Mango Love

If I had to make a list of ten things I miss most about living in Spain, mangos would be on it! Not just any mangos, but the ones grown by a man named Rufino who has a food forest in the south of Spain near Granada. His finca, Fruta y Sol, has the most diverse offerings of anwhere- mango, cherimoya, passionfruit, green coconuts, fresh dates, macadamias and so much more!! Southern Spain has microclimates that are so much more tropical than most people realize. Anyway, every time mango season came around in early Fall, we would buy huge cases- like 15 kilos big ( a bit over 30 pounds!!!). I don’t even know what to say about these mangos. They were the ripest, juiciest, most luscious pieces of fruit to have ever graced these lips. Mango is a funny fruit, it most definitely has it’s own distinctive flavor but a truly tree ripened mango will tease you with other flavors- hints of coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, even vanilla! We would basically mono-meal on mango for a while, and then I would freeze lots of it for the richest and simplest sorbet ever- simply frozen mango in the food processor. Best Ever by far!
The other day, i came across some nice looking mango in my local supermarket that smelled nice and fragrant ( yes, i am that crazy lady at the grocery store sniffing the fruit, LOL) so I bought a few and made a smoothie that was just beautiful and simple and delicious.
And it inspired this trip down mango nostalgia lane. Is there a fruit that holds a piece of your heart?

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This was that smoothie, by the way:
Mango Love Smoothie

3 ripe mangos
2 bananas
lots of crushed ice,
2 tablespoons of lucuma powder
1 tsp ashwaganda powder for some adaptogenic goodness!

Blend in a high speed blender until ice is fully blended and the texture is light and creamy. Feel free to add in any fresh greens or green powder you fancy. Green is always good 🙂

Fudgy Gluten-Free Cookies and the river!

I haven’t updated in a while.  To be honest, physically I have been *exhausted* and my meals have been super simple.  I’ve been eating tons of watermelon ( I really do mean it.  I ate a 6 kilo watermelon in 2 days recently!), gluten-free pizzas, homegrown sunflower sprouts, tahini+stevia+carob on rice cakes, raw fruit sorbets, etc.  Things that are quick, easy and tasty are what I am about now.  There are so many recipes that I want to try out and I would love to spend hours in the kitchen doing it but my body is rebelling against that.  I suppose that with less than two weeks until the baby comes, I need to rest when I need to rest and that is that!

I did, however, whip up these super easy, super delicious and (in my book) super healthy cookies from Sketch Free Eating.  These cookies are the bomb!  They are filled with high quality ingredients like buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, honey tahini and flax. And the recipe is so versatile!  For example, the recipe calls for honey but I wanted my husband to be able to enjoy them as well,  so I substituted the same amount of xylitol and added some quinoa milk I had on hand to thin out the batter a bit.  I also love the fact that with the chickpea flour, they are quite high in protein.

Find the recipe at the website: Fudgy Socca Carob Cookies.

Last weekend, we went out to the river again and had a lovely day.  We went to a more remote part, which meant that we had the entire place to ourselves!  The pools weren’t quite as deep as the more popular (i.e. filled to the brim) spots, but they were more than sufficient to totally immerse yourself in the cold, clear water!

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I basically spent the whole day laying in this!  I only got out to have a beautiful lunch of some tortilla de patata, gazpacho and pimientos de padrón.  All made by a friend who must love me very much 🙂

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me getting my Vitamin D!

I hope your week has been great so far!  I am looking forward to a lazy afternoon and a ginormous salad!

Monday Eats

Here we are again, at the start of another week!  My weekend was tiring but nice.  On Saturday, we decided to venture into the city and have lunch.  It ended up taking much longer to get in than planned, but we made it and decided to go to one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Madrid, Yerbabuena.  If you are ever here, I recommend it as they have much more imaginative cuisine than most other veggie places here.

To start, I had corn tortillas stuffed with veggies, guacamole, pico de gallo and nut cheese.  Then, I had an enormous salad with endive, lettuce, seaweed, sprouts, avocado and more!  For dessert, I had a delicious mint sorbet.  The hubby had a salad to start, with black rice, tofu, avocado, sprouts, and so much more, and a creamy pea risotto for his main.  I don’t have any pictures because we were sooo hungry and way too excited to tuck in!!

Anyway, today so far I have had:

a breakfast parfait of vanilla-cashew chia pudding + apricots, peaches and nectarines mixed with a bit of lucuma, hemp protein powder and cinnamon.

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For lunch, I had a big plate of sliced cucumbers, rocket and lettuce with a simple pumpkin seed and garlic cream, raw burgers from this recipe at the Sunny Raw Kitchen, my sprouted falafels and a simple zucchini/flax wrap (in recipe index if you are interested!)  Those burgers are delicious, and next time I will absolutely use the jalapeño, I just didn’t have any on hand this time 😦

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I worked for a bit on my yoga projects, then decided I needed something sweet.  We aren’t fully stocked up on chocolate making supplies at the moment, so I winged it with this coconut oil+carob powder+goji berries+raisins+pumpkin seeds+buckwheaties+xylitol creation.  Simply mixed everything together in a bowl, poured into some silicon cupcake cases and put in the freezer to set.  Took all of 5 minutes from start to finish.  Talk about instant gratification!  I may or may not have had more than my fair share 😉

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I had these with a green/nettle tea.

