup water
-1 large (or 2 medium) burdock root, grated (approx. 1 cup)
-1 large red onion, thinly sliced

-4 cups of mushrooms, thinly sliced (oyster, shiitake, maitake, or mix)

-2 Tbsp soy/tamari/teriyaki or soy substitute sauce (preferably organic, gluten-free and non-GMO)
-1-2 small cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbsp fresh, peeled, minced/grated ginger
-1 Tbsp each coriander seeds and fennel seeds, lightly toasted
-1/4 cup chopped almonds, walnuts or any nut you prefer, lightly toasted
-1/4 cup freshly chopped dill, parsley or cilantro

Loving Preparation:
1. Heat a skillet on medium heat, add water, burdock, onions and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and stir well. Keep lid closed and simmer 20minutes. Stir occasionally.
2. Turn heat to low, add garlic, ginger and sauce of choice. Mix well and leave uncovered to allow for evaporation for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and leave for five more minutes.
3. Taste and adjust flavour with more sauce/salt, ginger and/or garlic.
4. Add to a soup, sauté, salad or sandwich and/or serve with toasted seeds, nuts and fresh green herb of choice, on top.
5. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet, closed and on a low heat for a few minutes.

Add to the following recipe: Grounding Fusion Soup

To toast seeds:
Heat a skillet on medium heat, stir seeds constantly with a wooden spoon until fragrant and lightly toasted (approx 2-3 minutes), remove from the pan immediately, to prevent burning and flavour loss. Store in an airtight container until ready to use

Super nourishing, tasty, autumn dish

Super nourishing, tasty, autumn dish

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Bursting with Flavour Red Beet Salad and…..A Surprise recipe!

Bursting with Flavour Red Beet Salad

Ever wonder how you can eat raw beets and enjoy them too? This is the recipe for you!
(Serves 1-2 depending on one’s appetite)

Salad Ingredients:
-1 medium beet peeled and grated
-1 handful fresh herbs finely chopped (I used parsley and cilantro, others include: basil, dill, mint and/or 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme, oregano and rosemary)
-1 tsp dulse flakes (or any other seaweed you like)
-1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (I used Austrian Styrian Gold, dark green seeds)
-1/2 cup broccoli chopped and blanched in hot water 1min (stems and florets)
-2 handfuls of 1 or mixed sprouts chopped (Sunflower, snow pea shoots, alfalfa or broccoli, lentil, mung bean sprouts

Dressing Ingredients:
-juice of 1 lime freshly squeezed
-1 tbsp fresh papaya seeds
-2 tbsp of olive oil or 1/2 an avocado or 2 tbsp of tahini
-1 clove garlic
-1 inch piece of ginger

Loving Preparation:
-Combine all the Salad ingredients together in a bowl
-Blend all the dressing ingredients until creamy and pour into the salad
-Mix the dressing and salad really well squeezing lightly to encourage the beet juices to release
-Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top, extra sprouts, and decorate with a parsley leaf, slices of avocado, or whatever you like
-Serve as a meal, as a side dish or in a raw wrap (I used Swiss Chard for the wrap, you can also use collard greens, large kale leaves, cabbage or thick lettuce leaf)

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Note: This recipe is excellent for making a raw or cooked soup! Just add water and blend to make it creamy or leave it chunky or half and half! Yummy!

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Perfect Holiday Wrap! Very festive eh?

Ocean Lentils

Ingredients:
-1 cup sprouted lentils cooked or raw (I used cooked)
-1-2 tsp dulse flakes (or any other seaweed you like)
-1 handful fresh parsley chopped loosely or finely
Optional: add freshly grated ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, chilli, curry, cumin, or whatever else you like in your legumes

Loving Preparation
-Combine all the ingredients together and serve as a protein dish, add to a salad, into a wrap (As the one shown here), veggie dish, soup, or mash up into a dip,

Note: the wrap pictured here includes both of these recipes combined into one. Yummy, filling, nutrient dense and easily digestible. And most importantly aesthetically appealing!

