chia ginger lemonade

Morning Delight

What is your morning delight? Do you start your day with a glass of water or a cup of coffee?

When you wake up, you’ve hopefully been asleep for seven plus hours and your body has been fasting during that time. Water is the fluid that bathes our cells and balances mineral salts. 50% of your body weight is typically water, so this is an important nutrient to supply. We lose water through breathing, urinating, bowel movements and sweating; it needs to be replenished.

Do you drink enough water? Depending on your raw fruit and veggie intake, which have high levels of water, the optimal amount is half your body weight in ounces. I hear from others that water just doesn’t taste good and it’s hard to drink. (You know who you are)

Maybe this concoction will help. Not only does it taste great, kind of like lemonade, but it’s also a wonderful way to wake up your cells in the morning and stimulate your digestive juices and liver. You can drink it all day long if you want.

If you are one who doesn’t drink enough water and you need more ways to get it in, a great way to make it taste good is by infusing it with fruit, cucumbers and herbs.

Give this drink a try and see if it helps you have more energy and focus starting your day. If you choose to add chia seeds, this will also help you satiate hunger between meals because of the fiber and good fat content of the chia seeds.

Chia Seed Ginger Lemonade

A tasty way to start your morning and nourish your cells.
Prep Time30 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chia seeds, ginger, lemon
Servings: 2


  • 1 quart pure water or herb tea
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 inch ginger piece more or less depending on your taste
  • 3 T chia seeds optional
  • 2 T honey or maple syrup


  • Place lemon juice and slices of ginger in a quart jar.
  • Warm the water just to a boil. Pour into the jar, add honey and let cool. (If using tea, steep herbal tea for ten minutes then remove and allow to cool.)
  • Add the chia seeds and whisk or shake the jar a few times to prevent the seeds from clumping.
  • Enjoy warm or cold. Store covered in refrigerator.



Healthy Chocolate Elixir

It’s the perfect season for hot chocolate! But it’s not usually a healthy choice. Have you thought about making your own from scratch and adding some herbs and spices to turn it into an elixir? Well, I’m telling you it’s definitely worth a try if you like hot chocolate and don’t enjoy it as often as you like because you want to be good. This option is brimming with health boosting herbs and spices and it tastes delicious. You don’t have to add all of the herbs listed but you can if you have them.
Starting with a good cacao powder brings in benefits that are not found in your regular cocoa. Cacao is not roasted or alkalized and therefore retains more nutrients including magnesium which helps relaxation.

The herbs and spices to consider adding are: cinnamon, turmeric, mushroom powder, maca, astragalus and ashwagandha. Adding in Brazil nuts or hemp seeds can add creaminess and essential fats, vitamins and minerals as well.

Give the recipe a try, adding in any or all of the suggested herbs and spices.

Healthy Hot Cacao Elixir

Creamy chocolatey and good for you!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Author: Chef Kim


  • blender
  • sauce pan


  • 3 Cups plant milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp astragalus powder
  • 1/2 tsp ashwagandha powder
  • 1 tsp mushroom powder reishi, cordycepts, lion’s mane
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp hemp seeds or Brazil nuts
  • 1/4 tsp Stevia or monk fruit to taste


  • in a blender combine plant milk, cacao and herbs, spices, nuts or seeds you choose to use.
  • Blend until well combined and smooth.
  • Pour into a small pan and heat over medium-low until it just begins to simmer. Turn off heat, pour into mugs and add sweetener to taste.
  • Enjoy the feeling of treating yourself well with hormone balancing, blood sugar regulating, anti-inflammatory benefits as well as immune supporting deliciousness!


You may want to start slow adding just one or two at a time and building to using all the herbs at once. Pay attention to how you feel afterwards and if there are any changes to your “normal”. 
If cacao affects you adversely with the natural caffeine content, then using carob or a caffeine free chai tea or holy basil tea work well with these herbs too.
Hot herb cider

When the weather turns chilly…Hot Herb Cider

When the weather turns chilly, turn to this Warm Herb Cider to warm your hands and give your immune system a little boost.

This cider comes together with some common herbs. Combine unsweetened apple cider with cranberries, fresh or dried elderberries, cinnamon and herbs to make a warm toddy that boosts the immune system and tastes wonderful. It also makes a lovely holiday drink. The benefits of the added ingredients make it desirable as a preventative for the cold and flu season.

Cranberries have been shown to improve immune response, lower blood pressure and inflammation, and prevent certain types of cancer. They are a super source of antioxidants, vitamins B & C, minerals and fiber. Incorporating cranberries into your diet through drinks like this one or added to oatmeal, smoothies or combined with orange and spices to make this relish are ways to eat more of them and add these beneficial nutrients.

