Cacao: Real, Raw & Spiced

Cacao: Real, Raw & Spiced

Cacao Spice ChaiYou know those things you love and are attached to and have a hard time letting go of? Maybe because, well addiction or nostalgia or you just can’t imagine your life without it. Well I’m like that with chocolate. Every sworn abstinence just leads me back even stronger, pulls me closer like a crazy lover full of desire and ecstasy. And I like it. I love it. And I won’t stop because now I know I can have it as good medicine rather than guilty pleasure. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of pleasure, just without the guilt.

CACAO VS COCOA

Good chocolate makes all the difference. It’s certainly not like the Halloween candy bar stash that makes you high at night and very very low in the morning, or the processed hot cocoa with fake-o marshmallows on top that warms you up but leaves you wanting. So what exactly is ‘good chocolate’? Its raw and real, unprocessed, fair trade and organic.

The difference between cocoa and cacao is very simple. Cacao is the raw bean that has been fermented, cocoa is the processed cacao bean turned into powdered cocoa through heat. Cacao is raw and cocoa is what the bean is called after being heated and processed. So? The raw fermented cacao is FULL of antioxidants. Unbelievably 40 times higher than that of blueberries. Cocoa is roasted and has about 60% less antioxidant goodness, its basically been processed out.

Cacao Beans in pod

Raw cacao is also choc-full (adorable pun intended!) of magnesium, in fact its the highest whole food source of magnesium which is a brain and heart super-food.  Something I only recently found out is that raw cacao has a much higher and more bio-available (easier to digest and metabolize) calcium content than cow’s milk. Contrary to what we think we know about cacao is that it actually helps with weight loss, and stabilizing blood sugar. This makes it good for those with type 2 diabetes. It’s packed with coumarin (also found in cinnamon) and chromium which imbues it with these health-giving benefits.

The main reason we all eat this Theobroma ‘food of the Gods’ so passionately is that it makes us feel good. Cacao has an amino acid phenethylamine or PEA, the feel-good neurotransmitter responsible for that feeling of LOVE as it releases the pleasure-inducing endorphins. In Ayurveda cacao is an aphrodisiac or rasayana, boosting immunity by restoring the reproductive tissues and bringing SOMA or bliss to the mind and emotional body.

Cacao Spice Moon Gomasala

A DAILY DIET OF GUILT-FREE CACAO

So how best to get this good stuff into the daily diet and reduce cravings for the not-so-good stuff? Recently at Spice Lounge, an event I offer in Vancouver, we got to know the cacao bean a little more intimately and made a spice blend Gomasala where the star was cacao. This blend with a base of sesame seeds is for sprinkling lavishly as a finishing spice on avocado-toast, scrambled eggs, popcorn with ghee, soups, roasted veggies, chicken, fish…. really it adds nutritional enhancement and divine flavour to food of all kinds.

Included in our Spice Lounge was a cacao chai that can be enjoyed as a morning elixir or late afternoon drink to reduce sugar cravings. We had it in the evening and the group were all euphoric, there was a tangible mood of luscious love in the air. This cacao chai would make the most delicious holiday drink with whipped cream or frothed almond milk and perhaps a splash of ginger liqueur


Cacao Chai whipped creamCACAO SPICE MOON CHAI

Makes 8 cups.

This heavenly cacao chai is rich in antioxidants and digestive spice medicines. Cacao is the star ingredient of this chai and can be enjoyed any time of day as its tea base is the herbal but full bodied rooibos (red bush).

Rooibos is high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory and known to relieve stress and nervous tension.  Along with the antioxidant, mind-relaxing and pleasure-inducing benefits of cacao this is a beverage for everyone during the cooler season and the busy holiday season.

