coffee

Adaptogenic Pumpkin Spice Latte

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It’s officially pumpkin spice season and I am definitely not mad about it. I have been on the pumpkin spice train since I can remember. It truly is my favorite blends of spices and there is actually a reason our bodies crave it this time of here. We are moving from the warmer months where our bodies get heat from the outside to the cooler months where we need to create that heat from the inside out. This time of year it is important to switch our diet from cooling to warming. Eating more winter squash, warming spices and cooked foods.

As you may have noticed, your body is naturally drawn to these types of foods and spices. Your body starts to crave that pumpkin spice. Here’s why:

Pumpkin spice traditionally has cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom and nutmeg. Some recipes omit or add different spices, but I wanted to give you some information as to why your body is craving these spices:

Cinnamon:

Cinnamon is a warming spice that is also high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, balances blood sugar and has been found to fight bacterial and fungal infections as well as having an anti-viral effect. This spice packs a punch, especially during cold and fly season. Inflammation in the body weakens the immune system leading to illness. By incorporating cinnamon you are providing your body with the extra support it needs to fight off cold and flu during the colder months.

Ginger:

One of the best spices for digestion, ginger can help ease nausea, calm inflammation in the body and help with menstrual cramps. It is a warming spice that particularly warms the digestive system to help aid in digestion and fights indigestion. It also helps to fight infection.

Clove:

High in antioxidants, kills bacteria and helps to improve liver health. It is also a natural analgesic (pain killer) and can treat toothaches and oral pain.

Cardamom:

Cardamom is one of my all time favorite spices. It is in the ginger family and has many of the same properties: anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, anti-bacterial and treats infection. It also helps to fight cavities and bad breath, has a neutralizing effect on acidity in the body and can even help to treat anxiety.

Nutmeg:

Also a natural pain reliever as well as helps with oral and digestive health. It too has an amazing effect on your anxiety and insomnia. This little nugget packs a punch and in high doses can be toxic to the body, so a little goes a long way.

You’ve probably noticed a pattern by now: all of these spices help aid in digestion, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and help to fight or treat viral or bacterial infections. All of these things are what can lead to weakness in the immune system. If you start the season off by loading your body up on things that support you immune system then if you do get sick, your body will have the support it needs to move through the illness more quickly.

So enough with why we crave all these things, where’s the recipe?

To make this latte extra special, I added a few immune boosting adaptogens. If you don’t have these, you can just omit them, but I will say that during cold and flu season, I always have these three around.

Astragalus for a power immune boost

Ashwagandha to strengthen the adrenal and nervous system. It’s a warming adaptogen so its perfect to add this time of year. This adaptogen helps to balance the whole body and give strength.

Reishi to fight fatigue, inflammation, provide adrenal support and help with anxiety and depression (use code bodyblisslife for a discount)

This latte is a great way to start your day or make with decaf coffee and use as your afternoon pick me up. I used organic pureed pumpkin from Trader Joe’s. You could also roast a sugar pumpkin at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour and use in place of the canned pumpkin (yum!). I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. It truly satisfies all my cravings (and quite honestly is WAY better) for that overly sweet, pumpkin-less alternative.

Recipe:

  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee

  • 1/2 cup homemade nut milk (or your favorite store bought)

  • 1 T pumpkin puree

  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

  • a pinch of ground clove, nutmeg and fennel seeds (fennel seeds are optional, but add a lovely flavor)

  • splash of vanilla

  • pinch of himalayan pink salt

  • 1/2-1 Date (or 1 tsp honey or maple. You could also use stevia)

  • 1 tsp-1 T ghee or coconut butter

  • 1/2 tsp astragalus, reishi and ashwagandha

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the nut milk, spices, pumpkin, sweetener of choice, vanilla and salt. Whisk until hot, but not boiling. In a high speed blender add the milk blend, coffee, adaptogens and ghee. Blend on high for about 30 seconds until everything is combined. Pour into your favorite fall mug and enjoy.

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Notes: If you don’t want to use all the individual spices you can use a pumpkin pie spice mix. Natural Grocer’s has a great one in their bulk section. I would say use 1/2 to 1 tsp of the blend depending on how spicy you like it.

To make your own ghee at home (its’ super easy), check out THIS blog post.

To make your own nut milk, check out THIS post.

