The last two days in Atlanta were absolutely beautiful! A storm came through earlier this week, that left in its wake, crisp clean air and a drop in temperature. It begins to feel like fall is almost here! I am so looking forward to unpacking my sweaters, spending time by the fireplace, going hiking in the north Georgia mountains, and enjoying warm meals.
During the summer months, most of us favor cooling foods. My meals tend to be centered around rainbow colored salads, fresh cut fruit, cold soups, and thick smoothies. However, as the leaves change from fresh shades of green to warm hues of purple, orange, and gold, the foods we crave follow suit. It is time for hearty soups, succulent stews, roasted vegetables, and pumpkin flavored treats!
It is also the best time of year to enjoy fresh figs. They are my very favorite treat of the season! Simply slice them, then top them with a dollop of full fat yogurt (Greek, Cashew, or Coconut), and a drizzle of honey... totally divine! When we eat seasonally and use great ingredients, a little bit goes a long way in helping us to feel satisfied without breaking the calorie bank.
We also tend to use more warming spices in the cooler months, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, anise, cardamom, pepper, and ginger. They are not only wonderfully aromatic and flavorful, but also are a great source of antioxidants. That means they contain compounds that help combat inflammation and aging. Yes please! Some even contain compounds that have anti-cancer properties, like ginger and pepper.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate these spices into my day is by making a pumpkin spice latte in the morning. It's wonderfully creamy and frothy. It's also simple to make and soooo much healthier than the Starbucks version. On cold mornings, it will warm you from the inside out.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
1 cup hot coffee
.25 tsp warming spice blend or pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
.5 tbsp almond butter
1 TBSP monk fruit sugar (or maple syrup)
Instructions: Place all in a high speed blender and blend until smooth, creamy and frothy. Pour into your favorite mug, taste a deep whiff, and then enjoy. Savor every sip!
For an extra special treat, you can jazz it up by topping it with coconut whipped cream, a sprinkle of granola, and a beautiful star anise garnish.