Drinks, Kefir & Smoothies

Like so many of us, I’ve had a nagging, insane-driving sweet tooth my whole life. Until recently when I discovered health and nutrition.  At first I didn’t even think about it—after all, weren’t cookies and cakes just part of everyday life?

In fact, it wasn’t until the birth of my son that I noticed a difference in him if he had a cookie (not good) and when we skipped desert (calm). As I transitioned away from sugar in my household, I discovered the miracles of just how good you can feel when you eat nourishing whole foods. 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.

Over the years and outside influences, same number one son now has his own sweet tooth. So when I make him a protein smoothie for that in-a-hurry, before school breakfast he’s more likely to complain if it isn’t also sweet.

Many smoothies and commercial “health” juices (not to mention the misguided fad of juicing that removes the pulp) include some kind of sweet ingredient like honey, syrups, mangos, orange, and the worst is banana. While these appeal to our sweet tooth, they ensure unhealthy blood sugar levels and constant need for more sugar.

For many, even water now has to be sweetened or have a flavor.

Luckily, these simple flavor combinations that make hydration fun, work well as protein smoothies, and/or help you with the healthy habit of having veggies first thing in the 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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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”

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

Ginger is all about invigoration. Feeling heavy, sluggish or congested? Drink 2-3 cups of ginger tea daily. A powerful cleansing drink, ginger mobilizes toxins and restores balance to the body. It also helps stimulate digestion, colon function, and can help destagnate the liver. Plus, ginger helps diminish cravings for sweet and salty foods. Or maybe,...

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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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