 

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Before being mixed, so you get a very clear visual of the ingredients! Tastes like yum!

Super Creamy Smoothies (and lots of FYI for fun)

Everyday after the gym in Quito, I’ve been whipping up a super creamy, nourishing, tasty smoothie. Before I get into these scrumptious nourishing recipes (located at the end of this blog), I’d like to share a few health facts and FYI that I’ve learnt about and experimented with over the past few years.

The oils I find here in Ecuador, are not the highest quality so I’d rather use local, fresh and very high quality fat: Avocado! Bonus: avocados are cheap and filling! They replenish my fats, proteins, other nutrients I require, while adding incredible texture and flavour to all my smoothies.

I do my best not to mix fruits with fats, so I use avocado, which is a fruit with natural fats. I try to have one or the other, although sometimes I will use both fats and fruits together, out of habit, seeking for taste and texture, but I suffer later from the food combination (gas, bloating). I don’t do this too often anymore, as I remember eating nuts and raisins, sweets after a heavy meal (which always had some sort of fat present, whether oil, butter, nuts, seeds, meat, etc.), and overloading on raw desserts (recently in the past 2 years), daily for years, and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel so energized afterwards. Now I replace dressings, sauces and oils with avocado when I want to add flavour, texture, volume and fat to my meals and because it’s light, I can wait 20-30min before having my dessert and not suffering the food combining consequences. Yay compromising balance!

Did you know that young coconut water used to be injected intravenously into human veins, instead of whatever saline solution that is being used now in hospitals? Coconut water is almost equivalent to the human plasma and we are made up of 70-90% water. Doesn’t it make sense to ingest that which is like our blood and thus will nourish our blood? Water is drawn up from the depths of the Earth, into the roots, trunk, branches and ultimately into a shell that contains this healing liquid. Now that’s what I call nourishment from Mother Nature!
The water of the young coconuts, when they are less sweet, more mineral dense and have more water in them are ready for consumption as long as they having been growing on the tree for at least 1 year. The harder, dark brown coconuts are the older, more sweet, more coconut meat (which we cannot digest properly) and less water, and are often more readily available in stores than the young coconuts.

Sun charged food is extremely beneficial and essential for our health and optimal functioning of our body, mind, spirit and therefore our overall life in general. Without the sun, that which grows, could not grow and would be in darkness.
Studies have shown the phenomenal differences between areas in the world that have an abundance, a lack of and an absence of sunlight. It’s quite astonishing the differences in health, happiness and overall lifestyle function of all these beings. As well as the lack of vitamin D2, which we get for free from exposure to the sun’s rays, can cause incredible health problems as well. So soak up in the sun whenever possible, obviously when the UV rays are not too strong.

Studies have also shown that sun gazing (sunrise and sunset are the best and easiest to stare at for long periods of time), aids the functioning and helps heal the pineal gland, vision, health and many parts of the whole eye mechanism. I sun gaze when I remember to and when the sun is not too high up. I used to do it daily for 2 years so I can attest to the proof. My eye site got better sun gazing, combined with more raw food eating, more bare foot walking on Earth, eye exercises and less time staring at electronics. But now of course I spend a lot of time on the computer and it depends where in the world I am and the time of day, when I remember to look up. I do my best to expose myself, my skin and my food daily to the sun, wherever I am, as often as I remember, choosing to walk or cycle rather than take a taxi or bus, if the distance is under 30min, just to soak up the incredible healing medicine freely available, daily! Check out this article with videos about safe sungazing, earthing and sun charging. http://yogikanna.com/sungazing/

Aloe vera comes from a cactus plant and is usually drunk like a juice. The quality of aloe vera on the market is very variable – If it’s purchased in a bottle and tastes like water it probably is. Nothing is better than fresh Aloe which is a truly amazing plant. Do your best to get fresh whole aloe vera leaves, often found at Asian super markets or China Town, South American stores, or you can purchase the plants and have them in your garden or inside your home. Youtube “how to obtain the gel of an aloe vera leaf” (there’s a very efficient practical way to getting inside the leaf without hurting yourself on the side spikes).