Today, the husband came home with some non-GMO corn pasta, so I am going to make that for dinner with a bit of tofu, broccoli greens, carrots, zucchini and garlic in a coconut-curry sauce.

With some watermelon sorbet for afters.

So, that is a day in the kitchen of this high-raw vegan, pregnant lady!

Happy Thursday!

Hello there!

Well, I survived my yoga retreat weekend thankfully although I was exhausted at the end of it.  I am noticing that I sleep more and that I really have to conserve my energy much more than before.  For example, if I decide to sweep the floor AND make a meal, then I will surely need a nap after that, LOL.  For some serendipitous reason, my body has been craving much more raw food.  During the yoga retreat, we ate a mostly macrobiotic vegetarian diet with LOTS of bread!  The portions tended to be quite small, and even though I knew it wasn’t optimal for me, I partook in the bread and felt awful for it.  I guess my body is just crying out for some light detox and fresh foods.  I am not going to complain, I am really enjoying it!

To me, summer means fruit!  Just look at all this bounty!  All organic, as well, from the Maharishi Vedic Agriculture farm here in Spain!  So delicious!! Not pictured is another watermelon which I promptly ate half of and juiced the other half, a kilo of figs that had to go in the freezer immediately and about a kilo more of peaches which were really soft.

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Fuji apples, limes, lemons, cantaloupe, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, apricots, nectarines, peaches, paraguayos (donut peaches), bananas and avocados.

I want to share my breakfast yesterday.  I had a similar thing today, as I loved it so much!  Now, the idea of buckwheat porridge isn’t new to me, but I have always been partial to oats.  At the moment, oats really wreak havoc on my blood sugar (again, the joys of pregnancy!!) so I decided to give it a go.

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Raw Buckwheat Porridge

  • 1 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 2 tbsp. lucuma powder
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 6 drops vanilla stevia (or 1 tbsp. other sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or water

Place everything in a food processor and process until smooth.  Top with thawed frozen berries and bee pollen. (Today, I used sliced banana and chopped peaches and that was delicious too!

Today, I decided to break out one of my cookbooks, so I chose Raw Taste Sensations, from Unlimited Health Café and Shop in Amsterdam.  I decided on Beetroot and Apple in Ginger Sauce and Cucumbers in Creamy Dill-Mustard Sauce.  We had those two dishes for lunch along with another little side salad of beet greens, cherry tomatoes and olives in a hemp oil/lime juice dressing and some of our home-made sauerkraut and lacto-fermented pickles.  I DID have a picture of our beautifully colored plate, but my camera ate it!  😛

I’ll leave you with a picture of my ginormous belly while I go sip on some more Green Chai Yogi Tea. Yum!

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thanks for stopping by!

Back to the old school…

…superfoods, that is!

 I wouldn’t say that I am one of those people obsessed with superfoods, making elixirs that end up costing something outrageous like 20 dollars per blenderful.  But on the other hand, I do think that they have their place in a conscious diet.  

Ideally, it would be amazing to get all of our nutrients and trace minerals from the produce that we eat, but we have to be realistic about the fact that our soil is seriously depleted of these necessary trace elements (yes, even in organic food!)

Another objection that people generally have to superfoods, and one that I understand and struggle with myself is the whole local foods being ideal vs. superfoods being sourced from across the globe.  Again, I think it is always best to balance idealism with a balance of pragmatism.  Absolutely, each geographic area on this planet has it’s own indigenous superfoods and it is not explicitly necessary to eat suma from Brazil, ashwaganda from India, goji berries from China, mesquite from Arizona and chaga from Russia if a person lives in Western Europe, for example.  Living in Spain, there is an ABUNDANCE of wild edibles and herbals, which to me should be considered superfoods.  My husband and I routinely collect nettles, purslane, chicory, rosemary, lavender, pine pollen  and more, depending on the season of course!

On the flip side of that, we DO live in a global society, however much we may dislike that fact.  That does have it’s advantages.  I absolutely adore the flavors of Thai food, and some of those ingredients are simply not local to me.  Does that mean that I shouldn’t enjoy it?  Of course not!  I think the same is true for superfoods, when they are sourced as ethically and sustainably as possible.  I truly believe that the world IS facing some massive structural changes, and that we will in our lifetimes undergo  radical changes to our lifestyle, necessarily resulting in a return to more local economies.  But for the moment, I think that we have been given a special gift in that we are able to pick and choose the most nutrient-dense and delicious foods from all over the globe.  

