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In Eastern philosophy, the lotus symbolizes purity and divine birth, or spontaneity. Out of muddy water emerges a magnificent blossom that is stunning in its perfection. So, too, can we tune into the perfect divine spirit within us, in any scenario, and allow our hearts to shine outward.

Amboyna burl comes from the Narra Tree. The burl itself ranges from striking red to golden yellow (see our other Amboyna burl pendants) and is considered one of the most beautiful wood burls in the world because of the striking colour and the amazing swirly patterns. A tidbit of interesting information is that Amboyna burl was once hoarded as treasure by Chinese Emperors and not allowed to be used by commoners.

The centre inlay is turquoise crushed shell. And it also is available with vibrant blue inlay:

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Shop here: www.dharmawanderlust.com/store

Another Custom Handcrafted Piece with Glitzy Inlay

Another custom pendant!

This piece is relatively large at 3 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches and is made of Buckeye Burl.

We worked with the wood’s natural bark incursions and flaws, filling the natural void with three-colour (red, pink and yellow) inlay of crushed shell. The piece was then sanded with ever-increasing grits, oiled, waxed and buffed to a shine. Talk about a dramatic statement!

Whenever one of us is not in the workshop making jewellery, or running around with our children, we experiment with other types of creations. We are particular about healthy, nutrient-rich, delicious food. From time to time, we will share fabulous recipes we find (and customize in our kitchen) with you.

For Mother’s Day about a month ago, Pawel gifted to me Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Good. I have been cooking, baking, and blending my way through the book and am very impressed with its contents.

Photo courtesy of eater.com

 

Over the past year, I have successfully implemented an elimination diet to heal inflammation and allergies that I had experienced for many years. This book features recipes that support the elimination diet and is an excellent resource for anyone interested in fine-tuning their menu, as well as for anyone simply interested in good, clean food and playing with new recipes.

The other day, I baked the sweet potato and five-spice muffins featured in the book, modifying the recipe slightly as I went along. These nutrient-rich muffins are gluten-free and are excellent with a bit (or a lot, if you’re a nut butter nut like me) of nut butter or coconut oil.

Ingredients (I added my personal notes in italics in brackets):

• 1 large sweet potato (I used two medium sweet potatoes)
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used melted coconut oil)
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 3/4 cup maple syrup or xylitol, plus 2 extra tbsp for brushing the muffins

(I used maple syrup and skipped the brushing step, as I barely had enough syrup to make 3/4 cup. In fact, I only had about a 1/4 cup of the syrup, so I used coconut sweetener, mixed with the almond milk and maple syrup, to make up the 3/4 cup of sweet liquid).

• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 cups gluten free flour (if the flour doesn’t include xanthan gum, add 1 tsp)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 1 ½ tbsp Chinese five-spice powder (I used 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of all spice, and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg)
• ½ tsp fine sea salt

Here is how they’re made, with instructions copied from the book. I added my personal notes in italics in brackets:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a paring knife or a fork and bake in the oven until soft (when a paring knife can cut through with zero resistance), about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set the sweet potato aside until it’s completely cool.

Peel the sweet potato, discarding the skin, and mash the flesh in a mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk the olive oil, almond milk, maple syrup or xylitol, and vanilla into the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

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Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and evenly distribute the muffin batter among the cups. (I used a small amount of melted coconut oil to grease the muffin tin).Image

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, brushing the tops with the extra maple syrup during the last 5 minutes of baking. Let the muffins cool before serving. (The temperature of my oven is usually true to norm, but these muffins were ready after about 16 minutes).

Et Voila!

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Happy baking!

XO,

Katia

(Dharma Wanderlust)