7 Detox Drinks for Dryanuary

http://wholefoodsexplorer.com/7-detox-drinks/7-resolution-friendly-beverages-for-dryanuary-small/Detox drinks anyone?! January means simultaneously starting fresh and taking it back a notch. We celebrate the new year and our bodies by getting back to (ideally) the best of our pre-holiday patterns. Whether you are doing a full-on cleanse, whole30, or just Dryanuary, you’re likely taking a break from alcohol, perhaps sugar and caffeine as well. But, that can leave a lifestyle and flavor void to fill —as in what are your options for detox drinks? Filtered water and more filtered water? Even if you flavor it up with lemon, mint or ginger, liquid boredom will eventually set in.

Following are 7 health-supportive detox beverages I’ll have on rotation this month. These DIY drinks are not only non-alcoholic and caffeine-free, they have no refined sugar, don’t require a juicer and they’re rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Hopefully these ideas will help you stick with your health resolutions —and get you through what might have been your coffee breaks or happy hours.

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Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew CoffeeSeptember through May, good quality, freshly ground coffee and my French press are all I need when I’m in a coffee state of mind. But in the summer, my efforts failed to satisfy the inner coffee snob inherent in all Seattle natives. My DIY iced coffee attempts (serving a concentrated brew over ice cubes, regular strength brew over coffee ice cubes) proved less than satisfying; watery and sometimes leaning towards bitter. The horrors. Continue reading

How to Make Jalapeño Infused Tequila

Jalapeno Infused Tequila After Two Weeks

JALAPENO INFUSED TEQUILA RECIPE

When a festive cocktail is in order, I think spicy and make jalapeño infused tequila. Select jalapeños which are small or medium in size. The younger peppers will have much more heat than the larger, older ones, which may show signs of shrivelling. Consider starting with only 2 or 3 peppers the first time if you do not want a strong infusion.

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Turmeric Golden Milk Basics

Turmeric Golden MilkTurmeric Golden Milk, the classic Ayurvedic beverage, is known for its many therapeutic benefits. While an array of Golden Milk recipes exist, the key ingredient is always turmeric, often with ginger, both of which are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. In fact, thousands of research studies on just turmeric and its most active constituent, curcumin, show it may be beneficial in preventing and/or treating over six hundred health conditions. And turmeric, also known as ‘Indian Solid Gold’ has been found comparable to fourteen various drugs and medications —without adverse side effects, even at doses up to 8,000 mg per day (about one rounded teaspoon of dried turmeric).

Given the impressive data on turmeric’s benefits to nearly every bodily system, I try to incorporate turmeric into my daily cooking, not just the occasional curry dish. I’ve grown fond of the drink, finding it equally welcome and as comforting in the morning as it is before bed. Start or end the day golden —or both!

Following are options for making Turmeric Golden Milk, which provide flexibility depending on what ingredients you prefer and keep on hand. They also provide preparation options geared towards trying the recipe once or want convenience tips to make it quickly on a regular basis.

urmeric Golden Milk Ingredients

TURMERIC GOLDEN MILK COMPONENTS:

  • Milk Base: To maximize the anti-inflammatory benefits, use a non-dairy milk alternative, such as almond, rice or hemp milk, etc. or use coconut milk.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is added as a fat source to aid absorption of the turmeric. This is not necessary if using coconut milk, due to the higher fat content.
  • Turmeric: Either fresh turmeric root or dried, ground turmeric will work. I prefer the fresh root as it gives a freshness to the drink while the powdered form can bring a bitterness in higher quantities. To prepare a small quantity of fresh turmeric, simply grate the unpeeled root using a microplane or process in a high-speed blender.
    Convenience Tip: Make frozen Turmeric Cubes
  • Ginger: Optional, but highly recommended. It not only adds anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, the flavor nicely balances out any bitterness of the turmeric. If using, I strongly prefer the fresh root, rather than ground ginger. To quickly make a small batch of ginger juice, simply grate a 3-4 inch knob of ginger using a microplane or ginger grater, then use a spoon or spatula to press the juice through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
    Convenience Tip: Make frozen Ginger Juice Cubes
  • Sweetener: This recipe uses Medjool dates. If using Deglet Noor dates, you will need a few more as these are smaller and have less natural sweetness. I like using dates as they provide added minerals as well as fiber, which also thickens the drink. You can also use honey or coconut sugar. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and add more to taste.
    Convenience Tip: Make Date Paste

OPTIONAL TURMERIC GOLDEN MILK INGREDIENTS: 

