cold weather smoothies
Last Sunday, during hot yoga class, I was granted my inspiration for the week. Whilst doing dancer (and sweating from my shins) I misheard the teacher. I still don’t know what she was really saying but well… At times the mind purposely translates differently and gives you what it is you need to hear. This time around it gave me: ‘be interested’.
It stuck and has not left me since. It made me think about having conversations whilst daydreaming about something else. I thought about asking how someone was doing but not really being up for the full, uncensored, answer. I recalled longing for summer while the orange leaves of fall dropped to the ground and the grey sky gave us nothing but showers. And these are only three examples. There are so many ways we make ourselves meander in the past or future. It can be such a challenge to be content and in the perfect present.
It is not just you who experiences this. We as people naturally have a restless and rambling mind, yet it is not necessary to feed this.
We are also perfectly capable of focusing the mind and being aware and present. We are actually healthiest and happiest when we develop this ability to live the moment.
There are a couple of techniques I’d like to share with you today to cultivate this being present.
The first is obvious: it is my inspiration for this week, repeating this mantra of ‘be interested’. Be interested in the person you are with, be interested in where you are, be interested in what you feel. When we are truly interested in what is happening now, we dive into the moment and experience it fully. Start now with being interested in what you are doing, your surroundings, the conversation you’re having and the sensations that come up. Write those two words on your palm, repeat them, practice this for a week. Has anything changed? How do you feel after 7 days of being interested? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
The second technique is eating seasonal, preferably local. It sounds too simple for words. Yet it is these basics we often overlook. The earth offers us seasons and produce resulting from these times. When we notice ourselves drifting off to past or future and to enhance general wellbeing it is beneficial to start eating seasonally. The food you eat transforms to single nutrients through the act of digestion. These nutrients build your cells, tissues and physique. When the food you eat is seasonal, your cells get a kick of this seasonal magic as well. You basically become the season. You are connected to it on a deep and profound level. Eat the foods that are available now and you yourself will be more connected to the now. I told you, too simple for words! Eating local adds the benefit of being connected to the place where you are. It’s like a generous garnish of the here and now.
The third technique relates to the former. It is dressing or decorating your home in line with the season. Little Lou and I make seasonal tables. We reserve a small space in the kitchen and living room and create a spot that breathes the current state of nature. During autumn you could use coloured leaves, mushrooms, mossy branches and chestnuts. Winter is perfect for all things snow white, fairy light and evergreen. Spring allows us to welcome spouts, fresh green leaves, seasonal flowers and symbols of fertility into our home. When summer arrives we may have a basket of cornhusks and a vase of giant sunflowers hanging around.
These three techniques are straightforward, easy and practical, just the way I like it. And… they are tasty too! Below you will find three of my favourite season appropriate smoothie recipes. Lord knows we need a bit of warmth and cosy during the homey moments that make up fall and winter. (August harvested cucumber might be amazing during the height of summer but proves to be way too light and cooling for the upcoming colder days)
Wishing you a string of amazing December moments!
Cooking pear smoothie
Makes 500ml / 2 portions
Takes 15 minutes
2 medium cooking pears
1 hand (25 grams) brazil nuts
1 hand (15 grams) endive
300 ml water
2 medjool dates, no pit
15 drops vanilla
1 pinch sea salt
1 dollop of rosehip jam
1 extra cooked cooking pear
Seasonal herbs, like rosemary
Peel cooking pears. Place in pot with boiling water. Cook until soft, approximately 10 minutes. Take out and let cool. Core. Place in blender. Add nuts, endive, fresh water, pitted dates, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until very creamy. Serve. You may add a dollop of 100% fruit rosehip jam to cup. Smear it out. Place one cooked cooking pear in the middle of the cup and pour smoothie over.
Brazil nuts contain a very high amount of the trace mineral called selenium. One large brazil nut will supply you with your RDA. Selenium boosts the immune system, increases fertility and optimizes thyroid health.
Makes 500 ml / 2 portions
Takes 2 minutes
2 hands walnut
2 hands sultanas
350 ml water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mixed spice*
*This is ‘koekkruiden’ in Dutch: a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, pepper, coriander, ginger, anise and mace.
3 tbsp coconut yoghurt
Sprinkle of ginger powder
Place all ingredients into blender and blend until very creamy. Serve. You may place a couple of tablespoons of coconut yoghurt at the bottom of the glass, pour the mylk over, give it a short stir and sprinkle it with ginger powder.
Turmeric is a root spice that comes both in powder as well as fresh form. This yellow spice works as a powerful anti-inflammatory, ups brain health and mood. Its health benefits accelerate when you take a bit of (black) pepper with it.
Makes 500 ml / 2 portions
Takes 2 minutes
2 hands raw cashews
500 ml water
2 medjool dates, no pit
25 drops high quality vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp matcha powder
½ tsp ginger powder
Cashew mylk froth
Extra matcha powder
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until extra creamy. Serve. You may steam some cashew mylk, make a froth and add that, plus s sprinkle of matcha powder, on top.
Matcha comes in powder form and is a green tea. It is particularly powerful because the actual leaf is consumed, as opposed to drinking the mere infusion. It enhances metabolism and concentration, calms the mind, enhances mood and assists the body in its daily detoxification processes.
photos, text and recipes copyright kyra. @ kyra’s kitchen