Winter may seem like it goes on forever and sometimes inspiration to make tasty, warming food might just be out of reach. Luckily, we’re here!
At Almond Breeze, we’re all about delicious and nutritious food that can be easy to make, or even just a little bit fancy. The secret to a great recipe is knowing what ingredients add value to your beautiful bod and keep you thriving through the cooler months.
So we’ve shared below our 4 favourite winter warmer recipes with 6 incredible secret ingredients that will make you feel great this winter!
1. Breezy Butter Chicken
Secret ingredient: Cashews
Cashews are one of nature’s best kept secrets! But first let’s deal with the “fat” issue. Yes, cashews contain fat. But… it’s monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (not harmful saturated fat from animals that contain high level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol), and when you eat a moderate amount of cashews, it can help reduce risk of stroke and weight gain. Plus cashews are loaded with antioxidants and can even help improve heart disease.
But the best news about cashews – and we’re talking raw cashews, not those ever-tempting, more-ish roasted, salted cashews – is that cashews can be mood-stabilising. They contain a hefty boost of B6, magnesium, niacin, and even tryptophan all of which help keep you happy and balanced. B6 aids in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin and it can aid the absorption of magnesium into our cells, which means no aching muscles and great sleep at night.
2. A Gingerful Bake
Secret ingredients: Fresh Ginger and Cinnamon
In Ayurvedic medicinal practice ginger is said to be a magical elixir that suits most people in aiding digestion and helping the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. In conventional wisdom, ginger is celebrated for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is excellent for combating nausea and menstrual cramps. When eaten daily, ginger can significantly reduce muscle and joint pain, reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL “good” cholesterol. Ginger also contains the a powerful compound 6-gingerol, which in lab testing has been shown to be effective in preventing the growth of cancer cells in some cancers.
As spices go, cinnamon is one at the very top of the list for its medicinal properties having been used for tens of thousands of years. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which helps maintain a healthy metabolism. Plus, of all the superfood herbs and spices, including powerful garlic and oregano, cinnamon is number 1 for its antioxidant properties, and is number 7 on the list of all foods, herbs and spices. Oxidants from pollutants and toxins cause cell damage and ageing. But because cinnamon is packed full of polyphenols, those oxidants don’t stand a chance!
3. Honey Breezy Chocolate Bliss Balls
Secret ingredients: Goji Berries and Raw Cacao
Goji Berries are a superfood that’s been used in Chinese medicine for eye, liver, and kidney issues, and used by monks, for well over 2,000 years. The berries recently became popular here in New Zealand, and it’s easy to see why. They’re an excellent source of fibre to help keep you regular, and goji are another food boasting high levels of antioxidants. What’s interesting about goji berries is they are loaded with protein. In fact, because they contain all 8 essential amino acids and are a complete protein, and half a cup of goji berries in your morning smoothie provides 10% of your daily protein. Plus they contain vitamin A which is great for healthy, glowing skin. Goji berries are said to boost the immune system and another tool in the fight against the dreaded winter ‘flu!
As well as being a healing food for the heart chakra, raw cacao is another superfood that is not only beneficial to well being but also tastes amazing! Plus, it’s even higher in antioxidants than even goji berries, so perfect for anti-ageing by protecting cells from free-radical damage. Cacao differs from the more commonly available cocoa in that it is less processed (cocoa is heated so loses nutrients along the way), and cacao contains phytonutrients (flavanoids), which aid cognitive function, as well as being nutrient rich in magnesium, sulphur and phenylethylamine (PEA) – which our brains produce naturally and that are mood elevating and boost energy. The flavonoids in cacao are known to have very powerful antioxidant properties that increase antioxidant capacity in blood plasma, as well as increase bloody vessel flexibility while lowering blood pressure, protecting the heart. Cacao is known for being anti-inflammatory and supporting a healthy, well-balanced immune system.
Secret ingredients: Curry leaves
Curry leaves come from the curry tree native to India and Sri Lanka, and not only are they a flavour sensation, but they have sooooo many health benefits you’ll be buying them by the truckload! As well as carbohydrates to aid brain function, curry leaves contain vitamins C, A, B and E, which promote skin healthy, immunity, and encourages sleep, fights stress as well as lifts energy. But best of all, curry leaves are incredible in staving off anaemia due to the high levels of iron and folic acid. The benefits don’t there either; curry leaves also lower cholesterol and balance insulin and blood sugar levels, so they’re ideal for people with diabetes.
We love food that nurtures and nourishes, and we hope these recipes become some of your new favourites!
From our love of Almond Breeze almond milk to yours…
The days are getting longer and it’s nearly SpRiNG!!!!