Happy First Day of Fall! Now if only the weather matched up with the calendar. My daughter spotted all the miniature pumpkins at Trader Joe’s the other day, and I couldn’t resist letting her get one… and it won’t be the last time. She carries it everywhere, almost like a tiny fall elf spreading autumn cheer wherever she goes.
Speaking of summers that just won’t. let. go., here is a delicious, refreshing, appropriate beverage for the times.
I once gave up chocolate for a month as a dietary and hormonal experiment. And I felt great — so great that my chocolate dependency was permanently cured. I still crave it now and then, but I’m usually so finicky with my chocolate standards that it ends up being long periods of time between indulgences. Plus, I’m really trying to avoid all kinds of refined sugar. Avoiding sugar basically means no chocolate at all ever unless you make it yourself (which I did at one point, but meh).
During this no-chocolate phase, I started craving molasses of all things. Molasses? What kind of weirdo craves sticky, stinky molasses, all you uncultured palates ask. Probably the same weirdo who needed a non-caffeinated source of minerals and antioxidants and (once) housed a ferocious PMS monster.
It was fall, I think, and I did have a hankering for warm and spicy fall/winter flavors like gingerbread and pumpkin. Bet you can guess the next part: I rushed as fast as I could in my UGG boots to the nearest Starbucks for my tenth PSL in the last three hours, and I immediately made sure everyone on Instagram knew how
basic perfect and beautiful I and my coffee cup looked.
No, actually I came up with my own “latte,” brilliantly (if I do say so myself) combining two healthy ingredients, with some festive accent flavors. It is superb for those rare breeds who consume neither chocolate nor coffee but still want something creamy and smooth with a dark, bitter edge. I always drink this cold like an iced latte — so satisfying on a warm, stuffy late summer or early fall day — but I’m sure it would be delicious as a hot drink, maybe with a touch of ginger and cloves, when it gets chilly. Heck, add chocolate or coffee. I’m sure it would taste delicious.
Maybe those of you (females) still in bondage to your PMS might try out giving up chocolate too, at least for a time. Replacing it with molasses will supply trace minerals that your hormones need to find balance, easing the cramps and mood swings. You won’t be making the problem worse with the nutrient-less sugar, caffeine, and indigestible phytates that might be in your cheap chocolate, not to mention other non-food, processed ingredients that keep your hormone imbalance in a vicious cycle (pun!).
After a while I stopped craving molasses completely. My body got whatever it needed, I suppose.
Molasses Iced “Latte” (serves one)
10 oz raw organic whole milk (add a splash of plain kefir for the added probiotic benefit if you want)
1 tsp organic blackstrap molasses (start out with 1/2 tsp until you acquire a taste for it)
splash of vanilla
sprinkle of cinnamon
Add molasses and a small bit of milk to a tall glass and mix with a small whisk or fork until molasses dissolves. It may take a long minute, but if you let it sit, it will dissolve more easily. Mix in the vanilla and the rest of the milk. Drop in some ice cubes, sprinkle top with cinnamon, and enjoy.