Golden Milk

Hello Healthy Ones!

This is a blast from the past! In March of 2013 I posted this recipe for Morning Comfort Drink - aka GOLDEN MILK! Well, imagine my surprise when all of my friends started talking about this new amazing concoction featuring the shining star of anti-inflammatory - super spice, TURMERIC, as though it was unheard of ever before! 

Turmeric looks similar to Ginger.

Since turmeric is currently soaring in popularity right now, making its way into everything from lattes to ice cream, I thought it was about time to repost this recipe and rebrand it as not only a comforting alternative to coffee in the AM, but a relaxing drink with which to end your day. Turmeric is a spice made from the powdered rhizome of an Indian plant. It has long been a popular spice found in curries, but it is beginning to branch out. Be sure to use a bit of black pepper along with turmeric for boosted efficacy and absorption. 


for a

Morning or Evening Comfort Drink

2 serves
2 c. water
2 T. unsalted (organic) Raw Almond Butter or 1/2 c. almonds soaked overnight
1-2 t. turmeric (depending on tastes)
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. ground pepper or 2-3 peppercorns
½ t. vanilla extract or ¼ stick vanilla pod
½ t. grated ginger or ginger juice or 1 knob of fresh ginger
1 -2 pitted Medjool dates
optional: ½ banana, 1 brazil nut, 1 T. Flax meal, chia or hemp seeds keep in mind the more you add, the more “meal-like” this beverage becomes.

If you are using a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until warm.
You might want to avoid using whole nuts, seeds and peppercorns if your blender is not capable of a fine puree.  If using a traditional blender, blend altogether until well mixed and then transfer to a saucepan and heat through.

In India and other parts of the East, spices have been used to flavor foods since antiquity. Did these early cooks realize many of the spices they used each day where also protective from many chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension? Common herbs and spices, as well as fruits and vegetables, contain powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols which helps squelch the fire of inflammation, so be sure to use them liberally. Beware the salt, instead use flavorful citrus zest and juice for extra zip without the extra sodium, fat or calories.



Uncle Don's Local Market - Mushroom Growing Workshop!

The sign is not all that's new at Uncle Don's Local Market!
Have y'all noticed anything new at 1610 Frederica Rd. these days? YES, Uncle Don's Local Market has a new sign, but that is not all!
Don and Hollie have expanded this fabulous Island gem to feature more of what we love it for. More Produce, More LOCALLY SOURCED and Georgia made Gifts, Wines, and other great stuff you know you can't live without! I was so excited to hear about and see the expansion of Uncle Don's I decided to write a little blurb about it.

Stopping in to see Don and Hollie, and the Market's new digs (they have taken over the front of the shop where Lee Watson's Antiques used to be located) made me feel very nostalgic. I have given cooking demo's at Uncle Don's, sold Leafy Cafe to Go-Go take away items there, and in the very early days, Don and I made a "Nutrimercial" together. We were both newbies in the social media and local produce world. I think he might kringe if he knew I was reposting this video, but heck, I think it is C-U-T-E and so are Don and Hollie! I feel in love with them right from the start and many of y'all have too. I knew instantly - Uncle Don's Local Market would be on St. Simons to stay!. Check this out:

Hahahah! Lets do this again Don!!
Hollie's sense of style and taste is evident, as always, throughout the Market decor and curated selection of gifts and yummy wines. Besides all that, what is even more exciting?? - classes. Yep, starting on February 19th with a MUSHROOM GROWING CLASS!. That's right - learn to grow your own specialty fungus. Do you know how nutritious mushrooms are? That's where I come in. Unfortunately, I will not be there to attend but here is a recipe for you to use for the mushrooms you will be growing in your own backyard, if you attend.

Mushroom Growing Class at Uncle Don's Local Market, Sunday, Feb. 19th - CALL 912-634-1610

Here are 5 reasons Mushrooms are good for your health:
1. Increase your Vitamin D! That's right, mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of this critical vitamin which we all seem to be in need of these days.
2. Boost your immune system! by increasing the production of antiviral and other proteins that are released by cells while they are trying to protect and repair the body’s tissues. A later study showed that these mushrooms promoted the maturation of immune system cells-called dendritic cells-from bone marrow. 
3. Mushrooms are full of antioxidants! To help repair tissue damage, fight off free radicals, etc. Usually associated with colorful fruits and veggies, even this beige beauty is chock full!
4. Boost your metabolism! Mushrooms contain loads of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin): B vitamins are vital for turning food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body burns to produce energy. They also help the body metabolize fats and protein. 
5. Contain Good-for-your-Bladder Selenium! studies show that the higher the level of selenium, as measured in blood serum, the lower the risk of bladder cancer AND, selenium also boosts the immune system and fights free radicals too!