The best and most potent, medicinal and nutrient dense aloe gel for ingesting is that of the really big, older leaves. Aloe Vera is opposite to coconuts, since coconut water is best when they are younger. Aloe Vera is very popular in Asia and South America, where it grows abundantly outside of the crowded material dense cities. Usually in mountainous or jungle areas. Since it is a cactus it doesn’t need a constant supply of water, but definitely can shrivel and die if it’s exposed only to the sun and no water. It helps aid in soothing inflammation of anything, digestion problems, constipation, ulcers, stomach and colon problems, skin and scalp problems, genital itchiness and irritation and of course there are so many other healing properties. Research more if you’re curious. Make sure to consume only the gel part of the leaf, not the green part (which is very bitter and not used for ingestion). Rub your skin and face with the inside of the skin when you are done getting all the gel. Make use of it to its fullest!

So all the recipes shown here contain ingredients that relate to the above information. Remember we absorb the energy not just the nutrients of the food. If I am in a rush, my body may not actually absorb, assimilate or even process any of the food. My energy would be focused in my mind of where I have to go or what I have to do, rather than focusing in the present moment of obtaining, enjoying and being with the whole experience of my meal, thus making the nutrients more easily transportable to my cells and entire being. I am what I eat after all! So I do my best not only to consume the best quality products, but to remain in the moment with them and benefit from the whole experience. “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates) This also pertains to the way we consume and ingest the medicine, not just put it into us.

If you cannot find a fresh young coconut, replace the coconut water with the best quality water you can find, put it in a glass jar and leave it in the sun light outside for minimum 20min and add a little more lime juice to the recipe.

Did you know that fresh citrus fruit juices like lemon and lime are acidic before they enter the stomach? Once they enter the stomach they transform into an alkaline substance. This is why it is recommended to have lemon/lime juice with lukewarm water when you wake up in the morning or before meals (especially acidic meals). It helps aid the functioning of the alkalization of our bodies, which we need after all the repairing of our acidic bodies in the night time. Hence why it is recommended not to eat at least 2 hrs before bed and definitely nothing heavy like meat or cake. All the energy will be focused on digesting (which is minimal during sleep anyway) instead of repairing the body as required for optimal functioning. And the result will be waking up with undigested food, and the toxins from the lack of digestion going into the blood stream. AH!

Super Nourishing Creamy Smoothies:

1. Super Good For Me In Every Way Smoothie

Ingredients:
-2 cups of coconut water
-2-4 Tbsp of fresh aloe vera gel
-the juice of one lime (or a little more if not using coconut water)
-1 heaping tbsp of your favourite green powder (I used alfalfa and chlorella tablets)
-1/2 of a medium avocado or 1 whole small avocado

Loving Preparation:
-In a blender combine all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Do not over blend and do not let it heat up!
-Serve immediately in the nicest glass you have. You deserve the best.
-Decorate with a slice of lime, avocado or a flower of your choice

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Giddy Yoyo is my favourite High Quality Superfood Company based out of Canada!

2. Super Good For Me In Every Way Smoothie with Goji Berries
This is the exact same recipe as #1 but with 1-2 tbsp of goji berries (presoak for 20min in 1/2 cup of the coconut water being used and include the water in the recipe)
-Decorate with goji berries, a mint leaf, flower, or whatever you like!

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No surprise, these are Giddy Yoyo’s raw wildcrafted Goji Berries! Yummy! and no chlorella, so the red shows more!

 

3. So Good For My Body Creamy Mango Smoothie
(you can replace the mango with any other sweet juicy fruit, but use organic whenever possible and only use one fruit, try not to mix fruits and use local and seasonal whenever possible)

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut water
-1 mango
-1 tbsp of your favourite green powder (I used Alfalfa powder)
-1/4 tsp fresh vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
-2-4 Tbsp of fresh aloe vera gel (gel of about 1/4-1/3 of a medium sized aloe vera
leaf) (Put more in if you suffer from stomach problems: see note above for info)
-fresh juice of 1 small lime or a little more if you are not using coconut water.
Optional:1/2-1 tsp freshly minced ginger or 1/4 tsp ginger powder (depending on how gingery you like it) For a little spice, add a dash of chilli or cayenne pepper.

