Tag Archives: Mayans

Mayan Spice Brownies- Gluten Free

Fudgy Mayan Spice Brownies
Uber Rich Mayan Spice Brownies

Ingredients:
1/4 c red quinoa (rinsed)

4 Tbspn Chai Seeds

2 Tbspn brown flax seeds

in just under 1 c water
(Your seeds will start to sprout)
Soak 8 – 12 hours at room temperature:

Directions:
Puree the above seeds and water in a blender or food processor till smooth and all the seeds

have disappeared, then blend or mix in remaining ingredients below.


Chocolatey Goodness


1/4 c melted butter (or coconut oil)
2 Tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
2 tsp (Mexican) vanilla
1 c sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 1/4 c cocoa
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda

3 -5 Tablespoons of Mayan Spice Blend
OR

3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp anise (optional)
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Grease a med/sm square pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Cool to room temperature before cutting.
Store covered in the fridge.

For Mayan Spice Blend go to blog, https://sabrinaslatinkitchen.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/mayan-spice-blend/

Part 1: History of Chocolate: Ancient Civilizations and the Cacao Bean

The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink [cocoa] permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.” Montezuma II (1502-1520)

Cacao Bean before it gets processed into Chocolate
Cacao Bean before it gets processed into Chocolate

In the book,The True History of Chocolate, authors Sophie and  Michael Coe make a case that the earliest linguistic evidence of chocolate consumption stretches back three or even four millennia. The history of chocolate begins in MesoamericaChocolate, the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma cacao,can be traced to the Mokayaand other pre- Olmecpeoples,with evidence of cacao beverages dating back to to 1900 BC.

Near the beginning of the 16th century, the Aztecs were believed to first make chocolate, although it goes back much farther. The Mayans wrote about cacao ( Ka-Kow) a Mayan word on their pottery as early as 500 A.D., but some believe chocolate dates back to a much older time during Olmec civilization, which preceded the Mayans.The Mesoamerican civilization’s chocolate a bitter drink made from a variety of local ingredients mixed with ground cacao beans.

An officer serving with Cortes observed Motecuhzoma, who was the ruler of the Aztecs.  They found that Montezuma was drinking 50 flagons of chocolate every day. This beverage, which was sometimes made with wine or water, could be seasoned with chili pepper, vanilla, and pimiento.  It was known to cure diarrhea and dysentery.  It also was believed to be an aphrodisiac.  Cortez is known to have tried the beverage, but he found it too bitter.  However he did write to King Carlos the first of Spain, calling “xocoatl” a “beverage that builds up resistance and fights fatigue.” Etymologists trace the origin of the word “chocolate” to the Aztec word “xocoatl,” which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods.”

Bean of the gods
Bean of the gods

For several centuries in pre-modern Latin America, cacao beans were considered valuable enough to use as currency. One bean could be traded for a tamale, while 100 beans could purchase a good turkey hen, according to a 16th-century Aztec document.

Both the Mayans and Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical, or even divine, properties, suitable for use in the most sacred rituals of birth, marriage and death. According to Chloe Doutre-Roussel’s book The Chocolate Connoisseur, Aztec sacrifice victims who felt too melancholy to join in ritual dancing before their death were often given a gourd of chocolate (tinged with the blood of previous victims) to cheer them up.
cacao10
Roasted Cacao Beans

Sweetened chocolate didn’t appear until Europeans discovered the Americas and sampled the native cuisine. Legend has it that the Aztec king Montezuma welcomed the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes with a banquet that included drinking chocolate, having tragically mistaken him for a reincarnated deity instead of a conquering invader. Chocolate didn’t suit the foreigners’ taste buds at first –one described it in his writings as “a bitter drink for pigs” – but once mixed with honey or cane sugar, it quickly became popular throughout Spain.

Both the Mayans and Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical, or even divine, properties, suitable for use in the most sacred rituals of birth, marriage and death. According to Chloe Doutre-Roussel’s book The Chocolate Connoisseur, Aztec sacrifice victims who felt too melancholy to join in ritual dancing before their death were often given a gourd of chocolate (tinged with the blood of previous victims) to cheer them up.

Chocolate after Colonialization
By the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink throughout Europe, believed to have nutritious, medicinal and even aphrodisiac properties (it’s rumored that Casanova was especially fond of the stuff).But it remained largely a privilege of the rich until the invention of the steam engine made mass production possible in the late 1700s.

Bibliography:
  •  “The True History of Chocolate”, authors Sophie and Michael Coe
  • “The Chocolate Connoisseur” Chloe Doutre- Roussel.
  •  “Traités nouveaux & curieux du café du thé et du chocolate”, by Philippe Sylvestre Dufour, 1685.

 More about the History of Chocolate and Chocolate Recipes in Mexican Cuisine in next installment  of Sabrina’s Latin Kitchen.

Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate
Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

In Mexican ancient civilizations, before the Spanish conquistadors imported chocolate to Spain and added sugar, the ancient Mayans and Aztecs drank the bitter cacao

(“Ka-Kow”) mixing it with wine, and adding spices: vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and chile.  Remember when Juliet Binoche adds chiles to her chocolate in the movie Chocolat ? Well, you don’t have to be a movie star or an Aztec Emperor to make your own Mayan Hot Chocolate with this ancient recipe of chile-infused milk, cinnamon, nuts and vanilla. This is an excellent drink when the weather is cold or to treat yourself after a long days work, surely, it will warm you up and soothe your soul.

Ingredients
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups whole or lowfat, or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 3 tablets Mexican chocolate, cut into 1/4″pieces
2 tablespoons sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
Whipped cream

Instructions
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat water to boiling; add chile pepper. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused* water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds, hazelnuts and sesame seeds and whipped cream.

Serves 4-6
*Chile can be infused in Milk instead of water
Enjoy !