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Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic

In need of a warm drink that not only tastes good but is packed with essential minerals? Molasses tonic is the perfect warm up and pick-me-up drink for cold weather.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like warm drinks. Do you?

Even on the hottest summer days I still start the day with a warm drink. It has a calming effect on my mind and body. In fact I’m sipping on one right now while I write this post!

I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I usually go for tea.

But these days I pretty much drink one of two things. Either healing hot chocolate or molasses tonic. Both provide minerals in a great tasting, soothing beverage.

You may be wondering, what’s so great about molasses? Isn’t that just sugar?

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

It contains:

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • vitamin B6
  • niacin
  • pantothenic acid
  • choline
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • copper
  • selenium
  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • sodium

It has also been shown to be helpful with a variety of health issues from PMS, headaches and acne to bone health and constipation.

What’s not to love?

Well, maybe the flavor.

Molasses is an acquired taste.

At least for me. If you are not a fan just start with a small amount and work your way up to a full tablespoon.

You can even do half molasses and half maple syrup to start. Maple syrup has minerals too!

As you can see molasses is very nutritious. You could just take a big spoonful once or twice a day.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like to combine it with some other nutrients in a hot drink to really give my body a boost.

So you can add any or all of the following to create a molasses tonic:

  • stinging nettle (allergy relief, reduce inflammation)
  • grass-fed collagen (easy-to-digest protein, gut healing)
  • unrefined sea salt (trace minerals, hydration/electrolyte balance)
  • cocoa powder (magnesium, iron, fiber, manganese, zinc, flavonoids)
  • carob powder (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium)
  • maple syrup (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, zinc)
  • butter and/or coconut oil (healthy saturated fat, helps balance the protein and carbohydrates)

When you put all of these together molasses tonic can practically be a meal replacement! And if you have a super busy morning here and there it could be. I drink it after a meal. Though it is best to wait an hour after eating to let your food settle/start digesting first.

If you don’t have time or all of the ingredients to make the full molasses tonic you can simply add molasses and sea salt to hot water. You’ll still get a big nutritional boost and feel hydrated.

The next time you need a hot beverage skip the coffee. Instead whip up a power packed molasses tonic.

This is great for kids too. Add some whole milk or coconut milk to their molasses tonic for a creamy drink.

Do you consume molasses regularly? What is your favorite way to use it? 
Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic
Serves 1
A warm drink packed with vitamins and minerals
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling water
  2. 1/2 - 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
optional
  1. 1 tsp. nettle leaf
  2. 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
  3. 1 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic carob powder
  5. 2 tsp. grade B maple syrup
  6. 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  7. 2-4 Tbsp. whole milk or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. If using nettle leaf, use a tea strainer or cheesecloth to steep nettle leaves in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves.
  2. Add the remaining boiling water and ingredients.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cool enough to drink or add ice cubes or milk.
Notes
  1. This can be served warm or cold (iced molasses tonic).
  2. This can be placed in a water bottle and packed for school lunch.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Bedtime Beverage

Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple PieDo you have trouble falling asleep at night?  Or maybe your kids have a hard time winding down at the end of the day?  Mine sure do!

Except for one…the baby.  How does she go to sleep?  She nurses and falls fast asleep.  Mother’s milk is warm and has the perfect balance of nutrients to help a little one nod off to sleep.  It is comforting and nourishing.

So how does that translate to everyone else?  Surprisingly ice cream (the kind made with real, whole ingredients) is about the closest thing we have to breast milk in terms of its nutrient profile.  It has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

You could definitely indulge in a dish of ice cream to see if it helps you get sleepy.  But I have a drink that might work better.  It’s like warm ice cream!

Raw cream or whole milk is the ideal base for this drink.  If you can’t have dairy you can use full fat coconut milk and add a little extra gelatin for the protein balance.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Egg yolks are added because they are packed with vitamins (especially B) and a little bit of protein.  The cream or milk has lots of healthy fat.  Gelatin gives more amino acids and protein.  Plus the gelatin makes it all easier to digest.  The sea salt helps you absorb everything and adds trace minerals.  The syrup also helps digestion (sugar is easily absorbed) and gives balance to the drink by adding carbohydrates.

