As we begin the new year, I am thinking more and more about cooking with purpose and what that means to me. For me, cooking and eating is about three main pillars: 1) the experience of preparing a homemade meal, 2) the impact the ingredients have on my health and 3) the impact of what I eat on our world. I know that sounds like a lot to think about when it comes to “just eating” – but over the years for me I have realized that these three components are incredibly important to the values I hold.
Allow me to explain what I mean by these three “cooking with purpose” pillars. Cooking has always been a stress relief for me as it is a form of artistic expression in many ways. Choosing the right combination of ingredients and spices to make that perfect meal is like an art I continue to try and perfect. Additionally, the impact food has on how I feel is tremendous. Not just because of my food allergies but because of literally how food makes my body feel. I crave fresh food that gives me energy and makes me feel like I’m glowing from the inside out. I care deeply about how food makes my entire body feel as I’m eating it and as I’m digesting it. Food is powerful and is often underestimated. While I do not believe in bad foods or magic bullets, I do think small habits add up and that making healthy choices along the way makes a difference in the big picture of life! This is also true for the micro decisions we make that impact our environment and community. Tiny actions add up over a lifetime. And that holds true for the food products we support and their impact on our environment and our culture.
So where exactly am I going with this and how does this relate to these three yummy hot beverages? This month I’ve teamed up with Frontier Co-op and they most definitely support these three pillars of “cooking with purpose.” They source their high quality spices from growers committed to quality, sustainability and ethical trade.
These three recipes feature Frontier Co-op spices which are non-GMO, non-irradiated and non-ETO. Frontier builds direct partnerships with their growers and all the spices are ethically sourced, meaning working conditions are good and pay is fair. They also give back to their grower communities through their “Well Earth” program, which works closely with the communities to understand a need and fund the development of a project. For example, they are funding a dental clinic in Guatemala, 49 wells in Madagascar to bring clean water to 25 thousand people, an organic training center in Sri Lanka, which educated 500 small farmers in its first year and a delivery truck in India that delivers hot meals daily to 45 school children.
You can feel confident that every sip of these drinks is as wholesome and delicious as it is environmentally and ethically responsible. Frontier Co-op is committed to providing high quality seasonings that not only taste great but promote healthy communities and a healthy planet.
In addition to Frontier’s positive impact on our world, using their spices in homemade healthy recipes can help us live healthier. We all care about what we put in our bodies when it comes to food. But, oftentimes, we overlook the ingredients in our everyday beverages and the type of spices we use to season our recipes. We sometimes resort to prepackaged mixes full of refined sugar, filler ingredients and preservatives. However, it adds up. It is important to consider everything that makes its way into our system, even down to the spices we use.
And beyond being good for our bodies, our communities and our environment, these high quality aromatic spices are authentically delicious and make all the difference in your recipes. The difference between a freshly made chai tea latte and one that’s prepackaged or from a powdered mix is the difference between your grandmother’s homemade soup and a can of soup. Nothing beats the real deal. And with these recipes, you can get your whole family involved. You can play around with the spices and adjust the measurements to fit your taste preferences. I’m a ginger lover so I tend to add extra ginger to recipes. When I make the hot chocolate recipe for my children I tend to back off on the spicer ingredients. That is the beauty of homemade – you can play around with the concoction to suit your needs.
And with these thoughts in mind, I leave you with these three unique recipes to keep you warm and cozy as we make our way through winter. Each recipe features a blend of high quality spices that elevate these otherwise humble drinks. Onward and upward as you cook with purpose in 2017 and beyond!
Vegan Turmeric Latte (i.e. Warm Golden Milk)
This deep golden latte will add a splash of vibrant color to your day. The warming and spicy ginger, cayenne pepper and black pepper pair wonderfully with the sweet and decadent cinnamon and vanilla flavors. The earthy turmeric makes this concoction truly different than all other drinks. So if you are looking for a warm mug of something other than coffee or tea, this may just be the non-caffeinated drink for you. It sure is a delicious way to get more turmeric in your life.
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla plant-based milk (such as almond, coconut, rice, oat or hemp)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Frontier Co-op ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon Frontier Co-op ground Ceylon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Frontier Co-op ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon Frontier Co-op fine ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon Frontier Co-op ground cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Frontier Co-op vanilla extract
- For Garnish: 1 Frontier Co-op star anise and/or sprinkle of Frontier Co-op fine ground black pepper
- Heat milk either in the microwave (2-3 minutes on high) or on the stove top until it reaches a boil.
- Pour the heated milk into a blender and add remaining ingredients (maple syrup, vanilla and spices).
- Blend for 10 seconds on the blender’s highest speed and then 5 seconds on the lowest speed to make the drink frothy.
- Immediately pour the drink into a mug and garnish as desired.
- Enjoy immediately while hot.
Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate
Sometimes we just need a little hot cocoa to pass the long, cold days of winter. This spicy and luxurious drink will warm you from the inside out on a chilly day. It is made from scratch using the perfect blend of spices for a spectacular sweet and spicy decadent combo.
Made with creamy plant-based milk, it is super thick – all without a hint of dairy. It is lightly sweetened and full of rich dark chocolate flavor. Add it to your Valentine’s Day menu for a steamy romantic drink to sip fireside with your loved one!
Vegan Chai Latte
Ditch the expensive, store-bought coffee shop chai lattes for this authentic, homemade version that is dairy-free and naturally sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. It is simple to make and so much better than those sneaky chai tea powder mixes with mystery ingredients and additives. Using freshly brewed black tea and real spices boosts the flavor of this drink and makes it totally addictive. It is not watered down at all and has a luscious plant-based milk base.