Homemade Hot Cocoa & Chocolate Recipes | In A Village

  Villages – at the end of the earth – shiver.

Did you know that it gets cold – almost everywhere in the world – that is habitable for human life?

All people – babies, children, young adults, mature adults – and the aging –

Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe Ingredients Used By The Children In The Village | Pinteresting Against Poverty

-are all suceptible to environmental conditions – like – the cold.  

Even in the sub-tropics, fierce winds or dampness can push the felt temperature down to an unsustainable point for many to operate normally without some form of provision or protection.

The rainy season in Africa brings shivers, wet eyebrows, and eyelashes on the soft heads of babes – and environmental teardrops on the shoulders of the aged and elderly.

The Village Kids Are Always Proud Of Their Work | Click Here For The Recipe

The monsoon season in Southeast Asia infects the feet of bare-footed children walking through puddles.

The communities of the Northern Hemispheres above the ‘poverty line’ can’t imagine a life without warm clothes suited for every limb and extremity.

“The little ones in the village are shivering.”  Suggested an elder, as I was traveling abroad from the village.

Hot Cocoa and Chocolate Is A Treat That Nourishes The Bodies Of The Village Children From The Inside-Out | Pinteresting Against Poverty

It was between spring and summertime stateside, but in our village, sometimes the temperature drops down to forty degrees – especially at night – which is unbearable for the exposed skin of the hungry children in the village.

Cold is felt more – by those who are anemic.  The B-Vitamins and red blood cells that help a human being regulate their body temperature are missing from their diets, so when they are cold, they also begin to have hormonal, metabolic, and immune system issues – simply from not being – covered.

In a location where more than 60% of the children are stunted in growth due to malnutrition – the simple ability to be warm-and-dry – matters.

So, we set out to find a new way to keep those adorable little village children -warm and toasty.  

We did not have a budget to clothe them all – but we found a new recipe – that could help.

Hot Chocolate.

You may think I’m kidding.  I’m not.

The children in many once-British colonies are used to drinking tea several times a day.

Try This Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

What was our nutritional experiment?

We tried as best as we could against our ever dwindling budget to replace a few of those cups of tea with homemade hot chocolate.  Cocoa powder is common in many stores for travelers – and contains more iron and B-Vitamins than most teas.

Drinking a large, steaming cup of hot cocoa is similar to consuming a small serving of red meat – of which there is always a disparity for the poor.

When dealing with a malnourished village -iron pills are expensive, difficult to import – and easy to miscalculate — especially the dosages for malnourished children – even more so for the children suffering from starvation syndromes like marasmus and kwashiorkor.

Homemade White Hot Chocolate (With Peppermint) Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Even if you give a child a multi-vitamin, they will often eat in the first time, and refuse it the next for the belly-ache that follows – even after proper dosage-ing under the care of a physician – they cry and won’t take them again.  The only exception being gummy vitamins.  They love the gummy vitamins – but if you knew how smart street children are – you’d realize those are not the safest option – one of the highest causes of child-death is iron poisoning from overdosing on vitamins.  In the case that a child were able to get ahold of a tub – you’d have a problem.

However, a regular dose of chocolate can help keep the children warm and address some of those deficiencies – from the inside out.  So that they might be able to endure colder conditions – with a better internally nourished physical response.

Try This Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Most of the world’s chocolate is produced from trees in Africa – yet it is not a common flavor in nearby areas – the result being a steady supply of raw cocoa – but a lack of usage of this natural resource for the nourishment of village children.

The children’s eyes and smiles light up as they wrap their hands around a steaming cup of simple ingredients – meant to comfort – and nourish them.

So the next time you are cold, warm up with one of these cold-seasonal yummy hot cocoa recipes – and other comforting warm drink recipes – and remember the children in the village.

Perhaps we will write about another seasonal flavor – cranberries – soon.

Try This Warm Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Tip: If you are really cold and miserable – in a damp environment – consider a shot of whiskey.   Whiskey helps to oxygenate your vital organs – and is anti-bacterial.

