Calling all foodies, bloggers, wizards and mermaids, adventurers, lovers, dreamers and inventors, Buddhas, Sages, Sadhakas and Yogis! Inside of you is something eternal and infinite; something as great as a mountain, as vast as an ocean, as beautiful as a star, as sweet as honey, as miraculous as a rainbow. It is a power that knows no bounds. A capacity to create, to heal, to love, to light up the world. You were born to know the magnificence of life, the power within, the radiance of your own truth, the joy of service and the deep, delightful endurance of love.
In this divine time, when we string lights on every tree, mantel, and eave, allow me to celebrate the miracle of you. Allow me, if you will, to celebrate all that light and love alive in you, dancing, pulsing, surging, radiating through you with the most divine of spices, Cardamom.
To me, Cardamom is love and light in a pod. It is beauty and wisdom, knowing just what we need physically, while inspiring us emotionally. Cardamom is the journeyer’s companion, the sensual spark to a Yogi’s inner flame.
Oh Cardamom, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… Next week, I will! For now, I give you three comforting, delicious ways to stay warm and grounded this time of year. 2 out of 3 are Vegan and all 3 are, or can be made, gluten-free. Therefore, they make excellent “hand-crafted” gifts, and hearty, conversation-starting party foods.
Cardamom Rose Delights
1 cup shredded coconut
6 medjool dates
1 tbls almond butter
1 tbls coconut oil
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tsp rose water
pinch of salt
Process all ingredients in food processor until mixture is quite smooth. Form into balls or press into molds. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Melissa’s Incredibly Moist Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups Pamela’s gluten free baking mix
1 egg substitute (Melissa uses oil, water, & baking powder mix)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 bag vegan choc chips
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch or two of cardamom
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together, adding water (or spiced apple cider as I did) as needed to moisten and form balls. Cook on parchment paper ~ 10-11 min. They may look soft but do not overcook.
Liscia’s Cardamom Banana Bread
2/3 cup raisins or currants
1/3 cup dark rum or apple cider
1 cup unbleached White flour (or a gluten-free flour of your choice)
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour (or more gluten-free flour or Liscia says try rice flour!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup canola or corn oil (Liscia also likes coconut oil)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-10 inch loaf pan.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the raisins or currants with the rum or cider, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, and let the pan sit for 10 minutes.
3. While they are soaking, combine in a large bowl the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Mix well. In a smaller bowl mash bananas with a fork. Add the oil and brown sugar, and beat for 1 minute. Add eggs beating more. With a spoon, stir this mixture into the flour mixture until the ingredients are well blended. Stir in walnuts, the soaked raisins, and their liquid. Pose the mixture into greased loaf pan.
4. Bake the bread 50-60( but check around 30-40!) until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a rack, and let the bread cool for 10 mins before you remove it from the pan. Wrapped well, this bread keeps at room temperature for 5 days, and longer if refrigerated.
Celebrating You as the light we celebrate this season, reminds me of St. Teresa of Avila‘s powerful call to the awakened life ~
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
No hands but yours, no feet but yours;
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s Compassion is to look out to the world;
Yours are the feet by which he is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now.”
May we all take up the call, inspired by the season, encouraged by our saints and sages, and fortified by Cardamom’s loving light.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holy Days ~ Namaste!