This is a wonderful soup to make when everyone is catching colds around you. It contains a lot more than the title suggests, such as ginger, sweet potato, golden beets, cashews and turmeric. It has sunshine from oranges, vitamin-boosted with the squeezed juice and zest, and you can put lots of fresh ginger in it if you are crazy for ginger like I am. This recipe could just be the thing to make your healthy menu planning better—- just veggies, oranges, spices, a soup pot and ladle. Because happy-making and cold-proofing requires some citrus and spice.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I’m walking through a park near the foothills of the Angeles Crest Forest. The afternoon sunlight is softly dappling through the leaves of the trees as my two daughters run ahead. My youngest daughter is six years old, percolating with delight over climbing trees. She leaps over rocks and brush, climbing up the low slung trunks and limbs of trees she can reach. My older daughter, ten years old, has my Nikon strapped around her neck. She cradles the camera in the clutch of her nimble hands, photographing nature, as master forager Pascal Baudar leads us up into the wooded area beyond the hiking trail to teach us a little bit about foraging for wild edible plants.
The rain from last weekend made everything greener. It was a perfect day for foraging.
I’ve been on the go and busy this holiday. There are articles and blog posts just bursting in my mind as I drive, usually while I’m hungry and stuck in traffic, having waited way too long to eat something. Like sugar plums dancing through my head this holiday season, I dream of beautiful raw whole foods and recipes. Unfortunately, I’m clutching the steering wheel rather than the chef’s knife, and by the time I’m home I’d rather have dinner waiting for me than cook. Sound familiar?
It’s the holiday season. We’ve had a lot of celebrating at my house which, of course, involved cooking and eating. If you’re feeling thank-full like I am, make superfood smoothies. Even though my Thanksgiving menu at home was mostly vegan (everything vegan but the turkey) I’ve been feeling fatigued from all of the fun events and family time. I’ve not been eating as clean and plant-based as usual (I ate half a tin of those delicious and irresistible Danish butter cookies, indulged in Chinese shumai dumplings doused in soy and chili sauce, devoured my favorite fried scallion pancakes, nibbled on sweet potato fries with my kids, and savored a tasty Vietnamese crepe made with fried coconut and mung bean batter).
So, come Monday, I can start all over. Into the blender goes coconut water, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, dates, frozen bananas, almond slivers, kale, lots and lots of kale.
I like to boost my smoothies with coconut oil and other add-ins, such as goji powder, and açaí berry anything, if you have it. Pomegranate juice and fresh pomegranates— seeds and juice— are used in my kitchen quite often. Also, the morning of Thanksgiving I concocted a tonic for myself to rid a throbbing, nearly migraine headache— and it worked. That was amazing because I would not have been able to put together my Thanksgiving spread while enduring a migraine. I was so convinced that the ginger turmeric tonic I made— a large mug full of hot water, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger and turmeric, lemon and orange juice freshly squeezed— worked its wonders that I decided to try it every morning in place of my usual hot cup of tea.
So try making a homemade smoothie and ditch the prepared blender packets of smoothie mix. The powers of natural healing are in whole foods. We know this. Consider the smoothies and tonics you blend up in your kitchen part of your holiday regimen. Go ahead and indulge a little too.
Tips on making smoothies a regular daily thing: I keep frozen bananas ready to go in my freezer. You know when bananas start to become overripe? Just skin them, wrap the banana in plastic wrap, and freeze. Dates keep well in the fridge. Have a box on hand. Keep your superfood powders in pretty sealed jars on display. They look lovely— green tea powder, goji powder, maca root powder— and remind you to use them frequently.
3/4 cup whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted (about 4 dates)
1 whole banana, fresh or frozen
2 stalks kale, leafy parts
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup slivered almonds, blanched
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 cups coconut water
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup açaí (or pomegranate) juice
2 tablespoons goji powder
raw honey or pure maple syrup, to taste
Blend together all of the ingredients until smooth. Taste, and sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired.