Healthy Holiday Spice!

Nothing like leaving this post to the last minute. With any luck the pilot is revving up the engines for my holiday flight right now.

But I couldn’t leave without some holiday hints for you all.

Spices have been in the nutrition news this year and the Christmas holidays are the perfect time to highlight these power houses of good health.

The fact that most people  love the aroma of  ginger cookies and cinnamon topped buns should be the first clue that your body enjoys these spices as well.

All spices are chockfull of anti-oxidants in the form of flavonoids and polyphenols. At this time of year ginger, cinnamon ,nutmeg and cloves abound in holiday bake goods and drinks. Making us feel a bit less guilty over our indulgences.

In many studies ginger and cinnamon have been seen to help steady your blood sugar and build up your immunity. Both of these actions are helpful during a season when we tend to eat more sweets than usual and expose ourselves to holiday kisses and hugs ( read germs).

Cloves are the super hero of the spice world. Cloves appear to have all the “anti’s” in those buds. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and analgesic, just to name the few that would be helpful to have in your body this holiday season.  Cloves have been used to sooth a toothache, relieve an upset stomach and clear the phlegm from an upper respiratory infection. All three we hope you avoid this season.

Nutmeg also can help relieve indigestion and  treat bad breath. Best of all it can help you sleep. Sprinkle some on your warm beverage before bed and start counting sheep.

If you are looking for goodies full of these spices and many other delicious treats, stop by the Jiashan Market this Saturday. The folks at Jiashan Market  are having a special Christmas market this weekend with extended hours and holiday music!

Jiashan Christmas Market this weekend!!
Saturday 19th December 11:00 – 18:00

What a great way to start this joyful season!

Eat Well , Live Well, Have Fun!





The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Dr. Weil’s Holiday Ginger CookiesIngredients
2/3 cup molasses or sorghum
1/3 cup softened butter or Spectrum Spread
1/4 cup frozen concentrate apple juice, thawed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 egg whites
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon grated orange zest

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the molasses, butter, apple juice concentrate, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl for 3 minutes, and then whisk them into the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients together, including the orange zest, in a separate, large bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon to mix everything together until the dough becomes stiff. Knead the dough with clean hands for a couple of minutes, and then divide it in half.
  4. Flatten each half into 2 round disks, wrap them in plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer until they are completely chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  5. After the dough has thoroughly chilled, roll it out on a floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour. Roll it out into 1/8-inch-thick slabs, and then cut it into shapes with a cookie cutter. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the cut cookie shapes with the apple juice concentrate.
  6. Smear the baking sheet with 1/4 teaspoon of butter and arrange the cookies on top. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until they turn a light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.