10 Reasons to Add Turmeric Into Your Diet

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From curing the common cold to preventing or fighting against cancer, turmeric is an essential spice that you should become familiar with. With a long history of being used in traditional medicines such as ancient India’s Ayurveda, it has lately become more recognized in western practices – it’s really no surprise that it is currently the most studied spice on the planet.

Turmeric is one of my favorite natural remedies for treating PMS, painful periods, PCOS, endometriosis, and basically any type of inflammation.

I try to drink a warm cup of turmeric milk (aka “Golden Milk”) everyday. I especially make sure I get my cup in when studying yoga in India, as it’s nature’s best anti-inflammatory, helping relieve any general aches and pains. Plus, it’s really delicious – making it a nice treat before bed. I also put it in my warm lemon water in the mornings.

Healing Properties of Turmeric:

1. Cancer fighter.

2. Reduces symptoms of depression.

3. Cures the common cold.

4. Relieves arthritis pain.

5. Balances Hormones.

6. Relieves general aches and pains in the body.

7. Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

8. Lowers cholesterol.

9. Alleviates allergies.

10. Helps wounds heal faster.

And these are just a tip of the iceberg of all the healing properties of turmeric.

Alright, so now that you know how AMAZING turmeric is, are you ready to get more of this amazing spice into your diet?

(Pssst…if you don’t think you’re gonna eat it everyday you can also take this magical stuff in capsule form!)

One of my favorite ways to get turmeric daily is with turmeric milk, also known as “Golden Milk”.

Turmeric Milk Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of coconut milk (or your dairy-free milk of choice) 
  • 1 teaspoon dried turmeric powder OR one half-inch fresh turmeric thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder OR one half-inch piece of peeled, fresh ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • A dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • Honey to taste (use local if possible – this will also help with allergies and do not add to the milk when it is HOT, as this turns the honey toxic. Wait until it is warm.)

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the honey) into a blender.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. Pour mixture into saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Bring to boil.
  5. Turn off heat, cover, and allow mixture to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Add honey.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Alternatively, if you do not have a blender, skip steps one and two and combine all ingredients in a saucepan. If you are using fresh ginger and turmeric, use a strainer to filter them out before serving.

In addition to drinking turmeric milk, I also cook with turmeric as much as possible. There are tons of delicious recipes out there ranging from coconut curries to lentil soups. Here is a list of some goodies:

Curry Cream of Carrot Soup 

Turmeric Spiced Rice 

Spiced Kale Scramble 

Creamy Pumpkin Curry 

However you choose to get your daily dose of turmeric, make sure to ingest it after it has been heated. This is why drinking it in a warm beverage or cooking with it is best, as the heat activates the turmeric. Also, adding freshly ground black pepper boosts turmeric absorption by 2,000%! You can also increase turmeric’s healing properties by mixing it with a healthy fat such as ghee or coconut oil.

And guess what? Turmeric milk checks off all of the above!

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake (Vegan)

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This Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake is for all of the dreamers out there. They said we couldn’t have our PB & J AND cheesecake, too, but we’ll show them.

This is probably my favorite vegan cheesecake to date, y’all. So if you are a peanut butter and jelly lover like myself, I hope you enjoy! The jelly is actually a homemade chia seed jam, which is best to make the night before.

Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake:

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Ingredients:

Raspberry Chia Jelly:
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbs. maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons filtered water, if needed

Crust:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 2 cups soaked cashews (about 3-4 hours in warm filtered water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
Instructions:
  1. To make the chia jam, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you need more liquid for the ingredients to fully combine, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place in a glass jar in the refrigerator to allow the chia seeds to expand, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together oatmeal, dates, almond butter and cinnamon until a “dough” is formed, the ingredients should be well blended together
  3. Spray an 8×8 baking dish or line it with parchment paper and press the crust into the dish.
  4. Wipe out the food processor to get rid of extra crumbs (no need to fully clean) and place the “cheesecake” ingredients in the food processor.
  5. Put filling ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. If it is too chunky slowly pour in additional coconut milk until it has a creamy texture.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly.
  7. Take our your chia seed jam and scoop out with a spoon 4 dollops evenly on the cheesecake. Then take a knife and swirl it around.

8.Place in the freezer for a few hours to harden. It can then be stored in the freezer for up          to 2 weeks, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Wild Rice, Basil & Tomato Chili Sauce

Steamed Sweet Potato with Wild Rice and Tomato Chili Sauce

I’ve been looking forward to trying out this recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life for a while.

I currently live in Taiwan where the sweet potato is the national vegetable because they grow abundantly on the island, and the vegetable itself resembles the shape of the country.  It only seemed fitting that I make this dish while living here, plus I absolutely adore sweet potatoes.

Sweet vegetables such as these are an exceptional  food to eat if you have a sweet tooth, as the natural sweetness tends to satisfy cravings. They are also very nutritious, being a good source of vitamin B6, C, and D, as well as magnesium and iron.