At bedtime you need your adrenals to settle down for the night.  Having a balance of sugar, salt and fat will help your body accomplish that.   You can also add a small starchy snack along side the bedtime beverage to really balance out the components.  A couple soaked graham crackers or even a slice of sourdough bread are perfect.

This bedtime beverage is like a nutritionally boosted version of the warm milk you grew up drinking at bedtime (yes, there was some truth behind that).  It’s almost as comforting and calming as mother’s milk.  It tastes great too!

This drink can also be very helpful during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Even if you can’t get much else down this will give you a nutrient boost and may be soothing to an unsettled stomach.

There is no fancy equipment required for this drink.  Just a small pan and a whisk.  It only takes a few minutes to make.  Don’t forget to save your egg whites for baking.  They store well in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time.  I like to use them for making gluten free bread!

You won’t have to convince your kids to drink this before bed.  Offer a soothing bedtime beverage that tastes like ice cream and I’m sure they will gladly oblige.  Then watch them settle down and drift off to sleep.  Mother’s milk is wonderful for helping little ones get to sleep.  Now everyone else can do the same.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Bedtime Beverage
Serves 1
A warm drink to help you sleep at night.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup heavy cream, coconut milk or whole milk
  2. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1 - 2 tsp. collagen or gelatin
  5. 1 - 2 egg yolks
  6. optional: 1 - 2 tsp. cocoa or carob powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. If using gelatin let the mixture set for 1 minute.
  4. Gently warm the mixture over low heat. Do not let it boil or you could curdle the milk or cook the egg yolks.
  5. Pour into a mug and enjoy before bed.
Notes
  1. This can be made with just the cream, syrup and salt.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Hydrating Iced Cocoa

iced cocoa

Last year I shared my “secret” recipe for hot chocolate that I drink daily.  It tastes great and keeps me  going all day.

This past week we went from chilly to hot!  Though now it’s back to chilly again.  That’s Michigan for you.

As much as I love my hot chocolate, when I’m dripping with sweat from playing outside with the kids it just doesn’t sound that appealing.

So now it’s time for an iced version!  When I tried it I was pleasantly surprised that the iced cocoa kept me just as hydrated as the hot version.  It was also just as easy to drink without feeling like I had a belly full of liquid.

I don’t know the science behind it, but just a small amount of cocoa helps my body absorb liquids and stay hydrated.  Cocoa is also full of minerals like potassium and magnesium.  It even has quite a bit of iron and fiber.

I’ve talked before about the importance of not drinking tons of plain water throughout the day.  It will actually flush the vitamins and minerals out of your body and leave you dehydrated…and feeling even thirstier!  It will also lower your metabolism (you can read more about that in Eat for Heat and The Nourished Metabolism).

I stick to my mug of hot chocolate in the morning and now my mug of iced cocoa in the afternoon.  My thirst is quenched for the whole day.  As an added bonus I no longer have the overactive bladder I had from childhood on.  I’m not running to the bathroom all day long.

Do you play sports?  Skip the neon-colored sports drinks and fill your water bottle with iced cocoa.

My kids often ask me to make hot chocolate for them.  But it’s tough to get it just the right temperature so that it’s still warm but not too hot.  They are going to love this new treat.

If you’re looking for a delicious, refreshing and hydrating drink this summer try some iced cocoa.  It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes great! 

iced cocoa collage

Hydrating Iced Cocoa
Serves 1
A delicious, hydrating drink to keep you going all summer long.
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Prep Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 - 2 tsp. organic cocoa powder (you can substitute carob powder)
  2. 1 Tbsp. honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and/or cane sugar
  3. 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1-2 tsp. gelatin or collagen (optional)
  5. 1/4 cup milk or milk substitute (optional)
  6. ice cubs
  7. hot water
  8. cold water
Instructions
  1. Add cocoa powder, sweetener, salt and gelatin to a heat-safe cup (I like to use a pint jar/mug).
  2. If using gelatin, add 1/8 cup of water, stir and let sit for about 30 seconds to dissolve.
  3. Add 1/4 cup boiling water to the cup. Stir to dissolve the cocoa/sweetener/salt mixture.
  4. Add 4-6 ice cubes to cool the cocoa.
  5. Add milk for richness.
  6. Fill the rest of the glass with cold water.
  7. Stir and serve immediately.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese

We tried yet another new recipe for dinner last night.  Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  This recipe comes from Tasty Kitchen.

