FUNCTIONAL FOOD | Fall is in the Air

It officially feels like fall, y’all! (I need to work on my southern accent)

With these colder months, there are not only shifts in the weather but also shifts in the way we eat and the foods we crave. I’m not sure about you but, with these cold mornings, I don’t always feel like having a cold smoothie in the morning to kick off my day; I actually want something that keeps me warm after I wake up from my beauty sleep :D

I sometimes like to start my day with an Ayurvedic practice: a tea made out of ginger, lemon, and raw (local) honey. I feel this tea has all the right mix of flavors: a kick from the ginger, sweetness from the honey and tanginess from the lemon. Not only that but the honey acts as an antibacterial while containing a good amount of antioxidants, while the ginger (which contains plenty of anti cancer benefits) stimulates your metabolism and boosts your immune system, as does the lemon with a good punch of vitamin C–you can drink this if you feel a cold coming. Having this tea is a great way to get your body and digestion moving first thing in the morning–containing both cleansing and metabolism boosting properties.  I do want to point out that It is important to choose honey that has not been pasteurized, processed or heated, in order to preserve its rich nutritional profile of natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, among other goodies.

An Ayurvedic teacher told me recently that the traditional way to make this tea is to peel a small piece of ginger (about two inches), cut it in half and boil it with a large cup of filtered water for 6-8 minutes. Then, mix the “gingered” water with 1-2 tsp raw honey and the juice of half a lemon. It’s that easy!

Now, don’t get me wrong; this in no way is meant to replace your breakfast–porridge anyone? This ginger tea is just a nice addition to your morning kick-off.

In case you are looking for new breakfast ideas though, I wanted to share with you some recent cravings I’ve had:

Avocado toast - Choose a good quality, sprouted bread made with whole grains and seeds.  You can toast the bread or not; it’s up to you. Add some (ripe) avocado, maybe even some ripe tomatoes (that reminds me I need to get some at the farmers market this Sunday), black pepper, and done! You’ll be picking the small crumbs off your plate when this bad boy is gone.

Pancakes!! (I love me some good pancakes) – Here’s my favorite recipe

Antioxidant-rich Chocolate pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup buckwheat flour

½ cup almond or cashew milk

1 banana

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 4 tbsp water (let sit for 10 minutes)

2 tbsp raw cacao

DIRECTIONS

1.    Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth.

2.    Heat pan with coconut oil (medium heat). When the coconut oil has melted, pour two tablespoons of mix into pan.

3.    Cook until bubbles start to form, then flip and cook for another minute or two. You can always do this on the stove top too ;)

These pancakes naturally have some sweetness to them from the banana. You can top with maple syrup or date syrup (my favorite - I make this by combining a handful of dates with water, and cooking over medium heat until they form a gooey paste), serve with raspberries or strawberries; or how about Cereza’s lovely recipe for blueberry syrup? Also another amazing recipe for pancakes there..

This Chia pudding is also a recent favorite of mine.

Every couple of weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.