Whiskey is a known rudimentary, non-prescription treatment for asthma – and is a good substitute in the case of not having a doctor or prescription available.  It’s economical, is medically effective in small amounts – and  can be found in almost every large city around the world – and in some cases – can help heal respiratory infections in the absence of an antibiotic.

Due to spending time in villages, and experiencing malnutrition at times myself, as well as being asthmatic, having an over-the-counter substitute has helped me fight off asthma attacks.

I don’t know about you – but I am oh, so ready and hopeful, and prayerful – for chocolate.

Chocolate is fun to play with in the kitchen.  Check out this Chocolate Roll Recipe by Gimme Some Oven:

Try This Easy & Customizeable Homemade Chocolate Roll Recipe – Like Swiss Rolls | Gimme Some Oven – flavor the center with peppermint, buttercream, cream cheese & more…

Have some great chocolate – or hot cocoa stories you’d like to share? Wishing you could curl up together right now and enjoy a cup of hot, hot chocolate – and a warm blanket and movie?  Has someone shared a good cup of hot cocoa with you?  Share with us:

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty. Share our posts with your friends!  Learn more about our work and our village by watching the video below:

Fresh Leeks | In A Village

Earlier this year, I went on a shopping trip, with my little flower girl from the village in tow.

Fresh Leeks That Re-Grow In A Village | Pinteresting Against Poverty

She took in the view from the window as we traveled far to a first-world grocery store in the capital city, beyond the devastation of the poverty in the village,

-and marveled together at the strange array of fruits and veggies representative of the world market on the produce shelves –

-taking in the comforts ready to be found for the tourists who visited there.

“What’s this?”  Asked one in our group.

“It’s a leek.”  They said carefully, reading the produce label.

“Does it look like something you would eat?”  We passed the test onto our flower girl, representing the children in the village.

Cabbage Soup w/ Leeks | Gimme Some Oven

She nodded seriously.

“Alrighty then!  Put it in the cart.”  She bowed before she picked it up and grinned.

I have seen several Asian recipes that call for leeks –

-but we’d yet to try them on the children in the village.

“It looks like they would re-grow.”  I said, peering at the long-legged veggie.

We took it back to the village to experiment.

First we introduced them to the children,

and secondly we placed them in water –

-and were so happy when it began to grow new roots in water.

“Oh, these!”  Cried an elder widow.  “I have tried them once.  They are very nice.”

“We have to try to get them to grow, and then you can have them during the rainy season.  They seem like they’d do well then.”

The rains were stronger and put more weight on the ground than we thought, and I am not sure what happened to the leeks after planting.  Leeks are also of the allium family, and are bulbous and require little attention once planted in the right conditions.

Up ’til now, I don’t think we’ve tried to make any meals with them, but what I know is that they are supposed to taste like giant green onions, and go well in stir-frys and maybe casserole-dishes, and soups – especially when sautéed to add extra flavor to broth.

Leeks can help fill in Vitamin K deficiencies – which will help nourish and protect vision in village children.

Vitamin K is known to protect vision – especially for newborns – so even in the first world, it is routine for babies born in hospitals in developed nations to get Vitamin K eye drops to protect their vision – guarding them anti-bacterially from blindness.

It is difficult for children in the village to afford schooling and uniforms, but to see a specialist – such as an optometrist is cost-prohibitive.  We once sponsored glasses for a village child, by the time we traveled in to the capital city and made an appointment with a reputable professional, and had the prescription glasses – it was more than $400 USD.  Most people in the nation where we work – about eighty percent of the population, live on less than $2 per day.

When ingested, Vitamin K helps guard against blood-clotting and helps promote healthy intestinal flora with anti-bacterial properties.

Leeks also include maganese, copper, and are also known as elephant garlic and kurrat.

