Strawberry Balsamic Shrub


Strawberry Balsamic Shrub recipe
Makes 2 cups

A shrub is a sweet-tart way to preserve fruit that dates back to colonial times. And it couldn’t be easier to make: simmer fruit like berries or plums with sugar and water and add vinegar. Strain and the syrup is your shrub. Shrubs are commonly found at trendy cocktail bars and are great for making at home cocktails and mocktails. I like to dilute mine with club soda to make a fizzy, sweet, and tart drink that reminds me of kombucha. The best part about shrubs is that they are perfect for ugly, imperfect or mushy fruit (just not spoiled or moldy). Keep the syrup in the fridge for several weeks.

1 lb strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar (1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and the rest apple cider vinegar)

  1. Bring strawberries, sugar, and water to a simmer.  Let simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes or until strawberries are super soft and liquid is darkly pigmented.

  2. Add vinegars and bring up to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing fruit pulp with a wooden spoon to extract all liquid.  Save liquid in a mason jar in the fridge for a few weeks. You can use the pulp to top ice cream, yogurt or toast.  

Turmeric Latte

turmeric latte recipe

Turmeric Spice Latte recipe
serves 1

Make reducing inflammation a calming part of your daily routine with this Turmeric Spice Latte. Turmeric teas and milks have been popular for centuries in places like India and Japan and they are just starting to pop up in coffee shops around the U.S. The presence of fat (coconut oil) and black pepper in this recipe actually increase the bioavailability of the turmeric, so don’t skip them. You can play around with how you serve this, either blending like I do here or straining out any solids for a more gently flavored brew. Feel free to sub in 1/2 teaspoon of powdered, dried turmeric and/or ginger as well if you don’t have fresh.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (my homemade recipe is below)
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric (peeled)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (peeled)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of black pepper
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or honey (optional)

1. In small pot, gently simmer almond milk, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom for 5-10 minutes.

2. Transfer mixture to blender and add coconut oil and coconut sugar if using. Blend until smooth and frothy. Serve garnished with more black pepper.

*Homemade Almond Milk recipe
makes 3 cups

1 cup raw almonds
3 cups filtered water
optional flavorings: pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon maple syrup

1. Soak almonds in plenty of cold, fresh water for 12-24 hours.

2. Drain off water. In a high powered blender, combine almonds and 3 cups filtered water and blend for 2-3 minutes until very smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth and add sea salt and maple syrup if using. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Apple Cider Sangria

apple cider sangria recipe

Apple Cider Sangria recipe
makes 8 cups

Mulled apple cider and sangria might sound like an odd pair but they are actually a perfect mashup. My favorite sangria when I lived in Spain was steeped in cinnamon sticks so the fall spices seem like a natural pairing to me. Plus the sweet fruity cider takes the place of plain white sugar giving you more dimension and seasonality plus making it overall much less sweet. Typically sangria is spiked with brandy or cognac, but I added Koval Ginger Liqueur instead to add a little more sweetness and spice.

4 cups unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
5 cloves
3 black peppercorns
1 star anise
1 750 ml bottle of Spanish red wine (I used a Rioja tempranillo)
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced (I used a Pink Lady)
1/4 cup ginger liqueur (optional)
1 cup club soda
for garnishing: coconut sugar or brown sugar for rims of glasses, ice, extra cinnamon sticks and star anise

  1. In a medium pot, simmer apple cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns, and star anise for 15 minutes or until reduced by 1/2. Strain and let cool. (Use an ice bath to cool down quickly.)

  2. To a pitcher, add mulled, cooled cider, red wine, sliced apple, ginger liqueur, and club soda. Add ice and extra cinnamon sticks and star anise to serve.

Raspberry Campari Spritz

raspberry campari spritz

Raspberry Campari Spritz recipe
makes 1 spritz

It's not summer without a Spritz!  Here's my new favorite variation on this classic Italian aperitivo.  I use Campari instead of Aperol for a stronger bitter flavor and then a dash of kombucha for fizz and a little probiotic punch.  I used GT's Trilogy flavor (raspberry, lemon, ginger) but you could try plain or another citrusy or fruity flavor that you like.  Raspberries and oranges make the perfect festive garnish.

1 ounce Campari
2 ounces kombucha (I used GT's Trilogy Kombucha)
3 ounces prosecco
raspberries and orange slices

1. In your largest/most ridiculous wine glass, combine Campari, kombucha, and prosecco.  Top with ice, raspberries, and orange slices then head outside and sit on a patio.

Zafrani Chai

zafrani chai recipe

There are certain comfort foods from childhood that you just can't replace.  For me, South Asian-style masala chai is one of them.  Here, I'm sharing how to make authentic masala tea with one unique twist: the addition of saffron.  I got the idea when I met with the founder of Heray Spice and we did a taste test with saffron from his family's farm in Afghanistan.  I'd seen YouTube videos of saffron masala tea (or zafrani chai) from Pakistan and put it together with the way that I typically make masala chai.  Here I use coconut sugar instead of white sugar because I like its caramel taste and it reminds me of the less processed sugar varieties (like jaggery) that you'll find in India and Pakistan.  I have masala chai all the time with nondairy milk, and it's good, but it's almost a totally different beverage.  So here I've given you the traditional whole milk preparation as well as suggestions for going dairy-free. 