Anyway, my point in all of this (after much rambling!) is simply that recently, I have had an intense craving for the very first superfoods that I was introduced to years ago, but which have fallen into disuse in my kitchen- goji berries and maca.  Maybe it has something to do with my body craving specific nutrients, or maybe not, but all I know is that I HAD to have them!

So, I whipped a few things up!  These are what I am calling

Local vs. Global Superfood Truffle Balls

These balls are not especially sweet, so if you have a massive sweet tooth or are accustomed to sugary foods, then I would suggest adding in 2 tbsp. local honey or agave syrup.

  • 1 cup walnuts and 1 c hazelnuts ( or 2 cups whatever nuts are local to you- these are local to me)
  • 1 cup dried figs (or another dried fruit that is local to you)
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • 2 tbsp. carob powder (carob happens to be grown in Spain- if mesquite is more local to you, use that!)
  • 2 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. maca powder
  • 1 tsp. crystal manna powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup cacao butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup xylitol, for rolling balls in

Process nuts and dried fruit, then add everything else minus the cacao butter to the food processor and process again until fully incorporated.  It will still be quite crumbly.  Add cacao butter and process once more. Roll into balls with your hands, and then roll in xylitol to finish.

Ingredients assembled:

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Look at those gorgeous figs from the Alpujarran mountains:

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Finished product:

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Another recipe I made with the maca is my 

Super Curry Macamole

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. bee pollen
  • 1/4 tsp. crystal manna
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. maca powder
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. curry powder

Mush everything together in a bowl and enjoy!

I loved this on some red pepper flax crackers I made:

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That is it for now!  I have to go pack for this weekend, as I am going on a retreat for the end of my Kundalini Yoga teacher training.  We are going to be learning about Ayurvedic cooking among other things, so hopefully I will be able to come back with some new inspiration on Monday!  I made the truffles to take along, so hopefully they will be well received 🙂

Thanks for reading!

xx

Recent Savory Eats and News!

I have officially finished my career as an English Teacher!  It still doesn’t feel real, as I have spent the last six years working at the same academy.  It is something that is so familiar to me that it hasn’t fully sunk in yet.  I know that my next job, that of being a mama to the beautiful creature I am carrying in my belly, is the most important job I will ever have.  Then, after that, who knows?  I feel strangely liberated by the uncertainty, like the world is my oyster, so to speak.  I do love to teach however, so maybe yoga? Maybe raw foods?  Whatever my next incarnation will be, I am patient now, waiting for what feels right.

This is a meal I made for lunch the other day- super simple and delicious!Image

It was some zucchini noodles made with a veggie peeler, cherry tomatoes, grated carrots, fresh peas, and spinach.  I topped it with a simple sauce made from the inside bits of the zucchini I didn’t use for the noodles blended with an avocado, lemon juice, a bit of himalayan salt and some hemp seeds.  And a generous sprinkling of ground black pepper of course!

I also broke out of my rut and made a raw pizza for the first time in months!  It had been entirely too long, as raw pizza is one of my favorite meals.  Luckily, I made two pizza bases, so I have another one for this week!Image

Sprouted buckwheat, zucchini and flax base with homemade raw marinara, topped with cashew cheese, red onion, red pepper, cherry tomato and fresh homegrown basil.

Lastly, I FINALLY sourced some kale here in Madrid.  Literally, years in the making 🙂  Before, I just made chard chips which are nice but as anyone who has had kale chips will tell you, just not the same!  Well, I bought six bunches of kale for the sole purpose of kale chip making.  Seriously, I need a bigger dehydrator.  Here we go with some basic cheesy kale chips!Image

That is it for now! Stay tuned for my experiments with matcha green tea powder!

Licor de Madroño

I’ve never been a big drinker, and now being preggers my alcohol consumption is down to zero.  But last fall, the madroños or strawberry trees were so abundant that I just had to pick some and preserve them.  I didn’t really feel like making a jam so an easy peasy liquor was decided upon.  The method is exactly the same as making slow gin, but if you aren’t familiar with that, all you do is put your washed and dried fruit in a jar, add about half a cup of sugar* to cover the fruit and then fill the rest of the jar with alcohol.  It really needs to be at least 50% alcohol in order to really preserve the fruits and extract the flavor.

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It looks really beautiful , and it extracts into a pinkish color.  While I haven’t tried it myself, I have been pawning it off on guests, and the reaction has been very positive!

Even if you don’t drink, if you have access to ripe madroños any time of year, give it a go.  You can always add a splash to fruit salads, or make a sangria punch type drink for a party with sparking water, pomegranate or cranberry juice, chopped up fruit and a bit of madroño liquor.

For those that DO drink, one thing I am dying to try is a Madroño Mimosa- some Spanish Cava and my homemade madroño liquor.  Try it and let me know how it is 😉

*ordinarily, I would never advise anyone to use processed sugar, but in a recipe like this it really is necessary.  Something like agave or honey truly would not work.  I used white sugar because we had some on hand for these types of projects but something like demarara or raw cane sugar would be a great option!