Leeks also have a strange, but significant cultural history – of being worn – as a legendary emblem:

According to one legendKing Cadwaladr of Gwynedd ordered his soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field.[16] The Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton stated, in contrast, that the tradition was a tribute to Saint David, who ate only leeks when he was fasting.[17] Whatever the case, the leek has been known to be a symbol of Wales for a long time; Shakespeare, for example, refers to the custom of wearing a leek as an “ancient tradition” in Henry V. In the play, Henry tells the Welsh officer Fluellen that he, too, is wearing a leek “for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.” The 1985 and 1990 British one pound coins bear the design of a leek in a coronet, representing Wales. 

Whether you wear them as an emblem, or you just enjoy them as an added garnish to some of your favorite meals, leeks are a flavorful and nutritional option to your meal plates – around the world.

Leeks could be added to just about any of the meal recipes listed on this page – although many of the recipes don’t call for them – you might enjoy the extra flavor or substitute in leeks for any missing ingredients if your kitchen happens to be short. Click on any photo for the recipes.

(Will be editing the molcajete foto soon, and adding in a video of the children planting leeks in our ‘water’ garden.)

Click here to learn more about leeks, and how to prepare them in the kitchen.

Try Adding Leeks As A Garnish For This 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili Recipe | Gimme Some Oven – Or Just Enjoy It The Way It Is! Click Here For Instructions.

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Questions? Do you have any stories of leeks in your garden, or your kitchen? Are you Welsh? Do you love roses? Share your thoughts with us, here:

Fresh Asparagus | For A Village

Looking for some amazing asparagus recipes? Try out some of these on Gimme Some Oven!

Worried over the condition of many of the malnourished children in the village, 

Try This Healthy, Amazing, Delicious – Pasta w/ Asparagus, Mushrooms & Goat Cheese Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

I sat down one day prayerfully and tried to make a list of the ten healthiest foods

-and I proceeded to try to see if I could provision a way to grow any of these super-foods in the villages at the ends of the earth, where the children die like the embers go out of the coals in the night,

-due to their lack of nourishment.


Think I’m kidding, exaggerating, making-this-up?  Nope.  I wish.  Here’s a video where you can hear a civil right’s lawyer share his own story with the same struggle.

It isn’t possible to watch a single baby die of malnourishment before your head fills with – crazy – ideas –

– crazy ideas –

-on how to keep them alive in a country that has good soil and arable land.

One of the foods I came across – is one that I love a bit charred, and slung over a barbecue grill, and also roasted, and butter-y, and lemon-y, and smothered in pasta – with goat cheese, and mushrooms.

Fresh asparagus.

Asparagus is one of those wonderful allium bulbs, that grows back – every – year.

The gentle fern-like whispers of a beginning – are happy planted in pots – kind of like tulips – only, the result is almost a basket-like braided healthy green.

Botanical Illustration of Asparagus | Wikipedia

Asparagus roots, almost like a fruit tree itself, can crop for 25 years  – a quarter of a century – when planted in a permanent bed, as long as the soil has enough water, nutrients in the soil, and sunlight, and for a shorter time, when planted in a pot.

Asparagus is native to Europe, Africa and Asia and can be cultivated in North America, and other regions around the world – and is a relatively low-maitenance nutritional source that does require a bit of time for the maturity of the roots.  This perennial grows back a bit stronger over the first few years and cropping seasons.

Try This Yummy Roasted Lemon Pepper Asparagus Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Not only is asparagus full of vitamins – A,C,E, K & B6 – but this healthy preventative for UTI infections as well as cancer, also boasts of calcium, magnesium and zinc, and more (from Wikipedia):

Water makes up 93% of asparagus’s composition.[18] Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium,[19][20] as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.[citation needed] The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound. (excerpt from Wikipedia)

What? All of this nutritional treasure and bounty? In exchange for only – water – and the sunshine – it takes to keep the bulb alive in the right seasons – once planted in the right soil?

Everyone should be planting their own source of asparagus – to the ends of the earth – in my humble opinion.

It wouldn’t be impossible to cover many of the nutritional deficiencies, that cause spots on eyes and tongues, bowed-legs, stunted growth, and sores in the skin and mouth – and dizzy little faces lined up in classrooms –

Try This Delicious Blue Cheese Roasted Asparagus Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

-with a good ol’ pot of healthy asparagus roots, that grow back for years.