Loving Preparation:
-In a blender combine all of the ingredients, until smooth and creamy. Do not over blend and definitely do not let it heat up.
-Serve in the nicest glass you have. You deserve the best afterall!
-Decorate with a mint leaf, lime wedge, flower, or whatever you like

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Depending on how much Green Powder you add will depend on the colour of the final result

4. So Good For My Body Creamy Mango Green Smoothie
This is the exact same recipe as #3 but add a handful of parsley and/or spinach leaves

 

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Super Nutritious Creamy Green Salad with a Crunch!

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What do pumpkin seeds, avocado, sprouted lentils, broccoli, herbs like parsley and cilantro and seaweed have in common?
They are Green, loaded with essential nutrients and are a perfect combo for a tasty filling meal or an addition to any meal.

Since this meal has no grains, sweetness or animal products and is mostly raw, enzyme, mineral and nutrient dense, it’s easily digestible and energy boosting!

(serves 1 or 2, depending on one’s appetite)

Ingredients:
-1/2-1 cup of one or a mix of sprouts: lentils, mung beans or any other sprout you like (I used sprouted lentils) (see note on how to sprout at the bottom of this recipe)
-1 cup broccoli florets cut into bite size pieces (blanched in hot water for 2min) (easier to digest and chew)
-1 lime freshly squeezed
-1 medium avocado mashed
-1-2 cloves garlic minced (depending on how garlicky you like it)
-1-2 tbsp of dried seaweed soaked and cut into small pieces or 1tsp seaweed flakes (I used dulse flakes) (you can use nori, kelp, wakame or any other seaweed)
-1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Optional: 1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (cilantro and/or parsley)
For spicy add chilli or cayenne pepper as needed.

Loving Preparation:
-In a bowl mash together the avocado, lime juice, and garlic.
-Add the rest of the ingredients (except the pumpkin seeds) and toss together until everything is evenly combined.
-Before serving, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top, extra seaweed flakes, a few sprouts, and a couple of parsley leaves for decoration.
Bon Provecho!

Note: To sprout any legume or seed it must be soaked in water for 4-8 hrs (depending on the size) (research online for more info and exact soaking duration)
Either soak and sprout in a glass/ceramic bowl or a glass jar with a mesh top (sold at health stores or on the internet). Rinse and strain, then leave in your container/jar, rinsing twice/day until little tails grow. I like my sprout tails really long so I sprout up to 5days. Depending on the room temperature (more hot and humid climates will sprout faster, colder will sprout slower). When they have sprouted to your preference, store in the fridge and use within 3-5days, depending on your fridge system. Some fridges cause food to stay fresher longer than others. There are products like “Berry Breeze” which helps to maintain freshness up to double the original time of expiration.

Note: Seaweed is naturally salty, but if you feel you need more saltiness, add celtic salt as needed. Iodized Table salt is like poison, Himalayan salt can have traces of lead and sea salt can have traces of whatever residue Fukushima has caused in the oceans. Read labels carefully and only buy and use salt from trusted sources (ideally you could do the same with all your food items)

Note: To make this even more green, algae(seaweed) and nutrient dense add 1/2-1 tsp Spirulina or Chlorella powder to the mash or sprinkle on top. Green powders require an acquired taste to be able to not just gain the health benefits of the meal, but to actually enjoy the meal too!

Note: Pumpkin seeds are one of the top foods for high amounts of zinc. The best pumpkin seeds available on the market now are from Austria. I use the ones from http://www.styriangold.ca (for Canadians) and http://www.styriangold.com (for the rest of the world) They make a fantastic raw nutrient dense, flavourful pumpkin seed oil as well. Their seeds are naturally grown without shells so they are super dark green, naturally large in size, easy to digest and full of flavour.

