Drinks

Low-Glycemic Lime Mint Smoothie

I feel in love with this smoothie when I first saw this video, titled "Limey Love Shake" by Chef Shelley of PH Miracle. It's literally the perfect smoothie: only veggies, lime and stevia as the sweeter, and it's so cool and refreshing from the mint and ice! It's literally a dream, the first time I had it. I alternate the greens, but for the most part, have something like this almost every other day. 

I also came across Chef Shelley through the writings of her husband Dr. Young of the PH Miracle. They've done amazing work together to heal acidic states in the body through raw, alkaline foods. I noticed a huge difference when I took their advice and added green powders to most of the water I was drinking through the day, and incorporating this smoothie into my diet. 

Of course, I can never do the same recipe exactly the same way: I decided to alter the recipe a bit in my own way, based on my tastes. Here's my take on the "Limey Love Shake":

1 long english cucumber, sliced

1 large handful of kale, torn

2 limes, peeled

2 full droppers of liquid stevia

1 large handful mint (I put in about a cup)

1 full tray of ice

1/2 avocado

Toppings: cacao nibs and/or unsweetened coconut shreds, optional. 

Blend the cucumber, kale, limes, stevia and mint with enough water to cover ingredients about halfway. Add in the ice and the avocado last, and give it a fast whirl (you don't want to blend the avocado too much as it can turn foamy.) Top with toppings, if using, and enjoy! 

 

 

Fire Cider

IMG_0978.JPG

I've been enjoying fire cider for some years now, and have had the joy of teaching a workshop at Kula Farm for the past two years. We all gather around, cut up ingredients, fill our jars and add cider vinegar, and then we wait. For a while. Strain, add honey, and just in time for the cooler months when we want a sip of something warm, spicy, and also immunity-boosting.

It’s very easy to make and it’s especially fun to make with family and friends (communal is best). It’s spicy, pungent, sweet, and for me, I’ve found it to be a great way to get my bronchial airways cleared. You can take a tsp or so with a meal, diluted or not, of you can add a splash to rice, dressings, soups, sauces, etc.

I first learned about Fire Cider from Rosemary Gladstar, a wonderful herbalism teacher and master. You can find a video of her making it here. Mountain Rose herbs also has a great recipe that I typically follow, and you can find it here.

IMG_1359.JPG

While this is a folk recipe, and the amounts (and even which) ingredients you use tends to vary and change with your mood, locale, season, etc…..I do like to use the base recipe above, and then you can spruce it up with whichever additional ingredients you want.

IMG_9415.JPG

The base is typically horseradish, onion, garlic, chili, and ginger. In the past, I’ve added cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, lemon, turmeric, rosemary, herbs….maybe all of them at the same time, maybe a select few. Enjoy the process, and let me know which add ins are your favorite! And remember to shake it daily, burp it (release some of the gas), strain after about a month, and then add a little bit of honey if using.

Happy Fire Cider Making!

IMG_1417.JPG

 



Chaga Reishi Cacao Tonic

I've been obsessed with tonics lately. Here's the thing: I need chocolate. Unapologetically. Just a little, every day. And it has to be dark, rich, and full of good stuff. So this tonic covers all the bases for me, and this chocolate delivery system cannot get any more healthy and pure. You can throw in any herbs you'd like, but take the time to read up on why they're good for you, learn from them, get to know them. This particular one contains coconut oil, sea salt, my favorite nettle tea (great for allergies in the spring!), cacao, and two medicinal mushrooms: chaga and reishi. It also contains maca for a little hormonal and adrenal support. Have fun exploring with your favorite flavors, and enjoy!

1 cup brewed nettle tea (or your favorite herbal tea)

1 tsp coconut oil

2 small pinches sea salt

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp each chaga and reishi powders

1 tsp maca

a few drops english toffee (or original) stevia, for your taste

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add in more stevia if you need it, and pour in your favorite mug. Did I mention this actually makes a great drink for the morning? Get your tonic in! Or it also fits in nicely when you need a little boost around 3:00 pm. Enjoy! 

Home-Made Chicory Herbal Coffee

I’ve got to say this has been one of the coolest projects I’ve done in a long time. I’ve always loved herbalism and delving into creative DYI projects {like when we decided to paint the outside of our house ourselves, build a fence, take out the wall to wall carpeting}, and inside the kitchen {like raw chocolate, making our own bouillon, nut milks}. This one tops all of them, mainly due to the amount of time it takes, but if you have the courage, I highly recommend it.