There’s nothing more comforting in the world, than a friend with a pasta, mushroom, and asparagus with goat cheese container showing up for lunch on a cool morning and deep, meaningful conversations.

We hope to learn how to plant them better, soon.

Until then, we hope you enjoy these comforting asparagus recipes with your friends – and families.

Welcome To Pinteresting Against Poverty.

Love asparagus?  Like… Do you really love… asparagus?  Tell us your asparagus stories and recipes here:


Red Potatoes | In A Village

I grew up with a lot of potatoes.

Preparing for dinner-time, I can remember standing in the kitchen and peeling nearly whole ten-pound bags of Idaho potatoes, to make enough soup to feed the many that came to our dinner table.

We made several comforting soups, and – of course – mashed potatoes, too.

cutting potatoes | pinteresting against poverty
Village Children Peeling Potatoes For Meals | Practicing Photography In A Village

And fried potatoes.

Getting to know your potato varieties? Try out this new, savory Three Potato Soup Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

My mom would tell stories of how her mother also did the same, as a struggling single, to feed all seven of her children.  It was my mother’s job as the youngest to peel the potatoes.

I knew of yellow, butter potatoes because my other grandmother like to make potato-pancakes for breakfast in the morning before school.

But it wasn’t until I was a student in Mexico, that I was introduced to red potatoes – which of course, I referred to as purple or violeta.

In my childhood kitchen, no potato skins were allowed – the skins and debris from the gritty Idaho/Russian potatoes were not pleasurable consumption, but the center was creamy, caloric and comforting.

One of my grandmother’s insisted on the skins of the butter potatoes, which could be scrubbed clean without peeling, although as children we were not fond of the extra texture, as we were used to our mother’s creamy and flawless potatoes.

Mexican Butternut-Potato Picadillo with Lime, Cilantro & Chipotle | Pinteresting Against Poverty – No Recipe Yet

I wasn’t introduced to the red variety of this root vegetable until I lived in Latin America.  It turned out that the red potatoes were just like the golden potatoes, and diced nicely into hash-browns before becoming additions to wonderful soups like picadillo – or this butternut-potato picadillo that I accidently made a few nights ago.

Mashed potatoes were one of the first joys that I brought to the children in the village.  The first packages were dehydrated from my suitcase for travel until I was able to find the right ones in the market – which were harder to peel than others produced on different continents.  Imagine mossy rocks, and you might be close.

potato wedges | pinteresting against poverty
Potato Wedges Prepared By Children In The Village | In A Village

Potato soup recipes are easy to make, and can differ by number of ingredients that you happen to have access to – and the type of potatoes that you have access to in different regions of the world, but – like apples – you never seem to have to look too far for a potato – or a candolo – a sweet potato – which provides a different kind of flavor, texture, and vitamins for the children in the village.

Potato soup can be flavored with meat – chicken broth, beef broth, or even vegetable.  We like to add celery to ours, which provides extra vitamins – and lots of black pepper – which is our Indian addition.

My son and I love to cook up some beefy potato soup and stay up late watching good movies together, curled up on the couch in our pajamas, pillows and pets.

If you don’t know the difference between the potatoes, and don’t have a lot of time for peeling – this would be a great recipe for starters –

The children in the village love to fill their hungry bellies with potato recipes – and some of our favorites are listed on the left side of this post for you to also enjoy! Try out your potato-recipe-making talents today!

Three Potato Soup Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

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Chilean Plums | In A Village

On a trip, far, far away — further than I could walk,

— a trip that happened after a long walk — in a luxurious contraption called a motor car,

— I found a Chilean plum, in a grocery store.

The color was delightful, and I purchased one…

Chilean Plum | In A Village

–to bring back to the village — and feed the children a taste.  

After taking a few videos and pictures with the beautiful fruit —

–we cut it into small pieces, and set it out as a treat for a four-year-old’s birthday, passing the dish around.

The fruit was soft, and juicy, and sweet.

