Warm and Cozy Bedtime Beverage

Warm and cozy Nutmeg Milk

Warm and cozy Nutmeg Milk

This warm and cozy bedtime beverage is quite lovely. It is only warm milk, honey and nutmeg. The nutmeg encourages a comforting sleep and the warm milk envelopes you in warming coziness that allows you to fall asleep easily.

Nutmeg is a relaxing nervine in the herbal world. Caution must be used as too much nutmeg may leave you groggy in the morning. Nutmeg has a way of “time-releasing” some of its qualities so it is best to use less than more.

The best nutmeg to use for this drink is, of course, freshly grated from a whole nutmeg nut.

Myristica fragrans Nutmeg. The picture was tak...

Myristica fragrans Nutmeg. The picture was taken in Zanzibar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)See that red bit? That’s called Mace and can be used like the nutmeg nut found underneath. It’s just a bit stronger and usually comes ground.

Lets talk a bit about nutmeg. We may know it from being sprinkled over the top of holiday eggnog and that might be about it. However, nutmeg is  a spice we should be aware of for many qualities. Add a pinch or two to tomato sauce to add a complex sweetness; I add it to my pepper mill for a great depth of flavor.

Take a sip!

Take a sip!

Personally I love the aroma and flavor of fresh nutmeg. You can use a nutmeg grater or in the absence of that, the smallest side of a box grater or a fine microplane will work to grate the fresh nut.

Nutmeg grater

Nutmeg grater

To make this cozy bedtime beverage, simply warm a cup of milk to warm, add a spoonful of honey and grate a teaspoon of fresh nutmeg over the top. For added luxury, steam the milk with a cappuccino steamer for lots of froth on top.

Sit back and sip, you’ll be yawning and heading for bed before you can finish the cup.

A nice benefit of nutmeg is that it also encourages sweet dreams and reduces stress.

Now who couldn’t use some of that right about now?

Sweet Dreams!

Sweet Dreams!

Refreshing Summer Beverage – Agua Fresca!

Ah, Summertime! Time for refreshing summer beverages and relaxation in the shade. This Summer, discover the simple pleasure of Agua Fresca.

Simple to make, tremendously refreshing, and limitless varieties.

Some varieties have pureed fruit such as cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon, others feature berries and herbs while others call for cucumber or carrot slices.

My favorite flavor is citrus so to make it, use 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 orange and 1 grapefruit if there is one on hand. Additionally I add herbs such as mint, basil or sage on occasion too.

This one is citrus with mint.IMG_5627

Slice the fruit into thick slices, remove any seeds and place the slices into a large pitcher.

Add the mint leaves and a small amount of sugar (or leave the sugar out entirely).

Use a wooden spoon or a muddler to gently crush the mint leaves and the fruit. All you want to do here is to start the release of juice and essential oils.

IMG_5622Fill the pitcher with water, fill another glass with ice and pour. Garnish with mint leaves and a citrus slice.IMG_5626

Prop your feet up and enjoy!

If by any odd chance you have any remaining at the end of the day, remove the fruit to store the beverage overnight. If the fruit is left in, the drink will turn quite bitter from the pith of the fruit. Sometimes you can get a second pitcher out of the fruit too.

I do hope you enjoy this version of agua fresca.IMG_5628