The original recipe has spinach in it.  I just used the concept of replacing noodles with quinoa and then made it the way I normally make macaroni and cheese.

This was quite good.  It was a unique way to get my family to eat quinoa.  So far they are not big fans (I really enjoy it myself…but the rest not so much).  But Justin and Rebecca both finished their helpings.  Since they normally only tolerate a few bites of quinoa I consider it a success :).

You could easily add any chopped, cooked vegetables to this dish.  Or even add bacon or ham.  That would make it even better!

I’ll post the recipe the way I made it.  Very simple.  And a nice change from the traditional macaroni and cheese.  It’s also a great way to make a gluten free version of a classic dish.  If you like your mac ‘n’ cheese to really hold together well you can mix in a couple of beaten eggs before pouring it into the pan.

This can be prepared in advance and then simply baked right before dinner.  Or you can skip the topping/baking and serve it right out of the pan.  This would also make a great, warming breakfast!

Quinoa “Macaroni” and Cheese
serves 3 – 4

1/2 cup dry quinoa (makes about 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
1 cup water
1 tsp. evoo
1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 – 2 cups grated cheese (depends how cheesy you like it.  Any varieties will do.  I used mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan.)
salt and garlic powder to taste

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (optional – use gluten free or omit to keep it gluten free)
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used the same cheese mix as was in the casserole)

Rinse quinoa in a small mesh strainer for 1-2 minutes to remove bitter coating.

Toast quinoa in hot oil in a small saucepan for 1-2 minutes.  Add water.  Bring to a boil.  Add salt.  Cover.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Let set covered 5 minutes.  Pour quinoa into a bowl.

In the mean time melt butter in a saucepan.  Add flour and mix.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add milk very gradually, a couple Tbsp. at a time at first.  Stir after each addition to incorporate into the butter/flour mixture.  Add remaining milk.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Season to taste.

Pour cheese sauce over quinoa and mix.  Add extra seasoning if necessary.  Add eggs if desired.

Pour into a greased casserole dish.

Sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese over top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and golden.  Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.

Healing Hot Cocoa

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.

 

Ever since I got pregnant with baby #2 (in 2010) I have been hooked on hot chocolate.  While I had morning sickness it was about the only way I could get fluids down.  For some reason even when I’m sick chocolate still sounds good.

Even after giving birth I still enjoyed hot chocolate, but didn’t need it daily any more.  I should say I’d try not to drink it daily…I was trying to be “good.”

Being Good Didn’t Work.

I’d go for stretches where I only drank lots of plain water or water with a little lemon juice.  But I started to notice that I always felt so full after drinking plain water.  It felt like I never absorbed it unless I just took tiny sips at a time.  And I would always have to go to the bathroom frequently.  And I would get very cold.

But give me a big mug of hot chocolate…and I can go through the whole thing in a few minutes and not feel like I have  belly full of liquid.  I feel like my body absorbs it and uses it.  And it helps me get warm.

So whenever I’m feeling dehydrated or like I’m not absorbing fluids or like I need something to help warm up I reach for a big mug of (homemade) hot chocolate.

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.

Why Hot Cocoa?

I’ve tried other drinks, but they never do the same thing.  Why would this be?

Turns out my body really does know what it needs.

First, cocoa is actually quite high in magnesium.  And that’s something I am lacking.

Cocoa is also high in iron.  And I just found out this week that I’m anemic.  So I better keep drinking my hot chocolate 🙂

After reading Eat For Heat I know that some fluids like plain water, tea, coffee and soda just flush the minerals out of your body.  But cocoa is is a very warming food.  And so is salt…which I add to my hot chocolate to make it even more warming!