 

INGREDIENTS

4 sticks Cinnamon
2 TBSP Cardamom pods
6 Cloves
1 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
1 tsp ground Nutmeg
2 TBSP Cacao nibs
3 TBSP Cacao powder
1 tsp dried Ginger
4 Rooibos teabags or 4 tsp loose Rooibos tea.
Honey to taste

METHOD

Pre-toast all the whole spices together in a skillet (this optional step releases the aromatic molecules).CACAO SPICE MOON
Gently crack the spices in a mortar and pestle or grinder, chunky style.
In a medium sized pot add 10 cups of water with spices and slowly bring to a boil.
Add the rooibos tea. Simmer together on very low for at least an hour to infuse the spices.
Add the dried ginger and cacao powder (and nutmeg if you are using ground) and stir well. Allow to steep for another 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow to steep for at least another few hours. This gives a deeper, richer chai.
Strain into a big glass jar to store in refrigerator or pour into mugs ready to enjoy.
Add honey (I like it sweet and spicy so I add 1 heaped tsp per cup)
Top with optional whipped cream or frothed almond milk and a dusting of cinnamon or cayenne.

 

Enjoy your Cacao Spice Moon Chai and the soulful magic of this Winter Solstice season. I’d love to hear how you adorned and enjoyed your personal Cacao Chai!


YOUR SPICE ORACLE FOR THE WINTER SOLSTICE SEASON

Pulled by The Spice Mistress

Spice Oracles

 

With Love and Fragrant blessings as always,
The Spice Mistress
Glynnis xox

 

 

Ayurveda & Peace in the Middle East

Ayurveda & Peace in the Middle East

7 Virtues Middle East Peace Perfume

Hello Beautiful Soul.

I was absolutely over the moon to receive in the mail today this most cherished bottle of Middle East Peace perfume as a gift from The 7 Virtues Perfume Company .

This grand delivery of aromatic peace came about through a synchronistic connection on Instagram noting how the three main ingredients are a beautiful Tridoshic blend (with hydrating sweet grapefruit for Vata, cooling lime for Pitta, and energizing basil for Kapha). The Sweetie Grapefruit essential oil is from Israel and the Lime and Basil from Iran. How profound that the aromatic plant medicines are being called to heal relationships on our planet when stewarded by awake souls through conscious business practices.

When beauty aligns it manifests in the most mystical and tangible ways – for the good of all.

I just LOVE women entrepreneurs and companies who are tuned in and inspired. They give so generously to uplift others with their vision. Thank you Barb and The 7 Virtues, I’m beyond delighted and mesmerized by your perfumes and their stories and so grateful for your gorgeous gift. I LOVE it.

Barbara Stegemann is the founder of The 7 Virtues and has been on my radar since I watched how she took The Dragons Den investors by storm with her incredible heartwarming and authentic story of friendship, and radical social change through business. My nose, always interested in sniffing out aromatic beauty, was smitten.

Barb started a perfume company with the vision of inspiring peace, and rebuilding and empowering communities through the procuring of essential oils from war torn countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, and Rwanda. The company mission is Make Perfume Not War. That struck a note with me on so many levels. The documentary of the same name is a must-watch. 

Barb’s book The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, a woman’s guide to living & leading in an illogical world, is a must-read for all women in business wanting to inspire, take action, and stand for social justice and change. I love that it is deeply about self-care and self-empowerment. Barb’s book lit me up and inspired me in my own practice and business.

The perfumes are exquisite – Afghanistan Orange Blossom, Noble Rose of Afghanistan, Vetiver of Haiti, Patchouli of Rwanda, and Lisa ray Jasmine of India. These uplifting perfumes are all without phthalates, parabens or sulfates. This is goosebumpy on many levels. Good for people, the plants, and the planet.

You can find Barb’s book, The 7 Virtues perfumes and about the powerful work they are doing here.
I’m relishing my gorgeous perfume which feels like a sensual refreshing Summer breeze. I
t feels like peace.

 

THE 7 VIRTUES (OF A PHILOSOPHER QUEEN)…as per Barb’s book
Wonder.
Moderation.
Truth.
Courage.
Justice.
Wisdom.
Beauty 


LOOKING FOR INNER PEACE?

