Tag Archives: ginger

Mango Ginger Granita

4 Jul

Another one of the desserts we attempted  to serve at the Italian Dinner at the Yoga Center recently was a Granita…

 The granita name might transport you to Italy, but we have our own versions all the same.   In Puerto Rico we grew up eating “limbers” and “piraguas”. Limbers are basically sweetened and frozen juice and you eat it directly from the small plastic cup in which you freeze it in. Piraguas on the other hand is the traditional shaved ice with flavored syrup on top served on a paper or plastic cone. In essence, granitas are a hybrid of these two local Puerto Rican treats.

I use the help of my trusty food processor to help with the shaving… I am just too anxious to shave the ice by hand. Technology exists for a purpose… let’s take full advantage of it, no??

 

MANGO GINGER GRANITA

3 cups mango nectar
1 cup water
½ cup raw turbinado or brown sugar
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  1. We make the ginger simple syrup first… just bring the water, ginger pieces and sugar to a boil in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the ginger steep in the simple syrup while the liquid cools off.
  2. When the simple syrup has come to room temperature, strain the ginger pieces. Mix together the ginger simple syrup and the mango nectar in a glass 9 x 11 container.
  3. Place in the freezer for about 6-8 hours for it to fully harden.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, remove the frozen mango juice mixture from freezer and using a sharp tool, pry it away from the mold and break it off into pieces you can fit into your food processor. Pulse a few times and process until you have a slushy.

Serve in individual cups and enjoy.

If you’d like a more pronounced ginger flavor, I suggest you peel the ginger before steeping it in the simple syrup and do not strain the ginger pieces before mixing in the mango nectar. This way, you can process the frozen ginger pieces together with the rest of the frozen juice and you’ll get a very interesting prominent ginger flavor.

 

Lemon Ginger Natural Body Scrub

8 May

For years, I have tried as much as I can to make presents rather than buying presents.

At first, it had to do with being able to give away many presents for a fraction of the cost of store-bought presents. But in reality, I just get a lot of personal satisfaction when the person receiving the present is positively impressed because I took the time to MAKE IT just for them, instead of buying something.

A lot more thought needs to go into making something… Among the presents I have made in the past are my Cranberry Preserves, Brown Rice Krispies Treats, Carob Granola, Rosemary Almonds, these Cherry Carob Cookies, Tomato Bruschetta Mix, Soy Picadillo and even Coquito for the holidays.

This year, for Mother’s Day, I decided I wanted to make something different… something that was delicious, indulgent, but not necessarily to eat. My mom and I love bath salts and anything to slather all over and smells good. So it occurred to me I could easily make a homemade mixture of salt scrub…

LEMON GINGER NATURAL BODY SCRUB

Coarse Sea Salt
Bath Oil, unscented preferably (almond or sesame oils are good choices…)
the rind of about 4 lemons, cut into small pieces
2 inches of ginger root, peeled and cut into small pieces
A plastic jar with tight fitting lid – I used a 16oz recycled jar of peanut butter…
  1. I filled the jar with sea salts about ¾ of the way… that was my measure for the 16oz jar. Pour it out onto a large bowl where you will mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Then, measure in the same jar, about 1/3 of the way with body oil. Pour it onto the salt in the large bowl you have set up.
  3. In a food processor or a Magic Bullet, process the pieces of lemon rind and ginger root. Pour them into the same bowl with the salt and oil. Mix the salt/oil/lemon/ginger mixture well using a large metal spoon, preferably that can fit inside the mouth of the jar.
  4. After the mixture seems all integrated, transfer carefully into the jar you’ll use to store it finally. Leave for a few days so the oil and salts infuse well with the scent of the lemon and ginger.

Use it liberally in the shower to slough your skin to leave it super smooth and radiant.

My Mom will receive this TODAY for Mother’s Day… And my sister, on her first Mother’s Day, is also receiving one… but a little belated, because I wasn’t able to ship it out in time.

And to all of you MOMs out there… May all your days be filled with LOVE… MUA!!!

Chai Latte

30 Oct

About this same time last year I was in India celebrating the birthday of my friend Annie Mariel.  During this trip – my second time in India, but my first time to Varanasi – I learned about Chai Masala Tea.  Chai is a Hindi word for tea and this delicious concoction is typically made with black tea and a mixture of spices –cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, among others.

Masala Blend

This delicious tea with milk is offered to any welcoming guests – at a store, at a home, even when watching the sunrise from a boat in the Ganges…

Drinking Chai     

And even though I have enjoyed this tea during my last two travels in India, I should not consume it on a regular basis because the black tea contains caffeine and caffeine neither agrees with me or is karma-free.  Caffeine is a stimulant and should be better avoided.

So to celebrate the anniversary of my first encounter with Chai Latte, I wanted to share with you my own caffeine-free version I now make at home. 

 

CHAI LATTE

1 ½ cups water
½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 cinnamon sticks
5 pieces of star anise
About 10 cloves
½ cup of evaporated milk
2 tbs agave nectar
Ground cinnamon (optional)

 

  1. In a small sauce pan add the water, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and cloves.  Bring to a boil and steep all the ingredients in that boiling water for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the stove and leave those spices to continue to steep for about 30 minutes more.
  2.         
  3. Strain about ½ cup of the spiced water into a mug and add the evaporated milk.  Season with agave nectar.  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon on top for garnish.

 

Next time, I’ll make it with sweetened condensed milk to see if I can achieve even a creamier consistency and will not need to add any agave nectar.

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