Variations:

For an Oriental twist to this meal, substitute or add 1tsp of LIGHTLY toasted sesame seeds (they are a good source of CALCIUM) or drizzle ORGANIC toasted sesame seed oil. If you are a big mushroom fan as I am, add your favourite cooked mushrooms to this recipe too! Shiitake or oyster mushrooms are most commonly used in Oriental cooking. Lightly sauté on a low flame in coconut oil or on a high flame for 7-8min. (Mushrooms have to be cooked or marinated 24hrs in citrus juice to be digestible) Another Oriental addition could be to add 1/2 tsp freshly minced ginger or 1/4 tsp ginger powder.

For a Middle Eastern twist, substitute the avocado with 2 tbsp tahini (aka sesame seed butter) and 1 tbsp olive oil. If it’s too thick add a little bit of water. Another addition would be to add 1/2 -1 tsp Zaatar (Israel’s national spice).

For an Indian twist, sprinkle a little bit of curry powder into the mash before adding the rest of the ingredients.

For a Japanese twist, add 1tsp miso to the mash and omit some seaweed if it’s too salty or add more veggies to help dilute the saltiness.

For an Italian twist, substitute the parsley and/or cilantro with 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs or 1 tsp fresh, into the mash (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano)

Get creative and try different variations of different spices, herbs, veggies, sprouts, seaweeds, healthy unsaturated fats (seeds, soaked nuts, oils, fresh coconut, different kinds of avocados, etc. but make sure they are not processed, non transfats, non hydrogenated and of the best quality, extra virgin and cold pressed when possible.

This is a perfect meal for someone already on or to introduce someone to a high protein, vegan, nutrient dense diet.

Abundance in the Food Kingdom in Quito, Ecuador

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I’m in the Capital city of Ecuador, Quito, and loving it! (read next blog to find out why and how I got here)

Being in my own space, without other people to cook for (by choice of course), to talk to or to exchange energy with, I have a lot of time to really be with myself in a different way than the way I was with myself in the jungle. The locals are city people not Native villagers, and no one works for me and no one has questions or comments, it’s just me, myself and I, literally and figuratively. I’m enjoying it to the fullest!

There’s a store next door to me, Megamaxi, much like a Walmart but bigger than any department, grocery store I’ve ever been in. They have almost everything imaginable inside and I must share with you how easy it is to live on a budget, surrounded by everything a city requires to be a city and still make life simple, easy and enjoyable for a budget traveler. (I wouldn’t say I’m a traditional backpacker anymore).

If it hasn’t been clear to you yet, I’m a big foodie! I even tried being a breatharian (one who lives off of only sun and oxygen), but eventually realized how silly it was for someone with a gift and passion to share with people who crave to learn and know of such wisdom in the kingdom of food, to keep hidden. So as I grow and mature in my personal life, as a young woman, traveling on her own safely and abundantly for more than 5years, connecting with beings of all walks of life, so does my creativity with food. As if there was a limit to the abundance in the food kingdom and world of creativity. As if! No way! It only gets better as I mature. Ha! imagine that!

While traveling, I carry a few nonperishable Superfoods and “essential” ingredients with me. In the first picture is the abundance and proof that traveling eating and consuming “mostly raw” foods, is quite easy and simple. One just needs to know their resources, what they like, know their budget and know how to create something from nothing as well as something from so little or so much. When abundance is provided it can get a little overwhelming, with so many options I can get so excited and sometimes I can overbuy or underbuy. I try to enter a store, not on an empty stomach, and with a list of what I want to buy before I enter, but leave room for a little mystery of course. One never knows what lies behind the foreign territory, and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been pleasantly surprised to find some pretty extraordinary products. Hey that’s what happens when I don’t have expectations, I can’t be disappointed because I have no pre notions.

