Cozy Up With Ashawaganda Hot Chocolate

As we head into Fall and add on the layers to keep warm, we can cozy up with our loved ones over this nourishing variation of hot chocolate. In a previous post I talked about reducing qualities that leave us feeling untethered or ungrounded, cold and light and nature the opposite qualities such as heavy, warm and stable.. We want to decrease the stimulants like alcohol and caffeine and increase adaptogens like tulsi and ashwaganda. This root is sometimes known as Indian ginseng and is used for its restorative benefits, strengthening the immune system and apparently supporting sexual potency! Ashwaganada has a strong heating quality making it perfect for cold weather. I found it at my local Bulk Barn if you’re wondering where you can buy it.

ASHWAGANDHA HOT CHOCOLATE

This recipe was shared with me from my Ayurvedic teacher Mona Warner… It’s so yummy!

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 tsp of ashwagandha
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (I use 2 tbsp…  I love chocolate)
  • 2 cups milk
  • Maple syrup (or your sweetener of preference) to sweeten

Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Warm on medium and whisk to dissolve the powders into the milk. No need to boil.

When lightly steaming, remove from heat and put in 2 cups or if you’re like me, 1 big mug. I also like to add a cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg to garnish cause I’m fancy like that. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Month – Badshah Kitchari

The days are getting shorter and evenings are getting colder and I’m stockpiling blankets for the winter. As we spend more time indoors we begin to crave those comfort foods we know and love. One of my favourites is a dish called Kitchari. It’s warm, delicious and healthy! There are many variations on this dish but traditional kitchari is made of rice and lentils.  My friend from Nepal taught me how to make a yummy Nepalese kitchari while I was living in Hong Kong and this has become my go to meal when I want something easy to make.  What I love about kitchari is you can make it your own by adding your favourite vegetables and even meat if you wish. The recipe I want to share with you today was inspired by British Indian kedgeree along with Egyptian kushari. “Badshah kitchari” means “the kitchari of kings.” My husband made it for dinner last night and I encourage you to try it out.

FullSizeRenderRecipe serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 1/4 cups split mung beans (moong dal) (or yellow split peas or red lentils if these are easier to find)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • your choice of vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, spinach, etc) chopped
  • cashews + almonds (optional garnish)
To Make:

Combine rice and lentils and rinse well. Allow to soak in a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.

Using a wide-bottomed frying pan, melt ghee on medium heat. When ghee starts to foam, add cinnamon stick, cloves and cumin. Stir for 2 minutes (smell the goodness!). Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft.

Add green chilli (optional) and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add turmeric and salt.

Drain rice and lentils and add these to the pan. Pour in the vegetable stock (add vegetables)
and bring to boil. Put lid on pan and turn head down to simmer.

Cook until water is absorbed, which should be around 25 minutes. Leave it to rest for 5 minutes with lid on, then fluff with a fork.

Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cashews and almonds.

 

Enjoy. Recipe from the book “Made in India” by Meera Sodha

Recipe of the Month: Fruit Enzyme Drink

Kombucha and Kefir water seem to be in all the health food stores these days touting their health benefits. While I enjoy a good kombucha every now and again I thought I’d share a recipe for a fruit enzyme drink that I learned how to make in a detox program I took a couple years ago while I was living in Hong Kong.

Pineapple lemonmanuka honey

According to my yoga teacher and homeopathic doctor who ran the detox program, pineapple enzyme helps to breakdown proteins for digestion and it has anti-inflammatory properties to speed up post-workout recovery. It is also loaded with vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, fiber and vitamin C. Other benefits include: strengthens weak bones (manganese in the enzymes is needed by the body to build bone and connective tissues); it helps keep gums healthy; prevents macular degeneration (it contains a lot of beta-carotene); helps arthritis (bromeliad in the enzyme is an effective anti-inflammatory); fewer coughs and colds; aids digestion; helpful for upper respiratory tract infections such as Sinusitis and Bronchitis; can help reduce the risk of blood clots;

Fruit enzyme drink lasts for 2 weeks, which is about 1 shot per day. Store in a glass container.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple – peeled cut in slices
  • 3 lemons – thin round slices with the skin.
  • Manuka Honey
  • Filtered water

Before you begin, wash your hands and the fruit, cutting board and knives. It is imperative that everything is sterilized so that you do not let any bacteria get in.

  1. In a glass container, pour enough water to cover the bottom surface.
  2. Place pineapple slices on the bottom (1 layer)
  3. Cover pineapple with a layer of lemon slices.
  4. Take a big spoonful of Manuka honey and drizzle all over the lemons.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 like layering a lasagna until you get to the top of your container or run out of fruit. The top layer should be mostly lemons with honey. The honey helps prevent bacteria from growing.
  6. Fill the container about 80%-90% full and on the very top cover with pure raw honey.
  7. Pour more water on the sides until it is just below the top of the surface level.
  8. Put a lid on the container. Let it sit (not in the fridge) in a warm place. Check it in 3 days. You will notice it starts to bubble.  If you notice black bacteria forming you need to throw the mixture away. White bacteria is okay.