Elderberries have been used for hundreds of years to ease cold, flu and respiratory symptoms and improve immune response. They are high in potassium, calcium, vitamins A & C, and fiber. Elderberries should be cooked before using. In this recipe I used dried and boil them in the cider. Elderberries are not readily available, but you might be able to find them at a fall farmers market or in the dried bulk herb section in health food stores. If not here’s an amazon link for dried elderberries I’ve used.

Ceylon cinnamon has been studied and shown to help lower blood sugar, cut risk of heart disease, is high in polyphenol antioxidants, and acts as a potent anti-inflammatory.

Rosemary is a hardy herb that is a known source of antioxidants, iron, calcium and vitamin B-6. Traditionally it’s been used to alleviate muscle pain, improve memory and concentration, boost immune and circulatory function, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion and eye health. If you don’t grow your own herbs, you can usually find fresh herbs in the produce section of the grocery store.

Thyme is another hardy Mediterranean herb that has beneficial properties and has been used over the years to improve many symptoms. Thyme has strong antimicrobial properties that are effective against infectious bacteria. It has been studied and shown to be protective against certain cancers and is affective against the overgrowth of candida. It is also helpful for acne when used as a face wash or the oil added to face cream. Try infusing water or tea with added thyme sprigs.

Give this cider a try and see hoe delicious healthy can be.

If you are looking for another warm drink, I love warm Golden Milk.

Hot Herb Cider

Warming, delicious immune boosting drink.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: apple cider, cranberries, elderberries, immune, rosemary, thyme
Servings: 6
Author: Chef Kim


  • pot


  • 4 cups unsweetened apple or cherry cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup elderberries dried or fresh (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon of ground
  • 2 sprigs rosemary fresh (1T dried)
  • 2 sprigs thyme fresh (1 tsp dried)


  • Combine all in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain and serve warm. Reserve the berries and herbs*.
  • Store in a glass jar for up to a week.


The leftover chilled herb cider is nice when mixed with sparkling water and served over ice as a mocktail.
* The reserved berries and herbs can be blended together and mixed with a tablespoon or two of chia seeds and allowed to set and gel into a jam or spread and used in oatmeal, thumbprint cookies or baked goods.



Habiscus Ginger Spritzer

  • 3 inches fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon hibiscus petals / tea bag
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ vanilla bean pod, seeds removed (always save empty pods for flavoring) optional
  • Honey
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • Sparkling water

Add water to a pan along with the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla pod and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the hibiscus petals / tea bagcold .  Steep for ten minutes, remove hibiscus and let the tea cool completely with the other spices remaining in the water. Leaving the hibiscus in longer will strengthen the tartness of the tea; keep steeping it with the remaining spices if you want it really tangy.

Add honey to taste, start with 1 tablespoon and add more to your liking.  Drink as is or combine equal parts cold tea and sparkling water for a spritzer. Add frozen cranberries to garnish. Cheers!

Golden Pumpkin Spice Honey

This recipe is so nice to have on hand for making quick warm spiced drinks to enjoy in place of your morning cup of coffee or as a relaxing evening cup of comfort.

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon utmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1/4 cup honey

Mix everything together in a small container and jar.

When ready to use, spoon 1 teaspoon into warm plant milk or hot water, stir and allow the spices to disperse andsteep for 5 minutes Enjoy!

this honey mixture can also be stirred into coffee, hot cocoa or drizzled over plant yogurt or baked apple dessert, or blended into a smoothie.

Berry Oat Mylk

Making your own oat mylk is so easy and economical. Adding berries takes it to a new level of enjoyment and can be frozen into popsicles.

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups berries, your choice or use cherries, mango, kiwi or pineapple
  • softened dates, depending on the sweetness of fruit. I usually add 5 and adjust more after tasting if needed.
  • Adding spices/herbs that you like add a nice flavor variation (cinnamon, chili, cardamom, nutmeg, mint, basil, etc.)

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can drink it like this, but I prefer to strain out the remaining oat fiber and berry seeds, so I pour the mixture through a nut milk bag or fine strainer/sieve. Refrigerate and enjoy by the glassful, poured over granola or chopped fruit, or freeze in popsicle molds or ice cubes trays for frozen treat..


Got Mylk?

