Posts tagged ‘Mexico’

February 24, 2015

Chemotypes 



This is a picture I took in Mexico of an Oregano plant, also known as Wild Marjoram, but should not be confused with Origanum majorana, which is Marjoram. There are many common names of one plant that are confusing, so it’s best to use the universal Latin name to identify a plant. Latin names are usually in italics, to differentiate in print. The first Latin name is called the Genus, and the second name is the species of the plant. While marjoram and oregano are from the same Genus Origanum,  they are very different species: Origanum vulgare is Oregano, and Origanum majorana is Marjoram. 

The leaves on the Mexican Oregano are scalloped, unlike the smoother edged varieties in my garden. 

What other differences are there between Mexico Oregano and Greek Oregano? 

For starters the Mexican Oregano is grown in Mexico, and the Greek Oregano is grown in Greece. 

Plants that have the same Latin name can have different chemical constituents depending on where they are growing. Habitat influences plants, and alters chemistry because of factors like altitude, soil, climate, rainfall, and a host of other conditions. 

These types of plants are referred to as Chemotypes. They are the same plant in Latin name, but due to habitat may have different plant chemistry. 

Different breeding and natural selection of a Genus like Thymus, Thyme, creates many varieties of species and subspecies. 

The Mexican Oregano may have the same name as the Greek Oregano growing in my garden, but it looks different and tastes different. They may have mainly the same chemical constituents that make up Oregano, but there is enough variation in plant chemical constituents to change flavours and aroma. They may be used interchangeably, but expect different results. 


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May 9, 2013

Raw Vegan Gluten Free Orange Blackberry Fig Tart

I am so impressed with how easy and delicious raw vegan desserts are, as well as being healthy and nutritious. This orange blackberry fig tart reminds me of fig newtons a bit. If you like fresh figs and fruit this one is for you!

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I like this tart because it was really fast and easy and if “you are what you eat” I will choose this kind of tart any day.

Raw Vegan Gluten Free Orange Blackberry Fig Tart Recipe

Fruit Topping:

1 cup of figs halved and scoop out the flesh

1 cup of blackberries

1 Tablespoon of agave nectar maple syrup or sweetener of your choice

1/2 teaspoon of organic orange peel zest, or 1 drop of orange essence or organic essential oil.

1/2 vanilla bean split and inside scraped out or 1/2 teaspoon of real vanilla extract

I brought vanilla beans back from Mexico which is the only place the orchid bee lives to  pollinate the vanilla orchid flowers. All other vanilla plants in the rest of the world are hand pollinated.

Mix all ingredients together and let marinate while you prepare the crust.

Crust:

1 cup of almond meal ( I used raw skinned almonds that I had soaked to make almond milk and then made ground almond meal with it) soaked almonds are better to use for making almond meal

4 pitted cut up dates

1 Tablespoon agave nectar maple syrup or sweetener of your choice

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of pink Himalaya salt

Blend ingredients together until it starts to stick together. Add more agave nectar or coconut oil if it needs to stick together more.

Grease the pans you are going to use for the tarts with coconut oil. Use a coconut oiled spoon or wet hands to press crust into an 8 or 9 inch tart pan or use mini spring form cheesecake pans or mini ramekins for each serving.

Spread filling over pressed crust. You can grate more orange zest over the top if desired.

Eat it right away or refrigerate it until ready. Enjoy dare I say healthy desserts!

June 19, 2012

Mayan ruins Coba and Blue Agave

The Riviera Maya in Mexico is one of my favourite places to visit and I went this past January for a couple of weeks.

I love exploring Mexico and eating delicious Mexican food. Eating gluten free and even being vegetarian is easy, because Mexican food staples are corn, beans, rice, peppers, chiles, avocados, limes, tomatoes, and the blue agave plant.

 The blue agave, also called agave azul, has the Latin name Agave tequilana L.  and it is where the popular alcohol drink Tequila comes from. Mezcal and other drinks are also made from sap found in the heart of the plant.

I explored the Mayan ruins of Coba and climbed Nohoch Mul pyramid, did some kayaking, swam in a sacred cenote swimming hole dripping with gorgeous stalagmites after being blessed by a shaman with copal smoke. We ate an amazing lunch of traditional Mayan food at a local Mayan village.

Drinking fresh coconut water on a sunny beautiful beach doesn’t hurt either! Coconut water hydrates and nourishes with nutrients of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus,   with no cholesterol, and it tastes so good. I definitely want to go back to Mexico and explore more soon!

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