Friday, July 13, 2018

La Iguana Chocolate Tour

Today we went to an organic family run Cacao farm. It was about 1.5-2 hours from Manuel Antonio. 

Here is a view on the way along the road.

They grow their own Cacao along with other fruits and spices and process the whole thing to the bar. It was really interesting! One of the things I loved most about this tour was that you could really see how much our guide, Juan cared about what he was doing and doing it right. Organically and with the whole fruit, not taking out the cacao butter and adding in hydrogenated oil to sell the chocolate and cacao butter separately.

These are a few pictures around the farm. This is a tree house you can stay in for $40. It's just a room with a bed. Open air so you sleep in a mosquito net. There is a shared bathroom down stairs.

This is the chocolate making room. Coolest room in the place. The weather was actually quite pleasant.

This is a little area outside the bathroom. Those seats are made with moiter and reused glass bottles.

This one is going to eventually be an out door kitchen counter for the women to cook outside in the summer hot months.

We were quite early waiting for the tour, so we got to relax a bit with the dogs and chickens.

This is where the beans ferment over to the right and on the left is the drying room. It was so hot in the drying room and you have to go just to experience the smells. The fermenting was, well, stinky and the drying room smelled wonderful!

The pulp around the bean is so yummy, not at all what you would expect. You must go and try it.

Making chocolate the traditional way.

The not so traditional way.

This was a really cool home made vacuum to use in part of the process.

About now C started getting sick. He had some gluten the first day of the trip. So not many more pictures. But the family was very nice and helpful. Juan's mom made him some juice and a tea with honey. His sister got us a thermometer because he felt like his temp had dropped a ton. I was popping back and forth between L and Dr. C and little C.

L really enjoyed the chocolate making process.

After our very yummy lunch with special gluten free muffins for our family, which were delicious by the way! We rushed out to get C to the hotel where he could sleep.

An hour of driving on a rutted dirt and gravel road sometimes only wide enough for a single car. He made it and when we got to the hotel, the bell boy was talking to me, then caught a glimpse of C's face and completely stopped talking. I told him he wasn't feeling well and he rushed us inside.

After the second round of throw up, C is all normal again! He is ready to eat again. Gluten free, of course.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Snorkel Cruise in Manuel Antonio

 It was a perfect morning to be on the water and this is our only activity in Manuel Antonio,.

This is a much bigger boat then we have done a little snorkel cruise on then before, but this boat had a water slide and you could jump off the top deck.

There were some good size swells so the kids had a few balancing challenges.

And some relaxation.

That's it for today, back to the room to rest after so much activity for days on end.


Matapalo - What to do...

The waves are too big to swim in.

It's too hot for soccer.

No WiFi!

 I give up!

Too many bugs!

C won't pull me on the swing.

What, no pool!

I give up!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Chia Seed Pudding

This is absolutely the best breakfast or lunch. I get asked all the time what is a good breakfast for my child who can't eat, wheat, eggs, sugar, etc. Well, here is one of my favorites!

Chia seeds are so good for you, they help to stabilize blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of fiber, anti-oxidants, protein, calcium and iron (the kind your body knows how to absorb). Unsweetened almond milk is another great ingredient without sugar and has some protein. The local raw honey helps with allergies and has many other benefits as well. Last, the cinnamon helps to control blood sugar also, is an anti-inflammatory and has many anti-oxidants. Throw in some fresh in season berries and you have a breakfast packed with nutrients and antioxidants. You can even sprinkle a few crumbs of fresh local bee pollen on it to add to the allergy benefits.

This takes less then 5 mins to throw together in a mason jar. Give it a few shakes every couple of mins to move the seeds around and then put it in the fridge for the morning.

2 c vanilla unsweetened almond milk (I use Trader Joe's because I like the flavor, not too nutty and it does not have carrageenan)
1/2 c chia seeds
1/4 c raw local honey
1/4 t cinnamon

1. Pour all ingredients into a mason jar and shake well. Let sit for a couple mins and shake again. Repeat a couple times before putting it in the fridge.

2. Serve with fresh berries, bananas or other in season fruit of your choice.

If you are as old as me, now you no longer have to think of chia seeds as, "chi-chi-cha-chia" Those little chia pets growing in your kitchen window. Now you can enjoy them in a different and healthy way.
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