My pantry is never without a stash of this homemade DIY dark cocoa mix. Warm, cozy drinks are an important staple for this Florida Girl adapting to life in northern Washington, you know? I mix it up in bulk, and I’ve been known to pack it up into jars for a simple handmade-with-love holiday gift. This year, I wanted to share the recipe with you in time to give you a chance to do the same!
My not-so-secret ingredient is maca – Lepidium meyenii – a plant in the brassica family (cousin to broccoli and all its cruciferous brethren) native to high altitudes of Peru. In the Andes, it’s long been eaten as a staple food and regarded for traditional medicinal uses. The dried root is thought to enhance endurance, and is known to contain glucosinolates and other compounds that can contribute to antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects. It has a nutty flavor and aroma reminiscent of butterscotch that I really adore in my cocoa mix.
Continue reading “Maca Mocha Cocoa Mix”
How sweet it is, having a supply of beautiful fresh-from-the-hive honey in my pantry. I’ve been enamored with the stuff, gleefully drizzling it over any suitable food that crosses my path (usually Greek yogurt, but I have to say the culinary highlight so far has been its role in an extra special birthday-breakfast baked good that I definitely need to share with you soon).
As much as I’ve enjoyed eating the honey, the real treat has been digging into its sweet science. I was curious just how much researchers have been able to observe about honey’s composition, biochemistry, and dietary effects. So I dove deep, into a literature review so obsessive that it gave me nostalgia for my grad school days. If you’re a hopeless nutrition nerd like me, please enjoy my honey reading list:
Continue reading “Healing Honey Tonic”
When life gives you a windfall of walnuts… this is the way to handle it. A while back I was given 5 pounds (!!!) of walnuts. This is some pretty serious bulk for a household of two, and despite my best efforts at generously nutty yogurt/oatmeal toppings, we’ve been having a hard time putting a dent in the seemingly bottomless bag in our freezer. Until this revelation!
Drinking our walnuts has been a refreshing pleasure, and a simple way to take advantage of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (they are the only nut with a significant amount of omega 3s!). It’s rich, creamy, and flavored like the pure essence of walnuts. You can drink it straight up, add to smoothies or pour over granola, but my personal favorite application is to use it as a base for hot cocoa. So unique and delicious!
Continue reading “DIY Walnut Milk”
As much as I like to try new things in the kitchen, lately I’ve been succumbing to summertime simplicity. We’re eating well, but my efforts haven’t exactly been innovative, and I know that the basic foods we’ve been thriving on are just too boring to blog about (nobody needs me to tell them how to make tacos, for real). But this – antioxidants and omega 3s, whipped into something that tastes like a fruity chocolate milkshake? – thankfully, it’s both a new flavor and a total no-brainer.
I’m a big fan of hemp – it appeals to my classic hippie sensibilities, of course, and it’s also a nutritional wonder! Hemp seeds are high in fiber, rich in omega 3s, and they’re even a complete protein (soy and quinoa are the only other plants that can make this claim).
Continue reading “Blueberry Cocoa Hemp Smoothie”
It’s summer! And thanks to this drink, I’m cool as a cucumber. I’m all about the clean, refreshing quality of cucumbers in a cool beverage, whether it’s sliced into ice water or blended into something special like this. It makes me feel like equal parts fancy spa-goer and healthy hippie! This frosty drink is a festive way to stay hydrated in the summer heat, and to sip on some extra fruits and veggies at the same time. It’s perfect for cooling down after a workout, or just for filling your glass with something fun and fruity while relaxing on a patio… did I mention I’m excited about summer?
Continue reading “Mango Cucumber Slushie”
It’s that time of year again, when our grocers’ produce sections pile up with bags and crates of juicy little clementines. In the past I had never fully jumped on the mini-mandarin bandwagon, but this season… I’m in deep. Maybe I’m homesick for Florida, or maybe my body wants vitamin C, but every time I open the fridge I feel the siren song of the bright orange bag. They’re so easy to eat out of hand, but I felt compelled to give them some special attention and try something different… to mix it up, if you will? (smoothie humor… yeah, sorry.)
Continue reading “Berry + Clementine Smoothie”