Finally I saw this article recently about the health benefits of honey and cinnamon.

I combine all of these benefits into a cup of delicious, healing, hydrating, warming hot chocolate.  It takes a few seconds to make (once you have hot water).  And it is allergen free (dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, soy, etc.).  If you can handle cocoa powder it is even GAPS legal.

With the salt/sweet/mineral content this could even replace your sports drink.

Make It Even Better.

If you really want a nutrient boost you can add collagen, butter and/or coconut oil!

Want to take a step towards good health?  Instead of drowning in ounce after ounce of plain water try a delicious mug of healing hot chocolate.  Your body and your taste buds will thank you.

A little disclaimer – I’m not a doctor.  I don’t have scientific data to back this up.  I just know how my body responds.  I always feel warm and hydrated when I drink my homemade hot chocolate.  But I feel full and cold when I drink most other fluids.

How about you?  Does your body respond well to hot chocolate?

Want to learn more? Read why I cut way down on drinking plain water.

This healing hot cocoa will warm you up, keep you hydrated and nourish your body. Plus it tastes great! The perfect cold weather drink.

 

Healing Hot Chocolate
serves 1

1 – 2 tsp. organic cocoa powder (it is important to use organic to avoid GMOs) (you can also use carob powder if you can’t tolerate cocoa)
2 tsp. raw honey, organic cane sugar, maple syrup or molasses
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt
1/4 cup milk or milk substitute (optional)
2 tsp. collagen (optional)
2 tsp. butter (optional)
2 tsp. coconut oil (optional)
hot water

Place cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon, collagen and salt in a mug.  Fill the mug with hot water and stir to dissolve.  Add a splash of milk if desired for creaminess/to cool the hot chocolate.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Soaked Chocolate Covered Donuts

About a year ago I was experimenting with all kinds of soaked recipes.  I tried making Adrienne’s soaked whole wheat donuts.  They were really good.

But then I forgot about them.

Last week I was playing with my kids with their pretend food/dishes.  Rebecca had a donut on her plate, and we were brainstorming baking projects (real ones).  So we thought it might it might be fun to make real chocolate covered donuts.

So I did.

And they turned out great!!

These donuts reminded me of my childhood.  When we got donuts (which was a rare thing) I always got chocolate covered…and so did my siblings 🙂  One bite brought me back to my youth.

I used the same base recipe and adjusted it a bit so I can tolerate them.  Then I made my own chocolate topping.

This is a delicious, warming breakfast treat.  You can make them as large or as small as you like.  You can make full donuts or donut holes.  You can glaze the top or cover them entirely in chocolatey goodness.

You can make other flavors as well.  Coat them in chopped crispy nuts.  Mix in mini chocolate chips.  Or go for the original cinnamon sugar.

Do you like having a donut for breakfast sometimes?  Just because you want to eat Real food does not mean you have to give them up.  Just go for a healthier, easier to digest, homemade version.

What is your favorite donut flavor?

Soaked Chocolate Covered Donuts
dairy free options

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. milk or water
1 cup organic cane sugar or sucanat
5 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil, melted
1 cup sour milk, buttermilk, kefir or sour milk substitute.  (combine 1 Tbsp. vineager or lemon juice + milk to equal 1 cup to make sour milk)

Donuts:

Combine the flour, sugar, fat and cultured/soured liquid. Let the dough rest for 12-24 hours. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Roll out dough to approximately 1/2″ thickness. Cut out donuts with cutter, ring or shape into desired shapes.

Bake on an ungreased baking sheet  at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Topping:

1 cup chocolate chips (I used soy free, dairy free, nut free, egg free)
1/4 cup milk or milk substitute
3 Tbsp. organic all purpose flour (or arrowroot or cornstarch)

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler (glass bowl on top of a pot of simmering water).  When all of the chocolate is melted slowly stir in the milk and flour.  Mix until smooth.  Remove from heat.

Dip the cooled donuts in the warm chocolate.

Store donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for short term storage.  Store in a freezer for long term storage.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.