Zafrani Chai recipe
makes 2 small servings

1 cup water
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods
2 cloves
3 black peppercorns
pinch of saffron
2 black tea bags (or 4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea)
1 cup whole milk (see directions below to sub nondairy milk)
2-3 teaspoons coconut sugar

1. In a small pot heat water with cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and saffron.  Let simmer on low for 10 minutes.

2. Add black tea and milk and let simmer on low an additional 10 minutes.  Strain and serve in two small tea cups or glasses garnished with additional saffron threads.

Note: Typically masala chai is made with dairy milk that is simmered along with the spices and tea.  However, when I've tried this method with nondairy alternatives, I find they tend to get a weird consistency and separate.  If you want to make this dairy-free, simmer the spices, tea and sugar with water only and then add your non-dairy milk of choice and let it heat up but not boil.  My favorite kind is actually soy milk (creamier) but you can also try almond or coconut milk.

Oat Milk


Oat Milk recipe
makes 3 cups

Oat milk is a more sustainable and affordable alternative to almond milk that's been popping up at a lot of coffee shops lately.  Oats require less water to grow than almonds and are a Midwestern crop, which means I can source them locally if I like.  You can use either steel cut oats or rolled oats to make oat milk--I chose steel cut oats here because you are less likely to overprocess them in the blender (and make a slimy milk) and the remaining oat pulp is easy to fold into any kind of oatmeal for the next few days.  The oat milk and pulp will taste best if consumed within 3 days--store both in the fridge.  Soaking the oats for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight also helps make sure the final product is not slimy.

1 cup steel cut oats, soaked for 30 minutes in water
3 cups filtered water

helpful tool: a nut milk bag (I use this one*)
optional flavorings: pinch of sea salt, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Strain and rinse soaked steel cut oats in a fine mesh strainer.  Combine in the blender with 3 cups filtered water and blend on medium for 10-15 seconds.  (Don't worry about it being totally smooth; overprocessing can make it slimy.)

2. Strain mixture through the fine mesh strainer into a bowl and remove and store oat pulp.  Pass oat milk through the nut milk bag into a quart mason jar (or whatever you'd like to store in it) to get the finer pieces of pulp out.  Store in the fridge for 3 days.

*affiliate link

DIY Flavored Sparkling Water

DIY flavored sparkling water recipe

DIY Flavored Sparkling Water recipes

Save yourself the effort of hauling a case of LaCroix up the stairs and start making your own naturally infused sparkling waters!  Fresh juices or even pureed fruit makes a great base and I also like to used brewed herbal teas like mint, peach rooibos, or hibiscus.  Fresh berries, citrus and fresh herbs all make great garnishes.  Typically 1 ounce of mixer to 4 ounces of club soda or sparkling water is a good ratio--use about 1/2 ounce for super tart ingredients like lemon and lime.  Here are a few recipes:

Grapefruit Sparkling Water
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
4 ounces club soda
slice of grapefruit

1. Mix in a glass and top with ice.

Lemongrass Lemon Sparkling Water
1 ounce brewed lemongrass tea
4 ounces club soda
slice of lemon

1. Mix in a glass and top with ice.

Mint Mojito Sparkling Water
1/2 ounce lime juice
4 ounces club soda
1 sprig of mint

1. Mix in a glass at top with ice.  Tear or muddle the mint to get more of the flavor infused.

Spicy Tahini Hot Chocolate

spicy tahini hot chocolate vegan recipe

Spicy Tahini Hot Chocolate recipe
makes 2 small servings or 1 large serving

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds that's popular in Middle Eastern cooking.  It's become a staple in my pantry for making creamy sauces because I love its smooth texture and high calcium content, but I often forget I have an open jar in the fridge and end up buying a new one.  So much tahini!  So I decided to use up some of my tahini by taking it into the dessert realm.  Hello Tahini Hot Chocolate.  Non-dairy milks often make very watery hot chocolate compared to fat-rich dairy milk so the addition of tahini here makes a richer and creamier beverage with a slightly nutty edge.  I love spice in my hot chocolate so I also added cinnamon, cayenne, and ground ginger, but feel free to leave out if you aren't feeling as spicy.

1 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used cashew)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tahini, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cayenne
1/4 of a 3.5 ounce chocolate bar (70% cocoa) OR 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips

1. In a small pot, heat milk, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of tahini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger, and cayenne.  Whisk until smooth.  Once heated, break apart chocolate bar and whisk in or add chocolate chips.  Taste and add more maple, tahini, or chocolate if desired.

2. Pour into 2 small tea cups or 1 mug and drizzle with a tiny extra bit of tahini if desired.

Muscle Recovery Beet Juice

muscle recovery beet juice

Muscle Recovery Beet Juice
serves 1

After getting a particularly rough massage to loosen up trigger points in my legs and feet, my massage therapist suggested that I have beets or beet juice to help my muscles recover.  Beets are being used in a lot of sports performance beverages because of their supposed ability to improve muscle power by improving blood flow to muscles.  The research is mixed on their effectiveness for this specifically, but I figured having a boost of folate, potassium, and antioxidants from beets could do me no harm.  Typically beets are juiced with something sweet like carrots or apples, but here I used cucumber to make the whole beverage less sweet and to add some post-massage hydration.

