Drinks, Recipes

Golden Milk with Holiday Spice

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Some of you might have seen this bright yellow “latte” popping up on your Pinterest home page, claiming numerous health benefits. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, I’ll fill you in on a few things about this bright warm drink…..

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TURMERIC

Although this drink comes with other health improving ingredients, turmeric is the star of the show. Turmeric may seem like a new health product but It has been used for many years as a part of the Ayurveda system of medicine that is rooted in the Indian subcontinent. The active compound in this yellow spice is curcumin. This compound contains anti- inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, the two main stars that make turmeric a fantastic natural health aid.

PEPPER

What a strange thing to add to a “latte”!  Pepper does have a lot of health benefits but the main reason it’s added into Golden Milk is its component piperine which is said to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. There are other natural health practitioners out there that say that it doesn’t really matter. Until I find more research that it doesn’t make a difference, I’d suggest adding it in this recipe because……..1. There is very little pepper in these drinks to even be able to taste it and  2. because of  the other health benefits that you’d gain from pepper-it can stimulate your taste buds that in turn, increases stomach acid secretion which improves digestion ( this wouldn’t help those with hyperchlorhydia, high levels of stomach acid, which is a much rarer occurrence in comparison to hypochlorhydia, low levels of stomach acid). Black Pepper also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

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GINGER

Traditionally, golden milk recipes don’t include ginger but seeing as we are in the midst of the Christmas season it seemed fitting to add some holiday spice to this drink! Ginger, another spice that is native to India, is most known for its support in digestive upsets- eliminating gas by soothing and relaxing the intestinal tract, and helping with nausea in pregnancy and motion sickness. And just like turmeric, ginger also contains an anti-inflammatory compound, called gingerol.

CINNAMON

This very aromatic spice is mostly known for its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels, due to its circulatory stimulating effect. Some other health benefits that come from cinnamon are that it’s used as a digestant, anticonvulsant, diuretic and as  an antibiotic-other than it being a warming spice, this might be one of the main reasons we tend to see more cinnamon in recipes during the fall and winter months!

GOLDEN MILK with HOLIDAY SPICE

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or 1/4 tsp dried, ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

pinch of ground pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 cup soy milk ( organic, non GMO) or your favourite milk alternative

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over low to medium heat. Next, remove from heat and add the maple syrup and all of your spices and blend well. Combine the two milks and slowly add a small amount ( couple tablespoons at a time) to your melted oil and spice mix then stir until combined. Do this a couple more times and then add in the rest of your milk. Return to heat and let it come to a slow boil over medium heat, occasionally stirring. Turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. After, you can use a handheld blender our high speed blender to blend this drink even more and to remove any clumped up spices. Plus, blending it this way also adds a nice froth to make it more like a latte!

Hope you enjoy, thanks for stopping by!

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Healthy Treats, Snacks

Holiday Spice Energy Bites

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Here is a quick and easy recipe for those busy days during the holiday season. You can pop these into the kids lunches or your own. If there are nut allergies in your household or if your child goes to a school that is nut free, the almonds in this recipe can be substituted with a variation of seeds for a nut free version. These little bites are a great source of sustained energy. They won’t give you the quick energy that leaves you tired and hungry an hour later. For a time saver, make a couple batches and freeze ( they freeze well!). These don’t need to be limited to a snack, they can also be brought as a dessert/treat to your next holiday gathering! Fill up on a couple of these and you won’t want any of the other desserts or you might just be inclined to eat less of the unhealthy stuff.

Holiday Spice Energy Bites

Makes 22-24 energy bites

Ingredients:

1/2 cup  raw unsalted almonds

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup pitted dates, packed

2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp all spice

1/4-1/2 tsp ground ginger

pinch of cardamom ( optional)

pinch of nutmeg

2-3 drops of food grade pure orange oil/ extract ( optional) or 1 tsp grated orange peel

 

Instructions:

  1. Place almonds in a food processor and process for 5-10 seconds ( if your omitting almonds, skip this step)
  2. Add in the your seeds and process for 15 seconds
  3. Next, add in your dates, spice mix and vanilla. Process on high for 30 seconds or until mixture can form into a ball when scooped out.
  4. Scoop out about a rounded teaspoon full of the mixture and roll into a ball. You may need to wash your hands half way through as the mixture gets a little sticky.

 

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Enjoy!

 

Healthy Treats

Mango Nice Cream

IMG_7258I’m not sure how or when the term “nice cream” originated but it is very fitting as it is a lot nicer to your body ( especially to those with dairy allergies) than your average store bought ice cream…..sorry Hagen Daz.

 

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The majority of my recipes require  certain elements that fit our family’s lifestyle, in order for me to be interested in making them. Nutritious ingredients are at the top of the list. I want my food to serve a purpose other than making me feel full.

Second, and sometimes depending on our busy schedule, at the top of the list is time-how long is this meal going to take me to cook it? I think this is where poor food choices tend to creep into our lives. When we’re busy we tend to lean toward the nutrient deficient foods that after awhile leave us in a state of sub optimal health.

Lastly but also equally important is taste. Yes, food that is healthy can be quick, easy and tasty too. It takes thinking outside the box sometimes and letting go of the cultural norms of when and how to eat our foods. I think some of you have already realized that its ok to have a satisfying smoothie for dinner instead of steak and potatoes or burger and fries :)The smoothie is quicker to make and can be just as satisfying…..plus it’ll be easier on your digestion!

As you incorporate more of these nutrient rich foods into your diet, your taste buds start to change and that frozen pizza will start to taste a lot like the cardboard it was packaged in.

On to dessert…..or breakfast! My kids will tell you that one of moms favorite sayings is ” this is breakfast worthy”.  This is another dessert recipe that is also worthy of becoming a  breakfast staple :)…… just top with some hemp hearts, chia seeds, and granola for an extra nutritional boost!

This Mango Nice Cream is a REAL treat, it tastes delicious and it will love you back!

Just a little note on required kitchen equipment: A food processor will work great but it will require a few more stops to scrape down the sides than if you were using a high speed blender.

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Mango Nice Cream

Prep time: 5-10 min with optional freeze time of 1-2 hours

Serves: 2-3 small servings

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups of frozen mango chunks

1 frozen banana, chopped ( the riper your banana is, the more sweetness it will add)

1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk

1 tsp stevia (optional)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla

 

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Place all your ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor. Add  your liquids first if using a blender. Blend or pulse to get things going, then blend on high speed, stopping every so often to make sure there aren’t any chunks; this may take some elbow grease but its worth it! Once you have the desired consistency, scoop it out into a lined pan then place a layer of parchment paper on top of the nice cream; making sure that it is touching so that ice crystals do not form. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours to firm up. Or, you could just eat the whole thing right away 😉

 

Happy Healthy Treat Eating!!