  • Black Pepper (Optional): Adding black pepper can increase the bioavailability of turmeric by as much 2000%. A little goes a long way and freshness is probably as important as quantity. So, either use freshly cracked black pepper or crush 3 or 4 black peppercorns before adding to the saucepan.
  • Arrowroot (Optional): Added for thickening the milk base. Simply add 1 tablespoon of arrowroot per cup of the cool liquid (almond milk, etc.), whisk until well combined, then add to the remainder of the drink mix as it is warming in the saucepan. No thickener is needed if using coconut milk.
  • Aromatics (Optional): 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cinnamon stick, 3-4 cardamom pods or others. Add one or more. These can be added to the liquid for more flavoring, infusing into the beverage as it is warmed on the stove top, then strained out before any blending and serving.

TIPS FOR MAKING TURMERIC GOLDEN MILK  

  • Do not let the Turmeric Golden Milk boil. You want to only heat the beverage to a simmer. Boiling will diminish the health benefits of the turmeric and ginger
  • Avoid stains! Turmeric is used as a textile dye. You will see why! Use a stainless steel whisk and/or rubber spatula when preparing the mixture. Avoid using wooden spoons or any cloths you don’t want to turn golden.
  • Golden Milk can be made in advance and kept in a refrigerated, air-tight stainless steel or glass container for several days. Then, simply reheat.
  • Turmeric is an acquired taste. Some people prefer to start with lower quantities of turmeric in the recipe and increase the amount gradually.
  • As is the case with so many herbs and spices, turmeric should be used with caution.
    • Individuals with gallstones should only take turmeric under the direction of their doctor.
    • Because turmeric slows blood-clotting, it should not be taken by those with clotting disorders or before surgery.
    • Excessive turmeric should be avoided in people with congestive heart failure.
    • Since turmeric is included in Ayurvedic formulas for birth control, women trying to become pregnant should limit their consumption of the spice.
    • Women who are pregnant or nursing should discuss using turmeric with their doctor.

TURMERIC GOLDEN MILK RECIPES

Yield: 3 servings

INGREDIENTS – ALMOND MILK VERSION:

  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pureed or grated fresh turmeric (or 2 teaspoons ground)
  • 1/4 cup ginger juice (juice from a 3-4″ piece of ginger)
  • 1/4 cup date paste or 6 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked for 1 hour, then drained
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional for improved turmeric absorption)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Dash sea salt

INGREDIENTS – COCONUT MILK VERSION:

  • 1 1/2 cups organic coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup pureed or grated fresh turmeric (or 2 teaspoons ground)
  • 1/4 cup ginger juice (juice from a 3-4″ piece of ginger)
  • 1/4 cup date paste or 6 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked for 1 hour, then drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Dash sea salt

TURMERIC GOLD MILK DIRECTIONS:

  • If using date paste – Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until warm
  • If using soaked dates – Blend all ingredients (except aromatics, if using) in a blender until smooth. Then, heat the blended mixture in a saucepan with any aromatics (remove them before serving).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

How to Make Turmeric Anti-Inflammation Cubes
How to Make Ginger Juice – Without a Juicer
Three Ways to Get the Most From Turmeric

Have you tried Turmeric Golden Milk? If so, what do you think about it? If not, do you think you might give it a try? Please leave a comment below!

REFERENCES:

1] Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Feb;9(1):161-8.

[2] “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. Epub 2007 Jan 9.
[3] 
600 Reasons Turmeric May Be the World’s Most Important Herb
[4] Curcumin: the Indian solid gold. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:1-75.
[5] Natural Products and Molecular Therapy, First International Conference. New York, NY: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1056, 2005.
[6] Phase I clinical trial of curcumin, a chemoprotective agent, in patients with high-risk or pre-malignant lesions. Anti-cancer Res. 2001; July-Aug 21:2895-2900.
[7] Is Turmeric As Effective As Fourteen Other Drugs? Sacred Plant’s Ingredient, Curcumin, Holds Key To Health Benefits? Medical Daily.
[8] Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises Mol Pharmaceutics Vol. 4, NO. 6, 807-818
[9] Dietary turmeric potentially reduces the risk of cancer. 
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(12):3169-73.
[10] Turmeric Health Benefits: Have a Happy New Year With Turmeric. Andrew Weil, MD
[11] Why You Should Always Eat Pepper with Turmeric. Michael Greger, MD
[12] Biochemical Basis of Enhanced Drug Bioavailability by Peperine: Evidence that Peperine is a Potent Inhbitor of Drug Metabolism. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. Vol. 232, No. 1

 

 

 

6 Clean Beverages for When You’re Tired of Water

6 Non-Alcoholic Beverages

With regard to diet, many of us spend January either trying to clean up our act or simply get back to our pre-holiday patterns. That often means taking some time off from alcohol and caffeine and sticking to clean beverages. Over time, that can leaves a lifestyle and flavor void to fill —but what are your options for clean beverages? Filtered water and more filtered water? Even flavored with lemon, mint or ginger, can spell liquid boredom after a while.

