Here we are. March. Not quite spring, but not winter either. I don’t know what the weather’s like with you, but here in the NE it’s incredibly indecisive. One minute it’s glorious sunshine, the next it’s back to being the arctic tundra; we’re in this weird kind of limbo. I really think they need to come up with a name for the between seasons: Sprinter? Wing?
I am beginning to see a few more signs of spring though! When the snow finally melted, I noticed that some snow drops and crocuses were starting to pop up through the mud and there were some teeny tiny buds on the tree in my back garden. Despite my channelling positive energy to the contrary, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the snow. I’m going to keep up the wishful thinking though!
The thing about this intermediate point between the seasons (I’m going with ‘sprinter’, sounds better) is if, like me, you like to eat with the seasons it can be difficult to know what you fancy! You’re looking forward to warmer weather and lighter foods (you’re totally over the heavy winter soups and stews), but it’s still a little chilly outside. That’s why I think you’ll love this recipe! It’s the perfect sprinter beverage! Slightly sweet and fruity (a nod to the warmer weather coming your way) but still warm and creamy (because it’s still baltic out there!). Oh, and because this is Peaches and Greens, you know it will be good for you!
This drink was inspired by something I had on my trip to Austin (I’m going to be going on about ATX for a while, get over it!). Superfood goji berry powder packs this libation with nutrition and gives it a unique flavour, while the almond milk and almond butter make it creamy and satisfying. And a little vanilla extract pulls this delightful beverage together. Super simple and quick to make! An infinitely better option than a coffee-based latte! Let me explain why:
Notes on Nutrition:
I know a lot of people who can’t ‘wake up’ in the morning without a cup of Joe. Trouble is, coffee is addictive, contains multiple stimulants, and can raise your homocysteine level (a biomarker of risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke). Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a higher proportion of stress-related medical conditions, anxiety, and depression, and poorer academic performance than non coffee drinkers. No bueno!
My version of a latte however, helps keep energy levels up by providing essential nutrients instead of withdrawal inducing stimulants, and can help you kick your java habit! It’s a veritable superfood intervention!
Goji berries are not available fresh in most places, so you have two options here: the dried berries are fantastic as a snack, in granola, on a salad etc… Goji powder, on the other hand, is perfect for incorporating into smoothies, teas, or even baking when you want a little hint of goji. Goji has a distinct sweet flavour that has been described as a cross between a cranberry, a cherry, and a tomato. Sounds weird, but tastes good, I promise! Both the berries and the powder are great to have around for a little nutritional boost in the winter when fresh berries are harder to get.
Goji berries have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, where they are believed to increase longevity and boost the immune system. Nowadays we know that both goji berries and goji powder are incredibly rich sources of both macro and micronutrients, as well as a whole array of phytonutrients, making them one of the most powerful superfoods out there!
Gojis are known to contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. They are a particularly good source of both vitamin C and iron, which is pretty handy as vitamin C greatly enhances the absorption of iron (a mineral that is commonly deficient in women of child bearing age). Goji berries also contain significant amounts riboflavin, a key player in energy metabolism and zinc, which is good for just about everything as I explain in this post. Also gojis contain loads of the powerful antioxidant selenium. Suffice to say, it’s good stuff!
Creamy Goji Almond Latte
2-3 Tbsp. raw goji powder, depending on preference
3/4 c. raw cashew milk (or preferred nut milk)
3 Tbsp. raw almond butter
1 tsp. agave nectar
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until well combined and frothy. Pour over ice for a raw iced latte, or warm up in a saucepan until hot and steamy! I like it both ways!
If you are trying to lose weight, you might want to cut down on the almond butter, or just leave it out altogether. The almond butter makes this especially tasty though! Enjoy!
Are you guilty of needing a coffee to wake you up? I challenge you to try this goji latte (or goji tea – just dissolve the powder in some hot water) for a week and see how you feel!
Here’s to spring getting here soon! Bottom’s up!
P.S. I submitted this recipe to Healthy Vegan Fridays, check it out here!