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!

 

“It’s been a long semester” or “If I don’t write something soon I may never get back on the horse!”

It happened.  Not only did the 1950’s Adam West Batman Series pop into my head as I wrote the title,  but this blog is happening because I haven’t written a blog in close to two months, and internally I miss it.  The thought popped into my head about a week ago, with 3 midterms to go and no desire to focus on anything, I buckled down on the things that were most important, maintaining my concerns for sustaining my GPA, proving that hard work is worth it, regardless of how weary you get.  So I’ve been plugging away at life, paying 6 professors to dictate my days, and ensure that I processes some of what enters my brain.  And so, after weeks of watching myself put this page on the back burner, I’m getting back on the horse.

What’s happened in two months?  Well, besides taking 6 classes at university this semester, family life, and all the fun of 12-14 hour work days may good things have been happening.

The best of these is that I met Dr. Marcus Erickson of 5 Gyres Institute.  As a person who wants to change the way the consumption impacts pollution, and how plastics are polluting our oceans this meeting was amazing for me.  I have spent much time researching and learning about topics like enhanced manufacturer responsibility and conversion campaigns.  These are exciting topics that I hope people will look into.

But really, if I don’t keep writing – nobody’s going to go looking for anything.  Let this be a lesson, it’s easier to stay on task, with regularly consistency than it is to try and rebuild a habit.

Thanks for coming back to see what I’m doing.

I will write again soon

Using annalytics to help heal America?

So, I’m reading blog posts, which as an author is something that one should be part of the daily process.  If one contributes only to the initial idea without contributing to the conversation, then there is a diminished value to the point of publicly writing.  Today I read an amazing article on listening by The Journey Institute’s founder Dafna Michaelson.
The point is that every time I read a great post I go off on a tangent of thoughts that often expands to another idea or post.  So, my advice, read other blogs.

Today’s gem:  Not Taking your medication, or taking way to much? The Data Knows… by Derrick Harris
This is an amazing article examining the facts of Prescription Drug use and abuse in the United States.  Using analytic methods like this would allow both private businesses and local governments the ability to heal communities that are broken by a process that is illegally abusing both communities and the aspects of health care both private and public.  The real truth here is that both private and public medical systems are funding these abuses that trickle down the economic pipeline.  Effectively persecuting Dr.’s who abuse the system must include publicly available data without exposing the private personal and medical data.  Examining doctors who prescribe high quantities of narcotics, especially in high risk communities, can expose tragic abuses and help curb the public costs.  In addition to the actual medical expenses paid by governments and private health insurance that would reduce the overall expense of coverage, the welfare of communities and the extended burden of addiction.  This extends to the capacity of social service agencies, churches, the burden of community governments that pay for extended crime rates that are extended by “Pill Farms”.

Additionally, effective use of this data (when it comes to people that don’t take all their medicines effectively), could allow health insurance companies to help communicate to their clients the value of effective medication consumption in regards to success of medication usage as well as a tool for targeting national health concerns like unused medicine disposal in correlation to water quality (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and diseases developing immunity to medicine due to lack of complete consumption of assigned prescription dosages.  More on bacterial immunity can be found via the CDC.

Welcome to my blog – Day 2,

As this journey begins, I am sure that there will be many learning experiences along the way.
Today I want to answer some simple questions.

The first is – why blog?

Blogging offers a wide variety of flexibility and an active way to communicate with people without seeing each other face to face.  Blogging about topics that can be searched by others, you who are reading this now allows us to connect to one another in ways we might not imagine previously.   I am starting this process to not only share my passion for protecting the environment through enhancing the way we make daily decisions, but also to connect to those in the community that share similar passions so that I may continue to learn along the way.

My goal is to change the mindset of Earth’s inhabitants and the way we produce, consume and dispose of all the materials in our lives so that we individually and as a collective, consciously enhance our environmentally conscious behaviors.

I hope you will change your habits because of the things you see here.   From spending habits, active recycling and conservation efforts I intend to provide a platform where a slew of earth friendly practices and products will be make known as well as participated in.

In the last thought today, I want to know what you my reader would like to know more about?   Do you know about the different types of plastics and how they are reused?  Do you want to know how your practices can save you money?  Are there issues near and dear that you would like to know more about?  Please ask away, comment often, and help build this community together.