Friday, February 6, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Lovers Post

Today's valuable post includes: a natural remedy for belly aches, a pumpkin pie spice recipe, a breakfast spice muffin~Jamaican ginger cake~pumpkin cookie recipe, a trick for a flavorful, chemical and sugar-free cup of chai tea, and an amazing benefit of ripe bananas!

Improve quality and save $$$ by making your own homemade pumpkin pie spice with Whole Foods Market organic spices!

Organic Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 c organic cinnamon
1/2 c organic ginger
1/2 c organic nutmeg
1/4 c organic cloves
1/4 c organic allspice

Combine and store in spice container. I use an old cinnamon container from Costco shown below. Great in desserts, oatmeal, muffins, coffee, and more!

Breakfast Spice Muffins OR Jamaican Ginger Cake OR Pumpkin Spice Cookies
1 1/2 c pitted dates
1 1/2 c hot water
1 ripe banana ( case you don't like banana flavor)
1 1/2 c pumpkin puree (Costco's organic ~$1/can!)
3 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled (optional, delicious addition!)
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 c whole wheat flour
Jamaican Ginger Cake

Pre-heat oven to 375 (convection: 350). Blend dates and fresh ginger in a food processor; next, combine with flaxseed, pumpkin spice, water, and pumpkin puree, in a mixing bowl. In separate bowl combine last three dry ingredients, and then add dry to wet ingredients, and gently mix only until dry ingredients are wet. Pour batter into baking pan (I love my silicone collection!), muffin tin, bread pan, or simply scoop spoonfuls on baking sheet. Bake for around 25 min, or until it looks done on top (bread pans and regular size muffins will take longer, cookies will take less time). Cut bread when cool. The beauty of no raw eggs - you can eat the batter! Yes, this is a sugar-free, vegan recipe, that we've made probably a half dozen times in the last two weeks!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Ginger Cake
To use a bread maker, just pour the wet and dry ingredients into your machine, activate "cake" setting, and off you go! I also choose "dark" for crust control.

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea
After you've prepared your treat, you should sit down for a cup of chai tea. Simply pour a cup of black tea or a cup of hot water (for caffeine free) into your dirty mixing bowl after everything is in the oven, stir it all up, and viola! Either way, you have a perfectly delicious cup of chai tea :)

Do you ever get tummy aches? Mine come when I eat too much candy/junk...and usually my bellyache worthy choices come in batches. So I use this really great remedy, which works for me nearly every time! I can only think of once when I took a second piece of ginger (because I was still uncomfortable) and that tummy ache turned into a few days of me being very sick, so maybe nothing was stopping that bout. Anyway, as soon as my belly starts to hurt, I pop one of these candied ginger pieces! Shortly after, I feel so much better :)

Of course it'd be better if there wasn't added sugar, but I am not sure I could eat a large chunk of ginger on it's own. Each candied ginger piece is like a spicy gummy bear :) Even candied, they are still really strong. Now that I am used to the flavor, I pop them in my mouth every few days for the general anti-inflammatory effect.

See MebMD for ginger's many helpful USES. They discuss studies which have found nausea following surgery to be greatly reduced with use of ginger. It's also been used to help relieve morning sickness, and been found to be as effective as anti-nausea drugs following chemotherapy (this provided insufficient evidence, but if it may work AS WELL as someone on chemotherapy taking another medication, that seems a pretty good chance to take).

Last, but not least, the really ripe bananas that are so great for their sweetness, are also much more effective in boosting the body's immune system than bananas with a green skin, according to Japanese researchers. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) is produced when the brown spots appear, and the more brown spots, the more TNF. TNF helps to break down cells that aren't needed, such as, and most importantly, cancer cells. In my quest for the original source, I came across this well-written description of the research/benefits.

COMMENTS: when I was first married, my hubby and I lived in London, and came across Jamaican Ginger Cakes, yum! My recipe reminds me of that treat from long ago, and the fun times we had in London. Have you ever had a McVitie's Jamaican Ginger Cake? Or is there a food that brings back memories, like these do for me? Happy weekend everybody!


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