Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice!
The season of Pumpkin Spice is most certainly here! And, like everything else I love to make from scratch, Pumpkin Spice is no exception! A Pumpkin Spice mixture may be used in countless ways; in baking and in hot beverages, to name a few!
Unfortunately, the commercially-sold Pumpkin Spice Latte that costs you a small fortune is packed with anti-nutrients, designed to simulate true spices. Such flavour concoctions are typically a sauce, syrup, or concentrate. Ignorance is bliss, yes. Bliss is also knowing what is in your food, benefitting from what's in your food, allowing your food to fuel you in a multitude of ways, and reaping the personal reward of learning something new and knowing you made it yourself!
One of my Canadian nutrition mentors, Meghan Telpner (Toronto, ON), has a stellar recipe for both Pumpkin Spice and a Pumpkin Spice Latte (elixir) that I just had to try! Sure enough, as anticipated, I loved the flavour, balance, and oh-so-cozy feel both recipes bring about! I love that the spice mixture includes turmeric; research shows that the anti-inflammatory impact of turmeric, noticeably that of its active ingredient, curcumin, just can’t be denied! As such, I try to add it to whatever I can during my weekly cooking.
*You may view Meghan Telpner's blog post containing these two recipes here!
About Some of the Key Ingredients:
Cinnamon is anti-microbial, an antioxidant and helps to stabilize blood sugar; its fibre may also provide relief from constipation or diarrhea[i]
The mineral chromium, as found in cinnamon, is what helps regulate blood sugar; regularly consuming foods containing chromium will therefore help reduce drastic ups and downs in blood sugar level throughout your day
Turmeric’s main, active ingredient, curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer agent, helping to fight free radicals that cause cellular damage in the body[ii]
Turmeric is effectively used for arthritis, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas and bloating of the stomach; it is ideal for inflammatory bowel diseases[iii]
Raw, unpasteurized honey possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
Virgin coconut oil possesses anti-fungal properties; its Lauric Acid and Caprylic Acid are two valuable Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs - fats); MCTs are rapidly absorbed and utilized by the body, directed straight to the liver for metabolism into energy[iv]
Dandy Blend is an herbal (caffeine-free) coffee substitute (ground dandelion root) that provides an earthy, full-bodied taste, with a similar smoothness and texture to that of coffee
Dandelion root is a natural diuretic; it assists liver detoxification by helping to eliminate toxins from the body (bitter foods are highly liver-supporting for this reason)
Make It Yourself!
Why go to such effort for a hot beverage?
*It's cost-effective - I had all of these items in my pantry already. As many of them are used in small amounts at a time, my pantry item investments last me weeks, even months, depending on the item!
*You know what is in the beverage! No. Junk.
*It keeps your money in your pocket for other, more pertinent expenses, when out and about.
*It's caffeine-free nature won't make you tremble, feel jittery, disrupt your blood sugar level nor instil that "crash" once the caffeine wears off, as caffeine is capable of doing.
*This recipe FUELS you!
*It is not time consuming; the very reasonable amount of time required will be WELL WORTH IT! I PROMISE!
*It's SUPER REWARDING to make your food from scratch, especially elixirs! Elixirs are a magical concoction of strategically-chosen ingredients with health-promoting nutrients that feel therapeutic in nature, because they are!
If you'd like to learn more about how to make homemade nut/seed milks yourself, or elixirs and other therapeutic beverages for that matter, please get in touch! I'd love to teach you!
Until then, enjoy!
[i] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Cinnamon, ground. Retrieved November 23, 2015 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=68&tname=foodspice
[ii] Mother Nature Network: The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric. (2008). Retrieved November 25, 2015 from http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-turmeric
[iii] WebMD: Turmeric. Retrieved November 22, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-turmeric.aspx?activeingredientid=662&activeingredientname=turmeric
[iv] Healthline: MCT Oil 101 – A Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides. Retrieved October 14, 2017 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-101