The main ingredients in the 7 Virtues Middle East Peace Perfume captured my attention from an Ayurvedic perspective. Bright Juicy citrus fruits of Grapefruit and Lime with pungent Basil (or Tulsi which is holy Basil) have great benefits to the health of our body.

Basil/Tulsi is in a class of adaptogenic herbs considered one of the primary herbal medicines for restoring harmony and balance to the mind. In Ayurvedic as well as Chinese medicine it is revered as an herb that is a rasayana or Shen-tonic which means it nourishes the spirit, and has a powerful restorative effect on the nervous system. 

In other words, P E A C E.


GRAPEFRUIT ESSENTIAL OIL
Feel juicy Vata! Uplifting and hydrating, soothing to the nervous system and clarifying to the mind.

LIME ESSENTIAL OIL
Feel refreshed Pitta! An alkaline restorative tonic that reduces acidity. Restores energy when feeling burn-out.

BASIL ESSENTIAL OIL
Feel expansive Kapha! Energizing, clearing. Basil clears congestion in lungs, eliminates stagnancy in the tissues.

This aromatic refreshing triad of essential oils are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. The combined effect brings a sense of inner peace and wellbeing as they act as a restorative tonic to all the doshas.


FINALLY THE DIVINE ROSE JAM RECIPE I PROMISED
1 cup fresh rose petals washed and dried so no water remains on petals.
2-3 cups coconut sugar.
1/4 cup honey.
1 TBSP toasted and ground cardamom seeds (not pods).
1 TBSP fresh ginger juice (grate 2inch piece fresh ginger and squeeeeeze the juice out with your hands)
1 tsp shatavari powder (optional)
1/2 tsp white pearl powder (optional)
METHOD: Pour all the honey into a glass bowl. On top of that, layer 1/4 cup at a time the rose petals and coconut sugar. Sprinkle a pinch of the cardamom, (and pearl and shatavari if using them) and drizzle ginger juice on each layer. Repeat until all ingredients are used. With your fingers (yes! get in there it feels amaaaazing) meld all together. Keep on melding layer into layer until rose petals have absorbed the sugar and become sticky. They will turn a deep purply pink colour. When the consistency is sticky and dense and all the rose petals have broken down enough your gulkand is ready. Keep in a well sealed mason jar out of the fridge.
Note: if you are using rose petals that are partially but not completely dried add a tsp ghee to the layers and meld in well as you blend. Eat by the teaspoon or spread on toast, add to oats etc! This is a rejuvenating jam to boost your #ojas your immunity, and to act as a restorative tonic. Such good medicine.

 

May your days be filled with beauty, your mind with peace, your body with freedom and your spirit with joy.

Love and fragrant blessings,
Your Spice Mistress
Glynnis
xoxo


#foodporn to nourish the Goddess within

#foodporn to nourish the Goddess within

I have been bursting to share this GORGEOUS three and a half page spread in VISTA Magazine’s Summer Issue. I almost passed out with pleasure when it came out. My good friends Katharine Herringer (Editor) and Iván Álvarez de Lorenzano (Art Director) have turned this magazine into a feast for the eyes. These recipes were part classic Ayurvedic faves that I make again and again like the Kichadi cakes (with a twist), and perfumed chocolate Goddess brownies, and part experimental taste explosions like the 3 Divine Dips and the incredible Tridoshic breakfast smoothie (actually more like a pudding).

The theme was Women’s Health. My perspective was an Ayurvedic one. PERFUME was my first thought leading me to add just a few drops of Floracopeia’s Rose Geranium essential oil in both the brownies and the chia 3 level breakfast smoothie. (for safety the ingestion of essential oils must be done in a very small dosage of carrier (fat or liquid) to EO and never to be taken internally in it’s undiluted form).

Now I really do get the hashtag #foodporn. Sensual, orgasmic, pleasurable, beauty-full, tasty experiences while preparing, discovering and enjoying the uplifting health benefits of good food made with passion and awareness.