Plant milk is an alternative to dairy/cow milk, but the boxed brands are usually highly processed, come with unwanted ingredients and lack the true nutrition found in whole nuts, seeds or grains. Making your own can be quick and easy or it can take a period of time for soaking depending on the base you choose.  My favorite is quick and easy Cashew-Hemp Mylk. I just like the flavor blend that this has. But I have thrown in a couple Brazil nuts with hemp seeds and that is nice and creamy too. Home made oat and coconut mylk isn’t quite as creamy as a full nut/seed mylk mentioned above, but it definitely works in recipes and smoothies and is more budget friendly. Almond mylk takes longer because the almonds need to soak for about 8 hours before blending, whereas cashews, Brazil nuts and hemp seeds do not need to be presoaked for making mylk. To any of the recipes below, you can add a date or two for sweetness and a little vanilla if you want to flavor it.  I use a nut-milk bag that supports charities in Bali and created by a wonderful woman and chef I learned from.

Try the recipes below and let me know which you like best.

Cashew-Hemp Mylk

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • Combine all in a blender and blend on high for about a minute, until smooth and creamy. Pour into a jar and keep refrigerated.  No need to strain or filter pulp. Should last about 5 days.

Almond Mylk

  • 1 cup almonds, cover with water and let soak for 8 hours
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • Drain almonds, rinse and add to a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. pour mylk through a mesh strainer or nut-milk bag to filter out the pulp. This is optional, but the almond pulp is very thick and will not give you a smooth mylk, but it’s your preference. Stored in the refrigerator, the mylk should keep for 5 days.

Oat Mylk

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • Add oats and water to a blender and let soak for 15-30 minutes. Blend on high for about 30 seconds. Pour mylk through a mesh strainer or nut-milk bag. Store in a jar and refrigerate.

Coconut Mylk

  • 1 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut / dried coconut flakes
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • Blend coconut flakes and water in a blender until the coconut flakes are completely broken down. Strain milk through a nut-milk bag. Store the milk in a jar. Coconut pulp can be added to baked goods, smoothies or dried out and used as flour.Once you have your mylk, check out my other post on artisan mylks, turmeric golden milk, hot chocolate.

Make Your Own Plant Milk & Coffee Bar

I enjoy checking out plant-based cafes while I’m traveling internationally, on a road trip or even just surfing online.  Recently I found a cold-pressed juice bar offering different plant-based milks and I took it as a challenge to make my own variety to have on hand while my daughter was home for a month.

I wanted to have milk available for her daily green smoothies, but rather than sticking with plain nut/seed milks, we decided to make a  variety of flavors which turned out to be delicious. Coffee is a favorite, so incorporating coffee flavors into the milk variety was a no-brainer.  We tried these flavor combinations: Plain Almond, Vanilla Almond-Cashew-Hemp, Matcha latte,  Coffee Latte, Mocha, and Cacao milk. All Yummy!  My next batch will incorporate some herbs and roots, like ginger, turmeric, cardamom, pepper, lavender and more. It really can be an endless flavor adventure. So why not give it a try.

Combining nuts, seeds and even soaked grains, will also yield different tasting milks with different nutrient profiles. Here’s an oat milk recipe. Remember, variety is good, it allows your taste buds to develop and mature, but it also provides the body with a variety of nutrients, all important for building new and healthy cells.

Making milk is an easy process. By making a large batch, dividing and mixing in desired flavors,  you can have a variety on hand for the week.

I’ll walk you through what we did…

  • Soak 2 cups of almonds in pure water overnight.
  • In the morning, drain, rinse and add 1/2 of the nuts to a blender along with 4 cups of water and two pitted dates.  Blend on high for one minute.
  • Use a sieve or nut milk bag to filter the milk into a large jar, but keep the pulp.  Repeat with the remaining nuts, making two batches. (The reserved nut pulp can be saved and used in baking or blending with dates and spices to make raw cookies.)
  • Once your plain milk is made, decide how much you want to keep plain and use for the next couple days. It can be used in sauces, soups and smoothies.
  • We wanted to make  three cups of the milk into 1 cup of creamer and 4 cups of coffee latte. So we put 3 cups of plain milk back into blender, added 1/2 cup of cashews, 2 tablespoons of hemp seed and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and blended for a minute until smooth cream resulted. We poured off one cup into a jar to use as a creamer when desired. Poured the rest of the vanilla milk into a large jar and then added 2 cups of strong coffee into that same jar to make coffee latte.
  • With the remaining  plain almond milk, we divided that into three containers and added Matcha tea powder to one and blended that for a Matcha Latte. To another jar, we added an equal amount of coffee and a tablespoon of raw cacao powder and blended it to make a Mocha Latte.  To the final jar, 1-2 tablespoons of cacao powder and one more date blended to make a chocolate milk. All the milks can be enjoyed cold or warmed gently.
  • Be creative and add some spices and herbs but most of all, don’t feel deprived because you can create so much delicious goodness with nut and seed milks.
  • I really like green milk! Blend the plain milk with greens powder or fresh mixture of greens and ginger or turmeric. This is a great alternative and easy way to get a few extra greens in your day.
  • Other posts for different kinds of milk include this turmeric post and berry oat milk.