Open the lid every 3 days to release gasses. After a total of 7-9 days, strain the liquid into a glass jar. The fruit enzyme should taste like a sweet, fruity wine, and be slightly alcoholic. Throw the rinds away and put the juice in the fridge.

Consume daily as a shot or mix with sparkling water.

Bonus Recipe:

Keep lemon and pineapple peels to make GARBAGE ENZYME.

For this recipe it is okay to use a plastic container.

Ingredients:

  • You can use any kind of fruit feels but lemon and pineapple are the best.
  • 1 1/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of any kind of brown sugar

Place all the ingredients in the plastic container and shake it together. Store the container in a safe place. Pop the lid ever 3-7 days to allow gasses to escape. Let it sit for 3 months in a warm climate or 5 months in a cooler climate, like Canada. Don’t forget to write the date!

After 5 months, strain into a spray bottle. Throw peels away. The acidity in the Garbage Enzyme kills bacteria and can be used as a multipurpose household cleaner and to wash your clothes. Apparently it also repels ants and other insects! It smells citrusy and is 100% eco friendly.

 

To find out more about doing a yoga/detox program or to get help in making your fruit enzyme drink contact me today.

Recipe of the Month: Greek Vegetable Kebabs

Summer time means fresh fruits and veggies, spending lots of time outdoors and BBQ! This month’s recipe is great for everyone. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and serves everyone at the BBQ party from your vegetarian friends to your “meat”atarians and kids will love it too.

Photo: jamieoliver.com

Photo: jamieoliver.com

Prep:

Soak 6 bamboo skewers in water so they don’t burn.

Make:

In a bowl prepare marinade and add vegetables and cheese. Thread on to skewers and BBQ!

 Ingredients:
  • 1 Yellow pepper
  • Halloumi cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Zucchini
Marinade:
  • Fresh Mint
  • Fresh red chilli (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Ground black pepper
To make:

Finely chop mint leaves. Deseed and finely chop chilli, if using. Finely grate lemon zest. Add to bowl with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with a pinch of pepper, then mix well to coat.

Instead of mint and chilli we made a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil and salt. So delicious!

Serve with salad and some flatbreads or pittas or simply enjoy along side your steak or burgers. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Month: Basil Strawberry Tartine

Strawberry Basil Tartine

Photo: courtesy of Joyous Health

Last month I featured a Iced Earl Grey Lattes . This month’s feature recipe is making my mouth water! I came across this delightful summer treat from Joyous Health. I will make a gluten-free version for myself. This is a perfect snack or light lunch to serve guests this summer using freshly picked strawberries and basil from the garden.

Recipe:

2 slices of your favourite bread, toasted or grilled

First layer: Sliced organic cheese or avocado for a dairy-free option.

Sliced fresh strawberries

Chopped fresh basil

Sprinkle of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.


Recipe of the Month: Iced Earl Grey Lattes

I can’t help it. I always want a cup of tea but sometimes it’s just way too hot outside. This iced latte is easy to make, will keep in your fridge for a week and is an amazing alternative to a Starbucks frappuccino. Save yourself some dollars and opt for a healthy (or less healthy) version of this Blended Earl Grey Latte which I adapted from the cookbook Thug Kitchen.


photoNote: Give yourself enough time to prep (you need ice cubes, a frozen banana and the tea mix will need 1-2 hours in the fridge to cool down)

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 cups vanilla almond milk (or any milk you want to use)                                                                  

1/2 cup water                                              

4 bags of Earl Grey tea*                                                                                                  

1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave syrup (to taste)    

(or any kind of sugar/sweetener)                                                                                          

2 cups ice cubes (about 12 cubes)                                                                                    

1/2 banana, cut into chunks and frozen**

*You can use any kind of tea you want.                                                                                                                  **This makes it sweeter and makes it creamy. It’s a good idea to keep a container of peeled frozen banana chunks in the freezer for moments like this.

Instructions:                                                                                                                                                          Step 1)                                                                                                                                                                           In a saucepan, heat the milk and water over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges, or until you burn your finger when you stick it in to check the temperature. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Let them steep for 10 minutes. Set a timer so it doesn’t end up tasting bitter. Take the tea bags out and put it in the fridge to cool down for at least 1.5hr. Mason jars are great for this!

Step 2)                                                                                                                                                                         When you are ready to drink, add maple syrup, ice cubes, banana, and tea mix to a blender and run until it is smooth.

Drink with a straw because it’s more fun that way.

The recipe says it makes 2 tall drinks. I managed to get at 4 in regular glasses. Enjoy!

I would love to hear of your own variations on this recipe!

Let me know what works and what doesn’t work!