I stand by my "Dandy Blend" herbal coffee, tall and proud, and call it my daily necessity {I’m on a chocolate break and somehow, this herbal coffee helps satisfy that craving}. But what if I could make my own herbal coffee?

Chicory is this glorious beautiful plant {definitely look it up before using it!} with edible blue flowers, and you can often find it on the side of the highway {although I don’t recommend eating it, since it probably picks up toxins so close to exhaust and what not}. I did order some seeds about 2 years ago and let the plant do their thing, and this year it multiplied and topped to about 6 feet. We did amend the soil with horse poo, leaves and compost, but I never thought it would grow so tall; maybe it’s time to harvest.

The roots are what I’m after, which we’ll wash, dehydrate, roast and grind, all in that order. Pulling on the plants gently, the roots came out happily, although I think some remained in the ground. It’s good for me, since I’d like to have them come back next year.

1.     Wash & chop: The hardest and most consuming time is actually washing. You want to get these very clean, so I used a potato brush and brushed and brushed and brushed. I pulled out quite a few roots, but you can do this to however many you like. Cut these roots into same-sized pieces, about ½ inch is fine.

2.     Dehydrate & Roast: I dehydrated them overnight at 110 degrees to dry them out {some circles don’t do this}, and then popped them into the oven at around 300 degrees for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You sort of have to baby sit them to make sure they don’t burn. You can even do a lower temperature for a longer time, like 250 for 90 minutes also. This is the best part, since your house smells amazing while this is happening!

.     Grind: once cooled, grind these in a coffee grinder as fine as possible. There will be some bits that just don’t break down, and that’s ok. Use about 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of boiling water, brew, strain, enjoy. I added stevia to mine. Store in an airtight container.

Yes, it’s a process and a project, but I do hope you get to make it. The taste is very much like burnt caramel, earthy, rooty, dark and rich, and tastes delicious. Well worth the adventure & my coffee cup thanks me. 

Hemp Peppermint Patty Smoothie

IMG_7191.JPG

I'm pretty obsessed with chocolate (good chocolate, like cacao powder) and mint together. Especially for summer, when the garden is growing up beautiful stalks of spearmint and peppermint (you choose), and you pine for something cooling and refreshing, this hits the spot. Plus it has the secret added benefit of anti-inflammatory (and protein rich) hemp seeds, kale greens, and antioxidant-rich blueberries. It's easy and absolutely delicious. 

3 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds

10 oz water (around 1.5 cups)

3 heaping tsp raw cacao powder

One large handful kale

1/2 cup mint

1 and a half frozen bananas

1/2 cup blueberries

In a high-speed blender with a tamper (preferably), blend hemp and water to create "hemp milk". To this mixture, add in the remaining ingredients, blend well and serve with cacao nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds. This is enough for one with leftovers throughout the day, or two pretty hefty servings. 

IMG_7190.JPG

Moringa Green Apple Smoothie Bowl

You wouldn't think all of these flavors go well together but they are like a coconut apple pie in your mouth and so so so good. I've offered this more as a template than as a stress test: if you can't find these superfoods, do not fret. Use what you have on hand! Spinach instead of kale, skip the tea and make your own chammomile or even mint! Get creative. If you don't know about sunwarrior, I prefer this protein powder since it's really clean and lean and is based on raw, sprouted brown rice protein with nothing fake. You can also use the original which is just: raw, sprouted, fermented, bio-available clean brown rice protein. That's it! How can you go wrong? 

Also, I should say, I typically use 2 cups of water, but I've posted 1.5 if you're looking for more of a smoothie feel. I like it as a morning soup, though, but go with what oyu like. For me, I like to slurp it up with a big spoon!

I use only green powders here: 

1. moringa (this is a beautiful new superfood on the market that is touted to be pretty much everything for eveyrone - I don't know if that's true but I've looked into it and it has great fiber, chlorophyll, protein and fats and even the stem, leaves and pods are used in many applications). 

2. matcha (which is essentiall green tea powder, a metabolism booster, but I go easy on the stuff especially if you are sensitive to caffeine)

3. spirulina (a seaweed which is a great detoxifier, great in protein, but the taste can be quite a challenge and aquired taste, so I feel that 1 tsp is just the right amount to sneak it in)

IF you have none of the above, feel free to just use 3 tsp of your favorite green powder (green vibrance is one of my favorites). 

