This Global Kitchen | Day 20: Nicaragua

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Connect with Anna Kate:


My name is Anna Kate and I work in Nicaragua with abuse prevention and restorative care for women and girls who have survived sexual abuse. I started coming on mission trips when I was thirteen-years-old and my love for the people grew from there. I have lived in Nicaragua for almost five years now and, in that time, I’ve learned a lot about how to live in my host country, especially as a single woman. 

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I have lived in three houses in my five years and each time I house hunt, I always look for light. I want big windows and doors to keep things bright inside. Rainy season can get pretty dreary, so letting in as much light as I can helps keep me going year-round. I love the white walls and cabinets in this kitchen and the glass doors on the top cabinets are pretty to store my collection of pottery mugs.

The downside to glass cabinets is there are very few places to stash all the not-so-pretty junk. I just have two tiny cabinets for all the extras. I try to buy as much as I can in glass jars to reuse and when I get home from the market or grocery store, dry goods go straight in the jars. It helps cut down on trash to not use so many (expensive imported) Ziploc bags and it looks nicer in the glass cabinets for things to be stored in jars. 

I repurposed a book shelf for more kitchen storage and it is one of my favorite parts of my kitchen! So many treasures from home live on this shelf. Thinks like pottery and enamelware and cookbooks. That giant metal “M” on top came all the way here in a duffel bag. My jugs of water really add a nice decorative accent as well.  

My cooking staples like flour, beans and rice are stored in big jars on the same shelf. I like to put things in baskets so it looks more organized. Yes, Marie Kondo’s influence has even made it to Nicaragua.

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I don’t think I will ever completely relax about having a gas tank in my kitchen right next to my stove. I try not to think about it to much. The only other thing in this cabinet are sticky traps for bugs, but I never check them because I’m afraid of what I will find!

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I have a huge sink to hand wash every single dish, but nowhere for a drying rack. The white bottle is dawn dish soap because I don’t like the solid paste dish soap. I keep the paste on hand because it’s the best for cleaning my stove and sink! 

Gotta keep the matches nearby to light the gas. The trick for the oven is turn on the gas for three seconds, light the match, throw it in the little hole in the oven floor and stand back. 

Four things make it into my suitcase almost every time I return from the States- poppy seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, and chili powder. 

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My Kitchen Must-Haves:

My frenchpress is a necessity so I can have coffee, even when the power is out (which is a lot). A team member brought their own stainless insulated French press a few years ago and left it with me after their week ended. I now use it every morning and it keeps my coffee warm for a couple of hours. 

My crockpot saves my kitchen from becoming an inferno during dry season.

Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club isn’t really an item, but it is my absolute favorite thing for meal planning, budgeting, shopping and cooking. It makes the process easy, especially during those weeks where I just really wish I could by a frozen pizza or go to Chick-fil-A and not have to cook.

Smoothie Bowl

by Anna Kate |

It’s hot here in Nicaragua all year and everyone is always trying to stay cool. Smoothie shops are really popular here and frozen drinks are on every restaurant menu. I've completely embraced the smoothie-life since living in Nicaragua. At home, I like to make smoothie bowls for breakfast or snack. It's a great way to enjoy the local produce. This is how I make it:

  • 1 1/2 frozen fruit -- my favorite combinations are mango, pineapple and orange or banana, pineapple and pitaya (dragon fruit).
  • 1/2 cup milk or juice. I like almond milk.
  • 1 TBSP flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds -- OR 1 tsp coconut oil

Blend everything in a blender or food processor. It will be THICK. Pour into a bowl and top with granola, coconut, cocoa nibs, nuts, seeds, whatever you would like.

You can also add in fun flavors to the smoothie bowl base like 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, a few mint leaves or the juice of half a lime. Enjoy!

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