Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Golden Milk Or Turmeric Tea

Today I am sharing a warm concoction that I have been drinking most every day for the past month.It is called Golden Milk or Turmeric tea.  While it is delicious, I drink it for its health benefits as well as its pleasing taste, which is similar to a spicy chai latte.

I have been hearing about the possible benefits of turmeric for years now and I decided to give it a try. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
I am always a bit of a skeptic but there is lots of research showing turmeric may have some wonderful healing and pain relieving properties! There have been scientific studies which may show a link to turmeric decreasing pain from arthritis, osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia. It may reduce headaches.  Turmeric may help with such varied conditions as ulcerative colitis, stomach upset IBS, High cholesterol or high triglycerides. There is evidence in studies that it can help fight against colon and prostate cancers. Turmeric may boost immunity. It has some benefits for the brain in slowing or improving conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression. It may help with liver function and with insomnia.
Now I am not saying all of these benefits are certain and I am not saying you can get enough Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, by drinking this tea but it should help!  I read that 1 -1 ½ tsp  a day is a good dose for health benefits but you should start out with only ½ tsp a day to see how you tolerate .
Please check with your health care professional to see if it is good for you to have daily turmeric. There is some evidence that you should not take regular doses of turmeric if you are pregnant or if you have GERD. It could cause blood thinning so don’t use before surgery or if you have a blood disorder. It might make gall bladder issues worse. The verdict is still out so check with your health care professional. But I have been drinking golden milk daily and I am feeling less pain and sleeping better.

Golden Milk Or Turmeric Tea

Make a mix for four servings:
2 cups water

4 tsp ground turmeric (If just starting out, try using 2 tsp turmeric for the first batch)

3-4 tsp ginger, powdered, adjust to desired flavor

Five thin slices of fresh ginger or 3-4 small chunks of crystalized ginger, optional

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground or pepper corns

1 tsp coconut oil

3-4 tsp ginger syrup, honey, maple syrup, optional, you may add sweetener later with milk to taste

Pinch of cardamom ( or a pod, crushed) or cloves if desired

For serving- Milk ( dairy, coconut, almond, or cashew milk) and sweetener if desired

Place all ingredient except milk in small sauce pan and simmer for at least 10 minutes. If you have time, Let in sit for another 10 minutes before using.
Strain through a mesh sieve at least one time and place in a glass container. You may use it immediately in warm milk if you are making four cups or mix up one serving, see directions below, and place the rest in a container in the refrigerator.
To serve—heat up a ½ cup of this mixture and pour into mug of ½ cup warm milk—coconut, cashew, almond or dairy. You can add more or less milk as you desire. You can heat up the turmeric mixture and milk together in a sauce pan over low heat or in microwave but don’t get it too hot.
I think Golden milk is best served very warm.  Add sweetener such as maple syrup, ginger syrup or honey if desired, but not too much. Top with cinnamon if desired. You may want to skip the last sip as the spice will settle in the bottom of the mug and can be gritty.
The turmeric mix can be stored for a week or so in the refrigerator. I am not sure if it could be stored longer but it is best to drink this daily for maximum health benefits so it should be gone within four days anyway. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a simple cheddar spread that is welcome at parties or on the lunch table at home. It is a really tasty and easy to make treat that is popular in the south but not as well known in other areas. It is delicious as an appetizer on crackers and celery.  It can also be used to fill cherry tomatoes or pitted olives. It is great on sandwiches or burgers.  It could be dressed up by forming a ball or log shape and rolling it shredded cheese. This was my first try at this. I looked up a few recipes at southern Living and adjusted them into my own spin on this classic. I will be making this one again.
Pimento Cheese Spread

4 oz. Cream cheese
3-4 TBSP Mayonnaise
1-2 tsp spicy mustard
2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
1 tsp onion powder (or 1-2 TBSP grated onion)
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
8 oz. or so chopped jarred roasted red pepper or pimento
8 oz. extra-sharp white or yellow cheddar,freshly shredded  
8 oz. sharp cheddar, freshly shredded

Blend everything together in a bowl either by hand or with a heavy-duty mixer. Refrigerate for at least several hours.
Here is a photo  of our lovely winter down town area to get you in the mood for Holiday parties!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crispy Vegetable Salad

Here is a delicious crunchy salad recipe to keep you eating healthy in the midst of all the holiday indulgences. This is not so much a recipe as a spring board. Try any of your favorite  vegetables  in this. If you don't like pickled vegetables feel free to skip them. Just try this and your vegetables!!

Crispy Vegetable Salad

Choose 4 or more of these vegetables. Enough for about 5 cups of salad.

4 carrots, sliced very thin diagonally
1 cup green beans or wax beans, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3-1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3- 1 cup cauliflower florets, small

2/3 - 1 cup jicama, julienned or diced
½ - 1 red bell pepper, julienned or diced
2/3 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup cucumber, de-seeded, sliced or chopped

For pickled veggies:
1/3 cup of mild vinegar like golden balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 TBSP lime juice, optional
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

Add one or two of the following:

½ onion, sliced in  thin vertical slices or diced
8-10 radishes, trim and slice thin

Thinly sliced daikon
Optional: Olive oil, salt, lime juice, sugar, parsley, mint, to taste

Boil carrots for 4 minutes. Add green beans, or cauliflower and boil for 3 more minutes. Add pea pods for 30 seconds.

Place pepper, cucumber, jicama, in a bowl of well salted ice water. Add the parboiled veggies and extra ice as needed.

Heat vinegar, sugar, salt in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add radishes and onion. Turn off heat and let this sit for 1 hour. Drain but reserve pickling liquid.
Mix all veggies, mix some of the pickling liquid and a bit of olive oil and use this to dress salad.

You could also  make a dressing from 2 TBSP pickling liquid, 1 TBSP lime juice ,2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt or 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 TBSP sesame seeds, 3-4  TBSP olive oi
Let everything meld together in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. This salad will be good the next day although picked radishes may turn it a bit pink.