This smoothie is packed with protein, fiber, chlorophyl, is low-glycemic and a great way to start the day. Dig in! Happy St. Patrick's by the way, and eat your greens!

 

1.5 cups water, (optional: brewed wtih "Get Burning" tea, cooled - this gives it a nice apple pie flavor) or brew your own tea of choice, then cool it.

1 tsp each: moringa, matcha, spirulina

1 handful kale

1 cap of Sunwarrior Liquid Light (optional)

1 scoop Sunwarrior Classic Vanilla Protein

To garnish: coconut, cacao nibs and green apple

Blend the first 5 ingredients together, taste for sweetness and perhaps add a few stevia drops if not sweet enough. Pour into bowl and garnish with chopped green apple, unsweetened coconut and cacao nibs. 

 

My Every Morning Protein Smoothie

I know how hard it is to get a proper breakfast. We're all running around, dazed by the alarm and lack of sun, early risers greeting the day with...what's that? A cup of coffee? A glazed donut? Those days are long gone for me, since I know how important it is to set yourself up for the day. But believe me, I lived there for many years.

According to my teacher Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's research, enjoying protein in the morning can help diminish any later-day cravings for sweets and carbs. I've seen this happen in my life, where in the past, I may have started out with starches or carbohydrates, then I get a quick sugar spike, then I need something again after two hours since my sugars are down...the dreaded rollercoaster! Ideally, your breakfast should have enough protein, greens, & healthy fats to keep you satisfied for hours. Creating something like this isn't that likely if you're rushing out the door and you just need a quick fix. 

This is why I created this smoothie. It takes under 3 minutes to make, is loaded with all the necessary nutrients I need to start my day right, is gluten free, vegan, loaded with bio-available protein, and tastes like a milkshake! Emphasis on the last part. 

I also love this new indian spice box which I bought to assemble all my necessary powders, my add ins: from the top right, going clockwise we have: spirulina, moringa, nigella seeds (I take a tsp and swallow with some smoothie, not blended in), maca, a supplement I take for PCOS, dehydrated low-glycemic berry powder (which I only put in when I'm out of raspberries) and in the middle we have Green Vibrance powder. Guess what? By the time 8:00 am hits, I have this mega smoothie packed with whatever add in's I want for the day (and they're not always the same, by the way).

You can also play with the recipe by adding in some other things, like aloe vera, maybe some E3Live, and even take my vitamin D supplement. I make it work for me, rather than the other way around. Keep it fun but most of all, keep it simple.

The toppings are great also. Why? To slow you down. The only glycemic food here are the raspberries (and by testing them, I know I tolerate them well). But since they're blended and quicker to digest this way, I still like to take my time and keep myself from gulping everything down. Having something to chew really helps you slow down and enjoy your smoothie, starts the digestive process in the mouth, and offers more fiber as well. Also, you can add in any toppings you like (chia is also a good one). 

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 scoop Sunwarrior Chocolate Protein Powder

3/4 teaspoon each of your favorite add ins (today I included everything but the berry powder)

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

toppings: anything you like, like cacao nibs, unsweetened organic coconut and pumpkin seeds, chia, bee pollen, etc.

Cinnamon Cacao Tonic

Tonics are quite the hit these days, especially in the world of raw foods ~ the primary reason for this is that raw foods are very cooling, and well, sometimes we need a balance in warmth and cool. Tonics are perfect for this since you can add herbs that support immunity, support detox, give you some serious energy, heat up the system (like cayenne adn cinnamon) and offer a sweet delight in the summer that you can feel confident is good for you.

The basic template for tonics are:

some kind of liquid or tea, 

superfoods and superherbs, 

a good fat,

and flavorings of your choice. 

You can add in whatever flavors you'd like - lemon ginger, maca and cinnamon (like ours), chocolate and cayenne, caramel vanilla, the ideas are as endless as your taste buds. But definitely MAKE them, and make them YOURS. While many people sip on starbucks and donuts in our afternoon slump (which by the way, is your body screaming for nutrition and support, not sugar), I'm sipping my cold or hot tonic (dependin on the season), knowing I'm getting what my body needs. Oh, and it's gorgeous to look at and wicked delicious, mind you. 

Again, get your type-A personality out of this one, since you can't go wrong...have fun, enjoy it, and be dazzled by your new favorite tonic beverage! But first, here are a few tips:

1. brew your tea: gynostemma, nettle, even peppermint, chammomile or straight almond milk could work too

2. add in medicinals and herbs: chaga, gynostemma, reishi, maca, etc.

