Here is our perfect style of morning pick me up. Bursting with vitality and flavour. We woke up to bright sunshine today with a little autumn chill in the air. We have been blessed this summer in the Beach House, I’ve had my shorts on twice and fleece of at least a handful of times. Its been a scorcher! September is normally one of the best months for sunshine, so we’ll be out in the garden come the morn, sipping smoothies and juices for most of the month (fingers and toes crossed). Its a beautiful time of year with spectacular sunsets (we have been posting loads of sunset shots over on Twitter).
We managed to get out hands on a nice ripe melon and with some apples and mint from the garden, whipped up this interesting combo of flavours. Sure to get your taste buds zinging in the morn. We like a ginger pick me up most mornings and it creeps into many of our juices and smoothies.
Mint is running wild in our garden, we have an embarrassment of herbs leaping from all angles! At the minute we have a couple of peppermint style varieties, very intense, some ginger mint (we used a little in the smoothie) and apple mint. Apple mint is a lovely variety, with large soft leaves and mellow flavour. It grows like a hyperactive teenager so we are welcoming it regularly to dishes in the BHK.
The apples we used are known as Bardsey apples, which all came from one ‘mother’ tree on the island of Bardsey, just off the Llyn Peninsula down the road. The apples are quite sharp and tart and tangy so they go perfectly with the sweet melon and ginger. Read more about the fascinating story of the Bardsey Apple here.
GINGER IS MEDICINE!
Most spices are not just packed with flavour, they also boast amazing health giving properties. Ginger is one of the most potent examples of this. I write about this a lot in Peace & Parsnips, there is a whole section dedicated to spices, how to treat them and their health benefits. This is one of the many reasons why I love Indian, Persian, Middle Eastern etc foods, they are packed with spices that light up the palate and make our bodies shine.
A brief run through the amazing healing properties of Ginger:
Ginger has long been used in ‘alternative’ medicine to treat nausea (morning/ sea sickness), digestive complaints and cold/ flu.
The main active compound in ginger is called gingerol and it is a strong antioxidant and has power anti-inflammatory effects.
Ginger may have strong anti-diabetic properties, lowering blood sugars and heart disease risk along with many bacteria fighting properties, lowering the risk of infections.
Ground ginger has been shown to help with menstrual pain and it generally helps with digestion, especially chronic indigestion.
It is effective in treating exercise induced muscle strain, joint pain and stiffness, when used over a period of time.
There is also some evidence that ginger can reduce bad cholesterol levels, keeping our hearts healthy and that it contains substances that protect us from cancer.
Some studies suggest that ginger can improve brain function and help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The beautiful thing about ginger is its versatility and we pop it into a cup of hot water, with lemon, in the morning when we feel like being outrageously healthy. It is the best way to start things off in the morning.
Now thats what I call a super food!!!!
The Bits – For Two Big Glasses
3-4 handfuls chopped melon (honeydew, galia…nice and ripe)
3 handfuls chopped apples (tart variety)
1 kiwi (peeled and chopped)
1/2 handful chopped mint leaves (sliced)
2 tbs chopped ginger (or more depending on taste and purpose. For a serious healthy pick me up, try 3-4 tbs)
Splash of water/ non-dairy milk
Blitz all together in a blender until smooth and lovely. Add more liquid to thin to your favourite consistency. If you leave it thick, its more like a pudding!
There are over 25 varieties of mint and it has long been used to soothe the belly.