KICHADI CAKES WITH 3 DIVINE DIPS

These jewel-tone dips were inspired by the six taste principle and the desire for tangy, spicy, creamy condiments. These totally jazz up the crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside kichadi cakes. (fried in ghee, oh my they are TASTY). Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 54/55) #foodporn

Kichadi Cakes with 3 Divine Dips


AZTEC BLESSING GOMASALA

SPICES that played a starring role in the recipes and photo shoot appeared in my special AZTEC BLESSING GOMASALA ( Gomasala being the name I created for a spice blend inspired by the Macrobiotic Japanese Gomasio with a base of sesame seeds and salt, and the East Indian Masala). Crushed Volcanic rock-ground corn chips, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, coriander sesame seeds and Himalayan pink salt. For the full recipe read the article in VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 56/57) #foodporn

Aztec Blessing Gomasala #foodporn


Tridoshic Breakfast Smoothie #foodpornTRIDOSHIC BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

This was my favourite experiment in the kitchen. I had never made a breakfast smoothie that is more like a breakfast PUDDING before. Straw or spoon? Definitely a spoon. The three layers are distinct, starting with a creamy coconut milk chia piece of heaven at the bottom, a sweet and tangy very berry rose-geranium EO and shatavari infused middle, and a tart refreshing spinach-sesame-lemon top. Dig in deep with a spoon and capture all 3 layers together for the full Ayurvedic 6 taste experience. I hope you love it as much as I do.

#foodporn

Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 58)

 


Perfumed Chocolate Goddess Brownies #foodporn

PERFUMED CHOCOLATE GODDESS BROWNIES

Those four words individually rock my world and put together in one sentence are a ticket to  Nirvana : )

I’ve been making versions of this easy treat for years. Now taken to a whole new level perfumed with Rose Geranium essential oil, extra shavings of dark chocolate, creamy coconut milk and nutty almond flour. They are light, aromatic and crumbly and go oh so well with coconut ice-cream or whipped coconut milk.

#foodporn

Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 59)

 


Well my tasty friends that is all for now. Let me know how YOUR Summer #foodporn kitchen Goddess experiences go with these recipes, or imaginings of your own.

With Love and Fragrant Blessings,
Your Spice Mistress
Glynnis xox

 

 

 

 

Full Moon. Manifesting from the dark seed.

Full Moon. Manifesting from the dark seed.

Dark Seed Full Moon Masala

This full moon. Promising to pull from the depths our everything
A spice blend, committed and complex, imbued with the black gold of Nigella Sativa.
Do you know this spice? It excavates to the depths anything holding back the treasure of good health.

And with the colour of a moonless night it works in the shadows to heal.

Intriguing with the common name of black cumin.
There is nothing common about this aromatic spice medicine.

Illuminated by the power of the full flower moon, it shines along with the others.
Cardamom, sesame, cayenne and paprika. Turmeric, walnuts, hemp nut, white pepper and salt.

A masala to celebrate the Scorpio May Moon.
To adorn and empower your food with lunar magic
elevating the vibration of your creative expression.

Sprinkle lavishly. You will see.


FULL FLOWER MOON MASALA RECIPEFull Moon Masala Avocado toast.

1 cup Sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground Nigella Sativa seeds (or 3/4 cup whole seeds)
1 TBSP Cardamom seeds (not the pods)
1 tsp ground Paprika
1 tsp ground Turmeric
1 tsp whole White Pepper
1/2 tsp ground Cayenne
1/4 cup Hemp nuts/seeds
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp Himalayan salt

Toast the sesame seeds and ‘crack’ them in a mortar and pestle to maintain the texture. Do not grind to a powder or paste. I like ’em chunky style! Toast the other whole seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds individually being careful not to burn them. You will know they are ready when the aromatic molecules have been released (you will smell it!). Grind spices and nuts and add to the sesame seeds. Add the powdered spices and salt. Meld together and keep in an airtight glass jar or tin. Sprinkle lavishly until the next full moon.

