How to make Coco Samoa – fresh hot chocolate from tree to cup

There are many wonderful things to be learned when you live on this planet.  As a farm to table person, cooking and preparing fresh foods and beverages is one of them.  Today we are going to look at a drink common to the Samoan Islands, Coco Samoa.  In this easy 7 step process you will learn how to make this delicious beverage.

First you need some coca fruit.  Ripe fruit is red or orange in color.  These are picked from a tree.  The part of the fruit we will be using are the seeds.

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Fresh and ripe Coco fruit, split open to access the seeds.

2) After scooping the seeds out of the fruit you can enjoy the milky coating of the seeds by sucking on them and then spitting the seeds out into a bowl.  This is the traditional way of preparing them.  This is a tasty step, but it is optional.

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Separate the seeds from the fruit.

3) After you have separated your seeds from the fruit and any internal membrane.  You may rinse them.  This step is also optional and most likely only used if you have sucked on the seeds themselves.  This is not a traditional step in the process.

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Clean off the stems, rinsing is optional

4) Place your seeds on a baking tray or in a pan for toasting.  We use a gas flame and a pan to brown them.  Seeds are ready when the hulls have turned solid.  For a bolder, more coffee like flavor, you can burn the husks.  This step will require your pan to be cleaned so make sure you use an old pan that you don’t mind boiling off for cleaning.  Teflon or other similar surface is not recommended.

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Roast seeds until the skins are hardened and blackened.

5) After seeds are roasted to a hard outside coat, let them cool for several minutes and then husk the shells, separating the beans.  These beans should be a nice dark brown color.  Beans that have been blackened will have a more robust, coffee like flavor.

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Roasted beans will be separated from the husks.  Burnt beans like these will have a more coffee like flavor than chocolate.

6) The next step is to grind the beans.  Using a coffee grinder or other food processing machine makes quick and easy work of this step.

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Ground coco can be brewed in a variety of ways to make a tasty drink.

7) After your beans are sufficiently ground you can brew them in a variety of ways.  Adding them to boiling water, using a french press or simply putting the grounds in a cup and adding hot water.  Add sugar to taste and enjoy!

 

Homemade Gifts – Valentines day is a week away

About a week ago, I asked a couple of friends (and hopefully continued readers)to give me some ideas regarding concepts of posts they would like to see.  As I was contemplating their ideas, I realized that Valentines day is a week away!  Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a do it yourself kind of guy.  I love to make cookies from scratch for Christmas and give them to friends and family as my expression of love and community.   I buy sugar eggs and flour in bulk sizes in paper packaging to be as contentious as possible and I try to plan ‘baking parties’ so that the sense of community and the holiday spirit are flowing.

Crafting projects can be like that to!  Gathering friends, or kids, together to make items that will be given to others combines the fellowship of community in so many ways.  Teaching children the value of reusing items, creativity and conservation at the same time, just adds value to the family ties!

If you haven’t already planned your children’s valentines gifts yet, will you consider some of the ideas here? I look forward to the stories of what comes forth!  Please post your experiences in the comments section!

http://www.planetpals.com/recycle_holiday_crafts.html#valentinesday

http://spoonful.com/crafts/recyclable-projects

http://www.funinthemaking.net/category/valentines-day/

Happy Crafting!!!