So today’s purchases were made right after the gym. I woke up at 6:30am, my last meal was at 6:30pm the night before and it was 1:30pm. I experimented. I put everything I desired in the moment into my cart and when I got to the cash register I took out 1/4 of what I knew was only temptation and the consequence of arriving to a food haven with an empty stomach. I also only had my 30L back pack and I had purchased 3 coconuts and a 7L bottle of water (I returned at 7pm before they closed to get 5 more). Take a look at the first picture, at the top of the page here. Most of what you see, I purchased today. The rest I brought with me or purchased on the way or made myself with what I found in nature (like the fermented noni). I would like very much to share with you what’s in this picture, and perhaps inspire you to go out and get these too (recipes follow), or pass on the info to friends, or prepare you for your future endeavours.

Products I brought with me from Canada:
Starting on the Right: All things from the sea: Kelp whole and flakes, Dulse whole and flakes, Brain On/E3 Live (a gift from my friend who distributes it), raw chlorella tablets (from my favourite superfood company Giddy Yoyo), and on the far left goji berries (also from Giddy Yoyo, I bought a 6lb bag before I left, and shared some, but brought 2lbs with me) I finished my chia seeds (although Ecuador sells them too) and my Austrian pumpkin seeds, chaga mushroom and essential oils I use for skin and food are not in the picture.

From the Right, all purchased in Ecuador: papaya, mango, dill, soaked almonds, quinoa, lentils, parsley, cilantro (aka coriander), fresh fermented noni (I picked myself from a tree in the jungle area), powdered alfalfa, tahini, honey, sweet purple potato, germinating lentils (day 2, tails just started to grow), really young coconuts, package of dried local mushrooms, Swiss chard, broccoli, spinach, germinated broccoli seeds (in the container), avocados (2 kinds as you can see), fresh aloe vera (shipped from Vilcabamba, where I spent my first month Nov-Dec), red onion, celery, ginger, garlic, limes, radish. Oh and up at the top left is a bundle of Guayusa Leafs (a very popular Ecuadorian healing tea that grows abundantly in the jungles)

And of course, some tools I always carry with me: a nut milk bag (located in the first picture, the white bag), grater, peeler and often I find a blender to make my smoothies and other tasty liquid creamy treats.

So as you can see there’s plenty of everything. The imported produce I see in Ecuador mostly consists of USA products like apples (although Ecuadorian ones are so much tastier, organic and local, but they only have 2 kinds for sale), grapes and kiwis. Everything else (most things are not on this list) are readily available and most is organic (most is unsprayed because farmers cannot afford the chemicals, but it depends what it is of course), all my greens are organic, and pretty much the same price as nonorganic.
Just to give you an idea of how much things cost: greens are under 40-90cents per bundle, most things are by kilogram anyway which is amazing, fruits are 50cents-$1.50 per kilogram, coconuts are $1-$1.25/each (cheaper than their source, the beach!), honey $4, almonds 200g for $4, powdered alfalfa $10, tahini $5, lentils $1/kg, quinoa organic same as nonorganic surprisingly $2.60, garlic and ginger $1/kg, fresh aloe (most astonishing 60cents), avocados $1.50/kg, 7L bottle of water $1.50, bundle of Guayusa $1. Obviously the “unessentials” like tahini and alfalfa powder are just extras my budget allows. There’s nowhere to get a massage around here, I saved a lot on accommodation and I don’t spend money on anything but anyway so bottoms up! I am splurging on my tastebuds. I am what I eat and I eat mostly locally, seasonally, organic, and fresh!

Here is my lunch/dinner (which you can see in the picture)
Salad: 1 or 2 portions (depending on your appetite)
Ingredients:
-2 cups greens chopped finely (I used Swiss chard, spinach, cilantro, parsley)
-3 radishes thinly sliced
-handful of sprouts (I used broccoli sprouts, others: sunflower, snow pea shoots, sprouted beans, legumes, daikon, alfalfa, etc.)
-1 avocado smashed
-1 small lime freshly squeezed
-1-3 garlic cloves minced (depending on how garlicky you like it)
-1/2 inch ginger minced or more if you like it
-dulse flakes or whole crumbled
Optional: grated carrot, sliced celery, cucumber, olives, and anything else you like in your salad, but don’t use fruit if you put in carrots or beets (veggie starches don’t combine well with fruits) BUt greens go with anything alone
-Add any other herbs you like: basil, mint, oregano, arugula, etc.