2 small beets
1/2 English cucumber (so you can use the peel)
1-inch piece of ginger
juice from 1/2 lemon

1. Using a juicer, juice beets, cucumber, and ginger.  Add lemon juice, stir and serve


Chocolate Hemp Protein Shake

chocolate hemp protein shake

Chocolate Hemp Protein Shake
makes 1 shake

Gritty protein powders gross out my tongue and I only recommend them to clients that have very specific dietary or protein needs.  Most people do not need processed powders in their diets!  However, if you eat mostly plant-based foods and have the need for an on-the-go beverage rich in protein and other nutrients, I think you'll love this whole foods-based protein shake.  I combine a full serving of hemps seeds with almond butter to get a shake with 18 grams of protein.  The hemp and almond butter also provide good fats in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids and Omega 3s.  The fats and fiber from the dates and banana will help keep you fuller longer and help keep your blood sugar from spiking.

1 banana
2 medjool dates, pitted
3 tablespoons of hemp seeds
2 tablespoons of natural almond butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup ice
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1. In a high-powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until very smooth (It may take a few minutes for the hemp seeds and dates to get totally smooth, but they will.)  Serve immediately or store in a jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Ayurvedic Chai

Ayurvedic Chai
makes 1 cup

This tea uses warming Ayurvedic spices to help you feel warm and nurtured during the cold, dry part of winter.  If you know your dosha, you can customize your tea to better suit your body type.  Take a dosha quiz here.  Since this tea is intended for Fall and Early Winter, it is perfect as-is for Vatas, since those are the Vata seasons.  Kaphas should use less/no sweetener and can add extra ginger and turmeric for pungency and bitterness.  Pittas can go easy on the warming spices but can enjoy this on a cold winter day.  Kaphas can add black tea to this, although Vatas are better off using Rooibos which is less drying and Pittas should be cautious to not go overboard on caffeine.

1.5 cups of almond milk
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 black peppercorns
3 slices of fresh ginger
1 rooibos tea bag or 2 teaspoons loose rooibos tea
1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
Honey or coconut sugar to sweeten

1. In a small pot, heat almond milk with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, ginger, and rooibos for 10-15 minutes.  Simmer longer if you like more spice.

2. Strain spices and whisk in coconut oil.  Use an immersion blender to emulsify if you find that whisking doesn't totally incorporate the oil.  This will make it frothy like a latte.  Sweeten to taste and serve immediately.  

Basic Beginner Green Juice

Basic Beginner Green Juice
makes 14 ounces

Here's a basic green juice recipe to get you started with summer juicing.  Green apples provide a good balance of sweetness and tartness to help balance the earthy taste of the vegetables.  Leafy greens don't generate too much juice, so cucumber and celery help provide more green goodness.  Makes one big serving or two small glasses.

2 granny smith apples, cored
4 celery stalks
1/2 English cucumber
2-3 cups spinach
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Put apples, celery, cucumber and spinach in the juicer.  Add lemon juice after and serve immediately.

Cold Brew Hibiscus Iced Tea

Cold Brewed Hibiscus Iced Tea
Makes 4 cups

Hibiscus flowers can be used to make a tart, floral almost cranberry-like infusion called Jamaica or Agua de Jamaica. High in iron and Vitamin C, you can often find this beverage at your local taqueria. It is also used medicinally in the Middle East and South and Central America and the Caribbean--as with any herbal tea, pregnant women or anyone with allergies or illnesses should consult their doctor before consuming.

1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
4 cups filtered water
1 cinnamon stick
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
To serve: orange slices and ice

1. In a quart-size mason jar, add all ingredients and fill to the brim. Put on the lid and shake. Store in the fridge for 4-24 hours. Strain and serve unsweetened with orange slices and ice in a tall glass.

*Note: You can add a little simple syrup or honey if you like it sweet. Can also combined with lemonade, iced tea, club soda or cocktail ingredients.  Have fun!


Bitters and Soda

bitter and soda recipe

Bitters and Soda
1 serving

Bitters and soda is my new go-to drink when I don't feel like drinking and don't want whatever sugary soda or mocktail is available.  Originally used medicinally, bitters are considered digestive aids and are infused with powerful plants.  This drink will be fizzy, lightly flavored and very herbal.  You can add a splash of simple syrup too if you just can't go totally bitter.  Bitters are easy to make at home too--just get a super high proof alcohol drop herbs, spices or roots into it and wait (rosemary + cinnamon + orange peel is a great holiday combo).  Note: this mocktail isn't totally alcohol free--see my note in the full post.

10+ dashes bitters of choice (I used Hella Bitters Ginger Lemon)
8 ounces club soda
slice of lemon

1. Fill a tall collins glass with ice.  Add bitters, soda and lemon. Stir and serve immediately.