Sunday, November 27, 2011

Teatime with Gingersnaps

I've debated whether to establish this blog at all. I came upon Resistance (read the book The War of Art). I took my time choosing a name that I liked and that would be appropiate. I took even longer to create a blog. I dilly-dallied this whole way through. Not that I didn't have anything else to do; I have other ventures including being a wife to a fantastic guy and mother to a smart and beautiful one-year-old. I'm also a photographer.

But I have a deep desire to learn and to better myself and this magnetism to the wondrous world of herbs and spices. And I wanted this to be a place where I could share my knowledge and learn from my readers. This is a journey. As that little girl in the movie Up declares, "Adventure is out there!" And I want a piece.

There was a moment very much cherished this summer... Walking through Granny's garden this summer. The smell of overabundant mint. The fuzzy leaves of lemon balm. Delicate roses and their thorny bushes tangled around the old wooden swing. Hearing Amaressa's soft giggle as she crawled through the wet grass. God's creations continue to strike awe in me.
That moment was a definite "Aha!". God has given me this wonder for everything natural and herbal and I wanted to pursue that, I needed to pursue that.
"Where there's tea, there's hope."
      -Arthur W. Pinero

I couldn't have said it better.

So as an introduction to this journey, I have two recipes including one of my most favorite herbs (it also happens to be a ROOT): ginger.
This baby I've known since childhood. Dad always gave us a piece of crystallized if we had stomach issues and there was never a shortage of gingersnaps around. Oh, those thin,lacy whisps of spicy ginger that crunched perfectly in the mouth or just melted in a cup of milk? I'm sallivating now.
Due to a change in my diet (almost a year), I've almost completely given up dairy and when I can, shorten my exchange with gluten. Those storebought whisps, although perfect in moderation, seem like empty calories to me so I've created a grain-free, dairy-free, and optionally refined sugar-free version that is full of Omega 3 and some truly warming spices. I call these Gingersnaps 2.0 (okay, not really). Oh, these are mighty good!
I've made several cashew cheesecakes with almond-date crust. My Aunt Mary Beth suggested I try pecans with the dates, stating that it tastes like graham crackers. So I decide to make these cookies with pecans (for that richer taste) and walnuts (for the great Omegas).

Pecan Gingersnaps
1 cp Pecans
1/2 cp Walnuts
6 Dates
1 tblspn unsulphured Molasses
1 tblspn olive oil
1 inch cube of peeled ginger root, grated
1 tsp ginger root powder
5 1-in pieces of crystallized ginger (omit for sugar-free and double fresh ginger root)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Pinch of Salt
Grate of Nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Process nuts in a food processor until coursely ground.
3. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until ball starts to form.
4. Place tablespoonfuls on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly with a fork.
5. Bake 6 - 10 minutes.
6. Let cool. These will harden once cool.

Makes 12 cookies
And because I couldn't start this blog without some tea recipe...

Frothy Matcha Milk
1 cp Almond Milk (unsweetened or use sweetened and omit agave)
1 tsp agave
1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder (if you like more of a green tea flavor, add 1 tsp)

1. Warm milk on low heat.
2. Whisk in agave and green tea powder.
3. Serve. (Froth dies down so serve immediately)

You can find matcha at your local health food store or online at Mountain Rose Herbs, amazon has two great sources Rishi Tea Organic Green Tea' Matcha Super Green, 1.76-Ounce and DoMatcha Green Tea, Organic Matcha, 1.0-Ounce Tin, and Vitacost (here's a $10 gift certificate). I bought mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Happy Herbing!!!
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