There’s a heat wave in LA. And this refreshing drink is my saving grace. It is also a bit of an apothecary, as this tea, made with gorgeous golden turmeric and ginger root are both known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Besides the health benefits, I drink this tea all day, because it is so good! I make it in concentrated batches, and dilute them with water and ice. Though this tea would be wonderful warm as well, with a little almond or coconut milk. I know the black pepper is kind of a weird ingredient in this recipe. The simple answer is that black pepper helps the body absorb turmeric. I didn’t want to bog down this blog post with a lot of healthy talk – but there’s plenty of information on the internet about how super healthy these ingredients are and why.
Now onto the recipe.
4 cups water
1/2-1 tspn turmeric powder, or freshly grated turmeric
About 1 inch chunk of peeled and sliced ginger root
A few dashes of black pepper
Honey to taste
Combine the water, turmeric, ginger and black pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, add honey to taste. Pour the concentrate through a tea strainer into a container, such as a mason jar. For a cold drink, add a little of the concentrate to cold water (ice optional). It’s really up to you to choose the water to tea ratio. I make it with about a quarter cup of tea to 1 ¾ cups of water. Once the concentrate has cooled, you may store it in the fridge. One large mason jar lasts me a couple of days, and then I quickly make more. Sip and enjoy!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need something other than water to quench my thirst. This cooling watermelon fresca, made with mint and coconut water is hydrating, filling, thirst quenching and really, really yummy. I used the eye ball method to make it, but I’ll try to recreate the experience in a formal recipe.
Watermelon (I used half of a mini watermelon, which was about 2 cups, and made about 2 servings worth. If you use an entire 6-8lb watermelon, you will have many servings worth.)
About 1/2 cup coconut water (obviously if you are using more watermelon, use more coconut water)
A bunch of mint – I used about 6-10 leaves
Cut Watermelon into cubes, toss into blender.
Add coconut water and mint leaves and blend.
I really did not find a need to add sweetener. The watermelon is plenty sweet. Lime juice would be a nice addition either as a garnish or in the actual drink.
And since it’s Friday morning, and happy hour somewhere, make it into a cocktail and add 1-2 oz of vodka!
If you feel like skipping the booze and mint milkshakes this year, but still want to give a nod to St. Patrick’s Day, why not make a Green Lemonade! This continues to be my favorite drink. It’s super healthy, filling, thirst quenching and so tasty, and you don’t need a messy juicer to make it!
Here is the original recipe, and I’ve made some updates to the recipe below.
Photo by Kevin Pazmino www.pazminophotography.com
8-12 oz Water or Coconut Water
1 small-medium Apple, peeled and chopped
1 chunk (about 1/2″) Ginger
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Big bunch of Spinach
About 1/2 cup frozen Pineapple (Trader Joe’s sells frozen chunks)
You can add cucumber, celery, substitute kale, chard, collard greens or romaine lettuce. Hell, throw in some unsweetened coconut, half a banana and make it a smoothie. I’m getting ahead of myself…
Grab your preferred instrument for blending (I used my beloved immersion blender), and rev her up! I love spinach because it pulverizes quite easily. The tougher greens make it more chunky.
All you need are fresh herbs, hot water, and a vessel to steep them in.
This afternoon I’m sipping on a simple mint tea, but you can use just about any herb. When I have them on hand, I like to combine mint, a bit of sage, a chunk of ginger and some rosemary. Just steep the herbs a few minutes and pour yourself a glass. And it goes great with a bit of honey.
Herbs and honey are filled with healing properties, so your mouth and body will thank you!
Ever since I was introduced to the art of making my own nut milk, I couldn’t bare to buy the boxed variety in stores. The main reason, other than the cost, is that preservatives are added to these milks, to retain freshness for much longer. The only thing I was bummed about was that I didn’t know how to make my own Coconut Milk – until now! This heavenly milk has a pretty short shelf life – 3 to 4 days, so I don’t make a lot at a time. But oh boy, it’s delicious!
4 cups warm filtered water (water should not be too hot, to retain the natural enzymes found in the coconut meat)
1 cup raw unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, or no sweetener!)
Dash vanilla extract
Add ingredients to your blender or vitamix. Blend for about 2-3 minutes, until milk is frothy. Keep your hand on top of the blender while blending, to avoid any messy explosions (yes, that’s what happened to me).
Place a nut milk bag or cheese cloth over a large liquid measuring cup or a bowl. Pour contents in the bag or cheese cloth, and with your hands, squeeze out all the liquid from the pulp. Discard the bag with pulp (or use it for your baking or in your smoothies!), and pour the milk into a glass jar or bottle. Tightly seal and store in the refrigerator. Will keep 3-4 days.
What are the benefits of Coconut Milk, you ask?
Coconut milk is high in enzymes and vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and panthothenic acid.
It is high in Lauric Acid, a a medium-chain fatty acid that is otherwise only available in human breast milk. Lauric Acid converts into Monolaurin in the human body, which helps destroy fungus, bacteria and viruses.
And most importantly, it’s delicious, and will make you go, Mmm!
We’re having a heat wave in Southern California, I don’t feel like cooking, and it’s finally Friday. So I thought I’d make some thyme infused lemonade to sip on until the evening hour rolls around, and then I look forward to spiking Mr. Lemonade with Ms. Gin. Here’s what I did:
1.5 cups sugar (2 cups if you like it sweet)
1 cup water
About 5-8 sprigs of thyme
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (About 5 lemons)
3.5 cups of cold water
Boil 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Add the sugar (if you prefer a sweeter lemonade, combine 2 cups sugar to 1 cup water) and the sprigs of thyme. Allow the thyme and sugar mixture come to a boil, for about 30 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool down.
Squeeze juice of 5 lemons in a lemon juicer (or by hand if you’re up for the challenge – just make sure to keep the seeds out). Combine the lemon juice and 3 1/2 cups water with the thyme-sugar water. Refrigerate.
Once the evening hour rolls around, feel free to spike your lemonade with some gin or vodka, or do as I learned from some dear Canadian friends, make beer lemonade – fill up half a glass of light beer (there are a lot of great Summer brews out right now!) and half of the lemonade. Sit back, and inhale the hot air!