January is just days away and we're positively giddy! We promise its not just all the delicious raw chocolate we eat- but anticipation and excitement in looking forward to the freedom of renewal that comes with the turn of a brand new year! This month we're taking this crisp opportunity to focus on self care, detoxification and shedding what no longer serves us. Re-assessment, re-alignment, and re-setting of intentions that reflect our most current state of well-being, allow for a major mind/body update. New goals provide momentum, enthusiasm, and confidence in an active pursuit of our highest ideals in 2015.
January is a fantastic time to dig deep. Patience and compassionate self inquiry can provide us with so much clarity and insight, and, help to identify opportunities for growth and personal development. With some light house cleaning, organization, and heart-based internal dialogue, its amazing how much space we can find in old familiar environments. A little consolidation goes a L O N G way! Once we're aware of what we've got to work with- reclaiming the space and filling it with love and fresh perspective is a joy in itself.
Our mixologist Nathalie
prepared to kick off her new year by sauntering into the kitchen and indulging in a little soul-food plant-medicine and DIY body care! Below you'll find recipes to slough off what is no longer useful from the inside out. Whether you're drawn to the warm and satisfying or fresh and invigorating, she's got you covered. So here's to you in 2015! Get mixing, keep breathing. Countdown to renewal starts N O W!
Shrubs, aka 'drinking vinegars', are sweetened, vinegar-based syrups originating from medicinal cordials of the 15th century. This American version has its origins in 17th century England where vinegar was used instead of citrus juice to preserve berries and other fruit for the off-season. Because of their acidity, shrubs are well-suited as an apertif or used in cocktails as an alternative to bitters. Our favorite way to enjoy them is simply mixed with a splash of sparking water!
In her recipes, Nathalie used apple cider vinegar- rich in enzymes and potassium, it supports a healthy immune system by promoting digestion and balancing pH.
2 C Strawberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 C Honey
6 Star Anise
1/2 C Water
and 1 C Apple Cider Vinegar (reserved)
To Make: Combine all ingredients except apple cider vinegar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once a simmer is reached, lower heat and continue to simmer for an additional 10 mins. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour mixture into a quart-sized glass jar and add 1 C of cider vinegar. Shake and let sit at room temperature for 2 days. To use, simply strain the mixture and enjoy!
Juice of 2 Lemons (rinds reserved for later use)
1 large knob of Ginger, sliced thinly
3/4 C Honey
1 C Apple Cider Vinegar
To make: No simmering necessary for these next two recipes! Simply mix all ingredients in a quart-sized glass jar. Let sit at room temperature for two days, strain and enjoy.
4 small Apples, cored and puled in a food processor
1 C Cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 C Honey
1 C Honey
To make: Again, no simmering necessary! Mix all ingredients in a quart-sized glass jar. Let sit at room temperature for two days, strain and enjoy.
What cleansing initiative would be complete without a daily self massage? Many of us already know that our skin is the largest organ of our body, but did you know that our skin and lymph system are responsible for removing up to one pound of waste material from our bodies per day!?!! As part of your daily or weekly self-care routine- use these scrubs to slough off dead skin cells, promote circulation and lymphatic drainage, and increase your appreciation and acceptance of your innately perfect and beautiful body! Your tissues will respond to your love and affection.
Winter is notorious for drying out the skin, dulling it and weighing you down. New year-new you! Now is the perfect time to nurture your Self inside and out, and reveal the warmth and brilliance of your natural complexion!
Mix together the following ingredients and slather on!
INVIGORATING PEPPERMINT MOCHA BODY SCRUB:
1 C Coconut Palm Sugar
1/2 C Coffee Grounds
3 T Raw Cacao
1/2 tsp. Peppermint Essential Oil
1/2 C Almond Oil
WARMING CINNAMON CLOVE BODY SCRUB:
1 C Coconut Palm Sugar
1 T Ground Cinnamon
1/2 T Ground Cloves
1/2 C Almond Oil
Maintaining a cleansing mentality can be especially challenging during the holidays with parties and the usual holiday fare at every turn. Mocktails are the perfect way to entertain with style while reaping a multitude of health benefits from exciting superfood infusions! Many people remember stringing cranberries and popcorn together for decorations- here we've found another way to use fresh cranberries for merriment! Famous for their ability to prevent UTI's, these water-harvested gems are being grown locally here on Martha's Vineyard
! This method of harvesting literally bathes the fruit in direct sunlight upping the amount of anthocyanin (responsible for their gorgeous ruby red coloring!) and increasing it's phytonutrient health benefits!
We asked our Not Your Sugar Mixologist Nathalie
what was on her gratitude list this holiday season- "definitely grateful for living on the Vineyard
..." was her immediate reply. Below you'll find one of her own inspired creations, the Spiced-Cranberry Sparkler (see recipe below), as well as some of her favorite raw holiday treats from around the web.
Being a bunch of raw food enthusiasts ourselves, it comes as no surprise when reading that "a substantial number of recent studies have shown that whole cranberries- in comparison with purified extracts or dried supplements- do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and our liver". Researchers point out that it is the synergistic effect of the cranberry's nutrients (rather than the individual components) that is responsible for its antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer benefits. This synergy is only found in the berry as a whole fruit. Nathalie whipped up the following recipe using fresh cranberries and other anti-inflammatory spices so you can get your holiday groove on and wake up feeling fresh and fit as a fiddle!
-1 C fresh cranberries
-spices, 1/2 tsp. each of cloves, ginger, and cinnamon
-sweetener of choice ex: maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
-garnish of choice (be creative!) Nath served hers with cranberries a bobbin'!
Rinse cranberries and put in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Add spices. Heat on medium heat 5-10 mins and let cool. Divide mixture evenly between 4 champagne flutes and top off with your favorite sparkling water. Garnish and ENJOY!
RAW HOLIDAY TREATS FROM AROUND THE WEB:
Happy Raw Holidays!!!