Following are 6 health-supportive clean beverages I’m drinking on rotation this month. These DIY drinks are not only non-alcoholic, caffeine-free, have no refined sugar and don’t require a juicer, they are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Hopefully these ideas will keep you refreshed, not bored through your cleanse, reboot, whole30 or at least help get you through what might have been your coffee break or happy hour.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Drink With Ginger & Cinnamon

Ginger Cinnamon Apple Cider Drink

Apple cider vinegar is widely viewed as a holistic health remedy for everything from lowering cholesterol, improving blood sugar control, weight loss and even hiccups. But, one of my favorite personal use is for improving gastrointestinal health. Find out how to get the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, in a palatable way, with this apple cider vinegar drink.

This last year, a skin condition led me to visit an integrative dermatologist. Suspecting that bacterial overgrowth due to low stomach acid was the underlying cause, I had started drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water. She commended me on my strategy, but suggested I increase my intake considerably. When I asked her how much ACV she recommended, she responded ‘Can you do a cup a day?’ Continue reading

How to Make Refrigerator Tea

Refrigerator Brewed Herbal Tea

Don’t say goodby to sun tea simply because summer is ending. Make refrigerator tea instead! Refrigerator tea is just as easy and an arguably safer way to enjoy your favorite cold teas year-round and at a fraction of the cost of bottled beverages. I’m hooked on the organic Hibiscus High Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs. The vibrant color and floral fragrance make it a treat for the eyes, nose and taste buds.

Is Sun Tea Safe?
Sun tea can be made safely. However, precautions must be taken to avoid growth of bacteria in the tea or those commonly found in water, such as Alcaligenes viscolactis. To ensure proper food safety, the water needs to either be heated to 195° for three to five minutes or kept at 40° or lower. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the sun’s rays used to steep tea in a jar won’t heat the water hotter than 130° Fahrenheit.

How to Make Refrigerator Tea
Making refrigerator tea is the same as making regular tea, but with cold water and with a longer steeping time. Into a glass container, add about 1 tablespoon of dried tea per quart of water. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Then, strain and serve straight up or over ice.

You can bump up the flavor and health benefits by getting creative with your cubes. For example, consider adding ginger juice cubes or turmeric ice cubes for an immune and anti-inflammatory benefit. No subtlety here. Pun intended!

Rose Mountain Herbs Tea

Add tea to a glass jar full of filtered water.

Sun Tea Brewing

Place the container in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Steeping time will vary with different teas and the tea to water ratio. Then, strain and serve.

Teecchino: Life Without Coffee

Teeccino Coffee Substitute

Coffee. Love it. But, taking a break is not a big deal. However, flash back 10 years or so, and that was not the case. A Seattle native, I had developed a healthy habit with the roasted beans. It is not a coincidence Starbucks started in Seattle. Soundgarden fan or not, listen to ‘Black Hole Sun.’ You will then understand the need for comfort and relief from the pervasively dark, gray and damp days of the 47th latitude. Continue reading

How to Make Fire Cider at Home

Fire Cider

Fire Cider, according to the Huffington Post, is “one of those grandma-style cold and hangover remedies that is designed to be one part soothing, one part refreshing and one part BURN-IT-OUT-OF-YOU.” That got my attention. Research ensues. In short, the tonic is a potent culinary alchemy of anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, sinus clearing, immune and circulation boosting ingredients. No wonder this herbalists’ treasure can supposedly remedy far more than just hangovers and the common cold. -As if that wasn’t enough!

At this point, I’m fully intrigued when I finally found it at a country store in the Berkshires. One sip later, I was hooked. But, several months and about a dozen 8 ounce bottles later (at $12.99 each), it was DIY-time.

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3 Ways to Get the Most From Turmeric

Turmeric Anti-Inflammation DrinkUsed for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, the healing powers of turmeric have now gained mainstream awareness. Turmeric and curcumin, the most active constituent of the spice, have been the subject of thousands of studies, revealing the following: Continue reading