Holiday

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licorice, astragalus, burdock, dandelion root, codonopsis

Astragalus– immune stimulating (increases macrophages and natural killer cells) and adrenal tonic.  great for anyone with spleen qi deficiency, supports good digestion.  Very safe, mildly sweet flavor, overall tonifying.

Burdock root- Liver tonic, blood cleanser, alterative.  Mildly bitter and therefore stimulating to the digestive system.  Historically used for hormone balancing and skin conditions.

Dandelion Root- Alterative, liver tonic, nutritive.  Wonderful for detoxification and elimination processes.

Licorice Root-Anti viral, immune modulating, adrenal tonic.  Sweet flavor.  Used to treat colds, coughs, stomach upset, chronic fatigue. (caution in high doses if you have high blood pressure)

Codonopsis – Also known as Dangshen, or poor man’s ginseng.  Used to increase resistance to stress, increase energy, modulate immune response (increase response in cancer, decrease in autoimmune conditions).

Ginger– potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, carminative (good for nausea, gas, dyspepsia).  Warming.

cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, pepper

Cinnamon-wow, a powerhouse of health benefits!  Anti-inflammatory (great for arthritis pain and menstrual cramps), antimicrobial, promotes healthy blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, can promote healthy cholesterol levels.  Warming and delicious!

Black Peppercorns– Helps with digestion, is antioxidant and antimicrobial.

Cloves-Pain relief, high in antioxidants, antibacterial, digestive stimulant.

The amount of herbs pictured (I’m bad about measuring things, but you can see it’s a tablespoon or two of each herb) made one gallon of chai.  Simmer the herbs for 45 minutes to an hour, add black tea and steep for 4 minutes.  Strain.  You can keep this mixture in the fridge for a week, heating up one cup at a time.  Add cream and honey to taste.  You might not need to add any honey as some of the herbs are quite sweet.

I recommend drinking super tonic chai daily to build strong adrenals, and keep your immune system healthy!

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pumpkin pie

I love my pumpkin pie, but I am determined this year to not have regrets about what I ate over the holidays!  How many times do I need to learn that the recovery time is not really worth the few bites of gluten laden decadence?  For those of you looking for a delicious alternative to feeling regret, read on!  I started with a real pumpkin because my CSA gives them to me!  But working with canned pumpkin is just fine too.  The only thing is you won’t have the yummy roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on while you are waiting for the pie to cool!

Start by baking a pumpkin, if that’s your plan.

pumpkin

pumpkin

Scoop out the guts and seeds of the pumpkin.

pumpkin guts

Bake face down on a sheet pan at 350 degrees until soft.  Let cool before scooping the flesh out of the shell into a measuring cup.

baked pumpkin

Meanwhile, separate the pumpkin guts from the pumpkin seeds.  Rinse the seeds and roast with a little oil (I used delicious, nutritious coconut oil which I got here) until you hear popping sounds coming from the oven.  They should be crunchy and irresistible, especially with good salt.  Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition.  Known to be a good source of minerals including zinc and magnesium as well as protein and essential fatty acids.  Research suggests they are useful for prostate health, bone density, parasites, arthritis and healthy blood lipids.  Find out more here.

pumpkin seeds

In a food processor make the crust:

3/4 cup raw pecans or pumpkin seeds (grind ‘em up real good in the food processor)

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup coconut flour (find out why I’m such a fan of the coconut here and here)

1/2 tsp good salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup  coconut sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 free range egg

Process dry stuff, add the coconut oil and process.  Then add egg and pulse until it comes together.  It will be sticky.

Press into a pie plate or tart pan.  Freeze for 15-20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees until lightly browned.

crust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next mix up the filling in the food processor:

Filling:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup (or less)

1/2 tsp good salt

1/4 tsp allspice

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

pinch of cayenne

pinch of ground cloves

1 can coconut milk (not LITE)

Blend everything together until it is a smooth puree.  Pour into partially baked pie crust.  Tap to release bubbles.

unbaked custard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake 45-55 minutes at 325. Be sure to let it cool before you serve it.

Delicious ending to a healthy fall meal, but honestly it makes a darn good breakfast too!

 

 

dig in!

 

 

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