Monthly Archives: November 2014

Cold-Kicking Tea

This post is inspired by my day home sick from work. ‘Tis the season for colds, coughs, and sore throats. My sick day plans include cuddling with my dog and drinking tea constantly. Not just any tea, but a homemade concoction that keeps me warm, soothes my throat, and helps me get well asap.

Cold-Kicking Tea | The Fresh Day

My cold-kicking tea is made from honey, ginger, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. Each ingredient has its own unique health benefits. Together, steeped in hot water, they taste like a delicious tea that is medicinal in all the best ways.

Honey is known to be a great sore throat soother; you can feel its effects immediately. It is also an effective cough suppressant and helps calm inflammation in the throat and nasal passages.

Ginger is delicious for anytime, but has a whole slew of health benefits as well. When it comes to colds, ginger helps with headaches and dizziness in addition to being anti-inflammatory. Keeping ginger root in the freezer extends the life so you can always have it on hand. I peel and chop the root into small pieces before freezing to make it easy to throw into tea or breakfast shakes.

Lemon juice is a common addition to tea, and these days, simply hot lemon water is also very popular. Lemon’s list of health benefits include bringing down a fever and soothing a sore throat, making it a smart choice when looking to knock out a cold.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits that have led it to gain quite a fan club. Fermented using a mother culture and a process similar to kombucha, apple cider vinegar is full of probiotics, supporting digestion and the immune system. Drinking apple cider vinegar is also a home remedy for nasal congestion, and mixing it into a tea makes it go down easy.

Cold-Kicking Tea

Makes 1 pot (about 4 cups)

Ingredients
• 2 1/2 cups water
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the mother (like Bragg’s)
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2-3 1/2 inch pieces of ginger, peeled

1. Bring water to a boil. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small teapot or other heat safe container.
2. Add boiling water and stir to combine ingredients and dissolve honey. Let steep 5 minutes before drinking, and get well soon.

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Green Breakfast Shake

My typical weekday breakfast is a green shake. It’s a habit I got into from an annual cleanse I do (more on that later), but kept up because I love starting my day with fruit and vegetables rather than grains and starches. Shakes are super healthy, tasty, and easy to make, as long as you have 5 minutes in the morning.

Green Breakfast Shake | The Fresh Day

I tend to bring my shakes wherever I go; they’re also the perfect breakfast to eat on the run. Friends have asked me what’s in them and how I make them, looking for healthy options, working around food allergies, or just intrigued.

The base recipe is very simple, made up of a few staples I keep in the house. Each day I mix it up a bit, depending on my mood and what’s in season. However, one thing remains consistent – there is always baby spinach. It’s my favorite part. Nutritionally, spinach is off the charts. But raw, in a shake, baby spinach is virtually tasteless. So much so that I play a game with myself, seeing how much spinach I can put in before I dislike it. Still haven’t gotten there.

Green Breakfast Shake | The Fresh Day

Green Breakfast Shake
(naturally raw, vegan, and gluten-free)

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
Base:
• 1 apple, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup of frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, etc.)
• 1 generous handful of baby spinach (regular spinach will NOT taste as good)
• 1/4 cup raw almonds, or 1 tbsp almond butter
• 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
• 1/2 cup water, or non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.)

Optional additions, chose one or more:
• 1 tbsp fresh ginger
• 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 scoop of non-dairy protein powder (non-GMO soy, hemp, etc.)
• Stevia or honey to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary to get your blender going.

Enjoy! Switch the recipe up next time to find your favorite combo and to keep things interesting.

Green Breakfast Shake | The Fresh Day

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Bagels and lox. A glorious combination, and I think most would agree. After being faced with the need to eliminate gluten, bagels are pretty high up on the list of things I miss. Most gluten-free bagels I’ve tried are pretty much bread with a hole in the middle. Fills the void, but doesn’t fill it well.

Homemade Gravlax | The Fresh Day

The online market of my CSA carries some products from local gluten-free bakeries, which is pretty awesome. This includes bagels from Sweet Note Bakery, a Philadelphia company that specializes exclusively in perfecting the gluten-free, New York style bagel. They are also soy-free, dairy-free, vegan, and non-gmo, garnering some serious respect. Even better, they are the best tasting gluten-free bagels I’ve had, with a chewy texture that’s amazingly close to the real thing.

The best thing to put on these bagels? Salmon, of course. Gravlax is cured salmon, like lox, but without the smoke. I brought home a big filet of wild-caught salmon from the Italian Market with just this purpose in mind. It’s an easy recipe that I like making just because it’s SO cool to be able to cure your own fish. Like ceviche or other raw applications, I suggest starting with the freshest, highest quality fish you can find (though sushi-grade is not necessary).

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Makes 4 servings (this recipe can be scaled up depending on the size of the salmon filet)

Ingredients
• 1.5 lb filet of salmon, skin on
• 1/4 cup salt
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped, or 2 tbsp of dried dill

Equipment
• 9 x 12 glass or ceramic dish
• plastic wrap

Homemade Gravlax | The Fresh Day

1. Prepare salmon by trimming if necessary and making sure all pin bones are removed.
2. In a small bowl, mix salt, sugar, pepper, and dill. Spread half the mixture in the bottom of the dish.
3. Place salmon skin side down on top of the curing mixture in the dish. Sprinkle remaining mixture evenly over the top of the salmon and gently rub in.
4. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 3 days, turning over the salmon each day. (The curing mixture should have turned to liquid.)
5. At the end of the third day, gently rinse the curing mixture off the salmon. Thinly slice, removing from the skin. Serve with lemon, capers, maybe some creme fraiche or cream cheese, and bagels, of course.