It’s hard to overestimate the importance of tea in Irish culture. Tea is simultaneously a beverage, a medicine and a social ritual. It’s the sense that a cup of tea and a chat can cure anything. Even if the weather forecast looks dreary I can be sure that a cup of spicy warmth awaits me at the end of my day.
Making this tea from scratch is easier than you might think. Simply steep black tea with cinnamon, cardamom, clove and ginger. You’ll appreciate how the spicy fragrances fill your kitchen. Chai is a centuries-old beverage originating from India. In fact, the word chai is the generic word for “tea” in Hindi, where as in the west we are referring to “masala chai” or spiced tea.
This tea is a health-promoting beverage and a tonic for the whole body. It strengthens the nervous system, energizes the body, clears the mind, and is both a remedy and preventive measure for colds, allergies and other illnesses.
What do you do to unwind at the end of the day?
- 8 cups water
- 15 whole cloves
- 3 sticks of cinnamon
- 20 whole cardamom pods (split the pods first)
- 6 ginger root slices (1/4 inch thick, no need to peel)
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- black tea – 1/2 tsp. loose leaves or tea bag (optional)
- milk of choice and sweetener to taste
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger to boiling water. Cover and boil for at least 30 minutes. Let steep until it reaches desired flavor.
- Remove from heat, add black tea and let cool. Strain tea.
- When ready to drink, add one part warm milk (rice, oat, nut, soy) to one part warm chai concentrate. Sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup. This concentrate will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge or freeze it in ice cube trays to add to smoothies.
I’ve been on a smoothie kick lately. They are so tasty and filling – makes for the perfect thing to eat post morning workout! If you have been cooking a lot of vegan or raw food you’re probably familiar with avocado in desserts.. but have you tried it in a smoothie? Banana, creamy avocado, greens, spicy ginger and tart, yet sweet pineapple makes this drink a tall glass of deliciousness. The Green Smoothie of course makes an amazing breakfast, but it can be enjoyed as a snack or light lunch as well. You can also add kale, chard or other dark leafy green of your choice.
I love sharing new recipes that can are easy to make part of a healthy weekly menu. Fruity green smoothies are easy to rely on for simple and delicious breakfasts and snacks and they provide so much flexibility – you can add or subtract whatever additional ingredients you’re in the mood for.
Vegan, Raw & Gluten-free
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 banana
- a handful spinach
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger
- 2-inch slice pineapple
- 1 cup ice cold water
- Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth .
(*Photo Credit: my sister, Jenny Norris – jjnorris.com)
Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope you all had a delightful holiday filled with love and tummies filled with delicious food! Mine was slow and relaxing, with plenty of time for cooking, playing and reflections. Over the break, I came up with some new year’s goals and I thought it might be fun to share them with you. I hope that this inspires you create your own list!
- Consume more fresh pressed juices.
- Eat a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Compete in a triathlon.
- Volunteer in the community.
- Live every day fully.
If one of your resolutions is eating healthier in the new year, this juice is a good tasty place to start. Kick things off with this beauty – a lovely pink, citrus-centric Grapefruit, Lime & Ginger Juice. This detoxifying and immunity-boosting juice recipe is easy to embrace post-holiday! It packs such a fresh punch of citrus and ginger flavor that you won’t feel you’re missing out on a thing. And by providing your immune system with a strong dose of vitamin C you’ll be putting yourself in the right frame of mind to embrace the new year in health.
Grapefruit, Lime & Ginger Juice
- 1 grapefruit, peeled (I used ruby red)
- 2 apples
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1/2 lime, peeled
- 1/4 inch knob of ginger
- fresh mint (optional)
- sparkling water (optional)
- Place grapefruit, apple, celery, lime, and ginger through juicer.
- Pour fresh juice into a glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy.
This juice is quite strong – but invigorating! And if you like, you could even add a splash of sparkling water.
I wish everyone the best for 2013. Thanks for continuing to discover the beauty of becoming the healthiest, most vibrant self through figgy & sprout! What are your resolutions? Leave a comment below, start a conversation, make a friend, inspire one another.
Stay connected with me in 2013 through twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram and my newsletter!
A bowl of popcorn, a mug of apple spice latte, a cozy blanket, one or two favorite holiday movies and someone to snuggle with – these are my ingredients for a wonderful holiday season afternoon or evening! Sit by a lit fireplace, a glowing candle or maybe a sparkly Christmas tree.
Apples have surprising nutritional benefits that justify the “apple a day” adage. Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which helps to boost and fortify your immune system. They also help to lower cholesterol, decrease risk of diabetes and aid in weight loss.
This warm drink also contains cinnamon, which has been shown to help regulate our blood sugar levels, and has an anti-clotting effect on the blood. It is even recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes to consume. Cinnamon is also believed to boost cognitive function and memory.
Nothing beats a warm mug of apple spice latte to warm the heart. You’ll know just what to serve guests (or yourself) when the cold weather hits. Enjoy the season and celebrate. Cheers!
Apple Spice Latte
Vegan, Raw & Gluten-free
- 3 apples, juiced (yields about 1/2 a cup)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk ( I used homemade almond milk)
- dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Place apples through a juicer.
- Heat the apple juice and almond milk on the stove top on medium heat until warm (don’t boil.)
- Sprinkle a few dashes of nutmeg and cinnamon over the top. Enjoy immediately.
I hope you love and enjoy this drink as much as I do!