Macaccino

A few weeks ago, I gave up coffee for 8 days. Cold turkey. It felt like it was getting a little out of control, and I’m looking for ways to reduce the stress I’m putting my body under. So I had my last cups on a Thursday. At work on Friday, I thought I was going to murder somebody. My head hurt so bad. I was impatient and not thinking clearly. By the afternoon, my head hurt so badly that I also started to feel nauseated. So I made a cup of tea, and things were much, much better. After that, things were fine. I had another cup of tea a few days later when I had another bad headache, but I don’t think that one was caffeine-withdrawl related, and the tea didn’t help.

The following weekend, I went to New York City to visit friends. Both days I drank two cups of coffee, but I capped it there. Then I went a few more days without drinking any (and didn’t feel any effects of not doing so). Since then, I’ve had some days with coffee, some days without. This morning was the first day that I made coffee at home, and I only drank one cup. I like this. I’m getting more pleasure out of coffee. But… I also like the daily routine of coffee (one I’ve had since 10th grade). So we’ll see. Not sure where this will all end up.

But in the meantime, I’ve been making ‘macaccinos’ occasionally to fill the warm beverage/pleasant routine gap. I’m not sure where I got the idea for these. I think it was unrelated to my not drinking coffee, but I’m not sure. Dan got a bag of maca powder from his sister around the holidays, and he keeps asking me if I’ve been using it (I’m not sure why – it was his gift). But somehow, I came across a couple recipes (including this one, but I think at least one other also that I now can’t recall). (UPDATE: I’m going through some recipes I’ve saved that I want to make sometime and found this one that I saved in December 2016 – well before my husband received his maca powder gift. I’d entirely forgotten about it!)  They were all pretty much the same – some type of milk, maca powder, some sweetener, and cocoa powder. I’ve been using:

  • 1 cup or so of So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • sprinkle of cinnamon at the end sometimes

I heat up the milk in my Ninja single serve cup in the microwave (I’ve also used the stovetop), add all the other ingredients except the cinnamon, blend it all together, then pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon. It’s lovely.

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Fed & Fit Turmeric Latte

Things you should know. 1) I like food challenges. I don’t want to live my life in a constant food challenge, but I still like them. So… 2017 may be my year of challenges. I sort of did Emily Schromm’s Superhero Challenge in January, but that didn’t go so well, what with Canada vacation and all that. (I did the 7-day Reset after Thanksgiving that was great, though.) And 2) I started the 28-day Fed & Fit Project on Monday, February 6. (To be clear, Cassy Joy doesn’t consider this a challenge but rather a project to figure out what works for you long-term). In any case, I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll probably post about it. Last Friday, I shopped for the first week of meals  and did some meal prep, making the tomato and sausage frittata that I’ve been eating for breakfast most days this week.

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But before all that, I saw a recipe on Cassy Joy’s Fed & Fit website for turmeric milk (she calls it Golden Milk). I’ve been seeing a lot of turmeric milk/latte recipes these days (including one on goop, which is the only other one that really sticks in my mind, but I’m sure I’ve seen more). I’ve made the one from the Fed & Fit blog twice now. The first time, I made it with ground ginger. I am never great at measuring spices and maybe used too much. It tasted/felt a little powdery. The second time, I made it with fresh ginger. Too much again, I think. A little ginger-chunky. But, overall, very tasty, and a nice warm-beverage alternative treat to hot chocolate or a hot toddy.

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I’ll keep working on the proportions of ginger, because I’ll definitely keep making this! Assuming we have more cold weather. Yesterday and the day before, it was mid-60s and lovely. Last night it got cold and snowed this morning. It’ll be back in the 60s in two days. Whhhhaaaaat.

 

Shrubs

In May, I went to Cape Cod for a week with Dan’s family. We stayed in a charming house in Wellfleet, just down the street from Lola’s Local Food Lab, a very small store beneath the Lighthouse Restaurant that sold spices and shrubs and blueberry muffins. I had been introduced to the idea of vinegar drinks in the book Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, but I’d never heard of ‘shrubs,’ which are more like vinegar fruit syrups that can be added to drinks (or used in other ways). The proprietor let us try the shrubs, and I ended up purchasing one for me and one as a thank you for my friend who was watching our cat for the week. I used mine up very quickly, adding it to my SodaStream water, and by early August was looking for recipes to make my own.

I referenced a few different websites for guidance, but probably relied most heavily on this one from Serious Eats. I used the cold process recipe.

I made two different types of shrubs – a peachy one and a blackberry one.

For the first, I used:

  • 8 peaches, peeled and pitted, cut into inch-ish size pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups of vinegar, consisting of
    • 1 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

For the second, I used:

  • 12 oz. blackberries
  • maybe 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of vinegar, consisting of
    • just over 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • just under 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

It was really easy. The worst/most time-consuming part was probably peeling the peaches. I hate peeling anything and opt not to do it if at all reasonable. But for my first attempt at shrubs, I decided to stay as close to the guidance as possible. I might consider not peeling the fruit if I make shrubs again. I’d also be interested in options to reduce or not use the added sugar, although I recognize the role the sugar plays in drawing out the fruit’s juice. (For the most part, I stopped eating added sugar on June 1 – the shrubs were one of the few departures from that over the past several months.)

Anyway, they were super-tasty. It’s now almost the end of November, and I just finished them both last week. I used them mostly in soda water, but also with whiskey (especially the peach one) and Campari (especially the blackberry) cocktails.

*Lip smack.*

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