Winter is approaching and it is getting colder which means hot drinks just feel better. This can lead to an increase in caffeine as the tea and coffee count adds up. The Stimulating effects of caffeine are similar to the body’s own response under stress and chronic stress weakens our immune system. Caffeine also pulls out calcium and other mineral stores in your body reducing the amount it is able to utilise for maintaining and repairing cells and keeping the immune system in balance.
Keeping in check or even reducing your caffeine over winter may help you keep the bugs at bay. A couple of hot drinks that don’t contain caffeine and will warm you up as well are chai and a ginger and lemon drink. They are easy to make and taste delicious!
Real Chai tastes nothing like the café kind that is super sweet and has not a lot of flavour. Proper chai has a delicious spicy flavour and heat that flows through out your body thanks to the warming qualities of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon.
Here is my version of chai
This recipe makes 2 cups
- 2 cups of milk, can be any kind; cow, almond, oat or soy
- 1 x 5 cm piece of raw ginger skinned and grated
- 3 cardamom pods cracked
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 rooibos tea bag
- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
Place all ingredients in a saucepan except maple syrup and slowly bring to the boil.
Simmer for 4 minutes.
Pour ingredients though a tea strainer and add maple syrup to taste. (I use 1 teaspoon per cup)
Ginger and lemon drink
This is very soothing to a sore throat and boosts the immune system as the lemon contains vitamin C and the manuka honey has antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 slices fresh ginger root
- Half fresh lemon, squeezed
- Manuka honey to taste
Add 2 slices of ginger root squeeze half a lemon in it.
Let sit for 3 minutes to release the volatile oils from the ginger.
Add manuka honey to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon)
Due to lots of interest I am going to do another workshop about sugar. It is getting a lot of media attention at the moment and there are many myths and misconceptions flying around.
Join me in an evening where I will give you the facts and teach you about the different types of sugar and how they effect your body, why we are so genetically predisposed to liking it, how to work out how much sugar is in the processed foods you buy, the foods you need to keep your blood sugar levels and energy on an even par and much much more!
I will also demonstrate how easy it is to make foods with less sugar, but still with all the taste and sweetness with 3 recipes from my cook book.
The best part is afterwards you can try the baking with a cup of tea and an informal question answer time.
Wednesday 1st April 6.30 to 8.30
Rose Gardens, Belmont, North Shore
$55 per person, $50 per person if you bring 6
Spaces are limited, so book now to avoid missing out at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to seeing you there!
Happy New Year and Yay for the sunshine!!
Vitamin D gets processed in our bodies when the sun is shining releasing hormones that make us feel happy and is excellent for our immune system, a great start to 2015!
I thought I would share my muesli recipe with you as almost all of the bought ones have quite a lot of sugar in them, even the organic ones. The great thing about making your own muesli is you can tailor it to your tastes, so feel free to add or remove anything.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Preparation time 5 minutes
5 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 tablespoons of honey
1 x 1kg bag of rolled oats
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup almonds roughly chopped (any nuts will do, macadamias are especially nice too)
½ cup raisins or gogi berries or cranberries (note – most cranberries have added sugar, as they are quite tart but you can get them soaked in apple juice concentrate)
In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil and honey.
In a baking tray pour out the rolled oats and add the desiccated coconut, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and almonds.
Once the coconut oil and honey is melted pour over the rolled oats and other dried ingredients.
With a large spoon mix it all together so that the oil and honey covers everything.
Put in the oven and every 5 minutes pull out tray and mix ingredients around so that you get an even browning.
Once it is all lightly toasted (about 20 minutes) take out and put on a cooling wrack until cold.
Once it is cooled add your raisins or cranberries or gogi berries or anything you like!
(You can sprinkle some chia seeds over the top too, just check your teeth afterwards, they have a tendency to stick in the gaps!)
Yay it’s Christmas time! I hope everyone is full of cheer and not to busy. It certainly is a social time and that means lots of festive foods. My favourites would be Christmas mince pies and rum balls. Both of these make great gifts especially for teachers or your next door neighbours. They are all easy to make, even the Christmas mince pie pastry.
Christmas mince pies
These are so much tastier than bought ones! The mixture can last in the fridge for up to 3 months so you can make them well in advance and it only increases their flavour.
1 medium apple unpeeled and cut into slices
3 cups mixed fruit mix (the ones with the glazed cherries in them)
Rind and juice of one lemon
Rind of ½ orange
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons brandy
Put apple, mixed fruit, orange and lemon rinds into a food processor and whizz until all in small pieces.
Add lemon juice, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg and brandy.
Whizz briefly until all combined.
Put into a glass bottle and store in fridge until you want to make. As the flavour matures over time it is best after a week.
Will make enough to fill about 32.
This is the easiest pastry ever and has a lovely soft crumbly texture when baked.
125 g butter slightly softened
1 cup flour
½ cup icing sugar
Put all 3 ingredients into a food processor and whizz until it forms a clump.
Press into a ball and sprinkle with flour.
Pull off a walnut sized piece and using your thumb press around the inside of greased mini muffin tins to make the case of the mince pie. It will make 14 to 16 depending on how much pastry you have put in each one.
Save some pastry to roll out and use a star shaped cookie cutter to make the lids.
Once you have done this PUT THE MUFFIN TIN AND YOUR STARS INTO THE FRIDGE FOR HALF AND HOUR.
Take out of the fridge and fill the mince mixture so it is level with the pastry and then place a star on top.
Bake at 180 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden on top once they are out of the oven put them on a wire rack to cool. After 10 minutes gently twist the tops to loosen them out of the tray. Place on the wire rack until finished cooling.”
I remember my mum giving these wrapped up in cellophane to all my teachers at the end of year. Funny thing is, that’s exactly what I will be doing too!!!!
100 g butter softened
½ cup icing sugar
1/3 cup good quality cocoa
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 ¾ cup desiccated coconut
2 cups mixed fruit mix
Cream the butter and icing sugar until a pale lemon colour.
Add the cocoa with 1 tablespoon of rum and mix together with a spatula.
Fold in coconut, mixed fruit and remaining rum.
Roll into golf ball sized balls and then roll to cover with extra desiccated coconut.
Keep refrigerated, will last for 6 weeks.