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
From DIG Boston, titled "GOOD EATS GURU GOES CHOCOLATE"
GOOD EATS GURU: NOT YOUR SUGAR MAMAS -- Read article on DIG here
Good Eats Guru goes chocolate
Who makes the best chocolate in Boston? Not Your Sugar Mama! No, seriously—this new star of the Boston chocolate scene is infiltrating the local shops and being snatched up at an alarming pace. As soon as the bin is filled in my neighborhood market, it seems to empty out in less than a week—and it’s no surprise why. I mean this chocolate is good. Better than good, great.
I can confidently go so far as to deem it
NYSM, which operates out of Martha’s Vineyard, was founded by Bennett Coffey and Kyleen (Ky) Keenan about two years ago. They have a chocolate factory in Vineyard Haven, and sell their chocolate in bars, superfood energy balls, chocolate mix, and more at shops and cafes around the state.
How do I love thee, NYSM? Let me count the ways.
1) It’s not just chocolate: Every batch is hand made from raw cacao fortified with superfoods like maca, spirulina, and goji berries. Instead of refined sugar, they opt for agave nectar to sweeten.
Healthy chocolate, who knew?
2) Those chocolate makers, they’re clever. Case in point: “Chocolate so fresh it’s cool. Kept cool, that is.” Because it’s raw cacao, it has to be kept in the fridge. Top-quality food with witty word play: Does it get any better?
3) The texture is nothing short of heavenly. It pulls apart like taffy and eats like light fudge.
4) They’re passionate about keeping it fresh, and have their own specific definition so there’s no confusion. Keenan clarified that “Fresh equals nothing has been added or additional processing used to make it shelf stable. That’s why we are in the fridge.” Right on.
5) Oh, and the taste? A miraculous convergence of decadent bittersweet wonder. If your palette’s attuned to such things,
it’s brimming with the flavor of its most important ingredient: love.
What, you can’t taste that? Trust me, it’s in there.
Their success is a no-brainer to anyone familiar with mindful eating. When I inquired about the chocolate making process, Keenan told me, “Bennett is the chocolatier… It’s important to her to infuse good vibes into the chocolate, whether it’s by playing good music or just removing distractions and making it a mindful process.” This little distinction can make all the difference and many people are coming to demand this important aspect of health, wellness, and nutrition in the marketplace.
This auspicious attitude carries over into their whole business model. At present, they do direct trade for their cacao with an association of farmers in Peru. Their goal is to set up direct trade relationships for all their ingredients. When I asked about plans for the future, Keenan responded,
“Willy Wonka meets Hersheys—but better, and healthier. We want our chocolate to be consumed by as many people as possible. Everyone has a right to enjoy this superfood in a healthy way.”
They do, indeed.
Not Your Sugar Mamas is a welcomed addition to Boston’s well-endowed chocolate menagerie. They even have chocolate smoothie powders and hot chocolate mixes perfect for the upcoming holiday season and frosty, snow-filled days. If you haven’t tried this chocolate yet, do yourself a favor and grab a bar at Life Alive Cafe in Central Square or City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain.
This was published in Dig Boston by Good Eats Guru. To read complete article please visit http://digboston.com/taste/2012/11/good-eats-guru-not-your-sugar-mamas/