wellness tonic, elixir.. whatever you want to call it - I'm into them!

If there is one thing I am sure of in this new year it's that I love a good elixir! Last year I got a vitamix for myself for my birthday (I love getting myself a good birthday present!) and I have been crazy about it every since. I know that a lot of people like to make smoothies, but I like it for making sauces for veggies and elixirs. I like to call them elixirs because they are about 80-90% water (and sometimes I add coconut water for a 50% water/50% coconut water combination). I like to use whatever I have in my kitchen and I grow my own spearmint, parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary and sage year round in my windowsill. My favorites are rosemary and spearmint, I rarely make anything without them. Next on my favorite list are turmeric and ginger, if I add some kind of green I can almost leave it at that if it's all I have. As for greens you take what you like.. for me that's romaine and arugula (and I just use a handful, I don't like it thick and heavy). And OH, never leave out the lemon... you will miss it if you do! and throw the whole thing in there because the essential oils in the skin are the best part for you (I cut off the rough ends but that's it!). And usually black pepper... that's my spike.

I was really inspired by this article in the New York Times - T Magazine, 5 Drink Recipes to Sip Your Way to Wellness. It has 5 great drinks that I am dying to try - I've already made Dimes's Goji Berry and Ginger Tea. I really liked this recipe because it was warm! I'm always looking for something to warm me up! It's delicious and really has a get-up-and-go for me, I immediately felt I had more energy and yes, it made me feel warm all over (best part).

For Christmas I got a few cookbooks (which I will talk more about later), and so far my favorite is Near and Far by Heidi Swanson. It's an amazing cookbook and laid out so thoughtfully I read it through immediately just like a book! Delightful. I got my everyday first thing in the morning elixir from her - lemon, turmeric, honey, black pepper and coconut oil - it's amazing! I drive my kids to school, if I didn't we would have go get up god-awful early so I ALWAYS take this delicious warm drink with me in the car on the way to school.

And you know when dinner is done but you just want something sweet... well our whole family goes crazy for this drink (I hate the word smoothie so I'll leave it at 'drink')

1-2 frozen bananas (I always keep some perfectly ripe frozen bananas in the freezer for this type of emergency)
1 cup almond milk
1 cup other milk like rice, oat or soy
just a dash of cardamom (what you can pink between your fingers is perfect)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
agave to taste (just a bit is fine)
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla sugar (love this stuff)

blend until smooth in a vitamix, you might need to add more milk to get it going but do it until it's just going so that you can almost eat it with a spoon it's so thick! In the summer you can add cashews and ice and make it into ice cream! but for now this is cold enough for me.