Delicious over roasted veggies, salads, sandwiches and of course the ever-popular avocado toast with a splash of olive oil and balsamic. YUM!

NIGELLA SATIVA BLACK SEED BENEFITS: (from published bio-research)

  • Analgesic (Pain-Killing)
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Ulcer
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Ant-Hypertensive
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Bronchodilator
  • Anti-Diabetic
  • Liver Protection

And these are just to name a few. Try this peppery rich spice and let me know what you create!

May your Full Moon creativity blossom and manifest from the full deep dark, your wildest dreams.
With Love and Fragrant Blessings,
Glynnis.
The Spice Mistress
xox

ps. In my AromaDosha Blueprint online learning experience you will learn about these spice medicines and how to bring them and the aromatic plant essences into your daily nourishment. You get to customize your own Ayurvedic Blueprint and understand your relationship to these healing treasures for a transformative self-care practice you will love. (Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. ALL IN!)

Manifest your wildest flowers! Pink Full Moon Masala.

Manifest your wildest flowers! Pink Full Moon Masala.

Fulll Pink Moon Masala

Make your full moon wish. Declare your intention.
Manifest the wild scatterings of your dream seeds.

Does it feel that no matter how hard you try, how much you pray, how well intended your actions are, that you cannot manifest the one thing you truly desire? Then this Pink Full Moon is for you my gorgeous friend.

The April Spring full moon’s pink colour represents the blossoming of the flowers that appear soon after the last Winter chill. No flower can bloom without the planting of seeds or the wild scattering of so many dreams, and this gives us hope. 

I too have struggled at times with the feeling of not achieving the full blossoming of some of my creative endeavours – they may have been utterly beautiful, useful, of service, and yet their time had not or maybe will never come in this lifetime. So what do I do? I continue to create because I’ve learned that timing is Divine and has nothing to do with our human agenda. And sometimes this is the hardest thing in the world because when we become discouraged we feel like giving up.

Like the full moon our creative desires always rise again. Some manifest, bloom and thrive and others just don’t. Do we stop planting, allowing the landscape of our life to become bleak as we impatiently pull hard at the delicate beauty we have created? Hell no! We plant, we water with patient trust, we imagine the flowers.

The moon always without fail appears in the night sky, and pulls at our most magnificent gifts from within us whether we can see it or not.

For many years I held a Full Moon Masala gathering, where we would chant our desires and grind a spice masala under the light of the full moon with the sound of stone on stone and seed on seed. We would then adorn our food with this lunar-energized blend, manifesting until the next full moon.

This Pink Moon Masala is for you medicine women, kitchen Goddesses, spice healers, moon worshippers, and for you who wish to adorn your food with this moon’s mighty manifesting energy. Make your wish. Declare your intention and sprinkle lavishly knowing that the seeds you plant today will blossom when their time has come.

PINK FULL MOON MASALA RECIPE

Lightly toast the whole spices until the volatile oils are aromatically released (so fragrant!)
Add 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp whole black pepper, 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns, 1 tsp cardamom seeds (not the pods) and grind them together in your mortar and pestle or electric spice/coffee grinder. Toast and then g
rind or ‘crack’ separately 12 TBSP whole sesame seeds, careful not to turn this into a paste. I prefer a ‘textured’ masala and avoid grinding the spices too finely.

Add 1 tsp ground beet powder and 1 tsp finely ground dried rose petals. Optional to add 2 drops of organic geranium oil. Add 1/2 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt. Meld together for a stunningly fragrant pink and spicy Springtime Masala. Sprinkle lavishly over grains, veggies, avocado toast, popcorn with ghee, salads, sandwiches. Adorn your food with pink!

This Spring Masala energizes your true desires and also stimulates the Kapha Dosha to move out of a stuck, cold energy and into strong action.

Chant, whisper, or declare out loud your desires and watch over the month as they flower into your mightiest manifestations.

Happy Pink Moon
Love and fragrant blessings,

Glynnis
Spice Mistress
xox