Cinnamon Pecan Frozen Coffee

I love coffee! I love the way it smells, the way it tastes and what it means to me. No, but really... I have at least 4 different ways to make coffee in my house. Living in Italy transformed my relationship with coffee from a sleep over every once in a while to a full fledged committed relationship. Though some would say I am not a TRUE coffee drinker because I often drink decaf, I beg to differ. Coffee was a part of my every day ritual in Italy. I would go to the same cafe, where they quickly learned my name, and as soon as I would walk in the door they would look up and say "ciao, vorrai un cappuccino decafinato?" (would you like a decaf cappuccino?) and with a giant smile on my face I would reply "si, grazie mile." Many hours were spent laughing with friends, learning Italian and creating memories in that cafe. Even thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. 

Flash forward a few years with long work hours and a busy schedule. I noticed that coffee with cream was no longer working for me. I was getting jittering and anxious after drinking it and would crash a few hours later. It wasn't until I discovered adding adaptogens and fat to my lattes that I was able to have a cup every day or at least a few times a week. I no longer get the jitters or feel anxious as I am fueling my body with herbs that are helping it to adapt to stress as well as fat that keeps the caffeine from hitting my blood stream so harshly. 

One of my favorite coffee companies is Chameleon Cold Brew. Cold brew is great because it is less acidic and has a deep and smooth flavor. Of all the brands I've tried, this one has the best flavor, is organic and is ran by people who are truly passionate about sustainable and organic coffee.  I love to heat it up over the stove in the morning with a bit of homemade nut milk and then add it to my blender with ghee, adaptogens and spices. Its the perfect start to the day. Now that the weather is heating up, I enjoy a cold coffee mid morning or early afternoon. I created this Cinnamon Pecan Frozen coffee. It is slightly sweet and completely delicious. I used Astragalus for lung and immune support, cordyceps for an extra energy boost and endurance and reishi for adrenal and nervous system support. Tocos is great to add to any coffee drink as it is a bio-available form of vitamin E and adds a delicious creaminess. You could certainly leave the adaptogens and tocos out (but, like why?). It's the perfect addition to a hot summer day.

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Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to a minute. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy in the sunshine. 

Sexy aMYLK Latte

I first discovered aMylk through instragram. I was drawn to a company that made organic, high quality nut milks that were not filled with a ton of extra sugars and thickeners.  I reached out to Amy to see if she would like to collaborate on a recipe. When she said yes, I was over the moon excited. As you know, I am always eager to support and collaborate with kick-ass women who run kick-ass companies. Then when she asked me to infuse my feminine self into the recipe, I could I have burst with excitement. So into the kitchen I went to play. I pulled out all my hormone balancing/aphrodisiac herbs and adaptogens. Meet this delicious aphrodisiac and hormones balancing latte. I will explain why I used each ingredient below. I could not be more pleased without this turned out. It is delicious, a little sweet, loaded with amazing things to support and ignite your feminine body, plus its pretty and who doesn't like pretty things?!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup aMYLK shop vanilla Hazelnut milk
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee (regular, decaf or sub a cup of filtered water to make without)
  • 1 T Ahara Rasa Hot Date Ghee (optional but oh so delicious)
  • 1 T The Philosophie Cacao Magic or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp cordyceps
  • 1/4 tsp pine pollen
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • dried rose petals (i bought mine at Whole Foods)

heat the hazelnut mylk on low until hot, but not boiling. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until creamy. Pour into your favorite mug and top with crushed rose petals. Indulge and enjoy.

CHOCOLATE has been known for centuries as a sensual food. It has been found to increase dopamine levels. Its aphrodisiac qualities come from a chemical called tryptophan, a building block of seratonin which a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. 

Chocolate always seems to get the spotlight when it comes to aphrodisia, but VANILLA is just as powerful. They enhance the hormones in the body that are associated with love and happiness. 

The caffeine in COFFEE ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow. 

MACA has a multitude of amazing benefits from mood boost and memory to female hormone balance, sexual health and fertility. This lovely root stimulates the organs responsible for hormone balance so they can function optimally. 

CORDYCEPS are the mushroom of sexual health. It increases the libido, make it easier for you to "get in the mood." It is also great for physical endurance.

PINE POLLEN is currently one of my favorite adaptogens. It helps to balance the testosterone levels in your as well as helps to increase libido. 

Because of GINGER'S of it's anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been long revered in helping with menstrual cramps and chronic pain. It's also an effective treatment for morning sickness. In some Hindu traditions; garlic, ginger and onion are not consumed as they are believed to rev the first and second chakra too strongly. 

CARDAMOM is related to ginger and can be used in many of the same ways. I use it daily as it tastes so delicious and lessens the acidity in coffee. 

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