Turning to Turmeric

Here are a couple recipes to enhance your health using this powerful and delicious spice. Fresh or powdered, Turmeric can boost your immune system and curb inflammation.  There have been over a hundred scientific studies done to determine its powerful potential as an anti-cancer nutrient and has been shown to be superior in its ability to reduce systemic inflammation.  So finding ways to incorporate this spice into your daily routine can serve up some serious medicinal side affects.  Food as medicine is the best way to improve your health. Pairing the turmeric with a little black pepper in recipes will increase its absorption in the body giving you a better outcome.  Some studies indicate that the concentration of insoluble oxalates in turmeric could be troublesome for people with an oxalate sensitivity or who are prone to kidney stones, and should not consume more than 1 Tablespoon of turmeric a day.

Golden Almond Milk

  • 2 cups of plant milk (almond, cashew, hemp, oat)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • pinch of black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small pan and whisk until combined. Warm over med-low heat until warmed through. This can also be combined in a blender and blended on high for two minutes until warm. Serve in a mug and enjoy!

Golden Raw Overnight Oats

  • One recipe of Golden Almond Milk
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds or mixture
  • dried fruit of your choice ( cherries, figs, raisins, goji berries)
  • fresh fruit of your choice ( banana, apple, mango, orange, berries)

Place oats and seeds in a mixing bowl or large jar. Pour milk over oats and mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, take your desired amount of soaked oats and seeds and place in a bowl. Top with your favorite fresh and dried fruits.  Easy and Yummy!

Turmeric Almond Balls

  • 1 cup of almond butter ( can substitute another nut or seed butter)
  • 1 Tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds or sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds

In a mixing bowl, combine the almonds butter, spices and honey. Mix well. Then add in the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix.  Form into balls.  Dough should hold together when pressed, if too sticky add more oats or seeds. These are great as travel snacks, on the go, in lunches to as an after school /work snack.

Hot Cocoa Evolution

As you may already know, I love warm drinks once the temperatures drop below 45. So I’ve been experimenting with making warm drinks that pack a nutritional punch. This one starts out as pure indulgence, but then morphs as the leftovers evolve into a nutrient rich treat. So come along on this delicious journey….

I really wanted a hot cup of Cocoa, so instead of making nut milk and warming it on the stove and mixing in cacao powder and coconut sugar, I decided to try making in totally in the blender. So I chose to use cashews and Brazil nuts for the milk base and added to the blender one cup total of the mixed nuts. Then I add 3 cups of pure water, a half cup of good quality bittersweet chocolate chips or a chopped bar (70%+ cocoa, and only cocoa butter, cocoa, and cane sugar or stevia. I like Theo and CocoPolo). You could also use cacao powder in place of the chocolate bar. If using powder, you’ll need to add some sweetness, so honey, stevia or coconut sugar are my top choices. Then I add a teaspoon of vanilla and blend for two minutes. The friction created in the blender, heats the mixture and creates four to five cups of lovely hot cocoa. (You can decrease the amounts for less, but then you wont have any leftovers to evolve.)

So I drank a cup and shared a cup, ooh la la! But I had leftovers, so I placed that in a jar and put in the fridge.  Later I was in the mood to experiment again so I made a hot cup of Rooibos tea, added the tea to the leftover cocoa, put in a 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and blended that until warm. I enjoyed another warming elixir, good for the soul and immune system.  Then with leftovers from this, I added some oats and chia seeds to a jar, poured the leftover drink into the jar, sealed it and gave it a shake and allowed it to sit for a couple minutes and then shook it again. Placed it in the fridge and there it stayed overnight,

The next morning I had a Cocoa Rooibos Oat Chia Pudding for breakfast. I topped it with some chopped nuts and dried fruit and…Delish!

Next time I plan to add some superfood powders like maca and ashwaganda. These usually get into my smoothies, but I want to add them to my hot drinks for their added benefits of energy and stress modulation.

I hope this gave you some ideas you can take away to treat yourself to some goodness and make multiple uses from one recipe starting point.