Monday, June 30, 2014

Taxo smoothie and ice-cream with health benefits

Taxo is a small, almost tear shaped fruit that is yellow to orange in color when ripe.

Banana passionfruit is the fruit of several plants in the genus Passiflora, and are therefore related to the passion fruit.

They look somewhat like a straight, small banana with rounded ends.

The banana passionfruit name was given to the fruit in New Zealand, where passionfruit are also prevalent.

In Hawaii, it is called banana poka.

In its Latin American homeland, it is known as curuba, curuba de Castilla, or curuba sabanera blanca (Colombia); taxo, tacso, tagso, tauso (Ecuador); parcha, taxo (Venezuela), tumbo or curuba (Bolivia); tacso, tumbo, tumbo del norte, trompos, tintin or purpur (Peru).

Cutting open this fruit reveals seeds galore, surrounded by a pulp.
Forest & Kim Starr [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Because of the seeds, which have an unpleasant flavor, this fruit is rarely eaten fresh.

The pulp has a somewhat tanginess to the tongue and is most commonly used in juice and ice cream.

The yellow oblong fruit contains the flavanoids or antioxidants that are included in so many foods to help dampen the impact of free radicals in the body.

Along with the ravagers of free radicals the Taxo contains Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Riboflavin, Sodium, Vitamin A and C.

There are many cousins to Taxo, as it is part of the Passiflora family.

It is of course related to the Passion Fruit, Granadilla and  Maracuya, all members of Passiflora. 

Taxo ice-cream or sherbet is very popular in Ecuador as Taxo smoothies.

It can also be made into juice and the tangy taste is excellent for a refreshing summer drink.

Taxo Smoothie


1 cup of Taxo  
1 cup of water
2 cups of milk
1/4 teaspoons of vainilla
3 teaspoons of sugar

Mix the taxo fruit with water in the blender.

Pass the mix through a sieve or colander.

Mix the juice with milk, vainilla and sugar in a blender.

Taxo growing at my backyard. Hopefully we'll get flowers and fruits soon! And then smoothies and ice-cream from homegrown fruits.

Taxo ice-cream (without ice-cream machine)


 116g milk powder
187 ml or ¾ cup cold water
290 g of sugar,
500 ml of juice of taxo
1 pack of 3 ounces (87g) of natural gelatin,
250ml boiling water,
3 egg whites,

Mix in a pan of thick seat powdered milk, sugar and cold water.

Heat the mix, stirring constantly, and boil until it takes the consistency of thick sauce.

Remove from heat to cool down.

In another bowl dissolve the gelatin package cup of boiling water and allow it to cool.

When milk and gelatin are cool, mix adding the taxo juice.

After stirring with spoon, blend the whole.

Finally mix with beaten egg whites until it is stiff and put the mix in the freezer to set.

Just before serving beat the ice-cream with a wooden spoon or electric mixer to make them soft and foamy.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Organize your life to make sure you won't burn out - Part 3

This is the third part in the series to Organize your life to make sure you won't burn out 

2. Be thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

The Message (MSG)

13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Bible tells us to be thankful and to have a positive attitude towards to life over and over again.

It is not surprising that modern research have found out about the huge impact that thankfulness and positive attitude have in a person’s brain and body.

There are research results that indicate that the stress hormone cortisol levels lowered 23% percent in the brain when a person thought about what they were thankful for.

Positive thinking lowers down the stress concentrating your thoughts into something else than the things causing you the stress.

Positive thinking and thankfulness

Make a conscious decision to think about something positive that happened to you every day.

Make a list of three things that you are thankful for that day at the end of every day.

Positive view of life does not mean ignoring the difficult and painful issues.

Instead it means denying you wallowing on them or asking yourself “what if”.

That way it prevents the downward spiral of negative thoughts because that is what sucks all your strength for certain.

If your negative thoughts contain stigmatizing words like “never” or “always” or “a complete failure” write them down and go them through with another person.

That way you can be certain that they are not true but just your feelings.

Concentrate on facts instead of feelings.

This is the third part in series about Organizing your life to make sure you won't burn out

If you with to read the first part, go to Part 1

If you want to read the second part, go to Part 2 

Friday, June 27, 2014

I was given a new life

Once there was a man who left his job and his important position in the society and the company.