Loving Preparation:
-Combine first 3 ingredients
-In a separate bowl mash the avocado, garlic, ginger and lime juice together until it looks like chunky or smooth guacamole
-Add to the salad and mix well until creamy and evenly combined. Serve with extra sprouts, pumpkin seeds, herbs, radish, etc. on top before serving.

Sautéed Veggies with Mushrooms:
Ingredients:
-1/4 cup dried mushrooms or 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms (use medicinal healing property containing mushrooms, not white button whenever possible, minimum portobello, but shiitake, maitake, chanterelle, ear, etc. are fabulous and readily available, depending on season and location
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 red onion thinly sliced
-1 handful Swiss chard leaves and/or spinach
-1 handful of veggies (I used broccoli florets chopped, 1/4 carrot thinly sliced: other options: celery, red or yellow pepper, pre cooked eggplant, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, other greens, etc.)
– 1-3 garlic cloves minded (depending on garlicky you like it)
-1/2 inch ginger minced
-1 sheet kelp (with natural white powder salt on is best), or any other seaweeds you like (even crumbled nori sheets works great, but not as salty)
-1/2 handful of each finely chopped parsley and cilantro
Optional: sesame seed oil (drizzled on when ready to serve), chili/cayenne/spicy as you like, toasted sesame seeds for taste and decoration and whatever else you like usually in a sauté/stirfy

Loving preparation:
-Soak dried mushrooms in bowl of water (double the amount of the mushrooms) for 10-30min depending on the mushroom)
-In a cast iron, stainless steel, or any pan that is not teflon (nonstick) and definitely not aluminum (the quality and material of the cookware makes a difference in taste and quality of the food and your overall wellbeing too), sauté the onions with the 1/2 cup of water on a medium heat until soft, stir occasionally, and if it gets dry before they get soft, add 1/4 cup water at a time.
-Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 10min
-Add the veggies of your choice, the kelp, cook for 2min, close the pan with an airtight lid and let it cook in its heat for 3-4min
-Open the lid, add the garlic, ginger, parsley and cilantro, mix and close the lid for 1min. Open and serve immediately with quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, black rice, red rice, millet or wild rice.
Note: If it’s not creamy enough add a little avocado fresh or oil, drizzle a little toasted sesame seed oil. If it’s not salty enough add an organic soy sauce or bragg’s aminos, coconut nectar soy sauce substitute (on the market in USA, Canada, Australia and Europe), or just add celtic sea salt or the best quality salt you can find, but do not use table iodized salt. Celtic is the best, then Himalayan (if it’s from a trusted source without lead for sure, and then sea salt (thanks to fukishima’s radiation the sea salt out on the markets now should be cautioned too)

You can have the quinoa separate or mixed with the veggies. Bon Provecho!
Add the quinoa to your salad as well, it’s incredibly tasty, extra protein and very filling!

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Sun Dried Kale Chips in the City

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Love the crunch of chips? You’ll love these green chips! And quite easy to make, no electricity needed, just the presence of our most abundant source of heat: the sun! Best part… nutrients are still present and you can prepare them in the morning, leave to work or wherever and come back in the evening for a yummy evening or next day snack! See recipe below.

Have you heard about this “green” trend happening around the world?
Well it’s been around for a while now and it’s actually not a joke, it’s more popular than ever! green is a huge part of life. Look around you, green is everywhere (unless you live in a desert or in a treeless concrete jungle (city).

Salad is not the only way to get your greens, here’s a very nutrient rich green leafy veggie snack: KALE! It’s not so tasty on it’s own for most people, but here’s a way transformed and scrumdiliumptious!

