Spicy shots! I love ’em. A couple of years ago Free Fire Cider, based on a folk recipe, popularized by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and trademarked, with great controversy in the herbal world, but a group in WMA, had its moment in the sun. Here’s my fire cider recipe.
Since then, I’ve been enamored with making spicy shots – delicious concoctions designed to warm and give a nutritional zing-ha to your morning. It’s a practice I especially get into in these (still!) cooler months.
Here’s one I whipped up this weekend, with tart cherry juice and apple cider vinegar. Cherry, ginger, and turmeric are all anti-inflammatories and packed with antioxidants. Apple cider vinegar is a natural probiotic. If you, like me are in the second half of life, this drink is vata-pacifying – grounding and warming.
Quick, easy, and makes you say “haaaaaa”. I aimed for warmth rather than heat in the spice. Raw garlic makes me burp, though my husband is focused on eating more, so I suggest he use this to wash down a nice raw clove for himself. Pow.
Cherry Turmeric Spicy Shot
A delicious concoction designed to warm and give a nutritional zing-ha to your morning
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cherry juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Thumb-sized piece of ginger sliced
- 3 Tsp turmeric dried spice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne or to tast
Place everything in a blender and blend away. Pour into a small mason jar with a lid. The ginger and spice tend to separate, so give it a shake before your morning shot. I take about an ounce after my morning coffee and morning practices, a few minutes before breakfast.
I have a spicy-shot-for-every-season vision!
Have a favorite spicy shot you make?
Please share in the comments!
I’ve worked at Kripalu (the largest yoga center in the country) for seven years, so I have enjoyed my share of Indian food. I love the flavors of India – spicy curries, sweet-piquant chutneys, yogurt and lots of creative plant-based proteins. Indian cuisine in its original form is naturally healthful – filled with plants (often vegetarian) and aromatic spices.
I also love the work of the American Diabetes Association (bias alert – they published Yoga & Diabetes, which I co-authored). They have put together a collection of beautiful cookbooks that reflect a fresh range of ways of cooking and eating for health. If you have not yet looked at their growing collection – check them out! You don’t have to have a diabetes diagnosis to enjoy them – they are simply accessible healthful fare for everyone.
May Abraham Fridel’s Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook has an authenticity and accessibility that are the hallmarks of a great cookbook. It practically smells like cumin – must be the beautiful red-brown of the two-color interior and beautiful four-color photos of select dishes. If you love the smells and tastes of India food and want to bring a bit of that into your own kitchen, this is a book for you.
The book begins with an overview of the philosophy behind India cooking, including the ancient nature-based wisdom of Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga.
There is a Spice Guide, a Pantry List, and some How-To Recipes to introduce you to the staples of healthful Indian Cuisine.
This is the book I will consult the next time I make Dal (spiced lentils). There are three easy tasty recipes and tons of advice to guide me. There’s a healthy version of my favorite Indian dish, Palak Paneer (cheese in spinach sauce) – this one uses tofu instead of cheese and skips the heavy cream that often turns that healthy sounding dish into something that while filled with nutrients is also calorie-dense. There is a chapter on street food and one on elegant dishes, a chapter on curries, a chapter on grilling, a chapter on Indian flatbreads, one pot meals, sides including slaws and salads, and drinks (I love me some lassi – India’s yogurt smoothie).
Ms. Friedel is a food literacy advocate, philanthropist and the founder and CEO of an organic spice company (www.passionforspices.com). She clearly knows of what she speaks when it comes to the flavors and spices of India.
I’m grateful for her offering, happy to add it to my cookbook shelf and look forward to continuing to sample and to learn about Indian cuisine.
As the cooling breeze of fall blows through, it’s time to spice things up. Not only do spices add a lovely kick of flavor to fall and winter fare, but spices are filled with phytonutrients; health-enhancing compounds that give us the immune boost we need through the transition to colder months. Adding a little sweet, a little heat and a bit of spice to nuts does a body good energetically this season as well. May this sweet & spicy nuts recipe warm you inside and out. I use these nuts to top warm wilted salads, on soups, or over warm fruit for a nutrient-dense treat. It would also be delicious on top of my Vegan Maple Custard recipe.
This morning I did my seasonal overhaul of cooking ingredients – putting away the cooling flavors of summer and bringing spices and heating ingredients an easier reach from the stove. I went to the grocery to gather spices – cayenne, cinnamon, mace, allspice, nutmeg – the flavors of fall. It’s one way I honor the wheel of the year, ever turning.
Sweet & Spicy Nuts Recipe
- 2 cups raw nuts and/or seeds – I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds), almonds, cashews and a few Brazil nuts
- 1 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed organic unsalted butter or ghee
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and spices. Place nuts and butter in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring for about 2 minutes until butter is melted and covers the nuts. Add the spice mixture (beware those of you who know two heat settings – high or off – this can burn quickly – I know of what I speak!). Sauté on medium heat until the sugar caramelizes – 5-8 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate or sheet of foil to cool. Store in an airtight container and use on salads, soups or cooked fruit (like a baked apple) for dessert.
This is, of course, a recipe you can adapt to include your favorite warming spices. Please share your variations, and enjoy the season!
Looking for more recipes? Head over to my collection of Easy Healthy Recipes.