Nutritional Advice Series: Choose Your Food Wisely – Beverages

When we pay close attention to our nutrition, wellness and weight control, beverages are just as important as the food we are eating.  They can quickly add up to become a large percentage of a person’s daily intake of sugar, sodium or calories without much thought at all.  As with nearly every other aspect of diet we have discussed: balance is key. Water: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but don’t over do it to the point of always... Read More

Whole Lemon and Ginger Tea with Honey

Between the farmers market and Chinese medical school, I get a lot of different recipes relayed to me in short little snippets, usually no more than 15 words or so.  Off the top of my head I think of the Sweet Pickled Carrots and Daikon or the Okra and Miso Marinara, both of which the farmer I work for told me about.  But there are many, many more that have found their way into my diet. This recipe is one someone at my school gave me on a day... Read More

Parsnip Muffins and Blood Orange Mimosas

I rarely follow recipes word for word.  I’ve been toying around with the proportions in this Whole Wheat Apple Muffin recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but with everything except apples.  I tried them with blueberries, pear, and now, shredded parsnip.  I got the idea for from a very gingery parsnip cupcake I had at Four Cafe.  I bulked up these muffins with some extra ground flax seed, as well as fresh and ground ginger. I made them with some... Read More

Watermelon Margarita

If you are looking for the perfect summer cocktail to sip on this labor day, look no further. This has been a summer favorite since last year, when a friend made a big batch at a 4th of July party and exclaimed how simple they were to make!  Just three ingredients: frozen watermelon, lime juice, and tequila.  I knew I just had to try them for myself. If you use really sweet watermelon that is in season and just perfectly ripen, then you don’t... Read More

farmers’ market find: lemon verbena!

so i actually didn’t find this particular lemon verbena at the farmers’ market, but it is a special treat when i do find it there.  this lemon verbena actually came from my boss’ backyard – though the plant was originally started as a small seedling from the farmers’ market, it had now sprouted into a substantial woody shrub, capable of producing tons of new leaves each week. this herb is a special treat as iced tea... Read More

chamomile lemonade

have you ever come across fresh chamomile at the farmers’ market?  i love loose chamomile tea but the fresh stuff is even better, just like how fresh mint tea is so much better than the dried version. i found bunches of fresh chamomile at a stand in the hollywood farmers’ market, but with this warm weather i don’t feel like brewing hot tea.  and since i’ve been obsessed with different flavors of lemonade, i instantly thought... Read More

Natural Blood Orange Soda

I used to be a big soda fiend when I was a kid.  When I got older and learned how terrible the stuff is for you, I tried to just give it up all together.  Occasionally I would have a root beer or coke made with cane sugar, but it become a real treat for me. Then a few months ago I started drinking sparkling mineral water.  It gives the same fizzy sensation that we all love so much, but without any added sugar.  Sometimes I add a little... Read More

farmers’ market find: flowering tea!

the market isn’t all about fruits and veggies.  i’ve been talked into buying my weight in hummus, found really great imported olive oil and fair-trade maca, people even give massages at some farmers’ markets.  there are all sorts of artisan vendors, it varies so much from market to market. i worked at the new sunday los feliz farmer’s market a few weeks back, and my stand was set up next to a classmate of mine with a tea... Read More

in season: oranges!

for some reason i always thought that oranges were a summer fruit, but much to my surprise they are at the peak of their season right now!  i haven’t gone this bonkers over a harvest since july when the juicy white donut peaches were like nothing i had ever tasted.  like the peaches, i have been toting home upwards of ten pounds of these seedless mandarin oranges every week.  mostly i enjoy squeezing them into a tall glass of the best orange... Read More

Raw Buckwheat Hot Chocolate

You’re probably asking yourself how it can be both raw and hot at the same time?  Without actually cooking, if blended on high for a few minutes anything will warm up.  It’s a tip often used by raw foodists to make raw soups or beverages more appetizing. After a few minutes of blending the combination of fresh homemade buckwheat milk, raw cacao powder, and agave syrup gather a froth just like real hot chocolate.  This treat is much... Read More

Grape Lemonade

This drink remedies two problems I have with processed grape drinks.  First, I think grape flavoring is gross, tasting nothing like natural goodness of grape juice because the “grape flavor” is simply a chemical compound that is synthesized in a laboratory. Secondly, most drinks you buy in a supermarket are loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which can give you a sugar rush and subsequent sugar coma like nothing else.  I... Read More

simply cinnamon tea

summer is the season of iced tea.  and what better than a naturally sweet, caffeine-free tea that’s easy to make on the cheap.  all you need is a few sticks of cinnamon, some water and some time on the stove. depending on how much sap the cinnamon bark contains, the tea will vary in sweetness.  experiment yourself and see what you come up with. Read More  Read More

Sweet Basil and Mint Iced Tea

Last year when I went to San Francisco to visit my friends Rose and Kim, Rose made sweet basil and mint iced tea for a picnic we had in golden gate park.  It was simply wonderful and refreshing to drink while spending a beautiful summer day outdoors. You may not think of basil as an herb you would use for tea, but being in the mint family it shares many of its sweet, cooling properties.  In Chinese Medicine mint helps to circulate Liver Qi, which... Read More

beet and cranberry juice spritzers for valentine’s day

valentine’s day is all about red and pink things, but to me it doesn’t make sense to use nasty old food coloring when there are plenty of tasty and natural sources to create beautiful color. after months of working at a juice bar i developed a love for beet juice.  it’s sweet and detoxifying and tastes great with lemon or apple juice (but be careful, it stains!)  i paired it with cranberry juice to even out the intense flavor... Read More

nutritious and delicious mango kale smoothie

i use to work at a smoothie bar, where i learned of the many things you can blend and/or juice into a drink.  you can blend whole lemons and limes, an avocado with the pit and pretty much any green leafy vegetable you can get your hands on. if done right a smoothie can be like enjoying an entire meal through a straw. Read More  Read More