I found this dish very simple and easy to make. The sauce was the highlight, as it really brought out the flavor of the sweet potato, and the basil was a nice final touch that tied the dish together. I enjoyed the sauce so much, that I made some the next day to make vegan sushi.

STEAMED SWEET POTATOES with WILD RICE, BASIL & TOMATO CHILI SAUCE (1 serving)

Sauce:

1 tomato
1 tablespoon nut butter (optional)
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
1 garlic clove

Other ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, sliced and steamed until soft and tender
1 cup cooked wild rice
1/4 cup basil leaves

To make the sauce: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Mix the sauce into your rice and sweet potatoes in a bowl, then top with basil leaves and enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

pgfudgePeanut Butter. Chocolate.  I really don’t think it gets much better than this. For those of you who have a sweet tooth like me, having healthy dessert options on hand means you are less likely to eat unhealthy sweets.

This peanut butter chocolate fudge, however, is the perfect combination of sweet and creamy, leaving your sweet tooth satisfied without all the refined ingredients. They are also a perfect dessert to make when having company. Simply prepare the fudge, stick it in the freezer, and whilst cooking dinner and dining, the fudge will be freezing! Your guests will thank you.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Freeze time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter ( the kind you have to stir because the oil separates)
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 4 ounces quality dark chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

1. Cream peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt in a bowl

2. Pour mixture into a 8×6 baking dish, lined with parchment paper

3. Top with chopped chocolate and freeze for two hours

4. Remove from freezer, carefully remove fudge by lifting edges of parchment paper

5. Cut into 1 inch squares and store in freezer separated by parchment paper

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Energy Boosting (and Cramp Fighting!) Hot Cacao

For an alternative to coffee for your energy boost in the morning, check out this creamy and delicious hot cacao. Not only does it provide you with magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants, but it sends your body a steady stream of energy that will not spike and crash like the rush from coffee.

As for women, this drink is an excellent cramp fighter! I like to enjoy this little cup of goodness on the first day of my Ladies’ Holiday, when I am prone to cramps. The caffeine in the cacao will alleviate your cramps, and the *maca is an adaptogen, facilitating the body’s ability to adapt to and regulate stress responses, as well as balance hormones.

Yes, please!

Energy Boosting (and Cramp Fighting!) Hot Cacao with Maca

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Maca Powder*
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk
  • (optional) 1 tbs raw honey or stevia
  • Omnivores-add in a scoop of collagen!

Directions:

Mix ingredients well in a sauce pan over low to medium heat. Pour and enjoy.

Do you have any other natural remedy for cramps? What’s your favorite? Please share in the comments section below!

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Simple and Delicious Overnight Oats

Photo by James Ransom

I love oatmeal. Not only is it quick and easy to make, but it is packed with fiber and protein, and it always keeps me satisfied until my next meal. A BIG benefit of this recipe, is that soaking the oats overnight reduces the phytates present in oatmeal that can lead to mineral loss, allergies, and irritiation of the intestinal tract.  (To learn more about phytates, you can read this post on oatmeal and phytic acid.)

But don’t let phytates scare you from eating oatmeal! As I see it, the benefits of this delcious grain far outweigh the phytates, and by simply soaking your oats before you eat them, there is really nothing to worry about!

Prep time:
5 minutes

Cooking time:
0 minutes

Yields:
1 person

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup of any milk of your choice or water
A natural sweetener of your choice (honey, maple syrup,  stevia,cinnamon, vanilla extract)
Optional: nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin), fruit, or even nut butter.

Directions:

Photo by James Ransom

1. The only ratio you need to remember is 1:1. You’ll soak 1 part rolled oats with 1 part liquid overnight. Use less liquid if you want thicker oatmeal, more if you like it runny. You can use water or any type of milk — almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk — and feel free to add a splash of cream, half and half, or even orange juice.

Photo by James Ransom

2. Sweeten and flavor the oatmeal with whatever appeals to you: honey, agave, jam, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, citrus zest … the list goes on. Then get creative: Add nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin), fruit, or even nut butter.

3. Give it a stir, pack it into a jar, then let the jar sit overnight in the refrigerator.

4. In the morning, top with fresh ingredients — fruits, granola, honey, a dollop of peanut butter — or simply take the whole jar for the road.

All photos by James Ransom. Recipe from Food52.com

Chia Seed Pudding

This delicious breakfast treat (or after-dinner snack) includes chia seeds, a  plant food that helps to draw out toxins from the liver. Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, and Omega 3’s so they make you feel full and satiated.

It’s the perfect breakfast meal for those on the go!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Yields:  3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄4 cups coconut milk (I prefer coconut milk) or nut milk (homemade nut milk recipes here: www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/delicious-nut-milk-recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • goji berries, cocao nibs (optional)

Directions:

  • In a large jar, combine all of the ingredients and shake well.
  • Pour the mixture into 3 small bowls or glasses and refrigerate until it thickens into a pudding-like consistency, about 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with goji berries, cocao nibs, or whatever else you fancy! Have fun with it.

This is a delicious treat and keeps in the fridge for 1 week.