I love to use a kale leaf as a wrap, in salads, in smoothies, juices, chopped fresh in sautés, soups, etc. And I’ve always been a fan of kale chips. But I’m not a fan of the dehydrator machine: leaving food inside a box that is plugged into an outlet that is letting radiation and other energy distorting factors come through… for 24 hours.. it’s not so appealing to me. Tasty ok but in the end, not so many nutrients left and for some a high electricity bill added. Maybe better than deep fried potato chips but there’s another way to still have them tasty and even cheaper.

Machine dehydrated kale chips are really expensive, about $5-$9 for 200-300g,depending where you buy from, and if sun dried, even more expensive, but rare to come across.

Kale is very watery, that’s why you’ll notice in the pictures the before and after, and this is why they’re expensive. The volume decreases drastically when the water evaporates. But a fresh bunch is usually $3-$4 depending on where you buy, the season and the size sometimes.

How about this: sundried kale chips. It can be done even in the city. I chose to make them on the weekend when the construction near by was on pause. Living on the 9th floor helps a little, but the sun only comes at 3pm for 4-5 hrs, but it seems to be enough around this time of the year. Maybe where you are it will be hotter and sunnier earlier in the day and if you’re leaving them to dry out on your balcony of your apartment/condo hopefully you get the sun shining on your side. If you live in an open area or have your own house/farm/etc. this should be even easier for you when there’s tons of sun. You can even vacuum pack these chips and have them in the winter.

There are several types of kale but I find the green leaf kale to be the best tasting for chips. See pics below.

Fast drying Sundried kale chips:

Ingredients:
-Lots of kale, as much as you possibly can get, stems removed
-olive oil (bottle with a drizzle top)
-1-2tbsp lemon juice (depending on the quantity of kale and how sour you like it)
-salt and seasonings to taste
examples for seasonings:
-salt, pepper (cayenne/black/white)
-italian seasonings: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary herbs,
– indian spices: curry, cumin, Garam Sala, Tandoori, turmeric, etc.
-superfood: mesquite powder, maca, spirulina, hemp protein
-sweet: dehydrated banana powder, beet juice, coconut sugar, date sugar
-add pickle juice and dried dill weed for a “dill pickle” taste

Loving preparation:
-remove the stems of the kale by folding the leafy and sliding it off (use the stems for juicing, soups, grate into a salad or dip in a pesto (see recipes for pesto)
-tear the kale into chip size pieces (see picture)
(Do not shred too small, remember they shrink significantly when dried)
-In a large bowl drizzle (and I mean drizzle, or else you’ll get greasy chips)
the olive oil and massage and toss the kale leaves until they are covered and look like the 3rd picture
-Add the lemon juice and your choice of seasonings, toss and cover all the kale again
-lay out on a mesh or in a tray, one layer, not overlapping
-leave out in the sun until dried (4-7 hrs depending on the strength of the sun and wind. It helps to have wind, so face a fan on the kale if there’s no wind, for extra assistance in the drying process.

The chips as you can see the final result are really really small and more than 1/4 of the amount.
Store in airtight bags/jars for up to a week in the fridge.

Sundried Tomatoes:
You can do the same with tomatoes. Use organic and try different kinds. The “uglier” and more mishapened the tomato the better. Cut really thin
and sprinkle with your favourite seasonings. These ones I sprinkled with basil, rosemary, salt and turmeric powder, using green, red, purple and yellow tomatoes. I used about 5 tomatoes for this amount.

Tomatoes will need 2 days to dry so you’ll have to leave overnight outside, even if it’s in the cold. If you have an area that has bugs, use a mesh and keep them raised off the floor or store in fridge overnight.

Store in airtight bags/jars and keep in the fridge for up to a few months, or marinate them in olive oil with garlic for an even tastier variation.

Note:
-Notice in the 4th picture there’s a shadow. Some how the lay out to dry was exactly between the lines, ahahahahahha! this made me smile and laugh. Throughout the duration of drying I just adjusted the drying space as the sun moved around. The older buildings in Toronto (40-50 yrs old) have huge balconies, so I was happy to have at least this space. But facing North has it’s downfall as the rays of sunshine bless their presence later in the afternoon. Well worth the wait forsure!

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