November 25th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Starbucks and other coffeehouses are trotting out their high-calorie winter beverage menu.
A 12-oz. (Tall) Starbucks Peppermint Mocha made with soy milk has 250 calories, not counting whipped cream (add another 70 calories). A 12-oz. Gingerbread Latte, even with nonfat milk, has 150 calories—220 with whipped cream. You really don’t want to know the calorie count in the full-fat versions. Trust me.
Save money and calories with today’s Pumpkin Latte, which has only 80 calories per serving.
The key is smart substitutions, says Jenny Harper, senior culinary specialist for the Nestlé Test Kitchens. In today’s recipe, she blends low-fat dairy with a nutrient-dense ingredient like pumpkin.
Best of all, the ingredients should be readily available at your local natural and organic food store. Enjoy!
Makes 2 servings (8 ounces each)
1 cup strong coffee
2/3 cup evaporated fat-free milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (or other sweetener)
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- Combine coffee, evaporated milk, pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a 2-cup microwave-safe glass measure or small saucepan.
- Heat until very hot. (If using the stove, select medium-low heat and stir occasionally.)
- Carefully pour into mugs.
Want a Foamy Top?
Prepare recipe as directed. Then, carefully transfer the hot mixture into a blender container. Cover with lid, and hold it down with a folded towel or potholder. Blend for 1 minute.
Nutrition Facts per Serving: 80 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 5 g protein, 80% vitamin A, 20% calcium
Recipe and photo courtesy of Nestlé
Read More:Pumpkin Latte
August 14th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Visit a Vietnamese restaurant, and you’re likely to find chanh muối on the menu—a beverage that literally means “salty lemonade.” Chefs make the drink with pickled lemons or limes, and it can be served cold or hot.
Our weekend recipe comes from Dana Jacobi, author of The Essential Best Foods Cookbook: 225 Irresistible Recipes Featuring the Healthiest and Most Delicious Foods and a contributor to the New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life. She substitutes freshly squeezed lemon juice for the pickled lemons, replaces sugar with agave syrup, and adds pinches of cayenne and black pepper to spice things up.
“Asians appreciate that [the peppers’] heat helps keep you cool, plus their flavors go well with the lemon,” she says. “If you find club soda more refreshing, by all means use it in place of water.”
Note: Use kosher salt in lieu of table or sea salt. It has “the cleanest taste of all salts; the minerals in sea salt affect its flavor, so every brand tastes slightly different,” Jacobi says.
All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Makes 1 serving
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon light agave syrup
3/4 cup cold water
6 ice cubes
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper and agave syrup. Add the cold water and mix well.
Place the ice in a tall glass and pour the lemonade over it. Add the black pepper as garnish, and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research
Read More:Asian Lemonade
July 13th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
For me, summer is the best season for cocktails. Seasonal organic fruits can star in a variety of creative drinks, including:
But many people think of summer as a “timeout” from normal routines, which means they tend to drink more, says Scott Walters, PhD, an associate professor of public health at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. This contributes to a higher incidence of hangovers, assaults and driving under the influence.
“Our research has suggested that people can reduce the amount of problems they encounter by adopting simple drinking strategies to slow or spread out their drinking,” he says.
Dr. Walters offers the following tips:
- Decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have or when you will stop drinking.
- Alternate between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
- Avoid doing “shots” of liquor.
- Drink plenty of water, and put extra ice in your drink.
- Don’t mix different types of alcohol.
- Drink slowly. Don’t gulp, chug or try to keep pace with others’ drinking. Eat before or during drinking.
- Keep track of the number of drinks you consume.
Read More:A Cocktail Caveat
July 10th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
As promised in yesterday’s post on chai, we’re featuring a cool summer beverage recipe from Dana Jacobi, author of The Essential Best Foods Cookbook: 225 Irresistible Recipes Featuring the Healthiest and Most Delicious Foods and a contributor to the New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.
“As the weather warmed and drinking hot tea all day became less comfortable, I began to think about how to make it into a good cold drink,” she says. “Experimenting revealed interesting options.”
Step 1: Brew chai from teabags, and freeze it into ice cubes—“a great way to avoid ice diluting the flavor in your glass,” Jacobi explains. “These cubes keep for several days—longer when, once frozen, they are stored in a resealable plastic bag.”
Step 2: Brew a batch of chai using spices plus tea. It will “keep for several days in the refrigerator,” Jacobi says.
Step 3: Add almond milk, a “flavor that marries beautifully with the spices,” she says. In lieu of sugar, sweeten this beverage with agave, a natural syrup that’s available in mainstream supermarkets and organic food stores.
Iced Almond Chai
Makes 4 one-cup servings
3 green cardamom pods, cracked
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 cups cold water
3 black teabags
3 chai teabags with black tea
3 cups boiling water
1-1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk, chilled
8–10 teaspoons agave syrup, preferably dark
For the chai, combine the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, anise and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Add the water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Off the heat, add the black teabags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, squeezing them well.