He sold everything he had and gave it to the poor.

You are crazy, everyone else told him.

How are you going to live, his mother cried.

Who do you think will feed you, his father yelled.

You have made you wife and children beggars, they wailed.

What will the neighbors think!
He spent his days in contemplation and prayer, reading his big book.

Preaching from the book to others.

Let the book feed you, the people laughed.

Let your prayers clothe your children.

Finally he felt ready to answer his call and packed his bags.

Together with his family he travelled to another country.

Where people spoke another language and had different way of life.
There are poor here at home, people tried to talk sense into him.
People who need your prayers and your big book.

Why do you have to go so far?

In that other country he served the people.

He did not want anything for himself or his family.

But gave all to the strangers.

When the moment came, he gave his life also.

We told you so, his family and the neighbors claimed to his wife.
Look what he did to you and your children.

Now what you are going to do?

I will stay here and continue his work, she answered.

And if you have to die also?

Then I will gladly give my life, because it is the greatest gift of all.

I was given a new life and it is not mine to decide anymore.
How can I deny if I am asked to return it?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Queen With The Frozen Heart 11

The men sat inside a shadowy hut chewing ayawaska.

From time to time one or few of them would stand up and step outside to throw up.

A lonely drum marked the rhythm, sounding over the silence.

The smoke lingered in the air, filling the hut with the hut with the smell of tobacco that the kuraka had used to purify them all.

It was time to spirit travel, all the men could participate but not all of them would see the visions.

The prince chewed the leaves in rhythm with the drum.
The taste was bad and made him want to empty his stomach together with the other men.

The time flew, or stretched, moving in waves and sideways.

The smoke in front of him formed the sinuous body of a great dappled boa.

It moved its head, smelling the air with its tongue and fastened its eyes into the prince.

- Amarun, my brother, it said, the man who walks in two legs with my own name.

The prince kept his silence; it was the time for the vision to speak.

- What do you want, the boa asked, what is the secret desire of your heart? It is not to free your father but a certain flower.
- Sisa, the snake slithered, flower, she is what you long for. But is she worth losing you father?

The prince did not answer, he knew the snake was tempting him, but he also did not know the answer.

The boa’s head stood still and it watched him, it turned its head over to see him with one eye and then with another.

Finally it crawled over his shoulders and settled around his neck.

Its tongue touched prince’s ear and whispered secrets to him.

For a long time I have longed to see the end of the arrogance and stupidity of the jaguar men. For ages have I dreamed of the end to the vulture men’s cruelty and greed.

Is it time now, the boa slithered, are you the one who will free us all?

Still the prince would not utter a word.
- We are a strong people, proud people, with countless numbers of warriors, the snake glided across his naked waist.

- But we are reduced to hiding, the boa’s eyes burned with anger, holing up to protect us and our children from the vulture men and their talons.

- They eat us, the snake voice was filled with rage, they devour us, throw our skins and bones up and feed us to their disgusting chicks.

- I will help you, the boa hissed; we will free your father and kill the vultures and jaguars until there is not one of them left. But you will have to promise me something.

- You will have to make a pact with me, the boa stared the prince to the eyes, you will promise us that you shall always let us live in the rivers and the jungles. Even when we tax you your children and your animals, even when we occasionally kill one of you. You will leave us alone and respect us as the owner and the wise men of the forest and the river, as the boa people, your brothers and sisters. And to seal this pact, you will marry one of my sisters.
The prince bowed his head, was Sisa more important than his father, what was the secret desire of his heart.

- I shall make the pact with you, he answered, and together we will rescue my father and his men.

- And destroy the vultures and jaguars, the snake ended the wow.

For a while it basket with happiness on prince’s shoulders but then it was time for it to leave.

Little by little it became smoke and floated in the air, escaping from the hut’s door to the air outside.

- I have seen a vision, the kuraka announced; the boa people will help us. Tomorrow they shall arrive to our village so we can plan together but tonight we will feast!

To be continued...

This is the eleventh part of the story.

If you want to read the first part of the story go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 1

To read the second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 2 

To read the third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 3

To read the fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 4

To read the fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 5

To read the sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 6

To read the seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 7

 To read the eight part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 8

To read the ninth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 9

To read the tenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 10

To read the twelth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 12