As for flavor - think UMAMI! Yes, that extra taste sensation which literally translates to YUM! To chefs and food lovers, it’s a satisfying sense of deep, complete flavor, balancing savory flavors and full-bodied taste with distinctive qualities of aroma and mouthfeel and mushrooms are full of it!

Shitake "Umami" Dumplings w/tofu and bok choy
Dumpling Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg. Teriyaki style baked tofu
  • 1 sm. head cauliflower
  • 1 c. green onion, chopped
  • 2 c. bok choy leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ c. fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 t. minced ginger
  • 2 t. miso paste, white or yellow
  • 1 pkg. Dumpling Wrappers
  • water for sealing dumplings

  • Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
  • 4 T peanut butter
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 t. maple syrup
  • 2 t. minced ginger

  • Method: 
Chop tofu into cubes and break the cauliflower into pieces, trimming off the large stems. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil on medium high. Add the cauliflower and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the tofu, green onion, shitake mushrooms, miso, and ginger. Stir to combine then add the bok choy. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes then pour the soy sauce over the veggie mixture. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the water from the bok choy and shitake is released and cooked off.
Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. While the veggies are cooling, combine all ingredients for the Peanut Sauce in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Transfer the veggie mixture from the skillet into a large food processor bowl. Pulse for 2-3 minutes for 10 seconds at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You want it to be mostly smooth but not a homogenous paste. (so still a tad chunky)
Place a dumpling wrapper on a lightly floured surface. Spoon one heaping teaspoon into the center of the wrapper and carefully moisten the outer rim of the wrapper. Fold the Dumpling in half and press the edges together to seal them, making sure to remove all air from the center. Pinch the sealed edges in a visually pleasing fashion (or leave them flat) and cook them in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Watch them as they tend to brown quickly.  Serve with Peanut Dipping Sauce! 

See you at Uncle Don's! Be there or be L7!


Happy New Year - Matcha Latte Recipe!

Matcha Latte

Matcha Latte in Simon van der Ven cups

Hello Healthy Ones!!    Happy 2017!  🎉

Yes, I realize its been a while since I've posted a recipe. This does not mean I've stopped cooking or stopped loving or stopped sharing. 2016 was a busy year filled with exciting ventures and at certain points, the Leafy Cafe Blog suffered from neglect.

In 2016 I held Food for Life Cooking and Nutrition classes in Maine and Georgia.  Leafy Cafe moved from being a "real" cafe back to being a "virtual" cafe, I prepared hundreds of meals for various clients and coached others on their journeys to optimal health. And the most exciting of all, in 2016 I saw a dream come true; Wellness Adventures at Stafford House on Cumberland Island in Georgia. That's correct, the universe took its time to deliver this opportunity, but it was worth the 16 year wait. All of the stars finally aligned for myself along with three fabulous, experienced yoga instructors to provide four wellness/soft adventure getaways which we dubbed "Nama-STAY!"

2017 looks to be as fun and busy with more wellness adventures scheduled for Cumberland Island and another on a mountain top in Maine! Cooking classes are in the planning stages, and best of all, my first cookbook is in the works! Look for Leafy Cafe Cooks, a FREE ebook download, coming soon! Here is a sample recipe which I have been working on for the book. Let me know if you try it by leaving a comment below!

Serves 2

3 cups non dairy milk (I like almond or cashew for this)
2 T Almond Butter
2 T Coconut Butter or Oil
2 t matcha green tea powder
1/4 t powdered ginger
1/8 t ground cardamom
1 t maca powder (this is a powder made from a magical Peruvian root which tastes like a malt flavor)
1 t sweetener of your choice
pinch sea salt


1. Warm non-dairy milk in a saucepan over low heat or microwave one minute. You can also use a milk frother/steamer which is what I do because I have 3 (yes 3) of them. I love this appliance!
2. Pour warm milk into the blender with all other ingredients and blend, or use an immersion blender
3. Pour into your favorite mug or cup and top with cinnamon.

I love to use these beautiful, handmade cups for matcha. They are made by a very talented Maine potter, Simon van derVen.

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy my recipe for Morning Comfort Drink. You can find it HERE if you scroll down on the page after clicking the link.