We were careful — to save the seed.

Hoping to see — if it might be possible — to grow something similar in the village.

We all knew that if we could get something like that seed to produce — like a good “Jack and the Beanstalk” story,  the fruit could generate income, and fill nutritional gaps — for the orphans and the widows.  

Something as simple as a good seed could also house, clothe, and educate the widow with the green thumb — or — the struggling young student with the internet connection.

On a different continent, a few weeks later — I went to a grocery store.

 I smiled when I saw the same little plums on the shelf.  My hope — was that the little barefooted children in the far off village where these fruit were produced — were able to go to school by the cost of their produce.  

Some may think that someone as far away as a fruit picker in the subtropical nations doesn’t have an impact on their well-being or daily lives —

— but the fruit was just one glowing example of how far the efforts of their simple labor were able to reach.  The cheery little fruit was brightening the produce baskets in three different corners of the world.

It’s a wonder to me, that people can walk past the fruit in their grocery stores, and really not know the lands or the people they come from.  The fruit has a shorter lifespan, and yet travels further, than most people do.

Read more about human rights and how we are fighting malnutrition with our Rainbow Garden!  

Coming Soon:  How to prepare the plum seed from the fruit.  Subscribe to read the story:

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Tumeric | Healing Spices In A Village

Tumeric is —

this bright, orange-y, powder-y kind-of-spice,

– which is kind of earthy in flavor, but blends well with many foods – like potatoes, mangoes, noodles, eggs

– and until you notice it, you wouldn’t really notice the absence of it, until you know what it tasted like by itself, or what-it’s-called.

Click Here For A Recipe for Golden Milk | Gimme Some Oven

When a chili pepper is missing from your favorite tacos – you notice the difference immediately.  No matter how vibrant and demanding the other flavors are, if the chilis are not present — there’s a missing flicker – or twinkle.  When tumeric is missing from a meal, it’s like there is a missing warmth.  

Like a kiss on the cheek, tumeric is a toasty kind of flavor.  Or a glow.

Tumeric – is also one of the distinguished-and-yet mysterious flavors of seasoned salt.

Tumeric is also one of the primary tastes of  the many carmelized, flaming dishes of Indian cuisine – and adds personality – as well as additional health benefits – to every meal it graces. Tu·mer·ic has a double-purpose – as a clothing dye, and is an important cultural part of Hindu wedding celebrations.  To read more about tumeric the spice and it’s uses, click here.  

Fresh Tumeric | In A Village

Tumeric serves as an aphrodisiac, an anti-depressant, an anti-biotic, an anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory, and sometimes produces beautiful flowers.  

I learned about tumeric in India, and I learned that mothers give their children tumeric milk – or golden milk,

as they call it — before their little ones go to sleep, to keep their bellies absent of the parasites that steal the little nutrition they are able to eat.

I decided to see if we could share this spice in our village as well.  I learned that tumeric is a root, related to ginger.  The roots are ground up into a powdery substance – that can be added to almost any meal – simply because it blends well. The fresh spice can also be used, and when cut into thin strips resembles fresh carrots – with more of a tangy yet comparably crisp flavor – and is a treat when compared to the easier-to-store-and-ship powder-y version.

One pound of tumeric spice – discount deal in bulk: $10.89 | Pinteresting Against Poverty

Click Here To Order A Pound Of Raw Tumeric Spice Powder Today!

Tumeric can be used as a topical creme for sores, to manage the pain for a sore throat infections, to handle indigestion, as well as a cleanse for wounds.

There are several good uses for this simple spice.  It’s a good one to keep around the kitchen.

Click Here To Buy Our Favorite Molcajete Today! Bookmark our page and come back to learn your spices well. | Pinteresting Against Poverty

The children in the village planted the roots for tumeric this year.  We are excited to try some of these recipes soon.

Click Here for the Recipe for Golden Milk.

Click here to purchase the pictured molcajete | Learn your healing spices – Pinteresting Against Poverty

Have you tried ‘Golden Milk’ in your home or village?  How has it helped?