3. add in your good fats: coconut meat, coconut butter or oil, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, etc.

4. add in your flavors: here we have cacao, cardamom, cinnamon, and english toffee

5. sweeten to taste: I'm always going for low-glycemic (since you don't want to slump again after drinking this) so my choice is stevia, but you can go with raisins, maybe a date or two. But stevia seems to be the hit with me, so aim for that. 

Cinnamon Cacao Tonic:

4 cups boiling water, brewed with 1 tea bag of gymnostemma tea ~ let cool (you'll only need 2 cups of this)

1.5 dropper fulls of liquid english toffee stevia

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp black maca (or regular is good)

pinch cardamom powder

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

pinch salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut butter

1/4 cup walnuts

drizzle of almond milk (optional)

ice (optional)

Combine everything except the almond milk in a blender until smooth. This is a super generous portion, so maybe share it with someone you love :) Drizzle in some almond milk at the end and enjoy! ps. you can use any tea, but one bag of gymonstemma tea uses 4 cups of water. I save the remaining two cups and use it for tomorrow's batch. 

Hot Maca Tonic

Maca is one of my most favorite superfoods. It’s an adaptogen, which helps lower stress & makes us more resilient.  In addition, it’s known to help regulate hormones, increase semen production & help with fertility issues. There is such a thing called the “maca baby” phenomenon. Consider yourselves warned.

That said, it tastes amazing, so even if you don’t drink it or use it for these purposes, you’ll find that you’ll quickly learn to love this caramel-like taste. As with anything that’s potent and medicinal, it’s helpful to start out small and also it’s a good idea to take a break from it once in a while (as with Echinacea, etc.)

 Note: to achieve a creamy consistency, you might consider combining all of the ingredients together in a blender first, and then heating to desired temperature.

  • 1-cup water, coconut milk, almond milk, herbal brew of your choice, etc.
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  •  1 tsp sweetener of choice, optional (a drop of stevia is sufficient, or honey, coconut nectar, etc. I find that I like it on its own though)
  • Add ins: you can add in a bit of cacao powder, chai spices (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, etc.), ginger powder,  or if you’d like a restful sleep, add in some nutmeg. I also love a bit of vanilla powder on top.

Combine ingredients together in a small pot and heat to warm. Enjoy!

Vegan Protein Powders

I tend to not be a huge fan of protein powders in general, since I typically love getting high protein from chia, hemp, greens, sprouts and other plant-foods. Once in a while, however, I really do like to have a protein smoothie for something quick and lean.

As many of you know already, protein powders are less than saintly. I've often seen them filled with sugars, cane syrup, additives, even colorings, and isolated protein isolates that are just not healthy. Also, their ingredient lists are huge and often contain whey, which as an isolated dairy protein, is something I try to avoid like the plague. 

I have found a wonderful product that I feel as a supplement to an already-existing healthy diet, comes as close as possible to a clean protein powder that I feel safe using. It's Sunwarrior Natural protein powder, which only contains raw, sprouted, bio-available brown rice protein. That's it - nothing less, nothing more. It actually only has one ingredient. It actually has a very pleasant flavor, mild and easily goes with (what I often do): greens, and some kind of low-glycmic berry powder. 

This also helps sustain me more in the wintertime when I'm looking for something more hearty. 

There you have it - optimally, we should be getting our proteins from our whole foods, but for those of us who need a bit more supplementation, this is the cleanest version I've found yet. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Late Summer Minty-Collard Smoothie

If you're like me, you have a plethora of collards in the garden now, getting big and getting ready for a delicious fall. They are wonderful for making wraps (instead of tortillas), chiffonade into salads, massaged into more salads, but still, I find that I run out of ways to use them; so we get creative. Adding them to your smoothies is a super easy way to get 4 or 5 large leaves (and I'm talking a little under a foot long). They are crisp, green, and filled with fiber and nutrition. 

Also, these smoothies are a great way to get in more mint as well. Mint is refreshing, cool, fresh, and bold and mixes really well with summer fruits. So why not? Indulge in a late-summer minty fresh smoothie. 

3-5 large collard leaves, washed, destemmed and torn
1/2 bag of frozen organic strawberries
2 cups loosely packed mint (about 10 sprigs, without stems)
2 frozen bananas, in chunks
water to fill vitamix pitcher 1/2 way

Blend away and enjoy. This also keeps really well, so I make a big pitcher in the morning and drink a large glass, and then save the rest for the afternoon.