Pour the chai into a heat-proof jar, and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Strain the chai when ready to use, and discard the spices.
For ice cubes: In a heatproof measuring cup, pour the boiling water over the 3 chai tea bags, and steep for 10 minutes. Divide the tea between two ice cube trays, and cool to room temperature; then freeze into cubes.
To serve, place 6 chai ice cubes in each of four 12-ounce glasses. Pour in 1/2 cup of the strained, chilled chai. Add 1/3 cup almond milk and sweeten to taste, using 2 to 3 teaspoons of agave syrup per serving.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research
Read More:Iced Almond Chai
July 9th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Chai is my favorite tea blend, and I generally prefer an herbal variety to its black-tea cousin.
The traditional spices in a well-made cup—cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise, cloves and peppercorns—explode in your mouth, yet provide the ultimate in comfort.
One of my favorite chai recipes is a simple Cardamom Tea, as presented in Diana Rosen’s superb book Chai: The Spice Tea of India. Rosen’s recipes go beyond the teacup, with her unique takes on chai scones, cookies and cakes.
“Indians focus on the health properties of chai,” says Dana Jacobi, author of The Essential Best Foods Cookbook: 225 Irresistible Recipes Featuring the Healthiest and Most Delicious Foods and a contributor to the New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life, published by the American Institute for Cancer Research.
“Each spice has its benefits, from easing digestion to stimulating the body’s circulation with a warming effect,” she says. “I focus more on how chai tastes, finding it a great way to consume quantities of tea for its antioxidant benefits.”
Jacobi, in fact, has collected more than 20 different chai brands and flavors.
“In some, the bite of clove dominates over the mellow flavor of cinnamon and dry taste of cardamom,” she says. “In others, the heat from ginger, black pepper or both takes over. Some chai teas include fennel or anise seed because they add a sweet flavor. For added variety, some also include vanilla, chocolate or orange zest.”
If you’re looking for a great chai blend, check out Rishi Tea Masala Chai, available at OrganicAuthority’s Online Store, Amazon, and natural and organic food stores. It’s USDA Organic-, Fair Trade- and kosher-certified.
Jacobi prefers to brew her own chai instead of using preblended tea bags. Tune in tomorrow for her delicious recipe for Iced Almond Chai—a divine summer treat!
Read More:Chai Me Up, Chai Me Down
May 29th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
A vesper is a martini-style cocktail that first became popular in the James Bond novel Casino Royale, written in the 1950s by the talented Ian Fleming. Bond instructs the bartender how to prepare his drink, and we can reasonably assume it’s shaken, not stirred.
Our weekend recipe is a summery, party-ready variation, with kiwifruit as the star attraction. If you’d prefer to make a mocktail, substitute 6 ounces of white grape juice and a dash of bitters for the alcohol.
Prep time is only 3 minutes, and most of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store. Cheers!
Makes 2 cocktails
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces gin
2 ounces Lillet Blanc (a French wine made with citrus liqueur)
1 cup ice
Muddle kiwifruit, vodka, gin, Lillet Blanc and ice in cocktail shaker. Shake all ingredients; strain into two sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Garnish with unpeeled kiwifruit slice.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Zespri Kiwifruit
Read More:Kiwi Vesper (Cocktail & Mocktail)
August 4th, 2006 - Laura Klein
If you haven’t yet tried our recipe for Rose Geranium Sangria, it is a must. It is perfect for weekend barbeques, family gatherings or even a wedding shower. It is really just a simple twist on the traditional recipe. One taste of this sangria and your guests will be coming back for more.
Rose Geranium Sangria
1 ½ cups of water
½ cup of sugar
24 medium organically grown rose scented geranium leaves*
2 bottles of chilled dry rose wine – I recommend Silver Mountain Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir
1 blood orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 pint of fresh raspberries or blackberries, or a combination of the two, washed
1 pint of strawberries, washed, hulled and thinly sliced
6-8 cups of sparkling water or club soda if desired
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the rose geranium leaves, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 20 minutes. Strain and press liquid out of leaves using a wooden spoon. Chill infused syrup in an ice water bath or refrigerator until cool.
In a large glass pitcher or medium size punch bowl, combine the chilled wine, syrup, orange and lemon slices, and fresh berries. Chill for a minimum or up to several hours to let the fresh fruit infuse their flavors. Before serving add the sparkling water or club soda if desired. Serve chilled.
* You can find organically grown rose scented geraniums at a local nursery or farmers market. They must be pesticide and chemical free in order to be fit for consumption.
Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, OrganicAuthority.com recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to maximize flavors and nutrition while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Read More:Beat the heat with our Rose Geranium Sangria