Drinks, Kefir & Smoothies

Did you know the biggest source of added sugars are those empty calories in sweetened beverages—after all, arn’t sodas, kool-aide, sports drinks, even juices, just part of everyday life?

Early on after the birth of my son I noticed a huge difference if he had a Juicy Juice with its 22 grams of sugar (not good) compared with one of my home lemonades with just a hint of maple syrup (calm). One day my son (who went to a sugar-free school—yes, there are those) visited a friend whose parents didn’t get the memo. His statement: “Mom, they made me cookies. They were soooooo sweet, too sweet!” He didn’t want them.

Many smoothies and commercial “health” juices (not to mention the misguided fad of juicing that removes the pulp) are made to appeal to our sweet tooth. They ensure unhealthy blood sugar levels and constant need for more sugar as our taste buds become desensitized by all those syrups, hybridized oranges, banana, and the worst is GMO pineapple. For many, even water now has to be sweetened or have a flavor.

Try these beverages—let their truly natural, from whole foods, flavors make your day.

Beet & Hibiscus Lemonade

Beet & Hibiscus Lemonade
I boiled my beets to make... Think Pink (Beet) Pizza Crust or Roasted Beet Slaw or... Can’t I DO something with all those nutrients in the beet water? ABSOLUTELY! Make lemonade. Makes 2 quarts Mix Together 3-4 cups strained juice from boiled beets (about 3 large beets) 2 cups cooled hibiscus tea (brewed strong) 8 small...

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Beet Kvass Lemonade

Beet Kvass Lemonade
Lemonade on a warm summer day is, well, the next most American thing after... maybe, baseball. What could be better, or easier, than grabbing a lemon, cutting it in half, and squeezing the amazing—electrolyte rich—enzyme rich—digestive aiding—lemon juice into some clean spring water. Perhaps add a mint sprig... and relax in the sun. What could...

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Horsetail tea – Elixir for skin, nails, kidneys, and bladder

Horsetail tea – Elixir for skin, nails, kidneys, and bladder
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) grows everywhere in the five acres that transition from my house to protected wetlands. And it grows everywhere else; from the Mediterranian to here in Alaska, and further, I think. Horsetail species are an ancient plant with roots that can run hundreds of feet deep; they have not changed much over the...

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Coconut Milk Kefir

Coconut Milk Kefir
I personally love the tangy, fresh flavor of coconut milk kefir—not so my son who thinks I’m being quite kind with those adjectives but I do think that is because he first tried store bought cow milk kefir which to me most certainly has a strong fermented, sour flavor. Buy good kefir grains here. (Note: you use...

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Spiced Chai Tea

Spiced Chai Tea
After a day on the slopes, what could be better than a good book and hot Chai? Makes 6 cups Ingredients: 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin rounds 4 cinnamon sticks 2 teaspoons black peppercorns 10 whole cloves 6 cardamom pods (or ½ teaspoon of whole cardamom) 2 cups cold water 6...

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Turmeric Latte

Turmeric Latte
There is nothing in the house to snack on... I want comfort... warm, tasty and hot. Nothing like necessity to drive invention. The first time I made this, I used a chunk of turmeric root. Why? Because I'd heard about the anti-oxidant benefits, saw them at New Sagaya Midtown and wondered what they were like...

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Vitality Juice, a.k.a. Veggies “to go”

Vitality Juice, a.k.a. Veggies “to go”
It all comes down to the issue of fiber, and not all of those trendy cold-pressed juices have that important dietary component. Sugars = premature aging and burn-out When it comes to juicing vs. blending, please understand a few key things: Juicing is all the rage, but juicing benefits and the energy burst may come from...

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Fireweed Tea

Fireweed Tea
Fireweed: Epilobium angustifolium... spukWu’say (Twana)... willow herb... I call it love at first sight... Are you making dietary changes to rebalance and improve your digestive tone and gut health? Additional to cultured foods and probiotics, drink fireweed tea speed along rebalancing. This year I decided to become certified in using aromatic oils to heal. Many, many years ago I’d explored...

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Invigorating Ginger Tea

Invigorating Ginger Tea
Ginger is all about invigoration. Feeling heavy, sluggish or congested? Sip ginger root tea and restore balance to the body. Need a quick way to calm heartburn or reflux? Ginger tea helps stimulate digestion by speeding up gastric emptying and stimulating colon function—but not too much. A powerful cleansing drink, ginger root can help destagnate the...

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A Red Rose for the Lassi

A Red Rose for the Lassi
Lassi – travel through Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and you’ll find this traditional yogurt-based drink in shops and corners, each one making their own blend. From sweet Punjabi Lassi to Salty Lassi, the refreshing drink can be anything: yogurt, water, spices and sometimes, fruit. Here in the US, most ethnic restaurants relegate it to sweet...

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Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie
Blend together ½ – 1 cup of water Juice of half a lemon Juice of one lime 1 stick celery 1 cup (handful) romaine lettuce ½ green apple (optional) 2 tablespoons of whey protein, collagen, or gelatin powder Romaine lettuce is delicately sweet yet there is only one gram of sugar per head of lettuce—furthermore, romaine lettuce...

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Mint Delight Green Smoothie

Mint Delight Green Smoothie
Mid-October here in Anchorage but this year our ground hasn't frozen yet and my garden is still producing the frost-tolerant greens like spinach, chard... and even my newest addition: chocolate mint. I love mint. Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser, and it promotes digestion. It soothes stomachs and calms inflammation. And besides that, it makes a great coconut...

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